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Secret Service Takes Action; Remembering Dick Clark; Dick Clark 1929-2012; Nugent To Meet With Secret Service

Aired April 19, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. And welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I am Kate Bolduan, in for Ashleigh Banfield again today.

Thanks for having me again.

SAMBOLIN: We're happy to have you, always.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Thank you.

It is 5:00 a.m. in the East. So, let's get started.

Mourning the loss of the world's oldest teenager, as he's described.


DICK CLARK, TV HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, would you greet the Jackson Five.


BOLDUAN: Tributes to the late Dick Clark from the fans and the stars he helped create.

SAMBOLIN: We're also going to celebrate his life today.

And the first Secret Service agents being forced out over a prostitution scandal in Colombia.

And now, one of the escorts is talking about a fight over her cash money. That's what she called it. The reason this whole story left the hotel.

BOLDUAN: And rocker Ted Nugent has a date with the Secret Service to explain inflammatory comments he made about the president.

SAMBOLIN: And airport naked guy is now speaking. Why he says that he doesn't regret taking off all his clothes at a security checkpoint.


BOLDUAN: More on that one to come.

SAMBOLIN: But we begin with new details on what happened in the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia and the subsequent fallout.

Three of the 11 implicated agents are now out. One of them, a supervisor is being allowed to retire. Another is being forced to leave the agency. And CNN has learned he plans to fight his dismissal. A third agent has resigned now.

Eight others remain on administrative leave with their security clearance revoked. They are accused of bringing prostitutes to their hotel in Colombia last week, two days before President Obama's arrival.

We are now hearing for the first time details on what led the prostitute to wind up exposing the incident. She spoke to "The New York Times" reporter William Neuman who was on "A.C. 360" last night.


WILLIAM NEUMAN, THE NEW YORK TIMES (via telephone): One of them was essentially hitting on her and said he wanted to be with her. And she says that she told him, well, that's great, but you have to give me a gift. And then he said, well, how much is the gift? And she says that she told him $800. And then a lot of drinking happened, and at some point she and him went back to their hotel.

The next morning, this woman asked for her payment and the guy says -- he became angry and said I was drunk and you can't expect me to pay that. And she insists and he calls her names and gets angry and throws her out of the room.


SAMBOLIN: Brianna Keilar is live in Washington.

So many new developments, Brianna. There's been a lot of talk of drug testing. Are they covering all bases here, or did they actually find drugs in the rooms?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So far there's no evidence, Zoraida, that there were drugs in the room. There have been reports the Secret Service is aware they've investigated -- in fact, in Colombia, investigators have talked to maids who serviced the room and the maids told them they didn't find any evidence of it. We know that Mark Sullivan, the head of the Secret Service, considers drug testing to be very much in his arsenal of resources here. And that some of the Secret Service agents have objected to the idea that there's reasonable cause for there to be drug tests.

We also know that each of these men were given the opportunity for a polygraph test. The idea being that some have said they didn't know that these women were prostitutes. But we've also heard from critics who say that doesn't matter. It was still a security risk to bring them to the hotel, Zoraida.

COSTELLO: And you mentioned Sullivan. There are calls for him to be ousted saying that it's three strikes. He should be out.

Tell us about that.

KEILAR: Yes. Right now, it's still really just one person. This is Randy Forbes. He's a Virginia Republican.

When you look at more prominent Republicans like Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Darrell Issa, who's the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, they're still standing by Mark Sullivan. It's possible you know, as this goes on as we figure out what this investigation yields. If it turns out that this was not an anomaly and it was much more widespread, that there could be more of a chorus. But right now, it's still very limited.

SAMBOLIN: So, those three that were ousted -- I think one of them actually chose retirement -- will they actually be charged with anything or are they kind of off the hook now?

KEILAR: You know, it's unclear at this moment. What we'll be seeing moving forward here, according to sources is a review board. They will be looking into this to see if this is an isolated event or if it is systematic. And we will be finding out details on also not just these three Secret Service members but also the other eight who have been placed on leave at this point.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So much nor talk about. Brianna Keilar, live in Washington for us -- thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: And the tributes have been pouring in since word came yesterday that Dick Clark has died. He was a broadcasting and cultural icon who spanned the generations. Clark's "American Bandstand" broke new ground in the 1950s and '60s, bringing African- American artists to the country at large.

For more than 30 years, he hosted America's countdown, "New Year's Rockin' Eve" in Times Square. Dick Clark suffered a massive heart attack yesterday. He was 82 years old.

Friends and colleagues are sharing their memories with CNN.


LARRY KING, FORMER CNN HOST: He was a pioneer, and, you know in the early days of television with "American Bandstand," he revolutionized music on television. As we pointed out earlier, talking even before we went on. He had blacks and whites dance together. It was unheard of. A lot of young people watching would say, "What, that's crazy?" That was crazy then to put that on.

