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U.S. Commander In Afghanistan Being Investigated; FBI Searches Paula Broadwell's Home; FBI Agent In Petraeus Case Under Scrutiny; General John Allen Investigated For E-Mails; President Obama's Cabinet Shuffle; Anti-Virus Pioneer Wanted In Belize Killing; Antivirus Pioneer Wanted in Belize Killing; Fiscal Cliff Negotiations in Washington; U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Being Investigated; FBI Searches Paula Broadwell's Home

Aired November 13, 2012 - 06:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: She is the Florida woman who triggered the original Petraeus probe after getting threatening e-mails from Petraeus' mistress, Paula Broadwell.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: "The Wall Street Journal" reports the FBI agent who launched the Petraeus investigation is himself under investigation, in part because he had sent shirtless pictures of himself to Jill Kelley.

The agent who knew Kelley allegedly sent the pictures before that investigation even began. He was kept away from the Petraeus probe because supervisors were concerned the agent may have become obsessed with the case.

BERMAN: And this news, the FBI paid a visit to Paula Broadwell's home overnight. A team of agents spent nearly five hours searching the house in Charlotte, North Carolina. No word on just what they were looking for.

BERMAN: So we have team coverage for you on this. CNN's Chris Lawrence is at the Pentagon. Nick Paton Walsh is in Beirut and Brianna Keilar is in our Washington bureau.

We're going to start with Chris. So Chris, we're now talking about two high-level government officials ensnared in this scandal. General Allen was set to become the supreme allied commander for NATO. What is going to happen to him now?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, that hearing has been postponed. General Allen, we're told, was already in Washington, had already traveled here. That hearing was supposed to begin in just about 48 hours.

Now, the Pentagon has asked to postpone that. Right now, the inspector general is poring through between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of e-mails, allegedly inappropriate contact e-mails between General Allen and Jill Kelley. The pieces somewhat now starting to fit together because we know that some of the e-mails that Paula Broadwell sent to Jill Kelley sort of warned her to stay away from some of the generals that Paula Broadwell accused her of being involved with.

Now that these names sort of are coming together, we're getting a better sense of what happened. And here's Pentagon spokesman George Tittle talking about what's next for General Allen.


GEORGE LITTLE, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: General Allen is entitled to due process in this matter. In the meantime, the secretary has asked the president, and the president has agreed, to put his nomination on hold until the relevant facts are determined.


LAWRENCE: So, while they want to keep General Allen in his position for right now, they have also asked that the hearing for his replacement be quickly moved to the Senate -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Have we heard from General Allen at all?

LAWRENCE: Only from what we've heard from the Pentagon, from sources at the Pentagon, who say he disputes any wrongdoing in this matter.

SAMBOLIN: All right, so yesterday we were talking about the importance of the time line. This is of the Petraeus affair. Adultery is a criminal act in the military.

But officials say the relationship between Petraeus and Broadwell actually began after he retired, but what about Allen? He is a current commander. He is married. If these e-mails reveal evidence of adultery could he face criminal charges, as well?

LAWRENCE: If there was actual sex between a married officer and someone else then yes, it's possible. Although I talked to a source earlier today who says he believes in this case, even if there was adultery. He's not saying there was, but he does not feel that there would be a criminal charges brought against General Allen.

SAMBOLIN: All right, and we have another bizarre twist in this story. We know Paula Broadwell's home was searched. Actually we're going to deal with this one first. Do you have any idea what the agents found or what they were searching for? And then I'll get to the other crazy question.

LAWRENCE: No idea what they found. We know they carried out boxes containing papers. They searched two levels of the home. This is a very upscale neighborhood where she lives. It's also the site where the Showtime series "Homeland" is filmed.

We can imagine that since they had found some classified information on her computer earlier, they may have been going back to look to see what else was there. SAMBOLIN: OK, and here's the bizarre twist here. There was an agent who launched this investigation. He sent topless photos of himself to Kelley. What else can you tell us about that?

LAWRENCE: Apparently that photo was sent before this investigation even began, Zoraida. What this was? Was this agent knew Jill Kelley. They were personal friends and that's why Jill Kelley went to him.

Went to her local Tampa field office when she started getting these e- mails, which later turned out to be from Paula Broadwell to say here, here's a problem. He then referred the case on to the Cyber Crimes Unit, because he doesn't work in that area.

But apparently he kept, I guess, poking around the investigation, and at some point they told him, or he was told, you know, no longer come to meetings, you're not involved in this case, basically.

