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Day 6 in Alabama Hostage Crisis; Boy Scouts May Lift Gay Ban; Two Veteran Killed at Shooting Range
Aired February 3, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: It's 5:00 p.m. on the East Coast, 2:00 p.m. out west. If you're just joining us, thanks for joining us. I'm Miguel Marquez in for Fredricka Whitfield. Here's what's happening right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.
There is a funeral going on this afternoon for an Alabama school bus driver, Charles Poland. He was killed as he tried to protect the kids on his bus when a gunman came on board. All the kids made it of safely except for one 5-year-old boy. He was kidnapped and had held in an underground bunker for six days now.
Our George Howell is live in Midland City, Alabama.
George, this guy found himself in extraordinary circumstances. He's being laid to rest today. How is he being remembered there?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Miguel, you know, people around here better know him as Chuck. And we saw hundreds of people come together at the civic center, because they had to find a bigger venue for all the people who showed up today. Members of the military were there, again, honored as people filed into the room. And we even saw school buses that brought faculty and students. People remember him as a father, a husband, who always had a smile on his face. This bus driver, who, they say, lost his life to protect the students on board his bus. One of his friends said this is a person who did not want to be remembered, really, as a hero, never sought that sort of recognition.
But today, Charles Poland, he's being remembered, he's being recognized as a hero in this community. And you hear the buzz of the helicopter behind me, this operation ongoing. Today, people are also praying for this 5-year-old boy. And to seeing him at some point gets out of that bunker, Miguel.
MARQUEZ: Yes. Police have not been saying much about the negotiations and ending this hostage situation. Do we have any reason to be hopeful at the moment?
HOWELL: You know, we did get some glimmers of hope from the sheriff who gave us a lot of new information just the other day. First of all, we know a little more about this actual bunker. We know that Mr. Dykes has an electric heater and blankets. Investigators say that he's taking care of the boy, given the condition in that bunker. It's about a constant 50 degrees down there. It gets cold out here at night. So, investigators say that is good. That Mr. Dykes is taking care of him.
Also, we know they're still able to get medications inside the bunker. I remember that Ethan suffers from ADHD and Asperser syndrome. They're able to get toys, coloring books, crayons and also potato chips. So, some comfort items there. And the sheriff even made what seemed to be, Miguel, a very direct appeal to Mr. Dykes when he said this, I want to thank Jim for taking care of our boy.
So, you know, it raises the question, is there a television down there, is there a radio, can he hear these messages? Now, these are the questions we certainly are all asking as we wait as this drags out, Miguel.
MARQUEZ: George Howell, keeping on it for us. Thank you very much.
President Obama is speaking out on a number of issues today. He went on CBS this afternoon and voiced his support that gay boys should be allowed in the boy scouts of America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity, the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life. And, you know, the scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives. I think nobody should be barred for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: The president also said he has no regrets about lifting the ban on women in combat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You know, I don't. And the reason has become -- because women as a practical matter are now in combat. They may not get treated as if they're in combat, but when they're in theater in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, they're vulnerable. They are wounded. And they have been killed. And they have carried out their jobs with extraordinary patriotism and distinction. And I've said before, the greatest honor I have as president is being commander in chief. And I meet extraordinary women in uniform who can do everything that a man can, and more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: President Obama heads to Minneapolis tomorrow to talk about his plan for gun control.
Changing gears now, the countdown to the Super Bowl is almost over. In a little over an hour, the Ravens and Niners will face off in the big easy. The fans are already streaming into the stadium for what's gearing up to be an exciting night.
CNN's and Turner Sports anchor Rachel Nichols is live in New Orleans for us. Rachel, a controversial star will end later today once this game is over, yes?
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN AND TURNER SPORTS: Absolutely. Ray Lewis, one way or the other, win or lose, he said he's walking away from the game. And really, an interesting moment because over his 17 year career, he's not only become for fans just such a presence, you're used to him being the premiere middle linebacker in the game, really, for his entire career, but for other players as well.