WILLIAM KING, THE COMMODORES: I think that's the thing that Dick Clark gave the world was that he enabled them to understand that they can love all the music no matter where it comes from.

LARRY KING: When these people leave us, they leave a hole that doesn't get filled. He's just -- he's going to be remembered a long, long, long time. This business owes him a debt.


BOLDUAN: And they were remembering the man they called America's oldest teenager with a candlelight vigil last night at the Dick Clark American Bandstand theater in Branson, Missouri.

"Showbiz Tonight's" Nischelle Turner is live in Los Angeles, right by his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Thanks for waking up so, so early, Nischelle.

Tell me more. I mean, the tributes have really been pouring in. It was really amazing to se yesterday. Tell me more about what people are saying.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely, Kate. You know, it is. And, by the way, you can see that the flowers are adorning his star here on the walk of fame here in Hollywood this morning.

You guys talked about the tributes. And so many were pouring in from celebrities, Dick Clark's peers. They took to social media and also spoke out yesterday, talking about how much he meant to them and also the entertainment industry.

Now, the man that many people widely consider his heir apparent, Ryan Seacrest, also paid tribute to Dick Clark last night. You know, Ryan took over for Dick for "New Year's Rockin' Eve" and he also was kind of the next great entertainment mogul. That's what most people think.

Well, he opened his show "American Idol" last night and paid tribute to the man he called a dear friend. Listen to this.


RYAN SEACREST, HOST, "AMERICAN IDOL": We can't begin tonight's show without acknowledging the passing of a television pioneer. And my dear friend, Dick Clark.

Without Dick, a show like this would not exist. He will be missed greatly. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to his family.


TURNER: Now, and he did get on with the show last night right after he gave -- paid tribute to his friend Dick Clark.

You know, one of the things, one of the tributes we kept hearing yesterday from so many artists and we heard it from Larry King was that Dick Clark paved the way for so many African-Americans to be seen on mainstream television. But he also paved the pay for blacks and whites to be together on television. And that's something that we heard so much yesterday. Something that a lot of people say he will be remembered more even -- remembered for even more than a lot of the television shows he produced.

Back to you guys.

BOLDUAN: And absolutely something worth highlighting and emphasizing in addition to his work. So much to -- so much of an impact this man has had that has spanned generations.

Really quickly before I let you go, Nischelle, any plans for a memorial service? Obviously, it's still very early on, though.

TURNER: Yes, it is. You know, we heard from a family spokesperson yesterday. And they said they don't plan to have a funeral for Dick Clark but as far as a public memorial, they really hadn't made that decision yet. Like you said, it's pretty early. This all happened very quickly. They are still trying to decide on that front.

BOLDUAN: All right. Nischelle Turner in Hollywood for us -- thanks so much, Nischelle.

And before you leave your house this morning, make sure you set your DVR for "STARTING POINT." At 8:00 a.m. Eastern, Soledad talks with Larry Klein, who produced "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve". That's coming up.

SAMBOLIN: It is eight minutes past the hour.

Take a look at this heart-stopping surveillance video of a Toyota Camry barreling right through the front doors of a packed Publix supermarket. This is in Palm Coast, Florida. First a warning for you, you may find this video disturbing to watch. Here it is.

Four people were sitting on a bench just inside the exit door Saturday morning when, look at that, 76-year-old Thelma Wagenhoffer came crashing through. The first thing she hit, a baby stroller. The infant was thrown about 50 feet in the air, incredibly suffered only minor injuries.

Ten people were injured there. One of them is now in critical condition. Wow. That's tough to watch.

An 83-year-old man who wound up pinned beneath the car, look at the highlighted portion of the video. You can see quick thinking customers lifting the car off of him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was probably about 10 or 12 guys that actually had the -- you know, had the smarts to go over and they lifted up the car. I mean, a crane couldn't have lifted it up any quicker.


SAMBOLIN: The woman behind the wheel of that car has been charged with reckless driving.

Earlier this month, five people were hurt when a small plane crashed into a Publix supermarket in Deland. That's about 40 miles north of Orlando.

BOLDUAN: That was amazing video, too. Scary.

SAMBOLIN: The baby is OK, right? You see it go straight into the stroller.

BOLDUAN: When you see that you never imagine everyone could be OK, but -- anyway. So glad they are.

The infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction could be headed before the Supreme Court. We will tell you why the Obama administration is asking justices to weigh in on that.

SAMBOLIN: And a man who stripped nude at Portland International Airport is now speaking out. Why he says getting naked felt like the right thing to do.

You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: It is 13 minutes past the hour. It's time to check the stories that are making news this morning.

