Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Interview With Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee; Texas College Shooting
Aired January 22, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
And tonight: the people who think there's a revolving door on this place, in our nation's capital, you're going to meet a newly reelected congresswoman who should just be starting her new term. Instead, she's already leaving and using what she learned here to cash in. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also, later, the man who designed first lady Michelle Obama's inaugural gown this time and last time and last. We will talk to designer Jason Wu, who has gone from eating Domino's pizza to seeking his dreams.
But we begin tonight with breaking news. Students speaking out about the terror they lived through today at a community college in Houston, Texas. And new video up close of the drama as it unfolded at Lone Star College. What apparently started as an altercation escalated into yet another horrifyingly familiar scene, all of it happening in the middle of a national debate on how to stop gun violence. Three people hurt, two detained and an awful lot of unanswered questions even at this hour.
Ed Lavandera is on the scene right now. He joins us now.
What is the latest, Ed, what you have found out about the shooting?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Anderson.
The two people involved in this altercation, apparently only one gun involved, were two of the three that were wounded. The third person that was wounded was a maintenance worker here at Lone Star College who was standing nearby. He was wounded in the leg and is being treated at the hospital tonight.
Right now, we know that investigators are interviewing the two suspects and the two men involved in the altercation. So far, no criminal charges have been filed and no one has been arrested. So they're still trying to piece together exactly what led to all of this. So far, the best accounts that we have gotten from what happened I think comes from one of the students at the school who was about 10 feet away and said that they could hear the students arguing -- or actually only one of the students arguing about something, and then all of a sudden it started escalating. According to that one student, she said it seemed like something that could have been resolved but it just kept getting worse.
I mentioned there was only one student. Authorities here say only one of the two suspects had a student I.D., so it's not clear where that second person came from, if they should have been on the campus to begin with.
COOPER: Again, we're seeing this video for the first time as our viewers are seeing it, and this is brand-new video to us. I saw some reports earlier today that it might have been gang-related. I know the sheriff was asked about this. What do you know?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have been asking around about that as well.
The sheriff was asked -- or the acting sheriff was asked this afternoon at a press conference and didn't have any information or refused to give any information on that, so we will continue to look into that as best we can.
COOPER: In today's press conference, the chancellor of the school said the staff had recently trained for this kind of an incident, correct?
LAVANDERA: Yes, that's interesting. Over the last seven days the chancellor of the school said that the faculty and staff had gone over training drills, what to do in scenarios just like this some three times. All of this, of course, in the wake of the shootings across the country, especially Sandy Hook in Connecticut.
COOPER: All right, appreciate the update. Thanks.
With us now by phone is freshman Amanda Vasquez who was in English class when she heard shots ring out.
Amanda, first of all, how are you doing tonight?
AMANDA VASQUEZ, EYEWITNESS: I'm feeling a lot better than I was earlier, of course, around family.
COOPER: Yes. I can't imagine.
Can you take us through what happened, what you saw, what you heard?
VASQUEZ: I was waiting on my English class to start. It was about five minutes before it started. And all of a sudden, I heard about six shots down the hallway.
And I just started hearing people shouting and running, people just running. And I immediately tried to get under the desk, you know, tried to hide, of course, did what my instinct was telling me to do. There were people that even came into our room seeking shelter, the gunmen or the altercation that was going on.
And a lady in there, she was training to be an EMT or something like that. She took charge immediately and was like, everybody, you need to get over here so that if the gunman looks in here, he doesn't see you, and turned off the lights, put the table by the door.
And I called my mom as soon as I could just because, you never know. I didn't know if this was going to be the last time I was going to be able to speak with her. So I just wanted to make sure that she knew that I loved her just in case. And I wanted to let others know in the school not to come in there. And I only had Wi-Fi once I moved to the other side of the room to hide. I only had Wi-Fi.
So I immediately went to Twitter because I know that's where the majority of people who follow me the most are. And I was trying to advise them not to come into the academic building because it's not safe. I didn't want anyone else injured. And so...
COOPER: Did you hear any kind of altercation or words before the shots began?
VASQUEZ: No. I just heard the shots being fired.
COOPER: And you say you think it was about six shots?
VASQUEZ: Yes. Yes, sir.
COOPER: How long did all this go on for? Can you tell?
VASQUEZ: The shooting or how long we were stuck in the room or...
COOPER: Well, the shooting, because I kind of understand they kind of moved location. Is that true? That was an early report, that it either moved from the academic building to the library or vice versa.
VASQUEZ: It seemed to happen really quickly. I can't really give you a number. I just -- my mind was going so fast in those moments.
COOPER: How long did you stay in the classroom?
