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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Massachusetts Declares State of Emergency; Snowstorm Shuts Down Boston's Subway System; New Video Shows Hostage Praising ISIS Fighters; No Proof American Hostage Kayla Mueller is Dead
Aired February 9, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, a massive snowstorm hits New England. The governor nor of Massachusetts declaring a State of Emergency. All time records of snow fall bury in Boston.
Plus, a new ISIS video today. A British hostage singing the terrorists praises. Is he under duress or has he turned?
And OUTFRONT tonight, the parents of another American hostage speak out.
Also, former Olympian Bruce Jenner involved in a fatal car accident. Was the paparazzi trying to get a picture of him as speculation grows that he is transitioning to a woman? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news. Record snowfall blanketing the northeast. Minutes ago, Massachusetts governor issuing an emergency declaration for the state. As we speak, Boston completely shutting down its subway system for the next 24 hours at least looking at up to 16 inches of snow before the storm ends. Boston has now had 60 inches, over 60 inches of snow in the past couple of weeks. That's just since mid-January. That's the most snow ever in one month. It has also set a record for the most snow in a week. Over 40 inches. This is the third Monday in a row that the region has been ground to a halt by snow. The biggest problem is what to do with all of it.
And to give you an idea of just how much snow they've had to remove in the northeast of the United States, Massachusetts governor says in the past month, crews have already removed enough snow to fill the 70,000 New England Patriots Stadium. That's filling it not once, not twice, but 90 times over. Across the region, the weight of all of that snow is causing roofs and hold buildings to collapse. And it's not just Boston. New York State is looking up to 14 much inches of snow. Much of Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, on up to Maine, you're talking about nearly 40 million Americans in the path of this storm.
Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT tonight. He's in Quincy, Massachusetts, getting slammed from more than two feet of snow from this storm. Miguel, I know you're out on the road. How are the conditions tonight? MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Miserable. Wicked miserable
as they'd say here in Massachusetts. In Quincy, there are several buildings that's collapsed there, the roofs just scathing in from the weight of the snow. We're now in North Weymouth, Massachusetts, we're on a very small road here. If we can pull off here in a second, we can show you some of the conditions that exist out here right now. It's about 25 degrees out here. They've had more than 24 inches of snow in just this one storm, in this one area. Two fronts, a front from the ocean and a front from the land came together in this area which really created havoc and this one little micro area, they just got hammered. Check this out. I'm going to jump out right here and show you what this neighborhood looks like along the way. I have to put on goggles because the wind is whipping at about 30 miles per hour here.
And you can see the snow, this neighborhood is actually as that of some of them have been. We're in a bit of a lull here but back here, if you look around this side, you can see the wind back here, Steve. You can come around here with me. I promise I won't get you killed or myself crossing the road here. But this is what they are dealing with. Drifts. Look at this. It must be ten feet high here. They are dealing with this all over the state, all over the city. The area particularly hard hit just on the other side of this bay, it's been endless snow and they are keeping everything clear. It's amazing how New England is getting the snow but it is taking an enormous toll -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Miguel. And you can tell us just from that wind everybody, watching as we go, as closer up to the camera, you could hear him as he walk away, even five or ten feet, you can hear it start taking the hits. That's what the wind is already doing to this, the transmissions here. A major concern for emergency crews are snow and snow banks that Miguel was just showing you in some parts of New England and in Boston, the streets have become so narrow because of the snow that fire trucks cannot actually get to the scene of fires.
Chris Welch is OUTFRONT in Boston. They're working around the clock trying to melt and clear that snow. And Chris, I mean, that's a pretty scary process when you think about it. Someone has a heart attack, ambulance can't get to where they are, a fire truck can't get there.
