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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Twitter Sets IPO Stock Price; Finger Pointing Over Obamacare Fiasco; Source: Box Cutter Used To Kill Teacher; Guardian: NSA Spied On 35 World Leaders; Daughter: Father Relieved After Wife's Death
Aired October 24, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): "OUTFRONT" next, the Obama care blame game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We identified errors in code that was provided to us by others.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no role in the development of the Web site.
BURNETT: Plus, why is she dead?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how someone could do this to someone. Someone nice.
BURNETT: How a 24-year-old teacher's body ended up in the woods.
And spying on friends.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eavesdropping amongst friends is never acceptable.
BURNETT: Just how easy is to it hack the cell phone of a world leader? We found out.
Let's go "OUTFRONT."
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. Just in, Twitter has just revealed how much it is going to cost you to buy a share of the company. We've been waiting a long time for this. This is the most anticipated event in term of a new stock event on Wall Street since Facebook and then Google. In regulatory filling, Twitter says it is going to sell about 70 million shares and to buy one of them it will cost you somewhere between $17 and $20 each. That means a lot of people theoretically could buy in but should you?
Brent Wilsey of Wilsey Asset Management is OUTFRONT. Brent, one analyst says this stock could go to $50, obviously a lot of people watching say that would be a no brainer. More than double what it would cost to buy a share at the offering. And Piper Jackfay, another research firm in a recent report said Twitter is more popular with teens than Facebook. So that would seem to indicate this might be smart to do. There are some good things here, right? BRENT WILSEY, PRESIDENT, WILSEY ASSET MANAGEMENT: Well, you know, anything can happen, Erin. The market is a crazy place sometimes to be at, but when you look at what the company is saying, the company is doing a smaller offering. They're pricing it lower. They have the road show starting next week. It will be about mid-November. They're being cautious here.
They don't want to have a big mistake like Facebook ad. So I wouldn't guarantee the 50. It is a good company. People should realize, Twitter has never made a profit. Last quarter they lost $65 million. Their worst loss since 2010 and three times what it was appraised for. So we don't have a company making tons of money here. We have a momentum type stock, which can burn you like Facebook did initially, but Twitter again is being cautious.
BURNETT: That's a pretty important point to point out that it is losing money. So the bottom line is if someone is watching and saying should I buy this, $17 or $20 is something that I can afford. Would you?
WILSEY: You know, as you know, I like to buy company with strong balance sheets, making money and so forth. I can't buy this for my clients because they're not making money. It could be the biggest stock. Go up 100 percent right away. If it doesn't, I can't justify to my clients, why do you buy a company making no money. So it could happen, but I'm not going to put my money there because it's just too risky.
BURNETT: Too risky, so you're going to wait and see. All right, Brent, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
And our other top story tonight is finger pointing over the Obamacare fiasco. The contractors who help build the web site were on Capitol Hill today and they all said it is not my fault. But do their defenses add up? Casey Wian begins our coverage tonight OUTFRONT.
REPRESENTATIVE FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: Here we have my Republican colleagues trying to scare everybody. No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever this is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an monkey court.
PALLONE: Whatever you want, I am not yielding.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That was the scene on Capitol Hill today at a hearing that was intended to give us answer about what went wrong with the Obamacare web site instead it was a lot of politics and passing the buck. Here's an executive from a major contractor for health care.gov.
CHERYL CAMPBELL, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CGI FEDERAL: A portion of the system that CGI was responsible for is where we had --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you not aware of the problems consumers would face before October 1st?
CAMPBELL: We were not part of the end to end visibility throughout the system.
WIAN: So is CGI to blame? We asked one expert, Russ Reeder, whose company "Media Temple" builds complex web sites for Starbucks, Nike and others.
RUSS REEDER, PRESIDENT, MEDIA TEMPLE: You should raise your hand and say we're not going to put our name behind this if you're not allowing to us test the full system before it goes live.
WIAN: So whose fault is it? Here's what the contractors had to say for themselves.
REPRESENTATIVE GENE GREEN (D), TEXAS: Were you too optimistic in your earlier testimony for the committee?
ANDREW SLAVITT, GROUP EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, OPTUM/QSSI: Congressman, we believe we've been prudent and cautious all the way through this project. We did express confidence to the subcommittee on September 10th that the data services hub would be ready on October 1st and it was.
LYNN SPELLECY, CORPORATE COUNSEL, EQUIFAX WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS: No, sir. Our portion of the system has worked as we testified it would on September 10th.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the paper processing capability has been up and running since October 1st as well.
