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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Spy Chiefs Defend Surveillance Program; Body Parts Found In Water Treatment Plant; Interview with Sen. Rand Paul
Aired October 29, 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, spying on America's best friends. Today, the spies finally went on offense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of this reminds me a lot of the classic movie, "Casablanca." My God, there's gambling going on here. You know, it's the same kind of thing.
BURNETT: Plus a grisly discovery at two water treatment plants.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They discovered a human torso.
BURNETT: And motive for murder? MacNeill's mistress speaks.
GYPSY WILLIS, MARTIN MACNEILL'S MISTRESS: I believe he said that he had -- he had sent them a message that that was the case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That you were getting married.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, coming out swinging. Finally someone in the administration defends the NSA spying on allies including world leader's cell phones. The director of National Intelligence, James Clapper and the chief of the NSA, Keith Alexander, testified before Congress and their defense was clear and aggressive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE ROGERS (R), MICHIGAN: Do you believe that the allies have conducted or at any time, any type of espionage activity against the United States of America, our intelligence services, our leaders or otherwise?
JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Absolutely.
GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER, DIRECTOR OF THE NSA: There has not been a mass casualty here in the U.S. since 2001. That's not by luck. They continue to try. It is the great members in the intelligence community, our military, our law enforcement that have stood up and said, this is our job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Defending themselves with passion and conviction, which up to this point we hadn't seen much of in material of defense. Jim Sciutto watched the entire hearing today. Jim, what were the revelations at the hearing?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, you got the sense that you say, Erin, that they were just waiting to have the chance to push back like this and they pushed back very strong here. First on spying, both Clapper and Alexander saying that our allies spy on us including on our leaders. That in fact the intelligence services in Europe do so to an extent that maybe the elected leaders in Europe are not aware of.
And they made the argument that the U.S. has better oversight than Europe does, but they said no one's hands are clean. That we spy on our allies including right up to the leadership. In fact, they made a case that, quote, "Leadership intentions are reasonable and acceptable target for intelligence gathering," which would seem to indicate that even the contents of the cell phone calls of someone like Angela Merkel are fair game in the spy game.
BURNETT: And Jim, the NSA Chief Alexander also came out swinging against accusations the U.S. has been spying on European citizens. As you know, these headlines, it seems every day, 70 million calls here, 60 million calls there, but they were really, really defensive on that issue, right?
SCIUTTO: They were. They took a shot at the media saying there has been some very bad reporting out there. What they said is that these reports were based on the misreading of a single slide released by Edward Snowden and that slide showing these numbers in millions and so on. But in fact, the NSA collected no information in Europe. They say that any information, any of this metadata, that's what it was, just metadata. Not phone calls or content was done by European services, not by the NSA.
That in fact it was not of citizens of those countries, France and Spain, but collected from a number of sources by the U.S. and NATO allies in support of military operations abroad. Here's how they made that case at the hearings today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDER: The assertions by reporters in France, Lomond, Spain, Elmondo, Italy, that NSA collected tens of millions of phone calls are completely false. To be perfectly clear, this is not information that we collected on European citizens. It represents information that we and our NATO allies have collected in defense of our countries and in support of military operations.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SCIUTTO: So in effect, they're saying that one of the strongest reasons for this anger we've been seeing from Europe started with nothing, the misinterpretation, Erin, of a single PowerPoint slide.
BURNETT: Wow, we shall see. Of course, that was the tip of the iceberg. Thanks so much to you, Jim.
Republican Senator Rand Paul sits on both the Foreign Relations and Homeland Security Committees. Senator, great to have you with us. You heard James Clapper's response to the question, are America's allies spying on America? And his answer was categorical, quote/unquote, "absolutely." Well, if that's true, should America stop spying on its closest allies?
SENATOR RAND PAUL (R), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I guess the real question, who is in charge? The president doesn't seem to know if he is spying on our allies. To me from where I sit, it doesn't seem like a good idea or it doesn't seem to advance diplomacy for us to be spying on our allies particularly the personal phone of the president of Germany for ten years. I think that seems unseemly. That goes against having relations with your allies.
BURNETT: It's a fair point, but of course, you know, Senator Paul, people on the other side say America doesn't have the luxury of not spying when other people are spying. If your allies are spying on you then you've got no choice.