CHRIS WELCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's absolutely very concerning, Erin. The more snow we get the piles on top of the previous storm. The more concerning it gets. Before I get to more of what we did today with the fire department, just take a look behind me. I want to show you where we are standing. We're at one of those so-called snow farms that the city of Boston has established here. These pile of snows have been here a while. This is 10,000 truckloads of snow behind me here. They are putting it into a pile here in the middle which will then go over here to this big machine to the left which is called a snow melter. It melts about 350 tons of snow per hour. Right now they are giving it a little break. It looks like they were going to do some refueling, they were going to get back out. They'll be doing this throughout the night. But Erin, we spent a
lot of time today with the Fire Department and they have raised some concerns. You know, if this snow continues to fall and if we get more snow here in Boston on Thursday and Friday as predicted, it's going to be already at unprecedented levels but it's going to make their job even tougher. One of the toughest parts about it has been the fact that this narrow streets in some neighborhoods in Boston have become even narrower with piles of snow along both sides of the streets and cars parked along both sides of the streets making some of these large fire engines essentially impossible for them to get through. Now, the other thing that they are pushing is they are saying that the fire hydrants are key in this situation and fire hydrants need to be visible for these Fire Department -- for the Fire Department to find them. They are asking them to help dig them out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNY HAYES, BOSTON FIREFIGHTER: In the neighborhoods, the residents in the neighborhoods sections of Boston, they are very good about shoveling out the fire hydrants. But this is, you know, this is financial districts, a lot of these people are coming and going. They're not worried about a hydrants. So, this are very important. There are a lot of high rises in the area obviously. So, for us, this is on us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WELCH: Yes. So the Fire Department was kind enough to let us ride along with them today. They emphasized fire hydrants and also making sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Very important as the snow continues to fall obviously with affordable heaters and that type of thing -- Erin.
BURNETT: Record after record. Thank you so much, Chris. And now on the phone, the mayor of Boston, Martin Walsh. Mayor Walsh, you're a long-time resident of greater Boston. I know you're used to snow. I was with you, it seems like yesterday, but one of these Mondays as we were going through these horrible storms. Have you ever -- and I guess the answer is no if I look at the record books -- seen so much snow in such a short amount of time?
MAYOR MARTIN WALSH, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS (on the phone): No. The snow is just not letting up here. Every time we had the blizzard a couple of weeks ago and we're getting ahead of it and then five days later, we get 18 inches of snow and (INAUDIBLE) this new storm is still going on in the city. So, we still need to dig out from it and get the snow off the streets and I had to tell you before I went on with the firefighters are, working hard around the clock and open up the streets and open up the small neighborhoods street, so we can get fire apparatus and safety personnel out there.
BURNETT: When we talk about the snow and how it's building up, I mean, across the entire region, and in Boston I know there's been concerns about roofs. Right? That roofs can give way and there's been building collapses in other places in the region. What are you doing to try to prevent more of that from happening? Because when I see the pictures of those city streets, I mean, they are getting so narrow, it's literally impossible for people to drive down some of them?
WALSH: Yes. The governor called for a State of Emergency tomorrow which is going to allow a good 24, maybe 36 hours of widening streets in the city and trying to get as much snow off the ground so we can get them to the snow farms. What we're doing is we're melting the snow tonight to make room for additional snow. They will be doing all day tomorrow. The roofs, we're asking people to, you know, ask the contractors to go up there and check their roofs to get the snow off of it. We haven't had a big collapse yet in the city of Boston. I know in -- they had a couple. But, you know, we're expecting -- one thing that is lucky is that the snow has been light. We haven't had the heavy wet, rain snow. But you still need to get the snow off your roof and we're asking people to reach out to their contractors. Don't do it themselves. We don't want people hurting themselves trying to shovel snow off their roofs as they've done in the past.
BURNETT: All right. Mayor Walsh, thank you and best of luck. The NASA has just tweeted an image of the storm system. We'll show you. That's the storm system as you can see blanketing the northeast of the United States. We are now learning of another storm that is now starting to gain strength as it begins marching towards the northeast. This system, of course, breaking possibly even more records.
Meteorologist Tom Sater is OUTFRONT. Tom, this is pretty incredible. And I had three weeks in a row of this sort of scenes.
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right.
BURNETT: Early week apart, a week apart. We've now broken pretty much every record out there.
BURNETT: What are we looking at with this next storm?
SATER: Well, it looks like, it comes in Thursday into Friday now. The model to still try together. But to give you an idea, Erin, just the magnitude of this, when you look at the records in Boston, they go back 140 years, that's a 140 winters, on average on this date, maybe they have 26 inches so far into the season. This is the latest storm. We're still waiting for an update from the National Weather Service. It's 9.7s from 1 p.m. It will probably be up to around 23 or 24. Where are we in the records is this is the tenth snowiest season now. Just about 74 inches by the end of this week. We'll be in the top four or five and continue to climb. The temperatures well into the 20s. This is going to seem in balmy because back behind our next system, we're looking at subzero readings, the coldest air of the season followed by another arctic blast that will tramp that. Now, what is left is a little bit of patchy sleet mixing in with some snow in Philadelphia. New York City. Don't be surprised to see maybe a passing snow shower.
