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Thanksgiving Travel Updates; Plastic Surgeon Walks Out on Larry King; Dennis Quaid's Twins Given Too Much Medicine; Glenn Beck's New Book

Aired November 21, 2007 - 08:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, prime time drama.

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Don't you want to speak out?


KING: You don't want to.



ROBERTS: What the doctor who operated on Kanye West's mom didn't want to talk about.


KING: But you came here to speak out?

ADAMS: That's correct, but I'm going to honor their wishes.


ROBERTS: What happened behind the scenes on this AMERICAN MORNING.

First time anybody has ever walked off the set of "LARRY KING LIVE." Just when you think you've seen it all, boom, comes something new.


ROBERTS: Thanks very much for joining us on this Wednesday, the 21st of November. I'm John Roberts.

CHETRY: And I'm Kiran Chetry.

It's a busy day. In fact, one of the busiest travel days of the year. But we have you covered. We're covering the rails, the roads, as well as the airports today.

Well, AAA is saying that about 38 million Americans are going to be traveling more than 50 miles from home on Thanksgiving. And as they're headed off there on the roads, we're dealing with high gas prices.

Let's take a look at the CNN gas gauge. Right now, the average price for a gallon of self-serve regular is up to $3.09 a gallon. Drivers in California paying the most, almost $3.50 a gallon in California, Missouri with the cheapest prices at $2.92. And that price could keep rising because of fears about the U.S. economy driving the price of oil dangerously close to $100 a barrel. Trading during the day set a new high of $99.29 before settling at a record of $98.03 in New York.

Traders also keeping an eye on oil supply reports due out today -- John?

ROBERTS: No matter where you're traveling today or how, we've got you covered across the country. Our Allan Chernoff is at LaGuardia Airport. Susan Roesgen at O'Hare Airport, Ed Lavandera at Denver International, and Alina Cho inside the FAA's command center in Virginia. Also, we're tracking the weather with Rob Marciano down there at the weather center in Atlanta.

We begin this morning with New York's LaGuardia Airport and Allan Chernoff.

Allan, we've been seeing the picture all morning of people driving up unloading. How is the situation there right now?

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: John, right now, I am looking at something absolutely beautiful. A departure board that is entirely on time. Things here at LaGuardia are going, frankly, as smoothly as I have ever seen them, both outside and inside. It is astounding. Not only because this is a busy travel day but also because this is LaGuardia Airport when normally 1 out of every 4 departures is late. But not today.

Only one United flight from here to Chicago is running an hour late but that's it. Otherwise, everything is just fine. Normally, you would see a long line over there. People getting ready to go into security. No line at all. Twenty-five percent extra security people over at the TSA check counter over there.

And if you walk with me a little over here, just over this corridor here, they have extra people checking tickets, right when you check in your baggage. Every slot is filled. There are extra kiosks. LaGuardia Airport, so far, is doing just fine. And outside as well people just stepping right up, handing their bags over, checking in. No problems. I can't tell you how long this is going to last, but, so far, so good, smiling faces, believe it or not, here at New York City's LaGuardia Airport.

ROBERTS: Allan, LaGuardia Airport, one of those places where, on the rare occasion, when nothing happens, that's news.

Allan Chernoff for us this morning. Thanks.

CHERNOFF: Absolutely.

ROBERTS: Yes. Let's go over to Kiran.

CHETRY: I'm not trying to be a naysayer but it is only 8:03. Rob Marciano at our weather update desk tracking extreme weather, looking at whether or not any of these places are going to get some snow as they try to travel.

Hey, Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Kiran. We'll, we've already seen snow, well, places where you might expect it. Denver, Colorado, our crew there with live reports this morning, ran outside and took these pictures. The access road to Denver International Airport, a little bit of slick roadway there, just before the gates opened up.

And we have reports around town of a few inches on the roadways, some slip roads on I-70 and still snow advisory in effect in north and west of Denver proper for the rest of this morning and till about 11:00 later this morning.


MARCIANO: So as always, best to get out there on the roads or to your flight early rather than later.

Kiran, back over to you.

CHETRY: Wow. Denver, though, 1 to 2 inches. And -- actually whether or not it's going to lead to delays, we don't know. I mean, they are used to, obviously, getting cold and snowy weather.

MARCIANO: Yes. Yes. They're pretty efficient out that way so we'll see if there are actually delays them. I doubt it.

CHETRY: All right. Rob, thanks.


CHETRY: By the way, if you're one of the millions in the airports this morning, we do want to hear from you. We've been getting some great e-mails about the stories that have been going on whether flights are delayed or actually things are going smooth. is the address so please let us know what's going on. We'd love to hear from you - John?

