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Obama Administration Under Pressure In Zimmerman Case; Trayvon Martin's Family Quiet After Verdict; Report: NSA Leaker Has More Damaging Documents

Aired July 15, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Up front next, should, could, we see another George Zimmerman trial? Will the Obama administration file a civil rights suit for a hate crime against the man who killed Trayvon Martin?

Plus the latest from the Edward Snowden investigation. The NSA leaker reportedly has the blueprints of the United States of America's entire spy program. That is a huge claim. Does it add up?

And later, a racist joke on a local news station offends the airline that crashed in San Francisco. Should they sue? Well, we checked the tapes. Let's go OUTFRONT.

A good Monday evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, under pressure. Will the Obama administration file a civil rights suit against George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin? Protesters around the country are pushing for it. The NAACP says it has more than 800,000 signatures on petitions demanding the Department of Justice opening federal case. The NAACP, of course, put out a press release within minutes of the verdict saying the DOJ should do something. Today, Attorney General Eric Holder left the door open for more action.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised. I want to assure you that the department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law.


BURNETT: But is there enough fear to charge Zimmerman with a hate crime? Here's what our legal analysts say Holder would have to prove. Have to prove that Zimmerman wilfully hurt Trayvon Martin by shooting him because -- this is the crucial thing, because he was black.

OUTFRONT tonight, Michael Skolnik, the political director for Russell Simmons, also serves on the Board of Directors for the Trayvon Martin Foundation, Rochelle Oliver is a producer and co-creator of the Halloween Hoodie Campaign, an effort to take a stand against stereotypes and of course, Paul Callan, our legal analyst. OK, great to have all three of you. I know you have different points of view. Michael, let me just get the bottom line here, should the Department of Justice bring a case?

MICHAEL SKOLNIK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GLOBALGRIND.COM: I think they should certainly open an investigation. Is there a case? I don't think there's a care. They should look into this investigation and make sure there isn't a case before they close the book.

BURNETT: Because that will make people feel look, you haven't left a stone unturned.

SKOLNIK: Especially since George Zimmerman wasn't arrested for 45 days. He wasn't arrested for 45 days. They thought Trayvon Martin was a John Doe so at least make sure every stone was overturned before this is over.

BURNETT: Rochelle, I want to play a little piece of the call Trayvon Martin made to police the night he shot Trayvon Martin. It goes to the heart of this, whether the government could prove he shot him because he was black. Here's the call.


GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: We've had some break-ins in 95 my neighbor and there is a real suspicious guy, Retreat View Circle. The best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something. He is raining and he was walking around, looking about.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK, and this guy, is he white, black or Hispanic?

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.


BURNETT: Rochelle, that doesn't sound definitive enough to say I know he's black and I'm going after him for that reason, which you would need for a hate crime.

ROCHELLE OLIVER, VICE PRESIDENT, SOUTH FLORIDA BLACK JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION: I mean, I think it is plenty. He said he looks suspicious. This gentleman was walking around in his own backyard. There is nothing suspicious about that except for the fact that he was black and he was wearing a hoodie. I think there's more than enough there and when you believe someone is suspicious, and you are saying they're black and you're going to react off of your fears of black people running around in a neighborhood causing problems, that's profiling. That's wrong.

BURNETT: That may be wrong but I guess I'm trying to understand, in your view, Rochelle, a subconscious profiling. Is that the same as an active hate crime of going after someone with the intent because of their race to you?

OLIVER: Yes, I think it is. I think we need to look more at implicit racism versus explicit racism. In this case I think there's a lot of undertones and things that are stereotypes. He might not have gone out with the lynch mob going after him. He did act in a way that I don't think he would have acted if this was a white person not wearing a hoodie.

BURNETT: And Paul Callan, let me just say to both Michael and Rochelle are saying. It is important to say that there had been a break-in in that neighborhood recently right before Zimmerman made this call. The suspect had been a black male, which is just another piece of context here. Not to justify but just to give people context.

Eric Holder back in April of last year said, for federal hate crime, we must prove the highest standard of the law, something that was reckless. That was negligent. It does not meet that standard. We must show specific intent to do the crime with requisite state of mind. What do you say in this case?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I say you get a do over on a jury trial when under very extraordinary circumstances, where there's unfairness and it is clear there has been unfairness in the system. Let's look at what happened in this case. The governor of Florida appointed the toughest prosecutor in Florida from an adjacent county. She brought in her really fiery prosecutors to prosecute the case.

