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Zimmerman's Defense Gets A Boost; The Troubled Past Of Aaron Hernandez; Obama's 'Favorite General' Under Investigation

Aired June 28, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" next, a dramatic day in the George Zimmerman trial. What witnesses say they saw the night that Trayvon Martin died.

And then private jets, big salaries and large staffs. No, we're not talking about CEOs tonight. We're talking about top generals in the United States military. A special "OUTFRONT" investigation.

Plus Alec Baldwin loses his cool yet again. It's pretty amazing to see it last night. Why did he go? What a Twitter rant and a rant it was against a reporter? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT on this Friday night, George Zimmerman's defense gets a boost. So eyewitnesses today testified about the night that Trayvon Martin was killed and their testimony at least as you were listening to it through the day seems to support Zimmerman's story that he was attacked.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you notice any blood on him, sir?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And where did you notice a blood?

MANALO: Down his nostrils, streaming down both sides of his lips I believe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of describing the individuals, are you able to describe their faces or anything or just clothing descriptions?

JONATHAN GOOD: Well, going back to when they were vertical, I could tell the person on the bottom had a lighter skin color.


BURNETT: All right, Zimmerman, as you know, is charged with murder in the shooting death of the unarmed teen. Zimmerman has admitted to shooting Trayvon Martin, but he says it was in self- defense. Our Martin Savidge is in Sanford, Florida. Martin, you know, obviously, we just saw two witnesses there. Both of them in different ways seeming to indicate that it was George Zimmerman who was on the bottom being attacked perhaps, that he had brood coming out of his nose. How powerful was that testimony today in the courtroom?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it was extremely powerful. Interesting, of course, that both those of witnesses were called by the state and yet they seemed to bolster the defense's case. But, yes, both of them are eyewitnesses because up until now, for the most part, what we've heard is people who have heard something or may have vaguely referenced shadows.

But starting with Jonathon Good, he was a person who was, he claims about maybe 15, 20 feet away from the struggle and that he actually saw and could make out who was who, based on either the color of the skin or identifying them by the clothing they were wearing. But in either case, he predominantly says, look, it was George Zimmerman that he saw on the ground and it was Trayvon Martin that was hitting him down. And he discussed that MMA, that mixed martial arts style that he eluded that Trayvon was using to beat George Zimmerman so very, very powerful but for the defense.

BURNETT: So let me ask you that, Martin, because you just said the prosecution actually called these witnesses. And the witnesses, at least, you know, when you hear this ended up bolstering George Zimmerman defense. So was that a misstep in or did they know what the witnesses were going to say and this is part of their broader strategy?

SAVIDGE: Yes. They do know what the witnesses are going to say and I think, you know, the way that strategy works is the fact that the prosecution knew the defense was going to call these people if the prosecution didn't. And they would be worried that maybe the jury would think, why didn't the prosecution bring these people up?

And that would be implied the prosecution is hiding something, but also at the end of the day, it came back maybe to haunt the defense, because it was talked about that MMA, well, they brought out a doctor who had treated, actually a physician's assistant, George Zimmerman and she said in his medical history, he works out. What does he work out doing, mixed martial arts and that's how the jury was left to ponder as they were off on their weekend.

BURNETT: Two mixed martial arts practitioners there involved, but medical professionals, you were talking about some, you know, that were testifying today, said about George Zimmerman that he did have the broken nose, head damage and back pain. How significant was that and, again, the fact that they were called by the state?

SAVIDGE: Well, it's a coin toss here as to who one this one. Because in essence what the state was trying to show is that, look, he had injuries, everybody knows he had injuries, but how bad were those injuries really? After all, he didn't go to the doctor that night. And when he saw the doctor the next day she basically gave him a prescription for inflammation. In order, it did not appear those injuries in anyway were life threatening, which is, of course, what the defense maintains. That's why George Zimmerman said he had to shoot Trayvon. He thought he was going to die. BURNETT: It's just a really interesting. As you say, didn't go to the hospital that night and given drugs for inflammation the next day. So who did win this round? Well, this case hasn't just captured national attention. It has taken a toll and a visible toll that you can see on the people closest to the tragedy, something you as a viewer I'm sure have noticed. David Mattingly noticed too and he's OUTFRONT.


MATTINGLY (voice-over): One week of graphic and at times disturbing testimony and both sides in the Zimmerman trial are showing signs of strain. Trayvon Martin's parents were moved to tears on the first day listening to opening statements. The very next day they had to walk out when the court saw pictures of their son's lifeless body. It was particularly hard on Martin's father.

