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Ted Wells' Report on Tom Brady's Favors to Equipment Officials; Tornadoes Ravaging North Central Texas; FBI Warning Texas Police about Terrorist Gunmen. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired May 7, 2015 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:17] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks very much.

Good evening, everyone. We begin tonight with breaking news.

Tom Brady on defensive, we are waiting any moment now for Brady's first comments since the report came out saying he probably knew that the balls were intentionally deflated in the game. This sent his team to the super bowl. He is expected to speak at any moment now.

Brady arrive a short time ago by helicopter for a speaking event at Salem State University, Massachusetts, an event which was planned before the report on the so-called Deflategate came out.

As you know, just yesterday, an AFL commission report said that New England Patriots employees probably deflated footballs on purpose. And that Brady probably knew about it.

Today, Brady's agent released a statement calling the report a significant and terrible disappointment and essentially saying it was flawed and biased.

Deb Feyerick is live outside at the Salem State auditorium. She joins us now.

You are there -- there are going to be some comments, Deborah, from the university president before Tom Brady speaks. We are obviously going to bring you Tom Brady as soon as he starts speaking. He was scheduled to start speaking around 7:30, do we know the reason for the delay?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the reasons for the delay is because the line snaked through the parking lot. And by 10 to 8:00, not everybody was inside. And so, even though we (INAUDIBLE) by an event organizer, look, you know, they were on Tom Brady's schedule, so people aren't in, then this is going to start anyway. Well, he didn't start. He waited for everybody to get inside.

We were hearing a lot of cheers go up, you know, saying "Brady, Brady, Brady." All the people who are inside, Anderson, they planned to be here. You know, months ago, when these tickets on sale, we did hear that someone was offering a thousand dollars just to get a ticket for tonight to go inside. Again, we are sitting outside the doors. We are hearing the cheers

from the crowd. Everybody is very friendly to Tom Brady here. Nobody who I asked seemed to have a problem. They thought the report was heavily weighted to the NFL, not fair to Tom Brady. And of course, the first thing we hear from some of the fans as well, look at what this team and look at what that team does. So you know, it is everybody is aware that this report came out but it doesn't seem to be facing the people who came out here in support of Tom Brady and the patriots, Anderson.

COOPER: And Deborah, just briefly, do you know how many people this auditorium holds? I heard thousands, right?

FEYERICK: Yes, it holds about 4,000 people. And we heard initially that, you know, when the tickets went on sale, they virtually all sold out. So we were trying to get a couple of tickets to get inside but the event organizers simply said, you know, it is just -- there is no room. So the decision was made they would show the first ten minutes of whatever it is he said.

COOPER: All right, Deborah, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Whether it is 100 percent true as the report says, it is just more likely than not that Brady knew the footballs were being intentionally deflated, there is a perception now that Brady and his organization are cheaters. The question, will he be punished? Should he and what will he say tonight?

Joining me now is CNN sports' Rachel Nichols.

It is going to be interesting, obviously, Rachel, to hear from him. This is obviously a very favorable crowd for him. But his text message, he didn't allow his text messages to be seen by investigators.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN ANCHOR, UNGUARDED WITH RACHEL NICHOLS: Right. So there are text messages that they got from of the lower level of Patriots' employees that seem to implicate Tom Brady. Now, there is no video of Tom Brady with the pump on, you know, taking air out of the footballs. There is no video of him standing over those two guys with his finger directing them and we will have a little bit this Internet culture of, you know, pictures or it didn't happen. So there is this room for doubt.

Now, what the Ted Wells report are saying that after gathering mountain of evidence, they believe that there is circumstantial case to be made that Tom Brady knew what these under lings were doing.

COOPER: I guess I just don't understand, and look, I'm not a big football guy, but I don't understand why wouldn't he just show his text messages to investigators and if he has done nothing wrong, want to clear his name, why not just show the text messages?

NICHOLS: That's certainly one of the questions that Ted Wells and the investigators seem to post. And they didn't get answers from Tom Brady that they wanted to on certain subject. He then, at one point said, he didn't know one of these lower level Patriots officials when text messages between these guys, you know, proved otherwise. That they caught even some inconsistencies, he also didn't give them access to some things.

And one thing that Roger Goodell and the NFL are going to take into account when deciding his punishment is, that he didn't show his text message because stonewalling an investigation, that is something they consideration an offense in of itself. They don't like that.

COOPER: My other question is, for those who say, well, the NFL is out to get Tom Brady, I mean, why -- the NFL doesn't really have a history as far as I know of out to get their giant stars. I mean, why would the NFL, if anything, they want to protect the players?

