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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

New Details Emerge in CIA Scandal; Interview With New York Congressman Peter King

Aired November 12, 2012 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.

And we begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with new questions about the scandal that's led to David Petraeus resigning as director of the CIA. This certainly is not the first sex scandal to bring down a powerful man in Washington, probably won't be the last.

But tonight there are growing questions about the timing of how the word got out, whether more people in the government should have been told or been told sooner that the FBI was investigating a case involving the director of the CIA.

We're "Keeping Them Honest" as we do every night not to take sides, you can get that on other cable news channels, but to look for the truth, for the facts.

Here's what we know right now about who knew what and when. According to "The Wall Street Journal" the FBI discovered the affair between Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, in late summer. We will have more on how in just a moment.

So the FBI reportedly knew in late summer that the head of the CIA was having an affair, but it wasn't until months later after Election Day that President Obama found out, and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees didn't find out until Friday. Congressional leaders from both parties are angry, they say they should have been notified sooner that there were potential national security issues.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein said today she is going to investigate why the FBI didn't tell oversight committees about the investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: A decision was made somewhere not to brief us, which is atypical. It is very puzzling and I think was a mistake because this thing just came so fast and so hard, and since then, it's been like peeling an onion. Every day, another peel comes off and you see a whole new dimension to this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: There's still a lot we don't know tonight. Analysts say there's no evidence, no evidence that the affair led to any security breaches and that there are strict FBI protocols about who gets notified in this kind of investigation. But the timing of when the scandal broke right after Election Day and right before Petraeus was scheduled to testify in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that certainly has a lot of people asking a lot of questions, understandably.

The other angle to the story is the age-old tale of an affair between a married, powerful highly respected man in Washington and a much younger woman, now, in this case, the woman who literally wrote the book on the general, Paula Broadwell.

According to "The Charlotte Observer," the two first met in 2006, when she was a graduate student at Harvard. She later traveled to Afghanistan, interviewed Petraeus, sometimes gone running with him, interviews that led to the bestselling book "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."

The revelation about the affair is bringing new interest in all the interviews Broadwell did to promote the book and what she said about Petraeus at that time. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAULA BROADWELL, AUTHOR, "ALL IN: THE EDUCATION OF GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS": He at the end of the day is a human, and is challenged by the burdens of command and has mastered wearing the mask of command, if you will. So he has this mask of command. You think he's really confident, but I got to see a more personal side, but it's not a hagiography. I'm not in love with David Petraeus.

He is quite a physical specimen. He really loves to work out.

At the agency, they called him genetic mutant.

This project started as my dissertation about three years ago and I was working with General Petraeus virtually, doing interviews via e- mail and occasionally running with him and interviewing. I'm not a spokesperson for him. If showing a role model to other people in the world or other readers is a repugnant thing, then I'm sorry, but I think the values he upholds and tries to instill in his organizations are valuable and worth pointing out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was Paula Broadwell then. She has not spoken subsequently. As we said, the timeline of the scandal, who got notified and when, is now under the microscope.

CNN intelligence correspondent Suzanne Kelly has more on that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUZANNE KELLY, CNN INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): According to a friend of Petraeus, the affair began in November last year, two months after the retired general took the helm at the CIA.

That same friend also reports that meetings between the two were infrequent, but at some point, Petraeus and Broadwell began communicating via personal e-mail accounts, e-mails that a government official describes as explicit. Skip ahead to May of this year. That's about the time a government official says Broadwell began sending threatening e-mails to Jill Kelley, described as a family friend of Petraeus, who lives in Tampa, warning her to stay away. That official tells us that Kelley shared her concerns over the threatening nature of the e-mails with a friend of the FBI, and that prompted an investigation.

Some time after Petraeus became aware of the e-mails, a government official says Petraeus told Broadwell to stop sending them. And some time around July, according to the friend of Petraeus, the affair ended. The source tells CNN that Petraeus indicated Broadwell might be obsessed with him and that Broadwell may have felt she was warding off the competition by sending e-mails to Kelley.

At some point, both Broadwell and Petraeus were interviewed by the FBI and it was after that that things began to unravel quickly. "The Wall Street Journal" says Broadwell was interviewed in September and that Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the investigation then. A senior intelligence official says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was notified of the investigation by the FBI last Tuesday, Election Day, just as some polls were beginning to close.

That same source says that on Wednesday, Clapper notified the White House. Petraeus met with the president last Thursday and offered his resignation, which was accepted as the ordeal became public on Friday.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Suzanne Kelly joins me right now from Washington.