They devoted an enormous amount of investigator time to put together a case. Zimmerman was indicted, the trial judge, one of the toughest judges in Florida. Universally, lawyers have looked at this case and I watched almost all of it, superb lawyers on both sides of the case presenting all available admissible evidence. And we're doing what essentially the founding fathers wanted us to do.

A local jury is supposed to make a decision about guilt or innocence. This was a fair trial where all the he have was heard by the jury. Just because you don't agree with the outcome, I don't think it is proper for the federal government to intervene and try to take it away from the locals.

BURNETT: Rochelle, what do you think? The DOJ obviously has been investigating. Michael's point is they should do that even though he doesn't think they have a case. The FBI has interviewed nearly three dozen people in the case. They have found no evidence at this point of racial bias as a motivating factor.

OLIVER: Yes. If it looks like racism and it sounds like racism, this is racism. And I was at a rally, a Miami rally last, yesterday evening, and there were people who felt extremely lost. There were children and young adults and they wanted answers. They were confused. How can this happen in our backyard? It doesn't make sense.

If an innocent man kills an innocent boy, that doesn't make sense. That doesn't happen. What we need to do is we need to fill this up and take this to the DOJ and I think they are going to find that in fact what half, 800,000 people have brought to the attention and the NAACP, that there is racism there. And it is rampant.

BURNETT: Michael, a final word to you. The president said if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon. His statement this weekend though, was, look, a jury has spoken, but we have big issues to talk about in this country. And there are issues, right? According to government statistics, blacks were 55 percent of shooting homicide victims in this country, but only 13 percent of the population. There is a broad issue here.

SKOLNIK: Certainly. The sadness that so many people have felt over the past 48 hours as George Zimmerman walked out of that courtroom free was that another black kid was killed for no reason. He was walking home with a bag of Skittles and a can of ice tea to watch a basketball game and was stalked by a guy who he did not know and confronted him and killed him and he goes home free. People are deeply, deeply saddened that once again, a black kid time and time again. As the cover of the "Daily News" in New York said today, Emmitt Hill, Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, when will it stop?

BURNETT: We'll leave it there. Thank you very much, all three of you. We appreciate you taking the time. I want to add this programming note at 8:00, an exclusive interview. Anderson is going to be speaking with one of the jurors from the Zimmerman case. The first time a juror has spoken. That is at 8:00 p.m. here on CNN.

Still to come, the Martin family obviously did not get the verdict that they hoped for. Was it because of racism or failure by the prosecution or something different? Their attorney, Natalie Jackson is our guest.

Tonight an OUTFRONT investigation, a construction of something the government spending a lot of money, a huge complex never going to be used.

Plus the airline of the 777 that crashed in San Francisco saying they are the ones who man to sue, really.

And later, an attempt to go 300 miles an hour on a motorcycle and the tragic results.


BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, the outrage over the George Zimmerman verdict. For two days now, you've been seeing this on TV and maybe in your own cities. Protesters around the country reacting to Zimmerman's acquittal, two people though who have been noticeably quiet are Trayvon Martin's parents. Tracy martin, Sybrina Fulton weren't in the courtroom when the verdict was read late Saturday night.

Like many of you watching, I was wondering why are not they there. Other than a few tweets, we haven't heard from them. OUTFRONT tonight is Natalie Jackson, the attorney for Trayvon Martin's family. And Natalie, it is always good to see you. I know obviously it has been a very long weekend for you. You've had a chance to talk to Tracy and Sybrina, what did they sense the verdict and what they tell you? NATALIE JACKSON, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, Sybrina talked to Attorney Crump and I, and she said that she went to church. She said she had time to think and reflect and pray. And her goal now is to make sure that this verdict does not define her son. She said she will define his legacy and work with his foundation and work with youth across the country.

BURNETT: And are they -- so this whole question we've been talking about, about the DOJ, and whether the DOJ should pursue a hate crime, do they feel strongly about that at this point?

JACKSON: We haven't talked about that, but I know Attorney Crump and I have talked and we feel that the DOJ should continue their investigation and they should continue their investigation into the handling of this case from beginning to end.

BURNETT: I want to ask you another question about that. But first, George Zimmerman's parents, since we're talking about Tracy and Sybrina, they spoke to Barbara Walters over at ABC just moments ago and she asked them what they would say to Trayvon Martin's family and here's how they answered that.


GLADYS ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S MOTHER: We are deeply sorry for this tragedy, deeply sorry. And we pray for the departed, we pray for Trayvon Martin.


BURNETT: Is that apology any consolation for the Martin family, Natalie? I mean, both parties, both sets of parents have tried to hole their heads high throughout all of this.

