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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Obamacare Enrollment Misses Target; TSA's Terrorist Screening Program Slammed; Interview with Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Typhoon Survivors Desperate for Food and Water; Demanding Answers on Benghazi Terrorist Attack
Aired November 13, 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, Obama care's numbers finally released.
SEBELIUS: We're going to give you the best numbers we can.
BURNETT: But they don't add up to nearly enough for the White House.
Then families ripped apart in the Philippines.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lost my daughter. I told her during the evacuation, "Go, go!"
But my daughter said, "No, Mama, I can't leave you."
BURNETT: And the best defense is a good offense.
ROB FORD, MAYOR OF TORONTO: Have you ever smoked marijuana? It's a question that's simple. A yes or a no. Have you smoked marijuana?
BURNETT: Let's go "OUTFRONT."
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the numbers for Obamacare are in and they're a bit scary, 106,185 people enrolled in Obamacare during its first month, only 25 percent of them through healthcare.gov. Now the overall number that is needed for Obamacare to work is 7 million by the edge of March.
Now Dana Bash is in Washington for us tonight. Dana, I mean, you know, I guess the facts are the facts in this case. These numbers are pretty terrible.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are and there's no way to sugar coat it, Erin. Not even the president's closest allies on Capitol Hill are trying to do that. It is not just a political blow. It's a problem that can undermine the viability of this new law because as you mentioned, for Obamacare to work, they need many more people enrolled, five times as many as they got last month. It is a major reason that these enrollment problems are causing such headaches for the administration particularly because it is the web site that is causing the number to be so low and that was the subject of a highly partisan hearing on Capitol Hill today.
BASH (voice-over): A month and a half after its troubled launch, the health care web site is still running at barely half its intended capacity. That from the White House's lead tech official.
TODD PARK, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER: We have much work still to do. We're making progress at a growing rate.
BASH: Todd Park forced to testify by GOP subpoena said he cannot guarantee the web site will be fully functional by the end of this month, the White House goal. Republicans were eager to illustrate problems persist.
REPRESENTATIVE TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I went on my iPad, healthcare.gov and I hit this button that says create account and it doesn't go anywhere. It just changes colors and does nothing.
PARK: Sir, respectfully I'm just a technology guy --
GOWDY: Don't -- don't short yourself. You're the smartest one in the room.
PARK: That's not true, sir.
GOWDY: Trust me I've been in this room for a while. It is true.
BASH: A rare light hearted moment during a hearing marked by intense partisanship.
REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA (R), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: This was a monumental mistake to go live and effectively explode on the launch pad.
REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: Nobody in this room, nobody in this country believes Republicans want to fix the web site.
BASH: And then there was this.
REPRESENTATIVE JIM COOPER (D), TENNESSEE: The American people do not want to see a kangaroo court here. No witness here today has been cut off. Every witness has been allowed to complete their entire, their entire answer.
BASH: But outside this polarized hearing, frustration is bipartisan. Democrat Jose Serrano is a loyal Obama supporter.
REPRESENTATIVE JOSE SERRANO (D), NEW YORK: We've got brains in this country. We've got people, kids in college dorms that can invent Yahoo. They couldn't have helped with this? (END VIDEOTAPE)
BASH: He was coming out of what I am told was a contentious closed door hearing with House Democrats and administration officials this morning that mostly focused on a different Obamacare problem. That is people getting drop from their health plans that they like. Democrat sources I talked to say that these House Democrats in this meeting demanded that the White House come up with a way for Americans to keep their plans if they like them as the president promised.
Otherwise many Democrats, Erin, are going to have to vote for a Republican version of a bill to do just that on Friday. I am told tonight that the White House is scrambling to come up with a fix and that they might have some idea they can unveil to congressional Democrats as soon as tomorrow -- Erin.
BURNETT: Obviously that would be significant. Well, thank you very much, Dana. We are going to be asking Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz about that very issue in a moment. She is the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Good to have you with us, Congresswoman. I really appreciate it.
I want to start though with those numbers on the enrollment obviously. You heard Dana reporting. You know, we found out late today, 20 percent of the nearly 500,000 enrollees the administration targeted actually signed up, you know, for the real plans. I'm not talking about Medicare, Medicaid, chip things like that, but jut for the real plans. Can you recover from this?
REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, CHAIRWOMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I mean, of course, we can. Obviously the web site issues are challenging and they are on track to be mostly resolve so there will be relatively few issues getting on to the web site by the end of November. I mean, if you look at the progress that had been made since October 1 to now, folks were getting about a 6 percent error rate on the -- as they proceed through the site at the very beginning of October.
Now we're down to less than 1 percent. So there is more and more progress every day. And look, I think this is great news that half a million people have been able to sign up for health insurance coverage, you know, most of whom have not had coverage before or were really significantly underinsured.
When you're someone like Carolyn Newman, a breast cancer survivor in my community in South Florida who literally saved $7,000 a year when she was on the Blue Cross Blue Shield plan that she had before the Affordable Care Act and then got a notice that that plan is ending and the coverage that she's going to be able to get even before she shops on the exchange, is $7,000 less annually.
That is a big deal for someone who faced insurance companies dropping her and denying her coverage and could only get insurance coverage from that one plan.
BURNETT: And obviously those kinds of stories, I mean, that's what people want to hear more of, you know, to see if it's going to work.
SCHULTZ: That's right. And we'll hear more and more.
BURNETT: But let me ask you because these numbers that we have, 106,000 from the government today. It seems like they might actually be inflated because the administration included people who signed for plans, but haven't paid for them. It would seemingly only accurate number is the number who have fully paid and are committed. I'm wondering do you know what that number is because obviously it is important to note it is still cheaper to pay the penalty than it is to sign up for a lot of these plans. That could be a real mathematical problem.
SCHULTZ: Erin, the fact that half a million people have been able to sign up for coverage. Another nearly 1 million people have been able to register on the site and actually can begin comparing coverage availability and looking at what plan they're ultimately going to select. That is a significant thing.
I'm a breast cancer survivor. I can tell you one of the first things I thought about when I got my diagnosis was I have to get right to a doctor. When I shared my own story, I had women come up to me who didn't have enough insurance coverage who said, Debbie, I had to choose between the chemo or the radiation because I couldn't afford the co-pay or the deduct dibble on both.
Now the Affordable Care Act gets rid of the co-pays and deductibles on mammograms and colonoscopies and other care. This is critical. Spare me if I notice some irony in my Republican colleagues being the ones that shut the government down over whether or not people could get quality affordable health care and deny them that. Then today they're concerned that people's inability to sign up. I mean, give me a break.
BURNETT: I want to ask you about that because when we talk about affordable, people want to keep the plans they have, they are cheaper than the ones being offered. But first, if I could just clarify with you, the half a million number, you've used it twice, could you clarify for me what that is in.
SCHULTZ: A 106,000 people have been able to sign up for private market health insurance and then about 392,000 have been able to sign up or get access to eligibility for Medicaid and the children's health insurance.
BURNETT: So for existing programs.
SCHULTZ: No. It's the Medicaid expansion so that they've had an opportunity where they weren't able to get that coverage necessarily before and now they can.
BURNETT: Let me ask but the issue you brought up about affordability because obviously a lot of the people that are angry right now on a bipartisan basis, you know, citizens. I'm not talking about citizens on Capitol Hill is that issue of having their plans that they now can no longer keep them. Bill Clinton as you are well aware has joined those saying the law needs to be changed to allow people to keep their current plans if they like them. And Jay Carney actually responded to that today. Here's what he said, Congresswoman.
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JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has instructed his team to come up with options for him to review. You can expect a decision from him and an announcement sooner rather than later.
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BURNETT: You just heard our Dana Bash say that might come as soon as tomorrow. Are we going to get a direct answer on this issue, America, you can keep your plan.
SCHULTZ: You absolutely will. President Obama is committed to making sure that the people who were told throughout that Democrats in Congress and president Obama said if you like your plan, you would be able to keep it. They're working and will have, I believe, a fix that is going to address that.
You mentioned President Clinton. What President Clinton also said in that interview is that he thinks we need to continue to move forward and work together on fully implementing the affordable care act. And what we have to do is make sure, let's not make presumptions. You indicated that folks are finding that their plans are more expensive. That simply is not the case.
BURNETT: For some people, those who are complaining it is, obviously not -- people complaining.