ROBERTS: The White House is denying accusations today from former Press Secretary Scott McClellan. In an excerpt from his upcoming book, McClellan claims the president and vice president were involved in his unknowingly passing on false information about Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby's role in seeking CIA -- in leaking CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.

At the time, McClellan said neither of the two senior aides were involved in the Plame leak. Take a look.


SCOTT MCCLELLAN, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY: They're good individuals. They're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved.


ROBERTS: Libby was eventually convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case. The president commuted his sentence, though. McClellan appeared on "LARRY KING LIVE" back in April. Back then, he was still defending the president.


MCCLELLAN: I said what I believe to be true at the time. It was also what the president believed to be true at the time based on assurances that we were both given and knowing what I know today I would have never said that back then. I said that those individuals assured me they were not involved in this.

I did speak directly with them and I was careful about the way I phrased it at the time, even though I believe what they had told me to be the truth.


ROBERTS: McClellan tells CNN that he is still writing the book titled "What Happened." It is due out in April. In a statement, Valerie Plame says she is shocked and outraged by McClellan's accusations. The White House says the president would not ask anyone to pass on false information and says the excerpt were taken, quote, "out of context."

Valerie Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, is going to join us in our next half-hour here on AMERICAN MORNING.

More tension today between Democratic White House hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Mrs. Clinton attacked the Illinois senator after he said he got it right when it came to Iraq because he lived overseas when he was a child. That gave him foreign policy experience.

Obama fought back questioning Clinton's foreign policy credentials.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Probably the strongest experience that I have is -- in foreign relations is the fact that I spent four years living overseas when I was a child.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: With all due respect, I don't think living in a foreign country between the ages of 6 and 10 is foreign policy experience. OBAMA: She's met with all these world leaders, and I, you know, I was wondering which world leader told her to -- that we needed to invade Iraq?


ROBERTS: Now their verbal battle also caught the ear of another rival, John Edwards. He said, quote, "When it comes to mud, Hillary Clinton says one thing and throws another." Kiran?

CHETRY: Well, also new this morning. A scary story reportedly involving the newborn twins of actor Dennis Quaid. The twins were two-weeks-old when reportedly they were taken to a hospital. They were given, along with another patient, too much of a blood thinner called heparin.

Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now.

This was at Cedar-Sinai Hospital. And first of all, heparin, a blood thinner, why the newborn -- do some newborns need it in the first place?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Sometimes when you have IV lines in or special catheters in, what you want to make sure is that they don't develop blood clots on those line just because whenever you have a foreign body in the blood vessel, you can get blood clots.

You give a little bit of what's called the heparin flush just enough to basically keep those blood clots from forming. I think from what we've heard that that's basically what was supposed to be given, which was a small amount, small concentration is flushed.

CHETRY: So they ended up getting an adult dose which, at least according to some of the reports, is 1,000 times more than a baby should get. What type of effect does that have?

Well, you know, it's interesting that the body's constant state of balance, if you will, Kiran, is constant clogging and constant not clotting. That's what your body is doing right now. When you give heparin or some other sort of blood thinner, it pushes your body into the not-clotting side of things.

So you're more likely to bleed or if you get a cut you'll less likely to sort of clot it off.

What can happen in some situations that you start to bleed as a result of getting the heparin. You're so not clotting that you're bleeding. In some situations you begin to bleed. You can bleed in your G.I. tracks, you can bleed in your bladder, one of the most disastrous places is bleeding into the brain, which can happen as well.

There's two keys really. One is to recognize that it's happened and two is to give some sort of reversal of the heparin. If you can give some sort of reversal, you can reverse the effects of it. CHETRY: Yes. And so -- they did realize that it happened and now the twins are said to, what, be stable at this point?

GUPTA: That's what they said, yes. And you know, it's a frightening thing, though. They're going to be monitored for sometime. You can measure the precise of effect of heparin at any given time by actually looking at someone's blood and seeing how much clotting ability do they have. And it sounds like they're back to normal.

But they're going to be monitored to make sure there's no bleeding sort of effects of this.

CHETRY: You just got to wonder how does this type of stuff happen.

GUPTA: Well, you know, essentially here, it seems like it was a protocol error more than anything else. They literally stock the wrong dosage of heparin in a place where you have the 10 units. They put the 10,000-units bottle. It's supposed to be checked twice. Some people say you should have electronics scan and before you give the medication.

But I'll tell you -- you know, one thing that happens a lot, not a lot, but does happen is something known as death by death decimal point, Kiran. It's where they actually get the decimal point wrong. They think 10 but it was really 10,000 or vice versa. That happens and a lot of people say that makes the case for having some sort of electronics system before giving medications.

CHETRY: That's right. Wow, all right. Hopefully, they will get through this. OK, Sanjay, thanks a lot.

GUPTA: Thank you.

