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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
George Zimmerman Fails to Disclose Large Donations; Space Shuttle Discovery on Its Way to Museum; Parts of South Still Devastated One Year After Tornadoes Hit; Bin Laden Widows Deported; Judge Blocks OBL Death Photos; Search For Missing Fort Bragg Soldier; Delta Flight Quarantined; Secret Service Sex Secrets; Agents Want Back On The Job; Terminal Evacuated In Minneapolis; Highest Paid Doctors
Aired April 27, 2012 - 06:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN HOST: And thank you, and welcome, everybody. Our "Starting Point" this morning, some new exclusive details in the Trayvon Martin case. Will George Zimmerman be sent back to jail after news that he's raised more than $200,000 online?
Also, a barrage of hate unleashed on a black hockey player who knocked the Boston Bruins out of the playoffs. The tweets and the reaction is just ahead this morning.
Plus, the first space shuttle is about to make a magical final flight over the New York City sky line and make everybody look up this morning.
And the champion on the comeback trail, ultimate fighting star, George St. Pierre is with us this morning. He's going to tell us how he went from being bullied to being a black belt.
It's Friday, April 27th, and STARTING POINT begins right now.
O'BRIEN: That's right. It's the Beastie Boys. That will be Will Cain, let me guess. That's how we start our Friday when I get a little bit of rest.
O'BRIEN: There's no guitar, no twanging, no some sad soul- searching folk.
JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: Would you line dance to "Brass Monkey"?
O'BRIEN: Good morning, everybody. First I want to start by welcoming our panel. Will Cain is with us, a columnist at theblaze.com, and the flowers you sent me when I was sick the last two days.
WILL CAIN, POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I feel so guilty because I did not do that.
O'BRIEN: He did not care.
John Fugelsang, nothing from you either, not even a phone call. Marc Lamont Hill, professor at Columbia University.
MARC LAMONT HILL, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: I really did send flowers.
O'BRIEN: You lie, you sent nothing. You lie. This is what I got from my colleagues -- nothing.
CAIN: He came in thinking you'd be here.
O'BRIEN: Oh, blah, blah, blah. I'm not going to talk to you for the entire morning. I'm kidding.
O'BRIEN: Let's get right to our STARTING POINT this morning. We have a major development to talk about that could complicate George Zimmerman's case and could get his attorney into trouble. Mark O'Mara is going to be in court today to let the judge know while he was originally pleading poverty in order to get George Zimmerman out on bail and a relatively low bail it turns out his client has raised more than $200,000 -- that is exactly how much he's raised, $204,000 is exactly what he's raised in donations from a now defunct website he helped set up to pay his legal expenses. It's a major revelation because you'll remember at Zimmerman's bond hearing the prosecution asked the bail to be set at $1 million. The judge said no, $150,000, because he'd been told that Zimmerman's family was pretty much broke. Last night his attorney told Anderson Cooper that he was very surprised to hear about this account. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: I was talking to George after I was trying to shut down his full internet presence because of some impersonators and other problems with twitter and Facebook. He asked me what to do with his PayPal accounts, and I asked him what he was talking about. He said those are the accounts from the money with the website he had and there was about $204,000 that had come in to date.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Chris Francescani is a reporter for Reuters, done digging into Zimmerman's past. It's nice to have you with us. We appreciate it. Start with the money first it's interesting if you look back to the original comments that Mark O'Mara made before the court he actually hedged a lot on the money. I want to play you a clip of what he said about the financial situation of his client. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O'MARA: As far as his financial abilities, unfortunately this is a family of very short means. You've heard mom and dad testify that they are willing to assist by securing their house, whatever we can accomplish we certainly will. I will tell you that I truly don't know the specifics of some fund that's out there that's not being administered by me. I don't know what the amount is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: So you know, that's sort of an "I'm not really given the facts as they've been presented to me." It looks like he's poor. There's a court hearing today. How do you think this plays a role into what happens next?
CHRIS FRANCESCANI, REUTERS REPORTER: It will be interesting to see what Judge Lester thinks of this, but it's really hard to tell. This is brand new information.
