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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  June 16, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm PDT

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vitter resigned. please continue the conversation, thank you, as always, with your responses. we continue with randi kaye who is in for ali velshi. a move follows revelations of his lewd online exchanges with women. you will recall, anthony weiner, a democrat, lied about reports that were true. according to his source, weiner made a decision to resign after talking to his wife and house minority leader, nancy pelosi, and fellow congressman, steve israel yesterday. he is expected to announce his
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resignation at the top of the hour. we will bring that to you live when it happens. let's get to our senior congressional correspondent on capitol hill. many were expecting his wife would weigh in on this decision. do you have any indication how the conversations went or how he came to this decision? >> reporter: we don't know how the conversations went except that we do know that there were conversations. we knew his wife who is a top aide to secretary of state hillary clinton was traveling with her and now returned. everybody on capitol hill was waiting for that moment, because anthony weiner was telling them he did not want to make decisions until they spoke face-to-face. anthony weiner made the call to democratic leaders yesterday, and finding them on the cell phones at the white house, awe
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they were attending a congressional picnic at the white house, and he informed them he was going to resign. and the source said he was remorseful and apologetic that he has caused the distraction that has angered the democratic leader and apologized about the pain he caused his family. at this point, i think it's fair to say that there is a sense of major relief among his democratic congressmen. >> i was curious what the mood was not only on capitol hill but also at his office? >> reporter: his colleagues, it's relief, because they want to go back on focusing on the things they want to talk about which is the budget and medicare and things like that. and there is some sadness. one of his colleagues from new york said there is a sense of loss, that he is somebody that was definitely an articulate
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spokesman for progressive democrats, and this is a really sad, sad awful story. so not a lot of happiness about that, but they are happy that it's over. very interesting, randi, what is going on at his office, his capitol hill office right now. when word spread that he was resigning, our producer had been over there and he said it became like a tourists attraction. people coming by and taking photographs of his name plate -- there you see a name plate at his office, for memorabilia, because it's not going to be there very long. this morning, we're told from folks outside his office that there were a couple staffers in there and came out at about 9:00, 9:30 in the morning and close the door and shut the lights down and it has been locked every since. >> all right, dana thank you. joining us now on the phone is cnn senior legal analysts,
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jeffrey tubin. do you think anthony weiner had any other choice here? >> i don't, really, randi. when you have the president of the united states of your party, and the minority leader, nancy pelosi of your party, telling you to resign. there's nothing for a member of congress to do. he cannot serve on committeees or do legislative work. i think pelosi and obama made weiner's decision for him. >> do you see any legal ramifications coming out of this at all? where can this go? >> i don't think so. i don't think there is any conceivable criminal activity to be associated with weiner. it's hard for me to imagine how anybody could sue him. i think his problem is personal. he has to decide how he will save his marriage. what he's going to do for a living. anthony weiner has been an
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elected official since he was in his 20s. he's in his seventh term as a member of the house. he was in the new york city council before that. he was an aide to senator chuck schumer before that. he does not have a profession other than the one he has been in. i think that will be a very difficult adjustment for him. >> what is the next step in terms of the politics of it all? what happens now in new york? >> well, once the seat is vacant, and we don't know exactly when weiner will step down, but governor cuomo will have to set a special election, because this term is not really very far along. it's only really been about six months since the last new group of congressmen were inaugurated. there's a year and a half left. this seat, unlike others in new york city is not an overwhelmingly democratic seat. it's definitely leaning
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democratic, but this is a seat conceivably, especially given the circumstances, that a republican might make a strong run. so it's going to be a very competitive primary here in brooklyn, in queens, on both the democratic and republican sides, and i would say the democrats would be favored, but this is not an automatic win for the democrats in this vacant seat. >> it's going to get even more interesting, apparently. thank you and we appreciate it. the defense admits casey anthony is a liar. they claim she was sexually abused by her dad and brother, and caylee drowned in the family pool and it was an accident. the defense shocked the jurors and us with the details when the trial opened and those claims kept us wondering and left us hanging for weeks. today, anthony's defense team began to back up its case, calling its first witnesses. and there was no shortage of surprises, including a strange request to add a convicted
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kidnapper to the list of witnesses. i want to talk about the defense's two experts and what they did not find, and that's is really piquing our interest. let's go to orlando. martin, we were all pretty shocked as we watched it today to learn that the fbi did a paternity test to see if lee anthony, casey anthony's brother was caylee's father. how did that sit in court? >> well, it wasn't so much that the test had been done. it was the way that the information about the test was introduced by the defense attorney. let me get to this. first of all, the fbi did a paternity test. it was requested by one agent. it was not like it was a major effort. there was rumors and to put the rumors to rest, and it was known the paternity test came back neglect, and nobody in the an
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t anthony family was the father. we had dull testimony regarding dna, and just before the break at lunch, bam, the defense raises the issue of paternity and about this test. and that, of course, will linger in the minds of the jurors as they go off to lunch and it's going to add the question mark, which is what the defense wanted to do which is why the prosecution is upset, because the answer is already known and is negative. >> the crime scene investigator and the fbi investigator said they did not find any dna on the trunk or clothes. >> it was not a big deal. number one, because of the passage of time. there had been months when her body -- when she had been
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reported missing and when her body was found. a lot of the material had been exposed to the material. dna can degrade greatly once exposed to the elements. and keep in mind the way caylee died, whether you believe the prosecution that she died by her mother's hand or it was an accident according to the defense, it did not involve a lot of blood. she drowned or smothered. as a result, one reason why you would not have a lot of blood, and as for dna, she was wrapped not in one but several plastic bags which could eliminate transfer of dna. interesting but not shocking. >> let's talk about the ex-con. they claimed in court documents he is linked to casey's father. why is this critical? >> well, again, this is trying to introduce the question mark here. could there have some way been the involvement of casey
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anthony's father, george, here? and here is the real question. supposedly cell phone records indicate the number used by this ex-con or that goes back to the ex-con is found on telephone records with george anthony's telephone records the day before caylee is missing. the idea is was george associating with somebody that might be considered the wrong kind, and if so what were they talking about? again, raising the question marks and planting the seeds. that's what the defense is trying to do. >> raising doubt. that's all they need to do. thank you. turning to the fight against al qaeda. osama bin laden number two, ayman al zawahiri is taking over the leadership of the organization. the move announced on jihadists remember sightes less than two
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months after the bin laden raid. he is second in command to bin laden, and his appointment was expected. the fbi is offering a $25 million reward for his capture. no letup in the battle between president obama and lawmakers over u.s. military involvement over libya. opponents led by house speaker john boehner accuse the president of violating the war powers rule. mr. obama sent a report to congress saying permission is not needed because u.s. forces are not engaged in hostilities and are serving in a support role. the 1973 law says presidents must end a mission after notifying congress unless lawmakers give the okay for the operation to continue. another celebrity is speaking out against same-sex marriage. on the same day that the new
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york state assembly approved a same-sex marriage bill, former giant's receivers warned of dire consequences if the legislation became law. its today's sound affect. >> if they pass the gay marriage bill, you know, and i guess you can say my peace is in god's sovereignty. what i know what will happen if this comes forth is this will be the beginning of our country sliding towards, you know, it's a strong word, but anarchy. >> he made the comments in a video released by the national organization for marriage which is leading the charge against the bill. billionaire businessman, sir richard branson is marking a new milestone, and he joins me live to talk about drugs as well as space tourism. he'll be here next. [ male announcer ] this is lara.
