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Toddler Dies in Hot SUV; Bad Boy Bieber; Oscar Pistorius Trial Resumes; The Psychology Behind Bieber's Bad Boy Behavior; U.S. to Face off with Belgium in World Cup Match
Aired June 30, 2014 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Tonight, parents all across this country are asking, how could it happen? Is it possible that anybody could leave a toddler in a boiling hot car by accident? Well, it turns out it happens far more than you might think. But who is responsible for this little boy's death? My team of legal experts will weigh in.
Plus, from Justin Bieber to Shia LaBeouf, what is it about child stars gone bad? We're going to get into that.
And the biggest game yet for Team USA. On the eve of tomorrow's make- or-break game against Belgium, I will talk to superstar Clint Dempsey's family.
And, as always, we want to know what you think about all of this. Make sure you tweet us using #AskDon.
We are going to begin with the latest on that tragic death of a Georgia toddler who was left in a hot SUV for seven hours.
CNN's Martin Savidge has shocking news about the boy's parents.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The new revelation is stunning. According to investigators, the mother of 22-month-old Cooper Harris says she also researched on the Internet how children die in hot cars.
It follows a similar jaw-dropping admission by the boy's father, both stories summarized in police search warrants released over the weekend. "He stated he recently researched over the Internet child's deaths inside vehicles and what temperatures it needs to be for that to occur. Justin said he was fearful this could happen."
It did happen less than two weeks ago. Police say Justin Ross Harris left his son strapped in a rear-facing child seat in the back seat of his SUV for close to seven hours in the parking lot at work. Temperatures hit the 90s that day. The father said he forgot to take the boy to day care. Police say Harris was seen at lunch time returning to the vehicle and placing an item in the front seat before going back to his office. Dad is being held without bond, charged with felony murder and second-
degree child cruelty. So far, no charges have been filed against boy's mother. Police made the documents public Saturday, the same day hundreds gathered in Alabama for little Cooper's feeling. Witnesses say his tiny casket was red, his favorite color.
No cameras were allowed, but reporters could attend. The emotional service included the family's public statements. Leanna Harris defended her husband during her child's eulogy, saying: "Am I angry with Ross? Absolutely not. It has never crossed my mind."
CNN's Nick Valencia was in the church.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What got reaction was when she said, Ross Harris is a wonderful father. And everybody stood up and started clapping. It was an unprovoked moment.
SAVIDGE: Then Cooper's father spoke via phone from his jail cell.
VALENCIA: You could hear him sobbing over the phone, trying to catch his breath. That got very emotional for people in the crowd.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Do you remember some of what he said?
VALENCIA: He said thank you. He thanked those in the crowd for not only supporting him, but also supporting his son.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): What was to be a service to remember a child also became a defense of the father charged with his death, leading even those attending torn by anguish and allegations.
CAROL BROWN, FAMILY FRIEND: I mean, he could have gone to his car and not seen the little boy if the boy was sleeping or -- you know, it could happen. He could have been distracted. So -- but I do have questions about it.
SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Marietta, Georgia.
LEMON: All right, Martin, thank you very much.
As tragic as this story is, it is far from the first time something like this has happened. In fact, every year dozens of children die in hot cars.
CNN's Jean Casarez has more now.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is shocking, but much more common than you might think, children left in cars when temperatures are soaring.
SUSAN AURIEMMA, KIDSANDCARS.ORG: This happens to the most loving and caring parents. Literally, we have had a veterinarian, a doctor, a dentist, a professor, a school principal and even a rocket scientist.
CASAREZ: Daniel Gray was just sentenced to four years in prison, pleading guilty to manslaughter after leaving his infant in a car for three hours during a hot Arizona summer.
And Shanesha Taylor of Scottsdale left her child in the car in March with the windows cracked open while she went on a job interview. She is being charged with felony child abuse. She has pleaded not guilty.
AURIEMMA: There are, on average, 38 per year children who die in a hot car. It's 38 children too many. It is too much of a tragedy for these families.
CASAREZ: According to the San Francisco State University study, since 1998, there have been 619 heat stroke deaths of children left in cars. More than half were forgotten by their caregiver, while 18 percent were left on purpose.
Another 29 percent were playing in an unattended car.
AURIEMMA: One of the messages we try to get across to parents is that no one is immune to this. It really, truly could happen to anyone.
CASAREZ: How quickly does the temperature rise inside of a car, even if it is not that hot outside? "The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics" conducted a study, and the results are stunning. Even on a cool 73-degree day, the temperature goes up an average of more than three degrees every five minutes, faster in the first 30 minutes as it quickly shoots above 100 degrees.
(on camera): Even in relatively cool vehicles, temperatures reached upward of 117 degrees. And this might surprise you. Even cracking the window didn't help much. The temperature continued to rise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You attach it to the car handle.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Some believe the answer is technology. There are solutions intended to solve this problem. One young aspiring inventor created a strap to remind parents there is still a child left in the car. But will parents buy in?