Suzanne, I just got something literally on my iPhone. This is from "The Wall Street Journal." I'm just going to read this to you. This is the second time I'm reading it. "A federal agent who launched the investigation that ultimately led to the resignation of David Petraeus was barred from taking part in the case over the summer due to superiors' concerns he had become personally involved in the case according to officials familiar with the probe. The FBI officials found that he has sent shirtless pictures of himself to Ms. Kelley, according to people familiar with the probe."

So that is certainly another strange piece in this puzzle.

KELLY: That is.

COOPER: How does he fit in? He's the one who initially raised concerns about this, correct?

KELLY: Well, I haven't seen this, so I have to be very up-front with you right now and just say that I'm not sure that this individual is the same person that you're talking about, but I can tell you for sure that there are so many strange things just like what you have just read that keep coming out about this.

One of them, too, that really we haven't talked much about yet is that we know how dedicated that Paula Broadwell was to sort of becoming the champion, I don't know if it was the self-appointed champion or not, of David Petraeus, but we know she was interviewed by the FBI in late summer, as we just mentioned, but she reached out to CNN even last week, last Monday, the day before the election, when James Clapper found out about the affair, and offered to write an article and submit an article to us about -- it was General Petraeus' 60th birthday and she wanted to write something about his leadership style.

Clearly even when she reached out and made that offer to CNN, she knew that people knew about the affair and she may not have known it was coming out publicly, but she knew about the affair.

COOPER: Paula Broadwell's claims in a speech last month that the CIA was holding prisoners in Benghazi, that's a big deal. Is there any reason to believe, A., that it's true and whether it is or isn't, how would she have had that information?

KELLY: Well, that's a bombshell accusation. As you know, the CIA lost its ability legally to detain people. So for Paula Broadwell to go out in public and say that the CIA was holding prisoners and that that prompted the attack at Benghazi that killed the American ambassador is huge.

She didn't give her source when she made that speech and she also said that it was unvetted material. So that raises the very serious issue of the kind of access that she had to the director of the CIA. We don't know if that information came from him, but just knowing how close the two of them were, and that, oftentimes, you know, if you needed a response on something, even as a journalist, you would go to Paula to get it because they're a lot quicker than the Office of Public Affairs at the CIA. She had that kind of instant access to him.

COOPER: Suzanne Kelly, stay with us.

I want to bring in also CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend, a member of the CIA's External Advisory Committee. Fran recently visited Libya with her employer MacAndrews & Forbes. Also joining us live is CNN contributor and former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes.

Fran, what do you make of this as it's evolved and what we know right now?

FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: First of all, on the Benghazi claim she made that they were holding prisoners there, we should tell our viewers that the CIA has vehemently denied that and said it's not true.

But, look, this is a -- it's a real problem for the morale and the continuity at the CIA. They have been through something like seven directors in eight years. This is not -- they have lived through worse. They lived through the Khost bombing where they lost members, but the problem is the death by 1,000 cuts.

The clip you played by Dianne Feinstein suggests -- she calls it peeling layers of an onion. What we don't know is the whole story, the facts of the story. This Jill Kelley, it's sort of odd, these harassing e-mails. Why would a private citizen getting harassing e- mails merit the attention of the FBI at all? Much less when they looked at it and saw there was no direct threats in it, why did they continue that investigation?

COOPER: It seems like from everything I read, and I'm -- now citing this "Wall Street Journal" report that we just read, this initial FBI agent who according to "The Wall Street Journal" was barred from further investigation and allegedly sent shirtless pictures to Ms. Kelley, she approached him again according to "The Wall Street Journal" and he's the one who kind of started the ball rolling with the FBI.

But again, there's still a lot more to know about her relationship with this FBI agent, also her relationship with David Petraeus. What at this point do you not understand about this that you would like to know?

TOWNSEND: Look, there are many questions about the relationship of all of these individuals to one another, but I am troubled by the fact -- the FBI requires a predicate to open up a preliminary inquiry which is apparently what they did in this case, and it's not clear -- that's an internal process to the FBI. Did they meet that predicate and why, what was it about it, if this was -- you understand once they realized it's in some way related to David Petraeus why they continued to then try to get it resolved.

But why did they really open this up, and was there sufficient basis? I think people are troubled by that because of how frequently we all use e-mail and you want to have some confidence there's a predicate to it.

