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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  April 24, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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and he replaces petrino as head coach who was out there not too long ago. and that does it for me, i'm brooke bolduan in headquarters in atlanta. now to my colleague wolf blitzer "the situation room begins right now. >> brooke, thanks very much. happening now, breaking news. a case of mad cow disease confirmed in the united states. we have new information just coming in from u.s. agriculture officials. also, a turning point for mitt romney as five states hold republican presidential primaries today. details of some critical changes to his upcoming campaign. that information coming in as well. plus, shocking discoveries as our special investigations unit travels to colombia. and the center of that secret service prostitution scandal. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- let's get right to the breaking news right now. it's a disease as frightening as
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it is deadly. the u.s. agriculture department announced that a case of mad cow disease has been confirmed -- confirmed in a dairy cow out in central california. let's bring in lisa sylvester. she's working this story for us. lisa, what is the department of agriculture saying. what's going on? >> reporter: wolf, the usda just released information within the last hour and what we know is that it is a dairy cow from central california that has tested positive for bse or commonly known or referred to as mad cow disease, and wolf, this is only the fourth case ever detected in the united states. normally an animal contracts bse from consuming contaminated feed and this cow tested positive from atypical bse, it's a rare form of the disease and not generally associated with an animal-consuming infected feed and it states, quote, the cow was never presented for slaughter for human consumption so at no time presented a risk
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to the food supply and milk does not transmit bse. so you can see there the usda trying to say that the food supply is not in jeopardy there. we also have received just a few moments ago of video press release from the usda that they released on to youtube explaining a little more. ♪ ♪ >> i think we're having some audio issues there, but additional lab testing and information sharing is being done now with animal health labs in canada and england. a little bit of background. the first case of bse in the united states was detected back in 2003. that was a classical case and it was detected in an animal that was imported from canada in 2001. there were two other later cases in 2005 and 2006 where the animals in those cases, and those two animals, interesting, wolf.
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they were over ten years of age and they also have this atypical bse. this fourth case, we don't know the origins and we're still getting information and it's still coming in, and i did get information from the r calf usa, that's the ranchers and cattle legal fund and they're very concerned about this. we now have the sound bite that we were going to play for you earlier from the usda. this was a sound bite and a video news release that they had posted on youtube. let's take a listen. >> the animal was a dairy cow from the state of california. our laboratory confirmed the findings, and also indicated it was an atypical form of bse which is a rare form of the disease. it is not likely to be attributable to infected feed which is the method in which normally bse would be spread from cow to cow. >> that was dr. john clifford from the usda. now all of this is coming at a
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time when the usda has recently proposed rule making that according to our calf, one of the industry -- one of the cattlemen's growers association, they're very concerned because they're saying that the usda at this point is looking at relaxing protections and relaxing some of the testing at this time, wolf. >> we don't know, lisa, how this cow got this mad cow disease? >> reporter: we don't. we don't know how the cow got the mad cow disease and also very interesting, wolf, we don't know yet if this is a domestic cow or if this is a cow that was imported from some place else. more of those details, we have a lot of calls out to the usda. so hopefully within the next hour or so we will have more information on this, wolf, coming in. >> all right, lisa. stand by. i want to bring in our senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen and she's working on this. what are you picking up? >> what i'm picking up is the government agencies that regulate the -- that regulate the animals and the cdc or whatever, they take this very
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seriously and i'll tell you why, wolf. i saw first hand how dangerous it is if a human being consumes meat from an animal that has mad cow disease. i did a story many years ago with a woman named charlene who was the first person in the united states to get so-called mad cow disease. now, it's important to point out she caught it when she lived in england and then moved here without knowing that she was sick. she died a few months after i did the story with her. this is a devastating neurological condition. if even one person ate u.s. meat and got sick from mad cow disease it would just be devastating. that has not happened in this country. no one has gotten mad cow disease or what we sort of just call mad cow disease, that's not the technical name. no human being has gotten mad cow disease from eating tainted u.s. meat. >> but there have been cases outside of the united states where that has occurred, right? >> right. there have been cases outside of
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the united states, for example, some 170 cases in the united kingdom and there have been three people in the united states who contracted the disease outside of the u.s. either in the uk or saudi arabia and then they moved here without knowing they were sick and so they experienced the illness in the united states, but they didn't actually contract the illness in the united states. one of the scary things about this disease, wolf, is that it takes about 15 years for a human being to show signs of this. so if a cow were to be tainted and someone were to eat that meat, they wouldn't really know it for 15 years and of course, by then it's too late to stop that meat from circulating it in the food supply. >> it's a scary, scary subject. the usda says they can't safeguard to make sure cows don't get mad cow disease. what happened here? >> the usda does its best to safeguard mad cow disease to get into cows in this country and they look at the feed and they make sure the feed isn't infected. the problem here as lisa
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sylvester discussed is there's a varying form of the disease that doesn't come from the feed. the cow just gets mad cow disease. they don't know how it happens. it's a real puzzle and they're still trying to figure it out and it's much harder, think, to keep those animals healthy because they're not sure how they got sick in the first place. >> the bottom line, it's safe to eat the sxhaet safe to drink milk, is that right? >> right. that is the bottom line. this cow that's sick. it's one cow and it was not one cow that was ever going to be consumed and i'm told by experts that it appears you cannot get mad cow disease from drinking the milk of an infected cow and studies have shown that the milk was not infected. >> i know you'll be working the story as well, lisa sylvester. thanks to both of you and we'll have more on the breaking news coming up later. >> meanwhile, let's go to the supreme court here in washington. the justices will decide if
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arizona is overstepping its authority with the tough, very controversial immigration law. cnn's kate bolduan is at the arizona-mexico border with some background. kate? >> wolf, states' rights versus federal authority. it's an election-year fight that started here on the arizona border, but has turned into a huge constitutional battle left for the justices to decide. [ speaking spanish ] >> is there anyone crossing the mountains? >> yes. a lot. >> two men on the front line, both fighting illegal immigration, but there couldn't be farther apart. david sal gaed on is a 20-year phoenix police veteran and he's supposed to enforce arizona's immigration law. instead he's trying to stop it and his lawsuit helped trigger a supreme court battle. >> i think it's a racist law because that law was basically
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picks and chooses certain people. when i took an oath 20 years ago that said i'm going to enforce all laws and treat everyone equal. i can't treat hispanics equalry because i'm going profile them. >> glen spencer heads a private group that patrols his border along the ranch with high-tech equipment with planes, cameras and testing a sonic barrier. so this flashing here would indica indicate, okay, here we go. >> spencer says hes and state are stepping in where washington has failed. >> this is an invasion of arizona and our federal government is not protecting the state. we'll make sure they get all of the help and the federal government gets all of the help it needs to do the job. >> it's an old fight, but a new battleground and it all comes down to this. the u.s.-mexico border and the arizona law known as sb 1070 meant to crack down on illegal border crossings, but the
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question dividing this state is who should be enforcing illegal immigration laws. sb-1070 requires local police like officer sal gaed on to check people's immigration status while enforcing other laws, if the police have reasonable suspicion they're in the country illegally, all in an effort the state's government says to help federal authorities deal with illil immigration. >> they're coming across the borders in huge numbers. the drug cartels have taken control of the immigration, illegal trespassing. >> reporter: but the obama administration and the laws' opponents argue the federal government alone has power over immigration enforcement. for officer sal gaed gado it's personal. >>a be salutely. >> the rapport we built with the hispanic community, it took us years. one day destroyed it. one day. >> reporter: but glen spencer
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says if nothing's done, lives and livelihoods are at risk. >> i have nothing against mexico or mexican, but when you import poverty on a massive scale you can only expect that your tax base is going to erode and you will run into serious problems. >> reporter: what's happening here is being closely watched by state across the country. a wild card, though, just as elena kagan has pulled herself out of hearing this case raising a point of a 4-4 split meaning this election-year fight can be pushed to another day. wolf? >> kate bolduan, thanks very much. if the arizona law is upheld, democratic senator chuck schumer says he'll propose a bill that bars states from implementing their own immigration policies. arizona senator jon kyl and i'm quoting him now, political theater. mitt romney is pivoting from the primaries to the general election. details of some critical changes to his campaign. >> and president obama calls his
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secret service agents embroiled in the prostitution scandal and i'm quoting him now, knuckleheads. cnn is in colombia right now investigating how the scandal went down. [ pilot ] flying teaches me to prepare for turbulence. the key is to have a good strategy. the same goes for my retirement. with the plan my financial advisor and i put together, a quick check and i know my retirement is on course. [ male announcer ] with wells fargo advisor's envision plan, you always know where you stand. in fact, 93 percent of envision plan holders say they will retire on their own terms. get started on the plan you need today -- wells fargo advisors. together we'll go far. [ female announcer ] weak, damaged hair needs new aveeno nourish+ strengthen. active naturals wheat formulas restore strength for up to 90% less breakage in three washes. for strong, healthy hair with life,
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wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] [ yawning sound ] jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." >> nine in ten americans know someone who lost their jobs and that's the highest in gallop's history in asking this question. numbers like these could have huge political implications for president obama come election day in november. more bad news. only 21% of those surveyed, roughly one in five, say that now is a good time to find a quality job.