AURIEMMA: The biggest challenge with the technology is convincing parents that they need it. No parent wants to believe this could happen to them.
CASAREZ: A crucial warning, with the hottest days of the year still to come.
Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.
LEMON: Just terrible. Thank you very much for that, Jean.
Joining me now, former federal prosecutor Kimberly Priest Johnson, CNN legal analyst Mark O'Mara, psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, and CNN commentator and legal analyst Mel Robbins.
Thank you all for joining us tonight.
Mel, I have to -- it is important, and I want to point this out, OK, because Leanna Harris has not been charged with any offense. And CNN has not -- no independent knowledge that she is under investigation. However, CNN has confirmed that Leanna Harris has made similar statements to police regarding researching in-car deaths as her husband, Ross, has admitted to.
So, we don't know when these alleged searches were made. And I think the timing is probably pretty important. What else do we need to know here, Mel?
MEL ROBBINS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the big question here, Don, is motive.
When they talk to the relatives, the family members, the people that attended that funeral, everybody says the same thing. This was a couple who loved little Cooper. He was the center of their lives. This guy has no criminal record.
And so there is absolutely no motive in this case as of yet. And that is going to be key moving forward. I personally don't think there is a case here at all and that the guy needs to go home.
LEMON: But isn't it -- when I said it is going to be key as to if they searched it when they were about to have a kid or when he was a kid or if it was the day before? You know what I mean? The timing is important.
ROBBINS: Yes, you're 100 percent right. And let's hope Jean Casarez didn't do any Internet searches when she was putting together that package about how fast a car can heat up, because, basically, they're taking, Don, what I think is very normal behavior of a first-time parent, to be concerned about something that might hurt their child, and trying to turn it into something that is very sinister. But the timing is key.
The other lawyer here, Mark O'Mara, what do you make of that, what -- the same question I just asked her?
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, I agree. We need to not rush to judgment.
We so want to fill in all of the blanks with information or speculation and come up with some result. Let the investigation take its part. But realize one thing. There is no middle ground here. Either this man is an intended first-degree murderer of the worst sort, or it was simple negligence and a mistake.
And we should not call him the first, when the evidence seems to support it was probably the second. And let's just wait to see what we find out. LEMON: OK. I have three questions that I want to ask.
The first one is going to be, Kimberly, you as a federal prosecutor. Question number one is, Cooper Harris was only 22 months old. Isn't it hard to imagine that he wasn't making some noise in the back seat, no?
KIMBERLY PRIEST JOHNSON, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Possibly. I think it depends what kind of child you have.
I actually myself have five children. And some of my children immediately fell asleep when we put them in the car and started driving. And others screamed the entire way. So, I think we have to assume, it is plausible that he could not have heard his child if his child were sleeping the whole time.
Number two is -- and I will ask it to you again. They had just been to a fast-food restaurant. How could Ross Harris have forgotten about his son that quickly?
PRIEST JOHNSON: Well, we don't know that. I think we just have to know that we are an extremely distracted population. And he could have simply forgotten.
He could have been thinking the million things he was going to do once he got into work. We don't know at this point whether he forgot or whether he intended to kill his son. We simply don't know.
LEMON: All right.
Carole, I will ask you this. His day care was on site at Ross' workplace. Wouldn't that trigger something in him, possibly? Does it help or hurt the prosecution? Does it make it easier psychologically to do something like this, because it still maybe even more normal that he was at work and thought his son was in good hands?
CAROLE LIEBERMAN, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, the issue is, though, that the Chick-fil-A and the work and the day care were all so close to each other.
And it isn't likely that the baby would be so quiet right after you put him into the car seat after going to Chick-fil-A. But the thing that is the most concerning -- first of all, yes, it is very important to know when they looked these things up on the Internet.
But, in any case, even if a parent looks that up, there is a question. Are they unconsciously thinking about doing that, not just preventing something that may happen in the future? Are they really thinking about that?
And the most -- really the -- the most -- I think he is protecting his wife. I think it is the wife that is behind this. When he got out of the car, apparently, he was -- apparently, he was saying, oh, my God, look what I did. (CROSSTALK)
LIEBERMAN: And the wife's remarks at the funeral, that is what is the most disturbing psychologically, when she talked about...
LEMON: OK. I'm -- I'm going to talk about that. I'm going to talk about that. You're getting ahead of me here.
LIEBERMAN: OK. OK.
LEMON: But, listen, again, we still have no knowledge that the wife is being investigated for anything or has done anything.
But, Mark, Mark, you seem kind of outraged that she is making that assumption.
O'MARA: Well, no, my concern is that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support the idea that he was protecting the wife or that he was trying to protect something that she did wrong.
And this is the type of speculation that all of a sudden becomes the fodder for a story that now the way of is doing something.
