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Trump Hammers Cruz Over Citizenship Doubts; Clinton Versus Sanders: Too Close to Call in Iowa, New Hampshire; New Images: Sean Penn on Way to El Chapo Meeting; Sean Penn: "Nothin' to Hide" Over "El Chapo" Meeting; American Found Dead in Italy, Wrote About "Stalker"; Interview with John Kasich; David Bowie Dead at 69. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired January 11, 2016 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:08] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, breaking news. New undercover photos of Sean Penn on his way to meet El Chapo. What the actor is saying tonight about that controversial meeting.

Plus, the mysterious death of a young American artist killed in Italy reportedly strangled in her apartment. Is this a repeat of the Amanda Knox saga?

And smelling blood in the water. Donald Trump hammering Ted Cruz tonight. Could this put him over the top in Iowa? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, going for the kill. Donald Trump hammering Ted Cruz on his, quote, "Canada problem." Cruz, of course, was born in Canada and renounced his citizenship only in 2014.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ted Cruz is a problem. I mean, he's got a problem. Whether you like it or not, Ted has to figure it out.


BURNETT: Trump's comments that you see there at a New Hampshire rally today come as the new poll shows his lead growing in that state. Thirty two percent of likely GOP primary voters support him in New Hampshire, up from 26 percent in November. That's a huge surge. But it's what is happening in Iowa that is driving Trump's assault on Cruz. A poll today there showing Cruz and Trump in a statistical dead heat. Trump now at 31 percent to Cruz's 29. Will the citizen's issue actually pay off for Donald Trump? That's the crucial question tonight.

And Sara Murray is OUTFRONT. Sara, does Trump's campaign think these attacks on Ted Cruz are actually working or not?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, it's clear the campaign knows that they have to go after Cruz to widen their lead in Iowa but it seems like they are almost throwing anything they can at Cruz hoping that it will stick. One thing is clear, though, Donald Trump is not letting up anytime soon. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY (voice-over): Donald Trump is not letting up on Ted Cruz's citizenship.

TRUMP: But Ted Cruz has a problem because the question is, is he a natural-born citizen? And the question was asked of him on "Meet the Press," it was asked to "Meet" by Chris Wallace this weekend. And I said, I don't know. I mean, nobody knows.

MURRAY: After months of playing nice --

TRUMP: Ted Cruz, Senator Cruz has been so nice to me, I can't hit him. I may have to if he starts getting like really close. I may have to.

MURRAY: Trump's truce is over.

TRUMP: I'm a counterpuncher.

MURRAY: And he's not waiting on Cruz to fire first, trying to raise doubt about whether the Texas senator, a southern Baptist, is a true evangelical.

TRUMP: In all fairness, to the best of my knowledge, not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba. OK? Just remember that.

MURRAY: And today in New Hampshire, Trump is hoping his latest line of attack questioning whether Cruz's Canadian roots disqualify him for the presidency might widen his lead.

TRUMP: You can't have a nominee who is going to be subject to being thrown out as a nominee. You just can't do it. So you're going to make that decision, folks. I mean, it's one of those little decisions. I'm sure Ted is thrilled that I'm helping him out, but I am.

MURRAY: Some voters aren't buying it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's eligible. I think he would have checked that out and had it all cleared before he even ran.

MURRAY: Meanwhile, Cruz has insisted the question is already settled.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The substance of the issue is clear and straightforward. As a legal matter, the constitution and federal law are clear, that the child of the U.S. citizen, born abroad, is a natural-born citizen.

MURRAY: And so far isn't taking the bait to go to battle against Trump.

CRUZ: I like Donald Trump. I respect Donald Trump. He's welcome to toss whatever attacks he wants.

MURRAY: But Trump keeps on hammering Cruz anywhere he can. In the Hawkeye State, it's his position on ethanol, a key issue for Iowa's farming economy.

TRUMP: My primary partner was totally opposed ethanol in the ethanol industry because he's with the oil industry. You know, he's from Texas. I guess it makes sense. He's from the oil. But all of a sudden, he was getting clobbered and all of a sudden he said, oh, I'm for ethanol. You can't do that.

MURRAY: Now, Erin, there's a reason that Trump is lobbying out all of these attacks and that's because there's still a lot of persuadable voters out there. Those polls you mentioned earlier show us that about half the voters in Iowa are still undecided and only about one in three voters in New Hampshire are locked in on their choice -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you very much. It's pretty stunning. And of course, in Iowa, they can register to vote on caucus day. So, it's going to be down to the wire.

OUTFRONT now, the national co-chair for Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, Bob Vander Plaats. Also the former Reagan White House Political Director Jeffrey Lord, a Trump supporter. And David Gergen who advised presidents including Reagan and Clinton.

