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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
New Video Shows Chaos Inside LAX; Deadly Shooting At Los Angeles International Airport
Aired November 1, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett.
We begin "OUTFRONT" tonight with the breaking news murder at LAX We're expecting a press conference any minute now with the FBI at Los Angeles International Airport. It literally could start any second. We're watching those microphones, and we're going to bring that to you soon as it happens.
There are still so many unanswered questions about the horrific act of violence today which certainly, safe to say, feels like an act of domestic terrorism. We have some dramatic new video that shows the chaos and pandemonium that happened during the shooting. This is video that was obtained by the web TMZ at LAX Right after the first shots were fired.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the floor! On the floor! Come on, you guys. This is crazy, dog!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Stress, fear, but remarkably orderly for all of that. The deadly shooting took place in one of the busiest airports in the United States. One TSA officer shot to death, the first ever to be killed in the line of duty. Three others wounded. Hundreds of passengers were sent running in a state of panic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a guy downstairs started shooting. One guy fell down. Panic erupted and he was setting up through security shack.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband just grabbed me and put me on the floor. I was really scared and crying and I was panicked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing I could do was keep my eyes down the hallway was just keep calm. Everybody was just going crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Here's how the scene unfolded this morning. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK GANNON, LAX POLICE CHIEF: At 9:20 this morning, an individual came in to terminal three of this airport, pulled an assault rifle out of a bag and began to open fire in the terminal. He proceeded up into the screening area where TSA screeners are and continued shooting and went past the screeners, back into the airport itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The gunman is identified as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia. He is in critical condition tonight, shot three times in the chest by police. I want to show some of the dramatic images. There are taken by passengers in the airport. Right here you can see a gun at the foot of that law enforcement officer. That is exactly where police confronted the shooter.
You can see his weapon on the floor, an assault rifle. We'll have more on that in a moment of as this was unfolding, people were hiding everywhere. You can see this is a bathroom which was at that point jam packed. And the security check point became completely abandoned. People left everything. Left their luggage and ran.
We have the latest details from our reporters, experts covering this tonight from all the angles because there are so many crucial questions. I want to begin with Casey Wian. He has been there through the day. He is live outside LAX. Casey, what are police telling you right now as we await this live press conference from the FBI?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you mentioned, the FBI has identified. Erin, the shooter has Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23 years old of Los Angeles. They are not at this point speculating on any potential motive. They do say that they believe he acted alone. They describe the situation inside LAX right now as static, meaning no one inside the airport is in any kind of danger.
Law enforcement sources though tell CNN that witnesses describe him acting people if they were TSA. And if they answered no, he would move. So obviously that's one area that law enforcement will be looking into and perhaps we may hear more about that from the FBI at a news conference when it begins just in a moment -- Erin.
BURNETT: Yes. And we do have that press conference, Casey, starting right now. We'll go to that. As FBI officials are walking up to the cameras. The representative, special agent in charge is David Bowdich. Let's listen.
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI, LOS ANGELES: A few minutes ago I got off the phone with the president of the United States, he called to press his sympathies for what happened here in Los Angeles earlier today, to express his support, the family of the fallen, and to ensure that anything we need. We will get from the federal government.
He also informed me that TSA Administrator John Pistol will be coming out here tomorrow to the scene. First of all, our thoughts and prayers are today with the families, loved ones, and the colleagues of the fallen. An attack like this tests our resolve. It asks who we are and how we respond to moments like this in the line of fire and in our recovery.
It is a tremendous testament that today, a day that started with horrific attacks is now ending with Los Angeles international airport beginning to reopen. This morning a gunman opened fire in LAX's terminal three, killing a TSA agent, the first to die in the line of duty and shooting two other people at least one of which was a TSA agent.
Additional individuals have had minor injuries and have been treated. The airport police officers engaged the suspect, opened fire, wounded him, and took him into custody. The suspect has been identified as Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, a resident of Los Angeles. Right now, LAX terminals with the exception of number three are reopening fast as logistically possible.
Travelers should expect delays and should check with their airlines for flight information. Our first priority is safety. There is tremendous pressure for the traveling public to get on their planes, to feel that they are secure. We want them to be safe first and foremost. So every part of this airport must be cleared before terminals can reopen. Freeways and surface streets are now open.