We're still going to see a few more inches in parts of Massachusetts until tomorrow morning. Then the next storm system, as one exits, we're watching it closely. It comes in from Canada like the last one. This area of low pressure across the great lakes should transfer its energy to a developing storm and this is a coastal storm. This could be a nor'easter working on the track. If that happens, Erin, we're going to see totals that vary right now in the track from six to eight more in Boston to what we're leaning more towards and it could be a foot plus. For the same states that have been hit in the last three weeks with over six feet of snowfall. Then the numbers drop. Not one but two blasts. Notice Friday's lows, mine is three Bangor, three in Boston, eight, New York City and then reinforcing cold air. Zero in Boston on Sunday. They have to get the snow off the roads before it freezes. This can also lead to a nightmare problem of pipes bursting. That's the last thing we want. How do you even find out where the leak is with all of this snow? So, the first blast comes through following the snowfall, which could be a foot. But get this, a shot to the eastern U.S., cold air could go through Florida and even some computer models hinting at a cold front passing Puerto Rico. Amazing what we're dealing with. A conveyor belt of storms.
BURNETT: Wow. Through Puerto Rico?
BURNETT: You left my jaw still on the table here. Florida I'm thinking, all right, you're going to have problems with the orange crop and now all of a sudden Puerto Rico. Wow! All right. Tom, thank you very much. You know, I mean, that's pretty stunning when you think about it.
OUTFRONT next, my exclusive conversation with the parents of an American hostage held in Syria for more than two-and-a-half years.
Plus, a new ISIS video tonight featuring a British hostage praising the terrorists. Is he speaking under duress or has he been brainwashed?
And former Olympian Bruce Jenner involved in a deadly car accident. Was he being chased by the paparazzi? And if so, were they after pictures of his rumored gender changed.
BURNETT: A new ISIS video tonight shows British hostage John Cantlie, a journalist who has been held captive for more than two years, delivering a report from Syria. He's not wearing the ubiquitous orange jump suit that we have seen on hostages in the past. Instead, Cantlie appears to be out in the open, touting Sharia law, praising his captors.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
JOHN CANTLIE, ISIS HOSTAGE: Hello. I'm John Cantlie. The last film in this series, we're in a city that has been in the heart of the fighting since the summer of 2012.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The latest video from ISIS is a 12-minute tour of Aleppo, like something that the Chamber of Commerce might produce. British journalist John Cantlie appears clean-shaven, healthy, seemingly rested and relaxed as he paints a picture of thriving businesses, schools and mosques all under the safe watch of ISIS. But western officials call it a charade. After all, Cantlie is a prisoner and he does, perhaps, ominously refer to this as his last message.
In November 2012, Cantlie and American journalist James Foley were captured together in Northwest Syria. Foley was murdered by ISIS who released him video last August.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Jim was taken from us by an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world.
FOREMAN: Shortly afterwards, the first video appeared in a series called "Lend Me Your Ears." It featured Cantlie in front of a black curtain wearing orange like other ISIS prisoners. But while Cantlie acknowledged his life was under threats, there the similarity ended. Through the series, Cantlie has criticized Western military strikes defended the fairness of Sharia law and portrayed ISIS fighters as heroes.
CANTLIE: Hello, I'm John Cantlie and today we're in the city of Kobani on the Syrian/Turkish border.
FOREMAN: He has also been presented more and more as if he's a free journalist, appearing in civilian clothes, roaming around and praising life under ISIS whether he believes those words, no one knows. His 80-year-old father Paul was in the hospital for throat surgery late last year and recorded a public message praising the work he did before he was taken.
CANTLIE: Probably about 40 guys there or so.
PAUL CANTLIE, FATHER OF JOHN CANTLIE: I want John to know how very proud I am of him.
