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CNN NEWSROOM

Frightening Night in Watertown; Motive for Boston Bombings Revealed; Bachmann, Tea Party versus IRS; More Reports of IRS Complaints; New Accusations against Michael Jackson; Made-in-Space Music Video Went Viral

Aired May 16, 2013 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have explosives, some type of grenades they're in between houses down here.

Loud explosions. Loud explosions. Shots fired. Shots fired.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Tsarnaev brothers were in the middle of the street firing bullets, throwing their home-made bombs and in return, facing a massive barrage of police bullets. Two local law enforcement sources tell CNN, the Tsarnaev's had just one gun between them. And when the older brother, Tamerlan, was tackled by police, that one gun was empty. It was the moment his younger brother tried to make a run for it in a stolen SUV.

ANDREW KITZENBERG, WATERTOWN RESIDENT: There was a lot of gunfire at that point. That was probably the highest point in gunfire and really as soon as that -- as soon as the SUV turned around in the street, it was just accelerated gunfire from all -- all coming from the officers.

GRIFFIN (on camera): You grabbed your iPhone and --

KITZENBERG: Yes I grabbed my phone and just immediately jumped onto the bed and started taking pictures.

GRIFFIN: Andrew Kitzenberg crouched in his 2nd floor window and taking these dramatic pictures saw that escape. So did an eyewitness named Jane Dyson looking down on officers from a third floor window. At that moment, she told "The Boston Globe", "It appeared to me that an individual at the corner fell to the ground and had probably been hit by gunfire."

(on camera): That would have been Transit Officer Richard Donahue who was standing right here. At the time he was shot, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was laying on the street. His brother Dzhokhar was driving away. Only the police were firing.

(voice over): Officially, state police tell us the matter remains under investigation. Law enforcement sources tell CNN, Officer Richard Donahue was struck by a bullet fired by police. Only the heroic actions of his fellow officers to stop the bleeding in his thigh saved his life. It was a close call. There would be many. That's because when all the shooting finally finished, neighbors surveying the damage in and out of their homes found bullet holes everywhere, in this apartment above the street at the fire fight, at this home across the street.

This is a half a block behind where the Tsarnaev's made their last stand. The home has three bullets. Unless the brothers turned around and fired away from police, these bullets, too, came from law enforcement.

HARRY OHANNESSIAN, WATERTOWN RESIDENT: This is the bullet here that penetrated into our dining room.

GRIFFIN: Harry Ohannessian wasn't home the night of the shooting but his niece was and says she heard and felt the bullets whizzing by inside his house.

(on camera): These are two bullets found in your home?

OHANNESSIAN: Yes the one this one here came through, that landed right near our staircase near the pedestal and then the other one up in the closet went through one, exited that one and went to the other closet on the other side of the entrance to the house and landed in front of the staircase as well.

GRIFFIN: Those bullets were later recovered by the FBI. On that night, officers from several police force converged on this chaotic scene. Nearly 300 rounds of ammunition fired in minutes. Almost all of them by police a shooting barrage described by experts in just one word -- contagious.

JOHN DECARLO, CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN: In contagion shooting and if you look back at some cases of the past, we find that if one person starts shooting, it immediately crosses a contagion or other people to start shooting.

GRIFFIN: John DeCarlo is criminal justice professor at University of New Haven. He spent 32 years as a cop, seven of those years as a police chief in Brantford, Connecticut. He says he was reluctant to be interviewed because he like other critics of what happened on this street still believe police responded heroically.

DECARLO: In a situation like this it almost becomes a war zone and the things that occur in the -- in a very dynamic moments of a situation like the one that was unfolding in Boston and Watertown are not necessarily no matter how hard our police work, what they are trained to do.

GRIFFIN: DeCarlo tells us what several experts who wouldn't go on camera also told us. They believe police did not receive enough firearms training and that local and state forces do not train together enough. The shooting has not dimmed the praise for police who put themselves in harm's way.

