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CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER

Interview With Cruz Bustamante; Interview With Tom McClintock; Interview With David Kay

Aired October 5, 2003 - 12:00   ET

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

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's noon in Washington, 9:00 a.m. here in Los Angeles, 6:00 p.m. in Rome and 8:00 p.m. in Baghdad. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us for our special LATE EDITION.
On Tuesday, the voters here in California will speak. In just a few minutes we'll talk about where the California recall race stands right now with the state's lieutenant governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Cruz Bustamante.

First, though, let's check in with CNN reporters covering the hour's top stories around the world. And we begin right in the Middle East, where there's been a major strategic shift in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

For the first time in decades, Israeli forces have attacked what they say are terrorist targets right inside Syria. The strike comes one day after a Palestinian suicide bombing in the Israeli port city of Haifa that killed 19 Israelis.

CNN's Chris Burns is following all of these dramatic developments. He's joining us now live from Jerusalem -- Chris.

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello, Wolf. An Israeli military source suggests to CNN this could be a shot across the bow to the Iranians and the Syrian, this attack inside Syria in the wake of that attack inside Israel.

The Israelis struck at what they say was a military training camp for militants, Palestinian militants, not far from the Syrian capital, Damascus. They say it was a limited operation, that they struck at training facilities, at arms caches and other materiel involved in training Palestinian militants.

They say that this is a message. According to this defense source, "It is a signal to Syria and organizations and countries that support terror, harboring terror will not go on without impunity."

The Syrians are, of course, denying that that is a training facility. However, the Israelis have released a videotape of what they say was from Iranian television showing, they say, this training camp that had, they said, indeed been used to train these militants. They say that that shows that not only were the Syrians harboring them, but that the Iranians are also supporting them. So this could be an escalation. The Israelis have also struck inside Gaza at two militant houses. This being in response to that attack in Haifa that killed 19 people and injured more than 50 in that suicide bombing in Haifa, the port city, yesterday -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Dramatic developments unfolding in the Middle East.

Thanks very much, Chris Burns, for that.

And this just in from our Kathleen Koch. She's reporting from the White House today. She tells us that the Bush administration is urging restraint on all countries involved in this escalation. "We urge both Israel and Syria to avoid actions that heighten tensions or could lead to hostilities," according to a senior administration official. The official said the Bush administration learned of the Israeli strike from the Israeli government shortly after it occurred.

"We are seeking full details," the official goes on to say, but noting that Syria -- and I'm quoting now -- "has been on the wrong side in the war on terror and that it must stop harboring terrorists. That is still our view," according to this senior administration official.

We'll be getting more information on that as it develops. And later on LATE EDITION, we'll also go to Beirut to get the reaction from what's happening not only in Lebanon alongside Syria, but from Syria as well.

But now let's turn to a huge political story unfolding right here in the United States. With just two days left until the California recall election, the candidates are putting on a full-court press to win over voters.

CNN's Kelly Wallace is joining us now from the Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign in Sacramento, the state capital -- Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the GOP front- runner is expected to wrap up his four-day bus tour here in Sacramento on the steps of the state capitol.

Aides are saying this is not a victory lap before the victory, but a symbolic event, they say, on how Arnold Schwarzenegger hopes to bring the government back to the people.

But you can expect some criticism throughout the day from Democrats, who believe this is a bit presumptuous, especially after the latest poll shows just 50 percent of Californians saying they would definitely vote to oust Governor Gray Davis.

Now, Schwarzenegger's aides say his message will be one of getting out the vote. This, after the candidate went on the attack Saturday, after three days of damaging allegations concerning his conduct with women and his views on Adolf Hitler. He pointed the finger at Gray Davis and accused the governor of engaging in a, quote, "puke campaign." Now, Governor Davis, for his part, he is crisscrossing the state by plane. He and his aides say they have nothing to do with these stories, but the governor's team definitely sensing an opportunity. Davis unleashing his harshest attack yet on Schwarzenegger on Saturday, saying at some of the events the actor-turned-candidate is accused of are crimes, and saying that electing a governor who may have committed a crime would be a distraction to the state's core issues.

Overall, though, the key issue now is turnout, getting enough voters to the polls. And the key question continues to be, will this negative attack and counterattack that we've been seeing over the past few days turn people off and keep them at home, as opposed to going to the polls -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Thanks very much. Kelly Wallace reporting for us. We'll be checking back with you, obviously, in the hours and days to come.

And joining us now from Sacramento, as well, is the leading Democrat to replace Governor Gray Davis, should he be voted out of office, California's lieutenant governor, Cruz Bustamante.

Lieutenant Governor, welcome back to LATE EDITION.

LT. GOV. CRUZ BUSTAMANTE (D), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you for having me, Wolf.

BLITZER: Thanks so much for joining us.

BUSTAMANTE: My pleasure. Thanks for inviting me.

BLITZER: Thank you.

Let's get to the latest poll numbers that we're getting, the Knight-Ridder-NBC News poll just out. Will you vote to recall Gray Davis? Look at this. Definitely yes, 50 percent. 4 percent, probably yes. 4 percent, probably no. But 37 percent, definitely no.

And in part two of this poll, we'll put it up on the screen, who will you vote to replace Gray Davis? Schwarzenegger coming in with 37 percent. And you, Bustamante, 29 percent. Tom McClintock at 15 percent. Peter Camejo, he's the Green Party candidate, with 3 percent.

It doesn't look very good for you right now, does it, Lieutenant Governor?

BUSTAMANTE: Actually, our internal polls show it much, much closer than that. In fact, it showed us as a dead heat, in the last two days.

Some of the polls that have been taken didn't have the full effect of all the revelations that have recently come out about this guy. BLITZER: Well, when you're talking about the revelations, we're going to get to that in a minute. And I do want to point out this Knight Ridder-NBC News poll, part of it was taken before the revelations involving the alleged groping, the sexual groping were made known, and part of it occurred afterward.

But there seems to be a suggestion that this is probably now, at least based on not only this poll but other polls, it could be a two- man race, Gray Davis versus Arnold Schwarzenegger, that you may not even be part of this. You totally disagree with that?

BUSTAMANTE: Absolutely. The numbers that are coming in from Friday and Saturday show a real clear movement.

You know, people are really upset about this. And, you know, frankly, the way is being characterized, it's almost statistics. You know, these are real women. First it was five. Then it was six. Then it was nine. Then it was 11. Now, it's 15 women. Women who were harassed and, in fact, sexually battered.

I mean, these are people's daughters and sisters. You know, if it had been my daughters, it wouldn't have had to take a campaign to resolve it, we would have resolved it immediately. I would have confronted this guy.

BLITZER: All right. I know you would have, and I want to get to that in a moment. But just back up for a second.

BUSTAMANTE: Sure.

BLITZER: Your internal polls, what do they show you at right now, on this tracking that you're doing on a day-to-day basis?

BUSTAMANTE: It's showing us in a dead heat.

BLITZER: What, dead heat...

BUSTAMANTE: This is a dead heat. We're both at around 32 percent of the vote. The folks who are looking at this race very serious now -- there's always a certain percentage of people who end up making their decision very late in the process. It always takes place. It's about 10 percent. And they're always waiting to see what's going to take place at the very end. And those folks are now breaking.

And I think that there's a huge movement, both in terms of the recall, because it was 55, 56, 57 percent for the recall, now it's down to 50, and it's dropping.

We could end up making sure that not only do we kill this recall effort, but Arnold might end up with the fewest number of votes.

BLITZER: All right. Let's get back now to the latest uproar involving the allegations that Arnold Schwarzenegger over the years had groped, sexually groped various women. I want you to listen to what you said on this issue on Friday, because I want you to explain precisely what you meant. Listen to this.

BUSTAMANTE: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSTAMANTE: Had they been my daughters, there wouldn't have been this kind of delay on what would have took place. It wouldn't have taken a campaign to resolve this matter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right, so what exactly did you mean by that?

BUSTAMANTE: What I mean by that is that I have three daughters. And, you know, this is activity that's taking place on the workplace. I mean, in California, that's against the law. And it's important that employers, as well as employees who are engaged in this kind of activity, make sure that this doesn't take place in the workplace.

We have a situation right here right now in which 15 women have come forward. This is serial activity. This is not just one situation or another. These latest revelations -- I mean, it's one surprise after another with this guy. I think we've had one surprise too many. I don't think he's fit to be governor.

BLITZER: So do you believe he committed a crime?

BUSTAMANTE: Well, I think that's going to be up to those people who are in charge, those legal people. It's not up to politicians to make those decisions. I did read the penal code, however. It sure looks like he did.