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and we want to remind you, as you look at the live picture from outside congressman anthony weiner's apartment in queens in new york, we want to remind you, coming up at 2:00 p.m. eastern time. we should hear from him, he is expected to resign at 2:00 p.m. today. the whole scandal started may 27th, nearly three weeks ago to the day. last night we're told he alerted colleagues, including nancy pelosi, he does plan on resign
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today, and we will bring you that press conference live here on cnn. he is a billionaire whose talents touch everything from music to your mobile phone to space tourism. he owns 32 businesses in different countries. he joins me today. sir richard branson, so glad to have you with us today. i know you have good news. you're marking yet another milestone. >> yes, in the airline business it's always good news when you celebrate that you're still alive and still in existence. we had 25 years of flying from miami to london, 25 successful years. so we're here to have a bit of partying and celebrate that fact. >> you celebrated the 25th anniversary of virgin atlantic's first flight from london to miami? >> that's right. we have been doing it in style.
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we have been miami vice boat chase, and anyway, just generally having a good time. always nice to have something to celebrate. >> you look like you are having a good time right now with the gorgeous weather behind you. let's talk about commercial space tourism. another passion of yours. we're familiar with that. you are selling tickets for $200,000 a pop, and hundreds of people as i understand it have paid down a deposit for this space travel. what will this look like? when do you expect this will actually happen for these folks? >> well, it's enormously exciting. i think commercial space travel is just -- virgin gau lattic will be the first company to offer it. i will go up with my children
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into space, and we hope after that hundreds if not thousands of people will have the chance to become astronauts to go up to space. we hope it will be a whole new era of space travel. we hope we will be able to of r orbital space travel, and then we hope to offer enter continental flights at a fraction of time that it takes to fly there. >> how did your children react when they were told you would take them into space? i don't know of any other children that have an opportunity to go into space. >> i did not tell them, they told me. they were not going to let me go unless they came too. they are now in their early 20s, and when i first told them they were in their teenager. a couple marriages around me, i
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would not be surprised if my grandchildren would come too now. >> how many can your aircraft carry at one time? >> we'll be able to carry eight people. we have massive windows so people can look back and marvel at the earth from space. and they will have the ride of a lifetime. you know, to go up into a russian space ship cost $6 million, and to go up on virgin's space ship cost $200,000. we hope to bring the cost down so years to come from now one day, you know, it will be -- shall i go to australia on the holiday or two space? >> well, i want to ask you this. you played a part in this very
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high-profile drug panel that recently recommended that the u.s. government needs to come up with more creative ways to legally regulate drugs, especially marijuana. why was it important to you to be on the panel? do you see actually any movement or anything coming out of the recommendations? >> i was on the panel because we looked -- we examined the war on drugs and seen if it had been working. it has not been working. more and more people take drugs every year. you have millions in prisons, and many of them just for taking drugs. and so the global commission of drugs examined what has been going on in different countries. we found places like portugal, and switzerland and germany, they treat drugs as a health problem and not a criminal
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problem. portugal puts nobody in prison for taking drugs. they help those people. as a result, the number fr people taking heroin has halved. and the people on marijuana is the lowest in the whole of europe. what we're urging governments to do is, you know, to treat drugs as a health problem in the same way that somebody has too much alcohol. they should be treated as a health problem. somebody that smokes too much, that should be treated as a health problem. do everything that you can to help people get off the drugs. and, you know, that we believe is the way forward. we would urge the american government to take the global drug commissions report seriously and read it because it was 18 hard months of study, and it seems to scream out from the pages what needs to be done. >> all right. you certainly have your hands in
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a whole lot of things from drugs to space. we certainly appreciate you making time for us today in your busy schedule. thank you for coming on the show. >> pleasure. it's no secret foreclosures hurt the community around them. we'll visit a town where nearly 1 in 10 homes are affected. that's next. more naturally with your colon s than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps. thanks. [ professor ] good morning students. today, we're gonna... thanks. host: could switching to geico reon car insurance? or more host: do people use smartphones to do dumb things? man 1: send, that is the weekend. app grapgic: yeah dawg! man 2: allow me to crack...the bubbly! man 1: don't mind if i doozy. man 3: is a gentleman with a brostache invited over to this party? man 1: only if he's ready to rock! ♪ sfx: guitar and trumpet jam vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
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we're going to take you to brooklyn right now. you see a live picture outside
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the senior center. we're 35 minutes from now where anthony weiner is expected to resign following the sexing scandal. you can see reporters lined up. and we will bring you that announcement, that press conference, the official resignation after nearly three weeks of following this scandal. that should be coming up here live on cnn at about 2:00 p.m. meanwhile, playing field new jersey. a town that has been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. so hard in fact nearly 1 in 10 homes is in foreclosure. >> reporter: at a bird's-eye vi view, it looks like the rest of america. but when you talk to the folks here and walk the streets, you realize something. the bank owns a big chunk of the city. >> i lived in three houses, and
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the three houses were foreclosesed on and i was forced to move. >> almost three times the national average of the homes are in foreclosure. >> it's terrible. my kids have to walk past these empty houses, and i'm afraid for them. >> you won't find pad locks or boarded up windows, but it's not tough to find people thousands of dollars in debt on their homes. right here on front street alone there are 25 homes in foreclosure, and just down the way on berkeley terrace, you will find eight more. crime is rampant here, and the police spend their time breaking up gang activity, and which came first is a chicken and egg situation for the mayor. >> do you feel the amount of foreclosures, the foreclosure crisis in this city led to the increase in gang violence? >> there may be a relationship where some of the residents have
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been laid off who feel kind of hopeless at this point. >> the highest density of foreclosures is near the gang violence. 123 within a half mile. but there are hundreds more all over town. >> the town is going down. taxes are going up. we're suffering. >> reporter: today home prices continue to fall. there are layoffs in the schools, and the city has cut 50% of its workers since february. at rise and shine restaurant the owner says business is slumping. >> there are ups and downs. some days are better and some days are slow. it's -- it's tough. >> unless something can turn around, we need a miracle. >> reporter: a miracle? >> we need a miracle. >> from the looks of it, she's right. the resident right there that said we need a miracle, she told me she feels trapped, and if she wanted to sell her home which she is current on, she can't
