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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Congress Takes Off Without Cliff Deal; Taking On His Own Party; U.S Preparing For Syria Chemical Attack
Aired December 5, 2012 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, 27 days away from the fiscal cliff. Things are getting silly, Octogenarians doing Gangnam style, lawmakers headed home and no deal.
Plus, what the United States is planning to do if Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad uses chemical weapons against his own people. Are they ready to go?
And 24-year-old Amy Copeland contracted a deadly flesh eating disease in May. Doctors gave her a 1 percent chance of survival. She made it and tonight, she's OUTFRONT to talk about it. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, Gangnam style. Yes, this is how one man sees the fiscal cliff and it's a pretty important man. This isn't just someone being silly. This is Alan Simpson as in the Simpson in Simpson-Bowles.
Yes. That maybe the most action the fiscal cliff saw today. Here's the scene on Capitol Hill at noon. Yes, people leaving. Members of Congress leaving Washington, heading home on a Wednesday afternoon. One man left standing was the House speaker and he says I'm not going anywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I'll be here and I'll be available at any moment to sit down with the president to get serious about solving this problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But of course, it takes two to tango, so where does President Obama stand?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We can probably solve this in about a week. It's not that tough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It's not that tough. He's absolutely right about that, but we heard early this evening that the president and Speaker Boehner did speak late today on the phone, so that's good news.
But in this case, we think they need face time. They need to spend real time face to face, sit down, shut the door, pound it out. Face to face breathes trust and even Democrats think the president needs to do a little bit more in person work on this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: The president is not somebody who he's prioritizing evenings with his family instead of going down and having a Bourbon on the rocks with some of the congressional folks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Sometimes though, you need to do to Bourbon like when the country needs you. Bourbon, beer, wine, whatever, after a couple of drinks, the president and Boehner could you know, pull a Simpson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORMER U.S. SENATOR ALAN SIMPSON, CO-CHAIR, SIMPSON-BOWLES COMMISSION: The lasso again, then the horse. The cowboys ride, the cowboys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That's the special beer that you would drink to get you to dance the Gangnam style. President Obama and John Boehner if you did the Gangnam style, the whole country might actually, you know, your approval ratings might actually go up.
OUTFRONT tonight, Republican Congressman Tom McClintock of the Budget Committee. Sir, appreciate you are taking the time. You're still in the capital. Obviously, we just showed a lot of your colleagues going home on a Wednesday night for -- after working a three-day week. Obviously, that's an image that frustrates so many Americans. Why are people going home before getting this done?
REPRESENTATIVE TOM MCCLINTOCK (R), CALIFORNIA: Well, unfortunately, we're not using the standard process where the House passes its version. The Senate passes its version and then a conference committee, which is a process evolved over a century, is very good in resolving impasses like this between the two houses.
Unfortunately, none of that's being used and I think that's one of the reasons why these things are bogging down now so regularly. We've abandoned a process that works very well when we use it.
BURNETT: House Speaker John Boehner presented a plan to the president and in that plan he put $800 billion in revenue from the wealthy on the table. He said he would close loopholes and those people would pay more money.
You were a member of the Tea Party caucus and some in your caucus have slammed Boehner's plan, Jim DeMint obviously among them. Do you think John Boehner is the guy who's going to get this done? Is he going to be able to lead your party to consensus?
MCCLINTOCK: Well, I don't know the answer to that question. What he's trying to do is to mitigate the damage that Obama would do with these massive increases in rates. Impasse is not an option.
An impasse means everybody's taxes go up, but if the president has his way, taxes are going to go up on those very wealthy folks making over 200,000, but the problem is most of those very wealthy folks aren't very wealthy and they aren't even (inaudible).
They are small businesses filing subchapter S companies, about 88 percent of net small business income will be for these taxes when we're depending on them to create two-thirds of the new jobs.
So it's a big mess. Boehner's trying to mitigate that mess. I wish him luck. Something's going to have to give.
BURNETT: Yes, something is going to have to give because realistically from everybody, you know, I've talked to and everything I've heard is that we are realistically, there's two options for country right now.
One, go over the cliff and the other, extend the Bush tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans, everyone who makes under $200,000 a year if they're single, a quarter million if they're a family, and then deal with everything else later. Those seem to be the two choices. Between those, which do you pick?