Over the past decade I would say he's become the godfather of a lot of NFL players, to the point where dozens and dozens of other players, not just on his own team, but around the league who regularly talk to check in with him, ask him for advice. I think some of that will continue once he leaves the game. But, obviously, it's going to be a bit of an end of an era for many people around the league when Ray Lewis walks off the stage.
There's fans who are conflicted about that, given some of his history, both on the field and in the courtroom. But there's no question that for the players on his team, the emotions he shown this week to them, it is now over the top. They say that for them, they feel this incredibly strong rush, and Ray Rice, one of the teammates as running back on the races, had called it a rush of destiny. They feel that they're going to feel it walking out of the tunnel today, and maybe the fans will too. They think it's going to be a big part of them winning this game. We'll see if it does come true.
MARQUEZ: We will indeed. The game is also going to be a family affair with the Harbaugh brothers coaching opposite sides. How emotional will it be for the family, the parents especially? I don't want to be these parents, these poor people. How tough is it going to be for them watching this game?
NICHOLS: I know. They are the nicest people. They live in Wisconsin. They're just like you or me, and imagine if your kids were sitting there and going to face each other on the grandest stage in American sports and one of the biggest events in the world.
And certainly, it's been an interesting time for the family. They've had so much fun this week. It's been great for them to see their sons in this role. They've brought the whole family down. They have a 97- year-old relative wandering around. I mean, it's been a lot of fun.
But I think from talking to them, today is the day. I think that nervousness is going to set. And really, that is not in your stomach about having to know that one of your boys is going to be disappointed no matter what happens today.
I had a conversation earlier this week with Archie Manning, the father of, of course, Peyton and Eli Manning, who both play in the NFL. And both of his sons have played in the Super Bowl. They have never played against each other, but they have faced each other in regular season games. And then he said that being in that circumstance, he said, it's not as pleasant as you think it would be. He said, it's no fun for the parents. So, we will have to see how the Harbaughs do today.
MARQUEZ: Yes, we will indeed.
Rachel Nichols. Welcome to CNN and have a good time down there in the big easy. Thanks.
NICHOLS: Thanks so much.
MARQUEZ: And I switching it up to a story we have been following throughout the day.
A Marine veteran turned his gun on two fellow veterans in an outing at a shooting range near Fort Worth, Texas, killing them both. The victims, veteran Chris Littlefield and former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. Kyle, was well known to millions of Americans. He appeared last year in the NBC reality show, "Stars Earn Stripes." And he was the author of the bestselling book, "American Sniper." Kyle claimed in the book he carried out more than 150 sniper killings in Iraq.
Last year, he told TV's Conan O'Brien Iraqi insurgents put a bounty on his head.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": How did the Iraqi insurgence identify who you were?
CHRIS KYLE, NAVY SEAL SNIPER: When I would go into a house and we had occupied a house, I would take the top of my uniform off and have my short sleeved shirt on. And you could see my tattoo coming down the arm. And they identified that with me and started -- every time someone would be shot by a sniper in the area, they associated that with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: Now, police held a news conference a short time ago. Susan Candiotti joins us from New York with the latest on the investigation.
Susan, what do we know about the suspect and the relationship with the victims?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Miguel.
Well, police believe it was the first time legendary Navy SEAL sniper met -- Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield met with another Marine vet, 25-year-old, Eddie Ray Routh. And it ended with Kyle and Littlefield shot dead multiple times at a remote area of a gun range near Fort Worth, Texas.
Police say they were found nearly two hours later by a guide at the range. About 25 to 30 other weapons, police told me, were found at the crime screen, including ak-47s and lawn guns. Investigators say, Routh drove off in Kyle's pickup and headed to his sister's house. There, he allegedly told her and his brother what happened. He left again and the two called police.
Routh was found at his home, but managed to get away in a truck. Police apprehended him a few miles down the road without incident. Police also found a semiautomatic handgun they believe to be the murder weapon at Routh's home.