FOREMAN: We're not really showing much of the video because, frankly, it's propaganda, pure and simple. Paul Cantlie, the father there, passed away a few weeks after recording that. His dying request to ISIS, release my son. But since then, all the terror group has released more videos of John Cantlie as both host and hostage -- Erin.
BURNETT: Tom Foreman, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, counter insurgency and counterterrorism specialist Seth Jones who's with the Rand Corporation and former army ranger Paul Scharre, director of the Center for a New American Security. All right. Good to have both of you with us. Let me start with
you Seth, and I want to emphasize what Tom just said. We only showed tiny, tiny pieces of that video because it is propaganda but obviously everyone is trying to understand exactly what is happening here with John Cantlie. He's a hostage. By definition, he's doing this under duress. Right? He wouldn't be there if he wasn't a hostage. But it's unclear whether at this point he agrees with ISIS, whether he believes in what he's reporting. What do you see?
SETH JONES, DIRECTOR, RAND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE POLICY CENTER: Well, I see somebody who I think is under some duress. I mean, the guy that's captured along with him has been killed and what it looks like he's doing, he's reading or has memorized transcripts and the position that ISIS has put him in is to try to push back against some of the really negative propaganda that's come out over the last couple of weeks. And I think that's really the purpose of this particular video.
BURNETT: And Paul, this is the second video by Cantlie that's being presented as if he's a free journalist and by that I mean, you know, wearing civilian clothes, looking exactly as he would if he were doing his job as a real journalist, right? Not in some sort of ISIS garb. He calls this the last in this series and he had done another series. But do you hear anything when you hear last in this series, anything significant in terms of the intent of the terrorists?
PAUL SCHARRE, FORMER ARMY RANGER: Certainly it's ominous wording, given the history of what ISIS has done with many of its hostages. The way he phrases it at the beginning of the video, it's much more casual.
SCHARRE: Certainly one hopes that all he's saying is, hey, that we're closing out this story that we're telling and moving on to something else. But certainly, you know, it is cause for some alarm. But the situation he's in is a very tough one. ISIS has not been great to hostages.
BURNETT: And I guess, Seth, is it important to ISIS that in terms of recruiting that he appear as a free man? Because these beheading videos, everyone has said these are effective for them in recruiting among certain people. But this video seems to be essentially targeting someone else. I mean, they are letting them even shave. I mean, you know, they are truly letting him appear the way he would ordinary appear. What do they get out of that?
JONES: Well, look, this video and the series has been among other things trying to recruit individuals and you see this really at the end of this video, in the interview that he has got with a French jihadist.
JONES: What they are trying to do among other things is to encourage people from the west. He's English speaking. To come to Iraq or Syria or if they don't do that, to conduct terrorist attacks in the west itself. Do one of those two. And what's interesting, Erin, is that the jihadist media has actually started to like this guy. They believe now that he's actually acting and he believes what he's saying. So he's even convinced a number of jihadists on the forums that I read that he actually means what he says.
BURNETT: Could that save his life?
JONES: I don't know. Actually, nothing that the Islamic State has done now I guess surprises me so I could very well believe that they will use him for this and then kill him.
BURNETT: And then kill him. I mean, Paul, I guess the frightening thing here is it seems that that would be -- that would be the way that they've operated every other time. I mean, they are still getting something out of him at this point. He's filing these reports. He interviewed the French jihadist, as Seth points out, who was able to say, kill people with knives, go home and do that and he was able to put that out in English.
SCHARRE: Certainly one can understand from John's perspective, why he would want to seem useful to them alive. But their brutality seems to know no limits. And of course, one of the dynamics we've seen with ISIS is that each video they need to one up themselves in terms of their own brutality. So it's certainly frightening.
BURNETT: All right. Seth and Paul, thank you both very much.
JONES: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, the American hostage Kayla Mueller. ISIS claims an air strike killed her but there has been absolutely no proof and the question is, could she still be alive? Her parents speak out. Our report, next.
And my guests tonight are the parents of another American who was held hostage in Syria tonight. Who is he and should the U.S., can the U.S. do more to save him?
BURNETT: Tonight, still no proof of life or death of the 26- year-old American held hostage by ISIS. The terror group says Kayla Mueller was killed in a Jordanian airstrike Friday. But they have shown absolutely nothing to back that claim up.