MCCLINTOCK: But, if we do that and raise the taxes on those small businesses we were just talking about, according to the Congressional Budget Office, that's going to be about 200,000 American families are going to be out of work next year and that's the low estimate.
Ernst and Young is estimating about 700,000 more unemployed as a result of these tax increases on job creators. That's an awful lot of hurt for the middle class. So this is a battle for the middle class even when we're talking about that upper bracket because of the enormous impact that has on small business job creators.
BURNETT: OK, I mean, aside from that argument though, I'm really trying to just get at the process here because it does seem, Congressman, that there really, like I've said, there isn't that much of a choice right now. I mean, the president has said rates have to go up. Not just revenue, rates, or he'll veto it and he seems to mean it. He does mean it.
MCCLINTOCK: He does and as I said, failure's not an option. Impasse means taxes go up on everybody including those job creators.
BURNETT: So you're saying you'll go off the cliff before you'll extend for the 98 percent of Americans?
MCCLINTOCK: No, I did say that. What I said was that we cannot afford an impasse. Something is going to have to give. I can't make that prediction tonight what is going to be. But the president's plan means hundreds of thousands of middle class families losing their jobs next year, an impasse means that's going to happen, plus taxes going up on everybody else. Neither one is a viable option.
BURNETT: Right, but we're going to get in a choice where you have to make a choice. I mean, I guess what I'm saying is there a way in which you, Congressman, would vote for tax rates to go up because that's the only way to not have that impasse and not go off the cliff.
MCCLINTOCK: Erin, I've got to look at any proposal before I make a commitment on it, but I'm telling you tonight, the two alternatives that you've offered an impasse or the president's plan, neither of those works. Both of them do enormous damage to our nation's economy.
BURNETT: Senator Tom Coburn today, as you know, very vocal on this issue. He's put years into it. He's reached out across the aisle, worked with people like Senator Mark Warner.
He said he would rather raise tax rates than eliminate loopholes and cap deduction, which is the opposite of what it sounds like you're saying or what speaker Boehner is saying. So what do you think of Tom Coburn's idea, would you take a look at it?
MCCLINTOCK: Well, you know, I think that Coburn's basically coming from a standpoint as these taxes are programmed to go into effect December 31st unless something happens and he is trying to make something happened. But again, I can't make a prediction on where we're going to end up because I don't know.
BURNETT: But do you think we're going to get a deal by the end of the year? I mean, that's the question and the whole world is watching this. Some of them are laughing at us, but also cause a real problem in our financial markets.
MCCLINTOCK: Well, we have to because if we allow those taxes to go up or if we allow the president's plan for them to go up on the people that we're actually depending upon to make a new jobs in this dismal economy. Boy, the world's going to be laughing at us then and nobody in America's going to be laughing, a whole world of hurt going around.
BURNETT: All right, final word, the bottom line is you don't like the option, but you're willing to look at anything and that includes rates going up. You're willing to look.
MCCLINTOCK: But I would certainly hope that we come up with the process that has worked a lot better when we use it in the past. This business of the leaders getting behind closed doors and working out a deal and dumping in the laps of Congress. That's not the way it's supposed to work.
BURNETT: Right, well, thank you very much, Congressman. We appreciate your taking the time tonight.
A big question for this country, after a big loss in November, some in the Republican Party are calling for a big change and some are saying the next race needs to include conversations about race.
Plus, Hillary Clinton in 2016, this is pretty amazing. Some stunning numbers about the ground work.
And American internet mogul, John McAfee on the run after his neighbor is found murdered. Authorities are searching for him. Our Martin Savidge went on the hunt, tracked him down. He's OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Our second story, bucking the establishment, fed up after the Republican Party's lost in the election especially among minorities and younger voters. Some members of the GOP are pushing former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts to run for party chairman, but a lot of people in the party don't seem too hot on the idea.
An influential RNC member tells our Peter Hamby he had no prayer. Roland Martin, a CNN contributor, you're all familiar with, warns today that responses like that could backfire.
He writes, I'll quote Roland, "Even if they choose not to vote for Watts, if he decides to even seek the job, it is his skin color and perspective that is central to the GOP having any sort of presidential future."
OUTFRONT tonight, J.C. Watts. Good to see you, sir. Let me ask you, you know, point blank here, what do you think about what Roland Martin had to say, that the party needs to be careful about how it responds to you, even considering running, thinking about race.
