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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Dangerous Weather From Coast to Coast; Wildfire Threatens Popular Tourist Area; Michigan Man: I "Almost Died" From A Hamburger; Prosecutors Call Boston Bombing Devices "Sophisticated"; Shinseki: If True, V.A. Allegations Are "Disgraceful"
Aired May 22, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Next, breaking news, tornadoes threatening millions tonight. Dramatic damage and extreme weather from coast-to-coast.
Plus a California girl missing for ten years suddenly found. She is now married to her alleged abductor and has a child with him.
And another NBA owner in hot water today over comments about race. Why Mark Cuban says he is a bigot. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Brianna Keilar in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, severe and dangerous weather threatening millions of Americans tonight. Outside the nation's capital, dramatic pictures from suburban Maryland. This is what appears to be the aftermath of a tornado, and a handful of counties are still on alert for twisters.
In Pennsylvania, more storm damage. Car windows smashed by powerful hail. And out west in Arizona, wildfires threatening a popular tourist area, nearly 5,000 acres burning. Let's start now with Chad Myers. He is in the CNN Weather Center. Give us a sense of what is going on now, Chad.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Brianna, things are calming down a little bit on the east coast, but it started in New York. It started near Schenectady in New York and storms moved through there south of Albany and then it moved through parts of Pennsylvania. Showed those scary pictures of the windows missing off some of those cars.
A storm right now moving over Cape May. One moving offshore into Virginia. A storm that was very large just to the south of D.C., Fredericksburg getting into the Chesapeake Bay and one more cell probably if it stays together, maybe close to Elisabeth City. Now the pictures we showed you with that tornado damage was a storm that moved between Baltimore and D.C., and moved very close to Bowie, Maryland.
And then across the Chesapeake Bay into Maryland itself, the eastern shore, across toward Dover, and that's where all that damage came from. And what it looks like here, the trees are just twisted. The tops of the trees are gone. When all the trees fall in one direction, it's wind. But when the tops of the trees get twisted away, then you know there was a tornado involved there for sure. And not that this is a big tornado like Kansas or Oklahoma, but there are so many more millions of people in the way than would be let's say in the Texas panhandle. That's when the weather gets scary in the east.
KEILAR: Yes. Such a heavily populated area there, Chad. Thank you.
And let's go west now to Arizona. Hundreds already evacuated outside of a popular tourist area. Thousands of acres burning. Ana Cabrera is in Flagstaff following this. So Ana, you 840 personnel. There is 15 hotshot crews that are battling this blaze. Are they making any progress yet?
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, we're told they are making progress, Brianna. But it's not quantifiable progress just yet. This fire still zero percent contained. We're talking about extremely dry conditions. When you look at these pine needles, that's the bed of the forest where this fire is burning and it's burning out of control. When you see the winds picking up like they are, that was really what set this fire really out of control yesterday.
Twenty four hours ago, it was this time when the tire went from 450 acres to 45,000 -- rather 4500 acres. So it multiplied by ten and you can see that smoke. It's blowing to the north. It's northeast that firefighters are most concerned about because that's where the homes are. Some 300 homes we're told are still threatened with about 3,000 people right now on that pre-evacuation notice should this fire jump a major road, which is 89-A.
That's the road that runs between Sedona, Arizona and Flagstaff, Arizona. So firefighters are really focusing on holding that line, the road, holding the line that they have already been able to create in some way on the north end using kind of a back burn operation as well as throwing down fire retardant.
They do have a lot of resources as you mentioned here today. That's been a big improvement over what they had here yesterday. At least 800 fire personnel, 15 Hotshot crews. We're expecting to see five more Hotshot crews arrive here in the next few hours. We also know they had five helicopters up working, three air tankers.
They're throwing everything they have at this right now, Brianna, in the hopes of keeping this fire under control. We're sitting at just under 5,000 acres. That number has not gone up in the last 24 hours or so. But, again, it's still an unpredictable situation. We're going to keep watching it for you.
KEILAR: And do we have any sense of how this started, Ana?
CABRERA: We don't know specifically. Fire officials say they're still investigating, but they believe it is human-caused. There wasn't any weather in the area at that time when the fire started. So whether it was accidental or intentional, that's the big question.
KEILAR: Still waiting to see. OK, Ana, thank you so much for that. Dick Fleishman is an information officer with the U.S. Forest Service. He is joining me now on the phone from Flagstaff, Arizona. Dick, thanks for being with us. And give us a sense. We just heard this fire is zero percent contained, but there is some progress. What does that mean?