WIAN (on camera): So you have three company executives saying our stuff was working fine.
REEDER: Right. I mean, that's unfortunate because every system individually was working, but they were launching one unified system. Job number one, you turn on the web site. Customer number one has to have the right experience and they are all responsible.
WIAN (voice-over): And as for the administration's key defense, unexpected volume on the web site led to a meltdown. The contractors repeated that claim as well.
CAMPBELL: From what I can tell you is that the system became overwhelmed.
REPRESENTATIVE ANNA ESHOO (D), CALIFORNIA: You keep speaking about unexpected volumes, Miss Campbell and that really sticks in my craw. I have to tell you that. As I said, there are thousands of website that's carry far more traffic. So I think that's kind of a lame excuse. Amazon and eBay don't crash the week before Christmas and Pro-flowers doesn't crash on Valentine's Day.
REEDER: She nailed it. There is no excuse for too much demand. That's just not acceptable.
WIAN: Reeder said that while there were a lot of people that made a lot of different mistakes in the launch of Obamacare, he said the buck has to stop with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She is scheduled to testify before that same committee next week -- Erin.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Casey Wian. I want to bring in OUTFRONT tonight, Democratic Congressman Jan who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which held the hearing you were looking at today. Thank you so much, Congressman. Appreciate your taking the time.
Obviously, you just heard Casey reporting. You know, the excuse that we've been hearing -- we heard today from the contractors and also of course, from the administration is unexpected volume, too many people trying to go online. Your fellow Democratic Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, you just heard her there call it, you know, a lame excuse.
Amazon and eBay don't crash the week before Christmas, Pro- flowers doesn't crash at Valentine's Day. She has a really good point there. Didn't the administration fail at that fundamental job of testing?
REPRESENTATIVE JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: You know, Erin, no one is happy, least all the president of the United States with the way this web site has worked. But it is a matter of proportion and I think that explains some of the tension and the committee. Let's remember the Republicans were willing to shut down the government and not pay the debt of the United States because they wanted to get rid of Obamacare.
This is a website. It is not unlike what happened with Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program. In 2006, which has traveled well into its second month and I'm not making excuses for it. But what I'm saying is that now it is getting better every day. People are getting through. I'm hearing from my constituents who are saving thousands of dollars and getting the coverage that they haven't been able to get by going on the web site.
And I have been assured -- we were all assured today that by December 15th, you need to sign up by December 15th if you want to begin on January 1st. The glitches or mistakes, it may be more than a glitch, are going to be ironed out. It is a web site.
BURNETT: Look, maybe they will be. But obviously, you know, the people, the very people that as you know, must sign up for this whole thing to have any chance of working are the people who are not going to pick up the phone or walk in and do it instead. They're the young healthy people that use the web. Obamacare needs 7 million people to sign up to work, 40 percent of them have to be young and healthy or else the whole thing falls apart.
Based on current applications, the numbers we have today, it is on track for 4 million by March 31st not 7 million, 4 million. So I guess the question I have for you is to give this a chance of success, forget whether you hand the Republicans a victory. Shouldn't you delay this just to have a chance of it succeeding because of these failures?
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, I don't think so. We're three weeks into this. I agree that it has to be fixed pretty soon and pretty quickly. We can evaluate as we go along, whether or not we're going to have a penalty. Obviously people won't have to pay a penalty if the system is not working. That's just a given. That's not going to happen. But my understanding from "Enroll America," which is an organization that's helping people get people signed up is that about a third of the people who have succeeded are young people. They know how to use the Internet and they're having some success.
BURNETT: All right, let me just ask you one final question. I have a lot of tweets that this last night when we talked about it because, you know, we've reported Kaiser Health has said hundreds of thousands who have health plan now have gotten letters. Your coverage is ending because your plan doesn't work with Obamacare. It says you must, for example, provide maternity coverage, things that current plans may not provide.
But I'm getting tweets from women who are in their 50s and 60s who say I like my plan. I don't need maternity care. I don't want to pay for maternity care and now I have to. The president promised me I could keep my health care plan if I like it. They feel misled. Isn't that a fair feeling? I mean, why should they have to give up what they like?
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, I hope those people if they're on an individual plan are going to go and look at the marketplace. They may be eligible for a subsidy to get a comprehensive plan. But the fact that now insurance companies can't deny people coverage for important things. It is not like a menu where you can pick from column A and B anymore. You're going on get a comprehensive package.
