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IG Report Exposed VA Scandal; U.S. Navy Says Pings Not MH-370; Victim's Father: The Shooter's Parents Never Chose Mental Illness; NBA Board of Governors To Meet June 3rd To Vote On Sterling's; Maya Angelou Dies At Age 86; President Outlines Foreign Policy Vision

Aired May 28, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, and thanks for joining us. We begin tonight with breaking news.

Fallout from that sharply critical inspector general's report on problems at the VA hospital in Phoenix. A document that confirms what this program has been uncovering since last November. Namely, the veterans have been kept waiting months for care and that Phoenix employees cooked the books to cover it. The numbers, as you'll see, is simply staggering and the problem, according to this report, could be system-wide.

As we're coming to you tonight the House Veterans Affairs Committee is in session, grilling three top VA officials complete with fireworks.


REP. JEFF MILLER (R-FL), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE VETERANS COMMITTEE: Can you say anything without reading your prepared notes? And while I have your attention, can you please explain to me why we in fact have 110 outstanding requests for information, some dealing with this issue specifically, and if you want a specific one why have you not told this committee yet who was disciplined in Augusta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina, where nine veterans died because they were on a waiting list for colonoscopies?

JOAN MOONEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: As you know, Mr. Chairman, in the last five years the Office of Congressional Legislative --


MILLER: That doesn't --

MOONEY: Has responded to over 100,000 requests for information.

MILLER: Ma'am, ma'am, ma'am. Veterans died.


COOPER: Over on the Senate side, support for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki took a big hit today with new calls for his departure. Colorado's Mark Udall became the first Democrat to do so, twitting, "In light of the IG report, a systematic issue at Dep Veterans Affairs, Secretary Shinseki must step down."

It was quickly followed by North Carolina Democrat Kay Hagan and John Walsh of Montana. Across the aisle, Republican John McCain who had been withholding final judgment on Shinseki also weighed in.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I really believe that General Shinseki should review in his own mind whether he can adequately serve the country carrying out the responsibilities given the things that have happened on his watch. I haven't said this before but I think it's time for General Shinseki to move on.


COOPER: That was in an interview with Wolf Blitzer earlier today.

Drew Griffin has been all over this story from the very beginning. He is on Capitol Hill tonight. He joins us now.

Drew, some remarkable fireworks on Capitol Hill.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and the hearing is still going on right now with the House Veterans Affairs Committee trying to get the information that it's been after, Anderson, for more than a year now. And the VA in there trying to explain away why documents have not been delivered.

But this interim report is really the catalyst for a lot of the change in direction here on Capitol Hill. It is just an interim report meaning it is just the beginning. But it's already painting a picture of a VA hospital in Phoenix that is out of control and a VA system nationwide that has been trying to hide just how long veterans have been waiting for care.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): It is a report that talks of schemes, record- keeping deception and 1700 veterans seeking appointments who were not on any wait lists that would get them one. At its core is the explanation of just how veterans seeking care in this Phoenix VA were hidden away, kept off the books in four separate schemes including tricking veterans into accepting appointments far into the future.

Deleting appointments. More than 14 days old. Actually manipulating data, simply changing dates to fit the VA's goals without having doctors see veterans.

Allegations we first reported more than a month ago when recently retired VA Doctor Sam Foote told CNN as many as 40 veterans died waiting for care at the Phoenix VA.

(On camera): And if you die waiting for your appointment you didn't exist?

DR. SAM FOOTE, RETIRED VA HOSPITAL WHISTLEBLOWER: Correct, and if they just remove you from that list and there was no record that you ever came to the VA and presented for care.

GRIFFIN: Pretty convenient.

FOOTE: Pretty sad.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): The Office of Inspector General says it's still investigating if in fact any veteran died because of delayed care citing the need for medical records, autopsies and medical review. And in a damning conclusion, the VA's Office of Inspector General calls the problems systemic throughout the VA while cautioning more investigation is needed.

The embattled secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, released a statement shortly after the report was released calling the findings, "reprehensible to me, to this department, to veterans." And that he is directing the Phoenix VA health care system immediately triage each of the 1700 veterans identified by the OIG to bring them timely care.

The response at the White House, the president found the findings extremely troubling and directing the VA to take immediate steps to reach out to veterans currently waiting to schedule appointments.


