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THE SITUATION ROOM
Legal Victory for Sick Girl; Building Collapses in Philadelphia; Interview With New York Congressman Peter King; First Lady Takes on Heckler at Fundraiser; Chrysler Refuses Jeep Recall Demand; Suburban Mom Accused of Running Marijuana Ring; Tropical Storm Andrea Forms in Gulf; Company Debuts Breast Milk Lollipops
Aired June 5, 2013 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
A federal judge is giving a 10-year-old girl a better chance by getting a lifesaving transplant. Sarah Murnaghan emotional story has gotten national attention. She has cystic fibrosis and she could die within a matter of a few weeks. But federal rules made her a lower priority for a transplant because of her age, until today's decision reported first right here on CNN.
Let's go to CNN's Jason Carroll. He's joining us with the latest information.
What do we know, Jason?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, first of all, I have to tell you when I spoke to the Murnaghan family, Sarah Murnaghan's mother, when she was in the hospital room, she literally said people in the hospital room were jumping for joy.
This is a huge legal victory for Sarah Murnaghan and her entire family and other children like her. Late this afternoon, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled in favor of a 10-day temporary restraining order, telling the secretary of health and human services, at least for now, to allow Sarah to be put on the adult donor list.
The order basically says in part -- and I will read it to you -- it says: "It is hereby ordered that the motion for a TRO, temporary restraining order, is granted, and that the secretary shall direct the OPT" -- that's the Organ Procurement and Transplantation network -- "to immediately cease application of the under-12 rule as to Sarah Murnaghan so that she can be considered for receipt of donated lungs from adults based on the medical severity of her condition, as compared to the medical severity of persons over the age of 12."
Now, Wolf, this basically means that for the next 10 days, Sarah will compete for a donor lung based on how sick she is, not her age. And as you said earlier, Sarah does have late-stage cystic fibrosis. For the past 18 months, she has been on the donor list for children, but not adults. Her parents now say that she will now likely be at the top of the list for adults based on her critical condition and her blood type.
All of this comes after the Murnaghans filed a lawsuit earlier today, this in an attempt to prevent Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from imposing that policy which currently prevents children under the age of 12 from being put on adult donor lists. Murnaghan's parents say Sarah and all children should be eligible to be put on the adult list and in the lawsuit, they say Sebelius had the power to change the guidelines.
Yesterday -- it was just yesterday that Sebelius said she did not have the authority to make the change. And in fact yesterday she was questioned about Murnaghan's case during a budget hearing in Washington, D.C. Sebelius told the panel that she could not imagine anything more difficult than what the Murnaghans were going through.
She also said there are 40 seriously ill Pennsylvanian adults who are waiting for transplants. What about them? Sebelius has said that she has ordered a transplant policy review. But if there were to be any sort of change in that policy, that could take years. So, for now, during this 10-day period, the Murnaghans, and for that matter any other child, Wolf, in the region who is in need of an organ transplant who comes forward and legally challenges the federal guidelines, they, too, potentially can be put on the adult list as well during this 10- day period.
The Murnaghans say that they just want a fair system, one that can be measured by the severity of a child's illness and not one's age, a very huge legal victory for the Murnaghans and other sick children as well -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jason, stand by, because we're joined on the phone now by Sarah Murnaghan's mother, Janet Murnaghan.
Janet, thanks so much.
What's your reaction to this decision?
JANET MURNAGHAN, SARAH'S MOTHER: Oh, we are just thrilled over here. We are thrilled for Sarah, because she's been getting sicker by the day, and we've had really two rough days here. And it's been a little stressful. Now we have hope. We have a lot of hope.
And you know what, we have another little guy in this hospital who is in the same boat as Sarah. He's not quite as sick, but he's 11 years old. And he was wanting and needing a lobar transplant like Sarah, and was in the same position. And now our lawyers are speaking with him and he should be getting the 10-day under-12 exemption, too. So it's really exciting news over here.
BLITZER: Sarah's 10 years old.
Have you told her about this latest development?
MURNAGHAN: Well, she knew a little bit, that Mom and Dad sort of disagree with some of the rules, and about how people were given organs, and we were fighting it. And so today she heard that things went the way that Mom and Dad wanted it to go, so she cheered with us, was very excited. So we had a good moment.
BLITZER: So she was excited, she was happy? Can you give us a little sense of how she reacted, how she's reacting, how she's doing?
