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New Sexual Allegations Against Herman Cain; Pakistan Cuts Off NATO Supply Routes After Border Incident; Newt Gingrich's Businesses Examined

Aired November 28, 2011 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: There's a woman now claiming she had a 13 year affair with the Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain.

I asked Herman Cain about those allegations just a short while ago.


HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They just said, you know, they -- they mentioned the name of the individual...

BLITZER: And you know this woman?

CAIN: And I do know who -- who she is. And they mentioned what the accusation is going to be. But until the story comes out, I'm not at liberty to respond to something, at this point.

Now, when the story breaks, through my attorney, Lin Wood, of Atlanta, Georgia, we will respond.

We chased all of these other rumors for two weeks before. And as it turned out, they were baseless.


Because they weren't able to come up with any documentation, any proof or anything that was credible.

And so we will address these when they come out. But at this point, I just wanted to give you a heads-up. I don't have anything to hide. And we will address every one of the details as we know them.

BLITZER: Well, tell us the nature of your relationship with this woman.

CAIN: Friend and trying to help a friend because not having a job, etc. And this sort of thing. That's all there is to the relationship.

And here again, I don't know what's going to be claimed in the story. It was someone who was supposed to be a friend, but, obviously, they didn't see it as a friendship.

BLITZER: And when you say friend, was it an a -- I mean I'm asking. These are awkward questions, but I'll ask you the questions you're going to be asked. Was this an affair?

CAIN: No, it was not.

BLITZER: There was no sex?




BLITZER: And if this woman says there is, she's lying, is that what you're...

CAIN: Well, Wolf, let's see what the story is going to be. I don't want to get into, you know, being pinned down on some things until we see what the story is going to be.

BLITZER: Because -- but they basically gave you the outlines, this Atlanta television station...

CAIN: They gave my attorney the outline. And so I'm now speaking secondhand in terms of what I know about the story. When we know the story, we will respond.


BLITZER: All right. Let's get -- continue the analysis.

Our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, is here; Joe Johns, our reporter who's covering this political race.

What did you think of his response, the way he handled that?

And as Joe accurately points out, the first rule of damage control is if you've got bad news, you should bring it forward rather than let your adversaries bring it forward.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And he tried to do that, but I think with mixed success, Wolf, because he couldn't talk about what the story was. You asked him explicitly whether it was an affair. He said no. He seemed to open the sort of question about maybe this person interpreted the relationship differently.

I -- I -- I think we need it hear from this woman and we -- and we will hear from her soon.

But he tried to get out in front of this story without actually giving his full version of what the relationship was. So I -- I don't think it was as successful as he would have really hoped.

BLITZER: He seemed very confident, though, in making all those denials and making all those rejections of any of these allegations.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's really remarkable how cool he remained under pressure, especially not being a politician, being a businessman, walking into the situation. So that's fascinating to watch.

But you have to say, you know, he's seen a big hit in the polls just because of these sexual harassment allegations and now a question of an affair or not seems like the kind of thing that would really undercut him with social conservatives, the people he needs.

BORGER: He seemed to be talking about rumors that were baseless. And what I'm not clear about is is he talking about the other women from the Restaurant Association who received settlements or is he talking about new rumors that we don't know about?

Is he talking about this -- this woman who we're certainly going to hear from soon?

So that was -- that unclear to me...

JOHNS: Right.

BORGER: -- whether he and his attorney are looking into other allegations.

JOHNS: He says they're baseless and he's said that before. He said that allegations, assertions that have been made are baseless. But the fact of the matter is, if you sort of dissect them, it's really he said/she said and you don't know whether they're baseless.

Take a look at this, because this is the Fox 5, WAGA Web site in Atlanta. This is the station that is going to break this allegation. And there is the picture of this woman, according to WAGA-TV in Atlanta. They just posted this picture of this woman, who apparently is going to accuse Herman Cain of having had a 13 year affair with her. So that's -- that's the latest we're getting, this picture of this woman.

He did get emotional, Gloria, at one point. He did get emotional at one point, when he said that he discussed this already with his wife and family and if he ever were to drop out of this Republican race for the White House, it would be because of the toll all of these accusations...

BORGER: Right.

BLITZER: -- could have on his family and his wife.

BORGER: Right. And you asked him whether he had spoken with his wife about this. And he said he had and -- and her response was, here we go again.

And I -- I think can you see that this is weighting on him. And I believe that as a -- you know, at a certain point, things reach a critical mass and he is going to have to address these particular charges. It sounds like it was a consensual relationship, certainly, although an affair, from her point of view. And he's going to have to address his supporters about this, because he maintains quite unequivocally there was no sexual relationship.

BLITZER: Let me play this other clip from my interview with Herman Cain -- Joe, I want to bring you in in a moment.