COOPER: And back now with Drew, also Paul Rieckhoff, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

So, Drew, I mean, this report talked about schemes, manipulation of data, the cooking of the books, all of which you have been reporting on. You did an interview with a -- with a current doctor and a woman I think who ran the Phoenix VA who kept saying, you know, blah, blah, blah, we had to wait until the IG report. She was finally put on leave. Do we know what's going to happen to her now?

GRIFFIN: Well, if this report is confirmed it is hard to believe that she has any future in any kind of VA health system, because of course it was under her command that all of these schemes took place. The report goes on to talk about mismanagement at the mid and senior levels in VA, including allegations of sexual harassment and bullying. So it's a very damning report specifically on this Phoenix VA hospital and how it was run, Anderson, but also on the VA system in general.

COOPER: What about criminal behavior? I mean, are they looking at that?

GRIFFIN: They're looking at it. They're finding allegations of it everywhere. They are determining what does and does not need to be forwarded to the Department of Justice. But the report clearly makes it seem that there is information going over to the Department of Justice that has allegations of criminal and civil misconduct in it.

COOPER: Paul, you've been critical of the VA for a long time. A lot of mismanagement we talked about on this show over the years. What's your reaction to this report?

PAUL RIECKHOFF, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICA: I wish we were wrong, but we weren't. And this is what our members have been telling us for years. Phoenix goes deeper and farther than we're initially worried about. And there are 42 sites under investigation.

COOPER: It's not just Phoenix.

RIECKHOFF: Forty-two. No. It's widespread, and we've been saying that for years. We've been hearing -- we've been having hearings and IG reports and GAO reports. But more importantly our veterans have been crying out for help for years. They've been ignored, they've been dismissed. And ultimately they've been betrayed. And there probably is criminal behavior. It sounds like there is. And people need to be more than fired. They need to be sent to jail. If veterans died on their watch people need to go to jail and be held accountable.

COOPER: We're also talking about veterans from Iraq, from Afghanistan, I mean, recent -- you know, people who have just gotten out with severe with PTSD, with, you know, injuries from IEDs, waiting months and months and months for treatment. It's crazy.

RIECKHOFF: Yes. Yes. And so you come home after doing tours overseas, and then you have to wait, and then you get stuck on a fake waiting list with 1700 other veterans. I mean, it's clear they were cooking the books, it's clear that Secretary Shinseki did not understand how far this went and it's clear the president didn't have a full grasp with how far this went so this has gone way beyond the VA. This is sitting firmly in front of the president now. He's got take it on, he's got to clean house, and he's got to hold people accountable.

COOPER: Drew, as we mentioned, the hearing in Capitol Hill tonight, I mean, it could shed light -- some light maybe on what's been going on. It's not just figuring out, though, what happened and who should be held accountable. Also a question of fixing this massive system within the federal bureaucracy.

How does that even begin? Where do you go from here?

GRIFFIN: Well, I mean, I think we'll leave it up to the political pundits to decide. But if you're going to turn around a company that is in trouble, if you're going to turn around an organization that is in trouble, if you're going to turn around a baseball team that isn't winning, you change the coach. And I think that's where a lot of these politicians on Capitol Hill are looking. There needs to be a change on leadership and strong leadership that can be brought in. That can fight what appears to me and to all the sources I have talked to is this entrenched bureaucracy that has just turned this VA into something other than what it should be, which is a highly efficient health delivery system for the men and women of this country who deserve it.

COOPER: It's also a centralized bureaucracy. And maybe that, you know, part of this you hear. Paul, I mean, we hear now through senators and Congress people, Democrats and Republicans, talking about Shinseki has got to go. Do you -- does your organization take a stand on whether or not he should go? RIECKHOFF: We just sent this IG report to our members a few hours ago. We're a member-driven organization. We want to see where they stand, we want to give them to digest this and we're going to make a thoughtful decision. But our patience is running thin. Every day there's a new breaking story. Now you see also the two combat veterans -- the only two combat veterans in the Senate, Senator Walsh, a Democrat, and Senator McCain, have both called for Shinseki to step down.

We've actually got a meeting with the secretary tomorrow. We want to hear what he has to say, how can you get to the bottom of this and how far does it go? We're monitoring it closely. And I think --


COOPER: He has been there for what? Six years now?

RIECKHOFF: Six years.

COOPER: Right.

