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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
U.S. Russia Reach Deal On Syria; Dual Doom: U.S. Faces Shutdown, Debt Ceiling; Officials: Kenya Mall Attackers May Have Escaped; Did Firing A Warning Shot Deserve 20 Years In Prison?; Grisly Discovery Inside Costa Concordia; Dimon Versus DOJ: How Much Should JPMorgan Pay?; Major Wisconsin Bridge Has 400-Foot Sag
Aired September 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 HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. The U.S. and Russia have a deal over Syria's chemical weapons, but did Russia get everything it wanted? The State Department's top spokesperson OUTFRONT. Plus, an international manhunt for the alleged terrorist known as the White Widow. Was she killed at the Kenyan mall massacre, or is she a threat to the United States tonight? And we'll take you to a major American bridge that now goes absolutely nowhere. It is a crazy and warped sight, and it's not the only one the engineers say is unsafe. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. The U.S. and Russia finally reach an agreement tonight on a resolution at the U.N. to rid Syria of chemical weapons, but it looks from the reporting we have right now that Russia may have gotten exactly what it wanted. The agreement would not authorize the automatic use of force if Syria violates the terms according to CNN reporting.
The U.N. Security Council has been called for a last-minute meeting to go over the resolution, which is happening within the hour, obviously a significant development. OUTFRONT tonight, the State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki. Jen, thank you for taking time in what I know is a very busy week.
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: The State Department has called this --
PSAKI: It has been a marathon.
BURNETT: It has been a marathon, has called this, breakthrough with Syria, unprecedented, a breakthrough, historic. But is there anything that enforces disarmament? I simply asked this because according to our CNN reporting, as I just indicated, the automatic use of force of Syria doesn't comply, something the United States had said was crucial, is out. Is that true?
PSAKI: Well, first let me say two weeks ago we did not even think this was possible. So right now what we've agreed to is a strong binding, enforceable resolution. That's exactly what we wanted. That's exactly what Secretary Kerry came in here wanting. This is not been a debate in terms of the resolution about the use of force. The president has never taken that off the table. It remains on the table. This was about how do we come to an agreement to eliminate chemical weapons and now the international community will be overseeing that process and that's a very important step forward in this process.
BURNETT: I totally understand what you're saying. I have to go back to this point about the use of automatic force, which the U.S. had said was so important. If you don't have that stick in there, what is the point of the resolution?
PSAKI: Well, the debate about the resolution was not about the use of forceful that was not what we were pushing for. We were pushing for a binding resolution where there would be consequences. The international community is now watching, but they're not just watching. They're going to be able to put a response in place so that's why this is an important step forward and why there is broad support by the P-5 for this agreement.
BURNETT: And what are the consequences then?
PSAKI: Well, there is a range of options. We're not getting there yet. What we're hopeful for and pressing toward is for the Syrian regime to abide by what they've committed to, which is to put a process in place for eliminating their chemical weapons. There are several steps that will be a part of that that have been agreed to and were agreed to a couple of weeks ago. That's what the international community will be watching in the weeks and months ahead.
BURNETT: And Jen, I want to ask you about the other big issue of the day. You spent a lot of time on this. Iran for the first time in more than 30 years, high level officials from the U.S. and Iran spoke face to face today. Secretary of State John Kerry meeting with Iran's foreign minister.
Now according to a report issued a couple weeks ago by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has install more advanced centrifuges, 46 percent more. Inspectors still haven't gotten access to the site, a suspected nuclear weapons development facility. These are crucial points and I make them only because of this.
I just came back from a meeting with the Iranian President Rouhani and he was very clear. He implied that the U.S. needs to ease sanctions saying sanctions, quote, "weaken our resolve to do a deal." So I ask you this, Jen. Is there any situation in which the United States would support easing sanctions without full inspector access to every single nuclear site in Iran?
PSAKI: Well, clearly full access is a part of our requirements, but we're not at that point in the conversation yet. It was significant, yes, this evening, and there was a new tone taken by the foreign minister. We feel there is an opening and an opportunity with President Rouhani, but this is the beginning of a conversation. The question for all of us and our partners around the world is what actions are the Iranians going to back up their language with? So we're waiting for that, for that. There are meetings in October and we'll see what happens.
BURNETT: Let me ask you a question about Israel before you go. Obviously the United States is the closest ally in the Middle East. Today President Rouhani called for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East and he called specifically at the U.N. when he spoke on Israel to sign to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without further delay. Obviously Israel is the only Middle Eastern state that has not signed the treaty, presumed to have a very solid size nuclear arsenal. Is not Israel part of the problem here?