BLITZER: So what would you do if you were elected governor at this point, and he's not elected governor?

BUSTAMANTE: Well, now what we're talking about is why I entered the race in the first place. I entered the race in the first place...

BLITZER: No, no, no, I'm talking about specifically the charge against Arnold Schwarzenegger about sexually groping women. Is that something you would go back to if you were elected governor and take a look, open up an investigation, a criminal investigation?

BUSTAMANTE: Well, we would have -- we would allow whatever the legal authorities are to go ahead and pursue that. I'm not a legal authority. I'm not an attorney, and I'm not part of law enforcement.

I would hope, though, that law enforcement would take a real clear look at all the allegations that have been taking place, because, you know, what we're talking about no longer are just statistics. We're talking about women who were afraid to come forward and now are coming forward. And they deserve our attention, and we need to make sure that this never happens again. BLITZER: What about the suggestion -- at least one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's former colleagues, a producer who worked with him on the bodybuilding movie "Pumping Iron" suggesting that at one point he had made a statement suggesting he had admired Adolf Hitler, even though he subsequently has now said that's simply not true, doesn't recall it, and he despises Adolf Hitler and everything the Nazis stood for?

BUSTAMANTE: I can't imagine anybody would have any kind of admiration for Adolf Hitler. Here's a person whose crimes against humanity are unparalleled.

We've had one too many surprises with this guy. What's going to be next? I think that we've had one surprise too many.

BLITZER: Well, here's the question, though. Do you believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger admires Adolf Hitler, given his track record over these past decades, supporting the Simon Weisenthal Center, supporting Jewish and Israeli causes in the United States, not only supporting, but giving lots of money to those causes?

BUSTAMANTE: Well, there's a real question about it. Both of his earlier comments -- I understand that he had engaged with the Simon Weisenthal Center, but there sure were a lot of comments, and there seems to be a lot more coming out.

I think the voters are going to have to decide whether or not he really, in fact, is someone who supports or has somehow embraced Adolf Hitler or not.

Here we are in a situation where all we're getting is bits and pieces, a very short kind of campaign. Things are just now starting to come out. Who knows what we're going to find next?

BLITZER: So in the next two days, will this affect your strategy in the final hours of this race?

BUSTAMANTE: No. We started this campaign because I said no on the recall but yes on Bustamante. And the reason for it is because we have strong values of defending a woman's right to choose and protecting our coastline and helping working families and small- business people.

No, our campaign was set six weeks ago. We're moving forward. We've had the best ideas. We have the most experience. And frankly, I have a personal experience of...

BLITZER: Unfortunately, it looks like we've lost that satellite hookup with Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante in Sacramento. We'll try to fix that and get back to that. Apologies to Cruz Bustamante for that, but we'll try to fix that and see what we can do. In any case, thanks very much to the lieutenant governor. We'll have much more on that issue coming up.

Still do come, Arnold Schwarzenegger may be the recall race's front-runner but will his fellow Republican, Tom McClintock, spoil the actor's chances of winning California's governorship? We'll talk with the state senator about his candidacy. That's coming up later on LATE EDITION.

But up next, he's leading an extensive search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. We'll have a special conversation with David Kay about what they haven't -- or why they haven't been found, at least not yet.

Then, a suspicious leak involving a CIA operative. Should there be an outside investigation? We'll debate the issue with two key members of the United States Senate, Republican Arlen Specter and Democrat Carl Levin.

LATE EDITION, live from Los Angeles, will continue right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Saddam Hussein was a threat, a serious danger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: President Bush defending his pre-war claim that Iraq did indeed harbor weapons of mass destruction.

Welcome back to LATE EDITION.

This week, the CIA adviser leading the weapons hunt issued an interim report acknowledging that, so far at least, they haven't found a smoking gun. But David Kay, himself a former U.N. weapons inspector, said there is evidence Iraq intended to develop weapons of mass destruction.

A short while ago I spoke with David Kay.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: David Kay, welcome to LATE EDITION. Thanks very much for joining us.

Let's get right to the issue at hand, your preliminary, your interim report on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I want you to listen to what President Bush said in May, after the major combat was over. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: We've discovered mobile biological laboratories, the very same laboratories that Colin Powell talked about at the United Nations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Was the president right when he said that?

DAVID KAY, WEAPONS INSPECTOR: Well, we simply don't know at this point, Wolf. We've said in the report that the laboratories have multiple possible uses, none of which stands out as the only use they could have had. And we're now going through other evidence to find out what, indeed, they were intended for.

BLITZER: So the president was not precise. The information he was given at the end of May was not necessarily 100 percent accurate, based on what you know right now?

KAY: And that's an important qualifier. You know, we've had the opportunity of being on the scene now for three months, and we've learned a lot more information about a lot of things than people knew three months ago, six months ago.

BLITZER: The same is obviously true in terms of what the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state knew based on the intelligence they had before the war.

When Colin Powell addressed the United Nations Security Council in early February, listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We know that Iraq has at least seven of these mobile biological agent factories. The truck-mounted ones have at least two or three trucks each.

That means that the mobile production facilities are very few. Perhaps 18 trucks that we know of. There may be more. But perhaps 18 that we know of.

Just imagine trying to find 18 trucks among the thousands and thousands of trucks that travel the roads of Iraq every single day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right, so there was Colin Powell being very specific on what they thought the U.S. intelligence community, the U.S. government knew in advance of the war. But in this area, based on everything you've found so far, you haven't been able to back that up?

KAY: I think you should have listened and paid attention to what he said in terms of the difficulty, because that's what bedevils us right now. We are literally looking among thousands of trucks to see if we can find other examples similar to the two that have been found, so we can take it apart and determine what their use was.

It's a difficult -- it's not that anyone was wrong. We don't have that evidence yet. We can't prove they were right either. We're in the midst of an ongoing investigation.

BLITZER: And that's as far as the biological weapons are concerned. No hard evidence, at least no stockpiles, significant stockpiles, in fact any real stockpiles, of biological weapons. Is that right?

KAY: That have yet been found. But realize, if you take the U.N. estimate which Secretary Powell used for scaling the program, the amount of weapons at the maximum end of the estimate would easily fit in a suburban two-car garage. And we're still trying to find that in a country that had an immense amount of conventional armaments, as well as a large industry in general.

BLITZER: So you haven't reached the bottom line yet, as far as biological weapons are concerned.

Let's get to the area of nuclear weapons. The vice president was pretty specific, in advance of the war, so was Condoleezza Rice, on what they feared, what they suspected the Saddam Hussein regime was up to. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time, and we think that's cause for concern for us and for everybody in the region.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: You will get different estimates about precisely how close he is. We do know that he is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BLITZER: Was the Saddam Hussein regime actively pursuing nuclear weapons in advance of the war?

KAY: Well, we really aren't in the position to draw a bottom line. What we have said, and we said it in the report, we have numbers of Iraqis who tell us that Saddam was committed to acquiring weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. And the issue is, how far along was that activity actually before the war?

We have an added problem in the nuclear area in Iraq. Iraq, unlike North Korea or Iran, is a country that at one point, pre-1991, had actually solved most of the secrets in producing nuclear weapons. So the amount of activity you would anticipate finding would be smaller than you would in a country like Iran or North Korea.

And that makes our job very hard, but we're simply not at a position now to reach a final conclusion.

BLITZER: On the nuclear front, as well.

And I wanted you to give our viewers a chance to update any information you may have collected since the end of the major combat in Iraq on those 16 words the president uttered in his State of the Union address. I'll play those words for our viewers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: In all your investigation, have you been able to back that up?

KAY: We have not found anything yet with regard to what they have acquired or were seeking to acquire from Africa. We have found a document that is an unsolicited, as far as we can tell, proposal to sell uranium to them from another African country, not Niger. And we're continuing -- that's an active area of the current investigation.

BLITZER: All right. So we've gone through biological, we've gone through nuclear.

Now, the chemical stockpiles were once considered to be significant. I was in Kuwait on the eve of the war. Everyone was fearing there would be a chemical attack. U.S. troops went in with full chemical gear, prepared for that.

Have you found any evidence that there were any rockets or mortars or any kind of chemical stockpiles inside Iraq?

KAY: Well, Wolf, the key term you used is "evidence." And that we haven't, and we report that. What we do have is we have a number of Iraqis who say they existed, and we're currently trying to verify that. And unlike pre-war intelligence, we don't require someone just to say something. We actually need the physical evidence.

Now, what everyone has skated over both in the chemical and the biological area is what we, indeed, have found. We found a vast network of undeclared labs engaged in prohibited activity in both of those areas.