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77% say it's a bad time. that's actually an improvement from last year when 90% of americans said it was a bad time to find a quality job. this is interesting, though. even though most americans know someone who has lost a job, only 15% say it's very, or fairly likely that they personally will lose their job or get laid off in the next year. >> the national unemployment rate stands at 8.2%. hiring slowed dramatically in march and employers added 120,000 jobs down sharply from the 240,000 jobs in february. and while the unemployment rate declined last month it's mostly because people just dropped out of the labor force. economists predict the survey by cnn money that the unemployment rate will decline by 8% by the end of the year. 8%. that's still a huge challenge for president obama. 8% is a far cry from the 4.4% unemployment rate before the secession started and president
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obama might want to take note of this. since 1948 only one incumbent president has won re-election with unemployment over 7%, not 8%. 7%. that was ronald reagan in 1984. here's the question, how likely is it that you will be laid off or lose your job in the next six months? >> go to and post a comment on my blog or go to the post on the situation room's face book page. >> i hope our viewers won't be laid off of their jobs. we love them since they watch our show. so good luck to all of them, right? >> absolutely. >> i'm with you. it's the biggest day of the republican primary voting season. since super tuesday, seven weeks ago five stays are weighing in tonight on the race for the white house with 204 delegates at stake. for mitt romney it also marx a turning point with no more credible challenges for the nomination left. his focus is now 100% on president obama. our national political
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correspondent jim acosta is in manchester, new hampshire, where romney is planning a victory celebration tonight. what's the latest with his campaign, jim? >> reporter: as you can see, they have the campaign bus behind me. they have tried to make this pivot before, as you know, wolf. tonight it's six. tonight you will will hear romney deliver victory. he will turn his attention to the president for a fight and mr. obama seems to be eagerly anticipating. as voters trickled into the polls for primaries, it's got november written all over it entitled a better america begins tonight. romney's speech is expected to lay out a vision for a most prosperous country. romney noted just this week there have been signs of improvement. >> the president will stand up and say he deserves credit for
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that, it's despite him. >> after sending ann romney to attract women voters and marco rubio to appeal to hispanics, team romney is targeting younger americans. the campaign blasted out this recent pew research study showing young a documents currently employed is at its lowest rate since 1948. >> this is not the america that they dreamed of living in. >> i fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans. >> that explains why romney now backs efforts to maintain discounts on college student loan, but democrats were ready for that. a probe a super pac released showing how romney answered past questions from voters who are worried about their student loan debts. >> i wish i could tell you that there's a place to find cheap money or free money where we could pay for everyone's
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education and that's just not going happen. >> what's up, tar heels? >> reporter: president obama, who easily carried the youth vote suggested to students at the university of north carolina, romney is shifting his position on financial aid. >> i know there are talking points about this. i didn't just get a policy briefing on this. >> reporter: now there is one other bit of drama to look out for tonight. newt gingrich is holding an event down in north carolina. he says that if he wins the primary that is happening today in delaware, he could stay in this race and he views that kind of victory as a potential turning point in this race for the gop nomination. mitt romney, he is only looking forward, not back. he is going to be doing fund-raising over the next couple of days and the hopes of erasing what is a 10-1 advantage for the obama re-election campaign when it comes to cash on hand. it is a big advantage when we know that mitt romney has the
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ability to raise money as well, wolf. >> with all due respect, jim, to delaware, it's a small state, why is newt gingrich saying if he wins delaware is that going to be such a big deal? >> reporter: he thinks it could be some kind of game changer, you know. they're calling it sort of the break in the romney dam if it happens, but wolf, that campaign is $4 million in debt as we know and newt gingrich winning delaware is not likely to change mitt romney's posture one bit. he's focused on president obama no matter what happens in delaware tonight. >> romney will win pennsylvania and new york, a lot of big states. he's got a lot, lot more delegate, obviously. thanks very much, jim acosta on the scene for us in new hampshire. let's dig deeper with our chief political analyst gloria borger. it wasn't that long ago and we thought tonight would be important and santorum's last stand, and you know what?
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i could be wrong. i don't see him out there on the campaign trail with mitt romney yet. >> no, you haven't seen him out there yet. in fact, they haven't had the reality isdown. they've run into each other along the trail and they haven't had the reality is down together and i got off the phone with john raybender, a senior strategist for rick santorum, and he said they would get together in early may. he points out that rick santorum did win 11 states so he ought to have some leverage and he's got some importance here. first of all, he said, rick santorum's agenda, when he meets with mitt romney is going to be about finding out mitt romney's comfort level with social conservatives, with tea party voters, and with blue collar republicans. here's what brabender said to me. he said, quote, we're not walking out here with a litmus test. this is meant to be a candid conversation. it isn't going to be an
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automatic rush to endorse. he said this is about policy. we want to know if we repeal obama care what comes next. can't have mandates. we want to know about the balanced budget and on and on, listing santorum's policy objectives and thirdly, he side there will be no quid pro quo. no discussion of romney helping with santorum's debt or santorum's role at the convention or, by the way, whether santorum will be on the short list for vice president. >> i suspect that's not going to happen. that's just me, though. five states voting tonight. today we'll get the results, what, if anything, are you looking for? >> of course, romney will do very well as you and jim were just talking about. what i want to look at are those hard carry anti-romney people. does romney get a super majority in all of these states and after that i want to look at the kind of coordination that we're going
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to see between the republican national commitet and romney campaign. you're going to be seeing them working together a lot more closely now to raise money for the republican party for republican congressional candidates and, of course, for mitt romney's presidential campaign. >> well, i think so. >> if he loses big time in delaware, i remember it wasn't too long ago we were wondering where newt gingrich's votes were going to go, should he withdraw and now i wonder does he have any support at all. the answer, i don't think so. >> thanks, gloria, for that. the scandal involving colombian prostitutes is nowhere near over. a member of congress has been briefed on the investigation and he tells me what he knows about the two dozen men linked to the incident, and i'll ask what he thinks about a cnn report that shows how things really go down in that colombian city. >> so this is what he gave me.
