tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 5, 2013 1:00am-2:00am PST
involving a leading u.s. senator. also tonight what kind of couple were there? jodi arias offering graphic testimony about travis alexander, the man she is painting as a sexual aggressor a physical abuser and a man she says she still loved until the day she killed him. dennis rodman and a man he says is a friend. why the former nba star put on a show nor kim jong un. we are keeping him honest with laura ling and her sister. we begin with breaking news. evidence of a damaging allegation was made up. we know part of the plot was fabricated by a member of the oldest profession, a prostitute for the world's best known motive, money. the senator is answering questions about flights to the dominican republic. the explosive charges have to do with what he did while there.
the conservative website, the daily caller first reported them. the site running video from nameless video who say they had sex with the senator for money. the charges are serious enough that we sent drew griffin to the dominican republic to investigate. >> reporter: a rundown brothel in santa domingo is hardly the place for serious journalism and yet here we are knocking on its door. and finding yet another mysterious clue leading to another closed door. hello. >> drew found nothing to corroborate the allegations and neither did the fbi. tonight cnn has obtained evidence. affidavits from one of the women who appeared saying it was all a put up job saying she was paid to make the tape and has never met senator men endez in her life.
also with us carol lenig of the "washington post" who also wrote the story. a lawyer gave a script to another lawyer who found a prostitute to read it? it seems confusing? >> it sounds really fantasticical especially when we were given some of these documents. when we read them and my colleague translated them, what we saw was that a woman who described herself as an escort said she was approached by a lawyer with her coworker. they were asked if they would go to a hoe room and read some language aloud which they did. that lawyer who they identified has gone to the court with them in the dominican republic and said he was also hoodwinked, that a second lawyer told him he needed a videotape of women saying they have been unfaithful with a particular client and this client had been unfaithful against his wife.
that he was a divorce lawyer and when the tape surfaced at "the daily caller" it became big news in the dominican republic and this escort said, wait a minute, that's us, we didn't realize we were slandering a u.s. senator and one of his most important donors when we were just reading this stuff aloud. >> in early february dana bash asked about these allegations. i want to play that for our viewers. >> it is amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a website can drive that type of story into the mainstream. that is what they have done successfully. nobody can find them. no one talked to them but that is where we are at. so the bottom line is all of those smears are absolutely false and that's the bottom line. >> what is the senator's office saying about this tonight? >> they are not jumping for joy. the senator was at the capitol today.
the only thing menendez says he knows about this story is what he read in the news media. he also says he has been saying all along that there was nothing to this. at least part of the story apparently they are feeling pretty vindicated. >> is there a sense of why this escort is changing her story, coming out with what she says is truth now? there are those who say maybe she was telling truth the first time around and now under pressure, she's just reversing it. >> i don't think this is a case of a person changing her testimony based solely on the affidavit. she basically said she had no idea she was being taped. that that was surreptitious. and that the lawyer who was the intermediary thought he was doing anything untoward and did not realize it was about a u.s. senator. in the tape the women are asked whether they recognize a particular person. they are not asked to identify a u.s. senator. they are asked do you recognize
this guy, and they tell a crazy story about how they said they wanted $500 and only got $100. they will be in court tomorrow morning in the dominican republic seeking protective immunity saying they were the unwitting dupes in this smear campaign. anderson, you asked the perfect question, what's really behind this? that we don't know yet. if we take this woman and this lawyer's word for it there is something bigger behind this in terms of somebody who hired that lawyer to get this rolling. >> certainly there is a lot more to be learning. in terms of the larger investigation, the senator's troubles are far from over. there are other allegations. >> there is a wide range investigation going on into the senator's dealings with his friend, dr. malgan, florida eye doctor, questions about alleged health care fraud. dr. melgon was a big contributor to senator menendez. didn't pay for two of the trips
until it spilled out into the open. there is a potential question for the ethics committee. a lot for the investigators to chew on, anderson. >> carol, i appreciate the work you and your colleagues have done, joe, you as well. drew griffin's search for the women in question has been attempts to meet face to face with a shadowy tipster. >> this story is from an anonymous e-mailer who is selectively pushing out these tips. you and your producer got one of these e-mails. >> we got a cryptic e-mail. from a p. williams. we were able to take the i.p. address and tracted it down to santa domingo. we would like to find you. we would like to see what evidence you have that can back up any of these claims. that is what brought us to the dominican republic. >> and the story from there you
were searching for the mystery man. >> who really did turn out to be a mystery man. we didn't want to put any of these allegations, of course, on the air until we found this guy. so we wound up going to all of these cryptic spots, the prostitution house, the attorney's house and the various spots where we were supposedly going to find the information or perhaps even find p. williams. the mystery man turned out to be a mystery man who has remained anonymous and charges and allegations don't add up. >> when you look over these affidavits, do you have any clue who the mastermind is behind the effort to smear the senator with the prostitution claims? >> i can tell you from my sources that they are not close to finding out who is the quote/unquote master mind. who is peter williams? what this prostitute allegedly says is she was put up to this given a script and told to read the script by a very low level attorney that quite frankly we tried to chase for three days in the dominican republic.
