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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Passenger Jet Crashes in Russia, Another Missing; Amber Frey Cross-Examined

Aired August 24, 2004 - 19:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening. I'm Anderson Cooper.
Breaking news tonight. A passenger jet crashes outside Moscow, and another jet is missing. Accident or terror attack?

360 starts now.

Amber Frey face to face with Mark Geragos, on the stand under oath. Tough questions about character, honesty, and what she said to Scott Peterson. The latest from inside the courtroom.

Have you seen this man? Police issue an alert. They want to question him about the brutal beach killing of two Christian camp counselors.

Kerry blasts Bush for a fear-and-smear campaign. But is his rhetoric keeping the swift boat issue alive? We go 360 with former presidential candidate Howard Dean.

Jane Pauley confesses all just in time to sell a new book and promote a new TV show. Why so many stars spill the beans when they've got a product to sell.

And romance in the cubicle? Why interoffice trysts are on the rise, and some say may be a good thing.

ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: Good evening again.

We begin tonight with breaking news. Reports early, still developing, in Russia of one plane crash and another plane missing from radar. The planes took off from the same airport within minutes of one another, but after traveling in different directions, one of them, a passenger jet, went down in southern Russia, the other lost off radar, still missing.

CNN's Ryan Chilcote is in Moscow with developments. Ryan, what's the latest?

RYAN CHILCOTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it's very disturbing news indeed. What we know is that this first plane that Russian officials have confirmed did indeed crash in the Tula region, that's in southern Russia, had 42 people on board, 34 passengers, a crew of eight. It was a Tupolev 134. It's a medium-sized passenger plane that's used quite a bit here in the former Soviet Union between domestic locations.

It took off at 10:30 p.m. local time. That was about three and a half hours ago. At 10:56, just 26 minutes later, Russian officials say they lost contact with the plane. They have subsequently found the crash site. They say they found the plane's tail, and they say that there are very few chances at this point that they are going to find any survivors.

Interestingly, Anderson, they are also -- there are reports from eyewitnesses on the ground near that crash site -- there was a city right next to it -- that say that they saw an explosion on that plane before it crashed in that area.

Now, a second plane is missing that took off just moments after that first plane, as you said, from the very same airport. This plane had between, depending on who you listen to, 46 and 52 people. The Russian airlines that says the plane belongs to them said they had 46 on it, some Russian, other Russian sources saying 52. In any case, this plane on its way to a popular Russian resort town, and communication was lost with that plane just three minutes after communication was lost with the first plane.

Still no firm confirmation that that plane has crashed. All Russian officials are saying at this point is that they're very concerned and that they can't find it on their radar screens.

Now, Anderson, of course, the issue here in Russia, concern, suspicion is definitely going to fall on terrorism. Russian officials at this point aren't pointing any fingers at anyone yet, although it is 2:30 in the morning. But suspicion will fall on terrorism.

We are just five days away from a regional election in Chechnya. Chechnya is the Russian region where Russian forces continue to battle a very serious insurgency. There was supposed to be an election, will be an election there in just five days' time, and it is very customary to see acts of terrorism take place in Russia, large acts of terrorism, just before major events in Chechnya.

Still, important to say that Russian officials at this point are not pointing to any specific groups or even using the word terrorism at this point.

The State Department says, the U.S. State Department says it's monitoring the situation and that it's very concerned, Anderson.

COOPER: Ryan, so the first plane left three and a half hours ago. They left just a few minutes apart, you said. So this plane that has been missing off radar has been missing now for some three hours. Is that correct?

CHILCOTE: Yes, that's correct. And that is not good news, of course. These planes have limited fuel supply. There were some reports that have not borne out that that plane had crashed coming from some Russian state media organizations. So far, there is no firm confirmation. All we know is that that plane is still missing.

COOPER: All right. Ryan Chilcote, thanks very much. We'll check back in with you shortly.

To provide some context on at least one plane crash, let's go now to CNN's Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty, who is following the president in Crawford, Texas.

Jill, thanks very much for being with us tonight.

Let's just take a look back at what sort of -- I mean, we do not know this is terrorism. The Russians say they are not ruling that out at this point. What -- there has been a history of terrorist activity inside Russia in the last several years, mainly involving Chechnya.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Definitely. And Anderson, you would have to say that immediately, if the word terrorism comes up, it usually in Russia means or is construed to mean Chechnya, that breakaway region in the southern part of Russia.

Now, the timing, I think Ryan was absolutely correct that the timing, coming a week before the Chechen elections. Don't forget that the president of Chechnya was assassinated, just back, I believe, if it's in May. That was one case. And there have been numerous cases all the way up to the capital. In Moscow, female suicide bombers blowing themselves up on the streets of Moscow. Remember two years ago there was that theater hostage crisis, very serious incident.

And the question always was, how do these things happen? Say, the theater crisis, we're seeing some pictures of that from two years ago. How does that happen? How do 41 heavily armed people make their way across the capital of Moscow and take over a theater? And that's always the concern.

Anderson, I have to tell you, you know, we fly a lot in Russia, and in some cases, the security seems to be quite good. In other cases, it is lackadaisical at best. And what the Chechens have been very good -- and this is not to jump to speculation that this is what's happening -- but what the Chechens have been very good at doing is bribing people behind the scenes to get to where they want.