Just watch this.


BLITZER: So we'll watch it unfold.

Are you worried this could further hurt you in this Republican race for the White House?

CAIN: I'm more worried that this is going to hurt my wife and my family, because it's going to be proved that it was probably something else that was baseless. And the court of public opinion does not consider that when they want to pass that judgment.

I can take the lumps. I expected this kind of stuff when I made the decision to run for the president of the United States of America. But the thing that I'm worried about is the impact it's going to have on my wife and my family, because they should not be subjected to false accusations that cannot be proved.

BLITZER: Have you spoken to your...


BLITZER: All right, I want to read to you, Joe, and to our viewers, this is from the Fox 5, WAGA Web site. They're -- they write -- they have a picture that they've posted of this woman. They say her name is Ginger White. And she says she had an affair with Herman Cain. "It was pretty simple," White said. "It wasn't complicated. I was aware that he was married and I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation relationship."


BLITZER: So those are blunt words from her.

JOHNS: Sure. And -- and it's just amazing how many different situations that this candidate has been batting down, saying it's not true. Again and again and again we hear Herman Cain deny, deny, deny. And it's very difficult because, as you said, the totality of the circumstances makes it...

BORGER: Well...

JOHNS: -- kind of a little bit harder to -- to...

BORGER: Well...

JOHNS: -- to just walk away and say, hey, nothing happened.

BORGER: Well, and, also, he claims that the charges by other women were baseless. And we do not know know that. What we do know is that he could call upon the Restaurant Association to release all the documentation...

JOHNS: Right.

BORGER: -- about the alleged sexual harassment with -- with this woman when they were colleagues there. And he has not asked the Restaurant Association to do that.

So when he says charges are baseless...

JOHNS: Right. It's...

BORGER: -- we -- we can't take that at face value...

JOHNS: We don't know that.

BORGER: -- unless we -- unless we see the documents.

BLITZER: This WAGA, also on their Web site, says that this woman has what she calls "records" to back up her allegation of this 13 year affair.

Lin Wood, who is Herman Cain's attorney -- he's a well-known attorney in Atlanta -- he gave the -- the station the following statement. And let me -- let me read it to our viewers. This is Herman Cain's attorney. "Mr. Cain has been informed today that your television station plans to broadcast a story this evening in which a female will make an accusation that she engaged in a 13 year long physical relationship with Mr. Cain. This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace. This is not an accusation of an assault, which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.

Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private alleged consensual conduct between adults, a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one -- one's bedroom door."

The statement goes on from Lin Wood, Herman Cain's attorney. "Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so, even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media" -- now, Joe, you're a lawyer.


BLITZER: You went to law school. This is a -- a legal statement, if you will...

JOHNS: Sure.

BLITZER: -- by Lin Wood. But maybe he didn't know that Herman Cain already denied these accusations...

JOHNS: Right.



BLITZER: He already was willing in the interview with me to flatly reject them and -- and dismiss these allegations of a physical, sexual relationship for 13 years.

JOHNS: Absolutely. And he's also making the point that it's a private matter and it really shouldn't come into the public arena.

And -- and, of course, that can be debated, simply because he's running for president now and your character will be called into question, certainly, by those social conservatives in the primaries, who get to say whether they think you are qualified to be the president of the United States.

That said, remember so many times, in our own reporting, when we sort of delve into the private lives of politicians, it's because there's something else that goes along with it.

Bill Clinton, it wasn't just the allegation of an affair, it was the question of -- of whether he lied in an official judicial proceeding.

So, you know, what Lin Wood is saying is something that can actually be debated out there in -- in the public arena.

BORGER: I just heard it for the first time when you were reading it, Wolf.


BORGER: Is there a denial in there...


BORGER: -- that there was a...

BLITZER: He, Herman Cain...

BORGER: -- consensual sex?

BLITZER: -- Herman Cain flatly denied it.

BORGER: That's what I'm...

BLITZER: But Lin Wood said this is nobody's business.

BORGER: Right. But there's a difference...

BLITZER: Sexual harassment, assault, if you will, that's everyone's business.

BORGER: Right.

BLITZER: But this is -- this is a private matter. It's outside the bedroom and it should be of no interest anyway.

BORGER: Well, it seems to me what his attorney is saying is making it clear this was not harassment, if it occurred, it was consensual, if it occurred.

But what Mr. Cain was saying to you was, in fact, this woman is lying. And I think it goes back to -- to Joe's question, because at some point, Herman Cain supporters, or would-be supporters, have to take a look at this and decide, you know, somebody is -- somebody is telling the truth here. And then that becomes the issue.

BLITZER: Let me play another clip from my interview with Herman Cain just a little while ago and then we'll discuss.

Listen to this.


