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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Bank of America Backlash; Religious Comments; Michael Jackson Trial

Aired October 7, 2011 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: All right, have a great weekend, John.

And tonight we're going to take you on the "Front Lines" in Dubai, at the world's largest camel ranch. We don't think you're going to be able to resist this story.

And then Italy's economy, it is not doing well, that's an understatement. But Silvio Berlusconi has other things on his mind -- "Seriously?!"

And the "Bottom Line" on the banks, thousands of people, hundreds of thousands actually have signed a petition against Bank of America. We talk to the woman who started it.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Hello. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight on a Friday, bank backlash across the country, over 200,000 people signed a petition ruling against Bank of America for its new debit card fee, $5. We've been saying all week that the fees banks are putting on people are showing how tone deaf they are at a very bad time. Now the person who led the petition against Bank of America is 22-year-old Molly Katchpole. She's OUTFRONT tonight. She was in Washington, came up to talk to us, and we really appreciate you coming in, Molly.

MOLLY KATCHPOLE, STARTED PETITION VS. BANK OF AMERICA: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

BURNETT: OK, so you and I were talking before and you were saying you set up this petition just a week ago?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One week ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

BURNETT: And what made you decide to do it? What made you say I've had enough?

KATCHPOLE: Well I'm 22 years old. I'm working two part-time jobs. I don't have an extra $60 a year to give to Bank of America and I knew that thousands of other Americans would feel the same way.

BURNETT: And so basically, they were trying to get you (INAUDIBLE) $5 a month. KATCHPOLE: Yes.

BURNETT: And you are someone who -- you're saying you're working two part-time jobs. You're just out of college. You don't -- you don't have a huge bank account.

KATCHPOLE: No.

BURNETT: OK. So but you did something, Molly that a lot of people don't do, and that is actually break up with their bank.

KATCHPOLE: Right.

BURNETT: I don't know anyone who really loves their bank though, right --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Right. But people --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: You actually -- so tell me how you did it.

KATCHPOLE: Well yesterday, I took all of the signatures -- yesterday it was at about 195,000, so we took all of them from Change.org. We brought them over to the bank that I usually go to, downtown D.C. We presented it to them. I said, here you go. Here's 195,000 signatures and they didn't really know what to do with them I don't think. And then I said I want to close my bank account and I closed my bank account and I cut up my debit card, cut up my credit card, so I'm free.

BURNETT: And have you decided where you're going to go?

KATCHPOLE: I think I will probably go to a credit union. But I still need to kind of think about it a little bit but looking where I'm going to go.

BURNETT: So Molly, I know that Bank of America hasn't responded to you and they're not backing down on their fees, but I wanted to ask you because you took the time to think about this and put together this petition together, what do you think the bank could do to get someone like you back to make you feel that they're not taking advantage of you and doing the wrong thing (ph)?

KATCHPOLE: I don't think Bank of America could get me back now. I mean the fact that they haven't responded to this petition, it's been a week and they haven't responded to it and I don't respect that. And I don't want to go back with a bank that won't acknowledge hundreds of thousands of angry and upset customers.

BURNETT: Well certainly it's a very aggressive (ph) tax (ph), it's sort of what it seems like (INAUDIBLE) in the least. All right, well Molly, thank you so much. We really appreciate your coming up and taking the time and telling us all about it. And again your petition is at Change.org and to give everyone the exact number of how many people you have when you walked on our set, 204,931 people have signed on to your petition.

KATCHPOLE: Thank you.

BURNETT: That's a way to take charge and make a difference. Good for you.

KATCHPOLE: Thank you so much, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thank you, Molly.

And here's the bottom line on these fees. The reason the banks say they're doing it is because new rules took effect a week ago which cap how much money they can charge when you use a debit or a credit card, so they're upping fees on checking accounts and debit cards to get back to even and way beyond. And that's the problem.

We went through all the numbers and there are a lot that analysts are crunching. Only 45 percent of non-interest checking accounts are free now compared to 76 percent just two years ago. Well here's the thing. Banks have been upping fees long before the new regulations that they blame now. Average ATM fees are at a record and they have risen for each of the past seven years.

So now to Bank of America -- as we told you this week, the investment firm, Credit Suisse says that if Bank of America charged a $5 fee like it is doing to Molly or did, until she left them, on all its debit cards, it would make more than it did than before the regulations. And that's just debit cards.

It doesn't count the checking fees, which they're going to be testing at $9 for some accounts starting soon. Now Bank of America sent us a statement. It reads in part, "Everything we do with our customers is to be clear and to give them a choice. That's what the recent debit card decision is as well."

You can see their full statement on our Web site, on our Facebook page as well. Our chief business correspondent, Ali Velshi joins us now. Leigh Gallagher is also with us, "Fortune" assistant managing editor -- great to have both of you with us. Leigh, let me start with you. Can you explain why this is happening now? I mean part of this -- they're blaming the regulation.

