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CIA Director General David Petraeus Submitted Resignation to President Barack Obama; Red Bull has an Extreme Commercial; People in Areas Affected by Super Storm Sandy Still Without Power
Aired November 11, 2012 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: It's the top of the hour. Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
Anger is growing on Capitol Hill about the FBI investigations to David Petretaeus' extramarital affair. Top lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, say the relationship raises potential national security concerns and they are demanding to know if they were informed about the investigation in a timely fashion.
Here's CNN's Athena Jones.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As more facts emerge about the circumstances that caused CIA director David Petraeus his job, so do the questions.
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I have questions about the whole matter.
JONES: Like who knew what, when, about the FBI's investigation into a complaint that his biographer Paula Broadwell, sent harassing e-mails to woman close to Petraeus.
According to a U.S. official, it was that call that revealed an affair between Broadwell and Petraeus.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper learned of the investigation in a phone call from the FBI on election night. Clapper told the White House on Wednesday, according to a senior U.S. Intelligence official. But it's unclear when the FBI probe began.
KING: The FBI director has the obligation to tell the president or the National Security Council at the earliest stage. So, it seems that this was going on for several months and yet now it appears that they are saying that the FBI didn't realize it until Election Day that Genera Petraeus was involved. It just doesn't add up.
JONES: Among other question, why weren't key lawmakers told sooner. The House and Senate intelligence committee won't inform until Friday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Are you going to investigate why the FBI didn't notify you before? SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Yes, absolutely. I mean, this is something they could have an effect on national security. I think we should have been told.
JONES: Not everyone on the hill was totally in the dark. House majority leader Eric Cantor said an FBI employee told him about Petraeus' affair and a possible security breach in October after the investigation began. A U.S. official says the general's communications were never compromised and he was never the target of the investigation.
Another issue, Petraeus stepped down days before he was supposed to testify before a Senate committee about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Acting CIA director Michael Morell will testify instead. But some Republicans are not pleased.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: At the end of the say, the one thing that has to happen in my view is we have got to get to the bottom of Benghazi. I don't see how in the world you can find out what happened in Benghazi before, during, and after the attack if general Petraeus doesn't testify.
JONES: CNN has not been able to reach Broadwell for comment.
JONES: Now, the woman who allegedly received those harassing e-mails from Broadwell hasn't been identified publicly and, of course, questions still remain about just what those e-mails contain - Fred.
WHITFIELD: And then, Athena, what more can you tells us about Paula Broadwell.
JONES: Well, we are learning more and more about her. We know that she's a married, mother of two. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and she first met general Petraeus back in 2006 when he came to Harvard's Kennedy school of government to give a speech. She was a graduate student there. And we know that she was doing a dissertation on him that later turned into a book and she had kept in touch with him over e-mail. And of course, had those in-person interviews, those runs we've been hearing about. So, more is emerging as time goes on - Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Athena Jones. Thank you so much from Washington.
So, General Petraeus was originally scheduled to testify before Congress in a hearing on the attack on Benghazi, Libya. You heard Athena reporting on that.
Now, a little bit more details. He will not, though lawmakers may still compel him to at some point. Instead, acting director Michael Morell will take over. Bush administration's CIA chief Michael Hayden has more on why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I know there are some people saying that they were hopeful that General Petraeus personally will testify. But frankly, you want the agency to testify. You want someone who is knowledgeable about the event, what the agency knew, what the agency did, and Mike Morell is fully qualified to do that.
Now, at some later date they may want general Petraeus to come back and give his personal perceptions. I understand that. But the hearing will go on and CIA will be there telling what it knew about that event.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Michael Morell is filling in as CIA correct director until President Obama chooses a permanent replacement for Petraeus.
An Afghan girl testified today in a shooting rampage case involving a U.S. soldier. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales is accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in March. The 7-year-old described via satellite how she hid behind her father as he was killed. Today's hearing held at a Washington military base will decide if there is enough evidence to prosecute Bales.
An investigation is under way after two homes exploded in Indiana neighborhood last night. Two people died and seven others were injured. The blast damaged or destroyed more than a dozen homes. About 200 people were forced to evacuate.
And then on to New York now, super storm Sandy is now to blame for 43 deaths. And more than 38,000 customers hardest hit by the storm are getting ready to enter their third week without power or water.
