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Tiger Woods Car Crash; White House Party Crashers; FAA Recordings; Economic Mirage?; Black Friday; Iran's Nuclear Defiance; Military Suicides

Aired November 27, 2009 - 19:00   ET


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Suzanne, thanks. I was wondering where he was, too. Just ahead Tiger Woods the world's best golfer and possibly the most famous athlete on the planet out of the hospital tonight after a car crash early this morning. So just how serious are his injuries and will this episode have any effect on his career?

Plus a party crashing for the ages but it is no laughing matter. One media-hungry couple sneaks into a White House party and now they could face federal criminal charges for the stunt but still we want to know how did they pull it off and how was security so easily breached?

Also new details tonight about the Northwest pilots who flew over 100 miles past their destination. The cockpit recordings just released -- were the pilots really just distracted or is there more to tell here? Those stories and much more on CNN TONIGHT.

We begin though with Tiger Woods. As we mentioned the most famous athlete in the world injured in a car crash outside his Florida estate early this morning. Here's what we know at this hour. Police say Woods was alone in his Cadillac SUV when he pulled out of his driveway in Windermere, Florida, smashed into a fire hydrant then drove into a tree. His wife heard the accident from inside their house, reportedly had to smash the back window of the SUV with a golf club to help her husband escape.

Police found Woods laid out on the street with his wife hovering over him. There's speculation he may not have been going very fast since the airbags did not deploy. His injuries, which (INAUDIBLE) described as serious, Woods though released from the hospital in good condition this afternoon. Police are saying alcohol was not involved. The mayor of Windermere was one of the first on the scene.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An accident occurred about 2:30 this morning. Windermere police were first upon the scene. Because we are basically right there, we could arrive within a minute and a half on our border. I understand that there was some facial lacerations. He was taken to Health Central Hospital.


HILL: CNN's John Couwels is in Florida tonight. John, what is the latest at this hour? JOHN COUWELS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Erica. We did learn from the police chief this evening he told CNN that when they had arrived on the scene that his wife told them that she had ran to the car, smashed out the back window and was able to help Tiger to get out of the car. When the police arrived on the scene, he was laying on the ground in front of the car next to his wife.

They waited until the Orange County Fire Rescue had come on the scene and they transported him to the local hospital down the street in Ocoee, Florida, where ultimately he was released in good condition. The hospital said that he was admitted, treated and released but they didn't give any more exact details.

But the police did say that when they found him that he had lacerations to his lips, to his top lip and to his bottom lip and that he did have some blood in his mouth, and after he was transported like I said, he was treated and released but the exact details other than the lacerations to his face we don't know and that all did occur right here in the Islesworth (ph) community Country Club which as it's known here in Orlando as the home for the rich and famous -- Erica.

HILL: And where they probably don't let too many people in. We don't know, just to be clear, too, we don't know if he was unable to move, correct, John, and that's why his wife needed to help him?

COUWELS: Well they had said that -- the police said that he did -- tried to get up and he seemed a little unconscious or semiconscious, and that he had difficulty getting up off the ground, but ultimately they asked him to just stay put until Orange County Fire Rescue showed up on the scene and transported him to the hospital.

HILL: All right, John, thanks. We'll have more to come on Tiger Woods throughout the show. The richest and potentially the most influential athlete today, how could this affect his career and also the world of professional sports -- we'll tackle those just ahead.

Meantime, it may be the most brazen party crashing of all-time and it was also a very serious security breach. The Secret Service now admits protocols were not followed after a couple managed to sneak into Tuesday's state dinner at the White House and we have just learned the couple even met President Obama. Here you see the picture of them meeting him in the receiving line.

They also managed to snap a picture with Vice President Joe Biden. Michaele and Tareq Salahi did not have an invitation. They were not on the guest list, yet somehow they made it past the elaborate setup of security checkpoints. The couple is also apparently angling for a spot on upcoming Bravo reality show "The Real Housewives of D.C." Dan Lothian reports now on how the White House is explaining this incredible security mishap -- Dan.


DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The White House now admits President Obama met the uninvited guests in the receiving line at his first state dinner and it's apparently not the first time. This undated photo o the couple's Facebook page shows them with Mr. Obama and the pop group Black-Eyed Peas, another development in the scandal that the U.S. Secret Service is now taking full responsibility for.

In a statement director Mark Sullivan (ph) says "they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely. That failing is ours." He adds that the agency is "deeply concerned and embarrassed." Earlier in the day, Secret Service agents paid a visit to the Oasis Winery in Virginia, the couple's mailing address. The manager confirms two agents indicated they were not there to arrest Tareq and Michaele Salahi but said "it is imperative that we speak with them. If they do not sit down with us and talk we will take whatever action necessary." The Secret Service won't confirm that account but says it wants to interview everybody, including the Salahi's.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. and Mrs. Salahi.