[20:05:56] NICHOLS: Right. I mean, I have been saying all day, look. If they have been trying to get Tom Brady for 15 years, they've been doing an absolutely terrible job. I mean, they felt this guy up into one of the biggest starts there is in the country, much less in sports.

Now, his agents claim is that they needed this result, they needed to have a negative result, so they sort of backtracked and proved that in that way that Tom Brady was responsible. This is a pretty well respected investigator. But this brings back a conflict of interest issue that you and I we talked about on this show months ago.

The bulk of the agent's statement today was talking about the huge conflict of interest that the NFL hired the investigators and pay them money and in his words you pay them to get a certain result. It is an issue I brought up at Roger Goodell's last couple press conference and he bristled at that. But it is an ongoing issue in the NFL right now that they haven't been able to solve and right now Tom Brady's agent is using that as leverage against them in the situation.

COOPER: Did the agent come out and say Tom Brady is innocent?

NICHOLS: Well that is all to me has been one of the big factors. You know, Tom Brady at different times in the sense when he's given press availability right around when it became public and said hey, I didn't have anything to do with this. But this fire and brimstone statement today, all talked about the flaws in the investigation. There wasn't a sentence in there that said Tom Brady didn't do this. It talked about how unfair the investigation is. So I will be interested to see when he takes the stage tonight, if he says anything at all, as we see him waking up there to cheers of the multitudes, is he going to rouse them with, "I didn't do it."

COOPER: Yes, and whether he addressed this right off the bat. Whether, kind of --

NICHOLS: Jim Gray is the MC of the event tonight. He is a long time sports reporter -- Emmy-winning sports reporter. On the one hand, he has been known to ask tough questions. So people know Jim Gray is going to ask him some tough questions. On the other hand, Jim Gray is the guy that James Lebron's decision special with him all those years ago where he kind of let him float there for awhile. So we don't know which way Jim Gray is going to go tonight. That is another x-factor on what you guys are seeing there.

COOPER: Let's just listen to the crowd.



COOPER: So the format is he is not just speaking, he's going to be asked questions.

NICHOLS: It looks like he is going to be asked questions by Jim Gray. I don't know if he is going to give us some sort of opening statement. They also have five prescreened questions from the audience that had to be cleared before that they were asked. We don't expect them to be anything that presses Tom Brady that hard, obviously.

COOPER: And again, they are still introducing Brady. The last time he made public comment was in that press conference before.

NICHOLS: Before the super bowl, when they were still back in New England. Bill Belichick came out and give an extensive press conference for all kinds of scientific breaking down how he though this may or may not have happened.

Tom Brady, by contrast, gave a press conference where he was pretty vague. You saw some clips there of him sort of saying, hey, I don't know how this happened. I have no idea how this happened. I certainly wasn't involved in anything, much very broad. And then, through super bowl week he declined to address it. So we really haven't heard him talk about this in a couple of months, very eager to know what he says here. And of course, now that this report s put, it is a lot more on the table for him.

COOPER: The NFL doesn't have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Brady did this?

NICHOLS: Right. So the integrity clause in the NFL rule says basically a preponderance of the evidence. So in legal terms, it is basically the comparison between the civil suits versus criminal court. And this is why you see this language in the wells report, most probably that he did this. It is likely that he did this. There is a lot of lawyer language. IT is less the public feeling, especially Patriots fans. This isn't fair. You are convicting him on a most probably but that kind of system to the legal language of a preponderance of the evidence where the circumstantial evidence all hands out together to tell us we believe that he did it.

COOPER: And again, he is just right now kind of lengthy introduction there from the university president. But in terms of possible punishment, what are they looking at both for Tom Brady and for the team.

NICHOLS: Well, it is wide open here. We really don't know where they are going to go. There has been talk of fines. There has been talk of suspension. There has been talk of taking away draft picks from the team. One thing we can look at is in the past. Roger Goodell has said made

a big deal that ignorance is not an excuse. We saw with the New Orleans Saints with their bounty scandal. We saw with much smaller events. With the Cleveland Browns with some illegal texting that was going on between their general manager and the coach of the side lines during the game or he Atlanta Falcons piping in crowd noise. These are not major offenses, yet, they actually docked the general managers of those teams, suspended them in some cases, fined them in some cases, took them off valuable committees positions in some cases saying ignorance is not an excuse just because you yourself, didn't do this. You are responsible.

So we think that they are going to hold Tom Brady to that standard and possibly the Patriots organization to that standard even though the Wells report found that coach Bill Belichick and his higher up didn't have any knowledge of that, if ignorance isn't an excuse for those other teams, it should be an excuse for the Patriots. But we'll have to see if that actually means Tom Brady is yanked off the football field. That would be the most major punishment for him.