But again, the area around LAX should be avoided unless you have clear information on your flight and need to be in the area. We have a hotline for travelers needing a hotel near LAX, they should call 1- 888-831-7176. One of the lessons of 9/11 was the need to work seamlessly across jurisdictions. Ironically, we had the FBI director here earlier today.
One of the things he expressed was how well this region works together before we knew this incident was going on happen. I personally witnessed as mayor of the city the seamlessness between agencies, between different levels of government, and I personally want to thank each of the men and women across the federal, state and local agencies that today have done incredible work.
I want to commend those departments for their coordinated response and here again from a number of speakers, one last thing I want to thank the volunteers, the staff, the Los Angeles airports, the red cross, our civilian teams that fanned out to get people into hotels or pass out water. To help feed some of the stranded and to ensure traffic was flowing. This was a team effort.
I would like to, for the update on the incident itself and some of the criminal aspect, ask again special agent in charge, David to come forward and say a few words.
DAVID BOWDICH, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, FBI COUNTERTERRORISM DIVISION: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Thank you, Chief Beck. Thank you, Chief Gannon. First off, I would like to thank the media for your patience. This is a very large scale investigation. The crime scene is extensive. We are currently applying a tremendous number of resources in conjunction with our partners from LAPD and Los Angeles airport, World Airport Police.
Today, we are going to confirm the identity of the subject. It is Paul Anthony Ciancia, C-I-A-N-C-I-A. He is 23 years old. He is a U.S. citizen. He is formerly a resident of New Jersey. We are currently investigating his background and more about him. I'm not going on provide too many updates on that at this point.
The decedent's identity is not going to be confirmed out of respect for the families. The families are going through a very difficult time today, but we are going to confirm that it was a TSA employee who was actually the decedent in this case.
There is at least one other TSA employee who was wound by gunshot. There are additional injuries, some of which seem to be potential evasion injuries, where they may have injured themselves trying to get away. At this point, we have one terminal shut down and we will have it shut down for a while, while we continue the investigation.
Forensics team are in there from both the FBI as well as the LAPD. Their work is long and methodical and they will take their time on this to be complete in their investigation. We do have a tip line. I would like to pass out. That an FBI tip line, the number is 1-888- 226-8443. If you have, I would seek the public's assistance.
If they have information which would be beneficial to this investigation and we ask that they please keep it to that. We would like to know about it'll we do have that line staffed right now. It is available and we are ready to run those leads. Additional information, I can you want all the facts. We cannot provide those to you at this point. I see some of you smiling. We're not going to give --
BURNETT: Obviously, we just lost the signal there, but you were listening, of course, to the FBI counterterrorism agent in charge at Los Angeles Airport, David Bowdich. I believe we have our signal back so we'll go back and listen to him.
GARCETTI: -- the operations of this airport. What is moving forward as we speak and some of the great work that her staff did today.
GINA MARIE LINDSEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Between 9:30 this morning and approximately 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, there were about 746 flights that were affected, 46 of those were diverted to other local airports. The rest were either held on the ground here at LAX or at their originating airport.
We are glad to report that terminals one and two are now in the process of being repopulated, employees first. TSA employees, airline, and concession area employees in place, and then passengers will be allowed back into those terminals.
Terminal three and parking structures three will remain closed for the time being. Any folks who have flights tomorrow with the airlines that typically operate out of terminal three should contact the airline for specific information. We expect to be operating those flights but probably through a busing procedure at the remote gates.
We will also on the LAX Twitter feed be providing as much information as he we understand what the operational details will be for those flights. The FAA national ground stops on arrivals for LAX is scheduled to be lifted at 4:00 p.m. today.
Lastly, I just want to tell the public and the travelers and all of those who are intending to meet or bid those travelers ado, thank you for your patience. This has been a trying day for everyone I know. For those awaiting arrival passengers, we'll be busing those passengers to Lot C at 98th and Sepulveda.
So within the next two hours, the arriving passengers should be there for pick-up. I want to reiterate the hotel hotline that is being provided by L.A. Tourism and Convention Board. That is 1-888- 831-7176. Passengers stranded at LAX certainly are encouraged to call that hotline for accommodations. Thank you.