LOTHIAN: The reality show wannabes certainly looked the part and played up their visit on Facebook, posting photos with the vice president, White House chief of staff and Marines. Representative Peter King, who is the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, is calling for a congressional investigation.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I mean this could have been a national tragedy, if these were terrorists, if these were pathological murderers, they could have done a lot of damage in that brief period of time.

LOTHIAN: We don't know all the details of how the couple got into one of the most secure compounds in the world but a stylist who worked on Michaele's hair just hours before the state dinner says she claimed they were invited.

PEGGY IOAKIM, HAIR ARTIST, ERWIN GOMEZ SALON & SPA: She said that in the mail she got an invitation and I asked her do you have it with you and she said yes. She tried looking for it and didn't find the invitation so I never saw it. She didn't have it. She thought it was in the car or something.


LOTHIAN: Now the president did ask the Secret Service to conduct a full review of this incident, an investigation does continue and the Secret Service telling me they have not ruled out the possibility of any criminal charges. As for the couple according to a statement from their publicist they claim that they did not crash that event, and they say that they hope to get their side of the story out sometime very soon -- Erica.

HILL: They're being a little quiet these days, Dan, so...

LOTHIAN: That's right.

HILL: ... we'll look forward to that once they get all their interviews lined up. Dan Lothian live for us at the White House -- thanks.

LOTHIAN: Thank you.

HILL: We will have more on that party-crashing drama coming up a little later in the broadcast. We're going to speak with two people who know the couple, they were actually with the party crasher Michaele Salahi right before they pulled off the caper, and that is just ahead.

We're also learning more tonight though about that wayward Northwest flight that overshot its destination by 100 miles. The FAA today releasing new audio recordings of air traffic controllers desperately trying to locate the plane. The two pilots were in radio silence for over 90 minutes and claim they were simply distracted. Jeanne Meserve investigating whether there is actually more to the story.


AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Northwest 188 contact Minneapolis Center one two four point eight seven -- Northwest 188 radio check.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Over and over and over again, air traffic controllers in denier and Minneapolis try to make contact with Northwest flight 188, even asking other Northwest pilots in the area if they can radio the plane. Finally, after over flying Minneapolis by 150 miles, after 77 minutes incommunicado the crew makes contact.

NW 188: Minneapolis Northwest 188.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Northwest 188 Minneapolis Center go ahead.

NW 188: Roger, we got distracted and we've over flown Minneapolis. We're -- are over Eau Claire and would like to make a one eighty and do arrival from Eau Claire.

MESERVE: Controllers ask if the crew is in control of the aircraft.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: You can stay right here and on this frequency and I just have to verify that the cockpit is secure.

NW 188: It is secure. We got distracted and we were.

NW 188: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) never heard a call and we just (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

MESERVE: Several minutes later another controller follows up.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Northwest 188, do you have time to give a brief explanation on what happened.

NW 188: Just cockpit distractions, that's all I can say.

MESERVE: Again, the controller tries to get information. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Northwest 188 is there any way you can elaborate o the distraction?

NW 188: We're just dealing with some company issues here and that's all -- that's all I can tell you right now at this time.

PETER GOELZ, FORMER NTSB MANAGING DIRECTOR: It was pretty clear that they knew they were in hot water, they were not going to discuss it over the open channels. They knew it was going to be recorded. They knew they just didn't want to say anything.

MESERVE: The pilot and co-pilot later said they were reviewing crew scheduling procedures on their laptop computers. In a stinging rebuke the Federal Aviation Administration accused them of a total dereliction and disregard of their duties and revoked their licenses.


MESERVE: The pilots have filed an appeal. Meanwhile the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating in hopes of coming up with a conclusive explanation for this frightening lapse on the part of the crew -- Erica.

HILL: Jeanne Meserve -- Jeanne, thanks.

Police say a Florida woman went too far trying to make sure her boss didn't miss his flight on Wednesday. How far? She called in a bomb threat. Thirty-one-year-old Claudia De la Rosa (ph) allegedly called and e-mailed Miami International Airport claiming a bomb was on the American Airlines flight her boss was booked on. De la Rosa reportedly told police it was her fault her boss was running late and she thought the bomb hoax story would give him time to catch his flight. De la Rosa was arrested after the e-mail threat was traced back to her computer.

An economic sandstorm in Dubai being felt now around the world -- global markets taking a pounding after the Middle Eastern city state said it would need more time to pay back $80 billion in debt. Dubai's extravagance and its outrageous real estate have made it the playground for the ultra rich and famous, but as Morgan Neill reports, the fantasy in the desert may have been just that.


MORGAN NEILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The party to open Dubai's Atlantis Hotel just over a year ago now seems like a mirage. At an estimated cost of $20 million it boasted a guest list of the world's rich and famous. Just two months after the Lehman shock, the dazzling extravagance seemed to say Dubai is immune, but it never was.

