Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Obama To Critics Of His Plan: "Pass A Bill"; Obama Defends Immigration Plan As "Lawful"; Three Injured In Shooting At Florida State University; Celebrities Accused Of Sex Crimes
Aired November 20, 2014 - 22:54 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to this extended live edition of 360. We have breaking news tonight from Ferguson, Missouri, in the case that led to the death of a teenager. An outcry on the streets, grand jury proceedings, we're expected to wrap up as soon as tomorrow deciding whether Officer Darren Wilson should be charged in the death of Michael Brown.
Now, regardless of what the grand jury decides, Darren Wilson may not be returning to the police force. The breaking news just in to CNN, negotiations are underway for Darren Wilson to resign.
Our justice correspondent, Evan Perez, joins us now with the latest. So, you're hearing this from whom? From your sources, what did they saying?
That's right. That's right. Anderson. We're hearing from sources that Darren Wilson is in the final stages of negotiations under which he would resign. Now, you know he wants to make clear he told people close to him that, you know he wants to make clear that he doesn't, he's not admitting fault for anything. He doesn't believe he has done anything wrong, but he is doing this mostly because he feels it would be good not only for the community but also for his fellow officers. Anderson.
COOPER: Yeah, I mean, there had been a report, based I think on what the Ferguson police said, that he would return to duty if he -- if the grand jury did not choose to indict him. But, that I think surprised a lot of people, the idea that in a relatively small community, relatively small police force like Ferguson's, the idea that he would return to the force, whether you -- you know, whatever side of this you are on, in that community would probably raise a lot of, a lot of -- a lot of consternation.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Oh yeah, absolutely. And you know, I will tell you this, I mean, you know one Ferguson Police Chief, Tom Jackson said that in a couple of media interviews, there was a lot of pushback. There was a lot of people who thought, this is really absolutely not helpful, it's frankly, you know, inflammatory for him to be saying that. Their -- these talks have been under way for some time, and we know that they're in the final stages. One of the concerns that Darren Wilson has had, is that the grand jury obviously -- there still been hearing evidence, and he didn't want to influence the grand jury, Anderson. He wanted to make sure that, you know they didn't hear that he was resigning and then that way, perhaps, read into that, that he was admitting any kind of fault, and so that's been one of the key things, the linchpin (ph) frankly in these negotiations.
COOPER: Are these negotiations based on the idea that Darren Wilson may not -- not, may not get indicted. So that if he does get indicted, would that's -- that would affect the decision one way or another about whether or not he's gonna resign from the force?
PEREZ: Quite possibly, quite possibly. The -- you are right, these negotiations are hinging on that, and the expectation that they have is you know, obviously if he gets indicted, then he is in for a -- tougher fight, right? And he has a trial ahead of him on all of those things. So, this could be off the table so, you know in just that the fact that all these -- these facts have been kind of going back and forth for the past few weeks, tells you that this has been very sensitive. And he could yet change his mind but, you know we're told that these are now in the final stages, and that his plan is to resign as a way again, to help his fellow officers kind of moved on -- move on, and help, and help heal the community here.
COOPER: Alright, Evan Perez. Let's see what happens, thanks very much. Joining me now on the phone, our CNN Legal Analyst, Criminal Defense Lawyer Mark O'Mara, who of course represents George Zimmerman, Former Federal Prosecutor Sunny Hostin and the New York Paul Callan, a former prosecutor is now a criminal defense attorney. Sunny, first of all, what do you make of this? You know, I think, certainly it raised a lot of eyebrows when the police chief in Ferguson said that Darren Wilson would return to the job, in fact, if in fact, he wasn't indicted.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's no question he could not return to his job. As you mentioned that in a small police force, a small community, he is infinite now, there would be no way for him to return in an effective way to police that community, the Ferguson community. But I feel like, Anderson, that the timing of this announcement is unusual, the timing is questionable to me. Because, if he believed he was going to be indicted, I don't believe he would resign, because he would want the police union support, he would want the attorneys involved with the police union support, and all of that would go away if he were to resign and be indicted, and so, I suspect one of the things that we can read in to this, is that Darren Wilson does not believe he is going to be indicted.
COOPER: Well, I mean, this wasn't a public announcement, Evan Perez learned this based on, on sources. I think that's important to point out. Mark, what is your take on this? I mean, do you think there is something about the timing in all of this?
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I was going to say, yeah. It wasn't an announcement. It's just you like almost, yet another leak. And it's interesting, you know, one thought, if he thinks he is going to get indicted, I think that's indicted, he's not gonna be a police officer, they're probably gonna suspend him anyway, it's gonna be without pay, they may fire him just because of the indictment. The one sense you can look at this and say he preempted that. I think realistically, as Sunny said, there's was no way he will gonna be back to law enforcement in Ferguson or probably any other city, anywhere just because of notoriety, and this is just probably a good move to get this part of his life taken care of and to move on.
COOPER: You know Paul, obviously Wilson is maintain -- I assume that he didn't do anything wrong in this testimony to the grand jury that we don't know for sure what he said to the grand jury. They're not sequestered so, it's very possible with this leak that -- or with Evan Perez reporting this, the grand jury could hear this, I wonder if it could influence things one way or another?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think Anderson, that's why this is a very surprising development. Because, you know an officer who is fighting murder charges, will be fighting it by saying, you know something, I didn't act improperly, I acted honorably as a police officer and to say I'm resigning from my job, it almost sounds like you are admitting guilt. So, that is something certainly his lawyers must have been worried about but, of course on the other side of the equation, if he doesn't intend to come back, to the force, he has leverage now. And negotiations are all about leverage to say to local authorities, this -- I want you to offer me a very good deal, and I'll resign. And that may help to avoid damage to the community, rioting or some kind of bloodshed that everybody fears, you know, when the final announcement is made. So, it's a really surprising development and we'll have to see how it plays out.