And here's Christine Romans. Good morning.


Police divers will return to a North Carolina pond, continuing that search for a Ft. Bragg soldier who's been missing since last weekend. Private First Class Kelli Bordeaux was last seen as a Fayetteville bar early Saturday morning. Investigators are not saying what details -- what part of the investigation has led them to that pond.

Florida Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr. will preside over George Zimmerman's bail hearing tomorrow. Lester was assigned to the Trayvon Martin shooting case after the original judge, Jessica Recksiedler, recused herself because of a possible conflict of interest

Zimmerman is being held on a second-degree murder charge. This morning, Florida's governor will announce a task force to examine the stand your ground law that is now at the heart of Zimmerman's defense.

New fallout this morning from photos published in "The Los Angeles Times" -- photos which appear to show U.S. soldiers dangling the remains of suicide bombers in front of the camera. CNN has not independently authenticated these photos. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta saying this violates U.S. values and an investigation is already under way.

Aides to President Obama say the president was not taking a shot at Mitt Romney and Mitt Romney's riches yesterday when he was talking to supporters at a community college in Ohio. Here's the remark that's getting all the headlines this morning.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Somebody gave me an education. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn't. But somebody gave us a chance.


ROMANS: An aide to the president says Mr. Obama has used the silver spoon reference frequently in the past. He was just trying to make a point that everyone needs opportunity to succeed.

The Secret Service will interview rocker Ted Nugent today after Nugent went on that anti-President Obama rant at an NRA event, saying he'd be dead or in jail if President Obama gets re-elected. Nugent says he's looking forward to this meeting.

The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to weigh in on FCC fines in the infamous wardrobe malfunction of the 2004 Super Bowl. A federal appeals court said last year the $550,000 fine against CBS was improper. The Supreme Court will decide whether to take a look at this case later this year.

For an expanded look at all these top stories, head to our blog,

2004 -- it feels like yesterday, doesn't it?

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And the Supreme Court still arguing about it and they are actually hearing a separate but related case right now, having to do with the FCC enforcement policies regarding this violate free speech. So, it's not just -- it's a twofer to do with this wardrobe malfunction and others.

ROMANS: I guess you're right.

BOLDUAN: A lot of press.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Sorry. Very interested in it.

Other stories we're following.

The owners of the third winning ticket in last month's $656 million Mega Millions jackpot have finally come forward. Merle and Pat Butler of Red Bud, Illinois, took home $158 million after taxes. They are both retired computer analysts.

Merle says he was watching the 10:00 p.m. news on March 30th and quickly realized something life-altering was happening.


MERLE BUTLER, MEGA MILLIONS WINNER: The first thing I spotted was I had the mega ball number. So, well, good. I'm going to win something anyway. Yes.

And then I started on the other numbers. And it was two, four, and the further I went, the more they matched.

I turned to my wife who was right there with me and I says, "We won." And she kind of looked at me funny. And I says, "No, we won."

And then she started giggling. And she giggled for about four hours, I think.


BOLDUAN: Merle says he took the winning ticket to the bank the next morning and locked it up in a safe deposit box. The Butler spent the last few weeks meeting with some financial advisers before deciding to go public.

She was giggling. I would have blacked out. I would have fainted for sure.

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely. I wonder if they've played before or if this was one of those one-time things and you go out because of the fever of it.

BOLDUAN: That's a good question. Yes, absolutely.

SAMBOLIN: Well, I'm happy for them. Fabulous couple.

Eighteen minutes past the hour. Let's get a check of this morning's weather with Rob Marciano.

Good morning.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. I don't think the FDIC will ensure $200 million in that safe deposit box, but, anyway --

BOLDUAN: Why do you have to take it there? Come on.

SAMBOLIN: That was really smart, though. I thought that was really smart.

MARCIANO: I'd be very nervous. Anyway, $6, I'll never get back. That's for sure.

Good morning, guys. I hope you are having a good start to your day.

We do have a little bit of rainfall across parts of the Northeast. But not as much as we were hoping, because we could certainly can use the rain. As a matter of fact, first, I'll start with any time you see a brown or some red back through here, that is drought. And we could use some rain across parts of the East Coast for sure.

Got a little bit last night. But now, it's heading offshore. Delmarva seeing a little bit of light rainfall. Some rain across parts of Georgia, especially along the coastline. Hilton Head to Charleston seeing some leftover showers this morning.

There's a threat for seeing severe weather across parts of the Midwest. These aren't severe yet but you can see a quick downpour.

But later on today, the threat for severe weather exists right across the plains in Tornado Alley. But the setup not quite great for tornadoes. So, more likely seeing some large hail. Possibly some damaging winds, especially in the afternoon and evening stretching from just north of Dallas through parts of Kansas City.