MURNAGHAN: She's doing good. I mean, she is -- overall she was having actually kind of a extra hard day. She is -- her heart is more involved in the past two days. Her -- she has pulmonary hypertension that's increasing. And they have done some things to her today that have not put her in the best of moods.
So it was sort of a high point in her day, and she said, "Woo-woo!" She was cheering and raising her hands and stuff like that. I have a little video of that that I can send you over. But, yes, it was a very exciting day here.
Sarah's lung allocation scores are 78. And you know, lung allocation scores go from 1 to 100, 100 being the highest; 78 puts her in probably the 99th percentile. I haven't looked today, but I would imagine she's number one in the region for her blood type right now.
BLITZER: And just medically, what do the doctors say about putting adult lungs into a 10-year-old's body?
MURNAGHAN: Our doctors here at CHOP say they have just as good of outcomes, that the surgery is more complicated.
But if you have a surgeon who knows what he's doing, it's not a problem and that Dr. Spray and the surgeons here at CHOP are very capable of this type of surgery. And they're -- long-term, their two- year survival outcomes are equivalent.
BLITZER: What -- obviously the chances right now of her getting a lung transplant are better, but by how much?
Give me an assessment of these next 10 days, how much more likely she potentially could receive a lung transplant, as opposed to if she were still barred from receiving adult lungs?
MURNAGHAN: Well, I think there was no chance in the next 10 days if she was barred. I think there was no chance. I think that we're looking at a 75 percent chance that she'll get lungs in the next two weeks now.
BLITZER: That's a pretty good odds if you take a look at --
MURNAGHAN: Yes. It's a big difference.
BLITZER: -- 0 percent versus 75 percent. Those are pretty significant --
MURNAGHAN: When you triage -- yes, when you assess people based on how sick they are, it makes a lot of good sense. You know, you give it to the sickest people first, and you let the people who can wait, wait. And more people live under a system like that. And OPTN and their system has proven that for the over-12 set, that, since they instituted severity first, more people have lived.
And so I don't know why they've left the babies out of the equation, but we're real excited here. We feel like it's a little victory. We're going to keep moving forward. We want this for all kids.
BLITZER: Have you had any direct contact with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius?
MURNAGHAN: No. Yesterday, she and I played a little e-mail tag, where she kept scheduling meetings with me and canceling them and never came to anything.
BLITZER: Janet Murnaghan, good luck to you; good luck to your daughter, Sarah. And we'll stay in close touch with you. We're all hoping for the very, very best.
MURNAGHAN: I thank you very much. We are very, very hopeful. Thanks so much.
BLITZER: All right. Good luck.
Let's get to some other breaking news from Philadelphia right now. Witnesses heard a scary rumble. They felt a shake, and then a vacant building simply collapsed, toppling onto a thrift store right next door.
We're told one woman is dead. A dozen people are injured. Some were trapped in the rubble for hours. A dangerous search-and-rescue operation still under way right now.
Our Mary Snow is on the scene in Philadelphia for us.
Mary, show our views, tell our viewers what we know.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we do know right now, Wolf, we're getting some new information from the mayor and the fire chief and other officials. And the fire chief has confirmed that one person was killed, and that victim was identified as a 35-year-old woman.
As you mentioned, this is still an active operation here, firefighters and police still on the scene, seven hours after this four-story building collapsed onto a Salvation Army store.
And you heard Mayor Michael Nutter in this last hour, right here in THE SITUATION ROOM, say that he believes everyone was pulled out of the rubble. But he said he couldn't say that for sure. He said the operations will continue until he can say that absolutely he knows that everyone was pulled out of the rubble.
And when this happened, Wolf, when this building collapsed, people just passing by raced to try to pull people out.
SNOW (voice-over): It was shortly after 10:30 in the morning when witnesses described hearing what sounded like a freight train. A building being demolished collapsed onto a Salvation Army store.
JORDAN MCLAUGHLIN, WITNESS: There's people standing on the corner that was right next to the thrift shop. The building was like -- it had really big aftershock on the ground. You felt it shake. There's people that actually fell over. People started screaming. They ran across the street. There was people inside the building. You heard them scream.
SNOW: Jordan McLaughlin ran to help rescue people and so did Harold Corbin. Corbin, a maintenance worker, says he climbed onto what was the remains of a roof and saw four men trying to help people.