J.C. WATTS (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Well, Erin, I don't necessarily believe that the answer to take a black face and put him in the chair at the RNC or a female or Hispanic or Asian or Native American. I think it's much bigger than that.
I think we have to surround ourselves at the RNC and within the party, we have to understand diversity and diversity is not a bad word. I take a biblical world view on diversity. God made you white. He made me black. He made you a female. He made me a male.
I think God likes diversity, so if it's good for God, it ought to be good for Republicans, but the fact is, it's hard to have perspective and it's hard to have diversity with women or black or red or yellow or brown or white if you have no relationships.
And if I don't know the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I have no confidence that he has any relationship with Chuck roast black guy, with Billfold working white guy, with Joe six- pack Hispanic.
If I don't know him and I don't is say that to be self-serving. I just say that to point out how perplexing this when we think that we can get people to vote for us if we don't know them.
BURNETT: Yes, well, let's look at your bio. You were a member of Congress from Oklahoma for eight years. You're elected chairman of the House Republican Conference, the fourth ranking leadership position and now, you're the chairman of a communications and public affairs company.
So you know, you've had a long history in the Republican Party and as a manager and our Peter Hamby, you know, our reporter who covers this. He reported this about what the news of you running for RNC chair was greeted within the Republican Party.
I want to quote this and get your response. He said it was met with a mix of, quote, "skepticism, disbelief and even a hint of ridicule." How does that make you feel? Do you think that that is racially driven?
WATTS: Well, Erin, I don't. I think this. I think every single Republican ought to be concern the fact that we've gotten our heads handed to us in 2008 and 2012. I am speaking as a concerned Republican and you know, one of the things in politics, Erin, we like to grade our own test and if you grade your own test, you know what happens?
BURNETT: You get an A.
WATTS: You always give yourself a good grade and we lost with every single demographic I think with the exception of white men and people over 56 years of age and then, you know, we were pushing the Evangelical pro-life Catholic, we're pushing them out of the mix and we don't get them juiced up.
Because, you know, we say forget about the social issues. We can be a socially conservative party. We can be an economically conservative party. We can fight for the values of Ronald Reagan that he won a landslide election with in 1984.
But at the same time, we don't have to abandon our humanity to do it. What are we saying to single moms? What are we saying to red, yellow, black, brown and white small business owners? What are we saying -- we've got to have deeper relationships with non-traditional constituencies. That's just the fact.
BURNETT: Well, I mean, it is the fact. I don't know who could disagree with you on that. I mean, look at the exit polls, 93 percent of African-Americans voted for the president. I mean, you know, you are in an incredible minority as a black Republican.
WATTS: But, Erin, let me add this. The president got 96 percent of the vote in 2008. He got 93 percent in 2012. He lost three points and I think he lost those three points in my opinion, I'll have to you know, fact check this.
But I would submit to you he probably lost those three points because of his position on marriage. But those three points didn't go to Mitt Romney or Republicans because those three points said we don't know Republicans.
We don't have relationships with them. So, we'll just stay home. I submit to you they probably stayed home. They didn't vote for Republicans.
BURNETT: So, but how do you get African-Americans, a group that is traditionally identified as Democratic or Latinos 71 percent voted for the president, 73 percent of Asian voters, right, the stereotype of Asian voters is obviously different than it is for African-American or Hispanic voters. They're all voting Democratic. What is it about the Republican Party that could possibly win these people over?
WATTS: Well, Erin, the fact is and I've said this publicly before. I don't allow the Republican Party to lead me on issues that I thought were important to the black community and that's not to say they agree with me on everything, but when I was in congress, I wanted historical black colleges and universities to have a seat at the Republican table.
So I had conferences every year for them. I wanted black small business owners, white small business owners, Latino small business owners to have access and relationships to the Department of Defense -- federal agencies to understanding the contracting process.
You know, sure, I think there are things you can do to say, these are my values. These are my principles. How do I help you accomplish what you want to accomplish in life?
But it all starts with establishing a relationship and there's not a lot of diversity over this Republican National Committee, which is the institution I think should be driving these type of initiatives and these type of efforts.
BURNETT: All right, well, J.C., good to see you and we appreciate your time. Thank you.