So it's not that we have found nothing. We have actually found quite a bit, although we have not yet found shiny, pointy things that I would call a weapon.

BLITZER: You spoke with our national security correspondent, David Ensor, back in June, and you gave the impression we would be finding a lot more, that you and your team would be finding a lot more. I want you to listen to what you told David then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAY: My suspicions are that we'll find in the chemical and biological areas -- in fact, I think there may be some surprises coming rather quickly in that area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Surprises coming rather quickly. We haven't seen that yet, have we?

KAY: Well, Wolf, I beg to disagree. I think, and I'm disappointed that so many people have stopped at the first page of the report and not read the other 14 pages in the unclassified version.

The laboratory network was a major surprise. We've also found a scientist who has came forward with can 97 vials, one of which is active, viable botulinum toxin, and reports another cache of similar vials that relate to anthrax. We've found missile programs, including one major one that was continued while the inspectors were actually on the ground.

So we have found quite a bit, and I think many of them, if they've been known in December or January would have been screaming headlines across the American media about them. Everyone today chooses to ignore them and play gotcha.

BLITZER: And it's not just everyone, it's the chairman and the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. They came out of your briefing, your classified briefing, expressing some disappointment. I want you to listen to what they said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. JOHN ROCKEFELLER (D), WEST VIRGINIA: You just don't make decisions like we do and put our nation's youth at risk based upon something that appears not to have existed.

SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R), KANSAS: I'm disappointed. I'm frustrated. I think most people on the Intelligence Committee, Armed Services Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, or for that matter any average American, would have expected we would have found the WMD.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BLITZER: Is their disappointment justified?

KAY: I don't think so, given the conditions we've had to operate under and that Saddam operated under in order to shield his program.

We've been at work three months, we inherited a situation. We came on-board really at the end of June. Not only had combat taken place, but major looting had taken place. It made it very difficult to carry out the operations.

We've been honest about the threats that scientists have been under. We've had one scientist who was killed immediately after talking to us, another who took six bullets, and it's amazing to me he wasn't killed; others who report continuing threats.

So no, I don't think -- I'm frustrated, and I think everyone can tell that, that we haven't made more progress. I'm not disappointed, because I, in fact, think the team has found quite a bit. I'm disappointed that more people haven't paid attention to what we did find.

BLITZER: But you say you'd need another six to nine months and another $600 million to complete the job?

KAY: Well, we certainly need six to nine months, that I can speak to. I don't do budgets. In the field, what you do is express your requirements, and you trust that back home they adequately fund you to meet those requirements.

So, I know what we need. It'll take an effort roughly the size of what we've got now, and about six to nine months to finish up.

BLITZER: David Kay, thanks very much for joining us. Good luck to you and your entire team.

KAY: Thank you very much, Wolf.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Up next, we'll go to CNN headquarters in Atlanta for a quick check of the hour's top stories.

Then, who's to blame for leaking the identity of a CIA operative? We'll hear from two leading members of the United States Senate, Republican Arlen Specter and Democrat Carl Levin.

And LATE EDITION's Web question of the week: Do the allegations that surfaced this week about Arnold Schwarzenegger change your opinion of him? Cast your vote at cnn.com/lateedition. We'll tell you the results later in this program.

LATE EDITION, live from Los Angeles, will continue right after the headlines.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: President Bush commenting on reports that a member of his administration, perhaps more, responsible for leaking the name of a CIA operative. The operative in question is the wife of the former acting U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Joe Wilson. Wilson refuted one of the president's key pre-war claims about Iraq.

Welcome back to our special LATE EDITION.

Joining us now to talk about this and more are two key members of the United States Senate. In Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Republican, Arlen Specter. He's a key member of the Judiciary Committee. And in Detroit, Michigan Senator Carl Levin. He serves on both the Intelligence and Armed Services Committees.

Senators, welcome back to LATE EDITION.

And, Senator Levin, I'll begin with you and play for you the excerpt from what the president said defending the Justice Department going forward with this preliminary investigation into the leak. Listen to what Mr. Bush said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I'm absolutely confident that the Justice Department will do a very good job. There's a special division of career Justice Department officials who are tasked with doing this kind of work. They have done this kind of work before in Washington this year. I have told our administration, people in my administration, to be fully cooperative. I want to know the truth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Is that good enough for you, Senator Levin?

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: Not at all. We have a regulation inside the Justice Department that says that where a criminal investigation is begun of a high-level administration official that where there is a conflict of interest, where public confidence would be increased by appointing a special outside person who is more independent to do the investigation, that the attorney general should do just that.

And that's what the attorney general should do here. There is no doubt but there is a severe appearance of a conflict of interest here. I mean, these are top-level White House officials who have been implicated by this administration official talking to The Washington Post, who said that two top-level officials of this administration called six different reporters, initiated the calls, to identify who this CIA agent was.

BLITZER: Senator Levin, what's wrong with those career professionals who would be in charge, at least at the beginning, to take this investigation to the next level?

LEVIN: We have a regulation which provides that, where public confidence would be increased by appointing an outside person, that that's what the attorney general should do.

These people are under the control, direct control of the attorney general, and this attorney general surely does not have the confidence, it seems to me, of a large segment of the public that he will conduct an objective investigation free from any kind of pressure to protect this administration.

BLITZER: Senator Specter, let me bring you in. There was a little confusion on Friday about precisely where you stand on this whole issue of a special counsel. Explain to our viewers in the United States and around the world your position on this issue right now.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Wolf, I believe we have to separate politics from a thorough investigation. There's no doubt that we need a thorough investigation.

When Senator Levin says that everyone's under the attorney general's control, that's not true. You have FBI Director Mueller taking charge, keeping this in headquarters. He has a 10-year term. He'll be in office for 2 1/2 years, even beyond a second term for President Bush.

I think that the Justice Department has moved at it very fast, a Tuesday deadline to turn over White House papers, expanded it to the Defense and the State Departments. And from my own experience as Philadelphia's D.A., I know the time is very important. If you go to have a special counsel, it will take quite some time.

But there is one really fascinating factor here, Wolf, and it is this: Until last Sunday when The Washington Post put this story on the front pages, people were sitting back. Nobody called for a special prosecutor until it appeared that there was political gain.

A couple of years ago, Senator Levin, Senator Lieberman, Senator Collins and I were the only ones calling for independent counsel. All of the senators from the Democratic side who have written the letters, or almost all of them, didn't have any interest in having independent counsel, where that statute was important to set the parameters with a court-appointed counsel.

BLITZER: Well, what about that position, Senator Levin? Is it time to reinstate, to revive the independent counsel statute that lapsed?

LEVIN: Well, as far as I'm concerned, we should not have let it lapse. Senator Specter and I were on the same side of that issue. But that's not the point here.

One of the arguments against renewing the independent counsel statute was there is a provision in the regulations of the Justice Department to appoint an outside special counsel where there is a conflict of interest and a criminal investigation of high-level administration officials.

That is exactly what is going on now. There is that criminal investigation, finally. And, by the way, many of us called for that investigation immediately upon the Novak column, when it was printed in July.

But in any event, there is a specific provision in the regulations of the Department of Justice to appoint an outside special counsel now. That was the reason used not to renew the independent counsel law. We ought to use that existing regulation and get some public confidence in this.

BLITZER: All right.

LEVIN: This is a serious matter. I don't think the administration took this very seriously. The first comment of the president was, that President Bush had no plans to ask his staff members whether they played a role in revealing the name of the undercover CIA agent. That was pretty casual.

SPECTER: Wolf, let me... BLITZER: Hold on. Senator Specter, hold on one second, sir. I want you to respond to that, but I want to read for our viewers who aren't familiar with the law, the law of the United States, 1982, what's called the "Intelligence Identities Protection Act." Specifically it states this: "Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, shall be fined under Title 18, or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both."

This is a very serious issue right now, Senator Specter, as you well know. In your opinion -- and you're a former prosecutor -- was a law broken in this particular instance?

SPECTER: I think a law was broken, and I think that there ought to be a very tough penalty when we apprehend the perpetrator.

I had wanted to make a comment on what Senator Levin said. When he commented that this investigation has been going on since July, I think that's a very critical factor. But nobody called for a special prosecutor in July. The normal processes of the investigation of the Department of Justice were adequate until this became a big story last Sunday with The Washington Post headlines.

That's, Wolf, why I say you have to separate the investigation from the politics.

LEVIN: Well, I agree with that. And the best way to do that is to have an outside counsel.

By the way, this is triggered -- this particular provision of the Justice Department regulation -- when a criminal investigation is undertaken. That is what now is occurring. It's been announced in the last three days. And that's why now is the time to get that special prosecutor...