RIECKHOFF: He's had plenty of time to turn this around. He's had plenty of warnings and he's had plenty of help. Everything he's asked for before Congress, he has gotten, and continued -- we continue to get stonewalled, we continue to get delays, and we continue to get excuses. Our veterans don't need excuses. They need answers. They need results.

COOPER: Yes. Paul Rieckhoff, it's good to have you on as always.

RIECKHOFF: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Drew Griffin as well.

Quick reminder, make sure you set your DVR so you can always watch 360 whatever you want.

Up next, more breaking news. Game-changing if it all bears out. New analysis casting strong doubt on those four pings that led searchers to believe they were closing the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. That and tantalizing possibility the underwater microphones may have picked up the impact but now the Navy essentially saying those pings were not what anyone thought they were. I'll talk to experts about what it all means.

I'll speak also with the father and kid brother of Veronika Weiss who lost her life in the Santa Barbara tragedy. About the strong and kind young woman they loved.

And later, remembering Maya Angelou, who lived through the Jim Crow South, with her ears and eyes open and turned her experience into written and spoken art that made us all just a little wiser.


MAYA ANGELOU, WRITER AND POET: But I do believe that we have to do something about what we believe about each other and what we really believe about ourselves. It is imperative that we do so. If we -- if you as a white man and I as a black woman, if you really think that we are different then there is something terribly wrong.



COOPER: More breaking news tonight, day after day, for weeks we watched as the hunt for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 played out in the part of the Indian Ocean off Australia where four sonar pings have been detected, pings believed at the time to be from the 777's flight data and cockpit voice recorders. Day after day, the sonar sub went down, day after day no 777. Well, now, we're beginning to get some idea of why. And it is surprising.

Details from Rene Marsh.


RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the most promising lead and now we know it is false. New information the U.S. Navy has concluded these four underwater signals were not from the missing plane's black boxes.

(On camera): From the U.S. Navy standpoint, these sounds were most likely not from the black boxes.

MICHAEL DEAN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR SALVAGE AND DIVING, U.S. NAVY: Yes, I would have to say at this point based on all of the imagery data that we've collected and looked at, if that black box were nearby we would have picked it up.

MARSH (voice-over): When detected in April, the pings boosted confidence the plane would be found.

ANGUS HOUSTON, AUSTRALIAN CHIEF SEARCH COORDINATOR: The four signals previously acquired taken together constitute the most promising lead.

MARSH: But now the Navy says the sounds could have been from the search ship itself or other electronics.

DEAN: We may very well have been in the wrong place, but again at the end of 30 days there was nothing else to listen for.

MARSH: After searching 329 square miles of ocean floor, the Bluefin- 21's mission is over. The search continues in August when private companies taking over. Meantime, a new potential lead. CNN has learned a sound that could have been the plane crashing was detected by underwater microphones.

MARK PRIOR, COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY ORGANIZATION: Our analysis is designed to detect nuclear of that sound and earthquakes. And my understand is yes, that Curtin University are looking at the data specifically with a view to finding if there's any evidence of any impact from the Malaysian aircraft. MARSH: The United Nations Nuclear Test Ban Organization has a network of 11 hydrophone stations that pick up many sounds even ice breaking thousands of miles away in Antarctica. But could it hear a plane hitting the water?

PRIOR: It's possible but the circumstances that would allow it would have to be very particular.


MARSH: We're joined by Rene Marsh, aviation correspondent Richard Quest, and on the phone is analyst David Gallo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He co-led the search for Air France Flight 447.

How big -- Richard, how big a blow is this?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: It's enormous, in the sense that they had searched this area for weeks. But let's not think about just what they've done so far. Let's push it out into the future. I mean, this -- they didn't just search this by accident. They searched it because it was the right location for the seventh ping. It was at the endurance of the aircraft. All the evidence pointed to this being the particular place where the plane went into the water.

COOPER: Right, and they said these pings were consistent with the black box.


QUEST: I have a quote here from the April 9th press conference.

COOPER: Right.

QUEST: It is very stable, distinct, clear signal, not of natural origin, consistent with the description of a flight data recorder. It's where the engines might have flamed out. And it's significant as the end of power flight.

COOPER: And you just spent time at Inmarsat. I mean, does this -- this changes the game?

QUEST: No, it doesn't. It doesn't change the handshakes. That's really important. Everybody still has -- there's a lot of credibility in the handshakes of the plane went south. That has been checked many times. What this means is that you've got to go back. You've got to be more true to the Inmarsat handshakes and follow those more closely.

