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President Defends Obamacare; Rubio Talks 2016 Chances; Christie Talks Same Sex Marriage; New Concerns About Syria Hiding Chemical Weapons; Intelligence Suggests Syrian President May Be Hiding Arsenal; Miami Dolphins Richie Incognito's Career In Jeopardy; Martins Beach Gets Privatized; Interview With Congressman Steve King Of Iowa

Aired November 6, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): "OUTFRONT" next, a lousy day for Obama care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them.

SEBELIUS: That is possible.

BURNETT: The president holds an urgent meeting of the faithful.

Plus, this may sound like a compliment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor Christie has certainly shown a way of winning in New Jersey and states like New Jersey. I congratulated him on that.

BURNETT: But it isn't.

And did the coaches put him up to it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think if you would have asked Jon Martin a week before, you know, who his best friend on the team was, he would have said Richie Incognito.

The hazing of a 300-pound man. Is there an NFL form of Code Red?

Let's go "OUTFRONT."

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, just in, the president again defending his signature health care law in Texas, the heart of Republican country for now. His message though is starting to sound pretty familiar and it wasn't the only time he was on the defensive today. He is now answering to critics who are members of his own party.

And I want to get to Jim Acosta at the White House right away because Jim, you know, look, he is talking in Dallas moments ago. I'm the first to say I haven't been happy. He is trying to defend himself and trying to talk about the whole pledge he made, if you like your plan you get to keep it, but he is on the defense. JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Erin. And I think you heard that earlier this week when he was talking to his post campaign team of volunteers and you heard it tonight. He was down in Dallas talking to a group of navigators. Those are the people who have been hired by the administration, very important people, I might add to help people enrol for insurance through insurance for Obamacare.

Why are those people necessary because the web site is not working which gets to the president's comments? He once again said he is not happy with the way the web site is working right now, that people are working 24/7 overtime to get as he put it to get it fixed. He talked about it, compared to it a product in a supermarket that you can't buy because you cannot get into the store.

But at the same time, something very newsworthy happened, Erin, and that is the president at one point said during his remarks that we anticipate the web site is going to be working the way it is supposed to by the end of this month. That is interesting because up on Capitol Hill, earlier today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was not sounding very confident.

I mean, she was basically saying they're going to have it done by the end of the month, but she also said they have an aggressive check list to go through. They have an aggressive time line to meet. Sort of, you know, putting out this feeling that perhaps it may not happen in time. The president said down in Dallas. No, this is happening in time.

The other important thing, Erin, and I'll say this very quickly is that the president did not go back and try to clean up that line, if you like your plan, you can keep it. He did not try to revise that line as he did the other night. Perhaps an indication that they know that clean-up job was not going too well.

BURNETT: Let me ask you this, Jim. You know, the hits keep on coming for the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, right. This sort of a died down a little bit. It felt like it but now gaining heat again on Capitol Hill, getting a tough grilling. So what exactly happened there?

ACOSTA: Well, she was pressed by senators throughout this hearing about the various problems with the web site, the veracity of the president's comments when he said if you like your plan, you can keep it. Republicans were accusing the administration basically of lying to the American people.

But at one point, Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina was pressing Sebelius on what the enrolment numbers will be like because of all the problems, and she acknowledged they won't be all that great. Here's what she had to say.


SEN. RICHARD BURR (R), NORTH CAROLINA: What is the October through the end of December target enrolment? KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Senator, there are all kinds of different target enrolments. I think there was a memo internally that called for about a million people to be enrolled through December. But we're updating those targets. I can tell you our early enrolment numbers are going to be very low.


ACOSTA: And just to give you a sense that perhaps heads might be starting to roll here in Washington, the man who was in charge of technology over at a key agency inside HHS that was developing the web site, that person stepped down earlier today, Erin. An early sign perhaps that perhaps some accountability is coming for people involved in building that web site -- Erin.

BURNETT: Accountability coming, and of course, a lot of people, you know, Democrats are now worried about whether this is going to taint them. So the question to you is there was a closed door meeting, an urgent meeting at the White House with the president and he is quote/unquote "faithful," right, top Democrat. Do you know what happened?

ACOSTA: That's right. Well, they're concerned, Erin. They are worried about what is going to happen. Nearly all of the senators who met with the president today behind closed doors, by the way was an unannounced meeting over here at the White House. Fifteen senators who were up for re-election next year in those crucial mid terms, they were pressing the president on what is going to be done about the web site. When is it going to be fixed? What about some of these security concerns that have been raised?