OUTFRONT next, American meets with Syria's neighbors and the United States has a plan on chemical weapons and really, are they going to use those chemical weapons? New details tonight.
And we followed Amy Copeland's miraculous recovery from flesh eating bacteria for months on this show and tonight, Amy is OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Our third story, OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news out of the Pentagon. Sources tell CNN the U.S. is huddling with allies on what a chemical attack by Syria's Bashar Al-Assad would actually look like.
We have a picture from former CIA operative and CNN contributor Bob Baier here to show you. This is actually showing you what the impact of a single shell of gas would be if it were launched on the western city of Homs in Syria.
As you could see, the large swath of the city which would be affected, by again, a single shell. It's estimated about 18,000 people would be killed in a day. Let's get straight to CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. And Barbara, what have you learned tonight? BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Erin, as tragic and serious as this is for the people of Syria, this now has regional implications throughout the Middle East. Intelligence services from Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, all the countries surrounding Syria are now talking with the United States around the clock about this very scenario.
Because if there were to be, God forbid, a chemical attack, the concern is some could drift across borders. Worse even as tragic as that would be, what if the regime collapses, terrorists move in, insurgent groups move in and grab some chemical material. They could take it across the borders into those neighboring countries and have a full fledged crisis in the region.
BURNETT: Now there has been talk that Bashar Al-Assad may try and seek asylum. What are you being told about that and the possibilities?
STARR: Well, you know, there's a lot of rumors out there. The betting money is that the three countries that you hear about the most are Russia, Venezuela and Iran. All countries that have been his allies although the Russians clearly are losing some of their support for Assad given this recent crisis with the chemical weapons.
So those are the countries you hear about. Now, the assessment is that Assad isn't ready to go. The U.S. says it hasn't seen anything in term of concrete offers. Maybe Assad's commanders think the boss is getting cold feet and might dessert them.
BURNETT: All right, Barbara Starr, thank you very much.
OUTFRONT next, 57 percent of Americans say they'd vote for Hillary Clinton in four years. Think about how recent elections have gone. That would be an incredible mandate. Republicans are going to vote for her too. So what does she say about a run?
And American tech mogul John McAfee still on the run after his neighbor was found murdered. Our own Martin Savidge tracked him down and he is OUTFRONT next.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. We start the second half with stories we care about, where we focus on our reporting from the front lines. We begin with the University of Colorado, Denver, which has released thousands of e-mails related to James Holmes.
The man accused of killing 12 people at the Colorado movie theatre. The release includes e-mails that Holmes sent and received as well as staff e-mails sent after his alleged attack. Among them is an internal e-mail from the university in which the school identifies Holmes for the first time. Another notes the campus lab should check to see if chemicals were missing.
We also learned tonight the theater where the shooting took place will reopen in mid-January.
North Korea appears to be working to launch a rocket this month. This satellite image we're going to show now is from December 4th and what you're looking at is increased activity at the site. This is according to an analysis by IHS Jane's for our security clearance. Firm said significant activity is happening that hasn't been seen before, like additional work on the launch tower. NATO meanwhile urged North Korea today to cancel the launch, saying it could exacerbate tensions in the region.
Well, the trustee in charge of winding down MF Global says all the remaining claims are going to be resolved in the next few months. They were 28,000 claims filed, only 200 have been resolved. And since the firm failed over a year ago, in the biggest bankruptcy since Lehman Brothers, about $5 billion has been paid out to customers.
Well, the United States has sent military planners to help develop a plan for possible military intervention in northern Mali. However, assistant secretary for African affairs, Johnnie Carson, told a Senate committee today that any attempt to militarily oust al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb must be African-led and that isn't going happen any time soon.
The U.N. peacekeeping chief said that it won't happen until at least September 2013. That may simply just be way too far away to make the difference needed.
It has been 489 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Well, companies are still hiring, fiscal cliff aside. A report says businesses added 118,000 private sector ads in November.
And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT: Hillary for president.
A new ABC News/"Washington Post" poll shows something stunning, an overwhelming mandate if she were to run, 57 percent of Americans say they'd support a Clinton candidacy in 2016. Sixty-six percent of all women and even 23 percent of Republicans give another Clinton run the nod. These are stunning numbers.
Now, Hillary has said repeatedly she isn't going to run, but her actions, of course, may speak louder than those words.