PAUL: Yes. Didn't we have something about that when we were children about two wrongs don't make a right? I would say that I want our government to spy on terrorists, on people who they have probable cause they may attack us. But I think wasting time like spying on 70 million Spaniards or 30 million French or 124 billion pieces of information from Americans, I don't feel any safer. But do I feel like my privacy is being intruded on. I think the rest of the world feels that way. The question is will it eventually have downer productive effects, us being that great spy lord for the whole world.
BURNETT: The spy lord. Let me play something else that James Clapper said today. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLAPPER: We face an unending array of threats to our way of life more than I've seen in my 50 years in intelligence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And of course, Senator, you know, obviously he's talking about broader threats. But you're saying it is OK to spy on terrorists but not our allies. Of course, 9/11 as we now know, a significant part of that was coordinated and planned in Germany. Industrial espionage, for example, happens all the time. The Europeans I'm sure would love to spy and get all they could on America's biggest exporter, Boeing. So they can get advantage for airbus. Why wouldn't we spy on Europe to help Europe, too? PAUL: Yes, but here's the thing, Erin. You have now the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee or one of the committees in the House, James Sensenbrenner, two authors of the Patriot Act now saying that the head of our intelligence because we don't seem to know who is in charge. I mean, it is conceivable that the head of the intelligence is spying on our president's cell phone.
So we really don't know who is in charge and we think that they've overstep their bounds. You have people who were authors of the Patriot Act now saying our intelligence agents have gone too far. Not to mention that James Clapper came to Congress and lied and said he was not doing surveillance. He was not collecting any data on Americans.
So there is a lot of trust being lost and I think there is a great deal of credibility lost in the Intelligence Committee. And we have to trust our officials if we're going to let them have such sensitive information about our personal lives.
BURNETT: Your fellow Tea Party-backed Republican Marco Rubio is among those now actually seems to support these programs even with the fact that, you know, as you say, there's been a huge lack of transparency. Here's what he said just a couple days ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Everyone spies on everybody. At the end of the day, if you are a U.S. government official traveling abroad, you are aware that anything you have on your cell phone, on your iPad could be monitored by foreign intelligence agencies including that of your own allies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, Senator Paul, I totally understand your point. You want to really know what they're doing and of course, you have a right to especially given all the committees you're sitting on. But you know, CEOs have told me it takes the Chinese 90 seconds to steal every piece of data from your hotel room, the French maybe a little longer --
PAUL: Here's the thing. Here's the thing, Erin. There are 4 billion people on the planet. If we're going to spy on everybody all the time, if we're going to have this big brother state that we are going on live in, I'm afraid that that detracts from actually focusing in on the terrorists. We had one terrorist, the 20th terrorist, we caught a month in advance of 9/11.
We didn't do good police work. We did not even ask for a warrant so I think this excessive surveillance state where serve equally a terrorist and we'll look at every American's records. I think that distracts from the prize and the prize are terrorists. I think we need to focus on the terrorists and not be such a dragnet that we bring every innocent American and every innocent person in the world into our surveillance system. BURNETT: Maybe the hay stack is too big to find the needle. Before we go, you a letter here today. I have it. It says you object to a vote on Janet Yellen's Fed chairmanship unless there is a vote on your bill about transparency at the fed. So in English translating that, you tried to do something similar with the John Brennan CIA nomination, which resulted in your 13-hour famous filibuster, which obviously is not sort of a great image for the American people right now. Are you prepared to stand there and filibuster again?
PAUL: We'll see. I do want to make the point that for three years we've asked Harry Reid for a vote at the fed. It passed the House overwhelmingly. Over 100 Democrats and all of the Republicans voted for auditing the fed. We are supposed to be in charge of the fed. We created the fed and Congress has abdicated its duty.
A lot of people are getting rich off the fed activity. We have a huge stock market bubble, a lot of wealthy people get wealthier, but I think a lot of poor people are getting poorer and I think our economy is struggling. There is an illusion of wealth. So I'm for looking into what's going on at the fed and not allowing it to be secret.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Senator Paul. We appreciate it as always. Good to see you.
BURNETT: And still OUTFRONT for the first time today, an official apology for the botched roll out of Obamacare, but was the apology from the right person? And the issue may be whether the president intentionally misled the public on a crucial aspect of his signature legislation.
And then a gruesome discovery in a treatment center that handles the city's water, multiple body parts.
And later, what is Google doing on this barge? The mystery solved, next.
