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Interview With Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Winter Storm; Toronto Mayor Back in Headlines

Aired January 21, 2014 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey. Welcome to a very wintry cold edition of "A.C. 360."

It is about 12 degrees here in New York City, in the grips of a winter storm, the likes of which we have not seen so far this season. As I said, it's about 12 degrees. There's about eight inches of snow on the ground so far, more than a foot expected by morning time.

And it's not just here in New York City. All across the Northeast and major metropolitan areas, they have been hit hard and continue to be hit hard by this wintry weather, also which cut a trail across the Northern Plains.

We have got correspondents all throughout the region covering the storm from a lot of different angles.

But, first, I want to give you a big picture on what is a very big storm.


COOPER (voice-over): Dangerous driving conditions around D.C. send this car spinning out of control on the Beltway. Federal officials were taking no chances, the nation's capital closed for business, federal offices shuttered and the president's schedule scaled back as the city braces for accumulations for up to 10 inches of snow.

As far west as Iowa, winter weather plagued commuters. Traffic on I-80 was backed up for hours after this tractor-trailer jackknifed, leading to multiple collisions of cars crashing into this ditch.

Lake-effect snow continues to wallop the Midwest with parts of Indiana in near-whiteout conditions. Snow was falling up to two inches per hour. Chicago also hit with lake-effect snow, more than eight inches overnight. And, today, massive winds swept into the Windy City, shown here in this time-lapse photography, bringing with them even more frigid air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Windchill temperatures will be dragging temperatures into the negative teens. These are extremely dangerous conditions that we expect to continue through tomorrow and strongly urge residents to exercise caution over the next few days.

COOPER: In Ohio, the governor has declared a statewide energy emergency due to a subzero temperatures and a propane and heating oil shortage. States of emergency too for Delaware and New York, as nearly the entire Eastern Seaboard braces for a very long, snowy and cold night.


COOPER: And it's been a very long and cold day, I can tell you that.

They're still plowing the sidewalks here around Columbus Circle in Midtown Manhattan. And all day long, throughout the city, people have been out, trying to clear the streets three, four, five times, because the snow just keeps on coming down.


COOPER: Want to check in with Athena Jones, who is Washington, D.C. The nation's capital basically has come to a halt.

They actually shut down things yesterday, didn't they, Athena?


They shut down the federal government today, closed down many of the school systems in the area. Some parts of the government have been open today. The Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments. The Smithsonian museums were open.

But I can tell you, it's been snowing now for 12 hours, with a little bit of a break a few hours ago, but during it's been snowing. It's beginning to taper off, but the National Weather Service's winter storm warning is in effect for this area until 11:00 p.m., so we could see this go on, at least through the next hour.

I want to show you what the snow is like around here. It's very light snow. You can blow it. It's not so great for building the snowman and that sort of thing that we have seen people around here trying to do all day. That may be why some students I spoke with earlier were making a snow Jabba the Hutt, because it's closer to the ground.

But, of course, despite all the fun some people have been having, this really is about dangerous temperatures and dangerous conditions outside. The National Weather Service has also put out a windchill advisory. Right now, it's about 21 degrees, but six degrees with the windchill factored in. And the National Weather Service says it could get down to five to 15 degrees below zero tonight.

And so they're warning everyone, if you're out and about, be like me. Wear a hat and gloves and several layers, if you can. But if you don't have to be outside, stay inside -- Anderson.

COOPER: We have seen Washington freak out when it snows even with a little bit, but this is the most snow, I understand, that they have had since like 2011?

JONES: Right. There was a big storm in January, late January of 2011.

And so this is looking like, with an accumulation expected between four and eight inches, the larger accumulations will be outside of the downtown part of D.C., to the north and west outside the Capital Beltway. But it's still a lot of snow and people aren't used to around here. But it's been very, very helpful having the government closed, having the schools closed.

We really haven't seen a lot of traffic out on the roads. We have seen snowplows out on the city streets and on the highways trying to make sure that they're clear and passable, laying down salt, plowing sidewalks. And so they have tried to be on top of this, the city has, but it's certainly been helpful not having a lot of cars on the street.

One more warning I should mention from the National Weather Service, they say that because traveling in this kind of weather, the blowing snow and the ice, potentially icy roads, people should only travel in an emergency. If they do decide to get in their car, they should make sure they have food, water, a blanket and flashlights just in case something goes wrong -- Anderson.