DARYL PARKS, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Although they would give you some advanced notice that the state was going to be using some very sensitive pictures, for that picture to come up on the screen, very live, really, really brought back the memory that he had to walk out.

MATTINGLY: But for Trayvon's mother, the most difficult moment was the sound heard in the back ground of the 911 call -- the gunshot signaling the end of her son's life.

PARKS: His mother doesn't like the gunshot, the gunshot, her hearing that and hearing about his final moments is very tough for her.

MATTINGLY: What impact the testimony is having on George Zimmerman himself is harder to read. For the most part, Zimmerman sits quietly, seemingly unmoved, often gazing forward. In May, I spoke to Mark O'Mara about his client's 120-pound weight gain and what that might suggest about his emotional state.

(on camera): Are you worried he might hurt himself?


MATTINGLY: He seems to be slowly doing himself harm by gaining all this weight. Could he possibly do something more severe?

O'MARA: Could he? I'm not going to be a psychologist or psychiatrist? Could he? I guess it's possible. I've lived this case for a year. I've lost some weight so could I harm myself? No, I'm not going to get to the point. I think George is stressed out. I don't think that he's going to harm himself.

MATTINGLY: What he's doing though is extreme, are you concerned?

O'MARA: I'm very concerned that he's gotten to the point where this case has caused him to gain 120 or 130 pounds. That is physically destructive, that, I'll grant you.

MATTINGLY: A month later and after a week of testimony, little has change.

O'MARA: He's very stressed out. I mean, he really is. For a year and a half he's been in hiding and now he's facing a potential life sentence where he's literally fighting for his life today in this week as he was back in February of 2012 and it's very stressful and very frightening.


BURNETT: David, a lot of people have been commenting on that, you know, just dramatic and incredible, sort of ballooning weight gained by George Zimmerman. What about the lawyers and the witnesses? How has it affected them? Because the witnesses are, the life, life, death, depends on them.

MATTINGLY: Right. This is a huge moment for everyone involved here both personally and professionally. I'm not going to mention any names because these have been private conversations that we have had with some of the witnesses over the last year. Some of them were very deeply affected emotionally by this, by having to witness this event and then all of the intense scrutiny that followed it. They were very unprepared for that as well.

So they had to deal with that in the months leading up to this trial. As for the attorneys, Mark O'Mara made the best comment yesterday. He said no one is going to be going out playing golf or tennis this weekend. There's a lot of work here to do. This is a big moment for everyone involved.

BURNETT: All right, David Mattingly, thank you, continuing to report on this from Sanford, Florida.

Still to come, the prosecution's star witness, Rachel Jeantel, the girl who was on the phone with Trayvon as he died. Does her race have anything to do with how people perceive her credibility? No holds barred in this conversation.

And former NFL star Aaron Hernandez's dangerous past. There were so many red flags. So here's the question, how in the world did he end up with a $40 million contract from the Patriots?

Plus the Obama administration reportedly going after another leaker, but this time, he's a close friend of the president of the United States.

And what led to a brawl at a drag queen beauty pageant? You'll see it in full.


BURNETT: Our second story out front, the Rachel Jeantel factor. She is the star witness in the murder trial of George Zimmerman trial and has found herself at the center of attention over the language and attitudes of black youths after her testimony this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RACHEL JEANTEL, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FRIEND: I had told you -- you listening? I had told you what happened to me in Crump interview. Are you listening?


BURNETT: Christina Coleman from "Global Grind" wrote in an op-ed that blacks can understand and relate to Jeantel, but quote, "Any attorney, jury member, judge or white person in that courtroom is not going to understand Rachel Jeantel and I don't expect them to. She's hard, she's black and your assumptions about her background and lack of education make you feel like you are better somehow."

But is that really fair to say? OUTFRONT tonight, Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill, contributor Reihan Salam and Jennifer Oliver O'Connell, writer for communities at the "Washington Times." OK, great to have all of you. I was saying to Mark here on set, we could talk about this for an hour.

But let me just start with this question, the jury, six women, five of whom are white women. Is it fair to say because they're white that they're not going to be able to understand or relate to Jeantel and they'll discredit her because of the way she spoke?