And that, I believe, is what they're going to be doing in the future. Driving back to where those handshakes led the plane.

COOPER: So, Rene, now if I understand this right, you're basically being told that based on the underwater search by the Bluefin, after analyzing all the pictures that it took on the ocean floor during that search, no black box was found. So therefore the pings they thought they heard are not from the plane?

MARSH: Flatly, Anderson, yes, that is what we're being told and that is coming from the U.S. Navy. They're essentially saying, look, we had Bluefin down there. We know that Bluefin has completed its last mission today, it's searched some 329 square miles of ocean floor. They say if the black boxes were there they would have picked them up. So I said well what was the sound then that was detected on four different occasions.

The answer is, they really don't know. But they do not believe that it was from the black boxes. They said that perhaps it could have been a sound from Ocean Shield, the search itself.

COOPER: David Gallo, I mean, how confident can you be as you look at ocean floor images from a vehicle like the Bluefin that you can just emphatically rule out the presence of black boxes?

DAVID GALLO, CO-LED SEARCH FOR AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447: Yes, that's a great question, Anderson, and having -- I haven't seen any of the data yet and so it's tough to answer that. But if -- you know, Phoenix is very capable.


COOPER: That's the group that's doing this.

GALLO: Yes, it's the group that's doing this. So if they're saying they found no evidence they found no evidence. But to me this is still a tough call. If you hear -- if you're looking for someone lost in the woods then you hear their voice calling out to you, and you say that's their voice, that's them, but we didn't find them, so we're leaving. You know, this is a tough one to me.

COOPER: I know that on your initial search for Air France Flight 447, David, you picked up a false ping. I mean, that kind of thing obviously can throw a wrench into an operation like that.

GALLO: Yes, there were many -- yes, it sure does. There were many -- several anyway false alarms with Air France 447 where we spent months of time looking in places and a haystack for a needle that wasn't there. And this is very disruptive.

COOPER: And, Richard, as you said, moving forward they've got to go back to the handshakes, the Inmarsat data. But whatever it means it means a larger search area and a lot more time.

QUEST: Oh, no question about it. You're going not only to one handshake, you're working your way up to the next bit of the arc. And then the next bit of the arc and onwards. We have to put this into the bigger context. When they've got there they were running against the clock. Thirty days plus to try and hear something.

COOPER: For pings, right.

QUEST: They were doing it very fast. Data was being analyzed, crunched, the results were being -- they couldn't afford the luxury of saying let's wait. Now they can have that luxury.

COOPER: Well, also, I mean, David or Richard, I mean, when you think about you make a mistake with a number of ping sounds, you know, it's coming from something else other than black boxes, the idea that they have one microphone that picked up some sound that seems like a long shot to say the least. I mean, if the pings were a mistake, the idea that they somehow off a microphone picked up a sound seems like a huge long shot. No?

GALLO: Yes, I think so. Those listening devices are typically on the sea floor. That's a long way from the impact surface. They could have heard the hull of the plane imploding, but that probably would have been broken up before it got a depth. So I think I would put this in the very long shot category for sure.

QUEST: We have a saying where I come from, you call a spade a shovel which is --

COOPER: Where do you come from?


QUEST: Let's not worry too much about that. But we have to say -- we've got to call it as it is. Tonight as a result of excellent reporting by Rene and what the U.S. Navy is saying it is slightly expo facto because they've already searched and it's not there.

COOPER: Right.

QUEST: But they are going to have to re-think the whole lot.

COOPER: That's right.

QUEST: I do not blame them for what they have done in any shape or form because they were doing what they had to do at the time that they had to do it. It's too simplistic to simply say they shouldn't have done it, they should have been more skeptical. They have nothing else to go on. But now --

COOPER: Were you imitating me there?




QUEST: If the cap fits wear it. And -- but ultimately they have to go back, they have to find whether or not there's the confidence in the Inmarsat data and then start looking again.

COOPER: It goes on.

Richard, thanks very much. David Gallo, Rene Marsh, great reporting, thank you.

As always you can find out more on the stories at

Up next, Santa Barbara shooting victim, Veronika Weiss, is being remembered as warm-hearted, welcoming, an athlete, a math quiz, her father and brother join me ahead.

Plus Donald Sterling told me he wasn't going to hire a bunch of lawyers to fight the NBA or its partners. Tonight, though, well, it seems like he changed his tune.


