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Protests in Egypt; George Zimmerman Trial Continues; Where Can NSA Leaker Go?; Families Mourn Fallen Firefighters; Inside the Presidents' Club; Facebook Joke or Terroristic Threat?; Baby Ape Gets Real Gorilla Mother

Aired July 2, 2013 - 18:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: Prosecutors try to undercut George Zimmerman's claim of self-defense and undo damage to their own case. Our analysts are there ready to dive into today's testimony.

Also, Egypt on the brink. Anti-government protesters are hearing a new appeal from their embattled president. Will it ease the crisis or will it explode?

And new help for firefighters in Arizona, where a wildfire is raging uncontrolled. We're talking to the family of one of the 19 firefighters who died in this inferno.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

It's been a jampacked day in George Zimmerman's trial, with key witnesses, including a chief medical examiner, a close friend of Zimmerman and the lead detective in the case, the testimony focusing in on the central question, did Zimmerman murder Trayvon Martin or did he shoot him in self-defense?

Our analysts are standing by to talk about which side scored the most points with the six jurors, all of whom are women.

Let's go to our correspondent who has been covering the trial. He was in the courtroom for much of the day. Martin Savidge is joining us now from Sanford, Florida.

What a dramatic day, day seven has been, Martin.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Each day has brought its own uniqueness and especially if you have been following this case closely, new insights.

Today we had the medical examiner that testified. It should be pointed out that the medical examiner was actually giving her professional opinion on the injuries that George Zimmerman had suffered. Keep in mind the prosecution for the past couple of days has been trying to use the words of George Zimmerman against him. Today they were apparently trying to use the wounds of George Zimmerman, the injuries that Zimmerman maintains he suffered at the hands of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. And the prosecution was trying to make plain here that the medical examiner didn't think those wounds were severe or matched the account that George Zimmerman had given. Especially about his head being slammed on the ground. Listen to this exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Rao, using your definition of slamming, your common understanding of slamming, are the injuries to the back of the defendant's head consistent with having been repeatedly slammed into a concrete surface?



RAO: Because if you look at the injuries, they are so minor that to me the word slammed implies great force. And this -- the resulting injuries are not great force.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What type and extent of great force would you expect to see if the defendant's head had been repeatedly slammed into a concrete surface?

RAO: If somebody's head is repeatedly slammed against concrete with great force, I would expect lacerations. I would expect a lot of injury that would bleed profusely that would necessitate suturing. And so I don't see that in this picture.


SAVIDGE: George Zimmerman was maintaining, of course, that he had to shoot Trayvon Martin because he was fearing he was going to lose his life. He was so severely being -- having his head beaten against the ground.

Chris Serino, that's the lead investigator for the Sanford Police Department, was back on the stand again today. And the issue that came up was the position of Trayvon Martin's arms. The reason it came up is that George Zimmerman says that after he shot Trayvon Martin, he then jumped on the teen and pinned the teen's arms down because he thought that that teen could still be a threat. Here's some of how the discussion went in court, the testimony.


BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: You recall also on cross-examination defense counsel asking you about inconsistencies or consistencies, correct?


DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall the defendant in the interview that he gave you and Investigator Singleton stating after he had shot Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin said uh or something and put his hands up? Do you recall that? SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And do you recall that he then stated that Trayvon Martin somehow fell on the ground face first, you recall that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: And you recall the defendant stating that he put his arms out, correct?

SERINO: Correct.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall him saying that?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Do you recall, sir, that one of the first -- in fact, the first person that actually came out before the officer was a person named Manalo, Joe Manalo?

SERINO: Yes, sir, Jonathan.

DE LA RIONDA: I'm sorry. Jonathan Manalo. I apologize.



Showing you state's exhibit 77. Do you recall that he took some photographs out there?

SERINO: Yes, I remember those. Yes.

DE LA RIONDA: And one of them was state's exhibit 77?

SERINO: Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: May I public that to the jury, Your Honor.


DE LA RIONDA: And do you recall in that photograph the victim's hands being underneath his body?

SERINO: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

DE LA RIONDA: Could someone say that was inconsistent with the defendant's statements that his hands were straight out, that he had put his hands out?

SERINO: That positioning, yes.


SERINO: That position as seen there, yes, it is.


SAVIDGE: An attempt to show another inconsistency with Zimmerman saying that he had the arms outstretched but yet authorities say the arms of Trayvon Martin were folded under his body.