OK. Let's get right to the heart of this issue Bob because there seems to be real questions here. Ted Cruz has been brushing the citizenship issue off. Right? When Trump first raised it, he tweeted a funny quote from "Happy Days" implying Trump Jump the Shark but then he actually came out and released his mother's birth certificate, so he took it a bit more seriously. Does he need to do a better job of responding to this question?

[19:05:02] BOB VANDER PLAATS, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR FOR TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN: I don't think he has to at all. I think it is a settled issue, as Ted Cruz has said, it's a settled issue. Everybody here in Iowa knows that Ted Cruz is eligible to be president of the United States. I think what it is -- and I respect Donald Trump a lot -- but Donald Trump sees Ted Cruz with a lead here in Iowa growing momentum in Iowa, concerted as uniting around him here in Iowa and he knows that he loses Iowa, that puts a puncture in his balloon that he's going to win wherever he goes. So I think Ted Cruz is a real threat but Ted Cruz is going to stay on message and that's what is going to unite Iowans around his campaign.

BURNETT: Jeff, is it a settled issue?

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I don't think it's a settled issue in this sense. I mean, legally -- and I'm not a lawyer. I've certainly heard a lot of people say that it is a settled issue. The problem here is that there is a perception certainly among, you know, Democrats that would take advantage of this that it's not a settled issue. We already have one democratic congressman promising that he would file what he called a beautiful lawsuit, quote-unquote, "if Ted Cruz is nominated." Now I think he would lose the lawsuit.

BURNETT: Interesting. LORD: But the point is, that he would do it and therefore detract.

BURNETT: There are some at least one very prominent scholar who actually is not dismissing this issue, David, today. So, I mean, that's Lawrence Tribe.

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Absolutely. I must tell you. I thought this was a red herring to begin with. Because he is a citizen as he is by definition here therefore. And he didn't have to apply for citizenship, he was born as a citizen and that's what the mean of that natural-born citizenship would mean to most people. But Larry Tribe is a very respected constitutional scholar, been at Harvard a long time --


GERGEN: -- argued in front of the Supreme Court on many, many occasions and he's come out and said, no, no, no, it's murky. And if you go back to the original understanding of the framers and the -- at the beginning of the Republican assembly in the 1780s, 1790s, they thought to be president you had to be born on American soil. That's what Tribe says. And he said, if you're an originalist on the court, the kind that Cruz respects, you know, people who did go back to the original interpretation --


BURNETT: Interesting.

GERGEN: -- you know, Tribe said, look, I believe the court ought to see this in modern day terms and the original shouldn't secede here but these are Cruz's friends.

BURNETT: And Bob, that's an interesting point, right? John McCain, right? That was a base, that's an American soil. So, this would be a very different situation. Let me just play a little bit more about what Donald Trump is saying about this issue.


TRUMP: You can't have a person running for office even though Ted is very cleaver but he goes out and he says, well, I'm a natural born citizen. The point is, you are not. Here's the problem. It's called uncertainty. It's called -- you just don't know. So Ted has to solve this problem. He's got a big problem. He can't have a nominee who is going to be subject to being thrown out as a nominee. He's going to be sued by the Democrats.


BURNETT: What about that issue, right? You heard Jeffrey Lord saying, someone talked about a beautiful lawsuit. You heard David just talking about one of the most prominent and respected constitutional experts in the country saying, it is murky.

VANDER PLAATS: But you also heard David and Jeffrey also say that, you know, Ted Cruz is eligible to be president. Ted Cruz is eligible to be president. The only reason this issue is coming up is because we're in a campaign season and Donald Trump sees his lead shrinking and going away here in Iowa which is a threat to him getting the nomination. So, therefore he brings up as an issue, is he eligible to be president? Every serious thinker, every serious conservative, anybody that is supporting us in Iowa, this is not a concern. They are concerned about the issues that are faced in this country and that's why they are rallying around Ted Cruz.

BURNETT: Go ahead, Jeff.

LORD: Erin, one of the problems that Ted Cruz has with this is that the clock is running now until I mean, Iowa is just around the bend and the problem is that Ted Cruz has to spend time answering this and off his message that he, I'm sure, he wants to deliver and I'm sure that is very frustrating because this eats up time.

GERGEN: Let me just think one of the point. With all due respects with Bob, and I'm sure he's closing to this and I am. But if you look at the polls themselves that they suggest, look, Ted Cruz about 10 days ago, two weeks ago, looked like he was pulling away in Iowa. He had a 10 point lead --

BURNETT: Yes. The headline was, Ted Cruz has Iowa lined up. Forget about it, Donald Trump. That was the headline.