COOPER: Veronika Weiss was 19 years old, a freshman at the University of California Santa Barbara. Her life and five others were cut short on Friday night. No one ever expects to be a target in a mass shooting, no one ever expects to lose a loved one in such a horrific way.

When the unthinkable does happen we owe it to the victims to keep their memories alive, to tell their stories. Veronika's father Bob and brother Cooper join me tonight.

And, Bob, I want to start with you. What do you want people to know about your daughter?

BOB WEISS, FATHER OF VERONICA, SHOOTING VICTIM: Veronika was a smart kid. She loved life. She played water polo with a passion. Her teammates loved her. They put a tribute on for her the other night that several hundred people showed up at. Veronika was just a smart, courageous little girl who grew up to be a young woman that everyone liked and wanted to be around.

COOPER: Cooper, she was your older sister, what kind of a sister was she?

COOPER WEISS, BROTHER OF VERONICA, SHOOTING VICTIM: She was -- she was really protective. She did a lot of things for my brother and I. Like, you know, she'd go Christmas present shopping. She'd pick out all of my birthday presents, you know. She'd get food for us, she always watched over us, she gave us rides whenever we needed them. She was fantastic and she was a great older sister.

COOPER: Does any of this seem real to you at this point, Cooper?

COOPER WEISS: It's been crazy. It's hard to get off of my mind, it's all I've really been thinking about honestly.

COOPER: Of course.

Bob, I understand that the night of the shooting you did not hear from Veronika like you normally would. You went online, you actually tracked her cell phone and realized that it was in the middle of the crime scene. What did you do then?

BOB WEISS: Well, we went and sat by the edge of the crime scene for about three or four hours. We checked in with the sheriffs from time to time but they weren't in a position where they could say anything decisive. So we had to wait until probably about four hours until sunrise, until they took us around the corner in a Catholic Church, sat us down with a couple of pastors and another sheriff and just said we can now confirm that Veronika was lost.

COOPER: I was struck, Bob, by something you said about Veronika. You said that she was the kind of person who would have wanted to help this young man, the shooter. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

BOB WEISS: You know, I don't know what the name for them in school today, we used to call them nerds when I was in high school. The bookish types who were more interested in calculus than being cool or popular. Those are the kids that Veronika reached out to and were attracted to her.

COOPER WEISS: They were the kids that, you know, kept to themselves, like someone anti-social sometimes, she really reached out to those kind of people. And it is a shame, because he was targeting the exact opposite kind of person.

COOPER: And --

COOPER WEISS: She was a person who would reach out for someone.

COOPER: And they were drawn to her?

COOPER WEISS: Yes, they were drawn to her and Veronika was drawn to them. Like this kid came up to me at the water polo pool, and he said, not very many people liked me at school and said Veronika was one of the few people who was kind to her. And that just speaks volumes on how to -- what kind of person she was. You know, how she would outreach to -- she reached out to people who were not getting the kind of love and, you know, affection they deserve.

And that is why I feel like she would have liked this kid. You know? She would have tried to be nice to him. She -- would have tried to hang out with him, you know. She would definitely not have rejected him. My sister was not that kind of person at all.

COOPER: You know, I spoke last night to Christopher Martinez dad. And one of the things that he said was that lots of people were offering their condolences and that he wanted to reach out to the parents of the young man who committed this horrific crime. And in their grief, nobody would be offering them condolences. And Bob, I actually understand you feel for the parents of this young man as well.

BOB WEISS: Of course, the parents are in a terrible situation neither the boy, Elliott, or his parents chose to have mental illness be a dominant part of their life. And they have been struggling his entire life, I'm sure, with all kinds of challenges. We're not angry at them.

COOPER: Cooper, I read something one of your aunts said. She said she was the only person who preferred the weather in Seattle, where she was born, to California, is that true? COOPER WEISS: Yes, she loved the rainy weather. I would get in the car with her when she would be giving me a ride somewhere before I started driving and before she went to college. She would have the air conditioning blasting, and it would be 60 degrees, I would say I'm cold, and she said well, I love Seattle. I love the cold weather. She loved snowboarding and things like that.

COOPER: And I think I have the prom picture of her, as well. Is that you, Cooper in the picture, as well?


COOPER: Do you remember the picture?

COOPER WEISS: I do remember that picture indeed, she looked beautiful.