I talk to a Democratic staffer with knowledge of that meeting who said that this meeting would not have happened if it were not for the political concerns about the impact of Obamacare on their re-election chances. It is interesting to note that as the president was having this meeting with this group of senators, Erin, White House officials were on Twitter basically saying that the Obamacare impact was not that serious.

For Terry McAuliffe down in Virginia, there is all the speculation and chatter today that perhaps Terry McAuliffe won by that razor thin margin because of the impact of Obamacare on his election chances. As the White House was trying to throw cold water on that notion today, the president was having this meeting behind closed doors. That is a very huge sign that they're concerned about this at the White House and among Democrats up on Capitol Hill -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Jim Acosta, thank you very much. The White House is fighting that story and extremely concerned about it, our other top story is what's going on, on the Republican side of the aisle, Chris Christie versus Marco Rubio. The New Jersey governor won a landslide victory last night in his race for re-election. But is he counting his 2016 chickens before they hatch? Senator Rubio, of course, is another likely contender for the GOP nomination. He spoke with our Dana Bash today and he thinks Christie has far from locked it up.


SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: It is important to remember every race is particular to the state that it's run in. So there are factors in New Jersey that I think are individual to that race and clearly he was able to speak to that and to the hopes and aspirations of people within New Jersey. That's good. That's important.

We want to win everywhere we can. And Governor Christie has certainly shown a way of winning in New Jersey and states like New Jersey because of the work he's done there as governor as well. So I congratulated him on that.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So are you saying that his win in a blue state like New Jersey wouldn't translate to a more red state or even more of a swing state?

RUBIO: Look, every election is different.


BURNETT: Look, every election is different. Let's bring in Dana Bash. Dana, well, I mean, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement from Marco Rubio. You know, the aftermath of a huge win for Christie. Rubio, of course, another extremely popular, likely presidential candidate.

BASH: Erin, he was careful to congratulate Chris Christie multiple times in my interview and note that they have a good relationship, but you're right. Look, that answer you just played, he said the words New Jersey four times in two sentences. He didn't even try to be subtle in his attempt to remind people that before they go coronating Chris Christie as the 2016 nominee because he is a moderate who can appeal to Democrats in a blue state, remember, he won in that one state where he is well known and well liked.

Still the Virginia candidate for governor that Rubio campaigned for, Ken Cuccinelli, exit polls showed that even Republicans were turned off by tactics of Tea Party-backed Republicans. I asked Rubio about that and whether it is a problem.


BASH: The Republican Party has taken some hits with the shutdown and other things and sort of the movement from which you came has also taken some hits. How do you square that? Do you think that maybe you all have made a couple of mistakes tactically? Strategically that has hurt the Republican --

RUBIO: I think everyone has taken a big hit. I mean, the Obamacare is the biggest hit anyone has taken and that's a rolling series of hits that unfortunately that just kind of hit the Democratic Party. It will hit the American people. The bottom line is that everyone around here is paying a political price. People are grossed out by Washington.

BASH: Everybody is grossed out by Washington, how can a senator run for president?

RUBIO: Well, I don't know of any senators running for president.

BASH: You don't?

RUBIO: I don't. Those are decisions peel make later, but I think you can work in Washington without being of Washington. Luckily I think I haven't been here long enough to believe that what goes on around here is normal.


BASH: So there he said he doesn't think he's been in Washington that long. He understands that what goes on around here is not normal. I think that's probably the understatement of the day.

BURNETT: Certainly. Dana now, today Chris Christie sounded like a Democrat on a key issue. I have to play this for you and for our viewers. He was asked about same sex couples who had gotten married in the state and of course, this is something he ardently opposed and of course, something the Republican base opposes. But here's what he said today.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I'm happy for them if they're happy. Same I'm happy for any couple who gets married if I they're happy.


BURNETT: Again, whoa! Some a warped time zone. All right, that's not what you expect from a base oriented Republican candidate. Would we hear a comment like we just heard from Chris Christie from Marco Rubio?

BASH: It is really hard, Erin, to imagine Marco Rubio uttering those words mostly because if you look at his position and comments on the issue, he is really careful to walk up a fine line. He supports states deciding on gay marriage, but he says he's catholic and believes marriage is between a man and a woman but still recognizes children are raised in other settings as well and they can do well.

Look, gay rights is a generational issue. Potential Republican candidates like Marco Rubio or even Paul Ryan in the early 40s could be more comfortable with gay marriage than they let on. But having a, let the states decide attitude really shields them from backlash from the Republican primary and caucus, but as you were talking about, Erin.