COOPER: Good advice. I hope you get warm tonight, Athena. Thanks very much.

Let's check in with Maggie Lake, who is in Sea Bright, New Jersey, along the Jersey Shore so damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

How are things there tonight?

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, we are dealing with very high winds, blowing snow and frigid temperatures.

We're in Monmouth County, which was one of the hard -- is going to be one of the hardest-hit, along with Long Island. One of the things that we don't, though, the good news is we don't have the flooding.

Just behind me is, of course, the ocean, the beach clubs and this town so hard-hit, devastated. So it's a relief that we don't have the flooding that sometimes comes with coastal storms. But I want to show you what the problem is.

These roads are absolutely packed down with ice. The storm started here in New Jersey about four hours earlier than anyone expected. It has made travel absolutely treacherous, over 280 accidents in New Jersey. They do have a state of emergency here. Traffic was gnarled all day. There's a lot of concern, officials asking people to stay off the road.

Right now, based on what we're seeing, the occasional plow, it looks like people are heeding that advice. But that's going to be a big issue tomorrow morning when we face a commute once again -- Anderson.

COOPER: And it took you a long time just to get out there, and it's not that far away.

LAKE: No, it took us absolute hours. All of the roads were a parking lot. And it's been the case right around the tristate area.

And this cold weather, we should also mention, Anderson, a little bit of a worry and a hit. Remember, we have got a Super Bowl happening in the Garden State, in New Jersey, in just a couple of weeks. It's outside. These very cold temperatures, everyone hoping we don't see a repeat for that big game, but right now very hard to get around here, but most of the traffic, people are off the roads right now and again officials hoping they stay there.

COOPER: All right. Well, hope you get warm tonight.

There have been obviously traffic difficulties all throughout the Northeast, particularly at airports. We will give you an update on that when we come back.

Also, we will talk to Mayor Giuliani about the latest allegations against Governor Chris Christie, who is obviously a close friend of Mayor Giuliani's.

And also new troubles for the Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, a new video in which the mayor acknowledges he was drunk. He's fallen off the wagon. We will show you the video ahead.


COOPER: Hey. Welcome back to "AC360 Later," a special edition.

We are obviously outside, where it's about 12 degrees, expected to go lower tonight, about eight inches of snow throughout the city of New York, as much as a foot expected, though, by tomorrow morning.


COOPER: I want to check in with Poppy Harlow, who is not too far from where I am, about -- should be about an hour drive out on Eastern Long Island.

But, Poppy, it took you, what, like four hours to get out there?


POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Four hours, a complete nightmare on the roads.

We took the Long Island Expressway and about every other eastern roadway you could try to take to get out here. It took us four-plus hours. I was looking at the speedometer. We never went over 10 miles per hour, which is pretty insane.

This is like a ghost town, Anderson. I mean, we're in the North Shore of Long Island, Fort Washington, and no one is out right now. I was listening to Chad saying he has six layers on, some sort of Red Hot Chili Peppers shirt, something like that. He's dressing like a meteorologist. We are not.

We also saw folks out here without any jackets. I'm braving it. I'm from Minnesota, and I am freezing. Maybe I'm just a wimp, but it feels like negative three. It's about eight degrees. And the issue here is, yes, you have got 10 inches of snow, but the other issue here is how cold it is.

It's not going to get over 14 degrees all day tomorrow. That means these roads that are already awful are going to get worse and worse and worse. A lot of folks out here live and commute in New York City. They had a heck of a time getting home.

And they're likely not going to go into the city on the roads tonight. You know, we're going to try to take a late-night train into the city. But it's a state of emergency here. I think almost all the schools out here are going to be closed tomorrow morning. But it is beautiful and it's kind of fun. And I can't complain.


COOPER: You know, a lot of people -- I always get like takeout at night. All the places are closed for food and stuff, so you're sort of -- I imagine stuff there in -- is also closed.

HARLOW: Well, we got the pizza. Right? We talked about that at 8:00. We got the pizza. That was great. Thank you to the guys there.

Went to the wine shop, Anderson, which we also talked about, hoping to get some wine for the team. We have got Bob Bikel, Ronni Berke, the producers here, truck op, hoping to buy them a bottle of wine, because it's not been a great day for all of them.

It is closed, to my dismay. Very sorry about that. But you learn a lot about your team when you're out here, like Bob, our cameraman, told us this is nothing, because he used to operate a lift at a ski resort. And then Ronni told me she's never going to live in Alaska. So you learn things. You get close and cozy when you're out here with folks, because what else you going to do?