MARC LAMONT HILL, HOST, "OUR WORLD WITH BLACK ENTERPRISE": Well, it's never entirely fair to say that any five people who we haven't met, who we don't know, who stories we're not familiar with can or cannot relate to anybody. We can't make sweeping assumptions like that.


HILL: But we can say for certain that there are some cultural disconnects and some racial disconnects and arguably some class disconnects between who Rachel is and who those jurors likely are that may make her unfamiliar to them, which may make her strange to them and maybe even undesirable to them. And that's what we have to keep an eye on.

BURNETT: And Jennifer, let me ask you. You wrote a piece on this. You took issue with some of the people who are defending Rachel, "Ebony" magazine one of them. They've gone after African- Americans who have defended Jeantel saying that they're quote, "rejecting their own self reflection." Why is their argument a miss? Why is defending her from that racial perspective not right?

JENNIFER OLIVER O'CONNELL, WRITER, "COMMUNITIES" AT THE "WASHINGTON TIMES": Because as Dr. Hill said, you have to go softly on that assumption that people are immediately going from the perspective of race and going to judge you on the perspective of race. I see it more of judging on the perspective of not having the literacy that she needs in order to navigate such an environment. And that's not a racial thing.

BURNETT: So you're saying more an education class issue than a race issue? O'CONNELL: It's not even an education class issue. I know children who may not be have master's degrees or bachelor's degrees or gone to college, but they understand how to act with authority, how to say yes, sir, no, sir, and also understand the weight of when you are in a public arena, how that's supposed to happen.

BURNETT: Reihan, let me bring you in here.

REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: My head's going to explode.

BURNETT: Please. It need does explode. But Reihan, you know, her intelligence was questioned while she was on the stand actually in the courtroom. So let me just play that for those who didn't get a chance to see. Here's that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you read any of the words on it?

JEANTEL: I don't understand cursives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you claiming in any way that you don't understand English?

JEANTEL: I don't understand you. I understand you. I can understand English.


BURNETT: Reihan, what's your response to that? The attorney seems to have just come off as deeply unkind, but what is your response to her?

SALAM: I think that if are you being treated in this way on the witness stand, it's hardly surprising that her reaction would at times be very defensive. You know some of her colleagues have noted that she doesn't just speak English. She also speaks Haitian Creole. She speaks Spanish and when -- you know, what many of us here as grammatical errors that she is making actually reflect her dialect.

You know, I'm not saying -- I think that Mark made a very good point. We have big cultural divides and that's part why some people are going to have a very hard time interpreting her. But I think that that's why it's important to exercise a little bit of empathy. This woman has gone through a very traumatic experience who finds herself feeling very defensive, very threatened as though she herself is being prosecuted.

I think that accounts for a lot of this discomfort. It's going to be very hard for people to look past that. That in a way is a (inaudible). That's a reflection of the broader issues in this case and why we all find it so interesting and compelling because it's a case of cultural misunderstanding.

HILL: Right. And we have to understand that we can have pluralism without hierarchy. We can have difference without ascribing certain kinds of value to those differences. If she said to the defense attorney, I already had told you. Yes, I probably would say that on CNN. I probably would conjugate my verbs a little differently. But she was very clear in what she was saying. She wasn't ambiguous. She wasn't unclear.

The issue here isn't not having the requisite of literacy to function in this environment, it's about a group of people making a decision that because she speaks English in a different way, a perfectly functional way as scholars would tell you. That because she speaks in that way that somehow she is less intelligent, less value, that her testimony is less true and that ultimately she's less human and that's not on her, that's on us.

BURNETT: Let me lay play that. Her English is not the way you might conjugate. Here she is.


JEANTEL: Like I told the mother from the beginning. If officer wants to talk me, know the exact story, everything about what happened that night they will reach me at my number. You got it?


BURNETT: And part of its attitude, Jennifer. But given how she was being treated, there are a lot of people who say that's right, if you want to stick it in someone's face, after they are talking down to you, you go, girl.

O'CONNELL: I see that as the fault of the prosecuting attorney for not preparing her for properly for what she would face. It's part of the defense attorney's job to make you look bad, to discredit you. She is a 19 year old woman. She's able to vote. She's able to, you know, be tried as an adult herself. So I expect adult behavior. I really don't care what color she is. And at her age there should be a certain literacy point. If this was a white person and someone dubbed them white trash, I doubt if anybody would be up and arms about it. There needs to be a focus on literacy and not necessarily on because she is black.