VASQUEZ: About 30 minutes. We were just waiting there silently, you know, calling loved ones, just in case, you know, it was our last time, just trying to let them know...
COOPER: And then finally what made you leave the classroom? Did police show up?
VASQUEZ: Police came in the room, and they said that we need to put our hands behind our head and evacuate immediately, and so we did. We ran out of there.
You know, we didn't want to be in there anymore. We knew that there was still a gunman on the loose. So we just wanted to be out of there and in safety.
COOPER: I mean, this is the kind of thing obviously you have seen on television, you have seen on the news, but to actually go through it, to experience it, what do you -- what do you want people to know? What do you -- do you take away anything from this? Do you learn anything from this?
VASQUEZ: Well, one thing that really stuck out to me is you just never know when it's going to be your time to go.
So you always need to tell your family that you love them. And don't hold any grudges. You never want to end your life and to have those sorts of regrets. Tell your family every day and any loved one that you have, husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, tell them that you love them.
COOPER: Amanda, I wish you the best. I'm so glad things turned out OK for you and your other classmates in that room. And thank you for talking to us.
VASQUEZ: Thank you.
COOPER: You take care.
Joining us now is Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. This happened in her district as she was attending a violence prevention forum in Washington. In just a few minutes, she will leave us to speak with Vice President Biden about the shooting, also Texas State Senator Dan Patrick, who recently co-authored a bill that would allow people on college campuses in his state to carry concealed weapons.
Senator Patrick, it seems like this was some sort of personal dispute that spiraled out of control. There are still details we don't know, which would mean that it could have turned into a shooting incident that endangered other people only because the suspects -- or one of the suspects had a gun on them.
Does anything that happened today make you rethink whether it is a good idea to have young people carrying guns with them on a campus or anywhere?
DAN PATRICK, TEXAS STATE SENATOR: Well, Anderson, with all due respect, I don't think a lot of people in the mainstream media back maybe East understand Texas. And in Texas, we understand that you have to be 21 to have a CHL on campus. And, in fact, and Senator Brian Birdwell, who is the lead on this bill -- and 12 of us have already co-authored the bill with him.
You have to understand, Anderson, when things happen like this, it only reemphasizes the issue that people must have a right to defend themselves. People who are responsible, people with CHLs, by the way, who have hardly ever been involved in a crime or a gun crime, I mean, less than 1 percent of CHL holders, and we have half a million in the state, have ever been involved in a crime.
These are responsible adults, 21 and over, who would be professors, who would be maybe that maintenance worker, who would be adult students. These would be the people who would allowed to carry a weapon, Anderson. And here's the other point of this. Thank goodness this wasn't an active shooter randomly shooting at people on the campus.
It's terrible, the situation that it was, but it wasn't an active shooter. But one of the reasons, Anderson, that we want adult and students 21 and over to be able to carry their legally licensed firearm on campus is because a lot of crime happens on campus, the young lady who might be walking at night after a class to her car who has a CHL but can't have it with her because it's not allowed by the university.
You know, campuses have thousands of people on it, Anderson, and there are lots of crime, sadly, that goes on. I want my young daughter or I want my young son to be able to go to college, if he has a CHL and he's 21 or over, and to be able to carry that weapon and defend himself in a situation like today, an active shooter, or someone just coming up and trying to rob him.
It is every American's right to defend their life. It's guaranteed in the Constitution, Anderson. No, this doesn't -- we don't back up at all from this. This only reaffirms why we need to do this and why we're supporting Brian Birdwell's bill.
COOPER: Congresswoman, your thoughts on that?
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: First of all, Anderson, thank you so very much for having me, and certainly Senator Patrick.
My sympathy goes out to all of those who were impacted. And who can not empathize with Amanda? And I wish her well and I wish her future years of great success in what she's trying to do.
COOPER: To the point, though, the senator was saying?
JACKSON LEE: Well, let me say this. My focus this evening is on the tragedy.
But what I will say is that in knowing this campus and having spoken to those who are there, this tragedy could not have been helped by the present legislation. I know when the concealed weapons bill was passed some many years ago, the wisdom of the legislature at that time was not to allow concealed weapons to be on campuses, and I believe they were right.
Just take the situation today that if there were numbers of shooters, we know full well during the tragedy of my colleague Congresswoman Giffords that there was a potential of shooting the wrong person because someone did have a gun. Now, I'm not suggesting that they couldn't have been more helpful then, but just imagine gun- toting students who didn't know who it was, thought it might have been an active shooter and the shooting level would have heightened and more would have been injured.