PSAKI: Well, we've certainly support any country and every country abiding by the NPT. However, the reason we're also concern about Iran is because they've been producing or on their path to producing and creating a nuclear weapons. There's great concern about what they would do with them, that's a concern shared by the international communicate and that's why we're pressing for it and so that's what the conversation is about. Sometimes there's an effort to distract but that's why we're here and that's why the meeting tonight was so important.
BURNETT: All right, well, Jen Psaki, thank you very much. As always, Jen Psaki, as we said, the chief spokesperson for the State Department joining us tonight on that breaking news.
Our second story, OUTFRONT, the economic doomsday because the looming government shutdown is upon us, an upcoming deadline to raise the debt ceiling or default is also here and as always neither side is giving in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I will not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: The president says I'm not going on negotiate. Well, I'm sorry but it doesn't work that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The same sort of talk that got us into this mess to begin with. Well, as you know we've been counting the days since America lost its top credit rating due to sound bites just like the ones you heard there. It has been 782 days since that happened. Is doom day avoidable?
Dana Bash is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill tonight. Dana, obviously just days away from the first problem, the possible government shutdown on Tuesday, I guess at midnight. Will it actually happen?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know. That's the honest answer. Nobody here can answer that, a yes or no, knowing full well that they'll be accurate. The reason is because the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted to start the ball rolling today, to take final votes today to send this back to the House. He was not allowed to do that. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee said no, we want the vote tomorrow as planned. So that will happen.
Then it is going to go to the House. They've already announced the Republican leaders there that they will bring the House in. Probably should not be surprising but you never know on Saturday and likely Sunday to work this out. The open question is how they'll change what the Senate sends over and if those changes are going to be acceptable to the Senate.
And we're talking about 24, 36 hours. Not a lot of time. When you're talking about Senate procedure as we've seen over this week, anybody who wants to gum up the works can and so it is anybody's guess.
BURNETT: Well, look, I'm glad they're working the weekend with the deadline like that when they didn't have a single five-day week schedule for the year. We'll take it where we can get it. But jokes aside, the other serious problem facing the United States, in fact, more serious according to economists who use the word cataclysmic to me when they're talking about this, is the debt ceiling deadline, which is October 17th.
Is this actually going to be a bigger fight? I mean, they have to raise the debt ceiling. I mean, just speaking from a market perspective, they have to do that, but they might not, right?
BASH: Right. It is absolutely going to be bigger fight. You're right. You and I spoke last night about this Republican plan that we were told about that was in the works. Well, now, today, Republican leaders actually presented it to the rank and file. And yes, it raises the debt ceiling, but it literally has everything that the Republican Party has and the Republicans in the house has passed all year, their entire laundry list, their agenda.
The White House, they looked at this and said really? Are you kidding? Is this a joke? Not only do they not want to negotiate. They don't think it is possible to negotiate on this kind of thing. They're not taking it seriously. So what does this mean? It means that it is going to go down to the wire.
But just in terms of the substance, Erin, you understand this very well. The Republicans in the House in particular, many of whom were elected in 2010 say that they came here to deal with one big problem and that's the nation's debt. And where better to negotiate than on the debt limit which, if you raise it, will be effectively allowing the U.S. to borrow more money.
That's why they think that's a good place to negotiate. Of course, the other argument which you've just made is this is not a place to mess with the economy. That's what the White House is saying. It is absolutely going to go down to the wire there too.
BURNETT: Absolutely. All right, Dana Bash, thank you very much. Of course, as we talk about that debt ceiling, the problem is they've already promised the things that they're paying for by raising the debt ceiling. It is not for new things. It is for things they've already promised the American people. Just into CNN, we have new details about the mall massacre in Kenya. A U.S. law enforcement official is telling Evan Perez that there is an increasing concern that some of the terrorists who carried out the attack he is came alongside fleeing victims. The officials say this is making the effort to actually find out who was responsible difficult. The attack left as many as 63 people dead and of course, it also raises that crucial question, which is where are those attackers right now and are there more attacks in store?
We'll have much more on that story coming up including the search for one of the people who are possibly involve in the attacks, the woman known as the white widow. There is an alert out around the world right now for her arrest.
Still to come also, Bill Gates looks back on a mistake he made. Is it way too late to change course now?
And the latest on the Costa Concordia investigation, a big development today, 20 months after that ship went down, they have found new human remains.
