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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
White House Does Damage Control; Cause Of Deadly Texas Blast Still Undetermined; Inside Gitmo: Hunger Strike Going On 100 Days; Genetic Monopoly
Aired May 16, 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 HOST: OUTFRONT next, the White House in damage control mode. Obama administration hit with three controversies. Does the buck stop with the president?
Plus the latest from the investigation in Boston, a note found in the boat where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding written by him. We're going to tell you what it says, first big break in that case.
And the company that told Angelina Jolie she could face cancer is under serious fire tonight. We have a special investigation. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, damage control. There are three controversies threatening the White House tonight and the response from the Obama administration sounds -- well, why don't you take a listen?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through press --
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would ask the CIA.
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I was not the person involved in that decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So who was? Where exactly does the buck stop? Who knew that the IRS was targeting conservative groups that were trying to get tax exempt status? Who is really responsible for revising the talking points on Benghazi that led the American public to believe something that turned out not to be true?
And why did the Department of Justice secretly obtain Associated Press phone records. Jennifer Palmieri is the White House director of communications and joins us tonight. Jennifer, thank you very much for taking the time. When you hear those sound bites, it does sound like a lot of blaming other people.
JENNIFER PALMIERI, WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS: You know, the president is the chief executive of the government and understands that it doesn't matter how these problems arose, it's his problem -- it's his responsibility and his problem to fix them. And in each of these -- in each of the controversies, if you will, that have arisen this week from the inspector general's report on the IRS to the e-mails around Benghazi and to the court case you mentioned involving the subpoena of AP, he's taken steps in each of these cases to deal with the actual underlying substantive problem there. Perhaps much -- perhaps less focus on the politics.
BURNETT: Let me ask you though because it seems like when all this became public then action is being taken. Let's take the IRS scandal. The agency, of course, as we now all know was targeting conservative groups. The president say he learned about it on Friday from press reports. You heard him there. He said he didn't know about the inspector general report prior to that.
Jay Carney though has said earlier this week that the White House Counsel's Office was alerted several weeks ago. So people at the White House knew about a scandal that president has called outrageous, but nobody told the president?
PALMIERI: So the inspector general process that reviews -- that does conduct these investigations within the government and particularly in agencies like IRS, that was created so that an investigation can go on without any sort of politics interfering. Then it can happen outside of -- outside the political process.
And that a career investigator can come in and look at a problem and make his own judgments and then put that report out there and the recommendations, let them see it. The worst -- we do the White House Counsel's Office will be alerted to let -- to know that such report may be coming. There are hundreds of them that are done each month within the government.
But the worst possible thing that we could have done is to get -- to involve ourselves at that point in an independent investigation of the IRS. So we knew the best thing for us to do is to let the investigator do their job, come to -- come public with their report and their recommendations and we pick it up and taken it from there.
Secretary Lew and the president have taken some pretty strong steps since then. But, you know, when these controversies arise, you know, my communication is professional. Your first instinct is to deal with them right away and answer all the questions right away. What you can't do is take any action that will make the situation worse.
PALMIERI: You need to wait especially when you're the president or speaking for the president of the United States.
BURNETT: Right. You said there were hundreds of these. Obviously, there are hundreds and none of them almost get to the status of this one. This one in the inspector general report, one of the key sentences, the IRS uses inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party organizations applying for tax exempt status. That sentence alone you're saying that that would get leaked to the press and the press would be aware before the president of the United States and the IRS reports to him?
PALMIERI: That is not -- that's not a situation that we welcome or happy with. The fact that someone -- it's obviously unclear who, but made the report available to the press before they made it available -- officially made it available to Capitol Hill and made it available to us. So, you know, that made it more difficult to deal with the press around this.
But it doesn't make it more difficult to deal with the substance which is, you know, which is what we have -- which is what we have done. But I can't emphasize enough how -- what a huge mistake it would have been for the White House to hear about press reports of an independent inspector general investigation of possible political activity at the Internal Revenue Service.
And then have the White House insert itself and possibly contaminate in effect what need to be an independent investigation. So did it make for a couple of uncomfortable days? Yes.
BURNETT: I see your point. I see your point. It also, of course, does seem shocking. I mean, he is the guy who runs all this. People would run amok and giving it to other people first. How does that happen?
