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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Dorner News Conference Starts In Moments; "We Did Not Intentionally Burn Down Cabin"; Interview with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Aired February 13, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. We are just moments away from a news conference where we expect to learn what really happened in that cabin outside Los Angeles yesterday. Last night, we heard this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burn it down!
UNIDENIFIED MALE: Just do it, right now!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: In a few moments, we hope to find out if the body found in that cabin is the suspected cop killer, Christopher Dorner, and also what led to his death.
Plus, thousands of people are trapped on board a crippled Carnival cruise ship. They're running low on supplies and living in their own filth. The stories of what are happening on board that ship will astound you. What we find in that ship actually comes a story.
And two of President Obama's key nominations could be on hold. One of the senators considering a delay, Rand Paul, is with us to tell you why. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we have breaking news on the Los Angeles manhunt that ended with a body dead inside a mountain cabin. Now in just a couple of moment, we could learn that the fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner was the man found in the cabin last night.
Authorities have been working to identify the charred remains and police say they have reason to believe it is Dorner. Now, Dorner had been on the run since last week. He had targeted his former fellow officers with a Los Angeles Police Department. He is now accused of killing four people including two officers.
There are a lot of questions tonight for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office, which led the operations in those final hours of the manhunt last night. One of the most important questions, did police set the cabin ablaze?
Our Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT in San Bernardino, California. Miguel, I know you are where the press conference will begin in any moment. And I know we're going to go that the second we have it. We'll have it for our viewers here live, but what are you expecting them to answer?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you right off the bat that we've heard there's a 2-minute call to this press conference and that will be starting in just a couple of minutes now.
We are hoping to learn, one, if the body discovered in that cabin up in the mountains here in San Bernardino was in fact Christopher Dorner. Every indication and every source that we have says that it was. Local press reporting his wallet was also found in that cabin so we expect that may come tonight.
It may not be a full confirmation, but they may have dental records. The family may have been able to identify him. There may be tattoos, scars. They are talking about doing something even more intense like a genetic testing to make sure that it is him.
But I can tell you that the search for Mr. Dorner on that hill has certainly stopped. So we have a very good sense that he has been found. Other questions as you mentioned, Erin, coming in is how that cabin actually caught fire and who is responsible for that.
BURNETT: And let me ask you that question because obviously, a lot of people are wondering, did they have the ability to take him alive and not do it? Were there perhaps any choices or mistakes made that led to him being killed? I mean, is that something you think we're going to get specific answers on?
MARQUEZ: We expect to certainly and we hope to. We don't know that we will. There are a slew of enforcement agencies that will be here. Everybody from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office to the LAPD chief, the Irvine chief, and the Riverside chief so we hope to get a lot of those basic questions answered as to what happened in that cabin and how it happened that this fire took off.
As you guys know Mr. Dorner, after a very long chase yesterday afternoon ended up in a cabin. It was surrounded by police. It wasn't clear to me whether it was SWAT team or not, but a fire did ensue. There was recording that indicated that they wanted to bring in the burners and possibly burn it down.
That is not typical SWAT tactics and so, there are lots of questions how that happened. I also understand that Mr. Dorner's cell phone went on shortly after he was known again to be out and about and there may have been some communication with him.
We hope to ask that as well as to whether or not there was any communication with Mr. Dorner. Did he give any indication he wanted to give himself up or did this just turn into a after another deputy was shot and killed, did this just turn into a situation where deputies were going in to get him? BURNETT: Right. I mean, going in to get him. You said it very well there. I want to ask you a question about the fire because Miguel, I know you've been doing a lot of work on what happened with that fire.
From our reporting here at CNN, of course, there was no attempt to put that fire out at first. Is that standard operating procedure or do you think that the hesitancy on that or the delay could lead to a conclusion in terms of their intent, again, dead or alive?
MARQUEX: What we understand, they went in with very heavy equipment to tear down the walls, to introduce gas into that structure. There were explosions occured, ammunition going off. They did hear one single shot, what sounded like a single shot in that structure as well.
There was concern for the safety of firefighters going in there in the event somebody survived. It did sound for some time as though Mr. Dorner could have escaped into the woods. Sheriff's department saying they didn't have the entire house surrounded.
