Return to Transcripts main page


Petraeus Resignation; Nobel Prize for Malala?; Sandy Clean Up Continues

Aired November 10, 2012 - 16:00   ET


SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN HOST: It's the top of the hour, and you are in the CNN Newsroom, good to see you. I'm Susan Hendricks, in for Fredricka Whitfield today.

We start with the latest information on the resignation of America's top spy.


HENDRICKS (voice-over): Former CIA director, David Petraeus, the retired four-star unceremoniously quit Friday after announcing he had an extramarital affair. But it is an FBI probe that is raising more questions today. CNN has learned that FBI agents were investigating some suspicious e-mails and found messages between Paula Broadwell and David Petraeus.

Now Broadwell is the woman who wrote Petraeus' biography. The FBI looked to see whether Petraeus had -- maybe his communications had been compromised, and said they had not been. That was the result of their investigation.


HENDRICKS: Well, Petraeus was interviewed by the FBI. It's unclear if Broadwell has been questioned yet or if she will be. A U.S. official says Petraeus was never a target of an investigation and that a tip about an affair led to that probe.

Now, so as the CIA moves ahead without General Petraeus at the helm, we are learning more about the man and how he revealed the affair to his boss.

CNN's Pentagon correspondent is covering that part of the story for us, Chris.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Susan, David Petraeus sent this letter to the rest of the CIA on Friday, admitting to them that he had an affair, and that he went to the White House on Thursday and asked President Obama to accept his resignation.

On Friday, during a phone call, the president did accept that resignation, effectively shaking up his national security team just days after the election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LAWRENCE (voice-over): By the time David Petraeus got his first taste of real combat, he was a 50-year-old major general. In 2003, he commanded the 101st Airborne during its march on Baghdad. It was in Iraq that he rhetorically asked a reporter, "Tell me how this ends," suggesting trouble the U.S. would have there in later years.

There he gained the nickname "King David," used affectionately by his supporters and derisively by those who labeled him a celebrity general.

In 2007, President Bush appointed him to lead all troops in Iraq. Petraeus essentially re-wrote the Army field manual, and his ideas on counterinsurgency became known as the "Petraeus doctrine."

A scandal of a different sort brought Petraeus back to command another war, when President Obama fired General Stanley McChrystal for his unflattering comments to "Rolling Stone," Obama tapped General Petraeus as the man to save the Afghan war effort.

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, U.S. ARMY: It has again been the greatest of honors to serve here.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): But because of his name recognition among the American people, Petraeus was surrounded by speculation that he had political ambitions. Some wondered if he'd appear on the Republican presidential ticket, but Petraeus knocked down those rumors.

PETRAEUS: We're not out there running a political campaign, we're running a war.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): At his Senate confirmation hearing to head the CIA, Petraeus admitted President Obama decided to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan significantly faster than Petraeus wanted.

PETRAEUS: The ultimate decision was a more aggressive formulation, if you will, in terms of the timeline than what we had recommended.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Petraeus' wife, Holly, sat behind him during that testimony, and Petraeus publicly praised her.

PETRAEUS: She is a symbol of the strength and dedication of families around the globe who wait at home for their loved ones while they're engaged in critical work in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. She has hung tough while I have been deployed for over 51/2 years since 9/11.

LAWRENCE: The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Diane Feinstein, called Petraeus' resignation tragic and said she wish President Obama had not agreed to accept it. We're told that the president was opposed to accepting Petraeus' resignation, but Petraeus insisted it was something that he had to do.


HENDRICKS: Chris Lawrence, thanks so much for that report.

Here is a question, who is counting? Well, Florida has been counting votes longer than any other state again, four days after the hotly contested swing state battle, CNN is projecting President Barack Obama as the winner in the Sunshine State.

With some provisional ballots still to be counted, the president's edge in the voting in close, just under 74,000 votes. That is less than 1 percent of the total. And Capitol Hill is still divided with a few races still too close to call.

Republicans will hold the edge in the House, Democrats have a nine- seat lead in the Senate with independent Angus King of Maine still undecided about which party he will caucus with.

Now to the recovery from the devastating superstorm Sandy. Hundreds of thousands of people in New York and New Jersey are still struggling with no power, nearly two weeks after the storm. But today, some relief for New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie says he expects most of the state's power to be back on by tonight. Much needed relief there.