the guy never showed up to his office while we were in town. i know that cnn has tried to contact him again by phone tonight and he still is not answering. the authorities in the dominican republic believe these were the pawns who were probably working for p. williams or whoever is behind p. williams but it is not p. williams. >> and the investigation continues. thanks. let us know what you think. follow me on twitter at anderson cooper. i'm tweeting about this already. the former all star nba defender dennis rodman, talking about his new friend, north korea's dictator who runs prison camps and threatens the world with missile power. we will talk to laura ling in who was in prison in north korea for nearly five months and her sister lisa, who fought for her release.
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keeping them honest tonight with a guy talking about his new buddy. >> he is a good guy to me. he's my friend. >> he's my friend. that is dennis rodman. and this is dennis rodman new friend. his name is kim. dennis is a pro basketball hall of famer. kim is not. he has other hobbies. he is a fan. when dennis, members of the globetrotters visited him last week. mr. kim and his crew showed their affection for the player and the game. dennis tweeted they love basketball here. honored to represent the united states of america here. here in this case is north korea. kim is the new dictator, kim jong-un. his other hobbies include testing nuclear weapons and threatening to use them on dennis's home and i'll let the
spokesman finish my thought. >> in the upcoming action, a new phrase lasting century after century will target against the u.s., the sworn enemy of the korean people. >> not very friendly, is it? kim jong-un also maintains a whole network of concentration camps where tens of thousands of people are housed and die of starvation and disease and neglect and execution. kim jong-un is belligerent to the u.s. according to human rights watch, kim's rise to power has had, quote, no positive impact on the country's dire human rights record. nearly 2,000 are decimated including children dieing, concentration camps really. many spend their entire lives behind barbed wire. outside the wire this is a country with a history of government imposed mass starvation that continues to this day.
millions died in the 90s. old people abandoned for lack of food and children being killed. and eaten. when they take a political prisoner and send them to a concentration camp they send three generations of that person's family. it is the only country in the world with this punishment. that and always random terror imprisonment any of which would make a chilling backdrop to dennis rodman's visit and makes a mockery of the p.r. footage and happy tweets. rodman appeared on abc's "this week" defending his friend and the trip. >> i don't condone what he does. as far as person to person, he's my friend. as far as what he does -- >> someone who hypothetically is a murder and your friend is still a murderer.
>> what i did was history, was history against what? it's just like we do over here in america, right? we have presidents here that do the same thing. it is amazing that bill clinton can have sex with his secretary and get away with it and be powerful. >> how can you compare that to prison camps? >> we don't need do one thing. object that. we do one thing. a friend to friend. a friend to friend. he is a friend to me and that's about it. >> he doesn't make any sense. he says he is going back and says kim jong-un wants president obama to call him. >> the united states has direct channels of communications with the dprk. instead of spending money or celebrity sporting events to entertain the elites the north korea regime should focus on the well being of its own people who have been starved, imprisoned and denied their human rights.