LEIGH GALLAGHER, ASST. MANAGING EDITOR, FORTUNE: Yes they are and that's true. One of the things the recent round of regulation did was minimize the fee that banks can charge to retailers, so if you're a shopkeeper, you normally get charged for processing a debit or credit card transaction. They're cutting that in half.

And so what BofA is saying is that they have to make that up somewhere and so this is where they're making it up with a very big number that's very round. It's very obvious. The thing about bank fees is that usually they're hidden. Usually you can't find them so easily.

BURNETT: Right.

GALLAGHER: But this is very obvious and what's more debit cards are actually pretty cheap for banks to process. They're actually a lot cheaper than checks used to be in the old days, so --

BURNETT: I mean it's amazing how much cheaper they are.

GALLAGHER: Yes.

BURNETT: But Ali let me ask you this because before the regulation, as Leigh was saying, there were fees (INAUDIBLE) going to the retailers, theoretically some of that going to the consumer.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

BURNETT: Now they're disclosing how much they're charging. But when you look at the math, it looks like they're definitely making more now than they were before.

VELSHI: Sure. Yes and look as Ryan Monahan (ph), the CEO of Bank of America said, he said they have a right to make a profit. I don't know if this is about right, but companies do exist to make profits. They're also -- they also make those profits when they're good to their customers. So I think what Molly is doing is fantastic. We're at quite an age, Erin, where the bank puts out a statement that says it's all about transparency.

They should have always been about transparency. The cost of that transaction is less than a third of the reduced fee that they're actually getting. So Molly's right. You said there are 45 percent of accounts don't have fees, so there are fees out there. She's going a credit union. That's what America should do. Between this petition which is a great idea, and you know voting with their wallets and saying let me go somewhere where there still aren't fees. You can actually -- that's the only impact you can have.

BURNETT: And that's one of the most amazing things that Molly did, which Ali mentions. But Leigh, I mean that's the thing, most people don't like their bank just like they don't like their airliner, but they don't go breaking up with their bank.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: It's a very sticky relationship.

GALLAGHER: It's very sticky and if you look -- here's a great example. Last -- a couple of weeks ago Netflix raised prices and it caused a firestorm, 600,000 customers walked away and Reed Hastings, the CEO --

VELSHI: Including me.

GALLAGHER: -- apologized -- including Ali --

(CROSSTALK)

GALLAGHER: There you go. What more do you have to say?

VELSHI: Yes.

GALLAGHER: So that's a great example of consumers walking away. You're exactly right. They don't do that with their banks. One of the reasons is because over the years banks have put their tentacles into every last aspect of our lives. I mean sometimes you might have a mortgage with the same bank.

VELSHI: Yes.

BURNETT: Right.

GALLAGHER: You also probably link different accounts maybe including your --

BURNETT: Automatic pay --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Yes.

GALLAGHER: -- debit card, exactly, so it's a lot harder. But this will be interesting. This is a big fee, so if there has ever been a fee that will make people walk away, this is it. So it will be interesting to see if it has any impact.

BURNETT: And Ali, what do you think? I mean because $5 debit card fee like Molly is talking about is one thing, but there are some that sound even more like gouging, $5 ATM fees, if you use a non-bank ATM have been tested --

VELSHI: Yes.

BURNETT: Nine dollars checking fees and we should note these are on the low balance people who can least afford it.

VELSHI: That's right. Right, so one thing that has happened in the same time that banks have been raising fees is there are more non- bank alternatives. There are more low fee alternatives out there. So people do have those choices. It's just not convenient. We are used to having a bank machine wherever we want and not having to take out the amount of cash we need to spend.

BURNETT: Right.

VELSHI: We'll just have to become better consumers. I think the number of people in this petition though is very, very telling. There's a lot of frustration out there. I think Bank of America needs a little bit more of a response than they've given already.

BURNETT: That seems to be very clear and we should emphasize we called them. We got that statement, but they would give us no one -- not even a spokesperson to come on and talk about this.

VELSHI: Right. BURNETT: And it seems that they should. All right, well thanks so much Ali, Leigh --

GALLAGHER: Thank you.

BURNETT: -- and Molly who is still hanging out over there on the corner. Thanks to her again.

All right, OUTFRONT --

VELSHI: You know, Erin --

BURNETT: Yes.

VELSHI: Erin, Erin, Erin --

BURNETT: Yes, Ali, Ali --

VELSHI: Have her go downtown -- have her go downtown to those folks that "Occupy Wall Street" and get them to sign it because she's actually making a difference that they could probably get behind.

BURNETT: Yes she is --

VELSHI: Maybe the two of them together can make Bank of America change something.

BURNETT: That's right. She is making a difference. OK, thank you.