COOPER: Yeah, but I mean Paul, should point out again as evidence reporting that if the grand jury returns with an indictment, Wilson could very much has change his mind and not resign.
CALLAN: Well, he could, but as you say, it is a small community. When the grand jury goes to vote this, let's assume they're voting it tomorrow. If they know that he's already resigned, you know, one of the things that people have had in the back of their mind is.
Even if the grand jurors think it is a very weak case against him and they -- you know, normally be inclined not to vote indictment. The one thing they May be worried about is damage to the community if there is not a public trial.
But if they know the officer has resigned, and that's kind of been thrown up to the community. There is less of a chance of violence. So, it's a complex equation here. And we'll have to see what went into it.
COOPER: All right, Paul Callan, thanks very much, Sunny Hostin, Mark O'Mara as well.
It's a little past the top of the hour. If you're just joining us from around the country, you're watching around the around, this is a special late edition of 360. We are live in Washington where tonight, President Obama laid out the executive action he is taking on immigration and an issue to challenge to congressional Republicans.
If you don't like it, don't complain, he essentially said. Pass a bill instead. They in turn have been accusing the president of exceeding his powers, abusing his authority, waging war on the constitution and some say even the country.
They're promising action of their own and we'll look deeper into what kind of fallout could actually result. We start though with exactly what the president is doing, what it could mean to millions of people in this country.
Some of whom listened to the speech from a park directly across from Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House north lawn.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, our immigration system is broken and everybody knows it. Last year, 68 Democrats, Republicans and Independents, came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate.
It wasn't perfect. It was a compromise, but it reflected common sense, had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of bill, a simple yes or no vote, they would have passed with support from both parties. And today it would be the law.
But for a year and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote. Now, I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law.
But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as president. So we are going to offer the following deal. If you have been in America for more than five years, if you have children who are American citizens, or legal residents, if you register, pass a criminal background check and willing to pay your fair share of taxes you will be able to apply to stay in the country temporarily without fear of deportation.
Now let's be clear about what it isn't. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who may come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently or offer the same benefits that citizens receive.
Only Congress can do that. The actions I am taking are not only lawful. They're the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every single Democratic president for the past half century.
To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress failed. I have one answer. Pass a bill. Congress certainly shouldn't shut down our government again just because we disagree on this. Americans are tired of gridlock.
COOPER: President Obama from the east room tonight. For more on what went into those words. The controversy they're causing now, we got Jim Acosta at the White House, and Dana Bash at Capitol Hill. Let's start with Jim Acosta. So what are the details exactly of the plan the president laid out tonight.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it was striking. It was a rhetorical side of President Obama we don't hear often, quoting George W. Bush and scripture from the bible as he urged the Americans to show compassion to the millions of undocumented immigrants covered under this executive action.
Here is the plan the president laid out tonight, undocumented parents of U.S. citizens, of legal residents, who had been in the country for five years received what is called deferred action meaning they won't be deported.
Also covered under this plan, an expanded number of children who were brought to the country illegally, these are the so-called dreamers. On enforcement, the administration is beefing up border security.
But immigration authorities get this will now target undocumented felons in what the administration calls recent border crossers. That's people who cross since January 2014.
The rest of undocumented immigrants like parents of dreamers take on lower priority status for deportation. So immigration authorities essentially won't be coming for them -- Anderson.
COOPER: The president though, I mean, he did say he wants to pass a more permanent legislative solution?
ACOSTA: That's right. It's unclear how much of a mood Republicans will be in for that. But the president said if Republicans in Congress don't look what he did tonight, pass a bill. He took note of at least one GOP threat that we've heard a lot about in recent days. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution and the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary. Meanwhile, don't let a disagreement over a single issue be a deal breaker on every issue that's not how our democracy works.
And Congress shouldn't shut down our government again, just because we disagree on this. Americans are tired of gridlock. What our country need from us right now is a common purpose, a higher purpose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now, after the speech, immigration protesters gathered outside the White House mainly in support of the president's plan. People were chanting "Obama, amigo."
There was one incident, we should point out, Anderson, outside the White House, Secret Service says a 23-year-old woman was arrested carrying a gun in a holster under her shirt along Pennsylvania Avenue. The Secret Service says she is not cooperating at this point with their investigation -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Jim Acosta, thanks for that.
I want to bring in Dana Bash, who has been sampling congressional reaction tonight. Certainly, a lot of Republicans, Dana, unhappy about the plan to say the least, what are you hearing from sources?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Unhappy certainly is an understatement. Not surprising. We have heard so many words, like imperial president, like overreach, like monarch, words to describe what they believe is the president going way too far in his claim of how much he can use his power.
The question though is what Republicans can really do about it and they do have options. But their options are limited given the fact that despite the president sort of smartly when it comes to politics bringing up a government shutdown, across the Republican spectrum, at this point, they're saying that's not going to happen.
They learned their lesson from a year ago. They don't want to go down the road of a government shutdown. What that means is that their biggest weapon, Anderson, the power of the purse is limited, because if they're not willing to go to the mat on a shutdown then there is only so much they can do with regard to cutting off funding.
COOPER: Are Democrats united in their support of the plan?
BASH: They're not, actually. Most Democrats are. Most Democrats, we're hearing from tonight in the halls here over the past several days are saying they would prefer not to do it like this. They would prefer to legislate. That's what they have come here to do.
But they understand why the president is doing what he is doing. However there are some conservative Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelley, and Independent Angus King, who are not that happy with the president going it alone and doing what he is doing.