CAIN: I'm more worried that this is going to hurt my wife and my family, because it's going to be proved that it was probably something else that was baseless. And the court of public opinion does not consider that when they want to pass that judgment.

I can take the lumps. I expected this kind of stuff when I made the decision to run for the president of the United States of America. But the thing that I'm worried about is the impact it's going to have on my wife and my family, because they should not be subjected to false accusations that cannot be proved.


BLITZER: And he said he's so confident that these accusations are false, he is going to go out tonight and have a good steak dinner here in Washington, DC, because these just frivolous accusations.

JOHNS: You know, it is a tough position, to be running for the president of the United States, everybody knows your your name and this kind of stuff keeps coming up again and again and again. You know, a lot of people have asked, when are they going to get fully back on to 999 or whatever it is that Herman Cain wants to discuss with the voters?

But we're far afield from that right now. Their campaign is completely off message and in damage control. And the woman hasn't even spoken on TV yet, as far as I can tell.

BORGER: Right.

BLITZER: And this woman, Ginger White -- and the -- the WAGA television station in Atlanta shows -- shows us her picture -- she has to go into this, with these accusations, knowing her whole life is about to be explored, as well. BORGER: Yes. Oh, absolutely. And -- and going back to what Lin Wood is saying, also, Wolf, it -- it's interesting that he is trying to say to voters, this is of no -- this should be of no concern to you. But we've all covered a lot of presidential campaigns. Character is always an issue in presidential campaigns. It is the most personal vote that anybody can make, because you have to trust this person, as commander- in-chief, to send your son or your daughter into war. It a personal vote.

So character does matter. And particularly in a state like Iowa, where you have Evangelical voters, family values issues. Ask Newt Gingrich about that.

JOHNS: That's right.

BORGER: That has a large issue -- has always been a large issue with him and will continue to dog him, his personal life.

So it's interesting that Cain's lawyer would say you shouldn't pay any attention to this when, in fact, his own client is denying the affair. He didn't deny the affair. And the public will have to decide whether it's relevant.

BLITZER: Why do you think that Lin Wood, in his formal statement to the Atlanta TV station, did not flatly deny this allegation?

JOHNS: He probably leaves it to the client. It's up to the client, whatever he wants to say, go on out and say it. And they'll take your words. As far as he's concerned, you know, he takes a different tact.

But it is curious. I think it's very curious. And it's the -- I mean the -- the implication is obvious that if he doesn't say, you know -- he might say my client denies it or whatever. If he wants put that in statement, he can do that very easily. But he chose not to do it.

BLITZER: At the end of the statement, he says flatly -- this is Lin Wood, the attorney representing Herman Cain. He says, "He has no obligation," referring to Mr. Cain, "He has no obligations to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so, even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media."

BORGER: But he did.

BLITZER: But he did, obviously, in -- in the last hour here in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: He was willing to do so.

But it wouldn't just be the news media that would view this unfavorably. As you point out, Gloria, you point out conservative Evangelical, pro-family types in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, they may view this unfavorably. BORGER: Right. They may view this unfavorably. And as you point out, Wolf, we don't know anything about the woman. We don't know her motive for coming out. We have to listen to what she has to say, what documentation she has, why she came out now, et cetera, et cetera So, you know, there's a whole part of this story that -- that we really don't know yet. But what we do know is that the client and his attorney seem to be saying two different things.

JOHNS: Also realize, though, that -- I mean, if you look at the polls, a snapshot of where we are right now with Newt Gingrich doing very well, I mean, people know his personal life. People know what's going on there. And so, you have to ask yourself at some point, maybe not today, but whether the public is giving politicians a little bit more of a pass right now because of whatever they did in the past.

BLITZER: He made it clear in the interview that we just had, he was staying in this race. I want to play this clip.


BLITZER: But you're staying in this race, you're not dropping out.

CAIN: I'm not dropping out of this race, no. As long as my wife is behind me, and as long as my wife believes that I should stay in this race, I'm staying in this race, because I am sick and tired of the hurt and harm that somebody out there is doing to my family, more so to me, with these baseless -- these baseless charges.

See, what this says is, is that somebody is awfully afraid that I'm doing too well in this Republican nomination to continue to dig up these stories to try and put a cloud and a damper on my campaign. We are going to stay focused on this campaign.


BLITZER: Let's bring in our democratic strategist, Donna Brazile and our Republican strategist, Mary Matalin. Mary, first to you. What do you make of this bombshell development involving Herman Cain's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination?

MARY MATALIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, it's not good. Even if it's untrue, and we don't know if it is true or not, but it's a distraction. He was having issues in the campaign prior to this partly because of his appearances in the debate based on foreign policy but the way in which he handled the previous allegations.