HAROLD CORBIN, WITNESS: We were on top of the roof pulling them out. They were on the angle where the building had divided where there was just a narrow space to climb in to help, because when we got there, all you could hear was help and maybe see a hand or something through the rubble. And that's when the guys kicked in. They ran straight up, jumped in and started moving stuff.
SNOW: Corbin says the first victim they helped was an elderly woman.
(on camera): Describe for me what it was like in that rubble.
CORBIN: As they say, everybody says on TV, it was like a war zone, you know, the dust, the debris, the planks, nails hanging from out of the wood and stuff. That was real dangerous stuff, because as we were carrying the lady, she was like, please don't drop me, please don't drop me.
And as I was backing up, the guys were holding me. Watch out for the nails and stuff like that. We had tar. We had Sheetrock, you name it, a bunch of dust. And you heard a bunch of cries, help, help, help, help.
SNOW (voice-over): Corbin says they pulled two women and two men to safety before firefighters told them it was unsafe for them to stay.
SNOW: And Wolf, once again, just to recap what we know, 13 people, according to officials, are being treated at hospitals. Five that we know of have been released and, again, the fire chief confirming that there was one death, a 35-year-old woman, and the mayor saying that this operation will continue until he can be 100 percent sure that no one was trapped still in that building -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's hope no one is still trapped and if someone is, they find that person very, very quickly.
All right, Mary, thank you.
CNN's Tom Foreman, he's standing by over at the magic wall. He's breaking down all his all happened.
Tom, how could this happen? TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, that really is the question for investigators as they look at this site right off of downtown Philadelphia here as we fly inside, because there's supposed to be safety measures in place to keep it from happening.
This is that block before the collapse. We're talking about several buildings here, this one, this one and this one. These two had already been taken down. This one was coming down. And here's the thrift store over here. So, they had reached this point. Again, you can see two buildings gone. This one is a shell. And then the collapse happened and came in on top of this building.
You want a sense of where everywhere was again so you have a good reference point here, look at this. This is where the thrift store was. And everything over here is gone. This is where the big building was. And all of that is gone. So, investigators have to look at it carefully and see how this came about.
Here are the basic stats that we do know at this point. That was a four-story building over there. The market value in 2014 when it was upgraded and everything was going to be about $2.5 million. And it was vacant at the time. We mention this just so you have an idea of the size of the property.
Next to it of course was this other place, which was the thrift store. It was a one-story building, about $825,000 in value, again, to give you a relative sense of that, and it was operational. And that really is the key, Wolf.
So, what investigators have to do is look at the layout we just showed you there and ask themselves, why did this shell that was being taken down in a systematic way suddenly give way, and how was it allowed to collapse into the thrift store itself? Those are the big questions they will be asking, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. The mayor, Mayor Michael Nutter, told me in the last hour he's going to have multiple investigations to determine what happened, and to learn, to try make sure it never happens again.
Tom, thanks very much.
Up next, a Hollywood mystery -- how did the makers of the film "Zero Dark Thirty" get top-secret information about the Osama bin Laden raid? We're learning the results of an investigation.
And the witness to a horrific accident talks about a fiery Jeep explosion, as Chrysler fights a recall.
BLITZER: We're now learning new details about the possible leak of top-secret information to the makers of the film "Zero Dark Thirty." That's the Hollywood movie about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr. She's working this story for us. What's going on, Barbara? BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, with all the talk in Washington about leak investigations, now more revelations, if you will, about the world's most secret counterterrorism operation, and secrets still being kept.
STARR (voice-over): The top-secret raid by Navy SEALs and the CIA to get Osama bin Laden became an international thriller in the movie "Zero Dark Thirty." But an even bigger mystery? How did the filmmakers, especially producer Mark Boal, find out so much about the mission?
MARK BOAL, PRODUCER: We gathered as many firsthand accounts as we possibly could from people who had direct knowledge of the events that we portrayed. But, beyond that, I won't get too specific about who those people were.
STARR: But Congressman Peter King says the CIA privately told him secrets were spilled against the rules. And the chief offender may have been the CIA and its director, Leon Panetta.
An early draft of a Pentagon report made public by a watchdog group says Mark Boal was allowed into what should have been a secret CIA ceremony acknowledging those who participated in the raid and -- quote -- "During the awards ceremony, Director Panetta specifically recognized the unit that conducted the raid and identified the ground commander by name."