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>> now to the widening scandal involving president obama's protection detail of colombian prostitutes. 24 americans are being investigate for their involvement, 12 of them from the u.s. secret service and 12 from the u.s. military. cnn's drew griffin is on the
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scene in colombia and investigating how it all went down. >> reporter: prostitution is so open here and so much of the tourist trade it's hard to imagine that it's hard to imagine what they could find to investiga investigate. what is so easy is how the members of the z team got in trouble. a night out on the town and a disco filled with scantily-dressed women and hustlers seemingly at every corner willing to connect single, american men with available colombian women. >> where is it? >> just tell me. >> let me see it. show you to a back alley, a corner, a private door. when a food vendor saw i wasn't interested in eating he asked if i was interested in a girl. a chica. >> no problem. >> reporter: so this is what he
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gave me. we've got this a lot here. it's advertisement for basically what looks like a strip club and it's probably a whorehouse. >> it was in this environment that a dozen or so members of the secret service left with a dozen or so working women making their way to hotel caribe where they were staying. the agent either didn't understand the price or was trying to rip off the female escort leading to that now-infamous scene in the hotel hallway where the woman was trying to get her money and colombian police were trying to negotiate a settlement and the agent refused to open his door. >> the woman involved dania suarez has now hired an attorney and through statements credited through that attorney demands she was an escort, not a prostitute. her attorney isn't talking. >> hola! neighbors confirm dania suarez
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lives here down this dirt alleyway in a middle class section of cartagena. through the wall they say they were stunned to see this picture in the paper was the single mother now credited with discrediting the u.s. secret service. and her neighbors say she has not been back since the news broke. they don't know where she went. somebody came and removed suitcases from her apartment where she lived with her school-aged son. they say this woman was a model neighbor. they never really knew what she did for a living other than the fact that she worked hard and she took care of her child. a person who answered the phone at her attorney's number would not confirm the rumors suarez is now trying to sell her story. though colombian police are not sure about actual crime, they too, have been investigating. police here in colombia have spent the last several days trying to track down every single woman that came out of that bar with a u.s. soldier or a secret service member, trying
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to find out how old they are, what their story was, but the other half of the story is gone. all of the americans involved pulled out before police had a chance to talk to them. >> colombian police admit their investigation is pretty much over because no one can seem to find any crime, with one glaring exception. colombians, like americans, are struggling to understand why the secret service sent here to protect the president acted so irresponsibly. drew griffin, cnn, cartagena, colombia. >> let's dig deeper on this story. republican congressman darryl issa of california is the chairman of the house government oversight committee. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. lots of unanswered questions. i know your committee is investigating other committees in congress as well. first of all, do you believe there were white house officials beyond the secret service?
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beyond the military involved in this prostitution scandal? >> wolf, i share with senator grassley are the legitimate question that the senator asked which was were there any and a denial by this administration is not good enough and they want an actual accounting of individuals, and i think that's only fair, particularly when you consider that the lack of judgment and drew did it very well, it's not about a crime. this was not a crime in colombia. it is about the poor judgment and can we continue to have anybody this close to the president who has such poor judgment. >> do you have any evidence you or senator grassley or anyone else that white house officials may have been involved? >> i think what senator grassley is seeing is this pattern of some of the most responsible doing irresponsible things. we know that white house people were down there and they were going to clubs, too, and they were drinking. we don't know whether or not they made such poor judgments as to have an unknown foreign national back in their hotel room or anything of the sort.
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the important thing, though, wolf, is this is about the secret service and other professionals cleaning up what was clearly a gap in -- a loss of judgment, but a gap in security that today didn't affect the president, but could affect a president, a vice president or cabinet member in the future and it also embarrassed the american people by americans doing something overseas where even if it was legal was viewed as irresponsible. >> senator joe lieberman, with government oversight committee, he says that his committee's been getting calls from whistle blowers saying this had been a problem even before this incident, prostitutes and u.s. officials in colombia. do you have any evidence to back that up? >> we, too. we're the counterpart to senator lieberman's committee and we, too, have been hearing that everything from the wheels up, rings off attitude to some of the reports that go back a
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number of years about behavior. i think the important thing again though, wolf, is this is clearly out there. both the house and the senate not with a lot of open hearings to ridicule those who have already been disgraced, but with those still in responsible positions. we need to know that they apply a fix and in this case the fix is going to be more widespread obviously because of the numbers we're seeing than anyone would have guessed. >> any evidence that any of the women, the 20 or 22 women who were apparently involved in this, the escorts or the prostitutes had any connections with drug cartels or foreign intelligence organizations. anything along those lines? >> not at this time, wolf. these were the questions that we asked the secret service director in verifying that all of the women were over 18 and thus no u.s. law would have been broken. we asked those questions and they're getting us the answers. if someone is an agent of a foreign government that could be the hardest thing to find because if we go back to
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matahari, you can have people in this profession or in this activity also be agents in the foreign government. it's not the number one suspicion, but it was the number one risk these people took by this reckless behavior. >> congressman, you're also investigating a very separate general sers administration scandal involving a bunch of officials who were partying, shall we say, in las vegas to the expense of nearly $1 million in taxpayer mono pep it's one thing to be stupid and irresponsible. it's another thing to be criminally charged, potentially with misconduct. is there any evidence you're collecting that gsa officials were criminally responsible for any activity? >> yes, wolf. the inspector general, brian miller has a referral under way and a number of the areas include misuse of gsa credit cards and allegations of bribery. this related to the contractors that they had a relationship
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with and used them on a no-bid basis, and no bid is an important word in government because the gsa is the agency most responsible to make sure that we do have competitive bids and you simply don't give your wife's cousin a big contract without it being a low bid and that's exactly what we believe happened in this case, but at gsa we believe it is more widespread and the tip of the iceberg, if you will. >> that sounds like bribery, if you will, that would be a crime. >> we believe the charges could include bribery and there could be a referral coming shortly. >> define very shortly. in a matter of days if it hasn't already happened. the actual indictment is one that we don't directly participate in, and the inspector general does refer criminal charges at the conclusion of the investigation. we believe he's made the case for a number -- >> is that why he testified
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before congress? >> the questions he might have been afraid of being asked as to his own criminal misconduct certainly would be justification for protecting his fifth amendment right which is is what we think he did, but he's not the only one and we believe it will be much more widespread and as we continue looking over the shoulder and working with the inspector generals throughout government and we think it will find a lot of conferences just like this and a lot of poor use of taxpayer's money and in some cases criminal activities. >> and the chairman of the house committee on oversight and appreciate it very much, congressman. >> for the first time someone is facing criminal charges related to the bp oil spill three years ago. we have details on who it is and the charges he's facing. that's coming up. >> and deion sanders takes to twitter and accuses his estranged wife of attacking him. it's a bizarre series of tweets, photos included.