O'BRIEN: Ben Crump of course is the Trayvon Martin family attorney and here's what he had to say about all this. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR TRAVYON MARTIN FAMILY: He knew, whether he communicated that to his attorney, whether his attorney solicited that information or not, he knew the crux of the matter, he like his apology was insincere in his silence as well as what he said to the court.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: As a person who spent a lot of time digging into the who is George Zimmerman, he's saying he's an insincere guy who continues to lie in a nutshell, and of course that's the attorney for the other side. How would you describe George Zimmerman?
FRANCESCANI: Well in terms of the money in the website, I really don't know. I've got no information about that. As you'll recall in the bond hearing last week, several members of Zimmerman's family, his wife, his mother, and his father, all testified that they didn't know how much was raised by the website. This was a question the prosecutors repeatedly asked of the family members. They said that website was controlled by Robert Zimmerman Jr., George's brother.
But what I learned in my reporting over the last couple weeks were a few interesting, new details about Zimmerman. He got a gun -- he got firearms training and got a concealed permit and got a gun in December, 2009, after his wife had been menaced by a pit-bull named big boy. He grew up in a mixed race household where two young African-American girls who were babysat by his maternal grandmother who lived in his house for about six years, they were dropped off early in the morning before school. They ate meals with the Zimmerman kids, went back and forth to school with the Zimmerman kids, had dinner and picked up by their mom.
And lastly, there were a series of break-ins and suspected break- ins in the neighborhood in the months leading up to the shooting in which young African-American men were either suspected or charged in the burglaries.
CAIN: One other thing I found surprising, Zimmerman had an African-American business partner for several years and Allstate franchise. What is surprising to so many of us is the narrative we have come to hear repeatedly is Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin or possibly at the very most was a racist who hunted down a black man and shot him. And some of the details are at the very least coming as a surprise to us.
HILL: To me it seems a part of the public narrative there's something exculpatory about having black friends and working with black people.
O'BRIEN: Some of my best friends are black.
HILL: That's what I keep hearing.
FRANCESCANI: I don't think it's necessarily exculpatory. It adds more pieces to a jigsaw puzzle with a lot of missing pieces here.
O'BRIEN: What's his personality like, an angry person? He had some scrapes with the law, nonviolent, but was he an angry young man?
FRANCESCANI: I just want to answer your question first. When he was in hiding, his detractors defined him as a vigilante who pre- judged Trayvon Martin because he was black. In light of those charges information about his youth and his history I think is relevant to the discussion here.
O'BRIEN: No question. Absolutely. I agree.
CAIN: Exactly right, adding pieces to a puzzle that seemingly for many people had a conclusion already in place.
O'BRIEN: I think, Will, to your point, you cannot, there are black people who racially profile black people.
FRANCESCANI: That's right.
O'BRIEN: Having relatives who are black does not mean that you cannot be a racist. We should make that clear from the get-go. I'm not saying George Zimmerman is. I have no idea. But there is also an error in pointing out if you have a black friend you're not a racist.
CAIN: Only to the conclusion I haven't made, we now have new information based on good reporting that rebuts some conclusions that were floating around out there.
O'BRIEN: I don't know it rebuts. I agree you're bringing more information that helps you paint a picture of a person that none of us really knows personally. Go back to some of the prior acts in scrapes with the law. Were they violent, was it a person considered, was he considered to be a loose cannon or was it sort of youth and just getting into scrapes?
FRANCESCANI: Like so many aspects of this case and pictures of Zimmerman, it really depends on how you look at it. He was charged with resisting an officer with battery, after he either shoved or pushed an undercover alcohol control agent was attempting to arrest one of his underage friends. His family members testified in the bond hearing that he didn't know that the undercover agent was actually a cop and thought he was, you know, just a regular citizen.
He was -- restraining order was taken out against him for domestic violence by his former fiance, Veronica Zuazu, hope I'm pronouncing that right. And we learned at the bond hearing from his family at least they testified that she had been upset he was going out that night, jumped on him, scratched his face, drew blood, and that he picked her up and put her back on the bed. I don't know. I haven't seen all the facts in that case, but that's what they said.
FUGELSANG: He was made to undergo anger management counseling after the battery.
FRANCESCANI: That's correct, part of a pretrial diversion program.
O'BRIEN: It will be interesting today as we head to court.
CAIN: You talk about the bond hearing. The reason that's important, apparently he withheld information is because the judge to remand his bond hearing and bring him back in custody.
O'BRIEN: We started that way. If he's worth almost a quarter million dollars --
CAIN: It would have impacted.