The Navy community Seal Team Six and the commanders were all supposed to have their identities kept secret. A source close to Panetta says the final Pentagon report won't deal with what Panetta did during his time at the CIA. He says the director was told everyone in that room had the necessary security clearances, and Panetta never knew Mark Boal was there.
STARR: Now, CNN has not independently confirmed what this watchdog group says. It's a draft Pentagon report.
And a former CIA official very familiar with all of this says that no classified information about the mission was ever disclosed to the general public -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thanks very much.
Let's bring in Congressman Peter King, who commissioned this report. What can you tell us about this, Congressman?
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Wolf, first of all, I asked for this report two years ago when CIA employees and Special Forces came to me and said that security had been compromised in the -- for information for the movie, that people from Hollywood had been given access to areas they shouldn't be. They had been put in contact with people that didn't want to talk to them. I at that time talked to the inspector general of the Defense Department and CIA to conduct an investigation. Jay Carney attacked me from the White House press room, saying I surely had more important things to worry about than Hollywood. But I can tell you, the CIA and the Department of Defense's inspectors general, they did preliminary investigations in the fall of 2011. Then they moved on to full investigations.
And the CIA completed its first investigation earlier this year. They told me, and I can tell you this, that there were breaches of security, regulations by the CIA, that they did not keep adequate records regarding their dealings with Hollywood. And there's other information in there. That's all I can say publicly.
Now, the Defense Department to the inspector general's report, I was told months ago this was completed. I have not seen it, no one's seen it. Apparently it was leaked by someone and a draft of it is out today. But that has been asked for at least five or six months. I'm saying, why did they wait so long -- the inspector general is supposed to be independent. Why is that being held up? Who is putting the political pressure not to release that report? Because it does raise very significant issues about the breach in security by the CIA. And also by certain military people.
BLITZER: What does it say specifically about the then-CIA director, Leon Panetta, who later went on to become the secretary of defense?
KING: It says that Director Panetta -- who I have great regard for, by the way. I believe whatever he did would have been inadvertent and he probably was not properly briefed on this. And the fact is that there was at least one person from Hollywood, Mark Boal, was in the audience at an event which he apparently should not have been at. Secretary Panetta -- at that time Director Panetta -- he gave the name of the commander on the ground for the SEAL team and also went into some more description. All of which violated, and certainly was at least was classified information, if not top secret.
It caused great concern to the military. I will just go as far as that. They're very concerned this came out. They're also very concerned Mark Boal had been there. The White House, even though they were critical of me, it turns out that a deputy press secretary from the White House helped coordinate this cooperation with Hollywood. Also, a Democratic lobbying group was involved in setting up these meetings. And I know that you had people from Hollywood -- Mark Boal, Katherine Bigelow, taken to locations they shouldn't have been at. Meeting with people who didn't really want to meet with them, but were told and urged to cooperate so this movie would be more realistic.
But again, CIA has told me that much of what went on, or a significant amount of what went on, did violate CIA security regulations.
BLITZER: So basically what I hear you saying, and correct me if I'm wrong, Congressman, that Leon Panetta, when he was at that event, he assumed -- he was told everybody was cleared to hear what he was going to say about that SEAL team, and mention some names. He didn't know there was somebody from Hollywood inside that room, is that right?
KING: Well, reports say that. But if people close to Leon Panetta are saying that, I will believe that. I have no reason to doubt it. The fact is, then who in the CIA made the arrangements to have Mark Boal in there at that event where only people who had security clearances were supposed to be?
Now these special operators were there. These people who took part in the raid. These people who are, for the most part, unknown to the outside world, they had no idea someone was there who not only didn't have security clearance, but was from Hollywood. That's the last person they would want to have observing them and know who they are and their commander was on the ground.
BLITZER: Peter King, the congressman from New York, thanks very much for joining us.
KING: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Still ahead: a fight over whether to recall certain Jeeps. The Obama administration is warning of significant danger. Chrysler, though, is pushing back big-time.
And exclusive video of first lady, Michelle Obama, at a fund-raiser where she told off a heckler.
BLITZER: Happening now: deadly crashes, fiery explosions, and claims that some Jeeps are dangerous. We're following a life-and-death recall fight.
