Return to Transcripts main page
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Speaks at United Nations; Shocking Home Invasion Details; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Addresses U.N.; Angry Republican and Independent Voters
Aired September 23, 2010 - 16:03 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: There is Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
He has been, of late, hammering the United Nations and talking a little bit more, I guess, what you would regard as inside baseball material, for those who follow the United Nations.
But, earlier, he made some -- he made some very, very strident comments, specifically about the United States.
Let me bring in my two guests, Robin Wright, who is joining us. She's a journalist and a foreign policy expert. And, of course, Richard Roth is our correspondent there at the United Nations.
Robin, let me go to you first.
You know -- you know this man. You know this leader. I heard him say -- or maybe I didn't -- you tell me if you heard this as well, because it was kind of tough to pick up. He seemed to be either suggesting, implying or out and out saying that the United States orchestrated the attacks on 9/11 to reverse a declining economy.
Did you hear that?
ROBIN WRIGHT, SENIOR FELLOW, U.S. INSTITUTE OF PEACE: Well, he talked about the three different scenarios, the causes for 9/11, and did indicate in his second reason that the United States may have had a role in the bombing on 9/11, yes.
SANCHEZ: That is a heck of a -- well, you know what? I think -- let's look at that again, because, shortly after that moment, the -- we are going to take you back now in this speech, folks, at home.
By the way, we are into our 4:00 hour now because of the length of the speech. Folks not only with the United States, but others there at the United Nations, walked out as soon as he said that. Let's watch this as it happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AHMADINEJAD (through translator): -- U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime.
The majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world, agree with this view.
Third, it was carried out by a terrorist group, but that the American government supported and took advantage of the situation. Apparently, this viewpoint has fewer proponents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Supported and took advantage of the situation, well, those are two different things, Robin, aren't they? I mean, he said it was carried out by a terrorist group, but the United States supported it. I'm not --
WRIGHT: He looked at three different scenarios.
And this is part of the message he has brought with him to the United States. And the bigger message is that capitalism is in decline, it has failed. And he talked about specifically three different reasons that reflect that.
One of them was what happened on 9/11. And he offered three different scenarios of what really happened and called for the United Nations to have a fact-finding committee. This is a little bit along the lines of his Holocaust denial, introducing ideas that are preposterous and that history cannot -- doesn't indicate in any form.
SANCHEZ: Richard, the fact that some diplomats suddenly started walking out, this is usually expected? Did we know that the U.S. dignitaries, for example, would walk out if they heard something like this?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Well, this walkout might as well be listed now on the official U.N. calendar every time the Iranian leader speaks.
This was not a surprise. It has happened before. What we were just discussing here, the U.S. delegation, which we saw walk out, there was a door that was closer to their side of the room.
I think that, visually, they made sure that people saw this, and, as soon as they got up, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, they also left. The room was kind of empty to begin with, not necessarily only just because of Ahmadinejad's appearance. Now it is really empty.
SANCHEZ: But, you know, it is funny the way he built to this, Robin. He started off -- and, you know, I was tweeting with a lot of the folks who are watching this show right now.
He started off with almost a poetic Ahmadinejad, very soft- spoken, going through interesting combination of words that I, frankly, didn't seem to understand at the beginning, and neither did most of the people who were tweeting me, saying things like, what the hell is he talking about? Then he went into a history lesson, which was interesting, but it is the same thing we have expected from people in the past. There is always the powerful and the not so powerful. And then his voice, his pitch, his tone started changing, and that's when he started hammering the United States and the West specifically and naming names and naming acts.
Is that his usual M.O.?
WRIGHT: Well, he can be both soft-spoken and very hard-hitting. And he has done that throughout the week.
He often begins by giving these kinds of history lessons, giving the Persian prism, the Iranian prism of world events, and then going into the specifics. And that is what he did again today, talking about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians as one of the three big causes.
Looking at the nuclear issue, he again talked about how the international community had equated the goal of acquiring nuclear energy with the goal of acquiring a nuclear bomb, which, of course, is what Iran is under such pressure for today, because of growing suspicions about what it is doing with its controversial nuclear program.
So, he tried to address the issues that Iran is facing today, as well as go on the offensive and put the blame on the United States and other members of the United Nations Security Council for the state of the world, whether it is the economy or the state of capitalism.
SANCHEZ: When he says something as ridiculous as suggesting that the United States either supported an attack on its own soil or may have even had something to do with the attack itself, Richard, how does that play?