>> the rodman event is expected to earn a corporate event on hbo. >> with me is laura and lisa ling detained in north korea, jailed, interrogated and sentenced to 12 years hard labor before bill clinton and others secured their freedom. laura and her sister lisa write about the ordeal. appreciate both of you being with us. as someone who has seen the brutality first hand, when you hear dennis rodman call him a friend, great guy, what did you think? >> i think that who really takes dennis rodman seriously? and it's all pretty absurd but the fact that he was a guest of kim jong un who was wining and dining him and showed him the best that pyongyang had to offer, i wasn't exactly shocked
by it, let's say. it's dennis rodman after all. >> i just finished a story about a young man born into a concentration camp where rape is commonplace. this is a country with three generations of punishment. they don't just punish the alleged threat. they kidnap and imprison their children, their parents. do you think dennis rodman has any idea what north korea is really like? >> after watching him this weekend i don't think he had any clue. i don't think he would have talked about kim jong-un or the north korean regime so effusively had he known. as laura said, i don't know that anyone has ever really taken dennis rodman seriously. what he did do that no other american has been able to do is have direct interaction with the man who leads the most reclusive and isolated country in the world. and that was some invaluable information. when laura and her colleague
were detained in north korea, president clinton went over to secure their release and much of the world thought that kim jong-il, kim jong un's father was on his death bed. for dennis rodman to secure that kind of information in some ways is pretty invaluable. >> laura, is there a danger, though, in kind of giving people around the world misperceptions of what life in north korea is like? i mean, most north koreans aren't going to be able to attend a basketball game like the folks in that stadium who i imagine were high party officials or had one reason or another that they were able to be there. a lot of north koreans i have talked to who have escaped concentration camps are upset that the media focuses on the new younger leader with his wife and pictures of them visiting amusement parks and gives a misperception of what life is
like for most people. >> kim jong-un is trying to portray himself as this more jovial leader. more in the vein of his grandfather, kim all ul sung. and we are sort of guilty of it when we shine the light on this dennis rodman visit because that's the information that is disseminated whereas we should be focusing on the human rights abuses taking place in that country. i do think that for people who don't know anything about north korea, here is a chance for us to talk about it and to talk about the misinformation and how ill informed dennis rodman may have been and probably was and the true nature of what is going on inside that country. >> lisa, to your point about relationships also being important. obviously the relationships that some americans manage to build up were a big factor in your sister's release and were helpful. it seems like rodman missed an
opportunity and maybe he did make an effort to mention the fate of an american being held in north korea named kenneth bay. and i don't know that anyone on the rodman camp or who was with them broached that topic when they were sitting around the basketball court with kim jong-un. >> one can only hope that the experience that kim jong-un had with these americans was so positive that he might consider being merciful and allowing the american who has been there since november to be released. i think any opportunity to try and engage this regime could be perceived as positive or could be productive, let's just say. and having confirmation that he has this fascination is i think unique. >> laura, i appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. lisa, i know you are due any day now. i wish you well and thank you for taking the time to talk to us. >> thanks, anderson. coming up a toddler who may
have made medical history. researchers say she was born with hiv and is now cured. does her case raise new hopes for other babies with hiv, for everybody with hiv? we'll talk to dr. anthony fouch chi from the national institutes of health. today we saw where the deadly florida sink hole looks like. it swallowed a 37-year-old man. the story has a lot of people worrying about a natural hazard. david mattingly will take us inside another sinkhole. you can see how somebody can disappear inside one. we'll be right back.
jodi arias back on the stand with her murder trial. more tawdry details about her sex life. we will take a look at today's testimony and talk about an interesting twist that could be on the way when we continue. ♪ ...as it is being there. ♪ [ birds chirping ] away is where the days are packed with wonder... ♪
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florida home last thursday and took the life of a man named jeff bush. we spoke with his brother shortly after the nightmare began. >> i ran towards my brither's bedroom because i heard my brother scream. i ran to the bedroom. i went to open the door and run in and i saw there was no floor there. everything was gone, my brother's bed and dresser, my brother's tv. my brother was gone. and this big hole all you could see was barely his bed. and i jumped in the hole to try to take him out and got a shovel and started trying to dig him out. i thought i heard him screaming for my help. i thought i heard him asking me for help. i tried and tried and tried digging him out and i was screaming and screaming for him. and i couldn't get him out. i tried so hard.