BLITZER: Dramatic testimony, indeed. Martin, don't go too far away.

I want to bring in our legal analysts, the former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin, the criminal defense attorney Mark NeJame. They're both in Sanford, Florida. Also our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Sunny, I want you to weigh in on what we just heard. What did you think of day seven in this dramatic testimony?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: In my view, Wolf, day seven was a win for the prosecution.

I mean, they came out of the box swinging certainly by getting Serino's statements that he felt that George Zimmerman was truthful, getting that stricken from the record, getting an instruction to the jury that they were to disregard it. And then they just went on and on and on getting Serino to concede so many of the prosecution's points.

One, they said you know what? If you profile someone as a criminal, that's profiling, isn't it? He conceded that point, Wolf. He also conceded that he believed that George Zimmerman was following Trayvon Martin. He then conceded that that behavior could be considered ill will, hate, spite, which is one of the elements that the prosecution has to prove.

Then he also, you know, got him on -- the prosecution also sort of delved into the fact that George Zimmerman said he had to get out of the car to find an address that was right in front of his very eyes. And then finally the piece that you just showed that he went over this testimony or statement, rather, by George Zimmerman that Trayvon Martin's arms were out when, in fact, his body was found with his arms underneath it.

It was win after win after win after win, concession after concession after concession. I thought that the redirect of this witness was masterful. And I don't even know that the jury is going to remember anything that happened yesterday.

BLITZER: I know, Mark, you totally disagree with Sunny. But tell us why.

MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Totally is all-encompassing, but almost totally.

Look, I think the state has some good points. I think the defense did as well. But it could have been malice. It could have been evil intent. Could have, would have, should haves don't get you a conviction. You have to prove it through evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. If we're at the level where the best we could get from a state where their primary witness, their lead investigator is, it could happen, where's the evidence? Where's the proof that's going to sustain a conviction?

No. I think that they had a few points. And Sunny appropriately pointed out some of the good ones. But I spoke in the last segment about his arms being stretched out in one version and being underneath on another. And I do think that's a challenge for the defense because there is an inconsistency there that we have not heard from the defense how they're anticipating dealing with the .

But with all that said, we saw a man who was quiet. We saw a man who came and presented himself well, that he ended up having a nice friend, his best friend who is a former sheriff's deputy and working as a federal marshal, air marshal. He came across as a decent guy. You didn't have this rage that here was this man with evil intent and evil motive. You ended up hearing his stories.

They were relatively consistent. I don't think you could have anybody talking any topic five times and have them match up every time on everything. But by and large he gave a consistent story. I just don't see where the state has given enough evidence to meet their burden beyond a reasonable doubt. I just don't see it.

BLITZER: Jeffrey, when Sunny was making her points, win after win after win for the prosecution today, I seem to have -- I think I saw you raise your eyebrows there in sort of disbelief. But tell us what you think.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think that Sunny is correct that there were certain points that were made, but the overall impression I had, anyway, was you had Sean Hannity doing a very sympathetic interview where Zimmerman got to lay out his case in an undisturbed way.

He had his best friend lay out his case again where he said in a very sympathetic way that George Zimmerman did not mean to kill Trayvon Martin. And then, you know, you had an expert witness who said, yes, maybe he punched him once, maybe he punched him a couple times, where it's just -- I don't see where the guilt is here. I don't see where evidence of a murder is being presented in here.

Now, it is true that if the jury wants to pick through the evidence and find incriminating items, as Sunny said, they are there. But the overall impression I got -- and again, perhaps I'm wrong -- was that this case is not going in well for the prosecution.

BLITZER: All right, very quickly, Sunny, button it up.

HOSTIN: I completely disagree with Jeff. And Jeff knows that I value his opinion and he's a friend, but the bottom line is this is the second week of this case. I think today was a sea change for the prosecution. These cases are like puzzles. You're putting a puzzle together without the benefit of the box that has the picture on it.

At the end of the case, generally all the puzzle pieces are together and you see the picture. For me, I'm seeing that picture. There are a couple little pieces missing, but not much. I think in closing arguments the prosecution is going to wrap this up. They're going to overlay all of these different inconsistencies in George Zimmerman's statements.

And I got to tell you, I do see that the prosecution is going to be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

BLITZER: A lot of people already suggesting maybe they would have been better off with a manslaughter case as opposed to second-degree murder. But you know what? We will continue this conversation down the road.