SPECTER: Well, Carl, there was a criminal investigation under way in July.

LEVIN: No, there was a request for a criminal investigation.

SPECTER: Wait a minute. There was the same issue, about the disclosure of an undercover CIA agent. The investigation was going forward. And until there was political gain, nobody called for a special prosecutor.

LEVIN: The way to avoid -- that's not quite true.

SPECTER: My point...

LEVIN: There was a request for a criminal investigation. It was not decided to have one until three days ago.

SPECTER: Well, my point is, separate the politics from a thorough investigation. LEVIN: I couldn't agree with you more.

SPECTER: You've got prosecutors who have had decades of experience, professionals. You have an FBI director who has a tenure term. And I think we ought to give them a chance. They're working very fast and doing a very good job, at least so far.

If they don't do the job -- and bear this in mind too, Wolf -- the Judiciary Committee has oversight. Senator Leahy and I and others on the Judiciary Committee, who have prosecutorial experience, can step in if the Justice Department is not doing its job.

BLITZER: But you're not doing that yet, are you, Senator Specter?

SPECTER: Well, it's not timely yet. They've only been at it for a couple of days.

BLITZER: All right, we're going to -- Senators, we have to take a quick break.

LEVIN: Sure.

BLITZER: But we have a lot more to talk about. We're only getting started.

We also want our viewers to be calling us, if you have specific questions for Senators Levin and Specter.

Then, later on LATE EDITION, the road to recall. We'll talk with Republican State Senator Tom McClintock about his game plan for trying to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger in Tuesday's California contest, as well as Cruz Bustamante.

LATE EDITION will continue right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back to LATE EDITION. We're continuing our conversation with Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan.

Senator Levin, Joe Wilson, the former U.S. ambassador, was on Face the Nation earlier today, and he noted, in his opinion, that it was unlikely that the president himself had any knowledge of this leak. I want you to listen to precisely what Ambassador Wilson said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH WILSON, FORMER AMBASSADOR: ... the White House and the president of the United States. In fact, the outing of my wife was obviously a political or communications move. The head of the political operation is Karl Rove.

I do believe, however, that the president would never have condoned or been party to anything like this. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right, Senator Levin, we had a little confusion over there on those excerpts, but the bottom line is he's suggesting that political operatives may have known about this, may have been involved in the leaking; he doubts the president, of course, knew anything about this.

But what do you suspect?

LEVIN: Well, there were some political operatives who decided for one reason or another to get back at Joe Wilson through his wife, by outing his wife. It's despicable.

I can't believe the president knew that that was going on, but what we need from the president were strong immediate actions, such as his father gave. His father called this the highest form of treason when one discloses the identity of a CIA agent. And that's a general comment, not referring to this specific event.

But what we need this president to do is to assert some strong leadership here, to call his closest aides into the office, unlike what the press secretary of the president said was going to happen. The president should call in his top people and ask them point-blank, "Did you have anything to do with this? I want to know with happened."

The first response here was much too casual. But I don't think personally he would know anything about it or that he would authorize it.

BLITZER: And on that point, Senator Specter, you're a man who knows a lot about these kinds of investigations. Sometimes, the original sin, if you will, the original crime, if there's a crime, is one thing, but the cover-up could make matters so much worse. Just ask the late President Richard Nixon about that.

In this particular case, if the president wanted to, could he call in all of his top aides and simply say, "I want to know who gave this name to Bob Novak"?

SPECTER: The president could, and he may well have done, have done just that. The president is not making a disclosure as to everything he has done, but Senator Levin agrees with Ambassador Wilson that the president would not countenance this, that it is a very serious matter. Whoever did it ought to go to jail. And I believe that the president will do everything within his power to find out who did it.

BLITZER: On the -- and Senator Levin and Senator Specter, I know we only have a few minutes left, but I do want to get to you for this important, switching gears completely right now, this important story developing in the Middle East right now.

And, Senator Levin, I'll begin with you. This Israeli decision to go ahead and target what it says was a terrorist training camp inside Syria, shattering what had been the status quo, no attacks between the Syrians and Israelis direct over these past several decades, going back to the '70s.

How significantly, potentially, of a development is this?

LEVIN: I think it's a very significant development. Israel has a right to go after people who are attacking her where they're being trained, and that is a right of self-defense which it seems to me should be acknowledged.

It obviously does unleash some forces, however, in the Middle East which Israel and all the other countries there have to consider. And in the response to this, I presume that all countries will consider what comes next.

But Israel has a right of self-defense, like we would. If we knew where terrorists were being trained to come after us, we'd go after them. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what we did in Afghanistan, when we went after the Taliban and al Qaeda. We went after them in Afghanistan.

BLITZER: All right. Senator Specter, I'll give you the last word, because we got to go.

SPECTER: Well, there is a question as to how much Israel can take. Of course they should go after them. The Syrians have been backing Hezbollah for a long time, coming in through Lebanon to northern Israel. You've had the problem in the Bekaa Valley for decades. You've had the problem of Syria harboring terrorist leaders in Damascus for a long time.

And where there is evidence -- and I'm sure Israel would not have moved to go into Syria and to try to clean out those training camps unless she had, unless Israel had very, very strong proof of it.

And 19 more people killed, how much more can they take? I think they really ought to respond very forcefully where they have cause, and identify who the culprits are.

BLITZER: Well, we'll leave it on that note. Agreement between Senators Levin and Specter, at least when it comes to Israeli actions involving Syria.

Thanks to both of you very much for joining us.

LEVIN: Good to be with you, Wolf.

SPECTER: Thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you.

And just ahead, we'll go to CNN headquarters in Atlanta for a quick check of the hour's top stories.

Then, the clock ticking down to California's recall vote. Who's poised to win? We'll talk with Republican state senator and gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintock.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back to LATE EDITION. And we'll turn to the California recall race in just a few minutes, but first, Israeli warplanes overnight attacked what Israel said was a Palestinian training camp right inside Syria.

CNN's Brent Sadler is following all of these dramatic developments from Beirut, not all that far away.

Brent, what's the reaction there?

BRENT SADLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, indeed, Wolf, about 2 1/2 hours by road from the Syrian capital Damascus to Beirut here. And the Arab world has been reacting with fury to this nighttime raid by Israeli aircraft against what the Israelis say was a suspected terror- training Palestinian camp some 10 miles or so from Damascus.

The Syrians are denying that. Islamic Jihad also denying that. Here in Beirut, their spokesman a few hours ago said there were no active cells, no active training, no weaponry inside Syria, as far as Islamic Jihad was concerned.

The Israelis, though, say that this Islamic Jihad base, also used by Hamas, was a legitimate target in the aftermath of Saturday's suicide bombing in Haifa and the death of 19 Israeli civilians.

Haifa maybe about three hours from here if the border was open. So everything very close in this area.

The Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, has reacted angrily, condemning it as aggression. So too, the Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq Hariri.

It's worth pointing out, Wolf, that it's 30 years ago tomorrow, Sunday here, Monday here, that there was the Yom Kippur War. Not since that time 30 years ago has there been an Israeli airstrike deep inside Syrian territory of this nature. So, some symbolism there.

Israel accused unanimously, though, by leaders in the immediate area here, Israel being accused of being a terrorist state, of escalating the war in the Middle East.

Back you to, Wolf.

BLITZER: Brent, very briefly, the White House issuing a very carefully crafted statement, a senior administration official saying they're seeking full details, asking everyone to exercise restraint, but going on to say that Syria is on the wrong side in the war on terror, and it must stop harboring terrorists. That's still the view from the White House.

Any reaction in the past hour since that White House statement came out?

SADLER: No, Wolf. What we've been getting over the many hours since the airstrike has been moderate, if you like, Syrian response. The Syrians seem intent on putting this within the framework of the United Nations, demanding an immediate meeting of the Security Council, of which Syria is now one of 10 non-veto-holding members.

Syria's foreign minister, Farouk al-Shara, quite clearly pushing for that. So, too, the Arab League, bringing Arab attention to the new crisis in the Middle East by calling an emergency meeting of delegates to the Arab League in Cairo -- Wolf.

BLITZER: A little less than three hours from now, that meeting at the Security Council, scheduled to begin, first behind closed doors. CNN's Brent Sadler monitoring all of these dramatic developments for us from his post in Beirut.

Thanks, Brent, very much. We'll, of course, be checking back with you.

Let's move on now. With 48 hours to go before California voters decide his political fate, Governor Gray Davis is criss-crossing the state, trying to fend off a recall.

Our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, is with the Davis campaign right here in Los Angeles. She's joining us now live.

