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CAMPBELL BROWN

Manhunt Under Way For Suspected Cop Killer; Congress Investigates White House Party Crashers

Aired November 30, 2009 - 20:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, here are the questions we want answered.

How did a man who was accused of killing four police officers get out of prison in the first place? He was sentenced to 95 years behind bars. So, why was this violent criminal still walking the streets?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On May 2, in the year 2000, Mike Huckabee, and only Mike Huckabee, signed his name on a proclamation. He was made immediately parole-eligible, over our strenuous objection, and turned back out on the streets. And here we are.

BROWN: Tonight, a full manhunt under way and a lot of soul-searching about our justice system.

Also tonight, the White House party-crashers called to testify on Capitol Hill. Congress wants answers. Now their own family is throwing them under the bus.

DR. ISMAIL SALAHI, BROTHER OF TAREQ SALAHI: They're really into the whole media thing, and they love the attention and the press.

The Secret Service taking the blame for letting two reality show wannabes get so close to the president. But is there more to the story?

Plus, Tiger Woods drops out of his own charity tournament and refuses to talk to police about his car crash Thanksgiving night. Should the golf star just come out and come clean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To stonewall and clam up is an ingredient to more attention, more tabloid journalism. And that's what's happened to him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now. Here's Campbell Brown.

BROWN: Hi, everybody.

Much anticipation surrounding the president's Afghanistan address tomorrow evening. We have new details to tell you about tonight.

But we are going to start as always with the "Mash-Up," our top stories of the day. We're watching it all so you don't have to.

And our top story tonight, Tiger Woods pulling out of his own charity golf tournament later this week, this as questions continue to swirl around his Thanksgiving fender-bender, the man at the center of the story tonight keeping quiet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A statement on his Web site says he's too sick to swing a club in competition the rest of this year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I am extremely disappointed that I will not be at my tournament this week." But don't expect Tiger Woods to use the time to answer questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investigators were turned away three times from Woods' home over the weekend. By law, he didn't have to talk with investigators, and he didn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Following Web reports questioning whether he and his wife had been fighting before the accident, Woods said, "Many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible." But the statement offered few details about what actually did happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the line, potentially millions of dollars in corporate sponsorships. Today, Gatorade, Nike Golf and Gillette were among those supporting him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Woods has hired prominent Orlando criminal attorney Mark NeJame. And, for now, the highest paid athlete in the world is keeping his story to himself.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And we're have a whole lot more on this story coming up a little bit later tonight.

Now to Seattle, where hundreds of police officers are searching for a suspected killer. Maurice Clemmons is accused of assassinating four officers yesterday morning. Today, police thought they had him surrounded, but he got away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four Washington police officers executed in cold blood. The suspect has an incredibly long rap sheet, full of violent crime.

KATIE COURIC, HOST, "CBS EVENING NEWS": And as the manhunt goes on, a small city is united in grief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sorrow in this city of 60,000 is matched by anger that the suspect in the murders, 37-year-old Maurice Clemmons, has a long criminal record. Just last week, after being held on a charge of child rape, he was released on bail. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are in fact looking for the suspect's wife. And they now say they believe he is certainly receiving outside help.

Police say Clemmons was wounded in the stomach in his shoot-out with the officers. And they wonder how much longer he can keep running.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: And many questions tonight about why Clemmons was released from a 95-year prison sentence in Arkansas. Then Governor Mike Huckabee commuted that sentence. Today, Huckabee tried to defend his decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maurice Clemmons had no business being out walking the public streets.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: If I could have known nine years ago and looked into the future, would I have acted favorably upon the parole board's recommendation? Of course not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the clemency power was overused by our former governor. And I think that this is a bitter harvest that we're reaping because of it.

HUCKABEE: Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: After his release, Clemmons violated parole and went back to prison, but was released again a few years later.

Also, new questions tonight about those renegade party crashers who scammed their way into the president's state dinner. The White House is making it very clear the buck stops with the Secret Service, this after the social secretary confirmed she didn't post aides with guest lists at the security checkpoints.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says, bottom line, the Secret Service didn't raise any red flags. Here he is on message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No call or reach-out ever came to anybody in terms of staff from the Secret Service about whether or not there was confusion on a name on a list. Nobody picked up the phone to relay the information.