Meanwhile, FEMA says more that $403 million in aid has been approved for storm victims in New Jersey, also New York and Connecticut.

Now, if you can imagine what it must feel like to be without power for nearly two weeks, then you can easily understand the anger and frustration storm victims are now feeling. People in one community in Queens are demanding to know why there has been a hold-up.

Here's Deborah Feyerick.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want to hear what I have to say or not?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anger, frustration and despair as people demand to know why their neighborhood remains dark more than 12 days after superstorm Sandy hit this boardwalk community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't get light on (inaudible) for my kids, I can't get power, heat, garbage pickup, nothing.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Workers from the Long Island Power Authority, known as LIPA, are visible, but still can't seem to get the electricity back in homes in the flood zone. New York's governor has threatened to pull the company's operating license.

ANDREW CUOMO (D), GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: We paid them and we gave them a franchise because they represented themselves as experts at doing this. And they failed. And they should be held accountable for their failure.

FEYERICK (voice-over): At the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church next to a public housing complex, volunteers worked hard to serve hot meals and keep up morale. Many left before sunset. The trains are still not running this far out. One woman told us it feels like martial law here with people bolted inside their homes after dark. JANNICK BROWN, QUEENS, N.Y., RESIDENT: There's no power, no lights, you could barely see in front of you. It is difficult, you have a hard time so usually you try to get in before the sun goes down.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Kenneth Gonzalez, a registered nurse, is now crammed into his living room, one he now shares with three other people and the few belongings he could save.

KENNETH GONZALEZ, QUEENS, N.Y., RESIDENT: Somebody comes in here with guns to take the little I have left, what am I supposed to do? It's like Armageddon or something. They just forgot about us, you know. How are we to survive?

FEYERICK (voice-over): Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Rockaway, New York.


HENDRICKS: And our thanks to Deb for that. Help for Hurricane Sandy victims is coming from those who can relate to them the most: survivors of Hurricane Katrina.


HENDRICKS (voice-over): This morning, the Amtrak Train of Hope made its way from Slidell, Louisiana, to Newark, New Jersey. Organizers of the relief effort wanted to focus their efforts on smaller New Jersey cities that may otherwise get overlooked. The train brought emergency supplies, including clothes, batteries, diapers to New Jersey hurricane survivors, much needed.

Just 15 years old, and she has inspired the world. We will have the latest on the young woman from Pakistan whose efforts moved the U.N. to declare a global action day in her honor.



HENDRICKS: It takes an extraordinary 15-year-old girl to have the United Nations name a day after her.


HENDRICKS (voice-over): Well, it has done that for Malala Yousafzai, naming November 10th as Malala Day. She is the Pakistani teen targeted and nearly assassinated by the Taliban for her campaign to help girls get an education. Today, 2 million people are around the world are pledging to carry on her fight as she recuperates in a London hospital.


HENDRICKS: Now many in Britain are calling for Malala to be nominated for a Nobel peace prize. So how is the brave teenager doing today? Here is CNN's Dan Rivers.


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is staggering to see Malala Yousafzai out of bed with her father looking through some of the thousands of get-well cards she has received. It is exactly a month since she was shot at point-blank range by Taliban gunmen for her campaign for girls' education in Pakistan.

Despite the bullet passing through her head and neck, she is able to talk. Doctors at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Britain are still assessing the extent of the brain damage; her only visitors so far have been her immediate family.

ZIAUDDIN YOUSAFZAI, MALALA YOUSAFZAI'S FATHER: I am awfully thankful to all peace-loving (inaudible) of Malala Yousafzai who strongly condemn the assassination attempt on Malala, who pray for her health and who support the grand cause of Malala Yousafzai, that is peace, education, freedom of thought and freedom of expression.

RIVERS (voice-over): The cards have come from all over the world, this one from Myanmar or Burma. Some are signed by entire households, some by entire offices. Her story has touched people around the world.

And there is now an Internet campaign for Malala to win the Nobel peace prize. She has yet to undergo surgery on her skull and jaw in Britain, but judging by these pictures she is in very good hands, surprising everyone with her determination to recover -- Dan Rivers, CNN, London.

HENDRICKS: Certainly the face of a brave girl.

You know, after weeks of negotiations, it looks like American Airlines and its pilots' union have finally reached a contract agreement. But it's not time to celebrate just yet, we'll tell you why.