CNN's national correspondent Susan Candiotti shows us how a disabled woman, who hasn't left her apartment in two weeks, is coping. And we want to warn you, some of the pictures might be disturbing to you.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Out in broad daylight it's easy to see, but look how dark it's going to get when we walk inside the building. Bryant Pearson is in charge of the tenant association. He's going to give us a tour.
Bryant, let's take a look. Let's see.
By contrast, you can see it is bright sunshine outside and I just -- don't know how you can see anything in here, Bryant.
BRYANT PEARSON, TENANT ASSOCIATION IN-CHARGE: No, we don't.
CANDIOTTI: Holy cow! I'm holding on to the back of your jacket because I can't see a thing.
PEARSON: The steps right here.
CANDIOTTI: Yes. PEARSON: This is how people get up and down the staircase.
CANDIOTTI: Hold on. I cannot see. OK. Got it. Yes.
PEARSON: This is how we have to live here. We've been living like this since the storm hit.
CANDIOTTI: Hey Bryant, is this the 7th floor now?
PEARSON: Yes, this is the seventh floor.
CANDIOTTI: Has there been any looting here, any stealing?
PEARSON: A little bit. Watch that there.
PEARSON: That's feces.
CANDIOTTI: Oh. That is right there?
PEARSON: Yes, right here. That's feces.
CANDIOTTI: Be careful where you walk.
PEARSON: When the National Guard came, they put tags on the door stating that they came by to check.
CANDIOTTI: And that was on November 10th?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello?
CANDIOTTI: What's her name?
PEARSON: Ivy. Ivy, is it all right if they come interview you?
CANDIOTTI: Ivy. Hi, I'm with CNN. Susan Candiotti.
Now, we are on Ivy Curton's apartment. And Ivy, you have two young daughters over here.
IVY CURTON, RESIDENT: Yes.
CANDIOTTI: You guys are ages -- how old are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five.
CANDIOTTI: And --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ten.
CANDIOTTI: 10 years old. Now, it's a little bit warm in here and here is why. Ivy at least has natural gas working so the stove is working. So, she's got a pot of water on here giving off steam to at least warm up the room. A lot of places don't even have this much.
Ivy, when was the last time you were able to leave the building?
CURTON: About two weeks ago.
CANDIOTTI: Right before the storm?
CURTON: Right before the storm.
CANDIOTTI: And the reason you couldn't get out, they turned off the electricity, but why can't you get out? You're sitting in a Walker?
CURTON: Yes. I can't get out because I can't go downstairs and seven flights.
CANDIOTTI: You're suffering the aftermath of a stroke?
CANDIOTTI: What's it like at night?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Night's scary. Then I have to go empty the garbage. My little sister, my baby sister, she has to hold the flashlight and it's scary at sometimes like I hear noises. Well, it's not like real noises. It's like the wind like the ghosts and sometimes and even though I'm then, but I sometimes get scared.
CANDIOTTI: Ivy, what do you think about this?
CURTON: I think it's terrible. They should be prepared for this. LIPA should be prepared, you know, for stuff like this, when storm hit. (INAUDIBLE). They should be prepared.
CANDIOTTI: How are you able to take care of your two girls?
CURTON: Well, my oldest daughter, she's helpful. When it's time to go outside, like when the food comes around, she goes down. But it's kind of scary for me to send her down, too, because the staircases are dark.
WHITFIELD: My goodness. They are so brave. Susan Candiotti, joining us in the Rockaways.
So, is there any update for them? I mean, clearly safety is a big factor, given her health situation and she has two young girls and it gets dark and scary in particular. What are her options, if any?
CANDIOTTI: Well, they don't have many options unless someone literally carries her down those flights of stairs. This is what she sees when she and her other neighbors look out the window. It is pitch dark outside as well here, too, especially at night. But imagine, Fred. She can only rely on her 10-year-old daughter as her main link to the outside world. We can tell you this, however, that late this afternoon, after we visited her, the National Guard did come by and they were able to develop -- to deliver to her a box of meals ready to eat, enough to last her for a couple of weeks. So that certainly will help. But without that power, she is just stuck in there and there are other elderly people who are confined to wheelchairs in that building who can't get out.