The Secret Service, the U.S. Secret Service, in the statement that they released last week, acknowledged that that didn't happen and that that was a mistake. That's what the Secret Service -- the Secret Service -- the Secret Service -- the Secret Service is rightly focused on. You can ask it seven ways. The focus of the investigation at this point is on the fact that that couple got into the White House. The Secret Service will look at what the Secret Service did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Meantime, the Salahis are pointing fingers at a Pentagon official, claiming she tried to get them into the soiree -- those details still coming out. We're going to bring you the very latest developments coming up in just a little bit.

And now to the United Nations and more strong warnings for Iran. Just yesterday, Iran announced plans to build 10 new nuclear production facilities. Today, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. called that absolutely unacceptable. The bottom line, there is very little the Obama administration can do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It's a very sticky situation for the Obama administration, because, on the one hand, for the domestic audience here in the United States, they have to look tough. They can't look as if they're being taken advantage of by Iran. On the other hand, if they play it too hard, then they risk alienating Russia and China.

And they need Russia and China to sign on to those very serious sanctions that could be coming up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says they will be ready to break ground on five of the new nuclear plants in the next two months.

Now to the economy and Cyber Monday, the day people return to work and many start their online holiday shopping. New numbers tonight show spending is up over last year. Reaction from retailers? Thank God.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Screen buster bargains, online coupons, deals are all over the place this Cyber Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the day when everyone goes online to try and score some really good deals. And it's expected that about 100 million people are actually going to be online shopping today. That's up from 85 million just last year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You search and you browse and you hunt for the best deals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one here is cybermonday.com, lists a lot of deals available on Cyber Monday. This one here is cybermonday.net. And this one here is cybermonday.fm -- so, all these different deals. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's estimated almost 90 percent of online retailers will have some sort of promotion today, from free shipping to deep discounts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: The 12 days of Christmas will be more expensive this year, but not by much. The total cost to buy everything in the 12 days of Christmas song is about $87,400. That is up just under 1 percent. And that's because while the cost of those five gold rings is up 43 percent, prices of partridges and pear trees are apparently way down.

And we are turning now to the big announcement from Chelsea Clinton. She is now officially engaged to her longtime boyfriend. The couple broke the news in an e-mail to friends and family.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The spokesman confirms the 29-year-old former first daughter has said yet to the 31-year-old investment banker Marc Mezvinsky. She met him as a teenager right here in Washington, D.C. Then they both went to Stanford University.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You may have heard rumors quite a while ago about an engagement that may have taken place last summer. But that was completely false, as we had reported.

BLITZER: In an e-mail to friends, Chelsea and Marc said they're looking forward toward a summer wedding.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": We have always liked Chelsea. So, we congratulate her and her mommy and daddy. It's a nice Thanksgiving present.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Clinton and her fiance both live in New York City. She is in graduate school now at Columbia University. And that brings us to the "Punchline," thanksgiving memories, courtesy of Jimmy Fallon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": Anybody watch the parade? There were some balloons. They had Mickey Mouse dressed up as a sailor. They had Spider-Man, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Ronald McDonald.

They were picked to fit this year's them, things you see when you're high.

(LAUGHTER)

FALLON: The new Pillsbury Doughboy balloon is big enough to hold over three million crescent rolls inside of him, while the new Ronald McDonald balloon can hold over seven McDonald's customers.

It's amazing.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Jimmy Fallon, everybody. That is the "Mash-Up."

Right now, the Pentagon drawing up plans to send thousands of American men and women to Afghanistan, the president to make the big announcement tomorrow. What are the details? What will the exit plan be?

Plus, breaking news tonight: an accused cop killer on the run. He was serving a 95-year prison sentence. So, why did then Governor Mike Huckabee let him loose?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the clemency power was overused by our former governor. And I think that this is a bitter harvest that we're reaping because of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Tonight, President Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan is already in the works. Marching orders went out on Sunday during the president's Oval Office meeting with his top military commanders. He spent much of today informing U.S. allies abroad about the broad strokes of his decision, which, of course, comes down to more troops, basically, exactly what he promised on the campaign trail last year. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We definitely are going to need a couple of additional brigades. We need more troops there. We need more resources there.

Part of the reason I think it's so important for us to end the war in Iraq is to be able to get more troops into Afghanistan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: So, on the eve of the president's big speech, what is the endgame in Afghanistan?