They're socially conservative even on gay rights. And the fact Chris Christie said that, I think that might be if he does throw his hat in the ring, might be coming to an ad near knew 2016 and maybe in the state of Iowa.

BURNETT: Interesting you say that. All right, Dana, thank you very much and as she said, coming to an ad near you.

Still to come, a Tea Party king in all respects, I'm talking about Iowa, will the Tea Party bow to the Chris Christies of the world? Representative Steve King from Iowa will be OUTFRONT.

And then the president said no chemical weapons in Syria under any circumstances. He was willing to fight for this. Is he about to cave? We have a special report next.

And code red, was the hazing of a 300-pound man under orders? New details tonight on a bizarre and disturbing story.


BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, President Obama's dilemma. So you know, this was supposed to be a diplomatic breakthrough. The president avoided American military action in Syria by making a deal on chemical weapon. The problem is that the, quote/unquote, "deal" was oversold. There are new concerns about what's really going on. Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think we have both a moral obligation and a national security interest in, A, ending the slaughter in Syria, but B, also ensuring that we've got a stable Syria.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That was the president on May 7th after he found out the Syrian government had gassed its own people of by September, the U.S. avoided military action in Syria but announced a deal that Bashar al-Assad had agreed to turn over his chemical weapons.

But just a month ago, secretary of state John Kerry was full of optimism that Assad was giving up his 1,000 tons of chemical weapons for destruction.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think it is also credit to the Assad regime for complying rapidly as they are supposed to.

STARR (voice-over): But was it too rosy a picture painted too soon.

DAVID KAY, FORMER WEAPONS INSPECTOR: I think the public wanted it to be over soon. I think the congressional actor will be oversold and the administration oversold because you wanted to be out of it.

STARR (voice-over): Just this week, new questions about whether Assad is telling the truth.

SAMANTHA POWERS, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: We obviously bring skepticism born of years of dealing with this regime.

KAY: At the same time, in Washington, and the secretary has been praising it as the greatest thing since sliced bread. STARR (voice-over): A red flag, CNN has learned there is intelligence suggesting Assad may be hiding some of his kept arsenal. The U.S., Israel, France and the U.K. are all trying to figure out what is going on and if it could derail the agreement. The official U.S. policy, get just as much as possible of the stockpile out of Syria. Officials concede, there is no certain way to rid Syria of all of its chemical weapons.

But complications continue to grow by the day. Assad now wants an international inspection group to approve his plan to move the deadly stockpile, and he has a wish list to go along with it. In order to transport the weapons, the Syrians have asked for heavy armored transport trucks, communications gear and an agreement to use hundreds of troops to secure the roads.

But one U.S. official is sounding the alarm, telling CNN it could all be a ruse. The official says experts will have to look very thoroughly and cautiously at that list to make sure the equipment is not diverted to the Syrian war.

For OUTFRONT, Barbara Starr, the Pentagon.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And our third story OUTFRONT, is ordered to top a nap. A new report from the "Sun Sentinel" newspaper reports that Miami Dolphins coaches asked offensive lineman Richie Incognito to toughen up teammate Jonathan Martin. And then martin left the team abruptly last week. Reports have surfaced then that he was being bullied and hazed by Incognito in a series of racist and violent text messages and voicemails. Incognito has been suspended pending an investigation. But another team member says this story line doesn't add up. There are late developments today and Ed Lavendera has them OUTFRONT.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With scandals swirling around Richie Incognito, his football career with the Miami Dolphins in jeopardy, the muscled teddy bear, as friend described him, looked thrilled to have a slick brand new Ferrari delivered to his Ft. Lauderdale home. While inside the Miami Dolphins training facility, Incognito's teammates and coaches faced a barrage of questions over allegations of bullying. Head coach Joe Philbin refused to answer questions about news reports saying Incognito was told to team's coaches to toughen up Jonathan Martin.

JOE PHILBIN, MIAMI DOLPHINS HEAD COACH: The type of culture I've championed since the day walked through the doors has been one of honesty, respect, and accountability to one another.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The national football league is investigating Incognito's reported profanity laced messages with racial slurs, allegedly left for teammate Jonathan Martin. Hey, what's up, you half n word piece of blank. And you're still a rookie. I will kill you, some of them read. Incognito has been suspended from the team indefinitely and isn't talking about the scandal.