OHANNESSIAN: It's right underneath my son's bedroom.

GRIFFIN: But at Laurel and Dexter's streets, each bullet hole is a reminder of just how close those heroes came to causing a tragedy.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Watertown, Massachusetts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: The IRS coming under more scrutiny after the agency targeted Tea Party groups and their tax exemptions status. Why the Tea Party Movement says this scandal also has implications involving healthcare.

Jim Acosta is outside the capitol.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Carol. Michele Bachmann, the Congresswoman from Minnesota just wrapped up a Tea Party news conference up here on Capitol Hill. She says the IRS scandal is worse than Watergate. We'll have some details coming up in just a few moments.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Now to the latest on the IRS scandal that was targeting conservative groups that had filed for a federal tax exemption. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann accuses the IRS of abuse and says it could have a direct effect on your healthcare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: It's very important to ask and now it is reasonable to ask, could there potentially be political implications regarding healthcare, access to healthcare, denial of healthcare. Will that happen based upon a person's political belief or they're religiously-held beliefs? These questions would have been considered out of bounds a week ago. Today these questions are considered more than reasonable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Jim Acosta, he's on Capitol Hill. What exactly did Congresswoman Bachmann mean by that?

ACOSTA: Well Carol, she and a bunch of other Tea Party leaders were just up here on Capitol Hill talking about this IRS scandal and Obamacare the President's healthcare law was a major theme running throughout this news conference. You heard the Tea Party leader there here on Capitol Hill refer to the President's healthcare law.

And what she was talking about Carol is that the IRS is sort of the enforcement agency for much of Obamacare. If you don't have health insurance and you don't prove that to the IRS, then you have to pay a tax. That's the way the healthcare law is written and that's, that was one of the reasons why it was upheld up at the Supreme Court.

And so Congresswoman Bachmann is saying well this opens up all sorts of questions as to whether or not Americans would have to approve of certain things in order to get their healthcare tax waived. Obviously, you know, some of that, Democrats are going to say, that's -- that's a lot of hyperbole there. That's just not going to be the case. But it is -- it was one of the themes running throughout this -- this news conference.

They also had a lot of Tea Party leaders from across the country Carol come up here and talk to reporters. And it was interesting to hear what they had to say.

You know we've been hearing over the last several days what some of these Tea Party leaders have been saying about what they had to go through to get their tax exempt status from the IRS. I talked to one woman from South Carolina, she's a home schooling mom who says her Tea Party organization wasn't really making any money, wasn't really receiving any donations and yet she had to go through years of questions from the IRS in order to get her tax exempt status for her group.

So a lot of complaining up here from Tea Party groups and they say that this whole episode, this IRS scandal has really breathed new life into that movement -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Yes I was just going to ask you about that because we have not heard from Michele Bachmann for a very long time. She's what -- the Tea Party caucus leader?

ACOSTA: That's right yes.

COSTELLO: She hasn't -- we haven't heard a peep from her really until now.

ACOSTA: Well she had that bruising presidential campaign. And so she's been somewhat out of the limelight. But she came back really after the President, hitting him pretty hard throughout this news conference, asking about this IRS scandal. What does the President know and when did the President know it? That's obvious -- obviously a reference to Richard Nixon and Watergate. The questions that were asked of President Nixon back then.

I asked her, are you calling for impeachment? Is that something that you and the other Tea Party leaders are calling for? And she said not a weekend goes by when she talks to her constituents when they don't ask her about impeachment. But she said, we don't want to jump to conclusions. However, after the news conference was over, I went up to her and asked her about some of her comments and did say that she feels that this IRS scandal is worse than Watergate.

Obviously the White House is going to strenuously disagree with that. And they feel like they put much of this perhaps not all but much of this to rest with the ousting of the acting IRS commissioner yesterday -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Jim Acosta, reporting live from Capitol Hill.