GERGEN: Des Moines Register respected poll came out ten points ahead. And now the latest polls have it neck-and-neck. Even one poll, actually had Trump ahead today. So, if you look at that, it looks like this birther issue has taken toll on Ted Cruz, that the momentum he had has stopped. And so, I do think he needs to respond to it. I would start by finding a couple of constitutional lawyers like Larry Tribe who are high powered and get from the publish piece in the Wall Street Journal saying --


GERGEN: -- this is settled. This is crazy.

BURNETT: But isn't it, Bob, going to become inevitable on some level if he were to become the nominee, that there will be -- this will have to somehow go through the courts? He'll get constitutional experts, you got people like Lawrence Tribe saying, no, there could be a question. I mean, if there is a gray area at all, no matter how slim it is, we're talking about the president of the United States. It's going to go through the courts. Isn't it?

[19:10:07] VANDER PLAATS: Well, first of all, I trust Ted Cruz and I've traveled with him for six days around the state of Iowa this past six days. And the audiences are not bringing this up as an issue. Ted is staying on message. It's what's uniting people around his campaign. The reason that they are bringing it up, they want to get him on message. He's not getting on message. He's a happy warrior and I think he's the guy that is going to do well on February 1. I think he wins Iowa caucuses.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you all very much. It's going to be a very interesting one to watch with these developments.

And OUTFRONT next, Hillary Clinton, is she about to lose to Bernie Sanders?

Plus, just how risky was Sean Penn's meeting with El Chapo. We have new details tonight, new video tonight of the raid that took the drug lord down.

And then shades of the Amanda Knox story. A beautiful American reportedly found strangled to death in her apartment in Florence, Italy. Who did it?


[19:14:42] BURNETT: Tonight, could Hillary Clinton lose Iowa in New Hampshire to Bernie Sanders. A new Wall Street Journal NBC poll shows that might happen. Sanders in this poll, three points behind Clinton in Iowa, which is a statistical tie. And in New Hampshire, leading Clinton by four percentage points.

Brianna Keilar is live on the campaign trail with Bernie Sanders in Pleasantville, Iowa, tonight.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton dancing on "Ellen" seemingly without a care in the world. But there is some alarm insider campaign, is Bernie Sanders gaining on her in Iowa.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Clearly, they began this race believing that the victory was virtually inevitable. I don't think they believe that today. All right?

KEILAR: A new NBC News Wall Street Journal poll puts Bernie Sanders within striking distance just three points shy of Hillary Clinton in Iowa, within the margin of error.

(on camera): And you feel that is within a real three points, that you're that close?

SANDERS: Yes, I do.

KEILAR (voice-over): Sanders meanwhile was holding onto a narrow lead in New Hampshire. Clinton is hoping to persuade democratic voters that she is more electable than Sanders even as a new FOX News national poll shows her trailing, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in hypothetical matchups.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Think hard about the people who are presenting themselves to you. Their experience, their qualifications, their positions. And particularly for those of us who were Democrats, their electability.

KEILAR: And Sanders is trying to counter Clinton's argument by pointing to polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. Both battleground states in the general election that show him outperforming his rival against Trump and Cruz.

SANDERS: The reason once New Hampshire and Iowa, face-to-face with Donald Trump and the other Republicans candidates, we are doing a lot better than Hillary Clinton does. So I think in terms of electability in the general election, I think Democrats may want to look at Bernie Sanders as a candidate.

KEILAR: But Sanders moderate stance on gun laws has left him vulnerable in these final weeks before the early contest. Now Clinton is hitting Sanders record, including a 2005 vote that gave gun manufacturers and gun store owners immunity from prosecution if guns they sold were used in a crime.

CLINTON: I think that the excuses and efforts by Senator Sanders to avoid responsibility for this vote, which the NRA hailed as the most important in 20 years, points up a clear difference.

KEILAR: Facing pressure, Sanders has since signaled he's open to changing his position.

SANDERS: I've cast 10,000 votes in my life and it's a complicated vote. Yes, their only response to that, I'm certainly willing to reconsider it.


KEILAR: Now, Erin, I asked Bernie Sanders if he thought that President Obama has sort of put his finger on the scale on this issue for Hillary Clinton. He dismissed that, clearly not wanting for there to be any daylight between him and the President. He said, he thinks this is just an issue that the President really cares about. He did, though, question Hillary Clinton's authenticity on the gun issue, reminding people that back in 2008 she ran to the right of then Senator Obama on the issue of guns and even revived the moniker that Obama had for Hillary Clinton, Annie Oakley, something he said back during that brutal primary battle of 2008.