COOPER: Tom, what about that? Why would the FBI begin to look into a citizen who says they're getting harassing e-mail? I get harassing e-mails all the time. It never occurred to me to contact the FBI about it.

TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Harassing is one thing, threatening is another. We don't know the exact content of these messages to the degree of the threat.

But the agent that received it on a personal basis received the initial complaint from Kelley reports that in the office, the Tampa office of the FBI, it's not that he's barred from the case, although he did have a personal relationship with the complainant, so it would go to somebody else more objective. But he didn't have the expertise so it goes to the cyber squad who is going to try to identify who is the sender, because the e-mails were anonymously sent. So that would require subpoenaing the records of the sender to identify who is that person, who else are they in contact with, are they threatening others. That is not something...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Why is the FBI...

(CROSSTALK)

FUENTES: Because it's over the Internet, the FBI would also have jurisdiction in this matter. So in this situation, to get those records, they would be working in consultation with the U.S. attorney's office in Tampa to go forward with that case.

If the U.S. attorney's office sees those initial e-mails and said this doesn't rise to the threshold of a criminal violation, if you identify the person, we don't think it's enough to even prosecute that person, that would be the end of the case. The FBI would not continue the case. It never would have gotten to Director Petraeus.

COOPER: Do you buy that?

TOWNSEND: No. See, what the FBI -- the FBI got authority under the FISA legislation, the current Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to issue national security letters. They can do that inside the FBI without going to a U.S. attorney.

My point, Anderson, there may have been a predicate here, but it's not clear that there was. If the FBI is going to investigate every harassment case because it's on the Internet, they're going to be shut for business and not be able to do anything else, right? So you make judgments about when is there a predicate and is this a priority?

That's not clear until you trace this for awhile and get to Petraeus, and the question I'm raising is why, what was the predicate, why did they pursue it?

COOPER: Once it gets to Petraeus, Tom, and I want your expertise here, what would happen? Because I would imagine as soon as they realized David Petraeus is involved, there must be a whole series of hoops they have to jump through or markers they have to hit.

FUENTES: Once they identified Paula Broadwell as the sender of the messages to Kelley, then they subpoena the rest of her records and they see an exchange of anonymous e-mails between her and another party who they didn't identify immediately, and so they subpoenaed those records, they turn out to be the records of Director Petraeus.

That's what leads to that part of it. When they identify that it's him, they're going to look at the content of those e-mails to see, is he being extorted, is he being threatened, is he either violating the law criminally or breaching national security, even though he's on unclassified e-mail systems? So that would lead to the continued investigation which ultimately led to the interviews of Director Petraeus and Broadwell by the FBI, where they basically admit that they have had a personal relationship, that they were having an affair, and it goes forward.

Now, as the investigation progresses, they basically determine that there's not enough, the U.S. attorney's office and Department of Justice determine it just doesn't quite meet the threshold that they're going to prosecute Broadwell for the messages she sent Kelley, and they find no evidence of a criminal violation on the part of Director Petraeus and they can find no breach of security committed by him.

COOPER: Right. So I guess, Fran, then, the question is why would he need to resign, beyond the damage to his family and wanting to -- I mean, if there's not some other shoe to drop, if there's not more to this, why resign?

TOWNSEND: I think some of that comes down to Paula Broadwell on the Monday posted this thing on the Internet about Petraeus' life lessons. Number five is we all make mistakes. Admit it, own up to it, take responsibility, learn from it and move on.

And I think some of it, he wanted to deal with the family issue. I think he also felt personally a violation of his own code of ethics. He realized he had let himself down. He had to deal with that and he would have if he had stayed -- I think he could have stayed, to your point, but if he had stayed, he would have -- the agency would have been dealing with this press issue for a very long time.

Every time he stepped out of a car, every time he went on the Hill, he would have had to dealt with it. And I think his respect and love of the work of the agency also suggests he needed to go.

COOPER: Fran, I appreciate you being on tonight. Tom Fuentes as well. Suzanne Kelley, appreciate your reporting.

As we mentioned, some in Congress are questioning the timing of Petraeus' resignation, criticizing the FBI for not letting them or the president know sooner what was going on.

Joining me now is New York Congressman Peter King.

Congressman, thanks for being with us.

You said the elements of the story "don't add up." To you, what does not add up?

REP. PETER KING (R-NY), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: First of all, start with what Fran said, the fact this became an FBI investigation to begin with.