I mean, I know the Swedens and the Great Britains and the United States obviously are going to walk out, but what about the rest of the world? You have talked to these -- you have talked to these diplomats from time to time. What do they say about him? Does he have a credibility gap with them as well, Richard?
We lost -- are you there?
ROTH: I'm sorry. I missed that question there.
I can tell you that -- I can tell you that the U.S. government has just replied to -- explaining the walkout -- quote from the U.S. Mission of the U.N.: "Rather that representing the aspirations and goodwill of the Iranian people, Mr. Ahmadinejad has yet again chosen to spout vile conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs that are as abhorrent and delusional as they are predictable."
Sorry, Rick. What was your question there?
SANCHEZ: No, no, no, that's OK.
I will throw it to both of you.
Robin, you heard my question as well, right? It is a question of credibility. We understand the United States is going to get upset. But doesn't he also lose some credibility with some of the other countries he is hoping to gain favor from around the world?
WRIGHT: Well ,there are those in the Islamic world who do question who is responsible for 9/11, but not in the way that Ahmadinejad has.
What we have to remember is that the president is also under pressure at home and he is speaking to a domestic audience. And the mere fact that he is speaking out on a global stage is what he thinks is an important moment in proving the credibility or legitimacy of his government.
He is under criticism not only from the opposition movement today, but increasingly from conservatives who challenge some of the extraordinary statements he makes and some of the actions he has taken at home as well.
SANCHEZ: Robin Wright, Richard Roth, my thanks to both of you for taking us through this remarkable commentary by this Iranian leader, at one point actually suggesting that the United States may very well have either supported or maybe even played a part in the attack on the 9/11 buildings.
And to say that there at the United Nations is quite a thing, as many of you saw for yourselves.
We are going to be right back with more and the very latest on what's going on with -- in the news today, including some of the big controversies that we have been following here in the United States.
This is RICK'S LIST, your national conversation. We will be right back.
SANCHEZ: All right, moving beyond now the United Nations and Ahmadinejad, welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.
Time to pick up the pace of some of the stories that we're following for you on this day.
Number one: the megachurch minister at the center of the growing list of sex allegations. This was supposed to be the day that bishop Eddie Long broke his silence. Instead, he backed out of a radio interview and a news conference.
And, as it stands right now, three young men have filed lawsuits alleging the leader of the Atlanta megachurch used money and trips and cars to coerce them into having sex.
CNN's Ed Lavandera has been tracking this story.
Bishop Long was a no-show for the Tom Joyner show, which was obviously going to be done by our colleague Roland Martin this morning. Instead, he had his attorney -- and this is interesting, right?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
SANCHEZ: His attorney reads the statement. In fact, here it is. Let's listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, "THE TOM JOYNER MORNING SHOW")
CRAIG GILLEN, ATTORNEY FOR BISHOP EDDIE LONG: This is coming from the bishop. "I have been through storms and my faith has always sustained me. I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so. However, my lawyers counsel patience at this time.
"Let me be clear. The charges against me and new birth are false. I have devoted my life to helping others and these false allegations hurt me deeply. But my faith is strong and the truth will emerge. All I ask is for your patience as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges.
"Finally, I have done -- as I have done for thousands of others over my decades of preaching, I ask for your prayers for me, my family and our church. On Sunday, at New Birth, I will respond to my congregation."
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: You know, the interesting thing about this is this is not -- this is a public person. This is a person who has thrust themselves into the vortex of controversy. This is a man who never has denied going on television. He appears here on CNN, he does interviews, he has his own television show, flies around the world talking to groups. So to suddenly have a lawyer reading what are supposedly his words is kind of an interesting situation.
LAVANDERA: It is a sharp contrast and obviously, a clear picture of how much his life has changed in the last 48 hours.
The question is, what life does he return to at this point? Does he go back to the life before Tuesday when these lawsuits were -- started to be filed or is this the new reality?
SANCHEZ: Doesn't that depend? We have seen people in controversies before and really, there's two paths. Yes, I messed up. I'm sorry, I'm a human being, I made a mistake and I will try to change? No, I did nothing wrong and every single thing that they are saying is a lie? And it looks like he is taking the latter right now, right?
LAVANDERA: Yes, that is every indication that we keep getting that he is going to vigorously defend himself. That is what his attorney went on to talk about with Roland Martin this morning on the radio show. In fact, actually sounding very, you know, kind of rounding up the troops.