Liberal columnist Maureen Dowd notes Clinton is, quote, "energetically rounding up the usual suspects," making speeches about Israel, courting Irish donors, and solidifying relationships with Democrats in Washington.
OUTFRONT tonight CNN contributors, Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist, and David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush.
All right. Donna, you know Hillary Clinton and you know her so well. You worked on both the presidential campaigns. The poll numbers look pretty stunning, but you know, it's easy to talk about something in the hypothetical, then someone actually runs and people start finding out all kinds of bad things about you.
What do you think?
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, there are 1,422 days before the next big presidential election. So --
BURNETT: So, who's counting, Donna?
BRAZILE: I'm always counting. But let me start by saying I think Secretary Clinton is a phenomenal woman. She has been a proven leader at the State Department. She has not only the right credentials if she decides to run, but I believe that right now, she's focusing on the job at hand.
Tomorrow, she'll be I think she's giving a human rights speech in Ireland. And beyond that, I think she just want to complete her tenure as secretary of state. Perhaps rest, revive and get herself back into the kind of campaign lifestyle that maybe she wants to get back into, but I think she has enough time to figure out what she wants to do, perhaps write a book on her amazing accomplishments and to think about 2016, perhaps sometime in 2014. She has time.
BURNETT: She has time. I don't know -- her husband was telling me, oh, I'm going to take Hillary, we're going to go hiking on Mt. Kilimanjaro. And I was thinking, yes, you're going to end up wanting do something political at some point, right? It will get boring to be hanging around all the time.
David, let me ask you. Josh Marshall, the editor of "Talking Points Memo," a liberal Web site, tweeted this today, "Need to flag to Republicans that they need to go back to hating Hillary, probably sometime over the next 12 to 18 months." The hashtag was #reverttoform.
You know, it's interesting, David. Republicans have been so focused on Susan Rice on the whole Benghazi incident. No one's put any focus on Hillary Clinton. Is that going to help her?
DAVID FRUM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hillary Clinton has been very adept at making sure she had no fingerprints on the whole Benghazi fiasco or any part of it. No, it won't help.
What Josh is getting at there is that we have a very polarized political system where we are no longer the country where people could rally to I like Ike because he was a figure outside politics. What you're seeing in that poll is one, a name recognition effect, and two, a lot of Republicans who remember the 2008 Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama fight. Barack Obama won, so they liked Hillary Clinton.
If Hillary Clinton had won in 2008, you would hear lots of Republicans saying, you know, none of this would have happened if that idealistic Barack Obama had won instead.
If Hillary Clinton is the nominee in 2016, this will be an election decided by three or four percentage points. It will be not a 57-30 election. BURNETT: Right. It always tightens.
But, Donna, let me ask you about something happened last night. I'm curious about the other side since you're talking about 2008. Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan both spoke at this dinner. And they were -- I mean, these were speeches where they're really trying to define themselves as who they are. Both obviously are going to probably run in 2016.
How would a Rubio/Ryan stack up against Hillary Clinton? Because in the sense, it sort of feels like 2008 reversed, right, except experience would come on the Democratic side with Hillary and the youth and the sort of idealism might perhaps come from a Rubio or Ryan on the Republican side.
BRAZILE: Well, if you look at -- of course, if you look at the poll that you were referring to, Hillary Clinton is an overwhelming favorite among young people, especially young women. And a young women and young people, well, clearly, they're going to help determine future elections.
Look, I think Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, they're trying to rebrand themselves and, of course, recast the Republican Party as a party of diversity and perhaps big ideas and a larger goal post.
But I want to say this because I have to say this as vice chair of the party. As you well know, the Democratic Party has a large and broad and deep base, including Vice President Biden, who's done a terrific job in his capacity as the second in command. But also, we have governors, a lot of diversity there. Deval Patrick and we can all look as Governor Cuomo, you got -- now, you have Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren that might be considered presidential timbers.
So I don't want to throw all our eggs in one basket because there are so many wonderful people. Martin O'Malley, for example, the governor of Colorado. So, we have so many wonderful people, like the Republicans, like the Republicans, this will be a large field of candidates, but there's no question if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to throw her gloves into the race, game on.
BURNETT: She got a lot of competition.
BURNETT: David Frum, you think the Republican Party's going to have the strongest field it's had in maybe a generation next time around?