A pastor introduces Rick Perry (INAUDIBLE) event and he called Mormonism a cult. We thought maybe we'd gotten beyond that. We're going to talk about what it means for the Republicans today.

And Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi suggests a seriously inappropriate name for his party. We will not disappoint you with this. And we will introduce you to why on this show we will never resist camels.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: The number tonight, 226,000. That's how many one liter glasses revelers were caught trying to take home at this year's Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. It's way up from 130,000 which is the number they tried to take last year. According to the German magazine "Duricbeetle" (ph) the lost items desk -- this is always great -- OK you can see it here -- 390 cell phones, 1,300 items of clothing, 1,000 ID cards, 370 eyeglasses, an electric wheelchair -- what -- and alive eight-centimeter long grasshopper. The desk also received one pair of dentures, which is actually down from previous years.

Hey, all right, explosive comments today from the evangelical pastor who introduced Governor Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. I don't want to just tell you about it. We want you to hear it. Dr. Robert Jeffers who's pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas told CNN's Jim Costa just a few hours ago. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You said in pretty strong plain language what you think of Mormonism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You described it as a cult and you said that if Republicans votes for Mitt Romney, they're giving some credibility to a cult. Do you stand by that comment?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh absolutely and that's not some fanatical comment. That's been the historical position of evangelical Christianity. The Southern Baptist Convention which is the largest Protestant denomination in the world has officially labeled Mormonism as a cult.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: So Governor Perry's campaign issued a response after that saying that the governor quote "does not believe Mormonism is a cult and he didn't pick the person who introduced him". We're joined by some experienced hands to talk this one over. Paul Begala is a Democratic strategist and CNN contributor joins us from Washington, Republican strategist Mary Matalin in New Orleans -- a pleasure to have both of you with us. Mary how does something like this still happen?

MARY MATALIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well welcome Erin. We love the show. We love you at CNN, so thank you for coming to us --

BURNETT: Thank you. I'm thrilled to be here and thrilled to have you on.

MATALIN: Well we love it. So how does it happen and it's -- what would be an important event is if Rick Perry or for that matter even Tony Perkins colluded or agreed with that sentiment which they clearly do not, but evangelicals like all Americans are showing in polls that they have the same concerns, the same priorities, jobs and the economy. We had another horrific jobs number today. We have 32 months of ungrowth, no growth, and that's what they're going to be voting on. This is a skirmish, but it's not dispositive for the -- in any way in the primary certainly for the Perry campaign.

BURNETT: Paul, would you agree with Mary on that especially when you get to some of the primaries in the south, just a non-issue?

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: No. I wish she were right, but I think Mary's putting hope over reality. There's a prejudice in this country. In fact the only prejudice that the Gallup poll has seen go up over the last 40 years. You know Mitt Romney's father, George Romney, was governor of Michigan, had been an auto company CEO before that. He ran for president in 1968 and his Mormon faith was never even raised as an issue.

And it tragically in America, it's the one declared prejudice that some people seem more comfortable giving voice to. I think it's lamentable. It's sad. It is not Rick Perry's fault. I don't believe he put this pastor up to it. The pastor is responsible for his comments. I don't believe in holding politicians accountable for every thing their supporters say and yet Perry is missing an opportunity here.

You know when I worked for Bill Clinton, he was running against Mary's boss, President Bush the first, and Sista Souljah, an artist, gave a comment during riots in Los Angeles, which she said black people kill each other all the time. Maybe we should have a week when we kill white people. Bill Clinton went to the RAINBOW Coalition where they had let Sista Souljah give a speech, and he called her out.

He said it was wrong and Rick Perry needs to show that kind of strength. It is essential when you see prejudice in your own movement to call it out and to say that it's wrong. And I don't -- I'm not saying Rick Perry is a prejudiced man. But I am saying he's a weak leader. He's not showing the kind of strength he needs to show right now because he should label this prejudice as what it is. It is wrong.

BURNETT: So Mary, do you think there's something to that? That obviously he came out against it, but he should have used stronger words to just utterly distance himself from it.

MATALIN: Erin, I know you probably already know this about Paul but he would like nothing more for us to have a distracting conversation. Rick Perry not think what was said, Tony Perkins does not think Mormonism is a cult. I think to the extent that it was an issue for Romney in the last go-around, there is no issue greater for any American, Republican or Democrat or Independent than jobs and the economy. And if you think there is no prejudice against any religion, he well knows because we share a faith.

Catholics are still lamented in many quarters, so it's a sideshow. It's not going to be part of this election cycle and I disagree tactically and strategically that Perry needs to do any more than what he did. He needs to stay on his message. Get back to his message. I'm a good jobs creator. I'm a leader.