[20:10:19] COOPER: Very true. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jim Gray and Tom Brady.



JIM GRAY, SPORTS REPORTER: This is like a patriot pep rally. It looks like you picked a friendly place to reappear.

TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: Thank you, guys, for being here. Thank you very much.



BRADY: I love you too.

GRAY: So, I think when we decided to do this four months ago, there was a little bit of a different circumstance than what we're facing here this evening. So we're going to keep the evening to what it was supposed to be.


GRAY: However -- however there is an elephant in the room.

BRADY: Where?

GRAY: You may be the only one who doesn't see it.

So, Tom, you're in the news here and the Ted Wells' report was just released.


BRADY: Jim is known for hard-hitting questions. We have a show on Monday night and this is how it goes from. So I'm used to it.

GRAY: We're going to deal with it and then we are going to move on with the evening. What is your reaction, Tom, to the Ted Wells' report?


BRADY: See, I can't usually say those things. But I don't have really any reaction. Instead, our owner commented on it yesterday and it has only been 30 hours so I haven't had much time to digest it, but when I do, I'll be sure to let you know how I feel about it. And everybody else.

GRAY: Are you that slow a reader?

BRADY: Well, my athletic career is better than my academic career. So I'm used to reading X's and O's, this one was a little bit longer.

GRAY: When do you plan to address this publicly?

BRADY: Hopefully soon. Hopefully soon. There is still a process that is going forth right now and I'm involved in that process, so whenever it happens, it happens. And I'll certainly want to be very comfortable in how I feel about the statements that I make.

GRAY: So some slow statements right now, we'll speak for you, and you don't want to get into the details. How are you handling this controversy? Is it bothering you?

BRADY: You know, I've dealt with a lot of things in the past. I dealt with this three months ago before the super bowl and I've dealt a lot of adversity over my career and my life and I've fortunate I have so many people that love me, support me --


BRADY: Thank you. You know, life so much is about the ups and downs and certainly I accept my role and responsibility as a public figure. And I think a lot of it you take the good with the bad. And dealing with different adversities in life you just try to do the best you can. And I was raised by a great mom and dad who support me and I have a lot of great teammates that support me. So, we'll get through it.

GRAY: What are those people telling you? Share it with us.

BRADY: They are a little biased, alright? But, you know, they love me unconditionally and I love them unconditionally. And I can say, we'll deal with this at a date. Like you said earlier, that was not what this nigh was supposed to be about. So, I was here to come and have some fun.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) GRAY: Has this, however, detracted from your joy of winning the super bowl?

BRADY: Absolutely not.


GRAY: Why not?

BRADY: Because we earned and achieved everything that we got this year as a team and I'm very proud of that and our fans should be too.


[20:15:10] GRAY: Is the super bowl tainted? Should there be an asterisk?

BRADY: What do you guys think? Neither do I.

GRAY: Your answer was?

BRADY: Neither do I.

GRAY: No, it is not, is that what you are thinking?

BRADY: I asked what they thought.

GRAY: I asked what you thought.

BRADY: I said no, absolutely not.

GRAY: Absolutely not. Do you care what others think, say, and or write? You are getting pummeled, Tom, maybe not here tonight, but across the country. Do you care?

BRADY: My nature and character, when I think as a human you care what people think. I certainly care what the people that are close to me think and what they care about. I think also as a public figure, you learn that there is not -- everyone is going to like you either. So good, bad, indifferent, there is a lot of people that don't like Tom Brady. And I'm OK with that. So like I said I have teammates that love and support -- that love and support me. I have fans, I have family, I'm very blessed.

GRAY: We move on. It sounds like a good time to jump off a cliff. Have you done that lately?

BRADY: Yes, I have, as a matter of fact.

GRAY: Why?

BRADY: I ask myself the same question about that 30 minutes after it happened. I know we were in Costa Rica with my family and I had my wife holding a camera and my son was there with me and it was kind of a spur of the moment thing.

COOPER: They are obviously now just moving on.

I mean, Rachel, it is interesting the tact he is taking which is clearly whether he's been advised by attorneys or by his agent, that is how these things work --


COOPER: But I think some people seeing that will say, you know, they support him and others will say he seems arrogant and kind of blowing this off.

NICHOLS: Well I don't know if arrogant or blowing him off, but certainly people who are looking for him to say, hey, I didn't do it, they didn't get that. So if you are looking for reassurance from Tom Brady, maybe all you got was him being protected and might be disappointed about that. Again, we didn't hear that from his agent today. We haven't heard that now from him tonight. He has said it in the past. But the "Boston Globe" did a very interesting breakdown today of the one major press conference he has given on the subject compare to some statement the wells report found and there were some serious inconsistency there. So people want him to talk about this more, and him refusing to do it tonight may ruffle some fairs.