COOPER: All right. Well, I hope you get some more pizza. Appreciate it, Poppy. Thanks very much.


COOPER: I want to check in with Ted Rowlands, who is in Chicago.

Ted, earlier in the program, we showed kind of a time-lapse image of snow going into Chicago. It looked brutally cold there. How is it now?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it feels brutally cold. It has for the last day-and-a-half. It's around zero right now, and with the windchills, of course, it means we're well below zero. We got hammered with the snow last night, and then the lake-effect snow kicked in during the day today. The commute this morning from O'Hare into the city, Anderson, was over two hours. Normally, it's 35 minutes, 40 minutes. And then, tonight, the rush hour was just as bad going east towards Gary, Indiana. It's been a nightmare.

The good news, though, for us is that we're warming up to 20 degrees tomorrow, while you folks in the east continue with the frigid temperatures. We're looking forward to tomorrow, because it's been brutal.

COOPER: All right, Ted, I appreciate that. I hope you get warm tonight.

Jason Carroll is joining us not too far from here a little bit in Uptown Manhattan, by Columbia University.

Jason, I know you have been out throughout the day. A lot of snowball -- a lot of kids up there at Columbia University. For them, this must be a lot of fun.


Let me give you a look around here so you can see what is happening.

Why don't you give them a little shot here? This is what they do every single time, Anderson, there's a huge snowstorm. They end up having a snowball fight, hundreds of students out here getting pummelled.

I need defense out here. We need defense. Let me go to some of -- one of my friends over here we have been talking to, some of these guys.

Now they're going to get it.

Every year, you guys come out here and do this kind of stuff and get this abuse. Tell me, is it worth it all? Give us a second to talk. Is it worth it coming out doing all this

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It's very cold. It's miserable. I hate it.

CARROLL: Cold, miserable. You got that on your face.


CARROLL: I know this is the city that never sleeps, but literally this is one way of trying to stay warm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sucks, but you have to be out here and do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, snowball part two.

CARROLL: Snowball part two, Anderson, part three. COOPER: All right.

CARROLL: Actually, if you take a look around here, you can see hundreds of students have actually gathered all around the campus here.

They're planning to stay here until about midnight. This is their way of staying warm here at Columbia University, getting in with the snow, which, as you can see down here, it's light, it's fluffy. Hard to make a snowball, but they're trying and they're doing a pretty good job.

I think I need a little defense out here.

CARROLL: All right, Jason. We will let you go. Good luck on getting out of that one.

CARROLL: Thanks a lot -- back to you.

COOPER: Yes. All right.


COOPER: All right. Thanks.

Glad I don't have that assignment.

When we come back, the day's other news. I'm going to go inside and get warm. But go -- before I was in the news, I used to stare at the TV and watch people outside in the cold and think, why don't they just go instead?

So, we're going to go inside for the other day's news. We're going to talk to Mayor Rudy Giuliani about the latest allegations against Governor Chris Christie.

And, also, the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, back in the headlines, another video now, a new video of him believed to have been taken last night. The mayor admits he was drunk. We will show you the video. And it's pretty obvious he was pretty out of him.

We will be right back.


COOPER: One of Christie's biggest defenders, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has downplayed Governor Mayor Zimmer's allegations. He's also called the bridge investigation a partisan witch-hunt.

He joins me tonight.

Thank you very much for being with us, Mr. Mayor.

So, what do you make of these allegations from the mayor of Hoboken? She now says she has these letters that she sent to the governor's office before this meeting with the lieutenant governor that, according to her, show a pattern of pressure related to development project and Sandy aid. Do you think believe has any credibility?

RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Well, look, I don't know.

I don't -- haven't seen the letters. I don't know the background of all this. Having spent more of my time in a courtroom than I have in politics, I think there are a lot of questions about the mayor's statement. I mean, the mayor didn't make this statement until recently, until the witch-hunt began, until all the other Democrats kind of weighed in.

She was saying just a few months ago that he was a great governor. She actually, at one point just a short while ago, denied there was any connection between pressure and endorsing the mayor -- any threats with regard to endorsing the governor, rather.

So look, there are a of what we would call as lawyers prior contradictory statements to the statement she's now making.

COOPER: But let me ask you about that, because...

GIULIANI: And the lieutenant governor denies it. The lieutenant governor says it's not true.