Guys, thanks very much.

We're also following other major news this hour. We're going live to Egypt where anti-government protests are growing and growing. The embattled President Mohammed Morsi has been speaking to people on television. He's facing an ultimatum now from the military. Stand by, new information on Egypt coming in.

Also, the NSA leaker's days in Russia, we are now learning may be numbered. New information about his struggle to find asylum coming into THE SITUATION ROOM.

And the widow of a fallen firefighter in Arizona talks about keeping her husband's legacy alive for her children.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: And the breaking news is significant.

It's after midnight now in Egypt. The national crisis is unfolding. Thousands and thousands of anti-government protesters are camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Pro-government demonstrators are also on the streets not very far away.

The embattled President Mohammed Morsi, he's been pleading with his nation to give him more time to address the demands of his opponents, who want him to step down and to step down now. Listen to what he said only moments ago.


MOHAMMED MORSI, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The people gave me the mandate. They chose me in a free election. The people created a constitution and gave me the mandate. The state gave me the mandate and requires me to stay with the constitution. To preserve this constitution, I have no other choice but to bear responsibility. Violence and shedding the blood, this is a trap. If we fall into this trap, it will not end.


BLITZER: President Morsi is under enormous pressure right now from the millions of protesters out there right now. He's also under enormous pressure from the Egyptian military and even some pressure from President Obama. Our senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, is joining us from Cairo right now. He's been watching what's going on. He's joining us on the phone.

It looks like he's begging his people in this television statement, in the speech that he's delivering, Ben, he's begging them for forgiveness.


I think what he's saying is that he is going to hold onto the position and he is not going to step down. And he's using the shield of what he calls democratic legitimacy, the fact that a year ago, 52 percent of the Egyptian electorate voted for him and he is the legitimate president of Egypt. And he said twice that he is willing to shed his blood to defend that legitimacy.

So, Wolf, there's no indication in the speech that he is willing to step down or to even offer an olive branch to the millions of Egyptians who are now in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and other Egyptian cities. And he is also -- possibly, even as dangerous as that, he seems to be ignoring the army's call for politicians, the opposition, as well as President Mohammed Morsi, to settle his differences with his opponents and get down to the hard work of running this difficult country.

And of course this brings ever closer the possibility that the army will, as they warned in that ultimatum yesterday step in with their own road map for Egypt if the politicians can't come to some sort of agreement. So definitely this only raises the temperature.

Now, interestingly enough, Tahrir Square at the moment has gone a bit quieter. It's still quite noisy. I think people are waiting for him possibly to put out some final message of reconciliation before they give their verdict, but I suspect that when the speech is over, we're going to hear a very negative roar from this crowd in Tahrir Square.

BLITZER: I suspect you're right. Ben Wedeman has been watching the situation unfold. He's there in Tahrir Square right now. Don't go too far away.

Let's bring in our chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, the anchor of "AMANPOUR" on CNN International. Also joining us, Fareed Zakaria, the host of "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS."

Christiane, the only concession I did hear -- and I know you were listening to his speech as well -- is when he said, yes, I have made some major mistakes over the past year. But I have learned from those mistakes. But as Ben points out, no indication he is ready to step down.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, and as Ben pointed out quite the opposite.

And just before this speech, he, under his name, under the presidency sent out a tweet calling on the military to reject or rather withdraw their ultimatum. So we have been talking to experts and analysts, opposition people, and Morsi people throughout this day.

And certainly the Morsi people feel that, listen, we're going to hold fast. We have the legitimacy as he kept saying of elections, the first free and fair elections in Egypt on our side. Plus, he kept saying 64 percent of the people ratified the constitution in a referendum. And therefore I have the mandate. And I have no choice but to carry this out.

Now the opposition has decided that it's not even interested in any kind of compromise or negotiations with Morsi and says -- and told us tonight that they will stay on the streets until he goes. Many people believe that he has now lost his legitimacy, that if millions of people in the street, if it's true that 22 people have signed onto a petition to have him go, well, then that is a massive demonstration of popular will.

But I think most people that this will never be resolved to any sense of satisfaction unless there is some kind of political compromise and national reconciliation. And really the question is, what does the army do? It's not likely to stage an all-out coup and step in and run the country, but can it find a group of so-called technocrats or mutual body to oversee what it says is going to be a four-point plan, where it will dissolve the parliament, it will dissolve constitution. It will be try to rewrite another constitution and hold new elections.