The IRS mess could be growing, too. Just a short time ago, I spoke with Republican representative Charles Boustany of Louisiana. I asked him if the acting commissioner's resignation was a good first step.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CHARLES BOUSTANY (R), LOUISIANA: This is not enough. We have to get to the bottom of this and we expect the acting commissioner who was just fired to appear before our committee tomorrow. It's important that he appear, and come forward truthfully, openly and give us the real answers to the extent that he knows, because up until now the IRS has been very evasive, very elusive and not very forthcoming with regard to -- to the information they've provided.

And in fact, they have been misleading. And I would say that any tax payer who is misleading or lies to the IRS on their tax returns, there're going to be very stiff penalties. Well, it has to go -- go both ways.

COSTELLO: You said there is a culture of rot at the IRS. The House Speaker yesterday said someone ought to go to jail for this. Do you agree?

BOUSTANY: Well, I think we have to find out where federal law was broken. And if indeed so, then yes, I do agree with the Speaker. But we have to -- we have to walk through this and find out what exactly happened. I think there is a combination of very poor management from the top and oversight by the IRS of -- of workers who were doing this -- this work in the tax exempt sector.

And at the same time, we have to understand why were they misleading? Why did they not answer questions that we were posing over the last two years when they, indeed knew what was going on? Congress was trying to provide oversight and to make sure that things were being done appropriately. And we were not getting the information that we needed.

COSTELLO: The Tea Party groups are not the only ones claiming the IRS targeted them. Franklin Graham comes to mind, as do other religious groups. Even a Catholic professor says he believes the IRS targeted him. Do you believe that the IRS may be guilty of all of these charges, too?

BOUSTANY: That very well may be so. Think about it. The IRS is the most powerful entity in our federal government. And it interfaces with all the taxpayers. People are afraid of the IRS. Whether you are a -- you know a Joe on the street or a CEO of a large company. Nobody wants the IRS breathing down their necks.

And so there is an element of fear there and that's not a good thing. And I'll tell you since this broke we're getting a lot more responses, many, many more responses from people who are claiming that they were harassed and really intimidated by the IRS. We're going to get to the bottom of this.

COSTELLO: How many calls would you say you've gotten from people who say they are targets? And is your office investigating them somehow?

BOUSTANY: Well we're -- we're getting a lot of -- a lot of written statements today or actually yesterday. I got a number of them. I have other members of Congress approaching me, and handing me letters of complaint by their constituents.

This is -- this is something that is deep. It's pervasive. I think there is a cultural rot at the IRS. And if you think about it the IRS has come to us repeatedly wanting more and more resources. And yet, you've had this mismanagement and this abuse. We're going to put a stop to that. And we're going to clean up this mess.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: All right. My thanks to Congressman Boustany.

A new accusation of sexual abuse against Michael Jackson and this time it's coming from a man who testified in Jackson's defense.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Today we're hearing shocking new abuse accusations against from Michael Jackson from the man who once testified in Jackson's defense. Wade Robson said under oath during the 2005 Jackson trial that he was never sexually abused by Jackson as a child, but this morning he spoke out on NBC's "Today" show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WADE ROBSON, ALLEGES SEXUAL ABUSE BY MICHAEL JACKSON: I never forget one moment of what Michael did to me. But I was psychologically and emotionally completely unable and unwilling to understand that it was sexual abuse.

MATT LAUER, NBC HOST: So what are you alleging that he actually did?

ROBSON: He sexually abused me from seven-years-old until 14.

LAUER: I know it's a difficult and personal question, but can you be more specific because you are accusing someone who is deceased of criminal activity.

ROBSON: Yes.

LAUER: So I need you to be a little more specific. Did he perform sexual acts on you? Did he force you to perform sexual acts on him? What was the nature of the abuse?

ROBSON: Yes. Exactly what you said. He performed sexual acts on me and forced me to perform sexual acts on him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Jackson was found not guilty of that previous trial. He died in 2009. Now, Robson, who's a renowned dancer and choreographer is filing with a court to make a late claim on the Jackson estate. The attorney for the Jackson estate says the claim is outrageous and pathetic.