Right now, there are three persons as we understand who have been shot, who are hospitalized, one who had a medical issue. The panic was extensive. But in talking to the chairman of the board of Lone Star, this college has been there for 40 years and this incident has never happened. The bill that has been introduced in the state legislature's time is not now.
In fact, we need less guns, not more. When we had a hearing just the other week, there were police persons saying, we are frightened of being outgunned. The records show that there were more than 200 police or more on the scene in two minutes. The Harris County Sheriff's Department was there in two minutes. The EMS paramedics were there in two minutes, why -- or less, because that school trains paramedics.
JACKSON LEE: I would rather them be training paramedics and first-responders than arming students. And I don't think Amanda -- I cannot speak for her -- would have been happier if she had a gun in her hand and was told, now you go find the perpetrator and try to take them down.
COOPER: Senator, there's a lot of responsible, you know, young people, 21 and older on college campuses, but a lot of folks...
PATRICK: And in our military, by the way, who defend our nation, are very responsible.
COOPER: Right, yes, I know.
But a lot of folks on college campuses also do really stupid stuff, even if they're 21 or 22. When I was in college, I went to a pretty good school and I'm a relatively smart guy. I did a lot of stupid stuff that I probably regret. I'm not sure I would want my roommates who were also doing stupid stuff to have access to handguns, even though they're responsible folks. Even in the numbers of suicides on campuses, doesn't the presence of weapons make suicide even more likely?
PATRICK: First of all, I reject my good friend the congresswoman's comment of gun-toting students.
You have to understand you go through background checks. You are proficient in shooting. You learn the laws. The time has proven, Anderson, since the late '90s when this bill originally passed that CHL holders in Texas are very responsible citizens. In fact, people who do not have a CHL are 16 times more likely to commit a crime.
JACKSON LEE: Anderson, if I may...
PATRICK: Less than a fraction of a percent have ever been involved in a crime. These are responsible adults. They're not toting guns around.
(CROSSTALK) COOPER: But you mention our troops. More of our troops are dying from suicide this past year than in combat.
PATRICK: Anderson, you're a better journalist than to go down that rabbit...
COOPER: No, sir, I'm asking you a question. Suicide is a very real issue.
COOPER: I'm not getting into an argument. I'm just...
PATRICK: No, you're asking me about an issue that has nothing to do with carrying guns on a college campus.
COOPER: Suicide doesn't? The high number of suicides on college campuses has nothing to do with access to firearms?
PATRICK: Anderson, if that's the best you have to debate this issue, that's a pretty sad statement.
COOPER: I'm not debating with you, sir. I'm asking you a question. If you can't answer the question, that's fine. You can attack me all you want.
PATRICK: That has nothing to do with this story.
JACKSON LEE: Let me disagree with my friend Senator Patrick.
There have been a million homicides in America since 1968, the killing of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. Yes, Texas has had a concealed weapons law. But even as they have had it, it is not a law that has a component to it that can say without doubt that every person who is now holding a concealed weapon is not suffering from a mental health issue, is not prone to high temper, of provocative behavior.
COOPER: Congresswoman, let me push back on your position.
COOPER: I'm not trying to take a side here.
COOPER: Hold on, Senator. I'm siding with you on this one.
I mean, I'm not taking sides. I'm just pushing back, Congresswoman, on what you're saying. Why shouldn't that young woman who we spoke to have the ability to have a weapon and not cower in a classroom under a desk hoping that the authorities show up? Why shouldn't she have the ability to be armed and respond if that gunman does come into the classroom?
JACKSON LEE: I'm very happy to say that, because we're not talking about just that young woman. We're talking about individuals all over campuses throughout the state of Texas having guns, some more prepared than others.
And the fact that you have guns on campus that may be -- one by a concealed weapons permit holder, that gun can get in the hands of others.
JACKSON LEE: It's the responsibility of our campuses to secure those campuses. And I believe Lone Star had the best response or a very full response both in terms of notification. I know there's some question about that. But they evacuated quickly.
PATRICK: Can I ask you this question, Congresswoman?
JACKSON LEE: Let me finish.
The sheriff's department was there. The EMS was there. So my concern, Anderson, is I believe in responsible gun ownership. I believe in the Second Amendment.
PATRICK: Thank you. Thank you.
JACKSON LEE: I am from Texas. I passed sensible gun legislation as a council member dealing with gun safety and securing your guns.
But to have guns on campuses with young people, 21 or older, when they're supposed to be there for an academic reason, I can tell you that that is throwing a match on gasoline. And it is really is not the appropriate approach.
PATRICK: Just because you're 21 doesn't mean you should not be able to defend your life.
JACKSON LEE: It is not an appropriate approach. My sympathy to those who are now injured.