Tomorrow we're going to know what happens.

BLITZER: Fareed, I'm anxious to hear you weigh in because I know you have studied this situation very closely. Here is a fear that some are expressing now. You have millions of people on one hand that want Morsi to go away immediately. On the other hand, you have millions of others, including a lot of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, they say they have been waiting 80 years for the Muslim Brotherhood to have this kind of power and they're not going to give it up now.

How concerned should we be that the demonstrations, the millions on one side, the millions on the other side with the Egyptian military now deeply involved that we could see a lot of blood shed?

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS ANALYST: This is a very volatile situation. And I think that it could get a lot more volatile precisely because of what Christiane was saying.

Imagine -- play that out. If the army were to do the kind of things that Christiane was suggesting they might -- and there are intimations that they might do that -- remember, 52 percent of the company did vote for Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood appears to be the best organized political movement. It may not command a majority of the public, but it is very well organized.

And these guys are going to feel that after 80 years and after having won an election, they are being deprived of it by a coup d'etat. And they will get on the streets and there will be enormous anger and rage there. And how the does army deal with that? The best-case scenario frankly is for the army not come out with something draconian like that, but to say instead we want to create a national political dialogue, some kind of committee that will look into revising the constitution and things like that.

A lot of what's happened here, Wolf, is that the democracy is a lot more than just winning an election. And the Muslim Brotherhood has not recognized that it has to take into account the 48 percent that didn't vote for it, that there are many people who feel that the constitution was rammed down the throats of a lot of Egyptians, that it contains within it many illiberal characteristics, things that are kind of the Muslim Brotherhood's Islamic agenda written into the basic framework of laws.

So there has to be some process that allows for, if not a redo, at the very least the process of amending the constitution and the Muslim Brotherhood is forced in some way to cooperate with these other forces within society, because if this becomes a confrontation, remember the Muslim Brotherhood also has enormous strength itself. So this will not be as easy as dislodging a Mubarak. This is the most powerful political movement in Egypt.

BLITZER: Christiane, the speech by Morsi has now wrapped up. You see his supporters, they're waving flags.

They are thrilled presumably by what Morsi had to say when he said he is not stepping down. He's not going anywhere. On the other hand the opposition, they are obviously very, very furious still at Mohammed Morsi.

As you know, Christiane, President Obama yesterday called President Morsi to make his pitch for democracy, for early elections, if you will. But I'm sort of struck by the lack of U.S. influence on what's going on in Egypt right now, despite all the U.S. aid that's been provided over the years. But give me your thought.

AMANPOUR: Well, look, I think you're absolutely right. President Obama has been in touch with President Morsi. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs has been in touch with his Egyptian counterpart.

Obviously there's $30 billion of aid in play. But it's a lot of -- a lot more than that. This is a very key, real sort of building block, sort of stone of the Middle East region of that area. It's not only a strong U.S. and Western ally. And actually in foreign policy, Morsi is considered to have done a good job vis-a-vis relations with the United States and with Israel. So I think that's really very important to bear in mind.

I think to what Fareed said, look, it is true that the Muslim Brotherhood is the only party in Egypt. Please, let's not forget this. There are no parties in Egypt. That is one of the reasons why the Muslim Brotherhood won. But it has shown itself maybe to be a great party in opposition, but a completely incompetent party when it comes to trying to run and trying to govern and having overextended itself. I think that's a problem and that's a problem for the opposition as well, because they are divided and disunited. And to be honest, they don't have a completely coherent message other than he must leave. But there is no political party. There's no way to sort of have anybody else challenge Morsi. So that poses the real interesting question to what happens if there is an interim situation. Also analysts are saying and they're being very, very concerned about this.

Let's say that there is a new election. And let's say that Islamists win again. And let's say that the next is even more hard-line than a Muslim Brotherhood winner. So there's a lot of potential blowback and backlash that could happen. But having said that, it is clear that Morsi has lost his legitimacy, and thus the crisis. And we will wait to see how it plays out.

BLITZER: The next 24 hours, 48 hours to be sure could be critical. You guys will be back with us. Thanks very much, Christiane Amanpour and Fareed Zakaria.

Up next, the NSA leaker's desperate search for a safe have, new information coming in. We're mapping out some of the few options he has left.

Also, the first ladies Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, they steal the spotlight from their husbands today in Africa during a get-together for the first families overseas.