BURNETT: Our second story, human body parts found in two water treatment plants. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says authorities have found the upper torso of a female body in a waste water treatment plant in Basset, California, that's about 20 miles outside of Los Angeles. This comes on the heels of a discovery of human remains at another treatment plant 30 miles away in Carson on Saturday. Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Well, Erin, detectives have an unusual case on their hands. It begins with a gruesome find at a sewage plant over the weekend, a pelvis and legs. Then at a second sewage plant, 30 miles north yesterday, they found a head and a torso belonging to a woman. Investigators now believe what they are dealing with is a murder. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: You believe that these two plants and what was found at the plants are connected.
LT. MICHAEL ROSSON, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Yes.
LAH: Why do you believe they're connected?
ROSSON: The way that the body was separated and the body parts that were discovered at both plants seem to fit almost like a puzzle if you will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: There is only one way into the lines that feed these two particular sewage plants. It is through a manhole. Investigators do believe that the body entered the system that way.
Now, these two plants deal with recycled water. They feed into the ocean. They do not feed into the California drinking supply. The L.A. county coroner is trying to determine a cause of death as well as identify this woman -- Erin.
Our third story, OUTFRONT, the money and power of Google. The tech giant is known for being a little quirky. It is one of the reason people think Google is behind this. This is a barge you're looking at near Treasure Island in the San Francisco bay. And it stacked with a four story structure built out of shipping containers. But what is it? And why has it attracted so much attention? In a report of CNET, broke the story about the mysterious barge.
And Danny, you actually went out on a boat today to try to get an up close look to figure out what this thing is. What did you see and what were you hoping to see?
DANIEL TERDIMAN, WRITER, CNET: Well, we saw the building right up close. And it is quite spectacularly large for something that is right out in the open, if it is supposed to be a secret. We were hoping to see that the windows would be showing light all way from one side to the other because that would tell you something about what is inside the structure. But the windows were closed off so we weren't able to tell that.
BURNETT: And what makes you think this is a Google project?
TERDIMAN: I did a lot of reporting that sort of connected this structure on the pier to a building that is very close to it and connected those to Google. So what happened was --
BURNETT: I'm sorry. I was not sure if you could hear me. I just want to ask you. So yes, you were saying, you thought there were buildings nearby that were linked to Google was part of how you figured it out?
TERDIMAN: Exactly. I had gotten sort of a tip online that Google was renting this building on Treasure Island in the San Francisco bay. And when I started digging into it I found all these clues such as I went to the building and I asked for Google and I was told to go down to a door a little bit to the right. I asked people on the island and people had definitely heard that Google was out there. And somebody told me that people were paying for lunch at a local cafe with Google credit cards.
BURNETT: There you go. You're a sleuth and a reporter.
All right, Daniel, thank you very much.
Sort of the story and mystery has captivated everybody. And is Google is building this, what will they use it for? Analysts have been saying, maybe things lake the Google glass.
Well, still to come, a six-hour killing spree is finally come to an end when allegedly cause a man to murder five people in Texas.
And another day of bizarre testimony of the trial of a former doctor. We have been covering this story. Today his mistress was on the stand. She talked about what they did together before and after his wife's death. You will hear her.
And a gas station clerk shot by a would be robber but his life was saved by what you're looking at. Look at that.
We will be back.
BURNETT: Our Fourth story OUTFRONT, was the mistress a motive for murder? Steamy testimony today in the murder trial of Utah doctor Martin MacNeill. His former mistress, her name is Gypsy Willis. You see her there. She spoke about their passionate affair both before and after the death of MacNeill's wife it was. It was a relationship that according to Gypsy Willis, involve looking at wedding rings just months after prosecutors say MacNeill drugged and drown his wife.
Jean Casarez, as you know, covering this story on location. She is OUTFRONT.
JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION (voice-over): Day two of Gypsy Willis' testimony took jury back into her tangled love affair with Martin MacNeill. A secret kept from his wife Michelle along with the rest of the family before and after her death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you exchanging terms of endearment in texts?
GYPSY WILLIS, MISTRESS OF MARTIN MACNEILL: I expect so, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you. I miss you. I wish you were here at work, that kind of thing?