WHITFIELD: So they have some substance for the next couple of weeks which then leads me to, if the National Guard or there are people aware of their situation, why can't there be some assistance to take them out of the unit, knowing her health condition, and take her to a shelter, take her and the two girls to a safe, warm place?
CANDIOTTI: Those are the questions we're trying to get answers to, as a matter of fact. We weren't able to get them now but you do want to know, is there a way to get some of those people out into shelters. But, as you know, sometimes space is limited. Sometimes they are trying to get the word to people to find space for them. And so these are the issues that are confronting the city and certainly the Red Cross to find these people shelter and then you have the third circumstance. Sometimes these people do not want to leave their homes. They are afraid to leave and they are also afraid of people coming in to steal what they have.
WHITFIELD: And is it your feeling that there are a lot of people in that same situation that they are really not alone in that apartment complex but it's a common plight right now?
CANDIOTTI: That's right, it is. I will tell you this, late this afternoon we also saw more volunteers in this community on this street coming in from as far away from Philadelphia to make more food to distribute. We have seen somewhat more of the streets being cleared here. We have seen some electricity being returned to other buildings, like the lady we told you about in the last hour. But they still don't have heat. So there are so many other problems. It would be so hard to overcome in the coming weeks and months.
WHITFIELD: Wow. Incredible stuff. All right, thanks so much, Susan Candiotti there in the Rockaways.
CANDIOTTI: You're welcome.
WHITFIELD: A win for President Obama and a new tone from congressional leaders. Will the White House get it together to be the deadline looming in just a few weeks? We will dig deeper.
And it's known as the world's sexiest zoo, but it may be getting too sexy, apparently. Find out why they are passing out birth control pills at the Cincinnati zoo.
An intricate choreography combined with extreme athletes. It's the video that everyone will be talking about this week in your office starting tomorrow, Monday.
WHITFIELD: On Election Day, the voters sent the same balance of power back to Washington and now leaders on Capitol Hill and at the White House are vowing to work together. So will they?
Joining me now is Democratic strategist Julian Stein and Republican's CNN contributor, Reihan Salam.
Good to see both of you, gentlemen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: So, Reihan, you first. We thought we were going to be talking about the fiscal cliff this week, the budget that was first on the agenda but now with the news of CIA chief David Petraeus resigning, that has both parties trying to figure out what happened, who knew what and when. Is this going to be a challenge, the first challenge for these two sides to get together to resolve some of these questions?
REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I'm not sure it will because I don't think it has any partisan upshot. David Petraeus is a figure that is greatly admired by Republicans and Democrats. So, I don't really think that there's going to be any way that somebody is going to be able to press an advantage on this question. There certainly are questions about the timing. But, I ultimately think that the issues about taxes and spending that are part of this fiscal cliff debate are going to prove far more durable and far more important.
WHITFIELD: Julian, do you agree with that or do you think that there's going to be a serious question about the timing here, who knew what, when, and did everyone learn about it the important details at the same time?
JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think Reihan has spot on. I think it's not clear how much the FBI knew until very recently, whether they were actually able to conclude that there was in fact this affair that was going on. I think there are important questions about what happened in Benghazi, particularly when we realized that what was happening at the outposts, at the consulate there was a CIA operation. I think there are important questions, answer there and Petraeus may have to testify about that.
WHITFIELD: Will this be a major distraction?
EPSTEIN: No. I don't think so because as Reihan points out, there are important implications in terms of national security but in terms of partisan politics, I just don't see it. I don't think there are far reaching political consequences are implications as a result of this story.
WHITFIELD: Is it fair to even ask the question why does this affair merit Petraeus resignation, especially since reportedly, you know, the president may have wanted him to stay on, but ultimately did accept his resignation, Reihan? SALAM: I think there's a broad consensus that David Petraeus' instincts are sound. You know, David Petraeus believed, I think rightly, that by virtue of being head of the CIA, when you put yourself in a position in which you become vulnerable to blackmail, that is a very, very serious matter and that is precisely what it happened. Moreover we know that David Petraeus made extensive use of a personal Gmail account that might have been, actually quite vulnerable to hackers - including hackers sponsored by foreign states. So, I think this was an incredibly serious lapse of judgment. And I think that a resignation was fully warranted. Despite the fact, that, again, David Petraeus, a figure widely celebrated across the political spectrum as a very impressive leader, and this is certainly a very sad story, but I don't think we can begrudge him, this decision.