SCHULTZ: The overwhelming majority of people who have their plans that aren't going to be continued are going to have better coverage for less money. And as the web site continues to have the improvements and kinks ironed out of it, they will go on and they can go on now and comparison shop. When they do that, they'll likely get more affordable coverage with better benefits.
BURNETT: All right, we shall see and we'll be watching and waiting to see.
SCHULTZ: Let's work together so we can get that done.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much, Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, always good to have you with us.
Still to come, a failure by the TSA tonight, a disturbing new government study shows there's little evidence the TSA can spot terrorists.
Plus war on Wal-Mart, unhappy workers walk off the job today, demanding more pay. The truth about Wal-Mart pay tonight, an OUTFRONT investigation.
And embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford defends his actions today.
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MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: The reason I drank or did drugs was not because of stress. It was out of sheer stupidity.
BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT is the TSA's terror failure. A disturbing new government report slamming the agency's nearly billion- dollar taxpayer-funded program to pick out potential terrorists based on their behavior. According to the report there is basically no evidence to suggest that programs works. Rene Marsh is OUTFRONT. She's been reporting on this. Rene, what have you learned?
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, this report released today calls the TSA program one big waste of money on the taxpayers' dime. How much tax money? We're talking about $900 million roughly. Spent on a program the government says there is no scientific proof it actually works. We're talking about behavior detection officers.
If you've been to an airport, you may have seen them. There are about 3,000 of them at airports across the country. And like other TSA officers, they are in uniform. Here's how it works. They spend less than 30 seconds summing people up. There is a check list of behaviors that they're looking for that indicate stress, fear or deception.
If you exhibit enough of those indicators, you are sent to a secondary screening for a pat down or possibly on to police. This report says decades of scientific research shows the ability for a trained person to detect deception is the same as or only slightly better than chance -- Erin.
BURNETT: Which is pretty shocking. So we've got nearly a billion dollars spent on that. What's the TSA's rebuttal?
MARSH: Well, the TSA, they are defending their program. They say it is substantially better at I.D.'ing a high risk passenger by going about it this way rather than randomly screening people. And at this point they say that there are many other law enforcement agencies across the country that use the same techniques. We should point out the head of the TSA will have a chance to defend program tomorrow. He will be a Capitol Hill and you can bet lawmakers will be asking him about this program.
BURNETT: Absolutely. Thank you, Rene.
And now our third story OUTFRONT, waging a war against Wal-Mart. So, as no doubt you're aware, if you live in the United States, across America, there has been growing discontent and a movement against the world's largest retailer over wages. So, in Chicago today, unhappy workers from three Wal-Marts walked off the job demanding a better day's pay.
So, here's the real question, you know, because lot of people have a passionate view about this and think they know all the facts. Do the claims that Wal-Mart should pay more add up? Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT with tonight's money empower.
And Tom, you know of course, this comes as the holiday shopping has formally already started for Wal-Mart and they have a lot of employees are angry that they actually are, you know, be open on thanksgiving day.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. They've been open for thanksgiving for a number of Thanksgivings now and Wal-Mart is saying they are going to give these some extra pay, some big discounts on a future purchase and a turkey dinner while they're at work. But, that is clearly not going to quiet the critics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is one line only.
FOREMAN (voice-over): As millions of shoppers push into Wal-Mart this holiday season looking for bargains, they're expected to shove the retail giants' $17 billion in annual profits even higher. And that is not sitting well with Tiffany Beroid who is married with two kids.
TIFFANY BEROID, WAL-MART EMPLOYEE: It is very, how should I say it, disgusting? Because, you know, a lot of times we don't make the money that you need. You can't get things to provide for your family.
FOREMAN (voice-over): She said she's been at Wal-Mart for two years working 19 to 40 hours a week and made just $12,000 last year.
BEROID: I feel Wal-Mart should pay us more than enough to support our families, more like $25,000 a year.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Are you able to get by on the money you make from Wal-Mart?
BEROID: Not at all.
FOREMAN (voice-over): She is part of the protest group, Our Wal- Mart, an association of disgruntled employees. Along with others, they have tried to pressure Wal-Mart in listing members of Congress, city councils, anyone they can arguing the super retailer is essentially exploiting the hunger for jobs. Wal-Mart, however, has pushed back hard, the president and CEO Bill Simon.