O'MARA: I really think we need to calm down, relax and just realize we know very little about this case. The cops know more. And we will find out more Thursday with the probable hearing and then afterwards. Let it work its process.
Before -- quickly, Carole, quickly, because you mentioned it, I just want to put up that quote. At the funeral, right, Leanna Harris said: "I am -- am I angry with Ross? Absolutely not. It has never crossed my mind. Ross was and will be, if we have more children, a wonderful father. Ross is a wonderful daddy and leader of our children."
What do you make of that speech? Do you find that suspicious?
LIEBERMAN: Well, yes. She's not angry with him, because I think that they were in this together or that he was actually protecting her.
ROBBINS: Oh, my God.
LIEBERMAN: She said -- the things -- but the things that she said at the funeral that were more serious were where she talks about now he won't ever have to have a broken heart, Cooper. He won't ever have to mourn the death of his loved ones, things like that, saying that it was a good thing that he wasn't there.
ROBBINS: Wow. (CROSSTALK)
O'MARA: It's a mom trying to find solace in what happened. It's a mom trying to find some solace in what happened to her.
ROBBINS: Look, it is amazing to me that a psychologist would sit here and lecture America...
ROBBINS: Psychiatrist would lecture America on the appropriate stages of grieving.
You have got a woman that not only lost her 22-month-old, but her husband is now in jail. And there is, by the way, another explanation for this. It's a huge mistake. He realized halfway through day, and it is in his cover-up of the mistake that it makes it look intentional.
LEMON: Very quickly, Carole.
PRIEST JOHNSON: Well, they're also very religious people.
LIEBERMAN: Well, I think there are so many comments that she made. We don't have the time to go through all of them.
But she didn't really seem to be appropriately grieving. And that's really the most suspicious part of it.
LEMON: OK. Stand by.
Still not evidence of anything, and I should say, again, that's in your estimation.
But stick with me, everybody. When we come right back, I want to talk about other things that are going on in the news, Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner, charged with murdering his model girlfriend, plus, young Hollywood behaving badly. Is it just the price of fame? Will stars like these grow up? Will they grow up?
And countdown to Team USA's biggest game yet. We have got everything you need before you watch the match against Belgium tomorrow afternoon.
Again, we want to know what you think. Make sure you tweet. Use #AskDon.
We will be right back.
LEMON: Lots of big cases in the news to talk about, and who better to get their feedback as Kimberly Priest Johnson, Mark O'Mara, Dr. Carole Lieberman, and Mel Robbins?
Kimberly, you wanted to talk about some of the comments made by the mom at the services for the little boy. You said it had to do with religion, you think. I cut you off earlier.
PRIEST JOHNSON: Yes. Thanks, Don.
One of the things we do know about this couple is that they were a very religious couple. And I think when we put some of the wife's comments into that context, where she truly believed her husband was the head of her household, and so she was supporting him, because that's what her -- she believes in her faith that that's what she is supposed to do.
Also, her comments that her child was in a better place and she wouldn't bring her child back even if she could, because that would be selfish, those remarks, while they may seem odd out of context, very much fit within her religious beliefs.
LEMON: You are a former federal prosecutor -- a former prosecutor, I should say. Would you try this case?
PRIEST JOHNSON: Not with what -- the evidence that we have seen thus far.
I do think the investigation should be continued as it is, but with what we know thus far, no.
LEMON: I'm looking at Mark and Mel.
Mel, I know you said earlier you wouldn't.
Mark, would you try it?
O'MARA: Well, with right now, we don't know enough. They have the computers. It would be nice to know whether or not they gave that information about the computer searches voluntarily or in response to a question.
Like you said, Don, if it is really recent in time, it is a lot different. If they also looked up choking and measles and other childhood illnesses to put it in context -- but right now, we don't know anything about the case. And there's nowhere near a case yet.
LEMON: All right, let's move to another big case here.
After a month-long adjournment, Oscar Pistorius' trial resumed again today again. He was found not mentally incapacitated, which means that he is of sound mind, right, at the time of Reeva Steenkamp's death.
So, Carole, any surprises here in today's ruling? Was this the right decision, you think?
LIEBERMAN: I think it was the right decision.
I think that this can be really explained by his whole childhood of being born, having to have his legs amputated, feeling like was not a real man, feeling -- actually fearing that she was only with him for the fame and worried that she was going to leave him. And his parents were divorced. His mother died.
If you trace back his childhood, you can see the explanation for why, especially on Valentine's Day, he would be so fearful that she would leave him and he would do this.
There was also this question of whether she got a text from someone. He had love rivals and so on. And it can be explained. There is a logical reason for it. It's not that he has to be crazy.
Mel, now that the defense can't use mental incapacitation as a defense, do you expect to see the defense call -- who do you expect to see the defense call to the stand?
ROBBINS: Well, it's a great question.
Keep in mind they haven't been in court, Don, since May.
ROBBINS: So, they have had a major break.
