CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Gen. Allen Questioned; Allen Confirmation Hearing Delayed; Benghazi Investigation Hearing; Tracking the Sandy Donations; Pelosi Comments on Petraeus Scandal; FBI Probe Led to Petraeus Downfall; Obama Cabinet Shakeup; Stranded Snowboarders Found Alive; Paul Ryan Breaks Silence on Election Loss; Police Looking for McAfee Founder; "Black Thursday" Sales

Aired November 13, 2012 - 14:00   ET

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


TED ROWLANDS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Ted Rowlands, in for Brooke Baldwin.

The developments are pouring in regarding the investigations of a former spy chief and current general. Happening very soon, some of the lawmakers, furious over not being told about the investigation of David Petraeus, are getting ready to meet this afternoon.

Plus, a senior official is telling CNN details about General John Allen's relationship with a socialite at the center of both investigations. This is a web of characters and connections that's impacting the team in charge of America's security.

It's also delaying when the world will know who will be the next leader of NATO. General John Allen was to have a confirmation hearing this Thursday on his way to becoming the supreme allied commander. But that, of course, is now on hold. While Allen has denied doing anything wrong, he is under investigation for potentially inappropriate e-mails he sent to this woman, Jill Kelley. The Tampa socialite triggered the Petraeus investigation. We'll get to exactly how in just a moment. The Defense Department's inspector general is going through e-mails Allen and Kelley sent to each other.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID KHAWAM, JILL KELLEY'S BROTHER: The primary thing is that, you know, she wants her privacy protected. And I think that she's going to probably come out at some point and make a statement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: Privacy, of course, for all players involved, is just a pipe dream at this point. And just how are they connected? Well, it started, of course, with the bombshell on Friday. David Petraeus resigned from the CIA because of an affair with his biographer, and fellow West Point grad, Paula Broadwell. The man who co-wrote the biography with Broadwell said he was clueless that there was an affair going on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VERNON LOEB, CO-AUTHOR OF PETRAEUS BIOGRAPHY "ALL IN": Sure both of them looked back on what has now transpired and realized they both made the biggest mistakes of their lives. And I assume both of them regret it tremendously. But I would bet both of them, you know, sort of come roaring back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: The affair ended at some point. Broadwell allegedly sent what a source describes as jealous e-mails to Kelley. Perhaps perceiving Kelley as a competitor. Now, Petraeus says he was never involved with Kelley. However, it was Kelley's involvement with General John Allen, the top military leader in Afghanistan, that may cost another commander his reputation. We now know that the president knew of Allen's troubles on Friday. Just a short time ago the White House press secretary responded to the latest turn of events.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He has faith in General Allen, believes he's doing and has done an excellent job at ISAF. And I would refer you to the Pentagon for the process underway with regards to General Allen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: All right, right now let's get to the heart of General Allen's reported troubles, his relationship with Jill Kelley. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh just spoke with a senior official who is close to General Allen.

Nick, this official is certain he's claiming that there was no affair between Kelley and the general. Is that correct?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely right. Not even that there wasn't just an affair, that there was nothing of a romantic nature or sexual nature between them at all. In fact, going as far as to say that Jill Kelley and General John Allen have never even been alone together in a room. That John Allen would attend most social events with his wife, preferring her company.

And (INAUDIBLE) to be clear, in his mind he views Jill Kelley as a bored socialite who many times knew lots of the commanders at Centcom because of her role there as an honorary ambassador, organizing social events, but it's absolutely clear that the e-mail exchange between Jill Kelley and John Allen were innocuous most of the time. At some point John Allen may have referred to her -- say to her, thanks, sweetheart, but that's purely in this source's opinion because he's from Virginia and that's a colloquialism many people might use from that area. And she may at some point have said, you looked good on television last night, but nothing of the flirtatious or serious nature which is being alleged.

And this source unclear quite exactly what the inappropriate nature of these e-mails would have been, saying they were sent to both his personal and his business accounts and may have amounted to as many as 101 year (ph). But General John Allen would always almost pathologically reply to any e-mail he received, perhaps explaining the volume of traffic here, Ted.