O'BRIEN: It potentially could have the impact of the bond. Chris, thank you for joining us this morning. Chris joining us from Reuters, filling in little pieces at a time.
We've got to get to other headlines. Christine Romans has a look at those for United States. Good morning.
ROMANS: Good morning, Soledad. Welcome back. Republican leaders in the house are drafting the contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric Holder, they claim he and the justice department obstructed their investigation into the fast and furious gun tracking operation, that ATF plan allowed illegal gun purchases in order to track weapons to Mexican drug cartel leaders. Instead hundreds of guns vanished, including one used in the killing of a law enforcement officer.
The defense team for John Edwards pulling out all the stops to discredit the prosecution's star witness, and it might just be working. Former Edwards' aide Andrew Young on the stand for a fourth consecutive day. He admitted to using nearly $1 million in campaign supporter money to build his dream house in North Carolina and not to cover up an affair Edwards was having with Rielle Hunter.
And 9,000 U.S. marines are shipping out of Japan. The U.S. government agreeing to remove marines from a base in Okinawa. Residents there wanted them out, angry over a string of criminal acts. Outrage first sparked back in 1995 when three marines raped a 12-year- old Japanese girl. Half the marines will now go to Guam, others are being transferred to Hawaii and Australia.
Ugliness from Boston Bruins after the team was eliminated from the NHL playoffs. The series clincher scored by Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals. He was born in Toronto to parents who from migrated from Barbados. Some reactions included racist tweets, the "n word scores again" and "we lost to a hockey playing n word." Joel Ward told "USA Today" that he's not letting a few hateful twitter posts ruin the biggest goal of his career.
The greatest player in NBA history is now the proud owner of the worst team of all-time. Michael Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats ended with a loss to the New York Knicks. They finished the shortened season with the worst percentage in NBA history. The Bobcats won just seven games. They lost 59.
Ford announced a 45 percent drop in profit during the first three months of the year mostly from losses in Europe following the slowdown there and flat sales. Let's check on the markets. U.S. stock futures trading slightly higher, almost basically unchanged right now. More uncertainty over global growth driving volatility in markets this year. Last night Standard and Poors downgraded the credit rating of Spain's government. Next hour at 8:30 a.m. eastern we're going to find out how the economy here in the U.S. is growing in the first three months of the year. That GDP report is really important for investors. Stay tuned for that.
They're probably not showing up to work this morning. A group of co-workers hitting it big in the lottery as 48 city transit workers in Philly hit a $172 million Powerball jackpot. Winning septa employees ranged from janitors to accountants and managers. The win has created the buzz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 1:00 this afternoon this buzz went through this 20-story office building. Did you hear? Did you hear? Is it a rumor? And then people started fessing up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody's like excited. Everybody's like, they can't believe it. You know, it hit right on the 11th floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: The winner is remaining anonymous and my wager is most, if not all do go back to work they want to remain anonymous and it's 48 people sharing $172 million, I'm not sure where the taxes come out there.
O'BRIEN: That's still a lot of money.
O'BRIEN: I will call in from home. Hey, won the lotto last night, so you might want to get someone to fill in for me.
ROMANS: You see me at work tomorrow I know when I win the lotto.
O'BRIEN: Christine, thank you.
Even the most jaded New Yorker might want to look up at the sky today. The space shuttle Enterprise will make its final trip hitching a ride on a 747 headed to its new home on the deck of the intrepid sea, air and space museum. It will take off from Dulles 9:30 eastern time. Athena Jones is right there. She has the best seat in the house. Athena good morning.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. As you can see the shuttle already mounted on top of that jumbo jet behind me. We just got an update from NASA, they've done a weather briefing and they are a go. Sometime after 9:30 that flight will take off, head out to New York. The Enterprise was the first shuttle but never flew in space. It was used for various approach and landing tests on the ground over the course of two years or so and it was rolled out back in 1976. Also the enterprise had been originally meant to be called the Constitution in honor of the country's bicentennial campaign but a write-in by "Star Trek" fans got them to change the name to Enterprise.
You'll get a great view, folks down here in D.C. got to see that shuttle fly by all the monuments here. It will go up to New York, fly past the statue of liberty, fly up the Hudson River, past the Intrepid its future home and circle around and land over at JFK. There will be a private ceremony there, over the next few weeks they'll de-mate that 150,000-pound shuttle from the 747, put it on a barge and take that over to the Intrepid and put it on a deck and build a huge pavilion around it should open sometime in mid-July.