Our Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT from Mueller's hometown of Prescott, Arizona where friends and family are clinging to the hope that Mueller is still alive.
KEN BENNETT, FORMER ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE: He told me that the capture of Kayla had happened just three or four days earlier.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The man he's talking about, Kayla Mueller's father. It had been three to four days since ISIS captured Kayla on August 4th, 2013. The threat from ISIS, talk about or release her name, and they would execute her. Her father, in a fog of fear and pain, happened to then Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett on the radio.
BENNETT: He was totally desperate and didn't know what to do and turned to me just because I happen to be a few blocks away on the radio as he was driving home.
LAH: Bennett, as Arizona's secretary of state, carries no international diplomatic pull but he does have friends in power. Bennett immediately connected Mueller's father to Senator John McCain and Representative Paul Gosar on their personal cells and the diplomatic race was on to save Kayla Mueller. The Muellers suffered an excruciating silence, speaking to virtually no one about Kayla. Todd Geiler is a longtime family friend.
TODD GEILER, FAMILY FRIEND: It's not hard to keep a secret like this when demands of this caliber are being made. When you look across your breakfast table and there's an empty chair sitting there.
LAH: For nine months, deafening silence. Then, last May, ISIS sends proof of life confirmation. Two months later, in early July, a daring rescue attempt by U.S. Forces to save journalist James Foley. It fails but the military finds strands of hair believed to be Mueller's. Just days later on July 12, ISIS announces it will kill Kayla in 30 days unless the Mueller's pay nearly $7 million in ransom. The 30 days past and again silence. No word. Until this ISIS claim on Friday that Kayla Mueller was killed in this building. The Muellers are still afraid to say the wrong thing remain in their home behind police cars, still suffering alone in a hell few can ever imagine. They released a public statement to ISIS to reach out to them privately and directly.
BENNETT: I think it's kind of one of the amazing parts of the story, that out of their love for their daughter, they've really kind of had to almost bear this alone. And I don't know how they as a family have done that.
LAH: Alone no longer, Prescott, Arizona, now knows and prays.
BENNETT: We love you and we pray for you every day. And we hope to get you back.
BURNETT: And I know, Kyung, that they are praying, hoping against hope. I think so many people, though, are so shocked that you could have so much time go by and they were able successfully to keep this secret, to keep her name out of the press.
LAH: Yes. And that's really the amazing thing here, Erin. About July, last year, when all of those ransom threats, that crisis that this family was going through, there were approximately according to a family spokesman about 100 people who may have known and yet it never got out. News organizations around the world knew her name, yet it didn't get out. And a lot of it, Erin, is because these parents were personally involved asking people, asking organizations to adhere to their wishes.
BURNETT: Those organizations, as they should, did. Thank you very much, Kyung.
And as they are hoping against hoping that Kayla Mueller is alive tonight, there's another American held hostage in Syria tonight. His name is Austin Tice. He's been hostage since August of 2012. He was in Syria as a freelance journalist working for "The Washington Post" and others when he was kidnapped.
I'll show you the last video that we have of Austin Tice. His parents have allowed us to show this to you. He is blindfolded, his hands are tied behind his back, he's walking with a group of masked men.
We're showing you this picture you understand exactly what he went through and how his parents are still desperately hoping that he will come home safely.
His parents, Debra and Marc Tice, are OUTFRONT with me now.
I appreciate you taking the time to be with us. And I guess the first question, we know that that video, which I know you have seen, it's hard to watch, we've showed our viewers from August 2012, what is the most recent information you have had about Austin?
MARC TICE, FATHER OF AMERICAN HOSTAGE IN SYRIA: Well, the video is the last and the only concrete information we've had about Austin. The message in the video is, Austin Tice is alive. We take that to heart. We have no reason to believe anything other than that he is still alive.
BURNETT: And what was he hoping to accomplish in Syria, Debra? Why was he there?
DEBRA TICE, MOTHER OF AMERICAN HOSTAGE IN SYRIA: Austin went to Syria to tell the story of the people that were affected by the conflict there in an urban environment which always means that innocent women and children will be involved in the fighting.
BURNETT: And, Marc, I know you said -- that video shows that he's alive. You've heard nothing to the contrary. I know you have been extremely frustrated with the U.S. government in terms of what they have been able to tell you, what they have shared with you, what they have done.
