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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Mammoth Winter Storm Claims 10; D.C. Prepares for Snow; Catastrophic Storm Puts Atlanta on Ice; Comcast Buys Time Warner Cable; NYC Braces for More Snow
Aired February 12, 2014 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, breaking news. At least ten deaths blamed on a catastrophic winter storm barreling up the Northeast at this hour.
Plus, Senator Rand Paul suing the president for you, he says. He joins us tonight, answers the tough questions.
And Paula Deen plans a major comeback. Is someone giving her nearly a $100 million? And is America ready to forgive her?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett.
We begin with the breaking news at this hour. It is 11 p.m. on the East Coast. This is a special live edition of OUTFRONT as a massive winter storm right now wreaking havoc as it barrels up the coast. More than 100 million Americans are affected by the storm tonight. The deadly storm is being called a catastrophic event by the National Weather Service.
And it has crush the Southeast today. Tennessee, Georgia, the Carolinas brought to a standstill after snow and ice forced entire states to shut down.
Now, at least ten deaths at this moment are being blamed on the storm. Nearly half a million homes are without power in the ice and cold tonight. Nearly 4,000 flights have already been canceled for Thursday.
We want to show you the conditions in Raleigh, North Carolina, today. Hundreds of cars were stranded and skidding off the road, as you can see. The whole problem here, it's not just the incredible amount of snow, which is so unusual in the South, at this time of the year to have this mammoth of a storm. It is the ice.
And in the next few hours, almost every single major city in the Northeast will be affected. That's why we describe this as such a monster storm, a breaking news event. It is the size and the breadth and the speed with which snow is falling that makes it so.
Officials are telling residents to stay home. Hundreds of National Guard troops have been mobilized to deal with the storm. And tonight, we cover this as it starts to move into the Northeast and the nation's capital with our reporters up and down the East Coast.
We begin with David Mattingly in Charlotte, North Carolina, some of the hardest hit areas where so many of the pictures came in.
David, just -- you know, those parking-lot interstates that we've seen have come from where you are.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, for most of the day, we have seen a lot of snow falling, but for the last few hours, it's been sleet and some rain. We have seen 12 hours of almost non- stop precipitation here, and this storm is not done yet.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Throughout the day entire cities slowed to a crawl. The National Guard responding from Alabama to the Carolinas, providing aid and shelter.
In Charlotte, snow fell so fast streets were covered in minutes, not hours. The city expecting as much as 10 inches of snow and bracing for the ice that's predicted overnight.
GOV. PAT MCCRORY, NORTH CAROLINA: Do the common-sense things. We know it's coming. Take the precautions right now. Do not wait. If you wait, that means you're going to take action which puts our emergency operations people lives at risk.
MATTINGLY: And in spite of days of warning, too many motorists waited too late to travel, some wiping out, others stuck in long, slow-moving lines.
GOV. NATHAN DEAL, GEORGIA: We're not kidding. We're not just crying wolf. It is serious business.
MATTINGLY: Conditions in Atlanta look much different than two weeks ago when just two inches of snow brought the city to a standstill. Highways that looked like parking lots then were now empty. At the world's busiest airport, planes were busy waiting, and more than 3,000 flights were canceled nationwide.
As the storm moves up the East Coast, the biggest concern becomes power outages. Across the Southeast, over 450,000 are without power, thousands of those in Georgia, and there are no promises of a quick fix.
AARON STRICKLAND, GEORGIA POWER EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CHIEF: We're looking at possibility of hundreds of thousands of outages so this could be a long duration.
MATTINGLY: All it takes is a quarter of an inch of ice to bring down power lines, and Atlanta may see three times that much by tomorrow morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no way you can deal with ice. I don't care what Yankees say, you can't drive in ice.
MATTINGLY: The word for tomorrow is to stay off the roads and stay at home if you possibly can. Schools are closed. A lot of other things are closed here, as well. Everyone hoping that the city has a chance to get their plows out, to be aggressive and try to clean up some of this monumental mess -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. David Mattingly, thank you for the statistic that ruled the night for me: a quarter of an inch is enough to bring down power lines. Shows you just how precarious the situation is.
Thanks so much to David.
Well, the snow is -- as we said, the whole point of about the storm is how it's moving up so rapidly. The line of delineation is really I-95, the biggest interstate on the northern-southern corridor of the United States.
And Washington right in the center of it. Snow has just started, but you can see, it's happening so quickly where it usually takes hours for snow to fall; happening so much more quickly than that. The federal government is going to be closed tomorrow.
Tom Foreman is just south of Washington, D.C., in the town of Alexandria, Virginia.