ROWLANDS: Yes, one of the things, Nick, that you have been reporting, after talking to your source, is that it sounded like the general was actually, in some way, warning Jill Kelley about Petraeus' mistress.

WALSH: This is what this senior official is also saying. Now, these anonymous e-mails which we have been alleged were being sent by Paula Broadwell from an e-mail account, one was received by General John Allen warning him about Jill Kelley. Now, of course, he knew Jill Kelley. So he would, according to the senior official, he wrote to her and said, look, somebody's talking badly about you in e-mail, even threatening you.

Now, we don't know what happened there. That may have been what caused the FBI to be contacted by Jill Kelley. I'm purely speculating there. But this senior official says that's where the FBI became involved and interested in the e-mail exchanges between Jill Kelley and General John Allen. In his opinion, innocuous entirely, but that seems to be the spark that dragged him into this particular investigation. Again, this senior official saying, no sexual relationship between these two people at all.

ROWLANDS: All right, Nick Paton Walsh for us. Obviously this is having effects around the world, getting information, trickles of information that are pouring in from around the world. Nick, appreciate your reporting. Thank you.

Let's go now to the Pentagon for more on General Allen's communication with Jill Kelley. Barbara Starr is there.

Barbara, we are hearing about tens of thousands of documents handed over to investigators. Just how much contact really did Kelley have with the top commander in Afghanistan, because the numbers sound just unbelievable, 10,000 documents.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Don't they, Ted? I mean it sounds staggering. It might actually be up to 30,000 pages of documents that the FBI has turned over to the Inspector General at the Pentagon for this investigation.

Now, let me circle back. A short while ago, a Pentagon official told reporters, gathered them together and said, indeed, General Allen has adamantly denied he had an extramarital affair with Jill Kelley -- Jill Kelley. It did not happen. But you have this 30,000 pages and the official said the investigation centers around whether there were some inappropriately flirtatious, his words, e-mails or communications between Allen and Kelley. So that's what's being looked at.

And it's important to note that the inspector general is not just conducting a review. It is an investigation. So, you know, this is something that they will take some time and look at. And what the impact of this is, we don't fully know, but we do know, that General Allen's nomination to head NATO to be the military chief of NATO, he was 48 hours away from a confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill. Now all of that is on hold.

Ted.

ROWLANDS: So what -- basically the FBI has this information and they turn it over to the Pentagon for an internal investigation. Is there any indication of how long that will last? Because, as you mention, this really does put the brakes on the confirmation -- the potential confirmation of General Allen.

STARR: It may well do that. And that begins to affect NATO and it begins to affect the United States' perhaps most important security and military alliance. So this begins to have real implications.

How long will this investigation take? That's an unanswered question because once the -- it's like the FBI. Once the Inspector General gets involved in an investigation, it takes as long as they decide it takes. And I don't mean that facetiously. These are investigators who will take their time and decide what they think about everything and decide whether they believe there is evidence there and cause and reason to take it to the next step, which would be any kind of potential legal action against General Allen. Nobody's talking about that yet. Innocent until proven otherwise. But there is a procedure and a chain of events now in play and it won't be ratcheted back anytime soon.

ROWLANDS: Where is he now, do you know?

STARR: Well, we are told he's here in Washington and he had come here from Afghanistan for those confirmation hearings on Thursday. It's now expected he will return to Kabul. The president continues to express confidence in him as the commander of the war in Afghanistan. But make no mistake, there are hearings underway for his replacement in Afghanistan. Another Marine Corps general. As soon as that general is confirmed, it's expected he will then deploy to Kabul. He will take command of the war. And then we'll really see what happens with General Allen. It's becoming a very sensitive, I think would be the word, question around here, is this man's career over or can he still pass the Senate confirmation hearing?

ROWLANDS: All right, Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Thank you, Barbara.