What exactly do you want them to do to help you right now, to help free Austin and bring him home?
MARC TICE: Well, you know, for one thing, we've experienced what other families have experienced in the course of Austin's captivity, in working with the government that there are not clear guidelines, clear directions, clear accountability for bringing hostages home safely. And so, we really think that there can be significant improvement. Hopefully based on the policy review that President Obama has ordered for U.S. hostage policy, to make the resources that are applied to Austin's case and other's cases work more effectively and efficiently and hopefully be more successful.
BURNETT: I know that you're so proud of your son and you're so proud of what he was doing and trying to accomplish. The harsh reality for all of us is that four American hostages are dead or presumed dead who were in Syria, James Foley, Steve Sotloff, Peter Kassig, Kayla Mueller, all names that everyone watching now knows because of the horrific way in which they were treated.
I know you're so proud of him, but if you could turn back the clock, would you tell him, don't go?
DEBRA TICE: Well, you know, Erin, we have raised our children to listen for their particular call and their place and whenever they hear that call, you can't really fight them for following it. So, he's on his path.
BURNETT: He's on his path and of course we all pray that that path will lead back to you safely. If Austin or his captors ever have the opportunity to see this interview, is there anything that you would want to tell them, to tell him?
DEBRA TICE: We always remind Austin how much we love him and how much we miss him, and we want his captors to engage in dialogue and let us know what needs to be done to get Austin safely home as soon as possible.
MARC TICE: Yes. And, you know, we also wanted to know just how many people are wishing him safety and a safe return and next weekend a campaign that we're launching, Reporters Without Borders, we'll be asking the American people to encourage with us, to encourage the U.S. government and the administration to do everything they can to bring him home safely.
BURNETT: All right. Well, my heart goes out to all of those who are hoping tonight. And I know all of those watching tonight. Thank you both very much.
MARC TICE: Thank you, Erin.
DEBRA TICE: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, Bruce Jenner facing an investigation after his involvement in a fatal car crash. He said photographers were chasing him over speculation he's in the middle of a gender change.
And "American Sniper," six Oscar nomination, the highest grossing war movie ever. This, as another sniper questions the movie's authenticity.
BURNETT: Tonight, investigators are asking for the public's help in locating witnesses of a deadly car crash involving Bruce Jenner. The former Olympian and Kardashian stepfather was involved in a multicar accident this weekend. The woman in the car in front of Jenner was killed, seven more were injured.
Questions remain tonight as to who was at fault for the accident, but it comes at a time when all eyes are on Jenner for another reason entirely.
Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a devastating tragedy. That's how former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner described the multicar accident he was involved in over the weekend that left a 69-year-old woman dead.
Jenner told police the paparazzi was following him, raising questions about their involvement in the crash. But law enforcement is saying there is no sign photographers played a role in the accident. These images were snapped just minutes after the crash, as pictures of Jenner are in high demand following recent reports that the former track star is allegedly transition from a man to a woman. CNN has not been able to confirm the reports.
In 1976, Jenner became a household name, winning the Olympic decathlon in track and field, making world record history. As the years went on, stardom and endorsements followed. While his personal life had ups and downs, with multiple marriages resulting in six biological children and four step children.
But recent photos show a remarkable change in Jenner: red fingernail polish while smoking a cigarette, long hair, and reports that he had surgery to lessen the appearance of his Adam's apple.
REBECCA SUN, SENIOR REPORTER, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: He didn't point it to certainly any sort of, you know, desire to undergo a gender transition but he just said he never liked it. You know, he never liked having an Adam's apple.
CASAREZ: Jenner is on the cover of "People" magazine on stands this week, and comments from stepdaughter Kim Kardashian have only intensified the intrigue.
KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY TV STAR: Everyone goes through things in life, but I do think that that story and what Bruce is going through I think he'll share whenever the time is right.
CASAREZ: A week before that interview, an Instagram photo of the Kardashian clan with Jenner simply said, family first.
SUN: Yes, I mean, they are ramping up for some sort of big announcement, definitely the anticipation has been building.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It needs to be cut in two.
BRUCE JENNER: Let me sleep on it. CASAREZ: Jenner has been in all nine seasons of the cable hit
"Keeping Up with the Kardashians," although always in the background.