PALMIERI: All we all had was press reports. No one actually had the facts. We wanted -- we waited as was appropriate as is incumbent upon the White House and the president to act responsibly. We waited until we actually knew what the facts were. We were not going to make decisions that are as important as how you operate the IRS and how you respond to a problem like this based on unconfirmed press reports.
BURNETT: OK. But do you have frustration that the man who runs the IRS, runs the State Department, all these organizations seem to be kind of doing what they want to do. He's the last one to know. Shouldn't he be the first one before the media, before other people so he can say, look, the buck stops here? I'm not going to tolerate this or I'm not going tolerate that?
PALMIERI: He wants the best possible government run -- he wants the best government possible. And in an important way that you do that is you allow the independent investigations within the department to police themselves, if you will, to root out problems, to have a place where employees are concerned about how their agency may be doing can go privately and hope that an inspector general will look at these problems for them. That's an important part of how the government operates.
PALMIERI: So what the president doesn't want to do is involve himself in a process like that that's working to fair out the problems.
BURNETT: Jennifer, thank you for taking the time. Appreciate it. PALMIERI: Thanks for having me, Erin.
BURNETT: Still to come, it's been a month since the West, Texas explosion that killed 15 people. Tonight investigators are saying what caused that.
And it's been 99 days since prisoners at Guantanamo Bay began a hunger strike. Our exclusive and unprecedented access to Gitmo continues. Tonight, inside Gitmo for a look at the extreme and the controversial methods that guards are using at this moment to keep those prisoners alive.
And then a new development tonight in the Boston bombing investigation, the major revelation in a note written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found in the boat that night that he managed to scribble out.
At least six people killed when tornadoes touched down in Texas. We're going to go there. We'll be right back.
BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, the mystery over the deadly explosion in West, Texas. You remember this. The people of West, Texas have been waiting now for a month find out what caused that horrific fertilizer plant explosion. Fifteen people died. As you probably remember, much of their town was completely leveled that night.
The stories we heard of windows and home being blown out while people were sitting at home were terrifying. Today, state and federal authorities said they still can't get to the bottom of it, which may strike you as rather strange.
Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT. Ed, why is the cause so difficult to determine? You would think with a massive explosion like this at a fertilizer plant, there would be an answer.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think quite simply what this boils down to is that the intensity and the magnitude of that explosion simply blew everything away, literally. That is the explosion site you see right here behind us, Erin. Just nearly a month after this explosion happened, investigators have wrapped up their day to day search and examination of that explosion site even though much of the area in the neighborhood surrounding that fertilizer plant is still off-limits.
Many people not allowed to come back to these uninhabited homes that have been destroyed, but authorities say that officially the cause for now is undetermined, their words. They say there are three causes that they have not been able to rule out. One of them is the electrical system in the building that was holding the ammonium nitrate.
And also a golf cart that was inside of that building that according to ATF investigators, this particular golf cart battery powered golf cart has a history of catching on fire. Perhaps that golf cart could have caught on fire and is what led to the explosion.
And also they say they have not been able to rule out any kind of criminal involvement in this and that the fire might have been intentionally set. Before investigators made this announcement here today, Erin, they met with the victims' families and braced them for this news. We asked them if this undetermined cause could be the very best answer they ever get in all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead. I'll let you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did. We did it on purpose because we didn't want them to be surprised. We wanted the families to actually hear from law enforcement about what our determinations were.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This may be the best explanation they get, one of these three things. No matter what you do for the next few months --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The families were told why the ammonium nitrate exploded. We cannot tell them as we cannot tell you how the fire started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: And that is the key. There is still a great deal of intrigue surrounding a man by the name of Brice Reed, a former paramedic here in the small town of West who was arrested last week for possessing an explosive device. Investigators refuse to comment about any specific questions, any kind of links to him at this point in regards to the investigation or if he might have been responsible for the explosion. They say they continue to work on that. That is an open part of the investigation. Brice Reed's attorney says that he is innocent. He had absolutely nothing to do with this explosion -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Ed Lavandera, thank you very much. Obviously, that angle they're not ruling out that it was intentionally set still significant tonight.
Now I want to get to the OUTFRONT series on the crisis at Gitmo. You know, we've been covering this all week. Tonight, we have an exclusive look at the hunger strike. It started out with a protest with just a handful of detainees. As we've been telling you, there are 100 inmates and tomorrow is its 100th day.