There is a lot of corruption in Russia, and, again, a lackadaisical approach in many cases. So it conceivably wouldn't be that difficult...

COOPER: Yes, Jill, I...

DOUGHERTY: To get to that.

COOPER: I've ridden on some planes in Russia. It's not an experience I would really want to repeat very frequently. I'm looking at a list of the terrorist activity that has gone on in Russia over the last five years or so. And what's interesting, as you look at this sort of time line, not only do the events -- they seem to escalate from time to time. I mean, there was that event at the Russian, at the Russian theater, about 50 Chechen rebels seized a theater.

But there also seemed to be starting to use more women as suicide bombers.

DOUGHERTY: Yes, correct. And that was a very worrisome trend. You've seen that, I believe, at least twice in Moscow, where you had a woman actually down Main Street in Moscow, in front of the hotel, one of the best hotels in the city, blowing herself up and killing several people along with herself. And then you've had -- there was a rock concert where two women blew themselves up.

COOPER: Yes, that was in, that was July 5 of 2003. And then I guess on June 5, just a month before that, a woman bomber ambushed a bus carrying Russian air force pilots. That was near Chechnya. She blew that up, killing herself and 18 other people.

But at this point, as you pointed out, Jill, we don't really want to go down too far a road speculating at this point. All we know is, one plane has crashed. A plane that took off several minutes afterwards is still missing at this point outside Moscow, south of Moscow.

Jill, the area that the second plane is missing in, around Rostov-on-Don, that's toward a popular tourist destination, right, for Russians?

DOUGHERTY: Yes, Sochi, which is the -- in fact, that's where President Putin vacations. And I'm not -- since I'm here in Crawford, I'm not quite sure of the president's schedule, but I did read, I believe, that he may be there. We would have to confirm that. But that is where he tends to take some vacations. That could be significant.

But Anderson, I think it's really important to point out that those two planes, the Tupolev 134, Tupolev 154, are the workhorse planes of Russian aviation. And they are -- it's a very aging group of planes. Many, don't forget, there -- they go back to the Soviet times. And when the Soviet Union fell apart, they created these regional airports, some airlines, sometimes with very few planes, not a lot of maintenance.

It's gotten better over the past few years, but it's still a place where the 154 conceivably could be in bad shape and simply falls apart. And again, that we have to look at that report about the explosion, but there are technical problems too.

COOPER: We've got some pictures of a Tupolev 154, and also, I think, it's the 134. We're just going to put those on the screen while we talk about that. As you said, it's sort of the workhorse of the fleet in Russia, used for a lot of domestic flights around midrange aircraft, carries up to -- the one, the 154, I'm reading, can carry up to 167 people at most. The report we have, though, that there were only some 30 to 40 or 50 or so people on board this one flight.

If the other flight has indeed crashed, that would bring it up to more than 100 people or so, last estimate on both flights. But again, we don't know that at this point. Does it make sense to you, though, Jill, having flown, you know, in Russia a lot, throughout Russia to some of the regions, the Caucuses, that a plane would go missing off radar for three and a half hours, and there would still be no confirmed report about what exactly had happened to it? I mean, you can't imagine that happening here in the United States. Is the situation in Russia more chaotic that it would sort of -- that it's explainable?

DOUGHERTY: Well, I would have to say that's pretty curious. I mean, for that long not to know exactly where that plane is, is very curious. And I think the most curious thing is that these two planes take off from the same place at, you know, roughly the same time, disappear roughly at the same time. That is very weird. If it were just one plane, you might immediately say, well, you know, air crash. But when you have two, that really raises the level here.

COOPER: Yes, it certainly does that. Jill Dougherty, we appreciate you joining us from Crawford, Texas. I know it's not your beat this evening, but we appreciate you weighing in on it with all your experience.

We're going to go now to Jim Walsh, an international security expert. He's at Harvard University. He joins me on the phone.

Jim, good to talk to you.

And again, I just want to specify, we do not know what has occurred with these planes. There were some eyewitnesses, according to a Russian radio report, saying that they -- some witnesses had seen an explosion on one of the planes before it crashed. The other plane is still missing at this point.

That being said, as we look at this history of terrorism in Russia, in particular Chechen terrorism, what jumps out at you, Jim?

JIM WALSH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EXPERT: Well, I think going back to what Jill said just a minute ago, and I thought she was very cautious, and appropriately so, but when you have two planes from the same airport disappear at the same time, you know, it really makes you think that it's more than just coincidence.

And again, especially given the context, which Ryan had spoken to, that is to say, we have an election coming up to replace an assassinated president, a president who was only assassinated in May, and the Chechens have a history of stepping up violence in anticipation of an election.

And in fact, there was fighting when Putin made that secret trip to Chechnya two days ago, there was fighting in neighborhoods in Grozny, and there's been quite a bit of fighting. There was 75 people killed in June when Chechens and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) rebels wandered across the border and grabbed some arms and attacked a military post. But...

COOPER: You know, Jim, President Putin has often sort of linked -- especially, obviously, since 9/11, linked Chechen rebels with al Qaeda. How much of that is real, and how much of that is a bid for international support? Because he has not received international support for Russia's activities in Chechnya heretofore.

