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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
San Diego Mayor Won't Resign, Off To Therapy; Widow Of Boston Bomber Still A Mystery; Prosecution Rests In Whitey Bulger Trial; Squirrel Tests Positive for Plague
Aired July 26, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, a major announcement from the mayor of San Diego, who faces sexual harassment accusations and worse from seven woman. Plus, Ariel Castro pleads. He blames porn and abuse he went through for the monstrous ordeal of the three women he kidnapped under horrific duress for a decade. How long will he remain in prison?
And the latest from the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, could it derail Hillary Clinton 2016? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. Welcome to Friday. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with intensive therapy. At least that's how San Diego's embattled mayor, Bob Filner, says he's going to deal with the allegations of sexual harassment against him. He is not resigning, even though the calls for him to do so have reached Washington, D.C.
Four more women have now come forward, bringing the total to seven. And among them, a retired Navy rear admiral, a dean at San Diego State University, a prominent local businesswoman and the mayor's own communications director, who resigned in June. The allegations include things like this, inappropriate touching, groping, kissing and more. Casey Wian is OUTFRONT in San Diego.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Right after attending a routine city planning meeting, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner arrived at a hastily called news conference to address allegations by seven women who claimed he subjected them to unwanted aggressive sexual advances.
MAYOR BOB FILNER, SAN DIEGO: I apologize to my staff. I apologize to the citizens and staff members who have supported me over many years. I apologize to the people of San Diego and most of all, I apologize to the women that I have offended.
WIAN: He acknowledged inexcusable and intimidating conduct and says he will enter rehab.
FILNER: And beginning on August 5th, I will be entering a behavior counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of therapy to begin the process of addressing my behavior.
WIAN: Alleged victims say the apology and rehab are not enough.
MORGAN ROSE, PSYCHOLOGIST, SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: That to me is a very bogus way of handling this. By not resigning, and doing what he thinks we will all buy as he's really sincere, he's going to go to rehab, is just insulting.
WIAN: Minutes before Filner's news conference, a citizens group delivered a letter to the major's office, demanding he resign by Monday evening or else face a recall campaign. Several powerful members of the mayor's own Democratic Party have also demanded he resign, but Filner's only talking about his future on the job.
FILNER: When I return on August 19th, my focus will be on making sure that I am doing right by this city in terms of being the best mayor I can be and the best person I must be. Thank you.
WIAN (on camera): What about all the people who have called for you to resign. Do you think this is going to be enough to satisfy them?
(voice-over): As Filner again refused to answer questions about the allegations, the big question remains, can he hold on to his job?
WIAN: Now, just before his announcement, the mayor was served with a subpoena by the city's attorney office to testify in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by his former spokeswoman. She was the first woman to come forward publicly and accuse the mayor of inappropriate behavior. That testimony, Erin, is expected to happen or supposed to happen four days into his rehab -- Erin.
BURNETT: Pretty incredible story and one that is now gained national attention. Thanks to you, Casey. And now, the Cleveland kidnapper who accepted a plea deal today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIEL CASTRO: Because of the plea deal, I will plead guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, now Ariel Castro is headed to prison for life plus 1,000 years in a deal that took the death penalty off the table. He pleaded guilty to 937 counts, rape, kidnapping and murder among them. After the agreement was reached, a lawyer for the victims issued a statement, saying, Amanda, Gina and Michelle are relieved by today's plea. They are satisfied by this resolution to the case and are looking forward to having these legal proceedings draw to a final close in the near feature.
Gary Tuchman is in Cleveland tonight. He's OUTFRONT. Gary, what more can you tell us about Castro's victims and the response?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, we can tell you that the victims were not in the courthouse today during this plea bargain agreement, but we have every reason to believe that they might be here next week. Next week is the official sentencing on Thursday. They have the opportunity to deliver a victim impact statement. Prosecutors have told us they will be represented here.
What that means is, they might be inside the courthouse or they might make a video tape with victim impact statement. That is their right to do so. It is often considered very therapeutic to do so and they will have lots of support if they do so. If they came today, it might have been very disturbing for them.
Because, Erin, we got an idea of what kind of guy Castro is. He talked and talked today. He was a relative chatter box compared to other court appearances, but he never once sounded contrite. He was complaining about his past, complaining about issues he had, talking, but he never said he felt bad about what had happened.