COOPER: Senator, I appreciate your time.
Congresswoman, thank you. I appreciate your time as well.
JACKSON LEE: Thank you for having me.
PATRICK: Thank you.
COOPER: You can follow us on Twitter right now @AndersonCooper. I'm tweeting tonight.
Just ahead, why would a newly reelected congresswoman leave Congress just days before she was supposed to get back to work serving the people who put her there? "Keeping Them Honest," we tried to ask her and ask her if money on the outside has something to do with it? See what she had to say next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Millions of Americans, of course, watched President Obama lay out his vision for the country yesterday.
"Keeping Them Honest," though, even as he spoke, another big Washington power player was already gearing up to advance its agenda, not lawmakers, not administrators, not judges or journalists.
Lobbyists. An army of influence-peddlers and access-seekers and opinion-shapers gearing up for battle to block bills or change them, insert loopholes or widen them. We're talking about Republicans, Democrats, you name it.
Now, you might like some of what they're doing, but chances are you won't be crazy about this, a congresswoman who just got reelected, but is leaving already, taking what she learned in Congress to get paid big dollars, leaving the people who elected her basically high and dry.
Drew Griffin is "Keeping Them Honest."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She may be the perfect example of what Washington critics call the revolving door syndrome.
(on camera): Congresswoman? Congresswoman Emerson, it's Drew Griffin with CNN. (voice-over): Which could explain why all we got from Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson was the slam-door treatment.
The Southeast Missouri Republican is quitting Congress, not because she lost. In fact, she just won her last election to her 10th term by a landslide. She's quitting because she landed a job back in what you might call the real family business, the politics of influencing Congress.
Follow the lineage. In the '70s, Jo Ann Emerson, a Washington, D.C., native, married a lobbyist named Bill Emerson. When lobbyist Bill Emerson went on to become congressman from Missouri, Jo Ann went on to become a lobbyist for the restaurant industry. When he died of cancer in 1996, she took his seat, and she's served nine terms since then.
And while the combined Emersons were spending 32 years in the Congress, they were raising two daughters, both of whom who are now registered lobbyists. Now Congresswoman Emerson goes back to a trade association directing a team of lobbyists.
KATHY KIELY, SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION: It's the personification of the revolving door.
GRIFFIN: Kathy Kiely with the Sunlight Foundation says it's a revolving door of lobbyists and politicians and staff members and big payoff jobs that erode Americans' faith in a system that seems to be driven by special interest access and money.
KIELY: What people do see is that is there's a network of individuals who don't necessarily have the public interest at heart. They have special interests at heart. And those -- when people have the impression that those special interests are dominating Washington and the way things work here, it reduces people's faith in their government. And it probably should.
GRIFFIN: Technically speaking, Jo Ann Emerson is not becoming a lobbyist, at least not yet. She has been named the new CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. She will direct a group that has a staff of lobbyists that spent $3.5 million handing out campaign contributions in the last election and has spent many more millions lobbying Congress.
Her predecessor was paid $1.6 million a year, that predecessor, a former congressman himself, and a registered lobbyist, Glenn English.
(on camera): So this organization must value your participation in Congress more than your CEO experience when you came in? And that's the same thing with her.
GLENN ENGLISH, CEO, NATIONAL RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION: Oh, I think so. I think that's probably true. I think the membership recognizes out there that one of the very important functions of this organization, of course, is making sure that we're well represented within Congress. GRIFFIN (voice-over): Jo Ann Emerson is one of five members of Congress leaving office in 2013 to become part of the lobbying/influence community in D.C.
One of them, North Carolina's Heath Shuler, was asked about that back in December.
QUESTION: Are you planning to become a lobbyist?
REP. HEATH SHULER (D), NORTH CAROLINA: No.
GRIFFIN: Despite that assertion, he's taken a job as senior vice president of federal affairs for Duke Energy.
(on camera): Technically, this freshman crop of brand-new lobbyists won't be able to lobby Congress officially for two years, which is, in the bizarre world of loophole Washington, making them all the more valuable.
KIELY: They're still in the influence business, but they're not registered lobbyists, which, in fact, enhances their influence.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): In fact, official registered lobbyists are so concerned about all these unregistered influencers that the American League of Lobbyists wants to impose new rules especially aimed at former members of Congress who can still use the Congressional Gym, walk on to the House floor or use all their past contacts to, well, influence.
So what does the congresswoman have to say about all this? That's what brings us back to the halls of the Rayburn Congressional Office Building. The congresswoman agreed to talk to us in Washington Monday at 5:00. Then, a few days later, she backed out -- her aide telling us the congresswoman just didn't think it was such a good idea.