They did have helicopters overhead. So there was a lot of confusion, clearly, in their operation as well and we hope to hear today from the sheriff himself on how everything played out in literally a minute by minute fashion because it is not typical for deputies to burn down a house essentially in order to get somebody out.
BURNETT: All right, I mean, we're obviously waiting for this press conference to begin any moment. Let me bring in William Bratton here, of course, the former chair of the LAPD. Let me ask you. What do you think about this -- this issue?
Obviously, it's very difficult in the heat of the moment. You're trying to get somebody, but from what you understand of all the details of what actually happened last night, do you think every possible effort was made to recover him alive or not?
WILLIAM BRATTON, FORMER LAPD POLICE CHIEF: I can't even speak to that. Too many unanswered questions, as you already referenced and hopefully in this press conference, they will explain what happened last evening.
BURNETT: All right, and the press conference is beginning so let's go now and listen to the San Bernardino Police Chief's Office. We're expecting the lieutenant to call the presser to order and after that, Sheriff John McMahon as well as the deputy chief, Paul Cook and Captain Kevin Lacey. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before we get started, I'd like to make some brief introductions. With us today is Sheriff John McMahon from San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Chief Sergio Diaz from the Riverside Police Department, Chief David Magarde, Irvine Police Department, Chief Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Department, U.S. Marshall Dave Singer from the U.S. Marshals, Special Agent-in-charge, Tim Delaney from the Federal Bureau Of Investigations. Assistant chief, Dan Saforza, State of California, Department of Fish and Game and Chief Bill Siegel, California Highway Patrol. If you have any questions regarding individual or specific questions about their individual investigations, please hold those until all the question and answer period and with that, I introduce Sheriff John McMahon.
SHERIFF CORONER JOHN MCMAHON, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Good afternoon. The events that occurred yesterday in the Big Bear area brought to close an extensive manhunt for a murder suspect, Christopher Dorner. Our deputies in Big Bear responded to the report of a stolen vehicle with the subject matching the description of Dorner.
It was later discovered that he crashed that vehicle and carjacked a vehicle in the Angeles Oaks area. The deputies continued searching that area for the new suspect vehicle, the white pick-up truck, as well as Dorner. The deputies were able to locate the vehicle, crashed, and he, Dorner fled into a vacant cabin.
As the deputies were arriving, we believe suspect, Dorner, began firing and ambushed our deputy sheriffs that were responding. Two of our deputy sheriffs were struck by gunfire. One of which was severely injured, Deputy Alex Collins. He's currently at the hospital being treated.
He went through a couple of different surgeries. I just spoke to his wife. He's in good spirits and should make a full recovery after a number of additional surgeries. Unfortunately, our other deputy, Detective Jeremiah McKay, was pronounced deceased at 2:24 p.m. yesterday at the hospital.
Detective McKay is 35 years old and has been a member of our department for 15 years. He's married and has two children, a 7-year- old daughter and a 4-month-old son, presently assigned to the station, but also a detective at the Big Bear station. My sincere condolences go out to the family.
This is truly another sad day for law enforcement. Our department is grieving from this event. It's just a terrible deal for all of us, the folks that are up here with me as well have also been dealing with this suspect's behavior over the last week.
We believe that this investigation is over at this point and we'll just need to move on from here. I will tell you that the deputy sheriffs that responded to this active shooting scene yesterday are absolutely true heroes. There were rounds being fired as you saw on some of the news coverage, was absolutely incredible.
It was like a war zone and our deputies continued to go in to that area and try to neutralize and stop the threat. The rounds kept coming but the deputies didn't give up. They're true heroes, highly trained and I'm proud to be a member of this department and our deputy sheriffs did a great job yesterday. Thank you. Any questions?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take questions now? MCMAHON: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you confirm obviously the -- that it is Mr. Dorner, his remains that was found in that cabin last night?
MCMAHON: I cannot absolutely positively confirm it's him. The suspect that we were following and also had stolen a vehicle matched his description. His behavior based on our deputy's interaction with him inside the vacant cabin was consistent with Mr. Dorner's activity prior to and we are not currently involved in a manhunt any longer. Our coroner's division is working on trying to confirm the identity through forensics and we should know that as some point here soon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- how the fire started at the cabin whether that was on purpose -- can you explain how that transpired?