JACKSON: I think they have a right to feel how they feel. You're asking me how Sybrina and Tracy feel about the apology. I haven't talked to they will. But I mean, George's parents have the right to feel the way that they feel, too.

BURNETT: The Zimmermans obviously have lost something here. They cannot go back to their home. They have no more money. They fear for their lives. Is that something at all that you feel any empathy for?

JACKSON: I do, because we've seen it with Sybrina and Tracy. They've had to move out of their house. We've had death threats. So I definitely feel empathy for them for that. I think that anyone who is doing that, they're not supporting the cause, the effort and the motive to change, the movement to change. And that is something that we deeply disapprove of, any type of threats.

BURNETT: And -- fair point. Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda, obviously, the man we've seen make these objections in court, spoke to HLN after the verdict. And I wanted you to hear what he said about the obstacles he faced in prosecuting George Zimmerman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: We were left with inconsistent witnesses in terms of what actually happened and his story. And what we were trying to prove that his story was false.


BURNETT: Inconsistent witnesses. It was an all-female jury. Three gun owners. By almost all accounts, a prosecution that may have reached too far for second-degree. Obviously not a diverse jury. What do you blame for not getting the verdict that you think was fair?

JACKSON: I don't know. I think that is why a lot of people are disappointed. Because they thought that surely the jury would come back and say that you cannot follow a 17-year-old kid walking home from the store with a gun, provoke him, struggle with him, and then shoot him. And I think a lot of people felt that Trayvon Martin was on trial from beginning to end here. And they felt that he was convicted of causing his own murder.

BURNETT: All right, Natalie. Thank you as always. Appreciate your time.

Well, Stand Your Ground was actually not formally raised by George Zimmerman's defense team, but of course as all of you know, it has been at the heart of the story from the very beginning. Saturday's verdict is renewing calls to change the controversial Florida law and others that are very much like it across this country. Our David Mattingly is OUTFRONT.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If outrage becomes a movement and voices become votes, could a new conflict over Florida's Stand Your Ground law be far behind? The parents of Trayvon Martin are counting on it.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: We have to use all this energy in a positive way to have to go out and say we want to make an amendment to the Stand Your Ground laws. We suggest that this Trayvon Martin amendment that stands for the proposition, you cannot be the aggressor. You cannot initiate the confrontation, shoot someone and then put your hands up and say, I was standing my ground.

MATTINGLY: George Zimmerman did not seek a Stand Your Ground hearing that could have made him immune from prosecution if the judge agreed. But after testimony, the judge did allow this line to be included in her instructions to the jury. "He had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground." Critics say this could have limited the jury's options.

DWIGHT BULLARD (D), FLORIDA STATE SENATOR: It gave the jury the green light for acquittal because he no longer had to find a reasonable way in which to not use deadly force.

MATTINGLY: In February, a task force review of Stand Your Ground ordered by Florida governor Rick Scott produced a few recommendations, including restrictions on neighborhood watch groups. But lawmakers made no changes to the law.

DENNIS BAXLEY (R), FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: The purpose of our Stand Your Ground law is very clear. It is for law-abiding citizens who are doing nothing wrong who suffer a violent attack.

The co-sponsor of Florida's Stand Your Ground law says he expects to see new challenges. State representative Dennis Baxley argues the law doesn't apply to the Zimmerman acquittal.

BAXLEY: This case is not about Stand Your Ground. It was handled definitely as a simple self-defense case of who was the aggressor and who was not? And was it kill or be killed?


MATTINGLY: Stand Your Ground has enjoyed strong support among voters here in Florida, but now opponents are thinking after this verdict in the Zimmerman case that the tide might be turning in their favor and they might have a fighting chance to make some changes. Erin?

BURNETT: All right. David Mattingly, thank you very much, reporting as we said from Florida.

OUTFRONT next, a huge military installation is built, it is unused, and it actually will be demolished. But guess what? You paid for it. And you paid millions and millions of tax dollars.

Then two teens spot a kidnapping in progress. And what they did next totally changed the outcome.

And in our Shoutout tonight, a chance to show what you could be the greatest ceremonial first pitch in history. We will also show you a pretty bad one from this weekend.


BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT on a Monday, government spending gone crazy. In tonight's OUTFRONT investigation, lawmakers are demanding to know why a state-of-the-art military base which costs tens of millions of taxpayer dollars is now going to be demolished. Even though it has never been used. You think we make this up, but we don't. Chris Lawrence is OUTFRONT.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It's a $34 million U.S. military compound, paid for by your tax dollars. Built with a war room, briefing theater and offices for a three-star general. But now the Pentagon will probably have to demolish this palace in Afghanistan even though it is never been used.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: This is a really good example of the military losing sight of common sense.

