Return to Transcripts main page


Five-Year-Old Held Hostage; Police Search For Texas Shooter; Former Mayor Ed Koch Dies At 88; Geraldo Rivera Weighs Senate Bid; Energy Secretary Steven Chu Resigns; White House Reacts To Change On Contraception; 49er Apologizes for Anti-Gay Remark; Scott Brown Not Running For Senate; Dow Hits Milestone; Doubts About American Idol Singer

Aired February 1, 2013 - 13:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Henry Grossman, thank you so much. What a great perspective there. Really appreciate it. Thanks again.

HENRY GROSSMAN: Thank you. Thank you very much.

MALVEAUX: All right, thank you.

A five-year-old -- a five-year-old autistic boy is held captive in a bunker by a suspected killer. The latest on this hostage situation.

And then, a birth control debate, it is now back. New rules allow religiously affiliated companies to opt out of providing their employees insurance for birth control. Is it a win for conservatives?

And $7 billion. That is how much was spent in the 2012 presidential campaign. But then, again, most campaigns these days are. How the money was spent.

This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. We start this hour in Texas. That is where investigators are now combing through cases of an assistant district attorney who was gunned down outside a courthouse. This was in Kaufman County near Dallas. Fifty-seven- year-old Mark Hassey (ph), he was shot multiple times but by at least one gunman. So far, no one has been captured. Police are searching Hassey's files. They are looking for someone who might have wanted to kill him in revenge. This morning, Hassey's friend, who's also an attorney, revealed what kinds of cases he was actually on prosecuting.


ERIC SMENNER, ATTORNEY: Yes, he was working on some things that involved some different groups. You will have prison gangs, motorcycle clubs, street gangs operating in an area and often times the prosecutors will deal with those kinds of cases. And I think he has been dealing with some cases that may have involved some white supremacists and some other groups. He was a -- he was a hard-nosed prosecutor and so he was assigned some of those tough cases.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: Drew Griffin is in Kaufman, Texas. And, Drew, we now understand there might have been two shooters possibly dressed in all black tactical gear. What have we learned about these two who allegedly went after this attorney?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, there was a lot of clarification this morning, Suzanne, at a press conference that ended just about an hour ago. And what we learned was there were many, many witnesses to parts of this shooting but it's only clouded the fact. The police say they don't know if they were masked gunmen, if they wore hoodies, or if it was one person or two that attacked Mr. Hassey. They're trying to deal with a lot of different versions of the same story. But what is so frustrating is that they have no real advancements on who did this. A brazen attack, 9:00 in the morning at a parking lot across the street from a small-town courthouse. It really has rattled the nerves of law enforcement here. They are begging for help. There's now a $64,000 reward for any tip to help them find who was behind this -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Drew, is there anything -- any evidence or anything that suggests that this might have been out of revenge over a case that he prosecuted in the past?

GRIFFIN: You know, they are looking at those cases now, both past and present. He would have had a caseload of about 380 cases, according to his boss. So, there's a lot of cases going on. He has been a prosecutor for years. He's put away a lot of bad guys. There's been speculation that it could be a revenge killing or some kind of killing related to a case he's worked on. They, quite frankly, don't know yet but they are pouring through the cases trying to look for any kind of clues that would lead them in that direction. But as of now, anything like that is just pure speculation.

MALVEAUX: All right. Drew, thank you very much. I want to go to southern Alabama now. That is where police are now four days into a tense and bizarre standoff. Right here, police believe a Midland city man is now holding a little hostage. This boy, he snatched him from a school bus after shooting the bus driver and killing him. The gunman has now been identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, and his neighborhoods are speaking out. They are furious about what is taking place. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope they get you and I hope you live the rest of your life from prison and you never see the date of line again, and you will pay what you did to this little boy and that bus driver.


MALVEAUX: Right now, in Midland City, Alabama, George Howell joins us. George, this is day four. Do -- what do we know, first of all, about the condition of the little boy?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the latest that we got from investigators is that the young boy, the five year old is physically unharmed. And, Suzanne, really that's the best information that we've been able to get. Police -- these investigators, they're very tight lipped about any information that they release on this situation. And one thing we've been doing, you know, all day is just keeping a very close eye on what's happening here on this property, just watching the activity, because they're not really telling us a lot. They do say that the boy is OK, physically unharmed, but certainly this is a scary situation that people want to see revolved -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And there's been a lot of attention now about the bus driver, Charles Polan, a hero, really, who tried to protect these kids on the bus, refused to give them over, was shot dead. I understand his family now is speaking today?