Joining me now, CNN's Michael Ware and retired General George Joulwan, former NATO supreme allied forces commander.

Thanks so much to both of you for joining us.

General, let me start with you.

We know basically what the president is going to announce, about 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. What's your take? Do you think the number is enough to see some sort of difference on the ground?

GENERAL GEORGE JOULWAN (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Well, I think it's important, Campbell, to not only look at the U.S. contribution, which is roughly about 30,000, but I think you're going to see some NATO contribution as well. And that's been missed in all of this.

I think it's going to be between 5,000 and 7,000, which gets you close to the 40,000 McChrystal reported. But you're also going to see, I think, a wider strategic vision that the president is going to lay out to try to get the people, American people, to understand why we're sending more forces there.

BROWN: But expand on that a little bit and just talk to me, though, about what those troops are basically going to be tasked to do when they do go in.

JOULWAN: Well, it's going to be what is called a counterinsurgency strategy, which is going to be protecting population centers. But it's also going to be in terms of training of the police and military.

We talked last time about a functioning police force, a functioning military that can protect its borders. You are going to see a lot of emphasis being placed on that, because the Afghans are the key to this, not American troops, but Afghanis. So, you're going to see a lot of emphasis on training. And our European allies can help quite a bit here.

BROWN: And, Michael, details about what exactly is in the speech have sort of been leaking out over the last 24 hours, a lot of emphasis, we understand, on him conveying that this is not an open-ended commitment.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely.

BROWN: What does that mean, though? What do conditions have to look like on the ground?

WARE: Well, America can't be bogged down. You could be there endlessly.

But, the bottom line, as we have said time and time again, militarily, you will not defeat the Taliban. So, you're looking for a political solution. For a political solution, you need partners within the Afghan government, within the enemy, as we saw in Iraq, when many of these Sunni insurgents returned from al Qaeda to the American side.

But, most importantly, the American government needs to look beyond the Afghan government. The government of Hamid Karzai will not be able to deliver.

BROWN: Well, what's the situation then? Because you say partners and basically they are relying on the Karzai government. I mean, like it or not, it's what you have got to work with. WARE: It is. And it is what it is. It's a corrupt, riddled regime of warlords and potentates. But that's what any regime in Afghanistan is going to be. But you need to look to the tribes. You need to look to some of the old warlords who fought the Soviets.

You need people on the ground who can say, I can control my district, because, from Kabul, President Karzai has a lot of trouble projecting power. So, you need allies beyond the Afghan government.

BROWN: And, General, if you will, go back to the idea of this exit strategy, the fact that we're debating it and talking about it. We had a very similar discussion surrounding Iraq, the idea that raising the prospect of an exit plan weakens our position, that the Taliban are just basically going to bide their time and wait us out.

Do you agree with that?

JOULWAN: Well, I don't think the president's going to get into sort of an exit strategy that sets any sort of timetable. I think he's going to put some benchmarks out that we will measure in a year or two, but the onus has got to be on the Afghan government.

And I really think that it's not in Kabul, but it's in the provinces that we have to make an effort here if we're going to try to have some sort of success. That's where I think the effort's going to be. And you're going to see much more in the area of training and in the area of police and military training than just chasing the Taliban.

BROWN: Michael's point as well.

General Joulwan, Michael Ware, appreciate your time. Thanks, gentlemen, so much.

When we come back: the White House party crashers being called to Capitol Hill to testify. Now they are blaming apparently a top Defense Department official. We have got new details tonight about how all of this went down.

Plus, Tiger Woods, he cancels his own charity tournament. He's refusing to talk to police. Why is the golf star hiding out over a minor car crash?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the last thing in the world that Tiger Woods really wants to deal with, is sort of tabloids and rumors, things that go beyond his control.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: A violent criminal accused of killing four police officers in Washington State. As the manhunt continues tonight, we want to know, why did then Governor Mike Huckabee let him out of prison in the first place? We're going to have more on that. (NEWS BREAK)

BROWN: When we come back: Tiger Woods still giving police the silent treatment after his car crash. He canceled his -- canceled on his own charity tournament today. Is he just keeping the story going by refusing to talk?

More on that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Tonight, Tiger Woods' self-imposed exile is growing, three days after the mysterious SUV crash outside his Florida home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: The golf superstar is canceling plans to attend his own golf tournament in California this week.