BLITZER: Happening now: the NSA leaker now running out of options in his hunt for a safe haven from prosecution back here in the United States.

Also, raging flames and a heartbreak in Arizona. We're talking to a family of a fallen firefighter who lost a husband, a father, and the life they knew in an instant.

And the Obamas and the Bushes and their lovefest in Africa, the surprising remarks when a couple of first ladies get together.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

It now appears Edward Snowden may not be in Russia much longer. The Kremlin says Snowden, on the run now for weeks after spilling secrets about widespread surveillance by the U.S. government, has been told he can stay in the country only if he stops leaking information, a demand Snowden is reportedly not willing to accept.

So if Russia is not allowing him to stay, where can Snowden go? His options appear to be dwindling. Over half of the more than 20 countries he's requested asylum -- asylum in have now said they will deny his request unless he shows up at an embassy or at the border.

CNN's Tom Foreman is breaking Snowden's down -- Snowden's options down for us in our virtual studio. Tell us what you're seeing, Tom. TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, his options appear to be breaking down by the hour. He's been at the Moscow airport for ten days now. And we know less now about where he's going than we thought we knew when he first went in there on his flight from Hong Kong.

Here are many of the countries at which he has either applied for asylum or in which there's been serious discussion that he might be taken in and given some sort of safe harbor. But how realistic are the names on this list? Let's bring in the globe here and talk about this a little bit.

We're going to start with Iceland, because this is one that's been talked about a great deal. Why would Iceland possibly be a good choice? Well, if we open up the file, you can take a look and see why it might be a good choice. They're sympathetic there to some degree. There's a lot of sympathy among the population, people there, to the idea of political dissidents in general. It's somewhat close to the Moscow airport, so he wouldn't have to fly over a big area and run a big risk in that process. There are voices speaking in his favor in Iceland, but here is the trick.

The government there has effectively said no to him without even saying no. What they said is, as you mentioned a moment ago, if you want asylum in Iceland, you're going to have to come to Icelandic soil to request it. So it would be a huge gamble for him to go there with no promise and hope that it simple played out.

Let's look at another possibility here: China. This is one of the great big players in the field here. China has some reasons that they could say yes to him. Let's look at that folder and see what those might be. Among them would be a power play. This would be a way to say to the United States, "Look, we're a big world superpower. You're not going to call the shots on this. We do what we wish." Intelligence. Maybe he has more secrets to spill that China might like to have.

But there's also a negative here that he has to contend with. China is a big world trading partner. They're a big influential trading political power in the world. They may not want to risk all of that, Wolf, just over this guy. And bear in mind, he already left Hong Kong.

BLITZER: What about Latin America? Are they still effectively in play, Tom?

FOREMAN: Yes. The Latin-American countries could very well be in play. Let's take look at this. In Latin America, we talked about Ecuador for a while. That now seems to be largely off the table. Bolivia seems to be in talk.

But Venezuela is the one that people talk about the most as a possibility. Why would Venezuela possibly be workable for them? Because it would allow them to take a poke at the U.S. which they don't care for a whole lot in any given moment. He could be a bargaining chip that they could pull out in the future at some point, if they wanted to, by saying, "We've got this guy that you want." But -- and this again is important. Look at the third item there. Since Hugo Chavez passed, there have been some slight warming of relations between Venezuela and the United States. Officials there could say, "Look, why get into a fight over this guy when things might be moving in our direction."

So we'll put this away and look at the list one more time. And look at how many names really don't belong on that list anymore, because they don't really seem to be in play. And many of the others may still be a long shot -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Tom Foreman taking a look at that list for us. Thanks very much.

Let's bring in our foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty. There was a lot of speculation about Bolivia that maybe he was even on the flight from Moscow back to Bolivia that was making a refueling stop someplace in Europe. What's the latest?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I hope you were paying attention, because it's getting more complicated as we speak.

So the foreign ministers of Bolivia and Venezuela were in Moscow for this big oil conference. And the rumors were, "Oh, my goodness. Maybe he's going to get on the plane and leave."

So the Bolivians take off. They want to refuel in Europe. They tried to do it in Portugal and in France, but they're not allowed to. So they have to set down in Vienna and refuel. So the foreign minister of Bolivia is saying it's the United -- No. 1, he's not on the plane.

BLITZER: They're saying he's not on the plane?

DOUGHERTY: He's saying he's not on the plane. And No. 2, it's the United States that is, you know, unduly influencing those countries to not let us land. So this gets curiouser and curiouser, Wolf.