BURNETT: Which is incredible and obviously next week, the fact that we might see those women, whether on video or in person, talk, I think, is something, you know, the nation will want to -- will want to see, their bravery. But you say he was a chatter box and showed no contrition. It took time for him to plead guilty to all those charges today, so, share with us a little bit of what he said.
TUCHMAN: That's why he talked so much, because the judge questioned him for about an hour and 15 minutes. When you accept a plea bargain, you have to make sure the defendant understands it. The judge was very comprehensive. Some of the things that Castro said was I'm willing to work with the FBI, I will tell them everything, whatever that means.
He also says I know I was going to get pretty much the book thrown at me when I was arrested. Indeed the book has been thrown at him and then he talked about some personal problems in his past. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTRO: There are some things that I have to -- I don't comprehend because of my sexual problem throughout my whole years. I would like to state that I was also a victim as a child and it just kept -- just kept going, I'm very good at spelling and very good at reading but I can't come pre comprehend. My addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has really taken a toll on my mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: All right, so, once again, no mention whatsoever of these victims, just complaining about his past. He will have the right, also, on Thursday, to talk about whatever he wants to talk about. That's why many people consider it important, if they can, that the victims also give their victim impact statement about what they have been through -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Gary, thank you very much. And you just heard, Ariel Castro's voice, really the first time we've heard him speak. I want to bring in criminologist and behavior analyst, Casey Jordan. You just heard Gary replay a man who is not contrite --
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR ANALYST: Right.
BURNETT: Who is not heartbroken, saying, blaming sexual violence he experienced as a child, addiction for pornography for a problem. He said, I'm, quote, "good at spelling and reading, but my comprehension is bad because my addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has taken a toll on my mind." Can being a victim, addicted to porn, explain what he did?
JORDAN: Explain but not excuse. About 10 percent of males in surveys do report being sexually victimized as children but remember --
BURNETT: Ten percent?
JORDAN: It's a spectrum. It can be minor or violent and serious. There is a correlation between the severity of that abuse and the deviance. Number one, I haven't heard any corroboration of his report that he was sexually abused. So we don't know if he's making it up or if it's true. But let's assume for a moment it's true. We do know that about one-third of all sexual predators and sexual abusers do report being victimized as a child. So, yes, there's a correlation it can explain it. It doesn't excuse it because he had multiple -- he was aware of it and he had multiple opportunities to get the help he needed to overcome.
BURNETT: He knew it was wrong.
JORDAN: Two-thirds overcome and don't offend against children when they grow up.
BURNETT: The vast majority, two-thirds.
BURNETT: Some people who are abused, as you say, they end up doing abuse when they are older, abusing their wives or children physically. That's -- this is horribly common, unfortunately, we always hear about it. What makes someone like Castro do this? I mean, this is above and beyond, you know, those things are horrific this is absolutely incomprehensive, kidnapping, chaining, raping, murdering fetuses --
JORDAN: But not murdering the victims, which in why in his mind he is being persecuted wrongfully. I mean, he didn't kill anybody. In his mind, he really thinks that he is a victim of his own abuse. His fantasies simply over took him. They went out of control. Once he crossed that line and chained up the first girl, he got kind of a whatever, I'm in it forever now. I have a girl in my basement, might as well keep going with the fantasy, might as well get number two, number three.
He never had an exit plan. There was no escape hatch. So, really what are you seeing is, he knew this day would come. He's been anticipating it. Now that it's here, he wants to make excuses and kind of switch his guilt and indirectly blame the system for not helping him when he was a child.
BURNETT: Certainly sounds like there's a lot of blame. All right, Casey, thank you very much. Casey Jordan as we said criminologist.
Still to come, the latest from the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, there was a very nasty little exchange today. How the latest revelations could hurt his wife's former boss. That, of course, is Hillary Clinton.
Plus, new developments in the Boston bombing investigation, tonight, we are learning new details about the woman at the center of so much speculation, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow.
Then, f-bombs, outbursts and tense stare downs. There's been nothing like it in this country, an update from the Whitey Bulger trial.
And new information about the massive train derailment in Spain. Why authorities have taken the conductor who was almost unhurt after that crash, he's in custody tonight.
BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, Huma and Hillary, a lot has been said about the impact and influence the former secretary of state has on her long-time aide, personally and professionally. How could the growing scandal around Huma Abedin's husband, Anthony Weiner, affect Hillary Clinton's possible run for the White House in 2016? Wow, they even dress alike. Jill Dougherty has the story.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's elegant right-hand woman, profiled in magazines. President Bill Clinton officiated at her wedding to Anthony Weiner. Hillary Clinton said, if I had a second daughter, it would be Huma. Now, a stunning parallel, Abedin standing by her man.
HUMA ABEDIN, ANTHONY WEINER'S WIFE: I do very strongly believe that that is between us and our marriage.
DOUGHERTY: Just as Hillary Clinton stood by Bill Clinton more than 20 years ago.
HILLARY CLINTON: I'm not sitting here some little woman standing by my man.
DOUGHERTY: But could this deja vu scandal hurt Hillary Clinton's prospects for a presidential run in 2016? Questions already are brewing about the job Huma Abedin got at the State Department after she came back from maternity leave and returned as a special government employee. Last year, she says she earned $135,000 from the State Department as both a full-time employee and as a part-time consultant. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is accusing Abedin of being paid by private investors to gather information from government employees. The State Department says she followed government rules. Their careers aligned, and there are now painful parallels in their personal lives, with the media replaying mirror images of Huma and Hillary --
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Clearly, people around Hillary would like this to go away quickly. If he dropped out of the race, it just disappeared from the headlines that would be in their interest. But I think the bigger question is this -- what are the issues in a campaign that she launches is, who is she going to be surrounded by?
BURNETT: A crucial question. And that of course was Jill Dougherty reporting from Washington.
We have new details tonight emerging about Katherine Russell. You remember her, the widow of the suspected Boston bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. He was killed in a police shootout on April 19th. Katherine Russell is born in this country, 24 years old. She hasn't been arrested, but the FBI spent a lot of time with her and they have not ruled out the possibility that she was a conspirator or as one source put it, an abused enabler.
OUTFRONT tonight, "People" magazine's staff writer, Steve Helling. He wrote the article about Russell in this week's issue. Thanks so much for taking the time, Steve, really interesting article to read. You talked to a lot of people who know Katherine Russell and know that transformation from apparently bubbly and strong woman to perhaps abused wife, people who have been close to her since her husband was killed. What do they say about her possible role in the attacks?
STEVE HELLING, STAFF WRITER, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Well, of course, the people around her say no, of course not, she had nothing to do with the attacks, that she was kind of a victim and didn't see this coming at all. And, you know, obviously, the police have looked, are still looking at her. FBI is still looking at her, but the people around her say that she was blindsided just like everybody else.
BURNETT: She was blindsided. Now, what about her conversion to Islam? This is something that, you know, people have said really changed her. You had a story in your article about how one night she walked into the apartment and Tamerlan and Dzhokhar were there talking in another language to other men and they basically said, get out, go sit in the car for an hour and wait to come back in. That was the level of control he had over her. We've see the pictures with the head scarf, very traditional, conservative Muslim attire. Is she going to remain Muslim?
HELLING: Well, you know, one thing that people think is that she converted to Islam because her husband wanted her to, but that's actually not what happened. Back when she was a teenager, working in a doughnut shop in Rhode Island, she was interested in Islam. She worked with Muslims. She was interested in the religion and she was -- actually was in the process of converting before she met her husband. So, now that he's gone, that doesn't mean she's going to change, you know, suddenly become a Christian or anything like that. She's still -- she's made it very clear to her family, she is not leaving her Muslim faith.
BURNETT: And you also report that she's starting to do a lot of things that he forbade in his extremely, you know, twisted and conservative version of Islam.
HELLING: Right, exactly. He was so conservative. She couldn't listen to her favorite artist is David Bowie. She wasn't allowed to listen to that. She couldn't watch movies. She couldn't wear nail polish. All that type of thing. She's starting to do that. It's not that she's forsaking the religion. She's forsaking her husband's very strict rules that he had for her.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much, appreciate it. Steve, and, of course, a lot of access to the friends and family of Katherine Russell.
Still to come, 30 days of dramatic testimony at the Whitey Bulger trial coming to an end, and whoa, this has been something else, f- bombs, outbursts, basically, you know, spittle flying from people's mouth. It's been out of control. Highlights are next.
Plus, a day after one of George Zimmerman trial jurors said he got away with murder, we heard from Trayvon Martin's mother.