In a statement, Woods says he's disappointed and cites injuries he suffered when he crashed his car early Friday.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: For three days, Woods refused to meet with state police to talk about what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Instead, he did only what he had to do, provide them his driver's license, registration and proof of insurance. Woods' lawyer handed them over, but investigators left the house without coming face to face with the biggest name in golf. Woods' lawyer says his client will have nothing more to say about this, leaving investigators and the public to wonder about what really happened this night.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: So, why isn't Woods talking to the police or anybody else, for that matter? Is he just making things worse?

With me now to talk about this, sports attorney David Cornwell and "USA Today" sports columnist Christine Brennan here with me in New York.

Welcome to you both.

Christine, let me start with you.

Woods canceled his appearance at his own charity golf tournament. Why would he do that?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, "USA TODAY": Well, one, I think he's not feeling great. You know, he said he's sore. And if the accident caused him to not feel good, he does not want to play golf this week.

I also think it's pretty clear, Campbell, that he would be asked quite a bit about what went on over the weekend, what happened on Friday morning. And it sounds like he wants to avoid that. His managers, his people, they are on message. And that is he doesn't want to talk. So, the last thing he wants to do is go have a press conference on Tuesday, where everyone will ask him just about that.

BROWN: And, David, could it also, though,, be as simple as some have suggested of him not wanting anybody to see his injuries?

DAVID CORNWELL, SPORTS ATTORNEY: Well, I'm sure it has something to do with that, because the fact that the air bag didn't deploy in the car gives us some reason to suspect whether or not facial lacerations were caused by the car accident.

Tiger's probably going through a tug of war right now: protect his commercial interest by responding to the media and the public that have made him a billionaire, and protect his legal interests. There's an active police investigation going on, which, until we know more, it's fair to conclude that he is -- either runs the risk of being a suspect in a crime or a victim of a crime.

And at this point I don't think it's a close call. He should stay out of the public eye and protect his legal interests.

BROWN: So, Christine, you have been reporting on Tiger Woods for a decade. You know the people around him that are advising him right now how to handle this. Do you think he's getting the right guidance, good advice?

BRENNAN: Well, I will tell you what, Campbell, that surprised me was that vacuum. For about, what, 50 hours, we heard nothing from team Woods. And privacy is the hallmark of Tiger's career.

BROWN: Right. And his people are very protective, right?

BRENNAN: Exactly.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: ... extremely protective.

BRENNAN: And he wants that. He demands that. He's a smart guy. And this is -- he's the leader of this whole group. Everything is about Tiger's discipline, buttoned-down, the way he looks on the golf course. There's an image there.

And, so, I was a little surprised they didn't come out ahead of the story or get out there as quickly as possible. But this is their philosophy, their strategy. It's interesting that Tiger is saying no to the police and turning them away. Understandably, what -- that's good legal strategy, apparently.

But, in golf, they call penalties on themselves. Tiger has a golf tournament in Washington that is all about the military. The authority figure, he's a role model for kids. That will be interesting, Campbell, to watch that play out over the next year or so, as Tiger answers questions about why he didn't answer to the authorities in Orlando.

BROWN: Well, David, to that point, you know, he says he wants his privacy. A lot of people now saying, though, it's not that simple.

And George Vecsey writes in "The New York Times" -- I'm quoting here -- "I hit a hydrant, the police would be at my door later that day. And if my wife said I was not available, the way Elin Woods did on Saturday, the police would be back the next day. We are witnessing one of the richest and most famous athletes and celebrities in the world stonewalling the authorities."

Is it realistic for him to think that he can keep what happened private?

CORNWELL: Well, it's probably -- this isn't the end of the story. At some point, we will know more.

But I disagree with George, to the extent that I don't think an everyday American would in fact confront a post-accident investigation, if there's no evidence of alcohol or other impairment when he was driving.

I just don't -- I think what we're probably seeing here is because there's been so much coverage, we're seeing celebrity justice in reverse. He is -- Tiger is being scrutinized more than he otherwise would be because he's a celebrity.

BROWN: Yes, A fair point.

Do you agree with that, Christine, or...

BRENNAN: Well, certainly, yes. But, of course, Tiger has also asked for all this -- of this. He wants everybody to buy the products that he's endorsing.

BROWN: Right.

BRENNAN: So Tiger stepped off the sidewalk and joined the parade a long time ago, and he knows that this can also come with all the good that he has.