FRUM: I thought 2008 was the strongest the Republican Party has had in a long time and where did it get us? I think what we're going to see now is a lot of recruitment from the governors. It was very spectacular to see Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio on that stage. They are people who very popular with the Washington conservative elite. They struck some important themes. They didn't have real content, but some themes about broadening the base of the party. But the Republican Party strength is in the states, always has been, that's where revival comes from. And I think one should keep an eye on Republican governors and I think we should not be so quick to believe that it is going to be a replay and reaction to the events of 2012.
BURNETT: Thanks to both.
FRUM: Thank you.
BURNETT: Disguise, death and intrigue. John McAfee is the American software tycoon you've probably heard of on the run. He was supposed to talk to reporters today. This has been sort of a bizarre circus of sorts, but he never actually showed up. It's all part of a sort of cat and mouse game he's been playing with authorities who want to question him about his neighbor in Belize who was murdered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MCAFEE, U.S. TECH MULTI-MILLIONAIRE: No one has blamed me for the murder. I have not been charged. I am not a suspect. They merely want to question me about the murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So why is he on the move?
CNN's Martin Savidge actually tracked him down in Belize. It was no small feat.
That in and of itself, I know, Martin, was a rather bizarre and surreal experience.
So, what is going on here? I mean, this man's on the run. Possibly going to be questioned for murder. What is going on with him?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's talk about the news conference that was on again/off again. We thought today he was going to apply for asylum down there in Guatemala. Not sure how far that process has moved along. Press conference we thought was going to happen isn't going to happen. Now, it's been rescheduled according to his Web site for tomorrow, and he's allotted two hours for this press conference.
So, he really must have a great deal that he's going to say to the public. But exactly what it is, only John knows, and that's usually the way John likes it. And as far as what is going on, he got out of Belize and he's apparently happy to stay in Guatemala for the moment, and that's all you can really say.
He had insinuated to me he was going to run. He didn't say Guatemala. I pretty much figured that out though because his girlfriend is from there and she apparently has the uncle of now the man who is now representing John McAfee.
BURNETT: So, Martin, when you found him and he was in disguise, I remember you talking about it. I mean, that he was literally completely changed his look and his face. What struck you about him? I mean, is he crazy?
SAVIDGE: Well, I mean, beyond the wackiness of the disguise, it didn't fool anybody. I mean, that was the first indicator of like, oh, boy, this is really going to be something here.
But, you know, when we sat with him and when you talk to him, I think what struck me most is that here's a man that can speak to you so clearly, so concisely. He's very well-spoken, intelligent thoughts. But he's saying such really off the wall stuff.
He looks in good health. He did appear nervous, but I mean, I found out he's very charismatic, he's engaging -- a lot of things that I had not expected.
I did expect a straight on madman. He's not that and I'm not really sure what he is, but he is still very much a fascinating story that more and more people tune in to say what in the world did MacAfee do today?
BURNETT: I mean, it is amazing. Martin Savidge, thank you very much, who has been on the hunt to find Mr. McAfee.
Well, more deadly violence in Egypt. Masked men today set fire to a headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
And a woman's inspirational recovery. I mean, this is one of the most incredible stories you'll ever hear. We followed Aimee Copeland's amazing story for months, and tonight, she comes OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: We're back with tonight's "Outer Circle" where we reach out to our sources around the world.
And we go to Cairo where three advisers to President Mohamed Morsi have stepped down. This as violence has intensified. Demonstrators set fire today to offices of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Reza Sayah is in Cairo and I asked what it actually means for Egypt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, President Morsi thought he was going to have a cake walk to the nationwide referendum on December 15th on the constitution, he was mistaken. At least three of his advisers resigned tonight as opposition factions continue to put on the pressure against the president.
And this time, things got ugly and violent in front of the presidential palace. That's where you had supporters of the president and opponents of the president facing off in what started as a stare down and then evolved into an all out brawl. Two sides were clashing by throwing rocks, debris, even Molotov cocktails.
Police came in at one point and broke up some of the clashes. Others continued throughout the night. The clock is ticking towards the vote on December 15th.
Now, the question, will the vote take place or will the president back down -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Our fifth story OUTFRONT: beating the odds.