COOPER: I also want to bring sports columnist Mike Petraglia of Boston's, also former NFL player Shawne Merriman.

Mike, you say Tom Brady is being dragged through the mud without reason, how so?

MIKE PETRAGLIA, SPORTS COLUMNIST, WEEI.COM: I think for the reason the Ted Wells report did not offer any definitive evidence. I know Rachel has mentioned earlier that there is plenty of circumstantial evidence and compared this to a civil case. But that is not good enough. It is not good enough if you are going to destroy the legacy and the career -- the legacy, I should say, of one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. And to me, there must be a much higher standard met by the Ted Wells' report than was shown in the 243-page document.

COOPER: Mike, if he wanted to put this to rest, though, couldn't he had just show his text messages.

PETRAGLIA: Sure, he could have. But I'm sure as any smart attorney, and Donald, he is a very good representative. We saw that and he is a calculating representative in that statement he released today, he would never in a million years allow his client to release messages, confidentially, that wasn't necessary. Sure he will take a PR hit, but I'm sure Don, he told Tom Brady to take the PR hit, but do not give them any evidence.

Now, I should tell you in that report, Jastremski's text messages, there was some extemporaneous text messages that were cited in that report, text messages to Jastremski's mother that had nothing to do with the investigation. Who is to say that doesn't happen to Tom Brady and I think that was a smart play by Brady and ye. COOPER: Shawne, I want to play what Tom Brady has to say about all

this back in January because he is clearly not talking about it tonight.


BRADY: I didn't alter the ball in any way. When I picked those balls out, at that point, you know, to me they are perfect. I don't want anyone touching the balls after that, I don't want anyone rubbing them, you know, putting any air in them, taking any air out. I would never do anything outside of the rules of play. I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't, you know, I don't know what happened. I mean I -- I have no explanation for it.


[20:20:04] COOPER: So I guess, if Brady is being dragged through the mud here, then why put out a statement like his agent did today which said a lot of things except that Brady had nothing to do with this?

SHAWNE MERRIMAN, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Well it was 243 pages. I don't know if that is not enough information for me. Anderson, you don't watch much football, but it is pretty much clear that a quarterback test the ball every play. And the quarterbacks who I talked to around the league, everyone say they would know if it was deflated. I played a linebacker, I wouldn't know if I test the ball, but he clearly knew. And I don't know if 243 pages is enough. You know, outside of the text message, but if you read the report, it clearly said that he knew about it and he asked it. It is the ball boy's job is to do what the players say. He didn't know whether to put more air in the ball or take it out. And for him to say he didn't know anything about it, it doesn't make any sense to me.

COOPER: And Rachel, I also got to say, for him to say he hasn't read it or hasn't had time to digest it, that is a politicians' answer. I mean, that's -- if a politician said that, you would all over the guys saying are you kidding me. This is now been, you know, more than 24 hours. This is the most important thing going on in your career and you haven't read this thing? I mean, that's not a real answer.

NICHOLS: Right. (INAUDIBLE) will tell their clients honesty is the best policy in this situation, to be as honest as possible. So if you want to get up there on stage tonight, and say guys, I'm sorry. I know you want to hear from on this, but I just can't talk about it. My agent will kill me. You know we are still talking to the league. You guys know how it is. He's dealing with a friendly audience. That at least is a more probable -- plausible explanation than gee, I haven't read it.

So you know, look, he is obviously taking whatever advice he is getting. I, personally, would not have handled that way. I wouldn't gotten up and, you know, said my case and said my peace which I think New England faithful would love to hear, right, or say hey guys, I can't talk about it. I know you want to hear it from me but I'm just -- it is not smart play for me to talk about it. I haven't read -- and I'm not thrilled about, it is an obvious -- COOPER: Mike, to Shawne's point, do you really believe that a

quarterback as capable as Tom Brady doesn't know when he touches a football whether or not it's got enough air in it?

PETRAGLIA: Well, it depends on to what degree the air has been let out or put in. That's the way I would answer it. I would say certainly Tom Brady touches enough footballs throughout the course of the season. He know what -- as he told his teammates after this controversy breaks, I like the footballs a certain way. He knows what that certain way is. But if you are asking me if Tom Brady knows the difference between 11.5, an 11.7 or 11.8, no, I don't think he does.

COOPER: We got to take a quick break. We are going to have more with our panel and a little bit more of what Tom Brady just said.