LAWRENCE: Senator Claire McCaskill is demanding answers from top Pentagon officials after an audit shows defense officials pushed the project through, over the objections of the actual Marines it was designed for.

MCCASKILL I mean, $34 million. This isn't a small temporary building.

LAWRENCES: When you try to follow the money trail in this case, it is like being in a maze.

LARRY KORB, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: It is. The Army said we need it. The Marines said we don't. The contract was awarded by the Air Force. You're asking yourself, who was in charge?

LAWRENCE: The audit shows the Marine commander didn't want or need the building and said so before it was built. But even as the Marines pull out of Helmand province, the top brass was still making upgrades to the building this year. The inspector general says, "I am deeply concern that U.S. forces Afghanistan may be spending additional taxpayer dollars on a facility no one will ever use."

But the mismanagement goes beyond one project. The Pentagon still plans to spend three-quarters of a million dollars to buy airplanes for the Afghan forces, even though Afghans cannot operate or maintain them.

LAWRENCE: Tell me there is at least an American contractor, an American job that will come out of this.

KORB: As far as I can see, no. We're buying from the British and the Russians. So, even the U.S. taxpayer is not benefiting from this even though it is our money.

LAWRENCE: The U.S. is paying foreign agencies to build the planes. And that building in Helmand? the Pentagon can't even give it away. It is wired for U.S. electrical and ventilation systems. It would cost even more to overhaul for the Afghan army.

MCCASKILL: Frankly, whoever decided to build this building after the military on the ground said they didn't need it, they need to lose their job.


LAWRENCE: Defense officials say once a project gets going, it is hard to stop. But that explanation won't cut it with some members of Congress. They and the inspector general want to know who decided to keep this project going and why. Erin?

BURNETT: Pretty incredible to think about that. Thanks to Chris.

Still to come, NSA leaker Edward Snowden says he could reveal secrets that could be one of the biggest threats to the United States in history. But do his claims add up?

Then accused marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wants to add another member to his legal team. And taxpayers will pay very, very dearly for this man.

And later, an autopsy for the young "Glee" actor who died over the weekend is getting fast-tracked.


BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT where we start with stories we focus on reporting from the front lines.

I want to begin in Boston where the marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wants to add another attorney to his legal team. And not just any lawyer. He wants to add a man named David Brock. Now this is according to "The Boston Herald." Brock is a death penalty specialist who helped keep an al Qaeda plane hijacker and Susan Smith, the mother who strapped her two children into her car and let it roll into a lake, off death row. Now, taxpayers would foot the bill for Brock, as well as defending Tsarnaev which could be as high as $682,000, nearly three quarters of a million dollars, according to the report on defender services.

And there is a big showdown on Capitol Hill tonight. Senate Democrats and Republicans are meeting to try to defuse a nuclear option. An actual missile it is not, although probably plenty Americans wouldn't be sorry to see these guys go away. Instead this nuclear option would change the way the Senate votes from a two-thirds vote, to a simple majority.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been threatening to go, quote- unquote, "nuclear' in order to get stalled presidential nominees confirmed. Our contributor John Avlon says the filibuster has been abused and when he pulled the numbers, this looks pretty stark. He notes it was invoked to just 35 times in its first 50 years compared to more than 100 over the past two years.

Well, the hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay continues. As of tonight, 81 detainees are in the strike. Now, that is a drop from 102 detainees on Friday, 45 of those on strike are being force fed.

Now, the decline in the number of people on hunger strike, you may say why? It happens to coincide with Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. So, many of them aren't eating any way.

We he told you about one detainee in May who is on a hunger strike. Attorneys for him now say he's eating a little bit. Last week, he told them that more detainees are being moved into communal living from isolation cells.

Well, in Pennsylvania, two teenage boys are being called heroes. They saved a 5-year-old girl. Authorities say the girl, Jocelyn Rojas (ph), was playing in her front yard when she was abducted by a man whom they believe lured her with ice cream. For two hours, neighbors searched for her including the two teens who were patrolling on their bikes. When they Jocelyn in the car, they chased down alleged kidnapper until he gave up and let the girl out. The suspect was a white male between 50 and 70 years old and he remains at large.