As far as daytime highs are concerned today, 74 in Kansas City, 67 degrees in Chicago. And 70 in New York City, after your morning rain. Not a bad day at all.

Guys, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Not a bad day at all.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Rob. We'll talk to you soon.

MARCIANO: Thanks, guys.

BOLDUAN: It is 19 minutes after the hour.

And we're getting an early read on your local news that's making national headlines this morning. We have papers from Nebraska, Illinois, Louisiana, just to name a few for you this morning.

"The Omaha World-Herald, a new plan has been submit forward the Keystone XL Pipeline expansion project. New route would avoid Nebraska's environmentally sensitive sand hills region and more of the Ogallala aquifer. The Ogallala aquifer is a major source of drinking water for much of the state and it's important to Nebraska's agriculture economy.

That's not even getting to the politics of all this back in Washington. Many Nebraskans had feared that under the old route, a pipeline burst could contaminate the aquifer. President Obama had previously denied a full permit for the project, saying that it is needed to be investigated more. But he did approve a portion of the old route.

We're already getting reaction from Republicans on the Hill.

SAMBOLIN: This will go on for a while.


SAMBOLIN: All right. We're going to move to my hometown of Chicago and "The Chicago Tribune".

A dramatic rescue caught on camera. We see here the details of this story. Two men were grasping on to the side of their boat after capsized, overturning in the choppy waters of Lake Michigan.

Police tried to throw them a line, but they were too tired to grab it. They were suffering from hypothermia. So, divers had to pull them to safety. For one of the men, the situation is a little too familiar.

This has happened before. Less than a year ago, he was rescued by his wife when a storm flipped over that exact same boat. She had the presence of mind to go out looking for him on another boat, and she actually saved his life -- last year.

BOLDUAN: Time to hang it up. Time to hang it up. A new hobby perhaps. That's pretty amazing.

That poor guy. Goodness gracious.

SAMBOLIN: Poor guy. Poor woman, right?


SAMBOLIN: Save your husband and then worry about him and -- anyway.

BOLDUAN: Agreed.

Other headlines we're watching. "The Times Picayune" -- BP it has reached a class action settlement in the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Total payout estimated to be $7.8 billion. But BP says final tally could be a bit higher. It will cover the -- it will cover economic property and medical damage claims that, of course have been coming.

A federal judge must give preliminary approval of the settlement, and there will be an appeals process for people who disagree with their claims determination. Claims are still pending against Transocean and Halliburton -- another one.

We were talking about Supreme Court case back in 2004. This is 2010. It's still going and it's not over.

SAMBOLIN: No, no. And that lasts for a while, unfortunately.

BOLDUAN: Oh my gosh, yes.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-one minutes past the hour here.

And ahead on EARLY START, relief at the pump. Gas prices are down, but how low will they go? Christine Romans is minding your business. That's coming up next.

You are watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: Twenty-five minutes past the hour. Minding your business this morning.

Markets closed lower across the board yesterday. The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 all in the red. Concerns about Europe's economy, particularly Spain's, now pushing stocks lower.

BOLDUAN: Something else going down, gas prices for a change.

Let's bring in Christine Romans.

Christine, this has been the question, I think, to you for weeks and weeks and weeks. I know we asked you yesterdays. But again, you think gas prices are peaking?

ROMANS: Have they peaked? Have they peaked?

This is the big conversation in gas now. After running up all spring, is the gas market, gas prices, are they peaking? And there are more and more people who are saying yes they are. Maybe they could go a little higher here.

But the big run-up in gas has already happened for the year. Probably doesn't make you feel better because -- I mean, I just paid $58 to fill up my minivan.

SAMBOLIN: Fifty-eight is nothing.

BOLDUAN: It's like, is the recession over?

ROMANS: Right. Yes, doesn't feel like it right now.

Gas prices are still much higher than they were last year. And so you're feeling it. But the question is, have gas prices peaked?

And I'm going to tell you a couple of things to be concerned about because that's my job. The first thing to be concerned about is Iran. You know, the president is talking about putting limits on speculators in the oil market, but really the thing that's most important here is managing the tensions with Iran because that's what's behind much of the big run-up in sentiment so far this year.

Also refinery concerns in the Northeast. As I talk about the potential for gas prices peaking, I don't think I'm talking about the Northeast, folks, if you are up this morning so early here in the Northeast. And here's why, because there are refinery concerns. Some of these refineries in the Northeast are losing money every single day, even at these record high prices because of the kind of oil they are trying to refine. They're refining this dirty oil that we're squeezing out of the rock. They're not necessarily the nice sweet light crude that's easier to refine.

So that's one of the big concerns here is about refineries and potential refinery closures and shutdowns in the Northeast. So, the Northeast, you could still see higher prices.