BURNETT: Well let me -- let me move on to our next -- the next person I haven't mentioned who is doing so well. Obviously I'm talking about what "The Washington Post" dubbed the "Herminator". Herman Cain surging poll after poll, the CBS poll had him tied with Mitt Romney for the lead nationally. And when you look at New Hampshire the poll just released in the past hour has Cain in second place, still well behind Romney, but up 10 points from the last poll. Mary, is Cain the real deal?

MATALIN: Yes, he is, for a number of reasons. People really -- the more they hear the 999 economic plan, they like the specificity. They like the philosophy that under girds it. They like his happy warrior posture. So he is real. But I know Paul will agree with this. There is no worse entry into a race than front-runner.

It's better to be the outlier who shows that ties and now in some polls is leading. That's the preferred position. When you come in as a front-runner, you earn the pinata position and a couple of weeks of pummeling at that position takes -- I don't know anybody that hasn't gone down a couple of notches. And I think in the next debate, Mr. Cain, who's been a terrific candidate and a good articulator of the conservative message is going to be in the pinata position.

BURNETT: Well and that's not always a good place to be, I think we all know at times. But Paul, let me ask you though from the president's perspective. At this point, who is he hoping is his adversary when push comes to shove, of the three front runners. And I guess it could be someone else, but of the three front runners, who's the guy he wants to run against?

BEGALA: You know I can't speak for him, of course, I don't advise him. But I am, uncharacteristic (ph) for me, humbled on this question. The Carter White House, famously apparently and Wolf Blitzer confirmed this, he covered them, they sat around and said we want Reagan. We want Reagan to be the -- well by golly they got Reagan, didn't they?

And so I think it's not my natural profile here, but I'm very humble about this. I think with the economy in the dumps, with the Republicans frankly I think trying to hurt the economy in order to help themselves politically, anybody who runs against the president is going to give him a very, very tough race. And I don't think Democrats should sit around sort of hoping that it's Mr. Cain or Congresswoman Bachmann or Governor Perry or Mitt Romney. I can't pick. To me, all of them want to essentially end Medicare and they all want to privatize or abolish Social Security --

BURNETT: All right.

BEGALA: None of them are particularly my cup of tea, so I don't want to pick a favorite.

BURNETT: All right. Well it was fun to have you both together. I like getting a little share of the sparks. Thanks to Paul and to Mary. Have a great weekend.

BEGALA: Thanks very much.

MATALIN: You, too, Erin.

BURNETT: Today for the first time we heard Conrad Murray's voice. The prosecution played an audiotape of the first police interview with Michael Jackson's doctor where the doctor spoke of Jackson's Propofol use.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You administered it more than 10 times?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than 20 times?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty days a month, roughly everyday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Daily --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Daily, with the exception of three days leading up to his death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Ted Rowlands is outside the court. Ted, so what did you take away from hearing the tape?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Erin it was riveting. And everybody was listening intently here. Basically Murray takes you through what was going through his mind. He takes you through all the medications that he gave Jackson. What you take away from it though, there was no mention of those telephone calls to his girlfriend and to his office and he's off by an hour on the timeline. When you look at the phone records, it could be trouble for him and his defense because it just doesn't add up, the timing, and there's no mention in his side of the story of getting on the telephone at all.

BURNETT: And I know that his defense attorneys are trying to prove that it was another sedative that was responsible for Michael Jackson's death, not the Propofol. Well it seems to debunk that, doesn't it?

ROWLANDS: Well, here's what -- not necessarily. What we heard today kind of goes along with that. He gave him Lorazepam. That's going to be the new drug that the defense wants jurors to think about instead of the Propofol, Lorazepam. And they've done a good job in cross on the state's expert. They'll have their own expert they'll bring on next week likely and that's where they will be able to make or break their case.

BURNETT: So it does seem though that when you already have this audiotape happening, Ted, from what you thought a few days ago, things are moving pretty quickly. So when do you think the defense will start?

ROWLANDS: Absolutely, things are moving very quickly and we expect the prosecution to wrap up their case sometime early next week. There is no court on Monday. And then we expect the defense to get the case next week. And defense attorneys always claim they're going to go a week or two, typically it gets shrunk down to two or three days. There's a chance, an outside chance that both sides could finish by the end of next week.

BURNETT: Wow, all right, well Ted thanks so much and have a great weekend.

OK so still OUTFRONT the Justice Department says Alabama's tough new immigration law invites discrimination and the FBI joins the search for a missing baby in Kansas City, and Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi "Seriously?!" (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: So we cover a lot of serious stories on this show, but here's one that is more "Seriously?!" Business and religious leaders in Italy have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as groups across the country held protests against his government. Now Berlusconi's political party nicknamed Forsa Italia (ph) or "Go Italy" is suffering record low popularity. And this week, the ratings agency Moody's actually down graded the country's debt adding to the economic pain. That is not the reason the story makes us say "Seriously?!"