Renee Richards, a transgender eye surgeon and former professional tennis player, tells CNN from her standpoint, Jenner can't be enjoying all of this publicity, especially at this time.
RENEE RICHARDS, UNDERWENT GENDER REASSIGNMENT SURGERY: I was very upset when I went through my transformation and tried to do it privately.
CASAREZ: But Jenner is now front and center more than ever. And any invasion of privacy may be the one thing he cannot change.
CASAREZ: Now, this is currently an accident investigation. It is a traffic incident involving a fatality, but that could morph into a criminal investigation. It may take up to a year but it's a very serious investigation.
Now, on the other hand, everybody is waiting for Bruce Jenner to step forward and to talk and to give a statement. But because of the potentiality of suits, a civil suit even, maybe that will stop airing him talking sooner than later.
BURNETT: All right. Jean, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, psychotherapist, Dr. Robi Ludwig.
All right. Recently, Jenner has made these headlines. Of course, over the rumors that he started transitioning to a woman. This is a family that is famous for being famous. It has a reality show. Everything has been a publicity stunt.
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Right.
BURNETT: It seems hard to imagine, but could this be, too?
LUDWIG: It really is hard to imagine. I've spoken to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who would not rule that out. In fact, I wonder whether this is somehow publicity related, whether it's attention-seeking. But it's hard to imagine how someone would go to this extent to get attention.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, that seems to be -- for something like this, this is so deeply personal --
LUDWIG: It's too extreme and there would be backlash.
BURNETT: Incredible backlash.
Now, Bruce Jenner, of course, was famous for the Kardashians, and actually famous for something he did, not famous for being famous.
LUDWIG: Right. BURNETT: Famous for being an Olympian, winning a gold medal at
1976 decathlon, world record. How unusual would it be for an athlete of that caliber, a male athlete of this caliber to make this decision?
LUDWIG: Well, I think one thing has nothing to do with the other. For people who have gender dysphoria, it's not like they're making a decision. They may make the decision to transition. But they really believe the identity, gender they are in their head is different than the gender they were born.
And so, it creates a conflict. And so, for some people, it takes longer to come out. But I think what we might not consider is that we don't know who has this if they don't come out and tell us. So, they could be --
LUDWIG: -- a successful athlete, father, financially successful, famous. And if they don't tell their story, we might not ever know.
BURNETT: Well, and there is still in our society incredible stigma on this particular issue, right?
BURNETT: You have all these states, OK, now, you can get married if you're gay. All the stigmas are going away.
BURNETT: But in terms of gender transition, this is something that is farther behind that. How hard would it be to go through a gender transition and have everyone watch every part of it?
LUDWIG: It's very hard and I think there's a lot of anxiety associated with it, because you don't know who's going to accept you and how successful the transition will really be, how you can pass, who's going to love you still. So, it's very complex and difficult.
BURNETT: That's the hard thing, who is going to love you still? That's the fundamental question for all humans.
Thank you so much, Dr. Robi.
LUDWIG: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, as the man accused of killing American sniper Chris Kyle is set to go on trial, one sniper speaks OUTFRONT about what he says the movie got wrong.
And Jeanne Moos on the firestorm stirred up about Kanye West's unscripted Grammy fiasco.
BURNETT: Tonight's "Money and Power": the Oscar-nominated movie "American Sniper", it is now the highest grossing war movie of all- time, $282 million so far is the gross, as much as the other seven best picture nominees combined.
A fellow sniper known as the "Sheriff of Baghdad" has seen the movie and says it's riddled with far more fiction than fact.
Ed Lavandera with his story, OUTFRONT.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John McPhee's used to this kind of view. It's how he spent countless nights staring down battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tonight, he's just hunting wild beavers.
LAVANDERA: We're in North Carolina, on a night hunt with John McPhee. He's a retired army sergeant major. But more importantly, he was a sniper in Delta Force, did eight tours over the course of eight years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
McPhee was nicknamed the "Sheriff of Baghdad". You might think the movie "American Sniper" and the story of Chris Kyle would be just the kind of film McPhee would love to see. But you'd be wrong.