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because she feels trapped. the mayor said we need help from the banks in terms of the mortgage modification. we reached out to wells fargo and bank of america. bank of america had no comment and wells fargo said they are working with borrowers to find an alternative, but neither would talk about it on camera. >> thank you for that report. for all the latest financial news, join christine romans every saturday morning, and saturdays at 1:00 p.m. eastern don't miss ali velshi. and then we look at weiner's planned resignation with ed henry. [ carrie ] i remember my very first year as a teacher,
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just about 30 minutes from now, we will take you live back here to the council center for senior citizens. that's in brooklyn new york. that's where anthony weiner is expected to resign. his wife returned this week from a trip abroad, and according to sources here at cnn they had conversations about this and the representative called his colleagues last night to let them know he did plan to resign today. we know he is in the area and expected there at 2:00 p.m. we will bring you the live press conference here on cnn just
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about 30 minutes from now. be sure and keep it here. president obama talked about anthony weiner this week offering up what he would do if he were in weiner's shoes. >> ultimately it's going to be a decision for him and his constituents. i can tell you if it was me i would resign. >> senior white house correspondent, ed henry, joins us from the white house. once the president weighed in was the writing on the wall there for representative weiner? >> reporter: yeah, you are right. all kinds of democratic leaders coordinated their efforts to get him to resign, and once the president weighs in it's over since he is the party leader, de facto or otherwise. and it's interesting, because i just asked the reaction and does this allow you to focus back on jobs and other issues, and the retort was we never stopped focusing on jobs and we did not want to talk about the anthony weiner story, and the only
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reason why the president commented in the interview is because ann curry of nbc news asked him about it. he never walked up and said anthony weiner did a bad thing. the president tried to stay out of this for a number of reasons. he wanted anthony weiner to work it out with his family, and he wanted the democratic party to deal with this, and the last thing he wants to do is get intertwined with anthony weiner. >> and he also has another issue he is dealing with, and it's the situation with the group of house members suing the president regarding libya. what is happening with that? the president is pushing back. >> reporter: interesting line of attack. it just came out in the last few moments. we dug up a quote from john boehner, the current speaker of the house when he was a back bencher in 1999 saying he believed then the war of powers
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act was constitutional suspect meaning it did not hold water and it was pointless. what they are trying to say here is that republicans are flipping on the notion and believing the war of powers act is constitutional, and the president needs to end aktions in libya. there is no u.s. boots on the ground. this is not hostile military operations in a traditional sense where we have seen in other places all around the world. that may not hold water with not just some republicans, but with some democrats. part of the lawsuit is with the president not consulting them more in their opinion. but by their account at the white house they consulted with congress including the report last night, 41 times in recent weeks. there is a stalemate here.
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i think they are going to face increasing pressure from the hill, no doubt about it on this issue, randi. >> all right. ed henry at the white house for us. thank you, ed. a live report from new york, brooklyn, new york, where congressman anthony weiner is about to resign a short time from now. we will have a look at the events that led to this upcoming resignation. that's right after a short break.
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well, we are continuing to follow breaking news here. of course today's big story in half an hour or so from now, congressman anthony weiner is expected to hold a news conference to announce his resignation. jason carroll is outside
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weiner's apartment. is the congressman still inside there? any sign of him? >> reporter: as far as we know, randi, he is still inside. he showed up a few minutes ago. the press conference scheduled for 2:00. he has on make it all the way to brooklyn, and that's a 45 minute drive. when we saw him walk-up to his apartment he was still wearing jeans and a t-shirt basically. unclear on terms of timing how he will make the 2:00 press conference. he did not speak to reporters as he entered his apartment. his wife was with him. no indication if his wife will go to the press conference with him. both of them are here at his residence here in queens. >> you have had a chance to talk to any of the people there, any of the residents in the area? any reaction from them now that the news has broke that he does
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plan to resign? >> reporter: absolutely. and it's really a mixed bag. definitely he still has his supporters out here. you remember the poll from last week that showed some, what, 56% of registered voters here in his district still support him. some of those that we spoke to this morning that once supported him feel at this point, things in terms of the way the story has developed, the congressman has become too much of a distraction to be effective. there are some that support what he did while in office but feel the time has come for him to step down. and there are those that we ran across this morning that say, what happened in his private life is his private business. it does not affect his job as a congressman. we're hearing both sides on that issue. >> let us know when you do see a sign of him. let us know when he has left queens, if you would. thank you. >> reporter: you bet. how did this whole weiner scandal start? as we continue to watch these
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live pictures at the senior center where representative weiner is expected to make his official resignation, how did it all start? we'll take a look back coming up right after this very quick break. be sure and keep it here.
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once again, we want to take you back live to the council center for senior citizens in brooklyn where councilman anthony weiner is expected to announce his resignation. there were crowds of reporters
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outside and now those folks have gone inside. although cnn's jason carroll, who was waiting at weiner's apartment in queens says he does not believe he has left yet, which means it may take him a while to get over to brooklyn. we will let you know as soon as the press conference starts and the official resignation begins, and we will bring it to you live right here on cnn. you will not miss it. as we mentioned, anthony weiner scheduled the press conference to announce his resignation. >> trouble started with when the twitter was sent to a lewd photograph. it shows a man's bulge in his underwear. it goes viral. monday, may 30th, the college
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student tagged in the photo tells the new york "dailey news" she never met weiner. weiner's office announces they are seeking legal action to find out who hacked his account. he calls it a hoax and then prank and then hack. and then on may 31st, he officially denies being involved. >> deana, you don't have -- we need to follow these questions. >> i love to get an answer. >> you do the questions, and i do the answer, and this jackass interrupts me. >> the questions keep coming. june 1st during a round of network interviews, congressman weiner again claims innocence and stands by the hacking defense. listen to this interview with cnn's wolf blitzer. >> did you send the picture to the college student in washington state? i did not. she says she never got it and doesn't know me.