And the case of the bubonic plague is reported in the United States of America. We'll be back.
BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT, the prosecution rests in the Whitey Bulger trial. Today, the federal government wrapped its case against the infamous Boston mobster, after 30 days of some of the most dramatic testimony ever in this country, f-bombs, outbursts, screaming, spittle, tense stare downs, between Bulger and a parade of over 60 witnesses who testified against him. Plus, one possible witness who literally was found dead before he was supposed to testify, and you thought this was in the past, no. Our Deb Feyerick was in the courthouse to witness all of it.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the jury, it was a rare moment hearing the voice of James Bulger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bulldogs was Connors -- the guy in the phone booth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They threw my name in the mix. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But anyway, that's what happened.
FEYERICK: Recorded during a prison visit, the notorious mob boss described the murder of Eddie Connors. Eyewitnesses say Bulger fired the machine gun. Despite an occasional f-bomb filled outburst, he has sat quiet, as members of his notorious inner circle have betrayed the famous code of silence and testified against him.
Bulger's hitman, his henchmen and his enforcer justified their betrayal, saying Bulger betrayed them. Because like his henchman, Steve Flemmi, James Bulger was an FBI informant for more than two decades, protected by rogue FBI agents. Bulger's criminal empire grew unchallenged. John Shea once run drugs and served time for Bulger.
(on camera): What do you think is going through Whitey's mind as he listens to that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's killing him that he's being outed as a rat.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Bulger's former accomplices have provided grisly details of the 19 murders he is accused of, testifying Bulger either planned him or did the killing himself. Among the most horrifying, Bulger allegedly strangled two women very close to his crime partner, Steven Flemmi.
Flemmi's stepdaughter, Debra Hassi and his stunning 26-year-old girlfriend, Debbie Davis had both become liabilities. Flemmi testified Bulger, quote, "strangled Davis all the way down to the basement." Her remains were found in a tidal marsh with some of her hair intact. Davis' death still haunts her brother.
STEVE DAVIS, ALLEGED MURDER VICTIM'S BROTHER: It's tattooed image in my brain, my sister's, the gruesome way they killed her, what they did and wrapped her up. It's like torture.
FEYERICK: His henchman described Bulger getting a perverse high from the killings, having to lay down after when his cronies buried the bodies. Tommy Donahue's father, an innocent victim, was caught in the crossfire of one of Bulger's shooting.
(on camera): When you look at Whitey Bulger, what do you see?
TOMMY DONAHUE, ALLEDGED MURDER VICTIM'S SON: I see a complete psychopath maniac murderer who has no feelings and no heart for nobody.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Bulger's hitman, John Madarano, killed businessmen, friends, rival gangsters and anyone who got in the way. He testified that Bulger laughed after a drive-by shooting. Thrilled by the rush of bullets he felt overhead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These gangsters changed everyone's life. It's everyone who lives, whose life has been destroyed. FEYERICK: Yet only one thing has made Bulger lose his temper repeatedly, being called a rat. His enforcer, Kevin Leaks, sneered, "we killed people for being rats and I had the two biggest rats right next to me." Bulger turned and cursed.
KEVIN CULLEN, AUTHOR, COLUMNIST: Jay Carney walked in the first day, said, he is an extortionist. He was a book maker. But he didn't kill those women and he didn't, wasn't an informant. That's all Whitey cares about.
FEYERICK: Bulger's defense starts next week. For OUTFRONT, Deborah Feyerick, Boston.
BURNETT: Still to come, new developments in the Edward Snowden case. Tonight, we actually have a copy of the letter his father sent to President Obama. Sort of sounded like the Whitey Bulger trial with the words in there.
Plus, three camp bounds froze in California. Health officials have found a squirrel infected with the bubonic plague, the bubonic plague. It's 2013.
And the latest from the horrifying train derailment in Spain, the conductor, now in custody.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT on a Friday night.
We start with stories where we focus on our reporting from the frontlines.
I want to begin with new developments on the future of Edward Snowden, the man who leaked NSA secrets. The USA is bending over backwards to get Russia to release him to American authorities. In a letter to Russian authorities, Attorney General Eric Holder says the U.S. won't seek the death penalty for Snowden, nor would he be tortured. They are definitely trying to do what they think the Russians want.