HOWELL: Well, Suzanne, that's the thing, they were planning to release a statement today but even that statement was shut down. So, reiterating the fact that the law enforcement here, they are keeping a very, very close -- keeping everything very concealed. They don't want a lot of information to get out as they continue this operation.

MALVEAUX: Do we have a sense, George, of why? Why are they are being so tight lipped here? Is there something that is taking place, whether it's hostage negotiations or something that they think if the media reports any of these details, it's going to set this guy off or it's going to ruin what they're trying to manage here?

HOWELL: You know, they're even sensitive about the pictures that are -- that are shown out here, so they -- they're very sensitive about anything, any information that comes out. They do say that the negotiations are continuing. One would presume that they just don't want a lot of information out because if Mr. Dykes has electricity, if he has a television, they don't want him to see anything that's happening around him.

MALVEAUX: All right, George, thank you. We appreciate it.

New Yorkers and people around the country remembering former mayor Ed Koch. He died this morning of congestive heart failure. Koch served three terms of mayor of New York and is credited for saving the city from bankruptcy. The current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, says that Koch was one of New York's best.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR, NEW YORK: He really made the city what it is today and his successes have been building their careers on him. Ed was the quintessential mayor. We almost lost this extraordinary building, if you remember, back in the 1970s, and that's -- a matter of fact, at that time, the whole city was crumbling. And then, we elected Ed Koch, and he was a civic savior for our city in desperate times. And he will be remembered as one of the greatest and certainly one of the most important mayors in our city's long history.


MALVEAUX: After he left office, Koch practiced law. He hosted a radio show, even served as a judge on "The Peoples' Court." That lasted for two years. And, of course, you can't forget this, he's a cameo on "Sex in the City."


SARAH JESSICA PARKER, ACTRESS: Frank Lichlyn? (Inaudible), what, Bill Changamona (ph) couldn't get Ed Koch?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gucci got him, what's the problem?


MALVEAUX: There he is down the runway. He was one of the many T.V. cameos where Koch appeared as himself. He also reviewed movies online, that is mayor and the movies Web site. Former mayor, Ed Koch, 88 years old. His funeral will be Monday.

Here is also what we're working on for this hour. He is being called a liar. What an "American Idol" wannabe told the judges about his military service.

And he has stolen the spotlight at the Super Bowl. We are talking about the 49ers Chris Culvert, comes out saying he doesn't want gay men in the locker room. Now, he's apologizing but other players are not accepting the apology.

Plus, if you watch the Super Bowl for the commercial, like me, you're going to love this. A look at the interactive ads that's going to keep you involved all during the big game.


MALVEAUX: Record-breaking $7 billion. That is how money was spent on the 2012 political campaigns. That is enough to buy 28 Boeing 787s, or 70 private islands. Yes, that is right. According to the Federal Election Commission, candidates spent $3.2 billion, that includes President Obama and Mitt Romney as well as Congressional candidates around the country. Party committees, like the RNC and the DNC spent $2 billion. Outside groups, including super packs, spent another $2 billion, although election officials still adding up that number there. They say this could be the first time that outside groups spent more than political parties.

And Geraldo Rivera, Senate candidate? Well, the Foxes host says he is seriously considering a run for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey. Rivera describes himself as a modern Republican, and he says he believes in strong fiscal policy, reigning in the debt, but on social issues, he supports immigration reform, gay rights, and gay marriage. He has already scoped out his potential opponents. Check it out.


GERALDO RIVERA, HOST, FOX NEWS: I am and I had been in touch with some people in the Republican party in new jersey, and I am truly contemplating running for Senate against Frank Lautenburg or Cory Booker in New Jersey. (END AUDIO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: That should be an interesting race if that happens.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she is now just hours away from leaving office. She says she is ready for some rest after logging almost a million miles in the air as the nation's top diplomat. Clinton is set to deliver her farewell speech in the next hour to the folks that she said in the Senate department over the last four years. And later, her successor, John Kerry, he's going to be sworn into office.

Another change in the president's cabinet. Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, he is resigning. Chu has been a vocal supporter of alternative energy. It's made him the target, however, of some conservatives in Congress as well as (INAUDIBLE.) I want to bring in Jessica Yellin from the White House. Jessica, what have we learned about why he's stepping down? Do we know?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDET: Well, Suzanne, he served a full term in that position and it is not unusual after that time for a cabinet member to say, ado, it's time, we've done it and I'm out. And so, that's what he's doing. It's also, let's be honest, that the president wants to pursue some energy policy reform in the next four years. It wouldn't hurt for him to have somebody in that position who's not necessarily a prize-winning scientist, but somebody who's a little bit more politically savvy and can help navigate Congress in some of the political shows (ph) here in Washington -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Have we heard from the president or the White House on his resignation?