Dubai World, which owns Nakheel, the developer of the manmade tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah Island, has now requested a suspension of debt payments. The move threatens to undermine confidence in a recent property recovery, and celebrities who bought homes there may find their property is suddenly worth a lot less. Author Jim Crane says that while established developments should be fine, Dubai's other artificial island projects, The World and Palm Derna (ph), could be in trouble.

JIM KRANE, AUTHOR, "DUBAI CITY OF GOLD": It will take a special kind of investor and probably you know more robust economy for anybody to really build on one of those places. I mean there is a lot more practical places to build than on one of these little islands in the world, so that could be a white elephant for a long time.

NEILL: One of the firms, which has bought into the World has confidence in Dubai's long-term story.

GILES BESWICK, SELECT PROPERTY: I would disagree that it would be a white elephant. I think it will be part of the continuing development of Dubai as a city, and a tourism center, and an investment center for many years to come.

NEILL: But in the short term, DubaiWorld announcement has brought uncertainty and the prospect of a fire sale of assets to raise cash.

(on camera): But just how far could the fallout spread? At this point analysts simply don't know how the news from DubaiWorld will affect the rest of the Dubai portfolio, which includes among other things Madam Tussaud's, a stake in the London Exchange and the London Eye (ph).

(voice-over): Whatever the fate of investments abroad, hopes that Dubai's inflated portfolio of luxury property was beginning to recover have been dashed.

Morgan Neill, CNN, London.


HILL: American markets today taking a hit because of the financial mess in Dubai. After a half day trading session on Wall Street the Dow dropped 155 points or 1.5 percent. It actually had been down as much as 233 points earlier in the day. The Nasdaq composite lost 37 points, 1.7 percent, both were coming off 13-month highs from Wednesday.

Coming up, Iran's nuclear defiance draws a strong rebuke from the United Nations, also are shoppers in danger of the crush of Black Friday crowds -- what one national chain is doing to keep its shoppers safe.

And the latest on Tiger Woods' car crash and how it could affect his future.


HILL: Today marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, and it all started when the clock struck midnight. Some stores opening as that calendar changed to Friday, others staying open through the night to slow the anticipated crush from anxious holiday shoppers while other stores waited until 4:00 a.m. to unlock their doors. One national chain had some new policies for its post Thanksgiving crowd following a tragedy at one store last year. Sean Callebs has more.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got everything?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I got everything, thank you.

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call it Black Friday, an excuse Cory Jackson if he has red eyes after waiting in line seven hours.

CORY JACKSON, WALMART SHOPPER: I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted. I've been here all night. I was trying to find out -- I was trying to figure out if I could get a good deal.

CALLEBS: And a bargain is what he got.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here it is right here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this it, the $198 deal right there, you can't beat that.

CALLEBS: A laptop that he considers a steal. Walmart knows what customers prize, laptops, TVs and video game consoles that are all advertised as greatly reduced. Last year the day after Thanksgiving a maintenance worker at a Walmart store in Long Island, New York was trampled to death by a crush of shoppers as doors opened. The chain took steps to make sure there wasn't a repeat this year.



CALLEBS: Shoppers were pleased.

ERNEST BELL, WALMART SHOPPER: I thought it was actually going to be a lot crazier coming in. I didn't picture it being so serene when I first walked in the door.

CALLEBS: Walmart was hoping for controlled chaos, so stores stayed open 24 hours, cops were on hand, and despite the long lines at this store in suburban Atlanta, there wasn't a hint of trouble.

(on camera): Does it take a certain mind-frame to come out on a day like this?

MONICA SCOTT, WALMART SHOPPER: Yes, I had to get pumped up for it. We went to Toys "R" Us last night and it was like two and a half miles of waiting line.

CALLEBS (voice-over): So even this much smaller crowd felt like a bargain of its own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last time I stayed in line this long I was standing in line to watch -- to catch "Star Wars."


CALLEBS: And if today is the shape of things to come it's shaping up to be a good holiday shopping season at least for that one store in the chain. Not only did things go smoothly there, but the manager tells us this is the best start to the holiday shopping season there in years -- Erica.

HILL: All right, Sean, thanks.

While many Americans are still feeling the effect of their Thanksgiving dinner, the White House has already moved on to Christmas. First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters on hand as the official White House Christmas tree was delivered today. The 18.5 foot tall Evergreen was donated by the Sunback (ph) family from Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The Sunbacks (ph), by the way, have also provided trees for Presidents' Carter and Reagan.

The space shuttle "Atlantis" back at the Kennedy Space Center after landing safely and smoothly this morning. The seven-person crew returned after an 11-day mission to deliver parts to the International Space Station -- also bringing home with them astronaut Nicole Stott. She wrapped up her three-month stay at the space station. The crew went on three space walks and installed two platforms there. Now there are just five missions left for the entire space shuttle fleet before it is retired next year.

Still ahead the latest on Tiger's car crash, what caused it and whether his injuries could affect his golf game.

Plus Iran slapped with a very strong message, the nuclear plans that finally forced world powers to say enough is enough.