No that is because of what Berlusconi said yesterday. During a meeting with his party deputies, Berlusconi joked that because of his party's terrible polling numbers and his own reputation for, shall we say, carousing, they should change the name of their party from "Go Italy" to something else. The new name he suggested is much too inappropriate for me to repeat on any television channel never mind in a family show. But other members of the press have tried to describe the name of the party in English.

So one said quote "It was -- Reuters said quote "A vulgar slang term for female genitalia" and then Reuters took it a step further and added, "also used to describe an attractive woman." And the "Telegraph" who said the meaning of the word quote "Can range from babe to crumpet, to the female genitalia". Well Berlusconi says demands for his resignation are absurd.

In fact he's so unfazed by the issue that today he's in Russia to celebrate the 59th birthday -- well I mean you know it couldn't be more perfect for this segment, could it? Yes, yes, it is, it is the shirtless Vladimir Putin's birthday this weekend. He turns 59, Russian prime minister "Seriously?!"

All right, 10 years since the war began in Afghanistan, nearly 100,000 troops are still deployed, 1,700 have lost their lives. We're going to talk about the real new weapon in the American war on terror.

And Missouri Police Captain Steve Young (ph) updates us on the case of a missing baby in Kansas City that has captured the nation's attention and a story we cannot resist. It is about camels OUTFRONT next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting. We made the call and we found the OUTFRONT Five.

Number one, a Dallas pastor who introduced Rick Perry at the Values Voters Summit today told reporters that a vote for Mormon Mitt Romney will lend credibility to a cult. Now, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, a Romney supporter and fellow Mormon, came out front.

And here's what he told us, "There are 14 million Mormons that would beg to differ with the pastor's analysis. I would like to meet the pastor, share a soda with him and talk about the Mormon Church. I am glad to see Governor Perry distance himself from his comments."

Mitt Romney has not yet responded to the pastor's comments.

Number two, Justice Department filing an emergency motion to block Alabama's tough new immigration law. Now, the law includes mandatory check on the immigration status of school kids. Now, this has caused thousands of Hispanic children to be pulled out of school, migrant workers have disappeared from local farms.

Now, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says he is not backing down. In response to a call from OUTFRONT today, he said the DOJ appeal is no surprise. He remains committed to seeing the law fully implemented.

And number three, Iowa, moving up its caucus. The first vote is traditionally have been cast out and now moving to January 3rd. By the way, this has been just a race among the states. Here's a few, Florida moved its primary to January 31st. South Carolina, to the 21st. Nevada, caucus on the 14th.

But what all eyes are on now is New Hampshire, and whether they'll stay the first primary state.

But there's the Iowa news from OUTFRONT tonight.

And number four: consumer borrowing, big news here, falling by $9.5 billion in August. Now, economists actually expect it to rise. So, one -- we called an analyst to find out what happened, whether this was really good news. He said maybe not really, probably an anomaly because -- well, consumer sentiment, obviously, it was very a tough August, if you think about the debt ceiling debate. So, people might have spent less.

But keep in mind, Americans -- regular American citizens have tightened their belts a lot over the past few years. Consumer credit and debt is off its 2008 high by more than $136 billion.

Americans are getting their financial house in order. Not so our government. It has been 63 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, today marks 10 years since the war began in Afghanistan. Nearly 100,000 troops are still there, 1,700 have lost their lives. Now, the plan is to bring 30,000 of those soldiers home next summer.

And while we may be decreasing our boots on the ground, the military is boosting its presence in the air. We're talking about the American drone program. Now, since 2001, drones have killed more than 2,000 militants in the war against terror and civilians as well, which is part of the story here, too.

Former CIA and DHS official, Chad Sweet, is OUTFRONT tonight to talk about America's weapon of choice.

Chad, tell me how important are our drones? I know that you spent a lot of time working with them both at the CIA and the DHS? CHAD SWEET, CO-FOUNDER, THE CHERTOFF GROUP: This is probably the single most effective tool for 21st century counterterrorism. As we've seen, as you just mentioned a moment ago, over 2,000 militants taken off the battlefield less than -- since 2006. And what makes it incredibly effective is when you compare it to historical military combat, the extremely low level of civilian casualties.

Now, that being said, it's something that has to be used surgically and thoughtfully. And this kinetic tool, which is extremely effective, at the end of the day, will only be a holding pattern until we can win the battle of hearts and minds.

BURNETT: And let me ask you, quick follow on that. I was just in Pakistan and talking to several young men who had opted to not to pursue terrorism. But they talked about how they all knew people who were killed in drone attacks.

SWEET: Right.

BURNETT: And I'm wondering, can we get them better so we don't have such collateral damage? Because as we know, drones have been so successful in taking out some of the top al Qaeda operatives, most recently al-Awlaki in Yemen.