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lisa investigating a deadly attack in pakistan. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room." lisa, what happened? >> the police chief in lahore pakistan is calling this a terrorist act. two people were killed when a bomb detonated at a train station. the bomb was planted in a bag placed on a train platform. and the first criminal charges have been filed in connection with the bp gulf oil spill. a former bp engineer was arrested on charges that he intentionally destroyed evidence that authorities requested. it's estimated more than 200 million gallons of oil poured into the gulf of mexico two years ago after an explosion sank a drill rig called the deepwater horizon. >> and the estranged wife of football star deion sanders has been arrested on domestic violence-related charges. in a bizarre series of tweets last night he claims she and a
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friend assaulted him. he later posted this photo on his twitter account saying he and two of his children were filling out police reports. the couple is in the midst of a bitter divorce. i know a lot of people were talking about those odd, strange tweets last night, wolf. >> indeed. >> thanks, lisa. here's a question, is bill clinton the secret obama campaign whisperer? we'll talk about that and more. donna brazile and derek ericsson are standing by live. our strategy session is next. you know, i have done something worthwhile. when i earned my doctorate through university of phoenix, that pride, that was on my face. i am jocelyn taylor. i'm committed to making a difference in people's lives, and i am a phoenix. visit to find the program that's right for you. enroll now.
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>> let's get right to the strategy session and the cnn contributor donna brazile and our cnn contributor eric ericsson, editor in chief of a quick reaction to what we just heard from darrell issa. he expects within the next few days, if it hasn't happened yet thashths inspector general of the gsa will ask for potential criminal charges, bribery, against gsa officials. if that's true, that's a huge deal, eric. >> it's a huge deal, wolf.
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government bureaucrats going out of control is a story not told enough. once you empower the bureaucracy things like this tend to happen and congress and the president both have abdicated a lot of responsibility they shouldn't have abdicated. >> it's one thing for bureaucrats to behave irresponsibly and another thing to engage in criminal behavior like bribery. if that goes down, that's a big deal. >> i'm sure they're conducting a very thorough investigation, and wolf, wherever it leads, the president has said repeatedly that he is committed to firing officials so whether it's criminal behavior or reckless behavior, as taxpayers we should get to the bottom of it and resolve this issue so those good government employees and those who are public servants who are out there keeping us safe and protecting our food supply, our water supply, let's talk about the good that many of these
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government employees are doing and not just focus on those bad apples. >> let's move on and talk about religion and politics, specifically catholics and what's going on. donna, first to you. the u.s. conference of catholic bishops just put out another statement very critical of the obama administration and the whole issue of contraceptives and let me put it up on the screen. it is a religious matter of institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contravention or sterilization even if that violates their religious beliefs. >> i think it will, in large part because some catholic voters will adhere to the doctrine of the church while others will likely look at this as an issue for women and women's reproductive health and women's own livelihoods. look, this is the eighth year of pope benedict and he is pushing
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for the most conservative inch prettiation of catholic doctrine. he's going after the dissenters including most recently the religious nuns and leadership conference on women religions and he's going after those who take issue with traditional catholic teachings. let's see how it plays out in the catholic church before we look at how it plays out in the political world. >> how do you think it will play out in the political world, eric? >> i think it becomes a large issue particularly for independent voters who lean toward the right and who may be leaning on the fence. to the left of the american civil liberties union saying there are no such things as a ministerial exemption and even the aclu won't go that far. even the liberals on the supreme court elena kagan and justice sotomayor took issue with the administration's radical
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interpretation of religious liberties in the country. >> let me quickly ask both of you to react to the story that's out there in politico that bill clinton is emerging as sort of a secret whisperer to the obama campaign saying, you know what? continue to paint mitt romney as a severe conservative. don't let them pivot to the center, if you will. >> donna, i know you read the story. what do you think of clinton giving obama advice. >> he carried 31 states in his own re-election campaign in 1996. he understands the politics and you know how to frame a message and strategy. i think bill clinton is giving the obama campaign good advice and hopefully they'll listen to it, but on the large issue of this religious freedom, i know the conservatives want to make this about religious liberty and you see it in all of the polls. this is about access to a full range of reproductive health kir, and i'm sure that bill clinton would advise the obama
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administration to continue to focus protecting women's rights and others in this country. >> what do you think of bill clinton's advice, erick? >> you know, if he's a campaign whisperer, i think the obama administration should listen. arguably, he's the most successful politician in the last half century. they want to beat mitt romney as a severe conservative. i know severe conservatives, they're friends of mine. mitt romney is not a severe conservative. >> not even a reliable one, either, erick. >> not at all. >> you'll be laid off and lose your job in the next six months. your answers. that's coming up next.
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>> jack's back for "the cafferty file." how likely is it that you'll be laid off or lose your job in the next six months? >> lisa writes from denver, i'm worried for my husband losing had are his job because he's been sick off and on since january. i'm so glad he has health insurance. i don't. i hope and pray he'll be able to keep his job. so far, so good, but most of us worry. we worry on sunday, we dread monday. will today be the day we get
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canned? lauren writes i'm wrifling in the dark here. the recovery has proven to be image near and my employer is doing everything it can to survive the next year. my biggest fear is that obama is reelected and gives that as a mandate to do things he wasn't crazy enough to try these past three and a half years. chicago politics, is the worst thing that ever happened in this country. i have -- and they still haven't found a job. their mother and i will be happy. tom in new york seems my job seems secure. my company shaped lot of times to asia and now they're starting to ship them back. they found it may be cheaper, but it definitely isn't better. the quality drops so much that our customers aren't complaining. totally impossible. i don't have a job now, but i did have a pretty good interview today and ed in texas writes the best job security i know is being a soldier in afghanistan. of course, there are
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occupational hazards. >> if you'd like to read more on this, you'll find it on my blog, or go on the facebook page. >> president obama is all fired up as he courts young voters around the country. details of what he's doing to get their votes in november. plus, my special interview with pastor and author joel osteen. does he believe mitt romney is a christian? i'll ask him. [ female announcer ] the vertical chair-climb. it's not an olympic sport, but it takes real effort and it takes a diaper that fits their every move. it's not an olympic sport, paers crsers wh 3-way trt adt at thest, gs, and boom for up to 12 hours of protection and all the freedom to play like a real champion. pampers. proud supporter of babies' play. ♪ ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] choose the same brand your mom trusted for you.
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i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. >> there are new developments in the case of an armored car driver accused of taking millions in cash. lace sylvester is back and monitoring top stories in "the situation room." what's the latest? >> after eight weeks on the run florida sheriff's deputies arrested a 22-year-old driver. he shot and killed his partner and then ditched their armored car during a shift in pittsburgh. they say he fled with more than $2 million in cash. last month police discovered $24,000 at his grandmother's grave site and more than $200,000 at his parents' home. police in baltimore arrested this 20-year-old woman for her role in a violent attack that left a man beaten and stripped of his clothes all while people
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nearby laughed and didn't help him. she is the second person arrested. a video posted online shows the march attack and helps authorities identify the suspects and police are looking for two more people. >> and is outer space the next frontier in mining? >> two google executives as well as filmmaker james cameron is part of one company that thinks so. within the next four years they hope to begin mining asteroids for precious metals as they fly in outer space. a co-founder of the company says a single 100-foot-long asteroid could be carrying as much as $50 billion worth of platinum. very fascinating story. we'll have to see what happens with that, wolf. >> we certainly will, lisa, thank you. you're in "the situation room." happening now, graphic new testimony by john edwards' affair while he was a presidential candidate and his angry reaction when he learned his mistress was pregnant.
