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CNN NEWSROOM

Talking To A Fugitive Millionaire; K.C. Wins Emotional Game After Killings; Bob Costas Calls For Gun Control; Star-Studded Night In Washington; Hazmats At Atlanta Elementary School; Syria: We Won't Use Chemical Weapons; Big November For Chrysler; Heavy Flooding In San Francisco Area

Aired December 3, 2012 - 10:00   ET

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


CHRIS STONE, MANAGING EDITOR, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": I don't think there's a question in anybody's mind at some point if he stays healthy and the current arc of his career eclipse Michael Jordan unquestionably right now, the boat.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I can't say that I think you're wrong because you're probably not because to watch him play is amazing. Chris Stone, thanks so much for making the announcement in the "NEWSROOM," "Sports Illustrated, managing editor. You can read all about Lebron James "Sportsman of the Year" in the latest issue of "Sports Illustrated."

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

Happening now, he's on the run and making it very public at the same time. Computer software pioneer John McAfee is avoiding the police, but he cannot avoid CNN. Our Martin Savage with an exclusive report.

Bob Costas is creating controversy again. His comments over gun control following the murder-suicide of a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and his partner. It has the social media ablaze.

Global warming, some people believe it's real, others do not. Just don't ask Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where did that come from?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Hear the question that made the governor respond in that particular way. And there may be no bigger target for David Letterman than President Obama, but he's helping to honor the late-night comic and several others who have left their mark on the stage and screen.

NEWSROOM starts now.

Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. Normally, this would be a case of, wow, somebody stole my laptop, but if you're CNN's Martin Savage and you're in Belize covering the strange case of John McAfee, a missing laptop seems like a sinister twist.

As you know, the millionaire anti-virus computer whiz is on the run from police in Belize. Authorities there want to question McAfee about the death of his neighbor. Martin was the first reporter to track the fugitive down.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The search to find John McAfee began right here at the airport not long after I've landed. It began with three simple words, sorry I'm late, a prearranged code word to let me know I've met the person who would take me to McAfee.

But it wasn't that easy, what followed was a long drive and when you thought it was coming to an end instead we get in to a parking lot, get to another vehicle, drive off again, this time, with switchbacks, u-turns and back alleys.

It was clearly meant to confuse us as well as anyone following and then, there we were, face to face, observation number one, with John McAfee there is no such thing as a simple answer.

You are John McAfee.

JOHN MCAFEE, MILLIONAIRE IN HIDING: I think so, yes. I am John McAfee.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He seemed nervous, anxious, fidgety.

(on camera): Are you afraid?

MCAFEE: Wouldn't you be so?

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He used that sir thing a lot, his hair jet black. Part of the disguise he says and asking us to wait for his hair to dry before starting the interview and that interview from completely convincing like when I asked him about the neighbor's murder.

(on camera): Did you kill Greg Fall?

MCAFEE: I barely knew the man and why would I kill him? He was a neighbor that lived 200 yards down the beach.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Too off the wall.

(on camera): Do you really believe the government is -- this is a vendetta by the government of Belize to take you down and kill you?

MCAFEE: Absolutely so.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He says he is not on drugs. He hasn't touched alcohol in 30 years, but he has started smoking again, which he puts down to current circumstances. And he's not alone running with his 20-year-old girlfriend and McAfee who's 67 openly speaks of many more.

MCAFEE: It's absolutely real that I had six -- how many?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fifty.

SAVIDGE: It seemed almost surreal right down to the coffee I drank with him. Before we parted, there was one more question I had to ask of this software genius.

(on camera): Are you a smart man? I know you're an intelligent man.

MCAFEE: I don't think so. If I'm smart, would I be here? I'm a foolish man, I know that much.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): You know what? I believe him.

MCAFEE: You're welcome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSTELLO: Wow. Martin Savidge joins us live now. There's a reason I talked about the missing laptop at the top of the show. Let's start there. Your laptop is missing. Why do you find that so strange?

SAVIDGE: Well, I mean, you know, it was the laptop and my iPhone and it went missing within 24 hours having done that interview. Petty crime in Belize like in many places is a problem. Could very well have been that?