And the alarming rise in military suicides. With those numbers skyrocketing, should the White House continue to ignore their grieving families?


HILL: Tonight tensions escalating over Iran's continued nuclear defiance. For the first time in four years, the United Nations today voting to censure the Islamic Republic for blocking investigations into its nuclear program. The resolution also demands Iran freeze operations quote "immediately" at a uranium enrichment plant. Kitty Pilgrim reports on the long standing nuclear ambitions pushing the world to its breaking point.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The resolution Friday passed 25-3 with important backing from Russia and China as well as the U.S., Britain, France and Germany, it urged Iran to comply fully and without delay with previous United Nations Security Council resolutions. The three countries that voted against the resolution were Cuba, Malaysia and Venezuela, six countries abstained, Afghanistan, Brazil, Egypt, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey.

In recent years the Russians and Chinese have been reluctant to pressure Iran on nuclear issues. China imports 15 percent of its oil from Iran. The Chinese were silent on the subject of Iran during President Obama's recent trip to meet with President Hu Jintao. Iran denies it wants to build nuclear weapons and calls the resolution hasty and undue.

ALI ASGHAR SOLTANIEH, IRAN'S CHIEF DELEGATE TO IAEA: (INAUDIBLE) resolution of the Security Council sanctions prevented Iran even a second from its nuclear enrichment activities, and this resolution will be the same. It will not stop Iran and Iranian people very patient with Iran and deprive them from science and technology.

PILGRIM: Iran has defied the international community for years. The U.S. ambassador to the IAEA said the resolution is a signal patience is running out.

GLYN DAVIES, U.S. CHIEF DELEGATE TO IAEA: We also remain willing to engage Iran to work toward a diplomatic solution, to the nuclear dilemma it has created for itself. If only Iran would choose such a course, but our patience and that of the international community is limited.

PILGRIM: President Obama has said Iran has until the end of the year to decide if the U.S. should move toward what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described as "crippling sanctions." The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, Mohammed ElBaradei says it has been a year since Iran engaged in any discussion about its nuclear program.

In startlingly direct language this week ElBaradei declared a dead end unless Iran engages fully with us. In September, Iran revealed a secret nuclear facility at Qom. U.N. inspectors last month said the operation was large enough to make an estimated two weapons' worth of nuclear materiel a year.


PILGRIM: The international community has made absolutely no progress on this issue for more than a year. This week Iran's military leaders launched a five-day military exercise to practice defending the nuclear sites against U.S. or Israeli attack -- Erica.

HILL: So we continue to watch that one, Kitty, thanks.

We turn our attention now to Afghanistan and the countdown to President Obama's new troop strategy there. After weeks of anticipation and reports of in-fighting among his national security team, the president now scheduled to unveil his plans for Afghanistan in a speech on Tuesday, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

He is expected to call for an additional 30,000 U.S. and allied troops and in response, NATO officials today saying they may supply up to 6,000 additional soldiers. CNN will have special live coverage of the speech. It begins at 8:00 Eastern Tuesday night. Now meantime there is continued fallout over a NATO air strike in Afghanistan in September. Former German Defense Minister and current Labor Minister Franz Josef Jung resigning today over an air strike that killed up to 142 people, at least half of those believed to be civilians. The resignation comes one day after the head of the German army stepped down over the same incident. A German newspaper reports the Army chief of staff knew civilians would be killed when he ordered that fatal air strike in September.

The mounting death toll in Afghanistan and Iraq is no doubt weighing heavily on the president's new war strategy. The president of course honors each combat death, sending a letter of condolence to family members but not so for the families mourning military suicides and now two grieving parents are demanding both recognition and action. Elaine Quijano has their story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today we'll be reading "The Cat In The Hat".

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just days before he died, Army Specialist Chancellor Keesling sent this video to his parents from Iraq, showing no sign of what was to come. Six years ago Chancellor Keesling joined the Army as a teenager straight out of high school. One of three children in the Keesling family his parents say he was their quiet child, who grew up to be a good soldier, but Keesling's father, Gregg, knew his son was under stress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the end of his deployment his marriage began to fall apart.

QUIJANO: The pressures from his first deployment in '05 led his unit to put him under suicide watch, after Iraq, though, he seemed fine. Then he redeployed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He seemed to be doing extremely well. He managed life daily, no major problems.

QUIJANO: Again, the shocks of war and the distance weighed on Chancellor, then a fight with his girlfriend shook him badly. In an e-mail to his family, he threatened suicide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was calling here back and forth, back and forth through that night.

QUIJANO: In their final conversation, Gregg Keesling had no idea how much pain his son was in.

GREGG KEESLING, SPEC. CHANCELLOR KEESLING'S FATHER: My last words to my son through the phone was be a man, get over this, get on -- get on with yourself and I wish I had not said it quite that way.

