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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Details About Closed-Door Capitol Hill Briefing on Deal to Free Bergdahl; Las Vegas Shooting Rampage
Aired June 9, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: Good evening. Welcome to this live edition of AC360. A special second hour of AC360.
Breaking News, details from tonight's closed-door Capitol Hill briefing on the deal to free Bowe Bergdahl. Breaking News as well in the Las Vegas shooting rampage. The killer couple's manifesto to start a revolution against the government and what we're learning about the three lives they took.
And later, a welcome exclusive, we'll talk to the guy who's been leaving cash all over San Francisco and other parts of California. He has a big announcement to make tonight.
We begin though with the Breaking News on Capitol Hill a short time ago. House lawmakers wrapped up a closed-door briefing on the controversial prisoner swap that freed U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban detainees of Guantanamo Bay.
Several top White House deputies tried to convince lawmakers that they made the right call. They said they kept the plan secret and didn't consult Congress, they say, to protect Bergdahl's life. They were afraid about leaks.
Well, tonight, Bergdahl is still recovering at a U.S. military hospital in Germany. A Senior U.S. official tells CNN that Bergdahl who was promoted to Sergeant during his captivity wants to be recognized by his old rank of Private First Class. More than a week after his release by the Taliban, he still has not talked to his parents. According to reports, he isn't emotionally ready.
Here's what Bergdahl's mom said two days after he was freed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANI BERGDAHL, BOWE BERGDAHL'S MOTHER: I'm still looking forward to seeing your face after these last five and a half years, long, long years and to giving you a great, big bear hug and holding you in my arms again, never wanting to let you go. Five years is a seemingly endless long time, but you've made it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: While the Bergdahls have not speaking publicly since that news conference, tonight the FBI is amidst getting threats the parents received in e-mails.
And Jim Sciutto joins me from Washington, Ed Lavandera is in Bergdahl's hometown of Hailey, Idaho.
So Jim, since his release, there've been a lot of obviously different reports about his conditions, that Sergeant Bergdahl was held in, you've heard some new details as well. What are you hearing?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're learning of a particularly traumatizing experience. One that he attempted, according to US officials, to escape more than once and partly because of those escape attempts, he was kept for a period of time in a cage or a box often, you know, without any sunlight and then he was physically abused. Just one point for context that during the Vietnam War, Vietnam veterans, they were often held with other soldiers even during the Lebanese Civil War, the prisoners taking Hezbollah, held with others. He endured five years of this entirely by himself. So you can imagine the physical and the psychological trauma.
COOPER: You're also hearing reports and again, I think all these reports have to be taken with a grain of salt depending on who the sources are, but that he may have attempted to get along with his captors.
SCIUTTO: That's right. We're hearing from a Taliban spokesman, for instance, that he played soccer at times with his captors and other forms of communication. He was allowed to celebrate Christmas and Eastern. He was allowed to choose his menu on some occasions.
Now, you know, is that incriminating necessarily? No. You know, to humanize yourself as a survival tactic, I've been told this, I'm sure you've been told this before going into war zones, by making yourself more human, you make yourself less likely to be treated inhumanely and possibly less likely to be killed.
COOPER: And Ed, as I said you're in Bergdahl's hometown, Hailey Idaho, what do we know about the threats his family's been receiving apparently?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've been told by law enforcement sources that those threats came through e-mail and a family friend also tells us that some of those threats were made in phone calls as well to the Bergdahls.
A military spokesman or liaison that has been close to the family for the last five years says that this is a law enforcement issue. So many more details beyond that, we do not know, but it is a great deal of concern for the family. Many people here in Hailey, Idaho have because of just how quickly what they thought was going to be a jubilant situation with Bowe Bergdahl's release. They thought it was going to be a jubilant situation that has turned so nasty and vile. Many of the Bergdahl family and friends are very concerned about their well-being at this point.
COOPER: And Ed, are there any plans that we know about for any kind of reunion to take place?
LAVANDERA: As far as we know, I mean, things can slow down considerably. We had thought and kind of had led to believe that Bowe Bergdahl might have been making his way from Germany to San Antonio, Texas by the end of last week. But clearly, things have slowed down a little bit as the medical staff helps out Bowe Bergdahl in Germany. But as far as we know, everything seems to be on track for that reunion to take place at some point when he goes to that army medical facility in San Antonio, Texas.
COOPER: And Jim, bottom line, it's going to be awhile before we really know what happened to Sergeant Bergdahl.