And Tom, you know, I was just talking about how quickly the snow is coming down. So what are you seeing?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, for the longest time out here, nothing was happening. But for the past couple of hours, it has really stepped up and so has this. Dozens and dozens of trucks here from the Virginia Department of Transportation being loaded up with salt there to take out onto the roads.
They'll have about 4,000 on the roads in this immediate area in Northern Virginia, more than 12,000 throughout the state. And they're going to be spreading more than 65,000 tons of salt on the road to try to keep these roads passable. It is a huge job, Aaron.
But it's more than the government that's been closed here. Virtually every school you can think about around here. Many businesses are closing down.
The roads right now, as you can see from the beltway out here, are still quite passable. But they're getting worse by the minute, and they know tomorrow it could be much, much worse, Erin.
So big, big job by the Virginia Department of Transportation here. Same thing happening on the Maryland side in Washington, D.C., because they have seen exactly what Atlanta has been through and what the Carolinas are going through tonight -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. And Tom, you know, I grew up on the eastern shore there, and I remember when there was a forecast of snow, school would get closed. Right? I mean, they weren't prepared. And I'm wondering now, with Washington, you talk about -- what did you say, 65,000 tons of salt? I mean, are they prepared?
FOREMAN: Yes, I think they're -- I think they're as prepared as they can be right now. And partially what's made this area more prepared, as I mentioned, is what we saw in Atlanta recently but also what they experienced here a few years ago with Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse. People here all having very recent memories of just how bad it can be.
FOREMAN: And they're hoping this isn't quite that bad -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much to Tom.
And Tom mentioned Atlanta, which really -- I said earlier tonight, I don't know if this is the right way to express it, but there's a mess in Atlanta. Those horrible pictures you saw, people spending the night overnight on an interstate because they weren't ready. Could have been what saved a lot of people from a horrible night across the country tonight, because everyone saw those pictures and said, "That's not going to happen to us." I mean, Atlanta was caught completely by surprise. It was only two weeks ago, and that was only 2 1/2 inches of snow.
Here's the scene I was mentioned. These are the people who were stuck overnight in their cars. People had to spend the night in stores. People were trapped on the highways. It was incredible. Kids had to spend the night overnight in schools.
So very different story today because of those pictures. Warnings, closings and preparations all came before people were out for the day across the Southeast but particularly in Atlanta.
And Ed -- Ed Lavandera is there. Ed, I mean, now it's like the opposite, right? I mean, it's sort of a frightening ghost town.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, really. It's like the lyrics to a sad country song. A lot of lonely, lonely streets...
LAVANDERA: ... as we take you into downtown Atlanta.
And this is -- you look out onto the streets. I mean, they're still very slushy in a lot of places where we've seen a little bit of traffic and where some road work has been done throughout the day and that sort of thing.
But you know, for the most part, there is that layer of ice and slush still all over the streets. The temperatures are not above freezing quite yet but close. But this is, you know, something that the city is going to have to contend with tomorrow. And that's why you've seen government offices and you've seen schools throughout the region already canceled for tomorrow. So as you mentioned, Erin, they're just not taking any chances. It's hard to imagine two weeks ago that you saw these roads and so many people on these roads that were still -- that these roadways were parking lots and people trying to figure out just how they were going to get back to their cars so they could get them back home.
LAVANDERA: But you know, it's still kind of messy and incredibly lonely out here on the roadways.
BURNETT: I was about to say. In the movie that I can envision, there is just this one car as you zoom in to Ed Lavandera cruising the streets of Atlanta. All right.
LAVANDERA: Hopefully, that's a short movie.
BURNETT: Thanks very much to ed. A little bit of humor on this. Although, you know, hopefully a lot of people are home and able to enjoy the storm tomorrow. But for a lot of people out in the middle of this, it's not going to be a pleasant thing at all.
And we're tracking the storm in our CNN weather center. Chad Myers is there.
And Chad, that's the thing: if you're home when you know it's coming or it comes in the middle of the night, then it kind of can be a good thing. But for a lot of people, you're out in the middle of your day, and this becomes a nightmare.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Or you're stuck in an airport for days and days and days...
MYERS: ... trying to get a plane that didn't fly to Atlanta. It's going to fly tomorrow either.
It's going to snow up and down the East Coast all night tonight. It's going to change over to some rain in many of the major cities. Here almost to New York City now we have the snow. Snowing in Philadelphia, snowing hard in D.C., still snowing hard in Richmond. And then back down where some of our other reporters are, across the Carolinas, sleet is coming in.