ROBERTS: An exclusive interview ended abruptly on last night's "LARRY KING LIVE." Viewers and Larry himself had expected to hear from Doctor John Adams. He is the plastic surgeon operated on hip-hop star Kanye West's mother the day before she died.

But instead, Adams walked out on live TV, saying that the family asked him not to talk.


ADAMS: What I really want to say is I want to thank you for this opportunity. Basically, I had come here to talk about things in the press that aren't accurate about me. But I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for the West family and they've asked me not to go on.

And I've said, from the very beginning, I don't have a side in this. They are my side and so I'm going to respect their wishes. And I'm going to apologize to you because I think I'm taking up your airtime. But I will not be on the show and I will not discuss any of that. I'm going to honor their wishes, OK? KING: Meaning you won't answer any questions about anything?

ADAMS: None. None.

KING: All right. Then how will you ever answer question? I mean what -- where does this go?

ADAMS: Well, I will talk with them...

KING: I'm imagining Mrs. West.

ADAMS: I will talk with them. When they're comfortable, then I'll be comfortable. If they're never comfortable then I'll never be comfortable. They are what's important to me, I said that from the start and that's what I'll continue to honor.

KING: Then just a few things. Having nothing to do with them, don't you want to speak out?


KING: You don't want to?

ADAMS: No. I do not.

KING: All right. But you came here to speak out.

ADAMS: That's correct. But I'm going to honor their wishes.


ROBERTS: Well, apparently the request was more of a threat. They had sent a letter to Doctor Adams prior to his appearance saying that if he went on and talk about things, they will go to the California Medical Board and try to have his license pulled.

Just a few minutes ago, we spoke with Larry King. He explained the chaos right before Dr. Adams when on with him.


KING: Then they told me, hold it. He doesn't want to go on, and then he does want to go on, then he says to me, "Well, I'm thinking about it. I got this letter from the family and they've asked me not to go on, so I'm talking to my lawyer so I got to go on."

So I go on with the panel. And then I get word he's going on. So the panel exits and we take a commercial break and about eight minutes after 8:00 -- 8:00 after 9:00, he comes on and the rest is history. He says the family wishes that he not go on.


ROBERTS: You know, the doctor admits that he is not board certified in plastic surgery. He has been arrested twice in the past for driving under the influence, also sued for malpractice. And again that letter from the family saying that if he did go on, they would pursue the matter with the California Medical Board and try to have his license revoked -- Kiran?

CHETRY: All right. Well, CNN's own Glenn Beck is going to be trying to solve what he sees as some of the world's biggest problems. There he is right now live. Hey, Glen.

He's going to be joining us to talk more. He's got a new book out and we're going to talk to him all about it coming up.

Also, a live look at Los Angeles International Airport after just a little bit after 5:00 this morning and no delays to tell you about. Seems that the second busiest travel day of the year going quite smoothly -- a big knock on wood here -- at some of the nation's airports.

Partly cloudy, by the way, highs as 67 there at LAX. We're going to continue to track America's airports as AMERICAN MORNING comes right back.



Conservative pundit and "Headline News" host Glenn Beck has certainly never been shy about expressing himself and he's got a new book where he's doing it again. It's conveniently titled, "An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems."

And Glenn Beck joins us now. Thanks for being with us, Glenn. Good to talk to you.

GLENN BECK, AUTHOR, "AN INCONVENIENT BOOK": Good to talk to you. How are you?

CHETRY: Not bad this morning. You're at Radio City Studio this morning?

BECK: Yes, I am. Getting ready to do the national radio broadcast.

CHETRY: We wish you could have made it here but we know with all the travel delays and you know...

BECK: I know.

CHETRY: ...the day before Thanksgiving.

BECK: Well, it's you know, good thing I got the holiday travel conditions up on the side of the screen so.

CHETRY: You know, you tackle a lot of controversial issues, of course, on your radio show and on your television show and here in your book. I'm just curious what type of hate mail do you get? What is this generalized theme? BECK: I will tell you it is -- it's pretty amazing. A few years ago there was a group that wanted to behead me but now it is starting -- now it's starting to be a little more localized. It is -- it's really frightening because I think the extreme fringes of the right and the left, both have the same kind of agenda and in one agenda, it is global socialism and internationalism and the other agenda is, I believe, anarchy.

And they're really starting to squeeze in the middle. And that's why I wrote the book, "An Inconvenient Book," to be able to try to reach across the aisle and say, "Look. A Democrat or a liberal, I don't think you're a dope smoking hippie that is, you know, trying to take us into the Soviet Union," although I believe there are the fringes that do want that.

And you know what? You should expect that because I'm a conservative, I don't want to starve all children to death and, you know, count my oil money because that's not who I am and that is who the majority of conservatives they are not that either. We need to come together and work together to solve some of these issues.