He basically said that these lawsuits of these young men are attacked not only on Bishop Long, but the entire congregation, discrediting and painting in a bad light everyone who goes to that church.
SANCHEZ: Well, of course. He wants to make them feel like his problem is there problem, when in fact there are people in the congregation who may very well say, no, no, no, no this is your problem and you know what, we are not going to stand by and allow you to bring us into this. While there may be some who say, OK, yes, ready to go with you, because anything they say about you, they say about us.
LAVANDERA: And this is what has been difficult for us, as we have tried to report this story. Look, we are trying to -- I didn't know much about Eddie Long before this story broke and I don't know many people who go to that church, but I have been trying desperately the last 48 hours to get people close to him. I know he is not talking much.
SANCHEZ: What are they saying? Is there a split?
LAVANDERA: I'm definitely getting that sense. There is many people who are -- want to stand by him, believe in him and the people who have contacted us and said, look, we believe him, we believe him. But then when we asked them to come on camera, it's been difficult.
SANCHEZ: Like pulling teeth, huh?
LAVANDERA: So you know, just let our audience know, I know there is a lot of people thought who think this has been very one-sided at this point.
LAVANDERA: And just please understand, you know, trying to get -- we are trying to get people who are trying to paint a fuller picture about what is going on here and it's been difficult for us.
SANCHEZ: But they won't go on camera.
So his defenders are a little shy about appearing on camera now, right?
LAVANDERA: And this is a man who is --
SANCHEZ: He is shy about appearing on camera now, to be fair.
LAVANDERA: Very shy. And he also has very high-profile friends who appear before cameras all the time and we haven't seen anything from those folks as well.
SANCHEZ: This is really an interesting story, to see how it shakes out.
And by the way there are people in this congregation who may say I forgive him but that doesn't necessarily mean they still want to be led by him. You can forgive and say I forgive you for what you did, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to be with you or back you 100 percent.
LAVANDERA: Look, this is the multimillion-dollar question. You look at Ted Haggard out in Colorado, he lost his church, he has started over.
LAVANDERA: I think that's kind of -- not to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but ultimately isn't that what probably many people are asking themselves today, what is going to happen?
SANCHEZ: You know, I feel bad in many ways for these people, because they are in a heck of a pickle themselves because this has been suddenly cast upon them.
Good job, as usual. We will talk some more.
I want you to know an old friend is going to be joining me in a couple of minutes. I can't wait for this interview. Jimmie Johnson is now a survivor, survivor. That is ahead. Stay right there.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back.
We got breaking news, another update on another story or another development, another vote that's likely going to be pushed beyond the midterms. And here we go, Brianna Keilar has the latest on this.
This is the possible prolongation of the Bush tax cuts, right?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and it appears that it's not possible anymore, Rick. It appears that it certainly is going to be pushed down the road here. Big development involving those Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year.
Senate Democrats will not vote on extending those tax cuts, especially for the -- for middle class Americans, those making $250,000 or less. This is according to senior democratic sources and the number two democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin, telling reporters just a short time ago, quote, "the reality is, we will not pass what needs to be passed to change this, either in the Senate or the House before the election."
Now this is keeping in line with what CNN, our team here at CNN, our Hill team, had been reporting for the past days, but there you have it from Dick Durbin, and it really came down to vulnerable Senate Democrats. You had a number of Democrats, Rick, who said let's go ahead and do this, let's have a vote, extend these tax cuts for a people making a quarter million or less and then we can put Republicans on the record as holding this up because it would let those tax cuts for people making more money than that, for the wealthy expire. But you have these vulnerable Democrats who said don't make us do this, this is going to be very tough for us. We are facing tough reelections and our GOP opponents are going to put ads out against us, saying that we are raising taxes in a recession.
So bottom line here there is bipartisan support for at least continuing these tax cuts for the majority of Americans, but there is still a big question now about what is going to happen for those people making more than $250,000 per year and certainly, Republicans are going to argue that it create a lot of uncertainty for small businesses who fall into that category.
SANCHEZ: Brianna Keilar following up on that for us and breaking the news. We appreciate it, Brianna.
From the follow-up list now, I want to bring information that may affect you or someone you love if you're diabetic or you know someone who is a diabetic and takes the medication Avandia. It is going to stay on the market, but there's new restrictions now on this medication and a warning from the federal government.