So let me tell you what's going to go on. We have a low pressure that's out to the west. It's going to run up the East Coast like that. As it does that, it's going to put down enough precipitation for everybody to get 15 inches. But that won't happen. That won't happen, because if you're close to the shore, you're going to get a rain-snow mix. You're going to get sleet to mix in.
So let's use I-95 for the demarcation line, because it's been working for a long time. Along I-95, that's where you're going to probably see 8 inches of snow. That's plus or minus a couple, because I-95 isn't a straight road. That's where we could see 14 inches, but we won't. We'll see rain and sleet on top of it, pack it down and make it only look like eight.
If you're east of there, it's only going to look like two or three, because you get a lot more sleet. And if you're west of there, you don't get the sleet; you get all snow. And that's why the snow here, this brighter band, is all to the west of I-95. Because you don't get that sleet turnover.
Everybody -- if you take all the snow, all across this area and you put it in a cup and you put it on the stove and melt it, everybody is going to get about an inch and a half of water. It just depends on what that water and how it comes down in your neighborhood. If it's all snow, you get 15 inches. If it's all sleet, you don't get very much. And if it's a mix, which basically everybody will get, it's going to be somewhere in between -- Erin.
BURNETT: And that means bad snowmen.
MYERS: Bad snowmen, and then they last a long time because they refreeze. And it never goes away until May.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. That was an uplifting (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
All right. Still to come, though, on this special live edition of OUTFRONT, more of our breaking news coverage of the storm, which for so many is catastrophic as they're trying to prepare to have this not wreak havoc across the East Coast.
We also have breaking business news this hour on a mega deal that could change your cable bill, just out tonight.
And Rand Paul says he's suing the president for you. Is this a stunt or the real deal? Paul is OUTFRONT to answer the tough questions.
And a sinkhole swallows eight cars at the National Corvette Museum, right in the middle of an exhibition. Boom, gone. It's all caught on camera, and it's OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: We're following two breaking news stories tonight on this live edition of OUTFRONT. We'll have more on the massive winter storm in just a moment. But first, breaking business news at this hour.
The two biggest cable companies in America merging. Comcast is buying Time Warner Cable, which is not controlled by Time Warner, which is the parent of this company.
It's a $45.2 billion deal, and our media correspondent, Brian Stelter, joins me on the phone.
Brian, so you know, you see a headline like this, and you go, gosh, if this deal is approved, this is going to be one gigantic cable company, 35 million subscribers. Pretty much nobody likes their cable companies. The worry is the deal is going to mean cable prices go up; service is going to go down. Are people right to have that fear when they hear this headline?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (via phone): This is an audacious deal. And I think that's always a fair concern to have.
But the cable providers, like Comcast, say they actually need to get bigger. They need to consolidate, because they need more muscle in their negotiations with channel owners, like Time Warner, the owner of CNN. Channel owners always want to get paid more for their channels. Companies like Comcast, they need more leverage.
But, of course, not all cable companies are created equal. Time Warner Cable, which has about 12 million homes across the company. Many people are watching tonight in Time Warner Cable homes. They have a very bad reputation. Comcast at least has a little bit of a better reputation, and I think Comcast wants to bring its better technology to these Time Warner Cable homes.
BURNETT: So -- so in terms of the pricing, I mean, I would imagine that's something the government would be involved with, right? They'd have to be comfortable with pricing not going up too much. Is that fair to say, or is it still a question?
STELTER: I think there will be a lot of scrutiny of this deal. We've already seen one public interest group called Free Press come out in opposition. They say this should be unthinkable. This deal would be a disaster for consumers, they say.
But then again, groups like that also opposed Comcast's merger of NBC Universal three years ago, and yet the government allowed that deal to go forward. And so far there have not been a lot of adverse impact from that with Comcast and NBC Universal.
But there's no doubt, this will get a lot of scrutiny, and this will be debated for many months to come.
BURNETT: That's right. It's not going to be something that closes quickly, but obviously something that's going to affect a lot of people watching tonight.
Well, thanks to Brian Stelter for his reporting on that.
And I want to get back to our other breaking news story tonight: a crippling winter storm in the Northeast. Well, it's now in the Northeast. Sorry. It started in the Southeast, but it's now actually coming to where I'm sitting tonight here in New York.
All day we've seen incredible pictures from Raleigh, North Carolina. Hundreds of cars at a standstill. These are the images that you saw tonight on your screen. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is joining me now on the phone.
Governor, I really appreciate you taking the time. We're looking at these images of the interstate. Obviously, a couple weeks ago, we looked at these images in Atlanta and people were stranded overnight. The situation was horrific. What is the situation right now in North Carolina? Do you still have people stranded or are you confident everybody is home?