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i certainly don't know her. seems like it was a prank to make fun of my name. >> in the following days calls for the resignation begins, and then there is an announcement he has more incriminating photos of weiner he does not plan to release. and then that afternoon weiner comes clean. >> i hurt the people i care about the most and i am deeply sorry. i have not been honest with myself, my family, my constituents, my friends and supporters and the media. last friday night i tweeted a photograph of myself and then i continued with that story to stick to that story, which was a hugely regrettable mistake. >> weiner refuses to step down. >> i am regretting what i have done, and i am not resigning. >> two days later, june 8th, we learn weiner's wife, an aide to
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hillary clinton, is pregnant. after two radio talk show hosts got a shot of it from a cell phone. on june 10th, tweets to a teenager girl in delaware are called into question. they are later deemed harmless. the next day, june 11th, under growing pressure to resign, weiner admits he is going into treatment and requests a leave of absence. still, democrats call for him to step down. >> it is with great disappointment that i call on my colleague, representative anthony weiner to resign. >> june 13th, president barack obama tells nbc's ann curry that weiner should probably step back. and then wednesday, this week, june 15th, former porn star, ginger lee, holds a news conference and announces anthony weiner told her to lie about their online communication. >> i put out a three-sentence
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communication that he told me to say. i did not want to say anything further. i refuse to lie, so i went silent and went into hiding. i think anthony weiner should resign because he lied to the public and the press for more than a week. >> june 16th, anthony weiner tells colleagues he plans to resign, almost three weeks after he tweeted a lewd photo of his groin, his political career is over. don't worry. we're not pulling away too far from too long from congressman weiner's story. we will continue to watch the senior center there in brooklyn as we wait for his official resignation coming up live on cnn. we'll have it for you. in the meantime, news from around the world is coming up right after this quick break. [ male announcer ] bridgestone is using natural rubber,
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and we take you live now once again as we continue to follow this breaking news here on cnn. you're looking at the council center for senior citizens in brooklyn. we do have news for you as we await the official resignation of representative anthony weiner. relearned he has left his apartment in queens. his wife had been with him when he arrived at his apartment we were told by reporters on the scene, but not seen leaving the apartment with him. but we do know he is on his way
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to the senior center here where he will make the announcement official. meanwhile, as promised, let's do international news now. the next story is disturbing and graphic. it's about rape as a weapon in libya's civil war, and evidence of assaults that is often found on captured cell phones. the videos are so awful that even the rebels are trying to erase the evidence to avoid humiliating victims and their families. we blurred the video to make it possible for sarah to file this story. >> reporter: on the front lines of libya's war, remembbel fight are finding more than some things. after weeks of hearing of the cell phone rape videos, we for the first time have a copy of
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one. this is given to us by a source who does not want to be identified in fear fr being punished by the society. we have been unable to verify the authenticity. we do not know where it was taken or when or by whom, and all we can do is watch it and listen to it. in this video provided to cnn from what rebels say was the cell phone of a gadhafi loyalist two men stand over a naked woman bent over with her face on the floor. the man standing behind her is sodomizing her with what appears to be a broomstick. >> i can't bear, it i can't bear, it she says. >> reporter: a male voice off camera says let's push it farther. no, no, that's enough, the woman begs. one of the men puts her sock sofrd foot on his face. in this culture it's considered the ultimate insult, but in this case it pales in comparison to
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what the victim is already enduring. we blurred this video because it's extremely difficult to watch. arabic speakers who have examined the video say the voices are distinctly libyan with clear tripoli accents. there's no date on the video, and the men in the video are not wearing military uniforms. the victim's face is barely seen so we have not been able to identify her. it has been extremely difficult to get anyone to talk about this video on camera because of the cultural sensitivities here. we asked a spokesman for the opposition in misrata whether rebels have found many of these kinds of videos. his answer yes. >> we were able to confirm that rape was used as a weapon of war because it was systematic. >> reporter: international criminal court in the hague says the allegations are credible. it is investigating. but in a surprising admission to cnn, the spokesman tells us some of the very evidence of war crimes prosecutors want may have been destroyed.
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>> translator: there was a commander here at the eastern front in misrata named mohammed and he order all the revolution fighters to give them all the rape video they found on gadhafi soldier cell phones and he was ordered to destroy every rape video he got. >> reporter: why would you destroy video evidence of rape that could be used as evidence of war crimes against your enemy, against the gadhafi regime? >> translator: because aside from being a heinous crime, rape is perceived here in our culture as damaging not only for the girl but also the whole family. >> reporter: rape is such a taboo in this culture, even some of the victim's families would rather erase potential evidence against the attackers than risk living with the shame. >> sarah joins us now from cairo, egypt. such a disturbing story. is this the first time that
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we've heard that videos like these exist? >> reporter: no. in fact, a lot of us have heard them from different parts of libya, actually. we spoke to a psychologist who said they exist. nic robertson spoke to a former gadhafi soldier that say they exist and others have gone out to people to interview these people and they say there's more than two or three. the disturbing thing in this particular case is a lot of times the women that are attacked often won't even go to the hospital because it's considered such a stain on the family name and on the woman that they just don't want anyone to know so they won't ever go and get help, randy. >> sara sidner, sara, thank you. we're minutes away from anthony weiner's expected resignation. new video into cnn. this just in.
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congressman anthony weiner flanked by media there. reporters just outside his apartment in queens, new york, trying to make it to his car so he can make his way to brooklyn to the center for senior citizens where he's set to announce his official resignation. it's very difficult for him. a lot of people trying to get a shot as he leaves his apartment getting into a little bit of a scuffle. there's our jason carroll who we spoke to a short time ago trying to get some answers and these are inside pictures here, live pictures from inside. we expect representative weiner to be there very shortly to make his resignation, and we'll bring that to you live. keep it here right on cnn. at bayer, we've been relieving pain for over 100 years.
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and welcome back. we want to show you a live look inside the council center for senior citizens. that's in brooklyn, new york, where a lot of folks, reporters are waiting for representative anthony weiner who is now on his way from his queens apartment to announce that he will officially resign from congress. i want to bring in my colleague wolf blitzer who is in washington who will pick up our special coverage of anthony
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weiner's resignation from here. hi, wolf. >> thanks very much, randi. we're standing by and will hear from the congressman himself, though we do know he's notified top leaders in the house of representatives, including the top democratic leaders, including nancy pelosi, that he will announce he is resigning. cnn's dana bash, our senior congressional correspondent, broke the news earlier today. dana, the reaction is coming in, although a lot of members are waiting to hear the words coming out of his mouth before they release their own immediate press releases and make statements of their own. >> reporter: that's right. certainly the leadership of the democratic party in the housing and elsewhere is waiting to -- to hear from anthony weiner, with you rank and file, people who know him, some friends and some people who just, you know, have worked with him for quite a long time, they are not waiting. we are talking to several people, particularly those who serve with him from new york. jerry nadler says he believes this is a loss and that he was
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really an articulate spokesman for the cause of many progre progressives in the house and democratic party. having said that, there's a sense of relief, big time, because we've been reporting for several weeks now that democratic leaders thought that this was a distraction, that this was simply something that they wanted to go away and because of the drip, drip, drip of the story, more photographs coming out almost daily, it simply would not go away. so it was their pressure and private pressure and ultimately public pressure that forced him out. listen to one of anthony weiner's colleagues from new jersey about how he described what happened to him. take a listen. >> do you think he could have been able to survive if he had been straight ford? >> if he came out very straightforward in the very beginning, as reprehensible and his actions and behavior admittedly were, i think that he could have survived this.