HILL: There needs to be a focus on George Zimmerman. The very idea that you say she's old enough to be tried as an adult. She's not on trial here. George Zimmerman is. This isn't about her literacy. It's about whether or not George Zimmerman stalked and murdered this boy. And if she has evidence to show that that happened or that it didn't happened we need to listen to her. But English, not being able to speak the king's English to the queen's taste is not a matter of whether you can be trusted or not.

BURNETT: That's the question I want all of our viewers to weigh in on. Do you think that does affect whether somebody's trustworthy, whether they are articulate or not. Please let us know on Twitter as always. Thanks to all three of you. We appreciate it. Marc, Jennifer and Reihan --

HILL: We done had a good time on CNN. Am I less trustworthy now?

BURNETT: All right, former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, he could be a serial killer. So why didn't anyone see the red flags in his past? This guy was making $40 million, people.

Plus, the military has more three and four-star officers than ever before and their perks include private jets, personal chefs and they are costing you because you are paying for it. We have a special OUTFRONT investigation tonight.

And why the accused Colorado movie theatre shooter James Holmes will be wearing something much more dramatic than handcuffs when he next appears in court.


BURNETT: Our third story out front, the troubled past of Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL star has been charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, an acquaintance who was actually found shot to death on June 17th. Two of his accomplices are also in police custody, but this isn't the first brush request the law for Hernandez.

He's now being linked to a double homicide that happened in Boston last year. And even more misconduct is visible during his time over his career including his time at the University of Florida and several NFL teams passed him over because of that, over the 2010 draft. But New England Patriots then picked him up and are paying him big money, as we said, $40 million.

"Bleacher Report" national lead writer, Dan Levy, he is OUTFRONT. Dan, this is amazing, $40 million this guy was getting. This guy's not some random guy sitting on the bench. He's a big player and it was no secret to anybody that he didn't have the cleanest record out there, right. So NFL, the Patriots, I mean, shouldn't they have known? I mean, how did he get this far?

DAN LEVY, NATIONAL LEAD WRITER, "BLEACHER REPORT": Well, he is not getting all the $40 million, not all of that is guaranteed, but he is getting about $10 million or $12 million. It's amazing that no one knew about this. By the way, a month before he signed his new contract is when he suspected to have maybe murdered two people. And no one in the Patriots organization knew anything about this. He said people gave him the money because they trusted him. They trusted him after he maybe did that. So this is really a crazy story that the Patriots didn't see any of this coming.

BURNETT: it is a crazy story, right. And others had passed on him because of his record. They must have decided on some level he's a good player. A lot of people are saying this is the NFL, they are a bunch of thugs. This is how they operate. But we actually looked at the numbers to see is it a bunch of thugs or not. In 2010, the most recent date available only 2 percent of NFL players were arrested. It is less than the NBA. It less than the MLB and it less than the arrest rate for the national population in this country. So they are less thugs than the rest of us so the NFL doing a better job than everybody else? LEVY: Well, they're doing as good a job as they can. I think they do get an unfair raft. As you said, about 5 percent of the general population gets arrested every year. So it's almost half of what the average population does. I think the NFL makes the headlines. It's the most popular sport on the planet so they are going to make the headlines when this happens. I don't think murder should be excused in some of the smaller crimes that the NFL gets dinged for. This is a big step up from some of the normal stuff that the NFL players get involved in.

BURNETT: Right, that's a fair point. By the way, we say arrests obviously we are talking about arrests in general not just for something as horrific as alleged murder. All right, well, thank so much to you. We appreciate it.

Well, a top general inside President Obama's inner circle is now reportedly under investigation for leaking top secret material. Did he go rouge against his good friend?

And Paula Deen takes another hit today. Who is dumping her now?

Plus this video has sent shockwaves across the nations. Authorities have just arrested the home intruder allegedly behind this violent attack that you see here, just an unbelievable video. We're going to tell you who that man is.


BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT on this Friday. We start the second half of our show with stories where we focus on our reporting from the frontlines.

So, just two days after the Supreme Court's landmark decision, the court has ruled same sex marriage can resume in the state of California. Very soon after, couples were already getting married at city hall in San Francisco. And we are hearing tonight that two of plaintiffs who challenged California's gay marriage ban will get married tonight. "Reuters" reports Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo will be married in Los Angeles at 6:15 local team.

