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Agent In Petraeus Case Under Scrutiny; U.S. Commander In Afghanistan Investigated; Pentagon: Allen To Stay ISAF Head; Obama Meets With Labor Leaders Today; McAfee Founder Sought In Murder Probe; All Electric Tesla Wins Car Of The Year; Paying The Cost For An Education; White House Reacts To General Allen Probe; Fiscal Cliff Takes Ramp Up; Gen. Petraeus Steps Down after Affair; Petraeus Probe Widens; Joking about Jesus, Fashion Faux Pas and No to Donald Trump

Aired November 13, 2012 - 10:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Joking about Jesus, why does it seem to be acceptable and OK when other religious figures are off limits? Is that right?

And Donald Trump has been the punch line for a joke or two, but one well-known celeb is serious, she wants Macy's to dump Trump. NEWSROOM starts now.

Good morning to you from Washington. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. This morning, a shocking new development in the sex scandal that toppled one of the most respected men in Washington.

The David Petraeus affair has now toppled another top general, John Allen. He is the commander of all international troops in Afghanistan and today, investigators are sifting through a mountain of e-mails and messages he traded with a woman named Jill Kelley.

A mind-boggling 20,000 to 30,000 pages and they're searching for anything inappropriate. Now here's the common link. Kelley is the woman who received harassing e-mails supposedly from Petraeus' jealous mistress, Paula Broadwell.

Petraeus admits to the affair with Broadwell, but says Kelley is merely a family friend. We're going to take a much closer look at each of these players in a scandal that seems to grow more bizarre by the day.

This whole messy scandal came to light because of Jill Kelley, the volunteer in Tampa who organized social events for the military. She allegedly got those harassing e-mails from a jealous Paula Broadwell.

So Kelley went to a buddy at the FBI for help and that's when things got a little strange. Devlin Barrett is a reporter for the "Wall Street Journal." Good morning.

DEVLIN BARRETT, REPORTER, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Good morning, how are you? COSTELLO: Thank you so much for joining us. I'm fine. We appreciate your being here. So tell us about this FBI agent. He took Kelley's concerns to the bureau, but he himself comes under scrutiny. Why?

BARRETT: Right. At some point in the investigation, his supervisors become concerned he's too personally close to Kelley and a big part of that concern is because they found out that prior to this investigation starting, he had sent pictures of himself shirtless to Kelley.

And they just felt like that was too close between the two of them and they weren't sure what it meant, but thought he should have no role in the investigation. And remember, he's the person who sort of starts this whole process going because he gets the complaint from Kelley.

And then brings it to the Cyber Investigation Unit and that starts the ball rolling. And then, frankly, at some point becomes unhappy and thinks this whole thing is going to get swept under the rug and goes to a member of Congress to complain.

COSTELLO: So, well, back to the shirtless photo. I mean, they're in Florida, so he might have been at the beach, maybe. I mean, is that a possibility and he sent her those photos?

BARRETT: I mean, it's hard to know without seeing copying of it, and so far, I don't believe anyone outside the investigators has seen the photos in question to really make a judgment on them.

My understanding from sources is that the supervisors were concerned enough that he was too familiar with this woman. Not necessarily in an inappropriate kind of relationship kind of way, just there's such a thing about being too friendly with someone who a major player in the investigation.

COSTELLO: So why did he feel the FBI was sweeping this under the rug?

BARRETT: Well, he gets told -- my understanding is he gets told at some point, stop talking to people about this, you have no role in this anymore, just drop it and leave it alone. So he is essentially shutout of the whole process.

But by that point, he already knows that the investigation has found an affair involving Mr. Petraeus. And so he, for reasons that aren't entirely clear, comes to the conclusion that this is going to be swept under the rug and nothing is going to be done.

So in October, he reaches out to a lawmaker and that sets off another chain of event in which a senior republican official reaches out to the FBI headquarters to say what's going on?

COSTELLO: And all of that has brought us to where we are today. Devlin Barrett, reporter for the "Wall Street Journal," thanks so much for being with us this morning.