While, we don't know the motive, Kyle is known to help veterans with posttraumatic stress. The three went to the shooting range together in one vehicle, according to police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOMMY BRYANT, ERATH COUNTY SHERIFF: There has been some mention of the suspect's mother was a schoolteacher for what we understand for a long time. She may have reached out to Mr. Kyle to try to help her son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: Routh is being held on $3million bond and is in solitary confinement. He's charged with two capital murder counts -- Miguel.
MARQUEZ: What did Routh tell police, Susan?
CANDIOTTI: Well, you know, we don't know exactly. They say he did talk with them, but didn't reveal much, except to say that he did not confess to them apparently only allegedly to his sister and brother. Law enforcement shared their feelings, however, about the two men who were killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON UPSHAW, CAPTAIN, ERATH COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: It's a sad day. We lost two American heroes. My heart goes out to the family, their friends and loved ones. We suffered a loss yesterday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: Routh is not expected to enter a plea until his next court appearance at the very earliest -- Miguel.
MARQUEZ: Susan Candiotti for us in New York. Thank you very much.
Chris Kyle is being remembered as a devoted father and husband who tried to help other veterans. Nick Valencia has been speaking with Chris Kyle's friend.
Nick, what do we know about what kind of person Kyle was?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miguel, Chris Kyle survived four tours of combat duty overseas, only to die around the corner from his home. Chris Kyle grew up in east Texas, and by the time he could walk, Miguel, he was already riding horses and handling guns. He went on to be the most prolific sniper in history, the most lethal as well.
In the book you mentioned a short time ago, he chronicled his combat missions. During much, he said, he killed more than 150 Iraqi insurgents. That earned him the most infamous nickname in Ramadi. He was known as the devil of Ramadi.
Earlier today, one of his friends spoke to us by phone. Jason Kos told us the type of leader Chris Kyle was in the field.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON KOS, CHRIS KYLE'S FRIEND: Chris leave us his job and he was protecting his brothers, frankly. He is a man with quite contrary to that because he was incredibly loving father and charismatic and really caring person. So it's quite a contrast from what he did as his job and tours of duty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: And it was above all else that he did love his family. And that's one of the reasons, main reasons in fact, Miguel, that he came home -- Miguel.
MARQUEZ: After Chris Kyle left the SEAL, he had a different mission helping soldiers with posttraumatic stress syndrome. He battled this on his own, yes?
VALENCIA: Well, he was never officially diagnosed, Miguel. I spoke to his friend Travis Cocks who worked at the Heroes project with him. Almost immediately after coming back, Chris Kyle began working with soldiers that were suffering from PTSD. And Travis told me, though, Chris Kyle was never officially diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He did suffer the effects that anyone would coming back from combat.
But as I mentioned, he was proud of his service, but above all else, he was proud to be a family man. He's described as a very humble man. And last year in an interview with our local affiliate, KTVT, the pressures of combat were really taking their toll on the family, and the wife talked about that. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAYA KYLE, CHRIS KYLE'S WIFE: Emotionally, it was very taxing.
CHRIS KYLE: I took it as an ultimatum, either you get out or she and my kids were going to be gone.
TAYA KYLE: Of course he looked at that and thought the marriage would be over. And, you know, he's probably right. I honestly, didn't think that far ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: Chris Kyle was 38-years-old, Miguel. He survived by his wife, Taya, and their two small children.
MARQUEZ: Nick Valencia. Thank you very much. Dow 14,000 is back. But is it here to stay? After a great week on Wall Street, will investors be back in the game tomorrow? What should you do with your 401(k)? Our market preview ahead.
But next, a former FBI assistant director weighs in on the Alabama hostage stand-off. How can a 5-year-old boy be doing after six days in a bunker? We will be back with that insight.
MARQUEZ: The stand-off continues in Alabama between a man who is holding a 5-year-old boy hostage. The boy is being held in an underground bunker. This has gone on for six days now. The police are saying very little about their operation or demands the kidnapper may have made.
I want to bring in former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes.
Tom, you've been in these situations before, having to make these critical decisions in very tight time frame. What's going on there right now?