BROWN: With the territory.

BRENNAN: Yes.

BROWN: All right, Christine Brennan and to David as well. Thanks to you both. Appreciate it.

When we come back, the White House party crashers. Calls tonight for a congressional investigation. Why has a Pentagon official been dragged into this whole mess?

And the manhunt widens for the killer of the four police officers. New questions tonight. Why that suspect, a violent, convicted criminal was on the streets in the first place.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: New developments tonight on that couple that managed to crash a state dinner at the White House. The Salahis we know have now been called to testify Thursday on Capitol Hill. Even Congress wants to know how did they pull it off and who dropped the ball?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We've learned that they have apparently spoken to at least one reporter. We're talking about Angie Goff (ph) of our CNN affiliate, WUSA, here in Washington. She says the Salahis called her. They would not say if they had an invitation to that White House state dinner, but the reporter says the husband insisted they did not crash the dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today was the first chance reporters had to question White House officials on camera about this security lapse and senior officials were -- made it very clear, this was a Secret Service error.

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No one is trying to clear the Secret Service. They clearly made mistakes. But there were there other people on the White House staff who added to that? This is very serious. You had a couple that had no business being there who was able to get this close to the president of the United States and to the prime minister of India.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Joining me from Washington, Ronald Kessler. His book, "In the President's Secret Service." Also, Amy Argetsinger. Her column, "The Reliable Source," is, of course, in "The Washington Post."

Welcome to you both. Amy, let me start with you because I know you've got some new information. "The Washington post" has been reporting the Salahis were corresponding with a Pentagon official in an effort to get into the party. Tell us what you've got.

AMY ARGETSINGER, "WASHINGTON POST": That's exactly right. A couple of my colleagues reported that the Salahis have turned over e-mails to the Secret Service. These are e-mails, their correspondence with them and a Pentagon official, Michelle Jones, who was a special assistant to the defense secretary and also a liaison to the White House. In this correspondence, in these letters, they seem to be -- we haven't seen them but obviously the Salahis believe that this offers some kind of exculpatory evidence on their part that they at least had been led to believe from this exchange that they would be able to get into the White House. Then Michelle Jones told "The Post" that she absolutely in no way offered to get the Salahis in. That she had no access to do that, that she did not offer them any kind of access whatsoever.

Clearly, though, the Salahis believe that their exchange with her was significant enough that it's going to demonstrate to the Secret Service that they didn't trespass, that they went there with good intentions.

BROWN: Right. And let me note also that CNN received a statement from the Defense Department official, Michelle Jones, as well. And in it she says, quote, "I did not state at any time or imply that I had tickets for any portion of the evening's events. I specifically stated that they did not have tickets."

So, just so we're clear about that. Ron, there were a lot of questions today at the White House briefing about whether the White House social secretary's office may share some of the blame for the security breach. What do you think? Are they at all responsible?

RONALD KESSLER, AUTHOR, JOURNALIST: Yes.

BROWN: Where does the buck stop with the Secret Service?

KESSLER: No, it's true that the social secretary's office did not staff the post where as in the past they have. But that's just to facilitate matters, make things go more smoothly. Still, the responsibility of the Secret Service and the uniform division specifically to guard the president, to make sure that anybody admitted to the White House, A, has been invited and B, goes through a background check, where you give your social security number, you give your date of birth. They check you out to see if you're a wanted serial killer, whether you're a terrorist. None of this was done. And the Secret Service itself has made this very clear.

BROWN: So, Ron, I mean, walk us through, I guess what should have happened in this situation. You've got this glamorous couple. They show up, they're not on the list. What should the Secret Service have done?

KESSLER: The Secret Service should have called the social secretary's office. If the office said yes, they should be on the list, there was a mistake, the Secret Service should have said to this couple, step aside, we're going to check you out. Ten or 15 minutes later, they would come back and say, yes, you are cleared or no, you're not. Because it just takes a few minutes to do a computer check to find out if there's any problem with anybody entering the White House.

BROWN: And you think, though, Ron, I know, that this is about a bigger problem that the Secret Service is dealing with. Tell us about that.