SAMBOLIN: Well, good thing we have you this morning to sort all of this out for us. Chris Lawrence live at the Pentagon. Thank you very much.

BERMAN: All right, let's bring it back to General John Allen now. So now the man currently overseeing America's way out of Afghanistan is tangled up in this scandal. General Allen denied that he's engaged in any wrongdoing, but it is certainly, at the very least, a distraction.

Nick Paton Walsh was recently on the ground with troops. Nick, why don't you tell us what you know about General Allen the person.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was a remarkably astute man, able to grasp what was really happening in Afghanistan, and where the real problems are there. So much of his job was, in effect, public relations, selling the war and his leadership of it as success.

But it was clear from talking to him that he could also understand what the enduring challenges were really going to be there. I think it's also important to point out people talk about historian, talk about tradition in this sort of thing.

But he was also very much aware of the humanity behind a conflict like this, of the need to respect cultures. Also, he was a man who inspired great loyalty from many of his colleagues. I remember one aide who served lengthy tours in Iraq saying that if a call came again from General John Allen he would certainly have taken it.

In fact, did go and serve in Kabul. He stated one anecdote when they were together in Iraq many years ago, around landed close to the dining facility where they were eating and a younger soldier left beneath the table for cover, General Allen stayed in his seat and leaned down underneath the table and said, son, you're not going to win the war from down there. A key example of why he inspired that sort of loyalty from those close to him.

BERMAN: So for the time being he's going to stay doing what he is doing in Afghanistan. But with the investigation going on, it's got to be a distraction.

WALSH: Certainly. I mean, practically he had a few months left there. This is a war, the conduct of which strategically has been decided in Washington some time ago. In many ways, he was there to clean up the mess that a decade-long campaign has left Afghanistan in, in many ways.

In fact, fascinatingly, despite how bad it was going on so many fronts, he was a difficult man to dislike. Certainly, we're now in a situation where the last three ISAF commanders of American forces there, Stanley McChrystal, sacked on inappropriate comments to a reporter.

General David Petraeus, promotion to CIA, but then resigned after an extramarital affair, and then General John Allen. So certainly the Afghan campaign already besieged many people asking questions this morning.

BERMAN: All right, Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much for your perspective on this growing scandal, if that's what it is.

SAMBOLIN: And for how the White House is responding, let's bring in White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar. We've been talking about the fiscal cliff for so long know. The president and Congress are scheduled this week to talk about this. You would imagine, though, this is a huge distraction.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It is a distraction. Of course, a sex scandal takes up a lot of the air in the news cycle, but the President and Congress still focused on the fiscal cliff.

Congress returns to town, as you know, Zoraida, today and President Obama begins a series of meetings. Today, he meets with liberal leaders, as well as labor leaders, and then tomorrow he meets with business leaders.

Friday, he'll be meeting with the top Democrat, the top Republican in both the House and the Senate, to talk about the fiscal cliff and how to move forward. Of course, the other issue, and you heard Nick touch upon this, is this transition of power in Afghanistan.

General Allen was already set to depart as -- as far as being the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. And this is a critical time, as President Obama figures out what to do with those remaining 68,000 combat troops, U.S. troops set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The thing is, as the Hill, as Democrats and Republicans come back to the Hill this week, the confirmation hearing for General Joseph Dunford who is set to replace General Allen, that was scheduled for Thursday, as well. And it will go ahead as planned, even though Allen's confirmation hearing has been delayed -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right, Brianna, "The Washington Post" has a report speculating who may replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and also who may move in to the Defense Department. What can you tell us about that?

KEILAR: That's right. So a lot of people, Zoraida, as you know, were talking about Senator Kerry, perhaps he might be someone who would replace Hillary Clinton. Everyone knew that this was a position that perhaps he had his eye on in 2008, and Hillary Clinton took that position.

But, "The Post" is reporting that President Obama is considering Senator Kerry for the post of defense secretary. So that's something new. Keep in mind this is kind of the time of speculation and trial balloons.

But there's a lot of conventional wisdom, a lot of folks who think that it may be U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, the ambassador to the U.N. who may replace Hillary Clinton. That she is very much favored by President Obama for the position of secretary of state even though she is embattled over her remarks on Benghazi.

Remember she initially said it was a spontaneous attack when it now seems that perhaps that was not the case, and perhaps the administration should have known things at that point. But, yes, this is what we're hearing. Of course, we're going to have to wait and see how all of this plays out because it's kind of a name game right now.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, there is a lot that needs to play out. Brianna Keilar live at the White House. Thank you very much.