THOMAS FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, Miguel, the primary concern from day one in this has been to attempt to rescue that boy alive. And not have any harm come to him. Unfortunately, this is one of the most difficult situations that I've seen in a long time because any attempt to rescue that boy or take any kind of an action to get him out of there could result in him actually being killed. It's a very difficult situation with that bunker, in terms of the tactical plan to get in there and safely get him out. If they've considered introducing sleeping gas, tear gas any other kind of chemicals, using grenade simulators to stun them, any of those devices or methods could harm the boy. And that's the objective to get him out alive and not hurt him in the process.
So, a great deal of effort is going into the negotiation phase of this matter, and hoping that the negotiators can establish a rapport with Dykes and get him to somehow realize that he can come out of this, and he can survive and the boy can survive. And that maybe there's enough bonding occurring between him and the boy that ultimately he will agree to do that.
MARQUEZ: Well, this has gone on for six days, seems to indicate that may be exactly what's happening. Do you think there is a pretty well established line of communication between Mr. Dykes and whoever is talking to him?
FUENTES: Yes. I think they're able to communicate with him. But, again, you're talking about someone from past behavior sounds like he has a short trigger around his temper, and can be violent prone. And obviously, you know, we see what's happened with the bus driver.
So, you know, this is a very delicate negotiation to not set him off and not have him decide on his own to harm the boy even separate from any rescue attempt. So, it's a very tricky situation. Right now the authorities are just hoping that patience wins and that the longer this goes for the time being, the less likely he is to harm the boy, the more likely he is to eventually surrender when food and water run out or he decides he's had enough.
But, at some point, you have to decide will the boy be (INAUDIBLE) harmed by being in captivity that long? He's by himself. He doesn't have his friends, family. You don't know if he's allowed to watch any television, you know, kids shows or anything like that. So, he can't leave that boy in there indefinitely either for the long haul.
So, this is the delicate balance that the sheriff has to decide, with all of the advice in the world that he'll be getting from other experienced tactical commanders, negotiators, SWAT leaders as well as child psychologists, of how to get that boy safely out and not leave him to long term damage mentally or physically.
MARQUEZ: Yes. And it really does seem it's the local authorities who are taking the lead on this. They are maybe more experienced with the federal level. But, Mr. Dykes seems to be no fan of the federal government or the government in general. What role can the federal agencies play in this situation?
FUENTES: Well, the FBI is providing assistance, but again the sheriff is in charge. So if Dykes is watching, he can see that -- and he knows through the negotiation that the sheriff is going to make the decision. The sheriff is the on-team commander here. And the FBI or the state police or other law enforcement agencies may provide some technical or tactical assistance or negotiating assistance, but they're not in charge. The sheriff's in charge, and if that's any reason for him to feel a little calmer, that the FBI is not in charge of this. They are not going to make the decision of assaulting that bunker or going after Dykes. That will be the call of the sheriff and really it will be the call of the negotiators advising the commander of whether Dykes is still remaining reasonable and peaceful.
MARQUEZ: And it's the boy's mental and emotional state that's driving the bus here. That is, that authorities won't do anything as you suggest until they feel that by not doing something it's going to cause more harm?
FUENTES: That's right. That's right. That will be a -- I don't think they'll make that determination in the immediate future. But at some point this drags on, that will be a consideration.
MARQUEZ: Oh, my goodness. Tom Fuentes, thank you very much for joining us.
FUENTES: Thank you, Miguel.
MARQUEZ: The Dow Jones is now just 200 points away from its all time high. We will tell you why it's going like gangbusters while the economy is still limping along. It will provide some insight into what you might want to do with your own hard earned cash. That is coming up next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MARQUEZ: Investors are going to kick off the week on a high note. The Dow Jones finished the week above 14,000. The first time that's happened since October 2007.
Kenneth Polari is the Director of Floor Operations for O'Neil Securities. He joins me from New York.
So, let's with on Wall Street there, Ken, how are you?
KENNETH POLCARI, DIRECTOR OF FLOOR OPERATIONS, O'NEIL SECURITIES: I'm good. How are you, Miguel?
MARQUEZ: Very good. The economy is not exactly sparkling, and yet the Dow pushed past the 14,000 mark, why?