BLITZER: What about the State Department and the Obama administration. What's the latest you're hearing about this?

DOUGHERTY: OK. So what they're doing is they are contacting -- won't give a list. You know, there's a list, as Tom said. They won't go down that list. But they say that they are talking with all sorts of countries that could either be a destination for him or they could be a transit point. And they are urging them the same thing they've been saying for days now, "Look, he broke the law. He ought to come back to the United States. You shouldn't let him in. Or you should, if he happens to get there, send him back."

BLITZER: And if you don't, you'll pay a price in terms of U.S. relations with your country. That's the threat.

DOUGHERTY: Implicit. Yes.

BLITZER: That the U.S. is making pretty blunt. I don't think it's that implicit. I think it's pretty blunt that the Obama administration, whether they say it publicly or directly through diplomatic channels. You do this, you pay a price.

DOUGHERTY: Look at the numbers.

BLITZER: All right. Jill, thanks very much.

Coming up, the widow of one of the 19 firefighters killed in Arizona struggles with what to tell her children. Stand by. The emotional interview coming up.


BLITZER: United States military is sending four special firefighting aircraft to Arizona to help battle the deadliest wildfire in the state's history. Still totally uncontained today. Spreading in the mountains northwest of Phoenix.

Nineteen elite firefighters were killed in that blaze Sunday. And their loved ones are just beginning to face their pain and their enormous loss.

Our Brian Todd is in Arizona.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Juliann Ashcraft can't sleep and barely knows what to say to her young children. In an instant Juliann became a widow. Her emptiness complicated by the responsibility of helping 6-year-old Ryder (ph), 4-year-old Shiloh (ph), 2-year-old Tate (ph) and her baby, Choice (ph), just a year old, deal with the loss of their father.

JULIANN ASHCRAFT, WIDOW OF ANDREW ASHCRAFT: It's just a lot of faith, a lot of prayers. But I don't plan to move on and leave behind. I plan on finding a way to incorporate Andrew in our life now that's different, that's more of a spiritual and a mental and emotional presence.

TODD: Andrew Ashcraft himself had so much of life still ahead. Just 29 years old when the Yarnell Hill fire suddenly turned on him and 18 other firefighters.

(on camera): Choice (ph) may have virtually no memory of his father when he's older. What are you going to tell him about Andrew?

ASHCRAFT: Well, their dad is amazing. And I will tell them every day of their life how much he loves them. But he's here. I look in their faces, and I see him. They look just like him. They act just like him. And there will be days that's great and days I'm sure I'll pull my hair out. He was full of life and energy.

TODD (voice-over): Andrew's mother, Deborah Pfingston, is struggling with the same emotions and feeling the same pride. She can't say enough about the dedication and heroism of Andrew and the other Granite Mountain Hot Shots, a veritable SEAL Team 6 of firefighters. (on camera): What is your feeling about the fact that he perished with those guys together?

DEBORAH PFINGSTON, ANDREW ASHCRAFT'S MOTHER: It's an honor. Last night when I was praying, because I always would text Andrew when he was having a fire, "Be strong, be wise, be safe."

I said, "OK, God. I don't understand it. But thank you that he wasn't alone. Thank you he was -- that they were together."

TODD (voice-over): They had done everything together, Deborah says. Ate, slept outside, and trained.

(on camera): The loss of Andrew Ashcraft is also being felt here at a place called Captain Cross Fit, a training center in Prescott where Ashcraft and five others who were lost in the fire worked out together regularly. Trainer Janine Pereira worked with all of the Hot Shots here.

JANINE PEREIRA, TRAINED HOT SHOTS: It's just really heart-breaking and sad to know that they are all gone. The whole crew.

TODD (voice-over): A loss in one household that Andrew's mother puts in perspective.

PFINGSTON: I have my husband. I have my daughter. I have my oldest son. But Juliann, Ryder (ph), Shiloh (ph), Tate (ph), Choice (ph), they don't have Andrew anymore. I mean, Choice (ph) is 1. Will he know him? But that's hard. It's hard.

TODD (on camera): Also very difficult for the one member of the Hot Shots who was not killed. A young man named Brandon McDonough who was working as a lookout and had just radioed his position to the crew and was on the move when the others got caught in the fire.

We have tried unsuccessfully to contact Brandon McDonough. But Juliann Ashcraft and Deborah Pfingston tell us that he is devastated -- Wolf.