COOPER: But somebody is not telling the truth. Either -- it's either the mayor of Hoboken or the lieutenant governor.

GIULIANI: No question about that.

COOPER: Their stories are completely contradictory.

But just because -- she did say prior -- previously, the mayor said that Christie was not pressuring her based on not giving an endorsement, as you said. And even last night on my program, she said that Christie has done great things for Hoboken, that he's done great things for the state.

So the fact that she is still in some ways a Christie supporter, her supporters would say that actually lends credibility to her argument, that she's not part of some sort of partisan attack.

GIULIANI: And what takes credibility from it is that she knew this for quite some time and didn't come forward with it, even though it did significant damage to her citizens.

COOPER: She said she didn't think anybody would believe her.



GIULIANI: Well, I would like to see if I wouldn't come forward with an allegation like that if it hurt the people of the city of New York because I was afraid people wouldn't believe me. That's a heck of a thing to say.

These threats are made to you by a lieutenant governor, threats that will hurt the people of your city, and you're afraid to come forward with them until there's a whole big witch-hunt that starts that you can join? So, come on. There are real questions about this.

And the reality is, this is a witch-hunt. The person who is running this investigation now joined it looks to me like every Democrat in the legislature, this person announced before it even started that Governor Christie isn't telling the truth.

How would we allow someone to run a Senate committee as an impartial arbiter who had already announced that the person that is at the top of the investigation isn't telling the truth? That person -- that assemblyman -- I think it's Wisniewski -- should recuse himself, shouldn't he?

COOPER: Well, he was on the program last night. He says -- he's not willing to say that he believes the mayor of Hoboken. He's now saying, look, we have to let the investigation play out.

GIULIANI: Anderson, I'm not talking about the mayor of Hoboken. I'm saying that Wisniewski announced a week ago that Chris Christie is not telling the truth.

Now, how can he be an impartial arbiter of this thing? They really should go select a more impartial person to do it, if they want to give it any sense of fairness.

COOPER: When you were here just after the bridge scandal broke, you said that the unfortunate thing for Governor Christie is that if something happens that reinforces a stereotype about you, in this case that Christie is a bully, you said that's when it becomes a big deal. Is there a danger of that now with these newest allegations?

GIULIANI: Absolutely. Absolutely. And that's why they're doing it.

These are not ineffective politicians.


COOPER: But do you think the mayor of Hoboken is part of being promoted by the DNC? I asked her last night, has she been in contact with the DNC? She said she doesn't even know who is head of the DNC, she has no connections.

GIULIANI: She doesn't have to be part of it. She can see the handwriting on the wall.

I would expect that other mayors will now come forward, listing whatever gripe they have. What I'm saying about her allegation -- and I'm not saying she's not telling the truth or she isn't -- but if we want to use the standard test for whether someone is telling the truth, prior inconsistent statements, prior behavior inconsistent with what she is saying now. She's threatened. She's threatened in a way that will hurt the people of her city. She doesn't come forward with it until all of this comes out. So those are things that have to be taken into consideration if you're running a fair investigation that lends a certain degree of lack of credibility to what she's saying.

On the other hand, the lieutenant governor doesn't have any prior inconsistent statements, doesn't have any prior inconsistent behavior. So you have to weigh those two things if you want to be fair. But I don't believe that this committee wants to be fair, when the person running it has already announced that the governor is a liar.

COOPER: You -- you have a close relationship with the governor, obviously. We have talked about that before...


COOPER: ... on many occasions.

According to one report I read, Christie has had at least, I think, eight of your former aides working for him, including Bridget Anne Kelly, who you know, was named as the one who contacted the guy in the Port Authority, who's now been fired by Governor Christie. What is Bridget Anne Kelly like? She worked for you. Do you know her well?

GIULIANI: I don't know her.

COOPER: You don't know her? She worked for your -- your presidential campaign. She was low-level.

GIULIANI: She worked somewhere in my presidential campaign. I don't remember, you know, what she did or coming into contact with her there. I did come into contact with her since she's been working with Governor Christie, however. She seemed like a very fine person to me, but I really have very little knowledge about her.

COOPER: What happens now? I mean, there's not just -- you know, you say this is a political witch hunt, the legislature investigation. But there's also a prosecutor looking into it. I mean, a state attorney looking into this.

GIULIANI: There is. There's a prosecutor looking into this. And, you know, that I think is a different story. The United States attorney's office in New Jersey, although the prosecutor is appointed by President Obama, and it's a Democratic administration. The prosecutor, who I know somewhat about, I know his reputation, has a very, very fine reputation.