WHITFIELD: All right. Now, let's move on. Let's talk about this goal of bipartisanship in Washington, especially as it pertains to that fiscal cliff. You know, the president, house speaker vowing to find some common ground.
Earlier today, I spoke to former senate majority leader, George Mitchell, about how hopeful he is about their vow and he thinks that, you know, officials -- well, there's reason to believe that everyone should be hopeful. This is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE MITCHELL (D), FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Making it personal makes a difference. You know, you tend in any area of human activity to work better with people you know, like, and respect. I think a little more of that would be helpful.
Secondly, I think they ought to do it in a manageable way. The most important thing in working together is not to set unrealistic goals. Don't suggest to the American people and the press kind solved it all in one fell swoop because that can't be done. It will only set you up for failure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And Julian, while he was talking, you saw the picture of Bob Dole because he said, he and Bob Dole, they had their political differences but they found common ground and it was a personal relationship that had to be developed even if you were of opposing parties. Can we see a return to that kind of approach?
EPSTEIN: Well, I think anybody that gets beyond the beltway realizes most voters, whether conservative, independent, or progressive wants that kind of governance now that the campaigning is over.
I think for President Obama, I think, all of the usual stipulations are there. One is that compromise certainly has to be on the table. I think, secondly, that he probably has a year to maybe 18 month of political capital as presidents usually do in their second terms. And thirdly, that he really kind of needs to choose two to four major items that he wants to get done. But, I think what's got to be different in the second term a little bit is the exercise of power and I think political friends need to be rewarded, political foes need to be punished. Let's not say compromise is important.
But I think what the president needs to do is to take his agenda for the public. Get the public on their side and make it clear that for people who want to oppose him, there will be political consequences because he is, after all, he did win the popular vote. He won an Electoral College landslide.
I remember President Clinton once saying to me in the oval office after the columbine massacre when we were trying to get gun violence legislation passed, that he was willing to go to New Hampshire, in the middle of hunting season, to make the case on gun control legislation and why it was so important was to so sure that he could win the majority of the public. I think this president has to do that, and when to begin to do that, make a clear of your political post or there will be consequences for obstructionism. By partisanship has a way of becoming a lot more attractive real quickly.
WHITFIELD: All right Julian, Reihan, thanks so much. We are going to talk to you again. We are going to take a short break. I can't wait to talk to you, guys, about the GOP makeover or whether there will be one.
Meantime, she has traveled the world for the president but Secretary Hillary Clinton says she's ready to move on and she may not be the only player in the Obama cabinet shuffle.
WHITFIELD: All right. It's not unusual when a president gets a second term that there might be a little bit of a shakeup with his cabinet. That appears to be the case now.
Back with us, Democratic strategist Julian Epstein and Republican CNN contributor Reihan Salam.
All right. So already, we are seeing a shakeup but not necessarily this one that the president initially planned. We have talked about general Petraeus who is now out.
But, let's talk about others who have made it clear that they are looking to move on. That including U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton. She says she wants to move on, so as treasury secretary Tim Geithner, and defense secretary Leon Panetta. And now, Eric Holder apparently is considering whether he will stay on as attorney general and Ray LaHood could be leaving the department of transportation.
So, is this shakeup as simple as cabinet members get burned out, need to, you know, step down or be replaced or is this an indication of something more, Julian?
EPSTEIN: This is very standard in every single administration. These are very, very tough jobs. They are very, very demanding and very taxing on a family. So, I think you see all-stars Hillary Clinton and Tim Geithner likely to leave. I think there is lots of good. There is very, very strong bench on the Democratic side. I think the interesting question however, is whether the president will look to bring in Republicans, people like Chuck Hagel, Colin Powell potentially in some of these positions and folks from the business industry, people like Fred Hochberg from the XM bank, president of the XM bank, even people like Michael Bloomberg.
So, I think, there is going to be a lot of discussion that is very natural. But the real question, the real thing I think we want to look for is will the president signal some different directions by trying to bring in couple of Republicans, some people from the business community as well.
WHITFIELD: Hey, and there has been some peripheral conversation about whether Mitt Romney would be among those Republican business heads who might be brought in. Is that realistic when the president says, you know, he is entertaining, you know, the opportunity to talk with Mitt Romney, might it have been about a cabinet position or is that just, you know, making good with some people in the business community, including that of Mitt Romney, Julian?