CASAREZ (voice-over): Martin, a respected physician and Mormon Sunday school teacher is accused of murdering his wife of 30 years with a lethal combination of drug after pushing her to get a facelift so he could with Willis. She moved into the MacNeill home soon after the funeral as the family nanny and she says, Martin's lover.
With MacNeill looking on, Willis admitted she sent him hundreds of texts as well as provocative photos even the day after his wife died.
WILLIS: I took pictures of myself whenever I thought I looked OK. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You described the content of these two pictures for me?
WILLIS: They are of me in a mirror. You know, exposing my back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it exposing below your back as well?
WILLIS: There is one picture where it is a little bit suggestive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is showing your buttocks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the other one, it is not showing your chest area but you are shirtless.
WILLIS: Well, I'm -- my back is exposed.
CASAREZ (voice-over): And it wasn't long before talk of marriage was in the air.
WILLIS: It was a diamond ring.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How big?
WILLIS: How big carat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WILLIS: It was 4 1/2 carats.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember the cost of the ring?
WILLIS: Around $7,000.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of the marriage plan, the two of you were very serious about getting married?
WILLIS: I believe so. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were the of two you ever officially married?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite not being officially married, you still held yourself out as Gillian MacNeill?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did you have a marriage date on this?
WILLIS: The marriage date is listed as April 14th.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of what year?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the significance of April 14, 2007?
WILLIS: That is day of the funeral.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Despite their hidden relationship, Willis denied any involvement in the death of Michelle MacNeill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In light of all this information, are you telling us you don't know anything more about Michele's death?
WILLIS: That is correct.
CASAREZ (voice-over): But the bombshell of the day did not come from Gypsy. It was her mother who took the stand and recounted a conversation she had with Martin MacNeill shortly after he became engaged to her daughter.
VICKI WILLIS, GYPSY WILLIS' MOTHER: He said to me that he had never loved Michelle. And then amended that to say, well, I did, I loved her as a sister but I did not love her the way I love Gypsy.
CASAREZ: The jury also saw a videotaped interview today, done in 2008 with then 7-year-old Aida MacNeill. Cameras could not capture it as per the judge's order but in the courtroom, I saw Erin, Aida on that videotape. And she had pig tails, she had bows, she had a satin head band. She was so nervous. She didn't want to talk about her mother, refuse to talk about her father at all.
But Erin, after she was left alone and she was actually able to scribble with crayons so aggressively, she came back and she said that she and her father went into the master bathroom. She saw her mother floating in brown liquid and that her mother was fully clothed and she was fully in the tub. But she did not say that her head was next to the spout of the shower which is inconsistent with what Martin MacNeill is saying.
BURNETT: Jean Casarez, thank you very much. Still to come, we have breaking news, a secret report reveals that the White House knew the Obamacare Web site had problems weeks before the launch. Well, they haven't said that before. So, why was it ignored?
Plus dramatic testimony at the trial of the Costa Concordia captain, how witnesses including his girlfriend at the time, describe the moments before the ship went down.
And one of most exciting moments ever, we are going to show you the entire video in tonight's shout out. This one, stupendous (ph).
BURNETT: And welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.
We are learning from out Barbara Starr tonight just how close the U.S. got to nabbing the only man charged in the Benghazi attack in which four Americans were kill last September. When U.S. Special Forces captured former al Qaeda operative in Tripoli earlier this month, they were just hours away from launching another raid. This one on Ahmed Abu Khattala, the leading suspect in the Benghazi attack. But CNN has learned the Khattala mission was called off because there was too much publicity about the al-Libi capture. This raise questions about whether the tradeoff was the right one.
Well, one grim discovery after another. Police say a 36-year-old man went on a killing spree near Dallas. It lasted about six hours. Five people, including his mother and aunt had been found dead in four different locations. At least three shot to death.
Charles Brownlow was arrested after he crashed his car during a high speed police chase and attempted to flee on foot. Brownlow was reportedly intoxicated by an unknown substance. He has been charged with one count of capital murder so far, and at this point, police haven't revealed a motive.
Well, key testimony in the manslaughter trial of the Costa Concordia captain, Francesco Schettino. Prosecution witnesses painted a picture of chaos with plates and glasses flying aboard the ship as it sank. Ultimately, 32 people lost their lives. The ship's (INAUDIBLE) meanwhile testified Schettino told him he was going to do a close passage to the island on the day of the crash and a Moldovan ballerina also took the stand, confirming she was Schettino's lover at the time.