POLCARI: Well, you know, there's a couple things, and Friday is a perfect example, right? We had that big non-farm's payroll which everyone was focusing on. It's a number you want to see, certainly, being positive. But, it is the number that need to see at plus 300,000 in order to really make a dent.
What we got was plus 154 which, you know, in an odd way satisfies everybody because we're getting a positive number, so that's good. But the number's not good enough for the Fed to pull back on stimulus. So, therefore, they're getting it from both ends, right? They're getting the positive return on jobs growth. And they are also getting the continued stimulus from the Fed, which is going to do nothing but continue to push risk assets hire.
Now, that being said, the market does and the economy does in this country, it is beginning to feel like it's starting to turn the corner. Not very quickly, certainly there's a long road ahead, the sense is, the conversation and chatter is that things down the road look better. And as you know, the market is a discounting mechanism, so, it's not looking at today or tomorrow, it's already done that. It's looking out six months, eight months, what does it see?
MARQUEZ: So, that's the big question, obviously. Are the economic fundamentals there to a supportable market or are we looking at a bubble?
POLCARI: Well, you know what? We can have this conversation all day. I think the market is a little ahead of itself for sure, based on where we are. But, the fact is, you can't fight the Fed, and this is what I keep saying. The more they stimulate, they drive the dollar lower. They drive risk assets higher. That coupled with the fact that people are going to start to move money out of fixed income. Because if we move in the direction it looks like we're moving, unemployment will come down. It's not going to come down very quickly. It's probably another 12 months out before we even we pierce the seven percent level. But, once we do, you will start to see money move out of the bond market and back into the equity states. As people come back to kind of a basic investing 101, in equities, which they had run away from, they're going to start to tip their toe back in and get more involved.
MARQUEZ: So, as the Dow goes up, investors are talking resistance levels. Is that just a fancy term for jitters?
POLCARI: No, resistance are from a technical level, are very real, right? There are levels that the market has to - it hits, it runs into real resistance, it runs in the plenty of sellers, people that you know are creating out or trading around the corp. position, will certainly unload shares at the next technical levels. And the next technical level we have is really 15, 20ish, 15, 25 on the S&P which is only about 10 points away from where we ended the day on Friday. So, quite honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if we hit that level sometime this week, because you can feel the momentum. You can feel the push to want to get to that resistance level to see if there's really sellers there because that is going to be the real question. Are the sellers going to be there? Is that really going to be a point of resistance, and if it isn't? That will just cause the market to go higher. But, if they hit some resistance, then people will bag off a little bit.
Quite honestly, the market needs to pull back a little bit to consolidate. It doesn't mean it's going to crash. All it means it needs to pull back. Long term investors need to stick with this plan, right? They got this plan in their heads. They have a schedule that they're investing. They picked a good portfolio of stocks. They should stick with the plan. That's what they should do.
MARQUEZ: All right. So, let's switch gears a little bit to the earnings season winding down. How did we do?
POLCARI: You know what? Overall, I guess you could say we did OK, right? I mean, earnings came in, I think, at about -- ended up coming in at about 3.6 percent growth. The S&P was 2.8. That's down from nine point set the quarter of nine percent the quarter before. But they had anticipated that. They had got the market ready for that right?
So honestly, earnings are passed, right? They already done that happen. What people really were looking for, is what's the guidance going out. So, no matter what the earnings were, and you know, let's just say that they surprised and they were solid, based on the estimates. The feeling is, what are these CEOs saying about the next six months out and what the future looks like? And For the most part, what you heard was a kind of stabilizing positive view going out, which is just causing more, you know, more buying and more anticipation, more momentum for the market to move higher. I actually start -- I'm very optimistic this year for equities.
MARQUEZ: Wow! Well, it always makes sense when Kenneth Polcari says it. Thank you very much for joining us, my friend.
POLCARI: Thanks for having me, Miguel.
MARQUEZ: Two coaches, they work at the same school, and they're both accused of the same inappropriate behavior. But, they were treated very differently. A case of sexual bias? You decide.