Well, in regards to the Petraeus part of this story, FBI agents did search the home of Paula Broadwell last night. Nearly a dozen agents seen here carrying boxes out of her North Carolina home. They were also seen taking photos inside her home. It's not clear what exactly they were looking for or what they found. The FBI saying only that the search was a matter of tying up loose ends. Broadwell hasn't been seen at her home since the story broke about her affair with Petraeus.

Well, still ahead, if Petraeus had resigned for, let's say, health reasons, would he still have to testify this week on the Benghazi attack? We'll talk about the chances of that and the chances of him taking the hot seat.

Plus, police want to question him about a murder, but he is nowhere to be found. Coming up, I'll speak live with someone who just spoke with software pioneer John McAfee, who is on the run. He is in hiding. We'll get the very latest coming up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROWLANDS: Well, the deadly attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is a big issue for lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees planned separate hearings that will be closed to the public. One of those hearings scheduled to start next hour. Lawmakers want answers about the September 11th attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Republicans have been especially critical of the administration's response to the attack and the initial claims that the attack was a spontaneous protest sparked by a controversial online video that mocked Islam. CNN's Dana Bash is following the story for us on Capitol Hill.

And, Dana, I know one of the big topics there has been the resignation of David Petraeus, what he knows about the Benghazi attack and whether or not he might actually testify at these hearings. I understand you may have some new information with us -- for us, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right.

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Ted, her name is Dianne Feinstein, she told us just in the last hour that she does still want David Petraeus to come and talk to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee about what he learned on a recent trip to Benghazi. She told me that that would be a very big stone left unturned if he doesn't come. And she said that she is going to discuss right behind these doors in the next couple of hours with the other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, calling him as soon as this Friday morning, calling David Petraeus as soon as this Friday morning to discuss what he learned at -- during his trip to Benghazi, all of the information that he has at his disposal about what happened and didn't happen that led to that deadly attack. So that is one development that has happened.

The other thing is, and I should just kind of paint you the picture of what's happening here. There is, as you can imagine, a new frenzy of activity with regard to David Petraeus, with regard to General Allen and all of this surrounding it. And a frenzy of meetings as well. And just moments ago I ran in to the ranking Republican of the Intelligence Committee, Saxby Chambliss, who was walking down this hallway to have a private meeting with the acting CIA director, Michael Morell. He's doing that with Dianne Feinstein. So that's a meeting that's going on.

Again, behind me, in a couple of hours, there will be a meeting of all Senate Intelligence members. And they're going to discuss everything that they know about what's going on. Not just with Benghazi, but more importantly how they should deal with the fact that they are very angry that they were not informed prior about the investigation going on, specifically into the CIA director, David Petraeus.

And before I let you go, I just want to just give you a sense of the fact that it is bipartisan, the desire for Petraeus to come up here even though he is no longer CIA director. Want to play for you what Susan Collins, who is the ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee, what she said about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: There are so many unanswered questions at this point. I will say that I think it's absolutely imperative that General Petraeus come and testify. He was CIA director at the time of the attack. He visited Libya after the attack. He has a great deal of information that we need in order to understand what went wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: So, you know, we'll see by the end of the afternoon whether it's likely whether or not the Intelligence Committee is going to formally decide that David Petraeus should come up here as soon as this Friday and tell them what he knows about Benghazi. Boy, if that does happen, to be a fly on the wall in that room.

ROWLANDS: Yes, absolutely.

BASH: Never mind Benghazi, but just the vibe.

ROWLANDS: What a scene it will be obviously outside the room and inside the room as well. Dana Bash, thank you. We'll see you next hour for more.

Just ahead, three weeks later and thousands still in the cold and dark across the northeast. And new worries that millions of donated dollars aren't reaching Sandy victims. So, where is the money going? We'll look into it, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROWLANDS: Two weeks of cold days and even colder nights, thousands of people in New York City and Long Island are still without power after Superstorm Sandy. The Long Island Power Authority says it's expecting to get power back to most of its customers today, but folks are fed up and demanding answers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just dark and cold. That's pretty much -- that sizes it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don't think the management is unprepared for this. At the end of the day, this was just a monumental task.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like going on and on and on. End it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You start to get aggravated. We deserve better than this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: A lot of frustration there. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is promising to hold the power companies accountable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I'm going to do a thorough review/investigation, and a very serious one, and they will be held accountable for past performance. And then we also have to get smart about this and we have to make sure that we're prepared for when this happens again. Because I believe this will happen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: The governor put an estimate on Sandy's economic loss to the state at around $30 billion.