SCIUTTO: And this is what military officials keep repeating to me and I'm sure to others, is wait. We will do an investigation. We will look into, says the Pentagon charges that he deserted, that he left multiple times, you know, even possibly that he collaborated. They're going to look into that. But at this point, they say there is no hard evidence of it and give the time for his family to heal for Bowe Bergdahl to heal physically and mentally and that's the focus now. And even Secretary Hagel has made that assurance to the family, as well, personally in phone calls and other communications.
COOPER: Yeah. I mean, there's a rush to judgment. Again, we don't know all the facts and we just got to wait. Jim Sciutto and Ed Lavandera, thanks very much.
I want to bring in two men who have unique insight to this the story, David Rohde, was held captive by the Taliban for seven months when he worked for The New York Times and now he's now at Reuters, an investigator reporter for Reuters. Also, Keith Stansell was held captive by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia or FARC for five years. I appreciate both of you being with us.
David, personally I know you talked to the Bergdahl's, what recently?
DAVID ROHDE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, REUTERS: Yeah. Over this weekend. Yes.
COOPER: OK. What did they say?
ROHDE: I mean, I would, I want to sort of respect their privacy but generally, I would say they sort of heartbroken by the entire situation and how this is playing out.
COOPER: By their response.
ROHDE: By their response but they're also, you know, this talk of soldiers dying possibly in the search for Bergdahl, that's heartbreaking for them as well that families' lost soldiers. And, you know, and these death threats are real. They're getting them. Again, this is a Christian family. I get Twitter messages saying that, you know, Bowe is a Muslim and his father is a Muslim because he grew that beard. That's just not true.
COOPER: He grew the beard in sympathy with his son. ROHDE: Yes. He was trying to keep his son alive and so to get the Taliban to not kill them. And just one quick thing, there was this mention that Taliban spokesman claiming that Bowe Bergdahl played soccer
ROHDE: You know, as a former -- I was held by the same faction, the Haqqanis, the same Taliban group. They did not let me outside. I was this very valuable prisoner. Bowe was a very valuable prisoner. And they're very afraid of local spies who do -- it seems help the U.S. carry out drone strikes in that area. So it just doesn't seem plausible to me that they would have Bowe Bergdahl out playing soccer where anyone could see him. That could trigger a drone strike.
The Taliban actually thought that drone strikes and the drones would try to kill me to eliminate this very valuable prisoner they had. So we just have to wait ...
ROHDE: ... you know, for more information.
COOPER: And Keith, I'm sure you aren't surprised to hear that nine days since his rescue, Sergeant Bergdahl still has not spoken to his family. I know your re-interrogation with your family was very carefully orchestrated only short amounts of time. I think it was 30 minutes, the first time. What -- can you describe what makes that initial communication with family so, so kind of fraught and so difficult?
KEITH STANSELL, HELD CAPTIVE BY FARC FOR 5 YEARS: Yeah, Anderson, you know, for me, the term I use is just an almost like sensory overloaded emotional shock. I mean, for us, after five and a half years of being in one environment and then when the matter of hours being thrust into another, it was a lot to deal with just that change in the environment. Then the family members which compromised you're -- the most important part of your life, at least, for the three of us did for sure that you haven't seen somebody for five and a half years. And as I stated earlier, I had a little boy that was 10 years old and, you know, didn't come to my shoulder and then he was 16 and he was 6 foot 5 when I came out.
STANSELL: And someone I didn't recognize. All of those things together, the changes that -- just abrupt change is a lot to handle and it's a lot to process. So for us, the three of us that were hostages, you know, we all had fairly large families, all with children. It was difficult and I'd say, it was kind of -- for me, it was a sensory overloaded. It wasn't a negative in the sense that I did want to see him but ...
STANSELL: ... there's so much -- there only so much I could take in the beginning and it took awhile to get back to it. And it's just -- I think it's just part of that type of absence for that longer time.
COOPER: And as part of that, Keith, because the environment you were in is totally controlled. I mean, you have no control over, I assume, what happens to you on any given day, what time you eat, what time you can go to bathroom, all that sort of things.
STANSELL: Absolutely. I can remember making some comments the day before yesterday when we previously spoke about what did you think about Sergeant Bergdahl's condition and look at his eyes. Well, we all looked like that, you know, we're in double to triple canopy jungle and we, you know, basically, we're not, you know, we were eating like we should, we suffered from a lot and the stress on top of that really was the stress was the biggest thing. We all kind of had that drone like look.