And New Jersey senator Robert Menendez faces allegations of parties with prostitutes and that's just part of the story. It's ahead from inside the CNN NEWSROOM.
MARQUEZ: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. For those of you just joining us, thanks for tuning in. I'm Miguel Marquez. Here are a few stories we're following.
Marine veteran in Texas is being held on $3 million bond after allegedly shooting to death two fellow vets. Police say the suspect, 25-year-old Eddie Routh, Eddie Ray Routh, opened fire on an ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and veteran Chris Littlefield during an outing at a shooting range near Fort Worth, Texas. The motive for the shooting is unclear.
Pakistani teen activist, Malala Yousafzai, is in stable condition after undergoing surgery to repair her skull. Her doctors say the operation was a success and she is awake and talking to her family. Malala was shot in the head by Taliban gunman for speaking out for girls' education rights.
Some dramatic video today from outside Buckingham palace, of all places. Take a look at this.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
MARQUEZ: A man was holding a knife to his own throat before cops taser him. You can see it taking place there at Buckingham palace. And they took him down quickly. The queen and prince Phillip were not in the palace at the time. The whole thing took place during the famous changing of the guard ceremony.
Here are some of what is trending on the web.
Scientists are expected to unveil the DNA results tomorrow of an ancient bones, human remains found under buried under a car park in England are believed to be those of King Richard III. The British monarch died in a battle during the 15th century.
And remember etch-a-sketch? Who doesn't? The man who created the iconic drawing screen has died. French electrician (INAUDIBLE) built the first etch-a-sketch in his garage in 1950. He was 86.
Beyonce is tuning up his pipes to perform at the Super Bowl half time show. She promises to sing it live without lip syncing. We will see if she brought in Madonna's record. The material girl brought in of 111 million TV viewers during last year's show.
Two University of Texas coaches are accused of having affairs with students. But they're not getting the same punishment and that is raising a lot of questions about fairness and double standards.
Friday, the school announced it disciplined assistant football coach Major Applewhite for having conceptual sex with a student four years ago at the fiesta bowl. He is being allowed to stay on. But Longhorns women's track coach, Beverly Kearney, was forced to resign after admitting to an affair with a student in 2002. In her 21 years at the school, she won six national championships. She told our Soledad O'Brien, she's hired a lawyer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEVERLY KEARNEY, FORMER WOMEN'S TRACK COACH, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: The disclosure part was never brought to me as to why I was being terminated. I was being terminated as a result of the relationship. And at that point I said, then, has everyone else been terminated as a point of reference, having had a relationship? And the answer was, is that we don't view those, the same as yours.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Because you're a head coach? And those other relationships were not head coach?
KEARNEY: Are professors or administrators or anyone. And to me, I don't see how you distinguish between the value of one student over another because of what they do, whether it's a musician, a musical student a business student or an athlete.
I think, you know, the one thing I hired an attorney for is not to deny. Because the moment it was brought to my attention I openly admitted to its existence. And so it was never to deny, it was just to guarantee that I was given equal treatment because I had grown to not trust the university that I served in terms of equal treatment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: According to "USA Today," the university did freeze Mr. Applewhite's salary for a year. But since the 2009 affair, he's been promoted and paid more than double to above half a million dollars.
A senator facing allegations of parties with prostitutes, but, this isn't just any senator. Bob Menendez is about to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The scandal, the investigation and the details, next in the CNN NEWSROOM.
MARQUEZ: New Jersey senator Bob Menendez is in the eye of a storm. He faces allegations of taking free flights from a donor and parting with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. The allegations come as he gets ready to take over as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. So, how much of it is true and how could it be - and could it all be an attempt to muddy his political career?
Political writer from "Miami Herald" Mark Caputo joins me from Washington - from Miami, pardon me.
Mark, Miami held and calling the trail of these allegations for some time. Tell us what you, guys, have found.
MARK CAPUTO, POLITICAL WRITER, "MIAMI HERALD": Well, we found a lot of slivers of truth and shreds of evidence. The senator was accused of seeing some prostitutes in the Dominican Republic and for taking freebie flights. Well, there were enough allegations in these e-mails sent to the FBI to suggest that some of these prostitutes actually existed. But, were they under age and did they actually concert with Senator Menendez, we couldn't find that out.
