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Justice Department Investigating Possible Leak of Classified Information; Obama's Gaffe; Texas Stand Your Ground Case

Aired June 8, 2012 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Erin. Thanks. Good evening everyone. We begin with breaking news.

We have just learned attorney general Eric Holder has assigned two U.S. attorneys to lead investigation to the possible leaking of classified information.

Now, pressure had been building over the alleged leaks for days. Senator John McCain has claims White House officials leaked information about U.S. counterterrorism efforts overseas to try to boost President Obama's national security credentials. The leaks resulted in a wave of news reports recently.

Today President Obama, once again, denied the White House deliberately leaked state secrets.

Chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin, is joining us now with the breaking news.

So, the administration has been feeling clearly feeling bipartisan pressure for several days now, Jessica, on these leaks. What do we know?


Well, look, it's a time tested Washington strategy leak unpleasant news on a Friday night and hope the media is out drinking and too busy to pay attention. But the president also, joking a little bit, the president also was under a lot of pressure after his answers at a press conference today when he didn't definitively say whether or not the administration was investigating these leaks. Here's the president.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I'm saying is we consistently -- whenever there is classified information that is put out into the public, we try to find out where that came from. All right? OK. Thank you very much, everybody.


YELLIN: Now Anderson, the president -- some on the hill have, as you say, accused the White House of deliberately leaking this information to make the president look like a strong commander in chief in an election year. And the White House has emphatically denied that charge. The question is, was anybody in the administration involved in sharing any of this information, and that's what this investigation is helping to get to the bottom of.

COOPER: And clearly, if you read the reports, there was an article in "The New York Times" about the computer virus used against Iran. I mean, it does quote administration officials, whether or not they were leaking classified information. I guess that what investigators were looking in to.

Now, someone capitol hill Sen. McCain, among them, have called for basically independent investigations. A special counsel to be appointed. Clearly the White House is not going down that road.

Do you think this will satisfy critics on the hill who say that the White House, you know the justice department should not be investigating the White House?

YELLIN: Well, there's some who are probably not going to be satisfied. But this according to attorney-general Holder, standard procedure hat this point. And what you have at this stage are two very senior prosecutors who were investigating them. Each is a U.S. attorney.

There's Ronald (INAUDIBLE) who was nominated by President Obama, a Democrat, who is leading one of the investigations. But the other investigation is being led by a man named Rod Rosenstein. And he was appointed by George W. Bush originally. And he actually, at one point, served with Ken Star. You remember him because he helped investigate white water and the Monica Lewinsky affairs.

So hardly, you know, a Democrat, a hardly neutral -- not to be -- you can say in the president's back pocket. Both are graduates of Harvard law school, interestingly because the president was as well. And attorney-general Holder has said that he has notified members of Congress about this investigation but will continue to update them, both members of the Intel committee, intelligence committee, and the Judiciary Committee. So, that should satisfy some members of Congress who do insist on being captive rest of these sort of things, Anderson.

COOPER: I mean, you've been covering the White House for a while. How seriously is the White House taking this? How bad - I mean, how much do they worry about this as far as having blow back from the president?

YELLIN: Well, look. This administration points out, and it's true that they take leaks seriously. And they have actually investigated and prosecuted more leakers than other administrations.

COOPER: In fact, all other administrations combined, they have I think six ongoing cases.

YELLIN: Right, and they take a lot of heat from the left for it because it is not something that you expect from a Democratic administration. So, they say they take it seriously. And the president pointed that out today. That he has zero tolerance for them.

That he has zero tolerance for them.

You know, the thing about these sorts of investigations is once they start, you never know where they lead and how long they last. So the political implications could be potentially damaging for this administration in an election year. And I also finally add, this has not been a good week for the president, not just this leak story but he had disappointing jobs numbers. He had all sorts of political damage with the campaign this week. So, it's just been a tough one for the president. I think he will be glad for the weekend to come - Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, and a difficult day.

Jessica, stick around. Because we want to talk to you more about that in just a moment.

Another "Keeping Them Honest" report now. President Obama gave Republicans today what some are calling a gift when he said this at the Friday press briefing.


OBAMA: The private sector is doing fine where we are seeing weaknesses in our economy. They had to do with state and local government, often times cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government. And who don't have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government. In dealing with fewer revenues coming in.