DICK FLEISHMAN, SPOKESMAN, U.S. FOREST SERVICE (via telephone): We've done a lot of real good work on the northeast corner to try and keep it out of the two major subdivisions that are about three and a half miles away. A lot of progress actually down in Oak Creek Canyon in and around the structure there. Very hopeful for some containment numbers this evening. It's not going to be large, but it doesn't really matter if it's large if it's in the right place.
FLEISHMAN: That containment is in the right place.
KEILAR: So what interest challenges right now that these crews are facing?
FLEISHMAN: As you heard earlier, it is wind, steep slopes, and extremely dry conditions. We have about 40% of our normal snowpack this winter. So our vegetation is tinder dry, ready to go at any moment. And it is burning quite readily especially on the steep slopes.
KEILAR: And the latest on evacuations there?
FLEISHMAN: Still the evacuations in place within Oak Creek Canyon, and the 3,000 residents in Kachina Village are on a pre-evacuation notice. But compared to yesterday, that neck of the woods is looking a lot better. But we're definitely not finished with that corner yet until we actually get a piece of line that we're constructing in and actually secure. We can't actually lift that pre-evacuation notice.
KEILAR: And dick, this is a beautiful area. Sedona is beautiful. You go through Oak Creek Canyon, it takes you to Flagstaff. This is sort of a vacation area, but also a lot of people who are living there year round, right?
FLEISHMAN: Correct. Actually, that canyon we see the same amount of visitors as the Grand Canyon, something in the amount of four million visitors a year. From a tourist standpoint, it's used. But it's also pretty iconic for the people of Arizona especially the people in the Flagstaff-Sedona area.
KEILAR: It is beautiful. I will tell you that. All right, Dick Fleishman, thank you so much for being with us.
And OUTFRONT next, a massive beef recall that is hitting nearly every state. Sanjay Gupta on what to look out for heading into this Memorial Day weekend.
And a California girl missing for ten years has been found alive and married to her abductor. We'll have the stunning details coming up.
Plus, we now know the Boston bombers used Christmas lights to make their deadly weapons. An OUTFRONT investigation on just how these bombs are made.
KEILAR: Tonight new details about a massive beef recall across the country heading into Memorial Day weekend, retailers in nearly 40 states are pulling tainted meat from their shelves. Food safety inspectors say almost two million pounds of ground beef may be contaminated with potentially deadly E. Coli. One man almost died just from eating a hamburger. Chris Frates is OUTFRONT with his story.
CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By profession, he is a carpenter. But Kevin McDermed isn't working much these days.
KEVIN MCDERMED, SUFFERED E.COLI POISONING: I just need a bottle jack and I need to be better so that I don't pass out while I'm doing all of this stuff.
FRATES: So what happened to send this 41-year-old tradesman to the hospital, doubled over in pain? He ate a hamburger, rare.
(on camera): So you were sick for almost two weeks.
MCDERMED: Yes. Almost died.
FRATES: You almost died?
MCDERMED: I feel that way, yes.
FRATES (voice-over): The Michigan man believes he was one of 11 people in four states sickened by E. Coli tainted ground beef, 1.8 million pounds of which has been recalled by Wolverine Packing Company in cooperation with the government. Wolverine says none of their meat has tested positive.
(on camera): Tell me what happened to you.
MCDERMED: I went to a restaurant. I ordered a burger and four days later I had to go to the hospital because I was violently ill.
FRATES: How did that feel? What kind of symptoms were they?
MCDERMED: Extreme abdominal pain.
MCDERMED: Bloody diarrhea. Lots of blood loss.
MCDERMED: Very uncomfortable.
FRATES (voice-over): So far government officials believe restaurants and retailers in nearly 40 states may be affected. It's one of the biggest recalls of its kind in years and a lawyer representing one of the presumed victims thinks it's only going to get bigger.
BILL MARLER, FOOD SAFETY ATTORNEY: I expect the number of ill people to rise into the 20s or 30s as state and local governments count those people and report to it the CDC. I also expect that the amount and poundage of the meat will also go up well above 1.8 million, probably into the 2 million range over the -- this week or early next week.
FRATES: USDA officials have publicly named retailers in nine states that may have sold the tainted beef. But they haven't released the names of the restaurants affected, where ten of the 11 victims ate before falling ill. And that doesn't sit well with Kevin McDermed.
MCDERMED: I don't know about that. That sounds a little shady to me.
FRATES (on camera): Why?
MCDERMED: Because we should be informed. If there is a deadly bacteria that can actually kill people, then you should be informed right away.
KEILAR: And Chris Frates is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, outside of the hospital where Kevin McDermed was treated. You heard him talking there, Chris, about these USDA regulations that he doesn't agree with that prevent the naming of the restaurants involved. What is the rationale behind this?