We'll have much more on the scandal that has now exploded. At 6:30 Eastern, CNN contributor Tom Fuentes, former assistant director at the FBI will join us.

BERMAN: And then on "STARTING POINT" at 7:00 Eastern, the man whose own sex scandal led to his ultimate downfall, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. Also Congressman Jason Chaffetz will weigh in along with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

And if the news isn't weird enough for you this morning, a rich Silicon Valley entrepreneur caught up in a murder mystery in Belize. Coming up, why police want to talk to security software pioneer, John McAfee.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. It's 13 minutes past the hour here. The creator of McAfee anti-virus computer software is now wanted for questioning in a murder case.

BERMAN: Police in Belize say they want to talk to John McAfee in connection with the shooting death of his neighbor Gregory Fall, but they say so far McAfee is nowhere to be found.

Richard Roth is following developments from New York this morning. Richard, there are reports of tension between McAfee and this guy, Gregory Fall. What more can you tell us?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: This seems to be a morning with a lot of interesting stories.


ROTH: Curious mysteries. So, Fall was his neighbor. It appears that there may have been a lot of reasons that they didn't like each other, but he's being looked for by the police, not an official suspect yet.

Fall was found shot in the head, lying face up in a pool of blood. But dogs could have been at the heart of this. The neighbors -- the victim, was a building contractor who had moved there to retire from Florida.

He had complained reportedly about barking dogs on McAfee's property, dogs that may have come on to his property. There was a computer missing from Fall's property and a cell phone.

This is John McAfee, who was definitely eccentric, an entrepreneur, had a lot of varied interests. This was him in a recent interview with Reuters.


JOHN MCAFEE, CREATOR, MCAFEE ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE: I have an officer living on my compound. It makes me feel safe. It makes me feel safer to know that all the criminals that might want to rob me know there's a policeman living there. And they think there's something wrong with that.


ROTH: McAfee worried about security. In April, police had raided his property, and had arrested him on charges -- suspicion of drug paraphernalia equipment, methamphetamines, he denied it. Charges were then dropped. He was suing the government.

He moved there to just delve into antibiotics from jungle trees. He had a lot of varied interests. Yoga, low-flying open cockpit planes.

We don't know what exactly happened so far to Mr. Fall and who murdered him.

SAMBOLIN: Bizarre, crazy story.

Richard Roth, thank you so much. We appreciate that.

Fifteen minutes past the hour.

We're following breaking news this morning -- a stunning development overnight in the David Petraeus sex scandal. General John Allen, the top American commander in Afghanistan, is now under investigation for sending potentially inappropriate e-mails to Jill Kelley. She's the Florida woman in the Petraeus case who is said to have received threatening e-mails from Petraeus' biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell.

BERMAN: The puppeteer behind Elmo on "Sesame Street" taking a leave of absence over allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy. Kevin Clash's accuser, who is now 23, claims he had a relationship with Clash starting when he was 16. Clash issued a statement saying it did have a relationship but it was between two consenting adults.

SAMBOLIN: Monday night football. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime, 16-13. The Chiefs tied the game on a field goal at the end of regulation. But an interception set the Steelers up for the game-winning three-pointer in overtime. The win could be costly. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left the game with a shoulder injury after being sacked in the third quarter. Let's hope he's OK.

BERMAN: All right. Seventeen minutes after the hour right now.

Unless you've mastered human flight, the airlines got you. But you may not be stuck or have to be stuck with all those enraging fees this holiday season.

SAMBOLIN: Airlines have projected to make over 11 percent more revenue than last year. And, guess what? It is from fees alone.


SAMBOLIN: Is there a way around this, though?

ROMANS: That's what I can tell you, that if you can't pack light you've got to pack smart. And this is a new business model for the airlines, right? I mean, there's a charge for your ticket and there's all these other charges on top for your flight, and that's how they're making more money.

Airline fees set to top $36 billion this year. They're charging you for extra things like snacks, a seat, your seat assignment, to luggage.

Spirit Airlines chose Election Day to hike its luggage fees. The cost checking your bag at the gate went up from $45 to 100 bucks on November 6th.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my goodness.

ROMANS: Carry-on bag fees went up between $5 and $10 as well.

They're not alone. Many airlines charge more for seats close to the front of the plane, for more leg room or even charge you to choose your seat in advance. I recently paid not to sit in a center seat. I paid to sit either in an aisle or window. That was extra.