Snowden's father meanwhile sent a scathing letter to President Obama and we have a copy. In it, he calls the administration vindictive and reprehensible, and urges the president to order Holder to dismiss the criminal complaint against Snowden.
Snowden, of course, has been holed up now for quite awhile in a Russian airport.
Well, according to reports, French judges have decided former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will face trial on pimping charges link to sex parties he allegedly attended. I mean, you know -- it's better than Weiner, right? I mean -- anyway, the decision was a surprise, according to Reuters, after public prosecutor recommended in June that the inquiry be dropped. (IANUDIBLE), reporter with CNN's French affiliate BFMTV says here's an 80 percent chance that DSK will actually go all the way to trial. Earlier this month, Strauss-Kahn gave an interview to CNN, in which he said, quote, "I don't have any kind of a problem with women."
Well, the Dow Jones Industrial Average squeaked out a fifth week running of gains. The broader market ended flat. Investors afraid economic growth is not gaining steam. Still, consumer sentiment hit a six-year high today and the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, speaking in Australia said things are getting better, but then he dropped this bomb.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LLOYD BLANKFEIN, GOLDMAN SACHS CEO: Given enough time, very low probability events not only can happen, they absolutely will happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Blankfein, whose company received $10 billion in taxpayer bailout money, was saying another crisis is inevitable. He did say, though, that the Fed is going to stop giving out free money starting this fall, which brings me to our daily countdown.
It's been 720 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?
Well, one of the people most possibility for getting it back is the chief of the Federal Reserve and a battle is brewing over who will be in charge of the Fed. A lot of people were expecting an announcement imminently.
But we learned today at CNN that President Barack Obama will not make a decision until the fall. A third Bernanke term is not on the table, which leaves two main conditions, Janet Yellen, the current vice chair of the Fed, and Larry Summers, a former Treasury Secretary and a standoff. Both are well-respected.
Wall Street likes Yellen because she's going to keep giving them free money for free. That's what they think. Others, though, are more keen on what they say will be Summers' tough love.
And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT: who is to blame for the deadly train crash in Spain?
Tonight, the driver of the train has been detained by authorities who are trying to figure out if his apparent zest for speed played a role in Wednesday's derailment in which at least 78 people died and that number will go higher. The conductor, whose face as you'll see in just a second, was covered in blood as he was taken away from the scene. You can see him there.
He is also, according to authorities, no longer talking to police, but that's pretty amazing that he was on a cell phone with just blood on his face when he was in that front car.
Karl Penhaul is OUTFRONT, at the scene of the crash.
Karl, what's happens next? The driver has been detained. So, is arrest the next thing?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORESPONDENT: Well, Francisco Jose Garzon is under formal detention, the police chief has said. And the police chief has also said he will be accused of crimes relating to the accident. When he was asked what that meant, then the police chief muttered, recklessness.
But that's still short of a formal charge right now. And we expect that by this time tomorrow night, either police will have had to have charged him formally or let him go, Erin.
BURNETT: And, Karl, I know you learned a lot more tonight about the driver of the train. You know, apparently, he boasted on Facebook, for example, about how fast he could take the train.
PENHAUL: Well, on the one hand, we do see that. We see posted on his Facebook page, some pictures showing close to 120, 130 miles an hour. And one might say yes, that does show a zest for speed.
But then again, he is the driver of a high speed train. These speeds -- these trains are designed for high speeds. They do run at certain points at high speeds, up to 155 miles an hour. And so, really it is going to be up to investigators to see what was happening on this section of the track and if he was going too fast for the conditions, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Karl, thank you very much.
And, of course, those pictures maxing out the speed, to Karl's point, certainly, up know, far from the maximum speed that he could take some of those trains when he was in the speed limit.
Well, Trayvon Martin's mother spoke out today. Sybrina Fulton addressed the National Urban League's annual conference in Philadelphia, just a day after the only minority member of the George Zimmerman jury said she thought Zimmerman, quote, got away with murder, but she also thinks the verdict was right, given the law.
Joe Johns is OUTFRONT.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mother of Trayvon Martin gave a deeply emotional speech.
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: At times, I feel like I'm a broken vessel. At times, I don't know if I'm going or coming.