The Department of Energy says summer gas prices could still climb another 20 cents, 24 cents.


ROMANS: Yes. But the big move has already been done.

SAMBOLIN: One last question for you. How much are we spending as a family on gas?

ROMANS: I know -- $3,400 a year.

BOLDUAN: Really?

ROMANS: We're expected to spend this year for our gas. I mean, think about that in your budget. If anybody is not putting a budget together, you should be. You know, $3,400. That's up about $250 from last year if you look at average prices.

So, that's real money out of people's pockets. That's why it becomes such a political story. And that's why so many of you care if we're peaking or have peaked.

BOLDUAN: Break out the bicycles for the summer.

ROMANS: There you go. Get your subway pass.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Christine.

All right. Twenty-seven minutes past the hour.

The man who stripped naked at Portland International Airport is now speaking out. And he says for that moment right there, he has no regrets.

All right. So coming up, we were going to let you hear a little from him. But we will later. Why he thought stripping was a good idea.

You're watching EARLY START.


BOLDUAN: Thirty minutes after the hour, everyone. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We're very happy to have you this morning. It's time to check the stories that are making news.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): The first Secret Service agents being forced out over a prostitution scandal in Colombia, and now, one of the sex workers is talking, telling the "New York Times" that there was a heated fight over how much money she was owed.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): And he launched the careers of countless stars and millions of kisses on New Year's Eve. We're remembering the late Dick Clark after his death yesterday at 82 years old. Live at his star on the Walk of Fame.

SAMBOLIN: And the Secret Service will interview rocker, Ted Nugent, today after he went on that anti-President Obama rant at the NRA event saying he'd be dead or in jail if President Obama gets re- elected.

BOLDUAN: And a lawsuit targeting "The Bachelor." No, this isn't divorce court. This is two guys claiming the show lacks diversity. It's too White. We're talking to one man who is fighting to be the first African-American bachelor.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Well, he wasn't a musician but Dick Clark was a true music pioneer. He brought Motown to the world with "American Bandstand," helping to break down racial barriers in that process. And for decades, of course, he was everyone's date on New Year's Eve. After Dick Clark's death yesterday at the age of 82. Those who knew him are celebrating his life.


GLORIA ESTEFAN, SINGER (on the phone): What I think was most amazing about Dick Clark was that he was a human being. You know, he was one of the top people that you wanted to get your music to, and you knew that if he put you on his show, you were a success. And, yes, he produced a lot of things, but he produced it because he loved it. You could tell that what he was doing was because it was in his heart and soul.


SAMBOLIN: "Showbiz Tonight's" Nichelle Turner is live in Los Angeles right by his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Nischelle, I got to tell you, I knew that, you know, he played people's music, right? But I had no idea he had launched so many careers.

NICHELLE TURNER, HLN CORRESPONDENT: So many careers, Zoraida. Absolutely. I remember growing up, and I loved Janet Jackson. And I remember seeing her on "American Bandstand" and being like, wow, she's finally there, you know? It was so neat. And he did launch so many careers.

And so many, you know, of us grew up like I was just talking about, watching "American Bandstand" and feeling like Dick Clark was just hanging out with us in our living rooms on Saturday afternoon. And the people that knew him say that he was the same on and off camera. A very mild-mannered man with a very good heart.

But they also describe him as a shrewd businessman who always started his meetings on time and ended them the same way, on time. And that combination is definitely how his peers are remembering him today.


PETER FRAMPTON, SINGER: I did do "American Bandstand" in the later years, and he was very gracious, had me on. So, yes, I did an interview with him once in the 1970s. Yes. He was an institution, Dick. He had a great TV show.

That, I think, was what was the main thing "American Bandstand," which, you know, you were nobody if you didn't do that show. So, I think it furthered a lot of people's careers, obviously.

CARL SIMON, SINGER: He was the producer of a show that I did on film noir not so long ago when I was in Los Angeles. And, he was such a charming man and such -- he was so decent and so articulate and so in love with music, and just a genuinely good man. And we will all, of course, miss him.


TURNER: Now, while his contemporaries continue to pay tribute to him. The family is saying that they decided not to have a funeral. But, they do know that he was loved by so many. So, Zoraida, they're still trying to decide whether or not to hold a public memorial. Back to you.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Well, Nichelle Turner, we really appreciate you getting up so super early this morning. Thank you.

TURNER: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: And it looks like the Secret Service wants to have a talk with Ted Nugent. Nugent is under fire for telling an NRA crowd, quote, "I'll be dead nor jail if President Obama wins re-election."