I think they are going to resume testimony and probably go to character witnesses. But this is a major blow. They cannot argue that generalized anxiety order diminished his capacity to understand right from wrong, and they also can't argue it in the sentencing phase, Don.
But, remember, the big thing here is that halfway through the trial, he changed his theory. He went from saying that he was shooting at an intruder to basically saying he didn't know what was going on and he had a momentary loss of even knowing what was happening. So I think that's the bigger issue, is to nail down the theory of the case for the defense.
PRIEST JOHNSON: Don, I disagree that this is a major blow to the defense.
I don't know that anyone ever expected that he was going to be found mentally incapacitated, and thus prompting a not-guilty verdict by reason of insanity.
I think the defense is still going to use the fact of all the testimony of just his general anxiety argue to argue that that is why he acted the way he did. And he is still going to be able to make those arguments.
O'MARA: Don -- Don, yes, you may remember I said this. It was a huge blunder by the defense to raise the issue of his anxiety, because, in doing so, they were trying to seek some type of sympathy from the judge, some type of sort of diminished capacity.
The problem with it is that now is the prosecutor jumped right on it, like I said he was going to do, and demanded a psychological evaluation. And he gutted the argument that there was a mental incapacity here. And I think it hurt the defense.
I think it was a huge mistake to do it that way. Nel gets props from me for having caught that mistake by the defense and capitalizing it. And though they may still try some type of diminishment or some type of what we in this country call mitigation of sentencing, I think under -- they cut out their own legs, because now they have a month- long evaluation that says this guy is fine.
Mark, I have got to get to this. I want to ask you this, because obviously you were very -- you were front and center for this case. Today, a court dismissed George Zimmerman's defamation suit against NBC. What's your reaction?
O'MARA: The quick reaction is -- I'm not a civil lawyer, so I don't do it -- but I was very surprised that, in a summary judgment matter, which means there is no way that case could last, that it was done before the first bit of discovery was done.
So, I will leave it up to the civil lawyers to look more into it. But I would have thought, let the discovery continue, so that you know what's really going on in the case.
LEMON: Just to remind our viewers what happened, they aired the 911 tape from George Zimmerman. It didn't say that it had been edited. Many people thought that they did it on purpose to try to sway -- to make George Zimmerman look guilty.
Did I get that correct, Mark?
O'MARA: You got that absolutely right. When you take out 45 seconds in between and put in the part, "Is he black?" not in response to a question, that it would seem that they were jumping on a bandwagon of sensationalism.
PRIEST JOHNSON: And, Don, if I can just add in...
LEMON: Just quickly. Go ahead. PRIEST JOHNSON: Yes. The reason they were able to dispose of the case on summary judgment is because they disposed of on it a legal issue. They found that George Zimmerman was a public figure.
And Florida law, like a whole host of issues, has some weird things around that that required him to show actual malice, as opposed to just a regular libel-slander case.
LEMON: As people would think there's some weird things around stand your ground as well.
O'MARA: That's the assessment that a lot of people made.
PRIEST JOHNSON: Right.
LEMON: All right, so, Kimberly, Mark, thank you very much.
Everybody else, stick with me.
When we come right back, it is not a good sign when Beyonce and Jay-Z use you as a cautionary tale. Why is it time for Justin Bieber to grow up?
LEMON: On opening night of their tour, Jay-Z and Beyonce showed a montage of celebrity mug shots, including Justin Bieber's. In case you're wondering, it is not a good thing to find yourself in a montage of mug shots, celebrity or otherwise.
So, joining me now to talk about it is Vanessa Grigoriadis, who writes about Justin Bieber in this week's "New York"magazine.
And back with me is Dr. Carole Lieberman and Mel Robbins.
Vanessa, to you first. You wrote a very fascinating piece. It was a long piece too about Justin Bieber in the latest issue of "New York" magazine. Fascinating. And you tried to capture why he holds such a fascination for all of us. Why do you think that many people are so interested in Justin Bieber?
VANESSA GRIGORIADIS, "NEW YORK": Well, we're watching him grow up in front of our eyes. He is really just a little boy pop idol who now has decided he wants to be a gangster.
And we're sitting here in real time watching this happen while he feeds us images of himself on social media. And we're all kind of running to catch up.
You write in there that you say that he sees himself in the mold of a Brando or Steve McQueen or James Dean, OK, something of an outsider, a rebel and an artist. But, come on, is he really?
GRIGORIADIS: He has taken pictures of himself as James Dean, the famous picture with the cigarette drooping from his mouth and the white T-shirt on.
There's no question. He takes pictures in front of like Bugattis and every beautiful luxury car that's made on the market. He thinks that he is a male sex symbol. I mean, look, he is, to many, many women.
ROBBINS: He is.
LEMON: OK. What was that saying he is? Was that Mel?
ROBBINS: That was me, Don.
LEMON: Well, go ahead, Mel.