JOHNS: Sybrina Fulton talked about her dead son and life without him and the not guilty verdict for the man who shot him. She blames the "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida for the outcome. FULTON: Wrap your mind around no prom for Trayvon, no high school graduation for Trayvon, no college for Trayvon, no grandkids coming from Trayvon, all because of a law, a law that has prevented the person who shot and killed my son to be held accountable and to pay for this awful crime.
JOHNS: Miss Fulton appeared before the National Urban League meeting and a swirl of fresh controversy after one of the jurors in the Zimmerman case told ABC she owed the Martin family an apology.
MADDY, ZIMMERMAN JUROR B-29: George Zimmerman got away with murder. But you can't get away from God.
JOHNS: In her remarks, Sybrina Fulton did not talk about what the juror said, but had issued a statement earlier saying, "It's devastating for my family to hear the comments from Juror B-29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true."
And she issued a larger plea for others to take on her cause.
FULTON: My message to you is please use my story, please use my tragedy, please use my broken heart to say to yourself, we cannot let this happen to anybody else's child.
JOHNS: Trayvon Martin's family has started a foundation in his memory. They say one of their goals is to fight against stand your ground laws that have enacted in more than half the states --Erin.
BURNETT: Thank you.
Well, an evacuation has been ordered for an area north of Los Angeles after a squirrel tested positive for the plague. This is a real story. No humans have been infected yet. But authorities are advising people to steer clear for a week while they do further testing in the area.
OUTFRONT tonight, Dr. Amesh Adalja of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, board certified physician for infectious disease.
Dr. Adalja, thank you so much for taking the time.
When people hear plague, you know, we think of Black Death, which killed 25 million people in the middle ages. How serious of a threat is this?
DR. AMESH ADALJA, SR. ASSOCIATE, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH MEDICAL CENTER: I think it's not unheard of to hear of a squirrel testing positive for plague in California. Any time an animal tests positive for plague in an area where humans frequent, like a camp ground, it merits serious concern. And it's very prudent for these authorities that run the campground to close those areas to the public and to advise people to take general precautions when they are in those areas and to avoid feeding squirrels, for example, avoid their pets -- putting their pets in situations where they may have fleas jump from rodents that are -- wild rodents to them, as rodents are the main way a plague is spread from animal to animal, even to humans.
BURNETT: Yes. And, yes, we know, we also hear about the rats of the bubonic plague, right? How they didn't realize at the time, it was spreading from rats. But, you know, this is the potential for people to have a serious illness. You know, people aren't careful.
I'm just curious, you know, we hear about small plague outbreaks in isolated places, you know, the deserts in Libya, right, in the past few years. We've seen, you know, bubonic plague outbreaks. But, you know, we don't really hear about it in a country like the United States in a highly populated place like California. How rare is this?
ADALJA: So, human cases of plague still occur in the United States every year, probably about 4 to 7, usually in the western part of the United States.
ADALJA: In San Francisco in 1900, there was a big plague outbreak. At that time, the rodents kind of migrated west of California to kind of a line that goes between North Dakota and Texas. And we call that the plague line. That's where you see rodents that have plague. And that's where you see the human cases that happen every year, like I said, 4 to 7.
BURNETT: That's pretty incredible. I think, you know, I'm certainly I'm shocked to hear that. I know a lot of people probably are. But amazing this can happen in this day and age.
Thank you so much, Dr. Adalja. We appreciate it.
And still to come, infighting in the GOP and serious fighting. Governor Christie has serious worlds for Rand Paul. Oh, but Paul, he slammed back.
Plus, today marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. We're going to go to Pyongyang, because guess what? CNN is there, at the victory day celebration.
BURNETT: We are back with tonight's outer circle, where we reach out to our sources around the world.
And on this Friday night, we begin in North Korea. Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. And for North Koreans, it's a huge deal. They've been celebrating for days.
CNN has a rare look inside the country. Our Ivan Watson is there. He's in Pyongyang, where a military parade is about to begin.
And, Ivan, I mean, obviously people are getting ready. I mean, how many people are there, what is it like? What have the celebrations been like that you've seen? IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty surreal, Erin, because it really feels like very much the capital still here, Pyongyang, is being mobilized for these days of celebrations. We've been taken to the inauguration of a new veteran cemetery. That's where we got to see Kim Jong-un, the young leader of this country, and a number of veterans that are just coated with medals on their uniforms that come out for these ceremonies.