BARRETT: Thank you. COSTELLO: So let's review now, investigators are looking at Kelley for her ties to General John Allen, commander of international forces in Afghanistan.

And they're also investigating Pamela Broadwell for her relationship with former Cia Director General Petraeus. Federal agents searched Broadwell's house and confiscated boxes of papers and at least one computer.

So you're wondering what are they looking for and why are they continuing to investigate? Robert Baer is the CIA's former director of operations in the Middle East and now a CNN contributor, he joins us live from Irvine, California. Welcome.


COSTELLO: OK. So you had concerns about the way this investigation was going all along. Put things in perspective for us. I mean, what might this come to?

BAER: This has turned into a bit of a farce, obviously. I mean, the FBI agent personally involved with the source is no-no, this cannot happen, should ever happen. The FBI was right to take him out of the case.

And the fact he went to Congress based on a hunch tells me this guy got more to do with politics and personal motivations and he somehow thought he was going to be able to affect the elections.

That's just speculation on my part, but an FBI agent cannot go to Congress in the circumstances like this, there's a chain of command, it usually works, the FBI has got egg on its face at this point.

But it doesn't detract from the possibility that there's been classified information that will appear in these e-mails that will appear in Broadwell's house, documents, there's already documents been found.

You know, and once the Department of Justice goes down this road, the chances of some sort of indictment coming out of it are pretty good.

COSTELLO: Yes. And just to be clear, the FBI is investigating Broadwell and Petraeus, but it's not investigating General Allen, right? The military's investigating him.

BAER: It's not investigating General Allen right now, but in those e- mails, he said something or you don't know. Because once these investigations get underway, they can take any comments and turn them into some sort of classified information. It's not such a good court case, but this is the kind of avenue it could take. It probably won't, but I can't say for sure.

COSTELLO: I was going to ask you, you know, this is such a sordid story -- and we don't know if it's a sordid story on General Allen's part because we don't know what those communications said, right? BAER: Well, they've withdrawn his nomination for commander of NATO for inappropriate e-mails. That tells me it's fairly serious, but, again, that speculation. What this whole story is from Benghazi to Petraeus to Broadwell, the rest of it is really sort of a tawdry soap opera.

First these things come up the first time, you think, there's a political scandal at the bottom of it. It's got to be Benghazi, but the longer this goes on, the less it looks like it's about Benghazi.

COSTELLO: OK, so, you know, I'm a citizen, my biggest concern is our troops in Afghanistan. My biggest concern is intelligence failures in the United States. Will this sordid soap opera affect those very important things?

BAER: It does. You know, we don't look serious. The world is at crisis now especially in the Middle East. We're withdrawing from Afghanistan. Iraq is still a mess.

And we've got our general corps and our CIA occupied by other things than national, you know, national affairs. And I think that's unfortunate. I almost wish this would never been made public.

COSTELLO: Yes. I think you got a point there. Former CIA operative and CNN contributor Robert Baer, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

BAER: Thank you.

COSTELLO: How is the news of General John Allen's involvement in the Petraeus scandal being handled with the troops? We're going to talk about that side of the story next.


COSTELLO: Welcome back. General John Allen's nomination to become NATO supreme commander now on hold, but for now, Allen will remain the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.


GEORGE LITTLE, DEFENSE DEPARTMENT PRESS SECRETARY: While this matter is under investigation and before the facts are determined, General Allen will remain commander of ISAF. His leadership has been instrumental in achieving the significant progress at ISAF working alongside our Afghan partners has made bringing greater security in ensuring Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists. General Allen is entitled to due process in this matter.


COSTELLO: That he is. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in Beirut, Lebanon. Good morning, Nick.


COSTELLO: You've met General Allen, what do you make of all of this?

WALSH: Those working around him who respected, trusted him, worked very hard for him, I'm sure it becomes a huge surprise to them the length of this correspondence and the inappropriate conduct according to defense officials.

Really at the end of the day, this is a career soldier man who worked incredibly hard in Afghanistan himself, had a very difficult job, the key decisions on the ground being taken by Washington, pre-ordained timetable about troop withdrawal.