I think that's a very different kind of situation, and where you're more likely to get an impartial inquiry. As opposed to all the Democrats, both houses now seeing plenty of television time.

And I do -- Anderson, I keep repeating it, but I do find it -- as a former associate attorney general and United States attorney, I find it strange that the person in charge comes out and announces his conclusion before the investigation even begins. I think that's very, very strange.

COOPER: Let me ask you, as a former prosecutor, what would you -- I mean, had the mayor of Hoboken, you know, back when she said she had this conversation with the lieutenant governor, gone to legal authorities and said, "Look, I'm being strong-armed," I mean, what do you think she should have done as mayor if, in fact, that conversation took place?

GIULIANI: She should have -- she should have reported it then. She's reporting it now. She should have reported it then. And she could have possibly freed up the money for her city that she felt they were entitled to. She almost had a fiduciary obligation to come forward with it at that point, rather than sitting on it, because she alleges she was afraid.

So you have either one of two things could have happened. This happened; she was afraid; she didn't come forward. Kind of strange that she wouldn't. Doesn't seem like a very strong mayor that wouldn't come forward and fight for the people of her city.

Gosh, I fought for the people of my city when people thought I wasn't telling the truth.

COOPER: She basically said she was intimidated. She's a, you know, former stay-at-home mom who got involved in politics to, like, build a park in her neighborhood. That's what she said last night.

GIULIANI: Gosh, she doesn't look too intimidated right now.

COOPER: Let me ask you...

GIULIANI: Something happened.

COOPER: Let me ask you...

GIULIANI: Something happened to her, something happened to her. I don't know, she might have been -- had a conversion of some kind or other.

COOPER: Let me ask you...

GIULIANI: Doesn't look too intimidated to me when I see her on TV. She looks pretty -- pretty determined.

COOPER: The former GOP candidate for governor of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, tonight on CNN said Christie should step down as head of the Republican Governors Association. Do you agree with that?

GIULIANI: I don't agree with that. I think this is part of, you know, what happens when the snowball effect -- I think we are when we were when we first talked about this, Anderson.

And is he telling the truth or isn't he telling the truth? If he is telling the truth, then I think this is a situation where something bad happened but he handled it correctly. He held people accountable. We don't have to repeat it, but there are a lot of situations in which bad things happen and nobody took accountability. The president, the secretary of state. Nobody was held accountable; nobody fired.

I think if he -- if he's telling the truth, and he handled it that way, this thing turns out to be a problem, but one that has another side to it.

If he's not telling the truth and, particularly with a U.S. attorney's investigation, I think we'll find that out. And then of course, his political career is in grave jeopardy, and all these bad things will happen.

COOPER: Mayor Giuliani...

GIULIANI: I think we have to give it time. I think we have to give it time. Calm it down, give it time, and we're going to find out the truth here. It might take six months, but we'll find out.

COOPER: Mayor Giuliani, it's good to have you on the program. I appreciate it.

GIULIANI: Thank you, Anderson. And bear up well under the snow there.

COOPER: All right. I'm not going to ask you about the Toronto mayor, by the way, because that's our next story. I'm not going to -- I'm going to let you off the hook on that one. But you don't want to comment on that, Mayor.

GIULIANI: That's for a -- that's for a psychiatrist.

COOPER: That's true.

GIULIANI: That's for a psychiatrist.

COOPER: We'll hand that over to Dr. Drew or something.

Mayor, thank you very much.

Coming up, as I said, Toronto's they your Rob Ford is back, and just as bizarre ever in a new YouTube video that has surfaced. We're going to show you the video. He admits he was drinking when the cameras were rolling. It's pretty obvious he was.


COOPER: Perhaps it shouldn't be much of a surprise, but Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford is back in the headlines after weeks of attention surrounding his admission that he smoked crack, probably while in a drunken stupor, according to him. It seemed like every day, there was a new clip of him acting, well, kind of out of control.

Then it got quiet for a while. And now this.




COOPER: That was posted on YouTube today. Now, if you can make out even a quarter of what he's saying, you're doing better than I am.

Mayor Rob Ford did speak to reporters about this today. He appeared to be speaking in sort of a Jamaican accent. He admitted, basically, that he was drinking last night. Here's what he said. It's an audio only interview. Let's listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you drinking last night?

FORD: A little bit, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that video was offensive to people?

