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Hoax Creator, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, In Love with Manti Te'o; The Harbaugh Brothers' Super Bowl; Bill Gates Talks Immigration; Defense Secretary Nominee Grilled by John McCain; Boy Handcuffed for Allegedly Stealing $5.

Aired January 31, 2013 - 11:30   ET



ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: OK, I hope you're sitting down for this one. Because if you thought the Manti Te'o saga couldn't get stranger, it just did. The man who claims that he created the whole Manti girlfriend hoax is now saying why he did. And he's saying it was because he was in love with the Notre Dame linebacker. I'm talking about Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. A man, a man who spoke with Dr. Phil, the host of the "Dr. Phil Show." This is what he told Dr. Phil.


DR. PHIL, HOST, DR. PHIL SHOW: Why did you end this relationship?

RONAIAH TUIASOSOPO, CREATED MANTI HOAX: For many reasons. There were many times where Manti and Lennay have broken up before. But every time that, you know, either I would try to end it or he would, or Lennay would try to end it, or he would, it's like they would break up and then something would bring them back together, whether it was something going on in his life or in Lennay's life or, in this case, my life. I wanted to end it because, after everything I had gone through, I finally realized that I just had to move on with my life and had to get, you know, my real -- me, Ronaiah, I had to start just living and let this go.


BANFIELD: Well, there you have it.

Now, Tuiasosopo is also telling Dr. Phil that he faked his voice to sound like a young woman, who Manti says he spoke with on the phone so many times. However, Tuiasosopo did refuse to repeat that voice on the Dr. Phil show.

This is a two-parter, folks. Not surprising. Cue the music. The interview airs today and tomorrow.

Speaking of sports, three days and counting to Sunday's Super Bowl. And if you are -- let me be blunt here. If you're loaded, you can still get a ticket to the big game in New Orleans. Even the cheap seats up in the nose bleeds are fetching a few thousands each.

Our Carlos Diaz decided to sample the seats, sample the views, and also sample the sticker shock. Here's what he found.


CARLOS DIAZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you're experiencing the Super Bowl from the end zone, then you're there, truly. If you're going to watch the game in person, you're going to have to pay a pretty penny, even if you want to sit way up there.

Carlos, up to you.

You know up here in the Superdome 600 level, I believe I can see Baltimore from way up here. You may ask yourself what one of these seats cost in the Super Bowl. $50? $100? Asking price, $2,000.

Oh. This feels a lot better than being way up there. We're on the 50 yard line. You can see the plays. You can smell the players. You can feel the action. And this seat right here, the asking price, reportedly, it's only $40,000.

In my opinion, this is the best seat in the entire house, a luxury suite on the 50 yard line for you and 32 of your closest friends. And it's only going to set you back $420,000.

So, you can have this suite for a few hours, or you can buy this house in the French Quarter for $420,000 and enjoy it forever. I think the lesson we're learning here is attending the Super Bowl can be super expensive.



BANFIELD: So, you could buy a new TV for less than the cheapest seat, or a brand-new house for less --


-- than the most expensive seat.

Carlos Diaz -- that was -- I like to call the Carlos Diaz Butt Tour of the stadium. That was awesome.

But there's more than you found out --


-- than the price of those expensive seats. Mom and dad of those two coaches are talking about what they're about to go through and how they're, I don't know, sort of getting ready for the big game.

DIAZ: You know, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh actually have been married for 51 years. And they're treating this like a family affair. In fact, their press conference yesterday was less like a press conference and more like Thanksgiving at the Harbaughs. Save me a drumstick, if you will.

Jack and Jackie told us this is the kind of game where they're going to be thinking about the loser more than the winner.


JACK HARBAUGH, OF JOHN AND JIM HARBAUGH: There's going to be one winner. And there's going to be one that's going to be totally disappointed. And my thoughts go to that one will not experience the thrill of victory. And that's where our thoughts will be.

Every single parent can identify with that. That thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. And on Sunday night, we're going to experience both of those -- those great emotions. And our thoughts will be with the one that comes up a little short.


DIAZ: Well, I had a chance to ask Jackie, are you ready for next year's rematch in New York City when the Super Bowl's in New York next year. She said, "One game at a time, please."


Obviously, they're already exhausted having to talk about their two sons, Jim and John, coaching in this year's Super Bowl.

BANFIELD: I think someone told me they're like 15 months apart. I've got two boys 19 months apart and they're so competitive. I'm waiting for the photo. I'm waiting for the two brothers at the end of the Super Bowl embracing, and just the mental dynamics going on between them. Because you know one is going to be thrilled and devastated for his brother, and the other one is going to be devastated and thrilled for his brother. A lot going on, isn't it?

DIAZ: Yes.


Yes, exactly. I have an older brother and younger brother, and I want to beat both of them all the time. So I can see how both of those guys are feeling right now.

BANFIELD: They're watching you on TV right now, Carlos.

Thank you, have fun. Be careful down there, my friend.

It's a great assignment.

Carlos Diaz reporting for us, live.

And a reminder, kickoff of the Super Bowl is Sunday at 6:30 p.m. eastern time.