Unclear how that's going to play out going forward, but it does give you a sense. If you sort of fast forward to January of next year when Republicans are going to be in control here, how much maybe they can be able to work with some of these conservative Democrats who are going to be in the Senate and the House.
COOPER: Dana, appreciate the reporting. We're going to talk a lot more about the politics tonight. But I also want to talk about the personal impact of this on people.
With us now is journalist, documentary filmmaker, and immigration activist, Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American, director of the autobiographical "Documented" and himself an undocumented immigrant.
This is obviously for you very personal. How does this personally affect you? What does it mean in your life?
JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS, FOUNDER, "DEFINE AMERICAN": It is one of those things where I've been thinking about it all day and I still hasn't really sunk in. I have been here since I was 12, 21 years, right, and so for somebody to just say, OK, now it is OK. Now it is OK.
You can get a work permit. You can get a driver's license. You can travel outside of the country. I have ben to 44 of the 50 of the American states. Now I can actually go see Canada or something.
COOPER: Although I think it's going to be up to each state, whether or not to issue a driver's license.
VARGAS: Yes, and that is going to get really interesting.
COOPER: Right. There are a lot of governors who are saying --
VARGAS: This is where I think -- where it gets really interesting to me. The politics of this is so loud and it's so muddled especially considering how little facts people know about the issue, right. More than 60 percent of us who have been here have been here for longer than ten years.
Undocumented people pay billions of dollars in taxes and social security that we don't even hear about. The fact that there are 17 million people in America, that's called mixed status household. I'm Filipino. There are 25 people in my family. I'm the only one of 25 who is undocumented.
COOPER: When was the last time you saw your mom?
VARGAS: Twenty one years ago.
COOPER: Twenty one years ago because you are not able to leave the United States.
VARGAS: If I leave before this executive action, if I leave, I will not be able to come back. She can't come here because she is on a 16- year waiting list right now, which is common for the Philippines, India or Guatemala.
So now I can actually apply for some sort of status, right, this is temporary, this is not permanent, temporary, and then to actually ask for parole to leave and be allowed to come back so that's actually part of the mechanism of how this is going to work.
COOPER: You know, there are a lot of people say, look, this is just going to encourage more undocumented immigrants from crossing over the border illegally?
VARGAS: But the president said and this is the directive to the Department of Homeland Security. You have to be here five years so people who come yesterday or a year before, or next year, are not going to be a part of it.
COOPER: But doesn't it send a message that, you know what? Come anyway, and five years from now, there is going to be another program like this and -- VARGAS: This is where I think when it comes to this issue, nothing
but status quo. Everybody argues about it. Everybody knows it is broken, but no one wants to do anything. Finally the president says, OK, we are doing something. Now Congress, the ball is in your court. Now what?
What I have been doing for the past two years as an openly undocumented person. I did this in the film and now. Republicans want to defund this or make it invalidated. Congress members, what do you actually want to do with us? Like what do you want to do with us?
COOPER: Do you understand the anger that some people have towards undocumented --
VARGAS: I think the anger comes from the lack of information. Once you tell people what it is about. For example the two questions that I get asked every day, right, on Twitter, e-mail, whatever, is why don't you make yourself legal?
Because you know, I can just show up at an office, right and, why don't you -- why don't you wait in the back of the line? Somehow we don't tell people that there is no line. That's why we need immigration reform.
COOPER: Which is something the president was referencing tonight about the idea that people are jumping ahead of the line is --
VARGAS: I don't want to -- I don't want to jump, give me a line. If you want a line, 18th Connecticut, I will be there right now waiting in the back of the line. There is no line. There is no process. The president created a process. Now the question is how is Congress going to react to that and what are they going to put forth?
COOPER: Do you believe that there will be some sort of comprehensive immigration reform?
VARGAS: I don't know. Not with this kind of -- not with this deep level of partisanship and not with the kind of misinformation people have about who we are and why we are here and the fact that, you know, we are in, we are in your communities.
Like we, didn't, this is not, we are not criminals. We are not taking away from this country. I mean, to me the tenor of the conversation, sometimes you hear Michelle Bachman and some of these Congress people are they talking about people or insects? What are they talking about?
COOPER: She made a comment just the other day about sort of --
VARGAS: We speak English pretty well. I think I do. I think a lot of us do.
COOPER: Do you find the tenor of the debate glosses over the -- the kind of humanity of people?
VARGAS: This is where I think for us and we, at Define America, at the forefront of this. The fact that, there is still, "The Washington Post," "The New York Times" that refer to people as illegal. I am here illegally. As a person I am not illegal.
How do you legalize somebody who is illegal? You don't call them illegal, end of conversation, right. I think that has really become a problem as to why we can't. I have done, what, 350 events in 44 states in the past three years.
I got to tell you, the deep level of misunderstanding and the lack of humanity and compassion when we talk about it. Tonight, when I was listening to the president, you know what I kept thinking about. I kept thinking about the Irish.
I kept thinking about Italians. I kept thinking about all these immigrants that came here before there was Ellis Island, before there was any process, right? Why did they come here?
We didn't come here so we enjoy to be called illegal and criminals. We come here like they came here. My mother made the ultimate sacrifice. I am thankful to her for that.
COOPER: Jose Antonio Vargas, good to have you on. It's a good night for you.
VARGAS: It's a great night. Yes.
COOPER: Will you be able to sleep tonight?
VARGAS: I think so.
COOPER: Thanks very much for being with us. Let's bring in the panel, chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, CNN commentator and Republican strategist, Ana Navarro, senior political commentator and former White House press secretary, Jay Carney.
Jay, where do things go from here? I mean, because clearly the Republicans are outraged. There are some Republicans talking about, no judicial appointments. Everything is going to grind to a halt?
JAY CARNEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what we have to see is whether or not the extreme rhetoric that we have heard from Republicans, that you just cited will be matched by extreme action.