BURNETT: All right, and pay for it. Well, thank you very much. Congresswoman Schakowsky, appreciate your taking the time tonight.
Still to come, a White House official spent two years criticizing the administration anonymously on Twitter and tonight we actually have all the details of how authorities actually finally caught this guy after so much time.
Plus, shocking new details about the murder of a 24-year-old math teacher, why police tonight say her 14-year-old student is the killer. That's next.
And new information about the woman who was shot and killed by police on Capitol Hill, 911 calls suggests she thought someone was following her.
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UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: 911 Stamford, what is your emergency?
CAREY: Yes, I have some people prowling outside my window. They've been outside my window for all day.
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BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, new details tonight in the murder of the Massachusetts teacher, Colleen Ritzer. According to sources, the 24-year-old was killed with a box cutter inside Danvers High School. That's where she was a math teacher then she was dragged into the woods in a recycling bin.
The murder has left the Boston suburb in shock. People are wondering why her alleged killer who was 14 years old. His name is Phillip Chism would commit such an horrific crime. Don Lemon is OUTFRONT for us again tonight in Danvers.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Danvers High School mourns the loss of popular math teacher, Colleen Ritzer following her shocking homicide. New details are emerging in the killing. A source close to the investigation tells CNN around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, her 14-year-old student, Phillip Chism, allegedly beat and slash her with a box cutter in a second floor student restroom.
The source said he then stuffed Ritzer's body into a recycling bin, rolled it out of the school and dumped her body about 20 feet into the woods behind the athletic fields. The bin was found over an embankment approximately 100 feet away.
Chism allegedly changed clothes, went to a local Wendy's and then to a Hollywood hits movie theatre nearby. According to sources familiar with the investigation. Police caught up with Chism wandering the streets past midnight in a nearby town.
By then 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer had been reported missing. A combination of statements Chism gave to investigators as well as surveillance tape helped investigators discover Ritzer's body sometime later according to the criminal complaint. Caio was a friend and teammate of Philip Chism.
CAIO SILVA, TEAMMATE OF PHILIP CHISM: He was a really nice kid. You know, he had a great smile. Of course, you know, he's new in the town so he would be kind of shock, kind of quiet.
LEMON: Silva said when Chism did not show up for shocker practice and a team dinner, he knew something was wrong, but not this wrong.
SILVA: That's what gets us. He didn't demonstrate any signs of aggression.
LEMON: Ritzer's family and friends continue searching for answers.
JENNIFER BERGER, FRIEND OF COLLEEN RITZER: She is a good person. It doesn't make sense to me why something so terrible would happen to someone so completely the opposite. She just would never, ever want to hurt anyone.
LEMON: And Chism still has not entered a plea 24 hours after we last saw him in court yesterday. Prosecutors are seeking to try him as an adult -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Don.
Our third story, OUTFRONT, America spying, Britain's "Guardian" newspaper reporting today that the National Security Agency routinely monitored the phone call of 35 world leaders. Now this is according to classified documents that were released by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. According to that senior officials in the State and Defense Departments were actually encouraged to turn their lists of contacts over to help the NSA.
Now the NSA tonight is not commenting. But Germany's Angela Merkel is the latest world leader to come forward and accuse the United States of spying on her. She says the U.S. government is bugging her cell phone and I want to bring in Bob Baer OUTFRONT tonight. He's a CNN national security analyst, former CIA operative. He's been involved with these exact sorts of things.
Bob, when we talk to you earlier today, you actually scared me. You said it is very simple to bug anyone's phone including one of the top leaders on the planet. So how is it done?
BOB BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, at the most simple level, you take scanner outside somebody's house or outside their business. You can start listening in before the cell phone is encrypted. More sophisticated, you take virus, send it into a smart phone and it will actually bleed your conversation out across another line, a spare line or it can even turn what's called the harmonics on, on your cell phone that will pick up the voices in a room. It is pretty amazing and there are even private services that I can remotely listening to your phone call. Just give me your cell phone and I can pick it up right away.
BURNETT: Which is amazing and I know you threatened to do that to me today. I was scared. But the other thing is you said, this is not, not only does it sound like what you're saying is easy to do but it is not incredibly expensive to do. One would assume. First, I'm curious how much it would cost I would assume this is happening to everybody.
BAER: Well, it depends. Privately I can for instance get your meta data for $400 or $500 for the last three months, who you called, when you called then, the length of the call. It is fairly inexpensive. So for the National Security Agency, it is nothing.