Found himself in many ways the public relations man, trying to sell the war of success despite the declining popular opinion of it in the United States. And in fact, the fact he himself it's fair to say saw very clearly where the failings in the campaign were, but also a man who inspired great loyalty from the aides working around him.

I recall one senior aide working alongside him didn't really want necessarily to go back into the field said he would if he called him and asked him to. And he explained why that man was inspirational in his words.

Described them being in a dining facility in Iraq when a mortar fired causing the facility to rattle. A young soldier jumped under the table for cover, but General Allen stayed calmly in his seat and said, son, you're not going to win the war from down there.

So a man, I think who inspired people to tell those kind of stories, to become mythical almost in the eyes under them. How is it possible that it came to this?

COSTELLO: Nick Paton Walsh reporting live for us from Beirut, Lebanon this morning. Thank you.

We're coming up on 15 minutes past the hour. Time to check our top stories now. President Obama meeting with labor and progressive leaders at the White House today.

It's the first -- it's the first of a series of meetings this week focused on deficit solutions in the economy. On Wednesday, the president will meet with business leaders and then on Friday with congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle.

Police in the Central American nation of Belize want to question McAfee software founder, John McAfee. Officers want to speak with him after his neighbor who is also a U.S. citizen was shot and killed. McAfee tells "Wired" magazine he's innocent and he is in hiding.

For the first time, motor trends car of the year is electric. The Tesla Model S beat out 10 other cars to win the title. It gets the equivalent of 74 miles per gallon and goes from zero to 60 in four seconds. You could go about 265 miles on a single charge.

Some older parents are going deeper into debt to help their children with student loans. The average student loan debt for someone over 60 is nearly $20,000. Alison Kosik joins us now from the New York Stock Exchange. Good morning.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. That's a lot of money, yes. These parents, they are the ones who are paying back their kids' student loans. They're saddled with almost $20,000 on average.

And that debt has been going up since the recession hit. In fact, the average debt is up more than 5 percent since last year, even more alarming. The total student loan debt for seniors, it more than doubled since 2008.

Look at this, the percentage of those seniors, defaulting on loans is up, as well. In fact, in the first quarter of this year, almost 6 percent of all student loan defaults were people over 60 years old.

Now, there are clear reasons for this. For one, college costs are going up, plus it's a difficult job market for college graduates. It means students are coming home from college and their parents are having to shoulder all of this debt.

And you know what? As parents, we'll go for our kids especially when it comes to education, but the problem is it's not just students who can't handle the debt load, Carol. Some parents can't handle it either -- Carol.

COSTELLO: So bring me up, give me a silver lining.

KOSIK: Well, I mean, it's kind of hard to find one, but you know, there has been some good news on other types of debt out there. Mortgage debt and credit card balances are shrinking, which means Americans are paying off some debt even as student loan balances grow.

Also delinquencies and total debt among borrowers under 30, that shrank significantly in the first quarter of this year. People are finding ways to pay off other types of debt and pay it off on time. That's the best I can give you so far as far as the glass half full in this situation -- Carol.

COSTELLO: OK, I'll take it. It's OK. We still love you. Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange.

Still ahead, the White House releases its first statement about the General John Allen investigation.


COSTELLO: We could learn more details about the scandal surrounding those two generals in a White House briefing later today. But for now, we do have reaction to the General John Allen investigation. So let's bring in our White House correspondent Brianna Keilar. Good morning, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Carol. And as you know, this story is something that broke in the middle of the night, 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time this morning. So a couple of hours ago, we got the first reaction from the White House from a spokesperson from the National Security Council saying at the request of the secretary of defense, the president has put on hold his nomination of General Allen as supreme allied commander pending the investigation of General Allen's conduct by the Department of Defense inspector general.

As you know, General Allen was up actually and is here in Washington ahead of what was to be his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday for him to go over and be in charge of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe. So that is now on hold.

President Obama himself putting that on hold at request of the defense secretary. General Allen was already set to leave Afghanistan, as I mentioned. And so the confirmation hearing for General Joseph Dunnford, Carol, the man who is set to replace Allen in Afghanistan is going to go ahead as planned Thursday on Capitol Hill.