It has been 709 days since the U.S. lost its top credit. What are we doing to get it back? Well, there were slim gains in stocks but still any gain right now gets to you a record. A new record for the Dow and the S&P. The NASDAQ, all right, I don't know when that will happen. But highest level in a decade. We'll take it.

And now to the investigation into what killed Cory Monteith, the star from the hit TV show "Glee." Investigators say they will try to fast track the autopsy. He was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on Saturday. Now, prior to his death, Monteith had been open about a long-term battle with substance abuse that he's been fighting.

Nischelle Turner is OUTFRONT.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Friends and fans of Cory Monteith are struggling to come to terms with his sudden death in a Vancouver hotel room. The cause is being investigated.

LISA LAPONTE, BRITISH COLUMBIA CHIEF CORONER: Cause of death was not apparent on initial examination. And further examination and tests will take place to determine cause of death.

TURNER: According to Vancouver police, Monteith was out with friends Friday night, but surveillance video showed him returning to his room alone in the early morning hours on Saturday.

The shocking news have his death hit friends and colleagues hard.

His on-again/off-again girlfriend and "Glee" co-star Lea Michele is grieving privately. In a statement, her rep asked, quote, "that every one kindly respect Lea's privacy during this devastating time."

And co-star Matthew Morrison became emotional at a Sunday concert in New York City, dedicating a song to Monteith, who he called more of a brother in real life.

Unlike his clean cut alter ego Finn Hudson, Monteith had a troubled youthful. He describe himself as an out of control drug and alcohol abusing teen who was skipping school to drink and smoke pot by the age of 13.

CORY MONTEITH, ACTOR: For me, it wasn't so much about the substances, per se. It was more about not fitting in, just a lack of not really having a self image at the time, which is, that's like typical teenager stuff.

TURNER: Despite his success in "Glee," Monteith continued to battle his substance abuse demons. Earlier this year, he checked himself into rehab. His friend, "Glee" director Adam Shankman, spoke to Monteith hours before he was found dead.

ADAM SHANKMAN, FRIEND OF CORY MONTEITH (via telephone): I had several interactions with him yesterday, where he said to me that he was feeling amazing and even said, I'm feeling fantastic again.


BURNETT: Nischelle, this is one of those shows. So many people were really passionate about. What about the future of "Glee" without him? And as you mentioned, he was the on again/ off again boyfriend of a co-star on the show, Lea Michele.

TURNER: Yes. You know, there's a lot of layers to this, because on the show, he was kind of the central figure and the moral compass of the show.

We didn't see him at the end of season four and that is because he was in rehab at the time. But he was slated to be back as a series regular on season five. He did go to the promotional shoot with the cast on June 28th. Now, we don't know what's going to happen because the last time we saw him, he had come back to the school to be this kind of coach of the "Glee" club. So, we're not sure what's going to happen with Finn and where he could go.

BURNETT: Just sad whenever any of these things happen. Certainly someone people thought made a real stab at getting it right.


BURNETT: All right. Nischelle, thank you very much.

And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT, how dangerous is Edward Snowden? So, the NSA leaker reportedly has the blueprints on how America's biggest spy agency spies on people. Literally, everything they do and how they do it. That's the claim.

Obviously, that is one major claim. But is it a serious threat? Or empty words?

Barbara Starr investigates for OUTFRONT.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the latest war of words drama, Glenn Greenwald, one of the reporters who broke the Edward Snowden story, says Snowden still has highly classified documents that could threaten the U.S.

GLENN GREENWALD, THE GUARDIAN: They also contain the blue prints of how the NSA is doing these things, technically.

STARR: Blueprints that could leak detailing how (INAUDIBLE) actually works.

Greenwald told CNN's Jake Tapper, Snowden is not out to harm the U.S.

GREENWALD: What I am saying is that the claim that he's trying to harm the U.S. government is ludicrous. He's done the opposite. He has been incredibly responsible in asking us to report on this story as judiciously as we can.

STARR: But then there is this --

GREENWALD: If I were the U.S. government, I would be hoping and praying that he stays in control of how these stories are being reported because of how responsible he's been.

STARR: It's just part of the reason official Washington says Snowden is a criminal.

REP. MIKE MCCAUL (R), TEXS: Every day this man is a fugitive on the run, he puts the United States and national security more at risk.

STARR: Snowden himself reminding everyone from the safety of the Moscow airport what he says he could have done.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: I also had the capability without any warrant of law to search for, seize and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time.

STARR: Are both the government and Snowden hyping the damage he has done and could still cause?

FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Look, you've got a lot of, as we'd say, Barbara, chest thumping.

STARR: Many say the NSA still can adapt even if terrorists change their tactics.