QUIJANO: Hours later on a June morning at 8:31 Baghdad time, soldiers found the 25-year-old's body in the latrine. He had shot himself. A week later, Gregg and his wife, Janet, met their son's casket back home in Indiana. At the funeral the next day the church overflowed with mourners.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a super beautiful child. He was a loving, kind, well-liked young man, and every parent can feel proud to have a kid like that.

QUIJANO: After his death his family created a memorial wall leaving a spot for what they thought would be a condolence letter from the commander-in-chief. It never came and a military official explained why.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, Mr. Keesling, there is a policy that prevents the president from writing to the family of a suicide victim.

QUIJANO: Now, the Keesling family wants to change that. They've written to President Obama and believe changing the policy might remove the stigma of mental health issues and suicides in the military.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our son gave six years of his life for this country, and he -- you know he died from an illness or an injury that we just did not recognize, that nobody recognized. We hope the president of the United States would want to show the appreciation to a family like ours for the sacrifice we made and allowing our son to become a soldier and defend his country.

QUIJANO (on camera): Three months after the Keeslings wrote to President Obama the policy remains in effect. A White House spokesman says the administration is reviewing the policy and adds "the president's thoughts and prayers are with every military family who has lost a loved one."

Elaine Quijano, CNN, the Pentagon.


HILL: Through November 2009 140 U.S. troops have committed suicide and that is the same as were confirmed for all of 2008 and it is roughly equal to the number of combat deaths reported in Iraq this year.

Coming up, more on the president and Afghanistan, his decision on troop levels as we mentioned is expected next Tuesday, but what will the real impact be?

Also the very latest on Tiger Woods' car crash and what it could mean for his future.

Plus what was behind the crashing at the White House state dinner? The details from two who helped to get that couple ready for the big event.


HILL: As we reported golfer Tiger Woods was injured in a car crash in Windermere, Florida, earlier this morning. He was taken to a local hospital and later released in good condition. But there are still so many questions about both the accident and what this could mean for the world's richest athlete. Adam Barr of the Golf Channel and Christine Brennan, sports columnist for "USA Today," both joining us now, live.

Good to have both of you with us. As we mention, details slowly trickling out. The good news, of course, is that Tiger Woods is OK. He was released from the hospital. But Adam, are we learning any more about where exactly he was headed at 2:25 this morning?

ADAM BARR, GOLF CHANNEL: Well, the short answer is no, Erica. Only Tiger knows for sure where he was going. One thing we do know that he was in Asia and Australia recently and the possibility of jet lag is there, he may have been up simply because he couldn't get to sleep. Once again, nobody knows for sure. I also know he's a workout fiend and if the wife and kids were in bed he might have been getting in a workout and then going out for a bite to eat at a nearby 24-hour restaurant, but again only Tiger knows at this point why he was going out at that hour.

HILL: Right, we have learned, Christine, that his wife actually apparently was up, though, she heard the crash inside the house, came outside, used a golf club, somewhat ironically to help get him out of the vehicle, break a window. Do we know what was happening with them beforehand? Had she been up or just heard the crash and it woke her up?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, USA TODAY: Erica, we don't know and I think that's the one thing that's kind of surprising, several surprising aspects to the story, of course, on a slow news day. But, one of the things is Tiger Woods is as controlling of his image as anyone maybe on the planet, not just an athlete, anyone in our culture. I mean, this guy guards his image, his Web site, everything about him it has been controlled from the get-go, from when he said hello world as a young, new pro, which was part of a Nike campaign back in the mid 1990s. And so this is so uncharacteristic to have this kind of thing for a guy who never colors outside the line. I think that's the part and I think Tiger will be giving us answers, Erica, simply because he's going to have to because he's a powerful and important person, not only in sports, but in our culture.

HILL: You mentioned how intensely private is he, Christine. When do you think those answers will come in we know he has an appearance scheduled Tuesday, before then?

BRENNAN: Well, you know, I almost think it has to, although Tiger will be the judge of that and Adam knows well that Tiger and his people, his camp, will clearly make that decision if they don't want to talk before then, they won't talk before then. But, I think that it's because he's so public and because he has sought that out, because he's making the millions of dollars in endorsements and he is very much someone who has wanted the public's money and interest and has thrived on that, I think because it's so strange, because the questions you're asking, because of all day the things we've been talking about, it just seems to beg the question that I think Tiger might want to have an answer or his people will be giving us more information, I would hope, in the next 24 hours.

HILL: Yeah, a lot of people hoping for those answers.

Adam we mentioned Tuesday, though, if we don't get it before Tuesday we'd already see him Tuesday because he actually was headlining at an event or has planned to this coming week, correct?

BARR: He's the host of the Chevron World Challenge which a field of 18 elite pros, you know, golf tournaments usually have 144, 156 players. This is Tiger and 17 of his closest friends who happen to be the best players in the world. The tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation and other charities. And what Christine said about his image and it well guarded is true because so many kids benefit from the foundations work and admire Tiger. So, his image is something that's very precious to him, the ability to host this event and have the headline players is also a very big deal to him, as well.