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i think that's the straw that broke the camel's back, and i think that we pray for his family. it's important. >> reporter: and wolf, we're hearing that from a lot of anthony weiner's colleagues. the fact is he just didn't send the lewd photographs and certainly it seems like a lot of them but the fact he did not answer the questions at the beginning, did not tell the truth and said he was hacked and outright lied to people like you in these interviews and that ultimately politically is what hurt him. >> didn't just lie to me, lied to you, to everyone, all of his constituents in the american public when he suggested and flat out said that someone had hacked his twitter account and sent out that lewd picture to that college student out in seattle, washington. dana, we'll immediately go to the statement from congressman anthony weiner as soon as he comes up to the microphones. i want to bring in john king. john, all of us have watched this very, very closely, but
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you've got a perspective over there at the data wall for us. >> take you through the time line and if the congressman walks into the room go straight to the live event. why are we here? on hey 27th that sexually suggestive photo was sent via twitter. the next day he said it was not him, that his account was hacked and then you move forward a little bit of time to may 31st when he had the first exchange, dana bash on capitol hill with our producer trying to get answers, and he would not give them answers up on capitol hill as you see that play out. a little bit forward, june 3rd, you were asking congressman weiner questions, was it him and did he send those photos and repeatedly he said he did not and had nothing to do with it and was trying to figure it out. fast forward to june 6th when the congressman made the admission at a news conference
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that he had sent the photographs and had inappropriate relationships with half a dozen women online. he was embarrassed then and said he would fight on. it was on june 13th the president of the united states that if he were congressman weiner, he would resign in an interview with nbc news and we're here today and are told by multiple sources that when the congressman walks into the room he'll announce he'll resigning his seat from the congress. at first he was defiant, that he was hacked and then he said it was him, apologized and wanted to fight on and now after days of pressure from the democratic leadership and conversations with his wife that anthony weiner will say he's resigning his seat, leaving politics for now. >> and a lot of folks, no doubt, will want to see if his wife, houma abedin, is standing at his side in this press conference or not. we'll stand by and see if she's there or not. jeffrey toobin is our legal analyst. he's joining us. any evidence at all, any
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suspicion at all that any criminal activity, any criminal wrongdoing occurred here other than a lot of stupid activity? >> none at all that i'm aware of. i mean, as you say, this is stupid. it is embarrassing. it is not surprisingly leading to the end of his political career, but in terms of criminal behavior or even the possibility of any sort of a civil lawsuit, i don't see it. i think he will be able to try to start his life anew, just in another line of work. >> the investigation from the house ethics committee that nancy pelosi asked for, now that he's resigning from congress, do you know what happens with that investigation? is it over with, or do the members continue? >> no, it ends, as war as i'm aware. the ethics committee only has jurisdiction over sitting members of congress. once he leaves the investigation is over, and even if that investigation were to go forward, the kind of remedies
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they can suggest are sanctions like a censure or removal from the house which would be moot in any case since he'd be gone by then. >> he will still be eligible though for his pension as a former member of congress, even though he's resigning under disgrace. i don't know if you know the law about that, but i assume he'll still be able to collect his pension. he's been 13 years a member of the house of representatives? >> oh, very much so. i mean, that actually often comes up in these congressional scandals is that if a member of congress resigns and there is no criminal activity, the member gets to keep his pension. there's no doubt about that. >> and he does have other money available for political purposes. we did some check, and just about this on my blog, on our website. i don't know if it's been posted yet. he has about $4.5 million in
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cash available to him, money he collected to run for mayor of new york and another $350,000 left over from his previous congressional campaign. now there's specific regulations how he can use that money. he's supposed to use it for political purposes and can return it to those who contributed to him or can give it to charity, but he has almost $5 million in political money. i think we just lost jeff. that's money. hold on a second. john, if he wants to make a political comeback, a year, two years, five years down the road, he can save that money, deep in the bank, almost $5 million and use it for a second chance, if you will. >> he can, and people will ask questions. maybe he'll get asked today what are you going to do with the money? i think he'll be asked do you plan on returning to politics? three months ago we would say he is considered a favorite if not
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the favorite to be the mayor of new york. he's scrappy, ambitious and abrasive which is one of the reasons he has few friends at this moment. the question now is will he take time off, do something to try to rehabilitate his image, whether it's a return to congress or some office in new york city or new york state, that will be a question. obviously he has a personal situation to deal with right now with his family. politically he'll give up his seat today, but he's 46 years oeshl old, an ambitious man. >> i wouldn't rule out a second chance. >> i don't know what you're hearing about other political ambitions. right now he's got serious issues he has to deal with with his friends, family and constituency, and himself, been in treatment trying to fix the problems that he's had, but $5 million in campaign cash that if he wants to some day will be available and he'll continue an obviously get that congressional pension, assuming he announces his resignation in the next
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several minutes. >> everybody in this country loves a comeback story, and his colleagues are also saying, wolf, even as we speak, they are telling our colleagues right off the house floor don't count him out in the future. right now he's got to take time and get himself help and deal with his family, with his wife and everything else, but they are saying, you know, don't rule him out. it's interesting because i think part of the issue with anthony weiner is that he didn't have a huge reservoir of goodwill here on capitol hill. he certainly was well known to those of us watch television a lot because he was on a lot. he was a very bombastic spokesman for his causes, for progressive causes, but to be honest he rubbed a lot of his colleagues the wrong way with how aggressive he was, and some of them actually told me he did a lot of grandstanding, so that actually did not help him at the end of the day when he was reaching out, for a long time, important to underscore, this has been going on for three
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weeks, first two and a half or so he was making clear to his colleagues that he believed that it was important for him to stay. he was dug in, as one of his colleagues, who actually talked to him said to me, but it was just the pressure that was mounting and the fact that so much kept coming out. it wasn't one photo. it was many photos and then reports of the actual text of what he was saying back and forth with some of the women he was corresponding with. it was the drip, drip, drip. that's what really pushed his leadership over the edge and the fact that he didn't have the greatest relationship with them didn't help. >> we don't know, dana, and maybe you do, but i don't know, whether his wife houma abedin who works for the secretary of state hillary clinton, whether she will be standing by his side in the news conference or even in the same room. do we have any idea? >> reporter: i will tell there you are no indications that she will be there. let's put it that way. we know that she did, according to our jason carroll outside anthony wooern's home in new
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york. she did come back to his home with him, but when he left for the press conference, assume he's on his way now, she wasn't with him and for those who know her that was not a big surprise. >> just came back with the secretary from a trip from the united arab emirates and africa. dana bash stand by, john king stand by. we're taking a break and awaiting his arrival in brooklyn, the news conference for the resignation of anthony weiner coming up. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made.