BURNETT: We're going to keep monitoring this press conference as it continues on. We expect to hear from the LAPD, from fire department officials. As we get more information, we're going to bring that to you. The key headline, of course, confirming the identity of the 23- year-old man, Paul Ciancia is his name, resident of the Los Angeles area, who was responsible for shooting and killing the first TSA officer to ever be killed in the line of duty.
And also as you heard the FBI counter terrorism agent in charge indicate, there was another TSA officer still injured. I want to bring in Todd Friedman who is joining me on the phone from the airport. He was standing 25 feet away from the gunman when the shooting began.
Todd, thank you for taking the time. I know you're still at the airport, but let me start by asking you, just feet away this morning when this happened. What did you see?
TODD FRIEDMAN, LAX SHOOTING WITNESS (via telephone): I'll try to be quick. We were literally walking in. I was handing my I.D. over. We heard five loud shots right behind us. We all dove behind the ticketing conveyor belts. We heard more shots. We all ran into a nearby office. We locked ourselves in, closed out the lights. Watched, waited for about 20 minutes until the police came and told us it was safe to go outside. We had been in the international terminal and we got released.
BURNETT: How many shots total did you hear? I know you mentioned at first you heard five or six. How many in total?
FRIEDMAN: Maybe 12 to 20, maybe 15.
BURNETT: It's 12 to 15 or 20. OK, and just how afraid were you and others? I mean, this is not a situation you would ever have anticipated happening. You don't know how you'll react until it happens to you. What was your reaction? FRIEDMAN: We were freaked out. More like in shock and more in survival mode at that point in time. Maybe when we had time to reflect on it, we'll be a little more afraid. It was a pretty scary situation -- kind of surreal.
BURNETT: As you mentioned, you've been there now for many hours. Obviously, I know you were going away for the weekend, but are you -- and we're looking now at a live picture -- I don't know, 50 people, maybe? I mean, you're looking at overpasses that would be full of cars with people walking. Did you mention they're just now allowing you to leave the airport?
FRIEDMAN: Yes, just now allowing us to leave. They're still interviewing people who were actual eyewitnesses to the incident. We're trying to get out of here and go home.
BURNETT: All right, well, I hope that you do and thank you for taking the time to be with us. Appreciate your time, Todd Friedman. We're going to take a break. When we come back, more of our coverage of the deadly shooting at LAX, we are learning more about the suspect. We have a special report on that as well as the gun. We will be right back.
BURNETT: New details on the shooter who attacked Los Angeles International Airport today. And the crucial question, why did he do this? Deb Feyerick has been working her sources in law enforcement and Deb, what do you know so far about the suspect? We know a name. We know an age, but you know a lot more.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we also know is that law enforcement looking right now at his Facebook page to see if there is any indication as to motive. Law enforcement officials take very seriously comments that he apparently made to several people, several passengers who were on their way to their planes.
As he was walking down the terminal, he allegedly asked them, are you TSA? When they responded no, he kept on walking. Also, we are learning through CNN's Evan Perez, that he had some sort of material or information on him that suggests he was specifically targeting both TSA but possibly also police officers.
Right now they're looking at the note that he was carrying. It is that bag that he had his concealed assault rifle in when he walked into the airport, went straight to the TSA security check point and then opened fire, killing one of the agents.
From there we know he ran down the terminal to the gates and that is when he himself was shot three times, or multiple times in the chest by officers from LAPD and LAX, the airport police there. We tried to find out his condition, but so far nobody is talking on what his status at all though he was taken to a local hospital.
BURNETT: And of course, we just had one eyewitness. That's one person's memory saying 12 to 15 or 20 shots. We don't know how that broke down with the suspect versus law enforcement. To your point, as has been reported, he may have had documents on him. What do you know about his weapon?
FEYERICK: It was an assault rifle. We know he had three magazines. One magazine he had in the actual firearm. Interestingly he also had two other magazines as well. This happened in a very short amount of time. So by the time he started running through the terminal down toward the gates, it does seem to suggest is that he was not able to reload. Not sure how many bullets he himself fired, but because there were two unused magazines, we know that it does not appear that he had time to reload before he himself was shot.
