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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

North Korea Missile Launch Could Be Imminent; McConnell: Democrats "Bugged My Headquarters"; Interview with Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma

Aired April 9, 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, a missile launch from North Korea could happen at any time. We go live to Korea.

How did Mitch McConnell plan to attack Ashley Judd? Secret tapes from inside his office and now the FBI is involved.

And later, an exclusive with Gabby Giffords. How far has she come? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT, tonight, we have breaking news, an imminent threat. New U.S. intelligence shows that North Korea has now likely completed all launch preparations and the missile test could be, quote, "imminent."

Kyung Lah is in Seoul. Kyung, Pyongyang is warning foreigners to leave South Korea immediately. As again you're standing there seeing how people are responding, are they taking that threat seriously?

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, to a certain extent and here's why. Because this sort of threat levied directly at foreign visitors to South Korea, this is a little more rare than all of the other threats.

This is a ratcheting up of a psychological warfare. Foreign visitors here aren't used to be directly spoken to by the North Korean government via North Korean television. So this is a little more unusual. I can tell you though that while they are paying attention, they're not alarmed.

I did speak with one American visitor who's here on business. She says that she did take the unusual steps, something she doesn't normally do, of registering with the U.S. Embassy. But she says it didn't stop her from traveling here.

It's not going to stop here from doing business here, in part, because the U.S. government is not restricting travel to South Korea yet. This is though, Erin, having an impact on the stock market here, as well as the currency and that's certainly concerning everybody in the region.

BURNETT: And Kyung, you know, we also just learned that this -- it's going to shock a lot of people watching. It did me given the rhetoric. That apparently American and North Korean officials actually met last month here in New York City, what do you know about that meeting?

LAH: Well, we know that this was a secret meeting. There is an absence of normal relations between the United States and North Korea. We don't have any direct diplomatic ties to North Korea.

But what I can tell you is that this was a back channel meeting. There are regular back channel meetings with the U.S. envoy to the six-party talks and the North Korean vice deputy, ambassador to the United Nations. This was something that was done in New York.

The United States expressing that what they wanted was a return to diplomacy with Pyongyang. The official to Pyongyang saying we're going to communicate that to North Korea, but apparently, Erin, it wasn't either communicated well or they're not listening because we are where we are.

BURNETT: Thanks, Kyung. OUTFRONT now, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little. George, North Korea is warning something could happen starting April 10th and of course, it is now April 10th in North Korea. So should we brace ourselves?

GEORGE LITTLE, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Erin, it would be unsurprising if the North Koreans decided to conduct a missile launch in the near future. They have done that in the past. But hopefully, they exercise restraint and do not undertake this kind of irresponsible and provocative act. If they did conduct a missile launch it would be in violation of international obligations and it's time for them to come in compliance with those obligations.

BURNETT: If they did some sort of a launch, a test, and they have done this before, given this time what's happening, would that spark retaliation from the United States or just the U.S. saying, we can't believe you did that? You shouldn't have done it.

LITTLE: It's not for me to speculate on what we may or may not do, but the American people, the South Korean people and the North Korean regime should know that our leaders are prepared to make the right decisions and the right decisions quickly.

BURNETT: Last week, I spoke with Republican Congressman Peter King. You know, he said he doesn't always agree with the administration, but he said that you've been doing a great job with regards to North Korea. He said it again and again, but he also said he thinks a pre-emptive attack could be warranted. Here are his exact words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: If we have good reason to believe there's going to be an attack, I believe we have a right to take pre-emptive actions to protect ourselves. I don't think we have to wait until Americans are killed or wounded or injured in any way.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Is he right?

LITTLE: I think our leaders in Washington and the American people are united on the following point. And that is, that we are all prepared to protect our interests, our troops, our territory and our allies in the region -- Erin.

BURNETT: So, I'm wondering how much, you know, you feel we know about what's happening and the right moment to act. Former CIA operative Bob Baier told us today that the U.S. does not have quality intelligence on what's happening in North Korea.

In fact, he said that we know less than we thought we knew about Iraq prior to that invasion. So are you 100 percent certain, George, that you have enough intelligence to stop North Korea before they fire or not?

LITTLE: We have very solid information and we are closely monitoring the situation. You can never have 100 percent perfect intelligence, but we have very good intelligence, let me assure you of that.

BURNETT: George, that's been some criticism as you're no doubt aware of the U.S. ambassador to South Korea Sung Kim. Yesterday, he wrote a lengthy blog posted about the recent vacation with his family. It was a three-day weekend drive to Busan, the second largest city in Korea.