So definitely a lot of cool views people are going to get on the streets of Manhattan. It seems like pretty much anywhere you go you'll see it but it sounds like the west side will be among the best used.
That is one of the coolest museums, especially for kids. I bring my kids all the time. They have a concord and one of the things that goes under the water, what do you call it?
O'BRIEN: I'm still recovering from my cold, Athena, you can fully understand. I was in Dulles and it's really neat.
CAIN: I'm telling my wife to tell my four-year-old the shuttle is going to fly up the Hudson.
O'BRIEN: You'll get to see it take off which is cooler. Athena Jones thanks, appreciate it.
Still ahead on STARTING POINT, Tuscaloosa rising, a year after it was ravaged by a deadly tornado and how they're remembering the victims of the storm. We're live up next.
And the Secret Service investigation is expanding, surprise, surprise, after a report that agents took strippers to a backroom in a club called Lips in El Salvador. I'm stunned. The reporter who I breaking news on the story will join us, up next.
If you're heading out to work check out the rest of the show on our live blog on our website, which is CNN.com/startingpoint. Or chat with us on Twitter at @soledadobrien. Listen to Marc's playlist "Summertime."
O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. It was one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in our country's history, more than 350 tornadoes tearing through the south, the Midwest, and the northeast from April 25th through April 28th of last year. And in that short time, more than 340 people were killed. A year later the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is rebuilding. More than 50 people were killed in a massive twister that touched down exactly a year ago today -- 7,000 homes were destroyed when that twister hit. George Howell is live for this morning in Tuscaloosa, Georgia. Good morning to you. How is it looking today?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Soledad, good morning. Lot of debris still here. The mayor, in fact, mentioned a very staggering number to me. Here in the city of Tuscaloosa 5,362 homes and businesses were destroyed, leaving a lot of debris to be cleaned up, still debris on the ground. It took months to do that, and now the process of rebuilding has started.
And in fact you see one home longing to Gary Limmroth being rebuilt at this point. His story he was in his house, turned on the local news because he realized that the weather was bad at the moment, and he saw on the local news, he saw this tornado coming his way, decided to run into the basement, took shelter there, came back out and saw his home destroyed, but he struggled with the question that many residents struggled with right after that tornado came through, would this happen again, and is it worth rebuilding? Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY LIMMROTH, TORNADO VICTIM: It does take a while to figure out how do you want to build back, do you want to come back? There were a lot of people that are still across the lake that are trying to decide. Some have decided they can't take it, they couldn't be here in the constant reminder every day of seeing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Soledad, I want to show you a live look here at what used to be a tree-laden lake. Take a look now. The trees are gone. Homes are still under construction, and right over here, if we could, I'll ask photojournalist Greg Kilday (ph) to pan over to the hospital. This is the path of the tornado, and it barely missed the hospital where hundreds of people were being treated. Gary's wife was at the hospital at the time. That is the silver ling that many people remember, but again, 53 people killed here in Tuscaloosa, 253 people killed in the state of Alabama.
O'BRIEN: Gosh, you really never get used to those pictures after tornadoes. They're so dramatic, and what you see on TV is nowhere near what it looks like in real life. George thanks for the update, we appreciate it.
Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, our "Get Real" this morning, a surprise and a tribute to a new addition on STARTING POINT. Here's John's playlist, the band, "Atlantic City."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, shut up. Keep it down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nothing I can do, all right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you heard of a sitter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an endangered species. What am I supposed to do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll make you an endangered species.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good comeback, Potsie. Everybody shut up. He receded into my beard. We can all watch the movie. Shut up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Our "Get Real" this morning, we have a serious problem here on STARTING POINT that's popped up over the last couple weeks and I feel it's time to address it. I'm trying to address it. I point it out all the time, never gone away. What do you believe about Will Cain's beard? My question is what's with the beard? What's going on?
O'BRIEN: We need to talk about the beard but this is not the right time but we will get to it.
CAIN: Look at that.
O'BRIEN: Oh, lord. Here's my question for you, will, because that beard has sort of looked scruffy for 13 days. You go home and trim this every day? Your wife went out of town --
CAIN: First of all took me 15 seconds into the "family guy" clip, why are we watching, oh, I get it.