BURNETT: All right, Deb Feyerick, thank you very much. Crucial questions and a lot of questions about, as we get more specifics, we'll share them with you about that weapon and what we know about it whether it was legal.
Authorities believe the gunman was targeting perhaps police and certainly TSA officers. Jim Sciutto is in Washington with more on that part of the story. Jim, we've been talking through the day, the TSA is the front line and they are not allowed to carry weapons. It seems they were completely defenseless. Were they prepared for anything like this?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is one of the most protected airports in the world, partly because it has been a target of terror threats before. There was a threat in 2002 at the El-Al desk, more than 2,000 TSA officers, more than 1,100 L.A. airport police, many of whom are armed.
The TSA officers though as you say are not armed. I spoke to the head of their union earlier today and he said that's by choice that they prefer to leave the shooting to the officers, which are trained for the shooting. That's the L.A. airport police and there are other armed officers patrolling airports.
Air marshals that, as we know, often are on flights but also in the airports, the Department of Homeland Security has armed agents in the airport. So up to this point, the TSA hasn't seen the need and hasn't even requested to arm its own agents.
I was watching Twitter earlier and I was starting to get Twitter messages back from some TSA agents out there who disagree with the position saying they feel like, quote, one of them quoted and said they feel like "unarmed sitting ducks" and they would like to be armed.
So there are some disagreements there and as you mentioned, they are the front line. It is a fair question as to whether some of them at least might need arms going forward.
BURNETT: Jim, Sciutto, thank you very much. I want to bring in Lou Palumbo now. He provides security for major events including the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. He is also a former law enforcement officer. Jim is talking about this crucial issue now front and center as we talk about this horrible tragedy today, this act of domestic terrorism. It seems very fair to characterize it that way. Should TSA officers have guns?
LOU PALUMBO, RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT: Absolutely. They're at a very vital point of airport security. They should be properly trained and be armed at that point so that they're not somewhat sitting ducks there. The whole notion or concept that you're screening for weapons and you can encounter one by someone of ill intent and not be able to respond is ludicrous. It is unfortunately the climate that prevails.
BURNETT: The other thing that is interesting. As Jim is reporting, this is one of the most fortified and defended airports in the United States because it is so big and has been the focus of terrorism before. When you think about it, you walk into the airport, LAX or anything else. Until you hit security, you can do anything. No one will do anything. You're halfway through the airport before you even hit that security point. So is security in the right place? Should we move it to the front door?
PALUMBO: That's correct. There is an inherent flaw. I spoke this about 10 years ago. What I said is that you kiss your loved ones goodbye at the sidewalk and before you enter the terminal they should be screening you for weapons. Why allow someone to traverse hundreds of feet of an air terminal that is densely populated with a target.
The whole notion of the way we do this and you know, unfortunately, we are a reactive culture. Sometimes you need an incident like this to revisit the proper way to secure a terminal. And whenever you do an event or any venue, it is done in layers and you do it in the outer most perimeter? Why allow a problem in your house when you can prevent it from coming into your house? They're just not of that mindset yet.
BURNETT: Maybe this will change it, but as you said, the true tragedy that would require an event like this to actually have them change how they do things. Lou Palumbo, thank you very much.
Still to come, more of our breaking news coverage of the shooting, how passengers at LAX are coping after the deadly assault. We'll be right back.
BURNETT: A massive ripple effect on air travel across the country. Brian Todd is in Washington. Brian, we just heard the person in charge of the airport saying almost 800 flights delayed or canceled. That is just an incredible ripple effect. How do things look now?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a real ripple effect. Erin, it will last for days. What we can tell about LAX, we're told that terminals one and two are reopening. Terminal three may be closed indefinitely. Right there you have a possible ripple effect with delays and cancellations and other sorts of disruptions, probably at least for the next couple of days. This is flight explorer.com's of all the flights going over the united states at any given moment. It is updated every few seconds. Thousands of flights. What we're told by airfare watch dog.com themselves monitor all the cancellations, everything. With all the cancellations, hundreds just out of LAX. The delays and cancellations, you have the ripple effect.