KEILAR: So, you can definitely say, the gloves are off.

BURNETT: Yes. Yes. All right. Thank you very much, Brianna.

And OUTFRONT now, David Brock, founder of "Correct the Record," a pro- Clinton Super Pac and Alex Castellanos who served as media consultant to seven Republican presidential campaigns, here with me.

David, let me start with you. Let's start with the poll. OK. You've got a statistical tie in New Hampshire and Iowa.


BURNETT: I mean, let's just be honest. Hillary Clinton doesn't like that. That isn't what she wanted to be looking at that. She's probably not anything close to what she expected. If she loses both of those, the first two states, is she damaged goods?

BROCK: Well, let's talk about expectations as well. Nobody in this campaign ever said anything other than that this could be a very competitive primary, right? So in Iowa, she had -- Secretary Clinton had a somewhat bigger lead that is now tightening but in New Hampshire it's the opposite. Senator Sanders has somewhat barely, he's got a home state advantage and that's now tightening for Secretary Clinton.


BROCK: So, look, she's not going to lose both of these primaries. We're confident and I'll tell you why.

BURNETT: So, you're confident she's going to win them both?

BROCK: I think she can with them both for sure. Yes. And I'll tell you why. Because this is a more liberal electorate, particularly in Iowa, and on the issues. And you saw it on your set-up on guns, she's where the democratic primary voter is. She's the one that they are going to trust. On civil rights, on things like criminal justice reform. On the banks, which Senator Sanders rightly so has made a big issue, she's got a tougher, better plan that goes after not only the big banks but the shadow banks. So, look, it's a New Year, people are really concentrating now and what they are going to see is Hillary cares more about these issues, she can get the job done in a way that I don't think Senator Sanders can.

[19:19:26] BURNETT: So, Alex, take a look at Hillary Clinton today. We saw a brief clip in Brianna's piece. But we just play a little bit more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you can fix a hell like this and then if you can dance.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's it. All you have to remember is the sign something like that.


BURNETT: Now, I don't know if she purposefully wore exactly the same clothes as Ellen but I mean, you know, look, she's taking heat for this online. You say the candidate who is the most fun usually wins. That's your saying Alex. So, she looks like she's having fun there. She doesn't mind if she looks a bit silly. So, does that mean that this is her race? She's headed for the White House?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, FOUNDER, NEWREPUBLICAN.ORG: She's looser, she's more accessible, she's trying. It's still a challenge for her. Peter Hart calls it the Glass Kurten (ph), almost an emotional barrier that separates Hillary Clinton from people. But she's actually getting better at that. Look, I think unless we find out that Hillary Clinton is a natural Canadian-born citizen like Ted Cruz, she could lose Iowa and New Hampshire and still become the democratic nominee. This is a process moves south and west after that. It's going to be much tougher for Sanders and, you know, she's going to get stronger as she gets closer to real voting because eight years ago, when she ran, the Democratic Party decided to correctly injustice of race and that was more important than correct an injustice of gender and they decided to nominate the potential first American black president than the first woman. And they sent Hillary and a lot of American women to the back of the bus to wait. I don't know that the Democratic Party is going to send them to the back of the bus again.

BURNETT: So if you both can agree on her being the nominee, which maybe, David, you didn't expect Alex to give you. OK. But he's going to give you that. But the polls do not know that she would then win the White House. In fact, only against Ted Cruz would she win in a match-ups now.

BROCK: Right.

BURNETT: Here's the campaign clip that she's playing right now, David.

BROCK: Sure.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's the one candidate who can stop them? Hillary Clinton, tested and tough to stop them, stand with her.


BURNETT: The problem is, the polls do not show that she can stop them. Let's just take one poll here, David. A FOX poll last month, Clinton was beating Trump by 11 percentage points. Eleven percentage points. That same poll was done again this month and he's not beating her by three percentage points. That's a stunning turnaround.

BROCK: It's a turnaround, sure. Look, I think you go back to this time in the 2012 race and you had Ron Paul in the statistical dead heat with Barack Obama. So we are 300 days out at least. When people focus in a head-to-head matchup when it really counts, I think she's clearly the strongest nominee that the Democrats can put up. Just take the national security issue. She's got a very tough plan on destroying ISIS. Tougher than this administration's. I don't know what Senator Sanders is. And the Republicans won't get away with demagoguing terrorism issue with Hillary on the ticket. People know she's tough as nails. She's going to be really formidable in that general election.

BURNETT: Of course, they will bring up Benghazi. But that's because --

BROCK: Sure. But I think they will give it up on that.

BURNETT: People have a point of view on -- (CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: So, Alex, what do you think about that poll, that poll, that again, it's an apples to apples poll. She's 11 points ahead. Last month in the FOX News poll, she's now three points behind against Donald Trump.