A toddler in a jogging stroller takes a tumble off a Philadelphia train platform. Oh, you won't believe what happened next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: 52 minutes past the hour. Time to take a look at our top stories --

President Obama now says he will appoint a new acting commissioner for the IRS this week. It was just yesterday the President announced Steven Miller's resignation, the former acting IRS commissioner. He was asked to resign in the wake of a scandal at the IRS where conservative groups were targeted with tax exemption delays.

The National Weather Service now confirms at least ten tornadoes ripped across north Texas last night. At least six people died and more than 100 were injured. Search crews are canvassing the wreckage now looking for at least seven people who remain missing.

And we're learning new details about how the three kidnapping survivors in Cleveland are recovering. The sources talking to the families told CNN Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight spoke over the phone. And the women are getting used to new technology. They just discovered what an iPhone is. We'll also hear that Gina DeJesus got a makeover from her sister and Amanda Berry has been going out into her back yard with her daughter.

To Venezuela, where the country is in the midst of a toilet paper shortage, socialist policies and nationalization of the industry have discouraged production of that basic staple in life. The government says it will now import 50 million rolls of toilet paper. They will begin arriving next week. Until then, Venezuelans will have to improvise.

And in Philadelphia, a toddler is safe and sound after her stroller fell on to subway tracks. A surveillance camera caught the whole thing. The 14-month-old girl's mother says she simply lost grip on the stroller. The woman jumped down -- jumped down to the tracks and lifted her child to safety. In the meantime, a bystander hit an alert button stopping a train that was less than a minute away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT SAUER, SEPTA DIRECTOR OF SYSTEM SECURITY: It was really a smart thinking on her part that she made a conscious effort to hit that button.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: It sure was. CNN affiliate KYW reports the little girl will be just fine.

That Canadian astronaut whose witty videos from the International Space Station went viral -- he is back on earth. And his next appearance on the Internet minutes away. We'll tell you all about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC) COSTELLO: Oh, I always want to hear more. In just a few minutes, that Canadian astronaut whose in-space remake of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" made him an Internet sensation will give his very first news conference since returning to earth.

John Zarrella is counting down the minutes in Miami. That was just such a cool video and he's really brought attention to the space program and all those are good things.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Carol, absolutely. I mean this guy was the commander of the International Space Station. He came back. Landed in Kazakhstan on Monday. They released the video which his son Evan produced -- which they put together over the five month that he was up there. I mean seven million views already and counting.

You know, if you weren't familiar with the title of the song, just take a listen to some of the words, you will be familiar with these.

So, you know, so what he ends up doing now, he's holding a news conference in just a couple of minutes we're going to be talking for the first time with a Canadian journalist. I would assume that the very first question, you know, or the bulk of the news conference will be occupied by questions about his celebrity, his stardom. He is a rock star now. And he was always popular in Canada.

But now, you are right, what he has done has brought tremendous attention to the space program. He's not the only one that's done this kind of stuff. NASA has had its own band for years called Max Q. It was a lot of the original and older space shuttle astronauts that first formed it when now that tradition has been carried on. Mike Maximino (ph) and other shuttle astronauts are very popular for some of the stuff he does.

But Chris Hadfield who by the way was raised on a farm in Ontario, that's where he came from, he has transcended everybody right now. So I can't wait to listen to what he has to say. Very, very well-spoken and as I said, he's a rock star.

COSTELLO: He is a rock star. I can't wait to hear what he has to say. John Zarrella I envy you.

ZARRELLA: Sure.

COSTELLO: Thank you so much.

And thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello. "CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Ashleigh Banfield reporting live and we want to begin this morning with breaking news in north Texas where daybreak revealed a tiny town utterly devastated. We've got pictures of the dramatic scene when tornadoes, 10 tornadoes ripped through the area late yesterday leveling much of the small town of --