It was to be the same day. So President Obama also -- or from the White House President Obama's also urging Congress in this statement to move forward quickly with that, Carol. So that, obviously, there's someone in place in Afghanistan, especially as President Obama's looking at these 68,000 U.S. combat troops who are set to be coming home going into 2014.

COSTELLO: Got you. Brianna Keilar reporting live for us from the White House.

The other drama unfolding in Washington, trying to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. We'll tell you what's happening this week.


COSTELLO: It's 24 minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories now. General David Petraeus' affair has prompted the investigation of another top General John Allen. Investigators sifting through thousands of e-mails he's accused of sending to a Florida socialite. Allen is the commander of all international troops in Afghanistan.

New satellite imagery suggests North Korea is carrying out new long- range missile tests. The website 38 north has imagery that suggests the North Korean regime has tested at least two long-range rockets, the most recent test in September.

These tests were conducted at the same time that North Korea launched a missile on April 13th that broke apart shortly after takeoff.

Back in Washington, the lame duck session of Congress officially begins today. Lawmakers face a year-end deadline before spending cuts kick in and tax breaks expire if no deal is reached to avoid the so- called fiscal cliff.

And President Obama is holding meetings all week long with business leaders and members of Congress and union leaders to try to hash out a deal on that fiscal cliff. Joining me now to talk more about this, CNN contributor and Democratic strategist, Maria Cardona and political science professor at Hiram College and Politic 365 contributor, Jason Johnson. Good morning to you both.

JASON JOHNSON: Good morning.


COSTELLO: I know we have to talk about the fiscal cliff, but I'm dying to ask you about this scandal because it's all anyone's talking about. Jason, can you -- it's a mess.

JASON JOHNSON, PROFESSOR, POLITICAL SCIENCE, HIRAM COLLEGE: I love the real housewives of the Pentagon. I mean, that's what we're looking at right now. It's ridiculous, and the interesting thing is, no one has actually broken a law, but what I think it is.

It's a reflection of the fact that we still have a culture in the military where people can behave in this way. Where you can have these sort of mistresses and people have these backdoor relationships, et cetera, et cetera. I think the whole thing is more of reflection problems in military culture than huge problem in national security because so far no laws have been broken.

COSTELLO: Maria, the women involved in these scandals, it astounds me, they're accomplished women. They're educated. They're not 20, right? They're old enough to know better. It's like what are you doing?

CARDONA: Yes, no. Absolutely, Carol. I do think it's sad to look at these women and to think this is something they have to resort t to. But I think we also have to take a look at the men. I mean, it takes two to tango.

And so all of these men with huge responsibilities, frankly, and I know it sounds like a cliche, but they should know better. And while I agree with Jason, so far we don't think any law has been broken.

But these are the men that are entrusted with our nation's highest secrets and for them to be communicating with their mistresses on G- mail? I mean, come on. They just weren't thinking. And I think that gives us all pause about what our leaders are doing.

COSTELLO: Well, they were thinking, but we won't go into that.


COSTELLO: Let's switch gears and talk about the fiscal cliff because as you know, President Obama was meeting with progressive leaders and also union leaders to talk about the fiscal cliff. What do you suppose he's saying to them, Jason?

JOHNSON: He's saying please, please, please, I just got re-elected. Let's not have anyone remember 2011. Look, this fiscal cliff is a result of really Barack Obama's weak negotiating skills with the Republican Party throughout 2011, which was thus far the weakest year of his presidency.

He's got to convince people, progressives to make some compromises and Republicans to make some compromises, otherwise what weak sort of recovery we're facing right now is going to be destroyed on January 1st.

COSTELLO: So I guess tomorrow he's going to meet with business leaders, Maria, and business leaders haven't expressed much love for the president. What might he say to them?

CARDONA: Well, I think what he'll say to them is -- has nothing to do with weakness. Because let's remember who won on Tuesday, and let's remember the majority of the American people support what President Obama was very, very clear about, what he wanted to do if he was re- elected.