BURNETT: I mean, that is nothing. So I guess the question is, I would assume then that the president's cell phone is being monitored. Whether it's a throwaway one or whatever, I would assume everybody is watching everybody. That it is faux outrage that we're hearing from our European allies. BAER: Exactly. Anybody talking on a cell phone who expects privacy doesn't know the way the system works including the president of the United States. There is no way to protect that or his private computer. Even the encryption systems are all vulnerable. And so if Merkel thought she was speaking entirely private she was wrong. No doubt the Russians are listening to her. Maybe even the French. I just don't know.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much. Bob Baer explaining how it is done, scaring us in the process, but in all seriousness, something really important to consider.
Still to come, a bizarre day at the testimony of a murder trial of a former Utah doctor accused of killing his wife. What his daughter says he did with the nanny because yes, she spoke today.
Plus a Democratic senator says a Republican lawmaker went too far insulting the president personally. The White House denied the incident and today it heated up even more. Who is lying?
BURNETT: Our fourth story, OUTFRONT, a daughter turns on her father at his murder trial. Today Utah Dr. Martin Macneill who is accused of drugging and drowning his wife came face to face with his daughter. She testified about the events that led up to her mother's death and her father's bizarre behavior after finding his wife's body in a bathtub. The conduct allegedly included introducing his mistress who he had been parading around as the nanny.
Jean Casarez is covering the trial and she is OUTFRONT.
RACHEL MACNEILL, DAUGHTER OF MARTIN MACNEILL: Blood is not something I like to see. No. Not my mother's blood.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An emotional Rachel Macneill took the stand in her father's murder trial giving very damaging testimony.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you recognize this man sitting right here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is he?
MACNEILL: My father. Growing up, my father was my best friend.
CASAREZ: In front of a hushed and packed courtroom, she recounted the fateful call she received from her father the day her mother died.
MACNEILL: It was my father's voice. He said, Rachel, quick, get to the hospital. It's your mother, quick. I said what's happening? Is everything OK? And he just said, Rachel, come home. CASAREZ: Prosecutors say all the drama was a ruse. Macneill had planned his wife's murder all along. The motive, he was carrying on an affair with Gypsy Willis who moved into the Macneill home as a nanny shortly after the death of his wife, Michelle.
MACNEILL: It was obvious. She is goo eyes at my dad and was not doing anything a nanny would do.
CASAREZ: Macneill they say was so determine to move forward with his murder plot that he forced his wife to have a facelift so he could get kill her with a mix of drugs and blame it on the surgery. Rachel testified he was adamant there be an autopsy.
MACNEILL: He specifically said to me that he was concerned that there will be a police investigation. That he didn't want to -- anyone to think that he murdered my mother. He said why? Why would anybody think that?
CASAREZ: Avoiding any eye could be tack with her father. She often struggled to hold back tears. She described how her father said he found Michele in the bathtub and how she found her mother's clothes later that day.
MACNEILL: It was a big bloody mess. It was -- all of these things were just thrown in the garage.
CASAREZ: On the day of her mother's funeral, she said her dad was not mourning his wife's death. In fact, he seemed to be relieved.
MACNEILL: He was making jokes about being single and laughing and it made me sick. I left.
CASAREZ: Now on cross examination, the defense countered that by getting Rachel to admit that on that very day of the funeral in the morning, she was helping her father dress and he was distraught. He was depressed. He was crying. He was staring into space saying your mother is my rock.
Now Rachel also admitted that she has been diagnosed with mental illness separately. She said she has a bipolar situation. When presented with an emergency room medical report from August of 2012, which stated that she came to emergency because of delusions.
BURNETT: We'll hear more from the daughters and I know the nanny as well. Thanks very much. We'll be hearing from her tomorrow.
Still to come, a Democratic senator said a Republican insulted the president in an incredibly unprofessional derogatory way to his face, but the White House denies it. Is someone lying?
Plus a White House official who was able to criticize the administration on Twitter for two years without detection, we now know exactly how authorities finally found him. And new information about the woman shot and killed by police on Capitol Hill. Were her cries that's day for help ignored by authorities?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miriam, she's outside now with the baby without any coat or anything. And she is just like physically, definitely needs to take her somewhere to get some help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.
Spirit Airlines grounded flights in Ft. Lauderdale today to inspect engines on some planes. The company reacting after engine failure on a plane last week. And one reason it might be concerned is the airline outsources some of its maintenance overseas.
Now, we learned that from former Transportation Department inspector general, Mary Schiavo. And we reached out to Spirit about this and a spokeswoman responded and they admitted they do outsource. But the way they phrase it in this way, quote, "Our heavy checks are done domestically. We do some of our component and engine work abroad and that is primarily with original equipment manufacturer."