RICHIE INCOGNITO, MIAMI DOLPHINS LINEMAN: I'm just trying to weather the storm right now and this will pass.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Martin left the team last week and hasn't commented publicly either about what some describe as professional athlete hazing gone too far. Others say it is inexcusable bullying. Inside the Dolphins' locker room many players say they were surprised by Martin's allegations and even thought Incognito considered Martin his little brother.

RYAN TANNEHILL, MIAMI DOLPHINS QUARTERBACK: I think if you would have asked John Martin a week before, you know, who his best friend on the team was, he would have said Richie Incognito. The first guy to stand up for Jonathan, or anything like down on the field, and you kind of tussle, Richie was the first guy there. You know, when they wanted to hang out outside of football, who was together? Richie and Jonathan. So, I can't. You know, I'm not in those guys' shoes. I can't explain what's going on.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): This is video of Incognito erupting in a bizarre rage in a south Florida bar earlier this year. Incognito has a checkered reputation. He was release bid the St. Louis Rams for arguing with the team's head coach. And in a poll of NFL players by the sporting news magazine, he was once voted the dirtiest player in the league. But on the Dolphins' team, several players seemed frustrated with Jonathan Martin.

TYSON CLABO, MIAMI DOLPHIN LINEMAN: Off the field, those two guys were thick as thieves. And that they went out together and they hung out together. They did a lot of stuff together. So we had a problem with the way they were treating them, he had a funny way of showing it.


LAVANDERA: And Erin, that was the theme we heard repeatedly from a close about 10 players that we had a chance to speak with late this afternoon. And without really coming out and saying as much, you really got the sense inside that locker room that many of the players kind of side with Incognito in this story.

BURNETT: All right, Ed Lavandera. Thank you very much trying to get to the bottom of that story kind of fascinating.

BURNETT: And still OUTFRONT, who is the worst mayor in history. In the wake of this whole crack incident going on in Toronto, we took a look and wow, what did we find? I can promise you this does not disappoint.

Then can you be rich enough where the law doesn't apply? A story of incredible money and power next.

And an incredible stunt you have to see from all angles to believe this wasn't doctored.


BURNETT: Our fourth story OUTFRONT, a billionaire's battle. Outrage growing over a very popular stretch of public beach in Northern California. Because now, it is off limits to everyone except the billionaire. A billionaire who is friends with Al Gore and dines with the president, now, using his money and power to block the people.

Casey Wian is OUTFRONT.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mike Wallace loves to surf martins beach where three distinct breaks beckon off one of the most scenic un-crowded beaches on the entire California coast.

MIKE WALLACE, SURFER AND COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: It also protected from strong north swells and winds and there are not too many pots up here in the north of Santa Cruz that you're able to have that sort of, you know, beautiful waves like we're seeing today.

WIAN (voice-over): The beach is book ended by cliffs so the only lands access is down this road. For decades, the owner of the property surrounding martins beach allowed the public to pay a small fee to reach the shore. But the new owner, a Silicon Valley billionaire named (INAUDIBLE) has closed the access road with a judge's blessing and painted over the sign that once welcomed people to martins beach.

GARY REDENBACHER, ATTORNEY: It was confiscation of public resources. It is your beach. It is my beach, my children's beach, it is my children's beach, it is my children's children beach. It is ours. And for him to blanket it off and say it will be mine now. That's absurd.

WIAN (voice-over): Redenbacher represents friends of martins beach which is suing to force (INAUDIBLE) who paid nearly $38 million for the 53 acre property to open his gate.

WALLACE: So, we played devil's advocate a little bit here.

WIAN (voice-over): I'm a private property owner. I spent a lot of my hard earned money to by a beautiful piece of land and I don't want the liability and the hassle of having who knows who coming through my land.

WALLACE: In this case, there has been a history of nearly 100 years of public access to this beach.

WIAN (on-camera): The court battle over public access to this beach has so far centered around on complicated legal issues dating back to 1848 when the United States first acquired California from Mexico. In essence, a judge has ruled that federal law in if he can at that time takes precedence over state law which guarantees public access to beaches.

(INAUDIBLE) would not speak to CNN. His attorney released this statement. We feel badly about the controversy surrounding martins beach. But adds no home owner wishes to have trespassers on their private property. We pleased with this ruling and thankful for the clarification of our private property rights.

WALLACE: We're not trying to keep him from developing it as long as it is environmentally friendly. And since he is the king of the pre- invention capital, I would assume that he would do that.

WIAN (voice-over): The irony, critics like Wallace say, is that Kosla's venture capital company specializes in green technology. He has rubbed elbows with President Obama, Al Gore and other champions of the environment.