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reel look at mitt romney's role as a bishop in the mormon church, and i'll ask the famed pastor joel osteen if he believes romney is a christian and does the secret service prostitution scandal reach into the white house? the top republican is demanding an outside investigation of possible misconduct by obama administration staffers. we want to welcome our viewers around the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- >> a former aide is revealing the details about john edwards' secret life while he was a presidential contender and edwards is on trial for allegedly using the campaign cash to hide his affair and his mistress' pregnancy.
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today's testimony peels back the political soap opera and political nightmare. our joe johns is covering the trial in north carolina and has the latest developments. joe? >> reporter: wolf, among other things the jury today hearing tape recorded messages left from john edwards to andrew young, his personal aide, in a critical time here in north carolina, the middle of december before the 2008 primary. this was a time, in fact, on december 13th of 2008 when john edwards called this man who worked for him so hard and so long essentially asking him to take responsibility for the child that john edwards had fathered with his mistress rielle hunter. all of this important testimony in this trial in greensboro, north carolina. >> reporter: with andrew young
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on the stand, he's the former right hand man to former senator john edwards. the prosecution laid out an amazing story of sex, lies, politics and money. young spoke of the day when edwards' mistress rielle hunter made so many repeated, frantic calls to him that when he finally got her on the phone he said somebody better either be pregnant or dying. rielle hunter responded nobody's dying. when edwards found out she was pregnant he responded gruffly. she's a crazy slut and there was a one in three chance it was his child. also stung was the response of bunny mellon, the big money donor who agreed to help because she thought edwards could rescue america. andrew young said he secured her agreement to give hundreds of thousands for the benefit of the campaign, no questions asked, young claimed. checks in ever-increasing sums funneled through mrs. mellon's decorator and endorsed by andrew young's wife. with this money in the family account, young said, he moved
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rielle hunter to north carolina to keep her away from the media. she was threatening to go public, he said. he gave her a $5,000 a month allowance, a couple of times it went up to 12,000. he rented a house for her in his name. got her a bmw. by the this time she was using an alias going by the name of jya james. rielle lived in his house with him and his house and kids for three weeks which he called very difficult. he said rielle could be very demanding. more than once rielle said if she didn't talk to edwards she was going public. how did his wife feel about all of this? young said she was scared to death. we were scared to death. edwards was a viable presidential candidate and this was a truckload of money. they asked the trial lawyer edwards if it was okay to do this. young says edwards told him it was completely legal. young said he communicated in code with edwards because there was concern that knowledge of these matters could implicate edwards if he were to become
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attorney general. this, of course, is andrew young's version of events. the very same version he wrote in a tell-all book that he's now telling as a star prosecution witness, however, he get cross examined on the stand by the defense team and it can be a very different story there as the lawyers for john edwards try to rip apart his story and destroy his credibility on the stand, wolf. >> joe johns watching this trial unfold thanks very, very much. >> let's get to the breaking news we've been following. a fourth case of mad cow disease confirmed right here in the united states. the agriculture department revealing the discovery in a dairy cow in central california. >> we will complete an investigation of this particular case and -- but there should be no concern as indicated about the safety of our food supply.
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we continually will do ongoing surveillance. we'll continue with fda's feed ban as well as with the removal of specified materials or materials of concern at slaughter. >> let's bring in our senior medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen that's done a lot of reporting on mad cow disease. elizabeth, you know how devastating this disease can be in humans and first of all, give us the potential threat that's out there. >> the potential threat from this one cow is slim to none from the people i've been talking to. it's one cow that was never slaughtered, never intended to be eaten. it is a dairy cow and experts tell us that mad cow disease cannot be passed through milk from a cow to a human. so they said this cow represents no threat. even people who have been critical of the government. even people who have sound the alarms the loudest about mad cow disease don't believe that this
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one cow represents a threat. there is one thing that's a bit disturbing about this situation. they don't know how this cow got mad cow disease, they just don't know. usually cows get the disease by eating infected feed and that doesn't seem to be the case according to the usda and it's a sporadic case and they just don't know how this cow got sick. >> so when this usda official goes on the youtube video and says there's no concern about america's food supply right now. i suppose the experts agree based on what we know. >> the pecexperts say they're n worried about this one cow in california, but they do say looking at the big picture, that the government does need to do a better job of tracking cattle. right now if the cattle gets sick it's not always easy to figure out where that cattle came from, because what you want to do is you want to be able to go back and say this cattle livered in this farm, this farm and this farm and those are
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potential places where the cows got sick. it can be very hard to do that. so big picture, critics do see a lot of room for improvement and, wolf, i want to talk about a woman i did a story with six years ago. her name was charlene and she was the first person in the united states known to have the human form of this disease. as you can see, she was very sick when i interviewed her. in fact, she died just a few months later. she contacted the disease in the uk, was perfectly healthy at first, moved here not knowing she was sick and then died here. that's happened to three people. they contracted the disease outside the u.s. to, two in the uk and one in saudi arabia and didn't show symptoms. moved here, they were fine and then they died here. no one, and i want to repeat this, no one has been found to have mad cow disease from a cow in the united states. >> it could take years, 10, 15 years to show symptom, right? >> that is disturbing.
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we've seen a few cows since 2003 from the disease. say if someone would have contracted, was 2005, it was from eating the bad meat to showing signs. >> thanks very much. this programming note for our north morn viewers. stand by to hear from vilsack, on this the fourth confirmed case of mad cow disease and he's a guest of "john king usa" for our viewers in the united states and canada. jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." >> the immigration wars are set to heat up starting tomorrow. when the supreme court hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of arizona's controversial law. that law requires arizona officials to check the immigration status of anyone stopped or arrested who they suspect could be an illegal alien. the obama administration sued arizona to prevent it from going
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into effect. supporters say it's necessary because of the federal government's failure to secure this nation's borders. states like arizona have had to deal with serious security issues, along with the steep cost of education and health care for illegal aliens. critics say the law encourages racial profiling and forces state law enforcement to interfere with foreign policy, whatever that policy is. the supreme court ruling is expected to come in june and that mean, of course, like health care, it could become quickly a political hot potato headed into the november presidential election. if the supreme court upholds arizona's law, senate democrats are reportedly planning to force a vote legislation that would invalidate arizona's law. of course, the legislation won't pass, the congress is divided, but it's a way for democrats to appeal to hispanic voters before november. senate democrats might be interested to learn that most americans might agree with arizona's approach.