Here's what you need to do. You need to check your airline's policy before you book. You can also go to to see a comprehensive list of fees by airline.

Try to be conservative when you're packing so you don't get hit with fees for excess weight. Don't bring a lot of stuff. Finally, you might want to consider wearing your luggage. There are some inventions like this thing called the Rufus Roo jacket or jack to go. It transforms from a suitcase into a coat, allowing you to carry a lot more hand baggage on board without paying the fee. It's got lots of pockets and all these cool places to hide things.

You're never going to find your future spouse wearing this.

SAMBOLIN: That is incredible. No kidding.

BERMAN: Does this luggage make you look fat?

ROMANS: Yes, yes it does. But it makes you also look cheap because --

BERMAN: That's a great way --

ROMANS: You take it off, you put it in the bin to scan and then you put it back on.

SAMBOLIN: That is a brilliant idea.

ROMANS: I saw Richard Quest wearing one of these one time. And he was packing like everything but the kitchen sink so he could avoid the fees and it works. But until they charge you to wear a cape full of all your stuff. That's what's next.

SAMBOLIN: Which they will. I paid $3 for water. I couldn't believe it.

ROMANS: I'll tell you, I just want the clarity. I want to know how much it's going to cost.

The other thing is I travel with children. So I have a lot of stuff I'm bringing on a plane. So, most airlines are actually very good. They'll let me take a car seat and they won't charge me. I don't know if that's official or legit or it's just the nice person at the counter who doesn't want to pile on. But my flights end up costing a lot more than the average highest fare.

SAMBOLIN: All righty. I want one of these. Thank you so much, Christine.

ROMANS: I know, the Rufus Roo.


Nineteen minutes past the hour. No gas, no problem. Coming up, a first for Motor Trends Car of the Year Award.


SAMBOLIN: Twenty-three minutes past the hour.

We are minding your business.

First, let's do a quick market check. Yes, no?


SAMBOLIN: Stock futures for the Dow, NASDAQ, S&P 500 down this morning.

BERMAN: And I think we're going to be seeing this kind of volatility in the markets until this fiscal cliff thing is resolved, if it's resolved.

SAMBOLIN: But they're a little distracted right now.

ROMANS: I know. Yes, they're a little distracted. But I think you're absolutely right. Between Europe and the fiscal cliff this is going to be -- these will be the two things will be driving markets through the end of the year. I think that's either going to make it very volatile and unpredictable or it means it's just going to be dead. I mean, I'm not quite sure how it's going to play out, but it's been rough.

Yesterday was little changed. Very low volume day, but it was a holiday. It was a Veterans Day holiday there.

You know, we're going to be looking at the meetings that the president had with labor leaders, meeting with the White House, meetings with congressional leaders. I think it's very important for both sides to be very careful about the markers they put out publicly.

I think they've hinted at this. You know, when Speaker Boehner said I don't want to put anybody in a box, I don't want to be put in the box, they don't want to have some framework out there the markets are going to get all concerned about.

But inside Wall Street, different analysts and investment houses are saying they're not certain that a deal is -- the kind of deal that Wall Street wants is going to actually get done. So that's still -- so that's still something to really be concerned about, a lot of comparisons going on in the debt ceiling debate of 2011, of course, that started all this. That was a very hard time for investors and for the public.

Now something that's a little more fun, faster and cooler, as I said, than Congress, the Motor Trend Car of the Year, this was a really cool. Tesla S -- it is the Tesla Model S. It's an all-electric plug- in luxury car. The first time an electric car has been elected, 11 finalists. And this was a pretty solid field., the Ford Fusion, Porsche 911, the Hyundai Azera.

And the editor at "Motor Trend" said at its core the Tesla Model S is simply a damned good car you happen to plug in to refuel. All the electric as I said, seats seven -- in part because it doesn't have a big, bulky combustion engine, average 74.5 miles per gallon equivalent. You know, that's ordinary street driving. It does much better out on the open road. Fifty grand to 100 grand -- so not exactly within the reach of everyone.

But interesting development for "Motor Trend", the first all-electric plug-in.

BERMAN: All right. What's the one thing we need to know about our money?

ROMANS: One you need to know today -- please check your portfolio for dividends paying stocks. JPMorgan says there's a growing feeling on Wall Street that taxes on investments will rise next year. Higher dividend and capital gains taxes next year could affect how your portfolio performs. Please check for those dividend-yielding -- dividend-yielding stocks.