EPSTEIN: Well, the president's favorite of all time was Abraham Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln, as you know, and the famous book on him, tried to bring in many of his adversaries after the election when the country was very divided. And I think even though Democrats --
WHITFIELD: As with Hillary Clinton.
EPSTEIN: Hillary Clinton, I think, even thought the Democrats have won five out of the last six last presidential elections, at least if you look at the popular vote, they won the popular last five or six election, we are still a divided country. And I think it makes a lot of sense for the president to try to reach out to the other side.
On the other hand, he's got to be very clear where he's going to draw the line on substantial stance. And as I said before, he is going to have to make friends that will be rewarded and political foes feel some pain.
WHITFIELD: Reihan, how do you feel?
SALAM: I think the cabinet reshuffle makes perfect sense for a lot of reasons, partly because as (INAUDIBLE) that you have, simple exhaustion. But also because, you have a large member of people who are clamoring for some these jobs, for example, John Kerry, the senior senator from Massachusetts has been known to want to be secretary of state for some time. And so, it's easy to see him taking that role.
You have the White House chief of staff, Jack Lew who seems to be aligned to become secretary of the treasury. So, you have a lot of people who are really eager for a promotion, not just people who are eager to step down from these jobs as well.
As for Republicans, you know, there might be some room for that. I find it extremely unlikely that Mitt Romney would serve in an Obama administration partly because let's not forget that this was a really ferocious scorch earth campaign in which Barack Obama made a pretty tough case against Mitt Romney on grounds of character and much else. Even if you look at his campaign against Hillary Clinton, it was never quite as bare knuckles as that. So, I think it is a little hard to see these two personalities reconciling. Although, you know, certainly, I have been seeing Mitt Romney playing a useful role in all kinds of ways. But, I just don't think it's likely to happen in an Obama administration.
EPSTEIN: But, there is something that is very important terms of political. There is something very important from the political complexion right now which is that the Democratic Party is relative to unified party right now. The Republicans, as you expect from losing the election, are somewhat divided between the realists and non- realists, the realists believe that the messaging on women, the messaging on Hispanic issues, the messaging on whole host of issues --
WHITFIELD: They said the pressure on to become a lot more unified for the Republicans?
EPSTEIN: Well, there's an opportunity, I think, for the president to divide the Republican party between the realists and the non-realists and when you look at things like the fiscal cliff, where there is a real potential for the interests to align, the president is willing to go, I think, a lot further than most people thought he was going entitlement. We just work that in the last day or two. There's a real opportunity for tax reform. There's a real potential convergence of interests. Neither the party really wants a fiscal to occur. But for the president, to keeping as define those Republicans in his - in his kind of inner circle that can reach out to enough of the Republicans in the house and the Senate to try to get a deal done because I think a grand bargain is certainly in the offering here.
WHITFIELD: Fascinating staff. Julian Epstein and Reihan Salam, thank you so much.
Gentlemen, good to see you Sunday.
EPSTEIN: Thank you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, super storm Sandy hits the malls. We're going to find out the effect of this disaster on stores and businesses across the country.
And a six-minute adventure video featuring famous athletes. We will show you what they are doing.
WHITFIELD: All right. These stories are trending online right now.
A boy takes a home pregnancy test as a joke and winds up being diagnosed for testicular cancer after the results came back positive. CNN confirms that pregnancy tests can detect some types of cancer in men but experts say the tests are not useful as a screening tool.
Birth control is dished out at the world sexiest zoo. "Newsweek" once gave the Cincinnati in botanical garden that name because of the impeccable breeding program. Well now, it has to consider space constraints, both now and in the future, hence the contraception.
And just what does one of the old James Bond, Sir Roger Moore, think about the new Daniel Craig? Well, "Time" magazine got the answer to that when they interviewed Moore about his new book. Moore says actor Sean Connery was his favorite Bond. But now, Daniel Craig takes first place. He says Craig is quite brilliant, his words, quite brilliant. A new bond movie, "Skyfall" is topping the box office this weekend.
All right, from a post election fall out and a scene effect of super storm Sandy, this coming week will be a big one in terms of dollars and cents, joining me right now from New York to make sense of it all, Todd Schoenberger, managing principal at the Black Bay Group.