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a new poll shows 68% approve of the arizona law. only 27% don't, and 62% say the supreme court should uphold the law. here's the question, should states have more to say about their own border security? go to post a comment on my blog or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? >> all right, jack. thank you. we're getting new details coming into the situation room about al qaeda's plan for follow up attacks about attacks after nech. terrorists were returning tvs to walmart with bombs inside. ryan todd investigating. and a new warning that iran's leaders haven't rolled back the nuclear program one iota. that coming from benjamin netanyahu. clearly says the israelis are getting impatient and i'll ask the popular pastor joel osteen what he'd say to crist wraps who are worried about voting for mitt romney because he's a mormon. [ tires squeal, engine revs ]
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>> a federal trial in new york has exposed a terrifying al qaeda plot to blow up the long island railroad and the alleged mastermind behind it an american. ryan todd has been looking into the story and alarming details here, brian. what's going on? >> very alarming and this is one of the first times we've heard directly from al qaeda operatives in court about their operational plan, their motivations and what they liked as ideas for attacks and what they didn't. vivid details on activities on attacks on the u.s. homeland which came from an american. >> they knew how and when to make a devastating impact. they went back and forth on whether the attacker would be a suicide bomber or would exit the train before a timer set it off. it was all part of an al qaeda plan in 2008 hatched by an american. bryant neil venus testifying at the trial of another alleged al
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qaeda operative in a separate kiss said he presented the idea of attacking the long island railroad to his al qaeda bosses while at a camp in pakistan. terrorism analyst paul crookshank was in court this week when venus gave the details. >> as an american who often travelled on the long island railroad system, venus grew up on long island, he knew where they could hurt the most. >> brian neil venus subject of a cnn documentary was born in queens, grew up on long island, the son of latin american immigrants. he was an altar boy and had a passion for baseball and his happy childhood ended when his parents split up. he converted to islam and gradually became more radicalized. >> he was a hispanic-american and washed out of the army and was trying to get into the arm sxefs unemployed and bin laden was saying you should try to recruit minority converts to
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islam. >> reporter: it was popular commerce which gave al qaeda crucial insights. >> another idea according to venus, he testified that he suggested an attack on a walmart in which an al qaeda operative would buy a tv and return it with a bomb inside. >> neither that nor the long island railroad idea was carried out as a hard plot, but crookshank said this, it's on the shelf in pakistan. they probably still have some knowledge of what venus was telling them about and the way the system was working. >> reporter: but if al qaeda's going to launch those plots it will do so with one less american on its side. bryant neil venus pleaded guilty to helping them plan the long island attack. >> other fascinating operational details revealed in the course of this trial. >> paul crookshank testified venus testified that when al qaeda recruits got their bomb training and others in recent years they didn't get it in the large open caps in afghanistan that could be targeted by drones
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and they got it inside and away from the sidelines. al qaeda according to the testimony is adjusting its strategy to deal with the drone threat in recent years. >> brian todd on top of the story as he always is, thanks very much. >> the military announces a major revamp and just ahead what it could mean to intelligence threats off the battlefield. plus, if you need to have your appendix removed it could cost you around $1,000 or more than $100,000. we have details on an alarming new medical study and the disparity of prices out there as far as medical services are concerned. the top academic performers surprised some people. so did the country that came in 17th place. let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this.
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apple has just reported its
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earnings for the year. so far, lisa's back and monitoring that story and other top stories in "the situation room." what's going on, lisa? >> hi, wolf. apple's second-quarter earnings are out and they're very big. the company reports $39 billion in sales so far this year and that is better than what analysts expected. apple sold more than 35 million iphones and more than 12 million ipads in the first three months of the year. shares of apple are up sharply in after-market trading and a two-week slump in the stock. and the pentagon is revamping its intelligence operation to focus human intelligence gathering. one of the firms is to rely less on high-tech ways of spying and the defense department says it's designed to work with the cia and other intelligence agencies not to compete with them. >> and heading to the hospital with appendicitis can cost you anywhere from just over $1,000
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to more than $180,000. researchers at the university of california at san francisco found there is a big difference in costs among hospitals for similar procedures like an uncomplicated surgery to remove your appendix. one way patients can reduce the cost, go to a hospital covered by their insurance. wolf? >> good advice, of course. thank you, lisa. mitt romney is on his way to becoming the first mormon presidential nominee. should christians feel comfortable voting for him? up next, what the renowned spiritual leader joel osteen he'd tell a member of that church if asked that question. a look at mitt romney inside the church. breathtaking surveillance video of a girl plunging through the pavement. look at this. wow! there she is. we'll tell you how she survived and what happened. stay with us. for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin®
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>> this is cnnic braing fuse. we are just learning about more resignations in the u.s. secret service prostitution scandal. let's bring in our congressional correspondent dana bash. >> reporter: two additional members of the secret services are being forced to resign. deidre walsh and i are told by multiple sources that not just that an additional, a third member of the secret service is losing his security clearance, and that, wolf, effectively means that his career as he knows it is over. in addition, two other secret service members who were involved are being investigated for this incident in colombia, and are being cleared serious charges, but will be dealt with apparently on lesser charges and so this is updated from what we knew already which is six members of the secret service were already forced out. this means two additional are losing their jobs outright and another one is effectively ending his career because of what happened in colombia. >> so this scandal clearly
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escalating right now, dana. any word yet, i know that janet napolitano, the homeland security secretary will be testifying tomorrow and when the secret service director mark sullivan might be testifying before congress? >> it is unclear. that's one of the questions that we've had for the committee chairman all week long here is whether or not they're going to call him up. he has been in very, very close contact with members of congress all day every day keeping them apprised of the investigation in private, but i think that members of congress are getting to the point or are getting closer to the point where they feel more comfortable wanting him to come up here and talk to them in public. the white house council looked into it and is satisfied no one on the advanced team to colombia did anything inappropriate, but gop senator chuck grassley isn't. >> i'm not going to be satisfied until we get some independent look at this. >> reporter: grassley, the top republican on the senate
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judiciary committee says he wants an outside probe. theic spector general should investigate whether there was any misconduct in colombia from any white house staff. >> so there are no political implications with it and the reason is this is a serious matter. this isn't just a case of prostitution being used some place. this is a case of national security and the protection of the president of the united states. >> with all due respect he knows that's not going to happen. >> reporter: the judiciary committee's democratic chairman says he sees no evidence of white house wrongdoing and dismissed grassley's call forra know independent investigation of the white house advanced team in colombia. >> with all of the presses down there, with all of the coverage if the white house had been involved in thing would be on the front page of every newspaper in the country by now. the fact of the matter, they weren't. >> reporter: until now, outrage and disgust over the secret service scandal has largely been bipartisan, no longer.