Our Chris Lawrence has been live at Guantanamo Bay for us all week. He's been giving unprecedented and exclusive access to the prison. And tonight, in an OUTFRONT investigation, he looks at the extreme and controversial lengths that the military is going to, to keep the detainees alive.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN got a first-hand look at the shackles, tubes, and liquids now being used to feed 30 detainees who refuse to eat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This goes in the nostril.
LAWRENCE: A tube goes up their nose, down the throat and into the stomach and supplements are pumped in for 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Some of the 100 hunger strikers refuse food, but will drink supplements if ordered to, but these 30 have to be forced.
SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER, DETENTION GROUP: It's kind of a tough mission. This is kind of an ugly place sometimes.
LAWRENCE: That's the detention group senior medical officer speaking for the first time since the medical profession condemned tube feeding.
(on camera): Are you concerned that American Medical Association has come out against this practice?
SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER: Again, there are lots of politics involved. I'm sure they have internal politics that they need answer to as well.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): He has to remain anonymous for security reasons. But as a doctor, he stands by the methods used at Guantanamo Bay.
SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER: It's very easy for folks outside of this place to make policies and decisions that they think they would implement.
LAWRENCE: The hunger strike marks the 100th day Friday and shows no signs of stopping. CNN obtained handwritten letters from one of the detainees. One reads, "be tortured and stay detained." Another quotes a French writer about how "your very existence becomes an act of rebellion." He sounds hopeless when he writes, "the commissions are a joke. If you lose, you go to prison for life. If you win, you're held indefinitely for life."
CAPTAIN ROBERT DURAND, GITMO SPOKESMAN: We don't have a goal to break the hunger strike. We do have a mission to preserve life through lawful means.
LAWRENCE: But the defense attorneys say shackling a detainee and snaking a tube to his stomach is inhumane.
CORI CRIDER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR SAMIR MOQBEL: You don't get further than about here and to your throat before the tears just starts streaming down your face.
LAWRENCE: Gitmo officials show as the numbing gel they offer and say the tubes are thin and lubricated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody has expressed to me that this hurts.
LAWRENCE: Attorneys claim their clients say otherwise.
CRIDER: He said he never felt such pain like that in his life.
LAWRENCE: That is saying something when you consider that the client that she's talking about, he's been detained here now for 11 years. In fact, we have learned that the hunger strike has now jumped from 100 to 102. That is the largest number in seven to eight years.
Although some military officials say some of that has to do with peer pressure. They say some of the detainees don't want to eat in their cells or where other detainees might be able to see them but once they get to the clinic, they will drink the supplement -- Erin.
BURNETT: Chris Lawrence, thank you very much. It's important to look at Gitmo when you look at the future on the war on terror.
Still to come, a special investigation OUTFRONT, the company that told Angelina Jolie that she could get cancer is facing major criticism and there's a very specific reason why that will shock you. We're going to tell you about it in our investigation.
Plus, controversial statements from Pat Robertson, are men wired to cheat?
And this video of a dramatic subway rescue, a mother jumps on to the tracks to save that baby.
BURNETT: Our third story, OUTFRONT, Angelina Jolie, the Supreme Court and your DNA. So this week, Jolie revealed that she decided to get a double mastectomy after taking a genetic test. Now it turns out this test is really provided by only one company in the entire United States of America. That monopoly is creating a controversy that is going all the way to the Supreme Court. Poppy Harlow is OUTFRONT with an investigation.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Her announcement made headlines around the world. Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy after a genetic test showed she had a mutated BRCA-1 gene, giving her an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer. Her news put this company, Myriad Genetics, front and center.
It's not a big player in the big picture of big biotech companies, but it has patents on the BRCA-1 and 2 genes. When mutated, those genes are linked to an increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer because of those patents, Myriad, has a monopoly on the test to find the mutations.
DR. ROGER KLEIN, ASSOCIATION FOR MOLECULAR PATHOLOGY: We believe that gene patents of this nature decrease access to testing for our patients and the lack of competition in testing increases costs, decreases quality. HARLOW: Dr. Roger Klein represents the association for molecular pathology which is challenging myriad all the way to the Supreme Court.
KLEIN: The problem with patenting the human gene is that you're patenting a fundamental property of an individual.