CASTELLANOS: I think electability in the general is the challenge for Hillary Clinton. She's a candidate with a very strong base I think in a general election but a low ceiling. She's very polarizing. And that's a danger for her. Though the one way she could lose the nomination is to stay behind in general election polls and the Democratic Party decides, you know, hey, if we're going to lose with Hillary Clinton, we might as well be the Democratic Party we want to be. Hillary Clinton is the candidate but she's the candidate of someone else's campaign. The message in the Democratic Party right now, what they really believe is the campaign of Bernie Sanders. It's a campaign of Elizabeth Warren. It is the populist campaign.


CASTELLANOS: Hillary is trying to -- has embraced that. But she is only going to be the nominee if the Democratic Party thinks she can carry him across the goal line.

BURNETT: Right. Thank you both very much. And tomorrow night OUTFRONT, an interview with Hillary Clinton. You will not want to miss that. Again, tomorrow night OUTFRONT, will you see her.

And OUTFRONT next, breaking news, new surveillance photos of Sean Penn on his way to meet El Chapo. Did the actor unknowingly lead authorities to the world's most deadly drug lord? We also have new video tonight of how that shootout went down.

And new details breaking about the death of a young American woman in Italy. Did a stalker track her down and kill her?


[19:28:05] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight, evidence Mexican authorities knew about Sean Penn's secret meeting with the world's most notorious drug lord El Chapo. Intelligence officials releasing these undercover images. They appear to show Sean Penn and a Mexican TV star making their way to El Chapo's remote hideout which was in the Mexican jungle. Mexican officials now want to question Penn about this trip. Penn says he has, quote, "nothing to hide about his interview."

Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A ferocious gun battle believe troops from Mexico's navy storms a compound with the world's most wanted man, billionaire drug lord El Chapo he is holed up. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got me. More grenades. More grenades.

SAVIDGE: The troops follow the heavy gunfire by lobbying stun grenades throughout the house. Five of El Chapo's guards were killed. But the drug lord escapes through a nearby sewer exiting here where he and another escapee steal a car and take off. But a short time later, El Chapo is arrested. One of the world's richest man led away in an undershirt covered in the field of the sewer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's a reality that drug destroyed.

SAVIDGE: Ironically, Mexico's attorney general says this interview for "Rolling Stone" magazine was essential to El Chapo's capture stemming from a stated desire to talk to actors about making a movie of his life. Actor Sean Penn working with Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo met with the drug kingpin last October at the heavily guarded Mexican compound high in the mountains. Now in what is called the first ever interview, El Chapo speaks openly of his impoverished childhood working in the marijuana fields?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where I grew up, there's no other way and there still isn't. I work to survive.

SAVIDGE: Amazingly, the man who is estimated supplies nearly half of all illegal drugs entering the U.S. tells Penn that he himself hasn't taken drugs in 20 years and he insists he's not a violent man.

[19:30:03] JOAQUIN "EL CHAPO" GUZMAN, DRUG LORD (through translator): All I do is defend myself. Nothing more. I do not start looking for trouble.


SAVIDGE: But this meeting was largely the work of del Castillo, famous in her home country for a career that includes a TV role as a drug lordess.

In 2012, she angered many in Mexico when she tweeted, quote, "Today, I believe more in El Chapo Guzman than in the governments that hide the truth from me", unquote. That caught El Chapo's attention. He contacted her and eventually, Penn got on board. Both traveled to Mexico to meet El Chapo and, according to Penn, the last leg of their trip was spent in an armed convoy of SUVs. Their driver, El Chapo's son.

Along the way, Mexican soldiers stopped them, but Penn says when the soldiers recognized the drug dealers, they backed off and waved them on through.

Now, Mexican officials say El Chapo's communication with Penn and del Castillo provided one of the leads to locate him.

Still, Penn and "Rolling Stone" have been heavily criticized both for surrendering editorial approval to the drug lord and by presidential candidate, Senator Marco Rubio, who echoed many critics, saying the two never should have even met. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I find it grotesque.

SAVIDGE: In the past, Penn has met with other notorious figures at odds with the U.S. like former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and Cuban president Raul Castro.

But now, it appears that El Chapo's desire to see his life story on the big screen may well have been his undoing.


SAVIDGE: Erin, you may remember, the last time I was reporting to you from Mexico, it was in those northwest mountains and now it turns out we were very close to the area where Sean Penn conducted that interview. Whether it was that interview that actually led to the arrest, whether it was or was not, hard to say.