BILL SIMON, PRESIDENT, CEO, WAL-MART U.S.: Our pay is in the top half of what retail offers, what our industry offers.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Walmart U.S. cites a litany of numbers to counter the accusations of unfair wages. The company has 1.3 million employees with more than half full time. The average pay is $12.83 an hour, more than $5 above minimum wage and more than the average rate for all hourly salespeople in America.
SIMON: Our management team, our assistant managers start around $55,000 a year and our store managers average about $170,000 a year. So, it is a good opportunity.
FOREMAN (voice-over): The math clearly works for more than 300,000 Wal-Mart employees who have been with the company for more than ten years. But not for Tiffany Beroid and others on the lower edge of the Wal-Mart pay scale.
Why don't you go work for someone else?
BEROID: I've been working for other jobs. It is hard to come by.
FOREMAN: And that, Erin, seem to be one of the chief complaints from some of these people who are upset with Wal-Mart. They are saying look, even if Wal-Mart is understanding, even if they will offer people a chance to work the schedules and move up, that sort of thing, essentially what they are saying is Wal-Mart is simply so powerful in the marketplace that whatever it does creates a de facto base level of employment for a whole community and it affects other businesses too. Wal-Mart, of course, says we're a private business. We're sensitive to the needs of the employees. We are sensitive to the things going on in the economy, but we can't fix everything. This is a private business out there to make profit. It is a fascinating debate, Erin, about the power of private business in a public setting. And what it really does how can be responsible or not.
BURNETT: It is a fascinating debate. When you look at by yourself, will they pay more than everyone else? But, are they the ones bringing down the overall average to begin with?
FOREMAN: And the low prices make a big difference to a lot of people out there.
BURNETT: Right. Thank you to Tom Foreman. And we, of course, we want your point of view. We have the facts laid out here. What do you think?
Well, still to come, desperate for relief. Eight people died in the Philippines today, stampeding for food. We are going to go live to the scene.
Plus Yahoo! is set to sell off some of the most priced web site names ever. We are going to tell which ones.
And who did shoot JFK? Almost 50 years later, people are still obsessed over that question. We sift through conspiracy theories and doubts.
BURNETT: Our fourth story OUTFRONT, 50 years ago this month, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas and today a never-ending stream of conspiracy theories about who did it still casts a cloud over the Texas City.
Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fifty years later, people still come every day point to the sixth floor window, stand on the grassy knoll imaging what that day was like. President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy driving by, smiling, they look down from the school book depository building, imaging what Lee Harvey Oswald saw. The moment gun fire exploded, the piercing echoes through the Dealey plaza.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The flash apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. central standard time.
GARY MACK, 6TH FLOOR MUSEUM CURATOR: Does it amaze me that people come to Dealey plaza 24/7 scratching their heads and pointing? Not at all. The Kennedy assassination story is modern folklore now. People just aren't satisfied with the official story that one man did all that damage, not only to a person but to a country and to the world.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The official story, of course, is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
DR. RONALD JONES, EMERGENCY ROOM DIRECTOR, PARKLAND HOSPITAL: Could every survived this first wound?
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Ronald Jones was one of the emergency room doctors who tried to save President Kennedy and vividly remembers the chaotic moments in the packed operating room of Parkland hospital.
JONES: We knew we were working on the president. We were anxious. We were excited. We were doing what we would do in the care of a normal trauma patient and yet here was the president of the United States. Nobody knew he was dead.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Dr. Jones says the first thing he noticed was a wound on the president's neck.
JONES: Initial impression was that this was an entrance wound and this is an exit wound up here. We had no information as to how he was shot, with what he was shot, who shot him. We had no information whatsoever. We had not seen the film.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Later on, the Warren commission report would determine that neck wound was where the so-called magic bullet exited Kennedy's body before striking Texas governor John Connolly.
JONES: This could have been an entrance wound or an exit wound. And I don't know if anything will ever come up. It has been 50 years and nothing has surfaced yet that would indicate there was a second shooter. Certainly, that possibility exists, but right now I would accept the Warren commission report.
ROBERT GRODEN, KENNEDY CONSPIRACY THEORIST: It is a fairy tale. It didn't happen. No bullet went through both men. LAVANDERA (voice-over): To conspiracy theorists like Robert, the single bullet theory is one of the many problems with the official story.