Some people have had them for safety. You have a lot of people who are older who have them in their portfolio because they get a good yield, a good return. You're not getting that return in the bank.

So this now is a good time to take a very good look at what you have in there.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-six minutes past the hour.

Next on EARLY START, bombshell: new details in the General Petraeus scandal. Could it lead to the downfall of another general -- the current top commander in Afghanistan, as he tries to end a war? We're going live to the Pentagon.


BERMAN: Breaking news: another four-star general gets tangled up in the Petraeus scandal. We will have details from the Pentagon in moments.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, the other, other woman, Jill Kelley. There's her picture there. It turns out she could be linked to two very powerful men at the Pentagon.

BERMAN: Also FBI agents raiding the home of Paula Broadwell, the woman who cost the CIA director his job.

A lot going on this morning, everyone. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Thirty minutes past the hour here.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

SAMBOLIN: We begin with breaking news. The sex scandal that cost David Petraeus his job as CIA director takes a shocking turn. The man who succeeded Petraeus as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, is now under investigation for alleged inappropriate communications with Jill Kelley. BERMAN: The Pentagon says Allen will continue his role in Afghanistan while the matter is being investigated. But his nomination to become NATO's supreme allied commander is on hold.

Jill Kelley is the Florida woman who triggered the FBI investigation after receiving anonymous threatening e-mails from the woman at the center of the scandal.

SAMBOLIN: OK. That would be Petraeus' biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell. Their extramarital affair reportedly began after Petraeus retired and became CIA director. That was September of last year. A team of FBI agents were searching Broadwell's home in Charlotte, North Carolina. That was overnight.

BERMAN: All right. There is a lot going on here.

So, we have three reports: Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon, Brianna Keilar at the White House, and Tom Fuentes, former assistant director at the FBI and now a CNN contributor.

Now, we're going to start with Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon.

Chris, you've been all over this story this morning. We're talking about two high-level government officials ensnared in this scandal. And, you know, General Allen was set to become supreme allied commander in NATO. What's going to happen to him now?

LAWRENCE: That's right, John.

I mean, he was just 48 hours away from beginning his Senate confirmation hearings. In fact, General Allen had already come here to D.C. to start preparing for those hearings. Now, the Pentagon has asked Senate to delay those hearings indefinitely while the inspector general goes through these 20,000 to 30,000 pages of e-mails to determine exactly what inappropriate contact may have been taking place there.

Also, we're learning that basically, the Pentagon wants to fast track General Allen's replacement in Afghanistan.

And we're starting to get a better picture of how all this fits together. Remember, General David Petraeus used to be based in Tampa, as head of Central Command. General John Allen, before he went to Afghanistan, was also based in Central Command. That is where Jill Kelley lives. That is where she works with some of the military families there.

So there is this connection starting to come together and we're starting to get a better sense of how it all fits.

BERMAN: All right. The time line has been important in the Petraeus side of the scandal, because adultery we hear is a crime in the military. But officials say the relationship between Petraeus and Broadwell began after he retired from the military. But General John Allen appears to be a different story here.

He is a current commander in Afghanistan. He's married. Could he face any kind of criminal jeopardy here?

LAWRENCE: Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, if there was sex outside of marriage, then, yes, he could be prosecuted for adultery. But right now, all we have is the inappropriate contact contained in these e-mails. General Allen has said that he's disputing any, you know, accusations of wrongdoing. So we'll have to see exactly what happened.

But beyond that, I spoke to a source earlier this morning who said, you know, even if this was adultery, and he's not saying it is, but even if it was, he just does not think that there would be criminal charges brought against General Allen for adultery.

BERMAN: All right. As if all this activity isn't enough already, there is more news overnight. News that the FBI investigator who was really at the beginning of this whole search and investigation had connections to Jill Kelley himself and had sent topless photos of himself to Jill Kelley.

That's just bizarre. What can you tell us about that?

LAWRENCE: It is. But then when you start to piece it together, John, it does make a lot more sense. In that we're told that this photo was sent before this investigation even began, and that this agent and Jill Kelley knew each other. They were friends. That's why she went to her local Tampa field office of the FBI when she started getting these e-mails, which we later learned were from Paula Broadwell.

She knew the agent. She had a personal relationship. So she took the e-mails to him. He then turned them over to the cyber crimes division, because he didn't work in that part of the FBI, didn't have anything to do with it. It was only later that sort of we're told he started poking his nose around the investigation, and basically was told to, you know, step back.

BERMAN: All right. Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon -- a lot of twists and turns here. Thanks for being on top of them all for us.