The truth is, it's really El Chapo that led to his own arrest. It was his ego and, on top of that, you must give credit to the Mexican authorities and the way they conducted that raid last Friday -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Martin, thank you very much.

Martin, outside the prison where El Chapo is tonight. The same prison from which he escaped months ago.

OUTFRONT now, our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, and former assistant director with U.S. marshals, Art Roderick.

Jeff, Sean Penn says he has nothing to hide but, could he face legal trouble for doing an interview like this and not telling authorities?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think so. I think Sean Penn is completely in the clear and I think the journalism scolds are frankly just jealous. He got a huge scoop.

And, you know, part of journalism is to interview bad people. Our colleague Peter Bergen interviewed Osama bin Laden, which is an extremely valuable thing to do. El Chapo is an enormously important person in the world. I would have interviewed him if I had a chance and I certainly wouldn't have written the article the way Sean Penn did. But that's just the detail. The fact is, he got this interview and good for him.

BURNETT: So, Art, you've tracked down a lot of criminals in your career. What do you think about what Jeffrey is saying? Fair and square by Sean Penn?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, I think probably, in the end, he's not in trouble. But there's a couple of things we got to remember here. First, Sean Penn is not really a journalist. He's an actor, number one.

Number two, El Chapo is a specially designated national and there are a lot of restrictions in dealing with that. That's kind of a terrorism label that's been put on this individual and you're not supposed to provide support or any type of help to these individuals.

Now, I think the Department of Justice is looking at it from that perspective. But I think probably in the long run, having this meeting between El Chapo and Sean Penn is what led to his arrest because, as you recall, we had that October sighting.

BURNETT: That's right.

Go ahead.

TOOBIN: And, by the way, that's crazy and reckless on Sean Penn's part because these cartels, they kill journalists all the time. And, you know, he -- if he is in fact responsible in part for this arrest, he could be at great risk just from retribution from these cartels. But that's not a government problem. That's his problem and I just think, you know, he took a risk and I don't criticize him for it.

BURNETT: You're nodding your head there, Art. You think that Sean Penn, I mean, literally his life could be at risk because of retribution, revenge?

RODERICK: Well, I mean, if you just look at the timeline, I mean, you've got this sighting in October, you have the interview occurring somewhere around that same time frame. And then you have the arrest occurring and then, two days later, the article comes out in "Rolling Stone." I mean, it doesn't take much to make a connection there.


RODERICK: And is he possibly in trouble? He could very well be from the cartel side.

BURNETT: So, Art, let me show this video again because it's pretty incredible. This is a video of the actual raid, right?

[19:35:01] You hear the shots, the Mexican marines, they are throwing grenades. They are firing dozens of rounds. Five people are killed in the video, as we watch it here.

What does this say to you about the warning that they had, the time that they had to prepare and because also then you see him -- you know, he goes down into the sewer and you see him come out of the sewer covered in sewage. He also escaped even then.

RODERICK: Yes, I looked at this video at length and there's a couple of interesting things here. Number one, that two story home had about 20 different rooms that had to be cleared and obviously, there were some bad guys in there shooting back. You see immediately a Mexican marine goes down with a bullet wound and then they begin clearing the house. Obviously, there's a lot of gunfire and smoke.

This is a very well-trained unit, you could tell. They didn't move too far ahead of the others so they knew anybody in front of them was a bad guy. And you could see the bodies that were actually dispatched by the Mexican marines. Now, I think this unit that was fighting the marines was there to

allow El Chapo to escape out the back. That's usually the method that he uses.

BURNETT: Right, which he did, of course, down through the sewer and then they eventually caught him.

Jeffrey Toobin, what do you think happens to him now? You saw Martin Savidge outside the prison, the same prison that he was easily able to get guards to work with him to get out of and now he's there. And he's there basically indefinitely, at the highest security prison in Mexico, unless he's sent to the United States.

TOOBIN: Well, and if the process works as it's supposed to work, he will be sent to the United States because he's under indictment in Chicago. You know, I -- the Mexican criminal justice system is basically a disaster. He could escape again, sorry, but if it works properly, he will be extradited in a few months.

BURNETT: If he escapes again, that will be the story of all stories. Thanks to both of you.

RODERICK: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, an American woman found dead in her apartment in Italy. Who killed her? A bizarre story, next.

And John Kasich's campaign surging in New Hampshire. The governor is my guest OUTFRONT tonight in just a couple of minutes. We'll be right back.


[19:41:04] BURNETT: An American believed murdered in Italy, and tonight, the mystery surrounding her death is deepening. Ashley Olsen is her name. She was found dead Saturday by her boyfriend in Florence.

Now, police say he has an alibi but investigators are refusing to rule him out as a suspect. There's also, of course, concern she could have had a stalker.