TOWNSEND: It's unlikely the government won't be able over time to recover that.

STARR: And some terrorists may be ahead of Snowden anyhow.

According to flash point intel which monitors the jihadist activities, back in February, a new encryption service appeared for users of instant messaging services, including Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Google Talk. It was aimed at avoiding the very U.S. surveillance that Snowden leaked four months later.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The core al Qaeda, the Hezbollahs, people like that, yes, they're pros. They know what they're doing. This probably did not tell them much they didn't already suspect.


BURNETT: All right. Barbara, I mean, it's just, this whole story is incredible and what they allege is incredible. Now, he says the documents, that he has documents, Snowden has them and they're encrypted so that he's the one in control of what happens to them. It's kind of ironic, right, that he's them encrypted and the NSA apparently cannot seem to break in?

STARR: Well, it is. There is a lot of irony throughout this story, Erin. You might wonder how Greenwald is continuing to communicate with Snowden. Greenwald told Jake Tapper they are communicating by encrypted chat links, if you will.

And it is worth remembering -- so far, the administration says Snowden has caused damage to national security but is not offering any specific examples and isn't likely to because this all remains highly classified. BURNETT: Highly classified. All right. Thanks very much to Barbara.

And still OUTFRONT, could the first lawsuit filed in the Asiana 777 crash in San Francisco come from the airline? The racist joke played on a local news station and what's next.

And in our outtake, the royal baby storks and a fight to the death.

And for tonight's shout-out, we turn to baseball. This is great. Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen threw out the first pitch at a game in Florida. As you can see, I mean, I would be afraid if I ever did it, that I would do just what she did.

It bombed. OK. It bombed. But you know what? This is just the latest in a string of sub par first pitches. Some of the biggest names, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber wilting under the pressure, perhaps trying too hard for that big throw. But there have been some good ones, too.

Our shout-out tonight goes to the rhythmic gymnast. Just watch it. I mean, they probably just fire the pitcher. Anyway, she threw out the first pitch in South Korea earlier this month. Spin around, do a flip and still go ahead and hit home plate.

If you're baseball team, forget about Carly Rae and Mariah, this is the girl to call. Maybe.


BURNETT: And don't forget later tonight at 8:00, CNN exclusive, Anderson is going to be speaking with one of the jurors from the Zimmerman case. The first time a juror has spoken. That's coming up at 8:00 Eastern.

And now to tonight's outer circle where we reach out to our sources around the world.

I want to go to Cairo where American diplomats are visiting for the first time since the ouster of the elected president, Mohamed Morsy. Deputy secretary of state William Burns is meeting with interim government leaders, trying the resolve the unrest, you know, the coup or not to coup that has gripped the nation over the last two years.

Nick Paton Walsh is in Cairo.

And, Nick, what are you seeing?


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, I've just return from some of the first clashes we've seen in a number of days at Ramses Square, not from here, where it seems police moved in to clear pro-Morsy protesters from a key flyover that heads over there. Tear gas fired by the police, rocks thrown back by the pro-Morsy protesters. I even saw some people in civilian clothes mingling amongst the police and throwing rocks back. Exactly the kind of scene that deputy U.S. Secretary of State William Burns did not want to accompany today, his birthday, for a visit here. He has met with the interim government. He said the U.S. wants an elected democracy, wants the end of politically motivated arrests. We'll have to see how that impacts upon the interim government.

Tonight, they call the supporters out in Tahrir Square. We are looking for the pro-Morsy crowds. With the clashes like I've just seen sustained, Erin.


BURNETT: Thanks very much to you, Nick.

And now our fifth story OUTFRONT, Asiana Airlines suing over a racist prank. The airline involved in the July 6th crash that you see there, says it's going to sue an Oakland television station after it mistakenly aired false Asian-sounding names for the pilots. Now, the NTSB says that the names, which spelled out phrases that sounded like something wrong, holy expletive and we too low were confirm by one of the agency's summer interns. The NTSB insists the intern did not make up the name.

First of all, no one saw or heard those names actually thought they were real. I'm sorry, this is just my interpretation here.

So, this is way beyond an intern issue. But beyond that, do the airlines legal claims add up?

Stephanie Miller, Dean Obeidallah, and Reihan Salam are with me.

All right. Let me start with you, Dean. You are an attorney, a practicing attorney. Do you think Asiana has a case?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COMEDIAN: This is ridiculous. This is as close to frivolous as you get. They're worried about the reputation being hurt? How about the plane crashing at the airport? That hurts the reputation of the airline. Let's be honest.