WALSH: Well, that's a great question, Anderson. And I think you're right. He has made that claim. And it's certainly true that there have been at least some ties, communications, meetings where people have -- both Islamic extremists and Chechens have gotten together. And there were, of course, allegations that there were Chechens who were in al Qaeda training camps and even some Chechens killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

But despite those many claims, there's been very little in the way of hard data linking the two together. But it may be there are Islamic militants who have traveled into Russia, although one would think they're more likely to travel to Iraq than they are Russia these days. And that of course there are other rebel groups in nearby republics that might link arms with Chechens to carry out joint attacks, which, as I said, happened back in June.

But there is something else here, though, that's worth bearing in mind, and it cuts the other way. And that is that the Chechens do not have a history of aviation-based terrorism. They have had suicide bombers at rock concerts, and they've had attacks on military posts. But they have not gone after airplanes. And the one time they did try to go after an airplane and hijack it, it didn't end very well.

So this would be a new tactic for them, a real break with the past.

COOPER: And, again, at this point, we simply don't know. We do know one plane has crashed, a plane that took off shortly thereafter is still missing, some three and a half hours estimated after it took off. Obviously, it is about 2:30 a.m. or 2:15 a.m. in Russia right now, so it's hard to get information.

Ryan Chilcote continues to monitor it for us. We're going to check back with him shortly.

Jim Walsh at Harvard, appreciate you joining us, as always. Thanks very much, Jim.

Coming up next on 360, Howard Dean says George Bush may have violated the law and owes the nation an apology. We're going to talk to him ahead.

First, let's take a look at your picks, the most popular stories on CNN.com right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We've also just received word of a possible major break in the investigation into the execution-style murders of two Christian camp counselors shot to death on a barren beach in California in their sleeping bags. This man, called a possible witness, is in police custody. All day long, police had said they had been searching for him. Authorities said they wanted to talk to him about what happened on that beach.

They are not calling him a suspect. They are calling him a possible witness.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has more on this man at the heart of a horrific mystery.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators would like to talk to this man, 21-year-old Nicholas Scarseth. He fits a description of a man seen in the area where two beach campers were shot in the head in their sleeping bags where they slept. In a radio interview, Scarseth's mother says her son would harm no one.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, KCBS RADIO)

KAREN SCARSETH, MOTHER: (on phone): He might have ran into them, but that's all. He doesn't have money. He doesn't have a gun. He doesn't -- you know, he's not violent. No, he's not like that. He gets along with everybody.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MARQUEZ: Fort Bragg is a California town about 80 miles north of Jenner, where the victims were found last Wednesday. Twenty-three- year-old Lindsay Cutshall (ph) and 26-year-old Jason Allen were Christian missionaries due to be married next month.

Police in Fort Bragg says Scarseth was there two days after the bodies were found. Scarseth, described as a drifter, received a warning for skateboarding illegally. A Fort Bragg police spokesman says Scarseth was seen in town for a couple of days after he was caught skateboarding, and then he left. Investigators in Sonoma County are not calling Scarseth the suspect, only a possible witness.

LT. DAVE EDMONDS, SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: A little scrap of information that may not seem important to somebody can be highly important to us.

MARQUEZ: Investigators are also looking into other unsolved cases involving double murders, including a Oregon couple in Del Norte, California, in 1988. A spokesperson for Del Norte's sheriff's department says there are some similarities between the cases, but also lots of differences.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a short time ago in Santa Rosa, California, the Sonoma County sheriff's office announced that Mr. Scarseth had turned himself in, contacted police. They are questioning him right now. They're now calling him not a possible witness but a person of interest, Anderson.

COOPER: A term we've certainly heard a lot before. Miguel, yesterday, we, there were some reports about or some questions, I guess, that some investigators had raised about this possibly being related to a hate crime, that were questions about, were these people on the beach killed because of their religious beliefs in any way? Where did those reports come from? And are investigators still talking about that?

MARQUEZ: Yes, the, the -- they aren't talking about it a lot. They seem to have discounted that to some degree, although Mr. -- the mother of this individual gave a interview to the Santa Rosa paper up there, and she said that he had a problem with Catholics and with Christians, wouldn't be hanging out with them, said that he did drink quite a bit. And when he drank, you never knew quite what was going to happen, though he was mainly a nice person.

And also said that he would sometimes just be irritable with religious types, just to be irritable, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Miguel Marquez, thanks very much.

Amber Frey's days on the witness stand may finally be over. The prosecution's star witness finished today as she started telling the court about her relationship with accused killer Scott Peterson. For the state, Frey is not just Peterson's former mistress, but a potential motive for murder. Today Mark Geragos tried to paint the jury a different picture of her, not as Peterson's obsession but as his seducer.

CNN's Ted Rowlands has the latest from the courtroom.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amber Frey sounded hostile at times during the second day of defense cross-examination in the Scott Peterson murder trial. Frey repeatedly said, "I can't recall," to questions from defense attorney Mark Geragos.

Geragos pressed Frey to admit that Peterson never said "I love you" to her. Frey would not completely concede. Geragos asked, "In all of your conversations, did he ever say I love you?" To which Frey responded, "Not in those words."