COOPER: Now, Republicans were quick to pounced on the first five words that the president said. The private sector is doing fine. Within hours they surfaced in a Republican national committee web ad.


OBAMA: The private sector is doing fine.

TEXT: How can President Obama fix our economy, if he doesn't understand what's broken?


COOPER: Mitt Romney and other leading Republicans also jumped on President Obama's use of those words.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He said the private sector is doing fine. He said the private sector is doing fine. Is he really that out of touch?


COOPER: Now, Romney also attacked President Obama for calling more stimulus money to hire state and local government workers. We also heard this in John Boehner.

Having a problem with that. We also heard comments for Eric Cantor. Do we have the Eric Cantor comments?


ERIC CANTOR (R), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: We just listened to the president say that the private sector is doing fine. My question would be to the president, "are you kidding?" Did he see the job numbers that came out last week.


COOPER: Now Mitt Romney also made comments about cutting jobs for firemen, policemen, and teachers, saying we don't need to hire more government workers. He didn't specifically say we should cut those jobs, but he did say that President Obama wants to hire more jobs for -- wants to hire more firemen, more policemen, and more teachers.

Now, the White House jumped on those comments and we will talk to Paul Begala about that in just a moment as well as Ari Fleischer.

The White House is clearly aware that the comments, that President Obama made about the private sector doing just fine gave ammunition to president's opponent had the president come out later and clarify his remarks.


OBAMA: The economy is not doing fine. There are too many people out of work. The housing market is still weak and too many homes underwater.


COOPER: To be fair when President Obama took office, the economy was in the basement. It's true. More than four million jobs were created since he took office. You can decide for yourself how much credit he should get. It's also true that private sector corporate profits are at an all-time high according to government report.

But "Keeping Them Honest," here are some other facts. Last month the private sector added just 82,000 jobs. Far fewer than was expected and less than the 87,000 in April and 147,000 in March. Job growth is slowing down. And unemployment rose to 8.2 percent last month.

Lots to talk about and joining me now, once again, chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin, political contributors Paul Begala and Ari Fleischer.

So Jessica, the president says the private sector is doing fine. Then comes out later, clarifies the remarks. How big of a gaffe is this for the president?

YELLIN: Well, Anderson, remember when John McCain said in the 2008 election the fundamentals of the economy are strong, and then candidate Obama hammered him mercilessly for it saying he was out of touch and he rode that all the way to victory.

It is not going to be that kind of level gaffe because President Obama hasn't demonstrated repeated incidents of it being totally out of touch. When it is one, he gotten him off message. This press conference was intended to let the president take offensive, to let him say that it's the Republicans in Congress who are responsible for these jobs, the disappointing jobs numbers we just saw. And he was trying to get the Republicans in Congress to take action on the jobs bill.

And instead of talking about that, we're talking about his gaffe. He cannot afford more unforced errors like this with this terrible economy right now and in the middle of an election year, Anderson.

COOPER: Paul Begala though, he is the president's critics said that the president is out of touch. And that this is another example of that. Do you think it's similar to that John McCain comment?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: ,It's about a 2.0 on the McCain Richter scale. God, Anderson, it was clearly a mistake. We know that because he went on and clean it up. This created he has the American economy and private sector has created 4.3 million jobs in the last 27 months, since the recession ended. That's not good enough.

But it's often like a lot better than in the last recession, the last Republican presidency we had, in a similar period, we only created about 1.7 million jobs. I can't remember the name of the guy, but he's a terrible president. The Republican president before Obama. Just terrible.

So, he has got an argument to make. What's interesting is Mitt Romney answered it with a gaffe of his own. He attacked President Obama for saying, we need more teachers, cops and firefighters. So now, Mitt Romney probably is against having teachers, cops and firefighters. I guess when your house is on fire, you should call an investment banker.

COOPER: Well, Ari, I want to get to you now. We will get to what Mitt Romney said afterwards. But let's focus first on what President Obama said.

I mean, do you give him a pass on this, or do you think this is a sign that he's out of touch?

ARI FLEISCHER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: No, I think the only difference between this and what John McCain said is President Obama has the advantage of having it said in June when fewer people are watching. Senator McCain said it in September or October in the middle of an intense campaign.