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mary, give us a little flavor of what's going on in that room in sheep's head bay in brooklyn at that snets center. >> reporter: well, it is jam-packed in here. were at the news conference ten days ago when anthony weiner said he had lied. i thought that was packed but this is even more so. dozens of cameras in this room and dozens of reporters easily. we're sitting in a room in the senior center, and there are also senior citizens who have come waiting for anthony weiner and this was given to him because he launched his political career here two decades ago when he ran for city council. reporters have been lining up and photographers for hours to get into this build, and as you said, dana was just reporting that jason carroll said he left his home from queens, takes half an hour, 45 minutes to get here,
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so everybody is just sitting here in this jam-packed room waiting for him to get to the podium. >> have his aides told you in addition to making a statement he'll then answer reporter questions as well? >> reporter: they have not said that. they have also not really answered the question of whether or not his wife will be with him when he gets here at the senior center in brooklyn. it's unclear if he's going to take questions after this or just read a statement. >> on the left part of the screen you see the arrival area outside the senior center, the senior citizens center? brooklyn. apparently his car has not arrive. once the car arrives he'll walk in and then on the right-hand side of your screen you can see the doorway where he'll walk into that room where all the cameras, all the reporters have gathered. this is a very, very dramatic moment indeed. it's almost traj inning, john, because as you've been pointing out, he was really the
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front-runner to become the next mayor of new york city after michael bloomberg. >> no member of house of representatives can draw a media crowd like this unless it's something sad or tragic or scandalous, like this. he was a rising star. mary just mentioned he was on the city council, a protege of senator chuck schumer of new york, someone who like anthony weiner can be combative and made a name for himself sparring with republicans. anthony weiner tried to fall into that suit. very compartive, sometimes abrasive and drew a lot of fans. many of the conversations with these women online started after they saw him on television and reached out to compliment him and said thanks for fighting the good fight when they would see him on the television taking issue with the republicans and defending the democratic agenda. he did get a name for himself in his city, district and state and also nationally and he also made
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enemies within his own caucus, speaker pelosi, didn't have a good communication strategy, not fighting the fight right and at a time when this forced him out where if he had a deeper reservoir of goodwill with the leadership, things may have gone better but he doesn't have that deep reservoir but he is aggressive, ambitious and will bow out with a resignation and as many of his associates and colleagues say this is closing one chapter, congressional career, and closing it in a horrible, horrible way. will he come back? that's an open question. >> new yorkers are very forgiving and for the same reason his abrasiveness, he was unpopular with many leaders here in washington. he was very popular with his constituents. they liked the fact that he was seen as a fighter for them. >> and you're talking about brooklyn, queens, a lot of blue collar working class neighborhoods. they are scrappy people. they like somebody who stands up and fights for themselves and for the district and the city.
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he was involved in all of those funding, homeland security money after 9/11 for new york and things like that. so, look, this is a sad chapter. most of what will happen is an important political story here. he is resigning his seat in congress. the governor will have to have a special election to replace him and that seat can be redrawn up in the redistricting part. that is all relevant, important political drama and political news and information. he'll walk away from this podium today, wolf, and he'll have some personal things to deal with that will not be so much in the public demaine. he's in the most rock 'n' roll media environment in the country so perhaps even after this he'll get a lot of attention and coverage, but most of what he'll have to deal with after he walks away today is best left to his private life and family life. it's an important political day, very important for the democratic leadership because they wanted this distraction to end and as quickly as possible. very interesting to see what he chooses to say here, and whether
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he decides to stay in there and take questions. >> it looks like they are getting ready for something, but i don't think he's arrived yet because you see on the left-hand side of the screen over there, that's where the car should pull up and he'll walk in. it won't take him very long to get out of the car and walk through the door and in the door on the right part of your screen and go into the news conference where the microphones are. i'm going to sneak in a quick break. we'll take a quick break. on the other side we'll await the arrival of congressman anthony weiner and his resignation speech. looking fo. salonpas has 2 powerful pain fighting ingredients that work for up to 12 hours. and my pharmacist told me it's the only otc pain patch approved for sale using the same rigorous clinical testing that's required for prescription pain medications. proven. powerful. safe. salonpas.
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we're told that anthony weiner, the congressman from new york, will be walking through that door very, very soon. maybe this is him. there he is right now. he's going up to the microphones to announce his resignation.
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>> good afternoon. about 20 years ago i stood in this very same room here at the council center and asked my neighbors for their help to take a chance on me and elect me to the city council. then some seven years later i asked those same people to join with people in queens in second me to congress. there is no higher honor in a democracy than being sent by your neighbors to represent them in the united states house of representatives. it is particularly humbling to represent this district because the communities and families of the ninth congressional district are hard working. they are patriotic. they are opinionated. they are authentic. i have never forgotten my neighbors because they represent
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the same middle class story as mine. i went to public schools my whole life. my mother was a schoolteacher for 32 years. my father went to law school on a gi bill. the middle class story of new york is my story, and i'm very proud of that. i'm here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes i have made and the embarrassment i have caused. i make this apology to my neighbors and my constituents, but i make it particularly to my wife houma. hi hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. unfortunately, the distraction that i have created has made that impossible so today i'm announcing my resignation from congress. so my colleagues can get back to
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work, my neighbors can choose a new representative and more importantly that my wife and i can continue to heal from the damage i have caused. >> throw him out. he's not with us. >> to repeat, most importantly, most importantly so that i can continue to heal from the damage that i have caused. i want to thank my colleagues in the house of representatives, democrats and republicans alike. they come from different places around the country, but fundamentally we all agree, they are all patriots and i will miss them all. thank you. i also want to express my gratitude to members of my staff. they are young people who are
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not paid very much. they are people who work very long and very hard hours. ultimately those people define the notion of service. i want to thank, of course, the many people who have helped me, the people who have volunteered, the people who have given my advice. the many of my constituents who have offered me good ideas, and, of course, i want to express my gratitude to my family. to my mother and father who instilled in me the values that carried me this far, my brother jason and my houma who has stood with me through this entire difficult period and to whom i owe so very much. i got into politics to help give voice to the many who simply did not have one. now i'll be looking for other ways to contribute my talents to make sure that we live up to that most new york and american of ideals, the idea that leaving a family, a community and ultimately a country is the one thing that all unites us, the one thing we're all focused on. with god's help and hard work we will all be successful.