Good to see you, Todd.
TODD SCHOENBERGER, MARKET ANALYST: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
WHITFIELD: OK. So, we are expecting a very busy week ahead that will impact everyone's wallet and even there's thanksgiving dinner. Let's walk through some of these items. Let's begin with some major events happening on Wednesday. The retail sales report for October and the most recent fed meetings are going to be released as well.
SCHOENBERGER: That's right. Well, the retail sales number for October is going to be a good one. I'm forecasting a one percent increase and this will be on top of August and September gains as well. What is showing us right now, Fredricka, is that on Friday, the University of Michigan released their consumer sentiment survey. It is actually at a five-year high. So CNN viewers will tell you, they are feeling good about the economy, they are probably feeling good about their finances, therefore they are going to go out and spend. We should see quite an uptick on the retail sales numbers.
WHITFIELD: OK. How much of an impact will super storm Sandy have for not just people living in the northeast but really the ripple effect that comes with this?
SCHOENBERGER: That's right. It's going to have a big effect here on the northeast. I mean, let's get that out of the way. Yet, 60 million Americans were impacted. But for everybody else around the country it could also impact them.
Remember, they are looking at images of what is taking place in New York. Those images are still there today and you have people donating money. If they are donating money to, say, the Red Cross, they are not going to have extra dollars for discretionary income. So, therefore -- and as far as spending, so therefore, the October number for retail sales should be good. But it could have an impact on the November number, but we won't see that for a couple of weeks, though.
WHITFIELD: Also, Wednesday, the fed's open market committee will release minutes from the October meeting. What are we expecting there?
SCHOENBERGER: That's right. This is a great fly on the wall report that all CNN viewers should really take a look at because it's going to tell us what the fed governors were talking about when they were talking about interest rates and the long-term implications of keeping those interest rates low.
So, for everybody out there, it is looking to get a loan. They are looking to get, maybe get a mortgage, what the minutes are probably going to tell us, what we're all expecting is that the fed intends to keep interest rates at record low levels and that's great for those looking to borrow, especially next year or even in 2014. So it should be a good report.
WHITFIELD: All right. Lots to look forward to, Todd, this week. Thanks so much.
SCHOENBERGER: All right. Thank you.
WHITFIELD: And there's no place like home. Click your heels three times and an iconic item from the wizard of oz now, has a new place to call home which is a pretty big price tag.
WHITFIELD: President Barack Obama honored the nation's military this Veterans day in a speech at Arlington national cemetery. He said U.S. troops who served abroad in Iraq and Afghanistan should also be able to rely on support from the U.S. government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you find yourself struggling with the wounds of war, which is posttraumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury, we'll be there for you as well with the care and treatment you need. No veteran should have to wait months or years for the benefits that you've earned so we will continue to attack the claims backlogged. We won't let up. We will not let up. (END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: President Obama also mentioned, this was the first Veterans Day in ten years that no Americans are serving in Iraq.
As the country celebrates Veterans Day, how much do we really know about our veterans? Josh Levs is here with some surprises and a little bit of a quiz as well.
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a little bit along the way. I tell you, there is a lot that well and most people don't know about veterans, and I've been learning a lot in the last couple of days and we have been looking ahead towards. And I want to show you a couple examples, all right?
So, I pulled up some facts for you. Let's start with this one. How many veterans are there in this country? I'll give you a few choices -- 17.5 million, 21.5 million, 23.5 million.
WHITFIELD: I'll go with C.
LEVS: Close as b, 21.5 million veterans. That's the latest figure from the census. Let's go to the next thing here. This is really interesting. I'm giving you some facts. 1.6 million Women, 2.3 million African-Americans veterans in this country, 1.2 million Latinos and the census listed 265,000 Asian, those are Asian- Americans right here, interesting facts.
Take a look at this next one. There are three states in this country to have more than one million Veterans each. And you know, one of them is the biggest states. It's not a surprise. California. But also, the other two are Florida and Texas, which I found interesting, big population of veterans.
WHITFIELD: Texas is another big state.
LEVS: Yes, another big state. And one more here, this is really surprise me. The state with the highest percentage of veterans, I would have never have guessed this.