SAMBOLIN: Alina Cho back with these new developments this morning.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You had to know this was going to happen, right? Good morning again. Good morning, everybody. The Secret Service does, in fact, plan to talk to Ted Nugent today, the rock star and gun rights advocate no, stranger to controversy, always outspoken. But, in case you missed it, it was this comment about President Obama at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in St. Louis over the weekend that is now launched an investigation.


TED NUGENT, MUSICIAN/ACTIVIST: And if you want more of those kinds of evil anti-American people in the Supreme Court, then don't get involved and let Obama take office again, because I tell you this right now, if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.


CHO: The Secret Service and Nugent will meet in Oklahoma. That's where Nugent is performing a concert. He says they'll meet backstage. And he's taking it all in stride talking about it on Glenn Beck's radio show on Wednesday. Listen.


GLENN BECK, RADIO PERSONALITY: Is it true? Have you heard from the Secret Service? Are they --

NUGENT: Well, first of all, I hear from the Secret Service all the time. They want to buy Ted Nugent ammo.


NUGENT: So, this isn't out of the ordinary.

BECK: That's a plug, isn't it? That's a damn plug on this show.


NUGENT: Well, who doesn't want ted nugent ammo? It's out in July at any rate.


NUGENT: Yes. We actually have heard from the Secret Service, and they have a duty, and I salute them. I support them and I'm looking forward to our meeting tomorrow. I'm sure it will be a fine gathering.


CHO: I don't know if he's looking forward to the meeting, but nonetheless, they will meet.

SAMBOLIN: What is supposed to happen at that meeting?

CHO: Well, wouldn't you want to know? Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall for that one?

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely.

CHO: I mean, listen, here's what we can tell you according to the Secret Service, Nugent will be allowed to have a lawyer present if he so chooses. Not sure if that will happen. And agents, of course, will question him about those controversial comments about President Obama. What they want to find out, specifically, is what Nugent's intent was when he made them. Nugent insists he wasn't threatening anyone.


NUGENT: I have never threatened anybody's life in my life. I don't threaten. I don't waste breath threatening. I just conduct myself as a dedicated "we the people" activist because I saluted too many flag-draped coffins to not appreciate where the freedom comes from.


CHO: All right. Don't expect to hear any details from the agency about the meeting. Their policy is not to disclose details. Hence the name Secret Service.


BOLDUAN: Exactly. That's an amazing thing. I mean, at least we're getting clarification. He's saying -- he says there, for the first time, and that was the question when we were talking about it earlier this week is that, who is he threatening? Is he threatening anyone? He says he's not threatening anyone.

CHO: He says he's not. The Romney camp, its part of course, is trying to distance itself saying that divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle you're on. The president's spokesman says the president is not really focused on this. He's focused on the issues.

BOLDUAN: We'll wait to see if we get any details about how that conversation. Thanks so much, Alina.

CHO: You bet.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thirty-nine minutes past the hour. The airport stripper is now speaking out. Fifty-year-old John Brennan was arrested Tuesday when he stripped naked at Portland International Airport.

Brennan says -- take a look at that, folks. Brennan says TSA screeners first pulled him aside after security detector picked up traces of explosives. He says he felt harassed by the agents, so he acted out.


JOHN BRENNAN, ARRESTED FOR NUDE PROTEST: I was not interested in being hassled, so I took off my clothes to show that I was not carrying any explosives. I didn't do it to just get arrested. I did it so that I can state my unhappiness with the waste of money that TSA is.


SAMBOLIN: By taking your clothes off.

BOLDUAN: That's a lot of skin for the morning.


SAMBOLIN: Brennan will reveal even more about his naked protest against the TSA when he joins Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point" later this morning. That's in the 8:00 a.m. eastern hour.

BOLDUAN: Set your Tivo for that --


BOLDUAN: And still ahead, "The Bachelor" hit with a lawsuit asking why White people are always giving out the roses. We're talking to the guy who wants to be the first Black bachelor.


BOLDUAN: A class action lawsuit has been filed against the producers of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." ABC's very popular reality dating shows have gone a combined 23 seasons without casting a single minority in its leading role. The lawsuit was filed by Nathaniel Claybrooks (ph) and Christopher Johnson who had previously applied to be on the series.

The complaint reads in part, quote, "These applicants were denied the same opportunity to become the next bachelor or bachelorette as White contestants, not because they were unsuitable for the role, but solely because of the perceived risk that casting a bachelor or bachelorette who is a person of color would alienate the show's majority White viewership."

And I do need to mention as full disclosure we do need to give (ph), one of the defendants in this case, Warner Horizon Television, is a subsidiary of CNN's parent company, Time Warner.

Meanwhile, Regional Portland sportscaster and youth basketball coach, Lamar Hood (ph) -- Hurd, pardon me, has been getting some buzz in an unrelated campaign to become the show's first ever Black bachelor. Here's a clip from his audition video.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am Lamar's assistant. We just adore Lamar. Everybody who meets Lamar adores him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And no one has been a boss like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think that shows how he treats everybody.