Geragos tried painting Frey as the one who was obsessed in the relationship, pointing out that she sent out photos of her and Peterson in Christmas cards and that she had held onto a condom wrapper used by Peterson.

Frey did admit that she was surprised Peterson wasn't upset when she made this call telling Peterson she didn't want to talk to him anymore.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

AMBER FREY (on phone): I think it would be best if you and I didn't talk anymore, until there's resolution in this whole thing.

SCOTT PETERSON (on phone): Yes, I'd agree with that.

FREY: Good.

PETERSON: You're right.

FREY: Good. OK, well, that wasn't so hard.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: Amber Frey spent six days on the stand. Many courtroom observers believe she is the prosecution's strongest witness to date.

Outside court, Scott Peterson's sister downplayed Frey's significance.

JANEY PETERSON, SCOTT PETERSON'S SISTER: She testified to an affair. She testified to a man who was having an affair, whose wife went missing.

ROWLANDS: Mark Geragos told the court he may call Frey back to the stand during the defense case, but Frey's attorney, Gloria Allred, says she doesn't believe that will happen. But if it does, she says Frey will be ready.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROWLANDS: Amber Frey may be off the stand, but jurors could very well in the next few days hear more recorded conversations involving Scott Peterson. Late this afternoon, the prosecution called Steven Jacobson (ph) to the stand. That, Anderson, is the person that was responsible for all of the wiretaps involving Peterson's phone and his mother, Jackie Peterson's phone.

So it's a fair bet that more recordings will be played in court this week.

COOPER: All right, Ted Rowlands, thanks very much. Later we go 360 with Amber Frey's attorney, Gloria Allred. She going to join me live for more on Frey's final day of cross-examination.

360 next, Howard Dean still swinging, he's throwing punches for John Kerry. We'll hear from him and we'll go on the campaign trail for a look at what happened today. Lot of tough talk today. We'll also get the GOP response.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, Senator John Kerry was in New York today, telling an audience this November's election will be a choice between right and wrong. He also used the S-word to describe his opponent's tactics, which prompted the Bush campaign to fire the same S-word, smear, right back at him.

CNN's congressional correspondent Joe Johns kept track of this day's punch and counterpunch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the Republican National Convention right around the corner, John Kerry staged a preemptive strike in Manhattan, with a picture-perfect photo-op at the Statue of Liberty.

SEN. JOHN KERRY, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, I used to work over there, actually.

JOHNS: And a strongly worded speech designed to undercut the president.

KERRY: Next week, at Madison Square Garden, the Republican convention will focus on slogans, excuses, and attack politics. And mark my words, they're going to bend over backwards with last-minute proposals and last-minute promises to make up for all that they haven't done, and to pretend that they're not who they really are.

JOHNS: Kerry didn't mention the swift boat controversy by name, but it was clearly on his mind. Aides were suggesting the matter could backfire on Bush.

KERRY: The Bush campaign and its allies have turned to the tactics of fear and smear, because they can't talk about jobs, health care, energy, independence, and rebuilding our alliances.

JOHNS: The Bush campaign quickly fired back. In a statement, Bush-Cheney spokesman Steve Schmidt listed what he called a series of attacks by the Kerry smear machine. And he called Kerry's accusation that Mr. Bush is claiming to be something he's not, quote, "an incredible effort to rewrite history. This is a candidate who said voting against our troops would be irresponsible, then voted against our troops."

(on camera): With just days to go before the start of the GOP convention, the Kerry campaign is hoping to focus voters on what it calls the clear choice between Kerry and the president on the issue. Even so, the swift boat controversy is still churning up the water.

Joe Johns, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, you could call it a ritual of politics. One side lobs a political hand grenade, the other side fires back. Soon the political diatribe degenerates into he said, he said accusations, then one of the candidates turns around and calls for the campaign to return to issues. Sound familiar?

CNN's Judy Woodruff thought so.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KERRY: I don't know, in front of me, behind me, I'm talking about the things that are important to Americans.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John Kerry is trying to turn the page, sort of. Under fire for weeks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH AD)

BOB ELDER, LIEUTENANT, BRONZE STAR: John Kerry is no war hero.

GRANT HIBBARD, LIEUTENANT COMMANDER, TWO BRONZE STARS: He betrayed all his shipmates.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: The candidate says he's moving on to what voters really care about.

KERRY: ... talking about the economy, jobs, health care, things that matter to Americans.

WOODRUFF: But he's still flogging his swift boat nemesis, portraying them as a cog in a Republican smear machine.

KERRY: The Bush campaign and its allies have turned to the tactics of fear and smear.

WOODRUFF: Kerry is pulling a page from the same weather-the- storm playbook that Bill Clinton used. In '92, dogged by draft- dodging allegations, Clinton spelled out his story to the media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON: It was just a fluke of circumstance that I wasn't called.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: And then froze out the press, turning his attention to the people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: It's amazing to me the difference in the questions you ask and the questions real voters ask.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: And it worked. Clinton got through a rough patch by confronting the problem and plowing on. Call it the Dukakis lesson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1988 CONSERVATIVES FOR FREEDOM CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL)

ANNOUNCER: This men let him out of prison on a weekend furlough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: In 1988, Willie Horton helped sink Michael Dukakis. He failed to respond to the firestorm over so-called weekend passes for vicious criminals, and it helped sink his campaign. John Kerry wants to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to him.