Now, so far, coupled with accusations of -- you know, imperial behavior, and lawlessness, and unconstitutional action. You hear they won't shut down government, promises that they won't move towards impeachment.
But there are forces within the Republican Party that will push the leaders in that direction. I think we have heard some of those voices today in reaction to this.
The biggest problem the Republican Party has right now is that they don't have a policy on immigration, which is why we don't have an immigration bill. COOPER: I just want to play again the president's past comments on this because there is a stark distinction between what he said tonight and what he had said in the past. Let's just look at some of his commentary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that's just not the case.
I can't do it by myself. We are going to have to change the laws in Congress.
The notion that somehow by myself I can go and do these things, it any just not true.
What I have said is that there is a path to get this done. That's through Congress.
I'm the president of the United States. I'm not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, I mean, other than his frustration, what has changed -- constitution scholar. What changed to allow him to do this?
CARNEY: Here's what I say. If he could have the word back, the first clip where he talked about suspending deportations. That is literally what he is doing today. In, later -- instances including when I was there he would speak carefully about what he could not do as president.
He can't change the law. He can't provide a path to citizenship. He can't do the things only Congress can do. But he can using executive authority do what he did tonight, which is, order the agencies to exercise prosecutorial discretion in terms of how they deport people.
COOPER: But I mean Republicans are saying, look, this goes beyond prosecutorial discretion. This is blanket, entire class of people -- is, you know, the law is no longer applying to them.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We have to really make clear what it is and what it is not. It is not amnesty. Anybody calling that amnesty is doing so, erroneously, it's not. It covers people from deportation and it provide legal permit to work. It allows people to travel.
It does not give citizenship. It does not give voting rights. There are not going to be any literate, illiterate or very well educated voters that are going to be voting as a result of this, because they are not citizens. They don't get citizenship rights.
COOPER: You are Republican right?
NAVARRO: I am a Republican, but I also want to tell the truth. GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: They're not mutually exclusive, you know.
NAVARRO: There can be pro-gay Republicans, pro-immigration reform Republicans. I know you are just being funny. We have to at some point get away from the inflammatory language I think on both sides.
COOPER: So, where is the Republican Party on this? Because it seems like there is, I mean, a huge division?
NAVARRO: I think there is a diversity of thought, frankly. I think leadership -- I think most Republicans in Congress want to see some sort of immigration action get done. I think this is going to be a test for leadership.
In the sense that -- are they going to do what they know they have to do. Because look, Anderson, the immigration system was broken yesterday, it is still broken today, and still going to be broken tomorrow. This does not solve all of those broken immigration system issues that we have.
COOPER: Gloria, we should also point out. Not just Republicans. The Democrats had both houses of Congress early on in this administration.
BORGER: They could have done it. I would argue they could have done it in the first two years. Jay knows very well that they decided to do health care reform and other things.
CARNEY: Well --
BORGER: There was disagreement.
CARNEY: The country was in economic free fall. So that was the priority in 2009.
BORGER: They argued you could have done immigration reform. Let me say that, first of all, this notion of imperial presidency is not new. It is something that polled really well for Republicans in their internal polls during the midterm elections. That's why they decided to sue President Obama.
You have heard talk about imperial presidency before this. You are going to hear a lot more talk about it now. I would argue that in the end. This may not be decided by John Boehner, but it may be decided by John Roberts.
Because we've already seen the three states are going to start suing the federal government over this. This is going to take a long time and it could wind up in the courts. John Roberts, like on health care, could be very dispositive on this issue of whether this is constitutional.
CARNEY: It will take a long time. It means as a political process moves forward. The executive order goes forward pending any action by Congress. If the Republicans hold their fire and don't self-emulate over this issue and they turn it over to the courts.
That process will take time. Meanwhile the order will take effect. Families will be relieved by the actions the president took. Then up to Republicans running for president to decide where they will stand on this issue. Will they, will they run on a promise to rescind this order. That is a politically --
COOPER: Whoever is the next president can rescind this executive order.
BORGER: Congress can act and this would be negated if Congress acted.
COOPER: The lawsuit thing though is not only do you have to prove it that it's unconstitutional. You also have to prove that you have standing to bring the case.
BORGER: That's right. So it's very complex. It will take an awful lot of time. It will go back and forth between the courts and being a huge political issue for Republicans and how they respond right now.
How temporary it is, which I think what you were referring to. How tempered it is. It's going to be very important in the way the Latino community looks at it.
COOPER: The politics of all this in terms of the presidential race are incredibly important for Republicans and for Democrats.
NAVARRO: I think they are very important long term. I think Republicans when we speak about this have to remember. There are a lot of people, a lot of families celebrating tonight because they don't have to be in fear that somebody is going to knock on the door in the middle of the night.
They will be taken away and maybe not see their children again. There are 2 million people that have been deported because let's remember that part of why this is happening is because the Hispanic community called President Obama the deporter in chief. I think that really cut through to him. I think that hurt him off to the quick.
COOPER: All right, the number of deportations in the Obama administration has been significant.
NAVARRO: So I think Republicans need to -- you know, there are still reasons why we have to do immigration reform, for the good of the country, for economic imperatives, for national security imperatives, for humanitarian reasons. There are human faces.
That are, you know, it's not just statistics and so at some point, if this is not about, you know, yes, he poked me in the eye. And then I'm going to take my toys and I'm going to go home.
No, folks you are the leaders of the government of the United States. Put your big boy and big girl pants on and do something because the system is still broken. You know it. I know it. We all know it.
BORGER: But if Republicans try to rescind funding and either do it in the short term or do it when they come back. How will that appear?