Then to me, once Director Petraeus came within the scope of the investigation, it's almost unprecedented for the FBI to be investigating the director of the CIA. If they were going to do that, they should have immediately gone to the attorney general and also to the president of the United States because David Petraeus was a key part of the president's foreign policy team. I'm not talking about guilt or innocence. I'm saying he's under a cloud. I have great admiration for David Petraeus. I urged him to run for president. I have worked with him. He's a tremendous patriot. But once he came under this scope of the investigation, they had to have -- they should have notified the president because David Petraeus was involved in some of the most sensitive negotiations around the world.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: The Wall Street Journal" is reporting as you know that Holder, the attorney general, knew about it in September.

KING: First of all, I think it should have been earlier than that because this investigation started a few months before that.

But assume it's September. At that stage, the attorney general should have immediately gone to the president. It's the president that runs foreign policy, not the attorney general.

COOPER: Do you think politics was at play here, not wanting to do this before the election?

KING: That could have been. If that's the case, then it was a real dereliction of duty because the president's main job above all is to be commander in chief. And if the attorney general kept absolutely essential information from him which I think prevents him from carrying out his job out as commander in chief, then the attorney general has failed terribly I believe to carry out his job.

If the president did find out about it and didn't act on it until after the election, that's equally wrong. But if Holder knew about it, if the attorney general knew about it in September, I believe he had the absolute obligation to tell the president in fairness to the president what was happening.

COOPER: You're chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Based on what you know now, do you believe national security has been compromised in any way by this affair? Because the FBI says it hasn't.

KING: Now, we don't know enough yet. The fact is that the investigation was going on. They didn't know at that time whether it did or did not. That's when they should have gone to the president, told him what they had and let the president decide.

I'm also on the Intelligence Committee. And I will be part of the hearing this week. But the fact is they did not know how far this was going to go and that's when they should have gone to the president because there were still so many sensitive investigations -- so much sensitive negotiations that David Petraeus was involved in, so many important meetings he was holding around the world.

And then when we had Benghazi, I think if we on the Intelligence Committee had known about this investigation going on, we may have looked at David Petraeus, the evidence he gave us, somewhat differently because most of what he told us then has pretty much been disproven since, and again, I think we may have looked at that differently. I'm just putting that out there as something to consider, because we had no idea this was going on.

Certainly, the chairman and ranking member didn't and I think they should have been, and by past precedent, they always have been.

COOPER: How do you think it would have altered how you viewed his testimony on Benghazi?

KING: Well, if he knew that he was being investigated, for instance, if David Petraeus was aware of that, he may have again tried to either tailor the testimony or modify it or do something which is not going to draw attention to himself.

Human nature, if you know there's a massive investigation going on which could bring down your career, you may be less inclined to go all out.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: This thing that Broadwell had mentioned about CIA holding prisoners in Benghazi and that might have been the reason behind the attack, she said it was kind of unsourced, unverified information, A., do you think there's any truth to that and, B., do you think she was just kind of -- if there's no truth to it, do you think she was just talking based on, you know, trying to make herself look more important than she was?

KING: Well, again, as a member of the Intelligence Committee, I can't comment on whether that's true or false.

But I will say in any event it was inappropriate for her to be talking that way. If she thought it was true, she shouldn't have said it. And if not, she certainly should not have been making it up.

COOPER: And Fran had raised questions about why the FBI initially got involved. You also have similar questions. You mentioned it just briefly about why they would investigate allegedly harassing e-mails by one citizen to another.

KING: Yes. It seemed because there was a personal friendship between Jill Kelley and the FBI agent, that's what brought this along.

If everyone who receives harassing e-mails got an FBI investigation, as Fran said, we are at cyber war with China and Libya -- China and Iran, and if we are going to waste our time on something like this, which again, maybe there was something threatening there, but it really seems unusual in view of the cast of characters involved.

To me, that was abuse and also, whoever the FBI agent was who came and told Congressman Reichert, who told Congressman Cantor, he was breaching the investigation, too, the ethics of the investigation. So, the FBI I don't think has handled itself very well in this at all.

COOPER: Still a lot of questions, obviously.

Congressman King, I appreciate you being on tonight. Thanks.

KING: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: We are talking about this on Twitter right now @AndersonCooper, and follow me there.

Coming up, I will talk with retired Army Colonel Steven Boylan, who is Petraeus' friend and former spokesman. He has talked to General Petraeus since all of this happened. Details on that when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: The breaking news tonight, the David Petraeus scandal just got a little stranger. According to "The Wall Street Journal," a report just out minutes ago, the FBI agent who launched the investigation that led to Petraeus resigning is himself being investigated.