FORD: No, I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life and with my personal friends that's up to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Ford, you said some stuff about the police chief.

FORD: It has nothing to do with you guys. It's my own time and my own friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you use drugs last night?

FORD: No, no, no.


COOPER: For the record, he was holding court in a fast-food restaurant, it looked like.

Paula Newton joins me now live. So Rob Ford, I mean, this thing is -- just a week ago he told a reporter that he doesn't drink, didn't he?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and probably more than that, Anderson, because his brother was asked just a few hours ago, "Was that your brother on the tape?"

And he said, "No, it couldn't have been. I talked to him at 10:30" and that he was fine.

So clearly, he's not just telling me and everyone else that he's not drinking. He's telling his family that he's not drinking.

And then he comes out and says, "Yes, I had a few drinks. I was talking to friends," really, Anderson, trying to put it into a box. His own, you know, unfortunately very confusing right now personal box. That is just not going to wash with many people.

I've been speaking to counselors for weeks now. You know, Anderson, they had a terrible ice storm in Toronto. It could be upwards of a quarter billion dollars in damage. They want someone who's going to run the city, who can show that they're competent enough to run the city.

Rob Ford is hanging on. I spoke to his lawyer. He says there's nothing in that video that would indicate that he's in any legal trouble, no trouble with his job, at least more than he already has been. And yes, it's obvious he's fallen off the wagon and that he's facing some hurdles in trying to deal with what is clearly substance abuse.

COOPER: I mean, you know, people make fun of it all the time, but I mean, obviously, this is the real issue, that clearly, he's dealing with something very serious here. It's hard to understand exactly what he's saying in this video. Can you explain any of what he's talking about? He does seem to be using a Jamaican accent.

NEWTON: You know, I wish I couldn't explain it, but know in fact, I can. What he's talking about very clearly, in an accent that many people would find offensive, is the fact the police were in a surveillance operation, an intensive surveillance operation that did cost millions of dollars, 24/7, to find out if the mayor was doing anything illegal.

Extraordinary, because then he goes on to also criticize the police chief that he employs. It is an incredible set of events that he would be going on in this video about legal issues that are still before the courts.

Now as I've said, his lawyer says he didn't do anything illegal, but the people of Toronto have got to be shaking their heads, especially after what they have gone through in the last weeks and months.

COOPER: It's also pathetic, him saying he's hanging out with his friends and this is his private time. If these are his friends he's hanging out with, he needs to get a better group of friends who, like, could tell him, "You know what? A drunken rant in a fast-food restaurant late at night is just not a good idea." And obviously, someone who seemed to be videotaping.

All right, Paula, appreciate the update.

"Keeping Them Honest" tonight, an aspiring governor is under fire tonight for allegedly blurring the facts of her life story, stretching the truth to the point where, well, some say they feel misled or worse.

Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis became a Democratic superstar last summer with her marathon filibuster of strict abortion regulations. Now that she's running for bigger office, she's made her life story really the centerpiece of her campaign, and it's certainly a compelling story, a teenage single mom who pulled herself out of a trailer park and into a better life with grit, gumption and financial aid.

"Keeping Them Honest," though, that story, as compelling as it is, doesn't stand up to the facts. Here's Ed Lavandera.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sporting pink tennis shoes, Wendy Davis spent around 11 hours last summer filibustering a controversial abortion Bill in the Texas legislature.

It was a wild, rowdy night inside the Texas capital. She emerged as the great hope of Texas Democrats to reclaim the governor's seat, which Republicans have controlled since 1994.


LAVANDERA: Davis's personal journey of struggle and hard work seems tailor-made for an inspirational political campaign, a young, divorced single mother, a meteoric rise out of the trailer park to Harvard Law School and on to a legal and then political career.

But then some discrepancies in the story uncovered this week by the "Dallas Morning News." While the basics are true -- Davis, a poor, single mother working multiple jobs, graduates from college and Harvard Law School. But a closer look suggests the exact details are more elusive.

For example...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom started out, like many folks do, in a very tough spot. She was raised by a single mother with a sixth- grade education.

LAVANDERA: Now Davis says her mother dropped out in ninth grade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By the time I was 19, I was a single parent, and I was living in a mobile home in Southeast Fort Worth.

LAVANDERA: It turns out Davis separated from her husband at age 19 but didn't divorce until she was 21. And the trailer court, which has gotten top billing in her bio, the reality is she may have only lived there for a few months.