Our Barbie Nadeau reports she was his guest on board and may have distracted him from properly evacuating the ship.
Well, an amazing story out of Florida -- a gas station clerk ordered by an armed robber to open the door safe. He wasn't able to do it. The suspect then fired a single round to try to kill him and fled. Police arrived and then this happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LT. SCOTT ALLEN, WINTER GARDEN POLICE: The clerk said I feel like my chest hurt. They started looking at the clerk and that's when they realize that had guy actually shot him, hit him, struck his cell phone and the cellphone stopped his bullet. He is happy to be alive. He understands things could be much worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, it's incredible. The clerk's cell phone was shattered. The bullet found inside. That's the cell phone you see. There his life was saved. Police tell us the suspect is still at large but they do have surveillance video and some leads.
And now, our fifth story OUTFRONT -- the breaking news at this hour -- a secret report revealing that the White House knew the Obamacare Web site had problems weeks before the launch. So, why did the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius say the president didn't know anything about the Web site problems? And why were the warnings ignored?
OUTFRONT tonight, Joe Johns.
And, Joe, let me just start with this. What are you learning about this report? About what they knew?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the main contractor, the key contractor, CGI, issued this confidential report to the agency overseeing the healthcare.gov rollout. It warned of a number of open risks and issues for the healthcare.gov Web site. The report gave the highest priority to things in plain language like we don't have access to monitoring tools, not enough time to schedule or conduct adequate performance testing and hub services are intermittently unavailable, short for the sites not working sometimes.
CGI saying, back in September, they were putting a team in place to alert whenever the hub goes down, Erin.
BURNETT: Now, I mean, obviously the question is, did people in the White House know the significance of that? But what is the administration saying? Kathleen Sebelius has been so adamant that the president didn't know anything.
What does this mean about that and why were these warnings ignored?
JOHNS: Well, they did issue a very brief, almost terse statement just minutes ago saying in part, "This was a document at a point in time that identified issues, and we worked to address those issues and all issues identified."
So I think they're playing up the fact that this was a report that was issued to the government early in September and they had several weeks to try to work with those things that needed to be fixed. The implication is, they did the best they could, I think.
BURNETT: Right, and they said work on them and it wasn't their fault they weren't fixed, I suppose.
All right. Well, Joe Johns, thank you very much. Joe Johns reporting on that report.
And OUTFRONT tonight, now, I want to bring in the former White House press secretary. Bill Burton, and the communications director of the Republican National Committee, Sean Spicer.
So, Bill, you just heard Joe Johns reporting there that the Obama administration knew in September that the Web site wasn't ready to go live. People seeing what really happened and the scale of the problems, thus far, ask fairly, how could they have ignored that, it seems?
BILL BURTON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I don't think anyone is ignoring any of the problems happening. But what is happening is thousands upon thousands of people are successfully going online and able to sign up for health care which they may have not had before or had access to before. There are obvious problems with the Web site. There's obvious problems with the way this was rolled out.
But at the end of the day, the long term effects of this law are going to have such a vast positive impact on the lives of so many Americans that these short term health Web site problems are just that -- short term Web site problems that can be fixed.
BURNETT: And look, you may be absolutely right about that, Bill. History could prove you 1,000 percent right. But still, there's got to be some frustration, right, that warnings were given and nothing was done.
BURTON: Well, there's no doubt that there's frustration that this is not all going perfectly. But no big program rolls out. No big product rolls out without having any products or glitches, even new iPhones and iPads come on to the market, there's problems.
But that doesn't mean they are not completely dominating the phone and tablet market. The issue is that technology takes time to work out the kinks, to figure out the problems are, get in there and fix them and make sure that people have health care.
But the bottom line is that, you've got to look the long term. Like, short term, a couple of weeks, a couple of months where the Web site is having some problems, yes, it's frustrating. But in the long term, this is going to have a real positive impact on our country.
BURNETT: All right. Sean, do you buy that, at all?
SEAN SPICER, RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, no, on several fronts.
One, in the private sector, there is accountability. What we've heard is cover-up. I didn't know -- I'm not sure what's more troubling: what they did know and didn't act on or -- on issue after issue, what they seem to not know. There is a big problem going on about what people in the government know and don't know and who is being held accountable. And, frankly, it's nobody.