(on camera): Leaving us to have to come to Washington to the halls of Congress to play the bad guy, staking out Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson just to try to get a comment.
(voice-over): And about 5:00 Monday, there she was emerging from an elevator.
(on camera): Congresswoman? Congresswoman Emerson, it's Drew Griffin with CNN. Can you give us five minutes, Congresswoman? Congresswoman Emerson?
(voice-over): And there she went into her soon-to-be-vacated office. So we waited.
(on camera): Can you tell us why you're leaving Congress? Can you tell us why after you won an election pretty well, why would you leave Congress to take basically a lobbying job? Congresswoman?
(voice-over): Back in Missouri, the state now must hold a special election to fill the seat Jo Ann Emerson is walking away from. That will cost taxpayers nearly $1 million.
COOPER: Drew Griffin joins me now.
So, Drew, you reported she won by a landslide in November, then announced she was quitting in December. Why didn't she quit before the election if she knew she was leaving?
GRIFFIN: One of the questions we wanted to ask her, Anderson, and also ask her, how early did she know she'd be leaving? Right? She filed paper work with the House stating that really within days, nine days after the election, she was already in talks to take over this million-and-a-half dollar job. Her chief of staff told us the job opportunity just popped up out of the blue.
Seems remarkable, especially when you also see that the National Rural Electric Cooperative has been the congresswoman's biggest single campaign donor, contributing $72,000 to her and her husband over the years and another 20 grand just to the congresswoman's political action committee.
COOPER: So now they're going to actually pay her a lot more than that, in fact, a lot more than she would make if she stayed in Congress, right? That's way more than her salary.
GRIFFIN: It is a major pay boost, we think. We don't know the exact figures yet. But, as a member of Congress, she would be paid $174,000 a year. That's a lot, of course, for a lot of us.
And while we don't know exactly what she is going to make as the head of this trade association, she's replacing a guy, a former congressman, who made $1.6 million a year. That's nearly 10 times the salary of a member of Congress.
COOPER: Wow. All right, Drew, fascinating that she wouldn't talk to you.
Up next -- thanks -- Prince Harry as you have probably never seen him before. The third in line to the throne gives reporters, including CNN, a rare look inside his tour of duty in Afghanistan. A lot of what he says about killing the enemy, becoming an uncle has been making headlines all across the world. We will find out why next.
COOPER: Britain's Prince Harry finished a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. As a gunner on an Apache attack helicopter, he acknowledges he had to kill enemy Taliban fighters while on his deployment. He was serving thousands of miles away from the luxury of the palaces he calls home, instead settling into far more modest accommodations, obviously.
Well, back home he may have the reputation of the party prince, with his squadron he's known simply as Captain Wales. Max Foster went to Afghanistan for a firsthand look.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call this VHR, very high readiness. It might look like down time, but the call to fly can come at any time. It happened once in the middle of an interview.
PRINCE HARRY, UNITED KINGDOM: It wasn't done in the wrong way, but it was just...
FOSTER: It wasn't just being able to do his job that made Harry value his deployment to Afghanistan so highly. It was the simplicity of his life out here.
(on camera) Prince Harry stayed in these simple containers when he was here in Camp Bastion. It's a far cry from the palaces he grew up in. And when he was working overnights, things were even more basic.
PRINCE HARRY: This is my bed. I don't really make it when I'm done. Joy, that's it, made. A paradine (ph) phone. This is as much privacy that we get.
FOSTER: It was while he was out here that Harry got news that his sister-in-law, the duchess of Cambridge, was expecting a baby.
PRINCE HARRY: Very unfair they're forced to publicize it when they were, but that's just the media for you. I only hope that she gets the necessary protection to allow her as a mother-to-be to enjoy the privacy that that comes with. It's too much like that, that's the thing.
FOSTER: Harry's own privacy is clearly a concern for the prince as well. And he made little attempt to hide it.
PRINCE HARRY: I never wanted you guys to be out here, but there was an agreement made to invite you out on a deal that you -- that the media didn't speculate before my deployment. That's the only reason you guys are out here.
FOSTER: Back home the media glare will inevitably be brighter and the pressure back on to find a partner.
PRINCE HARRY: If you find the right person and everything feels right, then it takes time. Especially for myself and my brother. You know, you're never going to find someone who is going to jump into the position that it would hold. Simple as that.
FOSTER: Perhaps Harry's main interest himself will be getting back out to the front line as soon as he can.
Max Foster, CNN, Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Next, the Manti Te'o affair and what, if anything, he can say to clear up the most confusing, confounding, phony love story college football has probably ever seen. Bob Costas, along with all of us, is along for the ride, and he's going to join us live next.