KESSLER: Yes, which we've talked about. And really it comes down to, is Barack Obama going to take the proper action to protect his own life? Because the agents that I talked to say that there really is a risk of an assassination, giving all the short corners, all the corner cutting which led to this screw-up. The fact that the Secret Service has not been doing magnetometer screenings or they shut it down early is just shocking. It's like letting people into an airplane without going through metal detectors.

BROWN: And this is just budget cuts we're talking about?

KESSLER: It's part -- it's partly budget cuts or not keeping up with the demands, but it's also just the culture by the Secret Service management of being in denial of saying we make do with less, thinking that they're invincible and ignoring all the problems. The fact that the agents are overworked, the fact that the firearms are not even up to date, the fact that they're not even allowing time for agents to do regular firearms requalification or physical training and then they cover that up by asking agents to fill out their own form. So there's a lot of deceit going on as well.

BROWN: Right. Let me just go back to Amy quickly before we run out of time here, because I want to ask Amy about Thursday.

Congress has asked the Salahis to testify. Today, Tareq Salahi posts this on his Facebook site in response. He says, quote, "Congressional hearing later this week. How droll."

I mean, obviously, he's been flipped about it. But isn't there are some real consequences here?

ARGETSINGER: That might not be Tareq's Facebook page. I would check to make sure. Apparently there's a fake one floating around already.

No, there are very serious consequences here. And, it's you know -- their representatives and lawyers have not said if they're going to attend this hearing. They've been invited to attend. Whether it's in their best interest to attend and talk now while they're still under congressional investigation, while they're still under criminal investigation, we'll just have to see. But it does turn out now that they are going to be telling at least part of their story tomorrow morning to NBC's "Today" show, we now hear, after a long delay there.

BROWN: So much for not giving interviews.

ARGETSINGER: Yes, exactly. It's been a constantly changing landscape here. First, they're going to be on Larry King, then they said they weren't going to be doing any interviews. There were reports that they are looking for the best offer to sell their story. Their reps denied that. Now, the latest news we have from NBC is that they will be on the "Today" show tomorrow.

BROWN: All right. Well, we will certainly be watching. Ron Kessler -- Ron, appreciate your time and Amy Artsinger as well. Thanks, guys.

KESSLER: Thank you.

BROWN: Coming up next, news on the manhunt for the killer of four police officers tonight. Tonight, some are pointing their fingers at a former presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, and a failure of our criminal justice system.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this country needs to get together and figure out why these people are out. Our elected officials need to find out why these people are out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Tonight's breaking news, a search going on right now for the gunman who shot and killed four Washington State police officers in cold blood as they sat in a coffee house near Tacoma. The suspect, 37-year-old Maurice Clemmons has a long record of violent crimes. In 2000, when Clemmons was serving a 95-year prison sentence for aggravated rubbery in Arkansas, he wrote to then Governor Mike Huckabee asking for clemency. Huckabee said yes. Clemmons got out, but he started getting back into trouble soon after. And this evening, Huckabee who ran for president last year appeared on FOX News Channel to talk about his decision to let Clemmons go free.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: I think the tragedy of this, if I could have known nine years ago this guy was capable of something of this magnitude, obviously I would never have granted the commutation. It's sickening. The two people in this country that I value the most are soldiers and police officers because they're the only thing standing between our freedom and total anarchy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: The prosecutor in the Arkansas case is blasting Huckabee, saying that this is the day he has been dreading.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY JEGLEY, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: On May 2nd, in the year 2000, Mike Huckabee and only Mike Huckabee signed his name on a proclamation that said this man should be immediately parole eligible. And he was made immediately parole eligible over our strenuous objection and turned back out on the streets. And here we are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: And just days ago, Clemmons made bail on charges of raping a child and assaulting another police officer. Dan Simon is on the scene for us at the manhunt tonight with the very latest on all this -- Dan.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Campbell. A few things to go through, a few important details that we're gleaning just within the past few minutes.

First of all, authorities tonight announcing that they found what could be some crucial evidence. They found blood in a pickup truck belonging to Maurice Clemmons. That pickup truck found just a few miles away from here at a nearby grocery store. It was found shortly after the shooting.

As you mentioned earlier, there is an all-out manhunt to find this guy. At one point, police thought they had him cornered in a Seattle home, but it turned out to be empty. And then there was another alleged sighting at the University of Washington, but Clemmons not there either.