So, he seems to be trying to handle this in a more efficient and clipped way, getting a lawyer out right in front, but the one thing you can't do, voters won't forgive to is to go to flat-out denial and it proves not to be true. So, it's a distraction in any event.

BLITZER: This woman apparently says, Donna, she has records that can confirm her allegation of a 13-year affair with Herman Cain. I don't know what those records will show or not, but what's your immediate reaction to this development. DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, when I first saw the interview, Wolf, I didn't know if it was another woman coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment or something else. Well, this is something else. It appears to be adultery or an affair. We don't know what it is, because the lawyer, his lawyer, is being defined right now.

Mr. Cain is denying it, but we really don't know all of the evidence, and we haven't heard -- at least, I haven't heard directly from the individual involved as to what the context of what she is saying, but it a distraction. It will hurt him with conservative voters.

Five weeks from tonight, they will caucus in their living rooms and church basements, and they will take a look at all of this and decide whether or not Herman Cain has what it takes to be commander-in-chief and these characters issues that continue to come up will continue to depress not only his poll numbers but also the level of support that he will receive.

BLITZER: What this woman did tell this Atlanta television station, WAGA Fox five, in Atlanta, she says on their website, it was pretty simple. This woman, Ginger White (ph), whose picture is posted on the website, "It wasn't complicated. I was aware that he was married and I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate relationship." Here is what he said flatly to me an hour ago.


But did you have a 13-year affair with this woman?

CAIN: No, I did not.

BLITZER: Did you know her for 13 years?

CAIN: Yes. But I did not have an affair, OK. And until I see and hear exactly what's going to be -- what the accusations are going to be made, let's move on. But I acknowledge that I knew the woman. I acknowledge that I've known her for about that period of time. But the accusation that I had a 13 year affair with her, no.

BLITZER: Do you suspect she has any evidence -- e-mails, letters, gifts, anything that she will be able to bring to try to confirm this?

CAIN: Wolf, no. That's --


CAIN: I don't -- Wolf, when you've done nothing wrong, no. I mean if -- just like the second woman a few weeks ago came in with this statement and these so-called documents which could not stand up to -- to scrutiny, I have no idea what it is that she's going to have to show proof. So I -- until -- we can't respond to what we don't know. We can't respond to what we don't know.


BLITZER: Mary Matalin, what did you think of that response from him?

MATALIN: Very, very powerful. If it's not true, you just can't be that demonstrative and definitive and it not be true, next to praying for his wife and his family. This is so awful on them. I can't imagine what kind of person or what kind of candidate would be that definitive if he wasn't telling the truth.

And if he is and this is another one of those unproved assault, -- I think he has other structural problems in his campaign, but I think that frontal of an assault could be helpful to get him looked at again, because somebody is taking him on for reasons that he addressed later no one your interview. Why? What is her motivation?

BLITZER: You know, and I asked it flatly, Donna, if there was a racial element involved. He didn't necessarily rule that out. He's an African-American, obviously. And in the past, there have been some suggestions that this is a racial problem, that those who are accusing of him are accusing him because he's Black.

BRAZILE: I don't think that's the case, Wolf, and I don't believe race has anything to do with this. This is a candidate for the highest public office in the United States of America, and everyone who runs for president, especially those who lead in the poll, they are subjected to a lot of scrutiny. Mr. Cain understood this when he run to the United States Senate, he told s some of his close aides that this might be -- the sexual allegation stories might come forward.

And now, he's a presidential contender. So, this comes with the territory. It's not fair, perhaps, to his family that these allegations have surfaced once again or for the first time, but, I thought what he did today was he acknowledged that, at least, he knows the woman. He acknowledged that they've known each other for a long period of time.

But what he denied and was quite defiant was that there was anything inappropriate. But, you know, again, I don't know much more than that. And it will impact his campaign.

BLITZER: Mary, if he is not being truthful, is it over for his race for the Republican presidential nomination?

MATALIN: I don't like to make those kind of predictions, but if you're that definitive and that strong in his denial and if proves not to be the case, then I think that is a character issue. I think adultery and infidelity and those kinds of things in his characters, as Joe Johns said this earlier, some voters are tend to be on occasion more temperate forgiving.

And we believe in redemption and all that. There is a problem (ph) with the values voters and all that, but I think that is survivable. Lying like that, if it is, that's why I think he can't possibly be lying, because that would be -- that would be a character flaw if you could look somebody straight in the eye and say, absolutely not. There is nothing inappropriate. That's a problem.

BLITZER: Yes. The last time I did an interview with someone we later learned was flatly lying was Anthony Weiner, the Democratic congressman from New York, who flatly denied all of those accusations, but only a few days later, he acknowledged that he had, in fact, been lying, and his career as the United States congressman, at least for now, is over.