Their entire focus should be on that. This is a distraction. And no reasonable person could say they suffered damage from a joke. It was comedy. It was wrong. It's racially insensitive but funny.

BURNETT: Stephanie, let me ask you about that. The president of the First Amendment Center tells CNN that in order for them to win this case, defamation, they have to determine that this caused damage to their reputation and injury.

As Dean says, obviously this was racist, it was offensive, it was, you know, meant to be some kind of comedy. Obviously, though, it was racist. Does this damage the company reputation?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: Well, I think I agree with dean. What damages the reputation is they just had a blanking plane crash, number one. When they say, oh, it maligned your pilots. No, what maligned the pilots is they crashed the plane. I mean, look, Erin, I think you're right. What you said also is that nobody believed this was real. I could fail to see Erin Burnett reading these names out of a teleprompter. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous, slipped by the anchor of a TV station, the NTSB, the whole thing is ridiculous but it is certainly not worthy of a lawsuit.

BURNETT: Reihan, let me ask you, the station did apologize. I got to say I agree with Stephanie. They're on so many levels. So, you come one these names, an intern who has never seen the names confirms them, like I said, I don't think you can blame this on interns.

But the station did apologize. I want to play their apology and get your reaction to that. Here's the station.


TV ANCHOR: Tonight, we want to take a moment and say that we are sorry. Earlier today during our noon newscast, we misidentified the pilots in the Asiana Airlines crash. We made several mistakes when we received this information. First of all, we never read the name out loud phonetically sounding them out. Then, during our phone call to the NTSB where the person confirmed the spellings of the names, we never asked that person to give us their position within the agency. We heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were and then we rushed the name on to our noon newscast.


REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I personally find this totally appalling and I think that it is absolutely appropriate to file a lawsuit and here's why. Look, in order to win damages, Dean and Stephanie are right. You have to prove that it damaged the bottom line and I don't think you really can prove that.

But here's the thing, this is a multinational company with employees. And one of the reasons why your employees stick with you, one of the reasons they work hard, one of the reasons they toil away, they feel as though the leadership of the company is sticking up for their employees.

Now, this was actually humiliating and denigrating. The COO of this company was born in 1951, in the middle of the Korean War. This is a country that's made enormous strides, South Korea.

And so, now, you see your name dragged through the mud in this infantile kind of way. So, you know what? I would blow a couple of hundred grand on a lawsuit in order to stick up for employees. I would do it day and night, whether or not you lose that case.

And I think that it's about that. It's about sticking it to them and I think it's perfectly appropriate to use the legal system to do that.

OBEIDALLAH: It's comedy. I mean, it's racially inappropriate, but it's funny, we have a history of this humor in American comedy.

SALAM: We have a history of filing lawsuits when your employees are insulted.

MILLER: By the way, Erin, can I jump in with Dean as a comedian and say not since Bill O'Reilly, and I'm not making this up, read a letter from someone named Dick Pinch has there been anything this funny on the air. Totally inappropriate. Just saying.

BURNETT: Well, I mean, you know, I can remember we all played games in high school, and at that time, none of them had anything to do with any cultures, but regular names that we grow up with. But I want to play to this point and get all of you to weigh-in on this. You too, Ryan, because of your point of view. A Saturday night live clip with Robert de Niro when he's talking about a list of terrorist names. By the way, I edited out some of the inappropriate ones.

Here's one of them.


ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: We are searching for a man we believe to be an al Qaeda lieutenant who's Bin Fartine (ph).


DE NIRO: Ibn Bin Fartine (ph).


BURNETT: Those were the polite ones, there were many impolite ones.

OK, look, that's racist. You were there in the room playing a reporter in that skit. How is this different than what happened at the Oakland television station.

OBEIDALLAH: Well, this is a comedy thing and there I am looking being younger.

BURNETT: You were there, you can't say you were there.

OBEIDALLAH: I was there, younger and on network TV. Now I'm on basic cable. So, the world has changed.

But it was a comedy show, this is a news station. They made some mistake on the air. It was wrong.

Still, I don't see how it's hurtful, it was a mistake, and it was funny. This is a history of comedy, to use this kind of device, to use names, to make them have other words. It's comedic to us.

BURNETT: All right. Let me play, Reihan, one other quick clip of people making fun of names. In this case, they're not Arab names, and they're not Asian names.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're made from a secret sweaty recipe. No one can resist my sweaty balls.

CHARACTER: (INAUDIBLE) tavern, the place at the Rob Roy (ph).