So, who could have killed the American artist?

Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Italian police say they are treating the death of American artist Ashley Olsen as a homicide. Italian news agency ANSA reports the 35-year-old was last seen with friends at a nightclub Thursday night. But her computer was active until noon Friday.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Her body was found after her boyfriend who with whom she had an argument alerted police that she wasn't answering her phone and he was concerned. And so, he and the landlord went into the apartment with a key and found her body there.

CASAREZ: Her body was unclothed with bruises and scratches around her neck. Police say witnesses confirmed the boyfriend's alibi. Olsen's death has drawn comparison to the high-profile murder death involving Amanda Knox.

The American college student was convicted and later cleared by an Italian court of the 2007 murder her roommate, Meredith Kercher, a British national. Knox's lawyers accuse the Italian police for framing her and she spent four years in an Italian prison before she was fully exonerated last year.

Now, the two cases have a common link.

NADEAU: The police investigator who announced case closed in the Amanda Knox, in Meredith Kercher murder case when Amanda Knox is arrested just five days after her death is the same lead inspector for the police in this Florence case.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I'd like to see a thorough and careful investigation this time. Amanda Knox was a tragic destruction of a young, American's life by shoddy police work and I certainly hope that they get it right.

CASAREZ: Olsen moved to Florence from Florida three years ago to be near her father, an architect, working in Italy.

The artist frequently posted pictures on Instagram. One post of interest to investigators is from October, where she writes, "I have a stalker, stalker alert, creeper in the back."

Olsen's grandmother describes her as a beautiful girl who owned a beagle named Scout.

A close friend says Ashley was a free spirit.

STACI KELLY, ASHLEY OLSEN'S FRIEND: She was just very adventurous, loved -- she loved Italy. I never met anyone quite like Ashley. She had her special spark. And she -- anyone that met her, loved her.


BURNETT: It's a tragic story, Jean. And it's now being compared to the very high-profile case of Amanda Knox who, of course, was convicted, served a lot of time in jail and then eventually acquitted.

CASAREZ: And I think the reason as we just said in the piece is that lead investigator is the very same lead investigator as was in Amanda Knox. I mean, how ironic is that, right? In this case, you have the victim being American. Obviously, Miss Knox was the alleged perpetrator in all of this, but it was forensics in that case. They didn't collect, many hands touched it.

So, will they care enough so justice is achieved with an American victim? Everyone is hoping so.

BURNETT: Right. And they just don't know anything about the stalker at this point, this other person out there?

CASAREZ: No. No. But it's something they found on her social media and so they are looking into that.

BURNETT: All right. Jean Casarez, thank you very much. We'll keep following that story.

And OUTFRONT next, after months of registering in the low-single digits, John Kasich is now tied for second in New Hampshire. He has been surging. He's my guest tonight.

And Jeanne Moos remembering David Bowie.


[19:48:39] BURNETT: Breaking news, we now know the seven Republican presidential candidates on the main stage for this Thursday night's debate: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie and John Kasich will be on that stage. Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina did not qualify.

Plus, a new poll from New Hampshire tonight, Trump still on top there handily. A new battle, though, shaping up for second place. The Ohio Governor John Kasich now tied with Senator Cruz.

All right. OUTFRONT tonight, Governor Kasich.

And, Governor, thank you very much for taking the time to be with me.

Obviously, two pieces of good news for you tonight.



KASICH: I woke up this morning and I saw that we had lost David Bowie and, you know, he was only 69 years old but you played a little music coming out, the Major Tom to ground control, "Suffragette City", "Spider from Mars", I mean -- I tell you something, he was really a heck of a performer. He was very, very versatile and could you imagine the people that are going to show up to honor him?

And it will start, of course, with Mick Jagger and all of the people that will be there. But he was a great performer and musician and I still love his music.

BURNETT: You know what, I'm glad you took the chance to say it. It's important. I know people really are mourning him around the world tonight.

[19:50:00] We have a little bit of a memorial coming up for him in just a couple of moments.

KASICH: Right. BURNETT: But the other thing that just happened that I mentioned here, the polls, right? You're on that main debate stage. You're tied in second place in New Hampshire. Obviously, that's still a distant second to Donald Trump.

I mean, do you see a clear path to victory for you to the nomination?

KASICH: Yes. I think, Erin, that if I come out of New Hampshire as a big story, I think I will be the nominee and I think have an excellent chance to be president. And the reason is, is that what's interesting is that people never thought I would get in the race, never thought I would raise the money, never thought I'd get on the debate stage, and everything, all these things. And we have a combination in New Hampshire of good television put up by my campaign and also a ground game.