BOLDUAN: Good tunes there. Portland regional sportscaster and youth organizer, Lamar Hurd, he is with me now. Hello, Lamar. How are you? Thanks for coming out this morning.

LAMAR HURD, PROSPECTIVE "BACHELOR" CONTESTANT: Oh, I'm doing good. Thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about this lawsuit, first off. You are going through the process still of trying to get on this show. Have you experienced any discrimination, any bias during this process? HURD: You know what? A lot of people have been asking me that the last day or so since this whole thing has arisen. And you know, my personal experience, I haven't experienced anything negative. All my interactions have been positive. I've actually received tweets from one of the ABC producers saying he's a fan of me. And so, my experience has been positive.

BOLDUAN: Now, again, you are in the middle of this process. So, do you feel at all, are you at all hesitant to speak out and speak your mind because it may hurt your chances on getting on the show?

HURD: No, no, not at all. You know, I'm the kind of person that, you know, I don't speculate very much. I got to know what the facts are. And in this kind of situation, I don't really know the facts of the matter. So, that's for those guys to speak on. And again, all I can speak on is my personal experience. And it's been positive, so far.

BOLDUAN: Well, you know, you are, obviously, a fan of the show. You're watching it. You want to be on it. Why do you think -- I know you don't like to speculate, but why do you think there hasn't been anyone of a racial or ethnic minority in this central role in all of these 23 combined seasons?

HURD: You know, I don't know. If you ever watch a basketball, you see some of the stuff they do. It's a lot of swimming in oceans. It's a lot of sitting on top of mountains. A lot of my Black friends wouldn't want to do that kind of thing. But no, I mean, really, really, I'm not sure, you know? I might be something that a lot of people just haven't stepped forward into that role.

It wasn't until this year that I accepted that, you know, responsibility to step forward. I had a few people say I should do it, and I sat it down initially. And I finally accepted it. But, you know, I'm really not sure. I'm guessing just like everybody else is.

BOLDUAN: Well, I want to read you something from the show's executive producer, Michael Fleiss. He said this last year when he was asked about the lack of diversity.

He said, quote, "These applicants were denied the same opportunity to become the next bachelor or bachelorette as White contestants, not because they were" -- I believe this actually is the wrong quote. Do we have that up, guys? I don't think we have the right quote.

HURD: I think I know the quote you're talking about.

BOLDUAN: Let me read this actually to you now. We really tried, but -- I'm going to get close to the monitor because I have bad eyesight. "We really try, but sometimes, we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there," he said. That's in part what he says in a statement.

But, obviously, that's not the full quote, so pardon me. So, do you buy this argument that there is not -- it's not a lack of diversity intentionally that it's just the way the show is, so far?

HURD: Now, are you trying to get me to say something controversial?

BOLDUAN: I am not trying. I'm just asking the questions. You know that.

HURD: OK. I believe you. You know, I really don't know, you know? I don't know who's been applying. I don't know who's been stepping forward. We do know now that, publicly, I stepped forward and I said I'm willing to be on the show.

So, in the event that they turn me down, that's their decision and something I'll live with, but we'll know that somebody stepped forward.

BOLDUAN: So, you know everyone always has this question when they're watching "The Bachelor" and they're watching these auditions process is why are you doing it? I mean, you are -- you're smart guy, you're successful, you got a good job, you're also contributing to the community. You're a good looking gentleman if I do say so myself. So, why are you doing this?

HURD: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Why are you, of all people, having a hard time getting dates?

HURD: Well, for the last five years, I've been in Portland, Oregon, living here, and I just haven't -- I haven't made a lot of time to date. I have the youth basketball organization. And for me, my hobbies include a lot of the things that the kids are doing. We're really family oriented-type organization.

So, a lot of times on weekends where some of my friend may go out to different bars and lounges and that type of thing, I'll go to my kids' soccer games, baseball games, lacrosse games, that kind of thing. So, I haven't made a lot of time to date. Outside of that, I'm very picky.

I'm extremely, extremely picky. And I just don't feel like I've come across my match, so far. There's tons of great girls here in the city, but I just don't know that I've met my match.

BOLDUAN: So, you're going to put it out there in a very public way possibly. Well, good luck to you. We will be watching, and we will see how things continue with your chances. Thanks so much, Lamar Hurd.

HURD: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

HURD: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Zoraida. SAMBOLIN: Mountaintop and the water. That was my favorite line of the day. Thank you for that.

Forty-nine minutes past the hour. Time to check the stories making news this morning. Here is Christine Romans.