HILL: So, that's one aspect of it, Adam and Christine, would be his image, but there is also Tiger the golfer who of course, I'm guessing, would like to continue his career especially after coming back from his knee injury and doing quite well on the PGA tour. Adam, is there any concern that this accident could affect his future as a golfer?

BARR: Well, if it was really facial lacerations and nothing else, probably not. If the joints weren't involved, there's no structural damage, no. He became a hero for winning the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008 essentially on one leg because we found out later his knee and shin were very bad. He wouldn't want to sacrifice that heroism. Unlikely, Tiger being a tough guy and competitor, that these injuries, if they're from the neck up, just facial and lips, would cause any problem that would stop him from competing

HILL: Christine you mentioned and Adam touched on it as well that the fascination around the world with Tiger Woods for his image and for the golfer that he is, but what about within the sports community. What's the reaction been today?

BRENNAN: Of course, it's a quiet day and so it's been the lead story in sports and there's a lot of college football games, as you know, Erica, so to steal the spotlight from college football isn't easy, but Tiger has, because it's so unusual, because we don't hear about this with Tiger Woods. Because, Tiger Woods, what's he doing at 2:30 in the morning? He'll answer that question, I know we'll -- I'm sure we'll get the answer to that and get a lot of answers because people will want to know, we in the sports community, sports journalism community will want to ask those questions, as well.

But, I think it's more shock, surprise, obviously people are relieved he's not injured for seriously, that's No. 1 on the list, and now the question, what we're doing, what's going on, why -- your wife with the golf club and now she's breaking down, you know, the window in the back, a lot of questions and I know that Tiger Woods and his people will give answers because we will, as I said, we will demand those answers, fans of his, you know, his endorsers, obviously, the people who pay millions will want to know those answers. HILL: And Adam, is there any concern there may have been some trouble within the household?

BARR: Well, that's getting into the realm of rumor and as three experienced reporters we don't go there, but I've heard all kinds of things that are only rumor, but in the world of facts, there's no such evidence.

HILL: Adam Barr from the Golf Channel and Christine Brennan from "USA Today," really appreciate your insight. Thank you both for being with us tonight.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

HILL: Another story which still has plenty of questions surrounding it tonight, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the party crashers who snuck into President Obama's first state dinner Tuesday night. Joining me now, two people who know the couple, actually who know Michaele Salahi, the helped her get ready for the big event. Erwin Gomez did her makeup the night of the state dinner and Peggy Ioakim was her hair stylist.

Good to have both of you with us.


IRWIN GOMEZ, MAKEUP ARTIST: Thanks for having us.

HILL: And Peggy, as I understand it, you actually -- this was the first time that you had met her. Irwin has a longer history.

You'd met her for the first time, though, and as most people probably would ask you, asked her a little bit about the invitation, actually asked her if she had it with her. Did she produce that invitation for you?

IOAKIM: Absolutely not, a. She told me she had it and that she was going to show me and she tried looking in her bag and never found it and she didn't seem concerned that she didn't have it with her which, you know, if you're going to the White House for a huge gala, you would hope to have that invitation glued onto you.

HILL: Was she leaving directly from the salon to go to the White House?

IOAKIM: Yes. She brought her gown and they got ready there, and we did her hair and her makeup and they left from the salon.

HILL: And nothing ever seemed amiss? Irwin you've known -- I understand that you've known her for 15 years.

GOMEZ: That's correct.

HILL: But, yet they were supposedly invited, according to the couple, yet she called you frantically, as I understand it, on Monday hoping for an appointment. You would think she would have planned this further in advance?

GOMEZ: I mean, I was really, I mean, first I was shocked that she even called me because of we have an outstanding balance because she hired me to do her wedding and when she called and I wanted to be sure that we locked the transaction before she leaves the salon.

HILL: Because you were worried that she wasn't going to pay you?

GOMEZ: Correct.

HILL: You're saying she hasn't paid you for her wedding makeup?

GOMEZ: You're completely correct.

HILL: And was that bill cleared up, just out of curiosity, while she was in on Tuesday?

GOMEZ: Yes, she paid it for herself.


GOMEZ: And just to confirm that she did get ready at the salon.

HILL: And so you did obviously find a slot for her to get in and as we understand it, she came along with -- we've heard to much about the TV crew that apparently she and her husband were angles for a spot on the "Real Housewives of D. C. " She actually came with a TV crew from Bravo, is that correct?

GOMEZ: I can't really indicate that. But I just wanted to tell you that they had a lot of production going on in the salon.

HILL: So, you can't -- I'm guessing you probably had to sign some kind of nondisclosure; obviously footage can't be out, yet. But, can you confirm, because they'd have to have your OK, correct? -- to shoot in your salon and the other people there, did you get any notice that they were coming with a TV crew?

GOMEZ: I was there to do a job, to make Michaele to look beautiful and I think we did a really incredible job and that's probably the reason why she got into the White House.