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familiar partisan battle lines are emerging. patrick leahy accused his gop counterpart of playing politics. >> let's get this out of politics. we're talking about the security of the president of the united states. i don't care if they're republican or democrat. i want our president to be secure especially when they're in another country. don't play politics with us. we'll get all of the facts and the facts willa you will be made public. >> speaking of facts being made public, that's another area where grassley is unsatisfied. he wants the white house to release information about its internal inquiry. >> the most transparent administration, they say in the history which they are aren't, but it seemed to me that all of this -- their methods and what they found out ought to be made public at the very least. >> reporter: again, those two senators who head the judiciary committee, they'll have a chance to ask their questions for the first time in public tomorrow of an administration official, that as you said, wolf thshgs is the homeland security secretary
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janet napolitano. separate from that, the homeland security committee in the senate is looking into this as well and its chairman, joe lieberman who is an independent and we know those who follow politics he often clashes with democrats. in this case he's not clashing with the white house. he says he feels confident and comfortable that the white house did its due diligence and that nobody in the white house was involved in any misconduct. >> dana bash up on the hill. thanks very much. let's go to another scandal, the shocking and expensive luxury trips taken by the employees of the general services administration. the house oversight committee chairman darrel issa told me about additional allegations about officials including an investigation of possible bribery. >> the inspector general brian miller has a referral under way in a number of the areas include misuse of gsa credit cards and
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allegations of bribery. this related to the contractors that they had a relationship with and used them on a no-bid basis and no-bid is an important word in government because the gsa is the first agency responsible for not giving your wife's cousin a contract because of it being a low bid and that's exactly what we believe happened in this case, but at gsa, we believe it is more widespread and the tip of the iceberg, if you will. >> that sounds like bribery, if you will. that would be a crime. >> we believe the charges could include bribery and that that could be a referral coming very shortly. >> define very shortly. >> in a matter of days if it hasn't already happened. the actual indictment process is one that we don't directly participate in, but the inspector general does refer criminal charges at the conclusion of an investigation. we believe he's made a case for a number of crimes that could be included. >> is that why that gsa official
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took the fifth and refused to testify before congress? >> it certainly being include it. the questions we had for him might not cause him to take the fifth, but the questions he could be asked could be the cause for protecting his fifth amendment rights and he's not the only one and we believe it will be more widespread and as we continue looking over his shoulder throughout government, we think we will find a lot of conferences just like this, and a lot of poor use of taxpayers' money and in some cases, criminal activities. >> one of america's most popular pastors has advice for christians who may be worried about mitt romney because he's a mormon. stand by. my interview with joel osteen coming up. before he ran to be president, mitt romney was also a bishop romney. we're taking a closer look at his leadership role in the mormon church. [ man ] ring ring... progresso
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religion and politics in the spotlight right now with mitt romney poised to become this nation's first mormon presidential nominee. it's an issue many spiritual leaders including renowned pastor joel osteen are being asked to address. the houston church is the largest in the country with nearly 40,000 attendees each sunday. he took it over the death of his father in 1999. his television program is seen by 10 million people weekly and his first book "your best life copies. joel osteen is here in "the situation room." good to have you here in "the situation room." thanks for coming in. >> my pleasure, wolf. thanks for having me. >> so mean people are inspired by you, moved by youio and your congregants. here's a hypothetical question, it may have happened, but you give me an answer. a member of your congregation says joel, i want to vote for
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romney, but i'm concerned because he's a mormon and not sure he's a christian. what do you say? >> when i hear mitt romney say that he believes that jesus is the son of god and that he's the christ raised from the dead and he's the savior and that's good enough for me and i would encourage them in the same way. we don't all have the same views and i realize mormonism is not traditional christianity, but i'm probably a little more broader and more open in the fact that when somebody loves geez us and believes they're the son of god that's good enough for me. >> in the pugh poll 39% say they don't believe the mormon faith is the true religion. the church of jesus christ of latter-day saint. you do believe it is a christian -- >> there are things that are the same. if you get deeper into things that are not traditional christianity, but i'm looking at the broadness when somebody believes jesus is the savior and
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the son of god. to me, i believe they're a basketba believer in christ. >> when there are protests from liberty university,a i school you're familiar with. >> sure. >> jerry falwell's university, he'll be giving the commencement address there and the graduation address, mitt romney, at liberty university. some are saying maybe that's not appropriate. what do you think? >> well, to me it would be appropriate. everybody has a right to have their own views. obviously, some people feel stronger than i do, but again, i'm trying to reach the biggest, broadest group, and you know, my net may be a little big wider when i see somebody that loves the lord, i try not to exclude them, but to include them and to realize that we all have differences and when we look at our faith versus the catholic faith, mormonism is different, but i still see them as brothers in christ. >> you're a big-tent christian. >> i am. i don't want to push people away.
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we can take the scripture and ask ten people that are all from the same denomination and get ten different views. i rather be inclusive and say, you know what? if they believe in christ, they're my brother and they're my cyster. >> another congregant comes to you, hypothetically, and they say they want to reelect president obama, and i've heard he's a muslim and there was a survey that came out not that long ago, 18% of folks say he's really a muslim. what do you say to that congregant. >> i will tell them i've been with the president at the eastern breakfastes, not five feet away from him and heard him talk about his faith and talk about redemption and talk about salvation, and i just believe in all my heart that he's a christian that he says he is. i wouldn't try to push people away. i mean, that's just the opposite of what we're supposed to do, and so i would encourage him in that, i know there's a lot of media that says there's not a lot of talk and thing, but i don't believe that. of course, my personality is i
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give people the benefit of the doubt, you don't have to prove to me that you are. if you say you are and from the sincerity of your heart then i believe you are. >> if he's not a christian, say someone is a muslim, someone is a hindu or someone's jewish, do you have a problem with someone who is not a christian be president of the united states. >> i wouldn't have a problem with it because i love all people. i think in the united states it would be a, you know, maybe a long time before we would elect somebody, maybe a muslim or a hindu or something just because i think it's still 90% of us are christians, but you know, i've spent a lot of time in india with my father and they're some of the nicest people you'll meet. i'm not saying they're second class because they're not of my faith, i look at their values and their leadership ability and their faith is a big part as well. >> those who listen to you, there's a line that you've said that resonates with a lot of
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folks. god doesn't want us to be broke. >> yea. >> what do you mean by that? >> i believe that we're not supposed to be -- growing up, was there a part of christianity that says you've got to be poor and defeated to show that you're humble and you're supposed to suffer. i don't see god like that. i think we're supposed to excel. that he's put gifts in each one of us that we're supposed to rise higher. and i say that coming from the background that my father was very, very poor. they got the christmas basket they were so poor. they didn't have food growing up and he rose up out of that and i don't think it's god's best. i don't think you can live life not having the funds to send your kids to college and to fulfill your dreams and so it's just of a mind set sometimes people have this poverty mind set and i'm a christian and i'm supposed to suffer and this is god's will. that's just not how i see it. >> what do you mean when you speak about the importance of being a, quote, now person. what does that mean? >> i think a lot of times we're
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putting things off and i'm going to do it later, i'm going to break this bad habit or i'm going to pursue this dream or i'm going to treat my spouse better. i think you have to say, today is the day to make my life better and to be who i'm supposed to be and to do what i know i'm supposed to do and not always be living in the future. >> and you're going to be speaking at washington nationals park here in town and there will be a huge crowd. give us in a sentence or two, the most important message you want the folks to leave with. >> i think it's that god is on your side. he's a good god. you may have made mistakes. you may have big obstacles and you can still become who god has created you to be. let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can and you'll get to where god needs you to be. >> joel osteen, thanks for coming into "the situation room." my pleasure, wolf. thank you. >> why doesn't mitt romney speak more about his religion. up next, mary snow will speak to someone who knew him as a bishop
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of the church and thinks he should be out there speaking publicly about it. >> and a girl talking on a cell phone, look at this. she takes a sudden nearly 20-foot plunge, look at that and went into a sifshg holnk hole. we'll tell you what happened. ,is how would you sum it up? big in your own words, with respect to selection, what would you say? big okay, let's talk rebates mike, they're big they're big get $100 rebate, plus the low price tire guarantee during the big tire event. so, in other words, we can agree that ford's tire event is a good size? big big a little bird told me about a band... ♪ an old man shared some fish stories... ♪ oooh, my turn. ♪ she was in paris, but we talked for hours... everyone else buzzed about the band.