There are concerns at the FBI that the agent may have been obsessed with the case. He even allegedly sent shirtless pictures of himself to Jill Kelley, the woman who was allegedly being harassed on e-mail by Paula Broadwell.

The agent was barred from the case over the summer, according to "The Wall Street Journal." More on that.

Retired Army Colonel Steven Boylan was General Petraeus' spokesman in Iraq, and he's spoken to him since the scandal broke.

Colonel Boylan joins me now live.

Colonel, I appreciate you being with us.

As I said, you have spoken with General Petraeus since he resigned, news of the affair broke. What did he say to you?

COL. STEVEN BOYLAN (RET.), FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR DAVID PETRAEUS: Well, Anderson,, good to be with you. I wish it was under different circumstances.

COOPER: Yes.

BOYLAN: We spoke at length throughout the past couple days, one, that as everyone knows, he did have the affair. It started about two months after he was director of the CIA and ended as you have reported about four months ago. He deeply regrets the harm and the damage he's brought to his family, as I don't think anyone can really fathom or imagine what they are going through at this point, and also the damage that this did to what he sees as one of the best jobs ever that he held as the director of the CIA, working with the fantastic organization, best in the world.

COOPER: Do you know what lengths he went to cover up the affair? I understand there was kind of, you know, anonymous e-mail accounts with a drop box, that they would leave a message in and then eliminate so there was no record of it, and did keeping the affair secret interfere with his work at all?

BOYLAN: Well, we haven't gone into any great details about how they communicated, other than there were personal e-mail accounts that existed, as everyone is aware of at this point.

I don't believe based on my discussions with him and knowing him that there was any crossover between his personal life that he was having with Paula and his duties that he was carrying out as director of the CIA, and I would like to make it clear that, again, based on our conversations, that at no time did he provide Paula with any classified information.

COOPER: Can you characterize, I mean, his relationship with Ms. Kelly? Do you know why Ms. Broadwell would have allegedly been harassing her?

BOYLAN: I don't know specifically. I think we're going to have to wait for Paula to make any statements that she wishes.

But as far as a relationship between the Petraeuses, both Holly Petraeus and David Petraeus and the Kelleys, they got to know the Kelleys when General Petraeus at the time became the commander of Central Command. The Kelleys are, my understanding, an influential couple in the Tampa Bay area. They threw a dinner party to kind of introduce the Petraeuses to the community.

They got to know each other through fund-raising events that Holly Petraeus was involved in and others. She's been described to me by David Petraeus as an individual who has a great deal of energy and drive and support for the local military community down there, and that's how they got to know each other and still do to this day.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Colonel, the general knew for months that the FBI was aware of his affair, from all the reporting on this. You have said his affair with Paula Broadwell ended four months ago. Do you know why he just publicly acknowledged it last week? Did something trigger that? If he was aware it was being investigated for months, did he consider resigning earlier?

BOYLAN: We haven't discussed the timing of it.

I can only kind of surmise based on knowing him a little bit that once he knew that this was probably going to become bigger than what it was, and I don't mean to be, you know, make light of it, but he felt that it was time for him to step down and resign. If you know David Petraeus -- and it was discussed earlier on the program -- part of his internal makeup would be that he would not be able to lead an organization after this kind of an event, so he tendered his resignation, which was accepted the day after he gave it.

COOPER: I think there are some people, though, who are supporters of David Petraeus who would say, why not stick it out? A lot of people have respect for him, Democrats and Republicans, liked the job he was doing. Plenty of people in the world have affairs. Why step down, if this is all there was?

BOYLAN: Well, if you think back to who is David Petraeus, for 37-plus years, he was in uniform. And the code of ethics, the values that the military uphold is, you don't have an affair.

I think this goes back to the core of what and who David Petraeus is. He had an affair, he has admitted it, he brought it out publicly. He deeply regrets the action and the poor decision-making on his part and the poor judgment that he showed in that manner, but he felt that the way to help correct this was to resign.

COOPER: As you know, the general obviously was deeply involved in the ongoing investigation in the attacks on Benghazi. He was scheduled to testify later this week. Did he tell you whether or not he still intends to give testimony at a later date?

BOYLAN: He has not.

My understanding is that there have been a lot of people questioning the timing of this, as you brought out. My understanding in conversations with him that this had nothing to do with Benghazi. At a certain point, he made a decision to, along with the DNI, that he would tender his resignation. And the earliest opportunity he had to do that was I believe Thursday when he met with the president and discussed it and then the president as we all know accepted his resignation on Friday.