And that is to deal with the fiscal cliff and deal with the debt and deficit in a fair and balanced way, meaning that he would protect the middle class and not let their tax cuts go up while at the same time making sure that the wealthiest Americans pay a little bit more and pay their fair share.

Sixty to 70 percent of the American people absolutely support that route, Carol, a lot of them Republicans. So he will go in there both today and tomorrow with a very strong hand in terms of negotiating with business people and with the Republicans.

COSTELLO: So, Jason, some wise lawmaker said the worst time to negotiate is before an election and the best time to negotiate is after an election. So maybe there's hope.

JOHNSON: Well, look, there's hope because I think right after the election you had John Boehner come in and say, look, we'll be willing to accept some revenue increases at some particular point. But like I said before, I think it's a reflection of how weak Obama was two years ago, otherwise we wouldn't be in this situation.

I think the Republican Party realizes that they were absolutely wiped out last week. They really do need to negotiate more. Barack Obama needs to stand his ground for once, he never has to run for re- election again.

And I do think we can get a conclusion that is not going to lead us to some sort of horrible economic apocalypse. But that's only if the Republicans negotiate and Barack Obama remains strong.

COSTELLO: OK. So I'm going to ask both of you for your predictions. How long will it take lawmakers to come up with a deal? Maria?

CARDONA: I think it will take up until the middle of December.


CARDONA: And -- yes. And -- yes.

JOHNSON: I think it'll be a Christmas surprise for everybody. I think there's going to be until the last minute and they're going to leave at the absolute last minute. Both sides are going to hold out to look tough.


COSTELLO: That would be --

CARDONA: But I think -- I think --

COSTELLO: A box of compromise on Christmas eve.

CARDONA: I think Republicans really understand, well, I think -- at least I hope they do, and they should listen to Bill Kristol who over weekend, Carol, basically said that they should give Barack Obama what he wants. He doesn't believe that raising taxes on the wealthiest is going to negatively impact this economy. He understands and I think a lot of Republicans understand that their brand is facing huge peril. It's facing a cliff of political oblivion of their own.

COSTELLO: Well, we'll see. Maria Cardona, Jason Johnson, thank you so much for playing today, we appreciate it.

CARDONA: Thank you.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

CARDONA: Thanks so much, Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Back to the scandal that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Jill Kelley seen here leaving her home yesterday is the Florida socialite who sparked the FBI investigation that ultimately brought down General Petraeus from his position as CIA director and now she's lawyering up.


JASON LANNING, BAY NEWS 9: So far, the Kelley family, Jill Kelley herself has not come out with an official statement obviously after the development about the potentially thousands of documents that link Kelley to General Allen.

Thirty-seven-year-old Jill Kelley known as a volunteer and social liaison from MacDill Air Force Base here in Tampa. The Pentagon says it's investigating the inappropriate e-mails between Kelley and General John Allen. There are reports -- there are as many as 20,000 to 30,000 documents linking the two.

General Allen served as the deputy commander and for a short time temporary commander at U.S. Central Command here in Tampa from 2010 to 2012. And we know Jill Kelley had a social relationship and friendship with General Petraeus. We don't know what kind of relationship or friendship or social connection that General Allen may have had with Kelley during his time here.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: That was Jason Lanning, from CNN affiliate Bay News 9 in Tampa, Florida. All of this of course began with an affair between General David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell.

Late last night, the FBI searched the Broadwell home, taking the computer and other items to no doubt be scrutinized in the ongoing investigation of the affair that brought down the head of the CIA. So how does a woman at the center of the scandal find herself here?

Our Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence has that for you.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In retrospect, it's a startling cumin here in David Petraeus' life. Separated by less than 2 feet.

Holly Petraeus and Paula Broadwell both watched his confirmation hearing as Petraeus prepared to take command of the CIA. The affair wouldn't begin for several months, but the attraction was there. A long time friend says Petraeus' years in the war zone had left him isolated with no one he could talk to candidly. So when Broadwell came along, quote, "He enjoyed her company, she was an attractive gal and they had things in common." But Broadwell pushed back on criticism that her biography was soft on the general.

PAULA BROADWELL, CO-AUTHOR, "ALL IN": I'm not in love with David Petraeus.