HARLOW: Myriad Genetics declined our request for an on camera interview, but told us what it patented are synthetic molecules that do not exist in the human body.
(on camera): The question at the heart of the case before the Supreme Court is this -- can genes or synthetic genes be patented or are they products of nature that shouldn't be owned by anyone?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This case is such a big deal because so many people think the future of medicine is genetics and how the law regards genes and synthetic genes will dictate how and whether companies invest to find new cures.
HARLOW (voice-over): Myriad says it invested $500 million over 17 years in the project. That investment is paying off. Its BRCA analysis test costs up to $4,000 often covered by insurance and made up 82 percent of the company's revenue in fiscal 2012, the company's profit, $112 million. Biotech analyst Steve Brozak has followed Myriad for more than a decade.
STEVE BROZAK, PRESIDENT, WBB SECURITIES: Are they going to stop researchers from going out there and using their work? No, but the idea is if someone else tries to do what they're doing commercially, they have to be protected. That's the critical difference.
HARLOW: Myriad argues patenting genes encourages innovation and investment and hasn't prevented research. Others disagree.
KLEIN: We're at the cusp of the introduction of new technologies and certainly these patents can do nothing, but obstruct the introduction of those technologies.
BURNETT: It's amazing. You say $4,000. I know that may not be expensive relative to some other tests, but it seems that way to a lot of people. They say, well, look, if they have a monopoly on a gene then that's part of the reason why this is expensive and out of reach for some people. How does it make sense?
HARLOW: So it's up to $4,000. It can be anywhere closer to $500. It depends how comprehensive of a test you get and insurance, we found, covers this most of the time. The company also told me if people are not insured and they qualify for the test that they have reason to have it taken, then we will cover all of it or a great portion of it.
But this really come down to this question of how do we get the best results? Do we incentivize companies by putting patents out there so that they will pour millions in and hope for a good result?
BURNETT: So you think --
HARLOW: Or you say every company jump in to compete. The cream rises to the top. That's the core question that Supreme Court is considering right now. We should get an answer from the court by the end of June. But I think it's also important to note only about 5 percent to 10 percent of women in the general population carry this gene mutation. So it's in the headlines right now. Again, it's a small minority of women, but the company performs this test, 250,000 times a year. So it's frequently done.
BURNETT: All right, well, certainly a crucial question. Probably a lot of people didn't think about. When you do and think about your health, it's a big one. Thank you so much to Poppy Harlow. And this weekend, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to take a look at genetic testing. "SANJAY GUPTA M.D." airs Saturday at 4:30 Eastern.
Still to come, OUTFRONT, soccer star, David Beckham makes a surprise announcement. You know what? We have an interesting take on this. It's actually not about David. It's about Victoria.
Plus, a major revelation of the Boston bombing case, police find a note in the boat where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding that he managed to write as he was lying there injured.
And at least six people killed when tornadoes touched down in Texas overnight. We're going to show what you the area looks like after this.
BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories where we focus on our reporting from the front lines. And we want to begin tonight in Texas.
At least six are dead after a series of tornadoes touched down in Texas overnight. All were in Hood County, including seven others who are missing. The National Weather Service says 13 tornadoes hit land, including an EF-4 tornado, which is the second most severe on the ranking system.
This video shot from storm chaser Aaron Eastman shows he and a colleague sandwiched between two twisters as they're driving. So, you can see them literally on both sides of the road, at the left and the right of the car. At one point, Eastman tells us a tornado was directly above their head dumping debris on them. Luckily, it dissipated and they ended up being fine.
Today, Abercrombie and Fitch began the second American retailer to sign on to a letter, saying they would agree to rigorous inspection of factories that they use in Bangladesh. Most U.S. retailers didn't sign, not Wal-Mart, not Gap. And they're getting a lot of criticism. And when it comes to the fact this they allowed clothes to be made in unsafe locations where people die, they should be criticized. But saying if they sign this letter it will be fixed does not add up. Companies like gap already do fire inspections in Bangladesh. We saw how that worked. Gap alone has 78 factories in the country and inspecting them regularly enough to make them safe in a country that doesn't have standards isn't going to work. Labor unions might work better.