CHETRY: Now, of course, , your book, of course, not a secret jab at Al Gore, "An Inconvenient Book." Of course, Al Gores's "Inconvenient Truth."

BECK: I didn't, just notice that.

CHETRY: He won the Nobel Peace Prize.

BECK: Yes.

CHETRY: There are a lot of people who feels that he's been on the cutting edge of making people aware of global warming. Why go after Al?

BECK: If I may point out, he also won a Grammy. No, I -- you know I'm not going after Al. I'm going after his facts on, one, I mean, you've got to look at the facts and they are very, very misleading and beyond that, I'm also looking at things like let's look at the solutions.

I, for one, hate fluorescent light bulbs. I feel like I'm in some, you know, George Orwell, "1984" a rat cage on my face when I have fluorescent light bulbs. I hate them. Please don't make that the solution. The hybrid cars, you know, blind people can't hear them. But they're luckier than the sighted people because we have to look at them.

Why do they have to look like cars that are made for blind people? Can we make them cool looking so we all want to drive them as well? Some of the solutions are just, they are feel good solutions and they don't actually do anything.

When you really look at the facts, to the rest of the global temperature it's going to take about $26 trillion. That's nine times our entire federal budget. Beyond that, I could solve hunger, I could feed everybody on the planet, I and educate everybody on the planet for a hundred years and still have $21 trillion left to play with.

CHETRY: All right. Well, let's quickly talking about political correctness. Because you write in your book, you believe that political correctness is the biggest threat the nation paces today. The biggest thread faces today.

The biggest threat besides terrorism, nuclear weapons let into a political correctness?

BECK: Yes, only because it is what stops us from talking to each other. It stops us from actually solving problems.

We've got to bring both sides together. On global warming, I want to get off from foreign oil. Others say we got to get out of oil because of, you know, because of the global temperature. But you know what? If we could stop calling each other names for a second, we could work together and get out of oil.

When it comes to border, stop calling people racist and -- let's solve the problem. It's very easy to do. But when we just point the finger to each other and call each other names, politically indirect names, what happens is, we stop looking at the real background of these problems and that's what "An Inconvenient Book" tries to do is look at -- what are the agendas of those who are pushing one side or the other. Because once we get passed the agenda, we can get to the truth and then we can actually solve these problems.

CHETRY: All right. Well, Glenn, it was great to get a chance to talk to you. You know, I got to change -- I was going to buy you a smart car for Christmas. Now I know you apparently think they're ugly.

BECK: You know what? You know what? I actually know the smart car is good. I mean, you'll burn to death in it when you're hit by, you know, a beetle but...



CHETRY: And you could parallel park, you know, perfectly...

BECK: Sideways.

CHETRY: Yes. So...

BECK: Yes, I know.

But hey, the book's great. You know, you also -- you're lighthearted about it as well and you talk about a lot of interesting things. Glenn, "An Inconvenient Book."

BECK: Thank you.

CHETRY: Thanks for being with us this morning.

BECK. You bet. Thank you.

ROBERTS: Just 21 minutes after the hour now. Some new ways to give to the needy this holiday season without the middle man taking his share. We'll tell you how to do it ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


CHETRY: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. A quick live look at some travel hot spots this morning. This is outside of LaGuardia airport. Not showing a large delay right now. And as we heard, LaGuardia running as smoothly as many reporters have seen it in a long time.

Also to Chicago's O'Hare International where the forecast is calling for rain and a high of 47 degrees. Some snow later on, though, in the evening. No delays to report. So far, an I-Reports coming in. A 9-year-old Ria (ph) from Boston Logan says no delays. Salt Lake City, no problems. Philadelphia, lines are actually shorter than usual and no delays in Miami. All of these from our I-Reporters, so OK.

ROBERTS: Which makes you wonder as we were talking about off camera if they can do it today, why can't they do it every day?

CHETRY: That's right. Keeping things smooth on the second busiest day of the year, let's try for every day.

ROBERTS: Yes, there you go. Something to shoot for.

It's the season for giving but do you sometimes wonder where your money ends up when you give it to a charity?

CHETRY: I think a lot of people do. And a revolution now in philanthropy is getting rid of the middleman, as they say, and connecting donors directly with the people who need help.

AMERICAN MORNING's Polly Labarre joins us now to explain. This is really interesting. A lot of this, as you said, the eBay-like approach where they're matching up people who need with people who want to give.

POLLY LABARRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Call it giving 2.0. These sites, and, actually enable anyone to become a philanthropist with a couple of clicks of the mouse and they empower groups that usually has no resources, no power to speak up, and ask for help, and then they match these two groups together and really easy-to-use, cleverly designed sites.

ROBERTS: got started up, it was a very small idea and grew from there?