What do you think, Gloria, can he survive if it turns out to be true, the accusations of this woman?

BORGER: I think it's a huge problem for him. And not only because of the lying, if he is lying, but also because his campaign is headed in the wrong direction to begin with because of the issues like his position on abortion, what exactly is it? He stated a couple positions on it. Would 9-9-9 raise the national sales tax which Republicans don't like?

So, his campaign is already headed in the wrong direction. Now, these questions come up. And, again, as Mary points out, if you're willing to say, OK, this was a consensual relationship, it was a mistake, people will forgiver you for that. The difficulty, I think, is that if people believe you're not telling the truth, and in the end, the truth has way of coming out.

BLITZER: The American people, though, can be very, very forgiving. You remember Bill Clinton when he said I did not have sexual relations with that woman. He went on to become a very, very popular president. The American public is forgiving on these kinds of issues.

JOHNS: Right. With the camera right on him, and he pounded the left turn. And, he made a lot people really want to believe him, then he had to come right back around and say something else, you know? The other thing to -- I mean, honestly, this is just about the strangest Republican nomination race. I can remember.

So, I'm almost afraid to say, you never say never in something like this, because a month or two months ago, I would have never imagined that Newt Gingrich would be doing as well as he is. So, I mean, who knows what's going to happen with this. The next step is to find out what she says and then what's his proof.

BORGER: And again, as we've been talking about. We don't know anything about this woman. We don't know what her motive might be. We don't know whether she's telling the truth. There are all these questions out there, but as Mary points out, he was so definitive in saying that there was no relationship that I think it would be very difficult for him to continue if, in fact, it was proven at some point that, in fact, there was.

BLITZER: Let me ask Donna Brazile to weigh in. What do you think? Can he survive if this woman is telling the truth.

BRAZILE: You know, the "Herman Train Cain" will continue to make stops all along the country, but fewer and fewer passengers will get on board, because they clearly don't want to be on a rocky train raid with a candidate who hasn't unproven record and people really don't know exactly who the real Herman Cain is. But I want to say something about forgiveness. Yes, the American people will forgive, they won't forget, but they are more fair-minded. And the question is, you know, is Herman Cain being treated fairly? And that goes back to this issue of race. And that's why I don't believe it's an issue of race. He's had ample opportunities to set the record straight.

Wolf, you gave him a lot of time today to explain his side of the story, although, he didn't hear what his accuser had to say, but he had an opportunity to explain it. So, I think, at this point, we got to hear more from the woman. And I have to say something as a woman, why would you come forward knowing that your reputation, your family, your entire life, will also be under scrutiny.

So, I have to believe that there's a reason behind her coming forward, and perhaps, like most Americans, I want to know why.


BLITZER: Everyone stand by. We're going to continue our coverage of the breaking news. A woman is about to come out and say she had a 13- year affair with Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain. We'll continue on this story. Stay with us. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.


CAIN: And, Wolf, this is why, since I was going to be on your show to talk about my campaign, I wanted to get out in front of it. Because I have nothing to hide. I have done nothing wrong, just like it was demonstrated for the first two times around.



BLITZER: For viewers just tuning in, we're following breaking news, an explosive new charge from a third woman coming forward and making an accusation that she a 13-year affair, a 13-year extramarital affair with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. There you see her picture. This is from FOX 5, WAGA, the local station in Atlanta, Georgia.

This woman, Ginger White, telling the FOX 5 station, quote, "It was pretty simple. It wasn't complicated. I was aware that he was married and I was also aware ways involved in a very inappropriate situation relationship."

Herman Cain was here in THE SITUATION ROOM and he flatly denied these allegations. His attorney, though, Lynn Wood in Atlanta, a very prominent attorney, issued a lengths think statement, but he didn't go as far as Herman. He instead said this at the end of his statement. He said "Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media. He will not do so even if his principle position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media." That statement from Lin Wood. We are told we are about to get video of this woman making allegation to this local TV station in Atlanta, WAGA FOX 5. We will play it for you when we get it. We will also have excerpts from my interview with Herman Cain in which he adamantly denied this allegation coming forward from a third woman. Two earlier allegations of sexual harassment were widely reported over the last several weeks.

Gloria Borger is here, Joe Johns is here. The reason we are paying this much attention, Gloria, is he is one of the top Republican candidates right now, even though he is not number one or two. But potentially he could become the Republican nominee, and maybe if he wins the president of the United States. So we are paying a lot of attention.

BORGER: We are. And we should say that he was number one in the polls for a while. There seems to be a lot of switching around in that number one category. Herman Cain's poll numbers from his campaign's point of view are headed in the wrong direction. We now know that. He is now not the top candidate but he is still is in the top tier of Republican candidates. We've got the Iowa caucuses coming up in five weeks. And he has been doing well in Iowa, so this is clearly a relevant issue.