LAWRENCE: Petraeus met his wife Holly on a blind date at West Point. He was a cadet, she the superintendent's daughter. A family friend says she is furious over the affair.

Petraeus cultivated smart, competitive people around him. Broadwell was a high school valedictorian and homecoming queen. She graduated from West Point, competed in the Iron Man triathlon and met Petraeus while working on her PhD at Harvard.

BROADWELL: I'm not a spokesperson for him.

LAWRENCE: Broadwell traveled with Petraeus to Afghanistan, interviewing him for the biography she was writing.

BROADWELL: But I think the values that he upholds and tries to instill in his -- in his organizations are valuable and worth pointing out.

BROADWELL: A third woman blew the affair wide open. Petraeus family friend Jill Kelley, a civilian liaison to military families. That's Kelley in this photo with her husband and Holly and David Petraeus. A family friend tells CNN, the couples were friends dating back to Petraeus' days in Florida running U.S. Central Command.

The friend says there was nothing romantic between Kelley and Petraeus, but Broadwell may not have seen it that way. (On camera): A family friend who's talked with Petraeus says the ex- CIA director now feels there was an element of obsession in Broadwell's behavior in that she may have been trying to ward off the competition when she started to e-mail Jill Kelley. But again, this is someone close to David Petraeus, and we've yet to hear Paula Broadwell's side of the story.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.


COSTELLO: So you know what happened. One general resigns from the CIA, another under investigation for sending thousands of allegedly inappropriate e-mails. Not to mention the midnight FBI raids and shirtless FBI agents. What's going on here? And will anyone face charges?


COSTELLO: The implications of the scandal involving those two generals seems to be growing by the second. But for all the shock and awe, will anyone actually face charges?

Joining me now to talk more about the deepening scandal is Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.

Good morning, Jonathan.


COSTELLO: OK. Hi, Jonathan. I'd just like to start with each player. Let's start with General David Petraeus. He resigned from the CIA. He says he never gave classified documents to Paula Broadwell. Is he in the clear?

TURLEY: No, he's not. It has to be investigated as to whether these supposed classified documents originated from him. It's sort of disturbing because you have not more -- very disturbing that you have this high-ranking individual that gave such access to a person who was writing a fawning book about him.

And the reports indicate that she was allowed to sit in on meetings and hear classified material. And on the face of it, it's somewhat repulsive that a general would give that degree of access when journalists and even members of Congress are often denied access to information. But it becomes more serious if some of that classified information that was supposedly found on her computer originated with Petraeus. It does not appear to be the case. We haven't seen any allegations to that effect.

Then Petraeus has the question about adultery. He has insisted that this relationship occurred after he retired from the military and that could insulate him from a military charge. But those details have to be worked out. COSTELLO: Yes. OK. So let's move on to Paula Broadwell. Federal agents raided her home last night. She voluntarily allowed them to come in, they took a computer and boxes and boxes of whatever, could be papers, could be much more. What is she facing possibly?

TURLEY: Well, there's questions about possession, transmitting, removal of classified evidence. Those of us who have clearances are very, very careful. I never remove a document, even when I'm in a (INAUDIBLE), or secured environment, I make sure that -- sometimes I don't even bring in my briefcase so that I don't make a mistake. It's a very carefully constructed environment. If she has such material on her computer, it raises possible federal criminal issues.

Now I have to tell you that this city is awash with documents that are still marked secret but really are not. And people become very casual. And it is possible that she could have gotten this material from people around General Petraeus. That's part of the problem with having this type of relationship is that the general clearly wants her to be around, clearly favors her, and the subordinates may have lost some perspective and helped her a little too much.

COSTELLO: Interesting. OK, let's move on to General Allen. The FBI is not investigating him, the military is. What charges could he face?

TURLEY: Now he faces a very straightforward Article 134 on adultery if, in fact, he had an adulterous relationship. As a commander, he often has to mete out punishment to people who have had adulterous relationship or had conduct unbecoming an officer, which is another common charge.