COOPER: Welcome back. College football star Manti Te'o may prefer the glare of stadium lights, but this week he's going to step back into the media spotlight. For the first time, he's set to face the cameras and explain, in his own words, how he says he was the victim of an elaborate hoax that not only convinced him he was dating a woman who did not exist but also left him devastated after being told she'd died.
Throughout this past college football season, he repeated the tragic tale of her death from leukemia coming on the same day his grandmother died, just hours after. But Te'o waited until sports blog, Deadspin, broke the story last week to clarify that he had never actually met her.
Now we're learning the identity of the woman whose picture Te'o apparently believed was the girlfriend. Turns out her real name is Diane O'Meara. Speaking to NBC, she says a mutual acquaintance was behind the hoax.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIANE O'MEARA, PHOTO USED IN HOAX: Ronaiah has called and not only confessed, but he has also apologized. But I don't think there's anything you can say to me that would fix this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Also claims the alleged hoaxer, who she calls Ronnie, also admitted to years of stalking her Facebook profile and stealing photos.
Now, his uncle says he may speak out this week, as well, offering his side of the story.
Fewer in sports have sat down to interview as many athletes as NBC Sports' Bob Costas. Perhaps few can say they have had the front- row seat he's had to so many of the sports highs and lows. He joins me now live.
I mean, you've covered virtually every sport.
BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTS: Nothing like this.
COOPER: Have you ever seen anything like this?
COSTAS: No. Nothing that compares to this. And it's some sort of window into what social media is doing to people's lives. Much of it, I'm sure, positive, but the pitfalls here are so obvious. And I cited this before, and I apologize if people heard me earlier, but there was a famous "New Yorker" cartoon three or four years ago. And a dog is sitting at a computer, pecking away with its paws. And the dog looks over its shoulder and says to its master, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog."
You know, and we all ought to keep that in mind in some of these situations.
You can understand what the motivation might be for this Tuiasosopo guy. Either he's got some perverse fascination with this woman and wants to humiliate her, or he thinks he can put Manti Te'o in a position where he can extort some money from him or get some sort of consideration from him.
But it's harder to figure out what Manti Te'o's motivation was, especially once the thing began to play out.
COOPER: I didn't understand early on why he wouldn't -- if he wasn't in on it why he wouldn't have just said as part of this story, you know, "The strangest thing about this is, I've never even met her, and yet I'm in love with her."
COOPER: And I guess in talking to people who, you know, focus on the social media and relationships online, I guess there still is a level of shame involved in some of these relationships. People kind of don't want to admit that they've never actually met the person. But there are inconsistencies in the story.
COSTAS: Yes. And in the case of some of the people who have those sorts of circumstances, logistically, maybe they can't get together, or they may have other impediments to social interaction.
None of that would apply to a big man on campus at Notre Dame, who by all accounts, was surrounded by young women and had their attention so wasn't in need of reaching out in this way.
And then he constructs a story, or at least goes along with a story, that includes him not being at her bedside when she's deathly ill.
COOPER: And it never even occurred to him to go visit his dying girlfriend.
COSTAS: Yes. And not attending the funeral.
COSTAS: At some point this begins to make so little sense that he had to figure -- he was smart enough to gain admission to Notre Dame, even if they made an exception to some extent for a football player, you got to be awfully dumb not to think that this isn't going to blow up in your face pretty soon.
COOPER: So your gut feeling is that, at some point, he must have known something but was kind of too deep in?
COSTAS: Yes, that's a gut feeling with absolutely no inside information that he got too deep in but that he also saw that the story was playing out sympathetically. "Sports Illustrated" wrote a sympathetic profile of it, that his girlfriend had died on the same day as his grandmother had passed away. He plays on heroically through the season. They have an undefeated season.
There's a mythology attached to Notre Dame that not many other entities in sports have, and people like these kinds of stories. And for a while, it played well for him.
COOPER: I mean, you've seen people rise and fall and rise again in the world of sports. I'm wondering your thoughts on Lance Armstrong. A, do you think he should have done that interview? Do you think he did any good for himself? And do you think he can kind of rehabilitate himself?
COSTAS: I don't think he can fully rehabilitate himself, because what distinguishes him from other users of performance-enhancing drugs isn't just the doping and the cheating. Most of those who did that either said nothing, allowed the suspicions to be there, or denied it and moved on.
Nobody but Lance Armstrong vilified all of his accusers, almost all of whom turned out to be completely truthful, sued them and in some cases won, defamed them. I think it's that, that and the -- what he now acknowledges himself, the bullying and the coercion of people around him. It's that that people find even more distasteful than the doping, because virtually everybody in cycling of any account was using performance-enhancing drugs of some kind.