COOPER: Well, Steven Boylan, I appreciate you coming on and talking about it. Thank you so much.

BOYLAN: Thank you for having me.

COOPER: Well, General Petraeus is certainly not alone.

When we come back: why powerful men risk their careers, reputations and families by having affairs. We will look at that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Two full weeks after Sandy hit, we found unused generators outside a 14-story building that's still without power in Queens. No one's bothered to hook them up. They've been sitting in the building's parking lot for days. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Breaking news tonight. According to the "Wall Street Journal" the FBI agent who launched the investigation that led to David Petraeus' resigning is now being investigated. The "Wall Street Journal" says there were concerns at the FBI that the agent may have been obsessed with the case, and he was barred from it in the summer. The strangest part, the agent allegedly sent shirtless pictures of himself to Jill Kelly, the woman on the right, who was allegedly being harassed by e-mail by Paula Broadwell, the woman on the left there.

We're also learning more tonight about the content of those e- mails. A source says in the e-mails, Broadwell accused Kelly of inappropriate behavior with generals at the military base where she did volunteer work.

As the story gets stranger by the day, there's no denying General David Petraeus had it all: a storied military career, a seat at the top of U.S. intelligence and a long marriage, the father of two children now adults. Why would you put all that on the line by having an extramarital affair? Only he can answer that question.

However, history will forever note that he was forced from power by his behavior. And in that respect, he is certainly not alone. Here's Martin Savidge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Politics and sex scandals are nothing new in the U.S. In fact, they date back to our country's beginning.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Of course, I mean, look, if we wanted to see what our Founding Fathers' behavior was like in Philadelphia in 1776, we may not like all of the answers.

SAVIDGE: More recently, President John F. Kennedy's affairs were notorious.

Lyndon Johnson was such a man with the ladies that he allegedly had a buzzer installed in his congressional office to alert him when Ladybird Johnson was on the way.

Journalists never reported on such things back in the day, but that eventually changed. So did technology. And recently, it's the digital footprint of dalliances that have led to spectacular falls.

Remember Congressman Anthony Wiener. He tweeted a photo of his privates. When the story broke, he denied it, claiming his Twitter account had been hacked. Eventually he fessed up and resigned.

ANTHONY WIENER, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: I apologize first and foremost to my wife and to my family.

SAVIDGE: There was client No. 9, a.k.a. Eliot Spitzer, the governor of New York and former CNN anchor. When investigators followed his money, it revealed he spent thousands as a regular client of a call girl. He, too, stepped down.

ELIOT SPITZER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and that violates my or any sense of right and wrong. SAVIDGE: And now comes General Petraeus, done in by a simple click of the mouse.

BRINKLEY: E-mail traffic, it's amazing that e-mail is still being used in such a careless and reckless fashion, because it's just evidence against you.

SAVIDGE: Modern science can also play a role. Remember president Clinton and the DNA discovered on a certain blue dress belonging to a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

SAVIDGE: So if technology makes hiding an affair almost impossible, why do powerful people still think they get away with it?

BRINKLEY: It's about narcissism and the will to power and people that strive that mightily and they start believing their own press. They start feeling omnipotent.

SAVIDGE: But of course, they aren't omnipotent. And a general's fall from grace comes with collateral damage called families.

Martin Savidge, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: A lot of damage indeed.

Tonight, a question we won't stop asking until we get some answers and action. Where is the power for nearly 60,000 New Yorkers who are now heading into a third week with no heat, no lights and for some, no running water? We're "Keeping Them Honest," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A massive deadly explosion rocks an Indiana neighborhood. Could natural gas or a faulty furnace have caused the blast? The latest on the investigation ahead.

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COOPER: Another "Keeping Them Honest" report now. It's been a full two weeks, as you know, since Superstorm Sandy blasted ashore and five days since the nor'easter that followed. And yet tonight we're asking the same question that we were asking all last week: where's the power? What's taking so long to fix the misery that so many people are enduring?

Tonight, nearly 60,000 people are still without power in New York no he. No heat, no electricity, no phone service, and for some, not even running water. Their anger, understandably, is boiling over, much of it aimed squarely at the Long Island Power Authority.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I can't get light on or anything for my kids? I can't get power, heat, garbage pickup, nothing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All we need is help. I'm a taxpayer. I don't get this. I pay my mortgage. I do the right thing. I don't take from the government. But I need -- I need the government to help me now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We go to bed at night shivering, wearing tons of clothes every single night. We have not seen one LIPA truck come down the block. Not one. I have not seen any on any of these blocks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: LIPA, short for the Long Island Power Authority, supplies power to most of the areas that are still in the dark, including the Rockaways neighborhood of Queens.