FRATES: Well, I tell you, Brianna, the USDA officials I talked to say they're focused on getting this bad meat out of circulation. And unlike consumers who buy their meat at the grocery store and might put it in the freezer and serve it later, restaurants aren't going to serve recalled meat. And they're worried if they start naming restaurants, then in the future the restaurant industry will be much less likely to cooperate with their investigations.
KEILAR: Chris Frates in Grand Rapids, thanks.
OUTFRONT tonight, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, how easy is it to get sick from this contaminated meat?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty easy. In part because there is all sorts of different strains of E. Coli, some are going to have no effect on your body at all. But this particular strain is a bad player and what I find really interesting is just 100 cells, the amount that would fit on the tip of a needle is all it takes to get you sick. If that's sitting in meat and it's sitting out, it can replicate every 15 minutes and double in size. You can get billions of cells pretty quickly, get a lot of people sick.
KEILAR: So if you eat it and it's undercooked, chances are you're in trouble.
GUPTA: Yes, it's not in every lot of meat that is out there, but there has been enough of a concern, people have gotten sick that they have proven this is happening.
KEILAR: And how dangerous is this?
GUPTA: So with this particular E. Coli, you get a range of things. Some people are just going to have a couple of miserable days, you know, it's no fun. The problem for some people is that they develop kidney problems and it's actually a problem where the kidneys start to have bleeding issues and that can be dangerous, even deadly. When you hear about the deaths due to E. Coli, it's usually because of a kidney problem. Sometimes they have a pre-existing kidney problem but not always. Sometimes they're just perfectly healthy people.
KEILAR: I mean, it's pretty alarming that it could lead to organ failure and also the timing here. This is Memorial Day weekend coming up.
GUPTA: I know.
KEILAR: And the other thing we're watching is reports tonight that almost 15,000 pounds of hummus dips, also walnuts being recalled because of listeria. What's the concern here?
GUPTA: You know, this is an interesting situation, Brianna. This was almost a totally preventative thing. We always hear about the screenings that take place. Normally we hear about these types of things after someone has gotten sick. In this case they went and screened some of the hummus, and they found this bacteria, listeria.
And that's -- it's a pretty dangerous bacteria especially for people who have weakened immune systems and also pregnant women. No one has gotten sick. They're being really sort of proactive with regard to the hummus and also the walnuts. They found listeria in both of these products. These aren't huge recalls.
And I'm not sure to your point if this is related to the fact that it is Memorial Day weekend and people are being a little more judicious about things. But you're right about 15,000 pounds and about 24 cases of walnuts they want to take off the shelves.
KEILAR: Yes, watch out for that stuff. Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much for that.
GUPTA: Thank you.
KEILAR: Still to come, the Boston bombers used Christmas lights in their explosives. We have an OUTFRONT investigation on how these deadly bombs are made.
Plus, what are these men looking at? Their amazing catch, coming up.
And the video that everyone is talking about today. The Michael Jackson impersonator wins his high school talent show and we've got him OUTFRONT tonight.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KEILAR: Tonight new details about the chilling note allegedly written by Boston marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. According to prosecutors, this is the note that Tsarnaev wrote while he hid from authorities in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts. In it he writes, "God has a plan for each person. Mine was to hide in this boat and shed some light on our actions."
We're also learning that the Tsarnaevs used Christmas lights and model car parts to make the explosives. David Mattingly has this OUTFRONT investigation on just how dangerous these devices can be.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At this remote desert testing ground, experts from New Mexico tech replicate and explode bombs used by terrorists. On this day, there is a sense of urgency.
(on camera): After Boston, what are you worried about? Could this be the future of domestic terrorism?
VAN ROMERO, VICE PRESIDENT, NEW MEXICO TECH: Well, you're always worried about copycats. Are more and more people going to be using this?
MATTINGLY (voice-over): This is a pressure cooker bomb, similar to the bombs in Boston, and we're about to set it off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eric, going to do the countdown?
MATTINGLY: In the wrong hands, we already know how deadly this bomb can be and we're not taking any chances.
(on camera): For safety reasons, we've had to retreat to this mountaintop here. We are now over a quarter of a mile away from where we left that pressure cooker.
(voice-over): But that's still not far enough to avoid flying shrapnel. So we're watching from inside a bunker.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four, three, two, one.
MATTINGLY (on camera): Wow. That white smoke looks just like what we saw in Boston.
MATTINGLY: I could feel it all the way up here.
ROMERO: Yes that shockwave will travel all the way.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): But down below is the real shock.
(on camera): At this point, we're looking for fragments.
(voice-over): One bomb turned into thousands of weapons, scattered more than 100 yards. This was part of the pressure cooker, now mangled and razor sharp. No wonder so many people got hurt. Instead of nails, we filled the pot with nuts from a hardware store. Shot out like bullets, they pierced plywood. Some even melted from the heat.