But I think, the bigger problem here is not so much in touch, out of touch, as much as it is of an ongoing pattern of dismissive-ness of the private sector. The president basically said all those rich people, they are just doing fine. He just seems to have the lifelong approach from his days of being a community organizer to being a state senator to being the president. Where he just looks at the private sector and says, you guys don't need anything. You're doing fine. Whatever you do make, we'll redistribute. That's the tenor of what I heard with President today said.

COOPER: Ari, couldn't you also interpret it as private sector is making record profits right now. So, he is saying, they're doing fine. It is the public sector where government can actually do something in the short term.

FLEISCHER: But, Anderson, that's also a part of the president's misunderstanding of how the private sector works. The reason so many corporations are sitting on their cash is because they're so worried about Obama care and its impact on their bottom line. The tax hikes that are scheduled to go on place on January 1st. And the president's overall anti-business, anti-corporate environment. People are worried more taxes, more regulations are coming down on them, so they're being cautious and sitting on their cash.

YELLIN: Anderson, important fact. I mean, it was said in artfully. But, what he was meant to say is the part of the economy where jobs are being lost is the part where government can make the most difference. It's an argument against austerity.

And he's saying it's astonishing to him that Congress won't do something to help government add more teachers jobs, add more police officers, add more firefighters. This is about a fundamental difference about the role of government. He doesn't believe in austerity at this time, while Republicans do. And he's saying Republicans should do something.

FLEISCHER: Jessica, that's just not what he said.

COOPER: Ari, go ahead.

FLEISCHER: It's just not what he said. that's not what he said.

YELLIN: It is what he believes, and it's what he said. He said it in artfully, no doubt. I mean, it was a gaffe. But we've heard him say many, many times, Ari. You've heard him say it.


YELLIN: I've heard him be very dismissive of the private sector many times. And I think that's the same remarks he was making today. That's one of the fundamental grasp of the economy. That's one of the reasons his policies aren't working, his policies, his rhetoric are suppressing job creators in the country who fear what's next. COOPER: So Paul then to Romney's point. Romney makes a statement that I'm wondering if he's going to clarify that a few hours for now. Because he comes forward and says, you know, the president is talking about hiring more teachers and policemen and firemen. We need to be cutting government. That's the message we learned in Wisconsin that the American taxpayers want.

It's rare. Do you think that was a gaffe or do you think that was just kind a politically incorrect honestly, because it is rare that people talk about cutting government. Or rarely do they specify teachers and firemen or at least firemen and firefighters and policemen.

BEGALA: Right. It could be Romney is being consistent. When he was in business, he laid off private sector workers. Now, he wants to be president, he also to help private sector workers.

He finished the quote. I want to real it exactly. He said it's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people. That's a really interesting notion. Fewer cops, fewer teachers, fewer firefighters will help the American people. He would be better if he left it to government in the abstract as you suggested and not just specifically teachers, cops and fire.

If I had as many mansions as Mitt Romney did, I would want a lot of firefighters out there. God, I mean, I don't want any ill to happen to any of this many mansions. But you know, he benefits from firefighters more than most of us.

COOPER: Ari, this was obviously a gifted Democrats who wanted to get the focus on what's President Obama's said earlier today. But, do you think this was a gaffe on Mitt Romney's part, or do you think he's right?

FLEISCHER: It was stronger. Of course, if he has said just about the government workers, but that was his point. He said more workers. He didn't say fewer or less. And he is going to fire, he said more.

And the issue here as Jessica pointed out, philosophical. President Obama believes the way you grow the economy is having the government find reasons to hire more people. Mitt Romney believes the way you grow the economy is by having a private sector thrive so it can hire more people. I think that's the philosophical difference that came out today between the president said and what Mitt Romney said. At the end of the day, Mitt Romney ends up a huge winner as a result of this.

COOPER: Paul, do you think Mitt Romney ends up a winner today?

BEGALA: No. I think - first, I mean, it is June. And it is just a wash. But the argument is going to be this. Whose side are you on, right? And both of these guys have their streaks. Sometimes, pressing could be very professorial and I think that tends to be off- putting. Sometimes, like always, Mitt Romney can have this sort of Marie Antoinette syndrome where he seems to insult working people, like he did today. Teachers, cops and firefighters.