A different story in New Jersey, though. Governor Chris Christie ending gas rationing across the state. He says nearly everyone has their power back and nearly all schools are reopening. Life, he says, is returning to a new kind of normal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: We're entering into a new rebuilding phase post Hurricane Sandy. And after two weeks in the recovery phase, we've achieved a new normal for life in post Hurricane Sandy New Jersey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: New York Governor (ph) Michael Bloomberg says gas rationing will continue in New York City at least for now.

Well, as the victims of Sandy count their personal losses, people across the country are pitching in, donating money to charities like the Red Cross. This week alone, the Red Cross donations hit $117 million for the entire relief fund. But, as the money rolls in, some folks are asking, where is it going? CNN's Susan Candiotti reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the storm cleanup began, the man in charge of the besieged borough of Staten Island said he'd had enough with the American Red Cross.

JAMES MOLINARO, STATEN ISLAND BOROUGH PRESIDENT: All these people making these big salaries, these big salaries, should be out there on the front line. And I am disappointed. And my advice to the people of Staten Island is, do not donate to the American Red Cross.

CANDIOTTI: Molinaro's outrage lasted only one day. He backed off his criticism, soon telling CNN that all was just fine.

MOLINARO: It was killing me. So I spoke out. You know, get angry.

CANDIOTTI: But Molinaro's outburst, it turns out, wasn't the only assault on the Red Cross, a private charity that's considered the gold standard in American disaster relief. Some old questions are being asked again about what happens to all the money donated to the Red Cross by generous Americans. BEN SMILOWITZ, DISASTER ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT: At the end of the day, there really is very little oversight of this whole system.

CANDIOTTI: Ben Smilowitz heads a watchdog group called The Disaster Accountability Project. Red Cross executive salaries, he says, are very high and their tax filings prove it. Its CEO receives over $500,000 annually and its top 11 executives get pay packages that begin at $275,000 a year.

SMILOWITZ: You've got an organization that's in fund raising mode. They're run by their PR operation right now. They're putting on their best face. They don't want to invite scrutiny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Teaming up with the American Red Cross.

CANDIOTTI: All those telethons on ABC and on NBC have helped raise nearly $120 million in donations for Sandy relief. And corporate commitments already pledged will elevate that total to nearly a quarter of a billion dollars according to Smilowitz. Money the Red Cross says will be spent on the ground.

SUZY DE FRANCIS, AMERICAN RED CROSS: We understand that people get frustrated. We understand the criticisms. We know where they're coming from. But by and large what most people say to us is, thank you.

CANDIOTTI: Charity ratings organizations give the Red Cross high marks. On the ground, it's all about visibility.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): Right here in the disaster zone, there are questions as well about the Red Cross and its effectiveness. Are there enough volunteers? Did they send out enough food trucks? Where can you find them? How can you find them?

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): We found mixed reviews. This woman says the red Cross has been superb.

DEBORAH GIBSON, SANDY VICTIM: They're out here every day. They're easy to find. You don't have to go looking and searching. You know they're here.

CANDIOTTI: For a church group organizer also helping victims, a different take.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): Steve, as you drive around donating supplies, how much of a Red Cross presence have you seen?

STEVE APONTE, CHURCH OF CHRIST MINISTRIES: Very little. I've been talking to a few of them and they're telling us that they're trying to get as many people out, but they're starting to -- they're very stretched and very thin.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): The Red Cross is a huge institution. And its leaders say Sandy will cost the organization $100 million by the time all the numbers are in. In its appeals for Sandy, the Red Cross insists every penny goes directly to storm victims. Yet on its website, the Red Cross says only that donations will go towards storms like Sandy.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROWLANDS: Thank you, Susan.