But best of all would be American and European shoppers willing to pay more for clothes certified as safe. Price drives everything. The contractors who operate the factors aren't being paid for safety. And until that changes, all the letter signing in the world may make us feel better but it's not going to change the horror on the ground in places like Bangladesh.
It has been 651 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?
Well, the United States is not alone with the credit problem. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway had its credit rating cut with a negative outlook, which means it could take another hit in the future.
And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT: we have new details tonight in the Boston marathon bombing investigation. According to law enforcement sources, suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claimed responsibility for the attacks in a scribbled message that was found in the boat where he was hiding.
In the message, Tsarnaev calls the bombing victims collateral damage in a strike meant for payback for American wars in Muslim lands.
CNN's Susan Candiotti is in Boston tonight with more on the investigation.
And, Susan, I know you broke this story. What else do your sources say was in the so-called note?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, apparently, to put it simply, he thought he was going to die. According to our sources -- remember, this is a guy who was weak from a loss of blood and as he was lying in that boat, apparently he decided it was time to scrawl out a message as best he could, literally on the boat inside the boat.
And so, one of the things he also said was, "I'm not missing my brother because I am expecting to be with him very soon" or words to that effect. And that is what apparently led him according to our source, our law enforcement officials, that led him to write that he was blaming the United States for its actions in Afghanistan and Iran, and that's why he said the bombing victims here were simply collateral damage.
And now they have that key piece of evidence, the FBI now has that boat and if this ever goes to a jury, they'll be able to show it to them. BURNETT: And, Susan, what does this mean for the case again Tsarnaev? Obviously, this is significant, right? This is something that he did, that he wrote, which would be seen as an important break for them. What does it mean?
CANDIOTTI: Well, certainly, for the defense it's not very good news. Legal analysts are telling us, and you can certainly understand why, that if you're trying to make the case that he was simply under the thumb of his older brother, this would tend to disprove that, that he wasn't a dupe of his older brother, that he, too, is a jihadist and espousing these kind of messages.
And we talk to our CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This note makes the task of Tsarnaev's lawyers even more difficult, because the callousness, the recognition of the deaths of what he calls collateral damage is going to enflame a jury even more than it would have been otherwise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: And apparently this is information also according to our source that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also told investigators after he was captured at bedside when they were first interrogating him before he was read his rights. So they not only have it in writing, Erin, he also told this to investigators.
BURNETT: Susan, thank you very much.
Obviously, significant but as many will say, since this was divulged before the rights were read, obviously not usable in court.
There are also new details tonight about who suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was meeting with in the days before the deadly attack in Boston, i.e., were there other people involved in this attack?
Now, we've talked a lot about Tamerlan Tsarnaev's wife and what he may or may not have known. But according to Voice of America, Tsarnaev met with an exiled former Chechen rebel in New Hampshire less than a month before the bombings. The FBI is now asking why.
Brian Todd is OUTFRONT in Manchester, New Hampshire, tonight.
And, Brian, what you have learned about this exiled former Chechen rebel who was in of all places, New Hampshire?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, his name is Musa Khadzhimuradov. He tells the VOA that he was wounded in Chechnya in 2001. That he came to this country in 2004 as a refugee.
According to him, according to the Voice of America report, federal officials were here earlier this week scanning his computer, interviewing him, searching his apartment right behind me, taking his DNA, taking his fingerprints, asking him all about these apparent visits by Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
He told Voice of America that less than a month before the Boston marathon bombings, he did meet here with Tamerlan Tsarnaev. He says he met with him three or four times over the past four years or so. But very informally, he says very emphatically that authorities have not told him that he is a suspect in this, that he just met with Tamerlan Tsarnaev and discussed kind of innocuous personal things.
Now, when asked by VOA about whether Tsarnaev ever discussed with him the war in Chechnya or Tsarnaev's own beliefs on Islam, this is what he had to say. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUSA KHADZHIMURADOV, MET WITH TAMERLAN TSARNAEV: Nothing. Never. He never talking about the religious beliefs or anything like that to me. As I said past three years I saw him three times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: And, again, Musa Khadzhimuradov has not been connected to the Boston bombings in any way. He says that authorities have told him have not told him at all that he is a suspect. The FBI would only tell us that they were in New Hampshire earlier this week on court- related activity, court authorized activity, but an FBI official would not comment on the nature of that activity -- Erin.