We've also been taken, of all places, to a flower festival, devoted to two flowers, two flowers named after the father and son who ruled this country until each of them died successively, Kim Jong-Il and Kim Il-Sung.
So, all of the things we've been taken to see dominated very much by the images of North Korea that the government would like us to see. And, of course, by the iconography of the dynasty that has been ruling this country for nearly 60 years. A dynasty that refers to the end of the Korean War, which was really ended with an armistice signed by the U.S.-led side and the North Korean side. And the North Koreans view that war and armistice as a victory over the U.S. and what it calls U.S. imperialism, and argument that I think many historians would dispute.
BURNETT: Absolutely. But pretty amazing, when you describe it. You know, when we see some of the video there of the celebrations and the pageantry, that you were actually able to see that, you went to a festival, there were two flowers named after the two of the three leaders, and the dynasty, as you mentioned. They obviously want the world to see this.
I know you've been in North Korea for three days. But this is a reclusive and strict country as it comes, incredibly so about the press. So, what kind of restrictions and monitors have you been dealing with, Ivan?
WATSON: It's more strict than on any international assignment I've ever been in, in my career, Erin, where there is quite literally a minder, a nice guy, standing pretty much over your shoulder at all moments and at some points, actually telling you what are allowed to film you're your camera and what you are not. It is very strict. And I don't think we've had really a frank and open discussion with any of the North Koreans we've met until date.
So, this is a tough nut to crack, to kind of get beneath the facade. And that is very much what we're being shown.
Everything from the palace, where two of the former leaders where their bolds are held in state, and everything, again, is this mass demonstration of patriotism, of defiance against the U.S. people here, it does seem, from what we're being told, they are very much defined by their opposition as to what they described as U.S. imperialism. It's been 60 years since the Korean War and that is still very much something that people here are living and believing every day, down to the little kids that we've talked to, 7, 8 years old. It is remarkable. PERINO: That's got to be remarkable in talking to those little kids, because, as you know with children, you can tell them what to say and they will still say things anyway. So, they're probably getting the most unvarnished view you possibly can from little 7-year- old.
All right, Ivan Watson, thank you so much.
Ivan, as we said, reporting, incredibly rare opportunity from Pyongyang tonight.
And now our fifth story, Chris Christie picks another fight. New Jersey's tough-talking governor had some choice worlds for fellow Republican, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Speaking at a forum, he suggested the libertarian's views of the government's surveillance program are dangerous and that he should hear first-hand from the families affected by 9/11.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I love all these esoteric debates that people are getting in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Rand Paul, for example?
CHRISTIE: Listen, you can name any number of people, and he's one of them. I mean, these esoteric, intellectual debates -- I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won't, because that's a much tougher conversation to have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, after that jab, Rand Paul hit back, tweeting this morning, "Chris (Crist)ie," just look how he spelled that for a second, as you read along with me. "Chris (Crist)ie thinks freedom is dangerous. Dangerous is borrowing money to China and send to people who burn our flag."
OK. You may notice how he spelled look how he spelled that Chris, suggesting Christie is a party switcher, like former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Crist, who is now an Obama supporter.
All right. Jab, jab, jab here, let's just get to it. What does this mean for Chris Christie? Will this help him?
OUTFRONT tonight, radio show host Stephanie Miller, opinion writer Dean Obeidallah, and Hogan Gidley, former national communications for Rick Santorum.
Hogan, after the election, Republicans did this soul searching, oh, my God, things were so terrible for us, right? They did 97 pages on a report that went wrong. I know, I still layoff. Sometimes we need to do that.
Anyway, they did this report and said they would get everything in line. They're going to work together. And now, they're at it again.
Did the party learn anything?
HOGAN GIDLEY, FORMER NATL. COMM. DIR., SANTORUM 2012 PRES. CAMPAIGN: That's a great question. They learned -- the RNC is probably sweating because they wanted to scale back debates and probably now want to have one. If this is any indication of how tough the primary battle is going to be. What's so fascinates here is you actually have this early -- two guys calls each other out by name, mocking each other's policies, mocking each other's politics, you guys have been trying to find a story for 2016 since 2012 ended, and they just gave newsrooms across this country a gift.
Political divisions are blown away at this, and they are foaming to the mouth to try and get their hands on this story because it's so fascinating for these people to be calling each other out this early on.