And it was interesting to me to see when he was walking toward the helicopter, it looked like he was just waiting for instructions to just move and that's the result of what you let into is everything you do, you know, we would be awoken in the morning at, you know, 5:15, 5:20 and given just kind of black coffee made out of river water and some sugar. And you're told when to get up, you know, and you sit up in your hammock if were strung between two post and they unchain you. That's when they take the chains off you. You have to ask them if you can use restroom.
Even at night, by yourself, you know, you're not allowed to get up and go use the restroom and hold somewhere you have these containers which you have to ask the guard who's 10 foot from you if you can use the restroom, then he shines a light on you. There's no privacy. And so everything is stripped away from you. All the basic human privileges or rights that you're used to are just stripped and you become accustomed to that and you learn to live in that environment. So it's difficult to go back to the norm after that and takes some time.
COOPER: Given, I mean, that somebody who went through, you know, a seven month-experience like this, what is your caution to people out there? As I mean, I usually been following this now for this last week and sort at the end of the week, I kind of realized we don't have all the information, we're not going to have all the information for a long time and it's unfair to judge this guy based on the information that we do have at this point. That's at least my thought.
ROHDE: I would not and, you know, I'm biased because after all they kidnapped me. Of all the sources of information, I wouldn't trust the Taliban.
ROHDE: Any descriptions about how they treated him, how he acted in captivity, I wouldn't trust it at all. Did we trust the Viet Cong when they described how American prisoners behaved, you know, in North Vietnam? You know, I don't think we, you know, we did so I would just say, you know, be very skeptical and just realize this has become a big political issue.
COOPER: Right. ROHDE: It's dividing the country and, you know, who's got what agenda here.
COOPER: David Rohde, it's good to have you on, as well, Keith Stansell, thank you so much and my best to your mom who was on the program last week and she was lovely. Keith, thanks a lot.
STANSELL: She's always, Anderson. Have a great night. Thank you.
COOPER: All right. Thanks.
A quick reminder, make sure you set your DVR so you can watch 360 whenever you like.
Coming up next, the killings in Las Vegas and the neighbor who saw something. In fact saw an awful lot but never said anything to authorities until it was far too late.
Also, a window into the world of people living with serious mental illness, a way to experience life or just try to get through ordinary moments? What it's like to actually hear voices in your head? It's an experiment I took yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just come here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I only had to endure 45 minutes of the experiment just ahead and see how I did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come here to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And there's breaking news tonight in the shooting rampage in Las Vegas. Two police officers and one civilian shot dead by a husband and wife couple with a record of anti-government statements and online postings. Sunday, they turned their words into violence before taking their own lives.
Now, ordinarily, we would need to show the faces or said the names of killers like these usually mass shootings, particularly involving kids because we think it's more important that history remember the names and lives of the victims and survivors. However, in this case, it's important to focus on the perpetrators and what drove them because they maybe part of a larger pattern. The police are still looking for more information about them. With that in mind, the breaking news, a video tape of the husband at the government standoff with rancher Cliven Bundy voicing his views and warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERAD MILLER, LAS VEGAS RAMPAGE KILLER: I feel sorry for any federal agents that want to come in here and try to push us around or anything like that. I really don't want violence toward them but if they're going to come and bring violence to us, well, if that's the language they want to speak, we'll learn it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Cliven Bundy's son says the couple was asked to leave the ranch because of their radical beliefs.
Today, local authorities revealed how they acted on those beliefs and Kyung Lah has that. And one neighbors regret that she did not do more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY FIELDER, NEIGHBOR: I got five deaths on my shoulders. I should've called the cops.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But Kelly Fielder didn't. The couple had been living with her for the last two weeks saying they were preparing for something against the government.
FIELDER: It was yesterday morning, 5:45 in the morning. And he said that the revolution begun. He said, "I got to do what I got to do." They had, I mean, a cart full of just ammunition, ammunition, guns, everything.
LAH: Were they carrying them? Can you describe what they were doing?
FIELDER: They were carrying them because they said that they were going underground.
LAH: Where they couple was going is here, CiCi's Pizza. Las Vegas police officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck were eating lunch.
MILLER: Crawling and grabbing on their hands and knees. Oh give me permission to do this. Give me permission to do that.
LAH: Police say Jerad Miller who ranted on home video about his disgust with the government and his wife, Amanda, didn't know the officers they targeted. They shot 31-year old officer Soldo in the back of the head killing him instantly. Partner Alyn Beck, age 41, was shot in the throat but still managed to fire back before they shot him again. The couple then pulled the officers' bodies out of the booth
ASST. SHERIFF KEVIN MCMAHILL: Where they placed a Gadsden flag which has a "Don't tread on me," yellow flag on the body of Officer Beck. They also threw a swastika on top of his body.