Schiavo tells us that when she was in office, she found foreign repair facilities often gave airlines substandard parts which, of course, puts the flying public at serious risk.
Newly released police records and 911 calls show Miriam Carey may have been emotionally unstable in the months before this video, you remember this, this is which is when she tried to barrel through a White House barrier. You then may remember she sped to the Capitol before being killed by capitol police.
Here is a call that Carey made to 911 in November.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DISPATCHER: 911, Stamford. What is your emergency?
MIRIAM CAREY: Yes. I have some people prowling outside my wind over. They've been prowling outside my window all day.
DISPATCHER: They're what outside your window? Loitering?
CAREY: People -- loitering and actually trying to videotape me from my window.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: You see, she sounded so calm. She said the men have been stalking her for months. Police arrived a half-hour after the call. The men described were not there. And 11 days later, Carey's boyfriend called police, concerned about her well-being.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BOYFRIEND: Miriam, she's outside now with the baby without any coat or anything. And she is just physically. I definitely need to take her somewhere to get some help.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Her sisters have told CNN that Carey, who was the mother of a 1-year-old who was in the car when her mother was shot to death, was suffering from post-partum psychosis.
We want to update our viewers on CNN's Obamacare live sign-up event today. It happened during "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer. And what Wolf did was have three young people on the show trying to sign up for insurance. And they were unsuccessful during Wolf's show which runs 90 minutes.
And we wanted to let you know, one woman was able to purchase her insurance shortly after Wolf went on the air, so even longer than that. She is 29 years old and self-employed. The bottom line, though, is she said the insurance she was able to buy was cheaper than the plans she previously had. The other two obviously still unsuccessful at this point.
Our fifth story OUTFRONT: is someone lying?
So, last night on this show, we told you that Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said that a top House Republican leader told President Obama, quote, "I cannot even stand to look at you", during negotiations over the government shutdown.
Now, the White House then said it never happened, which we all started to say, well, what's going on here, who's telling the truth? Because then Durbin didn't back down. He said it did happen.
Now, the White House backtracked a bit, playing it off as a bad game of telephone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The quote attributed to the lawmaker was not accurate. But there was a miscommunication in the readout of that meeting, between White House and Senate Democrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Sources tell CNN that Durbin got the quote from a top level source in the room, White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors.
So who is telling the truth? And why is anyone not telling the truth here? Is there something, you know, this is one of those things. You feel like you see a little tip of an iceberg and there is something below the water. OUTFRONT tonight: Democratic strategist Mark Hannah, former spokesman for the House Speaker John Boehner, Terry Holt.
Great to have both.
Mark, let me start with you.
UNIDENTIIFED MALE: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: Dick Durbin is the number two Democrat in the Senate. This is a man -- he was standing by his comments, his word against the White House. But this is not a senator who picks fights with the president. He supports him. He defends him.
So, do you believe Dick Durbin?
MARK HANNAH, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, Senator Durbin and President Obama have a very special relationship. Senator Durbin is a senior senator from Illinois and was integral to the Senator Obama's success there in the Senate bid.
Look, I think that Dick Durbin made an absolute blunder here. I think it's unfortunate because it's counterproductive to --
BURNETT: Why is it a blunder if it really happened? Are you saying he's making it up? Or are you saying he shouldn't have said anything about it?
HANNAH: Look, perhaps he shouldn't have said anything about it. But, look, we don't know the breakdown in communication is. It could have been somebody transcribing this meeting. We know how much pressure the stenographers are under. We saw some blew up in the House chamber a week or two ago.
So, who knows what -- I mean, the transcript, according to it, to your report, it says, "I just can't stand to look at you." You can imagine why it could be misinterpreted as "I can't stand to look at this bill" or "I can't understand you" and somebody mishearing that. So, I think it's a big game of phone tag that's gone bad. That's how "Politico" is reporting it. It's unfortunate because they're to enable the spirit of compromise after such a three weeks of this Republican temper tantrum that took our government down.
BURNETT: Terry, obviously, the version that Mark gives if it happened that way would be very different than how it has been reported and how Dick Durbin said it happened. But perhaps precisely because of that, it makes you wonder if it really did happen.
TERRY HOLT, FORMER BOEHNER SPOKESMAN: I don't care whether it happened and I don't think the American people should either. The senator got thrown under the bus by the White House, because the White House finally understands. If you can't have frank conversation in these meetings, then you cannot trust each other.