We are going to take a short break. We'll be right back.


[20:25:55] COOPER: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has just made his first comments since the so-called deflategate report came out. He said in the event at Salem State University in Massachusetts. Here is what he just said and didn't say just a short time ago in Salem, Massachusetts.


GRAY: There is an elephant in the room.

BRADY: Where?

GRAY: You may be the only one who doesn't see it. So, Tom, you're in the news here and the Ted Wells' report was just released.


BRADY: Jim is known for hard-hitting questions and he has a show on Monday nights and this is how it usually goes and so I'm used to it.

GRAY: We're going to deal with it and then move on. What is your reaction, tom, to the wells' report?


BRADY: See, I can't usually say those things. But, I don't have really any reaction. Jim, our owner commented on it yesterday and it has only been 30 hours so I haven't had much time to fully digest it, but when I do, I'll be sure to let you know how I feel about it and everybody else.

GRAY: Are you that slow a reader?

BRADY: Well my athletic career is better than my academic career. I'm used to reading X's and O's, this one is a little bit longer.

GRAY: When do you plan on addressing this publicly? BRADY: Hopefully soon. Hopefully soon. There is still a process

going forth right now. And, you know, I'm involved in that process, so whenever it happens, it happens. And I'll certainly want to be very comfortable in how I feel about the statements that I make.

GRAY: So since those statements right now, we'll speak for you and you don't want to get into the details, how are you handling this controversy? Is it bothering you?

BRADY: You know, I've dealt with a lot of things in the past. I dealt with this three months ago before the super bowl. I dealt with a lot of adversity over the course of my career and my life and I'm fortunate to have a lot of people that love me and support me.


BRADY: Thank you. You know, life so much is about the ups and downs and certainly I accept my role and responsibility as a public figure. And I think a lot of it you take the good with the bad. And dealing with different adversities in life you just try to do the best you can. And I was raised by a great mom and dad who support me and I have a lot of great teammates that support me. So, we'll get through it.

GRAY: What are those people telling you? Share it with us.

BRADY: They are a little biased, alright? But, you know, they love me unconditionally and I love them unconditionally. And I can say, we'll deal with this at a date. Like you said earlier, that was not what this nigh was supposed to be about. So, I was here to come and have some fun.


GRAY: Has this, however, detracted from your joy of winning the super bowl?

BRADY: Absolutely not.


GRAY: Why not?

BRADY: Because we earned and achieved everything that we got this year as a team and I'm very proud of that and our fans should be too.



COOPER: With me again, CNN Sports' Rachel Nichols, columnist Mike Petraglia of Boston's, also former NFL player Shawne Merriman.

You know, Rachel, Mike raised an interesting point earlier when I asked him about why didn't Tom Brady just release his text messages which he didn't for this report and he brought up some other text messages that were released of other peoples that he felt weren't Jermaine to the case. You are saying there is a reason those text messages were released.

[20:30:07] NICHOLS: Ted Wells said that he put those in the report, the tax messages to one of the official's mother because it talked about some memorabilia of Tom Brady that he wanted to pass on to her. And the implication in that part of the report was that Tom Brady paid these low level equipment officials, not in money, but sort of giving them extra favors, extra, you know, sneakers and signed posters, things like that, and that is why those text messages were included in the report.

The investigators say that when they talked to Tom Brady about trying to get access to his phone records that they volunteered to have Tom Brady and his representatives, that the material first and only release to them what they thought was Jermaine or relevant. Obviously Tom Brady doesn't want - going to give up his private text messages to Gisele. I mean this is not something any public figure would want to do. So they tried to find a way around that and they never found one that was acceptable to Brady's representatives.

Now, Mike brings up a point of hey, would you want to do that with your phone records, with your text messages and a lot of people would say no. That's a fair point. But they did try to go around maybe the privacy issue and at least get something from him and they were not able to work out a deal to do that.

COOPER: I want to ask, both Mike and to Shawne. Shawne, you first, what do you think should happen a, to Tom Brady and to the New England Patriots.

SHAWNE MERRIMAN, FORMER NFL PLAYER: No question about it, he should be suspended. If he does nothing more, people will be outraged, or not. How long the suspension should be - or what should happen at this point, if he is not suspended at this point, I think it would be so - it would be so many guys outraged that the same penalties, look, if this is anyone else, I believe that they would have already been suspended or talking about suspension. The only reason why this hasn't happened is because it is Tom Brady and that is it.

COOPER: Mike, what do you think?