YELLIN: Oh, yes. Carney -- Jay Carney opened his briefing with a nice statement congratulating Chu on all the good work they think he's done in office and the president put out a statement saying, in part, quote, "Thanks to Steve, we also expanded support for our brightest engineers and entrepreneurs as they pursue groundbreaking innovations that could transform our energy future." He expresses gratitude to him and wished him the best in the future. As you point out, he really did help expand the amount of support the nation has for green energy ventures. The stimulus proposal -- the stimulus bill had billions of dollars in it for new green energy ventures including, you know, new batteries. And the U.S. has sort of pioneered some of these new inventions.

MALVEAUX: All right. It will be interesting to see who the president picks in his -- in his replacement. Jess, another thing I know you are following, this big announcement today out of the White House. Changing the controversial health care policy that required religious organizations to provide birth control coverage for women. I believe that the White House is now changing its position. Explain how and why.

YELLIN: So, the Department of Health and Human Services is, quote, "redefining how they are interpreting the rule." And it means that any religious organization now does not have to offer contraception directly to their employees if they object to that.

Instead, the insurance company they work with will provide it. So, the religious organization is sort of left out of the mix. They're bypassed if they object. So the woman can still get the insurance -- the coverage, but not with the religious organization's involvement. If the insurer also objects, they've created a work around from that, too, so she can get it from a separate insurance company.

The question that's outstanding here is, who ends up paying? The government's maintaining that really there is -- no -- no one ends up paying because the costs all come out in the wash. The bottom line is, women will still get contraceptive coverage for free, and the religious organizations will not have to provide it.

MALVEAUX: OK. A compromise from the White House, if you will.

Jess, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

A cornerback for the 49ers says that gays cannot be in the locker room. Well, now he is taking those harsh words back, but is it enough?


MALVEAUX: Chris Culliver, he is getting ready for the Super Bowl, but the San Francisco 49er is facing a lot of heat. Heat for making this comment.


ARTIE LANGE, COMEDIAN: What about gay guys? Have any of them approached you?

CHRIS CULLIVER, CORNERBACK, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: No, I don't do the gay guys, man. I don't do that, no.

LANGE: Are there any on the 49ers?

CULLIVER: No. We ain't got no gay people on the team. You know, they got to get up out of here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff. No.

LANGE: Really? Is that true?

CULLIVER: Yes, it's true.

LANGE: But they might be able to play well. I mean --



CULLIVER: No. You can't be -- can't be in the locker room. Nah.


MALVEAUX: All right, so now he's apologizing. Brian Todd, he's got more on the fallout.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's an obscure reserve defensive back who's stolen the storylines at the Super Bowl. Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers was asked by radio show Artie Lange on his show about his feelings toward gays?

CHRIS CULLIVER, CORNERBACK, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: No, I don't do the gay guys, man. I don't do that, no.

ARTIE LANGE, COMEDIAN: Are there any on the 49ers?

CULLIVER: No. We ain't got no gay people on the team. You know, they got to get up out of here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff.

TODD: Within hours, the pressure on Culliver had gathered critical mass. He was asked what he'd say to the people of his team's hometown, one of the world's most tolerant cities toward the gay community.

CULLIVER: That I'm sorry that I offended anyone. And, like I said, that was very ugly comments and that's not what I feel in my heart.

TODD: The 49ers, who previously launched a public service campaign against the bullying of gas, issued a statement saying the team rejects Cullivers' comments and has addressed the matter with him. His coach says there's no malice in Cullivers' heart.

JIM HARBAUGH, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS COACH: He regrets that. And that's not -- but that's not who he is. That's not what he really believes in.

TODD: But Culliver is part of an alpha male culture in the locker room. So far, no athlete, in any major professional team sport in the U.S., has ever come out as openly gay while actively playing. In four plus years trying out with the Redskins, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks, Wade Davis never acknowledged he was gay. He didn't come out until June of last year.

WADE DAVIS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: The idea of the masculinity, you know, to prove that you're tough, to prove that you can be one of the guys. That notion is very present in the NFL and in the locker rooms.

TODD: Davis says he doesn't see a player coming out as openly gay in pro sports for at least a couple of years. He says one thing that would help that along would be if more heterosexual players showed support. And recently some have. Notably Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has spoken out strongly in recent weeks about equality in marriage and other issues.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


MALVEAUX: A lot of reaction on Twitter over Culliver's gay remarks. Tennis great Martina Navratilova writes, "he is just ignorant, that's all. Culliver will learn, I am sure." Jon Ryan, a punter for the Seattle Seahawks writes, "if Chris Culliver isn't suspended by Roger Goodell, then I am absolutely embarrassed to be part of a league that accepts this type of behavior." And former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete tweeted this, "Culliver's comments were a sign of how ignorant and uneducated people are in our society still today."