SAMBOLIN: As for how the White House is responding, let's bring in White House correspondent Brianna Keilar.

And, Brianna, the president and Congress have been scheduled this week to meet about the fiscal cliff. Might these new details have a bit of a distraction for them?

KEILAR: I think certainly a sex scandal does take up a lot of the oxygen in the news cycle.

But as of now, President Obama and Congress still very much focused on the fiscal cliff and averting that financial crisis that's looming at the end of the year. Right now, President Obama is set today to kick off a series of meetings today with liberal and labor leaders. Tomorrow, he'll meet with business leaders.

Friday, he's scheduled to meet with the top Democrat and the top Republican in the House and the Senate. So, that is expected to go ahead as planned. It really has to. I mean, this is a looming crisis that needs to be taken care of.

But there's another issue and that may have to do with President Obama's Afghanistan policy. Questions about how this latest development with General Allen could impact that. He is the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan at this critical time as President Obama figures out how to wind down those 68,000 combat troops that are in Afghanistan, that are scheduled to come home, by 2014.

The thing is, though, Zoraida, General Joseph Dunford, who is already slated to replace Allen is having a confirmation hearing on Thursday, the same day that Allen was supposed to have his. That is going ahead as scheduled.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Brianna Keilar live at the White House for us -- thank you very much.

And also new this morning, the FBI at the home of Paula Broadwell, Petraeus' mistress. Agents were seen last night taking pictures. They were carrying boxes, and they were going through both floors of the house. The FBI declined to comment on what they were doing at that home in Charlotte.

Tom Fuentes, a former assistant director at the FBI, he is now a CNN contributor, and he is joining us this morning.

Thank you so much, Mr. Fuentes, for joining us. I'd like to begin --

TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you for having me.

SAMBOLIN: I'd like to begin with General Allen, if the FBI referred the case to the Defense Department, does that suggest to you that they don't actually see criminal charges here?

FUENTES: Well, it suggests that they only see something that's going to be internal to military, potentially military violations, as opposed to criminal conduct that could be prosecuted in regular criminal court, or security breaches that are also -- would be a violation. So, you know, it would appear that it's strictly an administrative or military matter and that's why they would refer it.

SAMBOLIN: Could we see the next step to that where there could potentially be criminal charges?

FUENTES: Well, there could potentially. They're going to let the Army investigate it, and determine what they can find and how they want to proceed, whether it's charges are unfounded, or whether it turns out that they want to have a court-martial or refer it back to the FBI, that would remain to be seen.

But the first appearances are that the FBI is going to let the Army go ahead and handle it.

SAMBOLIN: I want to get your perspective on something that we've been talking about this morning -- 20,000 to 30,000 e-mails between General Allen and Kelley. This is over the course of two years, I believe, so that's about 19 e-mails a day. These are inappropriate communications that are being investigated.

What do you think is in those e-mails?

FUENTES: Well, I hate to speculate. To send that many e-mails to somebody over that long a period, if that's what we have, it really makes you wonder how he would even have the time to do it, and the motivation to do that from afar -- from being in Afghanistan, or out of the U.S.

So, that's just very difficult to speculate exactly how you generate that many. I can't imagine generating that volume.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, that number seems really, really high to us.

Well, we saw that the FBI was at Broadwell's house last night. What do you think they were looking for? They searched both floors of that house.

FUENTES: Well, apparently they would be looking for either documents or material on her computers that would be inappropriate for her to have -- either illegal or improper or classified material. So somewhere in the recent times, the FBI would have received new information alleging that she has some material that she should not be in possession of and would have obtained a search warrant to go ahead and search her house again to determine what she might have in there.

So that would be based on new information that we really don't have specifics on at this point.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Tom Fuentes, former FBI assistant director and a CNN contributor -- thank you so much for your insight this morning. Appreciate it.

FUENTES: You're welcome, Zoraida.

BERMAN: Really so much going on here. It's one of those stories you get the sense if you blink or step away for a moment, you're going to come back, there's going to be another alarming development.

SAMBOLIN: No, there's 20,000 to 30,000 e-mails, right? When you look at two years, 19 a day, you know, you got to wonder.

BERMAN: And the investigators were at her house again last night, makes you think they're still looking for something.


BERMAN: All right. Thirty-nine minutes after the hour.

Cold, hungry and fed up -- people in the shadow of the bright lights of midtown begging for power and losing patience, more than two weeks after Sandy. We will go live to disaster zone in Queens, next.