(on camera): The legal battle over public access to this beach is not over. The community members who lost in court plan to appeal and a separate lawsuit has yet to be heard -- Erin.


BURNETT: All right, Casey. Thank you very much. Pretty amazing there when you think about it. Not what you would expect.

Well, OUTFRONT next, we've told you the story of a woman missing for weeks only to be found dead in a hospital stair well where she had been the whole time. The story gets even worse. A late breaking development tonight.

And then secret meetings about Benghazi, why members of the House intelligent committee believe they are being stonewalled by the CIA. Our coverage continues.

And does Chris Christie's big win in New Jersey mean the death of the tea party?


BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.

We have some breaking news just coming in right now. At least nine people have been shot at a Detroit liquor store. You're at a live picture here. This happened in the past hour.

As you can see. The police and law enforcement vehicles around the liquor store. Here's what we know: again, as I said, nine people were shot at least three of them are dead. Six others have been transported to a hospital in Detroit. And we don't know anything about the details of their conditions at this time. So, I'm not able to tell you that.

But we also don't know right now whether there was one or multiple shooters. Police have not confirmed that. We're also unsure about the arrest. So, obviously, a lot of questions. But the story is developing quickly. We're going to get you more information as we can. But, again, that is a live picture you're looking there of the shooting of nine people at a liquor in Detroit, just a bit ago. Well, how did a hospital lose track of a patient for two weeks? That patient's family finally getting some answers and the answers, unfortunately, are very troubling. The body of 57-year-old Lynne Spalding was found in the stairwell in San Francisco General last month. It was two weeks after she disappeared from her room.

And now, according to a preliminary sheriff's report that we have seen, not only was there a lack of urgency because Spalding was about to be discharged, but hospital officials gave inaccurate descriptions of her like this.


SHERIFF ROSS MIRKARIMI, SAN FRANCISCO: When asked by the deputy for description, the caller said, quote, "She is an African-American lady, 57 years old, female. She is wearing a hospital gown." Twice during that conversation, the deputy was told that the missing woman was African-American and wearing a hospital gown. Miss Ford was identified as a, quote, Asian female in the log book.


BURNETT: Spalding, of course, as you can see right here, is neither African-American or Asian.

Another lapse occurred during a search of the hospital grounds. That happened nine days after she went missing. It was apparently exhaustive. All 24 acres were searched except the stairwell. That's where she was found.

And an OUTFRONT update, you recall the two Florida inmates who were mistakenly released from prison last month, the authorities believe the fake documents approving their release were created by a gang.


COMMISSIONER GERALD BAILEY, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT: We have confidential sources among the inmates that are telling us the documents were actually generated, constructed within the walls of the prison, sent out and then sent forward to the clerk's office by, at this point, unknown people.


BURNETT: Officials right now are investigating a list of suspects. The convicted murderers themselves were recaptured as you may remember, this whole incident at the hotel, 15 days ago.

And our fifth story OUTFRONT, the Tea Party's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad election night, two big losses. There was the Virginia governor's race, of course, and a run-off election in Alabama where a Tea Party member ran against a Republican establishment candidate who was already pretty conservative.

So, you have conservative versus more conservative. Has the Tea Party lost its power in there are mental in the Republican Party who hope so and openly who think that the dying Tea Party will allow the party to win a national race, i.e., the White House.

OUTFRONT now, Tea Party favorite, Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa.

And, Congressman, look, I appreciate it. I see you laughing. So let me get straight to it.

There are a lot of Republicans, you know this, who are happy. They think these losses the nail in your coffin. They want Republicans to win a national election. They think they can do it only if you guys go away. That must make you unhappy.

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Well, I don't want to listen to this dialogue. And it's pretty easy, the morning after the election for people to spin their results around the preconceived misconceptions they had before the polls. I look around the country and there's one message coming out of New Jersey, a different message coming out of Virginia, and a different one coming out of Alabama.

But what is the bottom line answer to this is that the Tea Party is stronger in some states and weaker in others. A month ago, they were accused of having the power to shut down the entire United States federal government and today, they're talking about the death of the Tea Party.

I think it's a little bit premature to say that. I think they're showing some strength.

BURNETT: All right. Interesting point. Let me ask you this way, though, Congressman. In Virginia, obviously, Cuccinelli had made Obamacare the core of his platform. In Alabama, pro-business groups poured out, as you know, to support the conservative Republican instead of the Tea Party Republican.

Were you surprised at those losses last night? I mean, there has to be a little part of you, right, that was disappointed?