BURNETT: Well, with each passing day, the Paul Deen empire looks more like an exploding souffle. OUTFRONT has just confirmed the Ballantine Books has cancelled the publication of Deen's cookbook, even though as we've reported, pre-orders put it at number one on Amazon's top seller list. Sears and JCPenney today announced that they will drop the celebrity cook. This, of course, is on top of six other major brands, which have already ended their relationship with Deen or put it on hold. Obviously, that is different.

According to "Forbes", Deen made $7.5 million on licensing and merchandising alone last year. OK, that explains in part why she's hired a crisis consultant. You saw the numbers we put up last night, $17 million in annual compensation now at risk. This controversy has snowballed after Deen admitting using the N-word. She says she only use it once. And this programming note, CNN will have a special on Monday night at 7:00 called "The N-Word." Well, we have learned James Holmes, the man accused of killing 12 people in a Colorado movie theater, will be restrained in court when his trial begins in February. So we just explain how this is going to work. The judge has ruled he will wear a harness. So, that harness is going to actually anchor him to the floor.

And the point is, they're worried he could hurt somebody. So they want to prevent him from doing that to anyone in the courtroom. We have looked at other defendants restrained this way. It is incredibly rare.

The closest was a man accused of murder in 2009. He was restrained with handcuffs and a harness. But that was after he acted by slapping his attorney in the forehead. This is before anything has happened, they've already made this decision.

BURNETT: New Jersey authorities say they have arrested the man that you will see in the video we are about to show you right here. His name is Shawn Custis. He's 42. You can see what he's doing here, beating up somebody. He's charged with attempted first degree murder.

Melbourne, New Jersey Police say that this man forcibly entered this woman's home. You see her with the green dress, and throws her down while she and two young children were watching television. Custis assaulted her, punched her, threw her down the basement stairs and as you can see dragging her there. We have blurred this out because it's tough to watch. But this violence was captured on the family's home video.

The woman was treated for her injuries and bail for Custis has been set at $750,000.

BURNETT: It has been 692 days since the United States lost its top first credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, June was the first losing month this year for stocks. All indices ended up the month down about 1 percent. But for the first half of the year, all of them are up, between 12 percent and 14 percent.

So, it's still all in, it's been a very lucky 2013.

And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT on a Friday: a crack in the president's inner circle.

The man once described as Obama's favorite general, retired General James "Hoss" Cartwright, is under investigation. And it's regarding top secret material that appeared in a book written by "The New York Times" reporter David Sanger.

According to NBC news, Cartwright may have leaked information about a virus. It was called Stuxnet and it attacked Iran's nuclear program. In fact, when news of Stuxnet virus broke, Republicans accused the White House of actually leaking the information itself because they thought that it was going to boost the president's national security cred before the election.

So what happened? Did the president's favorite general go rouge?

We begin with Barbara Starr at the Pentagon on this.

And, Barbara, the president has made a huge show of going after leakers, investigating nine so far, seven have been charged. Twice as many as all previous presidents combined in this country.

You know, but Cartwright was his friend. Cartwright was his buddy.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: What happened? That's really, isn't it? That's the question, Erin. And I don't think anybody has an answer. We do know that General Cartwright under investigation by the Justice Department, everyone's jaws dropped when this story broke because he is -- you know, he may have his enemies, but he is a respected, retired four star military officer. This is not a guy who goes rogue. So you might wonder if maybe somebody in the White House originally encouraged him to discuss this program.

Late today, his attorney fired back. His attorney well-known Gregory Craig here in Washington, D.C., issued a statement saying, quote, "General Jim Cartwright is an American hero who served his country with distinction for four decades. Any suggestion that he could have betrayed the country he loves is preposterous."

It doesn't really get stronger than that, in terms of defending General Cartwright's honor. It does not tell us, however, specifically why the Justice Department is investigating him. So, all of this still to be played out. And what we do know is that dozens and dozens of people have been questioned by justice don't investigators in all of these leak investigations. And they are following up on the leads they are getting -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Barbara Starr, thank you very much. I mean, this is just an incredible story when you think about it. The president going after so many for leaking and this time somebody who was so close to him. If this person did leak what he's accused of leaking reportedly was actually something that helped the president.

OUTFRONT tonight, Bob Baer, our national security analyst here at CNN and a former CIA operating, along with Phil Mudd, a former CIA deputy director of counterterrorism and former senator intelligence advisor for the FBI.