But it's also interesting to know that Greg Fall who was murdered it was his laptop and his iPhone that were also taken. So it just adds to the curiosity of the story which, well, no shortage of that, is there -- Carol.

COSTELLO: No. It's just so strange. What have Belize authorities told you about the killing of this neighbor, Gregory Fall?

SAVIDGE: Not much, beyond what we know, which is that he was murdered somewhere on -- between a Saturday and Sunday morning that was in early November and he was shot once in the back of his head and they found a 0.9-millimeter shell casing.

Beyond that, they really say they don't have anything and the case at a dead end, which is hard to imagine and that's why they say it's so important to talk to John McAfee, but you know, John McAfee as we saw there is not going to be telling them very much.

He said he had nothing to do with it and when he gets an attorney he'll say even less if he's eventually pulled in for questioning. So I don't know how this case is going to be solved. There is ballistics.

They had some bullets to try to compare that came from McAfee's gun and the one found in the man who was killed. Whether they match up, we don't know and authorities won't reveal that to us at least.

COSTELLO: OK, final question, could you find John McAfee again if you had to? SAVIDGE: No, no. We could not. I mean, and that was the way it was purposely set up by him clearly. This was some sort of interim meeting place, as you saw, it was really strange to come to him and then left him, literally dumped on the street in a neighborhood.

We had no idea where we were and it was dark. So I couldn't have found that place again if I had to and I'm sure by now he's moved on and whether he keeps moving we'll have to see.

COSTELLO: Martin Savidge reporting live from Belize this morning.

Also today, questions of why a vibrant 22-year-old woman Kasandra Perkins is dead. Police say she was shot multiple times by the man you just saw, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, Jovan Belcher.

The Chief's players are confused and heartbroken over this tragedy and many people are still wondering this morning why the Chiefs decided to play the game at all. It was uncomfortable to say the least.

Joe Linta is Belcher's agent. Linta says he like everyone else is stunned that Belcher turned violent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE LINTA, JOVAN BELCHER'S AGENT: The how and the why is the craziness of this. There's nothing in my relationship with him that would indicate any troubling past, anything that troubled him that would have caused him to commit such a heinous act as this and we just -- we'll never know, unfortunately. And I think that's the great debate of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Chiefs won the game against Carolina and later in the locker room, Head Coach Romeo Crennel spoke to the team.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMEO CRENNEL, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: It's something really good today, really good. You overcame a lot. You stuck together as a team like we talked about, helped each other, all right, family and friends. You relied on those people.

All right, you relied on your faith to help get you through this and we got through it and in a grand way because everybody made a contribution. Everybody helped, OK, and that's what a team is about. That's what a team is about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Police say Belcher used a gun to kill his partner and himself and halftime segment on Sunday night football, NBC's sports caster, Bob Costas made a case for gun control.

HLN sports reporter, Joe Carter, joins us now. This Bob Costas commentary, I must say it ignited a Twitter firestorm. JOE CARTER, HLN SPORTSCASTER: Yes, to say the least, Carol. Good morning to you. During the halftime show, the Eagles-Cowboys game last night, Bob Costas basically used his segment as an opportunity to praise columnist Jason Whitlock's article.

Now this article was in relation to the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide in Kansas City on Saturday. It was also the article about gun control. Now Bob Costas started out by saying over the years he'd not always agreed with Jason Whitlock's opinions and views.

I mean, Whitlock has been a columnist for the "Kansas City Star" before. Now he's currently a columnist for Fox Sports National, but Bob Costas said he agreed with this point of view, with Whitlock's point of view on gun control so much that the article was so spot on.

That he went on to quote from the article and paraphrase from the article extensively. So here's a portion of what Bob Costas had to say last night during his 90-second segment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTS: -- handguns do not enhance the safety. They exacerbate the flaws and bait us in to embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days Jovan Belcher's actions and possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here wrote Jason Whitlock is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARTER: So you can imagine that type of a platform and that type of a message created a lot of reaction from the Twitter world, from the social media world. We have tweets for you. Obviously some people very frustrated with Bob Costas' statements last night. One person tweeting that guns don't kill people, people kill people. Keep that liberal crap off the NFL airwaves.