LAH: Kelly Fielder knows exactly what the police are talking about.
FIELDER: He's got that note tread on me, flags. That's what put on that cop and the other was swastika pins. And he said, every popo he -- this is awkward. Every popo he cleans, he's going to put swastika on them
LAH: The couple did put a swastika on their victims and pinned a note on officer Soldo declaring this is the beginning of the revolution before moving to the packed Wal-Mart across the street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two people walked in and were shooting up in the ceiling and to tell anyone to, "Get out the store, get out of the store. We want a war."
LAH: Customer Joseph Wilcox did not run. He was carrying a concealed weapon and heroically confronted the male gunman. But Wilcox did not see the wife and police say, she shot and killed him. Police arrived and exchanged gunfire with the couple before the wife wounded, shot her husband then shot herself.
DREW FLORY, NEIGHBOR: He was pretty much always talking about how much, you know, the government has changed the United States of America.
LAH: Many who lived in the same apartment complex heard the radical view sheared openly. On social media, they talk about their love for each other and a picture from Facebook shows the couple's affection for the Joker from the Batman series.
Kelly Fielder says looking back the red flags are obvious, she wishes she had done something.
FIELDER: I am so, so, so sorry to everybody that -- I'm sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Kyung Lah joins us now from Las Vegas. So that fact, this neighbor, there's witnessed and heard so much, I mean, a lot of red flags, what about the Vegas police saying about it?
LAH: Well, what the Vegas police are saying is certainly, they're expressing some frustration. They address this in their large news conferences afternoon here in Las Vegas saying that it is so, so important that if you see something, where ever you live in this country, you have to say something. That's actually a motto here in this. If you see something, say something, tell the police because, Anderson, as we've see so many times in these shootings, it's often the people who are closest to the suspect, the people who live next door who see this live.
COOPER: All right, Kyung, thanks very much. I appreciate it. It's the same story. You can read it on the face of that police official today as he walk reporters to the part of their timeline when the lives of two of his men were taken and then later when a civilian gave his trying to protect others. Tonight, we remember those three lives and we do our best to honor them.
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MAYOR CAROLYN G. GOODMAN, LAS VEGAS: We're a community in tears here. I will tell you these were wonderful officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A community in tears over the deaths of two of their own, police officers who were just out to grab some lunch. Officer Alyn Beck joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police in August of 2001. His friend say he was a good person, his goal was to help people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alyn was a wonderful person. He was the best of people. He was always about service. He was the funniest guy. He was -- you think of some people who are good in eulogy only and Alyn is the absolute opposite of that. Alyn is easy to eulogize because that's all he was, he was good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officer Beck was married and leaves behind three children. He was just 41 years old. Alyn's partner, Officer Igor Soldo joined the force in 2006. He attended high school in Lincoln, Nebraska and previously worked as a corrections officer before joining the force. Described by family as a good father and a great man, Soldo leaves behind a wife and a baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To imagine young people and their family finding out your husband or wife has gone off to work and that's it, he's gone. And this is simply because we've got these sick, sick cowardly people out there that just decide to express themselves all the time with bullets and we see it repeatedly across this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joseph Wilcox was shopping at Wal-Mart. A police say he had a concealed weapon and tried to confront one of the gunmen. He was shot and killed. His friend was with him when it happened and says he believe Wilcox prevented the killers from targeting other victims.
JEREMY TANNER, WILCOX'S FRIENDS: I wanted to tell him, you know, "Don't do this. Come with me." but I also felt that he's possibly going to be saving some lives and it all happened so quick. I think before I can get any words out I hear him say I'm sorry and I'm hearing gunshots and I just wanted to get out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joseph Wilcox was 31.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COPPER: And as always, you could find out more at cnn.com.
Coming up next, a story that was prompted by the shooting in Seattle and the alleged killer's struggle with mental illness. He claims he'd had heard voices in his head. We connected with a clinical psychologist who herself has heard voices and has created a way for everyone to identify and build empathy for people with such a life altering condition.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You Suck. You know that. Eyes down. What are you looking at? What?
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COOPER: Some recording you play for yourself for about 45 minutes while you try to take test. I did that yesterday and I got to tell you it was not easy walking around like that as you'll see coming up.