Judy Woodruff, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, Howard Dean is not mincing words about the television commercial attack, attacking John Kerry's Vietnam record, the original one. Earlier, I talked to the former Democratic presidential contender.

Governor Dean, you're calling for an apology from President Bush for misleading ads. What, in particular, what specifically, do you think he should apologize for?

HOWARD DEAN (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think he, the president needs to apologize to the nation and to the nation's veterans for two reasons. First is that the first so-called swift boat ad had absolutely no truth to it whatsoever.

And the second is that the president's campaign is directly responsible for that ad. He had people from his campaign participating in making that ad. That is a violation of the law. I think presidents ought not to be violating the law. So I think he has a double apology to make.

COOPER: I mean, this allegation of a link, today "The Washington Post" said the evidence is unconvincing. What's convinced you?

DEAN: Well, the guy who -- one of the people in the ad was actually on the president's campaign council, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: You're talking about Cordier.

DEAN: Yes.

COOPER: Yes, but he, he was a relatively...

DEAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

COOPER: ... low-level -- he was a relatively low-level guy in the national steering committee for Veterans for Bush.

DEAN: Anderson, it doesn't make any difference. You're not supposed to do ads paid for by outside parties if you are involved with the president's campaign. That, in fact, is what happened. Someone from the president's campaign was involved in an ad that the president was not paying for. That's against the law.

COOPER: But you're alleging, it seems -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- more than that, though. I mean, you seem to be alleging that these two groups are colluding, working in tandem.

DEAN: And the evidence is pretty clear. If you have an employee or someone who is on your advisory council then colluding with another group to put out ads, which, incidentally, don't have one shred of truth to them, then I think you've got a serious problem. I think the president has a very serious problem, because I believe the president has violated the law.

I understand I don't believe the president saw the ad ahead of time, but I believe that under the law, he is responsible for it.

COOPER: Your critics will say, look, there is as much evidence of collusion between President Bush and this group, as there is between John Kerry and some of these 527s that have been raising money for him. I mean, his former spokesman or one of his former advisers, Jim Jordan, former campaign manager, is now a spokesman for the Media Fund, you're appearing at a Moveon event tonight. You work with the Kerry campaign.

Couldn't someone say there's collusion, that's evidence of collusion?

DEAN: There's nothing against the law in my appearing anywhere I want to. I'm an independent operator. I don't do ads for Senator Kerry. And he -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Senator Kerry, to the any campaigns that I've done for Senator Kerry have been paid for by Senator Kerry's campaign.

What the president's doing is very different. There are no employees, to my knowledge, of the Kerry campaign involved in any of these 527 ads. Jim Jordan was fired from the Kerry campaign a long, long time ago.

So I have no doubt the Republicans will say a great many of these things. They're great at shading the truth. But the fact of the matter is the president of the United States, his campaign appears to have violated the federal election law, which is a criminal sanction, which calls for criminal sanctions. There's no evidence to that effect of any kind on the Democratic side.

COOPER: Haven't there been a lot of groups on the Democratic side or you know, 527 groups on the Democratic side, who have raised some $67 million, depending on who you listen to, and they've made some pretty outlandish claims? They've made some commercials. One commercial on Moveon's Web site, sort of made a link between George Bush and Hitler.

DEAN: That is something that -- that sounds like the Republican argument. The Republican argument is they're doing it, too. The truth is this is a matter of law. There have been a lot of things said on both sides that have some inaccuracy. There's nothing against the law about saying any damn thing that comes into your head, whether it's true or not. I think it's too bad that both sides are doing that, but that's what's happening.

There is something against the law when the president of the United States' campaign has a hand in doing that, and it also, I might add, since the president's campaign has a hand in telling a story that's totally untrue, which has been documented to have been untrue by some of the most important and prestigious newspapers in the country. I think the president owes this country an apology. Thanks.

COOPER: Governor Dean, good to talk to you. DEAN: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Joining me now, the chairman of Bush-Cheney '04 campaign. Marc Racicot, weighing in on today's discussion. He joins me now in Washington. Marc, good to see you again.

Governor Dean saying basically the president has violated federal campaign election law. Any truth to that?

MARC RACICOT, CHAIRMAN, BUSH-CHENEY CAMPAIGN: Let me tell you, there is no coordination. And I've said this an infinite number of times, between this campaign and any 527 group, number one. Number two, Howard's comments are reckless. He's accusing the president of the United States of a criminal offense. He has in the past, and others have as well with the Kerry campaign, accused the president of lying. And those are reckless. He's an unguided missile when he talks about these kinds of things with those kinds of suggestions. There's absolutely no coordination between this campaign and any of those 527 groups.

COOPER: Mark, let me ask you then specifically about the man that Governor Dean brought up, Ken Cordier, who's a volunteer adviser, I think, on the National Steering Committee For Veterans For Bush, one of the organizations. He was in one of these ads and he was working for the Bush campaign. He, I guess, left one of those on Sunday. I guess Governor Dean is saying that was technically a violation of the law.