Avandia has been linked to an increased risk of heart problems and the FDA says it should only be taken by people whose Type 2 Diabetes does not respond to other drugs. Does not respond to other drugs. Read between the lines, folks.
Now how sexy is too sexy for "Sesame Street"? A pop singer just found out. We will tell how she is and why moms, moms made this decision for the network.
We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back.
In the last hour, Anderson Cooper introduced us to this year's top 10 CNN heroes. Brooke Baldwin is here now to tell us how you can vote for your favorite, pick a winner as they say.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I will go.
This is so exciting for us here at CNN today, because we get to show off these ten amazing men and women from really all around the world. And just to give you some quick background, what we did today is we picked these top ten, but we have chosen these folks from like 10,000 or so people and we had this really blue ribbon panel who helped us pick our top ten -- Holly Robinson Peete, Yo-Yo Ma, Muhammad Ali. So they're in good hands, let me just put it that way. Let me walk you through this, right? So you hop on our main website, this is CNN.com, and right smack dab in the middle is CNN Heroes and you want to click on "Vote Now" because that's what is going to walk you through the CNN Heroes page, which is CNNHeroes.com.
So you land here and you can scroll through all these different top ten people. You can meet them all down here, right? So they have fan pages and how you can help different causes. So, that is what I want to walk you through.
Clicking here, we just chose Evans Wadongo, he is helping some people in Kenya. You can read down here when you read on "Meet Evans," invented a way for rural families in Kenya to replace smoky kerosene and firelight with solar-powered lanterns. That is why he's in our top ten.
So you can read about them, you click on the video, you read the story behind them, this is a text story. And this is what's really cool, you can actually get involved in their causes. So I will show you that with someone else.
We chose -- so you hop back to the main page, we chose Guadalupe Arizpe De La Vega because -- want to show you her video -- she founded this hospital in Juarez, Mexico -- come on, baby, there we go -- in Juarez, Mexico about 30 years ago. We know that's the murder capital of the world, right? And this 74-year-old grandmother goes into Juarez each and every day to make sure her hospital is functioning and serving the people of Juarez.
So, you can watch these videos and then this is how you can help. So this is one particular -- this is Dan, I think, and Dan is basically this Texas builder who helps, you know, veteran soldiers come back from overseas and helps them get houses mortgage-free. So if would you like to learn more about their causes, you can hop on that part of the Web site.
And then, this is what you want to get to, right? This is the voting section, the voting page. Here's what's really cool, you can vote for multiple people. Obviously, need to vote for one at a time. You know when you are voting for them, this is when it pops up down there. You can vote for any of these ten. Make sure you put in the code. And then voila, you voted. Of course, we say thank you.
You can share your vote on Facebook. We have more information for our tribute show, which happens Thanksgiving Night, I believe it is November 25th and then you can vote again. Vote often, vote for as many people as you like. And Rick Sanchez, final note, since we are Twitter hip on our show --
SANCHEZ: Twitter hip.
BALDWIN: We are Twitter hip, CNN Heroes. So, you can always tweet CNN Heroes, you can follow them. Pretty amazing, these people, I mean, it is impressive.
SANCHEZ: And so are you. Thank you, Brooke. BALDWIN: I can't hold a candle to these folks.
SANCHEZ: I appreciate the information.
And I have got to share something with you now that is very difficult to report. I was just sent some information moments ago by one of my staff members in the control room, Ann Janet. She sent me an e-mail, and as I started reading it, I was affected by it and I think you will be, too.
There are new details coming out of that case going on -- the court case in Connecticut, where the dad was tied up while they violated his daughters and his wife and killed them. We are going to have that for you here in just a little bit. And I think you will probably get the same reaction I do as you listen to some of these details.
We will be right back.
SANCHEZ: I couldn't wait to do this segment. I have been looking forward to it as a matter of fact. Most people that go on reality shows like "Survivor" for fame or for big money. For Jimmy Johnson -- you know Jimmy Johnson, right? The show "Survivor" has saved his life. I'm serious. He said, "Survivor saved my life."
You know Johnson from his years coaching the Dallas Cowboys, the Miami Dolphins. Sit down, he will tell you about the couple of Super Bowls he has won with. He is fit. He is trim. He has got the infamous hair that doesn't move, no matter what.