COOPER: This next story was very eye opening experience for me. It was motivated by the shooting last week at Seattle Pacific University. Unlike this latest one on Las Vegas, the Seattle incident has an explicit mental health aspect to it. A court record show the alleged gunman was battling psychiatric issues and says he heard the voice of one of the Columbine killers inside his head.
Now, a number of mental illnesses including schizophrenia can do this. And it's important to know that only a very small number of people who actually hear voices commit violence of any kind. It's very rare.
Clinical psychologist Pat Deegan who was diagnosed as a teenager with schizophrenia has lived for years with such auditory hallucinations. She's designed an experiment to help people understand what she and others experience.
For three quarters of an hour, you'll listen to voices through headphones while trying to do everything from puzzles to simply interacting with people in the street. Those are the voices you'll hear in the background of this next story. Here is how I did in a warning that you might find some of the voices unsettle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So you're going to put these earphones in and then they're going to try to do a series of test. OK. So now we're hearing some whispers and voices in my head and the first test is some number puzzles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You suck and they know it. Can't you get this right?
COOPER: OK. So I did this test for three minutes and I did get a single one. It's very hard to -- it's hard to concentrate when -- if it's like music or something continence easy but people talking to you is very difficult. So now, I'm going to be asked a series of questions by our producer Susan and these are basically series of questions that a person would be asked in here being admitted to a hospital.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell me what day it is?
COOPER: Yeah. It's Sunday, June -- I don't know -- what's the date? Seven?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I'm going to say five numbers and I want you to repeat them back to me after I'm done.
COOPER: OK. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five, 23, 67, two, 76.
COOPER: Five, 23, 67, something 76.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to say five words. You don't have to repeat them but just listen to them. Cat, book, cigar, damage, and rain. Can you name the last four presidents of the United States?
COOPER: Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George Bush.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So those five words I've said before can you remember any of them?
COOPER: No. It's hard when -- because sometimes voices are like whispering and sometimes they're aggressive and sometimes they're kind of comforting and again with people kind of talking to you all the time it's ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK.
COOPER: It's hard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't worry.
COOPER: So I'm going to try to make a boat or origami following these instructions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It'll be OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shut up. Shut up.
COOPER: I want to talk back to the voices now, but it's really distracting. It's ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do not do it. Do not touch that stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You suck.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you looking at? This is easy. You want to touch that?
COOPER: I can't do this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hand down, keep your eyes down. Just do it. Filthy mind, leave it alone.
COOPER: It's also strange because they're telling me I can't do it and -- so I didn't do a very good job with the boat. But it's just -- it's really hard to -- it's hard to focus when kind of people whispering to you and talking to you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just come clear. Come near to me. Come near to (inaudible). COOPER: Hey, give me yesterday's paper, yesterday's New York Times. No? OK, I'll skip today's. It's really -- it incredibly distracting on the street to have somebody talking in your head and it makes you feel completely isolated from everyone else around you and you don't want to engage in conversation with other people, you kind of find yourself wanting to engage in conversation with the voice in your head, because they constantly being really negative and talking to you and everything they're saying relates to things that you're actually doing or criticizing things you're doing, it's like somebody is -- it's like you have a chorus watching you and commenting on what you're doing and you can't help it.
Am I literally finding myself wanting to kind of respond to the, kind of tell them to be quiet and it's incredibly unpleasant, this is a very, very unpleased experiment, it's really -- I'm sigh opening because is kind of really shows you what it's -- what other people must be going to through who deal with this on a regular basis. But also like I can not wait to take this headphones off, because it's really depressing, this is very -- it's very negative, it makes you feel very, very negative.
Yeah, it's very creepy, I want it to stop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Countdown, backup, stand up now, I'll cut you off. I'll count 20, 30, 40, (inaudible) now, walk away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Walk now. (inaudible), under pacify. All the way to make it home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's a very disturbing experiment. The woman who created the PhD, Pat Deegan, who herself suffers from schizophrenia. She's been living with it her whole life and doing well with it. I interviewed here about this experiment, we're going to have that on our podcast at AC360.com, you can check out the podcast there.
Up next a CNN exclusive, NBA Adam Silver talks about the Donald Sterling scandal. The comments being battle, L.A. Clippers owner made to me about Magic Johnson. Also had an update on Comedian Tracy Morgan who was seriously injured in a car crash over the weekend, a friend of his was killed. We'll also have the latest on the investigation.