WHITFIELD: Highest percentage?
LEVS: Highest percentage. I would never guess this. The answer, Alaska, 14 percent.
WHITFIELD: Like per capita?
LEVS: Yes, exactly. Look, I (INAUDIBLE). So, 14 percent of the population in Alaska. And there's one thing I want to remind everyone. Let's show this one slide, one more screen here because President Obama was talking about this. There are 3.5 million Americans in this country who have disabilities due to their military service and they have different ratings on that in terms of their disabilities. But that's important for all of us to keep in mind all the time. These are people whose disabilities stem from their service to the country, needs everything from the country, 3.5 million people like that. There are a lot more about veterans on CNN.com and during the conversation of ireport, we're celebrating the wisdom of veterans and what they have to say.
WHITFIELD: Extraordinary individuals who made the ultimate sacrifices in so many different ways.
All right, Josh, thank you for that.
LEVS: Thanks a lot. You bet.
WHITFIELD: All right. You heard some discussion about this, right? Bikers, golfers, Olympic athletes and sky divers all working in Unison. We'll show you how a can or two of red bull actually brought them together.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: OK. You're looking at the beginning of a six-minute long epic journey just to get a sip of Red Bull, you know, the beverage. The soon to be viral video Red Bull just posted on You Tube with some intricate choreography and it is all powered, in large part by extreme athletes, and the end goal, to receive a can of Red Bull. This video is (INAUDIBLE) defined as a configuration that while inelegant, inefficient, patched together or clumsy, succeeds in solving a specific problem or performing a particular task. That's what they are calling it. So basically, the video's director has put together a pretty complicated series of machines just to get to that Red Bull in the end.
OK. So, joining me right now, the mastermind behind the video is Adam Sadowsky.
So, Adam, a pretty intricate indeed. All for six minutes so explain, why in the world do this? What is it all for?
ADAM SADOWSKY, DIRECTOR, DESIGNER, RED BULL "KLUGE": Oh, God, well, we really love putting together extraordinary things, things that make us happy we find tend to make other people happy, too.
So for us as engineers, I represent this company called Sim labs and we have a collection of extraordinary engineers who love to come together and just do extraordinary things and where golfer machines are one of those things that we just really love doing, whether it's a machine for OK go or for Bungee Jumping a car for Chevy or where making an organ for die-hard battery, we love putting these things together. And when Red Bull came to us and gave us an opportunity to work with them with these extraordinary arrays of amazing athletes, we were thrilled to put together a Red Bull Kluge.
WHITFIELD: I mean, you have a golfer here, you got a hurdler there, you got, you know, extreme athletes on bikes. How did you get everyone on board? Why did they say yes?
SADOWSKY: Well, I think that, you know, the athletes that are sponsored by Red Bull all have, you know, I think, a sort of common trait, which is that they really believe in exceptional performance and they really are, without a question, the best in the world at what they do.
And so for us, you know, I think it was an opportunity to pull everybody together and do something really extraordinary. And it think for them, sort of the opportunity to all come together and participate on something in a collaborative way in such a unique project. I think they were just really excited by that.
WHITFIELD: Well, it looks like it was a lot of fun but one has to ask, how many takes here because everything has to be precise. You couldn't have, you couldn't have, right, gotten it all right just once on the first try?
SADOWSKY: Well, it's a difficult question to answer because, of course, in order to capture this thing we had, I think there were something well over 40 cameras all over the place. So we had to do that in order to cut the piece together. So it's really inevitable. But the machine really did perform quite extraordinarily well. Really, I think beyond our expectations in the end.
WHITFIELD: So the power of the edit, then?
SADOWSKY: Well, yes. I suppose there's -- of course, we have to edit the thing in order to make it really extraordinary. A machine of this scale and size, there's no way to do it without cutting from one camera to the other. So it's really inevitable. But, I will say --
WHITFIELD: And there is the Lolo Jones, the hurdler.
SADOWSKY: Yes, she's fantastic. Yes, there is absolutely no camera trick at all. We didn't do any effects in posts. This is absolutely the way the machine ran and we really best to work with the folks at Red Bull media house to put together an extraordinary machine. And I'm really proud of it.
WHITFIELD: And there is the chaos. To get the can of Red Bull, so, it really in the end, is all for a sip of a Red Bull.