(on camera): Because of the scrutiny surrounding Wendy Davis's story, her campaign put out a two-page biography of her early life. In it, it said that she was married at 18, and her and her husband had their first child at age 19 and that they lived here. At some point they were separated, and Wendy Davis and her daughter remained here. But it's not exactly clear just how long that was.

The biography says that they struggled to make ends meet. And it does say that by age 20, she spent a short time living with her mother.

(voice-over): Bud Kennedy is a veteran columnist for the "Fort Worth Star-Telegram." He's seen firsthand Wendy Davis skyrocket to the top of the Texas political scene. And he says the trailer played a minor role in her story until recently. BUD KENNEDY, "FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM": The trailer was never a big deal until this year. She's gone through bitter campaigns for city council, where she won and lost. She's gone through two very bitter campaigns for state senate. The trailer was never a big deal. It was always something she said in passing.

LAVANDERA: And then there's the issue of how she paid for several years of college and law school, a topic often featured in her campaign ads.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She could have buckled under, but instead she buckled down and enrolled in the community college, graduated from TCU while raising my sister and me. She got herself into Harvard Law School.

LAVANDERA: She got herself to Harvard, but she had help along the way. Davis had gotten remarried by then, and her second husband tells CNN he paid for her last two years of college and cashed in his 401(k) to pay for law school.

DAVIS: My name is Wendy Davis.

LAVANDERA: The Davis campaign says she also relied on financial aid and scholarships.

A spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott says that Davis has "systematically, intentionally and repeatedly deceived Texans," and calls her personal story a "fanciful narrative."


COOPER: Ed Lavandera joins us now live from Dallas.

So what is Wendy Davis saying about all this?

LAVANDERA: Well, we spent the last two days trying to get an interview for her, and that request has been denied for the last two days. But she did post a letter to her supporters on her campaign's Web site this afternoon, saying that the Abbott campaign has stooped to a new low here, that she's not surprised that they would resort to attacking the story of a single mother who worked hard to get ahead.

Now, in the "Dallas Morning News" interview, Anderson, Wendy Davis did acknowledge that she should, quote, "be tighter with her language," but she says she will keep on talking about her story because, quote, "you're damn right, it's a true story."

COOPER: All right. Ed Lavandera, appreciate it. Thanks.

There's a lot more happening tonight. Susan Hendricks is here, live with the "360 Bulletin" -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, HLN ANCHOR: Anderson, there's new video tonight -- chilling stuff, not appropriate for everyone -- showing that plane crash earlier this month. It happened in Aspen, Colorado. Night-vision camera footage showing the twin-engine business jet trying to land -- You see it here -- in high winds, touching down hard and bursting into flames. A co-pilot was killed. Two others were hurt.

The airport has a reputation for being challenging to land at due to its location in a narrow mountain valley.

Well, a student was shot to death at Purdue University's electrical engineering building today. Authorities say the suspect, another student, surrendered. No word yet on a motive for that killing.

DNA tests confirmed the remains found last week along East River are those of Avonte Oquendo. The severely autistic seen that was the focus of a city-wide search since he fled his school back in October. The family's attorney says a school monitor should have been with Avonte at all times.

Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, once a rising star in the Republican Party, and his wife are facing federal charges of accepting illegal gifts. They are accused of accepting trips, a Rolex watch, extravagant clothes and more from a businessman. Mr. McDonnell denies doing anything illegal.

And former first lady Barbara Bush adores Bill Clinton. Mrs. Bush says her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, and Mr. Clinton are close and see each other each summer. And she has grown fond of him, too. The confession coming in an interview she gave C- SPAN. Take a look.


BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: My husband, Bill Clinton and I have become great friends. I think that he thinks of George a little bit like the father he didn't have. He's very loving to him. And I really appreciate that. I love Bill Clinton. Maybe not his politics, but I love Bill Clinton.


COOPER: Interesting.

HENDRICKS: So there you have it.

COOPER: All right. Susan, thank you very much.

Coming up next, a final look at the weather tonight and what to expect tomorrow.


COOPER: Before we go, I want to take one last look at the weather. And I think it's safe to say that no one, but no one is having a better time in the worst of the storm than Chad Myers. He's clearly happy to be out of the weather center. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: On a normal summer day, people would walk up to this booth and ask for a sunset cruise. Not today. Now go down here, and I'm thinking that that's probably a good six inches here. But around the corner here -- this is what it looks like right here -- I can see the pavement, and that's simply because the way the wind is blowing.