(on camera): Look at the back of it! How fast were these things going when they went out of there?
ROMERO: They can travel a thousand, 2,000 feet a second.
MATTINGLY: A second. That's faster than sound.
ROMERO: Right. They'll move faster than the speed of sound. They'll get in front of the shockwave and hit you before the pressure wave does.
MATTINGLY: You're hit before you even hear it?
ROMERO: That's right.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Here is what the blast looks like using a high-speed camera. An intense ball of fire less than 20 feet across, but watch the white rings on the desert floor. That's the shockwave. Engineers studying this blast say there is a lesson in here for first responders.
(on camera): Let's say I'm a first responder, what do I need to be aware of when I come up on a scene like this?
ROMERO: Well, there is a lot of shrapnel around. It's very hot. It's very sharp. You could easily cut yourself. There could be unexploded ordnance, parts of the bomb that are still left over that didn't explode when it was supposed to explode that could go off at any time.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): But for potential bystanders out of this demonstration, there are only words of caution. By the time you hear the boom, you could already be hit. An awareness of your surroundings could be the only defense.
KEILAR: Unbelievable video there. David joining me now. So David, federal prosecutors, they've called the Boston bombs, quote, "relatively sophisticated devices." But in light of the new findings, what are you hearing from bomb experts?
MATTINGLY: Well, the experts today tell me that this only confirms what they have been believing all along. What we saw in those court documents, what we saw federal officials saying about the level of sophistication here, think about this. You can find instructions to build a pressure cooker bomb on the internet.
But experts are telling me from the very beginning the way these were able to be set off about a short period of time from each other, maybe about 10 seconds from each other, that suggests that they had a higher level of sophistication than what you would typically find from someone who tried to build this off of the internet. So that's what they've been operation on ever since.
And what we saw in those court document just confirms that. But the one thing we took away from that demonstration we had out in the desert, this device is very cruel in some ways. It is meant to hurt a lot of people, not just kill them, but also to maim anyone in the area. And children are particularly vulnerable because of all that debris stays very close to the ground. It is meant to hurt a lot of people and the people who make these bombs are out for blood.
KEILAR: Cruel indeed. David Mattingly, thank you so much.
And still to come, breaking news, embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki is speaking out tonight. We'll tell you what he is saying to America's veterans.
And a woman missing for a decade reappears. Police say she was kidnapped, but many who know the family aren't so sure.
KEILAR: Breaking news, the man at the center of the VA scandal is speaking out to America's veterans. In letter today, Secretary Eric Shinseki writes the allegations of misconduct that may have resulted in the deaths of at least 40 veterans are of great personal concern. And if any of the claims are substantiated, the agency will act.
Now as for President Obama, he spent the day pitching tourism in Cooperstown, New York as the chairman of the House Committee On Veterans Affairs told CNN that the claims of manipulating wait times are only the tip of the iceberg. Dana Bash, OUTFRONT live for us on Capitol Hill. Hi, Dana.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You may think the good soldier approach to this controversy for General Shinseki would be to walk into the oval office and offer to the president that he would resign if need be. But he told reporters on Capitol Hill today that didn't happen.
BASH (voice-over): Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki summoned to Capitol Hill for a private meeting with the Senate's number two Democrat to discuss V.A. problems. Afterwards, Shinseki revealed to reporters he has not offered the president his resignation, saying, "You guys know me better than that."
Twenty-six V.A. facilities are now under investigation on his watch for excessive and sometimes deadly waiting times for veterans seeking care. Congress is stepping up its investigation of the V.A. but three V.A. officials scheduled to attend a House Veterans Affairs Committee meeting didn't show up.
REP. JEFF MILLER (R-FL), CHAIRMAN, VETERANS AFFAIRS CMTE: I don't see any faces, familiar faces from V.A. in the central office. Is anybody here from V.A.? BASH: The V.A. says they were only invited last night and had scheduling conflicts. Later in the afternoon, the V.A. general counsel scrapped a meeting with House Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Jeff Miller after Miller demanded it be open to the press.
MILLER: We waited all day long. We called nine times for them to tell us whether or not they were going to come. And he never came.
BASH: Today, the president's point person on this, Rob Nabors, traveled to Phoenix, the V.A. office where problems first surfaced to interview the interim director.
A doctor with the Phoenix V.A. office described to CNN's Drew Griffin the horrors of delays in care for injured troops just back from war zones.
DR. KATHERINE MITCHELL, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, PHOENIX VA'S POST-DEPLOYMENT CLINIC: We're talking about people that were injured by being blown up by IEDs. We're talking about people who had a mental breakdown and have severe PTSD and can't -- and are having trouble functioning.