Well, growing tension between the CIA and the FIB. My next guest says the relationship between the two agencies has been strained for years. And the more they make more, the less safe we all are. Don't miss it. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROWLANDS: Just in to CNN, moments ago House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is responding to the scandal involving David Petraeus and national security came up. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: Well, I think there's some answers that we have to have about notification to Congress. I don't have any reason to think that there are any national security issues at stake in what has transpired. I think some dishonorable things were done and the honorable thing has to be to resign, not to go forward.

(INAUDIBLE)

PELOSI: Well, I don't know -- see, that's what I said. We have to find out what -- who knew what when and why would Congress not know. But, again, again, if it doesn't involve national security, the notification requirement doesn't trigger. If it involves poor behavior, yes, it would have been nice to know before we saw it on TV.

Yes, (INAUDIBLE).

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you express to him, though, what your concern was about these notifications (INAUDIBLE) reveal anything about where he stands, I guess what I'm describing for you (INAUDIBLE) obviously you want to have some answers but you also want to put them on notice that there's a -- you have a problem with notification (INAUDIBLE).

PELOSI: Well, I had notification if it involves national security, but as you know the acting director is talking to the leaders about what has transpired and how we go forward.

I think it is really important to note that this was a personal indiscretion as far as we know. Why somebody would be personally indiscreet is their own problem. Why they would do it in e-mails is beyond my imagination, but in any event, the honorable thing was done, the general has resigned.

There are questions about timing of just -- as a tradition to notify Congress before we see it on TV. If it involves national security, though, that's a different story. So far we do not believe that it involves national security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: All right, that tape just coming in to CNN from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Well, it isn't supposed to work this way, but America's top two intelligence services, the FBI and the CIA, sometimes don't care too much for each other at least not historically.

We bring this up because of the central role played by the FBI in the downfall of David Petraeus until Friday, of course, was the head of the CIA. Joining us now from New York, reporter and author Tim Weiner, formerly of the "New York Times."

He's written books about both the CIA and the FBI. Do you believe the rivalry between the FBI and CIA played any sort of a role in the Petraeus downfall?

TIM WEINER, AUTHOR, "ENEMIES: A LONG HISTORY OF THE FBI": Well, CIA does have a right to be furious and there is a scandal here, but it is not about sex. Adultery is not a federal crime.

The scandal is that a single rogue FBI agent appears to have taken it upon himself to leak the raw reporting in this case to a member of Congress. That's not how the game is played. That is a dirty business.

ROWLANDS: And you're talking about the agent that was contacted initially and wasn't part of the FBI investigation, but had some knowledge because he was the one that passed it on to his superiors.

He then apparently went to someone who went to Eric Cantor, and that sort of started the ball rolling. But really, that's not how this came out. So is he really a major player in all of this?

WEINER: I think he should be and I think he will be because that is dishonorable conduct. Look, the FBI and the CIA spent the second half of the 20th Century at war with one another and their feuding was really one of the biggest causes that the 9/11 attacks succeed.

They didn't cooperate. They didn't play nice. They didn't share secrets. If this gins up another rivalry, it will be a real blow to the national security of the United States.

ROWLANDS: A lot of people are asking why purportedly harassing e- mails send to a Tampa Bay socialite would warrant a federal investigation. Do you think Jill Kelley, the recipient of the e- mails, may have let slip to the FBI that she was friendly with David Petraeus and that's maybe why the FBI jumped all in?

WEINER: There is no crime here. The FBI found no crime in the correspondence, the allegedly scary e-mails that she received. The only crime that may be here is the unauthorized disclosure of a very low level criminal investigation to a member of Congress that catapulted it into a national cause celeb. ROWLANDS: Now let's talk about David Petraeus. You have written about him. Are you surprised about his conduct and did his success on the battlefield dissuade certain people from asking tough questions as he was moving up the career ladder?