Plus, exclusive video from a fund-raiser where the first lady, Michelle Obama, got in a heckler's face.
And the feds accuse a suburban mother of leading a double life as the ringleader of a multimillion-dollar marijuana operation.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
President Obama shook up his national security team today in ways certain to rile some Republicans. Some already are pouncing. Two women got promoted, including his controversial U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, who's getting a new job as the president's top national security adviser.
Let's bring in our White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin. She was over in the Rose Garden when these announcements were made.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, you will recall that Republican critics previously derailed any efforts to name Ambassador Susan Rice to become secretary of state.
Well, today, the president gave her a job that's arguably more powerful, running his foreign policy shop from inside the White House.
He elevated her along with another longtime trusted adviser, Samantha Power.
YELLIN (voice-over): In a reshuffle of his national security team, President Obama elevated Ambassador Susan Rice to become perhaps his closest foreign policy adviser.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A patriot who puts her country first. She is fearless. She is tough.
YELLIN: Rice has been the lightning rod for Republican attacks over Benghazi for saying:
SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER DESIGNEE: The spontaneous protests began outside of our consulate in Benghazi.
YELLIN: Those comments were based on CIA-approved talking points. But some Republicans believe she intentionally misled the public. And they don't look kindly on this appointment.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Judgment is the key thing that you look for it. And obviously Susan Rice has demonstrated in the case of Benghazi that she has very poor judgment.
YELLIN: But it's not up to Congress. Her job requires no Senate confirmation. This move does.
The president national security adviser Samantha Power to take Rice's job as U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
OBAMA: We have got an experienced, effective and energetic U.N. ambassador in waiting in Samantha Power.
YELLIN: Power is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer known for her fierce advocacy of human rights and intervention.
SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS NOMINEE: As the most powerful and inspiring country on this earth, we have a critical role to play in insisting that the institution meet the necessities of our time.
YELLIN: Her confirmation could become fiery if Republicans use it to slam President Obama's foreign policy and take issue with Power's past writing on the need for U.S. engagement in human rights crises abroad.
While some Republicans see these appointments as defiant, Democrats say they're about stability, familiarity.
Jeremy Bash was chief of staff at the CIA and Pentagon.
JEREMY BASH, FORMER PENTAGON AND CIA CHIEF OF STAFF: In a word, I think the president wants continuity. He believes that his national security policies are working, from the drawdown in Afghanistan to staying on the offense against al Qaeda, to the rebalance to Asia. And he wants the same team in place, the same players, the same policies to keep moving forward. YELLIN: In Rice and Power, he's getting fierce loyalty and strong advocates, aides who knew him before the White House, in Power's case, so close, her son has played ball in the Oval Office.
YELLIN: And on that note, Wolf, I'll also tell you that during the events, Samantha Powers's 1-year-old daughter started to cry out and was carried out of the Rose Garden. It was a cute moment, but also a reminder of the fact that this is a first, the first time two women who have school-aged and younger children are being elevated to such senior foreign policy posts, and for the president, it will help him quiet those critics who've accused him of not including enough diversity in his cabinet.
BLITZER: I think you're right on that. I think they will quiet some of those critics. Thanks very much, Jessica Yellin.
The president's top spokesman is describing the first lady, Michelle Obama's, response to a heckler as brilliant. We have exclusive video of the incident at a party fundraiser last night. CNN's Erin McPike reports.
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are exclusive images of Michelle Obama last night, speaking at an exclusive fund- raiser hosted by a lesbian couple at their tony Washington, D.C., home. She was giving an impassioned speech on one of her favorite topics, children.
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: They are counting on us to give them the chance for the futures they deserve.
MCPIKE: But one woman in the crowd wanted to talk about something else: Gay rights. It's hard to hear, but that's Ellen Sturtz. Sturtz is from the activist group Get Equal. She interrupts the first lady to ask her why the president hasn't signed an executive order that would bar a company that does business with the federal government from discriminating for sexual orientation or gender equity. It didn't go over well with Mrs. Obama, or the crowd.
M. OBAMA: And I don't care what you believe in. We don't -- wait, wait, wait. One of the things I -- one of the things that I don't do well is this.
I'm leaving. You all decide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no! I need your husband.
M. OBAMA: All right, you guys.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Please don't leave. No.
MCPIKE: She made her way back to the podium to make her point.