He talks about the cherry blossoms, what they have for dinner and he writes about their stop at the aquarium, which he said was, quote, "packed with happy and loud visitors." And then he talked about having to deal with this crisis in the middle of his vacation.

I want to quote him here and not paraphrase. He writes, "At one point, I had to send my daughters to the aquarium gift shop and then find a somewhat secluded stair well to take part in what I hoped to be a 10-minute conference call.

Unfortunately, the call lasted 40 minutes. Despite all the phone calls and having to work through my vacation, I had a very nice time. Are you surprised that the ambassador from the United States to South Korea was on vacation right now?

LITTLE: I'm the Pentagon press secretary. Not someone who speaks for the State Department, but let me assure you that all of our political leaders in Washington and in Korea are closely monitoring what's happening and I can assure you that we're on top of what's going on there.

BURNETT: Probably glad you work for the Defense Department tonight. George, thank you very much. Appreciate you taking the time.

LITTLE: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, and still to come, secret tapes from the office of Mitch McConnell. He talks about the strategy against Ashley Judd, yes, it's shocking. But is it even more shocking that someone may have literally put a bug in the office? The FBI's involved.

Later, Anthony Bourdain and I compare notes about our adventures to "Parts Unknown."

And 14 people stabbed in a strange and terrifying crime spree on a Texas college campus. We will take you there tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, secret recordings. All right, this is not Watergate, modern version maybe. The FBI says it's looking into how a recording of Senator Mitch McConnell's political aides ended up in the hands of a reporter at a liberal magazine.

The tapes include aides discussing ways to attack potential rival Ashley Judd. Now McConnell's campaign says that his office was bugged. That would be a big deal if true. The FBI is now involved. Our Jim Acosta is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even though he's not up for re-election for more than a year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been gearing up for a muddy Kentucky horse race.

In an audio recording obtained by the liberal magazine "Mother Jones," McConnell can be heard in what sounds like a typical strategy session discussing his potential opponents with his campaign advisers back in February.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: I assume most of you have played the, the game Whac-A-Mole? This is the Whac-A-Mole period of the campaign when anybody sticks their head up, do them out.

ACOSTA: Later on, a strategist runs through the campaign's opposition research on actress Ashley Judd who at the time was considering a run for McConnell's seat. Judd has since announced she's out of the race.

UNIDENTIFIED MCCONNELL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the '90s.

ACOSTA: Convinced they were bugged, McConnell campaign staffers contacted the FBI, which is now looking into the matter. A campaign manager told CNN the meeting was in a private, closed, locked conference room, among a half-dozen long-time McConnell aides like a family meeting. The campaign insists this was no leak. More like a Watergate-style break-in.

MCCONNELL: Quite a Nixonian move. ACOSTA: Asked about the incident, McConnell blamed a liberal group called "Progress Kentucky," which is already smeared the senator's wife.

(on camera): The opinion of your campaign staff in Kentucky that your office there was bugged and was it appropriate for members of your staff to talk about Ashley Judd's bouts with depression as a potential campaign issue?

MCCONNELL: Well, as you know, last month, my wife's ethnicity was attacked by a left-wing group in Kentucky and then apparently they also bugged my headquarters.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Outraged that McConnell staff would target Judd's past struggles, a spokesperson for the actress said in a statement this is yet another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington, D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can never anticipate what is going to push me over the edge.

ACOSTA: The McConnell campaign once had its sight set on Judd as a potential challenger including her in a web video even though the senator said back in February he wasn't sizing up his opponents.

MCCONNELL: I'm not going to start handicapping who might be a -- my opponent.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: "Mother Jones" magazine said it was not involved in the recording of McConnell's campaign meeting and that the audio came from an anonymous source, a source close to the McConnell campaign said there's nothing wrong with discussing Judd's personal history adding, quote, "any campaign would do that."

And it should be noted McConnell is not heard responding to the discussion of Judd's mental health in the recording -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thanks, Jim. And now OUTFRONT tonight, Peter Beinart from "Newsweek" and the "Daily Beast," and Ana Navarro, a CNN contributor and Republican strategist. All right, Ana, what happened here? These recordings cross the line?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: They cross the line if they're illegal, Erin. Certainly it's unethical and certainly it could very well be illegal. If somebody put a hidden device in Mitch McConnell's office and made these recordings, absolutely, it's illegal.

And if they're found out, they're probably going to jail. And we have to understand you're talking about a campaign, but you're also talking about the office of the most powerful, strongest Republican in the U.S. Senate, a very high level U.S. government official with access to all sorts of information. So if his -- if he's got a security breach in his office, if there's bugging going on, it's very serious and should be disturbing for all Americans.