BURNETT: And, Brian, given they're saying, look, a few times over the past three years. Now, obviously, they're going to figure out exactly what happened, whether this man was involved or an inspiration of any sort.
But do you have any sense as to why Tsarnaev was making the trips to New Hampshire to meet this former Chechen rebel if there was nothing nefarious involved?
TODD: Well, according to the voice of America report that he met Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2006 at a gathering in a group called the Chechen Society of Boston, I believe is the name of it. And that their contacts were really just very innocuous.
Now, why Tamerlan Tsarnaev came to New Hampshire, we have reported in recent weeks that Tamerlan Tsarnaev bought fireworks from a fireworks store maybe about an hour from here in New Hampshire. That he bought several components that were fairly powerful, that could have been one reason why he was in this general area. The VOA report also says that Tsarnaev took shooting practice at a shooting range not far from here in Manchester.
We contacted the owners of that range. They wouldn't comment.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Brian Todd.
And still to come, a controversial new theory well, maybe not new o some people, but raised very, very strangely by Pat Robertson. Are men compelled to cheat on their wives?
Plus, David Beckham says good-bye to soccer. But you know what? The real story here is Victoria Beckham's perfume.
And tonight's shout-out. A tragedy averted in Philadelphia. So just watch this. See this stroller? I mean you see that. You think something horrible. A 14-month-old little child fell off the train platform. Her mother was distracted.
The mother then jumped on to the tracks. But according to our affiliate KYW, authorities are giving credit to this woman right here who ran over, hit the emergency call button and that stopped the train before it could arrive at the station saving both of their lives and the miracle because you saw how that baby hit the ground there. We want to make sure you know that baby received only a minor scratch on the head.
BURNETT: So, to cues today, David Beckham is calling it quits. You know he is one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet. Love that shirt.
Beck is retiring from the game that has seen him win championships in multiple leagues and millions of dollars from endorsements and a salary that some estimate to be about $200,000 a week. Yes.
His decision to leave will lower his take home. But don't cry for him, because of tonight's number, $80 million. This may not have been the angle on the story you heard all day. It's the angle that got me going.
According to Yahoo News, that is the estimated net worth of David's wife, Victoria. So, yes, even though Becks, the guy, gets a lot of the headlines, Posh Spice has quickly and quietly built a fashion empire that includes sunglasses, perfumes, $2,000 dresses and $3,000 handbags. Just her clothing line alone brings in close to $100 million a year.
She's the breadwinner. She's the boss. And that's why he can retire and be a kept man.
Now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper with a look what's coming up on "A.C. 360."
Becks is a lucky guy.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, he's certainly is. Both of them are incredibly talented and successful.
All right. Erin, ahead on the program tonight, Granbury, Texas, picking up the pieces after a tornado devastated the city. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at. That it's right above us. Holy crap! It is right above us. Literally look straight up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holy crap!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: National Weather Service minutes ago now saying a total of 13 different tornadoes were part of the storm system. The effect of all these twisters has been devastating. Randi Kaye is on the ground for us tonight.
We'll also speak with the mayor pro temp and the head of the trauma center said nothing could prepare her and her staff for what they saw last night.
A complicated and fascinating story unfolding in a different part of the state, remember the explosion in the town of West in Texas? The fertilizer plant? That night -- the night after the explosion, I met a man covering the story who said he lost family and friends in the blast. Tonight, that man Bryce Reed is in federal custody for allegedly having pipe bomb material. His lawyer says he had nothing to do with the plant explosion.
We went back there to find out more about Bryce Reed and found a lot of the things he was telling us while we were spending time with him did not exactly turn out to be true. I'll have the angles on that tonight.
Also, the "RidicuList", a lot more at the top of hour, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Anderson, looking forward to seeing you in a few minutes.
And our fifth story OUTFRONT: cheating. Is it only natural, you say why you are bringing this up today? Well, that's because Pat Robertson, the televangelist, did.
Listen to what he told a viewer who was struggling to forgive his cheating husband to get over it is what he said, because men can't help but cheat, and it was probably her fault anyway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAT ROBERTSON, TELEVANGELIST: He cheated on you. Well, he's a man. OK. So what you do is begin to focus on why you married him in the first place. Recognize also, like it or not, males have a tendency to wander a little bit and what you want to do is make the home so wonderful that he doesn't want to wander.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. OUTFRONT tonight, political comedian, Dean Obeidallah, radio show host and comedian Stephanie Miller, and relationship expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh, author of the new book, "The 30- Day Love Detox".