M. OBAMA: So let me make the point that I was making before. We are here for our kids!
LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": Someone in a sense verbally got in her face, and she didn't like it.
MCPIKE: Lynn Sweet is the Washington bureau chief of the "Chicago Sun-Times," and she's covered the Obamas for years.
SWEET: I think Mrs. Obama is very disciplined. She rarely goes off script. She rarely puts herself in a position where she could have something happen unexpected.
MCPIKE: The first lady's unscripted response was different than how her more practiced husband tends to handle hecklers. Like he did just two weeks ago during a major foreign policy speech at National Defense University.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is part of free speech, is you being able to speak, but also you listening. And me being able to speak. All right?
MCPIKE: A softer touch, maybe, than Michelle's tough talk. But today the White House gave her performance a rave review.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's my personal opinion that she handled it brilliantly.
BLITZER: Erin McPike is with us.
A lot of people were very impressed the way the first lady handled that. And I know you've been looking into that.
MCPIKE: Well, yes, President Obama has been saying for years, since his first Senate campaign, about how tough Michelle Obama is. We just don't see reactions like this from her. So this was very interesting to finally see one of her getting so tough.
BLITZER: You don't want to mess with the first lady of the United States.
MCPIKE: You sure don't.
BLITZER: I think she sent a powerful message there. Thanks very much, Erin, for that report.
Still ahead, a fight over whether to recall certain Jeeps. The Obama administration is warning of danger. Chrysler, though, is pushing back.
And she raised kids in a suburban home. But the feds say she also ran a huge marijuana ring on the side. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: Millions of U.S. consumers are now caught in the middle of a new fight between the Obama administration and Chrysler. It's a fight you literally could be betting your life on.
The National Highway Traffic Administration -- Safety Administration wants Chrysler to recall nearly there million Jeep SUVs. Chrysler is refusing to do that.
Investigators say their plastic gas tanks can break open in an accident, spilling gas and creating a deadly fire risk. These kinds of tanks are on Jeep Grand Cherokees made from 1993 to 2004, and Jeep Liberties from 2002 to 2007.
Chrysler says its Jeeps are safe, but this is what can happen. The government knows of at least 37 accidents that caused fires, resulting in at least 51 deaths.
CNN's Brian Todd caught up with some people who know the heartbreaking risk all too well. He's in Winchester, Virginia -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Chrysler says the designs of the Jeep Grand Cherokees and Liberties in mention meet all safety standards, and the company says the advocates who are pushing for a recall are exaggerating the dangers.
But one advocate who was involved in a horrific accident right here, says the company is flat-out misleading the public.
(VOICE-OVER): Jenelle Embrey looks at the stretch of road and recalls the accident with cringe-inducing detail.
JENELLE EMBREY, WITNESSED FATAL JEEP ACCIDENT: The whole thing had gone up in flames. And we watched those people burn to death.
TODD: Last October, Embrey and her father were in a traffic jam along Interstate 81 near Winchester, Virginia. A tractor-trailer, she says, rear-ended the 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee behind them, going more than 60 miles an hour. The Cherokee, with Heather Santor, her 18-year-old son Zackary and fellow teenager Acoye Breckenridge inside, slammed into Embrey's vehicle, accordioned and burst into flames.
Embrey's father, Harry Hamilton, broke the windows with his bare hands, pulled Zackary Santor out alive. But Heather Santor and Breckenridge died.
HARRY HAMILTON, WITNESSED FATAL JEEP ACCIDENT: I mean, he was hollering and screaming and waving his hands, and his head -- the back of his head was burning.
TODD: Embrey says Heather Santor and Acoye Breckenridge were alive right after impact, and she's convinced that the fact that the Grand Cherokee's gas tank was right behind the rear axle, right in the crush zone, was the reason they died.
(on camera): The experience has prompted Jenelle Embrey to change her life and become a safety advocate. She's got an online petition with more than 100,000 signatures to get those models of Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberties off the road. And she's spent thousands of dollars on roadside ads like this one.
(voice-over): She's gotten the attention of Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety, who compares this controversy to a notorious recall in the 1970s.
CLARENCE DITLOW, CENTER FOR AUTO SAFETY: The old Ford Pinto had the same gas tank behind the rear axle. It killed 27 people. Liberty and Grand Cherokee have the same design, gas tank behind the rear axle: 51 deaths.