COOPER: NBA commissioner Adam Silver isn't sure the Donald Sterling scandal is over, even with the deal in the words to sell the L.A. Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In exclusive interview, CNN's Rachel Nichols, Silver says that Sterling still hasn't withdrawn his billion dollar lawsuit against the league, he also has a lot to say about my interview with Sterling, the interview with Sterling could have focus on apologizing for his rant but instead he attacked NBA legend Magic Johnson and accused former Lakers star of not doing enough to help minority communities, which is absurd.
Here's what Commissioner Silver told our Rachel Nichols.
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RACHEL NICHOLS: You and I ran into each other in Brooklyn the night that Anderson Cooper interviewed Donald Sterling. You were seeding over his comments, especially about Magic Johnson on HIV. Was there anything you heard in that interview that impacted your thinking as you went through this whole process?
ADAM SILVER: Well that was after the facts. So when I head that interview, of course I already made my decision, I will say it reinforced the decision, it reinforced my certainty that I've done the right thing. And why I felt, as you know I apologized that night to Magic Johnson, because and maybe the public doesn't understand this but it's not even clear how Magic got sucked in to all of these.
You know, even in V Stiviano's interview, she has a picture of herself with Magic Johnson, but there are probably hundreds of thousands of people on this planet where a pictures with Magic Johnson, as you know try going to game with Magic Johnson, you add a few thousand for every games he's at, he's the most generous person with his time, he's the most forth coming and cooperative, well anybody wants to shake his hand or get an autograph or take a picture.
So all she had was at some point, I think the picture was taken at a Dodgers game in fact. She has a picture with her and Magic Johnson. But somehow when Donald then went on CNN, he singled out Magic Johnson to attack in terms of his commitment or lack of to the community. And then I think on HIV and AIDS particularly. First of all to say he has AIDS, he doest have AIDS, he was HIV positive.
I live through that error early on in my days at the NBA, in which one I first came to the NBA and when he came back into the league. And there was so much misinformation. I'm sure as you remember back in those days about the meaning of being HIV positive or AIDS.
And to me what Donald was saying, it conjured all that back up, that notion, that somehow if you're HIV positive you got AIDS, you're being punished for behavior, I mean, I think we're pass that in society and I just -- so I thought this is so unfair not just to -- frankly to Magic Johnson but a whole class of people who have now been freshly insulted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Rachel Nichols joins me now. So the board of governors in the NBA have -- they haven't approved to sell yet?
NICHOLS: No, no, no. And one thing they waiting for is Donald Sterling to withdraw his billion dollar lawsuit against the NBA and Adam Silver personally. And Adam's -- Donald Sterling's lawyer has said that they intend to do that but Adam Silver told me, "Hey, I got experience with Donald Sterling. He said he is going to do things before and then backtracks." So they're waiting to see what happens there. They could possibly, if things really go off the rails, reinstitute the board of governor's vote that they were originally going to have.
And Adam told me that he thought if they had had that vote, it would have been a unanimous decision among the owners, to keep Sterling out.
COOPER: Oh really, that's interesting. Did he say anything about Shelly Sterling and possibly having continue to have some sort of connection to the team?
NICHOLS: He says that other than being allowed to attend Clippers games, she will not have any connection to the team. Now there are reports out there, people claiming to be close to the deal, who say that she maybe allowed to run a foundation that Steve Ballmer is going to start that would have stake in the Clippers. It's unclear if that falls under the NBA's definition of having anything to do with the team.
But clearly, players don't want her to have anything to do with it and anywhere near the court or anywhere near the building. She will be allowed to go to the games but not have any (inaudible).
COPPER: So you mean that she would still want to, you know, have a piece in there and have it handed. Anyway, Rachel, thanks very much, fascinating stuff. Rachel has a lot more of that, Silver including his future plans for the NBA. On her show this week, Unguarded with Rachel Nichols, Friday night, 10:30 Eastern.
Following a lot more tonight, Pamela Brown has a 360 news in business bulletin. Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN: Hi there Anderson. Committee in Tracy Morgan is in critical but stable condition and is more responsive after being involved in a crash in the New Jersey Turnpike over the weekend. An accident left a friend of his to death. And police have charged a Walmart truck driver with vehicular homicide and say he's been awake for more then 24 hours before the collision.
In time the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for a siege on the Karachi airport. Officials say at least 29 people were killed including 10 militant.
And five relatives of those aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 appeared a new video on Indiegogo.com, where they seek $5 million in donation. Organizer say the money will be used for a private investigation and offered as a reward for information on what happen to the plane that went missing three months ago. Anderson.