MIKE PETRAGLIA, SPORTS COLUMNIST, WEEI.COM: I totally disagree. I think the only reason you have a Ted Wells' investigation is the New England Patriots Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and because of Robert Kraft's relationship with Roger Goodell. The NFL clearly wants to make this look like at least on the surface that this is totally independent. And Goodell is going out of his way to make sure that no favors are being paid to Kraft, Belichick or, obviously, Tom Brady, as you mentioned earlier, one of the league's most popular players in history. I think as I wrote back in January when the story first came out, if Roger Goodell had handed down a stiff penalty, perhaps even a draft pick or two when the balls were found to be deflated, ten of the 11 were under inflated, this story would have gone away right away. And what this Wells' report smells to me of, is they were digging much dipper for something much more serious and much more cynical, if you will, and that's, I think the penalty should be a fine of Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady and some type of organizational penalty because clearly there was some systemic breakdown inside the organization and leave it at that.

COOPER: Rachel.

NICHOLS: I don't know. The Ted Wells' report is the league's official investigative arm in this situation. That report found fault with the organization, it found fault with Tom Brady. The NFL has to follow through with a punishment there after that fault has been found, whether you agree with the report or not, otherwise you are sending a message to every other player in the league, hey, you can cheat the rules and get away with it. We are telling you that, our investigative arm found that there was cheating going on here in our eyes, in that preponderance of the evidence, that standard, that they had set forward, whether you like it or not, that's what the rule is right now, and that is the standard, they found that they violated that standard.

Now you might think it is too low, but that is what they found and you have got to punish someone for that because if you don't, you're going to have every other player in the league saying OK, I guess this means it is fair game now.

COOPER: We'll leave it there. Mike, I appreciate you being on, Shawne, as well, Rachel Nichols as well. Just ahead, there is more breaking news to report tonight. Reports of a tornado in north central Texas right now. This is as the Midwest is already cleaning up from at least 48 tornados in four states yesterday. So, in the dramatic pictures, we'll show you coming up.


COOPER: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady just made his first comments since the so called Deflategate report. Joining me on the phone is Tom Brady's agent Don Yee. Don, thanks very much for being with us. I want to just show our viewers two statements that you had put out earlier. I'm just going to read them to our viewers. It's omission of key facts and lines of inquiry, talking about the Wells report suggesting investigators reach a conclusion first and then determine so called facts later. And then the statement went on to say this report contains significant and tragic flaws, and it is common knowledge in the legal industry that reports like this generally are written for the benefit of the purchaser. Don, tonight Tom Brady, though, he didn't address the latest allegations raised in this report. He did say he is part of a process and there's a process ongoing. What is the process now? What kind of a timeline are you looking at, and do you expect Tom Brady to actually come out publicly and say something about this?

DON YEE: Well Anderson, thanks for having me on, by the way. The report, you know, just came out, I believe about 1:30 Eastern yesterday and he's had a lot of commitments since then, as well as any human being would to try to emotionally digest this. And so in terms of process, I actually think, Anderson, he was referring to a question asked by the moderator there Jim Gray about the NFL's process and what he expected. And as of now, we have not yet heard from the league.

COOPER: Do you have plans for Tom Brady to come out and address this directly?

YEE: Yeah, essentially, he will eventually address this. But keep in mind, Anderson, he had a rather chaotic press conference right after the AFC championship game where he faced all of the media then as well as we spent one entire day in front of four investigate attorneys for Mr. Wells' law firm.

COOPER: You know, and I guess one question a lot of people have is why not, why didn't he show his text messages, even preapproved ones to investigators?


COOPER: I mean if there is nothing to hide, why not show the text messages or share them?

YEE: That is a good question, Anderson. And without really getting into my communications with my client, I have to observe attorney- client privilege. But you know if -- your - in a situation, Anderson, when it comes to the NFL disciplinary process when you are generally assigned guilt and asked to prove innocence, that is number one, proving innocence is essentially proving a negative, if you proclaim innocence, and so that is a very difficult situation to put yourself in. Second, with the text messages, the scope that they asked for is actually very, very wide. I probably should have made a letter public that we received from the NFL's lawyers. But in any event, if we would have provided the phone or the text messages -- you have to understand Tom is also a member of the union, the commissioner's office actually does not have any subpoena power, if the prominent player were to provide all of their private communications absent a subpoena that sets a dangerous precedent for all players facing disciplinary measures.

Finally, any information we would have provided and the Wells' investigative team did ask us to go through Tom's phone on our own and provide them with information if we chose to go that route, but as you might surmise, if we would have chosen to go that route, any information we would have given them, they probably would have had skepticism about any way. So when it came down to it, either way you turn, you are really not playing on a level playing field.