JOHNS: You also have to point out that a lot of his success, even in light of sexual harassment allegations, is that people found him to be very likeable in spite of these and didn't necessarily believe the stories that were being told about him.

There's also been a great deal of suspicion on the news media in the sense would he are piling on and even perhaps not telling the truth. So there is a whole swirl there as to why he actually remained in the middle of the pact despite some allegations that could have taken another candidate and another situation completely out.

BLITZER: All right, we have the video of Ginger White. She is the woman who is making these explosive charges of a 13-year affair with Herman Cain. I think it's ready. This is from WAGA FOX 5 in Atlanta.


GINGER WHITE, CLAIM AFFAIR WITH HERMAN CAIN: It was pretty simple. It wasn't complicated. And I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.


BLITZER: There we heard from her, Gloria, for the first time. They put the transcript of that comment. But you see the way she said it. Give me your immediate reaction.

BORGER: I think we need to know more. This is little sound bite where she said it was an inappropriate relationship. Clearly Mr. Cain made the point, and I think at one point he was saying she was out of a job and he was trying to help her. But he maintained that it was not an inappropriate relationship in any way, shape, or form. So I think we need to seem more of that interview. And we need to know more about her and why at this particular point we she decided to go public, because, clearly, as you pointed out with Donna Brazile and Mary, she is going to have her private life opened up like a book now after this.

JOHNS: And this stuff all gets run together. So it is kind of important to keep distinguishing between allegations of sexual harassment and some that even sounded almost like assault, and this which sounds much more like a consensual relationship and it's a question of morality and character and keeping your vows and so on, all of which the voters can decide. Nonetheless, a very different situation.

BLITZER: All right, we will continue on this story later. I will play some experts with my interview with Herman Cain.

But I want to move right now to some other important news that we are following, a very disturbing turning point in the already very tense relationship between Pakistan and the United States.

After dozens of Pakistani troops were killed in a weekend NATO strike, anger at the U.S. is raging across the region this hour. The Taliban now urging retaliation against the United States while Pakistan's prime minister also warning his country is reevaluating how it will deal with the Obama administration going forward.

Let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence. He has got a closer look at what both sides are saying about what happened. Chris, what do we know about what happened along the Afghan-Pakistani border over the weekend?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, considering that Pakistan claims that the airstrike was unprovoked attack and NATO is saying that American troops were fired on first, the real question really comes down to who to you believe?


LAWRENCE: It all went down around 2:00 in the morning a little over a mile from the Afghan border. The entire incident only took two hours but may have destroyed months of hard work to repair the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. A NATO official says Afghan troops were working with elements of U.S. special operations forces in a combined mission on the Afghan side of the border. The official says the team came from under fire from Pakistan from what they believed to be an suspected Taliban base.

A senior U.S. official says the troops requested air support. And initial indications are apache helicopters and a gunship fired on two Pakistani border check points. The official says they fired from the Afghan side and did not enter Pakistani air spice.

Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed in the airstrike but details diverged depending who you talk to. The U.S. official believes Pakistani were called to warn them of the airstrike beforehand. But Pakistani commanders claim they pleaded with NATO to stop firing on friendly forces and insists they're troops did not fire first.

This is a frontier area with a border that's hard to define. NATO has complained in the past that militants fire on American and Afghan troops from positions close to Pakistani checkpoints.

MAJOR GENERAL DANIEL ALLYN, U.S. ARMY: I would say in the last three weeks we are probably averaging three to four cross border firing incidents a week.

LAWRENCE: Just last week, U.S. commanders were speaking positively about cooperation with Pakistan. They say at the Americans request, Pakistan even adjusted some of its own military positions to deny insurgent infiltration.

ALLYN: And in fact we've had some very good cases in the last three weeks of the Pak-Mil coordinated with us to respond against those cross border fires. And that coordination occurs with every event that happens.


LAWRENCE: Yes, and that communication includes U.S. commanders talking to Pakistani military counterparts as well as talking to Pakistani liaison officers inside Afghanistan. The U.S. and NATO investigation into what happened here in this airstrike is focusing on where, if at all, that communication broke down.

BLITZER: On THE SITUATION ROOM blog that I write every day, Chris, I point out that Michele Bachmann said that Pakistan is simply too nuclear to fail. Here is a question for you. How secure are the Pakistani nuclear sights potentially could get in the hands of terrorists?

LAWRENCE: Well, there has been extreme concern, Wolf. You are talking about 70 to 90 nuclear warheads. Just recently there were reports that Pakistan was transporting some of its nuclear material on unsecured vans on very congested roads, roads on which some of that material could be at risk.