BERMAN: There is a whole lot going on this morning. Soledad O'Brien joins us for a look at what's ahead on "STARTING POINT".

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: So much, so much.

Ahead this morning on "STARTING POINT": From Afghanistan to Washington, another U.S. general now caught up in the Petraeus sex scandal. General John Allen, he's the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, under scrutiny for some communications with a woman who was the one who sparked the investigation into General Petraeus. The web doesn't stop there.

So what does this breaking scandal mean for Congress and the White House? More things to do on taxing and spending decisions. We're going to talk about the fate of the fiscal cliff.

Plus, he's a pioneer of the Internet anti-virus software. He's now wanted in questioning for the murder of a longtime friend. New details in this bizarre search for John McAfee.

That's ahead this morning at 7:00.

BERMAN: A lot of news, don't go away.

O'BRIEN: That's just a tip of the iceberg.

BERMAN: There will be developments by 7:00 -- new ones, trust me.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: You bet.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-four minutes past the hour.

Thousands of people in New York City and Long Island now entering, if you can believe it, week three without power after superstorm hurricane Sandy. And anger is boiling over, especially at LIPA. That's the power company that serves Long Island and the hard-hit far Rockaway in Queens, over a lack of power and answers. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't get a light on 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 things. 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 my block. Not one. I have not seen any on any of these blocks.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: CNN's Victor Blackwell is live in Belle Harbor, Queens, where they are trying to clean up from one disaster.

And I understand they are remembering another one.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are certainly remembering another one. Yesterday was the 11-year anniversary of the crash of American Airlines flight 587 in this community. That was just two months after the 9/11 disaster. Several members of this community who were firefighters, who were cops, died in 9/11. Five people here on the ground died after the plane crashed. 260 on the plane died, as well.

And now, you have this destruction from superstorm Sandy. The flood kept people in their homes. The fires here forced them out. People had to rescue their neighbors. You see the cars are melted. The homes burned to their foundation.

There are about a dozen homes here on 130th, Beach 130th in Belle Harbor that look like this. They have seen this before. And we know from the community that they are survivors.


ARTHUR PAMINTUAN, BELLE HARBOR RESIDENT: I'm a survivor. I used to work in Saudi Arabia until the war broke out. And then, I went home. I ran back to the old country. I'm from the Philippines. And then Mt. Pinatubo erupted. I survived that. I'm a survivor. This doesn't bother me. And then the plane crash over here across the street, two months after September 11th.


BLACKWELL: The people who lost their homes here, their problems obviously greater than a loss of power. But, there are still about 19,000 people who are serviced by LIPA who do not have power. We know from LIPA that the problems there are not with the grid. The problems, according to LIPA, according to Governor Cuomo, are with the structures, with the businesses, with the homes, that they cannot safely give those customers power -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: So, as we were heading into your piece, we saw incredibly frustrated people who don't have power, which we completely understand three weeks after. What's the plan for them if they're having these problems with the grids?

BLACKWELL: Well, what the governor says is that they will have to fix whatever the problem is with their structure, with their home, with their business before LIPA can safely give them power. It would just be too dangerous to give power to a structure that could then start another fire and put more homes and more people in danger, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Wow, that's really tough since they're all recovering from a disaster. Victor Blackwell, thank you so much for that. We appreciate it. BERMAN: Forty-seven minutes after the hour right now. And trapped in a blizzard. Two snowboarders wait right now to be saved. And coming up, why rescuers know where they are, but can't get to them.


BERMAN: All right. Fifty minutes after the hour right now. We want to get you up to speed on all the top stories this morning, and there is a lot of news.


BERMAN (voice-over): General John Allen, the man who succeeded David Petraeus as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan now being investigated in connection with the Petraeus sex scandal. The Pentagon says the investigation concerns alleged inappropriate e-mails between Allen and Jill Kelley.

She is the Florida woman who triggered the FBI probe of Petraeus. Kelley says she got threatening e-mails from Petraeus' mistress, Paula Broadwell.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Meantime, the FBI paid a visit to Paula Broadwell's home. This was overnight. Take a look. A team of agents spent nearly five hours searching Broadwell's Charlotte, North Carolina home. No word on what they were looking for.

BERMAN (voice-over): An executive shake-up at Microsoft. Steven Sinofsky, head of the Windows and Windows Live operations, he has left the company. His departure comes just after the launch of Windows 8. Sinofsky has been at the -- has been at Microsoft since 1989 and was considered heir apparent by many to CEO, Steve Ballmer.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): So, rescuers will continue their search at first light for two stranded snowboarders on Mount Rainier in Washington State. They say they spotted the two men last night, but darkness and bad weather forced them away. Derrick Tindall (ph) and Thomas Dale (ph) had to spend a second night on that mountain.