You did have some people very much in support of what Bob Costas had to say last night. This tweet saying he spoke some truth and real profound stuff on the halftime show. Bob Costas over the years made a lot of money and has had a very successful broadcasting career giving his opinion on television.

Typically, it's about sports or teams or athletes relating to that sport. Last night, though, he crossed over and took on a politically- charged topic and in the living rooms of football fans' homes across the country.

COSTELLO: He certainly did. Joe Carter reporting for us live this morning. There are reports Belcher was angry at Perkins, his girlfriend, because she came home late from a concert and by all accounts there was history of any police report of domestic violence.

According to "USA Today," Belcher earned a degree in family relations from the University of Maine and he was a member of "Male Athletes Against Violence." He actually signed an anti-violence pledge to, quote, "look honestly at my actions in regards to violence and make changes if necessary."

Yet police say Belcher shot the mother of his child and before the Chiefs played Sunday they held a moment of violence for victims of domestic violence and families, but there was no mention of Kasandra Perkins or Jovan Belcher.

CNN's Nischelle Turner has covered domestic abuse stories. She is a former NFL sideline reporter as well. Nischelle, some former Chiefs players reached out to you. What did they tell you?

NISCHELL TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, Carol, you know, my former broadcast partner for the NFL Fox -- NFL on Fox was a Chiefs player for a number of years. So he actually reached out to me actually on Friday night just to catch up and say hello.

And then when we woke up Saturday morning and got this news, we spoke again and the first thing basically that he said was, this is crazy. You know, something that you just mentioned was the fact that Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend.

And some of the details that were coming out during the day yesterday I found really troubling, that the official -- the police officials in Kansas City were telling reporters were not only did he shot her, but nine times on Saturday.

And so, that's something that was so troubling, but one of the things that J.C. Pierson who is my former broadcast partner told me was that he believes it's not necessarily a football issue. This happened with a person who happens to be a football player, but it's a domestic violence issue.

COSTELLO: Come on. Nischelle, we hear -- we hear a lot about domestic violence within the football world. I mean, this is not the first player to have hurt his girlfriend or wife.

TURNER: Yes. You're right. You're right, Carol. It's not the first Chiefs player. I mean, former Chiefs player Larry Johnson was arrested multiple times for domestic violence issues, one of those that led to his dismissal from the team in years past.

You're right about that. But I think that it does lend to a bigger issue because we do hear about this and we have been talking about this because it is a football player and the National Football League but we hear the story so many times, we hear it almost night on the news, but it's 7 minutes in to a broadcast and then we continue on.

Here's a statistic, though, that I was hearing and just really stuck with me. In recent years according to the Bureau of Justice, 33 percent of female murder victims were murdered by someone they were intimate with as opposed to 4 percent of men.

Now the numbers in the NFL aren't as startling, but what I do think is interesting is that in this offseason, the commissioner said his two most important issues going forward with players this season would be cutting down on the DUIs and cutting down on domestic violence. COSTELLO: You know, and just another note because, you know, everybody says there was no sign that he was abusing his girlfriend in any way, but couldn't you say the same thing about Chris Brown and Rihanna? I mean, the day that she turned up battered and bruised, did anybody suspect that Chris Brown was a batter?

TURNER: Here's what I will say about that, Carol. There's a lot of things that go unspoken we know in situations. And I think that there's always those report that is come after like we heard in the Chris Brown and Rihanna situation that they had a bit of a volatile relationship.

Some people made it sound as easy as, well, they loved hard. They fought a lot but they loved very hard and you hear that phrase a lot of times. In this situation now with Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins, they fought but no one really thought anything of it.

One of her friends gave an interview to a newspaper yesterday saying she told me they had had an argument a couple days before and everything was fine now. Sometimes and Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn made this point yesterday after the game.

He said sometimes you have to -- when you ask someone how they're doing or what's going on, you have to mean it and want to know what is going on.

COSTELLO: Exactly. Nischelle Turner, thanks so much.

TURNER: Sure.