LABARRE: Sure. A teacher, a former schoolteacher from the Bronx who saw kids are -- don't have enough resources in public schools. We know that. But teachers understand their needs better than anyone. So let them design small solutions for everyday problems. And he created a site to do just that. So teachers put up projects. And it's not just a wish list of pencils and school supplies. It's take people to Supreme Court to see a court case and decision. Take people on a trip to the green market to understand nutrition. All kinds of incredible projects like that.

You can go on the site, browse through them and choose. You know, if you care about yoga or reading, you can find a project that will match your interest and we're looking at the site right. So lots of choice.

The unique thing is once you use sort of a one click button to donate, you then get in this whole feedback loop for once the project is finished you get these incredible thank you notes. You get this package right here. You open up a package and in it, you get an incredible impact report, a set of pictures from the project, a whole bunch of great thank you notes that were made by the students.

CHETRY: That's neat.


LABARRE: So these students, this is a fantastic one. These students, here's this great picture of these students who needed new balls. Their thank you note is, "Thank you for buying us the balls. I really like the soccer ball. I'm going to play it with the soccer balls. We had flat balls. I'm going to have a good time."

You know this wonderful little sustenance.

CHETRY: It is sweet. It's a motivator as well. You get to see the results of what you've done. So that is really wonderful, Polly.

LABARRE: Absolutely. Great feedback loop.

ROBERTS: Great way to do it.

Polly, thanks very much.

LABARRE: Thank you so much.

ROBERTS: So good to see you this morning.

CHETRY: Well, we have much more news coming up when AMERICAN MORNING comes right back. Also the day's headlines. We're taking a short break. We'll see you back here in a couple of minutes.


CHETRY: A live look at right now at LaGuardia Airport and the drop-off skycap area looking busy but things are still moving along. We're getting reports from all of our I-Reporters, many of them having a relatively smooth trip, a few people experiencing some snags but for the most part the second busiest travel day of the year, not too shabby at 8:32 out here on the east coast.

And welcome. It is Wednesday, November, 21. Thanks so much for being with us. I'm Kiran Chetry.

ROBERTS: And good morning to you. I'm John Roberts.

New this morning, President Bush is standing by president -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf. He tells ABC News that Musharraf believes in democracy but the Pakistani president would lose Washington's confidence if he holds elections under a state of emergency. President Bush says he feels comfortable right now that Pakistan's nuclear weapons are secure.

Oil is closing in on $100 a barrel. The price rose to a record $99.29 during the day, settled back to 98.03 which is still a new high.

Rising gas prices not expected to keep people from hitting the roads today. The average price right now for a gallon of self-serve regular is $3.09. Still, some 38 million Americans are going to travel more than 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Traffic is going to be heavy on the trains today, too. In fact, Amtrak says this is their busiest day of the year. They're looking at about a 70 percent increase compared to a usual Wednesday. In the meantime, at LaGuardia Airport, Allan Chernoff is saying that all systems are a go right now, no delays, business but no delays.

Let me go right now to Alina Cho inside the FAA Command Center where they track thousands of planes in the air, the brains behind the operation -- hey Alina.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Kiran. Good morning. This is really ground zero for American aviation. The men and women that you see here at the FAA Command Center are really like traffic cops, managing those highways in the sky and on a day like today when there are so simply so many passengers this is a massive job.

Volume is really going to be the issue today. Take a look at the screen behind me here. Each and every one of those red dots represents a plane in the sky; more than 5,000 flights in the air right now. That number will swell to about 6,000 in the next couple of hours.

Now, one problem that we identified in the past hour or so is that the air space around Chicago and Cleveland is so congested that they're actually moving those planes to the north into Canadian air space to make room for the flights to the south to move into Midwest air space.

Now, weather will also be a factor in some cities but, again, volume really the issue here; 2.5 million passengers on a day like today very busy. That's 20 percent more than normal. Planes are full. They're at 90 percent capacity so there's really little room for error. Now, the president has decided to open up military air space to commercial aviation. That will take effect at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon.

It will run through 6:00 a.m. Monday, but as one supervisor here told me here, Kiran, he wishes that air space would have opened up sooner because by then, most people will be at their destination for Thanksgiving already. That would be except for me, one of the rare smart decisions I've made is to travel to Florida, Kiran, tomorrow morning.

CHETRY: Wow, all right. Well glad that you had a chance to do that. Hopefully things will go smoothly for you as well, Alina. Thank you.

Meanwhile, Susan Roesgen is live for us. She is at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. I know you guys were getting a little bit of precipitation. How is it looking for you, Susan?

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not bad at all so far except for a lot of long lines, Kiran, and some sore backs and this is where it always begins. You get your cab here. You haul your bags out of the cab. You go over to the skycap. You drop them off and then you hope that those bags make it to where you're going later in the day.