COOPER: I like Paul, by the way, I love that your big insult to the president is he's professorial and Mitt Romney, his Marie Antoinette.

BEGALA: I'm a public school guy. I'm a state school guy.

COOPER: OK. Really equal there, though. But go on, Paul.

BEGALA: Look, it can be depressing. It can be a little ethereal at times. You know, it's true. But Romney, if it is about out of touch thing, as I say, neither of them are like, you know, Joe Biden, who is actually I think really great on middle class kind of tread.

But if it's about who would you rather like hang out with, I don't think Romney is going to succeed there.

COOPER: All right. It's been a fascinating day.

Paul Begala, Air Fleischer. Thank you, Jessica. Thanks.

Let us know what you think. We're on facebook. Follow me on twitter @andersoncooper.

What do you think about the president's remarks, about Mitt Romney's remarks today. Let us now.

There are new important images out of Syria tonight. Video you will not see anywhere else of a doctor and his staff of volunteers risking their lives to save civilians and others in a city under siege. We'll show you what they're up against. The images speak truth to all the lies coming from Bashar Al-Assad and his regime. A CNN exclusive next.


COOPER: Welcome back. The latest on Syria now.

We've gotten some video that we're going to show you in a moment. It was taken by a journalist named Robert King who has risked his life to bring it to you. And the video shows you in a way we haven't seen before the horror, the everyday horror that people in some parts of Syria are facing.

We've cut down the video, because some of it is so gruesome we didn't think we could show it to you. It shows kids who have been cut apart, blown open by shelling, shot by snipers.

Now, we want you to see the video because for all the talk and all the statistics and all the debates over what if anything can be and should be done to stop the slaughter in Syria, this is the reality. Men and women and children dying. Some of them are fighters, yes. Some of them are simply kids. Some simply people who have demonstrated for freedom.

In Homs today, more shelling by government forces. At least 40 people killed across Syria in the last 24 hours alone according to activists. That, of course, follows the alleged killing of 78 people earlier this week, mostly women and children, which of course, follow the alleged killing of more than a hundred people two weeks ago in Houla. Again, mostly women and children.

Of course the dictator Bashar al-Assad denies all of this, blames the recent bloodshed on terrorists. He also says his forces don't kill civilians. They're just fighting terrorists. There are concerns, of course, about the rising involvement by Jihadist in the fighting in Syria, but this fight began with peaceful protests, not -- wasn't begun by Jihadists, not by terrorists. But regular Syrians who had enough.

They began demonstrating 15 months ago calling simply for reforms. There peaceful protests were met with bullets and batons, tear gas and shanks. And the bloodshed has become such a daily occurrence, that many no longer want to pay attention to it. Many people don't cover it anymore.

And I understand that, but we ask you to just pay attention for just a few minutes tonight. Because the only thing worse I think in children being murdered is children being murdered and no one stopping to even pay attention. To learn their names or to learn the stories or the loss that their families feel.

These images taken by photojournalist Robert King who has repeatedly risked his life to document the truth of what's happening right now in Syria. The images were taken in a makeshift clinic in the city in Alqusaire (ph), in Homs province, a place under siege for months. Very few supplies get in to this clinic and as a result, people are injured and sick, but might be saved. Those people are dying.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your name?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go, go, go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This regime is a terrorist regime. What has happened here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. The army of al-Assad. You see this child? -- terrorists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They cannot go to an army hospital in Syria. They will kill the wounded. Ian the children?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even the children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are every day very busy. We have more patients. Look at this child. Nothing is stopping him in the sniper. They see he is not a fighter, not old man, not young man. He's a 6- year-old with severe injury in the stomach and the liver and the kidney. What he did for our regime is the sniper take this -- this is the child. Why is he shooting him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will he survive?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hospital just got hit by a rocket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot stay in the same place for a long time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why can't you stay in the same place? Why do you have to keep relocating your hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they will -- they will try to catch us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you worried for your own life?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. If I will die when I help people, it is good for me. Because I am a doctor. I must help people. Especially in this very catastrophic time. After the revolution, before the revolution, during the revolution, I will help people.