And a woman who fired a warning shot into a wall was sentenced to 20 years in prison, a major development in that story. It is stand your ground.
And a high school teacher who raped a student served only 31 days in jail even though his victim had committed suicide. Today that teacher, as you see, released. We were there.
BURNETT: Our fourth story OUTFRONT, 20 years for a warning shot. The woman who fired a bullet into a wall to try the scare off her husband during an argument was convicted of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of jury deliberation. Marissa Alexander is a 31-year- old mother of three and she tried unsuccessfully to use Florida's "stand your ground" defense, which of course, we are all now familiar with.
Now Alexander made headlines after George Zimmerman's acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin. Many wanted to know why this woman was sentenced to so much time while Zimmerman, who never asked for immunity under the "Stand Your Ground" law walked free?
David Mattingly is OUTFRONT. David, of course, covered the Zimmerman trial from zero all the way on. What are you learning about this new trial?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, this case is at the central of debate over how the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law is applied. Three years ago, Marissa Alexander said she was fearing for her life when she fired a shot at her abusive husband. That shot went into a wall. The man wasn't even wounded in this case.
But Alexander, an African-American woman, was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 20 years even though she argued self-defense. She was denied immunity under the state's stand your ground law. Her case sparked protest and got a lot of attention during George Zimmerman case. Critics say this wouldn't have happened to her if she had been white.
Now today, an appeals court has given her and her many supporters some hope. The court ruled that the judge in this case gave the jury the wrong instructions when it comes to interpreting self-defense. So the bottom line here, Erin, Alexander is going to get a new trial.
BURNETT: And David, what are Florida and, well, this is important now that you brought race into this story, the NAACP saying.
MATTINGLY: They've been pushing very hard for something like this. The leaders, national and state level, both applaud the decision. Alexander's attorney tells CNN, Marissa was ecstatic and obviously incredibly thankful and wants to get back to her family. But she still has to go to trial again and there is been a little bit of a twist. The appeals court said she cannot have another stand your ground hearing. So she will have to go to trial and argue self- defense much the same way that we saw George Zimmerman do in his recent trial.
BURNETT: So what then, Angela Kory who also prosecuted George Zimmerman, prosecuted this case. And she has become a known figure. What has she said?
MATTINGLY: Well, a statement from her office reads, the defendant's conviction was reversed on a legal technicality and she says, we are gratified that the court affirmed the defendant's stand your ground ruling. Meaning there will be no repeat of the stand your ground hearing. In terms of what is next for her, there is no court date, but she is clearly not off the hook here. She still faces aggravated assault charges and there is no in between. She is either found innocent or found guilty and gets some mandatory sentence of 20 years. So she goes free or she gets 20 years in prison. There's no middle ground here.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, David Mattingly.
And our fourth story, OUTFRONT, the lost victims of the Costa Concordia. Tonight, one official calling it a miracle because human remains have been found in the cruise ship that capsized off the coast of Italy January of last year. The crash killed 30 people. Two others have been missing and presumed dead until now. Barbie Nadeau is OUTFRONT with more.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the human remains found in the hull of the Costa Concordia ship today won't be identified until sometime in the next couple of weeks. They need to do crucial DNA testing to find out if the bones they found belong to either of the two victims, whose bodies have not been recovered.
That's a 50-year-old woman from Sicily and a 33-year-old man who was a waiter on the ship from India. The discovery of these remains, obviously, will give closures to the families, but it's also going to give the salvage operators a chance to start the next phase of their operation. They do not have access to the ship until and unless the remains of the last two victims are found.
After that they can move to the next step which is preparing for the re-flotation of the Costa Concordia and the eventual removal of the vessel from the island -- Erin.
BURNETT: Thanks to Barbie. Those bodies have been submerged for nearly 20 months so obviously they've almost completely decomposed so the remains are just skeletal. So the difficulty would be identifying, are these two bodies, parts of bodies. Forensic scientist, Lawrence Kobilinsky told us how investigators are going to actually be able to make a positive I.D.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: The forensic anthropologist confronted with the problem of who are these remains, who do they come from, will first examine the bones to see if there are healing signs from fractures, comparing x-ray evidence to those fractures will help identify an individual, and certainly, dental x- rays can be used for positive identification.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The captain of the Costa Concordia, by the way, is currently on trial, facing 20 years in prison if convicted on charges including manslaughter and abandoning ship.
In our money and power tonight, the CEO of America's biggest bank is going to Washington. This is a huge story because JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon spent nearly an hour meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder to talk about how much he is going to have to pay to end investigations into mortgages.