NAVARRO: Gloria, the chairman of appropriations, Carl Rogers, came out with a statement today saying that defunding this was not going to be possible because the agency that implements this policy, executive action, is funded -- funded through fees.
BORGER: There is always ways to get around it.
NAVARRO: But, the chairman of appropriations, the Republican chair of appropriations is saying it. I kind of take him at his word.
CARNEY: This is why I really, you hear -- as we heard earlier tonight from former Speaker Gingrich and you've heard from a number of Republican leaders, a focus on their outrage over -- the unconstitutionality of the acts and the lawlessness of the acts.
We know from legal experts that it is not unconstitutional. It's probably not lawless because they know they are limited in what they can do legislatively, safely, politically. Because, there will be a backlash if they go too far.
They want to have the moral outrage over it because the president is doing something bold. They don't actually want to pay any political price.
NAVARRO: Jay, the only legal experts who have really taken a look at this so far are Democrat legal experts and White House legal experts because the others have not been able to get a look at it until 8:00 tonight. So I think that -- in the next few days. Yes, the details matter when it comes to constitutionality.
COOPER: Gloria Borger, Ana Navarro. Thank you, Jay Carney as well. There is no shortage of political heat surrounding all of this, of course, as we have been seeing and as Ana and Jose Antonio Vargas reminded us the very real consequences for millions of people.
On the country's southern border there are law and order consequences as well as life and death consequences. Gary Tuchman is on the border in Nogales, Arizona. He joins us now. Do border patrol agents expect to see people an influx of people crossing illegally in the wake of this?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We talked to agents in Arizona they're on alert for the possibility of more people trying to cross the fence after the declaration by President Obama.
Despite the fact that his words are not meant to benefit people across today, tomorrow, the next day, the day after that. But this is an area where many people cross. This is the border fence right here.
When you are in Nogales, Arizona, there is only 4 feet tall. We are used to seeing pictures of big fences and walls along much of the 2,000 mile border, four states of the United States and Mexico.
But this fence is not only 4 feet tall, made of steel, it's made of a little rope twine, tree branches and a little barbed wire and it's very easy to negotiate. People here are crossing over all the time.
I will be one of the few people who start to cross from the United States into Mexico to show you how easy it is. People come across the desert every day, the Sonoran Desert, Sonoran state of Mexico. Get on top of here. Get down. Jump.
We see here today, bottles that were left here. Clothes left here. People are crossing here every day. We talked to people who live along the border. Some people say they support the president -- what President Obama said.
Other people very much disagree with it. They're all in agreement they're sick and tired of seeing people crossing the desert. It's dangerous for the people crossing and it's dangerous for the people that live along the border -- Anderson.
COOPER: I'm wondering, in the time you have been there. Time being out with border patrol today, any sign of people crossing over?
TUCHMAN: About 30 minutes ago, we heard some noise, and it turned out to be two border patrol agents, driving of the mountain, without their lights on, on their ATV's. They felt we were trying to cross illegally into the United States. We told them who we were.
They said they saw a radar, a group of people, crossing so they zoomed off and they continue to look for those people, who they saw crossing, trying to get over this fence into the United States.
COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman, appreciate it from the border tonight. The 28th congressional district in Texas runs from south of San Antonio to border of Mexico. President Obama's action tonight will be strongly felt there in many different ways.
Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar, represent the 28th, he is in Miami tonight. He joins us now from there. Congressman, thanks so much for being with us.
You were critical the way the president handled the influx of immigrants at the border over the summer after hearing what he said tonight. Are you satisfied?
REPRESENTATIVE HENRY CUELLAR (D), TEXAS: Well, you know, I prefer to have Congress handle this. We have been waiting. In fact, since I have been in Congress, Republican colleagues said, build a fence. Fence was built. They said put more border patrol. We have double border patrol.
They said you need to deport more. And as you know, President Obama, departed in four years, first four years more than President Bush did in eight years. So we have been waiting, waiting. I would rather have Congress handle this. This is the right way, but the president does have precedent in taking this action.
COOPER: When the president said tonight, you know, to Congress if you don't like what I am doing, pass a bill. It will nullify what I am doing. Do you see any sign of the possibility of some sort of comprehensive immigration reform?
CUELLAR: Well, you know, we have been waiting for years. It hasn't happened. It is probably the most do-nothing Congress in modern history. But again, I am an optimist. I want to see something done. But you know, I think our Republicans are going to use that as an excuse.
But I think we ought to be intellectually honest with each other. Either you are for it or against it, but don't start using the process, or some things you don't like for saying no. There is so much time being spent on how to stop this border.
If we would spend the same type of energy on figuring out how we can pass comprehensive immigration reform, we would be taking a very different direction.
COOPER: Why do you believe the president -- I mean, I know you said, you prefer legislative action, why do you believe the president has the legal authority to do this. Given the fact that he has made so many comments in the past saying that he did not have the legal authority to do this?
CUELLAR: Right. Again, I can't explain why he said that so many times, but I can explain that executive orders on immigration have been used to different degrees since, I believe, 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower.
The last, two, three, last two out of the three Republican presidents we have had, President Reagan, Bush, the father, the elder, they also used executive orders to do immigration.
So, again, it's been used in the past. That's why I feel if you look at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has said that a president has a lot of flexibility to enforce the immigration laws. That we have.
And again, we are not talking about amnesty. Nobody is talking about putting a new classification. All we are doing is providing reprieve from deportation. That's all. Congress has to do the permanent solution.
COOPER: Do you believe this poisons the well as far as Republicans are concerned in terms of any kind of cooperation in the near term?
CUELLAR: You know, before this position was taken by the president, the Republicans didn't have a, quote, a "well to poison." They had an opportunity to pass an immigration, we've waited, we have waited. All we wanted.