i tried everything i could. >> back then he wanted emergency crews to do more to rescue his brother. today he wants them to do more to recover his brother's remains. >> they have a hard time pulling concrete up. the ground was still stable. you have the long arm. have somebody hang from the arm and try to dig my brother out. >> you want somebody to find him. >> i don't want anybody else's life at risk. if it is that dangerous, i don't want nothing to happen to anybody else. >> about three miles away it is happening again. the ground opening up between two homes. no damage either. joining unique perspective is david mattingly inside another sink hole in florida. you are inside one. >> that's right, anderson. look how big this one is. you could put a basketball court inside this sinkhole it's so big.
we wanted to find out what sort of forces were in play and get an idea about how these amazing geologic structures are created. we came down here looked for answers and we found them 50 feet beneath the surface. >> reporter: it is a few short steps down to an incredible underground site. >> this was the original cavity that collapsed in. >> reporter: a massive sink hole carved out of solid limestone by drops of water. so this is what a sink hole looks like from the inside? >> from the inside, yes, before you fill it up with san and dirt. >> reporter: if someone were living on top of this they would be at risk. >> yes. >> reporter: geologist says sunshine state home owners might be surprised to find out how common these are. >> what are the chances of someone having a house in central florida and living on top of something like this? >> very good. not as probably as close to the surface as this but you definitely have cavities of this size all over the state of
florida. >> fossils found in this sink hole show it has been around since the ice age but no different from the sink holes we see opening up today. these are just a few of the pictures. one thing they all have in common is water. >> rain water is going to turn into ground water and that is what is naturally sitting. that is the device that dissolves the limestone and will help create the cavities. >> reporter: what is unusual about the sink hole, it is easy to get inside, called the devil's den it is open to tourists for viewing and diving. i find that this pool of water is anything but classic. this dive instructor takes me down for a look. >> the water has gone down because of the aquifer and has risen another 45 feet. >> 45 feet? >> 45 feet. >> reporter: so the water is constantly going up or down. down here it is easy to see how fluctuating ground water has
silently wreaked havoc. i have passed by boulders as big as cars sitting on the bottom and the forces are still at work compounded by the demand for fresh water. >> it is progressively dropping yearly. and that is basically the whole state of florida. the aquifer is getting lower and lower. >> reporter: perhaps most striking to me how appearances of the sink hole are so misleading. a single beam of sunlight reveals the cavern is bigger below the water line with tunnels and passage ways deep into the darkness. >> it is incredible to see like that. do you know how deep that one is? and also how many there are in florida? >> reporter: well, there are thousands across the state of florida. literally, thousands that pop up every single year. the state keeps a loose track of them. people call in to report them when they happen. think about this.
we were talking about how deceptive these things are when you look at their size. there is much more to this cavern below the water level than up here where i am standing. look up top. the hole that opened up when the sink hole was formed you see the size of that and you see how large this whole cavern is underneath it. so when you see a sink hole opened up on the surface there is so much more going on down below that we never see. >> you get a sense how a person can disappear. how doctors say they have cured a baby with hiv. you may have seen the headlines. what exactly does that mean? we will take a look at that. plus she says she loved her ex-boyfriend even on the day she killed him. new testimony from admitted killer, jodi arias. we will take you inside the courtroom.
a lot of excitement and skepticism about a mississippi toddler who appears to make medical history. you maybe saw headlines about this today. we don't know her name. researchers say she appears to be the first baby to be cured of hiv. she was treated with high doses of anti retro viral drugs shortly after she was born. she was just 30 hours old when she started getting the drugs. within weeks the virus was undetectable in her blood. she stayed on the drugs for about 15 months. she is now 2 1/2 years old and has no detectable traces of hiv and is off the drugs. it is a dramatic response and possibly historic. it is important to point out it is one case and experts caution that further research is needed.