KING: Well, I was disappointed, especially, to see Ken Cuccinelli fall short. He put up a tremendous effort in Virginia and you if look at the numbers difference, it looks line in the calculations we've done today, he was outspent more than $20 million and predicted that he'd lose by double digits through most of the race and it was a three-way race with the libertarian candidate who tapped I think Cuccinelli more than he did into McAuliffe substantially, picking up 6.6 percent. And he still only lost by 2 1/2.

So, I think Cuccinelli at least has moral victory, given all the predictions that are there. there is here's what I think it is, there is about a full spectrum constitutional conservatives. The people that support the economic agenda of the establishment wing of the party. The low taxes, strong social agenda and some of the libertarian agenda on the other side of the party, all of that together. I think your conservative candidate that fits the full spectrum is the stronger of all the candidates and they're the ones that are going to prevail, if they have the personal magnetism like a Chris Christie especially. BURNETT: And Chris Christie, obviously, let me ask you about him, OK? Chris Christie obviously sailed in. I don't know if you heard what he said today. He was talking about same sex couple. He said they're happy, I'm happy. Obviously, that doesn't fit with what we hear of the socially conservative members.

And, you know, what's interesting is, while he campaigned for you, NBC News reports he refused to campaign for Cuccinelli. So, it kind of sounds like he doesn't want to go there on the Tea Party and this is what he told CNN yesterday.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: There's a lot of principles about the Tea Party that I've agreed with and governed in New Jersey in a way that's consistent with a lot of that. But, you know, some of the stuff that's happened of late down in Washington, I think is not even consistent with what a lot of the real folks who started the Tea Party movement would agree with.


BURNETT: I mean, he said that. And, Congressman, like I said, he made the point about if a gay couple is happy being married, he is happy for them. Our Dana Bash said, look, you're going on hear that statement in an ad in Iowa in the caucuses.

Will the influential base in your state embrace Chris Christie come 2016? If he is seen as sort of pro-gay marriage and not really into the Tea Party.

KING: Well, you know, we're going to see that that statement, take it for what he said. If they're happy, I'm happy. In other words, he accepted the -- I'll say it, the position of gay marriage existing in New Jersey. We've had to make accommodations for that in Iowa, we have some experience with that. But he didn't endorse gay marriage.

And the Tea Party themselves, and I've been in many discussions with them and try to argue to the contrary, they say we want to stay with the economic and the constitutional issues. Not the social agenda.

So, I don't know that gay marriage can be a sign the Tea Party necessarily opposes. Although, certainly, a significant percentage of its members do. But, yes, about Iowa, that is going to be interesting. I know that Chris Christie has been in Iowa at least twice. He was very well-received both times. He has this tremendous personal magnetism, different than any of the candidates I've met.

And like any other candidate, I would encourage him and the rest of those potential candidates, he is a potential candidate at this point, too -- come to Iowa and let's test it out. My personal belief is that if you could take the best combination of nature and nurture that would be the ideal president, and put them in the Oval Office of the White House today, they wouldn't be near the president they would be after they went through crucible of the nomination process. It forces you to build and organization to raise money, to go out there and sell your wares and shape your platform, they'd be a lot better after they've gone through Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada and beyond.

And we'll see if Chris Christie can stand up to that. He could become a tremendous figure on the public stage. There are a number of other candidates that will be competing in that arena and I welcome them all to Iowa.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Congressman. Always good to talk to you and I appreciate. We'll talk about that much more and maybe we can talk about that ad in a couple of years.

All right. Our seventh story OUTFRONT is demanding answers on Benghazi. It's been more than a year since the deadly attack at the American embassy and, of course, lawmakers say they are still waiting for the truth. No one yet held accountable. And, tonight, CNN is learning about some key unanswered questions.

Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT. He's been digging into the Benghazi investigation.

And, Drew, where are the new concerns coming from?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, concerns from a letter from House Intelligence Committee member and Republican Devin Nunes of California, Erin, who's writing to House Speaker John Boehner outlining what he sees is the most critical outstanding questions not answered.

You know, and it's coming at a critical point. CNN reported last week that in the coming days, three members of the CIA's Benghazi security team are expected to appear behind closed doors before a House Intelligence Subcommittee. To date, that committee has had difficult time getting information from CIA operatives on the ground in Benghazi, including trying to find out exactly what the CIA was doing there.

Nunes wants to find out. He has another question with why there was no rescue team sent immediately to Ambassador Chris Stevens compound when the attack begun. We've got a copy of the letter to Speaker Boehner, Nunes wants to know who was responsible for not sending a counterterrorism team known as FEST immediately.