ROBBINS: Yes, of course, the one with no manners.
LEMON: I couldn't see who it was.
ROBBINS: Here's the thing.
Yes, you know how you go to somebody's house and they have a dog that has really misbehaved and it jumps up on you? And you're like, oh, my God, get off me. And the people are like, come on, oh, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. But they never train it.
ROBBINS: The bottom line is, we created Justin Bieber. He is a wildly talented kid who was rewarded with 80,000 women and girls screaming at him.
ROBBINS: So, why do you think he would be anything other than a pompous kid who thinks that he is a sex symbol?
LEMON: Listen, you created Justin Bieber. I didn't.
LIEBERMAN: Oh, I bet if I look at your iPhone, Don, there is some Bieber fever on you're phone. Come on.
LEMON: ... fever is something else.
LEMON: Go ahead.
LIEBERMAN: The more that somebody really has insecurities about themselves, that's the more they have to go out and show themselves in front of cars and looking like James Dean and so on.
If he really felt deep down that he was sex symbol, and that all these girls still were after him, then he wouldn't have to do this. The problem is that he, just like a lot of celebrities who start out young, get this fame all of a sudden.
And it's on a baseline, a basement so to speak, of something with their family that's not very secure. And so when things start to happen, like with Justin. His popularity has gone down. And when all of a sudden, his -- that's all shaken up, then the cracks begin to show.
GRIGORIADIS: He still has -- he still has 52 million Twitter followers.
ROBBINS: He's the second largest followed person on the planet. He also has mastered social media in terms -- in terms of manipulating it for that age group.
LEMON: She does have a point, though, that his popularity has started to go down. But it's still gargantuan. But she does have a point.
LIEBERMAN: But it scares him. Plus, he doesn't have -- you know, his love life is all messed up. He used to -- Selena Gomez was like his mother, was like a second mother. She nurtured him.
ROBBINS: A 20-year-old's love life isn't messed up. I mean, I think going back to Vanessa's point, this is a guy who has lived his teenage to his young adult life under the microscope of the media, the paparazzi, social media. Of course, he's responsible for it. But if we had all been followed around when we were 15, 16, 17, 18, we had been putting out stuff that we thought was cool at that age when our brain is not even fully developed and the world was scrutinizing it...
LEMON: Here's the thing. When you look at -- when you look at it, you see the masks. It's kind of shades of Michael Jackson. But Vanessa, I think you make a very interesting point. Because you said the adage that famous people become psychologically stuck at the age they become famous. Has Justin Bieber remained emotionally 4 years old or whatever he was, 14 years old...
GRIGORIADIS: Fourteen years old.
LEMON: ... when -- what is that called? Arrested development?
GRIGORIADIS: Yes. Absolutely. I think everybody who works with famous people will tell you, famous people get stuck at that age. And for him, yes. Now he's 20. But he still is a kid inside. And
you know, he's got a million "yes" men around him. I mean, it's just a typical thing that happens to so many of these stars.
I think the thing we need to be asking ourselves is why we are so obsessed with watching child stars mature. What is it about our culture that has made us adopt, you know, the Shia LaBeoufs and the Lindsay Lohans, and Amanda Bynes and Miley Cyrus? We're just obsessed with watching the transition.
LIEBERMAN: We're obsessed with watching them fall apart is what it is. And it's so frustrating, because nobody steps in to rescue them. They sabotage themselves.
GRIGORIADIS: Miley Cyrus, she was the biggest star in the world. You know, four months ago, Miley Cyrus was the biggest star in the world. So -- and she was showing everybody she had it together.
ROBBINS: Well, I guess nobody gives him direction because they can't. I mean, if you look at -- he, when he turned 18, he basically got rid of his mom and -- and, you know, had a recent break-up with Scooter, who was the guy who was instrumental for his career and...
LEMON: You know way too much about Justin Bieber.
ROBBINS: Have you not seen the documentary, Don?
LEMON: No, I have not. I never thought I'd be on television discussing this much about Justin Bieber. TMI, too much information.
Vanessa, I've got to run. Carole, thank you.
Vanessa Grigoriadis, Dr. Lieberman, Mel Robbins, thank you very much.
Coming up, it is winner take all; loser go home. The U.S. faces off against Belgium tomorrow. We're going to have a live report from Brazil. That's next.
LEMON: Do you think soccer doesn't fly in the U.S.? Well, try explaining that to the Waffle House. The restaurant chain with over 1,700 franchises in North America is boycotting Belgian waffles. It's their bold statement of support for Team USA, preparing for its World Cup match-up against Belgium tomorrow.
Joining me now live from Brazil. I have to speak very loudly here, because she is at a world -- a soccer sponsored event. Shasta Darlington live.
Shasta, it's hard to imagine fans around the world getting more excited than they are. What is the feeling going ahead of tomorrow's big game? SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I have to say this has
been a long and exciting party with people getting ready for the big game tomorrow. They are just getting more and more excited.