BURNETT: Peter, I mean, this is -- when they say, look, this meeting is locked meeting. There were only a few people who were in the core. We talk to people who were in that group and they say, look, nobody in that group would have recorded it. Now who knows? But that opens the door to what?

PETER BEINART, COLUMNIST, "NEWSWEEK/DAILY BEAST": Well, there was earlier about 75 people there. It's been reported for the opening of his campaign headquarters. So it seems like a lot of people were going in and out of there.

BURNETT: So somebody could have placed a device?

BEINART: It's entirely possible. I find it -- if someone did, this should certainly be investigated. I find it a little ironic given Mitch McConnell's own record on questions of privacy. This man was a huge booster of the Bush administration's most invasive efforts to survey Americans after 9/11. But still, if someone was bugging his office, then, yes, we should know about it.

BURNETT: Anna, there's also that argument that, you know what? If they're all talking like this, the public would love to know. I mean, maybe this recorder did us all a favor.

NAVARRO: I don't know. Listen. Erin, if the public heard all of the things that go on in every political campaign, I don't think anybody would get elected. We would all become anarchists. This is very typical. Let's just be clear about something, opposition research are entire departments in campaigns. It goes on in every campaign. Politics is a hardball, hard-knuckle sport. If you want to go, you know, talk about flowers and zen and meditation, you should really join an ashram, not a political campaign because you're there to take your enemy out.

BURNETT: That's why I would rather die than do it. Peter, okay, when people hear -- yes. The truth, right? When people hear this, they think about Romney's 47 percent comment, which somebody recorded. That, of course, was -- you know, there's nothing wrong right with that. Right? Nobody expected that, but it certainly wasn't illegal. But interesting that tape and this tape from Mitch McConnell were leaked to the same person, a reporter at Mother Jones.

BEINART: Yes. And then I think the bigger story here isn't so much about what McConnell said. It's that we now live in an age in which it's a lot easier to pick up on what people are saying.

BURNETT: Yeah, you need a secret pen knife --

BEINART: Right. People have much less privacy than they used to because of technology. And so that is going to change American politics. It's going to force people to be, for better or worse, more cautious, even in private environments like this. BURNETT: Does someone go to jail for this or no?

BEINART: I think it's going to be hard for them probably at the end of the day to find this. And it's not going to affect the outcome of whether Mitch McConnell gets re-elected.

BURNETT: Anna, what do you think? Someone going to go to jail?

NAVARRO: If they get found out, you better believe it they're going to jail. And they should go to jail because it should set a precedent that this is over the line. And that, you know, the world of campaigning is not the world of espionage. And to all my political consultant colleagues and friends out there, I say, folks, let's start learning sign language. Because it's getting very hard in this country to have a conversation that cannot be subject to then becoming public.

BURNETT: That's got to be the line to learn because this is -- this is going to open a can of worms.

BEINART: That's right. People used to do this in person because they didn't do it on e-mail. And now actually live, so it's going to be very tough.

BURNETT: You can't do it -- good. You know what? We should all just shut up. All right. Thanks to both of you. We appreciate it.

And still out front, Anthony Bourdain on the one thing he absolutely hates to eat. There were two. One of them was too inappropriate for television.

And later, Iran has announced a major new development in its nuclear program. Just when the world is looking at North Korea. How significant is it?

Plus, CNN's exclusive interview with Gabby Giffords.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In your recovery process, do you want to find and discover the old Gabby Giffords, or do you want to sort of rediscover another new Gabby Giffords?

GABBY GIFFORDS (D), FORMER ARIZONA CONGRESSWOMAN: Stronger. Stronger, better, tougher.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT, Bourdain is back. Anthony Bourdain is a chef. But he's probably better known as an author and a TV host.

Now, you have seen him all over the world, from Libya to Cuba and Congo. That's where he's been for CNN. Anthony and I chatted recently about his new show. It's called PARTS UNKNOWN, and his life before he got here to the Big Red. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: He's not shy.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CHEF/TV HOST: Sorry. Were you smooching at (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

BURNETT: Anthony Bourdain is famous for ferocious insults and four-letter words. The chef, author and globetrotter is no stranger to the world's most exotic locations and dishes.

Yes. That's a camel. Sure wouldn't be my favorite, and Bourdain doesn't hold back about what he doesn't like, either.

BOURDAIN: I mean the warthog, that's a take one for the team situation.

BURNETT: And he's passionate about the things he loves.