And also as to why it took so long, three weeks to send FBI agents to Libya. He writes, "We need to identify who at the level of presidential cabinet secretaries, or at the National Security Council signed off on the decision not to dispatch a FEST team to Benghazi."

He also adds that a year after the attacks, the committee is still trying to access the radio traffic and communication that was taking place that night, saying it's vital that congressional investigators receive full access to all conversations, which he says he's not getting.

The congressman trying on get to the bottom of, quote, "possible witness intimidation" which does include, says the congressman, the possible of witnesses or people with knowledge of events being asked to undergo polygraphs or sign nondisclosure agreements.

Erin, as you know, CNN has been reporting the CIA has polygraphed operatives connected with the Benghazi mission, a point that's vigorously denied by the CIA.

BURNETT: I know. Vigorously denied. And, Drew, you were the first to report that. But it sounds like Congressman Nunes believes he is being misled or not being told the whole truth. But is that fair?

We always like to be very careful using the L word, the lie word. But it sounds like that's what he's saying.

GRIFFIN: And I can tell you several congressmen don't believe they're getting the whole truth here. After a year of this, they are getting increasingly fed up with what they feel is parsed information and filtered witnesses.

I think Congressman Nunes says he thinks the committee will get answers they're pushing. But he says if not, Speaker Boehner should appoint an independent investigator to get them. That's where this may be going -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you very much, Drew Griffin.

And, of course, as all of you know, we've been covering the Benghazi attack since the very beginning. You can see our special investigation, "The Truth About Benghazi", on our blog,

Up next, who is the worst mayor of all time? Tom Foreman takes a look and trust me. It is a pretty amazing look. That's next.

And then the man on trial for murder, who allegedly told friends that he could get away with it. Those friends now talking. The latest, OUTFRONT next.

And the shout-out tonight, a perfect landing. So, skydiver Katie Hanson, that's who see there, pulled off an impressive feat, landing in a moving car. I mean, it looks like silk, isn't it? She starts as a spec in the sky.

Look at this from her vantage point. You see her swooping in here to this car for a couple seconds, it looks like she might miss. Smooth as silk.

The shout-out is a rare event, a double shout-out to the driver for keeping with Hanson as she approached, because she got to get the speed perfect, and for Hanson from being able to control the landing from a sky to a moving vehicle. Stunning.


BURNETT: Our seventh story OUTFRONT: Mayors gone wild. There are growing calls tonight for the resignation of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford who admits to smoking crack cocaine. He says it was probably during one of his drunken stupors. But, Ford is doubling, saying not only is he staying in office, he's going to run for reelection. Sadly, this is not the first time we've seen this play out.

OUTFRONT tonight, Tom Foreman, from the string of misbehaving mayors.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid our ever present shenanigans, if Shakespeare were alive, he'd have to be drawn to the tragedies of the misbehaving mayors, which always begins with act one, the deed.

Recent years have seen a parade of city leaders caught up in troubles accused of misusing their powers, playing fast and loose with the law, personal indiscretions and just plain bad behavior.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He asked me to work without my underwear on.

FOREMAN: Without fail as the accusations emerge, so does act two, the denial.

POLICE: Possesion.

FORMER MAYOR MARION BARRY , WASHINGTON, D.C.: Possession? With what, intent to use?

FOREMAN: Ever since D.C.'s Mayor Marion Barry was caught smoking crack more than 20 years ago --

BARRY: Bitch set me up like this. I shouldn't have come up here.

FOREMAN: -- virtually every case has followed the same pattern. With the accused official at first insisting he did nothing seriously wrong.

San Diego's Bob Filner argued against charges that he sexually harassed women even though those same claims would later drive him from office.

FORMER MAYOR BOB FILNER (D), SAN DIEGO: It concerns me greatly that anybody would make any charge like that against anybody.

FOREMAN: The problem with denials like that of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford --

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: I do not use crack cocaine.

FOREMAN: -- is they come before act three, the confession.

FORD: Yes, I smoked crack cocaine.

FOREMAN: Detroit's Kwame Kilpatrick eventually confessed in 2008 and went to jail after many months of being accused of misusing his office, sexting, obstructing justice and more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lied under oath.

FOREMAN: Theories abound as to why any mayor would do something like this. Some critics say it's all about ego, some psychologists say they may think the rules don't apply to them and some people say, we all make mistakes.

But, invariably, when it reaches this point, the final act is about redemption.