Phil, let me start with you, because this administration has gone after leakers like no other in American history. It is an unprecedented thing that they have done. More than twice as many espionage charges of all past administrations in the United States combined. Is the president justified?

PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF COUNTERRERORISM: I think he is. But you have to understand, the administration is not going after leakers. When I was in government, and the FBI, I saw leak investigations all the time. There's a process, ten layers of roughly way below the president where the agency, where the information is leaked tells the Department of Justice look at this problem and investigate it.

The president has very little to do with that process.

BURNETT: All right. That's a fair point. Although obviously, you know, he's chosen to do this or his administration has done this in a way that other administrations haven't, to use the term.

Bob, I mean, do you agree, or has this administration gone beyond what is necessary? I mean, after all, in this case, if this really is about leaking the Stuxnet virus, this is a close friend of the president's, who if he leaked it, leaked something that actually made the president look really good. Do you think the president actually said go ahead and do it?

BOB BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I agree with Phil. These things start with referral from whatever agencies involved. It goes to the Justice Department. But what's different now is the Justice Department is following up on these referrals aggressively.


BAER: A lot of the people that are under investigation believe it's because of phone meta data, all sorts of things or even the new NSA programs. I don't know that that's true. But, you know, it's a new game out there.

And people in Washington are -- how should I put it -- paranoid, they're scared. They're scared of journalists. They're staying away from them.

This is something entirely new.

BURNETT: They're scared of journalists. They're staying away from them and that means a lot of information that would have gotten out before isn't getting out. Now, you can argue until the cows come home, right, about whether the information should or should not get out, but not doubt, it would have before.

I mean, Phil, the president has talked a lot about transparency which seems to fly in the face of this. You know, he had a Google chat earlier this year. He called his government the most transparent administration in history. And we've heard this from him quite a few times.

MUDD: But you have to understand, there's a difference --


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me say it as simply as I can. Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the president's record on transparency is broad and significant.


BURNETT: So if he's all about transparency, why is he going after all that's leaks, including ones that don't seem to threaten the national security of the country?

MUDD: Look, there's a difference between transparency and telling people who took an oath not to violate federal law in terms of leaking, not to talk to the press. When I was with the CIA and FBI, in contrast of where I live today, talking to you, every time the press called me, my responsibility was to call the Office of Public Affairs and say talk to CNN and tell them, call you first. Don't call me directly. The rules are not that complicated.

BURNETT: Bob, do you think, though, bottom line, that this sort of goes in the face, I mean, the president's trying to say he's transparent on the other hand. On the other, you know, he's continuing these metadata collection programs, and then going after people who try to put things in the open.

BAER: Well, may feeling is that it's partly the government's fault, because a lot of this information hasn't been compartmented. Something like the Stuxnet should not have been widely distributed. They should have known exactly who know about that operation. And you can confine this stuff within the government if you have the discipline to do it.

I think this is what should be done now rather than going after the press.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much both of you. We appreciate your time.

Now, a top brass overload. So, this is our special report tonight.

At a time when the American military as a whole is getting smaller, you're aware, of course, of all the cut backs that our military is going through. You might be amazed that the number of four and five star generals has actually continued to grow. And the five-star lifestyle that comes along with being a high-ranking general is costing American taxpayers a lot of money.

Our Chris Lawrence investigates OUTFRONT.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: This is General's Row, a corner of Washington where some of the military's top brass call home.

Today's Navy has nearly as many admirals as it does ships. There's been an explosion of perks and officers to enjoy them.

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: What's it going to look like if somebody sees you staying in the Ritz-Carlton, you know, for four days and doing one hour's worth of work.

LAWRENCE: The Pentagon is still struggling to reduce the number of stars, nearly 1,000 generals and admirals, even as DOD civilians prepare for furloughs.

Meanwhile, the number of enlisted soldiers and marines is being slashed. Since the year 2000, the ranks of generals have been swelling, especially at the top. The number of three and four stars rose by 20 percent. The more stars, the more they earned, up to $180,000. And they're surrounded by an entourage of speechwriters, schedulers and security, even a personal chef. And in some cases their own $60 million jet.

(on camera): I get the four star running NATO needs a Gulfstream because he's got to have a plane to get around Europe. But he's not the only one.

RAYMOND DUBOIS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: There's also a Gulfstream attached to, assigned to, if you will, the secretary of the Army, the chief of staff of the Army, the undersecretary of the Army, and the vice chief of staff of the Army.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Former Pentagon budget official Raymond Dubois says the Pentagon needs to stop creating expensive four-star slots for every new command.