SWEET: I think in terms of precision, it's hard to imagine them being more precise than they are. At some level, we have to recognize war by definition is a dirty business. But I think your fundamental question is right, which is that we can't rely on this alone. This is one tool in the tool kit, at the end of the day, if you talk to the former head of the Special Operations Command, Eric Olson, Admiral Olson, who just left, will tell you that this type of military and kinetic force is used as a holding pattern, ultimately, just like in the fight against communism, we have to win the war of hearts and minds.

BURNETT: So, Chad, let me ask you. I know we've got about 7,000, correct me if I am wrong, of drone, the predator drones which fly lower -- one of which was responsible for al-Awlaki's death in Yemen, and the Global Hawk, which was a surveillance -- a much more expensive drone.

So, what are those 7,000 drones doing everyday?

SWEET: It's a combination of two functions, like you said, it's spying and striking. So, on the spy side, they're one of the most effective ISR, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, tools that we've had. And as you said, we can do -- deploy these over areas for long periods of time. They don't require putting a human being at risk. And they can stay overhead for long periods and they're very quiet.

So, for example, at DHS, we use them as well in the homeland. The human smugglers that are trying to get across the border don't hear them and they can operate at night with infrared vision. So, they're extremely effective on both striking, as well as surveillance. BURNETT: And a lot cheaper. Predator drone, $40 million, versus an F-35 aircraft at $133 million, a lot cheaper than -- especially given the cuts we have in defense.

Quickly, before we go, Chad, I want to ask you this. Drones -- could they be used without our knowledge in the U.S. to spy on people and take out a terrorist who might be in the U.S.?

SWEET: They could, but let's bear in mind that, right now, the FAA does not allow UAVs in conventional airspace. They can only operate in limited military and at the border. However, we already have surveillance platforms in the forms of helicopters and other low level aircraft.

So, I think the fundamental problem you raised is not something people should feel as unique to UAVs. And as a country of due process and civil liberties, we have a good system in place to protect those.

BURNETT: Chad, thanks very much. We look forward to having you on again soon.

SWEET: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper up for a look at what's up on finally, Friday, "A.C. 360" -- sorry, Anderson. I can't even talk.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": Hey, it's been a long week.

More in the breaking news ahead on the program.

An influential evangelical leader and megachurch pastor, Reverend Robert Jeffress taking shots, saying Mitt Romney's Mormon faith, calling it a cult while endorsing Romney's rival, Rick Perry. Now, the reverend also said the president governs by, quote, "unbiblical principles." We'll ask him about those, ahead. He joins us live.

And "Occupy Wall Street" protesters coming under fire from lawmakers worried the crowds will soon turn violent. But guess what? Many of those same lawmakers praised the Tea Party for using many of the same tactics. Both sides ahead, keeping them honest.

Those stories and tonight's "Ridiculist" all at the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks, looking forward to it, Anderson.

And still OUTFRONT, Missouri Police Captain Steve Young comes on OUTFRONT in the case of the missing baby in Kansas.

And we talk to Cherie Blair about the program she launched to help women. Oh, yes, and the Camels.

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BURNETT: We do this at the same time every night, our "Outer Circle," where we reach out to sources around the world.

First to Libya, where the U.S. is beefing up its hunt for weapons that have gone missing since the battle for Libya began. The fear is that they'll fall into the hands of terrorists. Meantime, hundreds of revolutionary fighters launched a fresh attack on Sirte.

And our Nic Robertson is in Tripoli tonight.

Nic, commanders say they're close to taking the city, is it true?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, it does seem time is running out for the Gadhafi loyalists. The National Transitional Council field commanders we've talked to say they have been better coordinated this time. Their biggest operation, more firepower, more men, is coming in from the east and the west of Sirte.

However, they do say that some of the Gadhafi loyalists control the tops of some buildings and that often means that those rebel forces have to pull back by the end of the day. But they say they now control 50 percent of the city. That means they have those Gadhafi loyalists more cornered. So, time definitely running out. How long, not clear -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Nic Robertson, thank you so much.

And now to Syria, where security forces have fired on anti- government demonstrators.

Arwa Damon is in Beirut tonight.

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the activists have developed and entire network to organize these demonstrations. And they happen on the neighborhood level and sometimes they expand to the city level as well. They coordinate amongst themselves.

The theme this Friday was: the Syrian national council represents us. That is reference to the newly formed opposition council.

We also saw demonstrators expressing anger towards Russia and China, the two countries that vetoed the resolution after it is believed both those countries are culpable as the Syria regime for bloodshed inside that embattled nation -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks so much to Arwa in Syria tonight.

And now to London, where Moody's, the credit agency, downgraded 12 banks today.

CNN's Max Foster is in London tonight.

How weak are the banks?