A person familiar with the talks tells CNN, the two sides are discussing a possible settlement, which could reach $11 billion. Here's the thing though. Many of these problem mortgages stem from two big deals that the bank made during the financial crisis. A lot of people are saying doesn't a banker deserve to pay the praise for things that went wrong. That may be true.
Here are the facts in this case. Five years ago, JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual in hastily arranged deals essentially brokered by the government. In fact, many would say the fair word to use is forced. Jamie Dimon was told if you don't buy these companies, which were in death spirals, you will jeopardize the American financial system and at the time that did not seemed like an exaggeration.
JPMorgan did not therefore have the luxury of time to do their so-called due diligence or frankly the right to say no, we don't want to buy this because we're scared there might be some bad stuff in here. So yes, they got the banks incredibly cheap and over time that helped them out a lot. But they had to take on a lot of bad stuff without knowing about it in advance. Now those legal liabilities are biting them in the tail. JPMorgan has stumbled most notably with a massive trade gone wrong, which cost the bank nearly a billion dollars in fines just last week. JPMorgan has had serious problems, but they have the money and they'll pay. That doesn't mean it is easy to say the boogie man isn't in all of this because when it comes to money and power, there are a lot of dark and depressing corners and unfortunately this situation is not black and white.
Still to come, a high school teacher convicted of raping a student serves 31 days in jail. His victim killed herself. Today he was released. CNN was there. You will see what happened when we try to talk to him.
Plus, Bill Gates admits to making a big mistake. Is it too late to fix it?
And a major American bridge bends, warps, literally. Look at that. We're going to go to the scene live.
BURNETT: Our fifth story, OUTFRONT, a sagging bridge, a major freeway bridge near Green Bay, Wisconsin suddenly closed. It suddenly developed a 400-foot dip. That obviously is a huge dip and our Ted Rowlands is there with the story.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Suddenly this 400- foot long section of one of Wisconsin's most well traveled bridges started to sag and the 911 calls came in almost immediately.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: That bridge is sagging in the center. I came over with a tractor-trailer and I mean she jumped that.
ROWLANDS: The bridge carries 40,000 cars a day and will now be closed indefinitely. The Green Bay Bridge was built in 1980 and last inspected in August 2012. Officials declared it at the time to be sound. An Associated Press report published earlier this month found that more than 65,000 U.S. bridges were classified by the Federal National Bridge Inventory as structurally deficient. More than 20,000 other bridges were deemed to be fracture critical, which means about 60 bridges in Wisconsin alone fall into the danger category, according to the study.
But this sagging bridge was apparently not one of them. It is certainly not the first time we've seen these frightening images. In May, this bridge in Mount Vernon, Washington collapsed to dropping 120 feet into frigid waters below, taking with it two cars and three passengers. Luckily there were no fatalities.
In 2007, a portion of the I-35 Bridge collapse in the Minneapolis during rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100. That accident sparked a national re-examination of the country's roads and bridges. In 1983, three people died when a section of I-95 in Connecticut broke away, falling 70 feet, taking two cars and an 18-wheeler down with it. And the silver bridge connecting West Virginia and Ohio collapsed in 1967 when the traffic on the bridge exceeded the maximum weight limit, 46 people died. Luckily in this case, the only casualty is time.
BURNETT: All right, Ted, I mean, do you know how this happened? A 400-foot drop is a huge drop.
ROWLANDS: Absolutely, Erin, and no, they don't know what happened. Basically two pillars of this bridge both dropped more than 20 inches. They have assembled with teams across the country and they want to figure out exactly what happened and then come out with a game plan on how to fix it. They're warning it may take up to a year before they can use this bridge again. And it is amazing that nobody was hurt. One of the 911 callers was from a truck driver that drove over it carrying a full load. Thank God the bridge held his weight.
BURNETT: Thank God. All right, Ted Rowlands, thank you very much, reporting from that bridge. You think about the conditions the bridges are in, in this country it makes you realize why this dysfunction in Washington is such a problem.
Still to come, Governor Chris Christie can't seem to help himself. He is in another feud and one of our guests says this will hurt his chances at the White House.
Plus, the alleged terrorist called the white widow. What did she have to do with the deadly mall attack? Why she may be involved?
And it was believed that eating more fish helped with your brain functions or if not go buy those omega-3,6,9s. We'll be back.
BURNETT: And welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.