COOPER: I guess part of me that would say though, if there were a bunch of text messages from Tom Brady saying, wow, I can't believe I just heard about this Deflategate, this is shocking, I can't believe it. You are telling me, you wouldn't have given them those text messages.

YEE: Well, I can share with you, you know, that if without getting into the specifics of Tom's testimony, that nearly an entire day of answering questions from four different lawyers, that area was probed pretty vigorously.

COOPER: I know Rachel is here. She just got a couple of questions. NICHOLS: Hey, Don. It is Rachel Nichols.

YEE: How are you Rachel?

NICHOLS: How are you? Some of the sealed testimony has obviously already been broken since it's in the Wells report. And you made the statement today that the information that made it into the report in your eyes is circumstantial and kind of stacked against your client while you think that information left out of the report would be illuminating to show his innocence. So, since that seal of this testimony has been broken, can you share with us at least some of the testimony that you think would help people who are looking to say, gee, what is Tom's side of it? What was his side of it that you felt left out?

YEE: And that is a fair question, Rachel. But without getting into the depth of it, because, frankly, I also don't want to necessarily reflect badly on the lawyers from the investigative team that were asking questions because there were several times where I had to interject to give them some context and so to give you one example, the report kind of spotlighted the fact that Tom had autographed items for members of the equipment team. And Rachel, you've been around ...

NICHOLS: That is common practice.


NICHOLS: Not necessarily.

YEE: It's a common practice.

NICHOLS: quid pro quo.

YEE: Exactly. And so, you know, unless you are Rachel Nichols and you've been around sports your entire life to really know that that is a common practice versus someone from outside of the sport of football and the culture of football, it is not a distinction that people can easily grasp.

NICHOLS: But were there parts of his testimony in relation to the text messages that we saw between the equipment officials or parts of his testimony where he said ...

YEE: Yes.

NICHOLS: According to the Wells report, he did know somebody where the text messages had made it clear, he did know something where you can illumine and ask hey, this is a misunderstanding, what Tom meant of said was actually this.

YEE: Yes, I mean there is an example. I'll just, you know, without getting again, getting into the depth of the testimony, let's go back to the report, the report actually talked about that there were texts going back and forth between Tom and the equipment manager -- and let me just say this equipment managers are very loyal, very dedicated, they work long hours for very little pay and they do a great job. And the report was discussing these exchanges and, um -- I just lost my train of thought. But in any event the exchanges between Tom and the equipment manager and one of the things that they kind of glossed over was the fact that they found those exchanges to be unusual, OK?



YEE: And there is a human element to this. And that is, is that the equipment managers largely toil in their jobs in anonymity and the next thing they know the morning after the AFC championship game there is this giant spotlight on this matter involving their job and Tom is human. He is got very connected and very supportive of all of the staff there. And for example it was pointed out to the lawyers, look, he is just checking on their status, how they are doing. These people are not used to being the subject of a national spotlight.

COOPER: Don, let me just ask you point blank.

YEE: Sure.

COOPER: Did Tom Brady have any knowledge of these balls being deflated?

YEE: No.

COOPER: So you are saying he's completely innocent in whatever happened to those balls?

YEE: In my opinion, yes.

COOPER: Because in your statement -- some people pointed out, that is not something you just came out and said point blank, was that intentional, was that -- what was the thinking on that?

YEE: Well, really, I was just more trying to focus on the report and how it was written. And the fact that it really, truly was not an independent investigation.

COOPER: And as far as you are concerned, if Tom Brady was to make a statement, he would make a statement saying that he is completely innocent. He had no knowledge.

YEE: I think he's already said that in the press conference after the AFC championship game.

COOPER: And that he would continue to say that, you believe?

YEE: Yes.


NICHOLS: Don, you mentioned that he hasn't had contact with the league yet. What do you guys anticipate as the next steps?

YEE: That is a good question, Rachel. I really don't know. Because as you know, the league has had some recent struggles with this disciplinary process and they brought in and hired some new personnel and so I really don't know how they're going to approach this. You know, there are plenty of people there who are probably chiming in on what to do, but I really don't know.

COOPER: Don, we both appreciate your time tonight. Don Yee, thank you very much.

YEE: Thank you very much for having me on.

COOPER: All right. Up next, more breaking news reports of a tornado in North Central Texas right now. Details ahead.