WEINER: Well, the general has a great reputation that he has cultivated and the bible says pride goeth before a fall. This is a very proud man.

ROWLANDS: And he went down before letting this go any further. Bottom line here, is this incident in your opinion likely to harden the longstanding rivalry between the two agencies, the FBI and the CIA?

WEINER: If it evolves that the FBI behaved in a way that went beyond the bonds of the law and as a result took out a highly respected general and CIA director, there will be reason for friction. And that is not good for our safety and security.

ROWLANDS: But haven't we gotten -- haven't we gotten past that, post 9/11?

WEINER: Well, Bob Mueller, the head of the FBI has worked very hard, but, you know, the cast of characters that the CIA keeps changing. They've had five directors in the last eight years, now they will get a sixth, and the instability makes it very hard for cooperation to succeed as seamlessly as it should.

ROWLANDS: All right, we'll see how it all plays out. Tim Weiner, thank you for your time and your insight. We appreciate it.

One immediate task at hand for the president, filling up his next cabinet. Up next, the short list of possible replacements for key cabinet positions including secretary of state. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROWLANDS: Let the guessing games begin over who will replace Hillary Clinton who has long insisted that she would not serve a second term as secretary of state.

What is obvious is that whoever takes over her position is going to inherit a slew of international issues from Syria to Afghanistan to Iran.

CNN's Jill Dougherty is at the State Department. And, Jill, I guess we're learning new information from Democratic officials about the cabinet position.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, I mean, in a way it is new, Ted, these officials are saying that there is support for Secretary Rice that is Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador for the United States, for taking the position had she leaves of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

And that name, Susan Rice, has been bandied about for quite a long time, but now, you know, the drumbeat is increasing and Secretary Clinton, remember, has said she will leave at the end of the term that would mean January.

But she's also indicated that she might stick around until the president is able to replace her and that would mean, of course, that the president would have to nominate someone and that person would have to get through the Senate.

Now that's where the plot thickens because Susan Rice, as we all know, is part of this unfolding saga about Benghazi and the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and other Americans in Libya.

So she has been blamed a lot, of course, for coming out and saying that those attacks, that attack was spurred by a video and then later on the administration said that it was terrorism.

That could set her up for some really tough times in hearings up on Capitol Hill, in front of the Senate. A lot of people or some people might not be happy about that. They might try to stop her.

So this is, you know, again, it is speculation that happens in Washington a lot. The other candidate, of course, would be Senator John Kerry. Very likely candidate since he's involved very much in international affairs and yet Susan Rice seems to be -- that names seems to be rising to the top.

ROWLANDS: As you mentioned, secretary's flexibility will allow the president to nominate someone who may not get confirmed and go to plan B. The bottom line here is that president just lost a CIA director.

He's going to lose Secretary Clinton. His Afghan war general involved in a scandal. Is this shaping the president's foreign policy, without him directing it? Are there real effects to all of this, do you think, worldwide?

DOUGHERTY: At this point, no, I don't think that. And one of the reasons is that the foreign policy really, a lot of it comes directly from the White House. There is a lot of control by this administration over what the direction is.

After all, the president is one who is in charge and Secretary Clinton certainly has been very much a part of creating some of that, and carrying it out. But I think you have to say that at this point to say that when she leaves or somebody else comes in that the policy changes -- no, don't think that will happen.

ROWLANDS: All right, Jill Dougherty, coming to us from Washington. Thank you, appreciate it, Jill.

Well, happening right now, we're getting word the two snowboarders stranded on Mount Rainier in Washington have been rescued. We're getting in live pictures. Find out exactly what happened and how they were rescued. Stay with us coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROWLANDS: And right now, in the state of Washington, a dramatic rescue going on at Mount Rainier where two snowboarders had to be rescued after being stranded for, I guess, since Sunday.

Chad Myers is here, he's been following this story. Two young men who appeared to be doing OK, assuming they're among these folks coming down the hill here. So they're able to walk at least, but, boy, stranded for a couple of days.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Still to be checked out, conditions obviously always touch and go when you're on the mountain for 48 hour and don't expect to be. They thought it would be a day hike up, a snowboard down and didn't take provisions to be there overnight.