HENDRICKS: A burglar allegedly breaks into an elderly man's home and shoots him. Now the burglar is suing the homeowner for returning gunfire. Our legal guys, Avery and Richard, what do you think, guys?

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, look, you couldn't hire screenwriters to come up with something like this, is this "Stand Your Ground" upside down? We've got the answer for you and more coming up.

HENDRICKS: And Richard?

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Susan, this is -- Susan, this is California; we have seen crazy results in California. There is a rebuttable presumption, one shot, OK; three shots, this could go to the jury.

HENDRICKS: We'll talk about the case in two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HENDRICKS: In California, a 90-year-old man retaliated after he was shot in the face during a burglary, well get this, now the suspected burglar is suing him for returning fire. I want to bring in our legal guys on this one, Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor in Cleveland; Richard Herman, a New York criminal defense attorney law professor joins us from Las Vegas.

Richard, I'll start with you on this. What do you say to this? This is unbelievable.

HERMAN: It is unbelievable, it's -- for $200, $300, anybody can file a lawsuit. And we see it every week, every year, unbelievable cases like this, 90-year-old man has his house broken into at gunpoint, gets tied up.

The burglar is stealing in front of him, he breaks free, grabs his gun, there is a shootout. He ends up shooting him three times. The assailant here gets convicted. Prison term and sues because he was shot.

HENDRICKS: Yes, and he's --

HERMAN: Believe it or not --

HENDRICKS: He's suing for --

HERMAN: -- believe it or not, Susan, there is a claim here. There is a claim because --

FRIEDMAN: Oh, my goodness.

HERMAN: -- there is a rebuttable presumption, there is a rebuttable presumption in the State of California, Castle law, that says you have to be under imminent fear of death and bodily harm. One shot, you subdue the guy, it is over, but two more shots, I don't know, a jury might be interested in this case.

FRIEDMAN: Oh, come on.

HENDRICKS: Avery, this is a World War II vet, 90 years old, he had a plan in place, I heard him say, that he had a gun hidden if anyone did break in. Somebody did break in. We're talking about a 30-year-old man. This guy's 90. He is fearful of his life, I believe. I mean, does this guy have a case? He's saying it broke up my marriage, it led to financial ruin -- you broke into somebody's house.


FRIEDMAN: (Inaudible). Can you believe that? I mean, look, the burglar is claiming because the homeowner shot him -- basically in self-defense -- that his marriage --

HERMAN: Three times.

FRIEDMAN: -- he lost his house. Look, no, listen, the bad guy here is Sam Cutrufelli, he's 31 years old. He's a prior felon, he breaks in. And the owner of the home, 90-year-old Jay Leone says, hey, man, I got to go to the bathroom. He goes in the bathroom, and like in a "Godfather" movie, reaches in the back, pulls his .357 out and shoots the burglar.

Let me tell you something, Cutrufelli's case is going absolutely nowhere, no jury, no judge on Earth, much less in California, is ever going to buy this. This is "Stand Your Ground" upside down, it's going nowhere.

HENRY: And Richard, could the judge, in a sense, say not only is it not going nowhere, but because it is a frivolous lawsuit, charge him with anything?

HERMAN: (Inaudible) charge. Anybody can be charged for cost and sanctions if you bring a frivolous lawsuit, but this may not be frivolous. The person says after I was shot and I was down, I pleaded with him, don't shoot me, just call the police. Don't shoot me.

And he got shot two more times. If the jury believes that, that is a question of fact. It goes to the jury, you don't know, hey, it is California, Avery.


FRIEDMAN: I don't know, man, there is no chance in the world.

HENDRICKS: You know what, you don't mess with a 90-year-old World War II veteran, you don't break into his house, in my opinion.

FRIEDMAN: That's right. There you go.

HERMAN: That's right.

HENDRICKS: Avery, Richard, thank you.

FRIEDMAN: That's exactly right.

HENDRICKS: Appreciate it.


HENDRICKS (voice-over): Always entertaining, don't forget, you can catch the "Legal Guys" every Saturday at noon, 4:00 pm Eastern, right here on CNN.


HENDRICKS: So how many of us can say we know someone who has been a victim of gun violence? Unfortunately, many inner city kids, many of them raised their hands when asked that very question. It's especially true in Philadelphia. But an educator and a trauma surgeon are doing something provocative to prevent more kids from becoming victims.