COOPER: Life and death in a makeshift clinic in Syria. Those images taken by Robert King, again, who has risked his life to shoot that video. I spoke to him earlier today from inside Syria.


COOPER: The video that you've taken in this field hospital is probably some of the most -- I don't know the adjective -- I mean, horrific video that I've seen. And it really gives you a sense of just the chaos in the makeshift clinics and the struggle these doctors are under.

Obviously, a lot of people wounded are men who were involved in the fighting Free-Syria army. But you're seeing so many children. Have you seen children who are actually shot by snipers, directly targeted? Or are most of them just, you know, unintended victims of shelling?

ROBERT KING, JOURNALIST: No, I've seen at least two to three children that have been directly targeted by snipers.

COOPER: I remember being in Sarajevo during the siege in Sarajevo and over the years, people would get angry after a while of reporters who had taken pictures for years, and yet they felt like nothing was actually changing. Do people there feel like the world has abandoned them?

KING: There's just not that many journalists here anymore. So, those were in Sarajevo, there was a lot more journalists, a lot more coverage. Now in this war, the reaction is the same. There's a lack of response. The difference is that there is real international media presence. And in some regards, you're it, Anderson. I mean, you're the only one that I'm aware of that's continually broadcasting these war crimes from this area. And I'm not saying it just because I'm speaking with you. I can't even leave my pictures. It's amazing.

COOPER: I think the thing, and you and I talked about this that's time, none of us can pretend that we didn't know what was happening. None of us can say, well, I didn't know. I didn't know how bad it was because you are there and because activists have trained their cell phone cameras on this.

We know what is happening there. I mean, I watched the entire -- all the video that you shot. We've shown, you know, three or four minutes of it. I watched all ten minutes of it. And it's -- I mean, I've seen a lot of stuff, and I've never seen such, you know, children with their guts hanging out, with very little medical care to treat them. I mean, I don't know what more people need to see in order to be roused into some sort of reaction.

KING: I can't believe it. The Syrian people don't want military intervention. They would like NATO to bomb the Syrian positions. But they don't want boots on the ground. They would like weapons to conduct a fair fight. The doctors would like to be able to honor their oath and they would like to have proper supplies to save lives.

COOPER: Bad things happen all the time. And I think it's win thing to be murdered and to be killed in a conflict. And that's horrible enough. It's another to have the world know about it and see it and still turn away. And to not even know the names of those who have died. To not even hear their stories or pay attention to their suffering, and it seems like that's what's happening right now. People are aware of what's happening, but the world is not paying attention.

KING: No, the world is a very complaisant place right now. The lack of curiosity, concern, for their fellow humans is appalling.

COOPER: You're risking your life to give these people a voice and to try to tell their story. And I thank you for that. I thank you for talking with us tonight and sharing your pictures with us.

KING: Thank you so much, Anderson.


COOPER: We hope you remain safe. A lot of journalists have died recovering this.

A victory for 9/11 responders, I will tell you, coming up. The federal government agreeing to expand the list of illnesses it will pay for. Illnesses afflicting so many of them. We have the update.


COOPER: A Texas man on trial in the shooting death of his neighbor claims self defense, that he was standing his ground in the face of fear. He recorded the entire confrontation. We're going to show it to you. You can decide for yourself who is right.


COOPER: We're following other stories tonight. Susan Hendricks has a 360 News Bulletin.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we begin with a 360 follow.

Good news for first responders following the September 11 attack and became sick. The federal government has agreed to add certain cancers to the list of illnesses that will be covered by the insurance programs.

The CDC says that 14 people in six states have been sickened with a strain of E. coli in the last few months alone. And one toddler may have died because of it in Louisiana. Nearly all of the illnesses were reported across the South. The cause of the outbreak is still unknown.

Take a look at this. Excavations in Bulgaria have unearthed tombs of people who are apparently suspected vampires. Two skeletons show that the deceased were stabbed through the heart with an iron rod.


HENDRICKS: These tombs are about 700 years old, Anderson, drawing tourists now to Bulgaria, to see it for themselves.

COOPER: Wow. That's cool. Interesting.

Susan, thanks. Time now for the shot father/daughter dances. Always special kind of. This one has gone viral on YouTube with nearly a million hits. Take a look.