And I think unlike Bill's example on the iPhone and all the other products that come out of private sector, is that people are held accountable. And that this sort of behavior would never be tolerated.
But I will agree with Bill on this one quick point, short term, the Web site will get fixed. This is not about a Web site. Long term, it's going to be about this: letters that colleagues and friends are getting all over the country that say, hey, your health care is going to be dropped from now on. You have to go out and buy new health care.
The plan that you were promised you could keep, you are not allowed to keep. And you're probably going on pay more for it.
So, I think that the long-term problem, the Web site is just a short term problem. I think that in itself, we've got a lot of issues with accountability and waste of hundred of millions of taxpayer dollars. But the long-term problem is that the cost are going to be borne by the American people who will have to go out and buy new plans who are not getting promise to keep the plan they want.
BURNETT: Let me ask you about this, we've got A words here to talk about -- apology, accountability, and one will be inappropriate.
But, first, let's start off with accountability, what Sean just mentioned, Bill -- the first official Obamacare apology came today, someone being accountable. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARILYN TAVENNER, ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES: I want to apologize to you that the Web site has not worked as well as it should. I want to assure you that healthcare.gov can and will be fixed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, Bill, of course, that was the Medicare chief, Marilyn Tavenner. But, you know, a lot of people say, shouldn't someone else be saying sorry, someone like the president or Kathleen Sebelius?
BURTON: I mean, this is such a Washington game, right? Spicer talks about, there is no accountability. Nobody is taking responsibility.
You saw the head of CMS in that video take responsibility and apologize for it today. The president has acknowledged that there were problems. Secretary Sebelius has acknowledged there were problems.
The Washington game of parsing who is saying what, when, it's irrelevant to what the situation is right now, which is that there is a Web site. It's helping thousands upon thousands of people to get health care. It's got some problems that are getting fixed and it will be a long term solution to the health care crisis in this country.
SPICER: That's the problem.
BURTON: There should be accountability -- there should be accountability and there absolutely is. And I'm not going to take advice on government waste when the Republican Party just shut down government to the tune of $24 billion for no reason whatsoever.
So I think that there has been accountability and these problems are being fixed but this is a short term problem for --
SPICER: So, who is being held accountable? What person? Name the person? Who is being health accountable?
BURTON: You just saw that tape. I mean --
SPICER: Name one person. You spend $400 million.
BURNETT: What are you saying, Sean? Are you asking Bill should someone be fired?
SPICER: No, I'm saying, somebody -- I mean, her coming out three weeks later. It is now the middle of October, the end October rather and you have the head of CMS saying, hey, I'm sorry about this.
And frankly, for three weeks we've been hearing about glitches and this was about demand and it isn't a big problem. I think that calling that accountable is ridiculous. That's accountable. Accountable is saying on day saying we blew $400 million on the taxpayers' money. Somebody is going to get fired on this.
BURTON: If only Republicans had this kind of energy about getting people covered with health insurance. Instead it is about glitches on a Web site --
SPICER: Right. I'm equally concerned about everyone who is getting these letters. All these people from California to Florida who is getting a letter in their mailbox or an e-mail saying, the plan that you have is getting terminated. Your employer --
BURNETT: All right. Hold on.
SPICER: Your employer terminating their health care. I care about those people.
BURNETT: OK. Let me -- I have to change the topic. I want to get to the other A-word and that A-word is the one that I'm not going to say on the show. But it is making headlines. Tom Coburn, you both heard it. The Republican senator reportedly said, and I'll quote him, sadly, I don't have the audio, "There's no comity with Harry Reid. I think he is an absolute A-hole."
Why go there? All right. Sean, how do you defend that? I mean, Senator Coburn is often a guy who takes high road but I mean, this is the kind of stuff that makes Washington look pathetic.
SPICER: Well, I'm not going to defend the use of that kind of language. But I think that you're right in your description of Senator Coburn. He is somebody who constantly reaches across, despite his views and his firmness of policy issues, is always looking to reach across the aisle and work with people to make this government more accountable and better.
So, I think to have him reach that level of frustration, and it's something that bears out in Mark Leibovich's book that Senator Reid is not someone who plays well. So, I don't may used the word, it may have been inappropriate but I think the sentiment expressed by Senator Coburn is something that Harry Reid's own colleagues would agree with on his side of the aisle.