Any new shifts, any new strategy developing over these past -- in the coming hours, Candy?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not since last Thursday. Here's the basic Davis strategy, and that is to go to the party faithful, tried and true Democrats, unions, women, that sort of -- minorities, who are here today, where he's going to sign a insurance bill for the 1 million Californians who don't have health insurance, so that they can get it through small businesses.

So, what he's doing is going to these groups, and while they keep saying that they didn't start any of these allegations that come up against Arnold Schwarzenegger, they certainly are stirring up the pot.

Another statement today, written at this point but I'm sure we'll hear it later in the day from the governor, saying there are 15 women now that have come forward. It's time for Arnold Schwarzenegger to say what's true and what isn't. Are these women and their families lying, or us Arnold Schwarzenegger lying?

So they are ramping up this pressure, continuing to go to groups where this indeed gets a lot of resonance. So, they are certainly using it.

And I'll tell you, a much more bouyant campaign than they used to be, but, as you say, it's still a struggle for Davis. So he's got a couple of days to pull this out -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Is it seen by the Davis camp, Candy, that this is right now shaping up simply as a two-man race, Arnold Schwarzenegger versus Gray Davis, and that's about it?

CROWLEY: Absolutely. I mean, they have framed it as such, I think really for almost a week and a half now, saying, look, you can have this guy or you can have me. And this message is aimed directly at the 27 percent of Democrats who have said they'll vote for a recall, saying, OK now, here's the choice, Arnold Schwarzenegger or me. And what they're hoping is, that those 27 percent of Democrats will take a second look, given the events of the past couple of days, and come on home to the Democratic Party and vote against the recall.

BLITZER: All right. CNN's Candy Crowley's going to be covering this race for us, and we thank her very much. We'll be checking back with her, obviously, as well.

And although the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is leading the field of candidates to replace Governor Gray Davis, should he be recalled, Schwarzenegger's fellow Republican, state Senator Tom McClintock, is hoping for a last-minute push from the GOP faithful to help him to victory.

Joining us now from Palm Springs here in California is Tom McClintock.

Senator, welcome back to LATE EDITION. Always good to speak with you.

Let's go to the latest polls, just to review right now where you stand, according to the Knight Ridder-NBC News poll, consistent with some earlier polls. Who will vote to replace -- let's put it up on the screen -- who will you vote to replace Governor Gray Davis? Schwarzenegger with 37, Bustamante 29, you're down at 15 percent.

It looks like the definitely voting yes, according to this poll, to recall Gray Davis, 50 percent, and another 4 percent saying probably voting yes.

Some Republicans still want you at this last minute, Senator, to drop out and effectively ensure Schwarzenegger's election. Any thought whatsoever to doing that?

STATE SEN. TOM MCCLINTOCK (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, actually we've had a flood of e-mail in the last several days of people saying, thanks for hanging in there, we need a choice.

And what the polls are also saying -- you see this in the Gallup Poll, the L.A. Times poll, the Field Poll -- by wide margins, people are saying McClintock's the best-qualified, McClintock would do the best job. We're just not able to translate that into votes.

So my message to folks over the final few days of this campaign is, it's OK to vote your conscience. If everybody who believes I'd do the best job actually votes for me, we will win in a landslide on Election Day. But don't vote somebody else's political calculations, vote your own personal convictions. That's the way the system is designed to operate. BLITZER: All right. So you're definitely in this race until the bitter end, is that right?

MCCLINTOCK: Oh yes.

BLITZER: You're not going anywhere. I want you to listen to what Duf Sundheim, the Republican Party chairman in California, said. I'll read it to our viewers.

"We are proud to have two extremely competent Republicans on the ballot. Both would make exceptional governors, but only one can win. It is our hope that Republicans, Democrats and independents who are ready for change unite behind Arnold Schwarzenegger."

You've got a lot of big-time Republicans squeezing you big-time, if you will, to drop out. How's the pressure been coming along?

MCCLINTOCK: Well, you know, I steer a steady course, and I stay that course no matter what the pressure. There are a lot of folks who are very disenchanted with politics because of politicians who will promise one thing and then do something else. I keep my promises. I intend to stay this course.

I believe that people have a right to have a choice. I'm the only candidate in this race who's signed a no-tax pledge. I'm the only candidate in this race that supports the racial privacy initiative to stop the government from classifying us all according to our race. I'm the only candidate who stands four-square on the Republican platform.

BLITZER: All right.

MCCLINTOCK: And if I were to drop out, all of those voters would no longer have a choice.

BLITZER: What's your reaction, Senator, to the allegations that Arnold Schwarzenegger has been routinely, if you will, involved over many years in groping, sexually groping women?

MCCLINTOCK: Well, I am very disturbed by two things. First of all, the seriousness of the charges. I have a 13-year-old daughter. Those charges, they hit home.

But I'm also disturbed about the fact they were brought up so late in the campaign. Now, if these were accusations made against a teacher, that teacher would be suspended with -- I mean, pending an investigation. There's no time, because of the lateness of the charges, for a full investigation to occur.

So I'm sorting through the facts like everyone else. I think ultimately the people of California are going to have to make a simple decision, over a question of character, with, again, a big caveat that these are charges that are coming up in the last days of the campaign.

BLITZER: Well, the actor, the Republican candidate, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is not denying them. In fact, he's apologized for what he calls his rowdy, playful behavior, saying it was a mistake. So in effect, he's confirming that these kinds of incidents did, in fact, occur.

MCCLINTOCK: And I think ultimately that's a matter that the people of California are going to have to form their judgments upon.

BLITZER: Are you telling them not to vote for him?

MCCLINTOCK: I'm telling them to vote their conscience, and if everyone votes their conscience we'll win in a landslide.

That's what the polls are telling us. Again, one after another of the polls keep saying by a wide margin, people believe I'd do the best job as governor.

We need those folks to vote their conscience. Vote your personal convictions, not somebody else's political calculation.

BLITZER: The other last-minute allegation that has just came out, that Arnold Schwarzenegger, when he was much younger, decades ago, suggesting that he admired parts of what Adolf Hitler did and his ability, if you will, to speak and generate excitement.

He, of course, says he doesn't remember anything like that, and he has been very active on behalf of Jewish and Israeli causes over the years. What do you make of this disclosure?

MCCLINTOCK: Well, again, an absolutely shocking disclosure, if it's true and if it is quoted in context. But when it comes up so late in a campaign -- and I've grown very skeptical of character attacks on candidates made in the final days of the campaign. And I urge others to exercise that care in evaluating all of these facts.

Obviously, they are shocking, both the sexual harassment charges and the admiration of Hitler. But again, whether that is in context in the case of the comments over Hitler, to, you know, exactly what went on with the now multiple charges of sexual harassment, it's very frustrating because there's not enough time to sort all that out. So people are simply going to have to make their own judgments.

I don't want to take up those issues. My issues have been for the future of California, and that's where I hope this campaign will end, with a change of direction for California.

BLITZER: Senator McClintock, thanks very much for joining us as these hours tick down to the election on Tuesday.

Senator Tom McClintock joining us today.

And just ahead, a final push for votes. Who will be left standing when the recall dust settles? We'll look ahead to California's historic election a bit more with Republican congressman and Schwarzenegger campaign co-chairman David Dreier and California state Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres.

Then, inside the CIA. We'll get perspective on the leak involving an agency operative from former CIA Director James Woolsey and former CIA officer Robert Baer.

And there's still time for you to vote on our LATE EDITION Web question of the week: Do the allegations that surfaced this week about Arnold Schwarzenegger change your opinion of him? You can log on to cnn.com/lateedition and vote.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back to our special LATE EDITION. We're here live in Los Angeles previewing Tuesday's California recall election.

Joining us now with an insider's view on where the race stands are two insiders. With me here in our Los Angeles studio, California Republican Congressman David Dreier. He's also the co-chairman of Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign. And in San Francisco, Art Torres, he's the chairman of the California State Democratic Party.

Gentlemen, welcome back to LATE EDITION.

ART TORRES, CHAIRMAN CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Thank you, Wolf.

REP. DAVID DREIER (R), CALIFORNIA: Welcome to Los Angeles. We're glad to have you out here in California.

BLITZER: Always good to be back here.

DREIER: The Schwarzenegger economic growth plan is already going into place.

BLITZER: Always good to be out in California.

Art Torres, let me begin with you, and I want to get your reaction to the whole issue of women, sexual harassment, groping, if you will. Listen precisely to what Arnold Schwarzenegger said after the Los Angeles Times came out with that bombshell of a story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHWARZENEGGER: Yes, that I have behaved badly sometimes. Yes, it is true that I was on rowdy movie sets, and I have done things that were not right, which I thought then was playful but now I recognize that I have offended people.