COOPER: Right, Pamela, thanks very much. Just ahead, a gay man who was forced as a child to undergo a controversial therapy that now the Texas Republican party has endorsed. Describes why it didn't work, in the harm he says it cost him. Plus the friend he defined hidden cash before others do, the philanthropist behind the widely popular hidden cash phenomenon is no longer anonymous. I'll talk to him ahead, the 360 exclusive.
COOPER: At its annual convention over the weekend, the Texas Republican Party endorsed a controversial therapy that reports to fix gay people, it's known as "Reparative for gay conversion therapy." The so called treatment that's been debunked to condemn by the American psychological association, they're leading health organizations. California and New Jersey have ban the treatment for minors based on the potential harm that it does, Randi Kaye has more on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE CNN CORRESPONDENT: When Ryan Kendall was 13 his mother read his diary and discovered he was guy. That was the beginning of the most painful years of his life.
RYAN KENDALL, RECEIVED TREATMENT FOR REPARATIVE THERAPY: For years I thought that god hated me because I was gay.
KAYE: Ryan says his parents were determined to change him. They signed him up for what's called reparative therapy with the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, otherwise known as NARTH. Reparative therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation has been used for decades as a way to turn potentially gay children straight.
KENDALL: Every day I would hear this is a choice, this can be fixed.
KAYE: And did you believe that?
KENDALL: I never believed that. I know I'm gay just like I know I'm short and half Hispanic. And I've never though that thought that those facts would change, its part of my core fundamental identity. So the parallel would be sending me to tall camp and saying, "If you try really hard, one day you can be six foot-one.
KAYE: Ryan says he was treated by Joseph Nicolosi, a clinical psychologist who today is still associated with NARTH.
KENDALL: The concept refrain was the religious one that this is something that makes god cry, that this is something you're family doesn't want for you.
KAYE: At his office outside Los Angeles we asked Nicolosi if he remembered treating Ryan Kendall about 14 years earlier.
JOSEPH NICOLOSI, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I'm not familiar with the name at all.
KAYE: His parents have provided bills from you're office.
NICOLOSIL: Yes, yes, yes.
There have been checks written to your office, but no record.
NICOLOSI: No. KAYE: He says that your therapy was quite harmful. He said that you
told him to "butch up."
NICOLOSI: Never. That's not our language.
KAYE: When somebody says people like yourself, others are trying to get the gay out of people.
NICOLOSI: That's a terrible way of phrasing it. I would say we are trying to bring out the heterosexuality in you.
KAYE: Nicolosi says he's kept hundreds of children from growing up gay. He credits this man, George Rekers, a researcher and big believer that homosexuality can be prevented. Rekers worked as a doctoral student at UCLA in the 1970s in a government-funded program later called "Sissy Boy Syndrome." Rekers treated a boy named Kirk Murphy. To turn around Kirk's so-call sissy behavior, Kirk was repeatedly asked to choose between traditionally masculine toys like plastic knives and guns or feminine ones like dolls in a play crib. If he chose the feminine items, Kirk's mother would be told to ignore him. Kirk's siblings told Anderson his outgoing personality changed as a result of his personality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had no idea how to relate to people.
KAYE: George Rekers considered Kirk a success story, writing, "His feminine behavior was gone," proof, Rekers said, that homosexuality can be prevented. Kirk's family says he was gay and never recovered from attempts to turn him straight. In 2003 Kirk took his own life. He hanged himself from a fan in his apartment. He was 38.
Our producers tracked George Rekers down in Florida.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you say to the family if they say that the therapy that you did with him as a child led to his suicide as an adult?
REKERS: Well I think scientifically that would be inaccurate to assume it was the therapy, but I do grieve for the patients now that you've told me that news. I think that's very sad.
KAYE: According to the American Psychiatric Association, the potential risk of reparative therapy is great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior. They association says therapists alignment with suicidal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce the self-hatred already felt by patients.
Dr. Nicolosi says his therapy isn't harmful and he only treats people who want to change. Not true, says Ryan Kendall.
KENDALL: It led me to periods of homelessness, to drug abuse, to spending a decade of my life wanting to kill myself. It led to so much pain and struggle, and I want them to know that what they do hurts people, hurts children, has no basis in fact, and they need to stop.
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A quick program we note on the story tomorrow night at Another Voice, we'll speak with Texas law maker who's strongly support the GOP position and notion Reparative Therapy, Bryan Hughes joins me on this controversial story tomorrow night on 360 8:00 p.m. eastern here on CCN.
Up next the 360 exclusive, the man behind the hidden cash frenzy in California is no longer anonymous, his spreading the free money scavenger hunts to other cities, new locations ahead.