RACICOT: Well, first of all, Colonel Cordier, obviously, is a decorated veteran. He's a volunteer, Anderson. He worked on the campaign. He volunteered for the campaign. There was no knowledge on our part that he was associated with the group, the 527 group, nor that he was in an ad. To coordinate, you have to do exactly what the word suggests, and that is, you have to sit down and plan and coordinate your efforts. That is illegal because you're utilizing unregulated soft money in order to plan those strategies or execute that strategy. That isn't even remotely close to what it is that is prohibited.

What Ken Cordier did is prohibited by the coordination clause. And frankly, even if it was, we had absolutely no knowledge of that. There was no communication about the fact that he may have been associated with that group or was going to appear in one of their ads.

COOPER: Today Senator Kerry accused the president of using, in his words, the tactics of smear and fear. Your response?

RACICOT: Well, my response is that he smears the president because he feels victimized. And frankly, he has sat idly by for months and months and watched $65 million in ads by these 527 groups against the president, and they have referred to him in unbelievably venomous language and have accused him from everything to somehow approving of the torture of prisoners to poisoning pregnant women.

And the fact is he's never had a word to say about this even though the president has invited him on repetitive occasions to join with him to condemn all of these ads, to denounce all of these ads. But, no, until this particular process came along, then there was no suggestion to that effect. And now he smears the president by accusing him of something that he has never done. This campaign has never done. There is no coordination. We've said that repetitively. But Senator Kerry continues to repeat it.

COOPER: I quoted the "Washington Post" to Governor Dean. I'm going to do it to you as well. The "Washington Post" today called the calls by President Bush to ban all 527s disingenuous. There are those who say that both sides, Republicans and Democrats, get some benefit from these groups. Obviously, they've raised a lot of money for the Democrats. But that they allow campaigns to sort of float messages or do things which they themselves don't want to dirty their hands doing. Your take?

RACICOT: We didn't want any benefit, Anderson. That's why we filed a petition with the FEC, I believe it was back in April, if I'm not mistaken, to prohibit this sort of thing. It's not a disingenuous idea because the FEC since then has ruled, in fact, that we were right, that this kind of activity will not be allowed in 2006.

The unfortunate part of this was because there wasn't unanimity, because the Democrat party would not join us and Senator Kerry didn't join us, we were not allowed to proceed with the kind of speed that would have allowed for all of this to be prohibited. And just think about the number of ads that have been run. That's why the president has condemned all of them. And you can't simply parse through them and say, you know, I think all of these -- we should let these go. That's what Senator Kerry has said, except for this one, or except for this one. You have to deal with this one from a principled perspective. That's what the president has tried to do. That's what he invited Senator Kerry to do.

COOPER: Marc Racicot, we appreciate you being on the program. We believe in equal time, and we appreciate you talking.

RACICOT: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: One plane crashes and another disappears. A breaking story we continue to follow. The latest news out of Russia. We'll have a live report from Moscow.

Also, Amber Frey's last day on the stand. Her attorney Gloria Allred joins us live for more. A lot ahead on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We return to that breaking news story we've been following all evening about one plane crashing and another lost in Russia. We know the planes took off from the same airport within minutes of each other. One crashed. The other has been off the radar screen for hours now. Tonight security is being tightened at all of Russia's airports. Let's go back to CNN's Ryan Chilcote live in Moscow with the latest. Ryan, what do you know?

CHILCOTE: Anderson, search and rescue teams that were looking for that second plane, they've been looking for it for five hours now, now believe they have found it. They've found a fire in the area where they believe that that second plane may have gone down, where they lost contact with it.

So search and rescue teams now, this crossing just a few minutes ago, saying that they have found an enormous fire in a place they now believe is the crash site of that second plane. Let's back up for a second.

What we know is that about 10:30 p.m. local time, about 5 1/2 hours ago, two planes took off, a few minutes apart. Both going from the same airport here in Moscow to different locations in Russia. The first plane disappeared from radars -- from the radar screens of the air traffic controllers at about 10:30, just a half hour later, with 43 people, Russian officials say, on board. They subsequently found the crash site of that first plane and have found the plane's tail, are looking for the plane's black boxes. But are saying that they do not believe they are going to find any survivors.

And, Anderson, very importantly, they say that they are hearing from local eyewitnesses there on the ground, from a town that is right next to that crash site, that those people saw an explosion on board that plane before it crashed.

Then just a few minutes later, after Russian air traffic controllers lost contact with that plane, they lost contact with this second plane, a slightly larger one. It's called the Tupolev 154. It's really the workhouse -- workhorse for the Russian -- for Russian aviation, flying most of the domestic routes in this country. It had at least 46 people on board. Russian officials saying that they have been looking for it now for almost five hours. And just a couple of minutes ago, the search and rescue team down there saying, that they believe that they found the crash site. They found a very large fire in that place -- Anderson.

COOPER: The worst possible news. We certainly didn't want to hear.

You have said 46 people, at least 46 people on the Tupolev 154. You may have said -- I may have missed it, do you know how many people were on the other plane, that now is believed to be crashed?

CHILCOTE: Yes. Well, that was the Tupolev 134, and Russian officials are saying there were 42 people on that plane, 34 passengers and 8 crew members. So this is a very large catastrophe.

COOPER: And, obviously, the questions about terrorism. As you said, Russian officials not ruling that out at this point, as some eyewitnesses saying, they saw an explosion, at least on one of the planes. Again, this is a breaking story, developing news.