And to those people that I have offended, I want to say to them, I am deeply sorry about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Art Torres, are you satisfied with that apology?

TORRES: Absolutely not, because we don't know what instances he's acknowledging. And I know Hollywood very well, I grew up in Hollywood. All the actors I talked to say the only rowdiness occurs on the sets was in Arnold's trailer, and I think that's evidenced by the allegations of 15 women now. How many women do we need to hear from before we believe that this guy needs some help?

BLITZER: Well, on that point, Congressman Dreier, the Oakland Tribune, reversing itself in an editorial Saturday, saying this, "Called a sexual harasser by one female and a predator by others, we can no longer in good conscience recommend him for governor."

How much of an impact are these allegations having on Schwarzenegger's campaign?

DREIER: Well, the interesting thing is, Wolf, first of all, no one is excusing this behavior, and Arnold has said he was wrong, and he has apologized for it.

After his apology, the Survey USA Poll, done by the ABC affiliates out here, along with our internal poll, actually showed an increase in the support level for Arnold.

You know, it is virtually unprecedented to have a candidate who has taken what he realized was inappropriate behavior -- and he said if I said or did anything that was inappropriate, he apologized. He made it very clear that he was sorry.

And I will tell you, I have spent a great deal of time with his wife and children. I have seen his family. Especially for Hollywood, he is, to me, a great family man.

And so, it's actually, people are angry. I mean, a woman said to me the other day, Wolf, she said, "I don't like what Arnold Schwarzenegger did, but I like even less the fact that Gray Davis tripled my car tax."

BLITZER: All right, well, on that point of his family, Art Torres, I want you to listen to what his wife, Maria Shriver, of NBC News, on leave from NBC News, said on Saturday in regard to these allegations. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA SHRIVER: I have known this man for 26 years, married to him for 17. He's an extraordinary father and a remarkable husband, a terrific human being. He has the character to govern, he has the temperament to govern, and he is a leader for all of you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Strong words from his wife, who is a popular figure presumably out here in California.

DREIER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Republican.

BLITZER: And obviously from the Kennedy family, as Congressman Dreier points out.

Is that going to be enough, do you think, to get Arnold Schwarzenegger elected, assuming, of course, that Governor Davis is recalled?

TORRES: I am very close to the Kennedy family for over 30 years, and I think Maria Shriver is an incredible example of a young woman who has been very successful in her career. However, in the L.A. Times story today, it was very clear that one of the women who was allegedly spanked and fondled by Arnold said the only time he stopped was when she mentioned Maria's name.

So, it's clearly, you have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde going on here. Very well behaved in certain circles, when family members are around, but apparently, according to these reports, definitely a different kind of character once you remove him from those issues.

DREIER: You know, Art, this is really...

TORRES: As Tom McClintock, excuse me, as Tom McClintock said, even a teacher would be suspended with just one of these allegations. And here you have 15. It seems like he's getting a free ride that any criminal defendant wouldn't be afforded.

DREIER: You know, this is just, this is absolutely incredible to me, because I think back six weeks ago when you and I were on this program and had this exchange. Is it not true that when Bob Mulholland, on the 24th of July, did make the statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, that you all were already shopping the tabloids? And when you said that Arnold was a known sexual predator that you were, in fact, anticipating, as has always been the case, a week before the election...

TORRES: No, no, wait a minute. Movie Premiere magazine came out in 2001...

DREIER: ... in the waning days of the campaign. I know, but, Art, all I'm saying is you talked about this and I couldn't believe it...

TORRES: This information is not new. What's new is that these women are now coming out, David, because they don't want to let the others stand alone and think that they're lying, which is usually the case with victims in these kind of situations.

DREIER: What incredible timing.

TORRES: Blame the victim. Talk to the L.A. Times about the timing, David. Don't talk to me.

DREIER: I'm not blaming the victim. Art, Art, I'm not blaming any victim. I said no one has excused this at all.

TORRES: Well, it surely sounds like it. Arnold is. Now he's denying these charges aren't true, again. A typical pattern, confront it, deny, I'm sorry, it happened.

DREIER: Art, if you look at the timing on this, we know that there are more than a few of these people who have been strong supporters of Gray Davis's. They go back in the administration. Strong supporters of Arianna Huffington.

TORRES: Some of the women who were groped?

DREIER: Yes. There are a number of people who've been...

TORRES: Some of the women who were groped were part of the Davis administration?

DREIER: I didn't say administration, who have been supporters...

TORRES: Well, what did you say, then?

DREIER: ... and politically active. Politically active people.

TORRES: I don't understand what you're getting at, David.

DREIER: What I'm getting at...

TORRES: You're demeaning the victims again.

DREIER: No, I'm not demeaning the victims.

TORRES: You are demeaning women who are coming forward with what they consider to be the truth. And let the voters decide, as Tom McClintock said.

DREIER: I believe that there are a number of these people who have had close political ties to the Democratic Party and to Gray Davis who are involved here. We have been able to point that out. And so I'm not -- but I'm not criticizing these victims at all.

TORRES: Let me tell what happened on the inside, so that you know, David. From the very beginning of this campaign, we made very clear to everybody, we are not doing opposition research on Arnold Schwarzenegger. And I defy you, I defy you to show...

DREIER: Well, why did Bob Mulholland say that in July?

TORRES: ... I defy you to find any evidence of that, any evidence of that.

DREIER: Why did you say to me on this program weeks ago that Arnold was a known sexual predator?

TORRES: Because I was -- it wasn't on this program. No, it was on KNH radio, where I was asked my opinion.

DREIER: You said it on this one too, Art. You said it right here with Wolf Blitzer.

TORRES: And as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 12 years, I know sexual predators when I see them, and I was giving my opinion.

BLITZER: All right. Let me interrupt both of you. It's a serious discussion, very serious issues. TORRES: Very serious.

BLITZER: Listen, Congressman Dreier...

TORRES: And I resent the allegations that David is making against these poor women, because they have no relationship to the Democratic...

DREIER: I am not making any accusations against these women.

TORRES: You are trying to minimize...

DREIER: I'm not making any accusations against these women.

TORRES: You are trying to minimize their victimization by saying they're party professionals or associated with Davis.

DREIER: All I'm saying is that they have been politically active. And you all are strongly...

TORRES: What a bunch of baloney!

DREIER: ... supportive of this effort that they're doing, that's all I'm saying.

TORRES: Absolutely not, absolutely not.

BLITZER: As much as what Art Torres is saying, David Dreier, Governor Davis went even further yesterday. Listen to what he said about Arnold Schwarzenegger's behavior.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAY DAVIS (D), GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: Some of those events are clearly a crime. Electing a governor who might have committed a crime is obviously going to distract the state from the important work it has to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DREIER: You know, I will tell you, Wolf, as I listen to sanctimonious statements like that, I will you that this is one of the reasons that Californians are going to recall Gray Davis. He's had a pattern, over the last two decades...

TORRES: It's your candidate that's had a pattern, David.

DREIER: Excuse me, excuse me.

TORRES: It's your candidate that has the pattern of behavior that is not acceptable in today's society.

BLITZER: Art, let David finish up his thought.

Go ahead, David. DREIER: There has been a pattern over the last couple of decades of Democrats and Gray Davis trashing candidates -- and I can go through -- I mean, we all know a decade ago it was done to Bruce Hershensohn (ph), it was done to Dick Riordan in last year's election in the primary, and in the general election to Bill Simon. The fact of the matter is, this is standard operating procedure.

So, these sanctimonious statements -- they're trying to divert from the issue of Gray Davis's record...

TORRES: Not at all.

DREIER: ... tripling the car tax, allowing for those undocumented immigrants to have driver's licenses...

TORRES: There you go again.

DREIER: Hispanics in this state are angry about...

TORRES: Take on Latinos again. We're not going to stand for this.

DREIER: Hispanics in this state are angry about this, I will tell you.

TORRES: No, they're not.

DREIER: I hear from -- they are. I hear from them regularly, Art.

TORRES: You hear from conservative Republican Latinos, I'm sure.

DREIER: No, I've heard from Democrats...

TORRES: Oh, right.

DREIER: ... Democrats who are Latinos who are angry about the granting of these driver's licenses...

TORRES: I don't believe you, just like I don't believe the other baloney you've been giving this audience...

DREIER: ... because they're concerned about security. They're concerned about national security, like we all are.

TORRES: ... concerning these poor women.

Oh, absolutely I'm concerned about national security, and don't even intimate that I'm not, Mr. Dreier.