Now inside the airport today, we have seen much longer security lines than we saw yesterday. But I just spoke to the P.R. spokeswoman here and she says THAT in spite of what Alina Cho told us about all the congestion in the skies, she says every single plane is on time here at O'Hare, so at least even if there are long lines here today, the lines are moving. That is the good news -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Sure is. Susan Roesgen, thanks so much -- John.

ROBERTS: It is 36 minutes after the hour. Let's head out west. Our Ed Lavandera is midway through his cross country adventure. He's traveling on one of the busiest days to make it to New York by Thanksgiving. Today he is live from the airport that has the infamous distinction of having the longest security lines of any airport in the country.

And Ed Lavandera joins us now from Denver International. Don't tell me, Ed, because I think we're developing a theme here, everything there is running smoothly?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it is and so far, we've been watching people going through the security lines, timing people, they're kind of picking people out and they've been timing out to about 10 minutes to go through, but it is still early. The crunch of people not expected here for a few more hours. But the TSA here has opened up more lines, staffed more people here, as well, but for us it's still shaping up to be the longest part of our journey.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): For most people flying out of Los Angeles, minor delays was the theme of the day but a few had it rough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First flight canceled. Second flight has been delayed. So we hopefully will make our connection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) You have yourself a good flight. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate it.

LAVANDERA: We were headed for Denver.

(on camera): First leg is a success right here. Luggage is intact. Can't ask for anything more. Only 30 minutes delayed. I can handle that, I can handle that!

(voice-over): The day before Thanksgiving promises to be the true test. Denver's airport has been criticized for having some of the slowest security checkpoint lines in the country. Two months ago, it reportedly took some passengers more than 45 minutes to get through security, but airport officials say the goal this Thanksgiving week is get people through in less than 20 minutes.

CHUCK CANNON, DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: TSA has told us that they will bring in extra staff to man the security screening checkpoints this holiday. We've added even a couple more lanes here.

LAVANDERA: Lisa Wynja and her family are flying to Las Vegas. They made it through the checkpoints with no problems Tuesday.

LISA WYNJA, AIRLINE PASSENGER: Literally, we walked up to security, got -- they checked our I.D., walked into security and walked in. There was no wait anywhere.

LAVANDERA: The real crunch of passengers starts today.


LAVANDERA: John, when we booked our flights last week, we couldn't get a direct flight from Denver to New York, so we're connecting through Dallas. That's what we will do later on today, so we're hoping everything keeps running smoothly so we can see you guys tomorrow morning but there is a light snow flurry falling out here. There have been a couple of inches of snow overnight here in Denver, but so far everything, also the boards showing here in Denver that everything is taking off on time -- John.

ROBERTS: You know, Ed, maybe this is one of those days when no news is good news.

LAVANDERA: Oh, absolutely. You know, maybe there's so much attention being paid to what the airlines are doing today, you know, that maybe they've kind of stepped it up a little bit. Who knows?

ROBERTS: And wouldn't that be nice if that were a model for every day? Ed Lavandera this morning at Denver International Airport -- Ed, thanks.

Rob Marciano at the weather update desk. He is tracking all of the extreme weather. Do we have any, Rob?

MARCIANO: Yeah, we do. As far as rainfall is concerned, we've got some of that from Chicago east towards parts of Michigan and south. This swath today is where all the moisture is going to fall. Some of it is going to fall in the form of snow. We've seen that in Denver. We're starting to see it now across parts of the plains.

So as we get going through the day, here is what we think is going to happen as far as delays go. JFK, LaGuardia, 30 to an hour -- 30 minute to an hour delay is expected there; Chicago probably over an hour; St. Louis maybe up to an hour because of some weather there.

Houston may be a little bit better than yesterday as will Dallas; 15 to 30-minute delays; and out west we're looking OK, maybe a little bit of fog in through Los Angeles as they begin to open for business now on the west coast is waking up.

Look at these differences in temperatures. Wichita Falls yesterday record high of 85 degrees; Dallas, Texas 84 degree record high; Childress, Texas, 83; and then today's high temperature expected at around 5:00, 55 degrees. So in some cases, 40-degree difference in temperature from yesterday's record highs to today's so we're looking at a serious cool down; a cold plunge of air coming down from Canada and diving all the way down to the south.

We've got warm, mild air ahead of that so you know what that means. The battle ground for not only some rain showers and snow behind this system but the potential for seeing severe weather along that frontal system so be aware of that. This storm does push off to the east tomorrow. We'll see a little bit of snow from Chicago east into Michigan.

Could see one of three inches, that should be about it, but it does look right across the Appalachians up through upstate New York. And of course what would a Thanksgiving Day forecast be without the obligatory rocking back and forth (INAUDIBLE). What do you think about that, Kiran? Not bad from the graphics department there.

CHETRY: I like it. I really like it. It looks like...