BURNETT: And, Bill, quickly, before we go, Harry's response was, this is childish play ground name-calling, especially from a senator who hasn't sponsored a successful bipartisan legislation during his career." Hardly taking the high road, Reid.
BURTON: Harry Reid is a guy who's about getting things done. He's the man who is able to get government back open, get the debt ceiling raised, actually move things forward, and it's hard to take seriously the notion that anyone is really that open to working across the lines, they're using that kind of language in a public setting to describe their colleagues, hard to get -- hard to make any progress.
SPICER: Harry Reid (INAUDIBLE) called the president of the United States a liar. I mean, Harry Reid is not someone who has demonstrated good behavior ever.
BURNETT: All right. We're going to leave there --
BURTON: I'm sure there will be a check on behavior.
BURNETT: I will say this -- I think that Bill was correct in saying there are very few people who want to reach across the aisle. We can all agree with that.
Our sixth story OUTFRONT is growing outrage over a teen killed carrying a fake rifle. Tonight, a funeral being held for the 13-year- old boy who was shot and killed by a California sheriff's deputy. The deputy claims he mistook teen's pellet gun for a genuine assault rifle. Tonight's remembrance followed with hundreds in Santa Rosa taking to the streets, calling the tragedy a combination of unnecessary force and racism.
Dan Simon is OUTFRONT.
SIMON (voice-over): In Santa Rosa, California, today, hundred of protesters, many of them teenagers skipping school -- demanding justice for Andy Lopez, the 13-year-old shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy who apparently thought the teenager posed a deadly threat, holding what turn out to be a toy gun, an AK-47 replica.
But some think the deputy and his partner shows poor judgment or worse, deliberately targeted a Hispanic youth.
RONALD CRUZ, PROTESTER: We're here to say a badge is not a license to kill. We demand that the cops be jailed. We have no confidence in the police or politicians.
SIMON: Investigators from another police department are still reviewing the case. But thus far, seem to be defending the deputy.
Twenty-four-year veteran Eric Gelhaus saying that he had to quickly react based on what he saw at the time.
LT. PAUL HENRY, SANTA ROSA POLICE DEPARTMENT: That the weapon appeared real, that the subject appeared to be turning toward them. And the barrel of the weapon appeared to be rising in their general direction.
SIMON: The FBI is also investigating whether Lopez' civil rights were violated and even though he was just 13, Gelhaus and his partner investigators they didn't realize he was so young.
HENRY: They didn't realize until much later, until after the incident was over, the particular age of the subject. What they focused on was the very real looking replica assault rifle that the subject was carrying.
SIMON: Complicating matters, the replica called an air soft rifle did not have an orange cap on the end of the barrel, required by law to be put on toys.
But protesters say this is the case of an overzealous deputy.
DAVID DOUGLASS, PROTESTER: We want this Eric Gelhaus jailed and charged with murder. And we're going to keep marching and keep walking out of school until this happens.
SIMON: And we are at the Sonoma County sheriff's office where this march ended. At one point, you had hundreds if not thousands of people. And behind me, you can see these barricades and deputies in full riot gear just to make sure nothing got out of control. Fortunately, everything was peaceful and, Erin, there are more protests planned for later in the week, back to you.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to you, Dan Simon.
And still to come, Iran's soccer team preparing for next year's World Cup. But an American is front and center helping them. That's story.
Plus, Major Jason Brezler, who's been a marine for 13 years, how a single e-mail may have just ended his career.
And a shout-out tonight -- a new record. So that tiny, tiny speck is a surfer, Carlos Burle, riding what could be a record 100- foot wave off the coast of Portugal. If this is certified, he will break the old world record by a whopping 22 feet which was also set off the coast of Portugal. There is an underwater canyon that helps those big waves form there and then they get an extra boost from the storms. And there was a major Atlantic storm, as you know, which hit the U.K. which was responsible for this.
The shout-out goes to Burle, not for riding the wave, surely that's impressive, but for helping rescue another surfer who was knocked unconscious after falling off her board.
BURNETT: Our seventh story OUTFRONT: Does the punishment fit the crime?
So, after 13 years with the Marines, a single e-mail exposing an insider threat may end Major Jason Brezler's career. Many say Brezler's warning could have saved lives, so why is he the one facing punishment?
Ivan Watson reports in this OUTFRONT investigation.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jason Brezler is not just a New York City fireman. He's also a highly decorated officer in the U.S. Marine Reserve, serving four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So why is Major Brezler facing possible discharge on less than honorable terms of serving 13 years with the Marines?