So, the X in the middle of the road? You put that down there?
GRODEN: Yes. I put that down there 19 years ago.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Robert Groden grew up in New York and moved to Dallas almost 20 years ago, proving the Kennedy assassination conspiracy is his life's mission. You can find him on the Grassy Knoll every weekend, arguing his case.
Do people come out here and say, you're just crazy.
GRODEN: Nobody says that. Nobody. I believe there is, I guess, an amalgamation between the mob and an element within the CIA.
LAVANDERA (on camera): So the CIA and the mob working together is the theory that somehow --
GRODEN: Most people that really know the case are somewhere in that ballpark.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): That is the legacy that still hang over Dealey plaza, one of the most tragic events of the 20th century, still shrouded for many in mystery.
Ed Lavandera CNN, Dallas.
BURNETT: And don't miss the CNN special, "The assassination of President Kennedy" tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern and pacific right here on CNN.
And still to come, desperate for relief in the Philippines. Eight people were killed in the stampede. They were trying to get food. Survival there is on the line. We'll go to the scene now live. It is, of course, Thursday morning there.
Plus, breaking news, a secret meeting about the Benghazi attack, we actually know what was said behind closed doors tonight, a big revelation. That's next.
And would you pay $100,000 for a sandwich? Yes, who hope so? We will explain why.
BURNETT: And welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.
Yahoo! doesn't know what to do with the bunch of random Web site addresses that it bought. So, it's selling about 100 of them in an auction this week. You could buy them. Up for grabs, Sled.com, Raging.com, TrueStory.com. Auction prices range between $1,000 and $1.5 million. AV.com, apparently, is going for the full $1.5 million.
Now, another potentially valuable one is Sandwich.com. It might be more valuable to Cosi, for example, than getcosi.com, which is their current one, or really valuable to Panera Bread, which right now is stuck with PaneraBread.com.
Well, the Obama administration sent an army to Capitol Hill today to persuade lawmakers to halt new sanctions against Iran. This afternoon, Secretary of State John Kerry said if new sanctions are added, that could unravel progress made with Iran on the nuclear program. Senator Mitch McConnell for one is not sold. He thinks the U.S. should ratchet up sanctions against Iran.
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SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: It is pretty obvious that what the administration was promoting is something the Israelis think is a bad deal for them. I think it's a bad deal as well. So, I'd be surprised if we do not have a debate on enhanced Iran sanctions on the defense authorization bill.
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BURNETT: Discussions on that bill are expected to take place next week which is just as talks with Iran are scheduled to resume.
And our fifth story OUTFRONT is the desperate stampede for food. Eight people were killed in the Philippines today when a wall collapsed because mob rushed into a warehouse filled with rice. It gives you a sense of the horrific desperation that people are feeling there right now. Police stood by as people stormed the building, literally climbing over each other, in a desperate, desperate play to get fad. Five days after Super Typhoon Haiyan, the rapidly deteriorating conditions are leading to an utter state of chaos.
Aid is just starting to arrive but getting it to those who need it has been way too slow. The latest death toll is estimated to 2,357 with nearly 4,000 injured. The mayor of Tacloban is urging residents to leave. The problem is it's almost impossible to go anywhere else.
Nick Paton Walsh is there in Tacloban tonight or this morning, of course, for you, Nick.
And, Nick, 600,000 people homeless. No place to go. How is the security situation there when we hear about stampedes of people just to get rice?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, I think people are wrapped up in the fear of lawlessness here in Tacloban. In the city, yesterday, I heard stories, fears of sexual assaults, attacks even with children in some ways. No evidence to back that up that we saw. But that's consuming people I think a sense of father of what criminals may be up to or even some rebel militia groups that are roaming in this particular part of the world.
We encountered some of those fears ourselves when we ventured out from this city of Tacloban south to get an idea of the level of devastation.
WALSH (voice-over): We drove south away from storm Yolanda's epicenter to answer the question, how far had the destruction spread? It took about 40 kilometers before life breathed easier. But then the storm left other dangers. Police warned us of bandits ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The civilians are being shot by allegedly by these rebels.
WALSH (on camera): By the rebels?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WALSH: OK. Why are they doing this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe they're looking for food.
WALSH (voice-over): We turned back toward the heart of the chaos.