And unfortunately, this White House and this Senate leadership have a pattern of behavior whenever you have a private conversation with them or exchange an e-mail, they're going to go to the media with it and you can't deliberate or have a conversation unless you trust one another. Right now, the Republicans have been burned so many times that in my view, it doesn't matter whether Dick Durbin got it right or not. It is more a pattern of this kind of behavior.
BURNETT: If you got it right, it is a pretty awful thing to say. I mean, you know, you can dislike the president. You can hate almost everything he does, but you got to respect the office, and respect his position. I cannot stand to look at you would have been a pretty bad thing to say.
But let me ask you this, Terry, because you have a perspective on it. Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas is the one that Harry Reid says made the comments. Again, "I cannot even stand to look at you." Sessions said it didn't happen.
But you know him. If it possible that this could have happened.
HOLT: Not likely. He's a very mild mannered guy. He is as he person in charge of helping Republicans get elected to the House of Representatives as the chairman of the NRCC. He's a guy from Texas.
There's a lot more loud mouths in Texas than Pete Sessions.
BURNETT: That may be true in recent weeks.
HOLT: In these negotiations, these high level meetings, there is a lot of emotion. There is a lot at stake. I have to believe there was at that meeting. And these guys, men and women in these positions, I believe they should be able to have frank conversations. I was in -- when Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, and Senator Rob Byrd, the king of the Senate at the time, got is that a shouting match. You didn't have to hear about that because at the end of the day, they negotiated a tax relief and a balanced budget act.
What we want is substance and progress.
HOLT: And the he said/she said -- I mean, Dick Durbin should have his iPad taken away for a couple of weeks. You know, you plug in the Internet you plug in your brain.
HANNAH: I've got to jump in here.
BURNETT: Mark, what about that point that Terry is making. Even if it did happen, Dick Durbin shouldn't have said anything about it.
HANNAH: Now, listen, you know what? I absolutely agree than in these behind closed doors, people should have more latitude and saying different things. If this was said to the president, about the president, this is absolutely newsworthy. Dick Durbin should be telling us about it. CNN should be reporting on it. It is hideous to think about it.
Let's think about why this is so plausible that somebody would say this. When you have Raul Labrador and some of the Republican people in Congress saying that the president is trying to quote/unquote, "destroy the Republican Party," they accused them of that and I think it is ludicrous. But when you have that rhetoric playing out, it's not really productive or constructive on both sides when you have real reforms that need to be made in terms of immigration reform, in terms of, you know, getting voters to -- all sorts of reforms. One thing we need to reform first is the kind of culture of personal attacks, this politics of personal destruction. I'm not saying that.
HOLT: And Senator Durbin should have his iPad taken away.
BURNETT: That might be -- how about taking it away from all of them for a while.
HOLT: I would.
HANNAH: I think Mark Twain said. I think Mark Twain said it best. The rumor has a chance to travel all the way around the world before the truth has a chance to put his pants on. I think that's probably true.
I like that. All right. Terry, Mark, thanks.
Our sixth story OUTFRONT is the government's Twitter sting. You know, tonight, we're learning more about a White House staffer who was busted for tweeting insider information and frankly, slinging some pretty vicious insults at his colleagues. It turns out, some of the president's top adviser set up a sting operation to catch the rogue Twitter.
Jofi Joseph was a staffer with the National Security Council when he was busted. And his tweets went on for two years. So two years this was happening. He is leaking things and they couldn't find him. So, like I said, this sure makes you think differently about the NSA.
But any way, personal attacks and political attacks, the personal ones included some thing that were pretty mean. Was Huma Abedin wearing beer goggles the night she met Anthony Weiner, was sort of along the lines of things he sent. The ones were even meaner.
David Nakamura is a reporter with "The Washington Post". And he broke the story.
David, you know, you're sort of obsessed with the story, something about it just makes me, I don't know, laugh in a lot of level and bemused on some levels that we can't find this guy. Kind of makes you scared.
But you write that the sting took place over several weeks. You've done reporting exactly how it happened. So explain how it went down.
DAVID NAKAMURA, THE WASHINGTON POST: Erin, what we know is that, absolutely, his Twitter has been in existence for two years. But it's picked up steam in recent months, and even more critical of the White House and National Security Council staff. So, there were a lot of people inside the White House and the State Department, which is also receiving this anonymous criticism that wanted to find out who this person was.