At a town-hall-style meeting yesterday in the Rockaways, residents tried to get answers from LIPA. Remember, they're now heading into their third week without power.

Today, CNN's Victor Blackwell tried to find out why a 14-story apartment building in the Rockaways still has no power. It's called Ocean Village, and Victor found someone who works for the building's management. Here's how that went.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Can you tell me why the power hasn't been restored in this building? Is that something that you control? You're in management with the company?

MICHAEL PRESH (PH), OCEAN VILLAGE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: OK. And what's your name?

PRESH (PH): Michael Presh (ph).

BLACKWELL: Tell me. People have been here for two weeks without.

PRESH (ph): No comment, sir. I apologize. It's going to have to be run through the rest of our public outreach organizations.

BLACKWELL: But you understand the frustration that they look around them, everyone else has power.

PRESH (ph): Could you excuse me for a moment, please?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: That's how that went.

Now, incredibly, there were actually generators sitting unused in the building's parking lot. You can see, they're not connected to anything. They're enormous generators, and they've been there since Saturday night.

The building's management told CNN through its PR firm that work will begin tonight to hook up those generators, and they hope to have power restored tonight. We'll see.

They also said that, because Ocean Village is a private complex, it doesn't get federal help as quickly as public housing does.

It's not just Ocean Village, though. Residents on Long Island, they held protests this weekend, as well. Anger at LIPA is epidemic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want some information. How long can this go on for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody knows nothing in the building. Save your breath. Nobody knows nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one has any answers. There's no communication as to if it's going to come back in a day, two weeks, a month.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It's infuriating, the lack of communication from this company.

Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo indicated it won't be any time soon for many. He said roughly 58,000 customers won't be able to get back power until repairs can be made to their damaged homes.

Every day since Sandy hit, we've asked LIPA to come on our program. Today we got the same response they have given every single day. They told us they, quote, "can't make anyone available at this time."

The statement on their Web site said, and I quote, "LIPA continues the massive effort to restore electricity to all customers. We will continue to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with over 9,400 linemen and tree trim crews dedicated to getting power restored."

In case anyone in management is -- from LIPA is watching, it's not the linemen who people have an issue with. They're grateful when they do show up. It's you guys; it's the management who is not communicating at all with people.

Half of those 58,000 LIPA customers who won't get power until their homes are repaired, they live in the Rockaways. I want to show you how close the Rockaways are to midtown Manhattan, where we are.

We've used Times Square as a reference point. The Rockaways are to the east in the borough of Queens. Now, the area is a known flood zone, a mandatory evacuation zone as Sandy approached. Not everyone left. Many who stayed there were some of the frailest with urgent medical needs. Deborah Feyerick reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the water rose and the lights went out, people who had planned to ride out the storm had no choice but to evacuate.

SHARON BEHAR, VICE PRESIDENT, ST. JOHNS EPISCOPAL HOSPITAL: It was a war zone. There were patients everywhere. There was stuff trying to figure out who people were and what they needed. EMS was lined up with stretchers out the ambulance door. They couldn't even get into the emergency room. It was -- it was horrible.

FEYERICK: The Rockaways has one of the highest concentration of elderly and disabled adults in the country. People vulnerable, even on a good day. They went to the one place they knew they would get help. St. John's Episcopal Hospital, high ground, 14 feet above sea level.

DR. RAJIV PRASAD, ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL: They couldn't power their medical devices and they needed electricity to power their ventilators and they needed oxygen. Some patients just needed a roof. Some missed dialysis, some missed their medications and needed their insulin.

BOLDUAN: But for all their efforts, St. John's says it might be on the hook for as much as $3 million for helping. Why? Medicare clearly says it will not pay hospitals for people medically well enough to be discharged.

Rick Brown is chief operating officer.

RICK BROWN, COO, ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL HOSPITAL: Any Medicare patient that was in the hospital, if they came from a nursing home, because the nursing home got evacuated, that patient does not meet what Medicare calls acute care criteria to be in acute care hospital, so we will not get paid by them.

FEYERICK (on camera): So basically, you opened your doors to a lot of people who needed help.

BROWN: Correct.