CNN has learned Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis' autopsy is complete and his body has been released. The results of the autopsy have not been made public, nor have the results regarding of who picked up his body. This comes a day after authorities released surveillance video of Alexis walking through the hallways, carrying a sawed off shotgun, running on his way to the massacre.
They apparently were able to notify all but one of the families that they were going to be releasing this footage to us, and therefore you, ahead of time.
But Mary Francis Knight tells OUTFRONT that her family was not notified and says this only adds to their loss.
Well, the war crimes conviction against Liberia's former president Charles Taylor has been upheld. The ruling by a U.N. backed court confirms the 50-year jail sentence Taylor was handed last year for encouraging rebels in Sierra Leone to murder and rape victims. The question is: is this a precedent?
This has never happened before. Many U.S. officials, for example, are calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be tried for war crimes at the court. Nick Kauffman (ph), former international criminal court prosecutor, tells us that isn't going to happen. He says he'd have to get a referral from the Security Council which will not happen because Russia and China which both back Assad would veto it.
Well, the merits of eating fish may not be all they're cracked up to be. A new study found that women over 60 with higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids did not have better memory or cognitive skills than people who have lower levels of omega. The researchers say, though, it's not a definitive answer. No scientific answer ever is. There will be another one coming out in a couple days.
But anyway, more research is needed before you dismiss your fish. Meaning, this is not reason to indulge. In another study, rats were fed a Western diet high in fats for 90 days and their learning and memory skills suffered.
Sometimes you don't need a study to tell you fast food is bad.
All right. Our sixth story OUTFRONT: U.S. on high alert today.
Marines beefing up security at the American embassy in Nairobi following the deadly terrorist attack at a shopping mall there. The State Department is also warning other terrorist attacks could be in the works by al Qaeda-linked groups.
And while it has not been confirmed, tonight, we can tell that you Kenyan officials are implying the woman known as the "White Widow" did have involvement in the attack. Her name is Samantha Lewthwaite and she is the widow of a London suicide bomber.
Tonight, Interpol is issuing a worldwide alert to hunt her down.
Brian Todd is OUTFRONT.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's been photographed as a British school girl with a soft-faced innocent smile. She is now called the "White Widow", is believed to be a jihadist. And Interpol has just issued a worldwide red notice trying to track down Samantha Lewthwaite. That's at the request of Kenyan authorities who have implied but presented no evidence that she may have been involved in the Nairobi mall attack.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Al-Shabaab, the terrorist group, on a Twitter handle which appears to belong to them, have denied that any women were involved in this attack.
TODD: But a senior Kenyan official says a woman was there. And Kenyan leaders clearly believed Samantha Lewthwaite has had bad intentions.
Born in Buckinghamshire, England, she had by all accounts a normal, even innocent upbringing. As a teenager, she married Germaine Lindsay. She was pregnant when Lindsay blew himself up in the 2005 London bus and train attacks that killed more than 50 people.
It's not clear if that event radicalized her. She initially condemned those bombings.
CRUICKSHANK: But subsequently she is thought to have traveled to East Africa and connected with militants linked to the group al- Shabaab.
TODD: Authorities say Lewthwaite has raised money and run logistics for terrorist cells. She's also been elusive, known to travel on a fake South African passport under the name Natalie Webb. In 2011, Kenyan authorities raided three homes in Mombasa, including one allegedly used by Lewthwaite. There, they found similar bomb material to those used in the London bombings.
They arrested people for plotting to bomb tourist areas but they were too late to catch Samantha Lewthwaite.
Do those pieces add up to her potential involvement in the Westgate Mall attack with al-Shabaab?
CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen doesn't think so.
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That doesn't fit with how these groups operate. They are real misogynists. They think women should be at home, you know, in a body veil.
TODD: But Samantha Lewthwaite wouldn't be the first Western woman to be involved in a well known terrorist plot.
(on camera): In November 2005, Muriel Degauque, a Belgian who joined al Qaeda, blew herself up and injured a U.S. soldier in a suicide bombing in Iraq. And in 2011, Colleen LaRose from Pennsylvania who had called herself "Jihad Pane" pleaded guilty to plotting the murder of a Swedish cartoonist who had drawn an insulting image of the Prophet Muhammad -- Erin.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Brian.
And our seventh story OUTFRONT, Chris Christie picking a fight?
The New Jersey governor in yet another high profile feud, this time with the daughter of a presidential nominee. Earlier this week, Meghan McCain told our Piers Morgan she was done with Christie's presumed 2016 candidacy.