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thank you and good afternoon. >> so there you have it. he spoke for almost exactly four minutes answering no questions, apologizing once again, formally announcing he's resigning as a united states member of the house of representatives, anthony weiner. didn't break down and cry. got a little bit emotional. you heard one heckler in the back screaming out, not unusual in this kind of situation. explaining first and foremost that he apologized to his wife houma. they have been married for a little bit less than one year, and as many of our viewers know that she is pregnant with their first child. john king, you were just watching together with all. other viewers who are out there. you know, a lot of us thought he was just going to issue a statement on paper. he came out and made the statement to his constituents and to all of us, but he didn't stick around for questions which
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was probably smart. >> probably smart for him. can you tell that was a feisty room. there was at least one heckler int who interrupted. the fact that he said here in this senior citizens center is where i began my political career, i think some will take from that that he's trying to close a circle and close this chapter and say he's done with his congressional career. he did say he wants to find ways to continue to contribute, that he hoped he'd be forgiven by his constituents. are there seeds of a potential anthony weiner comeback in that? sure, can you make that conclusion if that's where you want to go. today, the main point you mentioned at the beginning and the end he apologized again to his wife, thanked her for standing by him. of course, we've not seen her.
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he'll put back together his life and then we'll see if there's a future in politics. >> dana bash, you said you informed the former speaker of the house nancy pelosi last night and steve israel, congressman from new york, informed him of the decision that was announced today. to me just reading the body language, hearing what he had to say, would i by no means rule out at some point down the road, a year from now, five years from now, anthony weiner, it's in his blood, might seek political office once again. >> i don't think anybody should rule that out. i think you're exactly right. what was striking watching this press conference where he formally announced where he was
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resigning, the difference between this and before, referencing the pictures that he originally said he did not sent, was choked up and after that i spoke to several sources throughout the week that he was like that privately on the phone, trying to plead with his colleagues and friends to give him some space, to apologize, very, very, very emotional, in a state of despair i was told, even turbulent, but when he made the call late yesterday to democrat inning leaders, that had changed and that he was much more composed, resolved and that -- after he had made the decision to go ahead and resign, that was the anthony weiner we just saw in this press conference, very different. i'm not sure that he's at peace with his decision, but he obviously realizes he had to make it and at least publicly now his emotional state seems to
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be different. >> yeah, it certainly does. dana, stand by. john, stand by. want to take a break. reaction is beginning to pour in already. we'll update you on what's going on with the fallout from anthony weiner's resignation. much more after this. every patient's past. and because the whole hospital's working together, there's a family who can breathe easy, right now. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest healthcare questions. and the over 60,000 people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers.
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when he was elected to congress in 1998, now 13 years later, he's no longer a member of the house of representatives. anthony weiner, the congressman from new york, has just resigned. cnn's mary snow was there in brooklyn at that senior citizens center. it got sort of ugly at one point. he only delivered about a four-minute statement but at one point some heckler started screaming at him. what happened? >> reporter: yeah. wolf, it was hard for me to hear at certain points what anthony weiner was saying. at several points a heckler stood up and anthony weiner has supporters here in this room, a number of seniors were sitting here waiting for him to came in and booed the heckler, the same thing that happened with the news conference, a heckler there. i believe it's the same person. he didn't stop or acknowledge the person. he just kept going and it did
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get pretty angry where people were telling him to shut up basically and eventually the police came in and escorted him away, but it was so short, the statement, that it was over, and, you know, a lot of people were standing up like wondering what happened. a very sad end. >> some of the seniors there were actually supporting him and were expressing their sadness that he was stepping down. >> reporter: exactly, and, you know, this room, this center has significance for him, as he just pointed out. he launched his political career here when he ran for city council and said he came back when he ran for congress, so, you know, this had meaning for him and a number of seniors, he's been very popular in this distribute. spoke to a couple of people today who say they wanted him to say, but they said they felt he couldn't stay. he had no choice but to step down and they questioned his effectiveness, but they said he was very sorry to see him go.
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>> he was only 26 years old, 20 years ago when he was elected to the city council in new york. 20 years later now he's giving up politics, at least for now. mary, stand by. jeffrey toobin joins us. you're a longtime observer of new york politics. you live in new york. did you sense, as i did, that he was perhaps thinking down the road that he could make a political comeback at some point assuming he gets his personal life straightened out? >> well, i think like most politicians he was keeping his options open. i mean, my experience with politicians is ambition dies when they do, so he's got -- he's a young man. only 46 years old, but, you know, i think that is really off in the future, if at all. you know, the other factor as a new yorker that i would like to point out that this district, unlike a lot of other congressional districts in this area, is not an overwhelmingly democratic district. there are many districts in new york city where the democrat
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wins 80%, 90% of the vote, but against token opposition anthony weiner only won 60% of the vote in 2010, and it is not inconceivable that a well-financed republican challenge could make this a very competitive race in the special election that governor cuomo has to call in the next 70 or 80 days, so the democrats have to be careful, that they have to nominate someone who is a good candidate because this is not an automatic seat for the democrats. >> not even an automatic seat given the fact that new york state is losing two seats in the next election because of the population decline. this could be one seat that's eliminated. could be a big fight in albany. stand by for that. another quick break and our continuing coverage right after this.
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anthony weiner is now a former member of the u.s. house
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of representatives. he's announced his resignation after that scandal involving sexting, as it's called. reaction coming in. let's bring in our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. what are you getting there, dana? >> reporter: a mixture of sadness and relief i think is probably the best way to summarize the reaction we're getting, particularly from the democratic leadership. anthony weiner's fellow democrats. john larson chairman of the federal democrats in the house said it's difficult to watch the self-destruction of a friend and watch the witness of the breaking of hearts over what can be categorized as reprehensible behavior and bad judgment. larson is someone who did not publicly say that weiner should resign. he said it was up to constituents but many of the other democratic leaders and rank and file did say so. steve israel is a friend and a colleague of anthony weiner's from new york. he is also in charge of getting democrats elected in 2012. he was i think a bit more pointed in his statement. he said that it's right for him
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and his family because there's a lot of work to do in congress, and it talked about medicare and social security and some of the issues that democrats really felt that they were getting some traction on, wolf, and getting back on their feet politically until this anthony weiner scandal broke, and so that is a big reason and big indication, an illustration of why democrats were so ultimately eager for him to just go so that they could move on and talk about what was politically beneficial, not politically scandal. >> dana broke the story for all of our viewers early this morning. dana, thanks very much. john king is here with us. a huge collective sigh of relief coming in from democrats now. they think this is over with. now they can go on. go on the offensive and start resuming their attacks on republicans, shall we say on medicare. >> on medicare, on priorities, on spending cuts. the democrats thought they were gaining ground and traction on the medicare budget argument and the timing is important, not just for the votes in the budget, but steve israel is recruiting candidates all across the country. nancy pelosi believes she can
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win the speaker's gavel back in the 2012 cycle. you'll have all the house seats back in play. imagine you're steve israel trying to recruit wolf blitzer to run for congress and he maybe has a great job in the state legislature, do i want to run in this environment? if steve israel can say we're gaining ground on the budget and medicare, we're on offense, that's a good position. if you go am i going to be asked about anthony weiner, is this still out there, is he going to stay in congress? it makes someone reluctant. it was a distraction around the country when they have work to do for 2012. >> a lot easier to be in the majority than the minority. >> yes, it is. >> our coverage will continue here in the cnn "newsroom." right after this.