BOURDAIN: Beer, explosives and food? Can't beat that.

BURNETT: Bourdain wasn't always on the move. The New Jersey-born food enthusiast worked as a line cook for 30 years before he started traveling.

BOURDAIN: I really didn't travel much. I was kicking around professional kitchens until I was 44. And before my sort of breakout book, I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would never see the world.

BURNETT: Not only did Bourdain get to see the world, his name is synonymous with adventure. And now the star of CNN's new travel show PARTS UNKNOWN. PARTS UNKNOWN is a show part cuisine, part culture.

Tell me how PARTS UNKNOWN different than No Reservations. Because a lot of people love you from that. So, what will are they going to get on this?

BOURDAIN: Well, we're able to shoot in places that we never would have been able to shoot before. Places like the Congo, like Libya where security is a concern because CNN, frankly, has an infrastructure and experience in places like that and a willingness to let us do something that foolheardy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, chef. How are you doing?

BURNETT: And Bourdain is living up to the promise. His first stop? Myanmar. A country closed to outsiders and run by a military hunta until 2011.

BOURDAIN: Very few people have seen what we were able to see and very few people have been able to show it. A year, a year-and-a-half ago, they would have kicked out a foreign film crew out.

BURNETT: He doesn't stop there. Bourdain says traveling to war- and disaster-torn locals like the Congo will be par for the course. BOURDAIN: I understand how lucky I am to see this world, and I understand as well having seen a lot of it in a short period of time late in life how much -- how big it is and how much really interesting, amazing stuff there is out there.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Be sure to check out the premier of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. It's on Sunday at 9:00. And you can also get a sneak peek at Sunday's show. Go to our Web site, CNN.com. I got to say as someone who travels the world and loves it more than anything, I am so excited that Anthony Bourdain here at CNN.

And still OUTFRONT, we've got a bizarre story tonight. It's developing out of Texas. Police say a student went on a wild stabbing spree. We have a live report. Our Eddie Lavandera has just managed to get the location.

Plus, CNN has located two kids abducted from this country and taken to Cuba. Now they could be headed back to America. Very bizarre story.

And Mark Kelly, serious about gun control.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. We start with stories we care about where we focus on reporting from the front lines.

Now, we begin with what we have just learned here at CNN. The Cuban government is going to be turning over a Florida couple and their two boys who fled the United States to Cuba. The story unfolded today when our Patrick Oppmann actually spotted the family on their sailboat in Havana. Josh and Sharon Hacken have been on the run after allegedly abducting their boys, ages four and two from their grandmother's home in Florida last week. They had lost custody of their children last year.

Now today, Iran celebrated National Nuclear Day with the opening of a new uranium processing site. Iran denies it is enriching uranium to build nuclear weapons, though its top negotiator says enrichment is within the rights of the Iranian people for power purposes.

Now, with Iran's presidential election approaching, Reva Balhala (ph) of intelligence firm Stratford (ph) tells us the Iranian governments want to tout its nuclear program. It's a source of national pride, especially as polling shows many Iranians do not think the program is worth the pain the country has been undergoing in sanctions.

Now, this is going to amaze a lot of you watching. The Gulf of Mexico apparently had a much greater ability to self-clean itself in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster than anybody thought. Remember people were saying that this would be years or decades of horror in the Gulf

ERIN BURNETT, HOST: -- disaster than anybody thought. Remember people were saying that this would be years or decades of horror in the Gulf? Well, according to Terry Hazen of University of Tennessee, his research shows a bacteria unique to the Gulf of Mexico exists that quickly absorbed oil and he tells OUTFRONT is better able to recover from oil spills than anyone previously ever thought. Now, he does caution that the resiliency of the Gulf may not last forever.

Keep in mind, the Deepwater Horizon in 2010 caused 4.9 billion barrels of oil to spill in the Gulf of Mexico. So, if his research is correct, it's pretty incredible it self cleaned.

Well, France today said its first group of about 100 troops had been pulled out of Mali. The withdrawal is expected to continue as French forces hand over operations to an African-led international force of 6,300 troops. The expert Rudy Atallah (ph) tells us France doesn't want Mali to feel abandoned and keeping another 1,000 French troops behind to assist, even though, originally, they said they'd have them out all pulled out within weeks of when they first went in. Still he says Mali's military is in disarray and the U.N.-mandated African force has a lot of work ahead because Islamists are not quitting their attacks or locations in Mali.

It has been 614 days since the U.S. lost its top the credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, another win for the Dow, closing in at a record 14,673 and some good news. According to one forecast, the average price of gas is going to be about $3.63 this summer. Six cents lower than last year. By the way, every cent adds up to billions of extra dollars around this country. It matters.