They were stuck at about 7500 feet very cold and they received 20 inches of snow just in one night alone. The researchers -- the people saying -- the people getting to these guys saying they were swimming through two to four feet of new snow to get to them. They were over half a mile from them yesterday, but couldn't get to them because the conditions got to be blizzard and whiteout again.

But that's how they knew where they were at least. OK, here is where we are. We have to turn back, but at least we know we're close and they did get to them today. That's according to Cairo, our affiliate up there in Seattle.

ROWLANDS: Well, a good news obviously that they are coming down the mountain, apparently, it's going to take them a good two hours to get down the mountain and hiked up at the beginning.

MYERS: They did.

ROWLANDS: So, all right, Chad Myers, thank you. Good news. Some good news.

Well, Mitt Romney has been out of sight since the -- in the last week since the election, since losing the election, but his running mate, Paul Ryan, has broken his silence.

In an interview with our affiliate Witi, Ryan says he has no regrets with the campaign that he ran with Governor Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: I'm grateful for the opportunity. It was an honor to serve with Mitt Romney on the ticket. It was a great experience that we will cherish.

We didn't win the election. It didn't go our way. I congratulate the president. He won the election fair and square. I think we lost because the president did a better job of getting his voters to polls. We didn't win that just how it goes sometimes. So now we got to find a way to make divided government work.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROWLANDS: Coming up, a bizarre investigation playing out in Belize. An American who pioneered the anti-virus software McAfee is at the center of this investigation. He's in hiding and waiting and wanted for questioning.

Up next, a reporter who just spoke with him, he'll tell us about that conversation and this story. It is developing. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROWLANDS: McAfee is one of the best known names in anti-virus software. You probably used it on your computer. Today, it's founder and namesake John McAfee is being sought by authorities in Central America.

Police in Belize want to talk to McAfee about the killing of his neighbor, whose body was found Sunday face up in a pool of blood. Police are pursuing multiple leads and claim they want to talk to McAfee as part of their investigation. No one seems to know where he is.

However, he is talking. Let's bring in Joshua Davis, a contributing editor for "Wired" magazine. Joshua, just this morning, while on the run, McAfee called you and apparently he called you about 5 minutes ago. Tell us what he's telling you about what's going on in Belize.

JOSHUA DAVIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "WIRED" MAGAZINE: Five minutes ago, he called me, he said the police raided the house next door to where he was, he evaded them. He's now in a new location. I have yet to be able to independently verify this, but McAfee says he will not turn himself in.

ROWLANDS: He's on the run. And some of the photos we have seen of him. He's got kind of a Rambo edge to him, going on down there. And he claims that he told you he apparently hid in -- underground in the sand at one point when he saw authorities coming. Tell us about that.

DAVIS: At the -- his neighbor, Gregory Faull, was murdered on Saturday night. On Sunday, the police came to McAfee's property to question him. McAfee saw them coming, and he dug a hole in the sand and buried himself in the sand, he says.

He put a cardboard box over his head so he could breathe. He said it was extremely uncomfortable, but he believes the police will kill him if he turns himself in.

ROWLANDS: A bizarre story. Let's go back a little bit there. Apparently, McAfee has some dogs, neighbors didn't like the dogs. Friday the dogs end up getting poisoned. Some died, some apparently just sick.

And then, boom, the neighbor is dead. So, of course, authorities want to talk to him because there was this ongoing fight about McAfee's dogs. What was his relationship with Gregory Faull, the shooting victim? What has he told you about Gregory Faull? DAVIS: He says that he's had very little contact with Greg over the past three years. They have spoken maybe 50 words total. Nonetheless there was antagonism there. McAfee admits that.

He says that there is no question that Faull had talked to him about the dogs and said that he didn't like the barking. Mr. Faull had filed a complaint with the local town counsel, with the mayor, saying he didn't like the noise that the dogs were making. The dogs were poisoned on Friday night. They died very quickly. On Saturday night, Mr. Faull was found -- sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, Mr. Faull was killed.