Once these things become public, it's very hard to make that catwalk backwards. It's very hard to get out of this cleanly. I think he's in serious trouble in terms of his career. Now whether this would go to a so-called Article 32 hearing that is to look at possible charges will have to be seen. But they don't have a lot of mercy for top- ranked officers once these allegations become public.

COSTELLO: Well, of course, we have no idea whether he had an affair with Jill Kelley --

TURLEY: That's right.

COSTELLO: -- who's the next person I'm going to ask you about. I mean he could have just been sending her stuff to communicate with her for all we know. But let's move on to Jill Kelley because she's this socialite from Florida. She's a volunteer, she arranges social functions for the military, she's also married, she's lawyered up. What charges could she face?

TURLEY: We like people being lawyered up in this town, I'll note. But the -- she is supposedly -- was the recipient and/or sender of tens of thousands, 20,000, 30,000 e-mails, at least that's what they're looking at. That's a rather daunting idea. I'm not so sure how you send that. Part of this problem, Carol, is the Internet. As a criminal defense attorney, we deal -- I deal with this a lot. It is so easy to send material with a simple click. And these are often large files. And you don't know what's in it. It's a very uncautious thing to do. If any of that is classified information, there is a question as to the sender. There's also the question of whether they find anything else.

As a criminal defense attorney, it's a nightmare when agents take 30,000 pages of e-mails for your client because all of us make mistakes and you're not sure what will be found.

COSTELLO: All right. Jonathan Turley, you've done a great job, a magnificent job of making it clear for us. We appreciate it.

TURLEY: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Jonathan Turley -- you're welcome. He's a law professor at George Washington University.

Half a million people have signed a petition asking Macy's to dump Donald Trump as a celebrity spokesman.


COSTELLO: Forty-six minutes past the hour. Welcome back. Jesus jokes. We've all heard them and confess, many of you have told a joke about Jesus, and certainly you've laughed at the bazillion comedy skits about the son of God.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got to thank the most person in my life, my lord and savior, Jesus Christ, because I could not do this without him. Thank you, Jesus.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus. He has risen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, not really. Just a quick visit. So -- hey, everybody, take a seat. Go ahead, take a seat. Chill out. First of all, you're welcome. All right. Yes, I Jesus Christ am indeed the reason you've won your past six football games.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, Tim, easy. Easy. Hey, buddy, leave a little room for the holy ghost, OK?



COSTELLO: Oh, Paul Harvey and Edward Blum wondered about that, they asked this question, in an op-ed for and I'll read a little bit of it. That was Paul there. Quote, "How is it that a figure sacred to so many Americans has become the punch line of so many jokes and why is it acceptable to poke fun at Jesus when other sacred figures are deemed off limits or there is hell to pay for mocking them?"

Let's go back to Paul now. Paul Harvey is a professor of history at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

So? Did you find the answer to your question?

PAUL HARVEY, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT COLORADO SPRINGS: Well, there's a lot of reasons for that as we talk about in the article. And a lot of it has to do with our long history and pluralization of American religions.

COSTELLO: So tell us a bit about that history. Why is it OK to joke about Jesus but not other religious figures?

HARVEY: The sacred is much more in contest here in part because of our legacy of religious freedom, but in part because we've had a long history of conflict over sacred imagery and words, often violent conflict. It's not something that's just happened in other parts of the world. And in more recent years because of the rise of secularism, because of the rise of the culture of mockery in part, as well, it's just become more acceptable.

COSTELLO: Is it because more and more of us are agnostic? I mean, why is it? I mean is it -- do we still believe in Jesus yet we joke about him? Or is it the other way around?

HARVEY: Well, it's funny if you read the comments on our CNN belief blog piece, you'll see that people are engaging in vitriolic arguments about -- with each other and many of them saying that our argument are piece of blasphemy and that sort of thing. And that's a legacy of the fact that we still feel very uncomfortable about this. But humor is the way that we deal with these kinds of conflicts. And as we say in the piece, in part, it's a way -- our way that we don't kill each other.

COSTELLO: Well, interestingly, I was -- I was talking to one of the employees here at CNN, Kathy, and she said her minister, she belongs to a Methodist church. She brought -- her minister brought a clip in from "Talladega Nights," the movie.