What they said is that other people flying from places like New York to LAX, Boston to LAX, everywhere. Those flights, he says, a lot of them will be diverted to major hubs like Chicago, Denver coming in here, Dallas. They'll to have divert down here.
A lot of those passengers will be stuck overnight. They have to book hotels. They may or may not be able to rebook their flights. A lot of these he says are coming from Hongkong, Asia, Japan, the Eastern Asia and across the pacific and a lot of them are going to have to divert as well so that will cause a disruption. A lot of the flights canceled were fulfill very hard to rebook on those flights. So, again, just all the confusion with the cancellations, the diversions to these hubs, people staying in hotels, having to rebook flights. That's the ripple effect.
And then, when you get a look at all the air traffic that is affected throughout the United States, just by this one event. In these few seconds at LAX, it's a pretty massive effect -- a huge disruption across the country, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Brian, thank you very much.
And Brian just laying that out, when you think about it that way. You realize no matter where you were, this affected you. In fact, more than 60 million people go through L.A. every year.
Kyung Lah is there tonight with the latest.
And, Kyung, you know, we've been talking to passengers through the day, hearing these individual stories. But it is incredible how big this is.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly. And we actually just saw a small slice of it. And, Erin, if you had joined me about an hour ago, this would have been a very, very different tale that I was telling you. This area that I'm standing in, you know, this looks fairly normal now, right?
This was completely packed with passengers. It was yellow tape. They were not being allowed in. Just a short time ago, they dropped the tape. The police were allowing passengers to go into the airport.
And what we were hearing from, who I found quite interesting to talk to, are the passengers who were stuck on the tarmac in planes that were allowed to land after the shooting. They were stuck there five, six hours. They were incredibly frustrated. But they were also quite frightened, because they were not getting a lot of information because it was still a developing investigation. So, a lot of concern for passengers as they were leaving. They were also quite frustrated. But, you know, what's happening inside the airport, it is a mess, because we saw a huge stream of people flood into the airport. They're all going to now try on work out their travel to try to get to their destinations.
But, certainly, it's going to be a very long night out here, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much.
I want to bring in actor Tim Daly now. He worked on the sitcom "Wings". He was inside the airport when the shooter opened fire, under lockdown most of the day, and joins us now on the phone.
Tim, you know, I've got a picture that you took following the shooting that you put on Twitter. So where were you and what exactly did you hear?
TIM DALY, LAX SHOOTING WITNESS (via telephone): I was in the first class lounge at Virgin America, probably about 20 yards from where the shooting took place, but one floor up. And I had just come up from downstairs by the newsstand, which was maybe 30 feet from where the shooter was killed, I guess.
And I was standing, talking to people at the desk. There were these loud sounds. Our reaction was, is that gun fire? And then, about another 10 to 15 rounds later, it was obviously gunfire.
So we stayed in there and the police started banging on the door but we did not know it was the police. So, there were a few minutes of confusion and fear not knowing who was banging on the door. They were very smart asking the police to show their IDs. They came in. They were amped up, fully ready to find somebody in there, but they were very professional and quickly realized that there was no criminal element in the lounge.
So, we were locked if there for about an hour. And then finally led down right next to where the law enforcement people killed the shooter, by Gate 35 in terminal 3.
BURNETT: All right. And let me -- I'm only going on correct knew case any viewers are joining us. The shooter is actually -- our understanding is alive at this time.
BURNETT: I'm not saying that to correct you, only just in case for the viewers joining now, obviously, Tim.
But let me ask you a question. When you say you heard shots, we're trying to understand sort of how many shots there were obviously. We know TSA agents aren't allowed to carry guns but the shooter, obviously, had an assault weapon and there were law enforcement who came in and shot him.
Do you have any recollection of how many shots you heard?
DALY: I would say between 10 and 15, although I did not keep count. There were quite a few shots.
BURNETT: That sounds like -- sorry. Go ahead.
DALY: And they moved. Because the lounge, as I said, on the second floor. And the first two or three shots were kind of like they were coming down the hallway into the wide open round place where the waiting area is for the boarding gates.
And then there was a flurry of shots that took place where the boarding area is. That's where the majority of the shots that I heard were fired.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Tim, thank you very much. We appreciate you taking the time. I know it has been an incredibly long and stressful day. So, thank you for talking to us.