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mitt romney's expected to tighten his grip on the republican presidential nomination. today voters in five northeastern states hold prim y primaries and romney talks about his leadership experience in the mormon church. he volunteered for key roles in the church back in the 1980s and '90s including service as a bishop. our mary snow spoke to some people when knew bishop romney at the time. what did they say to you? >> reporter: wolf, this is a part of romney's life that people do not know much about. although he was form or governor and ceo, this was personal in nature. some had positive experiences and others negative and at times it put him face-to-face with people who he had little in common with besides their faith. >> they might ask you in class that he labored with his own hands that me might serve the people. >> reporter: reading the book of
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mormon together is no you routine for former catholic sandy and ron catalano, but the couple's clash over mormonism almost destroyed their marriage. ron was skeptical when his wife converted. with nowhere to go, sandy turned to her then bishop mitt romney. >> when i went to mitt i said it is so hard i don't know what to do, and i just broke down and said i can't do this anymore. do i love the lord more than i love my husband? >> reporter: and what happened? >> he said to me you can love both. and i'll show you how to do it. >> reporter: mitt romney, they say, came up with odd jobs for rock, an out of work maintenance man struggling to provide for his wife and sons. >> he was fellowshiping me and bringing me closer not to the religion, but bringing me closer to him and his family and my family which was important. >> he really helped change our
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lives for the better. >> reporter: romney on occasion talks about his time as a church leader in the boston area while he was making his way up the ladder. romney was a volunteer bishop, similar to a pastor at the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. friends of this church say he worked up to 20 hours a week doing everything from counseling members to balancing budgets. >> and in that capacity i had the chance to work with people who lost their jobs in some cases or were facing other financial distress, losing their homes and i found that those kinds of circumstances were not just about money or numbers. they were about lives and about emotions. >> reporter: why doesn't romney talk more about his roles in the church? >> mitt really is a great listener. >> reporter: grant bennett, a former lds bishop who served with romney says there's a cultural component of humbleness among mormons and there are political risks. >> there are many, many misperceptions about the mormon church. i think, to dwell on his
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involvement in the church no matter how effective he might do it inevitably may lead to side discussions that may not be productive. >> reporter: not everyone was h coming from mormon women. >> this is an issue from the winter of 1986. >> judy was the editor of a feminist mormon magazine who says she first clashed with romney when the publication couldn't be distributed at church. >> is attitude is always i know what's best, i'm the interpreter of mormonism for all mormons and you have no right to comment on it. if you do comment on it, you're wrong. >> reporter: she also recalls the story of a friend, a mother of four, who published eed lett saying her bishop pressured her not to have an abortion. the woman who wrote that article confirmed to cnn that bishop was
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mitt romney. the romney campaign declined comment. >> i wanted him to look and hear what the woman had to say. >> reporter: she remembers romney and credits him meeting with 250 women to discuss issues and make policy changes. >> i thought he was pretty open and caring to say, yeah, we'll do this. i don't think many church leaders would have done that. >> reporter: but note, her admiration is in the past tense. >> what's your reaction when you see him on the campaign trail now? >> i have no idea who that man is. it looks like he's doing what he needs to do to win the republican nomination and he's doing it. >> reporter: as for the catalanos, they say they know the real mitt romney and hope the former bishop becomes president. >> he just knows how to connect with people like us. >> reporter: as we mentioned, mitt romney does at times talk
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on the campaign trail as a church leader. he said he's not running for pastor in chief but commander in chief. he says as people want to know more about his personal life and faith, he's happy to talk about the experience. wolf. >> mary, thanks very much. let's go back to jack right now for the cafferty file. >> that's the most intelligent treatment of mitt romney's religion i've seen in either presidential campaign, 2008 or this one. what a terrific piece. good job, miss mary. great stuff. all right, the question, should states have more to say about their own border security. the supreme court is looking at that law out in arizona. mark writes yes. the states that border a foreign country hot to have the right not to be invaded by foreign nationals who decide they want to come to the state for medical care, jobs or anything else for that matter. if mexico bordered washington, d.c., you can bet your last buck that would be a fence that would make the berlin wall look like a speed bump.
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>> the problem with states being involved with immigration issues is it's more than a two-way street than even at the federal level. when the party is over, local prejudice festers. that's what happened in arizona. the rights of good people of color, which are the rights of all of us, then get infringed upon. marsha writes states should have control when the feds aren't doing their job, which is to secure our borders. bring all the guys home, especially the national guard, hence the name, and let them do their jobs here. noel in new mexico, they ought to have some say. i live in a border state that the draconian laws like arizona that intimidate not only undocumented but also those native born and here legally. the only way to make sure states don't ball into jingoism and xenophobia is to temper state laws. it's the one thing the
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republicans have right and democrats have wrong. immigration is fine. illegal immigration is a huge burden to the citizens impacted by it. ever of one of them crash into your car? they get no ticket, no fine, no insurance and no pay. try going to the emergency room filled with free health care illegals. to read more go to or through our post on the situation room's facebook page. the supreme court decision, wolf, due in june. >> yeah, before the summer recess. breath taking video we'll show you of a young woman taking a sudden plunge. you'll find out what happened. ♪ [ male announcer ] aggressive styling. a more fuel-efficient turbocharged engine. and a completely redesigned interior. ♪ the 2012 c-class with over 2,000 refinements.
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breath-taking surveillance video of a young woman taking a sudden plunge down a sinkhole. she made it out safy but isn't getting a lot of sympathy. jeanne moos looks how it went down. >> reporter: this chinese teenager was walking and talking on her cell phone when a sidewalk sinkhole opened like a trap door. apparently those little block cones were meant as a warning.
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>> oh! oh, my gosh! >> reporter: water had eroded the ground underneath. a passing taxi driver saw the girl disappear and went down the nearly 20-foot hole to rescue her. he said at first she didn't respond, but when he shook her, she came to. firemen put down a latter and eventually out she climbed. no one even clapped, and some blamed her. >> how does that happen? >> she was on her cell phone. >> she was not -- it does not matter. that does not happen to you. what is wrong with you? >> being swallowed up by a sinkhole just isn't the same as texting into a mall fountain. and without further ado, we bring you the greatest hits of sinkholes. this ma look like a missile silo but it's a sinkhole in guatemalan owe roughly 30 stories deep. burst sewer pipes and a tropical storm combined to cause it. it swallowed a three-story
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building. and this sinkhole ate a horse. a deaf and blind horse named chief. it took about six hours to successfully hoist the horse out of this hole in maryland. sinkholes usually occur when water eats away rock below the surface. sinkholes have trapped fire trucks, a car and a boat, an entire house. >> there it goes. >> reporter: in a seaside san francisco neighborhood back in 1995. and then there was this florida woman. >> packs of dirt just hitting you in the head. >> reporter: carla chapman fell into not one, but two separate sinkholes in her backyard in less than a year. the second one was a doozy, but the good news was she had her cell phone and called 911. >> i'm in the ground! >> you're in the ground? >> somebody help me! >> reporter: the bad news was at first she couldn't get service. calls kept dropping. can you hear me now? eventually she got through and they got her out. maybe