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and welcome back to "cnn
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newsroom," everyone. most of everything that we know about casey anthony and the death of her 2-year-old daughter caylee has come from prosecutors, but her defense lawyers began making their case today, and they came out swinging with some shocking details, including a paternity test of casey's brother and a bizarre request at a convicted kidnapper to their list of witnesses. take a look here. this is a live picture inside the trial right now. i want to bring in richard herman along with us here, criminal defense attorney with a lot of experience in cases like this for some perspective. richard, casey anthony's defense called its first witness, a crime scene investigator and fbi expert. what was interesting was they did not find any blood or dna or casey's clothes or in her car or duct tape found on caylee's remains on her skull so how important is that for jurors, do you think, keeping in mind that prosecutors say caylee was suffocated? >> well, that's great, randi, no chloroform either in her clothes
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or room, but, you know, the intent is to put on defense experts to counter the prosecution experts and confuse the jury so that in summation you can say to the jury, hey, look, if you're confused, if you don't know which version of events took place, if you don't know if the duct tape went on before she died or after she died or if you don't know how she died or when she died or where she died, you know, that's reasonable doubt and, therefore, you must acquit. >> another thing they brought up today and a lot of us were surprised by this. we were surprised to learn that the fbi did a paternity test to see if lee anthony, casey's brother, was caylee's father. the expert says that lee is not caylee's dad, with you the defense brought it up anyway, so i want you to listen to this with me, and then i have another question about it. >> were you asked to conduct a paternity test for lee anthony as being the potential father? >> mr. lee anthony and george anthony can be excluded as
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potential fathers for caylee but you asked that question suggesting that law enforcement specifically inquired is not a good faith question. >> so clearly, richard, the prosecutor was angry, so why did the defense bring this up? this was just minutes before the jurors went to lunch. i mean, what's the strategy here? >> you know, the strategy, he's fighting for her life, randi. he's going to do anything and everything he can to try to repulse the jury about other people in addition to casey, so if he can try to prove this theory of this sort of sexual misconduct or sexual abuse, that's where he's going, but, randi, i have to tell you, that's an absolute horrible road for them to go down, because first of all, they can't prove it unless she tests, and who is going to believe her, first of all, but even if they did. even if she said that and experts got on the stand and said, oh, yeah, she's abused, a serial xultsive liar and maybe that's grounds for her to be
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able to kill her kid. nobody is going to believe that. no reasonable rational juror is going to buy that theory of defense. that's why baez was stupid in the opening to open with that line. >> just quickly, want to ask you about this ex-con and what's up with this guy. he's a convicted felon and claimed in court documents he's linked somehow to casey anthony's father. they have some phone records. why bring this guy up? why do you think the defense wants to question him? >> i think he's a disneyland baez. i think he's not in the courtroom. who is this guy? there may be phone calls, maybe not some phone calls. does he dream that this guy is going to get on the stand to say that george asked him to kidnap the body. i don't know where they are going with this but it's a ed end. >> glad you're with us on the very first day as we hear from
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the very first witnesses for the defense team. thank you very much. >> thank you. in most states it's legal to smoke in a car with a window rolled up and a child in the back. well, some states have outlawed it. is that a good idea or government infringement? today's dream team will tackle that topic next. when an investment lacks discipline, it's never this obvious. introducing investment discipline etfs from russell. visit r a prospectus, containing the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other information. read and consider it carefully before investing.
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welcome back. so a new york lawmaker is proposing legislation that would ban smoking in cars for children present. the ban would apply to adults with kids under the age of 14 in the car, even when the windows are rolled down. new york would join arkansas, california, louisiana and maine as states with some type of ban on smoking with children in the car. most of these states consider it a secondary offense, meaning motorists cannot be charged unless they are stopped for some other moving violation. there is little doubt secondhand smoke kills, but is it just too easy to beat up on smokers?
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new york state has already band smoking on beaches, pedestrian plazas and in parks, so just how far is too far when it comes to smoking bans. that's the question that i'll ask today's dream team. with us today lisa bloom an attorney and author of this fabulous book "think, straight talk for women to stay smart in a dumped-down world" and audrey silk joins us and pete dominic, host of standup with pete dominic on sirius xm. pete, i'll start with you. let's talk about the smoking ban with a kid in the car. should you, do you think, be able to smoke in the car with that child, even with the window down? >> no, no, you shouldn't be able to, because we're not talking about secondhand smoke in terms of cancer. we're talking about the effect smoke has when it exasperates your asthma and ear infections and other conditions. we have proof for this. if you can't wait until you get home to have a cigarette and
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you're a selfish and bad parent, i'm sorry, but if you believe mandating seat belt use and booster seats and child seats, you have to agree with this one. there's no way around this. government has to protect innocent children who can say mommy, i'd like to get out of car. >> they put that age limit ton because those kids may not be old enough to have a voice. audrey, you're for smokers rights. are you against a ban for smoking with kids in the car? >> i would like to take issue with there is no doubt that secondhand smoke kills, there is a doubt and it's still controversial. do you want them to come into our homes next? >> one at a time, audrey. >> you know what. you're not going to jump on me here. i'm going to have my time which i normally no do not get. >> don't say i said something i didn't say. >> it's not -- seat belts are vehicle-specifics, inherent
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dangers of driving our cars. we don't have seat belts on our couches, nothing to do with smoking in our car. if you want to ban smoking in our car with our kids, you want to ban it in our homes. parental autonomy should trump government intrusion. if a child has as marks i'm sure that parent won't smoke. there's even an anti-smoking activist all for the indoor ban who says it's ridiculous and that it's government overreach. >> let me give lisa her time now. lisa, how can this work even legally if it goes through? smoking may be a personal right so how can they enforce this? >> it does work, and it's actually not a right, it's a privilege. here in california, it works just fine. i mean, for those who think this is some kind of violation of their rights. why can't we hand kids a pack of cigarettes, right. we ban smoking by kids under the age 18. why not hand them the cigarette, the effects of secondhand smoking are really clear.
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only the tobacco industry continues to have some doubt but the science is overwhelming. >> that is so not true. >> frankly it just makes sense. you've got to protect the health of children. >> pete, your turn to weigh in? >> what -- >> who is this? where do we find this person that would possibly make the argument that anyone is advocating for seat belts in couches? this is one of the craziest things i've ever heard. we're talking about protecting children. >> we have seat belts in car. that's vehicle inherent danger. smoking is everywhere. >> that's what we're talking about. >> vehicle inherent danger. >> audrey, lisa, we do have to wrap up. >> can i say one more quick thing. >> all of you have had a fair amount of time. we do have to go from there. obviously a very hot topic and very interesting to debate with all of them. meanwhile, "cnn newsroom" will continue with brooke
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