DUBOIS: And I could make the argument that there are a number of three star jobs that could be two, and two star jobs that could be one.

LAWRENCE: That would have a ripple effect when it comes to saving money, as it would shrink the entourage around that officer.

DUBOIS: Because the culture dictates that a four star shall have so many staff people, three star, so many -- less and less and less.

LAWRENCE: Three years ago, the Pentagon targeted 140 jobs. So far, about 90 have been eliminated or reduced.

DEMPSEY: But I think this next review will cause us to shrink a bit more.


BURNETT: So, Chris, it's like a lot of institutions in some ways, right? You just get more and more and more bloat at the top, but it costs so much money and some f these perks, never heard of this before, right? All these planes and private chefs. Is anything going to change in it comes to these people at the top?

LAWRENCE: Well, Erin, some of the officials I've been speaking with here at the Pentagon say there are going to be a lot more of these positions cut next year, mostly as a result of pulling back from Afghanistan. And Dempsey does seem committed to reining in some of these perks and entourages that have sprung out around some of these generals. But one Republican senator says they need to go as far as cutting 200 of these jobs and he says it would save about $800 million over the next 10 years.

BURNETT: That's a serious amount of money, when you think about all the civilians who are being cut. I mean, that makes up for multiples, right, of people who are lower down. I mean, how long is the government going to end up paying for all of these stars? Once you get to that hay two levels, that's basically life, right?

LAWRENCE: Bottom line, decades. They change the pitch in law specifically for the top brass a few years ago. Nobody else in the military got this benefit. And it caused the pensions to jump $80,000 a year in some cases. So now what you have some of the top brass are making more in retirement than they actually did when they were serving in active duty, some of them up to a quarter of a million dollars a year.

So, the locker it takes you to wind down those ranks while they're in service, the longer you're going to be paying for it in retirement.

BURNETT: That is amazing. A quarter million dollars a year and making more in retirement than you made while you were working.


BURNETT: Chris Lawrence, thank you very much. Obviously, with that OUTFRONT investigation we're going to put that on line, and we want you to see (INAUDIBLE).

Coming up, Alec Baldwin goes on a tirade tossing nasty invectives at a reporter. Why?

And Germany's new army. This is scary, people.

And tonight's shout out. Brawl at a drag queen contest. So, all was going fine at the Miss Gay San Juan beauty pageant in Peru, until the winner was announced. And that is when the wigs went flying.

The runner-up felt he should have won. So, he attacked the winner. You can see this going down. Clothes, everything is coming off.

According to local media report, it took security quite a while to actually separate the two from this incredible brawl. So, our shout-out goes to the contestants who lost for holding their wigs high and keeping their cool.


BURNETT: And we are back with tonight's outer circle, where we reach out to our sources around the world. So tonight, we go to France and the special place, of course, because that is where the Tour de France begins tomorrow, the world's most prestigious cycling event. Well, on the eve of the race, the disgraced former cyclist Lance Armstrong defends doping. A French newspaper quotes Armstrong as saying his seven Tour De France wins were, quote, "impossible without it." Talk about casting a shadow over the race the night before.

Amanda Davies is covering the story for OUTFRONT.


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, so much for a new chapter. So many in cycling were keen to see the 100th Tour de France as a chance to draw a line in the sand, to move on from the scandal and revelations of recent times. But the man himself, Lance Armstrong, had other ideas and in an interview with the French newspaper Lamont said he thought it was impossible to win the Tour de France without doping.

His comments were blasted by the head of world governing body, so too by the head of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme. The current generation are adamant they have moved on and they're desperate to crack on with the 2013 edition of their sport's greatest race to make the headlines themselves -- Erin.


BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to Amanda there from Corsica.

And now, let's check in with Anderson with a look on what's coming up on "A.C. 360".

Hey, Anderson.


Yes, what could prove to be a pivotal moment in the court in the George Zimmerman, trial, who is the mystery man that George Zimmerman yelled help me, help me to the night Trayvon Martin was killed? Today, we found. We'll take you inside the court. He took the stand. And give his version of events. We'll talk with our legal panel about the importance of that testimony.

Also, my explosive interview tonight with a woman who says she raised Trayvon Martin from the age of three. You haven't seen or heard from her before. My conversation with Alisha Stanley (ph), Trayvon Martin's stepmother. You'll hear her describe her son in a way you never heard before. Also, her thoughts on whether way racial profiling contributed to her stepson's death.