Some of us believe in sensible immigration reform was to have a vote, but unfortunately, Speaker Boehner, even though I think he wants to do it. You know, he is letting the very conservative part, the Tea Party folks, dictate what he wants to do.
I know -- that, I -- I really feel that he wants to do it. But he is not allowing himself to exert his powers as speaker to get it done.
COOPER: Congressman Cuellar, appreciate your time tonight, thank you.
CUELLAR: Thank you so much.
COOPER: I want to remind our viewers. You can set your DVRs. You can watch 360 whenever you like.
Coming up, a gunman opened fire inside a library, filled with hundreds of students at Florida State University. Three people were injured before police killed the gunman. We are going to take you inside the library. We're going to speak with a student, who was there and shot this video. Right after she first heard a shot go off.
Later, Bill Cosby on camera asking a reporter not to use a part of an interview in which he was asked repeatedly about the sexual assault allegations against him. That exchange coming up.
COOPER: Welcome back. Hundreds of students were at the library at Florida State University, when a gunman opened fire after midnight, injuring three people before he was killed by police.
The gunman has been identified. He graduated from FSU in 2005. He recently moved back to the area. All classes and exams canceled as investigators interviewed witnesses and went through a journal and video that the gunman left behind.
George Howell has more on the incident that left the campus obviously shaken, but grateful for the quick response of police officers.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What started as a quiet midnight study session in a packed library during finals quickly turned into a mad dash for hundreds of students running for safety.
ALEX SMITH, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: All of a sudden the fire alarm goes off. I hear somebody say get down. We need everybody to get down. Then I hear somebody say there is a man with a gun in the lobby.
GIULLANA TRUPPI, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: We just got up and ran. Everybody started screaming, gun, gun, gun and we evacuated to the emergency exit, and ran up four flights of steps to the fifth floor.
SAM HUXFORD, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: It's a scary moment. Just thinking like it was I could die today.
HOWELL: Students heard the first shots before 12:25 Thursday morning. That's when police say they got the call a gunman was on campus. Alex Smith remembers the uncertainty, the forewarning sounded throughout the building.
SMITH: There was a large bang that we heard. No one thought it was a gunshot. We thought that somebody in the Starbuck's had dropped something or dropped a large book or something. There is actually a large delay, before, between the initial bang and the actual panic.
HOWELL: Police say the gunman never made it past security measures in the lobby. Still, he managed to shoot three people, two students and a campus employee, all recovering from gunshot wound in the hospital. One of the victims is in critical condition. A fourth person managed to escape the building only to find a bullet grazed his backpack.
TYLER LONG, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: Get Down behind the table, with a bunch of people, right by the window. Just outside. We heard 12 shots. We look up, the cops pointing the guns at the man.
MICHAEL DELEO, CHIEF OF TALLAHASSEE POLICE DEPT.: He used a 380 semi- automatic handgun and had additional ammunition in his pockets.
HOWELL: Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo says officers responded within 2 minutes time to find the suspect leaving the building. When he refused to surrender, officers fired shots and killed him. Campus officials say their officers had recently been trained for active shooter scenarios.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: There has been a shooting in the library.
HOWELL: Their campus alert system called the easy button worked as designed.
DAVID PERRY, FSU POLICE CHIEF: When we activate the system, 16 systems automatically populate and share information with the campus community. More than 55,000 people received information about today's incident within 5 minutes.
HOWELL: The campus came together in prayer Thursday evening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will make it through this.
HOWELL: Following such a terrifying ordeal that shocked faculty and students. All here thankful for quick police response --
UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Stay where you are.
HOWELL: And enough warning to take cover.
JACOB SCOLANO, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: Initially look you said. I felt scared. But I felt really safe for the most part. Because I knew the police was there and covering the situation.
COOPER: George Howell joins me now live. Any idea of a motive for this person?
HOWELL: Anderson you, know, it is still unclear what the motive was. Why did the gunman come to this campus, go into that library, and start shooting wounding three people? The people wounded we know, none were targeted according to police.
But after officers examined the cell phone of the suspect, after they read journal entries that he allegedly wrote, they believe that he thought he was being targeted, Anderson, targeted by the government.
In fact, in a news conference when pressed about his mental stability, officers described him as being in a state of, quote, "crisis."
COOPER: Are you getting a since how the students are coping tonight. It seems like there was high praise from a lot of students for the response by school authorities and the police?
HOWELL: Right. You hear a lot of that tonight. You do get the sense that people who were in that building are starting to recover, from what was an absolutely terrifying ordeal. People just didn't know what to do, where to go, to get away to get to safety.
Right now, Anderson, I can say that, seeing the student campus come together. The focus is on the wounded. Hoping for, the speediest of recoveries and obviously the very best for their families.
COOPER: George, thank you very much. As we mentioned at the time of the shooting, hundreds of students were in the library. Sarah Evans was one of them. She is a senior at FSU. She took this video of the aftermath of the shooting.
Sarah if you can walk us through what happened. You were leaving the library for the night. What then happened?
SARAH EVANS, WITNESS TO FSU SHOOTING: You know I was very close to the exit of the library, 20, 30 feet away with a couple of my friends and we heard a gunshot. And, you know I knew it was a gunshot. But I wasn't as startled as I thought I would be. Because it just wasn't as loud as I expected.
And you know, I started saying, what was that? When we -- saw one of the library employee rush through the entrance in a panic and that was the moment when I knew that something was probably, was really wrong. I immediately questioned her, what's going on? What's going on?
After no response from her twice, that's when I then decided to take out my phone because I, I just, I thought something was not going right here.
COOPER: We're looking at that video that you started recording. How far away was the shot from you?
EVANS: I would say, 30, 40 feet. We were literally right around the corner from the entrance where the doors, you know, open up where the shooting was.