COOPER: This is Mike Hanley (ph) and his daughter Jessica showing of their moves. Surprising guests at her bat mitzvah. It goes on for about five minutes long. Yes.

HENDRICKS: You know he's the most popular dad in the room there.

COOPER: No doubt.

We wish for a happy bat mitzvah.

Coming up, a serious story that raises a lot of questions. A man films himself -- videotapes himself in his neighbor's driveway and then opens fire while he was on the home with 911. He was the only one armed. He's claiming self defense. It's basically a "Stand Your Ground" case. You can watch for yourself and judge for yourself next.


COOPER: Hey, welcome back. The massacre at Ft. Hood, you may remember, killed 13 people, injured dozens more. Well, today, the judge delayed the hearing because the suspect violated military rules. Details when we continue.


COOPER: In tonight's crime and punishment: Ever since George Zimmerman shot and killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the so-called stand your ground laws have been under increased scrutiny.

Well, the case of Raul Rodriguez is another example. The retired firefighter is on trial for the shooting of an elementary schoolteacher in the victim's own driveway. Rodriguez claimed self- defense under the state's law that permits deadly force when someone believes they're in danger.

Now the confrontation was over noise complaint. Basically his neighbor was having a party. Texas law does allow people to protect themselves outside their homes if they feel their lives were threatened. But Rodriguez was the only one armed and prosecutors said he used specific buzz words during the confrontation to make sure he'd have a case.

So does he have a case?

We're going to put this to senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin in a moment. What makes this more difficult, the entire thing was videotaped by Rodriguez, even the shooting.

Here's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Raul Rodriguez showed up at his neighbor's house to complain about noise from a loud party, he was armed, not just with a gun, but a flashlight, a cell phone connected to 911 operators, and a video camera.

RAUL RODRIGUEZ: That's more than 85 decibels, and I'm 200 feet away.

KAYE: It was May 2010, and the retired firefighter had been calling Harris County police all night, complaining about a rowdy party.

Frustrated, he confronts his neighbor, Kelly Danaher and some of his buddies on the driveway.

RODRIGUEZ: Why don't y'all turn that down, please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, well, who are you?

RODRIGUEZ: I live over here. Turn it down!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, don't go hollering at me, buddy.

KAYE: The video lasts about 20 minutes. Over and over you hear Rodriguez tell the men to stop or he'll shoot.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, I ain't going nowhere.

STORM: Yes, you're going to go somewhere.

RODRIGUEZ: You need to stop right there. Don't come any closer please.

STORM: Don't tell us to stop coming close to you.

RODRIGUEZ: I'm telling you, stop. I said stop right now or I will shoot you. Stop! Get back!


RODRIGUEZ: Get back! I'm in fear for my life.

KELLY DANAHER: I got nothing dude.

RODRIGUEZ: Y'all are drunk, get away from me!

KAYE: The men at Danaher's house appear unarmed, but still, Rodriguez, who has a license to carry a concealed weapon repeatedly tells the 911 operator he fears for his life.

RODRIGUEZ: It's just me against everybody. I've got a -- I've got -- look, there's about 15 people here. Look, I'm in fear for my life now. I'm in very -- that's why I drew my weapon. I'm in fear for my life. Please help me now.

They're going to kill me. Oh Jesus, they're going to kill me. I smell liquor.

KAYE: The men shout at Rodriguez, and Rodriguez tells police the partygoers want to quote, "beat me down".

RODRIGUEZ: And so I'm running the video camera right now, and I'm talking to you. And I'm scared to death here.

KAYE: At some point one of the men seems to hint at getting his own weapon.

STORM: When I go in the house and come back, don't think I won't be equal to you, baby.

RODRIGUEZ: OK, they're going to escalate this. OK, now, he's talking about going in the house ands getting something to shoot me with. I'm going to have to defend myself. I'm going to have to defend myself.

KAYE (on camera): While it may seem odd to bring a gun to resolve a noise complaint, Rodriguez still may be able to defend himself using Texas' version of the "Stand Your Ground" law known as the Castle Doctrine. It says a person can use force if that person feels as though his or her life is in danger.

So what happens in the next few moments on that video is key. Rodriguez uses very specific language, phrases like, I'm standing my ground, and my life is in danger. Listen closely.