On "American Idol," the judges, they look for talent, right? But now they also might have to look for honesty. How one "Idol" hopeful is being accused of misleading the show.


MALVEAUX: We just learned that former Senator Scott Brown, he's decided not to run for Senate in the special election in Massachusetts. Want to bring in our Paul Steinhauser from Washington to talk about the significance of this.

Paul, this is kind of a surprise. There was a lot of speculation that he was going to go for that seat.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, this was the biggest question in campaign news this year, I guess you could say, Suzanne, would Scott Brown make a bid to return to the Senate. Remember, it was just January 2010 when he was a little known (INAUDIBLE) in Massachusetts. He won a big upset. He won that special election to succeed the seat of the late Ted Kennedy, but he lost his bid for re- election in November to Democrat Elizabeth Warren. The big question was, was he going to make that bid for this in June, because this is a special election to fill the term of John Kerry, who is stepping down later today to be secretary of state.

We just found out a few minutes ago the answer is, no, he will not be making a bid for Senate. There's still a chance he may run for governor next year or just try to make some money in the private sector. I think Democrats will be breathing a sigh of relief here, Suzanne. Without Scott Brown in the race, it looks pretty safe -- pretty safe right now that the Democrats will keep this seat in Democratic hands.


MALVEAUX: Yes, all about the balance of power there, yes?

STEINHAUSER: Fifty-five to 45 in the Senate right now, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Paul. Appreciate it.


MALVEAUX: Jobs report from January shows that hiring continued kind of at a slow and steady pace. The Labor Department says employers added 157,000 jobs in January. That's actually slower than the 196,000 jobs added in December. Unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.9 percent. And construction was one of the strongest sectors to add jobs thanks to the rebound in the housing market. And we, of course, watching the markets and your money as well. You're probably going to like what you see. In morning, the Dow hit 14,000. It's been bouncing around that mark all day. It is the first time that the Dow has reached 14,000 since October of 2007.

Want to bring in Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange.

Tell us what it means.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Funny you ask that. You know, Suzanne, ask some people and they say it doesn't amount to a hill of beans and it's really just a nice round number that we like to talk about. In fact, they go as far to say that this is like a correction that's waiting to happen because they believe that this rally isn't real. They say that the economy still isn't strong.

In fact, you look what happened in the fourth quarter of last year, the last three months of last year, economic growth went backwards. They also say, even though we're seeing improvement on the jobs front, it's not robust enough. They also say this is a market that really is being propped up by the Federal Reserve, which is pushing interest rates down and pushing investors to come to the best investment yet, and that, at this point, is stocks.

But then others say, wait a minute, this is a good reminder that we are coming back. That we are coming back from when the bottom pretty much fell out of the economy. When we can remember the most recent low for the Dow was at 6,500 back in 2009. They say this is a sign that things are getting better.

There's one thing that both sides can agree on, though, that when you look at that 14,000 there up in lights on the board, that it does instill confidence in the common investor and in the consumer. That it makes them feel better about the economy when they see that number up there and that, in turn, could eventually help the economy grow even more.


MALVEAUX: Good news. Thank you, Alison.

There are not going to be any charges filed in the prank call to the hospital room of Catherine, duchess of Cambridge. Two Australian radio talk show hosts, you might recall, called the hospital back in December pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, right? Well, the pregnant wife of Prince William, Kate, she was being treated for acute morning sickness. Well, days later, the nurse who took the call committed suicide. Well, now, British prosecutors say there is no evidence to charge those radio hosts with manslaughter.

Turning now from a prank to what could be an outright lie. We're not sure. It involves this guy, Matt Farmer, auditioning here for "American Idol."


MATT FARMER (singing): Long time coming, but I know change gonna come.


MALVEAUX: So, his recent audition included a story about his military service in Iraq. And the piece indicated that Farmer was injured by an IED. Our "ShowBiz" correspondent, Nischelle Turner, she's been digging into it.

And, Nischelle, there is some question of whether or not this is true, right?

NISCHELLE TURNER, "SHOWBIZ" CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's definitely a lot of questions, Suzanne. You know, right now it looks like he was hurt while serving in the military, but the question is if he was wounded by an IED because, at first, you know, we thought this would be one of those typical "American Idol" tearjerkers. There was a contestant named Matt Farmer and he had his young daughter with him. He was telling the story of his service in Iraq.