HILL: So you can't say there, huh? It's interesting, Peggy, she wasn't able to produce the invitation, it sounds like she wasn't that flustered when you asked her to see it, though. Did she give any indication that she and her husband had some sort of connection either to the White House or maybe even someone within the Indian government? How did she say she sat got invited?

IOAKIM: Yes, well, she did mention that she met the Obama's many times and that she's been at the White House, and she also mentioned to me that when they received the invitation in the mail and they were so excited that she called the White House and they specifically asked to see what kind of dress she could wear, she didn't want to offend anyone, you know, if she wore the wrong outfit. HILL: So, she called fairly far in advance, then I'm guessing, had called the White House. Was it a couple weeks out further than that?

IOAKIM: Yeah, I don't have that information. I don't remember that, but I do remember that she also said that the gown that she was wearing was made for her.

HILL: OK. And it was a beautiful gown, as we say.

IOAKIM: It was, absolutely.

HILL: In an Indian style.


HILL: Erwin because you've known them for so long, does it strike you as odd -- and I know we talked about this a little bit in the beginning, but that she would call the White House weeks in advance and make sure the outfit was right, but then all of a sudden the day before is running around trying to firm up hair and makeup. She seems like a woman who takes pride in her appearance.

GOMEZ: She definitely does. She used to be a model and when I was doing her makeup in my station, she was more concerned if the sari was appropriate to actually wear for the occasion, and I pretty much told her that the sari will be perfect, because you are saluting and for the prime minister of India.

HILL: Right. Real quickly, before we let you go -- there's so much talk about the Salahi's being a couple who enjoy the limelight and who kind of seek this out. Erwin, because you've known her for so long -- are you surprised that they haven't come forward to set the record straight, which their attorney says they're going to do. I mean, if they have the invitation, why not produce it?

GOMEZ: One thing I can tell you Michaele and the couple are full of life and this doesn't surprise me at all, but, they are full of surprises, but this is one surprise that actually shocked the nation, and especially their friends.

HILL: And would you count yourself among those who were shocked in.

IOAKIM: Um-hum.

GOMEZ: Definitely.

HILL: And Peggy, as well?

IOAKIM: Oh, absolutely. I was completely shocked.

HILL: And it seemed that everybody else in the salon who came with them that day was -- agreed that they were invited and going to the state dinner, correct?

GOMEZ: Again?

HILL: Everybody else who was with them in the salon, was there any question amongst those folks that they may not be invited to the White House dinner? Nobody seemed to raise any questions?

GOMEZ: Well, we've had a lot of guests, we have a lot of high- profile guests that we know. I mean, I, myself, and Peggy, we were at the inauguration doing Michelle Obama's brother-in-law, and I know how security is so tight for us to be able to get in, and what really, I mean -- I was so shocked that they even got in without the invitation. I mean, because I know how tight the security is.

HILL: A lot of people have that same reaction today and we're going to keep trying to get some more answers. Hopefully, we'll hear from the couple soon. In the meantime Peggy Ioakim, Erwin Gomez, really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you both.

IOAKIM: Thank you very much.

GOMEZ: Thank you.

HILL: Just ahead, we'll have more on the White House party crashers from a security standpoint. with three of the best political analysts in the country, plus a preview of President Obama's big announcement on Afghanistan next week, all that just ahead.


HILL: Back now our esteemed political panel, all CNN contributors, Republican strategist Ed Rollins, syndicated columnist Miguel Perez and Errol Louis, columnist with "New York Daily News." Good to have all of you with us, especially on the day after Thanksgiving.

We have to continue talking about the story at the White House, the so-called party crashers, the security aspect of it. We just heard from the hairdresser and the makeup artist which give us a personal angle. But, Ed I know that the security aspect alone, especially after your time working in the White House, really has you fired up. I find it hard to believe they could get in so easily.

ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I find it absurd. And first of all, someone's going to pay a very heavy price. The Secret Service, it's a very professional organization and they have had their reputation damaged. These people basically trespassed, they lied to a federal agent, who obviously the uniformed Secret Service, they must have asked if they're on the list and they obviously weren't and how they didn't get stopped is beyond me. The idea that you have a head of state in addition to the president in this time of terrorism everywhere and they weren't stopped is just beyond me. And I think they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

HILL: So, how does it happen, Miguel, though, that they did get past? There's been some criticism, Secret Services said look, we take full responsibility. But there's been some criticism of the organization as a whole that it's not the agents themselves, but perhaps the direction and the lack of funding. Could that be the cause?

MIGUEL PEREZ, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, there was a huge party, to begin with, outside on a tent and maybe that had problem -- logistically they had problems. But you know, Erica, this talks a lot about, says a lot about reality TV and the people that are associated with reality TV, and not just this couple in particular. I mean, who shot the pictures, who shot their photos? I understand there's a production company talking to them. "Housewives of D.C." How many housewives of D.C. tried to crash a White House party? Not too many that I know of. So this is, instead of reality TV, they should call it unreal TV.