Look, they need to focus on their own policies. They need to focus on what they would for. It's way too early to throw barbs at somebody else. And it's laying the groundwork at --
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COMEDIAN: Hogan, do not stop them from fighting. This is the greatest -- it brings me such joy to watch Republicans fight. I get a warm tingling feeling inside and my heart grows --
BURNETT: You get a tingling off your leg? Oh!
OBEIDALLAH: It is remarkable to see them fight. So, Hogan, don't ruin it. Let them fight it out. Come on.
BURNETT: Here is the thing, just --
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: Erin --
BURNETT: Stephanie, I just want to make it clear, though, it was the questioner that asked Chris Christie about Rand Paul, and then he said, yes, people like Rand Paul. But he didn't bring him up himself.
GIDLEY: That's right.
MILLER: Well, I mean, Erin, I just want to say, boys, don't fight. You're both going to get crushed by Hillary Clinton no matter which one of you gets this. Keep fighting, fight early, fight often, it's all awesome in my opinion.
OBEIDALLAH: I agree with Stephanie, 100 percent.
BURNETT: Let me play, this is Chris Christie.
BURNETT: This guy isn't afraid to fight.
And he doesn't use his fist, even though he's a strong guy. He uses his mouth. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
CHRISTIE: Last night, politics was placed before oaths to serve the citizens. For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch. I called the speaker four times last night after 11: 20 and he did not take my calls.
You know what, first off, it's none of your business. I don't ask where you send your kids to school, don't bother me about where I send mine.
Ands you know what? You know what? Let me tell you this. You know what? It's people who raise their voices and yell and scream like that that are dividing this country. We're here to bring this country together, not to divide it.
You know, I think all of our mothers taught us if we can avoid it, don't be stupid. So don't be stupid, get out.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: Stephanie, you know, I know some people hate him for that but that's why a lot of people love him. That guy is, you know, that versus Hillary, I mean, I would love to watch that.
MILLER: Well, yes, I mean, a lot of people call him bold and courageous and he has a lot of big ideas, big, awful ideas and he says them loud. But I do think there is this going on in the Republican Party that, you know, Rand Paul is ahead in the latest Republican primary poll and he gets crushed by Hillary Clinton, as usual.
So I think they are not going to let anybody as moderate as Chris Christie win a Republican primary in today's Republican Party.
OBEIDALLAH: He's going to have a tough, tough time in the primary. People got pissed when he was with Barack Obama.
BURNETT: That could be the only guy that can win the general. Tough issue.
All right. Thanks.
GIDLEY: Candidate in New Jersey is not a candidate in South Carolina. He has to make a better pitch and be lower tempted down here if he's going to win some voters in this state.
BURNETT: All right. Which, of course, is important to him, no question about it, in the primaries.
Thanks to all.
Still to come, a presidential election, not here, somewhere else happening this Sunday and it's crucial for this country and this country's war on terror.
BURNETT: Important election news tonight, and this is out of west Africa.
On Sunday, the country of Mali is holding presidential elections. It's been 16 months since Mali's government was overthrown, and seven months since the French military intervened to beat back Islamic extremist. These elections matter.
And Seth Jones, the counterterrorism expert and author of "Hunting in the Shadows", tells us militant Islamists are still a threat to Mali, even after the French intervention. They weren't eliminated, just pushed into the mountains, in the north of the country and are now waiting for the right time to push back.
But that's not the only reason Mali matters. At one of the refugee camps we visited last summer, tens of thousands are tonight still homeless and still hungry. And they're not going to get to vote. The U.N. estimates only 20,000 of the 38,000 people at camps in Burkina Faso where we were even got voter cards, and the vast majority of the half a million people who fled the war will not get to vote.
The fact of the matter is this: if these elections happen, up to $4 billion in aid will be freed up for Mali, some of it American because it's once again a, quote-unquote, "democracy". The U.S. and others halted aid when Mali suffered a coup. This is why some people it's best inconsistent for the U.S. to not halt aid to Egypt. Mali had a coup, the U.S. halted aid.
In Egypt, many believe the U.S. is not calling it a coup because America wants to keep pumping in the money, citing national security. Right now, Mali needs all the help it can get. It isn't just a place America must care about deeply because of national security and al Qaeda. It's a place we need to care about because al Qaeda spread is caused horrible, human suffering, and ending that is what Americans should stand for above all else.
Have a great weekend. "A.C. 360" starts right now.