MCMAHON: I can tell you that it was not on purpose. We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out. The tear gas canisters that we used, first off, we used a presence when we showed up, secondly, we used a cold tear gas, then we used the next tear gas was that that was pyrotechnic. It does generate a lot of heat. We introduced those canisters into the residence and a fire erupted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was some chatter that (inaudible).
MCMAHON: The pyrotechnic type canisters are commonly referred to as burners.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The entire time (inaudible).
MCMAHON: I'm going to ask Deputy Chief Kovinski who was heading up the door to door search in Big Bear to answer that question for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon, during the initial phases of this investigation on Thursday, after his vehicle was found, Dorner's vehicle was found, we did an extensive search of that area. About 80 percent of the cabins in that area are part time cabins. We went to each cabin if there were no signs of break-in or no open door, we noted it and moved on to the next open cabin. Any other questions?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know how many deputies knocked on the door?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All those cabins in that particular area we sent teams of deputies out to check to see if there was any entry and if we could make contact.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could you tell us about what happened that morning. Lots of questions about whether he was -- days, hours, if you know that and what happened to the people that were in there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe that there were anybody in there on Thursday. At the start of the investigation, we don't believe there was anybody in that cabin. That is somebody a rental or the owner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you guys find any weapons -- any sort of personal belongings that are linked --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what? Some of these things are still preliminary and as the investigation moves forward, we'll have more information regarding those things.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were belongings found though in that cabin with him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As I said, some of that information will become available at the conclusion of the investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- cabin this happened on Thursday. (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would imagine that it could have been Thursday, but I'm telling you at the time, there was nobody renting that cabin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you tell individuals --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did not find any forced entry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe that he picked that cabin because it was close to, station-wise, where the press conferences were happening? did you believe he was planning another attack or the shoot-out just happened because he got scared?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this point, that would be speculative and we'll comment on that later as the investigation unfolds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We spoke to individuals in that neighborhood who said that no one ever knocked on that door, on their doors. People who lived there. That cabin was a rental, a vacation rental. The people who were cleaning it to rent it out this weekend just surprised Mr. Dorner there. It doesn't sound like -- it doesn't sound like you guys were there you know and completely cleared that area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can tell you that the cabin in question had not been rented out since February 6. And as I said, there was an extensive search in that area of the cabins. OK? Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please understand that there is an ongoing investigation, and many of your questions will be answered at a later date.
We're not going to be taking any further questions at this point. Please understand at this point that the PIOs will be summarizing statements made by this department during this press conference, and we'll be posting an update to the department Web site as well as sending updates via e-mail.
I'd like to thank you all for coming to our press conference. Thank you once again. That concludes this press conference for today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff, was there -
(END LIVE PRESS CONFERENCE COVERAGE)
BURNETT: Of course, that's the end of the press conference from the San Bernadino Sheriff's Office. As you could tell, the press had a lot more questions they wanted. A couple headlines here -- Miguel Marquez just asked a question there at the end. But you heard them talk about the fact they are not, at least in their words, can't absolutely confirm that the body in the cabin that was found was that of Christopher Dorner.
Let me bring in Miguel now who is in the room with the press conference. Miguel, obviously, a lot of, we didn't get a lot of answers. Let's put it that way.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shockingly short press conference for as many questions that there are hanging out there. Clearly, a sensitive point for the San Bernardino sheriff's office about how those cabins were searched.
Literally, what is most shocking about this perhaps is that Mr. Dorner's truck broke down on a forest road between the two ski valleys here. The cabin where these cleaners, these individuals who own this (INAUDIBLE) were going to clean it where that was, was less than a mile away. It was also across the streets from the communications center and the command center that the sheriffs set up here.
We spoke to people in that area who said that no one ever knocked on their door. No one ever asked if they saw anything strange. No one ever came around. The owners who owned that cabin apparently owned several different cabins throughout the area. They rent them out for summer rentals. Why didn't police tell -- or sheriff's department tell individuals make sure your empty cabins, your summer rentals, are secure. None of that seems to have happened, and the guy was hiding literally right under their noses. Shocking.
BURNETT: And what's your feeling in terms of when we're going to get answers, Miguel? Particularly on this issue of an absolute confirmation on the body? That was something we all anticipated would be done by now. I mean, obviously, they say there's no active man hunt. But why no absolute confirmation?