FORMER MAYOR KYAME KILPATRICK (D), DETROIT: I want to tell you, Detroit, that you done set me up for a come back.

FOREMAN: Kilpatrick said he'll make a come back. Barry did so long ago, and he remains in public office. So don't think Ford is necessarily done for because that ending has yet to be written.

For OUTFRONT, I'm Tom Foreman in Washington.


BURNETT: Our eighth story OUTFRONT: bragging about murder. There was damming testimony today from a former inmate that knew Martin MacNeill, the former Utah doctor accused of killing his wife. That inmate telling jurors that when MacNeill was serving time for identity theft, he boasted he was going to get away with murder.

Jean Casarez, again, OUTFRONT.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Martin MacNeill not only admitted he killed his wife, he bragged about it according to his former cell mate. The revelation came out when Jason Poirier asked MacNeill about his comfortable shoes not available to other prisoners.

JASON POIRIER, FORMER INMATE: They were specially made, I guess.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you were asking how do I get a pair of those as a joke?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say?

POIRIER: He said, no, you can't. I said, well, how do you get away with that? He's like, I can get away with a lot of things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he say he murdered his wife?

POIRIER: He didn't say it like that but he said I'm getting away with murdering my wife.

CASAREZ: Poirier was the fourth of five inmates to testify for the prosecution. The others did so off camera, still incarcerated and fearing for safety by snitching on MacNeill. The inmates testified MacNeill confessed to killing his wife, but without actually saying it.

INMATE #1: He said he gave her some Oxy and some sleeping pills and got her to get in the bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he say what he did next?

INMATE #1: Later on, he just said he had to help her out, and I asked him what that was, and he said he held her head under the water for a little while. He said that she was in the way, that she wanted the house and the kids. He said they couldn't prove that he, you know, did anything.

CASAREZ: Prosecutors charged Dr. MacNeill killed his wife of 30 years by drowning her in the family bathtub after plying her with a potent mix of medications, also he could marry his mistress, Gypsy Willis.

POIRIER: I said hey, man, I apologize about your wife. And he goes, I'm glad the bleep is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he talk to you about the relationship he had with his wife before she died?

POIRIER: They were going downhill. They are trying to get his money. She was not going to let him keep cheating on him, keep cheating on her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was all a lie, of course, right?

POIRIER: Yes, it was.

CASAREZ: While the defense called them lawyers and attempted to poke holes at their story, Poirier said he and MacNeill shared poetry behind bars and MacNeill was writing a book about his life story.

POIRIER: After I was done reading the autobiography, I asked him, you know, are you serious about this.


POIRIER: About murdering your wife.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say?

POIRIER: He goes, I'm serious, I mean, look, where I'm at. I immediately told the guards I need to switch sections.


POIRIER: I didn't want to be around him.


CASAREZ: There was extensive cross-examination on both inmates to show their propensity for not telling the truth. Now, tomorrow, we expect the last witness for the prosecution, Gypsy Willis, the girlfriend of Martin MacNeill will retake the stand, and the judge said in court today, he expects closing arguments to be Friday morning.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Jean.

And next, could Twitter make you money? It's priced. Our take next.


BURNETT: This is some pretty adorable video, isn't it? Look at those pandas. They look so sweet and gentle and kind.

The thing is, of course, we know they look like cuddly lovely bears but far from that. Appearances are deceptive in pandas as we like to point out. But still, this video is adorable and we found it today and it has a shot of going viral. Why? Because it was posted on the place to post anything you want anyone to see -- Twitter.

And Twitter, the hottest new stock offering of the year priced tonight at $26 to buy one share. That's a dollar more than recent expectations and way above original hopes. Tomorrow morning, it's going to start trading formally and the question is will it go up. Facebook less than three weeks after it debuted had fallen 30 percent and Twitter not only makes no money, it's also priced at a higher valuation than Facebook was.

So, you may be surprised that according to a CNBC survey today, none of the 15 financial advisors recommended buying that IPO tomorrow, which brings me to tonight's number: $239,000. According to the text site, Mashable, that's how much a $1,000 investment in Amazon's IPO back in 1997 is worth now.

It's not just Amazon. You put 1,000 bucks in eBay in 1998, you're looking at $68,000. A thousand dollars in the much maligned Yahoo back in 1996, $61,000 today. Even Facebook has recovered, $1,000 of that horrific IPO last year, if you held it, is worth 27 percent more today.

So, would you take the risk and buy Twitter? Let us know. We're going to have a special report on that tomorrow.

"AC360" starts now.