GOV. PAT MCCRORY, NORTH CAROLINA: Well, thank you very much, first of all. I'm proud of our team, and so far the picture that is on your screen, our highways no longer look like that.
It's been a very tough day in five different metropolitan areas across the state, from the mountains to the Piedmont to the coast, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh-Durham area, down to Wilmington. And even Nags Head was hit with a terrible ice and snowstorm.
But the Raleigh-Durham area got hit real hard in the afternoon, and we had some four-to-five-hour backups during this afternoon period. Almost all is cleared now. We're double-checking any abandoned cars to make sure people aren't still left out on the highways, and we just want to make sure there's no further loss of life.
We've lost two people across the state in accidents in the past 24 hours. And right now our major concern is the safety, because of potential -- more outages of power here during the nighttime.
BURNETT I want to ask you about those power outages. Because the statistic that we shared earlier on the program is it only takes a quarter inch of ice to bring down power lines.
And obviously, you have parts of your state -- you talk about Nags Head -- that are significantly worse than that. And I don't know the exact numbers. I'm sure you do. But I know it's well over 100,000 people could be without power in this kind of weather. Are you worried, are you confident you're going to be able to get power back to these people? I mean, I know you're worried about loss of life on the roads. That about these people that don't have power at home?
MCCRORY: Well, we have several hundred thousand people without power. The -- I think the main challenge for us, very similar to the roads, it's over such a large area of our state, from the mountains all the way to the coast, which by car is about ten hours driving. So our utilities are very stretched thin, as is our DOT.
This is the second storm in two weeks that's covered our entire state, which is very rare. Because usually these storms ever cover our Piedmont in the west or the east.
MCCRORY: But this one got -- it's a huge storm, and we're making sure that everyone takes care of their neighbors. And we're going to hopefully get the power restored as quick as possible.
But our major concern is more power outages during the next 10 to 15 hours, as even more snow and ice is going to be coming over the night and into the day tomorrow. BURNETT: All right. Well, Governor, thank you very much. I have to say, those images of seeing all the snow on the palm trees I think brings it home to people, how this isn't something that usually happens in your state. And I know it's a Herculean task to fight it.
Thanks again, Governor...
MCCRORY: Thank you.
BURNETT: ... McCrory of North Carolina.
Here in New York, the snow is expected to start falling at any moment. You know, we've still got some snow left from a couple days ago, but the real question is how much will fall in the northeast.
You're looking at a live picture right now, right outside our studios here in New York.
The number could be up to 10 inches. But 16 in surrounding areas.
Maria Santana is actually live right now outside there in Columbus Circle.
And Maria, it seems like there's been an unusual amount of snow in New York this year. Is that just the feeling or is that reality?
MARIA SANTANA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think that just is a feeling. Definitely, this winter has yet to compare to some of the snowiest winters we have had in history here in New York City.
But I can tell you, Erin, this is definitely beginning to test the very little patience that New Yorkers have left.
We have been talking to people out here throughout the day, and like so many across the country, they are done, completely fed up with this winter. Meanwhile, the city says it's ready to handle this will new round of storms.
And Mayor de Blasio actually announced today that he has boosted the city's snow removal budget by $35 million. And this is why. Let's take a look.
SANTANA (voice-over): It started with a whisper of snowflakes in early December, and then it was ready, set, snow.
It snowed that week and the week after that. Five inches on December 15. A white Christmas, and a wintry new year.
An army of plows cleared the way for an army of taxis, but snow from parts out west stopped all the planes.
It snowed every other day in the beginning of January. That was when the historic polar vortex dragged temperatures down 50 degrees in a single day. Thirteen inches of snow on January 7, 11 more on the 21st.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so ready for spring to come and summer and everything else.
SANTANA: Down south, the snow was traumatizing, paralyzing, dangerous and dramatic. So as another storm plowed into the north, officials prepared for the worst.
MCCRORY: Be smart during these times. Realize these are dangerous conditions, and realize that, as you put yourself in jeopardy, you're putting other people in jeopardy also.
SANTANA: Now in New York, where the mayor threw some money -- and salt --at the problem.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: We looked carefully at the costs so far and what we thought would be needed for the rest of the winter. We came up with that $35 million number.
SANTANA: Ready, set, snow. Here we go again.
I've got to tell you it's been very, very cold and one of the worst winters I've seen in a long time. Not to mention we're getting snow tomorrow. I used to have soft hands. They're not soft anymore.
SANTANA: And Erin, we may want to forget that this winter ever existed, but nonetheless, people here are preparing for the storm.