MARQUEZ: We would certainly except that. I mean, there's no active manhunt. They seem to clearly have indication that it is him. Very strong indication it is him, whether or not it's the family telling them that it's him, or it is, it is scars, tattoos, dental records. Perhaps they want to make -- perhaps they want to make that genetic link before they go and tell us with 110 percent certainty that it's him.
It's not very clear. He did seem to indicate they are going to know very, very soon, so perhaps they have dental records on the way, and they can make that indication clear to people can rest easy. But at the same time, they say we're almost sure it's him and there is no more search for him. So that kind of answers your question.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, certainly in every way that would seem to make sense. Thanks very much to you, Miguel, there at the San Bernardino sheriff's office press conference.
Back now to Commissioner Bratton. Of course, former chief of the Los Angeles police department and was of course chief during three years Christopher Dorner was on the force.
Good to see you. So, let me just, you heard the press conference. Obviously, they weren't able to answer a lot of questions the media has, the country has. But this is the fundamental question -- and I know it's hard because you weren't there. But do you think it was possible to capture Christopher Dorner alive?
WILLIAM BRATTON, FORMER LAPD POLICE COMMISSIONER: I'm not going to speak to that because I don't have enough details. That press conference was very unusual in terms of the minimal amount of information that given out, considering the large amount of questions out there. So it's quite obvious in the next several days, there's going to be a lot of intense media focus on that department on this issue.
And answers are going to have to be provided at some point in time. These investigations are very complicated. So many moving parts, having headed up enough of them over the years that I'm well aware of the complexity. But they've got some answers that are going to be forthcoming. Otherwise, the drum beat of media pressure, public pressure is going to become very overwhelming. (INAUDIBLE)
BURNETT: And one thing, there's some questions about and not really answers about was how much negotiations there were. As you know, Miguel was reporting that there perhaps might have been cell phone conversations between Dorner and police deputies, although obviously they didn't confirm that tonight.
I wanted to play an exchange, though, over the radio between the police and get your reaction to it. Here it is.
BURNETT: That actually wasn't the one I was looking for. Can we get the one with the back and forth? We have it here? Okay.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Control 61. Sounds like one shot fired from inside the resident.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One shot fired from inside the residence. Confirming you still want fire to (INAUDIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roll in and stage.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, how do you interpret that?
BRATTON: Well, the earlier clip you just showed clearly did sound like a war zone.
BURNETT: Right. And they just described it as a war zone. Right.
BRATTON: I know I was intrigued last night when I first heard about the one shot that with all that was going on, my assumption -- because there is not much clarity to this situation at the moment -- is that possibly after the building caught fire and the shooting had stopped from within the cabin and the sheriff's deputies outside the cabin, that a single shot could have been heard.
I also heard a report that you might expect with the intensity of that fire that it was ammunition and explosions going on within the cabin itself. Heat gets intense enough, it will set off that ammunition.
BURNETT: So, that could have been what you were hearing?
BRATTON: This question - this issue of the single shot as they moved forward with the investigation, they're going to have to eventually piece this together literally, second by second, minute by minute. They have video that will allow them to do some of the time frame development. They have the technical capabilities to pull out sounds because the one-shot speculation is that he committed suicide. That's something that hopefully the autopsy may help to at least initially determine how in fact he died. Did he die from the fire, the smoke or was there a gun shot involved?
The intensity of shooting into that building by the police, understandable in terms of the intensity of the shooting coming out at them. It's quite likely he could have been possibly wounded during that exchange. Really won't know until the autopsy results come back.
BURNETT: Let me bring in Tom Fuentes, former FBI assistant director and Cade Courtley, a former Navy SEAL and sniper into this conversation. Let me ask you, Tom. What is your view of the single- shot theory?
TOM FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, I would agree with Commissioner Bratton that if there's one shot fired, it could be him committing suicide. It doesn't sound like a police would be firing a single shot. If they were responding to fire, there would be more than one shot. So, to me, it sounds there's a good possibility if in fact that noise was a gun shot.
BURNETT: And Cade, what's your view? You just heard some of the radio communications in terms of the shots, but also conversations police were having during the final minutes yesterday. Do you think questions out there surrounding how the police handled this are justified or not?