dr. fauch chi is with the national institutes of health. is this baby really 100% cured of hiv? is there a chance it could come back? >> the people who have been studying the baby have done everything that we can possibly do to determine if there is virus that is viable or replicating in the infant and the baby. and they can't find it. they can see remnants of virus that doesn't look like it is live virus. the trouble is that you can't access every single nook and corner in the person's body so it is conceivable, unlikely but quite conceivable that there may be virus that is there that might be able to resurge and come back and rebound in a year or two. that is why you have to be cautious if you say this is an absolute definitive cure. from all of the techniques that we know, we can call it a cure. >> what is different about how this baby was treated after being born. my understanding is she was given medication within 30 hours or something versus how babies who are born to hiv positive
mothers are normally treated? >> generally they get some degree of prenatal care. if you discover that a mother is infected you treat the mother with a combination of drugs. you give the baby six weeks of prophylaxis and try to determine if the baby is infected. if after six weeks you find the baby is not infected, you stop that prophylaxis. if the baby is infected, then you give the aggressive three drug therapy. the difference in this case was because of the high risk to this infant because the mother had no prenatal care and treatment the judgment call was to treat the baby immediately as if the baby were infected and they did make the right call because the baby turned out to be infected. what happened is because they treated the baby so early, within 30 hours, they found out
that when the mother on her own discontinued the therapy after 18 months, the baby was quite well and there was no indication that the baby was infected. >> and the idea was that with the baby because you treated the treatment so aggressively so quickly no reservoir of hiv was able to form? >> exactly. or if it was formed it was so small that after a period of time it an ten ated itself whereas an adult who is infected for months to a year and then goes on to therapy, could have a reservoir. the real problem is in the developing world where you don't have the easy access to prenatal care the way this woman in mississippi didn't have. she may have had access but she didn't utilize it. >> how much of a hot topic of focus is the idea of a cure among scientists? >> it is growing to be a much hotter topic than it has been because of the advances that we have with such good drugs and
being able to suppress the virus so well. can we cure people where they don't have to be on life long therapy? there has been an extensive acceleration of research. >> if your gut -- you've been working in this area for so long, do you believe a functional cure will be found in the near term? >> i think if this proves it is applicable and not just this individual case within a few years you can have the ability to be able to cure a baby by aggressively treating them. i think the idea of an adult who has been infected for years that in order to get that person cured i think we are still in the discovery phase where we don't know exactly how we are going to do that. >> dr. fauch i, i appreciate your expertise. thanks for being was. the jodi arias trial was back in full swing today with the accused murderer back on the stand.
jodi arias was back on the stand in arizona today where she is on trial for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, travis alexander. after four days of cross examination, arias is answering questions in the redirect. the interesting part of this trial is the juror will have a chance to ask her questions through the judge. for now today was focused on her
sex life. randi kaye was there. some of the testimony is graphic. >> reporter: after a damaging week on cross examination the first order of business for jodi arias's defense team was knocking down any hint at premeditation. >> did you go to mr. alexander's home on june 4th with the intent on killing him? >> no, i didn't. >> reporter: another attempt to convince the jury she murdered travis alexander in self defense. testimony quickly turned to her broken finger on her left hand. the prosecution has tried to prove she hurt her finger while stabbing her ex-boyfriend dozens of times and dragging his bloody body around the house. her defense lawyer offered a show-and-tell. >> and that is an injury you incurred when you testified to having received when mr. alexander was kicking you in the ribs and he ended up kicking
your hand, correct? >> that's correct. >> reporter: she says alexander broke her finger six months before the murder, the day after she caught him allegedly masturbating to a photo of a little boy. she claims he became increasingly violent after that. even though the couple had broken up she says she and alexander continued to have sex. but she wasn't the only one alexander was seeing. the state has painted her as jealous and obsessive. here she portrayed herself as unfazed by this other woman. she even asked alexander about her. >> i didn't want to be confrontational. i wanted to let him know it is okay if you are painting someone. you can let me know. >> again the couple's sex life was on full display. the defense worked to convince the jury it was alexander and not arias who was more experienced sexually. listen to this recording of the couple's phone sex played in court. >> you cannot say i don't work
that booty. we had two and three-hour sessions many times. >> there was also this encounter about oral sex in the car >> did he do anything to make you believe this wasn't his first encounter of this nature? >> yes. he flipped the visor down and angled the mirror so that he can have an additional visual vantage point. >> reporter: what about the text message she sent alexander saying she wanted to dress up like a horny little school girl. >> was that idea something that you were interested in or something you were doing to please him? >> it would be more for his pleasure because just being with him was enough for me. but he enjoyed that kind of stuff. >> reporter: all along the prosecutor has painted arias as the one who unleashed alexander's sexual appetite. the defense tried to counter that.