BLITZER: We're all devastated just hearing that report, Brian. Our heart goes out to all of those families. What a heart breaking story. Our deepest, deepest condolences. Brian Todd on the scene for us reporting that news.

A teenager lands in jail for a threatening Facebook message. Was he really serious about shooting up the school, or was it just a joke gone horribly, horribly wrong?

And life inside the president's club. CNN takes a closer look at the relationship between President Obama and his predecessor the former president, George W. Bush.


BLITZER: President Obama and former President George W. Bush may be political opposites, but you wouldn't know it when they're together. The two made a joint appearance in Africa today to remember the victims of the 1998 Tanzania embassy attack. It's the latest installment in a publicly very pleasant relationship between the Bushes and the Obamas.

Let's bring in CNN's Athena Jones. She's been taking a closer look. These men seem to be getting along very, very nicely.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. And it's not just the men. First lady Michelle Obama and first lady Laura Bush also looked like they were having a great time together today at a summit where they got together to talk about their experiences in the White House and as leaders in their own right.


JONES (voice-over): President Obama and President Bush side by side in Tanzania to honor victims of the 1998 embassy bombing. Their views on fighting terrorism have moved closer, Obama having adopted many of Bush's tactics.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Then you need to vote for Barack Obama for president in November.

JONES: Back in 2008, candidate Obama used George Bush as a foil.

OBAMA: It's going to be a close election. Even though people know George Bush has done a miserable job.

JONES: But 43 has had little to say about the job 44 is doing. He told CNN's Robyn Curnow why.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don't want to criticize the Obama administration. Is that something that you've really made a decision not to do?

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think it does any good. It's a hard job. He's got plenty on his agenda.

CURNOW: It's also been a criticism-free zone for the presidents' wives. Appearing at a summit of first ladies, they bonded over bangs, life in the White House and the power of their position.

LAURA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: So I, you know, want to encourage every first lady to speak out and speak up and let people know. Because people are watching.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: We have probably the best jobs in the world. Because, unlike our husbands, who have to react and respond to crisis on a minute-by-minute basis, you know, they come in the office with a wonderful profound agenda and then they're faced with --

L. BUSH: With reality. Right.

M. OBAMA: On the other hand, we get to work on what we're passionate about.

JONES: They joked about the frequent focus on what they're wearing.

M. OBAMA: While people are sort of sorting through our shoes and our hair and whether we cut it or not, you know.

L. BUSH: Whether we had bangs.

M. OBAMA: Whether we have bangs. But we take our bangs, and we stand in front of important things that the world needs to see.

JONES: And they talked about what it's like to live in the White House.

M. OBAMA: There are prison elements to it. But it's a really nice prison.

L. BUSH: But with a chef.

M. OBAMA: You can't complain.


JONES: Of course for first ladies, that really nice prison also means having a global stage, Wolf.

BLITZER: I know there's new information coming in on the president's healthcare law, Obama care, that you're just beginning to absorb. Tell our viewers what's going on.

JONES: Yes, this just came out on the Treasury (ph) Department's blog today. The Obama administration is now saying that companies with more than 50 employees will now have an extra year before they're required to provide health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Instead of doing so by 2014, they'll now have until 2015, and they won't be penalized for not providing insurance before then.

In that blog post, I mentioned the assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department said the administration was taking this step because of, quote, "concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need to implement them effectively."

That post went on to say, "We recognize the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it's easy for others to do so. We've listened to your feedback, and we're taking action."

We know the department will be providing more details on this within the next week.

BLITZER: So explain the politics of what we've just learned.

JONES: Well, certainly, critics would say this just proves that this law, this healthcare law that many people were opposed to is unworkable and unwieldy. So this looks like certainly another setback, at least this year delay. BLITZER: Yes. I'm sure the Republicans will claim victory as far as this is concerned, at least. We'll see what happens. Thanks very much for that information, Athena reporting.

Meanwhile, a teenage boy is now locked up in a Texas jail after writing on Facebook that he was thinking about shooting up a school. Police have charged him with making a terrorist threat, but his family says it was all a joke.

CNN's Alina Machado is following the story for us.

Alina, tell us what's going on here.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Justin Carter's mom tells me he became involved in an argument while playing an online game. She says the argument then spilled onto social media, and that what he wrote online landed him in jail.