As we've been reporting, this guy has a lengthy rap sheet. But one interesting detail that emerged today, I was in the neighborhood where he lives. I talked to some neighbors. They say back in May Clemmons took what had been described as baseball-size rocks and threw them at windows, shattering several windows in the neighborhood. He also took one of those rocks and threw it at one of his neighbors. The guy's hand was broken. Clemmons was arrested and charged for that case, and the case is still pending.

Now in terms of what happened at that coffee shop, we're getting some new details. And according to police, what happened is Clemmons went in that shop calmly, pretended that he was going to order something and then simply took out a handgun from his coat and started firing at those officers -- Campbell.

BROWN: All right, Dan Simon who is going to be staying on the story for us. Dan, appreciate it. Thanks so much.

"LARRY KING LIVE" just minutes away now. He's going to have a lot more on the White House party crashers coming up.

Larry, what have you got?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": And also, Campbell, on what's with the Tiger? His car crash and aftermath has generated even more questions, especially when he withdrew from his own golf tournament scheduled in Los Angeles this week. And we'll also have friends of the so-called White House party crashers on. Hear what people who know them are going to say about them tonight.

And then another side to the story about Afghanistan. Jesse Ventura is here to talk about conspiracies and things. It's all ahead. It's a potpourri on "LARRY KING LIVE." I love that word, don't you, Campbell? A potpourri.

BROWN: I live for the word, Larry. We will be watching. See you in a few.

KING: OK. Thank you. Bye.

BROWN: The White House getting tough on banks that haven't done enough to help homeowners. And later, the video you've got to see, tonight's "Guilty Pleasure."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Today, the White House announced a crackdown on banks that have not done enough for homeowners facing foreclosure. But some critics are saying it doesn't do enough to fix the real problem, unemployment. That leaves the newly jobless unable to even pay their mortgages. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Just by billions dedicated to the problem, Americans are still defaulting on their mortgages in record numbers.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now the Obama administration says it will push loan service companies to move faster, to permanently reduce mortgage payments and require them to report the status of each modification. Companies that fail to act may be fined. Homeownership is at stake for millions of Americans, struggling under the weight of mortgage debt. And the credibility of the Obama administration is on the line as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In some cases folks don't have enough income now to make the payments that are required, even under the terms of a new loan. People are losing jobs and this program just wasn't developed to accommodate that factor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: So with our economy reeling from a one-two punch of foreclosures and unemployment, can the president's program work?

And joining us now to talk about that is James Scurlock who is the filmmaker behind the documentary "Maxed Out." Also with me, Charles Gasparino, the on-air editor for CNBC as well as author of the hot new book "The Sellout."

Charlie, let me start with you. Any reason to believe that the steps announced today are going to be enough to force any real change?

CHARLES GASPARINO, AUTHOR, "THE SELLOUT": No. I mean, listen, you know, how do you get unemployment to stop growing to 10.5 percent is where it's going. And I don't think these types of measures work. I mean, you know, tax cuts generally work. Stimulus works. Maybe not the stimulus that he tried because those types of stimulus packages, of the government spending money, you know, in the past have proven pretty lousy.

BROWN: So what's this about then?

GASPARINO: This is PR. And I'll tell you, it's scary that we're actually having a conversation about loan modifications when really the issue is how do you get people to go back to work, to put people to get the unemployment rate to stop growing to 10.5 percent.

I will say one other thing. One of the things I mentioned in my book "The Sellout" is that these banks still hold lots of the soured loans. You're basically making it more difficult for them to make some money. So, you know, the banking industry is still -- still has a lot of problems. And he's keeping this mandate on top of that which is pretty scary, if you ask me.

BROWN: James, you talked to so many people who are facing foreclosure, mountains of debt. Where do they put the blame? How angry are they at the banks or is it the government, or are they, you know, taking some responsibility themselves?

JAMES SCURLOCK, FILMMAKER, "MAXED OUT": You know, everyone that I've talked to wanted to pay their mortgage, wanted to pay their bills. And they just ended up in a situation where it wasn't possible, whether job loss or medical emergency or divorce. It has some sort of emergency.

So there's millions of people now who are in that boat and there's millions of people who are simply underwater on their mortgage now. And it doesn't really make economic sense for them to keep throwing good money after bad. So that's a whole other issue that's going to cause this problem to just get worse.

GASPARINO: Aren't we in kind of a situation where these are -- the people took out loans that they couldn't afford and they kind of knew it in a sense? I mean, it was beyond the fact that they were unemployed. These were people with jobs.