SADOWSKY: Yes, that's right.
SADOWSKY: Well, that's, I think, the nature of these machines.
WHITFIELD: Quite elaborate.
SADOWSKY: Oh, yes, thank you. We love it. Yes. But that's pretty much the nature of these machines.
WHITFIELD: Yes, very fun stuff. Adam, thanks so much.
SADOWSKY: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: And of course, folks can watch the whole six-minute adventure at youtube.com/redbull.
WHITFIELD: $480,000 if you had it, would you put it on a piece of "wizard of oz" history? Well, that is what the highest bidder pay yesterday for Judy Garland's famous blue dress. That's a little gray, then it? Well, it is blue. Of course, we know she wore that (INAUDIBLE) throughout the movie. The dress was the highest-selling item at the Hollywood memorabilia auction in Beverly Hills, California.
Now Don, you know, maybe the red slippers I could see fetching a whole lot.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: For an investment purpose, I'm sure it is going to be closing stall --
LEMON: It's one of the most successful movies of all time.
WHITFIELD: I know.
LEMON: So --
WHITFIELD: It is an iconic.
LEMON: Yes. And you are right. It did look great.
WHITFIELD: Yes, it did. I was in good shape. There was a little gray in me, but you know, we all know it was blue. I just learned something today. How are you doing?
LEMON: I'm doing great. How are you doing?
WHITFIELD: I'm doing good.
LEMON: Mama, you have popped.
WHITFIELD: I know. I'm huge.
LEMON: Have you ever seen a more beautiful pregnant woman?
WHITFIELD: That's nice.
LEMON: Just gorgeous.
WHITFIELD: So, what's happening?
LEMON: People pay for that look and you have it naturally. Yes, it is very nice.
A lot to talk about, a lot to talk about especially sort of looking back over the election. And the conversation we're going to have at 6:00, made for CNN contributor's Will Granderson -- Will Cain, excuse me, and Lz Granderson. We are going to talk about, you know, the new minority, white voters, Fred and how they did not re-elect the president and why chances are they won't ever elect the president again.
Plus, why the GOP needs to become the GNP, the Grand New Party, by reaching out to minorities or they are going to become extinct.
Plus, are going to talk much more, of course, about the situation happening with general David Petraeus. We have a - someone who wrote a book and he says, that he was a victim of digital mania. He's always on his phone and that may have been the reason.
WHITFIELD: OK. That's fascinating. We look forward to all that things done.
LEMON: All right, Mama.
WHITFIELD: Much more of the NEWSROOM, minutes away. But first, a lot of folks are anticipating this likely blockbuster, right? "Abraham Lincoln" brought to life in a new movie and will be going across the country and check the flock at theaters to check it all out. That and more in the week ahead.
WHITFIELD: All right, time now to take a look at what the week ahead has in store for us. On Monday morning, Wall Street will be focusing on Brussels where Eurozone finance ministers will be meeting to discuss bailing out Greece from its economic woes. The outcome of that meeting may have an effect on our own economy.
And on Tuesday a post election Congress returns to a familiar landscape with a potentially different tone as the days count down to the financial crisis. The question is, whether Congress will start working together or partisanship will continue to rule the day.
And as we mentioned earlier in the show, Wednesday will bring the retail sales report for October. So we'll be able to gauge how our economy is fairing and what we can expect ahead of the holiday season.
And eyes will again, turn to Washington on Thursday when a congressional panel starts hearings into the attacks that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others dead in Benghazi. And it's being reported that the president has scheduled a bipartisan meeting Friday with congressional leaders to discuss the impending fiscal cliff and how not to fall.
Then Friday night, our movie goers across the country are expected to flock to theaters as Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" opens nationwide, highly anticipated. The film starts Daniel Day Louise as the 16th president in Sally Field portrayed his wife, Mary Todd. We look forward to all that and we'll keep you abreast all week long. We have a pretty full week ahead.
LEMON: Yes, full week.
WHITFIELD: And evening.
LEMON: Yes. And I'm so behind on movies. I still haven't seen "Flight." I have a healthy fear of flying. And I was like do I roll when I see it?
WHITFIELD: Oh, well, then you don't need to see that.
LEMON: The looks amazing.
All right, Fred. Thank you. Have a great week.
WHITFIELD: Thanks. You, too.