KEVIN CARROLL, JASON BREZLER'S ATTORNEY: For a man like Jason Brezler, being asked to separate from Marine Corps that you love so much would be an even worse punishment than jail.
WATSON: Legally, Major Brezler cannot speak about his case because it's still under review. So, his attorney, Kevin Carroll, is speaking for him.
Here's what he says happened: Brezler was in the U.S. in the summer of 2012 when he received an urgent message to his Yahoo account from his fellow officers at a base in Afghanistan's turbulent Helmand province.
CARROLL: The subject line of email he received said, in all capital, with three exclamation marks, "Important, Sarwar Jan is back."
WATSON: Brezler had a history with Sarwar Jan, an afghan police commander shown with Brezler in this 2010 photo. CARROLL: When Jason was serving in Afghanistan in 2010, he caused Sarwar Jan, an Afghan police official, to be fired because he was raping children.
WATSON: Almost immediately after receiving the urgent e-mail, Brezler responded, attaching a classified document warning the Marines that Jan was a threat.
CNN has repeatedly tried to get an official account of what's happened next, but every major military agency involved has declined to comment.
The Marine Corps said due to the mishandling of classified information, Major Brezler has been ordered to show cause for retention in the U.S. Marine Corps before a board of inquiry. They point to his use of the unsecure Yahoo account, a breach of security, yes, but one that some believe could have saved lives.
(on camera): What do you think would have happened if the commanders had listened to the advice of Major Brezler?
GREG BUCKLEY, SR., FATHER OF GREG BUCKLEY JR.: I would have my son. I don't think it's asking, you know. It's just I would have my boy with me today.
WATSON (voice-over): Less than two weeks after Brezler sent the Marines that e-mail warning about Jan, Greg Buckley's son, Lance Corporal Greg Buckley Jr., was shot and killed along with two other Marines at the same base.
BUCKLEY: He was in the gym with his friends just working out, and they just walked in and -- he nodded and walked in with an AK-47 given to them by the chief of police and at about 8:30 at night on August 10th, executed three marines.
CARROLL: The only reason that the shooter was on that base and had access to weapons because he was the child sex abuse victim of the Afghan district police chief.
WATSON: The suspected shooter was reportedly a teenage servant of Sarwar Jan, both were reportedly detained after the shooting, but now, Afghan officials say they do not know their whereabouts.
Fourteen months later, U.S. Central Command is yet to publish the results into the incident. The only person facing any charges is Major Brezler for using an unsecure account.
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It's wrong to go after the one person who seems to have done by all accounts, the right thing.
WATSON: The many unanswered questions leading Congressman Peter King and Buckley's family to come to Major Brezler's defense.
BUCKLEY: He should be given a medal, not prosecuting him.
WATSON (on camera): We're told the Marine Corps is not commenting further on Major Brezler's case to avoid influencing the three officers he'll face at his board of inquiry next month.
(voice-over): Until then, Brezler will focus on his current job, fighting fires and saving lives.
Ivan Watson, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: We look forward to your feedback on that report.
Still to come, an American in Iran with a mission to win.
BURNETT: And we're back with tonight's "Outer Circle", where we go to Iran tonight. An American is helping the country's national soccer team, which is qualified for the World Cup next year.
I asked why our Reza Sayah who's there why the coach decided to go to Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Erin, an American citizen making headlines for his decision to move here to Iran and help Iran's national soccer team qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next year. His name is Dan Gaspar, born in Connecticut. He's already been to the World Cup with the Portuguese national team. He was coaching the University of Hartford when Iran's coach, an old friend and colleague called him up and said, how would you like to move to Iran and help me coach this team?
At the time, Iran was locked in a bitter feud with Washington and many U.S. politicians called Iran a rogue and dangerous nation secretly building a nuclear bomb. Some still do.
Gaspar's friends and family told him no to go. He ignored the warnings and came here. Initially, he says he was a little wary. Now that he knows Iran a little bit, he says what you often hear from visitors to Iran. What you see on TV doesn't always match reality.
Gaspar says he's had an incredible time here. He's even met former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His goal he says is to bring the World Cup back to Iran, then he's coming back to the U.S. after an incredible journey -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to Reza and an incredible journey indeed.
"AC360" starts now.