BANFIELD: Wal-Mart has started rationing ammunition. Not because of safety, because of supply. That's right. Demand is so high that they have imposed a limit on how much customers can purchase -- three boxes of ammo a day. The company says supplies are limited due to a surge in demand following the Newtown school massacre.

And this is sure to be an emotional moment at this Sunday's Super Bowl. 26 students from Sandy Hook and Newtown, they're going to be singing "America the Beautiful." Of course, this is memory of the 26 students and adults that were killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. The choir is going to perform just before Alicia Keys sings "The National Anthem."

And it doesn't get more passionate than this in the debate over guns. The community of Newtown came together for a hearing on gun control. I want to take you inside the auditorium for a moment so you can see what it was like to be there as they all stood to acknowledge one another in that auditorium. Many of the people who showed up last night were calling for tougher laws, tougher gun control laws. And parents who lost their children also took that seat. Emotion was raw. People pouring their hearts out, not just at the officers, but also the families.


BANFIELD: When the second richest man speaks, people listen, especially when he speaks with Christine Romans.

I happen to say that because there she is with the man of the hour.

It's your birthday today, and I'm wondering if he granted you the interview.


Just granting the BFF an interview. There's Romans with a new BFF, King Bill.

Happy birthday.

Anyway, he said a lot of stuff that I didn't expect him to say in your sit-down with him.

ROMANS: He was talking about his foundation and all the work they do in education and that kind of thing.


ROMANS: And the work they do, raising people out of poverty and eradicating polio, and the like. But he talked about the immigration debate going on in Washington on right now and how he would like to see highly skilled workers invited into his country, to stay in this country, to grow jobs in this country. We don't do this well enough, he said. Let's listen.


BILL GATES, CO-FOUNDER, MICROSOFT: Our immigration system makes it very hard for those people to come in. So, you know, if somebody's being offered a job here for over $100,000, and there's other jobs created around that job, you don't want to discourage a company from -- from having to put that job --


ROMANS (voice-over): Do we discourage them?

GATES: Oh, absolutely.


GATES: You can be a student at U.C. Berkeley, foreign-born, get this wonderful education, Microsoft offers you a job for over $100,000 a year, and we have to say, if the country will keep you. Most of those students are told, they can't stay, get out of the United States.


ROMANS: Get out of the United States.


ROMANS: He says, for the first time in years, he thinks both parts of immigration reform can happen, the illegal immigration part of it and the skilled immigration part of it. He also said the skilled part of the equation has been, quote, "held hostage" to the very passionate debate over illegal immigration and they haven't been able to fix the high-tech part of it because it's all been wrapped up in one very, very bruising debate.

BANFIELD: So what Washington is doing, when it comes to the mass numbers of the lower-skilled immigration jobs, is hijacking those higher-level immigration jobs that we need?

ROMANS: Absolutely. That's what he says.

BANFIELD: And he said something about -- just make it quick if you could -- about teachers and how we are not doing the right thing with such an amazing tool that we have.

ROMANS: Because I pushed him a bit, I said, we want to import talent, but we also want to grow talent. I want my kids to be able to grow up in a place where they're going to get science technology education and math, engineering and math in the education system. We have to do better on that. And he said that better teachers make better students. And part of their foundation work -- he's not saying our teachers are bad. He's saying we need --


BANFIELD: Our mechanics are bad.

ROMANS: He's saying --


BANFIELD: Our mechanics and how we employ them and how we feed them. ROMANS: -- we need to raise up good teachers. We need to give feedback to teachers, to measure, to find good teachers, find what they're doing right, and replicate that.

BANFIELD: And did you rope him in to do the CNN op-ed for us?


ROMANS: No, I did not. I did not. But he does have an op-ed on that you can look at. It's mostly about the education part of it. It's a passionate focus of the foundation.

And you can see more. Fareed Zakaria, this weekend, sits down with Bill Gates for a good 20 minutes. Make sure you tune into that this weekend. Fareed Zakaria will have Bill Gates on GPS.

BANFIELD: Yes, 10:00 a.m. eastern time and it repeats at 1:00 p.m. eastern time as well. So great plug.

And happy birthday to Christine Romans.

ROMANS: That's so sweet of you.

BANFIELD: She's 21.

ROMANS: We need to fact check that.


Do we have the fact-checking team out?


You reported earlier today that I'm 29 and 25, so CNN must get the fact-checking team out and figure this out.


BANFIELD: We've got to go.



BANFIELD: If you are just tuning in, I just have to replay a scene that you have seen a hundred times in movies, scripted beautifully, but rarely does it happen in real life, and in Congress, like this, to this extent. We watched this live near the top of the hour. It was Chuck Hagel's Senate confirmation hearing to be secretary of defense. We expected tense moments. All of this because the former Senator and Vietnam vet's views on Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel don't necessarily square with everybody on the committee. But we didn't expect the extent of the in-your-face interrogation from fellow Senator, fellow Vietnam vet, John McCain.