All right. Great to you have all us with.
Wendy, is there any part of what Pat Robertson that is right?
WENDY WALSH, RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: Well, no. Actually, nothing except that I could say that men tend to want more sex than women do. Now, don't e-mail me, you guys. I know some women want more sex than men. But they tend to.
But cheating is not the solution. In other words, more men are monogamous. More women are monogamous than cheaters out there.
There are plenty -- men's sexuality is kind of they need a little pipe cleaning every once in a while, Erin. And you can clean the pipes in all kinds of ways without having to cheat.
One-third of all content on the Internet is porn. I'll just say that. Figure it out.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, people who admit to cheating, 23 percent men, and 19 percent women. So, for those of you out, there the stats are even.
Stephanie, this is not the first time Robertson has said something controversial and frankly offensive to most when it comes to relationships. Here he is talking about how unattractive women can ruin a marriage as well as excusing General David Petraeus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: The man is a far land and he's lonely. And here's a good looking lady throwing herself at him. I mean, it's -- he's a man.
This just isn't something to just lie there -- well, I'm married to him so he's got to take me slatternly-looking. You've got to fix yourself up, look pretty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Why is there still this mentality, Stephanie, that it's a woman's fault if a man cheats?
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: You know, Erin, one can only imagine the wonder of being Mrs. Pat Robertson, can't you? Shut up, honey, you're lucky to be married with me you wildebeest.
Wow, he is really the feminist, isn't he? He is just shut your naggy pie-hole about the hookers and hotel rooms. Whatever.
Really? This is a guy who says gay people are icky? What happened to family values?
BURNETT: Dean, you're the man here.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COMEDIAN: I'm the man here.
BURNETT: Please go ahead. Now the women have had their say.
OBEIDALLAH: I'm going to distance myself from Pat Robertson, first of all. He's an idiot. I think we can all agree on this.
This is nothing. This is just a pebble on the pyramid of stupidity Pat Robertson has built through the years of comments.
BURNETT: Nice alliterations.
OBEIDALLAH: Thank you very much. I was practicing that for a while.
I think in reality, look, if you're in a relationship and it's assumed that you're going to be monogamous and you want to sleep with other people, then tell the person you're with. I want to go cheat. If they say it's fine. Then, do it. If not, end your relationship and move on.
Because you're making all men look bad when you do this stuff. I've been cheated on once. It's horrific. I was in a long-term relationship, found it out. I didn't trust the next few women I dated for a long period of time. It really had a scarring impact on me.
So I can only imagine the same thing for women who are cheated on. It's painful.
BURNETT: Right. And, Dean, you know, this belief that Pat Robertson, look, if a man provides a woman with certain things, this kind of, I mean, you know, I find this absurd but there are people who seem to believe it. You get the home, the jewelry, whatever, so I can do whatever I want.
OBEIDALLAH: Sadly, there are men -- maybe not sadly, there are accurately men who said that to me. In fact, a friend of mine, who's a famous guy when I worked on "Saturday Night Live", a cast member, said the exact same thing. I pay for my wife, I take care of her, I treat her well, I provide for the children. So, if I can go out and have fun on the side, big deal, I'm not hurting my relationship.
To him, these other women, these guys, these other women are meaningless. Just fun, frivolous things. Not interfering with their relationship.
I don't know how you can do that. The guilt would kill me.
BURNETT: Dr. Wendy?
WALSH: Erin, speaking about men providing so much for women, did you know statistically that when a man is a high wage earner, his wife is less likely to cheat? However, David Beckham, listen up, when the woman is the high wage earner, he's more likely to cheat because again, it's about his insecurities and feeling more powerful.
BURNETT: Hmm, I mean, that's interesting. We'll see about changes over time, right?
MILLER: Erin, it's so romantic when a man treats you like a prostitute, isn't it?
BURNETT: Yes. What do you think, Stephanie, though, about the statistics that show people who admit to cheating, 23 percent of men, 19 percent of women, that's not a dead heat but it's pretty darned close. I mean, you know, so people who say pat Robertson oh, men are predisposed, that doesn't seem to add up.