And, tonight, we have a developing story on the wild stabbing spree on the campus of a Texas college. At least 14 people have been injured and of those at least 2 are in critical condition. Now, officials say this was a random building to building attack, those are their words. So far, one suspect is in this police custody. He's said to be a 21-year-old male who was enrolled at the Lone Star College's Cy-Fair campus.

Our Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT at the campus in Cypress, Texas.

And, Ed, what did you learn about the suspect here? I mean, this is such a strange story.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you mentioned, it's a 21-year-old male who was a student here, we're told at this Lone Star Community College campus and he's been taken in to custody and is being questioned. We presume at some point in evening, criminal charges will be filed against him. But exactly what those criminal charges will be is not exactly clear at this point. But this was a young man here at the campus that we're told by witnesses had to be subdued by three other students who had witnessed the stabbings happening and three students jumped on top of him to subdue him and keep other people from being attacked. But when the call came in to authorities, the 911 call, it was described as a male on the loose around campus stabbing people. And that's what people rushed to the scene to get a better understanding of and to try to quell.

BURNETT: I mean, do you know anything about the weapon that he used?

LAVANDERA: Well, it's been described by some people at an X-Acto knife. Some other witnesses have described it to us as a folding knife, but that's not exactly clear. So, we're still waiting on official confirmation from investigators.

They spoke just a few hours ago and said that they didn't have that information just yet. But we presume that's something they're still are obviously working toward trying to finalize. The campus was shut down and it's all cordoned off and shut down for the day and investigators said they were going through the buildings still trying to collect evidence and process the scene.

BURNETT: Now, have you heard anything more about the condition of the victims? I know we're saying two of them are in critical condition. Do you know about, you know, their chances at this point?

LAVANDERA: Well, we're still waiting to hear more information on that but there were initially four patients, four victims that were stabbed here and some of the witnesses described it, these were stab wounds and described holes in people's faces and that sort of thing. So, some pretty gruesome descriptions of what these attacks looked like and what these wounds were like, but severe enough that four of the victims had to be air-flighted to local hospitals here and initially that there were four people in critical condition and now we're being told that there are two in critical. So, hopefully, that's a sign that a lot of these young people are starting to recover and recover quickly.

BURNETT: All right. Ed Lavandera, thank you very much, reporting from Cypress, Texas, tonight.

And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT: showdown on guns. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today he's going to call for a vote on gun control legislation on Thursday and more than a dozen conservative Republicans vowed to block the bill with a filibuster.

That, though, is not stopping Joe Biden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I promise you. We are going to win this fight. We are going to win this fight. This is not going away. This is not one of these votes if they block a vote that somehow we're going to go away. The American public will not stand for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Earlier tonight, I spoke to Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma. He is a key Republican on this and influential player in negotiating an agreement on background checks and I asked him whether he thinks the Senate is going to make a deal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: I'm a Second Amendment hawk, a gun owner. But I believe we actually could do something that would lessen the probability that a dangerous person would get a gun and do that in the way that doesn't interfere with the Second Amendment rights or state's Tenth Amendment rights. And that's why I'm discussing this with Chuck Schumer and others.

I think we ought to -- if we can do that and not impair anybody's actual rights, I think we ought to do that. I think it's common sense and I think it could have a great outcome for the American community.

BURNETT: When we talk about universal background checks and 91 percent of Americans are in favor of those, what do you support exactly happening?

COBURN: Well, 91 percent of Americans support an enhanced background check provided there's a no record. That's a very big difference. So I think that's an important qualification of that statistic.

What I think is, is people ought to be responsible that if they have a gun and they want to sell it, to make sure they're not selling to somebody who's mentally impaired or a felon. And I think we can figure out a way to do that, U.S. Congress that won't impinge on anybody's rights.

BURNETT: You're a gun owner, right, and you haven't done anything wrong. So, what would be as a law-abiding citizen, what would be the reason why you say the government can't know that you bought a gun?

COBURN: Because the government doesn't have a right under the Constitution to know whether I bought a gun or not. My right to self defense and my Second Amendment rights under the Constitution doesn't give the government the right to have any knowledge of that.

BURNETT: So, do you really think, though, that -- I mean, that's what the government would try to do with this list to use it to co confiscate the guns?

COBURN: No, it doesn't matter what you think the government will do. What matters is what the U.S. Constitution says.

We're chasing a rabbit now. The point is, is most people who are law-abiding citizens and gun owners are law-abiding citizens. BURNETT: Right.