So there is concern. And leaked WikiLeaks documents show there has been a concern from U.S. officials about the safety and security of those nuclear weapons inside Pakistan.

BLITZER: Huge story with enormous ramifications. You can check out my blog, Chris Lawrence, thank you.

We have much more in the breaking news we're following in THE SITUATION ROOM, how Republican presidential contender Herman Cain is now responding in an interview with me to new allegations against him, a woman in Atlanta claiming she had a 13-year affair with him. Excerpts from my interview are coming up.

Plus, Newt Gingrich certainly is climbing in the polls, but can his image as a Washington outsider hold up to scrutiny. More on that story as well.


BLITZER: We will have more on the explosive news that a woman in Atlanta, Georgia is accusing Herman Cain of a 13-year affair. More on that coming up, including some of my interview with Herman Cain. He flatly denies her allegation.

But there's other political news we're following, including the former House speaker Newt Gingrich who is doing remarkably well right now. He is campaigning, though, on an anti-Washington message and branding himself as an outsider.

But can this image he is crafting hold up to scrutiny? CNN's Lisa Sylvester is taking a closer look. Lisa, one of the ways you have gained insight into Newt Gingrich is to follow the money, if you will. Tell us what you're finding out.

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. As you know, Newt Gingrich is a lot of things. He's a former House speaker, he's a presidential candidate, and of course he is a businessman. He made a reported $2.5 million last year on various businesses.

And at the heart of all of this is his brand. One of the things we have learned about Newt Gingrich is that he has had a number of different businesses. Among the businesses that he has had is a for- profit -- essentially a think tank in which corporations would spend as much as $200,000 especially to get his advice.

He also had a consulting company. And all this, Wolf, came up in the news because it was revealed that he paid up to -- he was actually paid by Freddie Mac up to $1.8 million. This was essentially money that he originally he said he was giving historical advice.

Then later on he came out and said he was a consultant. He told them essentially what they were doing, their mortgage practices, what they were doing was wrong. But these are some of the ways in which he has earned that $2.5 million that I referred to.

Also, Wolf, there are the books, the DVDs, the documentaries. In all of these various ways he has earned a very hefty income over the years. But what he is trying to do, though, is try to portray himself as a Washington outsider. It is a key part of his message on the campaign trail.

But if you look at all of the businesses, if you look at these ventures he's had since he left Congress back in 1999, the truth is, Wolf, he is very much a Washington insider. He has been a Washington player and, in fact, Wolf, his home is actually in McClain, Virginia, Wolf.

BLITZER: Which is a suburb of Washington D.C. And "The Washington Post," as you know, reported that what he made the decade after leaving congress, $100 million, if not more. Is that an accurate number based on the research that you're doing?

SYLVESTER: Actually what the $100 million is, it is essentially what his companies and businesses, what they earned within the last decade. It is a lot of money to be sure. And a lot of this is going to be scrutinized as we go forward. Again, this is a guy who wants to say, hey, I'm the outsider here. But in fact in many ways, if you peel back and you look at some of these business ventures, he actually has been a major player.

BLITZER: Lisa Sylvester, thanks very much. Let's a little bit more about Newt Gingrich with our chief national correspondent John King. He is getting ready to interview Newt Gingrich live on his show. That starts at the top of the hour.

John, just first of all give us your thoughts about this notion that Newt Gingrich may not be an outsider to Washington but a real insider as far as his dealings with Washington since leafing Congress.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it is a major challenge, without a doubt, for the speaker, especially at this moment now. He has skyrocketed in the polls. He leads in most national polls. He is doing very well in the state polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. He believes here in South Carolina which is third and tends to settle Republican nominating contests.

Already right here today we have seen the Bachmann campaign, Tea Party activists here supporting Michele Bachmann putting out a statement today saying "Congresswoman Bachmann did not use her insider status to pad her own pocket." So already you see the on the campaign trail reaction to these stories that Speaker Gingrich used his title, used his influence in Washington, used his name, his brand, if you will, to make a lot of money, tens of millions of dollars after leaving Washington. It will be one of the things he is questioned about.

His position on immigration has become a flash point already. He picked up that big endorse in New Hampshire over the weekend. He would rather talk about that, if you will. But he knows about this and he has said this, now that he is risen in the polls and now that he is viewed as a credible candidate, now that he is telling everyone he believes he is the strongest conservative alternative to the former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, he's going to have to answer questions about his record, his votes in Congress, his positions on all the issues, and, yes, his personal finances.

BLITZER: He has done amazingly well. A lot of us thought his campaign was over just as it was beginning. But now he is a top-tier front- runner.

While I have you John, I know you will be all over this story as well. Herman Cain these latest accusations against him by this woman who claims to have had a 13-year affair with him. How does this play out?