They called 911 Sunday to report that they were trapped in a blizzard. So, let's go straight to Rob Marciano. Conditions on the mountain have to be tough right now. What can they expect as daylight breaks?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. More snow and more wind. They're at about the 7,000-foot mark. And here on the radar, you see it filling in. Mount Rainier right about there. And again, at 7,000- foot elevation, that's pretty much all snow and a heavy, wet, cold snow, for sure.

So, they'll be dealing with that, but they built a snow cave so they certainly have some survival instincts and training and likely will do OK as long as the rescue crews, and there's a couple dozen of them that are helping out here, will be able to get up there and find those guys and get them down to safety. All right. Looking at rainfall. A little bit less severe than out west, but certainly rain nonetheless, with a pretty strong cold front that's pushing across the northeast. You see some snow mixing in across the Adirondacks. Cold enough on the backside of this to bringing maybe even some lake-effect snows across the Great Lakes.

So, kind of cold, miserable, damp day. It's one of those all-day, leaves are wet, see your breath, goes right through you. Just dress for it. It will cause a little bit in the way of air travel delays, especially at the New York airports, LaGuardia, specifically, maybe over an hour because of low ceiling.

Same deal, rain and wind in Boston, Philadelphia, D.C. metros, also, and Charlotte, been traveling through that hub will have some issues. West of there we're looking OK. So, the rains from yesterday, in Chicago, Detroit, have moved out. You're looking at high pressure and good stuff. So Cal looking good, and there's your pacific northwest.

The rain and the wind will continue, although, blizzard conditions of yesterday might not be as severe today, thankfully. Fifty degrees the high temperature in Seattle. And up on the mountain, temps there around 25 degrees. Yes. So, that's chilly stuff. But, so far so good. You go back country, riding, and you're hopefully prepared for the worst. These guys seem to be.

SAMBOLIN: I hope so. I hope it's good news. Thank you so much, Rob. Today's "Best Advice" still coming up.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Fifty-seven minutes past the hour.

BERMAN: As always, we wrap it up with "Best Advice." Here's Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And they'll take it from me. Today, we hear from the host of the Travel channel's "Man Vs. Food," "Adam Richman."


ADAM RICHMAN, HOST, "MAN VS. FOOD": Some good advice. My mom always had a copy of Max Ehrmann poem "The Desiderata" hanging up in our house, and I read it a lot, but it didn't really land on me until I became an adult. But, it's good classically amidst the noise and haste which I think is really good advice in and of itself. But there's a line that says never compare yourself with others for there will always be greater and lesser people than yourself. So, I think that was particularly good advice.


ROMANS: Go placidly amidst the noise and haste. I'm going to have to look that up and read it again.

(CROSSTALK) BERMAN: Good advice from a guy who eats crazy amount of foods.


BERMAN: I ate stupid hot wings once with Adam Richman, and I won the challenge.

SAMBOLIN: You won?

BERMAN: Well, I mean, I passed it.

SAMBOLIN: You passed.


SAMBOLIN: You didn't die or pass out. But they were hot wings.

BERMAN: They were stupid hot as labeled.


BERMAN: That is all for EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "Starting Point" with Soledad O'Brien starts right now.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Welcome, everybody. Our "Starting Point," this morning, some breaking news to start with. A twist in the bombshell Petraeus scandal. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, is now being investigated for his relationship with a woman who triggered the original probe.

Find out how an FBI agent investigating the situation is under investigation himself and might be in trouble for his own alleged misconduct.

Plus, the feds paying a late-night visit to Petraeus' mistress, Paula Broadwell. Who else is involved? How deep does this go? CNN has this story covered with correspondents at the Pentagon this morning, at the White House this morning, and in Beirut.

A packed two hours ahead for you. We'll be talking with Utah congressman, Jason Chaffetz, Maryland congressman, Elijah Cummings. Former New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey will be our guest. Georgia congresswoman, Tom Price, is with us. And Florida congresswoman and DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz joins us.

It's Tuesday, November 13th, "Starting Point" begins right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

O'BRIEN: Good morning. Welcome, everybody. Our "Starting Point" this morning, breaking news, another top military general has now been linked to the sex scandal that forced out CIA director, David Petraeus, forced him to resign.