And I'll tell you, on a personal note, it's been very difficult. Because a lot of places are running out of salt right now. I live in northern New Jersey and just driving around, trying to find a place to buy bags of salt for my house and could not find any. I had to order it from Amazon and have it delivered -- Erin.
BURNETT: There you go, an endorsement for Amazon. All right. Thanks very much, Maria.
SANTANA: Thank you.
BURNETT: And still to come, Rand Paul suing President Obama, on your behalf, he says. He is OUTFRONT tonight to explain why.
Plus, Paula Deen is planning a comeback, and someone is giving her $75 million. Is it enough?
And eight Corvettes swallowed by a sinkhole. The entire thing caught on camera. All of that ahead. We'll be right back.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.
A Tennessee town terrified to check the mail tonight after a retired lawyer opened an unknown package and it exploded, killing him. Authorities have recovered a note they believe was attached to the package. But those who knew the 74-year-old John Setzer and his wife, who was seriously injured in the blast, say they have no idea why the couple would have been targeted. The longtime lawyer specialized in bankruptcy and living trusts. Investigators are now trying to find out who delivered the package.
Well, a freak of nature. A 40-foot sinkhole opened up in Kentucky today, and this one was caught on camera. Look at this. This is in the middle of the National Corvette Museum. You'd think that zoning and things would have been done. No. No, the middle of the museum. All of a sudden the floor just opens up. Eight Corvettes were damaged after falling into the sink hole, which is 30 feet deep.
Museum officials learned something was wrong when motion detectors set off a security alarm. Now officials are still trying to figure out how much damage was caused to the museum and the cars. One of them was a 1992 model. It was the 1 millionth Corvette ever made. We're told that car alone could have been worth a million dollars.
Rand Paul versus Barack H. Obama. Not a political race -- well, not entirely -- but the name of a lawsuit filed today by the Republican senator against the president of the United States and other national security officials.
Senator Paul, in a class-action lawsuit, says he's trying to stop the National Security Agency's gathering of telephone data. He is not the first to file suit against a sitting president. And not the first to sue over this surveillance program. But he is the most recognizable to do so. And in a moment we're going to talk directly to the senator about his suit.
But first, Dana Bash has more on the senator himself.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rand Paul likes to describe attending an early tea party meeting and deciding to run for Senate.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I got started running as part of the tea party movement in 2010 because I was unhappy with Republicans.
BASH: The ophthalmologist was an outsider, exactly what the times required when Paul rode the tea party wave into the Senate in 2010.
PAUL: We've come to take our government back.
BASH: But he was no stranger to politics.
PAUL: Please welcome my father, Ron Paul.
BASH: The son of an original outsider, Ron Paul, who shook things up on the presidential campaign trail. In many ways, Rand Paul is the ideological heir apparent to the anti-interventional libertarian movement his father spent decades building. He was in the Senate just a few months when he sought us out to rail against his own party leaders for not allowing changes he wanted to the patriot act.
As you know, this is unusual around here for a Republican freshman senator to come on and really lash out at his own leadership. Why are you doing that?
PAUL: I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed they don't want to allow debate.
BASH: Last year he waged a Senate filibuster against the use of drones.
PAUL: I will speak until I can no longer speak.
BASH: He went 13 hours surprising leaders in both parties.
Did they know you were going to do this?
PAUL: No. In fact, we didn't know we were going to do it that day.
BASH: A precursor over his lawsuit against President Obama over NSA spying. Paul doesn't try to hide his presidential ambition. This moment with Hillary Clinton, classic.
PAUL: And I've been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from professor Stevens, I would have relieved you from your post.
BASH: But he's also gotten into trouble that can haunt him, plagiarizing more than once.
PAUL: You know, I never intentionally ever presented anyone's ideas as my own or tried to pass off anything.
BASH: Still, he has the attention of conservative activists.
KEITH APPELL, CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST: He's establishing a persona that we haven't seen very much in the Republican party stand up to the Obama administration and actually prevail.
BASH: Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.
BURNETT: And the Republican senator Rand Paul of Kentucky joins me now.
Senator, the Obama administration responded to your lawsuit today. And they said look, they are confident the program is legal, they say. Their quote "15 previous judges of previously found it to be legal." So, why is your lawsuit going to be different?
PAUL: Well, the interesting thing is the 15 judges found it in secret to be legal with only the government's argument being presented. Many people who follow jurisprudence and legal history will tell you that the truth is achieved by having a lawyer on both sides in an open court so we are going to try to have a decision whether the fourth amendment applies to our phone records in an open court, the Supreme Court. But I'll have the attorney there. I will have the former attorney general of Virginia defending me. And in most of the decisions they were referring to, there was no defense and there was no attorney.