A lot of these people didn't think that Team USA would make it this far. The fact that they have, they've extended their tickets. So they're determined to enjoy their time here while they can and confident that Team USA will come out ahead against -- their game against Belgium tomorrow, Don.
LEMON: I love that they were chanting "CNN," Shasta. I'm going to ask you another question, hopefully. But you know, the U.S. has already made it through the quarterfinals, right? The game is -- is the last in this round. Any other news? Any other news on other teams or U.S. injuries that you can tell us about?
DARLINGTON: Yes, if I heard your question correctly, basically, we're in the middle of the round of 16. Brazil has already made it through. Today we had -- in the last couple days we've had France make it through, we've had Costa Rica made it through.
So every day we get two new teams making it through. Tomorrow it's Team USA's turn. We're all hoping to see this. If they do make it through, they will likely face off against Argentina. And that means Lionel Messi. That could be a good one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA! USA! USA!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA! USA! USA!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA! USA! USA!
DARLINGTON: I give them the last word, don.
LEMON: Shasta, you are -- you're a good sport. Shasta Darlington in Brazil. I can see that has "Moment of Zen" written all over it on "The Daily Show."
Appreciate that. Clint Dempsey is Team USA's top goal scorer, leading by example as the team captain. And I can only imagine what may next guest must be feeling as we count down to tomorrow's game.
So joining me now is Lance and Ashley Dempsey, brother and sister-in- law of U.S. national team midfielder Clint Dempsey. What did you think of the crowd there?
LANCE DEMPSEY, BROTHER OF CLINT DEMPSEY: It sounds insane.
ASHLEY DEMPSEY, SISTER-IN-LAW OF CLINT DEMPSEY: It sounds exciting. They were excited. Pumped up.
L. DEMPSEY: Wish we were there.
LEMON: I know.
A. DEMPSEY: We need to get motivated over here. LEMON: I know, and that means that the expectations are really high for your brother. He's got a lot on his shoulders tomorrow night. Can he deliver? He seems to handle pressure very well, doesn't he?
L. DEMPSEY: Yes. These are the moments where he's bold, and he'll -- he'll put a stamp on game. I'm hoping he comes out just like did he in Ghana. Because now they're through. So it's like -- it's like a brand-new start for the tournament knockout stage.
LEMON: Here's what your brother had to say about the USA team and how much they want to win. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINT DEMPSEY, TEAM USA PLAYER: We're not satisfied with just getting out to the group stage. We want to go far in this World Cup. And for some of the guys, it's the last opportunity. So you want to make the most of it. And I'm sure if we play to the best of our ability, we'll get a positive result.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Ashley, is this what's going to come down to who wants it the most? And can I get a prediction from you?
A. DEMPSEY: Oh, I'm predicting we're going to win. My goal is that we just get out there. We go strong; they're excited. I think Clint is excited and pumped. And I think that the team works well together. And I think the more excited he is, and -- when he gets out there, I think the team kind of follows suit. I think they work really well together. So I think we're going to win.
L. DEMPSEY: I feel exactly the same. I have faith in my team; I have faith in my brother. We've had a friendly against Belgium, so we know how to match up. We're ready. It's just down to the players and capitalizing each moment they have on the field. And I believe that they're going to deliver and that we're going to win.
LEMON: All right. So I'm going to see you here tomorrow night. Right? You're going to come back to celebrate with us on CNN?
L. DEMPSEY: Yes.
A. DEMPSEY: Oh, yes. We're going to be here to celebrate.
LEMON: Lance, how is work on those abs going?
L. DEMPSEY: I've -- I've just been sitting on the couch.
A. DEMPSEY: It's a slow process. It's a slow process during the World Cup time. There's too many games; too many games to watch.
LEMON: Enjoy. Celebrate.
L. DEMPSEY: I'm watching soccer.
LEMON: Thank you, guys. Appreciate it. Lance and Ashley, thank you for joining us.
L. DEMPSEY: Thank you.
LEMON: Good luck. We'll see you tomorrow night, hopefully.
So joining me now, someone who might have divided loyalties when it comes to the big game. Paul Vercammen is CNN senior producer and reporter, and he's also the son of Belgian immigrants. He grew up on Belgian chocolate and, more importantly, Belgian soccer.
So are you Belgian? Are you American? I mean, what are you? Who are you rooting for? How are you holding all this together? How can you make a decision?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER/CORRESPONDENT: Oh, I'm -- I'm conflicted; I'm torn up. I'm both, Don. I'm an American citizen, but I'm 100 percent Belgian. And so for a long time I would watch the Belgian soccer team do its thing. In 1996, a semifinal team. And I would root for the Americans to do well. We got our due in 1994, and I was there screaming for USA when we beat Colombia at the Rose Bowl.