COOPER: I talked to author David Coyle who had written a book with Tyler Hamilton. One of the things he said about Tyler Hamilton and getting Tyler to talk about his own doping, was that at first, as somebody who's lied for so long, cannot tell the full truth. It comes out in drips and drabs.
And he felt that's what we were witnessing with Lance Armstrong. This being that it wasn't smart to give such a big interview as the first interview, because the truth -- he's not able to tell the full truth because he's still saying he's a bully but he wasn't saying he was pressuring or directly pressuring anybody on his team.
COSTAS: Well, he had to be careful, because he still has some liability, both you know, legal and civil liability, and he was probably coached not to put too much out there that might be thrown back in his face in a court of law.
He's already lost tens of millions of dollars in endorsements and potential earnings. And the other aspect of this is there are going to be some people who are skeptical even if he's largely telling the truth now. They're going to say he's only taking this course when every other avenue is closed off, when he has no plausible defense left. COOPER: And it remains a question of whether or not he's going to testify to USADA and whether that would actually lead to him being able to compete in triathlons.
COSTAS: If he did that, and if he told USADA how they did it, how did we pull this whole scheme off, how did we conceal it for so long? How were we so effective? What were the methods? Like a guy in organized crime turns state's evidence and not only incriminates himself but more importantly provides the authorities are insight into how these crimes take place.
Well, these are sports crimes, and he does have some information that might be useful.
COOPER: Unclear if he's going to do that. Bob Costas, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
Up next, first lady Michelle Obama's favorite inaugural designer -- in fact he's a two-term inaugural designer -- Jason Wu, joins me live, next.
COOPER: Up close tonight, fashion lightning strikes twice for designer Jason Wu. First lady Michelle Obama chose a design by Jason for her inaugural gown. She also did that four years ago.
The first lady had several dresses to choose from. No one knew which one she would be wearing, including the designers themselves, until she came out and stage at the Commander in Chief's Ball last night. Jason Wu joins me now live.
JASON WU, FASHION DESIGNER: Thank you.
COOPER: I heard four years ago you were, like, eating Domino's pizza...
WU: I know.
COOPER: ... when she walked out in your gown. And you -- I heard you, like, ran around your apartment yelling and screaming.
WU: I know. I was so emotional. And it was so crazy, because I didn't -- I had really never watched an inauguration before, and I felt like I didn't even know if I was on the right channel. Wait, is this a concert or something? I remember I think Jamie Foxx was introducing the president and first lady. And then they came out. And I was, like, I think I know that dress. And it was mine. I was sort of awe-struck.
COOPER: So this time around, did you -- I mean, you must have known you were in the running. Clearly, you had communication, as all the designers do. You don't actually try the dress on her. Did you have a mannequin that is her shape? WU: Everyone asks me. No, I do have a Michelle, a Michelle mannequin in my studio. I consistently worked with her the last four years since she's been in office. And -- and you know, it's been a really great relationship being able to call the first lady a client. I mean, that's very special, I think.
COOPER: So did you -- did they call you a few minutes before she came out? I mean, did you have a little heads up?
WU: They're really bad about that. They never call me.
WU: You just have to find out when everyone else finds out.
COOPER: It seems so cruel that way.
WU: I know. I was, like, dying of anxiety walking around the studio. And like, I was actually at the studio, because it's almost Fashion Week, so I was still working.
WU: It was a little more festive. I got to distract myself in a lot of work. So it was like...
COOPER: I mean, your career has changed a lot in the last four years. I assume you were not eating Domino's pizza last night.
WU: No, I wasn't. I wasn't. I was just -- I was not eating.
COOPER: Not to knock Domino's pizza, because I'm a fan.
But how did four years ago, I mean, did that one event -- her wearing that dress at that event four years ago -- did that significantly change things for you?
WU: Well, I think a lot of people ask me, you know, what that -- did that put me on the map? And that certainly did, you know, having the first lady wear your dress was such a historical moment. The one which the fashion community was especially interested in is very significant.
And you know, I always say, you know, to do something like that, you really have to sort of back it up with more hard work.
COOPER: Of course.
WU: It's -- you know, I always call it like to have great opportunity like that is like getting a great role, and you sort of need your next winning role before you're done.
WU: And that's what I kept working on. And I think, you know, we've been able to really take advantage of the publicity with that. COOPER: Well, that's the -- I mean, that's the thing about fashion that's so stressful is that you're only as good as kind of your last collection.
COOPER: So I mean, you can't ride that, that she wore your dress four years ago, you can't ride that for very -- you know, and maybe the euphoria lasts for a couple of days, but you then have a business to run.