When 24-year-old Aimee Copeland contracted a deadly flesh-eating disease in May, doctors gave her a 1 percent chance of survival. Tonight, Aimee's miraculous recovery is an inspiration to all and as you're about to see, she's thriving.
BURNETT (voice-over): Twenty-four-year-old Aimee Copeland was a typical grad student at the University of West Georgia, working on a masters in psychology. She loved the outdoors.
But that all changed last May after a zip line adventure near the Little Tallapoosa River outside Atlanta. The zip line snapped as Aimee was riding it. She fell into the river. She cut her leg and needed staples to close the wound.
But she thought things were OK. A few days later, still in pain, she went back to the hospital and learned she had a rare flesh-eating bacteria called necrotizing fasciitis. Within days, it began ravaging her body, and within weeks, doctors were forced to amputate her leg. That's when we first spoke to Aimee's father, Andy.
ANDY COPELAND, AIMEE'S FATHER: I believe the doctors would have said she had a 1 percent chance of survival that night that she arrived her.
BURNETT: After two months in the hospital, the disease claimed both of Aimee's hands, both feet and her left leg. But as her sister Paige told us back in June, Aimee continued to fight.
PAIGE COPELAND, AIMEE'S SISTER: Aimee, she cherishes life, she relishes life. Every day is a gift. She -- I mean, she has always had that outlook even before her accident.
BURNETT: Surrounded by her family, Aimee moved home at the end of August. Her local builders donated a $200,000 addition to make life easier for her to get around. She's been fitted with three prosthetic limbs, has an automated wheelchair and she's planning on returning to college and getting that masters degree.
A. COPELAND: It's just a really unbelievable regimen she does for about an hour and a half each day. So, she's really pushing hard right now.
BURNETT: Aimee is an inspiration. And in the past seven months, she's overcome enormous obstacles. She's being honored tonight at Georgia's annual Celebrating Wonderful Women event, and that's where she joins us from tonight.
And, Aimee, thank you so much.
You know, people hear your story and they're in awe of you. I'm in awe of you. You know, I think I couldn't have done it and so many people say they couldn't have done what you have done and a lot of people couldn't have.
I'm just wondering when you think about it, what is it about you that has made you fight and you beat every odd and be triumphant?
AIMEE COPELAND, FLESH-EATING DISEASE SURVIVOR: It's really hard to say where these things come from. You know, part of me wants to say there's something innate in all humans that help us to overcome these odds, but, you know, sometimes, that doesn't happen, so a part of me wants to say it's a part of the bigger plan. It's a bigger picture. But then at the same time, I've had so much support from my family, my friends, my educational background.
So, you know, I think it's a culmination of a bunch of a ton of different things that you can't really pinpoint but all I can do is just thank God that I'm here.
BURNETT: I believe now, right, you still have hooks for your hands. But are you going to be moving towards getting you know, a real hand replacement, a prosthetic?
COPELAND: I hope so. I've been doing a lot of research and there's some really, really cool stuff on the market. There is an myo-electric hand that I'm very interested in. It's called an iLimb. And it can produce several different grasps, almost mimicking a real hand. So I'm definitely interested in getting that.
Right now, however, what I'm most interested in is getting out of the wheelchair because that does restrict a lot of my mobility. So, what I'm focused on now is actually making a left leg. And I've been talking to my prosthetist about it, and hopefully, tomorrow, we'll be doing the first mold of left leg so getting on the road to be able to walk again is going to be fantastic.
And once that leg is completed, my next priority will be getting some better functioning hands.
BURNETT: You know, what you had to overcome is so incredibly -- you have had to relearn everything. I mean, things people wouldn't think of doing normally, right? Styling your hair, brushing your teeth, getting dressed.
What has been the hardest thing for you? COPELAND: I think handling objects and keeping them in my hands and not dropping them. Because if things are in my reach, I can pretty much do everything. But when I drop something on the ground, there is not a whole lot I can do about it.
Luckily that might change soon because I will hopefully be getting a service dog very soon. And that dog will help me by picking things up off the ground and opening and closing doors for me. That's another difficult thing. It's closing the door on yourself, with wheelchair in the way. It's just difficult.
So, being -- I would definitely say accessing things.
BURNETT: Accessing things. And do you feel your body -- have you gotten used to your -- you know, your new body and the way that things are?