We also know that senator Menendez did take some freebie flights, although they're no longer free. His office announced this week, after his friends' office was raided by the FBI, that the senator had reimbursed Dr. Solomon Melegin (ph) $58,500 for two chartered flights in 2010 to the Dominican Republic.
MARQUEZ: Yes. So, he gave the money back a couple years ago. But even if those allegations -- still, whether or not she should have fess up to those flights to begin with. Can those allegations prevent him from taking over as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee?
CAPUTO: I would really doubt it. Technically, once you pay the money for the flights; that kind of quiets the ethics probe that's into you as a sitting senator. That's according to the ethics watchdog group called crew. So, the ethics laws are probably a little weak in that regard. But basically there's no more violation left out there according to crew, because he's kind of dealt with the situation at hand even if that's two years after the fact.
Then, what you're left with is a bunch of anonymous allegations, really not much evidence or proof. But we do know that something strange happened. Dr. Melegin's (ph) office was raided Tuesday and Wednesday by the FBI. But, the approximate cause for the raid appears to be more of a Medicare fraud related prone, not senator Menendez.
Basically, there are two parallel investigations going on. One into the donor's relationship with senator Menendez, and the other one regarding Medicare. Obviously, what they find in the Medicare fraud probe they could use in the other investigation, but it's yet to be seen what they got, what if looks like and what Relevance it has.
MARQUEZ: Senator Menendez has called this nameless, faceless, baseless, there's a certainly whiff of a scandal out there, but who do you think is behind this controversy?
CAPUTO: Well, that's the $10 million question. The person who launched this complaint has called himself Peter Williams and he only corresponded with crew then ABC news, and then the FBI by e-mail. He had a bunch of really interesting details, names, physical descriptions, addresses of the alleged prostitutes, phone numbers. Names like the honey and a pimp named chocolate. These things made it steam rather believable. But, in the end he refused to meet with anyone. He refused to even talk to them on the phone. And then it appears the trail kind of went cold.
At one point the FBI agent wrote an e-mail, look, some of the information you're giving us, we've been able to verify. But we don't really know what specific information that was. And again, since then it seems as if the FBI kind of hit a wall. But obviously the investigation is continuing to go forward, our sources are telling us, and certainly there is an investigation surrounding and involving around Dr. Melegin (ph).
MARQUEZ: Yes. Well, it means like those involved, I'm sure that's a lot of you are going to be digging around. Mark Caputo, thank you very much for spending time with us.
CAPUTO: Thanks for having me.
MARQUEZ: If I say Ted Nugent, you think music? Maybe some cat scratch fever and even guns. This rocker said weapons had nothing to do with the Sandy Hook tragedy and he's fighting to make sure all his guns stay legal. A taste of Ted just ahead.
MARQUEZ: The debate over gun control is front and center right now in Washington. But, it's always been a big issue for one well known critic of gun restrictions. I'm talking about former rocker Ted Nugent. Nugent invited CNN's Deb Feyerick to his ranch to experience the hunting gun culture through his eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Ted Nugent, gun control is putting the second bullet in the same home as the first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two down.
FEYERICK: The famed platinum selling rocker is passionate about his music, his family and his firearms. He's invited us to his ranch in Waco, Texas to talk hunting, self-defense and the second amendment.
A lot of people look at the tragedy in Sandy Hook and they say, something's got to be done. And they point --
TED NUGENT, SINGER: Agreed.
FEYERICK: They point to the weapons that were used as the cause.
NUGENT: It's not the weapons. The weapons have nothing to do with it. Again, these weapons are in every pickup truck in Texas. So we have to get past the hardware.
FEYERICK: Nugent sticks to his guns literally. For him, the second amendment is nonnegotiable.
NUGENT: America my name is Ted Nugent and these are all legal guns and I'm going to see that they remain legal, they're all good.
MARQUEZ: Well, you can watch Deb's entire interview with Ted Nugent on Erin Burnett "OUTFRONT" tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. eastern.