CADE COURTLEY, FORMER NAVY SEAL: Totally unjustified. Number one, I would never discredit anybody who was there because I wasn't there. And number two, for anybody to try and analyze what it's like when there's that volume of fire and you're there and you're receiving fire, to be questioned by anybody who wasn't there, that's unacceptable.
BURNETT: Do you think, though, that because two police officers had been killed that in the minds of the police there, that dead or alive meant less? I mean, this is someone who had killed their colleagues.
COURTLEY: This person had a manifesto that said he was going to go down in a blaze of glory. Well, be careful what you ask for. This guy had killed four people, allegedly, and had basically told everybody he was not going to be taken alive. So, if I was on the ground with that information, I would use all the force I had to end that as quickly as possible.
BURNETT: Tom, what's the bottom line? Will we ever really know what happened and when or not?
FUENTES: We might not. I mean, the sheriff's office obviously will be doing an intense internal investigation to reconstruct what happened throughout the events from the time that he fled the road and went to that cabin in particular, and how the tactics worked and what they wanted to do.
At the end of the day, in agreeing with your last guest, the subject, Dorner, did not escape. He didn't kill. Once you had tactical officers on sight and the area contained, perimeters established, no other officers were killed. He didn't escape and it ended. So, the fact that there was no additional loss of life except his, which I attribute to him -- he caused his own death, you know -- I would agree that that's a successful resolution in that sense.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to all three of you. We appreciate it.
And still to come, passengers have been trapped for days on that crippled Carnival cruise ship. And they're one step closer to rescue tonight. But still many hours away. What are we going to see when help arrives?
And two of president Obama's most important cabinet nominations are facing serious opposition and unexpected opposition. One of the senators threatening to delay a confirmation. Rand Paul is OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Cruise ship catastrophe. More than 3,000 people still trapped tonight on the crippled Carnival cruise ship. It's ironically called Triumph. Three tug boats are slowly towing the ship from the Gulf of Mexico to shore in Mobile, Alabama. Carnival Cruiseline is now offering $500 to every passenger for their trouble. Some may find that a shockingly low number, but the ship's propulsion system failed on Sunday. There was an engine-room fire, then the system failed. And that turned what was supposed to be a Caribbean vacation for thousands of people into an utter nightmare. CNN's Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT on the passenger's ordeal and what's ahead.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Suffering at sea. Passengers aboard the fire damaged Carnival cruise liner Triumph tale of a ship low on food, sweltering without air-conditioning and sloshing with sewage.
ANN BARLOW, ABOARD THE CARNIVAL TRIUMPH (via telephone): The smells are, I can't describe them. Our room is flooded. There's raw sewage pretty bad. Walk in the hallways, you have to cover your face. We don't have any masks for breathing. It's disgusting. It's the worst thing ever.
SAVIDGE: Other passengers describe being told to go to the bathroom in plastic bags.
Pictures taken from ships that have come to Triumph's aid show hundreds of people standing outside on the upper decks.
BARLOW: There is no air-conditioning inside. We're on the deck. Yes, we're fine.
GERRY CAHILL, PRESIDENT & CEO, CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES: First, I think it's very important that I apologize to our guests and to their families that have been affected by this very difficult situation.
SAVIDGE: The president of Carnival says since Sunday's fire knockout power, the crews have been working to restore some basic systems.
CAHILL: There's running water and there's a good number of bathrooms that do work, all right? So, we obviously in a situation like this, you're going to be very sensitive to all hygiene procedures.
SAVIDGE (on camera): You got here when?
MARY PORET, DAUGHTER ON CARNIVAL TRIUMPH: Got here 3:30 this morning.
PORET: We brought trash bags to put their shoes in.
SAVIDGE: Mary Poret and her friend Kim McKerreghan both have daughters on board the Triumph traveling with their dads. The girls posted this picture just before boarding. The two moms drove al night from Texas in a mini van after hearing the fear in their daughter's voices Monday in a phone call.
PORET: She was scared. Scared of the unknown, the fear of not knowing what was going to happen next. But her biggest fear was the fear that she didn't know if she'd ever get to see her mommy again. That's hard.
SAVIDGE: Neither mom has heard from their daughter since. Now, every phone call is answered, even during live interviews.
SAVIDGE: It's another false alarm. Leading the moms to anxiously worry and wait.