CHETRY: I mean it is a little peacock, a little bit peacock, a little bit parrot, but that's all right. It's a turkey.

MARCIANO: We do the best we can.

CHETRY: I'm teasing. It's very cute. Thanks, Rob.

Well a former member of President Bush's inner circle pointing right at the top when it comes to the scandal regarding the Valerie Plame CIA leak case. We're going to be speaking with Plame's husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, about the Washington bombshell. He joins us live on AMERICAN MORNING next.


ROBERTS: Forty-four minutes after the hour. Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan claims the president and vice president were involved in his misleading the public about the CIA leak case. In an excerpt from his upcoming book, McClellan says he, quote, "unknowingly passed along false information about the role that Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby played in the leak that revealed Valerie Plame's identity".

Here is what McClellan originally said about Rove and Libby at an October 2003 press briefing.


SCOTT MCCLELLAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There have been individuals, they are important members of our White House team and that is why I spoke with them so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved.


ROBERTS: McClellan has since said that wasn't true but in the book, he goes even further saying that "I had unknowingly passed along false information and five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so. Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff, and the president himself."

Former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson is Valerie Plame's husband. He joins us this morning from Eden, Utah. Joe, good to see you. Let me ask you your response, first of all, to the statement that McClellan put out in this book.

JOE WILSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Well, I think it advances the narrative a little bit. I think it now makes it very clear the extent to which the vice president was involved, which, of course, then makes it very clear how important to the vice president the commutation of Mr. Libby's sentence was.

They basically closed ranks, guaranteed that the cloud Fitzgerald said was over the vice president's head would not be lifted and now because of McClellan's statement that cloud is over the president himself. He is either completely out of touch or he's an accessory to obstruction of justice both before the fact and after the fact.

ROBERTS: Your wife says that she is outraged after hearing about this. She went on to say, quote, "McClellan's revelations provide important support for our civil suit against those men who violated our national security and maliciously destroyed my career". He very carefully uses the word "involved," when talking about the idea of misleading. How does that help advance your civil suit?

WILSON: Well, the argument that we've made in our civil suit is that public officials were abusing the public trust in the exercise of their official duties in support of a private political vendetta. I think what McClellan says certainly makes that very clear. At a bare minimum, for openers, I think it's incumbent upon the president and the vice president now to release the transcripts of their statements with the -- to the special prosecutor so that we now have a fuller understanding of what they knew, when they knew it, and what they said to justice.

ROBERTS: All right.

WILSON: And whether or not they continue to frustrate the efforts of the Justice Department and the efforts of the government to get to the bottom of what is essentially the betrayal of national security of our country.

ROBERTS: A federal judge threw out that lawsuit back in July. He did it on jurisdictional grounds, not constitutional grounds. Where are you with that whole process?

WILSON: It's in the appeal process and the appeal briefs are being filed and I think it will be heard early in the New Year.

ROBERTS: So will you seek to depose McClellan as a result of what he is saying here in this book?

WILSON: I think we'll depose everybody who has any knowledge that they can bring to bear on this case.


WILSON: And remember, the lawsuit also includes in addition to the four that we've sued by name, it also includes John Does one through nine so there may well be some interesting information that McClellan has offered here in that regard.

ROBERTS: Do you think as a result of what McClellan says in this book, that Congress should open a new investigation into what happened back in 2003?

WILSON: Well, I certainly think that the efforts of Congressman Waxman and Congressman Conyers and Senator Leahy in investigating the many, many transgressions of this administration have been useful. I think it would be helpful to have congressional hearings on this matter.

ROBERTS: All right.

WILSON: This is a betrayal of the national security of the country. This is essentially treason. Had the vice president told Libby to tell the Russian military attache my wife's name, there would be no question about what we would be calling this. The fact he brokered through a (INAUDIBLE) like Bob Novak doesn't make it any different.

ROBERTS: All right. And again, McClellan is still very careful in how he is betraying this saying that they were involved, not coming right out and saying that they told him to lie. Joe Wilson from Eden, Utah...

WILSON: All the more reason, all the more reason...


WILSON: All the more reason to have the full investigation of this.

ROBERTS: All right. Joe Wilson joining us this morning from Eden, Utah; Joe, thanks for getting up early -- Kiran. CHETRY: Toys with lead hazards and other problems still on the store shelf. Remember we got the mom who was so fed up she actually packed all of her toys in the car, drove to Mattel headquarters and said hey, which one of these are recalled? Well Mattel is now being sued and our Greg Hunter has some advice for parents and for all shoppers. He is looking out for you next on AMERICAN MORNING.


CHETRY: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. You know there are some new warnings about dangerous toys. Consumer safety groups say that many of them are still on store shelves and they are taking federal regulators and toy manufacturers to task for not doing enough to protect kids from potential danger.