BLITZER: All right, well, let's move on.

DREIER: What? I didn't say that.

BLITZER: Let's move on, because I have to get to this other issue. I wanted David Dreier to clarify it, if he can. I assume you've discussed the Hitler comments with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

According to the New York Times and ABC News, he's quoted as having said this many, many years ago: "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it."

DREIER: And what's the next line?

BLITZER: The next line, he despised Adolf Hitler all of his life.

DREIER: Thank you. Thank you very much. And, Wolf...

BLITZER: But still, the "admire" has generated a lot of concern.

DREIER: Let me just tell you, this -- I've sat with Arnold over the past several days. We've been on this bus tour -- by the way, which has had thousands and thousands of people, it's been growing. I've been on four of the stops, and it's been phenomenal. And people are angry about this. The frustration level is so high.

When Arnold was 17 years old, in his home town of Graz, he and some of his weight-lifting buddies literally kicked from the town some neo-Nazi activists.

I first met Arnold, Wolf, 15 years ago, nearly 15 years ago, sitting with him at the head table, President Bush number 41 was there, at a fundraiser for the Museum of Tolerance of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He's raised more than a million dollars in support of them.

And I'll tell you, this is to me one of the most despicable and groundless attacks that I've ever, ever heard whatsoever.

BLITZER: All right.

DREIER: And George Butler, who actually has this, has been very, very clear in saying that there was no -- and Joe Wieder (ph), Joe Wieder (ph) is Jewish, he's one of those who brought (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And at the last paragraph of yesterday's Los Angeles Times he said he's outraged that anyone would believe that he would tolerate this kind of behavior on the part of any of his weight-lifters.

BLITZER: Go ahead, Art Torres, respond.

TORRES: Well, he was not a young man. He was almost 30 years old when he made those comments in "Pumping Iron." And I think people need to reflect upon that.

But the bottom line here is that we're going to continue to stress the issues: 900,000 new jobs in California, 42 new power plants, an environmental record and a pro-choice record unequal to any other candidate in this race...

DREIER: Is Arnold anti-choice now? Is Arnold anti-choice? TORRES: Excuse me. I'm talking about pro-women. I've never heard any allegation...

DREIER: Oh, is Arnold not pro-women?

TORRES: ... of Governor Davis regard -- I've never heard -- well, according to 15 women, no.

DREIER: No one is more committed to women's rights. I mean, listen, he launched the after-school programs.

TORRES: Well, of course he is now.

DREIER: He launched the after-school programs, which is one of the most pro-women movements of the past...

TORRES: The question is, he always says about this behavior: "If I would have known I would have been running for office, I would have behaved differently." He said that.

DREIER: You just go ahead and keep attacking that, Art, and I will tell you, it's backfiring.

BLITZER: I want to be very, very fair to Arnold Schwarzenegger...

DREIER: Thank you.

TORRES: Twenty five percent...

BLITZER: And, Art Torres, I want to...

TORRES: ... of the women are still undecided, and I think they need to reflect upon the records of all the candidates, including Mr. Schwarzenegger.

BLITZER: Let me put up on the screen precisely what Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday night. Actually, I want to hear what he had to say about Adolf Hitler. Let's listen to this excerpt. Go ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHWARZENEGGER: They already have started their puke campaign, because that's exactly what they know how to do. Davis always knows how to run a dirty campaign. But he doesn't know how to run the state. That's the problem that he has.

SCHWARZENEGGER: I don't remember any of those comments, because I always despised everything that Hitler stood for.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BLITZER: And one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's contemporaries from that time said this: "He was so outraged, so filled with rage against the Nazi regime, it's absurd. It's 100-percent wrong that he could have ever liked Hitler."

Should there be some sort of statute of limitations on these kinds of comments, Art Torres?

TORRES: I'm sorry, the crew here was making noises with the toys (ph). I didn't hear your comment.

BLITZER: Well, the comment about...

DREIER: I'll tell you...

BLITZER: Wait a sec, wait a sec...

DREIER: You should hear what Arnold said.

BLITZER: Arnold Schwarzenegger's comments despising Adolf Hitler, a contemporary saying he despised him, Adolf Hitler...

TORRES: Yes, yes, yes. It fits the pattern of his behavior. He always, when confronted with the truth, apologizes. But, quite frankly, in all of these instances...

DREIER: He didn't apologize. There was no apology on that. He never said it, Art.

TORRES: He said -- I'm sorry, he -- well, according to the New York Times, he said something like that. In fact, he also said that he admired Hitler because of the way he came to power and how he used his public-speaking ability.

DREIER: Art, he always said that he deplored everything that Adolf Hitler stood for.

TORRES: But he didn't say that he didn't deplore how he came to power, Dave.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: All right, all right.

TORRES: When this interview took place, he was almost 30 years old.

DREIER: When he was 17, he ran the neo-Nazis out of his hometown.

TORRES: Excuse me, but when this interview was held, he was almost 30 years old. He was 28 at the time.

DREIER: And he said he despised Hitler then.

BLITZER: All right, let me just wrap this up, because we're not...

TORRES: Well, good for him, and thank God he's coming to his senses. BLITZER: Hold on, Art.

DREIER: He said it back then, Art.

BLITZER: Very quickly, Art Torres, was it a mistake for Cruz Bustamante to throw his hat into the ring? Was Dianne Feinstein's advice for all Democrats to stay out and simply focus on defeating the recall, would that have been a better prospect for the Democrats at this point?

TORRES: No, I don't think so. I think that Cruz Bustamante's candidacy is going to help with turnout.

And thank God Senator Feinstein made the sacrifice of staying in Washington and keeping her seniority there for all of California.

DREIER: And Cruz Bustamante, of course, has proposed an $8 billion tax increase on working Californians, which obviously would devastate our economy.

TORRES: And Arnold didn't pay $800,000 in sales taxes because he did a little phony deal for a $12 million Lear jet in the companies in Nevada, Dave. Is he going to give that money back to the state now?

BLITZER: Unfortunately, gentlemen, gentlemen, stand by. We're going to have to cut it short right there. A good debate, a serious discussion. Obviously tempers...

TORRES: Thank you, Wolf.

Thank you, David.

BLITZER: ... being very serious...

DREIER: Good luck to you.

BLITZER: ... at this late point with 48 hours to go. The stakes enormous out here in California.

DREIER: Glad to have you out here, Wolf.

BLITZER: I want to thank David Dreier and Art Torres as usual for their strong opinions.

Up next, we'll get a check of the hour's top stories. Then, outing a CIA operative, a former diplomat, a columnist and the White House at the center of a huge controversy. We'll discuss the potential impact of the case with former CIA director James Woolsey and former CIA officer Robert Baer.

LATE EDITION will continue right after a quick check of the headlines.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back to LATE EDITION. Although the Justice Department is promising a thorough investigation into who's responsible for leaking the identity of a CIA operative, there are calls for a special outside investigation. There are also deep concerns about just how much damage has been done to U.S. national security.

Joining us now with some special insight, two CIA veterans. In Washington, the former CIA director, James Woolsey. And here -- and in Irvine, California, actually, the former CIA officer Robert Baer.

Gentlemen, welcome back to LATE EDITION.

Director Woolsey, I'll begin with you. How much damage do you believe potentially has been done to U.S. national security by leaking the name of this CIA operative?

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, I don't think there's any way we can know. Bob may have a better idea. But the serious thing is, even if she doesn't go back overseas in the future and isn't put at risk herself, that people she met with during her career who might have believed -- in countries where her cover may have been believed, could well be at risk themselves. And some governments would retaliate very strongly if an individual had been known to be meeting with a CIA officer.

So it seems to me that's the reason that this 1982 statute was passed. That's the reason -- one of the main reasons why it is a felony, and it's a serious felony.

BLITZER: Bob Baer, you once worked undercover. You were a clandestine case officer for the CIA. What does this case say to you?

BOB BAER, FORMER CIA AGENT: Well, it says a lot of things to me. I agree with Jim Woolsey. He's absolutely right. This hurts national security, not only compromising the operations this woman might have been involved in, but more than that, the CIA, especially today, needs to go over and work under what we call non-official cover, you know, for law firms or whatever in order to do their job, to find out information about weapons of mass destruction.

We are now sending a message to the people who provide that cover, you can't trust the CIA, or at least the White House.

BLITZER: Well, what should be done about this, Director Woolsey? Is the Justice Department good enough, the preliminary investigation that's under way right now? You're an attorney, among other things. Do you believe an outside counsel, a special counsel, should be named?

WOOLSEY: Well, I don't think we should assume yet that the Justice Department can't do its job in this matter. It's in the hands of an experienced career attorney over there who's done these types of investigations before. I think we ought to see what transpires.