COBURN: And they'll do the right thing. But there is no right for the government to have a list of who owns a gun in the United States.

BURNETT: I'm also curious, though, about what might happen here, you know, when you look at the issue of background checks. You know, last night, I spoke to Larry Pratt, I know you're familiar with him, executive director of Gun Owners for America, which is a very influential pro-gun lobbying group, even more influential, some say, than the NRA.

I asked him how we prevent people who right now, if you're on the terror watch list, you can buy a gun. And I asked him if that should be OK and here's how he answered that question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY PRATT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA: That list is sort of like voodoo. Nobody really knows how the names get on the list. Nobody knows exactly what they have done. They haven't had due process.

Now, if you want to live in a dictatorship, fine. Just go ahead and do something like that. We don't think that's the way America wants to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Senator, are you OK with people listed on the terror watch list buying a gun?

COBURN: No, I'm not. I'm not OK with people convicted of a felony, especially a violent felony, from buying a gun either.

Here's the question that ought to be asked: do we as Americans think people who are mentally impaired and are a danger to themselves or somebody else or people who are convicted felons of crime not -- I'm not talking white collar crime but crime -- should they have their rights limited and when it comes to buying a gun?

And I think most Americans would agree that they probably should.

BURNETT: So, the man Larry Pratt, you just heard him talked about the terror watch list, obviously a different point of view than you on that one. But "The New York Times" says his group, quote, "inundated" you with calls to make clear --

COBURN: That's not true.

BURNETT: OK, an enhanced background check wouldn't be tolerated. And "The New York Times" said you backed away from the negotiations with Chuck Schumer because of that.

COBURN: Well, you know, that's just totally inaccurate. I didn't back away from any negotiations. Chuck Schumer quit talking to me.

I've had a position that's been the same all along. I'm willing to do what it takes to actually make a difference so we don't have guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them. How we do that is important. Where Chuck and I differed is how we did, but I didn't back away.

Look, I'm not running for another elective office. I believe in the Constitution. I actually follow the Constitution. I don't pay attention to interest groups.

BURNETT: A final question, sir, on terms of this filibuster. Senate Majority Leader McConnell said he's going to filibuster. Thirteen other Republican senators have joined him.

COBURN: It's not going to be filibustered.

BURNETT: It's not going -- yes?

COBURN: No, it's not. Provided Harry Reid has an open amendment process to where he guarantees us if we have legitimate bills that are within the scope of this bill and we have a legitimate amendments, if he's not going to limit those, we ought to have this debate. America needs to know where we stand. They need to know where we stand on protecting the Bill of Rights, but they also where we stand in terms of common sense.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much for Tom Coburn. And one person watching the gun control debate very closely is former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Of course, you know, Giffords was shot in the head and nearly killed two years ago by a gunman and has become one of the most visible advocates for stricter gun laws. She spoke exclusively to our Dana Bash about the debate happening on Capitol Hill and her recovery. The interview airs tonight on "A.C. 360." Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In your recovery process, do you want to find and discover the old Gabby Giffords or do you want to sort of rediscover another new Gabby Giffords?

GABBY GIFFORDS (D), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Stronger. Stronger, better, tougher. Stronger, better, tougher.

BASH: Not resentful?

GIFFORDS: No, no.

BASH: How's that possible?

GIFFORDS: Move ahead. Move ahead. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Dana and Anderson join me now for more on the story.

Dana, you know, it is like you said how's that possible to not want revenge and she said that. What does she attribute this to? I mean, how's she able to be so incredibly strong and optimistic?

BASH: Well, I think, first of all, and knowing her a little bit before she was shot, it is just her nature. But it really is fascinating, Erin, that being around her, being around those who are close to her that she's had remarkable progress, even over the past few months since she and her husband started this organization to try to push to curb gun violence.

And so, what they're telling me is that she's had the progress because she has a purpose again. She's not just focusing on her own recovery, she's focusing on public policy, the kind of thing that really got her energized before she was shot and that really is helping.

BURNETT: Dana, she talk about what the most frustrating part of it is for her at this point?

BASH: Oh, there are so many frustrating things for her. I mean, her right arm is paralyzed. Her right leg is paralyzed.

I think probably the biggest thing is that she still can't speak. I mean, she was a politician. She was known as being a very articulate politician even for people here in Congress who talk for a living, and the fact that she can't do that -- it's so clear she understands what's going around.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Not being able to find the words must be so frustrating.

BASH: Especially since she clearly understands what's happening and can't connect it to language.

BURNETT: Got to be so difficult.