All right. I mean, there was no need for it. It was pretty nasty. But any way, Christie did choose to fire back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Are we really going to be responding to Meghan McCain? It's so ridiculous and sophomoric, that I have no response to Meghan McCain. If John McCain wants to say something to me, happy to respond to something John McCain says. Meghan McCain has no standing to be critiquing me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. Was that worth it?
OUTFRONT tonight, Republican strategist Hogan Gidley and Mediaite's Joe Concha.
Great to have both of you with us.
Joe, a lot of people may agree completely with what Chris Christie said. But you didn't need to say it.
JOE CONCHA, MEDIA: Right.
BURNETT: Does he just lake to fight a little too much?
CONCHA: Well, let's think about the forum he was in. He's on his weekly radio show. That means he is being asked questions not only by a host but also he takes calls from listeners. I listen to the show.
BURNETT: And perhaps has a false sense of security because it's his weekly show and his regular seat and all those things.
CONCHA: Perhaps. Yes, but here's the thing. The president of the United States has taken, one press conference since April, OK? Christie is out there every week taking questions either from this host or from callers, which some would argue are tougher than White House press corps.
The bottom line is --
BURNETT: A fair point.
CONCHA: -- he is going to get questions like this. The thing is with Chris Christie, he doesn't have a filter that he suddenly can turn on. He is who he is and he is who he is as a result of being up 34 points right now in the New Jersey governor's race. That's a blue state. Not Utah, OK?
So the fact that he is dominating there, something is working. And that is that New Jerseyians like me, if that's a word, New Jerseyians, we love brutal candor and that's what Chris Christie brings. So, it doesn't matter who the target is. He is going to say what he's going to say.
BURNETT: He is going to say. And, Hogan, I mean, that is one of the thing, you know, as we all know people love about Chris Christie. Going after reporters, I think everybody would agree, is pretty much fair sport, right, because we're a nasty bunch and if you want to go after us, you can go after us.
Here are some of his most memorable moments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
CHRISTIE: Are you stupid? Thank you all very much and I'm sorry for the idiot over there.
It's ridiculous. Silly. I mean, I don't mean it to mean what you all do but this is silly.
You must be the thinnest skin guy in America because you think that's a confrontational tone. Then I -- you know, you should you really see me when I'm pissed.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: All right. Hogan, here's the question. That combative style as Joe was saying works with New Jerseyians or whatever he calls them -- does it work in Middle America because that's what matters for Chris Christie. The governorship of New Jersey is a done thing. Chris Christie is going to win.
HOGAN GIDLEY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Right, absolutely. Look, I've said this before on your show. Camden, New Jersey, is not Camden, South Carolina. And he is a very popular governor, very popular in a blue state. He will win reelection in a walk.
For the life of me, I still don't know why he addresses Meghan McCain by name. I don't know why he talks about Rand Paul by name.
First of all, it's not really presidential, and second of all, that tough guy image, that tough guy name that he loves to tout that he's so tough, that's going to turn from tough to petty in a heartbeat if he keeps that type of behavior up. He's got a great record to tout. Tout that.
The slog from Iowa to Hampshire to South Carolina is long and difficult. And if his skin doesn't thicken, he is going to have to face not just the stiff win of Iowa, the freezing temperature of January, he's going to have to face barbs from the right and the left.
And if he stops focusing on his message and his positive actions in New Jersey, he's going to be taken off task in a hurry. And those fights that are lauded when he is taking on the media types like and you others around the country and President Obama is not going to play well when he is doing it with members of his own party.
BURNETT: A quick final word, Joe. Does he have a point? Meghan McCain, nobody would care what she said about this, if he didn't say something.
CONCHA: Right. He was asked the question. But here's the bottom line -- the last two presidential nominees for the Republican Party, 2008, 2012. Both lost in electoral landslides. Triple digits.
Why? Because they played nice. McCain did and Romney did.
And the thing is, if Hillary Clinton ends up running and she will be the nominee, the Clinton machine is ruthless. And you'd better be able to punch back, and Chris Christie is the guy that do that.
BURNETT: Well, he can punch.
All right. Thanks to both of you. We appreciate it and let us know what you think about that.
And now, time for the OUTFRONT "Outtake" -- control, alt, delete. So, for a lot of you watching, you know what that is, right? It's an important part of your day. Control, alt, delete, you log on. And when your computer inevitably freezes, you use to it shut down apps or whatever they're called.
Anyway, our getting out of jail free card is what we call it when it is locked up. Anyway, it is apparently has become a big problem. Bill Gates today, shorthand for rebooting something. It has popped up in movies and TV shows, books and t-shirts.