JOHN MCPHEE, RETIRED SNIPER: I think he's a hero. I applaud him for his service. You know, I feel sorry for his wife and kids, you know? My heart goes out to him. But the story is rife with inaccuracy and I don't think Hollywood made it better.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Do you worry that the average American might see the movie as more of a documentary than entertainment?
MCPHEE: Of course they will. You know, it's a look into stuff that they don't get to look into. And because there's a real guy behind it, they're going to see it as -- this is all truth and fact.
LAVANDERA: Whereas when you watched it --
MCPHEE: It's crap.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Harsh criticism from a soldier who says he was deeply embedded in the hunt for the terrorist Abu Musab al- Zarqawi. McPhee says the movie is filled with poor military tactics and outlandish scenarios that would never happen in the battlefield.
(on camera): People talk about Chris Kyle, oh, he's been credited with at least 160 kills. Is that the kind of information you guys get? Or is that something --
MCPHEE: No one talks about that stuff. Like, I mean, look, my first day in war, December 2001, we killed 1,000 dudes. Like can I count that? Should I have counted? Like how do you count? LAVANDERA (voice-over): CNN analyst and retired Delta Force
commander, James Reese, was also a sniper. He served grueling tours of duty in the battle of Fallujah.
Reese says the "American Sniper" film did a good job of capturing the stress the snipers endure on the battlefield, and once they come home.
JAMES REESE, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It is a very intensive PhD level work that snipers have to do. They're by themselves or with a spotter. So, one or two people. They're by themselves and it's all they have. And everything is on them and it takes a very psychologically strong person to do that.
LAVANDERA: These days, John McPhee is far from the battlefield. He might not have liked the "American Sniper" movie, but understands why millions are flocking to see it.
MCPHEE: People support soldiers. People want to know what it's like. Anytime a movie comes out that is even remotely close or true, people are going to go check it out.
LAVANDERA: And, Erin, that is a view from the snipers. Here in Stephenville, Texas, where the murder trial for Eddie Ray Ralph, the man accused of killing Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield two years ago, development here tonight, Erin, the jury has been picked. Ten women and two men will begin hearing opening statements, and the testimony and the evidence in this case starting Wednesday morning here in Stephenville -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Fascinating on that gender balance. I wonder how significant that will be. Thanks so much to you, Eddie.
And don't miss the CNN special, "Blockbuster: The Story of the American Sniper". That is tonight at 9:00 right here on CNN.
And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on Kanye West storming another stage.
BURNETT: Six years after the president of the United States was heard calling Kanye West a, quote, "jackass" for his behavior at the MTV Video and Music Awards, Kanye called out for acting like one yet again.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There were the usual Grammy jokes, comparing Rihanna's dress to an umbrella or a loofah, and teasing Iggy Azalea about her hair. But when it came to Kanye West, what seemed like a joke, crashing the stage and upstaging Beck, had celebrities laughing at first, clapping Kanye's shoulder and craning their necks.
But once he explained he was serious --
KANYE WEST: And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyonce.
MOOS: Talk show audiences seem to be laughing at Kanye rather than with him, or even dissing him.
After all, this was the second time he's stolen a winner's moment of glory to proclaim Beyonce should have won.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you that egotistical or that needy?
MOOS: "Ladies and gentlemen, the ego has landed," posted one commenter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that sick?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He keeps making a fool of himself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's steps some dodo (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why does he always have to make it about himself?
MOOS: One of Kanye's biggest defender was Beck, who gestured Kanye back.
BECK: I need some help.
MOOS: And later told "Us Weekly,", "I still love him and think he's genius."
Kanye's not just a polarizing figure, he's become a figure of speech.
Inspiring expressions like "Kanye pull a Kanye" and "to be truly Kanye."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why doesn't he have his own award show? Just call them the Kanyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He should.
MOOS: Tweets and vines sprouted showing Beck's face captioned, "When you see Kanye approaching".
Jay-Z and Beyonce's reaction to Kanye pulling a Kanye is all of our reaction to Kanye pulling a Kanye.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody needs to tell him to sit down and shut up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Respect other people, shut up and sit down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit down you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
MOOS: Are they commenting on Kanye or running for governor of New Jersey?
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NE JERSEY: Sit down and shut up.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut up and stop.
MOOS: -- New York.
BURNETT: Sadly, the thing that he thinks that commentary is good, because they're talking about him. No, it isn't.
Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.