And now something really special, Don Lemon is in the house to tell us what he has coming up this evening. How are you, Don?
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: I'm good. How do you follow Ted Nugent?
MARQUEZ: I don't know. I don't know. That's your problem now.
LEMON: We're going to talk about another hot discussion. John McCain versus Hagel. McCain versus Hagel in the Senate confirmation hearings this week. I'm sure you saw that. Some say Senator John McCain was rude and defense nominee Chuck Hagel seemed unprepared. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY NOMINEE: Senator, I stand by him --
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Were you correct in your assessment?
HAGEL: Well, I would defer to the judgment of history to thwart that out.
MCCAIN: I think the committee deserves your judgment as to whether you were right or wrong about the surge?
HAGEL: I'll explain why I made those comments.
MCCAIN: I want to know if you're right or wrong, that's a direct question I expect a direct answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: We're going to talk about that in our political topic. Did senator Hagel deserve the harsh reception and was he woefully unprepared? We'll talk about it.
Also, day six of the hostage situation in Alabama, a 5-year-old held in an underground bunker, a decorated Vietnam vet holding him. Police said they continue to maintain an open line of communication 24 hours a day. I'm going to talk to a former NYPD hostage negotiator about the situation. We are also told Miguel that there's a television down there. He could be watching us. So, I'll talk to the hostage negotiator about what they're doing, what should be done with all the right calls.
MARQUEZ: Such a brutal situation.
LEMON: It is such a brutal situation.
MARQUEZ: Yes. We hope for the best. Have a good show. Thank you very much.
LEMON: Good to see you.
MARQUEZ: Well, here is a question for you. What did Jimi Hendrix, the boy scouts, Rosa parks and high fashion have in common? Find out as we continue from the CNN NEWSROOM to your living room.
MARQUEZ: Six people, one mission, to get in shape and take part in the Malibu triathlon in September. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joined members in the fifth nation challenge team for their first workout in Atlanta. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, three --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice and easy, nice and easy. Last time around. We'll jog up as a group, and we're going inside, woo!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is it going?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: How you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As soon as you said those words to me, that you're on a team, I thought oh, my, I'm doing a triathlon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My goal for today is not to kill you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Huddle up, huddle up, I think we're ready to get started now. I want 30 push-ups. You have three more in you. As try athletes, you can never over swim. Go ahead and pick a lane and hop in. Good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to congratulate you all for number one, making the decision to get fit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is kind of a full circle moment for me. Walking into Phillips ranch, I'm about to cry. That's no joke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move those feet, get a burn, butt down. Work, work, work. This is where it gets hard. Rebound, rebound, rebound. Just keep rebounding. George, whose fault? Get up! Get a little shoulder burn. Same drill, above your head.
GUPTA: And how about this workout? They told you were going to come train?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I started off a little too fast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have one zip right now.
CROWD: One, two, three, hawks!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got this. You're the man!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chest pass, nice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It only gets easier.
MARQUEZ: A civil rights icon is getting a big honor in tops or look at the week ahead.
Tomorrow would have been Rosa Parks' 10th birthday in the U.S. and the postal service is releasing a commemorative stamp in her honor. In 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama was a catalyst for a city-wide boycott which became a crucial moment in the civil rights struggle.
Something else that could happen as early as tomorrow, the boy scouts of America could decide to lift its ban on gay members. The group held its executive meeting this week in Texas and they may vote to make that change.
On Tuesday, a new Jimi Hendrix song comes out. "Somewhere" was reported in March of 1968. It features Hendricks on guitar and vocals, Stevens still on bass and Buddy Miles on drums.
On Wednesday, Fashion Week starts in New York. All the world's fashionistas will head to Bryant Park to see the latest collections.
And on Friday, Bruce Springsteen is honored as music person of the year. The concert in his honor will happen in Los Angeles. Among the big names who will perform Neil Young, Elton John, Sting, and Mavis Staples.
That will do it for me. Thanks for joining. CNN NEWSROOM continues right with Don Lemon. Have a great week.