Those stories and tonight's "RidicuList" and a whole lot more on the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Anderson, really looking forward to that interview, and we'll see you in few minutes.

And now, our fifth story OUTFRONT: Alec Baldwin and another social media skirmish? I have to say, I've got home last night and I saw this and had Alec Baldwin not tweeted this awful thing about his family, I wouldn't have seen it, along with most people.

But he can't stop himself. The Emmy Winner's latest Twitter battle exploded after somber event. That, of course, the funeral of actor James Gandolfini.

Marc Istook has more.


MARC ISTOOK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a rant peppered with threats and homophobic taunts, Baldwin blasted the "Daily Mail's" George Stark tweeting, "I'm going to find you George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I'm going to F you up."

CHARLOTTE TRIGGS, STAFF EDITOR, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: This was really a tweet filled with profanity. He kind of threatened the guy and said he would tweet at his funeral.

ISTOOK: Baldwin denied his wife tweeted during the funeral. His reps tell CNN she didn't have her phone on her in church. "The Daily Mail" has since removed its original story from its Web site and posted a new one, saying it's seeking clarification from Twitter on the timing of hilarious tweets.

CNN reached out to Twitter and "The Daily Mail" for comment but hasn't heard back.

On Friday, Baldwin offered an apology with attacking Stark with anti-gay terms, saying, "As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize."

(on camera): This is in a long line of outbursts from Baldwin. In 2012, he tweeted about an exchange with a photographer using #allpaparazzishouldbewaterboarded.

And who can forget about the ruckus that got him grounded.

TRIGGS: People might remember that Alec got kicked off an American Airlines flight two years ago when he wouldn't stop playing the game "Words with Friends" and he argued with the flight attendant and she actually did end up kicking him off the airplane.

ISTOOK (voice-over): And that notorious voice mail he left in 2007 for his then-11-year-old daughter in which he called her a, quote, "rude, thoughtless little pig."

TRIGGS: Nowadays, he had a great relationship with his daughter Ireland and it took time to build it up and the public hasn't forgotten.

ISTOOK: Baldwin cancelled his Twitter account following his latest social media meltdown. So has the world seen the last tweet from the star? TRIGGS: Nobody doubts that Alec Baldwin is going to be back on Twitter pretty soon. I mean, he's done this before where he's deleted his account and then he comes back.

Marc Istook, CNN, Hollywood.


BURNETT: He just can't control himself, sometimes.

Well, we just want to let you know right now it is about 4:53 in California local time and you see that couple there. This is a live picture you're looking at of the first gay marriage that happened since the Supreme Court ruling allowing it to resume. Sorry, it went to bars there, back in California.

Of course, Prop 8, which ban gay marriage passed in California back in November of 2008. So, here we are, a couple starting to get married again and the couple that was fighting prop 8 is getting married tonight in Los Angeles.

Well, next, Germany is up to something that you need to know about because this actually is kind of a terrifying thing.


BURNETT: Every night, we like to take a look outside the day's top stories for something we like to call the OUTFRONT "Outtake." And tonight, robots made the cut. So as you know at this point, right, it's been decades since human beings have been marveling at the possibility of creating artificial life. Every generation has built a better life-like machine.

Now, originally, we created them in our own image, people, but in the last few years, designers in Asia and the U.S. have taken inspiration from the animal world. You know, you can get dinosaurs, all -- look at those little birds and now Germany is inspired, too.

Of course, when the Germans decide to build an animal robot, they did not go with an adorable puppy, or kitty or bird. No, in two German fashion, they went big and tough and they built an ape. The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence has created a fully functional ape bot complete with arms, legs, an articulated spinal column and 43 centers. So, it's able to walk on all fours, it also can stand on hind legs and it can react to its surroundings.

And guess what? The Germans are going to make more of these apes, but before you think they are planning to raise robot apes to take the world over, relax, relax, we aren't going there. They are going after the moon instead apparently, because the German ape bot is classified as a space robot, which is why the Germans are testing it on a mock lunar landscape.

So, according to the researchers, the ape style body is the most ideal for scrambling over the moon's hilly and dusty terrain. So, if all goes well, according to the Germans, their ambitions are bigger than earth. One day the moon could be populated by a bunch of German robot apes. Does that make you feel better? Sleep well America.

"A.C. 360" starts now.