BASH: As for Shinseki, the remaining support he has is tenuous.
(on camera): Do you still think that he should be at the helm?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Listen, I -- I've not called for General Shinseki to resign, although I have to admit I'm getting a little closer. I don't want people to get confused what the shiny ball is here. The shiny ball is the systemic failure of this agency.
BASH: So, if that's the case, why are you getting closer?
BOEHNER: The reports that continue to come are appalling. And these are men and women who served our country and -- we've not just let them down, we've let them die. This is awful stuff.
BASH: The House speaker may not be ready to call for Shinseki to resign, but, Bri, today, one of his top lieutenants did. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy issued a statement saying that the V.A. is a national embarrassment, and he said it's time for new leadership at the top of it -- Bri.
KEILAR: All right. Dana Bash, thank you so much.
And OUTFRONT tonight, Democratic strategist Paul Begala, as well as Republican strategist Terry Holt.
Paul, I want you to respond to something. David Gergen, our senior political analyst wrote a op-ed, in part talking about accountability. And this is what he said. He said, "Maybe heads should roll at the White House, too," in addition to say the V.A., "because what we have been told so far about a burgeoning scandal over veterans' care doesn't add up." What's your response to that?
PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, you know, that would be sort of the political wise thing to do because then both Democrats and Republicans could go home to their American Legion posts and their VFW posts and say, we fired somebody about it.
But I think Speaker Boehner is right. Not something I as a Democrat say very often. You can be distracted by a shiny object. Maybe some people have to be fired. I'm not convinced yet.
I think, instead, thing is a systemic problem, and it's this -- we went to war, a lot of us believe under false pretenses and created hundreds of thousands more veterans. So, we have all these wounded heroes coming home. And then Congress has been underfunding the V.A. by $2 billion a year on average, vis-a-vis what the president asked for. They boosted the funding, it's true. But less than what the president has asked for.
KEILAR: OK, Paul, I mean, I think --
BEGALA: What do you think a bureaucracy is going to do? They're going to start to lie.
KEILAR: I see your point on that as well, but we also know that this has been a problem not just for a decade, but for decades.
So, to you, Terry -- where does the fault lie here when we have seen this through Republican administrations, Democratic administrations?
TERRY HOLT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, this week, the House passed a bill that would cut through some of this red tape, make it easier to get at some of these senior managers, these people who have we know since 2009 have been gaming the system.
I think this is pretty straight forward. In 2008, President Obama campaigned to fix the V.A. In 2009, we saw this memo that David points out, calls a widespread gaming of the system. And now four years later, that same secretary of Veterans Affairs is in his job.
The chief executive should have called this guy in a long time ago and said this is job one. Fix this problem or you will lose your job. He is still there today. The distance and disengagement by this president, this inattention is on this president's watch, even if this problem has been in place for a very long time.
KEILAR: And I want to go ahead and bring in David Gergen, because he is back with us now.
You wrote that op-ed. You said it doesn't add up. What did you mean by that?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the narrative has been coming out of the White House and the V.A. has been that the leadership in both organizations just jumped into this. Once they heard there was a problem, they jumped in, did everything, they were mad as hell. They want to see action. They want to see consequences.
And yet the record shows pretty plainly that these problems, these underlying problems of excessive waits have persisted for years. They knew four years ago as we just heard that there were gaming strategies going on within the V.A. facilities. CNN, you know, a month ago came out with a very strong set of pieces about the manipulation and falsification. And yet it took three or four weeks before we get the president on the air, before we had a sense of urgency.
This urgency that is now being conveyed does not seem quite genuine. And it undermines the competence that they're really on top of this.
HOLT: They're running a crisis communications drill as opposed to getting at the endemic problems that have been in place a very long time.
KEILAR: And that has been hard for many administrations as well.
But we have about a minute left, gentlemen. I want you all to weigh in very quickly on this question, because when I'm looking and seeing that even among the Republican leadership in the House, there isn't consensus about what should be done.
Speaker Boehner saying he is not the point where he says Shinseki should step down. His number three saying, yes, he's got to go.
So, to you, Paul, who should go? Should Shinseki go?
BEGALA: No. The people who are underfunding the V.A. should go. The people -- 47 senators, 41, rather -- 41 senators who filibustered against a $20-plus billion bill to help veterans with medical and educational needs. They should go.
BEGALA: If you supported the Bush war and you oppose the Obama veterans funding, you should go. That's what caused this problem.
KEILAR: Terry, what do you think?
HOLT: This isn't about money. It's about callous indifference toward our veterans and about bureaucrats that have no accountability in a system that is too big.
KEILAR: And, David, who should go?