BURNETT: All right, obviously, you're talking about Ken Cuccinelli as former attorney general of Virginia .
Let me ask you this, senator. I'm looking at the lawsuit now. And look, I was little hesitant to bring this up, but I feel like I have to. The District of Columbia right off the topic misspelled wrong. There is no "L" in there. And I know that seems like, maybe I just want to get it out there. It's a spelling typo but, still, it is right at the top. And I read it further and this caught my attention when you're talking about you're standing personally to bring this case. It says defendants have without legitimate basis collective, stored, retained, and periodically searched telephone meta data concerning every domestic or international phone call he made or received since may 2006 and the defendants continue to do so.
So let me ask you about that because this is crucial. You have to be able to prove that to bring this case. The NSA collects 20 percent or less of all American phone calls. So, do you have the proof that all of your calls, 100 percent of yours, are in that piece of the pie?
PAUL: The question of standing sort of a complicated legal question. And the attorneys will have to sort that out. And there have been a report or there is a reason in the "Wall Street Journal" saying that, bet there are also been sort all of Verizon's calls were collected, and all of AT&T's calls were collected.
The actual decision on legal standing, I'm just not someone who will be able to make that determination. But there are already have been several cases that have gotten into the court and have been received for standing. So, I don't -- our lawyers don't believe that standing will be a difficult argument.
BURNETT: All right. So let me ask you this, the CNN senior legal analysis Jeffrey Toobin, you know him, obviously as well. He talked about that issue and also the issue of the class itself that you're claiming. And here's how he phrased this -- his issue.
Senator Paul does not have a legal standing which the courts require and no court will accept a class action with millions of plaintiffs.
So, I know you are saying, you know, you dispute the issue on standing. But what about the issue of class? I mean, I'm just looking out, there I did some quick work out there, right? Walmart, the biggest employee discrimination case in American history, 1. 5 million plaintiffs. Obviously, the Visa Master Card case could have even bigger. But you say, you're looking at, according to this page eight, 300 million people. PAUL: Well see, here's the whole point and what we're trying to bring to the American people is that this warrant is so generalized, a single warrant is being applied to everybody who has a cell phone and really everybody that has a land line too. Everybody has a phone connection. They're saying a single warrant can apply to everyone. That sounds to us like a general warrant.
The fourth amendment says that the warrant should be specific to the individual. But you're telling me a single warrant can apply to everybody has a At&T phone call, that sounds like it does go against what our founding fathers intended in the fourth amendment. And I think we will be heard. And I think that we have a very strong argument.
Things are complicated with regard to how big a class is. But we didn't define the class. This is defined by the arrogance of government that has decided that the fourth amendment really allows a warrant to be written for everybody's phone records. It shows the enormity and the egregiousness of, really, the government's intrusion.
BURNETT: All right, let me ask you one other thing before we go and that is 2016. Obviously, the democratic front runner right now is Hillary Clinton. Now, you've been aggressive against Bill Clinton multiple times lately taking about that affair with Monica Lewinsky, calling bill him a sexual predator. And I just want to ask you about this. Because yesterday, Karl Rove said, obviously the former chief political strategist for President George W. Bush said, frankly, Rand Paul spending a lot of time talking about the mistakes of Bill Clinton doesn't look like a big agenda for the future of the country. I'm not certain again that beating up on Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky is a particularly good thing to strengthen your skills.
What do you say to Karl Rove?
PAUL: I have this terrible havoc when people ask me a question I usually respond. And what's interesting about this is people have -- some people say come up to me and say hey, what a great strategy, he deserves it. Other people would come up to see me and say why are you beating this dead horse that's 20 years old? And then nobody realizes the situation of this.
People keep asking me this question, so I keep answering the question. I think the hypocrisy should be pointed out and I think when people claim to say they're for women's rights, particularly in the workplace and yet they seem to be a purveyor of some sort of troglodyte kind of message to women, I think it really, that's a progress, you know, to be pointed out. But it is not me bringing it up, You all keep asking me questions. When you all quit asking me questions, I'll quit bringing the Clintons up.
BURNETT: The thing is though, when that came up with c-span, I mean, you brought it up. And you and I had actually talked about it. I was looking on the tape, Senator Paul, because you and I had a conversation, actually the context of the whole war on women. It turned out it was off camera, but you brought this up to me a few months ago. I mean, this is something you've been thinking about, right? I mean, let's just be honest.