But I don't know where my loyalties lie. I still haven't decided who I'm rooting for. I'm guaranteed a team in the quarterfinals. But it's just going to be absolutely amazing, because in my lifetime. my two favorite teams have never played, Don.
LEMON: So who do you think is going to win? I mean, are you going to be happy no matter who wins? Or are you going to be devastated no matter what?
VERCAMMEN: No, I think I'm going to be thrilled no matter who wins, because I'll get a team in the quarterfinals.
But I'll say this. Last summer Belgium played USA in Cleveland, won 4-2. The Belgian team was red hot.
VERCAMMEN: The team seemingly has cooled off on offense a little bit, the Belgian team has, and for that reason I think the United States can pull out a squeaker. I can see a 1-1 game, maybe -- maybe solved by penalty kicks or something like that. It's going to be tight.
Both teams have great goalies. Belgium has all these international stars -- Hazard of Chelsea leading the group. Kompany of Man City. Although he may be hurt.
The United States has a lot of no names on the international scene, but they are scrappy, and they're playing together, Don. So they are to be feared.
LEMON: Are you going to do face paint, half one, half the other? VERCAMMEN: I don't know, Don. How much trouble would I get in at
work if I showed up with face paint? Can I say, "Don Lemon told me to put on the Belgian flag on one side and the U.S. flag on another"?
LEMON: Sure. But I don't know if that and like $5 will get you a small cup of coffee at Starbucks.
But listen, do you remember when we were working together down in New Orleans and we met a friend who talked like this? Right.
VERCAMMEN: Of course, of course.
LEMON: Don't you tell me -- I forgot what I was saying. Did you -- don't you have some Welsh? Are you of Welsh descent, as well? No? Did I get that wrong?
VERCAMMEN: No, I don't know where you're going with that.
LEMON: I thought you were. I thought -- I was calling you Tom Jones for a while. I thought you were Welsh. I know they're not.
VERCAMMEN: I don't remember that. I just remember him saying, "And it was all Don Lemon. Let's get Don Lemon over here on the bayou. Don Lemon do a story on the corruption, Don Lemon."
LEMON: "Get that boy over here now. Get CNN on this boat."
LEMON: All right. Thank you, Paul Vercammen. Good luck tomorrow night. I guess you're going to win either way. All right?
LEMON: Appreciate it, sir.
All right. Coming up, America has World Cup fever, of course. But is soccer here to stay in the U.S.? We're going to get into that. That's next.
LEMON: World Cup soccer has never really been an obsession in this country. Not until now. So joining me now is Ed Foster Simeon. He's the president and CEO of U.S. -- the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Heather O'Reilly is a midfielder for U.S. women's soccer. And in Brazil -- we have to speak loudly -- Matt Negron is a soccer writer and creator of the site AwayandHome.com.
Ed, to you first. There's no question that this World Cup has captured the attention of Americans. You wrote an article, an op-ed for CNN.com, and you said that this time it's not a passing fad. Why? What's different now?
ED FOSTER SIMEON, PRESIDENT/CEO, U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION: Well, I think a number of factors, you know. No. 1, you have the -- so much soccer is available in this country. We have a whole generation of Americans who grew up playing soccer in the United States now. The millennial generation. This is a game that they've known from their childhood. It is part of who they are. They have a relationship with the game. And they have a passion for the game.
But you also have the factors such as, you know, there's so much soccer available on television. You have the expansion of Major League Soccer, you know, into 22 markets. There's just so much opportunity for the game in this country, and so many people have developed a relationship with the game that it can't help but grow.
LEMON: All right. So it's starting to stick here. I want you guys to listen to what the U.S. coach said about the impact. Soccer's impact on the world, of the World Cup impact on the world. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JURGEN KLINSMANN, COACH, TEAM USA: You see where the game is going in the United States. You know, you can't stop it anymore. It's breaking through. The league is doing a great job. It's almost 20 years old. Millions of kids playing soccer all throughout the country. You know, it's growing on every level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Heather, you know, you see people gathering by the thousands. And outdoor viewing parties, they're packing bars and restaurants, as we see where Mr. Negron is there in Brazil. What happens if the USA is eliminated, Heather?
HEATHER O'REILLY, MIDFIELDER, U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM: You know what? These guys have made us proud. I think they've made their mark on this World Cup already. The country has just gotten behind them. And it's -- it's just so cool as a soccer player to see the entire world really get behind this tournament and our guys. I think they've made their mark already. And I think tomorrow they're going to put on another great performance.
LEMON: So why is -- why is Belgium considered such a heavy favorite? Because according to people's world rankings, Belgium is ranked 11. The U.S. is ranked 13. That's not that far off.
O'REILLY: I think they -- they have some very experienced players. They have Kompany in the back. He is a veteran; he's a very strong defender. A lot of players that you see in the English Premier League that American players are very familiar with.
So I think that there's a lot of experience on the Belgian side that Americans know. But I think that we have the spark, we have the enthusiasm of the nation behind us, and we're going to perform well.