FEYERICK: And you may have to eat that cost.

BROWN: That's probably true.

FEYERICK (voice-over): What's more, brown says he was stunned to learn that a New York City hotline alerted people they could find shelter at St. John's.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has this whole hospital area in his own house. FEYERICK: One of those was Jose Martinez, who uses a ventilator to keep him breathing, and who had to be evacuated after the storm hit.

(on camera) How quickly did you realize you were in serious trouble?

JOSE MARTINEZ, PATIENT: Well, we didn't realize it until my wife went to the basement. She was folding some clothes in the laundry. All of a sudden she heard water dripping. So she looked around to see where it was coming from. She found out it was coming from the window, through the window.

FEYERICK (voice-over): More than 1,300 people work at St. John's. A number of them live in hard-hit areas and lost their homes. And like the hospital's chaplain, they, too, pray for a miracle.

CECILY BRODERICK GUERRA, ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL HOSPITAL: Before this crisis, we were nip and tuck, shall we say, in terms of our finances, just getting by. And there really won't be a way for us to survive this unless there are some gracious angels and the federal government and state government come up with a different formula for reimbursement.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So the government was telling people, Deb, to go to that hospital, and yet Medicare won't reimburse the hospital. Will the hospital get any of that money back?

FEYERICK: Well, under Medicare, no. But under FEMA, I spoke to an official there, they said that St. John's Hospital is eligible but it's too soon in the process to tell. They're going to have to apply and they're going to have to see how much money they get, if they get any. So it's still very much at the beginning, Anderson.

COOPER: That's a long road for a lot of people. Deb Feyerick, we'll keep on it. Thanks.

Still ahead, disturbing video that went viral. A judge caught on tape beating his teenaged daughter with a belt. You may remember this video. Now there's a new twist to the story. Details ahead.

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ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: I'm Isha Sesay with a "360 Bulletin."

A mystery in Indianapolis. Officials still don't know what caused a house to blow up Saturday night, killing at least two people and injuring seven others. The blast was so powerful that up to 80 neighboring homes were damaged. A bomb has been ruled out, and there were no reports that gas was leaking prior to the blast.

A "360" follow, a controversial Texas judge is reportedly being reinstated to the bench. Judge William Adams was suspended after this video showing him beating his daughter with a belt was posted on the Internet. This happened in 2004, but the video was only posted last year by Adams' daughter, Hillary. He was not charged.

The man who gives the voice to Elmo has taken a leave of absence from "Sesame Street." Kevin Clash denies allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenaged boy. "Sesame Street" says it found the allegation unsubstantiated and granted him time off to defend his reputation.

And most of Venice, Italy, was flooded today with water up to five feet in some place. Seventy percent of the city was flooded. In Tuscany, nine inches of rain fell in just four hours. Wow -- Anderson.

COOPER: Isha, thanks.

Next, a special Veterans Day tribute to World War II veterans.

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COOPER: Veterans Day was yesterday, of course, the 11th day of the 11th month. But because yesterday was Sunday, it's officially observed today. We've got a great story to mark the holiday. It's about a man named Harold Van Huglette, a veteran of World War II, who is now 93 years old. Harold Van Huevelen.

Towards the end of the war, he composed a symphony, but he put it away. His son found it, sent it to Congress, and after all these years, it has finally been performed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now we will perform for you the world premiere of the Van Huevlin Symphony No. 1.

HAROLD VAN HUEVELEN, WROTE SYMPHONY: In 1945, I was stationed in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the New Orleans Army Air Base, and I was an instructor. A piece in Europe had already been written in April of that year so they said we could do anything we wanted to. I decided to write a symphony.

During those 70 years when it sat on the shelf, I would look at it every once in a while and think why isn't this being played?

This is such a special day for me and one that I never, ever expected to see.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Each year on the 11th day of the 11th month, we pause as a nation and as a people to pay tribute to you, to thank you, to honor you, the heroes over the generations who have served this country of ours with distinction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Veterans Day as somebody who wrote a blank check and had the ability to write that check to the united states of America that they would give up their life for Americans.

OBAMA: This is the first Veterans Day in a decade in which there are no American troops fighting and dying in Iraq. After a decade of war, our heroes are coming home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just being back with my family is beautiful.

OBAMA: On this day we thank all of our veterans from all of our wars. Not just for your service to this country but for reminding us why America is and always will be the greatest nation on earth. God bless you, God bless our veterans.

VAN HUEVLIN: Wonderful!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: That's it for us, thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.