So, what we understood is about three weeks ago, some White House aides decided to say, hey, one way we can find this out. Deliver some false information to someone whom we think it might be and see if it comes up to the Twitter account. That plan was enacted.
Our sources are careful to say there were other ways they were and it is not clear whether some tweet popped up that directly led to the unmasking of Jofi Joseph, who is the staffer inside the NSC. But it shows the length that the White House staff was going to and how much of an embarrassment this Twitter account had become to them.
BURNETT: Well, I mean, when you look at it, Joseph as you reported, had less than 1,600 followers. A lot of people had a followed him were very much inside that world, right? Inside the beltway, inside the foreign policy community. He never really gave away classified information, at least from the reporting I've seen.
Are there some people who said some of the thing he said were mean, but some were true and maybe things that nobody else actually wanted to say? Whether they were mean or not mean, you know exactly what I'm saying? Are there people who say this is ridiculous and overreaction?
NAKAMURA: Actually, there were. Just to set the stage. What Jofi Joseph was doing was two things. He was being critical and sort of petty, and, you know, coming on people's appearance, which is one thing. I mean, that's offensive.
But he was also giving out some information that may not have been classified but it was revealing. What the White House is saying, they're not just upset about the offensive nature of the tweets but also that they can't trust somebody, especially when they decided that, hey, this is probably an inside job.
And so, on the other hand, though, if there is no classified information being let out, and it's an anonymous account, you know, some people are saying, are they not allowed to do that? Are they not allowed to have a personal opinion or have account? Staffers are not allowed to use their work but they are allowed to have personal accounts.
In this case, I think they thought he was going over the line. He works at the president's request and it is easier to fire folks like that. And so, they went ahead and did that.
BURNETT: Right. So maybe have the right, although I have to say that despite what you say, some of the tweets were mean and totally inappropriate. But some of them were, you know, kind of spot on. Yes?
NAKAMURA: I did talk to people who said there were other people who talk in the hallways, kind of the same way, maybe that kind of over the top. But, you know, he was voicing concerns and frustrations people had about policy and about even personalities.
BURNETT: I am sure.
All right. David Nakamura, thank you. He's been reporting on that story for "The Post".
Still to come, a mentally ill man shot by police. Police told the story. Surveillance video showed something totally different. And today, a major decision.
And almost 17 years after her death, a surprising development, shocking actually in the JonBenet Ramsey case. Are we closer tonight? Are we actually going to find out ever who killed her?
BURNETT: Our seventh story OUTFRONT: An update to an OUTFRONT investigation. Today, Dallas police fired an officer at the center of a controversial shooting of a mentally ill man. A shooting that was all caught on camera.
Officer Cardan Spencer is now not only off the force but he actually could face charges.
Kyung Lah was on the story from the start and she's OUTFRONT tonight.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The video speaks for itself. A police car responding to a 911 call from the mother of a man causing disturbance in the middle of the day armed with a knife.
Two Dallas police officers approach. The man, a paranoid schizophrenic off his meds, according to his mom, wheels backwards on his chair. He stands up not stepping forward. Not raising his arms.
Less than 20 seconds after the officers exited the patrol car, Officer Cardan Spencer fired four shots. Bobby Bennett was wounded. Hit in the abdomen by Officer Spencer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He shot a man in cold blood. It's miracle he didn't die.
LAH: The officer had no idea they were being recorded on a home surveillance system. Spencer's partner, Officer Christopher Watson, filed in a police report that Bennett stood up and displayed the knife in his right hand. After he was given verbal commands, the report says Bennett took several steps toward them with the knife raised in an aggressive manner.
Bennett's attorney called the affidavit filed by the police a blatant lie.
GEORGE MILNER, BENNETT'S ATTORNEY: I don't know which bothers me more. The policeman shooting a man for no reason or somebody deliberately lying in an affidavit to a judge.
LAH: The Dallas police chief announced Officer Spencer, who shot his weapon, has been fired and that the police want to charge him with aggravate assault. His partner is under an internal investigation for his role in the shooting and the affidavit.
CHIEF DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Officers are not above the law. We as the police department are not going to look the other way.
LAH: And we did reach Officer Spencer's attorney. He says his client is in a state of shock. He feels that the Dallas Police Department is ramrodding this investigation, responding to media and political pressure. The attorney points out that the district judge did not find probable cause for the charge of the aggravated assault and right now that's going to have to go to a grand jury, Erin. That grand jury will have to decide whether or not to indict the officer -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you.
And our eighth story OUTFRONT is who killed JonBenet Ramsey? A cold case that may never be solved.