COOPER: You didn't see the shooter?
EVANS: No, did not see the shooter. There is a corner edge so although we are pretty close. The visibility is not there because of that corner.
COOPER: It doesn't look like there is pandemonium in the video. I mean, it looks like people are standing around and not sure what is happening. EVANS: Well, to be honest, I think everybody was pretty organized. Everyone followed directions immediately. Got up and left their stuff. There was no large commotion. Everyone was listening to directions getting out of the way.
I'm proud of the students for the way that they acted. There was no trampling, yelling, screaming, pushing. It was all -- it was all as organized as you could imagine for such a tragic time. It was a little bit more hectic as we went upstairs where there was more and more crowds as, you know, the levels of the library started to join together on one floor.
COOPER: You came across somebody who had been hurt. What did he say to you?
EVANS: He said, there is a gun in the library and I've been shot. I remember saying, like why would somebody say that. That was somebody talking to the crowd of the library. I realized that was a wounded man on the floor. That's when it all hit me. This is very serious.
And you know -- my heart, I have goose bumps thinking about it. I looked at him. The shock and terror on his face, I can't imagine what he was going through. You know, I just, my gosh, are you OK? And he said I am bleeding. I am bleeding. I can't imagine how scared he must have been.
COOPER: How are you holding up? I mean, to have been through something like this?
EVANS: I am doing OK. You know, I think right now I am still running off the adrenaline from the initial event. I haven't slept at all today. I have been running around campus, talking with all my fellow classmates, my friends, family, all day.
I haven't even had time to reflect on it. But I feel really great about how Florida State has handled the situation as a campus. And, I am just really proud of how Tallahassee in general has handled this entire situation. I've feel good about it at this moment.
COOPER: Well, Sarah Evans, I appreciate you taking time to talk to us. I hope you get some rest and things calm down. Thank you.
EVANS: Yes, thank you very much.
COOPER: Just ahead tonight, another accuser is making allegations against Bill Cosby as new video shows him pressuring a reporter to bury part of an interview about accusations he is facing.
Plus the many other celebrities who faced sexual assault accusations, how many were actually charged with crimes.
COOPER: Quick update for you on some news that broke just before the top of the hour. Late word from CNN's Evan Perez that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson is in the final stages of talks to city officials to resign.
He could make the announcement tomorrow, the same day a local grand jury may decide to whether or not to indict him in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
There are new developments as well tonight in the Bill Cosby story. The "Associated Press" has released raw video of Mr. Cosby pressuring a reporter to deep six a portion of an interview he and his wife, Camille, had just given.
The part he objected to is when the reporter asked him about the sexual assault allegations he is facing. Cosby dismissed the question and after the interview was over, before the Cosbies removed their microphones, Mr. Cosby tried to get the reporter not to let the public see or hear his answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL COSBY, COMEDIAN: Now can I get something from you? That none of that will be shown.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I can't promise that myself, but you didn't say anything.
COSBY: I know I didn't say anything. But, I'm asking your integrity that since I didn't want to say anything, but I did answer you. In terms of I don't want to say anything of what value will it have?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Mr. Cosby continued to talk to the reporter. At one point saying, quote, "I would appreciate it, if it was scuttled." That was on November 6th. Now the AP said it decided to release the raw video now because the escalating allegations against Mr. Cosby.
Tonight, there is another accuser. Susan Candiotti joins me with the latest. Susan, I understand tonight, there are new allegations from another accuser. What have you heard?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, her name is Carla Ferrigno. She is the wife of actor, Lou Ferrigno, "The Hulk." She says when she was 19 years old, she and a male friend went over to Bill Cosby's home. When they were alone, she said, he surprised her by suddenly grabbing her and forcibly kissing her. This is what she told CNN and a radio show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLA FERRIGNO: He grabs me, pulls me like really tight to him, kisses me in the mouth like really, really rough. He came at me again and I just pushed and ran and jumped and got out of his way, ran down the hall. And this guy was coming out of one of the rooms and I said, I want to go home and he took me home. I never said a word to anybody in all these years.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CANDIOTTI: And Anderson, she also says that, Cosby's wife, Camille was home at the time.
COOPER: Why is she coming forward now, do we know?
CANDIOTTI: Well, after hearing all these other women come forward she says she felt compelled to do the very same thing. She said, I just had to do it because in my view, it's time to stop. And she called Bill Cosby a predator.
Now we reached out to his lawyers and tonight, Anderson, we have a brand new statement from them. They are calling the pattern of attacks as they put it entering the realm of ridiculous.
Quoting here, "People coming out of nowhere with this sort of inane yarn is what happens in a media driven feeding frenzy. Anderson, at least five women have come forward so far and there is no telling when it might stop.
COOPER: All right, Susan Candiotti, thanks very much.
It is important to keep in mind, Cosby has never been charged in connection with any allegations against him. He has settled a lawsuit with one of his accusers. Over the past 48 hours, Netflix and NBC postponed and canceled projects with Cosby.
TV Land has removed reruns of the "Cosby Show" from its lineup. Cosby is not the first celebrity to face allegations or the kind of fallout from allegations of sex crimes. Once again, Gary Tuchman reports.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Bill Cosby, one of America's most famous funnymen and as Woody Allen, who was also been in the spot light for the wrong reasons. The renowned film maker accused by ex-wife, Mia Farrow and other family members of sexually abusing his then 7-year- old daughter, Dylan. Allen made a rare television appearance on "60 Minutes" back in 1992 to deny it.
WOODY ALLEN, DIRECTOR: A gigantic industry has been built on a total nonevent. I mean a total nonevent. It wasn't as if I tickled my daughter or something and much has been exaggerated. I'm saying, nothing at all.