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Erin, Moody's has actually said that this down grade isn't because British banks are in a weaker financial position, it's actually because Moody's thinks that those banks are less likely now to be bailed out by the British government if they get into trouble. And they're probably right about that.

But the British Finance Minister George Osborne has been quick to point out that British banks are in a stronger position than their European rivals because those rivals have much more exposure to Greek debt -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks so much to you, Max. And good weekend, too.

The search for a missing Missouri baby meantime is ramping up. It's been four days since the baby's father, Jeremy Irwin, said he came home after the overnight shift to an unlocked front door and open window and the discovery that his 10-month-old daughter was gone. His wife at the time was asleep.

Police say the case looks like an abduction, but they don't have any suspects.

We sent our own Ed Lavandera to Kansas City.

And, Ed, I was just looking at the latest we have. The FBI combing a landfill in Kansas earlier.

What can you tell us about the search?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this FBI team spent much of the day at a landfill, not too far from this neighborhood here in Kansas City. But we're told at this point that that search didn't turn up any kind of evidence or any kind of clues that might help them in the search for the missing baby girl, 10-month-old Lisa Irwin.

The home is the one you see right behind me. And authorities say that it was the window just on the edge of the house there that the mother of the baby had said or they had found opened and believed that might be a point of entry. But as you mentioned, Erin, still no evidence that or no indication perhaps any had broken into this home.

But what makes this al the more interesting is that Kansas City police yesterday saying that the parents just abruptly refused to continue talking with investigators as they continued to ask them about this case. However, the parents of 10-month-old Lisa went on the morning shows this morning, to NBC "Today" show and said that that wasn't true that they were -- were still wanting to talk to authorities.

But we're told here in Kansas City that despite having said that, this morning, they have not spoken with authorities all day today -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Ed, thank you very much. We're going to find out more about that right now, because initially, police said the family was working with them to help find Lisa, the baby. But in a statement just last night, cops said all cooperation had stopped.

So, listen to what Lisa's parents told Matt Lauer about that this morning on "Today." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We tell everybody that we're -- you know, we're still cooperating. We're still talking to the police. We're doing everything we can to try to find Lisa and bring her back home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our number one focus is her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: I want to bring in Kansas City, Missouri, police captain, Steve Young. He's been in charge of the investigation since it started.

Steve, you just heard Lisa's parents there speaking to Matt Lauer. Are they cooperating or not? Have you talked to them today?

STEVE YOUNG, KANSAS CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, it's been a little while since I had an update. But the last bit of information I had is that we're still not talking -- have not spoken to the parents.

BURNETT: And still there, it's an abduction. They are not suspects?

YOUNG: You know, we don't have any suspects at this time.

BURNETT: Let me ask you -- one of the things about the story was obviously the 10-month-old baby, which is tragically missing. There was older -- two older children who were at home at the time the baby disappeared. I believe I think they were 6 and 8. Have you been able to talk to them or learn anything from them?

YOUNG: Well, you know, I can't comment on the details of the investigation or map out everything the detectives have done. But I can assure you that the detectives have done everything that we can think of.

BURNETT: We're five days out at this time, which is a long time for a 10-month-old baby. Do you think she's alive? I know you've combed every possible place you could around that home. Are you still treating this as an abduction with a live child?

YOUNG: You know, we're not trying to classify it as anything. The only thing we know, this 10-month-old belongs in this house and nobody's seen her going on five days now. So, we're not calling it anything. We're full steam ahead. Our command post is still operational. We still have detectives chasing down everything we can find.

BURNETT: And in terms of the parents, when do you hope to speak with them again? Because, obviously, this whole are they cooperating/not cooperating is what lends such a strange feel to this whole story.

YOUNG: Well, you know, as you might imagine, our main priority, our number one goal is to find this child. And we absolutely believe the parents' involvement in the investigation is critical to help make that happen. Our door has open, it has always been open.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Steve, thank you so much. We appreciate you taking the time. We'll talk to you again as you go through this. And best of luck and hope you find the baby.

The baby referred to as "Pumpkin Pie" by her family.

Well, next week, coming out front, Donald Trump and presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann, among others. Those are our guests. We're very excited for it.

And well, we're taking a break, but we believe you'll be with us on the other side. Why, because we don't think you'll be able to resist this story.

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BURNETT: Got milk?

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: She's one of the most famous women in the world, the wife of former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, and a powerful lawyer. Like another well-known woman, she graduated at the top of her law school class. She lost the job she wanted to a guy named Tony, but they obviously made up.

But only 16 percent of lawyers were women in Britain at that time. She practiced law throughout her husband's prime ministership, still practices today, and as a part-time judge, and she started a foundation to empower other women. And yes, she's got kids, too.

Cherie Blair is the founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

We appreciate you taking the time to be here.