KIM MCKERREGHAN, DAUGHTER ON CARNIVAL TRIUMPH: Going to have to pray me off this dock so I get out of here, you know? I mean, I really need to see her. Really need to see her and I really need to hug her.
SAVIDGE: So instead of pacing at home, the moms are here, pacing at dock.
BURNETT: All right. Marty, pretty just shocking when you think about it. Right now, scheduled though to come to shore tomorrow afternoon, right?
SAVIDGE: Yes, that's the best estimate they've got right now. It's about 100 miles just outside of Mobile, so it should come in sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon. They're projecting we'll have to wait overnight to see how it really turns out.
BURNETT: And you were reporting that carnival could offer people $500 each. What else will Carnival do? I mean, some may think given sort of the horror that's been happening, what you were describing, the filth, that might not be enough.
SAVIDGE: Yes. No, there a lot of people are saying it might not be enough. The way it's supposed to break down right now, is you get the money, everybody gets the money. On top of that, of course, they get free transportation. They're going to get a full refund and a deep discount on their next cruise.
But the logistics now of handling these people when they get to shore, that's a real big problem. Over 3,000 people, 1,500 hotel rooms have been reserved for them, because you can bet the first thing they want is a nice, hot shower, Erin.
BURNETT: Oh, I -- I can only imagine. Oh, my gosh, these poor people. Thank you very much, Martin Savidge, there reporting from Mobile, Alabama.
And now to the rocky road to the cabinet. Two of President Obama's key nominees are now facing some major hurdles.
So, Senator John McCain says he may filibuster Chuck Hagel's nomination if the president doesn't get more information about the president's actions and orders of the night of the attack of the American consulate in Benghazi. And Senator Rand Paul says he's ready to put a hold on John Brennan's nomination to head the CIA if he doesn't get answers about the use of drones in the United States of America.
Now, that's an issue we talked about last week when I asked the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, that very question, whether he could see a time when drones are used against American citizens on American soil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE ROGERS (R-MI), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I don't think we'll ever get there. I think it's very, very important to understand that the legal justification for using an airstrike against an enemy, no matter their citizenship, is long standing in this country. They no longer have the benefit of U.S. citizenship to protect them when they're an enemy combatant on foreign land fighting the battle of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Earlier, I spoke with Rand Paul of Kentucky and I asked him if he thinks Rogers is wrong.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Well, he didn't say no. What I want to hear from John Brennan before I agree to let his nomination go forward, is that no, a CIA or the Department of Defense cannot kill someone in America without, you know, any kind of judicial proceeding. Senator Wyden asked Brennan this. In a committee hearing, he says, can you kill an American on American soil with a drone without a judicial hearing? And Brennan didn't answer the question.
So, we've asked it in writing. My understanding is Senator Wyden has asked this in writing. And we don't have an answer.
So if you're not going to answer no, I think that means you're essentially telling us yes, you believe that the president has the power to kill an American in America. That is appalling, you know? I think even overseas, that if there is someone who's not in the middle of firing a gun or grenade launcher --
PAUL: -- that they really should be tried for treason if they're an American citizen, and then, you know, you can proceed on with drone attacks, but really an American citizen should be tried and adjudicated in court here or abroad unless they're imminently in the act of firing a weapon.
BURNETT: And when it comes to Hagel's nomination. Obviously, John McCain today indicating he may filibuster it, going against what he had said before.
Tom Ricks is a contributing editor for "Foreign Policy" magazine. He was a special military correspondent for "The Washington Post." He's written two books about Iraq, a lot of sources in the Pentagon. And he just wrote this about Chuck Hagel, quote, "His big problem is that no one much wants him running the Pentagon. The prospect of a Hagel regime at DOD is a real problem now because the next secretary of defense will need to do two things, work with Congress to reduce the defense budget and work with the military to reshape the military to make it relevant for future conflict. At the moment, Hagel appears to lack the political capital to do the former and the intellectual appetite to do the latter."
Those are very strong words. Do you think Chuck Hagel can run the Pentagon?
PAUL: You know, my inclination has been, even though I'm a conservative Republican, to give the president the prerogative of deciding who's in his cabinet. I voted for John Kerry even though politically I don't agree with much, if anything, that John Kerry represents as far as a U.S. senator. But I think he's an honest person and I think the president has the right to decide.