RODRIGUEZ: It's about to get out of hand, sir. Please help me. Please help me, sir. My life is in danger now.

He's about to -- he says he's going to go in the house and he's going to be more than equal to me. Now I'm standing my ground here. Now these people are going to try to kill me.

KAYE (voice-over): Then suddenly shots fire.

RODRIGUEZ: Look I'm not losing with these people anymore. I'm just going to tell them to stay back. They're drunk. They're swearing.



KAYE: And that's where the video ends. But we know the shooting continued. Three of the partygoers are shot. Two survive. But Kelly Danaher, the young father and elementary schoolteacher hosting the party, is dead.

Raul Rodriguez says he's not guilty of murder. And he's hoping this grainy video will prove he acted in self defense and never planned to kill.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: So Rodriguez's attorney says the video we just saw proves his client was acting in self defense. I mean, does he have a case?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, he can make the argument. I don't think it does. First of all, it's just one of the craziest videos I've ever seen. He's mouthing the words that have been legally applied under that statute. We're familiar with the stand your ground law in Florida because of the Trayvon Martin case.

This is a castle law, a similar law in Texas, like a man's home is his castle. First of all, he's not at his home. He's several doors down. Rodriguez goes and initiates the confrontation.

COOPER: And initiates it with a cell phone camera, or video camera, a gun and a flashlight. He's documenting the entire thing.

TOOBIN: He's documenting the entire thing. Now his attorney is saying, well, why would he document it if it proves his guilt? I mean, I think some people just do stupid things. I think that's one reason why he did it. But I think more importantly, you know, just because you say you're in fear and just because you say you're defending yourself doesn't mean a jury is going to believe that's the case.

COOPER: Does this have parallels to the Trayvon Martin case?

TOOBIN: I think it does, because the law is similar. Obviously the facts are quite different. Most importantly, we don't have a video of the confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin.

Here when most importantly you see a guy with his hands up. That is highly significant in terms of who is the aggressor here.

COOPER: He arrived at this guy's house with the gun and the camera, as we said. And with the flashlight, before this law, the castle in Texas, the stand your ground, would that have been premeditated murder?

TOOBIN: I don't think premeditated murder, but I think his self- defense claim would have been preposterous. It is true that people claiming self defense do a lot better now under the stand your ground or castle laws. But they don't always get acquitted. I think this situation is so egregious that -- and particularly because he's not at his own house.

COOPER: He could have retreated to his own house.

TOOBIN: He could have retreated with great ease. He could have not initiated the conversation in the first place. Remember, what causes this all is a noisy party. So it's not exactly a life threatening situation where you need to bring a gun in the first place.

So I think all the surrounding circumstances make a weak defense for Rodriguez.

COOPER: So you don't think he has a case?

TOOBIN: It doesn't seem that way to me. But, you know, you're talking about a jury. If juries want to embrace the notion of self defense, he could get acquitted.

COOPER: All right. We're going to watch it. It's fascinating. Jeff, thanks.

Let me know what you think, if you think it was self defense. Let me know on Twitter @AndersonCooper.

Hunting down suspected child pornographers and rescuing their victims. That's next on the program.


COOPER: Hey, welcome back.

Let's check in with Susan Hendricks again with 360 news and business bulletin -- Susan. HENDRICKS: Hi, Anderson.

Eighteen victims of child pornography are safe tonight. They were rescued during a series of raids by federal agents who arrested 190 people throughout the U.S. and several other countries as well.

A military judge delayed a pretrial hearing for Major Nidal Hasan because of the suspect's beard, a violation of military grooming standards. Hasan is accused of killing 13 people and wounding dozens more during a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood back in 2009. His court martial is scheduled for August.

The charity auction for lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett ends tonight. Bidding on eBay is up to $500,000. It could go much higher though in the final minutes. Last year's winner shelled out more than $2 million to dine with Buffett.

And disappointing news for so many Triple Crown hopeful. "I'll Have Another" is out of the Belmont stakes and will never race again. The winner of this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes has a leg injury, and sadly the colt's career is over -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Susan, thanks very much.

A programming note to tell you about. Fareed Zakaria has got a new prime time special that's going to air this Sunday, looking at what's wrong with the American immigration system and how to try to fix it. One of the hottest issues is the impact immigrants have on the labor market. Fareed sat down with New York City Michael Bloomberg and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is also a co- architect of Arizona staunch immigration law.