And I want to bring in Jeff Beatty in now, former CIA counterterrorism officer. He actually designed the security check points that we used at airports. And, Jeff, I believe, you know, you've been dealing with LAX, and you've dealt with LAX personally.
So, let me just ask you this question, because we were talking about this earlier. When you look at where the line is, where you go through security. Before that point there is no security at all, right? You can bring anything you want in. Anybody can carry anything.
And then there's this point and then theoretically you don't have anything. Is that a problem in the set-up of the airports?
JEFF BEATTY, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICER: You know, Erin, you're absolutely right. If you're worried about a threat getting into the airport, you said earlier, the security is halfway through the system. And so, you've got the same people in front of the security check points as do you behind it. The only thing different is, behind it, you have airplanes.
So, currently, we're set up to protect airplanes, not people, for the whole time that they're in the airport. So what we need to consider, when the Administrator Pistole goes out there, I'm sure he will be considering it and as others have said, is moving the security points as far forward as you can, to the curb or even in some cases, spot checks, forward to that.
And then once you do that, there's just three or four other quick things. You know, you said something earlier about -- right after the shooting started, the security check point got vacated. And al Qaeda, terrorists -- sophisticated terrorists constantly use that tactic where the first person comes in and destroys the wall or the entry point. And then, other people flow through and exploit the access they have to the protected space.
You know, we've got to do something about that. Some of the things do you know is provide hard cover. There you have people that are out there behind plywood podiums.
BEATTY: And not every case are there armed officers over watching them. You need armed officers over watching each check point. People need hard cover that they can get down behind to save their own lives.
BURNETT: And what about what happened today? I mean, in this particular case, the shooter got through check point before being stopped by police. He was stopped at a gate, obviously, so, you know, they were affected.
But did the system work? Because he was able to get to the gate or not?
BEATTY: No, Erin, it didn't work. And the element of the system that didn't work was the concept of operation, was the design. Any time someone can shoot their way through a check point and get 100 plus feet down a concourse, I know TSA will tell you that's not the system working.
So, we've got some work to do, sadly that we lost somebody here. But let us learn from this and look at how do we improve the situation, how do we make sure this doesn't happen again, and perhaps this will be the base -- the cause for us to take that hard look and to make some necessary changes.
BURNETT: It is amazing how you don't realize some things until something happens. And then you just completely rethink everything altogether. Thanks very much, Jeff.
All right. Still to come, we're watching shocking revelations about the 2012 presidential election. Well, we're going to be talking about, let's just say we'll talk about the relationship between these two and why Barack Obama and Bill Clinton just don't seem to like each other.
And Martin MacNeill, former doctor on trial for the murder of his wife. Today, prosecutors call on their secret weapon.
BURNETT: Shocking revelations about the 2012 presidential campaign. Among them, President Obama's advisers secretly considered replacing Vice President Joe Biden on the ticket with secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton, because she was so popular in the polls.
Now, this is according to "Double Down", a soon to be released book by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.
Now, that isn't the only Clinton-Obama drama recounted in the book. It also details the long strained relationship between President Obama and former President Clinton. "The New York Times" obtained a copy and summarized it this way. "When the two golfed together in September 2011, an effort aides hoped would bring them closer, they didn't even finish 18 holes. Obama succinctly expressed his view of Mr. Clinton to an aide after coming off the course at Andrews Air Force Base, Obama grimaced and replied, I like him in doses,' the author's write."
Paul Begala was an adviser to the pro-Obama super PAC during 2012, and knows the Clintons very well. Obviously, counselor to President Clinton when he was in the White House.
Alice Stewart was a surrogate for the Romney campaign in 2012. And she was interviewed in the book.
OK. Great to have both of you with us.
You know, I've got to say, in the age of Twitter, I'm impressed these guys could have all this stuff and have it be new and hold it. So, kudos to Mr. Halperin and Mr. Heilemann.
But, Paul, the book also says, Bill Clinton referred to Barack Obama as luckier -- luckier than a dog with two of something I'm not going to say on national television.
How strained is this relationship?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I was wondering how you were going to do that. It is a family program.
BURNETT: You think she's going there. No, no, no.