Sarah Hoye has more in this week's "Black in America."


SCOTT CHARLES, PHILADELPHIA EDUCATOR: Welcome, I work with gunshot patients, how many of you guys know somebody who has been shot?

SARAH HOYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Philadelphia educator Scott Charles is on a mission to save young lives. Charles and Amy Goldberg, chief trauma surgeons at Temple University Hospital, co- founded the "Cradle to Grave" program to help reduce gun violence in the City of Brotherly Love.

CHARLES: What we're going to do today is kind of take you behind the scenes, pull back the curtain and let you see what we do.

HOYE (voice-over): The "Cradle to Grave" program brings local high school students inside Temple's trauma center to relive the final 15 minutes of life of a teen killed by gun violence.

CHARLES: That young boy stood over Lamont and fired 10 more shots into him.

DR. AMY GOLDBERG, TRAUMA SURGEON: You know, gun violence can kill so I think it's really our responsibility to prevent these kids from coming in.

HOYE (voice-over): Among America's largest cities, Philadelphia's homicide rate is the worst, with African-Americans making up 85 percent of the victims.

CHARLES: You know, statistics suggest that, as a young black man, you have a greater chance of being shot and killed in Philadelphia than you would have if you were a soldier serving in the conflicts in Afghanistan or Iraq. That's absurd to me.

HOYE (voice-over): Since 2006, more than 7,000 students have come through the "Cradle to Grave" program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like I don't want that to happen to me. I want to be able to live, be something my mom want me to be.

GOLDBERG: We want to really teach them the preciousness of life, that in an instant your life can be changed forever.

HOYE (voice-over): Change they want for the better -- Sarah Hoye, CNN, Philadelphia.


HENDRICKS: Who is "Black in America"? Is being black determined by the color of your skin, by your family, by what society says or something else?

Our Soledad O'Brien will examine provocative questions about skin color, discrimination and race in our new documentary, "Who is Black in America?" It premieres Sunday, December 9th, 8:00 pm 11:00 pm Eastern, only on CNN.


HENDRICKS: He led a group that spent millions to re-take the White House and the Senate. Coming up, why Republicans may think twice before taking Karl Rove's advice in the future. That is what is trending.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is CNN breaking news.

HENDRICKS: Breaking news, we want to tell you about out of Britain, the BBC's newly appointed director general, George Entwistle, who was facing pressure to step down after being humiliated on air last night by one of his anchors, has announced, yes, he is going to step down.

The move comes after he wrongly implicated a British politician in a child sex abuse case that has rocked the country. Again, he is stepping down, BBC director general.

We are getting new information on the resignation of America's top spy, David Petraeus, who quit as CIA director after admitting to an extramarital affair. The FBI is investigating. And the U.S. official says suspicious e-mails have been found now between the general and this woman, Paula Broadwell. She wrote his biography.

Now some members of Congress wanted to know why they were not informed until just before the news broke.

The end may be near in the labor dispute between American Airlines and its pilots. Now some 8,000 pilots will vote on a tentative agreement announced yesterday by the airlines. If approved, the deal could help American Airlines in its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy.


HENDRICKS: After the headlines, these stories trending online right now as we speak.


HENDRICKS (voice-over): Republican strategist Karl Rove's crystal ball showed a big crack on election night, you could say. He predicted a good night for the GOP before the returns came in, even saying they had picked up seats in the Democratic-controlled Senate. It was all part of his billion-dollar Republican plan to unseat President Obama.

Neither happened, of course, and Rove is now the party scapegoat.

Microsoft says it wants to create a technology hub in Rio de Janeiro. It will be centered on a $100 million research center in the Brazilian city, better known for beaches and bikinis. This would make Microsoft's fourth such facility around the world, but the first in Latin America. The company hopes to open by the end of next year.

And here is a real rarity in the tennis world, somebody beating Roger Federer, twice, no less, Juan Martin del Potro beat Federer to reach the ATP finals in London. But to win the title, he will have to beat Federer a third time. We shall see.


HENDRICKS: Here is something you probably have never seen before, the President of the United States rapping. The YouTube video has gone viral. We just had to show it to you, here it is.



HENDRICKS: That looks like a lot of work to edit that, didn't it?

That will do it for me, CNN NEWSROOM continues at the top of the hour with Don Lemon.