>> based on what you have told us in your testimony before you met travis in your sexual history, you would have had anal sex no more than four times? is that accurate? >> that is accurate. >> reporter: what to make of the strange behavior at the memorial service. she left him a note telling him she loved him. this was less than two weeks after she slit his throat. nearly cutting his head off. >> i still have love for him, yes. and i was thinking now more in terms of eternity. >> reporter: she told the court she had deep love for alexander on june 4, 2008, the day she killed him. randi kaye, cnn, phoenix, arizona. >> joining me is jeffrey toobin and also mark geragos. co-author of the book "mistrial: an inside look at how the
criminal justice system works and sometimes doesn't." were you surprised that she was on the stand again and will be there tomorrow. on friday, you were saying the defense should get her on there and get her off as quickly as possible. >> you would think so. there may be a method to this madness. the more she is on there the more she resonates. all you need is one juror. i think it is a gender kind of a split. the longer she is up there the more she will turn off most males. i think there are women who can understand or at least appreciate what she is talking about. >> i actually would draw the opposite conclusion. i think it is possible that some women jurors are often very tough on women, particularly in rape cases, in consent issues, i don't think it's necessarily men who will be harder, i think it's women.
>> i agree. i think that's why they dressed her down and frumped her up. women are harder on women. there is a developing sense even in the beginning when she was on direct that women were starting to say i kind of understand that. you start to see that. >> her story is that she feared for her life and that is why she killed this guy. we haven't heard much about that fear. >> remember years ago with the murder out in california with the twinkie defense that people said was so outrageous. it is the vehicle to get in the testimony so that the person gets some kind of empathy, sympathy or resonates with the jury. >> it must be because it certainly doesn't sound like self-defense that all of this evidence about their sex life, how that relates to the issue of self-defense is lost on me. i think it is designed to paint a picture that might generate some sympathy. i think they ought to get her off -- >> there are cases where you have this dynamic where it
escalates. it is domestic violence. there is always this -- i find after you talk to the jurors especially or people following the trial they get into this thing. they don't care about the facts. it is whether the other person reminds them of an abusive ex-boyfriend. you are talking about 12 people and all kinds of things can play in their decision. >> so keep her up there. that is the thinking. keep her up there and hopefully it will resonate over time. >> you do get to know someone. that's the thing about testimony this long. you get to know a personality. and then to ask jurors who know a person to sentence that person to die is -- >> how do you think she has held up on the stand? we saw her breaking down when cornered on thursday where we saw her lies caught up with her. she is pretty composed on the stand pushing back even the prosecutor. >> she has a weird affect that is sort of half smiles that are
all the time. her story to me is so preposterous that it is hard to evaluate her as a witness independent of the fact that she slaughtered this guy and stabbed him 27 times and nearly cut his head off. the demure librarian on the witness stand is hard to match up. >> there are no journal entries about the fear of this guy. there's plenty about their sex life. >> you can bring it up. it gets you to put the person on the stand. you use it as a vehicle. it is not what is driving this case. what is driving this case is they are hoping that those jurors are going to say, look, let her rot away for the rest of her life in prison. it would not be the first time that i have seen a jury hang between first and a lesser. >> i am looking forward to see what the jurors have to ask questions. this is a very unusual -- one of only three states. i have never seen a trial where jurors are allowed to ask questions.
>> it is the most absolutely mind-boggling thing. they use it in california. they call it an arizona jury. it will drive you crazy as a lawyer. >> i think it is a great system. >> fascinating to see where they're at. jeff toobin, mark geragos, thanks very much. coming up, the story of a swimming cat. it's made our ridiculist tonight.
we have an important news item from roanoke, virginia. a news anchor tried to tackle a story about feline obesity. >> cats are not usually known for their love of swimming. one feline in northern virginia is hitting the water instead of the gym in an effort to lose weight. holly is a 13-year-old cat who dislikes the outdoors and other physical activities. with encouragement for from her owner and weekly visits to the pet resort [ laughter ] she has managed to lose one pound in six months. stay with us, everybody. we have a lot more to come. [ laughter ] >> so unprofessional. that poor cat worked his tail