With regard to Hagel, my first inclination was to give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm for auditing the Pentagon. I think there is waste to be found. And I think he would be good at rooting that out. I think he's a soldier. He served honorably, was wounded in combat.
But I'm starting to have some doubts, and my doubts are that if you're going to run the Department of Defense, you need to reveal if you've had financing from foreign groups. There's all kinds of rumors all over the Internet about foreign groups that may have provided financing and I think he needs to reveal that.
And so, I am one who's saying, yes, I do need a little more information before making a final decision.
BURNETT: All right. But do you think John McCain is right to filibuster given your point, that you may not like who the president picks, but it is his prerogative whom he chooses to be in his cabinet?
PAUL: Well, I think where we are with Hagel is the same place I am with Brennan. I want more information. If they're not going to give us the information, the only way to get the information is threaten to hold them to a higher standard of 60 votes.
So I think if people are not willing to give you information, for example, by Brennan not saying no, that he won't strike Americans in America, he's essentially saying yes and that is very scary and worrisome to me that you would strike Americans.
Do you realize we do signature strikes now? We don't even name the target of people we kill with drones. If there's a line of traffic coming out of a camp and we think that is populated by people who don't like America, we bomb them.
Well, is that a high enough standard for Americans maybe coming out of a city or an encampment somewhere in the U.S. where they're meeting and saying antigovernment things? Are we going to have signature strikes in America? I mean, it opens Pandora's box once you say, you may well kill Americans in America without any judicial trial, with politicians making the decision. That's very worrisome.
BURNETT: Now, last night, of course, you issued the Tea Party response to the president's State of the Union address, and you took on Democrats, you also took on Republicans.
But I have to ask you this, Senator, because last time around, in 2012, four of the 16 senate candidates that were endorsed by the Tea Party -- four actually won. Is the Tea Party losing steam?
PAUL: We did better in 2010. We didn't do as well, but neither did any Republicans do very well in 2012. So I don't think that's necessarily fair.
I would say there's still a movement, but I still think that the Tea Party gives energy, m to the Republican Party, but it's also equal parts chastisement to equal parts to anybody who promotes big government of deficits. So the Tea Party isn't afraid to tell Republicans you need to spend less money also.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Senator. Always appreciate your time.
PAUL: Thank you.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, a 5-year-old boy held hostage in an underground bunker for six days. He's home now. In an interview, his mother reveals what her son experienced during the ordeal.
Plus, what did NRA activist Ted Nugent say after attending the State of the Union address? Well, he told OUTFRONT and we're going to tell it to you.
BURNETT: We have breaking news in the Alabama hostage story. We are getting new pictures of the 6-year-old boy Ethan who was abducted and held for six days in an underground bunker. Now, these are from the office of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley who met with Ethan and his mother Jennifer Kirkland today.
Also, today, for the first time since his abduction, Ethan and his mother are speaking out in an interview with Dr. Phil and they talk about those frightening six days and about how Ethan is doing right now.
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TV HOST: Well, give me five. I like it.
BURNETT (voice-over): Nine days after Ethan was freed from an underground bunker in Midland City, Alabama, the world is getting the first glimpse of this brave 6-year-old. But his mother, Jennifer Kirkland, tells Dr. Phil the recovery has been difficult.
JENNIFER KIRKLAND, ETHAN'S MOTHER: He is having a very hard time sleeping soundly. He's -- he slings his arms and tosses and turns. He's -- he's cried out a few times.
BURNETT: In a story that captivated the nation, Ethan was kidnapped at gunpoint from a school bus last month. His abductor, a local resident named Jimmy Lee Dykes had boarded the bus and killed the driver. For six days, Ethan was held underground by Dykes in an eight by six bunker.
The neighbors say, over the years, the Vietnam veteran and retired truck driver behaved strangely and had beaten a dog to death with a pipe. But Kirkland says Dykes took surprisingly good care of her son.
KIRKLAND: When he found out Ethan was autistic and took medication, I believe that's why he started caring and let Ethan have the things he was letting him have.
BURNETT: Authorities say Dykes fed the boy, gave him toys and even allowed him to take medicine for his autism.
Kirkland told Dr. Phil that waiting for Ethan's return was the hardest thing she's ever been through.
KIRKLAND: I wanted to be there. There's not one second of this whole thing that I wouldn't have begged that man to let me have Ethan and I would have turn around and give him to my family and took his place at any moment, any second, had I been allowed to.