COOPER: Tonight we're on the money trailed that's been wrapped in mystery, you may have heard about the philanthropist in California who has been hiding cash in public places and causing some in frenzy. If you can find the cash it's yours to keep. He is been anonymous until now. We're going to introduce to him for the first time in just a second, but first here Dan Simon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TATIANA RAMIREZ, FOUND HIDDEN CASH: I just really want to say, "God bless to him" because this really helping my family.
DAN SIMON: It's an exciting treasure hunt and everyone has a similar reaction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you guys looking for the cash?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
SIMON: This one caught on live television.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got you, we got some money.
SIMON: The anonymous real state investor behind at hidden cash told me he wanted to span a movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got here. It's got to be around here somewhere.
SIMON: The Idea is simple, he hides cash fill envelops and then post clues to there location on Twitter amounting to $1000 a day.
JASON BUZI, MAN BEHIND HIDDEN CASH: There's absolutely no political agenda, there's no religious agenda, there's no business agenda, the whole agenda is randomize and kindness (inaudible). And first smile of people's faith.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It was Dan Simon reporting tonight. As I said the man behind hidden cash is no long anonymous. His name is Jason Buzi. This is the first interview his done out of the shadow. It's a 360 exclusive and as they say "It's money". So Jason, first of all, why do this? Why give money away?
BUZI: Well, I've done well and some of my friends that are involved with it have done very well as well and we wanted to give back. And typically when people give back they do it through charity. And we do that too and I've said from the beginning this is instead of charity. This is was like fun way to give back to the community of San Francisco. And we came up with different ideas. And we kind of eliminated most of them as being to complex then we thought, "What if we just like hide some cash in different places and then tweet about it?" And, you know, we did that and it's only been a few weeks and it just kind of exploded from there.
COOPER: I mean, nobody knew who you were for long time. You were out it, I guess by inside edition, they went through great length to find out -- figure out it was you, I guess they got the voice analysis, analyst in this well. Has that change the nature of what you're doing? I mean you -- I know you like kind of the mystery of it initially.
BUZI: It has a little bit, made it more difficult obviously for me to do the drops personally. But, you know, thankfully we have other people involve and friends helping. But it was kind of fun to be anonymous and it's also the downside of people knowing my name, is I'm getting personal request to me now. Like I'm some kind of zillionaire which I'm not, I mean I've done well, but their making me out like I'm, you know, a billionaire.
COOPER: How much have you given away so far?
BUZI: It's not even really that much in the big schema thing for all the media we gotten and the publicity we've gotten. It's somewhere in the order of I think just shy (ph) of $15,000, definitely over $10,000 and under $15,000. We're planning to give away a lot more.
COOPER: Do you find people kind of enjoy the excitement of the search?
BUZI: Absolutely. And that's really what is about. I don't think it's really about the money. I mean some people are making it like it's about the money or some people understand who are really struggling financially. And my heart goes out to them. But for most people that out there, it's kind of the thrill of the search. I think there a few things that we tap into Anderson. One of them is I think when social media, the internet comes together and brings together people on a real life way, where, you know, it get them out there living room and or away from their phone and out there doing things with their friend, with their kids, their families. I think that's something very powerful about that. And I think that's what we tap into.
COOPER: Do you have a favorite story out of all people who fund cash?
BUZI: My favorite story has to be the 14 year old girl that actually wasn't Burbank. And it was one of the bigger amount that I put in envelop. It was little over $200, I don't remember the exact amount but $200 and something dollars. And she was in tears of joy and you can see on her Twitter page, which is added in cash. And she said spending this money to her sick grandmother in Mexico. And that was so moving and I said "You know, I know that even thought this is not a charity this is a game in a way to get back but it can have such an impact from people lives."
Even what, you know, most many of us would let say consider a relatively small amount, to this girl that meant the world. And she was so happy and so grateful and that was very moving to see. And, you know, we just encourage people to pay it forward.
COOPER: So Jason OK, so I understand you hope to expand this. What do you -- how so?
BUZI: So I want to announce Anderson on your show, in this week we're expanding, this weekend we will be on Las Vegas, Chicago, Houston, New York City, few drops in New York City, one in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn and Mexico City. We actually have plans beyond this to do Paris, London and Madrid all by the first week of July.
COOPER: Well Jason good luck to you on the expansion and I wish you the best.
BUZI: Thank you Anderson.
COOPER: Well, that's does it for us. We'll see you again 11:00 p.m. eastern tonight for another edition of 360, I hope you join us. CNN Tonight start now.