Anderson, I know, obviously, you are in Washington with Dana and the gun debate is going on. It's hot and heavy there. We were just talking to Tom Coburn, and says there won't be a filibuster. Others, though, beg to differ with him. You're going to be focusing on it all night tonight.

COOPER: Yes. We're going to talk to one of the senators who says he will, in fact, filibuster. We're going to find why he feels. That's so important.

We're also going to talk to Nicole Hockley, the mother of Dylan Hockley, who was one of the Newtown parents who has been brought here to try to convince lawmakers to move forward with gun control legislation. She'll be joining us on the program. And also, this incredible story: a CNN reporter finding this family in Cuba that is on the run. Two little boys taken, abducted from their grandmother's house. We're going to have the latest on that and the likelihood of those kids being returned to the United States.

BURNETT: All right. We'll see you both in just a few minutes. I'm really looking forward to that interview, Dana.

BASH: Thank you.

BURNETT: Today, this headline caught my headline. Francois Hollande's camel eaten in Mali. You can't make a headline like that up. It goes back to February when an official in Mali presented the president of France, Francois Hollande, with a camel in gratitude for France's fight against Islamic militants in Mali.

The noise you hear is the camel. You can barely hear Hollande say I'll take him home and use him for transportation.

But Hollande did not speak the truth. He left the animal with a family in Mali who said they'd watch it, but shortly after Hollande left Mali, the family slaughtered the camel and used it to make a stew.

How did this happen? Well, according to Hollande there are two reasons. First, he didn't think a desert animal would be able to cope with what he says, quote, "are the rigors of the harsh French climate." Ah, President Hollande, there's nothing harsh about Paris and camels live in colder zoos. Sorry, Mr. President, that excuse doesn't add up. (SPEAKING FRENCH)

Hollande also blamed the complex procedures involved in bringing a camel into France. All right. Maybe he had us there.

So, what are the procedures? Well, that brings me to tonight's number: five. As in Section Five of the animal importation page of the French embassy Web site. The first four sections everything from dogs and cats to ferrets and birds. No camels.

But at the bottom there is a section called other species. That allows you to contact the embassy. So, we called.

They were quick and extremely polite. They said that if President Hollande serious about bringing the camel home he would have left it with a vet for checking and not a family. And then the camel just needed some quarantines and vaccinations and, poof, they could have been in Paris.

Basically, the procedures are not that complex. Hollande just didn't want to deal with the regulations of France like a lot of other people.

But, you know, there's good news. Just before we went on the air, "The Guardian" reported that a government official from Mali says they'll replace it with a bigger and better camel that will be sent directly to be Paris. Interesting the government of Mali can negotiate French regulations better than the man who creates them.

Still OUTFRONT, does Casey Anthony end up rich?

And Kate Middleton is about to set sail on a new adventure and we are not talking about the baby. No, we mean it literally.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: We're back with our "Outer Circle" where we reach out to our sources around the world. And tonight we begin in Brazil, where another arrest has been made in the gang rape of an American tourist in Rio de Janeiro.

I asked Shasta Darlington how this new suspect who's only 13 years old is involved in the crime.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, police have now arrested a 13-year-old boy. He's the fourth suspect in that case involving the kidnapping and gang rape of an American tourist 10 days ago. She and her French boyfriend were brutally attacked and robbed aboard a mini bus in Rio de Janeiro.

Now, police say the boy was involved in the robbery. They believe that he helped collect the credit cards, Brazilian newspapers gone step further. They say the boy has also confessed to beating the Frenchman with a metal pipe.

Now, this is a story that has gripped all of Brazil and kept Rio in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, Erin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Thanks to Shasta.

And now to England where there's a growing controversy over the funeral for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who died yesterday. And I asked Max Foster what people are still angry about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, this won't be a state funeral, but in many ways it will look like one. The coffin will be carried in a military procession to St. Paul's Cathedral for service attended by the queen.

There are those on the right who believe it should be upgraded to a state funeral. That would be appropriate for such a great former leader. They think.

But there are those on the left actually think it should be a public occasion at all.

What we do know is that Margaret Thatcher is becoming a more polarizing figure after her death and so are the plans for her funeral -- Erin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Thanks, Max.

And now our fifth story OUTFRONT: who owns Casey Anthony's life story?

This question is actually at the center of a court hearing in Florida tied to Casey Anthony's bankruptcy case and Anthony, you may remember, was acquitted of murdering her daughter, Caylee, nearly two years ago. She claims she's hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. The trustee trying to get that money back wants Anthony's most valuable asset, her story.