PAUL: No. Just answering questions. Purely and simply, when David Gregory asked me that question on the Sunday morning program, I had no idea what he was going to ask me. And he was prepared. He knew what he was going to ask me, but it wasn't like we got together and compared notes and said hey, let's go after the hypocrisy of Bill Clinton.
But I think it is fair game. You know, he is a politician, he a big fund raiser of the Democrats. He's in my state this week raising money for the Democrats. And so, if you're going to take his money, really, you ought to explain, you know, whether you agree or disagree with his treatment of women in the workplace. And I think it is a big issue. And you know, there were many feminists at the time who really think that he got a walk on something, you know, as important as a safety of women in the workplace.
So, no, I think is an issue, but you know. I felt like I'm bringing it up. But if you all want to talk about it, I've got time. I'll talk about it.
BURNETT: All right. Our thanks to Rand Paul.
OUTFRONT next, Paula Deen raises tens of millions of dollars in comeback money. So is America ready for her return, the n word?
And a Westminster winner has been crowned. Cute or I don't know? We're going to show you the dog best in show. That's coming up.
BURNETT: Every night we take a look outside the day's top stories for something we called the OUTFRONT out take. And tonight, hot girls in bikinis. Around this time every year, the highly anticipated "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue hit the stand. The special issue this year is celebrating the 50 anniversary and let me tell you, 2014's model is drop dead gorgeous. And by that we mean she doesn't have a pulse.
Barbie. Yes, Barbie is on the cover, a first for this Wisconsin girl. The cover line, the doll that started it all. And as you can imagine, there's outrage. One mommy blogged as this headline, quote "the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue will feature Barbie. So your daughter can feel bad, too."
Sure, she has long weighs and weighs 7 1/4 ounces. And we all know, her three and a quarter-inch waist and five-inch bust are now where near realistic proportions, not to mention the fact that she is plastic.
But hey, blogger, if Barbie makes your daughter feel bad, how about these cover girls? With any imperfections cured with air brush or digital edit. Modern technology could do a lot for Barbie. I mean, look. They have her sideways because she would look curveless straight on. And it is easier to have to wear a one-piece because God, she probably has a roll. Yes, the two perfect Barbie is actually totally unimpressive by the modern bystanders. She may have started it all, but is Barbie more real than real-life modern models?
Well, after taking some heat, Paula Deen is ready to get back into the kitchen. The celebrity chef is teaming up with a private investor to grow her celebrity business. A reported $17 million one that took a major hit last year after she admitted to using the "n" word. But will Deen's comeback be a success?
OUTFRONT Mike Paul, a reputation management consultant and Mel Robbins, a talk show radio host.
All right, great to have both of you with.
Michael, let me start with you. Everybody loves a comeback story in the United States. But this is somebody and that is somebody who was beloved, all right? But she used the "n" word. People were really angry about it. Can she come back?
MICHAEL PAUL, REPUTATION MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT: She could come back and she's going to have some loyal customers who will stick with her through thick and thin. And that is what a (INAUDIBLE) marketing is all about. But, and a big but, when you use the "n" word, you're going to be thrown into a racial controversy in this country that is not going to go away that quickly. And people will be utilizing that not from just a competitive advantage as somebody else being in the business, it's going something to other chefs, for example. But it is going to be those who have an ax to grind on the issue as using her to utilize the "n" word as a civil rights issue, for discrimination. There are civil rights groups that might jump in, and there are going to be all of those who have never liked her are going to use that as an excuse to pound her.
BURNETT: So Mel, let me ask you. Because you know, her comeback, and somebody is putting $7500 million behind this. This is serious money. She was dropped by the Food Network Sears home depot, JCPenny and QVC among others. I mean, this was a serious, serious running for the hills. So, if this is going to work, companies like that have to come back and endorse her and given what he just said, is there any way that's going to happen?
MEL ROBBINS, TALK RADIO HOST: Absolutely. I think it's already happening. I mean, first of all, you've got to understand that even in the wake of the controversy, Erin, her book sales soared. She's had standing ovations everywhere she goes. She sold out two cruises and has 1.2 million loyal twitter problems. If she puts her head down and gets back to what people love her for which is cooking, she is going to be just fine.
And I also think everybody needs to remember that she was taken to task for something she staid two decades ago. And if you turn on the radio today and listen to holy grail, you are going to hear Jay-Z say the same word nine times on your radio.
BURNETT: Jay-Z happens to be black.
ROBBINS: The genesis of this was dismissed. M. PAUL: Really? Come on. Number one, it's not just from issues that were two decades ago. If you look through the entire case, and yes, it got thrown out --
ROBBINS: Which was dismissed, by the way Mike. Mike, the discrimination claims were dismissed.