The winds are going to blow 15 to 30 miles per hour. The wind- chill factor is zero. The people here calling this a minor inconvenience, if you can believe that. Stay home tonight, turn on the TV and just enjoy the night, maybe start a fire, if you can.

I have six layers on. I have something called a weatherproof shirt on. I have something called a chili pepper shirt on. I have a Tommy Copper shirt on. I have an undershirt on and I have two coats on, and now I am cold.

COOPER: Chad, you're happy to be out of the weather center, aren't you?

MYERS: Every once in a while, they have to let the cat out.


COOPER: And Chad Myers is back with us one last time. He's now donned a pair of glasses. Chad, what is going on? So explain tomorrow, for commuters, what is going to happen tomorrow? What are people going to face?

MYERS: We are going to see ice everywhere. Because even though they're salting roads right now, Anderson, that salt is not going to work at 10 degrees above zero. It's going to get colder than that. Even though you salt the roads, that salted water will refreeze. Salt ice will refreeze. Think about "The Deadliest Catch."

That's where I feel like I am right now. I feel like I'm doing an episode of "Deadliest Catch," and there should be crab out here. Because that's what it feels like. It's so cold.

Why am I putting these on. The snow now feels more like an ice pellet. It feels like sleet more than snow. And we believe that's because the ocean effect or ocean-enhanced snow is starting.

Think about lake-effect Erie, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, lake- effect snow. It comes off of Lake Erie and dumps itself on Buffalo, because there's a lake there. That's the water that gives up its moisture for the snow.

Now we believe that the ocean is doing the same thing, giving up moisture to make the snow. And it literally, right behind me here, still looking like a snowblower. The wind is blowing at least 30. I just had a -- Hyannis just had a report of about 37, and down to Nantucket, almost 40 miles per hour. And the winds have picked up all night long. And they're going to do that. They're going to howl through this town.

And these buildings in this town are from like 1600, some of them. I can imagine that there will be snow inside some of these houses, because the seals on these houses and these windows aren't so good, being this old in this town. What a beautiful place it is. And in the snow, it's great. When the wind finally stops, it will be finally beautiful. Right now it seems deadly -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Chad, appreciate it. I do appreciate you staying out there so late for us. Thank you.

That does it for this snowy edition of "AC 360 LATER." Thanks for watching. We'll leave you with another look at one of our favorite moments from the night: Jason Carroll's snowball fight at Columbia University here in New York City.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'll give you a look around here so you can see what's happening. I want to give you a slow shot here. This is what they do every single time, Anderson, there's a huge snowstorm. They end up having a snowball fight. Hundreds of students out here, getting pummeled.

I need defense out here. We need defense. Let me go to my friends over here we've been talking to. Some of these guys. Now they're going to get it.

Every year you come out here and do this, get this abuse. Is it worth it all? Give us a second to talk. Is it worth it coming out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It's very cold, it's miserable. I hate it.

CARROLL: Cold, miserable, stuff on your face.

You know, I know this is the city that never sleeps, but literally, this is one way of trying to stay warm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to be out here and do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Snowball, part two.

CARROLL: Snowball, part two, Anderson. Part two. Actually, if you take a look around here, you can see hundreds of students have actually gathered all around the campus here. They're planning to stay here until about midnight. This is their way of staying warm here at Columbia University, getting in with the snow, which as you can see down here, it's light, it's fluffy. Hard to make a snowball. But they're trying. And they're doing a pretty good job. I think I need a little defense out here.

COOPER: All right, Jason, we'll let you go. Good luck on getting out of that one.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: That was fun. When you're out on the road, you don't have a playback, so I actually couldn't see what was happening to Jason, so I knew something was going on with him, but I didn't know it was quite that bad. He's a good sport.

Thanks very much for watching. We wish you the best in dealing with this wintry weather, and have a safe commute tomorrow morning. And I hope, if you're at an airport, hope your flight takes off soon. Thanks for watching.

"OUTFRONT" is next.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Next breaking news. A former Virginia governor, once a star in the Republican Party, just moments away from speaking publicly for the first time since he and his wife were indicted on federal charges.

Plus, the rising stock of Richard Sherman. Could the post-game rant by the Seattle Seahawks quarterback mean millions of dollars for him?

And a new video emerges of a rambling and incoherent rob ford. What the crack smoking mayor of Toronto says happened.

Let's go "OUTFRONT."