JENNIFER CARTER, MOTHER OF JUSTIN CARTER: So the idea that my son would ever hurt small children is just ludicrous. He never would. He's not that kind of person.

MACHADO (voice-over): Jennifer Carter says her teenaged son, Justin, has spent nearly five months behind bars for a sarcastic comment he made on Facebook. A comment she says was taken out of context.

CARTER: Someone said to Justin, "You're crazy. You're messed up in the head."

And his response was, "Oh, yes, I'm so messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school." Then he posted "LOL," which stands for laugh out loud, and "JK," just kidding.

MACHADO: According to court documents, this is what Carter posted online. It says, in part, "I think I'm a shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them."

Police in Austin, Texas, launched an investigation after receiving an anonymous tip. Carter's mother says her son was arrested at work that same day.

CARTER: We honestly assumed that once the police spoke to him, they would understand that this was just a joking comment that he had made, and that it wasn't serious.

MACHADO: But Justin Carter was charged with making a terroristic threat, a felony. His case has yet to come to trial.

Court documents show he lived less than half a mile from an elementary school in New Braunfels, Texas.


MACHADO: Defense attorney Dan Flanary says police searched Carter's apartment and found no guns, no bullets, or documents professing hate.

FLANARY: It may have been a crass thing to say. It may have been inappropriate. But -- but that sort of speech is protected by the First Amendment.

MACHADO: His mother says her son is on suicide watch and is in solitary confinement after having been assaulted in jail.

CARTER: It's very hopeless and very depressed and very scared. It's very hard to hear your child hopeless.


MACHADO: Now, Carter remains in custody on a $500,000 bond. His mom says he does not have a history of mental illness.

Now, meanwhile, he initially had a court-appointed attorney. Flanary tells us he took on the case yesterday pro bono -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Alina, keep us up to speed on this case. There's high interest around the country. Thanks very much.

Coming up, an unforgettable change for a baby ape in Cincinnati. Yes, Jeanne Moos is coming up.


BLITZER: A heartwarming story about a baby ape at the Cincinnati Zoo. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What mama gorilla could possibly reject this? But Gladys's real mom did, so these humans at the Cincinnati Zoo took over.

RON EVANS, PRIMATE CENTER TEAM LEADER, CINCINNATI ZOO: Today, for the first day, we stuck her on our backs.

MOOS: You might remember seeing them crawling around, giving her a bottle, rough-housing gorilla-style, all the while wearing fake fur vests from a company called Fabulous Furs, that normally advertises the wow factor for humans. At least they didn't have to wear a bunny costume like Anderson Cooper did to please a couple of bonobos.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I brought you presents.

MOOS: Because the bunny happens to be their favorite character.

The fake furs enable Gladys to cling to the surrogate moms as if they were real gorillas. They call the four-month process --

EVANS: Gorillafication.

MOOS (on camera): The humans also had to speak gorilla with disciplinary coughs and soothing belches. EVANS: Gorillas make these when they're content.

MOOS (voice-over): And when Gladys was sassy or nippy, displaying what they call gladitude, she got a warning.


MOOS: They exposed Gladys to clanging doors, the outdoor habitat. Even a fake fur-vested reporter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She just peed on me.

MOOS: She showered him, they showered her with affection.

They introduced Gladys through what they call this howdy mesh to four gorilla candidates, only one of whom would take over as Gladys's gorilla surrogate mother. The winner was a gorilla maimed M'Linzi, who had been an excellent mom to her own baby, but this wasn't love at first sight.

EVANS: Gladys even got a little nervous at one point and bit M'Linzi a couple of times, but M'Linzi was very patient.

MOOS: After a week or so, M'Linzi was carrying Gladys around, grooming her, comforting her when she got upset. Though Gladys still probably doesn't appreciate being dragged out of a good nap.

(on camera): Gorillafication is a one-way street. After the humans hand Gladys over to her own kind --

EVANS: We don't take her back. She's in there for good.

MOOS (voice-over): And though Ron Evans says he'll miss holding her --

EVANS: Gladys isn't our baby. Gladys isn't a pet. Gladys is a gorilla.

MOOS: But will he miss dressing up like a gorilla?

EVANS: No, I still do it every Saturday night.

MOOS: Somehow it feels like the father giving up the bride.

EVANS: Oh, my.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BLITZER: Although Gladys was at first reluctant to leave her human surrogates, she's now bonding nicely, we're told, with her new mom.

That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.