ROMANS (voice-over): Three Secret Service agents are out after department's embarrassing prostitution scandal in Colombia last week. One supervisor was allowed to retire. Another agent resigned. A third was forced out and plans to fight his dismissal. Eight others are on administrative leave.

Remembering Dick Clark, America's oldest teenager. Clark died yesterday after suffering a massive heart attack. President Obama says the TV and music legend reshaped the entertainment landscape forever. And singer, Tony Orlando, said, quote, "Only God is responsible for making more stars than Dick Clark. Dick Clark was 82.

In Texas, a woman accused of murdering the mother of a newborn and then kidnapping the baby, she is in custody this morning. Police say 30-year-old Verna McClain (ph) shot Kala Golden (ph) outside a pediatrician's office.

They say she admitted committing the crime because she wanted a baby to mislead her fiance into thinking that she had recently given birth to his child. The infant was found safe. The infant has been returned to the father.

Did you hear that Kim Kardashian is considering a career in politics? All the buzz started after a clip from that other sister's show was posted. Kim saying she wants to run for mayor of Glendale, California, an L.A. suburb.


KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY STAR: I decided I'm going to run for the mayor of Glendale. So, Noelle is going to head my campaign, but it's going to be in like five years. I have to buy a house there. You have to have residency there.

So, I'm going to -- yes, park right here. So Noelle and I are like looking into all the requirements, and I'm literally going to have a huge -- she's going to help me with my campaign.


ROMANS: Her rep says it wasn't some fleeting thing, and that Kim is always looking for ways to get involved. One problem, though, Glendale, believe it or not, doesn't have a mayor, just five city council people.


ROMANS (on-camera): So, ladies, if you want to think about, um, buying a house in Glendale, you can't be the mayor.

SAMBOLIN: You think you check it out first (ph).

ROMANS: I love the hair thing. The --

SAMBOLIN: Yes, very special. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: I think we're just creating some buzz for the show, but who am I, cynical?

SAMBOLIN: You're probably right.

Fifty-one minutes past the hour. Still ahead, it makes jaws look like a guppy. Fisherman haul in a gigantic great white that was wider than their boat. We're going to tell you all the details behind this. You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: Fifty-four minutes past the hour. Time to take a look at what is trending on the web before I follow over here.

A piece of pop culture history actually burned to the ground. Did you hear about this?


SAMBOLIN: A massive fire that broke out at grand view palace. It's formerly known as Browns Hotel, destroyed or damaged seven of the complex's nine buildings. So, this is (INAUDIBLE) you may recognize it. It's a resort that inspired the setting for the movie, "Dirty Dancing."

And in the glory days of the Catskills, it hosted the likes of Sammy Davis, Harry Belafonte. No one was hurt in the fire, but many residents of the now-converted condos were displaced.

BOLDUAN: It was a big fire. The video was really scary. Oh, that's sad.

Here's a great, uplifting story, but also a little sad as well. A six-year-old boy launching the most successful lemonade stand ever, and he's not keeping a penny of the profit. He is adorable. Six- year-old Drew Cox of Gladewater Texas made $10,000 in one day selling lemonade.


BOLDUAN: And he started it to help his father who was diagnosed with cancer pay for his medical bills.


UNIDENTIFIED KID: To help my dad and with his bills. He's so important to me. We love to play with each other.


BOLDUAN: It's hard to even stay not emotional about that. One good Samaritan reportedly wrote Drew a $5,000 check. We're not sure if he took a cup of lemonade as well. What a sweet, sweet boy.

SAMBOLIN: Please help my dad.

BOLDUAN: I know. It's absolutely uplifting.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. I like that story. We're going to need a bigger boat, apparently.

BOLDUAN: Apparently so.

SAMBOLIN: A fisherman in the sea of Cortez hauling in a massive great white shark. Take a look. Reportedly measuring nearly 20 feet, weighing about 2,000 pounds. It would be one of the longest great whites caught in history. The fishermen, they were caught totally by surprise. They thought they were pulling in a net full of smaller fish.

Their boat was only 22 feet long with a 75 horsepower outboard motor. It took them just an hour to tow the shark two miles back to land. It was dead, by the way.

BOLDUAN: I wanted to know that because I am a lover of the oceans, and I am a lover of sharks, actually. I'm a big, big, big fan of the shark.

SAMBOLIN: I couldn't understand, but you can tell me this one. Why did they tow it back to land?

BOLDUAN: I don't think they want to leave (ph) it out. If it's caught in their net, they probably just want to tow it in. OK. Anyway, we'll look into it. Yes. Exactly.

Zoraida, ahead on EARLY START, three Secret Service agents out. Casualties of the department's prostitution scandal, and we're getting details about that late night in Cartagena, Colombia, from the call girl who blew the whistle. You're watching EARLY START.