And our Greg Hunter is looking out for you. He joins us now with more on this. They're not waiting for the CPSC to issue recalls. They are saying these are already on the shelves and you shouldn't buy them for your kids.

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some toys still on the shelves with hazards and lead paint according to these two groups and despite millions of toys recalled this year these two consumer groups say there is still plenty of trouble in toy land.



HUNTER (voice-over): Dana Parker was so worried after the numerous big toy recalls this summer, she packed up her kids' toys and took them to Mattel's office in El Segundo, California and asked the company to check for recalls.

DANA PARKER, MOTHER: I didn't trust going through the list of paper work and the pictures. I didn't trust it. So just looking out for my kids' safety I took a stand and I said you guys do it.

HUNTER: Two consumer safety groups say there are too many unsafe toys still on the shelves and many more than should be recalled but are not, like toys containing powerful magnets that can harm children if swallowed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These magnets are so strong that they will hold across my finger.

HUNTER: And the nonprofit U.S. Public Safety Interest Group says there are still toys being sold with high levels of lead.

ED MIERZWINSKI, U.S. PIRG: We found plastic farm animals with lead at levels nearly 50 percent higher than the CPSC's limit.

HUNTER: The Center for Environmental Health claims it found high levels of lead in toys like Dora the Explorer ball and bat set. As far as CNN could determine this product has never been recalled. Franklin Sports (ph), which makes the set did not return our calls for comments. Consumer groups want a third-party independent of toy companies and the CPSC to test toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says it is living up to its mandate.

JULIE VALLESE, CPSC: We have a responsibility to enforce safety and that is what this agency does.

HUNTER: For worried parents like Dana Parker, she just wants to be sure the toys she buys are safe.

PARKER: We should assume that when we're paying good money, we're getting a safe product.


HUNTER: The CPSC did offer a few simple tips for taking care of your kids this year during holiday shopping. Wear a helmet if your kid is riding a bicycle or a skateboard. Watch out for small parts and magnets are big this year. I have a little demonstration.

This is Polly World (ph). If you look at Polly World (ph), this is a brilliant little toy except for it was recalled because see these magnets that help the clothes stay on? Isn't that brilliant, right? Well it was recalled because of small parts. And the magnets like this, this little magnet here -- you see that -- can jump out.

Now you think to yourself wow that can fall out. That must not be that big of a problem it is so tiny. Well watch this. I have put some magnets taped to on one side of this paper right here. Do you see those little magnets? Right there. So the problem is these things are so powerful -- watch this -- there are three magnets that I have loose here and they are so powerful that they just jump right on to the paper. Do you see that?

Now the problem is if this is your child's intestine and these magnets end up on both sides of your child's intestines that is a problem according to medical experts and this has happened many times over the years that kids swallow these things. They get stuck in their intestines and cause blockages, big problem. You should watch out for small magnets in kids.

CHETRY: So these are recalled but there are other toys that do have these type of magnets?

HUNTER: Yes, there are other types that have these types of magnets. Some people say they should get rid of these magnets altogether. There are toys out on the shelves that are recalled and as usual, if you know about fraud, waste or abuse, please contact me by e-mail at Thanks for watching.

CHETRY: Greg, thanks for showing us this and you know again just quickly, so these are the magnets. They're glued in. They fall out and that is what then can potentially happen. Thanks a lot.


CHETRY: John. ROBERTS: Just quickly glancing at the FAA Web site, picking up some delays in Memphis and Philadelphia now, so you might want to check before you get out the door.

A quick programming note, we're going to be here for you all Thanksgiving morning. If you have any questions about your holiday feast, fear not, we've got the turkey experts with us to help you out. We have invited Butterball University to our Thanksgiving. E-mail us your questions to We'll answer them live on the air tomorrow on AMERICAN MORNING. And we are back in just a moment.


ROBERTS: Making our way across the country here as we help you get from here to there; a shot this morning of Los Angeles International Airport, LAX, beautiful with the neon lights there glowing.

It is 6:00 there. Apparently no delays, but it's early! Of course, you know, inversely proportional the chances of things going wrong. Here we are so prepared to cover this today so nothing will probably go wrong today, which will be great.

CHETRY: Actually for other travelers out there, we're praying that you're traveling, so far, so good at most of the places around the country. And we want to get a final check of the quick vote. What drives you nuts about traveling today?

Twenty-five percent say it is the traffic, 55 percent say the high gas prices and 20 percent saying the long lines at airport security. To all of you who voted, thanks so much. We hope you have happy and safe travels today.

ROBERTS: Yeah. That's going to do it for us here on AMERICAN MORNING. We will see you again tomorrow morning, Thanksgiving morning. Have a happy one.

CHETRY: And "CNN NEWSROOM" with Tony Harris and Heidi Collins starts right now.