LEMON: What did they have to do well to perform well, to win?
O'REILLY: I think that they need to be brave in their attack. I think that they really need to sort of go for it. Their transition moments are going to be so absolutely critical. I think they need to expand when they have the ball and really kind of go for it. They can't sit back for 90 minutes. I don't think that they're going to win that way.
LEMON: OK. So Matt, to you and the noisy bar, the noisy place in Brazil. You have been traveling around the world writing about soccer. The U.S. is the most supported foreign team in Brazil. Can the American outlaw fans really be a factor tomorrow in the game against Belgium?
MATT NEGRON, SOCCER WRITER: Man, I feel like I'm talking to you from a frat party on the last day of senior year. So forgive me if I can't hear you 100 percent.
But the answer is yes, they believe they can have an enormous impact. They're throwing around numbers tonight, 10,000, 20,000, maybe a million Americans will show up tomorrow to the game. Who knows? And they think they're going to outnumber the Belgians. They think the Brazilians will be on their side.
And one thing is for sure: if the fans are louder than the Belgium supporters, anything can happen. We've seen anything happen already in this World Cup. So if these fans can be as loud and proud as they have been the whole time, based on what's happening tonight, I think it's going to be that way tomorrow. We could be in for a real good surprise.
LEMON: Matt, if you can hear me, my other guests here said that they believe this time it will stick. I know especially Ed said that. What's different about this time? Because you've been writing about it for a long time. What -- what's different? Can you feel it?
NEGRON: I think that what's different for maybe this generation of soccer fans is that we kind of grew up playing soccer in the United States, in suburbs, or any kind of rec league, and now we're old enough now to go to Brazil. We can go to games. We can follow Major League Soccer teams or other clubs in other countries. So now it's kind of our time as semi-adults or wannabe adults, to say that soccer is our sport. We don't want to watch basketball and football and baseball all the time. We think soccer is real; we think it's here to say.
And that kind of culture comes through when the U.S. plays games in the World Cup 100 percent. I hope that it translates back home. I hope that after the World Cup ends, this kind of lingers and sticks around. Millions of people are watching back in the U.S., and it would be great if that sort of thing continues. That is, I think, what's different about this time.
LEMON: And I never thought in a million years I'd hear someone say what Matt said, especially when you're considering American football. I mean, that is the holy grail.
SIMEON: Well, of course, American football is a tough sport in this country. There's no questioning that at all, you know. But the reality is that a lot of hard work has been put in over the
last 30 to 40 years to create the infrastructure, to give children the opportunity to play and learn the game of soccer and enjoy the game of soccer. Our local clubs, our state associations have been building infrastructures so that there's a pipeline of players coming up through the systems.
Our U.S. Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer have ensured that we have the highest quality play at the top of the game. So there's just -- you know, everything is in place.
But it's not an overnight success. It's work that's been going on for 30 to 40 years, and it will continue.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation, its mission was created after the 1994 World Cup. And our mission is to help grow the game. And we've invested over $60 million in all 50 states to build programs and infrastructure for soccer.
LEMON: Ed, before I let you guys go, I want to get a prediction from you first.
SIMEON: I believe that we will win. What is -- there's no other answer.
LEMON: The score, are you going to give me a score?
SIMEON: No. I'm not going to give you a score. This World Cup is a little crazy. I'm not going to give you a score. But I believe that we will win.
LEMON: All right. Heather.
O'REILLY: Michael Bradley is going to have the game winner, 1-0.
LEMON: One-zero. All right. Matt.
NEGRON: I don't know, man. I think it's going to be -- I'm just going to say penalty kicks, just because I love penalty kicks, 2-2 draw. The U.S. will win in the P.K.'s.
LEMON: I'm going to say 3-2, USA. I'm just saying. I'm not going to be like Ed. We'll come back tomorrow, and we'll see if I was right, which I will be. Thank you, guys. Appreciate it. Matt, have fun. Come back tomorrow night, and we'll see -- you know, we'll check it out.
We'll be right back. Don't go anywhere.
LEMON: It's time now for "CNN TONIGHT Tomorrow," the stories that you will be talking about tomorrow.
One of those stories: is Israel launching air strikes against Hamas after the killings of three young Israelis? Their bodies were discovered in the West Bank today, and Israel blames Hamas in no uncertain terms. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, quote, "Hamas will pay."
Meanwhile, a Hamas spokesmen warn against escalation, saying that if Netanyahu, quote, "brings a war on Gaza, the gates of hell will open to him."
An Israeli military spokesman tells CNN aircraft carried out precision strikes against 34 targets in the Gaza Strip following rockets fired at Israel since Sunday evening. The IDF cannot confirm the number of strikes, nor the number of killed, nor whether they were direct hits.
Thank you for watching. I'll see you back here tomorrow night. I'm Don Lemon. That's it for us tonight. "AC 360" starts right now.