And if we can come out of that, it will be good because, all of a sudden, I'll have name ID, I'll be able to raise the money, people will be more willing to help me and get to understand my record and my experience of job creation, my experience in national security. These are the things that will matter.

And look, I'm very hard to define as you know. It's hard to put a label on me because I've been a guy that is inclusive for everybody.

BURNETT: So, here is the thing, though, obviously, this gets to the heart of it national polls 2 percent. You're talking about the issues that you face in terms of name recognition.

Donald Trump is solidly in first place. I know this is a point of deep frustration for you, but 15 points ahead of his nearest competitor nationally at 35 percent. At this point, Governor, how do you see it falling apart for Donald Trump?

KASICH: Well, Erin, first of all, I'm not frustrated. I'm having the greatest time of my life and I feel really good about the fact we have momentum in New Hampshire and I'll be the target of attacks, which is all to be expected in this business.

But I have to see if the Trump phenomenon is real. The reason why I'm not been frustrated is I really never taken it all that seriously.


BURNETT: But I guess my question is how can you not take -- how can you not take it all that seriously? He's been the front runner every single day for seven straight months.

KASICH: I understand. I understand.

Look, I think he's tapping into the fact that people think they are being ripped off. They think the rich, the powerful and special interest call the tune.

With me, they never have. I fought the establishment, even now in the establishment, I'm still making major changes. The reason, Erin, is I read an article about an Iowa gathering of

people to organize for Donald Trump and they had 58 people. I mean, he has 5,800 for a rally but only 58 people. But let's see. I mean, I'm not a fortune teller. I'm going to do the best I can do and a lot of people counted me out and I'm rising and we'll just see if we can keep it going and at the end of the day, I think people will want somebody who can bring about the change, who has experience to know how to unify both Republicans, Democrats and solve problems.

BURNETT: And, Governor, before we go, Donald Trump brought up Ted Cruz' birthplace as an issue. Rand Paul has said it could be. The governor of Iowa has said it could be. One of the most prominent constitutional scholars in the country, Lawrence Tribe, today said it could be.

Do you think Ted Cruz' citizenship is a fair issue?

KASICH: I'm not interested in this citizenship issue. I wasn't interested when they said President Obama didn't live in the U.S. or wasn't a citizen or whatever.

Look, there's too many important issues facing the country, of employment, of inclusion, of giving everybody a chance to rise, of national security, protecting the homeland. I don't have time for whether, you know, Ted Cruz is an American or whatever. It's I'm not interested, to tell you the truth, Erin. We have too many problems to be picking at that.

That lowers the debate and lowers the discussion and I'm not for doing that.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Governor, I appreciate your taking the time tonight, obviously, a big night with good news and we'll see you tomorrow night at the debate.

OUTFRONT next , Jeanne Moos of the passing of the rock icon the governor was just talking about, David Bowie.


[19:57:31] BURNETT: As presidential contender John Kasich just mentioned, the world woke up this morning stunned to learn that legendary singer David Bowie had died at 69 after battling cancer. Bowie once said, quote, "I don't know where I'm going from here but I promise, it won't be boring."

Here's Jeanne Moos with more on the icon and the oddity.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The illustrator who created this calls it 29 career spanning faces of David Bowie. His most recent face from his new song "Lazarus:" is haunting.


MOOS: With Bowie in a hospital bed, buttons on bandaged eyes with at least mere days before his death.

Do you have a favorite song?





MOOS: "Space Oddity" was Bowie's first big hit, and then it hit again more than 40 years later.


MOOS: -- when a real astronaut sang it in space. Upon hearing of Bowie's death, Commander Chris Hadfield tweeted, "Ashes to ashes, dust to star dust."

CHRIS HADFIELD, ASTRONAUT: It was like a slap in the face to wake up and realize that he isn't no more.


MOOS: With Bowie's approval, the astronaut did change the lyrics to give the song a happier ending.

HADFIELD: The astronaut dies at the end, which of course, I didn't want to be singing that living onboard a spaceship.

MOOS: So, Commander Hadfield left out these words.

DAVID BOWIE: You're circuit's dead. There's something wrong.

MOOS: People seem to connect with Bowie's connection to space. The lyrics from the song ended up on tributes.

Even a Vatican cardinal quoted the song, as for Bowie, he called the astronaut's rendition.

HADFIELD: The most poignant version of the song ever done.

MOOS: And in at least one cartoonist imagination, Bowie is floating in his high heel platform shoes eternally in space.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


MOOS: And thank you so much for joining us.

Tomorrow night OUTFRONT, we'll be live from Washington where President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address.

Our coverage on CNN of that begins at 7:00 here on OUTFRONT. "AC360" starts right now.