It's not clear that there was a White House connection here. The White House has made the announcement that neither Mr. Rove nor Mr. Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, had anything to do with this. And Ambassador Wilson has pulled back on his original allegation that the leak came from the White House. We need to see.

But they need to vigorously pursue it. And if they don't vigorously pursue it, it is a possibility, I suppose, at some point, that a special counsel would have to be appointed.

BLITZER: Bob Baer, you speak with lot of your former colleagues over at the CIA. This must have a pretty serious impact on morale and attitude. What have you been hearing?

BAER: It's demoralizing the ranks. What they're feeling is they're being -- the CIA is being politicized continually. It hasn't stopped. It occurred under the Clinton administration. It's happening today.

And it frankly gets in the way of the job, and people are beginning to wonder exactly what the administration's position or whoever leaked this is, vis-a-vis the CIA. And it's making the job more difficult. It's already dangerous enough. So it's demoralized the place.

BLITZER: I want you to listen, Director Woolsey, to what Bob Novak, our colleague here at CNN, the syndicated columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. I spoke with him earlier in the week, and I asked him why he decided to go ahead and publish this woman's name, the wife of Ambassador Joe Wilson, even though the CIA had asked him not to do so. Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT NOVAK, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: They asked me not to use her name but never indicated it would endanger her or anybody else. According to a confidential source at the CIA, Mrs. Wilson was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operator, and not in charge of undercover operators.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Actually, that's what Bob Novak said on his own program, on Crossfire, not in an interview he gave to me.

But should the CIA have been more forceful in that phone conversation with Bob Novak, than simply saying don't publish this? Because there's obviously a Catch-22. If they tell him why, then they're breaking the law by revealing the identity of a covert operative.

WOOLSEY: Well, anybody out there ought to know, because of the history of Phillip Agee and the outing of CIA officers, some of whom were killed overseas in the '70s and the beginning of the '80s, that this statute is there and that it's important.

I think if this had gone up to a senior level, someone responsible would have probably done what I did on a couple of occasions when I was director and visit personally the institution, the media outlet, the journalist in question, and explain why it was so important to not blow a source and/or a cover of an officer. And whoever, assuming Mr. Novak's characterization is accurate, and I have no reason to doubt it, whoever talked with him should, first of all, not reveal the name, and secondly, made certain that he understood how serious it was.

BLITZER: Last word from you, briefly, Bob Baer. What do you want to happen right now?

BAER: I want some accountability on this, find out who did it, and this has got to stop. And I think it would really help the CIA to identify somebody and get the agreement of the journalists and the politicians to quit messing around in intelligence.

BLITZER: Bob Baer and Jim Woolsey, speaking out on a very important, sensitive subject.

Thanks to both of you for joining us.

BAER: Thank you.

WOOLSEY: Good to be with you.

BLITZER: Thank you.

And just ahead, my colleague Jeff Greenfield, he'll join me. He has some unique perspective on this political drama unfolding right here in California. We'll get his take when LATE EDITION continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Perhaps it's fitting that California's providing the kind of political theater playing out in the state's recall race, but joining us now to get some analysis of what's going on, our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield.

Jeff, let's take a look at what our viewers should be anticipating over the next 48 hours. What should they be looking for specifically?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: What I would be looking for, in fact, what I am going to be looking for, is whether or not there are more events like the Oakland Tribune, a conservative Republican newspaper, it's an institution in California, withdrawing its endorsement from Schwarzenegger specifically because of these stories of predatory behavior.

The most important rule to follow in politics is, your own man says so. And if conservative Republicans begin to say, "We can't accept this," that's a serious matter.

BLITZER: There's a widespread notion that this kind of stuff, the sexual allegations, the Hitler stuff, could hurt Arnold Schwarzenegger, but some say that's not necessarily true.

GREENFIELD: I think actually the timing helps Schwarzenegger. A hundred and fifty years ago, there was a term for last-minute charges. They called them war-backs (ph), not the California congressman. They were charges that came out so late the other side couldn't respond. In this day and age, when voters are so cynical, the fact that it came out late almost helps discount it.

And there's another critical part. It's much easier to change an undecided voter's mind than to change the mind of somebody who's committed. So a lot of people who've decided to vote for Schwarzenegger are going to be more skeptical about these charges than if they'd came out a month ago.

And the last point to mention is there are 2 million-plus early or absentee ballots that have already been cast. Those voters couldn't change their vote if they wanted to.

BLITZER: So those votes are already in.

Is it right now a two-man, a classic two-man race, Gray Davis versus Arnold Schwarzenegger?

GREENFIELD: Well, depending on which poll you believe, Wolf, and there are plenty to go around, Bustamante is closer to Schwarzenegger than the no recall is to the yes recall. So I don't think you count Bustamante out.

Certainly, the Davis people from the get-go didn't want any other Democrat in the race. They wanted to say to voters in this heavily Democratic state, "Here is your choice, if you throw out Gray Davis, you're going to get a Republican."

Now, the polls suggest that is what's going to happen, so the question is, do Democrats disaffected with Davis come home? I spent last night with a lot of people who happen all of them to be Democrats, and you heard two things: One, their dislike of Gray Davis, and some of these were at one time really big players in the state, is palpable. They don't like this guy.

But second, they're kind of hearing these stories you always hear at the last minute, that the polls are shifting. I put a lot of skepticism in anything a campaign or its supporters tell me about polls this late in the game.

BLITZER: Would Gray Davis have been better off going into this recall if Cruz Bustamante had followed Dianne Feinstein's lead and other Democrats and simply decided, you know what, we're not going to put any serious Democrat on that list?

GREENFIELD: He would have been better off, but I think the Democratic Party was simply not willing to play that kind of Russian roulette.

BLITZER: The whole notion of women voters now, because of the sexual allegations of groping, Latino voters, Cruz Bustamante himself being a Latino, are those going to be the groups that you will be looking closely at Tuesday night?

GREENFIELD: Well, women are half-the-electorate-plus, so it's kind of hard not to look at them. And Latinos in this state have begun to vote, not quite in their population numbers, but much more.

But I think that's a little too simple. I think, right now, somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of Democrats are going to vote for the recall.

One of the key questions is, whether they're angry white men or whoever, are they going to come -- are they going to, at the last minute, say, "No, I don't want Schwarzenegger, so I've got to vote no on recall." That's as critical to me as women voters and any other ethnic group.

BLITZER: You know, there's a lot of sense -- people trying to think there's going to be some national ramifications from this election if Arnold Schwarzenegger's elected, that there'll be a Republican governor of California, that must be great for George W. Bush.

GREENFIELD: That is one of the great nonsensical, ahistorical misconceptions. I've gone back and looked at what states were governed by whom in the last three elections, and there's almost a reverse calculation. In '92 and '96 and 2000, almost all the big states were governed by Republicans, and Al Gore and Bill Clinton carried them all. Most of the Southern states in 2000 were governed by Democrats. George W. Bush carried them all.

It helps if your brother's the governor of Florida, when it comes down to 1,000 votes. I'll give him that.

Where I think there might be some fallout nationally is that there are states with recall provisions that have never used them, and there may be a kind of appetite. I know in Nevada, Republicans are very angry at the governor for raising taxes. There's a kind of a recall effort there. Maybe this will spark it.

But as far as a presidential implication, I think this is just -- I don't know what people are looking at when they say that.

BLITZER: Because they want some national ramifications from this.

GREENFIELD: Yes, I know.

BLITZER: That's what people want to see.

GREENFIELD: This is a big enough story in California that we don't have to make up stuff to get people interested, I hope.

BLITZER: We promise we won't be making that stuff up.

GREENFIELD: OK.

BLITZER: We'll be here Tuesday night.

Jeff Greenfield, thanks very much.

GREENFIELD: All right. BLITZER: We'll continue this discussion.

When we come back, we'll take a closer look at some more news. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Here are the results of LATE EDITION's Web question of the week. The question is, do the allegations that surfaced this week about Arnold Schwarzenegger change your opinion of him? Look at this. Fifty-four percent of you said yes. Forty-six percent say no. Remember, this is not -- not -- a scientific poll.

And that's your LATE EDITION for Sunday, October 5th.

For our international viewers, World News is next.

Please be sure to join us for comprehensive coverage of Tuesday's California recall election. We'll be covering every angle of this very important political story, beginning, of course, right now.

Once the polls close Tuesday night, I'll be anchoring our special coverage. That coverage will begin at 11 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Pacific. That's when the polls close here in California.

Until then, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Los Angeles. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



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