MILLER: Well, I mean, yes, but you know, his premise is that he's a guy, period. Like all men cheat, they just can't control themselves. They're just giant penises that are attached to a man coincidentally. Really?
OBEIDALLAH: I think we know more famous people -- men who cheated. I mean, the last governor of New York, David Paterson, was blind and cheated on his wife. I mean, he was seeing other people when he could not see other people. So, my point is --
BURNETT: Oh, Lord.
OBEIDALLAH: The last time I will ever do this segment, right? My point is we know more famous men frankly who are celebrities, elected officials who are cheating. Perhaps the average person is not --
BURNETT: We hear more about it.
OBEIDALLAH: We hear more about it. I don't think the statistics are right. I don't know.
BURNETT: That doesn't necessarily mean there's more of it. Maybe women are more discreet.
OBEIDALLAH: Or don't admit it to pollsters. I think more men are cheating. I'm going to be honest. I feel that from friends, talking to friends.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to all three of you. We appreciate it.
And, everyone, let us know what you think about what Pat Robertson had to say.
Well, every night we take a look outside the top stories for something we called the OUTFRONT "Outtake." And we have a lot of fun as you know at the expense of Vladimir Putin on this show.
I'm sure he would understand. He provides a lot of fun to be had -- you know, finding these 10,000-year-old jugs, playing with tigers, elaborate stunts and for some reason, he often is shirtless. Well, he's at it again. It was announced today that Vladimir Putin found a new way to commute to work. He's going to go by helicopter. According to "The Moscow Times", workers have completed the construction of a new helipad at the Kremlin so Putin can start using a helicopter to go from his home to work every day.
A lot of critics have complained this is excessive and it's crazy and you're an egotistical jerk but we think Putin got it right. Every day as Putin travels to work by car, police feel the need to empty the streets so his 12 car motorcade can pass through more quickly. (INAUDIBLE) have added hours to the commutes of other Russians.
This is a man who is facing some popular let's just call it dissent. And that's made it worse.
Look, I don't believe for a second his decision to take to the skies was just to help alleviate congestion, but it could have been to have people like him more. He loves his toys, probably wants to ride in a helicopter every day. But this time, it looks like his propensity for big splashes is actually helping his people.
Still to come, you might be sitting on a gold mine and not even know it. That's next.
BURNETT: So did you know America's number one export is not defense? It's garbage.
Check out this chart of trashy offenders around the globe. That is the United States at the top of the heap. Fortunately, though, America is also a nation of entrepreneurs and tonight, there's a company that's actually taking the trash that's been spilling into our oceans which you can see no matter where you are in the world, you see the trash in these beautiful places. It is so upsetting.
But they're doing this and turning it into cold hard cash. As you'll see, there's a very specific method to the madness.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Miles of beautiful white sand covers Hawaii's east shore on Oahu, but look closer, says Kahi Pacarro.
(on camera): What are we walking?
KAHI PACARRO, SUSTAINABLE COASTLINE HAWAII: It's a mix of fine sand and microplastic.
LAH: This is part of the garbage we're standing on?
PACARRO: Yes. This was in the gyre.
LAH (voice-over): The gyre, known as the Pacific Garbage Patch, floating trash, swirling in the ocean eventually slamming into Hawaii. Plastic being swallowed by fish who confused it for food, and sea birds.
Look at what's inside this dead bird found in a remote section of Hawaii. This is where your plastic trash ends up, says Pacarro's group Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. They have been cleaning up the beaches but realize this wasn't making any real dent into the problem. They needed a new idea.
Attack the source, the consumer.
(on camera): Once Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii picks up the plastic off the beach, it's collected here and put into these boxes in Pacarro's garage and from here, it heads to California.
(voice-over): The manufacturer Method recycles the plastic garbage into this simple soap bottle. Recycling isn't new. Educating the consumer this way is.
ADAM LOWRY, METHOD: The impact the Method makes is far greater in the awareness we're raising in consumers' minds.
LAH: Is Method's plan working? At Whole Foods, the little blue tag got Ashley Thorson (ph) buying.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would definitely go on to buying that product.
LAH: A simple idea and a step forward in cleaning up a seemingly endless problem.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Oahu, Hawaii.
BURNETT: It sure makes you think twice about throwing things away.
Thanks so much as always for watching. See you back here tomorrow night.
"A.C. 360" starts right now.