TODD: Including, Ditlow says, 4-year-old Remington Walden. He was killed in march of last year in Georgia when the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by his aunt was struck from behind and engulfed in flames.
But Jeep's parent company, Chrysler, is fighting an effort by the government to recall millions of Grand Cherokees made between 1993 and 2004, and Liberties made between 2002 and 2007. Chrysler says the government's data and analysis are incomplete.
And I asked Embrey about another point from the automaker.
(on camera): Chrysler says so many of these accidents were high- speed, high-energy, and the design would have made no difference. What do you say to that?
EMBREY: They can take another vehicle and run into the back of that vehicle up to 70 miles an hour, and it doesn't catch fire. Because there isn't a gas tank right -- right there.
TODD: Embrey's father was haunted after that night in October.
HAMILTON: I'm telling you, it was days before I could sleep over ten minutes' of time. What a horrible experience.
TODD (on camera): Chrysler officials wouldn't comment specifically on her remarks about this accident, other than to say that that model of Grand Cherokee meets safety standards.
But Ms. Embrey is committed to this campaign. She's going to take her petition to the Department of Transportation officials. She says she's going to meet with them soon in Washington, hoping to pressure Chrysler through them -- Wolf.
BLITZER: A lot's at stake in this confrontation between Jeep Chrysler, on one side, and the federal government on the other side. Brian, thanks very much. We'll stay on top of this story.
Up next, it's like the TV show "Weeds," only real. Authorities are accusing a suburban mom of a double life, leading a marijuana ring. Also, the mysterious winner of a massive Powerball jackpot is now revealed. But there's a catch.
BLITZER: We now have this new video just coming into CNN of one of the world's newest millionaires. That's 84-year-old Gloria McKenzie of Florida, the winner of the second largest lottery prize in U.S. history. And today, Powerball officials revealed McKenzie won more than $590 million before taxes in last month's giant drawing.
McKenzie skipped the news conference, but TV crews found her. She asked everyone to respect her privacy.
A multimillion-dollar marijuana operation run out of an unlikely spot. The alleged ringleader is even more unlikely, a suburban mom of two. CNN's Alina Cho is working the story for us.
Alina, what are you finding out?
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, you know, it's hard to believe that someone could lead a double life like this, but federal agents say that's exactly what was happening. They say that this suburban mom of two, who lived in a very nice house, on a quiet street, and drove an SUV, had a state-of-the-art marijuana operation worth millions of dollars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the quiet town of Agrestic, single mom Nancy Botwin is learning to deal.
CHO (voice-over): The story is straight out of "Weeds," a SHOWTIME TV series. But this story line is real. A suburban mom by day, alleged pot grower by night.
Take a look at what federal drug enforcement agents found in a warehouse in the Queens area of New York City. More than 1,000 marijuana plants, large amounts of dried marijuana, street value $3 million. State-of-the-art lighting, irrigation, and ventilation systems. And the most incredible part is that authorities say the woman heading up this pot-growing farm is a 45-year-old mother of two from upscale Scarsdale, New York.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pot growing is not something that I, you know, really have on the radar screen. Certainly not -- certainly not, you know, from a neighbor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wouldn't expect it in this kind of community, a safe community. You know, good school district. And marijuana and someone busted for marijuana?
CHO: The woman who was busted is Andrea, or Andi Sanderlin, arrested May 20.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw her, drove by, she didn't stop, usually how she stops. She stopped on the left, and that's when they pulled her and all the guys came out. They were just like, "Get down! Open the door!" It was nuts.
CHO: Sanderlin is charged with narcotics trafficking. Her lawyer says she's pleaded not guilty.
Still, it's not what you would expect from a mother of two girls, 3 and 13. A woman who until recently took her teenage daughter riding at Twin Lakes Farm. The owner says Sanderlin told him she worked in interior design.
SCOTT TARTER, OWNER, TWIN LAKES FARM: She was like all the rest of the moms. We have 45 boarders here and 45 moms, and she was just like all the rest of them. She had two daughters, was very nice, never stood out of place. I had no inclination that this could even be a possibility.
CHO: Sanderlin is in jail pending a bail hearing. And Wolf, if she's convicted, she could face up to ten years in prison.
BLITZER: What a story that is. All right. Thanks very much. Alina reporting.