(on camera): As we're closer towards the eye of the storm, signs of the devastation begins to grow, and while many of the trees here are left standing, you can see telegraph poles bend at a slight angle, a sign of the sheer ferocity of what passed through here.
(voice-over): They warned us again of bandits at this school, where the smallest are hungry and sick and where the storm Yolanda was so fantastical in its power, it came straight from Hollywood's own apocalypse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like the movie "2012", Storm Yolanda.
WALSH (on camera): Are you scared?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, super. Super scared.
WALSH (voice-over): The basics have struggled, cues for little gas remains. Trees are scattered lake matchsticks as you approach the town of Palo. It's two church spires standing defiantly, although 800 people died here in this town of 60,000.
Some hear where water surged, the winds tearing the back off the house and from the relatives across the river.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the one barangay which was flooded. So they're missing and three grandchildren including her.
WALSH: Death has been more dignified in Palo than the bodies left on the streets of neighboring Tacloban, even though life itself remains a shell of what it was.
The mayor had mass graves dug fast and now gives free calls to loved ones, medicine, even bureaucracy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of them died out of the waters. We have survived this far, so I think we can rebuild it.
WALSH: The job of simply cleaning up so mammoth, healing seems a distant idea.
WALSH: Now, what we've seen there in that trip was how in many ways, we believe this city, the impact of the storm left some devastation but an organized effort is getting back life put back to normal, but at least conscious of where the future could lie. That makes the failure of the government to respond here in the main city just so remarkable.
We went through the town twice in the morning and the afternoon. The same bodies we had seen earlier still lying in the street, that smell of death, putrid flesh really hard for people to stomach here if they're even staying in the city itself, and an obvious health hazard.
The question now really focusing on the government relief effort: can they return this enormous city of 225,000, Tacloban City, into a place where people can actually live? Or the scene you're seeing behind me, a steady flow of people with suitcases trying to get on any plane that will take them out of here. Is that going to continue? And is that really heralding what kind of future there is for this city, because simply, there's not much left to rebuild, Erin.
BURNETT: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much for your reporting.
And now, a secret hearing on Benghazi. It's been more than a year since the deadly attack at the American consulate in Benghazi and lawmakers say they're still waiting for the truth. Now, they're questioning witnesses during private hearings. So, what can't they ask in the public forum?
OUTFRONT tonight, Drew Griffin. He's been digging into Benghazi from the beginning.
And, Drew, what happened in the secret hearings today?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the reason the hearings were secret, Erin, is because they are finally hearing -- these congressmen are hearing from CIA personnel who are on the ground in Benghazi. That was one of the big holes they were telling us they were not getting. So they wanted to hear from them. They did apparently hear from them, and whom they heard from was the security specialist, security personnel, who were assign to protect the CIA in its mission in Benghazi.
And we just did really get some new information on all of that from, the committee itself, Erin.
And they're basically saying that although there's been a lot of talk of discrepancies, there was not much discrepancy in what they found. In fact, if I can just read from you what they are telling us, all the CIA activities in Benghazi were legal and authorized. On the record testimony establishes the CIA was not sending weapons from Libya to Syria, or facilitating any other organization from doing that.
And this document I just received, Erin, also puts down the idea that anybody from the CIA has been prevented from talking. Something that the CIA has told us regardless of our reporting that said the other way.
This is from the House committee. They have said they found no CIA officer who has been forced to undergo polygraphs as we have reported or to sign nondisclosure agreements, specific to Benghazi or otherwise, dissuaded or punished for wanting to speak to Congress.
So, it appears that some of these big questions are being asked and answered in what has been a closed door hearing today and from what we understand, a closed door hearing tomorrow.
BURNETT: And interesting. There's a lot of people are going to hear what you're saying there, Drew, and say, well, first of all, people are going to be surprised, I think, a lot of people thought there was some sort of weapons transfer going on in some way. And as you yourself have record, on polygraph. So these do fly in the face of other reporting out there.
I mean, do you think that there is ever going to be a set of formal answers? Why is this a closed door secret hearing any way?
GRIFFIN: Well, it involves the CIA. A lot of what the CIA does is secret and is supposed to be secret. And that's why you have this House Permanent Intelligence Committee, the same thing in the Senate. These are representatives who are, have security clearance to get this information and maybe we don't like it because we're not going to hear everything in detail. But these are the filters for the American public to make sure that they have oversight over these secret missions, even though they're not going to share the details with us.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Drew Griffin, we appreciate it, as always.