But where did it come from? That's where we get to Bill Gates, because during a talk at Harvard, Bill Gates explained.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL GATES, MICROSOFT FOUNDER: We could have had a single button that the guy who did the IBM keyboard designed didn't want to give as you single button. And so, we have, we program a level that you have -- it was a mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I like it that he can say it was a mistake. Any way, this thing, control-alt-delete, which has infiltrated our lives was never supposed to be. It reminds us that a number of thing that we first thought were mistakes, though, have become part of our everyday lives. And some of them not like control-alt-delete might be annoying are wonderful. Bubble gum, slinky, silly putty, microwave ovens, post-it notes and penicillin were all invented apparently by accident.
And while we wouldn't put control-alt-delete in the same category as any of those things, we're not -- I'm not as much down on it as other people. How much time does it take to push three buttons instead of one? If it was the one button like Bill Gates said he wanted, just imagine how many times you hit the button and turn your computer off by mistake. Or maybe you're just (INAUDIBLE) with computers, unlike me, my computer would be a big disaster.
Still to come, a teacher convicted of raping his student served only 31 days in prison. She had committed suicide. He was set free today.
And as you can see, our Kyung Lah was there.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Our eighth story OUTFRONT: the Montana rapist free. Stacey Rambold released from prison today after serving 31 days behind bars. The case has drawn national outrage after the judge sentenced the former teacher to only one month in prison.
Rambold pleaded guilty to raping his 14-year-old student Cherice Morales. She later committed suicide.
Our Kyung Lah is in Billings and was at the front door of the parole office as Rambold checked in.
And, Kyung, he didn't want to talk to you.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He didn't say anything other than shoving me out of the way, Erin. He did not have anything to say to us or the other reporters about what it was like to spend only one month behind bars for this crime.
LAH (voice-over): Early on Thursday morning, Stacy Rambold left the state prison, arriving in Billings and as ordered, reporting in to his parole officer.
(on camera): Hi, Stacey. Hi, I'm Kyung Lah from CNN. Can I ask you a few questions? Are you checking in with your parole officer?
(voice-over): He dashed in. His head down. A short time later --
(on camera): Hey, Stacey. Can I talk to you a little longer, sir?
(voice-over): Left for home free on parole.
The former teacher not answering any questions from CNN about his one-month jail sentence for raping his 14-year-old student Cherice Morales. Rambold was arrested in 2008. And as he awaited trial, his young victim was tormented by other students who bullied her for being a rape victim.
And before Rambold's case was heard, Cherice Morales took her own life.
To add insult to injury, the man who was supposed to recommend justice, Judge Todd Baugh, then sentenced Rambold to just one month behind bars, saying the teenage victim seemed older than her chronological age, and was as much in control as the then 49-year-old Rambold.
The judge who has also repeatedly ducked CNN's questions has since admitted the sentence may have been illegal. State laws mandate a two-year minimum for this crime.
Rambold is now a registered sex offender and he faces this long list of probation and parole conditions, 59 of them to be exact. He can't be around children, to go a bar, get on the Internet or even open up a checking account. And what's more, this may not be the end of his legal story.
Prosecutors have filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court and hope to put him back behind bars.
MARIAN BRADLEY, NOW MONTANA: I see hope on the horizon. I think as long as we know that it's happening, we can acknowledge it. And we can do something to change it.
LAH: Hoping to finally find justice that is so far failed Cherice Morales.
For OUTFRONT, Kyung Lah, Billings, Montana.
BURNETT: Auliea Hanlon is Cherice Morales' mother and she is OUTFRONT tonight.
Auliea, thank you so much for talking to us.
Stacey Rambold is out of prison. I know you just had a chance there. Kyung tried to talk to him today. He pushed her away. You could possibly even run into him.
How do you feel about that?
AULIEA HANLON, CHERICE MORALES' MOTHER: I hope not. I hope I don't see him. That would be horrible. I didn't see him for first six years. I didn't see him until the courtroom.
BURNETT: And what happens now, I mean, I know prosecutors are appealing this sentence to the Supreme Court, this 31-day sentence that has shocked so many around the country, what punishment, Auliea, do you think is fair?
HANLON: I agree with the prosecutors. You know, 20 years with 10 years suspended. That would work for me.
BURNETT: That would work for you.
HANLON: Anything better than 30 days.
BURNETT: Yes, I mean that is just -- it's impossible for anybody to imagine that. I don't think there's a single person in this country who can understand it.