TUCHMAN: Like Cosby Allen has never been criminally charged. But more than two decades later still an open sore. Dylan Farrow now 29 wrote an open letter this past winter, saying in part, Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
Woody Allen then wrote his own letter in which he said no one wants to discourage abuse victims from peeking out one must bear in mind sometimes there are people falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing.
Another celebrity accused of sexual abuse the king of pop, Michael Jackson, acquitted of child molestation charges in 2005. Twelve years after a prior molestation accusation against him. He also felt compelled to make a statement during the case in 1993.
MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: Throughout my life I have only tried to help thousands upon thousands of children to live happy lives. It brings tears to my eyes when I see any child who suffers. I am not guilty of these allegations.
TUCHMAN: However, Jackson did end up agreeing to pay out a multimillion dollar settlement to that accuser. While some celebrities blame their fame for attracting these types of accusations, others have admitted their guilt or convicted in a court of law.
Roman Polanski, famed director and producer, arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 1977. He accepted a plea bargain with understanding he would receive probation after a short prison sentence.
When he feared the judge would change the terms. He fled to France and has never returned to the U.S. Mike Tyson convicted of raping a former beauty queen interviewed on CNN earlier this year by CNN contributor, Mark Geragos, who is also his attorney.
MARK GERAGOS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I want to talk about the idea of getting a pardon. I want to talk about the fact that you believe you were wrongfully convicted.
MIKE TYSON: Wow, which one is first?
GERAGOS: Wrongfully convicted.
TYSON: I do believe high was wrongfully convicted because I didn't commit the crime.
TUCHMAN: Finally, there is the original James Bond 007, Sean Connery. Famously told "Playboy" magazine in 1965 that I don't think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman. Connery's first wife publicly said she was abused by him. He has never been criminally charged. Twenty two years after the "Playboy" interview, he doubled down on a Barbara Walters interview.
BARBARA WALTERS: You did an interview in which you said, not the worst thing to slap a woman now and then. I remember you said you don't do it with a clenched fist, it's better to do it with an open hand. Remember that? Yes?
SEAN CONNERY: I wouldn't change my opinion.
TUCHMAN: Bill Cosby is not the first celebrity to experience this. He won't be the last. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Well, more on the story now and others go to CNN.com. Ahead, no rest for the snow bound in Buffalo with even more snow falling after the initial blast that brought more than 6 feet. A live update next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been a long four days and -- I'm ready for it to end, but we'll get through it. We always do. You don't know where to start to clear it up. You can only do so much. I will be happy if I can get that off the roof and -- just not have my house collapsed on. That's what I am worried about right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: In Western New York, snow is getting deeper by the minute. Misery index is rising as fast. The epic storm claimed ten lives so far. Two latest victims died overnight from exposure.
In one town, rescue workers had to evacuate a nursing home because the roof was in danger of collapsing. So many buildings buried under snow. The big fear they'll continue to collapse under the weight. Martin Savidge joins me now live from Buffalo. What are the conditions now, Martin?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, there is some good news. The snow has tapered off. Some areas saw additional 2 feet today and then there is this, tonight the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the entire area.
That's because temperatures over the week end are expected to moderate. Monday it could be close to 60 degrees. That is going to set up a whole other set of issues. In the meantime they're still dealing with the problem at hand.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The buried community south of Buffalo now facing a new danger, roof collapse, homes and buildings are beginning to buckle under the weight of the snow. We are now going to have roof collapses.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: We're looking at another 2 to 3 feet of snow today and then a warming trend on the weekend, which could lead to massive flooding when all of this snow starts to melt.
SAVIDGE: It's not the only problem the snow continues to fall, city crews, National Guard troops and private contractors have thrown everything they have into clearing the snow. But even now most primary routes can only be declared as passable.
More snow has slowed the job, so have endless streams of cars, people and snowmobiles navigating the few open routes. Many side streets remain white waste lands of shoulder high snow.
Here, shovels, the only weapon. I join two neighbors trying to clear the drive.
(on camera): I don't want to say this looks like an impossible task.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, pretty much. We will get there. You got to start somewhere, right?
SAVIDGE: I guess you do. Just getting to the front door is a challenge.
(voice-over): The deep snow settled making it heavier and harder to move.
(on camera): The problem you have here is the same problem the city has. Where do you put it? You can dig it up here. But it has got to go somewhere. So that's on top of somebody's car.
(voice-over): With the snow too deep to plow, crews dig it up using giant front end loaders that carry it into waiting dump trucks. The trucks end up in long lines waiting at an old railway terminal where they dump their snowy loads and head out for more while tractors push it around to make room.
This is how it looked Wednesday and this is how it looks a day later. A man made mountain, rising stories high into the air and city officials say as big as it is, it is barely 20 percent of what's still needs to be cleared.
COOPER: How long is it going take to clear the mountain?
SAVIDGE: Well, you know, it's probably going to take four, five days, city officials say before they can at least get most of the side streets cleared out. Look at this -- you know, down the way there where the first mountain was the one that you saw earlier in day light.
And now, tonight, this is -- the second mountain that is sort of growing here. It is amazing how fast and every now and then you will see one of the giant bulldozers sort of peek over the top. Some look like they're going to tip and fall over.
But we had to move the equipment at one point. The sort of man-made avalanche, there is one, started rising over the top. They're going to be doing this all night long, all day, and probably for days to come.
Here's the thing. You know even though the snow may go away with the rain and what comes next. This is going to be here. This is going to become a glacier and could last well into the summer. People are going to remember the storm just by coming and looking at this.
It is massive. It's an old train station. They have plenty of room. They need every bit of it.
COOPER: Unbelievable. Martin, thanks very much. Staying until the summer, amazing. That does it for us. Our live coverage continues now on CNN International.