GERGEN: I think -- listen, I wouldn't push Shinseki out right away. You don't want to have turmoil at the top at the moment. What do you want to clean the bureaucracy up and get it moving. Light a fire under the bureaucracy.
If that requires suspending civil service rules, a joke line suggested today on a very angry blog on time that was well taken, so be it. You know, we have to take care of the veterans. That's the number one objective here is just cut these waiting times down and make sure these young men and women get help. KEILAR: Yes, I think we all agree on that.
Paul, Terry, David -- thanks for being with me. Appreciate it.
BEGALA: Thank you.
HOLT: Thank you.
GERGEN: Thank you.
KEILAR: Now, a woman missing for a decade mysteriously reappears. Police say that she was kidnapped, held against her will, taken at age 15 by her mother's boyfriend. But many who know the family aren't so sure.
Kyung Lah reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bail in your case is set at $1 million.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One million dollars bail, and five serious felony charges for Isidro Garcia, the man charged with kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old girl. Authorities say he mentally tormented and imprisoned her for ten years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was told her family wasn't looking for her. She was told that he was her only ally.
LAH: Just 30 minutes away from her mother and sisters, the girl grew up into a woman under a fake identity given to her say police by her captor. Prosecutors say the girl was eventually forced to marry Garcia, and they had a child together. On Facebook page, photos show a young, happy family.
Prosecutors say there were no physical chains, but the mental torment bound the young girl to her alleged assaulter, until she finally found her chance to break free.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I want to finish this all the time, but I couldn't do it. I was very afraid about everything because I was alone. I think I was alone.
LAH: In an interview with CNN affiliate KABC, the victim says she thought she had nowhere to go. But just last month through Facebook, she found her sister.
Bell Gardens police say she walked into the police station and reported she had been missing for 10 years. The now 25-year-old back in the arms of her family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so happy and God blessed to be with my family. That's I want all the time. All the time I cry for them, for my mom and my sisters.
LAH: Except that some of those who knew the couple best say the story isn't just shocking, they don't believe it's true.
Maria Sanchez has known the couple for five years, often baby-sitting the victim's child. She even attended the child's baptism ceremony.
MARIA SANCHEZ, NEIGHBOR: Happy.
LAH: "In five years, she never said anything," says Sanchez. She adds, "He was a loving husband and she lived freely."
CHARLES FRISCO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: None of this is true whatsoever.
LAH: Garcia's defense attorney calls the victim's story a blatant lie, a fabrication to get back at her now spouse.
FRISCO: Like all marriages and like all couples, people have problems. People break up. People say things that aren't true. And in this case, that's probably what happened.
KEILAR: So, Kyung Lah joining me now on this story. It does make you wonder, Kyung, throughout all these years, how did they get by? Did they have jobs?
LAH: They did actually have jobs. They had multiple jobs. From what we understand, they worked nights. They worked at temporary agencies. Remember, they had fake papers.
We actually went to one factory where Isidro Garcia, the defendant, he worked. He has worked there for fife years. His employer says he has never missed a day, always showed up on time. They were actually living, seen in the open. Just no one knew what was happening down in Santa Ana -- Brianna.
KEILAR: So much to this story. Kyung Lah, thank you.
And this just might be the most amazing clip of the day. During a thunderstorm in China, a CCTV camera recorded a man staring up at a second floor window where a child had apparently climbed out on to the ledge. People below tried their best to cushion the child's fall. They grabbed anything they could until finally the man had to literally take the matter into his own hands in saving the child's life.
Now, OUTFRONT next, another NBA owner in hot water over his comments about race. But were his comments really racist or just a hard truth?
And the viral video that is racking up millions of clicks. We have this guy, the star with us tonight.
KEILAR: Now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper with a look at what's ahead on "AC360."
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Brianna, before the break you were talking about the woman who said she was kidnapped for 10 years by this man, Isidro Garcia. I'm going to speak with his attorney, Charles Frisco, ahead on the program. You see him there. Also, he tells a very different story. He says the neighbors describe them as a happy couple. And I'll also speak with Ernie Allen, the president and CEO of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Also ahead tonight, imagine surviving a car crash that left you with five broken ribs, a broken cheekbone, lacerated liver, broken feet only to realize you had dropped 100 feet into a ravine. That's what happened to a woman named Kristen Hopkins (ph) who despite those injuries survived for a week without food or water trapped in her broken car, in her crushed car until someone spotted her car and she was finally rescued. We're going to talk to Kristen Hopkins tonight.
Those stories and a lot more and the "Ridiculist" at the top of the hour -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Yes, that's amazing -- an amazing story of survival. Thanks, Anderson. We'll be watching for that.