All right. And still to come, stunning new images of Saturn. We're going to tell you how much a sight-seeing tour would set you back. Yes, we did actually find a way to put a number on that.
Plus, embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford answers his critics today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: The reason I drank or did drugs was not because of stressful. It was out of sheer stupidity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Our seventh story OUTFRONT: Rob Ford says, quote, "I f'd up." The Toronto City Council voted 37-5 today to ask the embattled mayor to take a leave of absence. Again, I have to emphasize the word "ask". The council does not have the power to force Ford out and, in fact, he made it pretty darn clear, he's not going anywhere.
Today's council meeting turned into a confessional for Ford. We're going to play a lot of this because you have to see it to believe it. Let's start with this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORD: These mistakes was not in this council chamber. It was in my personal life I sincerely apologize. I understand the embarrassment I caused every member of this council. I understand the embarrassment that I've caused every resident in the city. I'm humiliated by it, but I cannot change the past.
The reason I drank or did drugs was not because of stress. It was out of sheer stupidity. That's all it was.
So, I'm not going on blame something. I'm not going to use an excuse or a cop-out. I take full responsibility for my mistakes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Mayor, do you still have zero tolerance for drugs, guns and gangs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you purchased illegal drugs in the last two years?
FORD: Yes, I have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
BURNETT: You know, Bill Weir is here with me tonight, CNN anchor. Of course, you want to laugh. You hear that person saying "be careful, be careful." But you also kind of choke up, this is hard to watch.
BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR: You can see his gears grinding, right?
WEIR: But he knows what the police know. There are hundreds of pages, mostly redacted right now, but it's coming out in drips and drabs, a year-long investigation, pinned mostly to gang involvement but now a long time buddy, sometime driver, now indicted on drug dealing.
And this new stuff that came today, Erin, it reads like a John Belushi biography. It really does. Now, this is information the cops gave to a judge who try to get search warrants, or hasn't been proven in court but they interviewed former staffers, waiters, bartenders, and there are allegations he snorted cocaine, popped OxyContin while drunk, pulled over to chug vodka and Gatorade while behind the wheel, was abusive to female staffers, some really horrible language used. Then, he would veer into crying rants about his late father, doing football sprints in his office, in an agitated state.
Again, not proven but it lines up as a guy who really, really needs some help.
BURNETT: Really, really need some help. And, you know, there were a lot of heated moments. I mean, you watch that, you see the person confessing. As you said, the length of that pause, I mean, just in and of itself. You have a window.
His younger brother was there also in the council, which is kind of an interesting part of the story. They look a like. The brother is a little bit smaller but still a big guy. But he went after people. Let me play that and get your take on it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG FORD, BROTHER OF MAYOR ROB FORD: The question is, have you ever smoked marijuana? Have you ever smoked marijuana? Hold it. Have you ever smoked marijuana? It is a question. A simple yes or a no, have you smoked marijuana?
The answer I guess is yes. The answer is yes, I guess. I want everyone else to stand up those who tried smoking marijuana.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Counselor Ford --
FORD: Don't come across that you're holier than thou, OK, because you aren't, you are not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Order!
FORD: Have you ever drunk? Have you ever driven?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Counselor Ford --
FORD: Careful about throwing rocks. If you ever done drugs --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Counselor Ford.
FORD: I know the answer. I know the answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Like he said, out of a movie.
WEIR: You got to figure, his brother is his attack dog, his confidant, his consigliore. They went into this thing. We're going to play the hypocrisy card.
WEIR: And the major upped the ante later in this day-long hearing when he put forward a motion that all members of the Toronto City Council should be hair tested by drugs by December 1st and he'll pay for it. It got a laugh when it went up on the board. The gallery burst into laughter but the hair test is interesting because when the first crack video allegations surfaced and he denied it, he almost shaved his head and the speculation among city hall is he wants to duck a hair drug test.
BURNETT: I have to say, they didn't say no when he asked about the marijuana. I guess the answer is yes. I know it's kind of moot.
WEIR: Marijuana versus crack, argument.
BURNETT: They are different.