M. PAUL: Mel, we are talking about the court of public opinion now. I'm not an attorney, OK? So, we're talking about branding. We are talking about reputation, and one of the biggest things that was said in that case is there were employees that were there working for Paula Deen who had to tolerate the jokes and the nonsense around the "n" word in a culture that was uncomfortable. That is still something that could be going on today. And that's something that is a fair question to be asked of her today, as well.
BURNETT: Mel, it's interesting --
ROBBINS: And it might just be, you're right, Mike. But when you take the example of somebody like Michael Vick, Don Imus, Tiger Woods, I mean, we can go on and on and on of people that have royally screwed up and America and sponsors have come back to the table.
M. PAUL: The bottom line is, they didn't say the "n" word. It wasn't a racist issue. Yes, you can talk about Michael Vick and Tiger Woods. But those are examples that --
ROBBINS: Don Imus, racial issue. Don Imus, racial issue.
M. PAUL: Yes, Don Imus is a racial issue. Don Imus isn't Paula Deen and let's see how he handles it. And he had an excellent (INAUDIBLE) that eventually came out. She is still running for the hills.
BURNETT: What is your analysis --
ROBBINS: I don't think she's running for the hills at all.
BURNETT: but, what's your analysis on those two things? Don Imus, obviously, said the words nappy headed hoes. She used the "n" word. Are those equivalent? Is one worse in the court of public opinion? What's your analysis? Are those equal things?
M. PAUL: It's not a matter of whether they're equal things, it's about how do you deal with it once it happens. When someone's main message afterwards is, I is who I is, and look what happened to my family whether it is true, Don Imus didn't do that. Don Imus, eventually came out and said, you know what? I made a big mistake. I truly apologized. And when he's asked about it on a regular basis, he continues to say that.
Paula Deen is comfortable around her own audience right now. Comfortable around her family. She not coming to New York to promote this right now. She's not on your show right now talking about this. And I think there are big issues because she's not comfortable in the issue. BURNETT: Mel, do you think -- I mean, maybe the thing is, she doesn't need those people. I mean, you know, she's comfortable with the base that she has, and that base doesn't care about this.
M. PAUL: (INAUDIBLE)
ROBBINS: I think Mike's analysis is exactly right, Erin, in terms of the apology. The first one was terrible, the second was not that great, the third one was way better and she certainly seemed very sincere and very sorry. And I think you're right, Erin. She has a very strong customer base and fan base and that's why somebody is putting $75 million in to her because they will support her.
M. PAUL: But when you have a situation like this, the rule is, you don't just give an apology once, you have to be comfortable to deal with it daily basis. That's the issue.
BURNETT: You have to eat humble pie day in and day out.
All right, well, thanks to both of you. We appreciate it.
And we do want your feedback on this whether you think she can succeed or not, $75 million, is that a smart bet?
OUTFRONT next, the Westminster dog show. There's the winner and we have more.
BURNETT: The Westminster dog show came to an end last night and the best in show was crowned. In case you missed it, here's the entire two-day competition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The annual event's long history dates back to the late 1800s. And with each passing year, its legacy grows. Growing even more venerable, esteemed, admired, loved.
Tonight, for the 138th time, a champion will be named best in show. And there you see before you the long-time announcer here at Westminster, Mike LaFave who introduced close to 100 dogs.
MIKE LAFAVE, ANNOUNCER: Wire-haired pointer, Irish setter. Irish, red and white setter, Blanket spaniel, Plumber spaniel (ph), black cockers spaniel, (INAUDIBLE) spaniel, party color cocker spaniel, This is (INAUDIBLE), Mastiff (ph), dog, dog, dog. Introducing the seven group winners competing for best in show.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Such a beautiful, outstanding lineup.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Best in show this evening is the Wire FOX terrier.
(APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He's so ugly he's cute.
All right, best in shows. Sky is going on a media blitz this week, making an appearance at the empire state building and doing a free meal at a New York restaurant (INAUDIBLE). She's going to be one spoiled pooch, which brings us to tonight's number, $55.5 billion.
According to the American Pets product association, that's how much money Americans spent on their pets last year, in one year. Yes, that number is mostly about dogs. And it includes everything from all those -- what is that? See, that is abuse. All right, anyway, clothing, yes, even beer. You can go to a dog barkery -- I mean bakery. So just how much money is that? Well, last year Americans spent only $10 billion on movies. That's right. They spent five times more on their pets. Wow.
Thanks so much for joining us. Piers Morgan is next.