O'BRIEN: I told you we were going to talk about it.
CAIN: While you were gone, clean shaven.
O'BRIEN: Why is it back?
CAIN: It's not back.
O'BRIEN: It's pretty back.
FUGELSANG: First off I want to give Will props. He's taken a lot of slings and arrow. A lot of people don't like the fact a conservative guy from Texas is trying to be an orthodox rabbi.
FUGELSANG: I admire you, Will.
O'BRIEN: I think he's trying to be a fellow Texan, Willie Nelson.
CAIN: I'm just being me, Soledad, just being me.
O'BRIEN: Look, or maybe he's trying to be Chuck Norris is a fellow Texan as well?
FUGELSANG: I've spent time in Willie Nelson's trailer. You're not trying to be Willie Nelson.
CAIN: I'm trying to be Bradley Cooper. I've said it several times.
O'BRIEN: I believe we end this segment with, Will, get real.
O'BRIEN: He picked the wrong granny. An elderly woman introduces a thief to her Walker.
Plus Secret Service agents allegedly saying this happens all the time, talking about strippers and escorts. In honor of will since we're dedicating the entire segment to him --
FUGELSANG: No ZZ Top?
O'BRIEN: No, Black Crows "Hard to Handle." Zigging when we're zagging.
HILL: I like this Will.
FUGELSANG: You like the black crows?
HILL: I like this new will.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT everybody. Let's get right to the headlines. Christine has a look at the headlines. Good morning.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Soledad.
Osama Bin Laden's three widows and two daughters are out of Pakistan this morning. Officials say they were deported to Saudi Arabia. They have under house arrest for being in that country illegally.
Also a federal judge has now blocked the request to release the Bin Laden death photos. Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group has asked the Pentagon to comply with a freedom of information request to see those pictures.
Police in North Carolina releasing the last known photo of Kelli Bordeaux. She is the Fort Bragg soldier who disappeared nearly two weeks ago.
They say the outfit she's wearing in this picture is the same one she wore the night she vanished. Bordeaux was a 23-year-old combat medic. She hasn't been seen since she left a Fayetteville bar in the early morning hours of April 14th.
The CDC has given all the clear after fears that a passenger on a Delta flight may have monkey pox. Passengers on board that flight were quarantined for three hours yesterday in Chicago.
A Minnesota woman returning from Uganda triggered this health care, but doctors checked her out, it turns out it was just bed bug bites.
In today's A.M. House Call, a new study is blowing a big hole in conventional wisdom linking cell phone use to cancer. British scientists says there's no evidence talking on the phone will have any ill effects on your health.
That goes for rumors about cancer, brain tumors, infertility. The new researchers looked all the major studies from the past 15 years and found no definite links, but scientists say new studies are needed.
A new study says berries may boost your brain power. Researchers claim women who at least a half cup of blueberries a week and one cup of strawberries were likely up to a two and a half year advantage in terms of when they showed signs of memory decline. Scientists say flavenoids may be key to slowing cognitive design and berries are chock full of them. She may have looked like an easy target, but 83-year-old Zita Staples is not a woman you want to mess with. Staples was out walking her daughter's dog. Ran ripped the chain off her neck, chased the guy down, cornered him and started ramming him with her walker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZITA STAPLES, FOUGHT OFF ATTACKER: I just wanted to get my jewelry back, that's all. And I don't like to be taken advantage of. I would have felt a hell of a lot better if I was 10 years younger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: And he would have felt a hell of a lot worse if she were ten years young per. Police arrested him and charged him with robbery and assault. Staples suffered bruises and cuts on her finger and neck. She says she's not brave, Soledad, just stubborn.
O'BRIEN: That's right and imagine if she had been 63.
ROMANS: I know he'd be dead.
O'BRIEN: She would kill that man. All right, Christine, thank you.
There are some calls this morning for a broader congressional investigation of the secret service because reports say we're going to more likely be hearing more lurid stories of misconduct.
The latest accusations reported by Seattle TV station, KIRO. A government contractor who worked with the Secret Service advance, it claims that agents partied hard, drank heavily at this strip club in El Salvador. Here is the reporter who broke that story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HALSNE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, KIRO: He witnessed some of the Secret Service agents going into the VIP area to get sexual favors for cash, and ultimately, he said they were working really hard to try to get the strippers back to their hotel rooms and that in at least two circumstances, he witnessed that despite him telling them it was a terrible idea that that occurred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: CNN hasn't been able to independently verify that incident. It was said to have happened in March of last year. A spokesperson for the Secret Service said this, "any information that's brought to our attention that can be assessed as credible will be followed up on in an appropriate manner."