Well, a firestorm of controversy touched off by another high profile businessman, another NBA owner making a comment on race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK CUBAN, DALLAS MAVERICKS OWNER: I mean, we're all prejudiced in one way or the other. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it's late at night, I'm walking to the other side of the street. And if I'm on that side of the street, there is a guy that has tattoos all over his face, white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere, I'm walking back to the other side of the street.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: So, is this just the hard truth as seen by mark Cuban, or it is racist?
Joining me now to talk about it, Don Lemon, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin and political CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Where is there to walk?
KEILAR: There is only two sides to the street. That is a good point there.
OK, but, Don, to you first. Cuban kind of tweeted an apology of sorts today. He said, "In hindsight, I should have used different examples. I didn't consider the Trayvon Martin family, and I apologize to them for that. Beyond apologizing to the Martin family, I stand by the words and the substance of the interview. So the hoodie of course, the symbol of the Trayvon Martin case."
But was this a poor choice of words that sort of overshadowed? Let me play devil's advocate here -- overshadowed maybe a valid point that a lot of people actually connect with?
LEMON: I think that his examples were poor. I think he, you know, was inartful the way he said it. But when I got called to come here, why are we here? I don't understand the controversy really.
I think he was very honest. And I think we cannot have it both ways where we say we have to talk about race, we have to talk about race. In a moment someone like Mark Cuban who is known not to be a racist, who doesn't have racist history is honest about race, we want to shut him up. So, people want to shut him up.
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN COMMENTATOR: I'll still call him racist, though.
LEMON: I don't think he is racist. I think there is a difference between racist --
LEMON: Well, he said he is.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. And that's what I appreciate about him. I agree with that, because I think if we're going to have this discussion about race, we can't slam the door on people when they put their cards out on the table.
But I do think it is controversial on the issue if he is going to be one of the owners --
LEMON: Stop, stop. That is the issue, we're connecting this interview which had nothing to do with Donald Sterling.
HOSTIN: Come on, Don.
LEMON: It had nothing to do --
HOSTIN: It has everything to do. And you're naive if you don't think --
LEMON: We pick up sound bites and take things out of context. We're trying to condemn this man for something. He was not talking about Donald Sterling. We should not --
KEILAR: But, Marc, you think it informs him as he has this decision to make.
HILL: He has already waffled on this issue. He said we have to be careful whether we want to police people's speech. He made this slippery slope argument with regard to Donald Sterling. So that's --
LEMON: I don't think he waffled.
He made a statement and he found out more information, and as an adult who has a mind, he said, I changed my mind since I have gotten more information.
HILL: But then today he said well, I don't want to police people for saying things that are stupid. So, it seems like he went the other way.
HOSTIN: Wait a minute, Don, I said something at the very beginning about this vote being transparent. We don't know if the vote is going to be transparent. But if it is not going to be transparent I suspect we're getting a window into what the conflict is amongst these owners.
KEILAR: OK, but --
HOSTIN: Mark Cuban in particular said, he mentioned glass houses. And I can't imagine, Don, that that was not a reference to this very big, present issue that he is dealing with today, which was racism and bigotry, and whether or not he was going to vote one of his owners out of the club based on biases that were expressed in a private conversation.
Listen, I tweeted I was going to be on the show. I got overwhelming tweets like this. This guy Kevin Sundry (ph) said, you were to -- you have to admire his honesty, common thoughts doesn't mean you are racist.
KEILAR: I want to finish the thought, you think he is racist.
HILL: I don't think Mark Cuban is racist. Let me be honest. I think the comment is racist.
KEILAR: Why is the comment racist on how you evaluate it?
HILL: He didn't say, you know, on a dark street, I'm scared of people with hoodies following me. In that case, we probably all are. It's black people in hoodies that trouble him. That's a particular thing and I think that's obviously racially --
LEMON: I think -- listen, what he said was -- he could have said it better. I said it was inartful. But I don't -- yes, it is. But he admits that. He says I know that I'm biased.
LEMON: He said bigoted. It is probably not the right word. I don't know Mark Cuban, I have met him once. You know, I think he's a nice guy. He is a little full of himself but he is a nice guy.
But I don't think he's -- his choice of words were bad, but I mean, come on --
KEILAR: There is other -- what about the other thing he said? He said, a white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere, that scares him as well.
KEILAR: OK. So, ESPN host Bomani Jones tweeted, being tatted up and down has undenial ties to prison culture, a black kid in a hoodie is staying warm? False equivalence? No.
HOSTIN: Absolutely, it's a false equivalent.
LEMON: OK. It is a false equivalent. But let's just OK, let's be honest. But when you see this ring on my finger, what do you think?
HOSTIN: I think you're married.
HILL: You're rich.