COPELAND: A little bit. I think it is still getting used to it. You know, and every day when I wake up in the morning, I'm not in that place yet that I wake and it's like, this is how things normally are. It's still definitely taking some getting used to.
I've started to dream that I'm amputated in my dreams. So, I always think that's a really interesting reflection of our every day waking up life, is that in my dreams, that is now, I think that's really become a bigger part of me now that my unconscious is internalizing them.
BURNETT: You know, it's only been seven months. I mean, it's only been seven months, and you know, your dad says you're back to your old self. He's really worried about you. You know, you have that car and you are out driving and you are staying out late and with your friends and your boyfriend.
Have you -- if any of your relationships changed?
COPELAND: I think a little bit. I think when I spend time with people for the first time since my accident, I think a lot of times they don't really know how to act or what to say. But usually, it doesn't see long for things to become more normal and people see that I'm really comfortable with myself. So, there is no reason that they should be uncomfortable.
BURNETT: And what your future? I know you are finishing your master's and you're on track to do that. Your thesis on wilderness therapy for amputees, ands then you're going to get another masters, I know, when you graduate this summer, you were saying another masters in social work. What do you want to do?
COPELAND: What I am most interested in doing is really what my thesis resolves around, and that's really getting out there in the field, in natural areas and helping other people with disabilities -- emotionally, physically and spiritually.
BURNETT: Do you have moments when you think I can't do this? You know, those moments in the middle of the night or when you say this just isn't fair?
COPELAND: You know, sure. Yes. I have really hard moments definitely, when things aren't, you know, going right. Or a lot of times, if I'm by myself and I can't do something, I can't get to something. And I think it's really necessarily to fully experience those moments of grief, of just absolute exhaustion and, you know, to experience them, allow -- accept them, allow them to pass. And over the horizon, there is always more sunshine and more love.
BURNETT: And tonight at the Celebrating Wonderful Women fundraiser, and you were honored, you were woman of the year. And, you know, you were really such a beacon of hope and inspiration for people, Aimee, who are suffering and frankly the people who aren't. You know, you motivate people to be better and kinder and stronger.
And is the role hard? I mean, it's got to be hard if people are looking at you to always be so -- to be the rock for other people.
COPELAND: Yes, you know, I think it's really important to bring hope to those who have none and to give a voice to those who can't speak. So, you know, I'm definitely willing to take on that role and I'm not a perfect person. But I know that together, we can definitely provide that hope and provide that advocacy for the people who really need it, which is why this benefit is actually going to benefit Wellspring Living which is a residential community for women and girls who have been sexually exploited.
So, we are trying through this event to help those that maybe don't feel like they have any hope left, and to show that there is still love in the world.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Aimee, thank you so much.
COPELAND: Thank you.
BURNETT: Some incredible, incredible woman.
Well, up next: North Korea doing something horrible to contemplate. We are spending tens of millions of dollars to memorialize their dead leader and we're going to explain why that is so frightening -- OUTFRONT next.
BURNETT: Almost a year after his death, Kim Jong Il still looms larger over North Korea, largely because officials have worked so hard to perpetuate his image.
This year alone, North Korean authorities erected at least eight statues of the former leader around the city, including one that stands 75 feet tall. They've also inscribed his name on more than 3,000, unquote-quote, "towers of eternal life" at crossroads around the country and began plans to renovate the palace where his body lies still in state.
As you can imagine, this is expensive. And here is the breakdown of the cost that we found. Statues, they cost $60 million. Inscriptions, $25 million. Portraits of Kim Jong Il, $20 million. That's more than $100 million of memorials in just a year.
It's money North Korea doesn't have. So, how is the country paying for it? Well, North Koreans have been asked to kick in $150 each to pay for the memorials.
They don't have the money and North Korea is going to borrow some of it from countries like Russia at rates as high as 40 percent. That's a lot of money for any country, especially one like North Korea.
A U.N. report estimates two-thirds of North Koreans suffer from chronic food shortage and $100 million, that's the money spent on the memorials. If it was spent on food, it would have brought enough corn to almost entirely wipe out North Korea's 500,000 ton food shortfall.
Stories on North Korea often focus on nuclear missiles ands military sites and the threats that those missiles pose to the United States. But tonight the story struck a chord with us, showing that the greatest wrong being done in North Korea aided by other countries is to North Koreans.
Anderson starts now.