BEGALA: These people know.
Look, I speak Southern, so let me translate -- President Obama is indeed fortunate to have a comparatively hapless opponent, Mr. Romney. That's all that quote says. It's not an insult at all. It's a compliment.
I've got to say, Halperin and Heilemann --
BURNETT: That's impressive you spun that to a compliment. Anyway, keep going.
BEGALA: No, it is a compliment. It says you're really lucky.
I mean -- anyway. I'm a dog lover, I'm a Southerner, believe me that's a compliment.
But like the comment I like him in dose -- you know, as a former aide, these people, especially presidents, they ought to have at least a way to blow off some steam without aides putting --- leaking to it a book.
I don't fault the reporters and I'm quite sure it's accurate. Their stuff is really good. These are the best in the business. I'm not going to pretend it didn't happen. I don't know firsthand, but I do trust them. They're good journalists.
But as an aide, I think aides like me, I bet Alice agrees, we owe our client a higher standard frankly of discretion than blabbing every frustrated or tired or angry or emotional remark that we hear when we work for them. Don't you think, Alice?
ALICE STEWART, ROMNEY 2012 CAMPAIGN SURROGATE: I agree completely. And loyalty goes a long way when you're in this business. It is a very small world. And you're going on continue to work for people. If you're going around telling deep dark secrets for your boss, the candidate, or the elected official, it's going to get around.
I agree with you 100 percent. Mark and John are tremendous journalists. They did meticulous work in interviewing people and finding this information and holding these deep dark secrets for as long as they did.
I asked Mark about some of the stuff today and he said, I'll pay attention to the non-denial denials in this. So, basically, what he's saying all this is true. If someone denies it, they're not really denying it, because there's truth to it.
BURNETT: Right, there is truth to it, because you know, Alice, when you talk about what President Clinton said about President Obama during the 2008 campaign, he told a radio show, so this was not even secret, right? I think they played the race card on me.
And there was the time he was talking about President Obama's fans in the Iraq war. And he said give me a break. This whole thing is biggest fairytale I've ever seen. And then, of course, he turned he will became an advocate of President Obama's policies. No question he helped him during the 2012 election.
But then there were moments like this press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here's what I'll say. I've been keeping the first lady waiting for about a half an hour. I'm going to take off.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I don't want to make her mad.
OBAMA: You're in good hands. Gibbs will call the last question.
CLINTON: Yes, help me. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, Alice, is this just a case of -- you know, everybody, every president is used to being the top dog. It's got to be for Bill Clinton to be there and, in that room and President Obama wants to prove I'm the top guy. It's not you anymore even though everybody really loves you, right? I mean, maybe they're just -- STEWART: That was -- that was a classic news conference where the President Clinton came in and dominated the room and President Obama was standing back saying, I'm the president now. That's classic. We sure learned that, remembering from the Democratic Convention when Bill Clinton didn't understand what the red light blinking was. That's just how it goes. I'm sure if you ask Bill Clinton how much he can take Barack Obama, he would probably say in doses as well.
BURNETT: I'm not sure he would. Now, what about the Romney campaign? The book obviously focuses on the Romney campaign which as you just heard you're here colleague, Paul, call hapless. "The Washington Post" also obtained the copy of the book, they described the hunt for the vice president for Romney nicknamed the Project Goldfish.
To be honest, Alice, the names were hardly mysterious and frankly offensive to some. But New Jersey governor was called Pufferfish. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Pescado. That was the one I thought was a little dicy. And Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Fishsconsin which obviously is not very clever.
But anyway, Romney initially crossed Christie off the shortlist. His bio wasn't complete, Romney was bothered apparently, according to the book, by Christie's showing up late to things and also, to just his physical fitness. And they quote in the book, Romney marveled at Christie's girth, his difficulties in making his way down the narrow aisle of the campaign bus, watching a video of Christie without his suit jacket on, Romney cackled to his aides, "Guys, look at that."
Alice, it's true?
STEWART: Well, as we said, I think there is a lot truth to a lot of the information that's in this book, as Mark alluded to.