LEMON: I'm not, right? But that is the same thing. So --
HOSTIN: But why do you wear it?
LEMON: I'm not saying it's right. And I wear it because it's my dad's ring, I use it to remember my father. Most people see it. They pre-judge, that's what prejudice is, you're pre-judge that I'm married.
HOSTIN: You're mixing apples and --
LEMON: No, no, no, I'm not. He is saying that when he sees a certain person dressed a certain way, that he prejudges them. He is being honest about it. He's not saying that it's right. I'm not saying that it's right.
HILL: Let's take your example, Don.
LEMON: Being honest about it, everybody judges it.
You pre-judge me because I'm wearing a wedding ring. I'm not.
HILL: Here's the thing -- there is a cultural social understanding that the ring on your finger means a certain thing.
LEMON: And there's a collective social understanding that --
LEMON: A lot of people who commit crimes wears hoodies. It doesn't mean --
HILL: No, no, no. On a Columbia campus, when those white kids wear a hoodie through the yard, nobody is going they're dressed like criminals.
LEMON: You're absolutely right. I live in a neighborhood where a lot of people wear hoodies. I live in Harlem. But I also in NYU where a lot of people wear hoodies as well --
LEMON: I see a lot of people on television who are committing crimes and you see them in the news, they're wearing hoodies. So --
HILL: He is appealing to a racial stereotype.
HOSTIN: What about bias?
LEMON: No, I'm not saying he's right. But he is being honest about it, that is the thing, so we have to meet him where --
HILL: Listen to me, I don't want to make him a bad person. I'm not saying he is an evil person. But the fact is just because he is honest doesn't mean he gets let off the hook for saying something that might be racist.
HOSTIN: And I think again, this is a window into how he feels about this issue. He also made a comment about what he does in his business. He doesn't get rid of people, he educates them.
HOSTIN: Isn't that what he wants to do with Donald Sterling?
LEMON: That's what's he's trying to do. So --
HOSTIN: Isn't that what he wants to do with Donald Sterling?
LEMON: That's -- I don't know what he wants to do with Donald Sterling. I don't know, until he votes.
HOSTIN: Look at his words, you have to listen.
LEMON: I don't know until he votes. But I think he was trying to educate people and he just said it the wrong way. You have to look at the business practices --
LEMON: We're talking about Donald Sterling right now. Everyone says Donald Sterling should be judged on his business practices whether than what he says in his home.
KEILAR: Sort of the messenger here. So, comedian Chris Rock, he has a routine called "N Word Versus Black People". Here's one part of it. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: When I see some black people looking at me, man, why you got to say that? Why you say got to say that? It ain't us, it's the media. It ain't us, it's the media. The media has distorted our image to make us look bad. Why must you come down on us like that, brother? It ain't us, it's the media. Please cut the (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
OK? OK? When I go to the money machine tonight, right, I ain't looking over my back for the media, I'm looking for (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: So, he is saying some people created -- that he is not looking for the media when he is at the ATM.
OK. So, but here's my question, he is saying that. Is it appropriate for him to say it versus Mark Cuban to say it?
HOSTIN: I think it is social commentary. And you see my good friend Don Lemon is grinning at me. I think it's social commentary.
Again, I preface my comments saying if we're going to have a discussion about race we should be allowed to let them put their cards on the table, I think that they need to be held accountable.
And I can't imagine, Mr. Don Lemon that you believe these statements are not a window into his soul and a window into how he really feels about the Donald Sterling matter.
LEMON: I don't know if it's about Donald Sterling. I don't want to conflate the two. I think that -- I hate it when people do that. If he said Donald Sterling this and I would go, OK, fine. He has said he is not talking about Donald Sterling.
HILL: None of us are demonizing Mark Cuban here. We're all saying, he said something he shouldn't have said. It was a bad choice. I think --
LEMON: No, I think he should have said it.
HILL: But you said it was inartful.
LEMON: Because I want to hear it. I want to hear it.
HILL: I'm glad he said it. We need to challenge him. We need to educate him. But it is still racist.
KEILAR: Marc, Sunny, Don --
(CROSSTALK) KEILAR: You guys -- thank you.
LEMON: I don't think what he said was racist at all.
HOSTIN: I don't agree.
KEILAR: Thank you so much. A good conversation.
And we'll be right back with this.
KEILAR: A new Michael Jackson video was taking the Internet by storm, even though the real Michael doesn't appear in it once. Seventeen- year-old Bret Nichols performed this amazing Michael Jackson impersonation at this school's talent show last week. And since it was posted online yesterday, we're talking 3 million views.
I talked to him earlier but the last conversation about Mark Cuban was just so good we had to give it a little extra time and we'll be bringing you Bret tomorrow.
Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.