COSTELLO: Where they had a joke about Jesus in it and he actually played that in church to get people's attention and then they talked about Jesus.

HARVEY: Yes. And that's just part of the culture of religion using popular culture to make people feel more at ease. We're just a country that does that more now than would have been the case in the past in religious institutions.

COSTELLO: So it's not necessarily a bad thing to joke about Jesus. Sometimes it sparks conversation and sometimes those conversations are -- are meaningful.

HARVEY: Sometimes they can be meaningful and sometimes there are ways as we say that when we have political conflicts such as we just had, some of which have to do with religion, it's our way of defusing that conflict or dealing with it in a way that is acceptable.

COSTELLO: I know you're not a biblical scholar, but do you suppose Jesus would be upset at the jokes?

HARVEY: Well, Jesus uses lots of humor in the bible, so no, I don't think so.

COSTELLO: Paul Harvey, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

He's a professor of history at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and if you want to read the piece, it's on our belief blog,

Victoria's Secret's fashion faux pas has upset the Native American community. Why the lingerie company is saying it's sorry.


COSTELLO: Victoria's Secret certainly knows how to get your attention. But this time, they're finding they have to say, I'm sorry, for getting your attention to this particular model with this particular outfit on if you could call it an outfit.

SHOWBIZ correspondent Nischelle Turner is in Los Angeles.

Good morning.


NISCHELLE TURNER, SHOWBIZ CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol, I like that. You're right, too, it's little strips of clothing. They've gotten a lot of attention over this. But you know what, this is not necessarily the kind of attention they want.

Last week at a fashion show in New York, Victoria's Secret model (INAUDIBLE), who you see there, wore a feathered head dress on the runway. Now this outfit sparked backlash from many people within the Native American community who found the use of the feather head dress in this setting offensive.

Now Victoria's Secret has issued an apology on the company's Facebook page saying, quote, "We're sorry that the Native American head dress in our fashion show has upset individuals, the outfit will be removed from the broadcast."

Now this show is going to air on December 4th on CBS. And Carol, the model in question, (INAUDIBLE), also apologized on her Twitter page saying that she supports Victoria's Secret decision to remove this clip from the broadcast.

COSTELLO: OK. We must talk about Donald Trump in the big petition. TURNER: We must. Yes, you know what? Macy's has a really long relationship with Donald Trump, but there's a petition at the Web site, that is urging Macy's to tell Trump, you're fired, over his views on President Obama as well as what the website calls sexist remarks.

Now this petition a few minutes ago had more than 464,000 signatures and they're saying to Macy's that they feel like they have an obligation to be socially responsible and that Donald Trump does not reflect the magic of Macy's.

Now Cher tweeted that she is not going to shop at Macy's anymore because of Donald Trump. And Donald Trump just released a statement to CNN. They questioned the legitimacy of this Web site, calling for Macy's to fire him. They also say value their, quote, "their long standing relationship with Macy's and look forward to many years of continued success."

And Donald Trump does say he's having success because he just tweeted saying that his fragrance is flying off the shelves.

COSTELLO: At Macy's.

TURNER: Of course he did.


COSTELLO: Of course he doesn't believe the petitioners are real, they didn't produce their birth certificates.


TURNER: You better watch out because he's going to at you on Twitter, and I don't want any part of Donald Trump.

COSTELLO: Bring it on.

Nischelle Turner, thank you so much.

TURNER: All right.

COSTELLO: One general resigns, now another general is the focus of questionable e-mails. Will he be the next to step down?


DR. PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, "DR. PHIL": You know, interestingly enough, the lazy parents are the busy parents. Because what we're really after is we want children to internalize our discipline. We want it to become self-discipline. When I see a parent that has a well- behaved child, I know that that parent can kick back and take it easy. They don't need to be so busy because they did their work early. If a parent has not set boundaries, if a parent has not taught a child to self-control, they're the ones that are going to be running through the restaurant, eating off other people's plates, yelling and screaming and knocking into things. And everybody is going to be staring at them.