Tomorrow, though, we'll learn a little bit more about the investigation into the then-6-year-old's death. The state of Colorado now releasing 18 pages of testimony from a grand jury that investigated the case. And according to reports, at that time, recommended indicting John and Patsy Ramsey.
Tom Foreman has been covering the mysterious death of JonBenet since it happened and he is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mystery of JonBenet Ramsey's murder has now lasted almost three times longer than her short life. The 6-year-old beauty contestant was found dead in the basement of her upscale Boulder home the day after Christmas 1996. It was first thought was a kidnapping that turned fatal and her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, warned the community.
PATSY RAMSEY: There is a killer on the loose. I tell my friends to keep --
JOHN RAMSEY: It's OK.
PATSY RAMSEY: -- keep your babies close to you. There's someone out there.
FOREMAN: But investigators were soon watching the Ramseys themselves with suspicion. Their daughter had been struck on the head and strangled with a piece of cord tightened with a broken paint brush from Patsy's hobby kit. A ransom note found inside the house contained little known details of the family's finances and history, and some investigators privately said though thought it was in Patsy's handwriting.
There were no signs of forced entry and the tension between the investigators and the family rose rapidly. John Ramsey would much later suggest he was not surprised by the police scrutiny.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Why did they think it was you?
JOHN RAMSEY: Because the police always go after the parents. And we understood that.
FOREMAN: But prosecutors would not go after them. Even though the local paper reported that the grand jury felt there was enough evidence to support charges of child abuse resulting in death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time.
FOREMAN (on camera): Patsy Ramsey died in 2006 of ovarian cancer and never wavered from her story that a mysterious intruder killed her daughter. Neither has John Ramsey, who moved away and remarried.
(voice-over): Indeed, almost all the investigators and principal players in the story of JonBenet's death have moved on. Authorities even officially exonerated the family in 2008.
So, all that remains is the mystery, who killed a 6-year-old girl in her own home on a snowy Christmas night?
FOREMAN: Not surprisingly, "The Boulder Daily Camera", a fine newspaper there in Boulder, reports that John Ramsey's attorneys oppose the release of this information, saying basically it's just unfair to let information out after all this time with no official form in which you might be able to rebut the claims, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Tom, thank you very much.
Tom will have more on this when we get the full details tomorrow and as we said, covered this case every single day, as it was happening.
Still to come, what if you could buy a smartphone that would last and get better and better forever. You never have to replace the thing and you'd never want to. It's an amazing idea, and it's OUTFRONT next.
BURNETT: Tonight, a radical idea that could mean you can have the same cell phone forever and like it. Becky Anderson is OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are our constant companions but they always get dumped. In the U.S., where cell phones are cheap, they're replaced faster than anywhere else in the world.
But imagine if you could buy one phone in the words of an inventor worth keeping.
DAVE HAKKENS, PHONEBLOKS DESIGNER: what if you could upgrade when something breaks because it usually one component that's broken or two, so we just have to replace only those components and not the entire phone.
ANDERSON: Dutch designer Dave Hakkens came up with Phonebloks out of frustration after he was unable to replace a broken part on his camera.
HAKKENS: In technology, if something breaks, you just throw it away. You don't repair it.
ANDERSON: It's device made up of parts of your choosing.
HAKKENS: Even our grandma could use it. If she just has a phone and decides to put on only speaker and only a big battery and that's it, nothing else, for instance.
ANDERSON: At this point, Phonebloks remain just an idea, but Hakkens is drumming up support via online amplifying a platform Thunder Clap for more than 950,000 people backed the concept and Thunder Clap is no joke. It recently helped elect Democrat Cory Booker to the U.S. Senate.
SEN.-ELECT CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: All right.
HAKKENS: Right now, I'm asking to support so they just show that you would like a phone like this, so big companies see all their customers want this kind of phones.
ANDERSON: Building a prototype is the next step, but critics doubt it will ever get that far saying mobile phones are as much about fashion a as technology.
GRAEME BURTON, CHIEF REPORTER, "COMPUTING": The only idea of modernizing a product that isn't new and when you have a fast-moving industry with smart phones, it's going to be very difficult to actually to keep up with the fast changing trend when you got basically a tin plate and plug things in.
ANDERSON: Hakkens anticipated the critics but believes his dream will become a reality.
HAKKENS: A lot of companies are already working in this field so right now I'm confident that we can build this thing.
ANDERSON: For OUTFRONT, Becky Anderson, CNN, London.
BURNETT: Thanks for watching. Anderson starts now.