Kara is an investigative reporter with "The Washington Post." She's been covering the story from the very beginning. It's nice to see you. Thanks for talking to us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Soledad.
O'BRIEN: So let's start with these unconfirmed reports out of El Salvador, do you think or how likely is that in fact, Cartagena is the tip of the iceberg.
And frankly, there are going to be more similar stories to strippers, and prostitutes coming back to rooms that we'll be hearing over the next days and weeks.
CAROL LEONNIG, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, you know, a couple of days ago we reported some of the people who have been implicated, some men implicated in the scandal in Cartagena were considering rescinding their resignations because -- or their agreement to resign because they knew of previous parties,
Where there were prostitutes, where there were late nights at strip clubs, the VIP rooms, as the reporter in Seattle was reporting on in El Salvador, and that basically what our sources were telling us were agents said this had been looked at and nodded and winked at by previous managers and supervisors. So what was so awful about Cartagena except that it went very public.
O'BRIEN: And so in theory, some of the folks who resigned could unresign because they have leverage I guess if you're speaking legally.
LEONNIG: A leverage, I guess, is one way to put it, legally, if there's a pattern and a practice of guys behaving like they're on spring break when they're of duty before a presidential visit.
And they're sort of getting the ground ready but actually having a night off, if there is that pattern and practice and managers knew about it, it would be hard to come down hard and fire these guys in that instance.
What we're here is that pattern and practice did exist in the sense of several different trips where prostitutes, strip clubs and heavy, heavy drinking were part of the scene.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Carol, Will Cain. You said something interesting just now "off duty." When these Secret Service agents are on a trip out of the country, are there times when they are off duty or are they always on duty?
LEONNIG: Well, you know, the Secret Service, it's a great question. The Secret Service policy manual in this regard is a little bit vague and a little bit specific.
It says you're never supposed to do anything to bring dishonor to the service or to raise questions or jeopardize your security clearance. So you're always essentially on duty as a secret service agent or a secret Service Officer and many of the guys were not agents but officers.
And however, you are on shifts so to speak and I liken it to a pilot, a pilot is in Athens for a trip and deadheads there but is going to come back. They're not supposed to drink eight hours before they are supposed to be on their next shift and in a cockpit.
And that's the case for the Secret Service. You're supposed to be sort of in your right mind before your shift begins. You can say these guys were essentially off duty because they weren't on shift.
The only question is you're in an area, securing it for the president, you're part of representation for the United States, in a foreign country, and the Secret Service takes that really seriously.
O'BRIEN: And also I would imagine any opportunity where you could be compromised or put something at risk would be dangerous not only for the person you're guarding, but also the entire country. John, you wanted to jump in.
JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: Yes. Good morning, Carol. John Fugelsang. Some have pointed out that in Cartagena prostitution is legal and that might be a mitigating circumstance in the Colombian case. Is that the case in El Salvador?
LEONNIG: It is also the case in El Salvador at least in some zones as we've understood. You know, this has allegedly taken place in other cities. You'll see more reporting from us on this.
But I think the legality of the foreign country is less important to the Secret Service than the policy manual, which says do not solicit prostitution, do not solicit prostitutes.
Colombia, by the way, is very upset about the news that has sort of made it the butt of international jokes and described it as swimming in prostitutes.
It's funny to me because Colombia says prostitution is legal, but they don't want people to have the impression that that is the only thing going in the country.
O'BRIEN: Yes, well one can completely understand that. So when they call for a congressional investigation as some have already done. What would that specifically mean, do you think?
LEONNIG: Well, it's hard to tell at this minute how a congressional probe might look but of course, as we've seen in the past, congress can subpoena a series of documents, demand interviews with key personnel.
The key here is really, it's an important pivot point for the Secret Service, they said they were on top of this, they said they were doing a swift investigation, they were going to get to the bottom of it, punish the people who did something wrong.
And as you saw in a hearing with the Homeland Security director, Secretary Napolitano this week said we've taken action, we don't believe anything of this has happened before and then comes the El Salvador allegations.