COOPER: She does indeed. Thank you for talking to us and telling us about Veronica, and I wish you peace in the days ahead.

Just ahead tonight, a new twist in the Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling saga, he is now going to fight for the sale of the Clippers.


COOPER: Tonight, Donald Sterling is vowing to fight the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, even though his estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, is moving quickly to do just that. We hear she is talking to potential bidders. Her husband was thought to be on board. Last week, he cleared the way in a letter to the NBA that flat out said and I quote, "This letter confirms that Donald T. Sterling authorizes Rochelle Sterling to negotiate with the National Basketball Association regarding all issues in connection with the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers team."

Now though his lawyers tells ESPN that Donald Sterling, quote, "is going to fight to the bloody end" and that quote, "he disavows anything she is doing to sell the team." She meaning Shelly Sterling. That's not all. Yesterday, Sterling blasted the NBA in a 26-page document accusing the league of violating his constitutional rights, which is a far cry from what he told me shortly after the league banned him for life.


DONALD STERLING, OWNER, L.A. CLIPPERS: People want to hire a wall of lawyers and to go to war. I don't think that is the answer. The league is a good league, all honest people. And I think that whatever they decide that has to be done, I think I should work with them. I don't want to fight with my partners, you know. We all do what we have to do in life.

I love them and I respect them and whatever their decision is with regard to the disposition of my terrible words. Then I have to do it. I think. I mean, I love my league, I love my partners, am I entitled to one mistake? It is a terrible mistake and I'll never do it again. The league won't stand for that. They wouldn't stand for racism. I'm telling you. And I did it. So is it harsh? Of course it is harsh. But it is not like I don't deserve -- I thought they were going to do more.


COOPER: Well, tonight Donald Sterling doesn't sound so resigned. CNN legal analyst, Sunny Hostin and Jeffrey Toobin joins me along with Rachelle Nichols, host of CNN's "UNGUARDED." So just last week, Donald Sterling sends a letter authorizing Shelly Sterling to sell the Clippers, then yesterday his attorney sent a 32-page letter promising to fight to the bitter end? Is this just saber rattling? Is this just kind of Sterling land?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think there are two possibilities. One is that these people are just all nuts. The other possibility is I think there is a rationale where both could actually work in concert. Donald Sterling is going to have to sell this team. There is no doubt that there is going to have to be a sale here whether it is forced or voluntarily.

He needs to get the biggest price he wants. If his wife -- can be the good cop and say I really want to sell the team he can be the bad cop and say no way I'm selling. So Shelly can then drive up the price saying you know, Don is crazy, you have to give another $100 million. I think that is what is probably going on here. It is all about driving up the price.

COOPER: Jeff, in the documents sent yesterday, Sterling's attorney said that the primary reason the NBA couldn't strip him of his team is because he was recorded without his knowledge in California. Is that a made-up argument?

TOOBIN: It is not a made-up argument. It's just a losing argument because whether that was legal or illegal is irrelevant, in deciding whether a private association can have Donald Sterling as a member.

COOPER: Sunny, I saw you shaking your head. Do you disagree with it?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I do disagree. I mean, I actually read through it, and I think he has about several strong arguments, he made about eight arguments and three are very valid. One was, listen, this was a private conversation and you can't even as a private association take my property away from me and violate my due process and violate my right of privacy. I actually think that is a very strong argument.

The other argument he makes is that this NBA constitution that they're relying upon, this Article 13-D basically constitutes the failure of a team owner financially, not this kind of scenario, and the other thing he says which I think is sort of a veiled message to the other owners, listen, this is arbitrary and capricious, and he says others have done egregious things.

The team was not taken from him. I think as we all know he only needs eight owners to agree with him. So all of -- sort of the arguments he made I really think are geared towards the owners. He is telling them there but for the grace of God go you.

COOPER: And the first round from potential new owners is due either today or tomorrow or both. And what do we know about the people who are looking to buy the Clippers? I mean, the groups are clear --

RACHEL NICHOLS, HOST, CNN'S "UNGUARDED": There is a lot of billionaires out there looking to buy the L.A. Clippers. And that price is going to keep getting jacked up for a couple of reasons. First of all, there are television rates to be negotiated in the next couple of years both local and national that means whoever does own this team, there is a lot of money that's going to be incoming into their pockets --

COOPER: Which by the way, Donald Sterling in my interview with him claimed he could get the up to a $3 billion offer from Fox. He says it is sitting on my desk, they're offering a billion, I could get it up to 3 billion.