BURNETT: Yes, a little bit.
WEIR: Relative morals, I suppose.
BURNETT: OK. What's going to surprise people, though, is this guy is not giving up. I mean, he's not giving up at all. We'll play one more thing and get your take because I know you were up there with voters, so you got a real take on this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB FORD: I think I've said everything I really could say today. There is not much to add. Apologizing and saying sorry, you can only say that so many times. There's nothing else to say, guys. I -- I really f'ed up and that's it.
I was elected to come down here to straighten this mess out. I know I've done a great job running the city, saving taxpayers money and putting us on the right path. I'm going to continue doing that. I'm so proud of the record that I have. I can't wait until the election.
Obviously, the campaign started, and I'll be doing everything I've done for the last 13 years, returning calls, watching every dime, going to people's homes and fighting for the little guy in the city. And if you want to carry this on, I can't stop you. I'm moving on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: You got to hand it to him, when it comes to politics, this guys got a giant set. He is using -- I've never seen -- first, it felt like an intervention but for him this was a campaign opportunity.
WEIR: He was on his stump speech while people were trying to caulk him into a clinic somewhere and to commit. The poll numbers had been slipping a little bit here. He had a lot of support, even after admitting he smoked crack.
We found a lot of people agreed with him. Don Cherry, who's this legendary hockey announcer up in Canada, said hey, I think he's an awesome mayor if you take away the personal stuff. But when you talk to people, there are a lot of different flavors of resentment, there's lying, admitting to breaking the law.
But then I met this gentlemen right outside of city hall, he bares a streaking resembles. His name is Jack Mosshammer, he is an actor and he was posing with a bag of Doritos, which is a favorite of Mayor Ford and a football.
And I went to up and said, he said this is a protest and his answer as to why he is angry is interesting. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: What are you hoping happens next?
JACK MOSSHAMMER, ACTOR: What I would really like is an apology. He apologized to the people of Toronto. He said it's one of the hardest, most embarrassing thing he had to do but apologizing to one constituent, which he's hoping for a run in 2014 and apologizing to the people in Toronto in general. That's a very easy thing to do. But he hasn't apologized to the people who he knew were telling the truth he called liars, the reporters that said they seen the tape and called them liars and hurt their reputations as reporters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: Yes, they really demonized a lot of reporters on this story for awhile and no apologies to them.
BURNETT: Right. We will see. I got to say, he's a character and charisma and tragedy, all in one.
BURNETT: Bill Weir, thank you very much. If you missed Bill's story on the mayor scandal when he went to Toronto, trust me, it was fantastic. Please go to our blog, CNN.com/OutFront, so you can watch it in full.
And OUTFRONT next, new stunning images of Saturn and the price tag for you to get them.
BURNETT: An amazing image released by NASA. A panorama of 141 wide angle pictures captured by a Cassini spacecraft on July 19th. We just got it and it gives one of the most detailed looks at the area of Saturn.
Now, as you can see in the image, Earth appears as a bright blue dot on the lower right so you can see right there. Venus is on the upper left. And Mars appears as a faint red dot above and to the left of Venus.
The image covers more than 400,000 miles, which brings us to tonight's number: 746 million miles. That's a distance between Saturn and the Earth when the two planets are at the closest and when they're on opposite sides of the sun, they could be a billion years apart because of the elliptical orbit.
It sounds like a lot but doesn't take long to get there, because in 2006, NASA launch the new Horizon space spacecraft. It took only two years and four months to get to Saturn, which was pretty incredible, doable. So, how much would a trip to Saturn cost the average tourist, if you actually wanted to see that yourself?
Well, we looked at tickets on the Virgin Galactic, right? They currently cost $250,000 for two and a half hours in space. So, using that rate, we extrapolated it should cost a space tourist $2 billion each way to go sightseeing in Saturn.
That's one way, doesn't include snacks, upgrade, things like that, food, you know? But we figured no one would spend more than 20 percent of their worth so we looked at people worth a lot of money, $20 billion or more.
So, imagine five years on a round trip tour to Saturn, up close and personal time with Sergey Brin of Google, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Vladimir Putin, all of them easily have that money.
The question is, which one would you want to sit next to for five years? Let me know on Twitter @Erin Burnett or @OutFrontCNN.
"AC360" starts now.