And you've been incredibly successful. There are plenty of designers whose dresses, she -- you know, first ladies have worn to inaugurations that haven't been able to continue forward, that have gone under.
WU: Well, I think I always just sort of reminded myself of what I am and what I'm here to do. And, you know, when all of that happened, I thought it was very easy for me to field all the -- all the requests and offers and such.
I mean, to me, I came to New York to be a fashion designer, so you know. And I always say at the end of the day I'm a dressmaker. I'm not a celebrity. I'm not a, you know, I'm not a personality. You know, I have a personality, but I'm not a personality. I'm not a TV personality. And it's very rare I do TV.
And I feel comfortable behind the scenes because that's where I have total control. I know exactly what I'm doing. I feel the most comfortable backstage at my shows. I feel the most comfortable at fittings in my studio.
COOPER: Was there any part -- I talked to, you know, a lot of alleged fashion experts in the last two days who were convinced it would be some other new young designer. And a lot of them were -- somebody I talked to last night said they were gobsmacked just because that -- you know, that she picked somebody -- did you think it was going to be somebody else?
WU: I always -- I mean, I thought that would be a possibility. I mean, certainly Mrs. Obama is known to wear a lot of young emerging talent and also a lot of established houses in America. She's really been sort of a great champion of American fashion design, which I think, you know, is in a better place than it's ever been before.
I mean, American fashion has -- New York Fashion Week is one of the most important in the world today. And it's been looked at internationally. It wasn't, like, always like this.
COOPER: You're still a young talent, so you've still got a lot of years ahead of you. Listen, congratulations.
WU: Thank you.
COOPER: I wish you continued success.
WU: Thank you.
COOPER: Thank you. It was great to talk to you.
Let's get a quick check on other stories we're following. Isha is back with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: Anderson, breaking news out after another high-profile shooting and a day after President Obama mentioned Newtown in his inaugural address, the National Rifle Association is weighing in. Speaking at an awards event just moments ago, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre slamming President Obama's proposals for curbing gun violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WAYNE LAPIERRE, EVP, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: Barack Obama is saying that the only principled way to make children safe is to make lawful citizens less safe and violent criminals more safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be grilled on Capitol Hill tomorrow about the deadly attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. She'll face both the House and Senate foreign relations committees. The attack on September 11 last year left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The top commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, has been cleared of wrongdoing in the sex scandal that led David Petraeus to step down as CIA director. Allen faced allegation he wrote potentially inappropriate e-mails to Jill Kelley, the woman who claimed she was being threatened by Paula Broadwell, Petraeus' biographer and lover.
And the Dow Jones Industrial average and the S&P 500 hit new five-year highs today on the heels of strong corporate earnings reports.
Anderson's back with "The RidicuList" right after this.
COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight, it is a story everyone, it seems, is talking about. Oh, scandal of scandals, whether or not Beyonce may or may not have lip-synced her performance of the national anthem at the inauguration.
To which I respond with a great big star-spangled so what? As far as I'm concerned, it is Beyonce's world, and we are just living in it. Let's take another look at the performance in question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEYONCE, SINGER (singing): And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So there's no doubt that is Beyonce's voice, but a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band says Beyonce didn't sing it live and instead chose to lip sync to a recording she did the evening before.
But another Marine Band spokesperson released a statement later in the day saying no one in the Marine Band is, quote, "in a position to assess whether Beyonce sang live or not."
And I am releasing a statement right now saying I just don't care. We got to look at Beyonce's beautiful face and hear Beyonce's beautiful voice singing the national anthem. There's only one thing we should be saying today, and that is thank you, Beyonce. I'm telling you: Francis Scott Key himself would send her a fruit basket.
The bottom line is, it was her voice. It's not like she pulled a Milli Vanilli. Although, I've got to say, even though we all know it wasn't actually Milli Vanilli singing any Milli Vanilli songs, for my money, it doesn't get much better than kicking back on a cold night with a little "Girl, You Know It's True."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(MUSIC: "Girl, You Know It's True")
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Not to mention even if Beyonce did lip sync -- and, girl, you know it's true -- she's got to be the best lip syncer on the planet. She looked amazing. She sounded amazing. It's not like she turned the inauguration into an Ashlee Simpson "SNL" moment or anything.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Oh, it's still painful after all these years. Still hurts.
Speaking of painful, to everyone who's all apoplectic about whether Beyonce lip synced, talk to me after you've gotten on the stage in front of the president of the United States and hundreds of thousands of people to sing the national anthem in 40-degree weather. Until then, that particular bomb is bursting in air on "The RidicuList."
That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.