NICHOLS: Anderson, Donald Sterling claimed all kinds of things in your interview. But there is no doubt, look, there are all sorts of offers, and an L.A. franchise of the NBA is something that you can just buy off the grocery shelves. The Sterling family has owned the Clippers for decades. This is a valuable commodity. This is a free market society and obviously there is a lot of very rich people who are going to bid against each other to drive up the price of the team.

This thing you have to remember about the letter that Donald Sterling gave to Shelly sort of giving her permission to solicit these bids, this is not a binding document of the NBA. The NBA has one controlling owner of the Clippers that is Donald Sterling could not give this to Shelly on a cocktail napkin or any other way on a document. He is the only one who can sign off on selling the team.

COOPER: Jeff, you think by next week there will be a deal?

TOOBIN: Absolutely.

COOPER: Sunny, you don't think there will be a deal?

HOSTIN: No, Jeff is totally wrong on it.

COOPER: Rachel, what do you think, do you think there will be a deal next week?

NICHOLS: I think the NBA has been pretty straightforward. You can't be a bigot and be an NBA owner. Barring a temporary injunction served out by a court. They will try to make sure that Donald Sterling doesn't own this team.

COOPER: All right, June 3rd is my birthday, we'll see what happens. All right, thanks, everybody.

We'll see. Coming up, remembering Maya Angelou, I had the opportunity to speak with her several times in this program. Tonight, we honor her legacy the best way we know how in her own words.


MAYA ANGELOU: The truth is no one of us can be free until everybody is free. And every one of us needs to say to our children, children this is your world. Come out. Stand out. Earn it.



COOPER: One of the most lyrical voices in American history is now silence. The words of Maya Angelou live on and will undoubtedly influence generations to come as they have generations past. Angelou died at home in Winston Dale, North Carolina at the age of 86. She was a poet, a civil rights activist, a singer, a dancer and even San Francisco's first African-American street car driver when she was just 16 years old.

I had the honor speaking with her on several occasions including last August on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. Tonight we thought the best way to remember her was not with our words but with hers.


COOPER: For you on this day, what do Dr. King's words mean to you today? What do you think the mark of significance is today?

ANGELOU: Well, I think that at once I'm delighted that he had the dream. I'm delighted that if he woke right now he could also say, some of my dream has come to pass and see that there are African- American families in the White House. A man and a woman and their children and a grandmother. A black grandmother in the White House. My goodness. At the same time, I think he would be disappointed to hear we have not come any farther. And so my hope is that the dream, we can awaken from the dream and find that some of the elements of the dream has come to pass.

COOPER: It was very interesting to me in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case and the case of George Zimmerman, there was a poll done about the discussions of race that were taking place in the wake of that case. And among many white Americans the poll numbers said that a lot of white Americans felt too much was being made about race. Whereas among African-Americans the majority felt that this was a discussion that needed to continue and need to be had and not too much was being made about it. It is interesting to me how still to this day often white America and black America sees things through different lenses.

ANGELOU: Absolutely, because we have not come to the decision which is so important. You can only come to this decision if you have courage. The decision is I am a human being. Nothing human can be alien to me. Until we come to that, whites will really think I'm better than. Well, they're not so bad but their color doesn't come off and the hair doesn't straighten out. And so we are not equals. Until blacks and whites see each other as brother and sister we will not have parity. It is very clear.

COOPER: And you don't think that has occurred? You don't believe there is true equality yet?

ANGELOU: I know there is not. And you know there is not. And everybody who hears you knows there is not. Mr. Cooper, people have to develop courage. It is most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any of the virtues consistently, you can be anything radically in front of the microphone, in front of the camera. But to be that thing in your heart you have to have courage. And so I'm afraid that we are lacking in courage. We think we are afraid. And fear, I'm sorry to say, motivates most of the cruelties in our world.

COOPER: President Obama, in his address today talks about opening a new front in the civil rights movement. One that also pulls in the struggle for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, for women in this country. The rights of other minorities like immigrants. Do you see that movement for equality as part of the civil rights movement, as a continuation of --

ANGELOU: It is almost -- yes, sir, Mr. Cooper. If you think that I can have freedom, but you can't because you're short or you're tall or gay or fat or pretty or thin but I can have it, not because by anything I earned. I just was born white, I was born pretty then you're just stupid. The truth is no one of us can be free until everybody is free. And every one of us needs to say to our children, children this is your world. Come out. Stand out. Earn it.