And you start to wonder, is Congress going to trust the Secret Service to tell the full truth or at least to look really hard under this mess.
LEONNIG: We've heard the same thing, this has never in my career ever happened, it's unheard of, and then you hear more and more.
O'BRIEN: It's going to be an interesting investigation. Carol, thank you very much. Carol Leonnig joining us from the "Washington Post." We certainly appreciate it.
Ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, thinking about sending your kids to medical school? Well, some new talk from the doctors themselves that might surprise you a bit.
And a true success story, you have to see champ George St. Pierre will join us live, tell us how he went from being bullied to being a black belt. This is Mark's play list, "Sweet Child Of Mine." You're watching STARTING POINT.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mixing it up today.
O'BRIEN: I know, wow.
O'BRIEN: Good morning. Welcome back, everybody. We're getting some breaking news from Minneapolis to report to you, a terminal two at the Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport we are being told is being evacuated.
Apparently, an airport spokesperson is saying the evacuation has been ordered after security screeners got a hit on a piece of luggage that was passing through a CTX machine that detects explosives.
So all the flights at MSP Terminal Two are grounded. Roads leading into terminal two have been closed. The Bloomington bomb squad has been called in, standard procedure. All travelers that have not been screened were evacuated, sent across the street.
There are no flights leaving from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. We're watching the story for you and we'll continue to update you as we get more information.
But what we know right now that there has been some kind of a hit on a machine that detects explosives. They've called in the bomb squad. We are watching this story. They've evacuated everybody out of terminal two at that airport.
All right, let's talk about doctors. Next time you go to a doctor you might want to check on your doctor's happiness or mental health. Apparently, a large number of doctors regret becoming a doctor in the first place.
This is a report from a group called Medscape says that 54 percent would choose a career in medicine again, only 54 percent would choose, 46 percent say they regret becoming a doctor.
That's down last year it was 70 percent said they would choose it again so it's really terrible numbers. Dermatologists are the happiest. Plastic surgeons are the least happy. That surprises me.
CAIN: I can tell you why, it's the working hours. Dermatologist will not get called in the middle of the night. They will work a regular 9:00 to 5:00 schedule.
O'BRIEN: Plastic surgeons, what are you doing? Come on. Why are plastic surgeons unhappy? That's a lot of schooling and a ton of money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's probably not that fulfill. Given someone fake calves or a new --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was thinking about myself, but a new chin or -- I'm going to get a will one. Healing is what you think you go to medical school for, not giving someone implants.
O'BRIEN: Tons of people love their implants. I think that's insane.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a doctor you don't feel fulfilled, rewarded.
O'BRIEN: Sure you do, that person looks great. I feel fulfilled. I disagree with you on that.
Still ahead on STARTING POINT a true success story, UFC champ George St. Pierre will talk about how he went from being bullied to being a black belt. You're watching STARTING POINT.
O'BRIEN: This week's CNN Hero beat his addiction to drugs and alcohol by filling that void with sports. Now Scott is helping hundreds of other people do the same thing to find a healthy high. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get on my bike and ride up in the mountains. Really just brings peace and in my drug and alcohol use it was the opposite. I got into it pretty young. By the time I was 15 I was using pretty serious drugs.
When I got sober and I lost my group of friends because they were still out drinking and using, I got into boxing, triathlon, climbing. I had a new group of friends that had completely redesigned myself. How do I give this to other people?
I want to help people find a better light being sober. Welcome to Friday night climbing. Good to see you here. There are 50 events a week.
All programs are free to anybody that has 48 hours sober. You see the capable to whatever you put your mind to. We have a common connection so it's easy to make new friends.
We do bike rides, hiking, triathlon training, strength training. It really is just a new community of folks who hang out with.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm an example of hitting rock bottom. I had a heroin overdose. They had to jump-start me with paddles. Going out biking and going boxing and hitting the bag really fills the void. It's the best support group I can imagine having.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're having fun and proud of being sober. Come out and go climbing with us.
O'BRIEN: Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, ugly reaction to a black NHL players series winning goal. Former Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson will join us who says his son who also plays hockey is experiencing some of the same things and will join us coming up.
Plus a six-figure shocker from George Zimmerman's attorney. Did his lawyer mislead the judge about just how much money Zimmerman has to get him a lower bond?
We'll put me in front of the fire. The panel for the next hour. My appearance on "The Daily Show" this week. Did you see this? It went well.