BART SIMPSON: Is Seymour here? Last name, butts.

CHARACTER: Just a sec.

Hey, is there a butts here, Seymour Butts? Hey, everybody, I want a Seymour Butts.



BURNETT: We're childish.

SALAM: It's all about loyalty. If you're sticking up for your employees, you'll do a lot. Those are people who get loyalty from their employees, the ones who will stick for them.

So, I mean, I think, yes, you can make fun of names and it's all fun and games, fair enough. But that's what this is about. This is about how you motivate your employees to get out of bed in the morning and do the job for you.

BURNETT: Stephanie, what do you think of his point?

MILLER: Well, I get it, but I can't stop playing the sound bites on my radio show. Bill O'Reilly didn't just fall for it once, but several times. He read a Jack (INAUDIBLE) for a letter. It's a whole greatest hits album of comedy.

So, it's hard to get past the comedy. I'm with Dean on this.

OBEIDALLAH: Also, let's keep in mind, they didn't name the pilots in this, these were completely fake, hyperbolic, so over the top names. If they had named people and showed pictures of their pilots, I would actually be sided with Reihan. So, you know what, they did disparage these pilots, these employees of the company.

It was so over the top, people are laughing I laugh like a child being tickled when I heard those names. I cannot stop laughing.

BURNETT: All right. We'll leave it there. But, obviously, I want to get everyone's point of view on this, please tweet us and let us know. Very different, but very interesting points of view.

Well, every night, we take a look outside the day's top stories for what we call the OUTFRONT Outtake. And tonight, the royal baby watch makes the cut. You might say, this is outside the headlines? Until it's born, people, yes.

Anyway, monarchists around the world are anxiously awaiting the birth of the new heir of the British throne. But it's not just about the royal line, people are also focused on the betting line. So, tens of thousands of dollars in bets are being laid in Britain every single day. People are betting on the date and time of the birth. They're betting on the dress Pippa will actually wear when she first visits the baby. These are people who need more to do.

Anyway, this is big business and it's not just gambling. Traditional baby merchandise is flying off the shelves, t-shirts, mugs, tote bags. Much of it adorned with the royal emblem and a picture of a stork, the traditional symbol of birth. You see the stork? Yes.

Well, you know what, it's kind of nice to see the British embrace the stork. It's the symbol of good tidings, because the stock has been taking some hits recently in Germany. (INAUDIBLE) it may sound, today's German headlines are all about a stock terrorist. Yes, "Ders Spiegel," that is what they call it, a stork terrorists, residents of the northern town of Bergholz are apparently living in fear of a male stork that's been patrolling the streets and attacking windows and other reflective surfaces, causing more than $5,000 worth of damage.

I mea, look at that, wouldn't you be scared of that? A stock hanging out? Look at that stork terrorizes, there's that innocent little stork sitting by a minivan.

Anyway, you know, just doesn't seem like attacking to us. But anyway, it sees himself in the reflection, thinks it another bird and attacks. Apparently, this is the best shot they had of a scary terrorists.

Now, the thing in here is the environmentalists are running with the story. They're saying this is part of a larger problem, destruction of the birth's natural habitat is driving the storks into residential areas. But the problem is there's only one stork in one town, a stork that cannot tell the difference between his reflection and an enemy. Maybe this time it's not a warning of doom and gloom. Maybe this stork is truly just a bird brain.

Coming up at 8:00, CNN exclusive, I want to remind you, Anderson Cooper is going to be speaking with one of the jurors from the Zimmerman case.

But, first, the thrill and agony of going 300 miles an hour on a motorcycle to push the limits of human achievement.


BURNETT: Sad news from the world of racing. Motorcyclist Bill Warner died yesterday after losing control of his bike at an event in northern Maine. At the time of the crash, Warner who's only 44 years old was attempting to top 300 miles an hour. You could fly at that speed. Double.

Anyway, you only have a mile pavement to get that past. It was an attempt to break the current land/speed record, the 311 miles an hour, which was using 1.5 miles of pavement. That record also belonged to him.

When you see people on television or to live event or a taped event, because you don't want to actually watch it live, racing at these unbelievable speeds or crossing the Grand Canyon on tightrope, it's easy to forget how difficult it is what they're doing is, the courage and talent and perhaps bravado that it takes.

But while we don't always understand why they keep putting themselves in harm's way, you have to respect they're doing it, they're taking on the risk to themselves, willing to take whatever happens as a result, and they're pushing the limits of what's possible for everyone else.

Thanks so much, as always, for watching.

"A.C. 360" starts right now.