BURNETT: For almost a week, police and FBI officials tried to convince Dykes to let Ethan go free, but they ended up storming the bunker in a daring rescue on February 4th.
KIRKLAND: I was told that he had stopped negotiating and that he grew agitated and it was time to get Ethan out of there.
MCRAW: What did they do?
KIRKLAND: I understand that a hostage team went in, put explosives on top of doors and blown the doors off and knocked him off guard with that. They went in and covered Ethan with a vest and shot Mr. Dykes.
MCGRAW: Did he see Mr. Dykes shot and killed?
KIRKLAND: He absolutely did. He seen the Army came in and shot the bad man.
BURNETT: Ethan, who played quietly with his toys as his mother spoke to Dr. Phil, says little about what happened in those harrowing days. But when Dr. Phil asks him how he gets to school, here's what he whispers to his mother. ETHAN: My bus driver is dead.
BURNETT: Kirkland says she has forgiven Dykes and is ready to move on, debuting all of her attention to protecting Ethan.
MCGRAW: How are you coping with this?
KIRKLAND: I'm not sure yet. I've been so busy trying to make sure he's OK, first. I mean, I'm facing it on how he's doing. If he's doing OK today, then I'm fine.
BURNETT: And now, an OUTFRONT update on one of the more controversial State of the Union attendees. It was rocker Ted Nugent. And as we've showed here on OUTFRONT, Nugent is a long time gun advocate. He's also a critic of the president.
Nugent gave us his take on the president's address, telling us, quote, "It pains me deeply to report that the ACORN community organizer in chief is still at his masterful scripted deceitful fantasy scam and even worse, the clueless masses are buying it. Somebody better wake up before he eviscerates the entire American Dream." We're going to have more on that, obviously, pretty controversial comment.
And for years, we've known folic acid can help prevent birth defects. But researchers have now found that taking folic supplements in the early weeks of pregnancy could make those expecting 39 percent less likely to have children with autism. Folic acid is a B vitamin. It is naturally found in leafy vegetables and these days, it is infused in processed breads and cereals. Hold off on the Cap'n Crunch.
Dr. Ian Lipkin who contributed to the study says that with the additional sugar and calories, women are better off just taking a straight vitamin to get the folic acid. He suggests women of childbearing age start taking a folic supplement now so it can take effect early in a pregnancy.
Well, Apple Computer announces it's going to move some production back to the United States. You may have seen Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, at the State of the Union. But something doesn't add up.
BURNETT: The State of the Union is a great opportunity for the president to highlight some of his successes and outline some of his big goals for the future. And last night was no exception, with the president saying that the future was about the jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, the president seemed to be referring to statements made back in December by Steve Jobs' successor Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. At that time, Tim Cook announced he would spend $100 million to begin producing one of Apple's existing Mac lines in the United States.
That sounds like a big deal, because while Tim Cook is quick to point out some components are already made in America, almost every other aspect of Apple's production has been outsourced almost all to Asia.
So, it's no surprise that President Obama would hold Apple's move back to the United States up as a major accomplishment. Every job counts. But it's also important to count every job.
And that's where Apple -- well, according to Labor economist Dan Lorian (ph), and Flextronics Michael Marks (ph), the move will mean about 200 new American jobs. So while Apple is bringing production to the United States, and that's a good thing, should they have been congratulated during the State of the Union address? After all, Apple is the second biggest company in America. It employs more than 70,000 people around the world. And the $100 million investment is 0.0073 percent of Apple's current cash on hand of more than $100 billion.
And if we're congratulating Apple on creating 200 new American jobs, then we probably should also congratulate Chinese computer maker Lenovo, because two months before Tim Cook's announcement, Lenovo, the computer giant based in China, said it would begin making its Think- branded computers, including notebooks, desktops and tablets at a facility in North Carolina, creating 115 new American jobs. That's pretty darn good, too. Should the president have mentioned them?
BURNETT: All right. Tomorrow, the Reverend Jesse Jackson is going to be OUTFRONT to talk about the president's handling of gun violence in Chicago. It's going to be, obviously, an important and significant interview, given that on Friday, the president is going to be in Chicago, a city that has been plagued with some of the worst gun violence in the country.
Thanks so much for watching, as always.
"ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now.