COSTELLO: A star-studded turnout at the Kennedy Center for its 35th Annual Honors Awards. Among those receiving recognition for their work after Dustin Hoffman, Blues musician, Buddy Guy, legendary rock group Zeppelin and Ballerina Italia Macarova. President Obama often on the received end of David Letterman's jokes, but he returned the favor at a White House reception.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, David Letterman what's it like to tape his show, he'll say if it's going well it just lifts you. If it's not going well, it sinks you. It's exhilarating. It's my favorite hour of the day. It's unclear how Dave feels about this hour. It's different when you're not the one with the mike. Isn't it, Dave? You're looking a little stressed, aren't you?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: First lady Michelle Obama just about upstaged everyone in the shimmering gold gown by designer Michael Kors.

Back to seriousness now, serious stuff now, I should say. The fighting goes on every day in Syria. So far chemical weapons have not been used, but today there's a new warning from the United States to the Syrian government. We'll tell you about that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: All right, this just in to CNN. At least 21 students in Atlanta have now been taken to children's hospital after a hazmat situation shut down the school. Take a look at this. This is from affiliate WXIA. Reported at least six people were overcome by carbon monoxide fumes.

We're told it happened at Finch Elementary School in Southwest Atlanta. The school district spokesman telling CNN the rest of the students are safe. They -- heart breaking picture, rest of the students are safe and moved to a nearby middle school.

Checking other top stories this morning at 20 minutes past the hour, Syria says it will not use chemical weapons against its people. It's in response to a warning from the United States.

And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is warning Syria not to test the U.S. response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We have made our views very clear. This is a red line for the United States. I'm not going to telegraph in any specifics what would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people. But suffice it to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Turkey is asking NATO for patriot missiles to protect themselves should the civil was in Syria spill over into Turkey.

Chrysler had the best November ever, almost. The car maker says last month the best November in five years with sales up 14 percent. It's the 32nd consecutive month that Chrysler sales have been up over the previous year.

In Northern California heavy rains have soaked parts of San Francisco and the bay area turning many streets into rivers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGINA KORNBRUSTER, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: This thing just went up fast. Just went real fast. Fire department was out here and got a lot of stuff, you know, away from the house and didn't float down the road and stuff but this is a worst.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: The NFL Kansas City Chiefs apparently plan to start a fund for a child of a player, Jovan Belcher, who police say killed the baby's mother on Saturday and then himself. Early this morning, Belcher's agent talked with CNN saying that the tragedy was troubling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LINTA: The how and the why is the craziness of this. There was nothing in my relationship with him to indicate any troubling past, anything that troubled him that would have caused him to commit such a heinous act at this and we just -- we'll never know, unfortunately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: So far, police have said little about why this happened. Of the many unanswered questions about the Jovan Belcher murder- suicide, our talk back question today: Should the Perkins-Belcher tragedy cause us to rethink gun control? Facebook.com/CarolCNN. I'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Now's your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning: Should the Perkins/Belcher tragedy cause us to rethink gun control?

There's been a lot of speculation about why Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself. Did he just snap? Was he suffering undiagnosed head injuries? Could the tragedy be prevented?

NBC's sports analyst, Bob Costas, thinks so. On Sunday night's football, Costas quoted sports writer, Jason Whitlock saying, "America's gun culture ensures that more domestic disputes will end in death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COSTAS: In the coming days, Jovan Belcher's actions and possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here wrote Jason Whitlock is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Costa's comments ignited a firestorm on Twitter. Here's a sample. This is from Irish Spy, says, I wonder if it occurred that if Belcher's girlfriend had had a gun with her she might be alive tonight, nah.

This is from right wing B, a woman killed her husband with a shovel yesterday. Should we have stricter regulations at Home Depot? Yet this is no laughing matter. Women six more times likely than men to be killed in a domestic dispute.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime and the FBI, nearly 38 percent of female murder victims in 2010 were killed by a husband or boyfriend. The Justice Department says guns are used in more than half the cases of intimate homicide.

Talk back today, should the Perkins/Belcher tragedy cause us to rethink gun control? Facebook.com/CarolCNN. Your comments later this hour. But first, here's a check of the markets.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)