I found this in reporting out my book. People making $35,000 a year who are going into homes worth $500,000 a year. Now, yes, there was some -- there was irrational exuberance. Banks thinking that everybody would repay those loans, and there was fraud involved. But think of the personal responsibility, and I think that's the problem here. There is no personal responsibility.

If you make $35,000, guess what, put it on a piece of paper and start subtracting your expenses and see if you can make that loan payment. And that did not happen. I'm just worrying that if we do all these loan modifications, where's the personal responsibility when it comes to this?

BROWN: We know there was bad behavior I think on both sides, but I want to get back to the unemployment issue. We were talking about earlier, this jobs fair that the president is having later this week. I mean, what is this about? Is this again a PR measure?

GASPARINO: It's a huge --

BROWN: Are we, you know -- when are we going to get to like the actual meat on the bones?

GASPARINO: Here's the problem that he faces. He spent $800 billion on a stimulus package that did not work. He does he not have another $800 billion. And, you know, a lot was riding on that stimulus package. A lot was riding because if you don't stop unemployment from growing past 10.5 percent, you could have another banking crisis. It's not just people out of work. People are going to start defaulting on their other loans, on their credit cards, on their car loans in ways that will basically put some of the banks back in jeopardy. And that's why he's in such a box. And can he go back to Congress and get another $800 billion to do a small business tax credit or something like that? I don't think so.

BROWN: James, what would you like to see happen, specifically?

SCURLOCK: Well, I'd like to see a real fix. I mean, if we're talking about a long-term solution, the truth is that the system is broken and the system itself has to be changed.

In many ways this is a temporary fix. It's designed to actually keep the banks going a little bit longer. You know, to keep their real estate portfolios looking a little healthier than they really are. What needs to happen is that people need to be allowed to get out from under these mortgages, in some cases, getting a little -- you know, getting a little modification is probably the worst thing that could happen to them. They need to get out from under. GARAFINO: Don't they need jobs?

SCURLOCK: They need to, you know, be able to declare bankruptcy and have the judge modify the mortgage or they need to be able to have a real long-term solution, not this temporary help that just keeps them going a little bit longer.

BROWN: Last word.

GARAFINO: They need jobs. And that's the problem. And people will not -- people will default on their loans when they're not working.

I mean, I think the problem with the mortgage crisis is that, you know, people were unrealistic about the houses they were buying. But right now, people need jobs. I'll tell you, there's really nothing coming out of the administration right now to put people back to work.

BROWN: Charlie Gasparino and James Scurlock, guys, we're out of time. Thank you so much. Appreciate your time. Thank you.

"LARRY KING LIVE" starts in just a few minutes. You're going to hear from close friends of the White House state dinner crashers. And up next, tonight's "Guilty Pleasure," the video we just can't resist, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: "LARRY KING LIVE" is going to start in just a few minutes. But first, HLN's Mike Galanos, back with tonight's "Guilty Pleasure," the video we just can't resist.

Mike, what do you have tonight?

MIKE GALANOS, HLN PRIME NEWS: Campbell, you like cute, don't you? A little bit?

BROWN: Cute? I love cute.

GALANOS: You love cute. I know you do.

BROWN: Yes.

GALANOS: So let's just enjoy this. Let's not fight it. It's the kitty that has been watched by a million and a half people on YouTube. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you look like a monkey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALANOS: On cue, Campbell, every time.

BROWN: All right, Mike. That's pretty cute.

GALANOS: A million and a half views.

BROWN: Look at that little guy.

GALANOS: Every time.

BROWN: So what do you have to type in to YouTube? Just cute kitten?

GALANOS: I think it's surprise kitty.

BROWN: Oh.

GALANOS: I think it's cute kitty, but I think it's surprise kitty.

BROWN: You know, Mike?

GALANOS: And there you have it.

BROWN: Where do you find these things?

GALANOS: I know. I have a soft side, don't I?

BROWN: It makes my night. It really does.

Mike Galanos with the cute kitten of the week. We will see you tomorrow, Mike.

GALANOS: OK, Campbell.

BROWN: Thanks very much.

That is our show tonight. Be sure and join us tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time for CNN's special live coverage of President Obama's announcement on U.S. troops heading to Afghanistan.

"LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.