And here's the thing with the VP selection. I mean, this is something that there is always talk about how the process goes through. It's one of the best kept secrets in presidential politics to avoid being attacked by the other side. And the key to this is, it's no secret Mitt Romney is very organized, very fit, very on time. But at the end of the day when it comes to Chris Christie, he is getting ready to be reelected by a land slide come next Tuesday.
So there is something to be that for being fat and tardy.
BURNETT: That's true.
And, Paul, what about what Chris Christie said today when he heard all that stuff in the book? I love it. Let me just play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Anybody who wants to sell a book puts my name in it. So, that's fine. I have a great relationship with the Romneys and the campaign. It's all -- it's all just, you know, trying to make sure they sell as many books as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Paul, you've got to love it. You've got to love it.
BEGALA: That's what -- first off, if you want to sell books, you put Christie in there. He's got an inflated ego. You put Kardashian in there if you want to sell books.
But, you know, that's Alice's I think example of -- Alice talked about these non-denial denials. We just saw a perfect example of Governor Christie, usually a straight talker, basically telling us, look, the stuff in there is true, but they're just trying to sell books. Well, duh! That's the point of writing a book, because you want people to read it.
So, it sounds lick a confirmation to me if you decode the language.
BURNETT: I got to say, I give him credit for basically saying, look, just spell my name right. Call me Pufferfish if you want.
All right. Thanks to both of you. We appreciate your time.
Still to come, Martin MacNeill, a former doctor. He's on trial for the murder of his wife. We've been covering this story -- and today, a special report, when prosecutors called on their secret weapon.
BURNETT: Drugs and drowning, that's how a forensic expert say Martin MacNeill's wife died. The Utah doctor on trial for murder, claims heart problems led his wife's death. But today, witnesses appear to put that theory into question.
Our Jean Casarez has been covering this story. She's OUTFRONT tonight.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prosecutors say there is no question how Michelle MacNeill died and it was at the hands of her husband Martin.
DR. JOSHUA PERPER, RETIRED MEDICAL EXAMINER: Michele died as a result of drowning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is your opinion well beyond a medical degree of certainty that Michele MacNeill drown. Is that correct?
PEMPER: Yes, that's my opinion (INAUDIBLE) of reasonable certainty and beyond.
CASAREZ: On the day of her death, Dr. MacNeill called 911 after his young daughter Ada found Michele in the tub. MARTIN MACNEILL: My wife's fallen in the bathtub.
DISPATCH: Who's in the bathtub?
MACNEILL: My wife.
JUDGE: Next witness for the state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state calls Dr. Perper.
CASAREZ: The prosecution's forensic medical expert said it is likely Michele suffered as she slowly drawn in a bathtub.
PERPER: The person both after a period when dropped in the water, initially he doesn't want to inhale water, but then because he feels the need to breathe, eventually he's both inhaling water and swallowing water.
CASAREZ: Prosecutors say Martin MacNeill forced his wife to have cosmetic surgery as a ruse, using his medical expertise to play her with a mix of post surgery medication so he could drown her.
The defense says she had a long-term heart condition and that was the cause of her death.
PERPER: I didn't find any evidence with my (INAUDIBLE).
CASAREZ: Cardiologist Dr. David Kregan (ph) said from his analysis she was in relatively good health, and there was no natural reason she should have been found unconscious in her bathtub in April of 2007.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No chest pain. She had no shortness of breath. She had no symptoms that suggest that she had a significant myocarditis.
CHAD GRUNANDER, PROSECUTOR: Are doctors unique in their ability to commit homicide?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection.
CASAREZ: Prosecutors dropped that bombshell but were prevented from questioning Dr. Joshua Perper about his book, "When Doctors Kill: Who, Why and How". But that did not prevent him from giving his medical opinion.
GRUNANDER: So your examination of the lungs and the microscopic slides of the lungs --
GRUNANDER: -- support a finding of drowning?
(END VIDEOTAPE) CASAREZ: And on cross examination, the defense got Dr. Perper to admit that possibly Michele MacNeill died of naturally occurring heart disease. Now, Erin, very important week next week. We expect closing arguments, deliberation and maybe even a verdict.
BURNETT: Wow, obviously going to be eyes on that. Thank you very much, Jean. We'll see you Monday.
And thank you for joining us. Anderson starts now.