Ryan Chilcote, we appreciate you joining us from Moscow tonight. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well, you might say a chapter ended today in the Scott Peterson murder trial. The testimony of Amber Frey, witness for the prosecution, came to a close. We haven't necessarily heard the last of Peterson's former mistress, however. There's a chance Frey could be called as a witness for the defense.

Joining me with tonight, helping us in Justice Served, Amber's Attorney, Gloria Allred.

Gloria, good to see you again.

GLORIA ALLRED, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You too, Anderson.

COOPER: I want to read you an exchange.

Mark Geragos said to Frey, "He never told you that he loved you, right?"

Her response, "Not in those words."

Now, our reporter, Ted Rowlands, saying, that Frey sounded sort of, in his words, "hostile," during some of this questioning.

Why was Geragos pursuing this questioning and, what, if anything, did he prove?

ALLRED: I think he was trying to validate his original comments in opening statement wherein he said, in essence, why would anyone kill after just a few dates? Really, that this wasn't a relationship. This was about a few dates.

COOPER: So did Scott Peterson love Amber Frey?

ALLRED: I mean, think that his -- Mark Geragos' theory is totally discredited by the evidence, by the taped telephone recordings that Amber made with Scott at the request of law enforcement. And you can hear in those tape recordings Scott Peterson's own voice. He is many times talking about a future with, Amber. He's wanting to be involved in her life.

COOPER: But he never said, "I love you?"

ALLRED: Did he use those exact words?

Is that the only way that you let someone know you love them?

He's dropping a gift off on her birthday on February 10th after Laci, his pregnant wife, was missing. In fact, on the same day that Laci was due to deliver his son, he's dropping a birthday gift off for Amber. One of the parts of the gift including a necklace, but another part a CD that says come away with me. He's planning future trips with her. He's calling her constantly. He's crying when she won't see him. What does that mean? It means something more than a few dates.

COOPER: Well, the tapes seem to me, I mean, according to Geragos, what he would say, is the tapes mean his client is a liar. His client may be a cad, he's an adulterer, but he's not necessarily not a murderer. The tapes don't prove murder in any way, do that way.

ALLRED: Put to rest this is only about a cad with some cigarette and long cigarette holder and a martini. That is so far from what Scott Peterson is all about. I mean, most people who have affairs don't say they've lost their wife and this is the first holidays without her two weeks before their pregnant wife goes missing.

Most people who have affairs or relationships don't at the vigil for their missing wife make telephone calls and be on the phone with their girlfriend while their wife is missing. This is something far beyond, and they don't say I don't need to have, or I don't want to have a biological child if I'm with you to their girlfriend. Your child Ayianna, I would raise her as my own. So, this goes well beyond just being a cad.

COOPER: Very briefly, do you think Geragos is going to call your client back to the stand at some point?

ALLRED: He may. He's threatening to do it. And by the way, I think the prosecutor could use Scott's words that he's lost his wife and these are the first holidays without her, as an argument for premeditation, for planning of a murder. I don't know whether Mr. Geragos will really try to call Amber.

There is really nothing she can contribute to the defense case. He suggested he might call her at the preliminary hearing, and then, in fact, he never did. So, he may not do it this time. But if he does, when he gets to his defense case, she'll be back and she'll testify truthfully, as she's done throughout this case.

COOPER: And you'll be back as well. Gloria Allred, thanks very much.

ALLRED: Thank you.

COOPER: Well, coming up next, a trip to the water cooler. Will it spice up your love life?

Next on 360, dating in the workplace. How many 9:00 to 5:00'ers are actually, well, hooking up at the office and beyond. An interesting study on that.

Also tonight, Jane Pauley's personal pain. What's the reason she's talking about it now, coincidence? We'll talk about that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: For a generation of employees, concerns over sexual harassment, made love on the job or lust on the job risky business. Well, apparently, the moratorium is over. A recent poll in "Men's Fitness" revealed that co-worker coupling is back in style, citing more single people working in friendlier, more social environments. The crew of 360 just got very more excited. With details and perhaps some advice, Belisa Vranich, a psychologist and a contributor to (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Thanks very much for being with us.

BELISA VRANICH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Hi. Thanks for having me.

COOPER: I was surprised to read this, that it's actually on the rise. Why do you think it's on the rise?

VRANICH: It is. Well, workplaces are much more friendly than they used to be. Co-workers are going out after work.

COOPER: And I guess they've been working longer as well.

(CROSSTALK)

VRANICH: They don't have a lot of options. But it's not a bad state of affairs, really. Pardon the pun.

COOPER: Is it a bad state of affairs, though? Because, I mean, you know, I've read sexual harassment guidelines, and it sounds like a disaster in the making.

VRANICH: Absolutely not. It's actually working really well for a lot of people. And that's why more people are doing it. They're seeing co-workers in good, long, lasting, happy relationships with people they've met at work, and they're trying it.

COOPER: We did a little informal poll around the office, and a lot of people actually had been involved. That surprised me. And it actually matched the poll numbers.

VRANICH: Yeah.

COOPER: What should people consider? As a psychologist, what do you tell clients to consider if they're thinking about, you know, getting nooky on the job?