I need you to see this portion of the back and forth on the 2000 surge in Iraq. Have a listen.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), ARIZONA: Were you correct or incorrect when you said that, "the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam"? Were you correct or incorrect? Yes or no?

CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE NOMINEE: My reference -- my reference to the surge being --

MCCAIN: Are you going to answer the question, Senator Hagel? The question is, were you right or wrong? That's a pretty straightforward question.

HAGEL: Well --


MCCAIN: I would like to answer whether you were right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate.

HAGEL: Well, I'm not going to give you a yes-or-no answer on a lot of things today.

MCCAIN: Well, let the record reflect show you refused to answer the question. Please go ahead.


BANFIELD: OK. The hearing continues right now. It's quieter but, in the end, Senator Hagel is expected to be confirmed, former Senator Hagel. But you can stay tuned for more drama out of the committee hearing room. Senate Armed Service Committee, who knew it could be so much fun?

Here is a question for you from our legal briefs department. What do you do to a 7-year-old boy who allegedly steals $5 lunch money from a schoolmate? A lot of people say you send him to the principal's office. I want you to see the front page of "The New York Post." See what this is right over here? That's handcuffs. That's a 7-year-old. Handcuffed. Arrested. If you can believe it. He is in 3rd grade. He just turned 8. He was in handcuffs at a police precinct for several hours, according to his parents, and now they are suing the NYPD.


JACK YANKOWITZ, REYE'S ATTORNEY: It's unconscionable. This is such a travesty what occurred here. Heartbreaking.


BANFIELD: I think you could say travesty is an under statement.

Our CNN legal contributor, Paul Callan, is here. You woke up to the same headline as I did. A little boy cuffed to what looks like a pipe. It is. It's a pipe in a cinder-block room. Probably, some alleged murders have taken that same chair. How does that happen?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's part of the criminalization of childhood that's taking place where all of these matters that were handled by parents and teachers are getting referred to the cops. My question is, why didn't the principal of the school call the kids in, bawl them out, and send them back into the classroom? Instead, NYPD --


BANFIELD: Or call their parents and have the parents take them home, suspend the 3rd graders.

CALLAN: Or when I was a kid and the Callan brothers got in trouble, and one of us was picked up by the cops, do you know what happened? They didn't take us to jail. They took us back home, and you were in more trouble with your father than the cops. Now --


BANFIELD: Which brother?

CALLAN: I can't get into it.


There are four of them. There are four of them, though. And my mother likes me best.


I'm always told that. But --


BANFIELD: I have a question for you. The mother snapped this shot when she finally got into the precinct. She said she wasn't even allowed to see her kid at the beginning. She also said it was a misunderstanding, that another kid actually said there was no theft at all. There are varying stories from the child who allegedly was victimized. He said he was bullied by the boy in the handcuffs, that there were a couple of dollars that fell out of a pocket when one was pulled out.


BANFIELD: There's a big bunch of stories around this. They're 7! OK?


I don't care what the details are of the crime. CALLAN: There are always stories on both sides. There were reports that there was another kid victimized by the bullying.

BANFIELD: Again, who cares? They're 7.

CALLAN: Believe it or not --


BANFIELD: This is my point. They're 7. I don't care if there was a crime.

CALLAN: I will divert you to the law for a minute.


CALLAN: Because, believe it or not -- and I was surprised to see it myself -- in New York, age of 7 is the first age they can arrest you. 7 to 16, you can be arrested as a juvenile delinquent.

BANFIELD: The $250 million lawsuit these parents have filed? No shot?

CALLAN: That's kind of a joke, too. I don't know why lawyers call every lawsuit $250 million for every lawsuit. The kid is back in school, probably having a good time.

BANFIELD: Can I read you something that Bill de Blasio --

CALLAN: Right.

BANFIELD: I have to get this out. It's breaking news. Bill de Blasio is the public advocate for the city of New York. He said, "7- year-olds don't belong in handcuffs. As a parent, I wouldn't stand for this in one of my kid's schools. Our school system's over reliance on the NYPD as a disciplinary tool traumatizes our young people, sows distrust in our communities, and drains vital city resources away from responding to genuine crimes. This has to stop."

Does that mean the law has to change?

CALLAN: The law doesn't have to change but we need sensible law enforcement people. The principal should have taken care of it. When she called the cops, by the way, the law allows the cops to do a diversion and not even make an arrest, instead of handcuffing this little kid to a precinct wall. I mean --


BANFIELD: I'm speechless.

All I can say is, thank you, Paul.


(LAUGHER) Thank you.



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. We're taking you around the world in 60 minutes. Here's what's going on right now.

Tensions sky high right now on the last frontier of the Cold War. North Korea now threatening to get physical with South Korea. Promises to go forward with underground nuclear tests.

And hacked. "The New York Times" now falling victim to a four-month- long computer attack. And they say the source was China.

But first, a dangerous stand off in the Middle East. It has to do with one of our most important allies. Syria and Iran, they are furious over an Israeli airstrike inside the Syrian border. They are now warning of retaliation. The details are sketchy but the Syrians say that the Israeli strike hit a research facility near Damascus, killing two workers.