COOPER: You ask questions in a "Time" magazine article recently that you authored and questions I want to ask you. You wrote, can you imagine if we did not have this under-girded hate and racism and if we were not crippled by these idiocies, can you imagine what our country would be like? How can you answer those questions? Can you imagine?

ANGELOU: Yes, I'm brought to weep when I think what my country can be and will be when we develop enough courage to act courageously and with courtesy and respect for each other. Just imagine what on earth -- we wouldn't have to say we're the most powerful country in the world. We will be the most powerful country in the world. Not because we have might, but because we have right.


COOPER: Such a remarkable lady. My most recent conversation with Maya Angelou after Nelson Mandela had passed away. She spoke so beautifully as always about his legacy and was even moved to break into song. A song called "On My Journey Mt. Zion" listen.


ANGELOU: There is an old spiritual, old gospel song, which is I'm on my journey now, Mt. Zion. On my journey now, Mt. Zion and I wouldn't take nothing. Mt. Zion from my journey now, Mt. Zion.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: There is a lot more happening tonight. Susan Hendricks joins us with the 360 Bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, President Obama outlined his foreign policy vision for the remainder of his term while addressing graduate cadets at the U.S. Military Academy of West Point. The president said a strong military and the use of diplomacy is the right balance.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: U.S. military action cannot be the only or even the primary component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.


HENDRICKS: Meanwhile, a court hearing in Mexico today for a U.S. Marine imprisoned for two months was quickly suspended until next week. Sergeant Andrew Tamarici (ph), an Afghanistan war veteran crossed the border with three personal firearms purchased legally in the U.S., but he is facing a weapons charge in Mexico.

And Apple will spend $3 billion to acquire Beats, the music streaming service and its related electronics company. One of the big winners in the deal is co-founder, Dr. Dre, who owns 25 percent of Beats, he is calling himself the first billionaire in hip-hop.

COOPER: Susan, thanks very much. Well, while Dr. Dre is knocking it out of the park, 50 Cent is taking heat for one of the worst pitches on the baseball field. "The Ridiculist" is coming up next.


COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist," and tonight, there is a new national past time, namely watching 50 Cent, is it 50 Cents, or 50 Cent, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Mets game. Now I'm no expert on pitching styles, but I think there is an outside chance that the candy shop of which 50 was fond of taking everyone was nowhere near the bull pen.

Now, I think the baseball field, perhaps 50 Cent should be the score keeper or something, anything but the pitcher or maybe he can get some tips from Mariah Carey. She did it in heels. There is a T-Rex throwing out the first pitch at a red birds/Memphis game. But if you really want to wow them. You need a gymnast.

Watch this, wow. I don't even know how she did that. Gymnasts have an unfair advantage, gold medallist, Shawn Johnson throwing out the first pitch at an Iowa/Cubs game, talk about a first pitch there. They should let Will Ferrell pitch the first. Whatever is lost on the score board will be more than gained on entertainment value if you ask me or how about going full naked gun for a royal start to the season?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're about ready for the first pitch ceremony with the queen of England ready to toss out the first ball.

ANNOUNCER: How about that queen, ladies and gentlemen?


COOPER: Now, listen, I don't want to give the impression that I could have done any better than 50 Cent, I don't want to get into a beef with Mr. 50 Cent or T-Rex. I am really more of a basketball guy. I know nothing about basketball, all I know about is politics. OK, that was really pathetic. That is not even close. Five million dollars for an authentic bracket from the first NCAA tournament?


COOPER: Is that enough for an authentic bracket, I don't know who the hoop is or the ball is or -- I'm confused by the analogy, but I'll let it go. I don't know anything about sports.


COOPER: Take heart, 50 Cent, we found a place in the world where we actually prefer a belly itcher than a pitcher right here in the starting lineup of "The Ridiculist." I don't know what that is a reference to. It's a song, right? Like one of those baseball songs? (INAUDIBLE) you're not a pitcher? Something?

I sat out team sports when I was a little kid. They never picked me. But I got my revenge.

Anyway, that's it for us. We'll see you again - where are they now?


They're far more successful than me, I can tell you that.

We'll see you again at 11:00 p.m. Eastern for another edition of 360. "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN", probably not a great sportsman either, starts now.