CHERIE BLAIR, FOUNDER, CHERIE BLAIR FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN: I'm delighted to be here. This is your inaugural week.

BURNETT: It is, and I'm -- we're very excited.

But I wanted to ask you about something that got a lot of attention here recently. Some high-profile women lost their jobs in corporate America and Meg Whitman came back to Hewlett-Packard, which means we've got now three of the Dow 30 companies with women CEOs.

BLAIR: Well --

BURNETT: Ten percent, good or bad?

BLAIR: Good and bad. Great that Meg Whitman is back. Great it's increased by a third if it's gone from two to three. Not good that we don't have more women.

BURNETT: Why do you think it still is, that it's so hard for women to get to that top level?

BLAIR: Well, let's say that this is not a unique problem in America. It's across the world that women have difficulty getting to the top, and it's for a number of reasons. One is it still is today hard for women to be taken seriously.

You know, the culture still isn't totally welcoming and embracing of successful women. A successful woman is often regarded as abrasive, unnatural, then, of course, there's the whole issue of looking after your work/life balance.

BURNETT: And you have focused, obviously, what you're doing right now with Google and in your foundation, is a lot with women in very, very poor countries. Poverty and economic equality are big issues. Protests in Europe, protests in the U.S., we've had the Arab spring.

Why do you focus exclusively on women? Why do you get more bang for the buck that way?

BLAIR: Because time and time again, all the research shows that investing in women pays more dividends than investing in men.

BURNETT: That's a great sound byte, by the way.

BLAIR: It is, but it happens to be true. I mean, if you look, the World Bank did a report and it said that if you take your development dollars and give it to a woman, 90 percent of that development dollar she will invest in her family and her community.

BURNETT: I had no idea, wow. Before we go, Google?

BLAIR: Google.

BURNETT: Why Google?

BLAIR: Why not Google? Google is a fantastic platform. But the thing about Google is it's very accessible. So, my mentoring platform, which links women in these developing countries to have mentoring relationships with people like us in countries like America so that they can actually have a one-to-one relationship, depends on an easily accessible platform.

Google is free. The Google tools, Google Chat or Google Plus are available to everyone for free. So, we train women to use the tools, and then they can communicate with their mentors and grow their businesses. And it's proved to be a very successful formula.

BURNETT: All right. So, Cherie Blair, thank you so much for coming. I really appreciate it.

BLAIR: Oh, it's lovely to be with you. And good luck with the rest of your long, successful career. BURNETT: Thank you so much. I hope so. Thank you.

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BURNETT: It's pretty interesting there when she said that women in Kenya, that men will put 1 percent of their earnings back into their families.

Well, the first week of our show has been exciting and challenging, and we hope you're going to keep watching and help us grow with your feedback. We want to make this country the best it can be and we wanted to be interactive and you to be part of our team.

But now on a Friday, we want to end on a much lighter note. A lot of you, like us, feel pressure to pick healthier food. But it's really hard. This week, with the long hours, we've eaten more cupcakes than a staff should in a year. But we care about healthy food, and we love camels, and both are going to be part of the show in the future.

So, tonight, we introduce them together.

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BURNETT (voice-over): Loud, dusty, and very hot. The world's biggest camel ranch is busy at milking time. Twenty-five hundred camels file in groups of 12 for automatic milking twice a day. Camels produce about half as much milk as cows, but less might be more.

(on camera): Some people say camel milk is like a miracle drug. They say it could help cure autism, diabetes, cancer, and even AIDS.

(voice-over): That's because camel stomachs are similar to human ones. That makes a big difference according to veterinarian Abubaker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe there is a magic treatment in camel milk.

BURNETT: The milk is called Camelicious. And the United Arab Emirates is one of the world's biggest producers.

But it isn't easy. Setting up the first ever automated milking for camels was hard because every camel is a slightly different height.

Martin van Amsek (ph) manages the ranch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see all the humps, one after the other. It's not one car in a row, same model -- no, it's different models, all different.

BURNETT: That's the females. The males, not nearly as pleasant or attractive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ratio of male to female, one to 100.

BURNETT (on camera): One to 100?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, one to 100.

BURNETT: Wow.

(voice-over): All that mating happens in just three months a year. Baby camel girls will end up having about seven offspring. That's 14 years of milk, and where there's milk, there's chocolate.

Chocolate that comes at a serious price, up to $7 a bar. A price the camels, at least, think is well worth paying.

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BURNETT: They do all have personalities. You can, by the way, buy camel chocolate in the United States, and there are some ranches. But the FDA currently does not allow for the importation of dairy products. So, we'll see, and we'll keep looking into those health claims for that and a whole lot of other health foods.

For that one, we just couldn't resist. We love them.

Well, have a great weekend on that note.

Let's hand it off to "ANDERSON COOPER 360." It starts in three, two, one -- Anderson.