Up next, we're tracking the first tropical storm of the season. And when it might hit the United States.
BLITZER: We now have the first -- the track of the first tropical storm of this, the 2013 hurricane season, which began on June 1. The tropical storm is called Andrea. Our severe weather expert and meteorologist Chad Myers is tracking the storm for us.
We now know, Chad, basically where it's heading.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know, we still have that cone of uncertainty. But yes, we do. It goes from Apalachicola all the way over to north of Tampa, New Port Richie area, that's landfall. Although landfall is not so -- that's not a big deal.
This is going to be a 40-, 45 mile-per-hour storm. It's going to make rain. It's going to make flooding rain; anywhere in that cone of uncertainty going to make heavy rain seven to ten inches of rainfall possible, although it is moving at a pretty good clip. It will be between Friday 2 a.m. and Friday 2 p.m. How far it goes, that's good news. Because storms that just stop or move very slowly, those are the ones that cause so much flooding, Wolf.
BLITZER: And the water in the Gulf is pretty warm right now. So that makes it even a little bit more dangerous, right?
MYERS: It's going to be warm until November. We are going to have any storm that goes into the Gulf of Mexico start to develop, I believe, this year. And when it goes into the Gulf of Mexico, it has to hit something. There's no real place for it to miss. It's going to hit the Keys. It's going to hit Tampa. It's going to hit Houston or Mexico. Once it's in that big bowl there in that warm water, it gets bigger, and it's going to hit something.
We're going to have possibly 20 storms this year.
MYERS: Twenty named storms. So get ready. Make those preparations early and get ready for a very busy season.
BLITZER: We'll do exactly that. Chad, thank you.
Coming up, Jeanne Moos found a company that specializes in lollipops with weird flavors. One of them is getting a lot of attention.
BLITZER: Lollipops come in all different kinds of colors, many kinds of flavors, but our own Jeanne Moos just found some really different ones.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Flying pizzas, hands- free Whoppers, cronuts. It's been a weird phase in food. It just got weirder with the introduction of breast milk lollipops.
JASON DARLING, FOUNDER, LOLLYPHILE: It's sweet. It's got some nutty hints to it.
MOOS: But don't cry, baby. He's not stealing mommy's milk just imitating it.
DARLING: There's sugar and flavor. There's no breast milk in them, I promise.
MOOS: Jason Darling is the founder of an online store called Lollyphile. It specializes in lollipops with weird flavors aimed at adults, such as Chocolate Bacon and Wasabi Ginger. Recently, a couple of Jason's friends started breastfeeding.
DARLING: So I asked my friends if I could try it. And they said yes. And it was pretty amazing.
MOOS (on camera): Jason had mothers share their milk with his flavor specialists so they could recreate the taste.
(voice-over): Now he's selling Breast Milk lollipops four for 10 bucks.
But at least his lollipops exist. That's more than you can say for the hands-free Whopper holders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I need my hands.
MOOS: The video tells a whopper. It was mean as a joke, produced in Puerto Rico to celebrate the brand. Critics on Gawker compared to it a horse's feed bag.
Meanwhile, we in the media feasted on another viral creation, the Domino's Pizza drone, designed to deliver pizzas. This video was created for Dominos in the U.K., and while they didn't call it a stunt, Dominos in the U.S. distanced themselves from it. Using drones for commercial purposes like this would not fly in the U.S.
But these are flying off the shelves.
(on camera): You probably never wondered what you get when you combine a croissant and a doughnut.
(voice-over): It's called the cronut, and even the editor of Zagat got in line at the New York City bakery that sells out of them every morning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love it.
MOOS: They sell for 5 bucks a piece, but on Craigslist entrepreneurs willing to wait in line resell them for $20 and up.
The cronut gets competition this week from Dunkin' Donuts, when the glazed bacon sandwich is introduced.
(on camera): You know, they say there's a sucker born every minute.
(voice-over): But usually, they don't taste like breast milk. The breast milk idea doesn't bother us. It's what Jason did after the bulldog licked the lolly.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BLITZER: Jason says that, while he thinks the lollipop tastes like almond milk, others have suggested it tastes a little bit more like cinnamon toast or maybe even cantaloupe.
That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. You can always follow what's going on in THE SITUATION ROOM on Twitter. Tweet me, @WolfBlitzer.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.