HILL: Which a number of those shows probably are rather unreal.

How important is that aspect, Errol, do you think, to the story, this seeming quest for fame among so many people in this country, that 15 minutes?

ERROL LOUIS, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Sure. Celebrity as opposed to -- disconnected from any actual achievement. I mean, the tattered wreckage of their financial lives, the fancy cars they couldn't afford that have been repossessed and the debts they owe including the one you brought up. I mean, this is not a pretty story at all. I do want to agree with Ed and I think that there should be not only prosecution -- there needs to be prosecution along the lines at least of what you see at airports, where every few months you see a story about somebody who makes a stupid joke about hijacking or a bomb or something like that...

HILL: Or the bomb threat we heard earlier tonight in Miami.

LOUIS: They get prosecuted for a felony, disorderly conduct or falsely making a terrorist threat. We should have at least as much security at the front door of the White House as we do at your local airport.

HILL: And we should point out that if it is found that they did in fact lie to a federal agent, that is a federal crime, so there could be a federal charge, there.

Coming back, though, to the security angle, I would imagine that this is probably something that won't happen again, based on what did happen, but what's going on, Ed, inside the White House, right now? What are the conversations that are happening?

ROLLINS: I have to tell you from the secretary of Homeland Security to the head of Secret Service, they have been meeting nonstop since about 11:00 of the night of this dinner and there are people who are going to be fired and there are people who basically have their careers ruined. I disagree with you only in the sense that the White House has extraordinary security and if there is any place you need all the security in the world, it is there, and they have it there.

This was some breakdown in their system and obviously people are going to pay a price. But the reputation, can you imagine what the Indian government has to be saying when you come here and the Secret Service and the State Department take over the protection of your president, you force them aside and you say someone can walk in and come up who doesn't even have the social security card on record.

HILL: Some people said they made it by the magnetometers, there were fine, they didn't have anything with them. Is there reason to be so seemingly cavalier?

PEREZ: The security at the White House has to be stronger than the airports, obviously, and it has been, traditionally. I went to a White House party once in my life, and there was background check done on me of two or three weeks beforehand. So, you know, how do the people get there, with just some paper and fake it? I don't understand.

HILL: And that's one of the major questions. I mean, anytime you try to go to the White House, you're not getting in without giving your birth date, your Social Security number.

LOUIS: That's right, and I mean, even associated things. I mean, the inauguration was a nightmare. It was pretty tough going at the convention, frankly. But, I've been to the White House for some press stuff and, yeah, you got to give them the Social Security number; and I mean, what Ed is getting at, I think is important is that he mystique is an important part of the security. The reality is we don't know what they do, but they have...

HILL: And there is a reason we don't know.

LOUIS: There is. I mean, or it wouldn't be a Secret Service, but they've gone from mystique to mistake and something has gone terribly wrong. There are going to be congressional hearings. I think that -- I hope that they're going to really change everything from top to bottom.

HILL: A lot of people hoping that tonight, so we'll continue to follow it. We're not done with you gentlemen, yet. Going to talk a little Afghanistan when we come back with our panel. Stay with us.


HILL: Back now with our guests. We'll tackle a little Afghanistan before we let them head out for the weekend. Errol, I want to start with you. The president, on Tuesday, saying he, and I'm quoting here, "intends to finish the job in Afghanistan." Very strong words, his actions, though, as we're learning more about them, are those equally as strong?

LOUIS: I think so. I mean, listen, McChrystal wanted 40,000 troops, he's get 30,000 from the U.S., from what we are hearing, and another 10,000 perhaps from the allies. The military will not be able to say the president short changed them. He's giving them everything they wanted. He's going in a very decisive direction that many members of his party are against. There has been a spade of talk from liberal Democrats saying that they don't want -- they want the U.S. out of there. HILL: And that's an important point. How is that, Miguel, going to affect his strategy heading forward that there is this dissent within his own party?

PEREZ: Very difficult speech that he has to deliver on Tuesday. How does he sell this not only to his own party, but to the American people? He has been taking a long time in making this decision which gives us the impression that he's been reluctant about going in further into Afghanistan. So now, if he is going to go in, how does he convince people around the world that he's really behind this? A clear mission he needs, and he has to outline a clear mission.

HILL: Right, clear mission, clear message. What does that message have to include -- Ed.

ROLLINS: First of all, his own party is at war over the health care and he's going to create more chaos. The bottom line is this has purpose, this war has purpose. I put men and women in jeopardy and we'll get them out of there, but we'll make it a better place. He's got to depend on bipartisan support from Republicans, Democrats aren't going to be there for a long time.

HILL: All right, Ed Rollins, Miguel Perez, Errol Louis, good to have all of you with us, tonight. And thanks to all of you for joining us on CNN TONIGHT, I'm Erica Hill.

Stay with us, I'll be back in just a moment, actually, with some new developments for you in the Tiger Woods car crash, as well as a CAMPBELL BROWN INVESTIGATES special, that's just ahead.