KING: As you talk to activists, they already see a Cain campaign in decline. And you can sense the frustration when you were talking with Herman Cain. This is the last thing he needs is a another question about his personal life, another distraction from him trying to make the case that he is the outsider. You just asked that question about can Speaker Gingrich be a credible outsider. So without a doubt if you talk to activists they already view Mr. Cain has having a very tough, difficult struggle over the past several weeks. And the simple rule of politics, this will not help.

BLITZER: All right, John is going to be interviewing Newt Gingrich right at the top of the hour. We will be watching John. Thanks very much.

Meanwhile, a surprising twist in the controversy involving a Kansas high school student who was told to apologize to the state's governor for a disparaging tweet.

A new satellite image has shed some light on a huge blast at an Iranian military compound. More news coming up.


BLITZER: A major rally on Wall Street today. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. What do you have, Lisa?

SYLVESTER: Hi, there, Wolf. U.S. stocks were up sharply with the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring almost three points. Analysts report to a strong lack of Friday retail sales and growing optimism that European leaders may be working toward a solution toward the continent's debt crisis.

Kansas governor Sam Brownback is apologizing for what he says was an overreaction by his staff to a high school student's tweet. Eighteen- year-old Emma Sullivan is refusing to apologize as her principal requested for a disparaging tweet about the governor she sent out during a field trip to the state capitol.

In a statement today the governor says his staff overreacted, adding, quote, "freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms." Speaking on CNN's newsroom, Sullivan explained her position.


EMMA SULLIVAN, BLASTED KANSAS GOVERNOR ON TWITTER: I wouldn't apologize for the tweet itself because like I said, that was aimed toward my audience. It wasn't aimed toward him. I wasn't talking directly towards him. It was to my high school friends.


SYLVESTER: And a lawyer for the family of a student who died as a result of alleged hazing says he plans to sue Florida A&M university. Robert Champion was a drum major in the school's marching band. He died this month after reportedly complaining he couldn't breathe following a football game.

New satellite imagery is shedding light on this month's massive explosion at an Iranian military compound. Analysis of before and after pictures by an independent anti-nuclear group shows extensive damage. The group and Pentagon officials conclude that the blast was likely an accident resulting from an attempt to mix volatile fuel for a ballistic missile. Wolf?

BLITZER: Lisa, thank you.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is surging in the polls right now. He is standing by to join our own John King live in the next hour on "JOHN KING USA." You're going to want to see this interview.

And a pair of former professional football players come to blows during a public event, proving that you don't have to be on the field to be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Jeanne Moos is coming up.


BLITZER: Talk about a late hit -- a pair of retired pro football players are still going after each other decades after the whistle had blown. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Throw the flag for unnecessary roughness. Two former football greats go at it over an ancient grudge. Emcee Ron James called it --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple of septuagenarians duking it out.

MOOS: While others called it a geezer fight. It started at a Vancouver luncheon when former quarterback Joe Kapp took a flower from a centerpiece and extended it to his rival, who responded --

Kapp swatted Angelo Mosca with the flower. Mosca used his cane to knock Kapp's glasses off. Then Kapp decked him with a one-two punch. Ironic that Mosca's new book is entitled, "Tell me to my Face." Even more ironic was the first word out of cap's mouth after the fight.


MOOS: Mosca says once he was knocked down, Kapp still didn't stop.

ANGELO MOSCA, FORMER CFL PLAYER: I'm 74-years-old. I don't walk very good with a cane, and I have no balance. Down I went. When I went down, he kicked me.

MOOS: See if you see it. Not that he hasn't kicked a few guys in his days as a wrestler after retiring from football.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Angelo "King Kong" Mosca.

MOOS: But "King Kong" Mosca was not beating his chest after this one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's absolutely ridiculous that it ever happened.

MOOS: The grudge goes back 48 years. It was a Canadian Football League championship game. Then quarterback Kapp because Mosca made what was widely considered a dirty hit that knocked one of Kapp's teammates out of the game. Fast forward almost five decades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to sit there and have someone stuff a flower in my nose.

MOOS: Later Kapp told a weird story quoting the player Angelo Mosca injured 48 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I named my dog Angelo. And I kick the (EXPLETIVE) out of that dog every day.

MOOS: A couple of grumpy old football players - it's like a scene out of the movie, "Grumpy Old Men."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can shove that pole!

MOOS: Only in "Grumpy Old Men" the weapon of choice was a fish rather than a flower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I can do is apologize.

MOOS: Before the fight, Mosca offered his hand and Kapp ignored it. After the fight it was the other way around. A YouTube poster summed it up this way, "toothless but still ruthless."

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BLITZER: That's a late hit indeed. Thank you very much, Jeanne.

That's it for me. Thank you very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. The news continues next on CNN.