Take a look.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: What about industries like in California, agriculture and parts of the southwest, construction that do rely on these workers, and that don't find it easy to replace them. It hasn't been easy to find American citizens who were willing to pick fruit in 110-degree weather.

KRIS KOBACH, KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, replace them at what cost? The employers will never say, well, we tried raising wages by $5 an hour and then we found America -- they don't do that. If you raise the wages --

ZAKARIA: Wouldn't make those businesses you think competitive?

KOBACH: Not if all businesses in that industry are facing an equal increase in the cost of labor.

ZAKARIA: But the real competition is from abroad.

KOBACH: Not so much in agriculture.

ZAKARIA: Sure it is.

KOBACH: Less of a factor.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: It's fair to say that Americans would do virtually any job. You'll always find somebody. Unfortunately, the customers who are going to pay for those workers aren't going to pay those prices. So, it's a ridiculous argument to make. You cannot pay somebody to pick peaches so much that that the peaches cost $10 a piece.


COOPER: Well, Fareed looks for answers on how to fix the immigration policy in the U.S. That's "Global Lessons: The GPS Road Map for Making Immigration Work," Sunday, 8:00 p.m., also 11:00 p.m. on CNN.

Tonight, the "Ridiculist" is coming up, and I'm adding myself, next.


COOPER: Time for the "Ridiculist." And tonight, I'm adding myself. That's right, me. I'm on the "Ridiculist" yet again.

Now, if you watch the program last night, you might have noticed, I had an embarrassing little moment. I'm going to play for you now. And I want you to keep in mind, I'm the star of the show. The buck stops with me. So if anyone is to blame, if anyone should be reprimanded, it's the crew.


COOPER: So, here hat this point in the show we're usually doing much different -- much more different -- what's more different, what? Oh, hey, sorry. Didn't realize we were on the air.


COOPER: Yes, I didn't even know what to say. Did you notice the look of terror go through my eyes? We have a freeze frame.

Here I am at the precise moment I realize I was live on the air. My face is locked in a look of confusion, which morphs into a look of fear. Now, like I said, I'm choosing to blame the crew, mostly because I don't have a good excuse. No one was distracting me. I wasn't very tired. I certainly wasn't drunk, at least no more than usual.

I will say in my defense, when it comes to bloopers, I'm in some pretty good company.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today's snow is crippling much of the Washington lowlands.


COOPER: What's weird about that is I don't know what language they're speaking. She's like, I so pale, and the other one is like (INAUDIBLE) -- I didn't understand what they said. Anyway, I love her. The show must go on.

By the way, it's not just news anchors who are prone to awkward moments in front of the cameras. This was one of my favorites. Take a look at the young woman behind the newscaster who realizes she's on camera and tries to hide, drop and roll. That is my kind of coworker.

It's not just people who don't realize they're on camera. Sometimes a show is moving along and things just kind of happen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I got knocked up last night. Well, not literally. But I got the movie "Knocked Up."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, the movie, "Knocked Up,"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you get many spankings as a kid?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Wait a minute!

UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: That's not what I met.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: I know who likes chocolate. Our Zain Verjee loves chocolate. One of our -- oh, nice melons behind you there.



PHILLIPS: Oops, I'm sorry.


COOPER: Zain Verjee and her melons weekdays on CNN.

Anyway, look, I've given it some thought. Last night was my fault. I should have been paying attention to the crew. So, now the question is, what do I need to do to make things right? Do I need to say it was the worst moment ever on CNN? Fine, I can do that. I'll step up and say it. There has never in the history of this network that anything more embarrassing or bizarre. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANCHEZ: I'm about to receive 50,000 votes of electricity. Do it. Oh! It hurts. It's painful. But no one's dead.


COOPER: No one's dead. I forgot about that moment.

I'm not sure I can beat that moment. Even me not realizing I was on the air last night for a brief second. But again, I apologize to our viewers and appreciate your understanding. My little slip-up.

And thank you for not teasing me on the "Ridiculist". That's a particularly unattractive picture there.

Anyway, that does it for us. We'll see you one hour from now. The latest news, another edition of 360.

"PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts right now.