COOPER: More breaking news tonight. Reports of a tornado in north central Texas, just a day after Texas and three other states got hit with dozens of tornados. Our meteorologist Jennifer Gray joins me now with the CNN Center, with the latest. What is going on out there, Jennifer?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, this is a dangerous one. We've been tracking it for almost an hour now. Reports of a very large tornado on the ground and possible a cell with multiple vortices. And this has continued to track to the north and east at about 25 miles per hour. It is about to cross over I-35 just north of Denton. Denton is in the clear. It has passed to the north of you, but if you are in the Gainesville area, you definitely need to be on the look out and take cover. This tornado warning is in effect until 8:00 central time. But like I said, they keep extending it, and so it looks like this could stay on the ground for yet a little longer. So be on the lookout if you are in north Texas in that area.

Oklahoma City has cleared out. That is where we saw all the rough weather yesterday. But a lot of rain again tonight. In fact, yesterday they set a record. Seven inches of rain. A little bit more. That was the rainiest day on record as far as yesterday was concerned. Third rainiest day ever in Oklahoma City. We are not only talking about the severe weather, we are talking about snow in the forecast as well and that is what is going to make the next couple of days very, very tricky as far as that severe weather goes. We could see some dangerous weather. In fact, a moderate risk of severe weather in Oklahoma City for tomorrow. It does continue for Saturday as well so we're going to be watching it over the next couple of days, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Jennifer Gray. Jennifer, thanks.

As we mentioned, parts of the Midwest already in clean-up mode after dozens of those tornados rip through four states. Today, for a lot of people, it was about surveying the damage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An ominous sky broke into tornados Wednesday night, multiple twisters tore through four states in the southern Great Plains, ravaging homes, snapping trees and downing power lines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life is getting big. I have got trees coming down - we've got to back out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The National Weather Service reports at least 48 tornados touched down throughout parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. Even heading out of rural areas to just south of downtown Oklahoma City, a town of 500,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is really cranking now, Mike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Travelers in the Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City were evacuated into a pedestrian tunnel for hours. The local hospital lost power and had to resort to emergency generators to stay operational. But it is an RV park just south of the Oklahoma metro area that took a direct hit, injuring 30 and killing one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been my life for 27 years and it's - I can't describe it. I think I'm a little bit in shock. When I first saw it I just couldn't believe it. It's just - the devastation, you know, it's just - you know, you kind of wonder how are you going to recover from this? But we will.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Lincoln, Kansas, another tornado flipped cars and scattered debris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a large multiple vortex tornado on the ground here south of Lincoln, Kansas. If you are in Lincoln, Kansas, or are on highway I-14, you need to take shelter immediately. This is a large tornado, which is continuing to grow in size.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By this morning the storm winds had died down but residents in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska had to deal with torrential downpours. Some seven inches fell in parts of Oklahoma City in just a matter of hours and flash flood warnings were declared.


COOPER: Just ahead tonight, new details about the warning the FBI gave to Texas police just hours before two gunmen tried to attack that Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest.


COOPER: New details tonight about the attempted terror attack in Garland, Texas, that ISIS has claimed credit for. The two gunmen, as you know, were shot and killed by police outside of the building where a cartoon contest featuring images of Mohammed were taking place. One of the gunmen, Elton Simpson was on the FBI's radar. Now, CNN has just learned that hours before the attempted attack, the FBI sent a warning to police in Garland. Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown joins me with the latest. So the warning that they sent, what do we know about it?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we are learning today, Anderson, from FBI director James Comey is that the FBI sent a bulletin to local authorities in Garland, Texas three hours before Elton Simpson arrived and opened fire and (INAUDIBLE) killed. So, what we know is that this bulletin was prompted by his social media activity. As we've been talking about all week, Anderson, Elton Simpson openly tweeted about the controversial event and that he was angry about it. So, FBI agents saw these tweets and then alerted authorities on the ground they are in Texas. But we're told that the FBI had no idea that Elton Simpson and his accomplice left their home here in Phoenix, Arizona, and drove -- and was on their way to Texas to launch an attack when that bulletin was sent. Anderson.

COOPER: There was a heavy police presence there and do we know if any of that was in response to the warning from the FBI?

BROWN: What we know is that a few days before the event, Anderson, a bulletin was sent out about the fact that this could inflame extremists living in the U.S. It could upset them, and so they were well aware of the possible threat. So, there was already security in place at that event, and Simpson was just one of many people on the list of possible extremists who may want to target the event. So, what police will tell you is that they already had a plan in place and they were prepared for anything. Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Pamela Brown, thank you very much for the reporting on that.

Obviously there is still a lot to be learned on the investigation into this, how much ISIS actually did have connections with any of these would-be terrorists. We'll obviously continue to stay on that. That does it for us tonight. Thanks very much for watching. Coming up right now, Mike Rowe's "Somebody's Gotta Do It."


COOPER: We'll be back at 11:00 with another edition of "AC 360." I hope you'll join us for that.