But Casey wants it, too. If she gets to keep money from books, Casey Anthony could go from being in debt to being really rich.

So does the case add up?

David Mattingly is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Almost two years after she was found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter --

REPORTER: Casey, what do you want to say to the people who think you're guilty still?

MATTINGLY: -- there's no doubt, Casey Anthony still generates enough intrigue and loathing to launch a bestseller. And her creditors want it.

Anthony reveals she is an incredible $790,000 in debt. A half a million of that is owed to her attorney, Jose Baez. No job, no source of income, her story appears to be the only thing of value she has.

CASEY ANTHONY: I don't pay rent, I don't pay utilities, so I'm, I guess you could say that I'm living for free or off the kindness of the people that I'm staying with.

MATTINGLY (on camera): A federal bankruptcy judge will decide if Casey Anthony's story still belongs to her, or does it belong to a bankruptcy trustee who wants to auction it off. Imagine to the highest bidder, a potential page turner that seems to have it all.

(voice-over): A young, attractive single mom, the hard partying suspect out on the town while her little girl was missing. Sex, lies and a heartbreaking innocent little victim.

BETH KARAS, IN SESSION: The state is saying that this was such a depraved act that it was first degree murder and they were seeking the death penalty against her. Women don't face capital murder very often. MATTINGLY: And how often does this happen?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not guilty.

MATTINGLY: An ending with a twist made for Hollywood. Amanda Knox turned her high profile not guilty verdict into a book deal. So did O.J. Profits from the provocative "If I Did It" went to creditors and the family of Ron Goldman.

Entertainment attorney Alan Clarke says Casey Anthony would find a large audience.

(on camera): If you were representing her, what would you go to the table and ask for?

ALAN CLARKE, THE ENTERTAINMENT LAW GROUP: We would be in the six figures, absolutely.

MATTINGLY: And that, he says, is conservative. There could be enough money in a Casey Anthony book to pay off her debts and still have some left over to fight about in other pending lawsuits.

For OUTFRONT, David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: And now to tonight's outtake. Kate Middleton is about to be a mother but first, she'll be a godmother to a ship. It was announced today that Princess Cruise Lines has accepted an invitation to name the cruise line's newest ship, the 3,600-passenger Royal Princess.

As part of her duties, Kate will also attend the ship's maiden launch and in keeping with tradition, smash a bottle of champagne on its hull.

One interesting point, though, everyone. Princess Cruise Lines is one of 10 cruise lines operated by, drum roll, please, Carnival Cruise Lines. We know all about Carnival Cruises.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our communications pretty much were cut off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone was just chaotic, just trying to get off the ship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had intermittent water and toilets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The hallways were toxic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not knowing when or how we were getting back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly, I don't think this ship should have ever sailed out. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OK. The association with Kate is expected to help with all that. After all, there are so many other royal refinements that Carnival can make. You know, if the generators fail and passengers are forced to wear bathrobes to keep warm, why not give them really nice ones. And when the passengers are forced to go to the bathroom or in loop in red plastic bags, at least make them designer.

And finally, when the passengers exit the ship after seven long days at sea, rather than being greeted by Martin Savidge and myself, rather sad greeting crew there, why not treat them to something like this.

Congratulations to Kate Middleton and best of luck to Carnival and those red bags.

The essay is next and it's something to watch.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Yesterday, we did a story about the high priced world of clock and watch auctions in which we questioned whether the wristwatch is on the way out. A survey indicated 60 percent of men under 35 now use their cell phone rather than their watch as their primary timepiece. So we asked you to weigh in on the issue. And you did, responding overwhelmingly in support of the watch.

Dozens and dozens of you took to twitter to tell us what kind of timepiece is on your wrist, where you got it and how much you paid for it. It appears the rumors of the wristwatch demise were greatly exaggerated. In fact, there has been something of a revival in the classic world of watch-making. Last month, while I was reading "The Wall Street Journal" weekend magazine, I happened on this article about mechanical watch-making's modern artisans.

It was actually really amazing, it's about craftsmen in their 30s and 40s who are honoring designs of the past that will be appreciated for they hope hundreds of years. It's pretty amazing. This is an incredible group of artists in the modern era who are making these works of art. There's nothing else to call them. And they don't always get the attention they deserve.

So they have inspired me to at least consider wearing a watch again. The problem is when mine run out of batteries I kind of forget to fix it for a really long time. And it might get lost. But I'm going to consider it.

Anyway, as always, thanks so much for watching. We'll see you back here tomorrow.

"A.C. 360" starts right now.