ROWLANDS: This morning columnist, Jeff Wise, talked to CNN's "STARTING POINT." Take a listen to this, if you will.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF WISE, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY COLUMNIST: I'll put it this way, listen. We're all innocent until proven guilty, but the people in his community were frightened of him. The last time I visited him, he welcomed me warmly into his home, invited me to spend the night at his house, stay for dinner. However, but the hairs on the back of my neck were up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: Do you agree with that assessment? Had he gone over the edge?

DAVIS: I do agree that he is a very eccentric multimillionaire and I also felt fear at various times with him. I in fact had stayed at his property over the course of the six months I was reporting this.

And there were occasions where I wondered if there was something bad that was going to happen. But I didn't necessarily know whether that was because what McAfee was saying was true, which is that the government was going to raid him and try to kill him, or whether McAfee himself might be the dangerous one. It's an open question.

ROWLANDS: He's been paranoid about the government's involvement with this case, specifically, targeting him. He also said to you, apparently, that when he found out his neighbor was dead. He thought maybe they were coming for me and accidentally killed the neighbor. But to be clear, he says he didn't kill his neighbor.

DAVIS: He says he did not kill his neighbor. I asked him point blank. At the same time, his conflict with the government goes quite a ways back. In April, the government raided his property on the mainland.

The gang suppression unit stormed his compound, and charged him with running a methamphetamine lab in addition to illegal arms possession. And the charges were subsequently dropped, but ever since then McAfee thinks he's been harassed by the police.

And I've directly confronted him on this and I said, maybe you're paranoid. He talks about the police hiding in bushes and stalking him. When I talked to the police in Belize and say is this true, they say absolutely not and they laugh. They say this is ridiculous.

ROWLANDS: All right, Joshua Davis, keep us informed if he calls back. The latest update just 5 minutes ago, he claims he is on the run in Belize. Joshua, thank you. Appreciate it.

Just ahead for all shoppers out there looking for a good deal, you'll want to finish Thanksgiving dinner a little early this year because Black Friday is turning into Black Thursday. Not everybody is happy about it, though. We'll talk about that coming up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROWLANDS: This year, if you want to get a jump on the traditional after Thanksgiving sales, you had better finish your turkey early. The big retailers are moving their Black Friday opening hours closer to Thursday's Thanksgiving dinner time.

We told you about Wal-Mart's 8:00 Thursday opening, 8:00 p.m. you can add Toys "R" Us to the list and Target is not far behind with a 9:00 p.m. opening time on Thanksgiving.

Alison Kosik joins us from the New York Stock Exchange. Alison, what is the reason for this? I know there is some talk that it is to combat the dominance of online shopping sites like Amazon, but really on Thanksgiving.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, what this kind of it this is a combination of intense competition out there and consumer demand. People want this. Retailers say this is exactly what they're giving, giving people what they want.

The data supports that. The National Retail Federation says more than half of us, we started shopping for the holidays, so way long ago. In fact, more than 12 percent of us started way before in September.

So no wonder Black Friday is getting earlier and earlier every year. Stores are looking to tap into that by enticing shoppers with lots of exclusive deals.

ROWLANDS: I guess, it makes sense, a lot of people go to movies after Thanksgiving deals, but not everybody is happy here.

KOSIK: No, because opening early means the workers have to leave their Thanksgiving table and go to work early and that sparked some employees to really vent online. There is a petition on change.org, one employee says give Thanksgiving back to employees.

Target says it asked store managers to consider what employees prefer when they create their staffing schedules for thanksgiving weekend, but also points out, listen, this is one of the busiest weekends of the year for the stores so it is all hands on deck if possible.

And you know what? And if you don't like this Black Friday creep going into Friday, going into Thursday, rather, the suggestion is, for many people, go ahead and stay home. Don't shop and I'll bet you anything the stores will take notice and won't open on Thursday next year.

ROWLANDS: All right, good point, Alison Kosik, thank you.