Some people, though, have tried to say look at the minimum law in Montana. Two years would be the minimum for rape. That still to me, frankly, seems shockingly low. What about to you?
HANLON: Me too. Yes. It does seem low. I don't know. Our kids are our future, and we've got to protect them.
BURNETT: Auliea, as I said, you know, Kyung Lah tried to talk to Rambold today. He pushed her away there. She tried to talk to him twice. He wouldn't talk to her.
I know you don't want to run into him, and, of course, I understand that, but if you had a chance to talk to him, what would you tell him?
HANLON: God says I should forgive him. For me, not for him. I don't know.
No. I'd probably just walk the other way.
BURNETT: Do you think you ever can forgive him?
HANLON: I hope so. I hope so.
BURNETT: That's incredible that you could even say that.
HANLON: Well, I could be miserable the rest of my life. That wouldn't do my other kids any good.
BURNETT: That's incredibly generous.
HANLON: So --
BURNETT: Auliea, when the judge sentenced Rambold he made those shocking comments that Kyung was once again reminding our viewers about. You know, I hate saying these back to you because I can't imagine how it feels as a mother to hear this. But when he obviously made that original verdict, he said, Cherice looked older than her chronological age, which obviously seems to imply that he would understand the rape, and he also went on to say she was, quote/unquote, "as much in control as Rambold was of the situation. This was nearly 50-year-old man and your 14-year-old daughter. Those words have outraged this country.
Can you ever --
HANLON: I know.
BURNETT: -- get over that?
HANLON: He made a mistake, and bet you he regrets it every day now. I don't know what's in his head, so I couldn't say one way or the other. He made a mistake and hopefully the Montana Supreme Court will fix it and put the man behind bars.
BURNETT: And, Auliea, if the sentence is not changed or if it is -- I know I guess you're saying you're going to try to find way to forgive Stacey Rambold, what will you do next for your daughter?
HANLON: You don't want to know and I probably couldn't say that on TV. No, I'm just kidding.
Move on. Try to make sure the schools are safe because I have another daughter coming up to high school.
BURNETT: Try to make it a better world for her. Well, Auliea, thank you very much. And our thoughts and prayers are with you and the memory of your daughter.
HANLON: Thank you.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, a businessman says Americans should be eating insects. He has a new idea to make this happen. We have a special report.
BURNETT: Tonight an idea with legs. Lots of creepy crawly legs. It's either disgusting or genius, depending on your view.
A businessman from Ohio says he's figured out way to get America to eat bugs and it's better than -- oh, God. That's disgusting. Anyway, here you go.
GLEN COURTRIGHT, ENVIROFLIGHT FOUNDER & CEO: Well, America wants to see it, so, yummy.
BURNETT (voice-over): Glen Courtright isn't crazy. He's just an engineer with a big idea. And it happens to involve -- yes, eating bugs.
COURTRIGHT: They have like a nutty flavor without the salt. Like a savory cracker.
BURNETT: Hmmm. Like a savory cracker. But no, Courtright isn't suggesting you eat bugs. The idea is to turn these black soldier flies into feed for livestock, anything from pigs to cows to fish.
Unlike traditional feeds, bugs don't cost much and they're full of nutrients. They may sound unappetizing but, according to Courtright animals love it and it's much more affordable for farmers, 20 percent cheaper than traditional feeds made of corn, soybeans and even sardines.
COURTRIGHT: We can replace the fish meal that's brought in from South America or is brought in from the Gulf of Mexico and brought up to the Midwest to feed our livestock.
BURNETT: Courtright says he has one big problem: keeping up with demand.
This is the love shack. This is where the magic happens, where the flies multiply.
COURTRIGHT: We have to create the right mode, so we play Barry White music. Seriously, the music actually serves a purpose here. It helps run our process, so instead of running large vibrating equipment, we play Barry White 24 hours a day.
BURNETT: Thanks to a little help from Barry, the bugs are producing a few million black soldier fly eggs day. That's roughly 2,000 tons of animal feed.
COURTRIGHT: Yes, we could say they respond. They're responding positively.
BURNETT: Right now, EnviroFlight's bug feed is only available in Ohio, but it's expected to get approval from the FDA by next year.
COURTRIGHT: Well, we've devoted ourselves to this. We're very serious about what we're doing. We're on a mission, and we plan on succeeding, and we're not going to quit. We're going to keep going.
BURNETT: What's worse, corn or bugs?
Anderson starts now.