VRANICH: Getting nooky on the job? Well, number one, is you should not be impulsive about your nooky. You should definitely think long and hard about who you like, why you like them. Make sure they're the same age range.

COOPER: Make sure it's appropriate.

VRANICH: More or less -- make sure it's an appropriate person. Make sure that they like you back, that the flirting is something that's reciprocal.

COOPER: And do you have to be reciprocal in sort of job positions?

VRANICH: You should be, and that's actually where the polls have found that subordinate/management relationships are something that are still very taboo and people look down on. So make sure it's a peer.

COOPER: There are a lot of dangers, though, to this. I mean, what would some of the big dangers be? VRANICH: Well, some of the big dangers are that, if you break up and you have a messy breakup, it's going to wreak havoc on your reputation at work.

COOPER: Because you're still stuck in the same cubicle.

VRANICH: Of course you are. And then even if it's not a messy breakup, if it's something that you have some heartache about it, and you have to keep seeing that person day after day at work, it's pretty hard to concentrate.

COOPER: Oh, that's no fun.

VRANICH: No fun at all.

COOPER: So what should you discuss with your intended before entering into this tawdry affair?

VRANICH: With your love interest? Well, you should talk about what you're going to tell your co-workers. What you're going to tell...

COOPER: Or if anything. I mean, should you tell your co- workers?

VRANICH: Well, you might want to. I mean, people aren't surprised anymore. And they might even figure it out. So you might want to tell your co-workers after some amount of time has gone by. You might want to tell management after some time has gone by. But the thing you should really talk about in depth is, if you break up, that you're going to be civil, that you're going to be mature and that you're going to responsible. And hopefully, you'll both act that way.

COOPER: Let's hope it works out that way. I was going to ask you if you ever dallied at the office.

VRANICH: Oh, really? Do I get to ask you that too?

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: You can ask. I'm going to go to a break, though. Belisa Vranich, I appreciate you being with us. Thanks.

Jane Pauley's new book is in book stores today, and her new talk show debuts on Monday. You probably already know this, because for the last week the media has been saturated with her revelation that she suffered from bipolar disorder. Not to take anything away from her experience, but we couldn't help but see this revelation as just the latest in a long line of coordinated confessions. Telling all may be good for the soul, but it's also good for book sales, television ratings and publicity. That's the reality "Inside the Box."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE PAULEY, AUTHOR: I would call this a dream come true, except that I had never dreamed of it. COOPER (voice-over): Jane Pauley is getting plenty of air time for her upcoming chat show, and her new book, "Skywriting: A Life out of the Blue." But when it comes to free publicity, is there any such thing as enough?

The book's excerpts in "People" magazine reveals Pauley's battle with bipolar disorder.

She writes, "my tides were fluctuating back and forth, sometimes so fast they seemed to be spinning."

She'll no doubt tell the story again and again, when she touts the talk show on her old stomping grounds, "Today" and "Dateline NBC."

But she's only following a time worn tradition, turning personal trials into fuel for the PR machine. Remember Anne Heche, the straight then gay, then straight actress and former lover of Ellen Degeneres? She told Barbara Walters all about her split personality, her family history of insanity and her abusive childhood.

ANNE HECHE, ACTRESS: I'm not crazy now. I lived a crazy life.

COOPER: Of course, all this was timed for the release of her book, "Call Me Crazy."

One time morning show fixture, Joan Lunden, went public with her parenting plans. She had twins via a surrogate mom, just as her new TV series hit the airwaves, and her new book, "Growing Up Healthy," hit the stands.

Then there's Usher, who confessed to cheating on Chili, just as his CD, "Confessions," reached the record stores. It sold more than a million copies in a week.

And wouldn't we be remiss without mentioning that mistress of the butt master, Suzanne Somers. Seems like with each new book, we get a whole new revelation. Call it cynical, call it heartfelt. But if you've got a product to sell and a secret to tell, there's no such thing as bad publicity "Inside the Box."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, at the Olympics, the numbers just don't add up. Why the games often seem to be decided too much on that almighty decimal. We'll take that to "The Nth Degree" ahead.

First, today's "Buzz." Should Paul Hamm give back his gold medal? Log onto CNN.com/360, cast your vote now. Results when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time now for "The Buzz." Earlier, we asked you, should Paul Hamm give back his gold medal? Thirty-three percent of you said yes; 67 percent no. Not a scientific poll, but it is your buzz, and we appreciate you voting. Well, with "The Buzz" in mind tonight, we take the tyranny in numbers to "The Nth Degree."

So there they are in Athens, all those human beings, kids, most of them, doing practically impossible things on the ground, in mid air, in the water, and it all comes down to a few digits more or less on the far side of a decimal place. Makes you yearn for something more expressive, doesn't it, than some number shaved as fine as a truffle with the winner getting a sliver or two more than any of the others.

Really, the judges ought to be composing odes, ought to stand and sing the praises of the competitor they like best, ought to wax poetic about the flying and the twirling and the jumping and the twisting, about the bursts of energy of strength and speed, and those who conquer gravity and fear and the frailty of the flesh.

OK, it's not a practical suggestion. It's just that the accomplishments are so nearly perfect and the judgment so very flawed.

I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching 360. Coming up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."

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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