Well, this is a whole new Jimmy Johnson that we are talking about right now. This is Jimmy Johnson in a different environment. He is one of the contestants on the new series of "Survivor: Nicaragua." Let's listen to a little bit of sound here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY JOHNSON, FORMER FOOTBALL COACH/"SURVIVOR" CONTESTANT: All the adventures I have had in the past, I was in charge. I could fire players. I could recruit players. I could sign them. Out here, I don't have the control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Joining us now live is Jimmy Johnson. Old friend of mine from South Florida. James, good to see you, sir!
JOHNSON: Rick, good to see you. How is everything?
SANCHEZ: Fantastic. Suzanne and the kids are doing great. We are living the Georgia lifestyle here and watching you get more famous every day. (LAUGHTER)
SANCHEZ: You know, it is fascinating to read that you wanted to be on "Survivor" and it wasn't until you took a physical with them that you realized that, you know, you were in a bad way there. Take us through the story, would you, Coach?
JOHNSON: Well, yes, when office little kid, I always had dreams of going to the Amazon and, you know, living in nature and being around all the animals and one thing or another. So, I applied for "Survivor" about six or seven years ago and got turned down. Went through the whole application process.
And so then, I tried a second time, went through the process again and it looked like I was gonna make "Survivor." So, we got through and the doctor, after the physical, they called and they said, "Coach, we'd love to have you, but you have got two blocked arteries, so you better see your cardiologist." I had one artery 100 percent blocked, another 70 percent blocked. A week later, I had stents put in. I went on a strict diet and workout routine, lost 30 pounds. My cholesterol went from 220 to under 100.
So, in some ways, "Survivor," you know, let me survive. After all of that process, then I applied the third time and finally got on.
SANCHEZ: My wife and I were watching the other day one of those promotions or commercials, comes on, whatever they're called. You are there -- it is on like every 40 seconds during the ball games and stuff. And Suzanne says "Is that Jimmy? He looks skinny!"
SANCHEZ: You lost -- you do! I mean, this is a wakeup call for you, but there's a lesson here for most of us, right?
JOHNSON: Well, you know, I worked out all the time throughout the years. I would jog and run and do one thing or another. And I thought because of that, I was healthy. But until they actually had the nuclear stress test and put the dye in and checked my arteries, I never knew I had a problem.
And I'm one of the few people -- I guess there is a small percentage of the population that can have a heart attack and not feel it. He said I had a heart attack at one time and didn't know it. He said, if they hadn't have done the process of putting the stents in, he said, I could have gone any day. So it really did save my life.
SANCHEZ: You know, you know -- I should tell you -- back when you and I used to know -- back when you used to go and have an occasional adult beverage with wings -
SANCHEZ: I don't know how often you do that so much anymore, or the two of us did. I was in Nicaragua covering the contra war. I ended up getting malaria down there from a female Anopholes (ph) mosquito and almost died. That is a heck of a place. I was there in the jungle as well, between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. What has the experience been like for you down there?
JOHNSON: Well, it was an adventure, but it was one of the most miserable times I've had in my life. I never imagined that it would be as difficult as what it was. I mean, we had to boil our water. We had less than 200 calories of food, you know, a day for a long period of time.
I would catch these little bitty crabs and I would eat shell and everything, just trying to get some protein in my body. We had to build our shelter. It rained every day. Rained every night. We didn't get any sleep. It really was one of the most difficult times I ever had in my life.
SANCHEZ: You still fishing?
JOHNSON: Oh, yes. In fact, in the episode last night, we won some fishing gear. So, I cut off a couple of sticks and put some lines out there and caught some little two-inch perch and threw them in, heads and all, into the rice, trying to get some protein. Now, down in Isle Marada, I do lots of fishing. And I have a little bit better gear down in Isle Marada.
SANCHEZ: I was just down in the Keys recently, and a couple of guys -- a couple of the old timers I ran into down there were talking about you and some of your fishing exploits.
Listen, we can talk all day. Next time you come into Atlanta, we got to get together one day and drink chai or something.
JOHNSON: I will be right there with you.
SANCHEZ: Listen, a lot of -- you mind if I ask you a sports question that a lot of people want to know about?
I have had all these people tweeting me, knowing you are going to be on the show. They are really upset about their Dallas Cowboys, I mean, to the point where they are, like, freaked-out upset. They wanted me to ask you this question. If Jerry Jones came up with enough money, would you be willing to even consider going back? Because they -- it sounds to me like they want you back there desperately, Jimmy. Would you consider it?
JOHNSON: Yes, Rick, I'm living the dream. I love doing Fox NFL Sunday with Bradshaw and Howie Long and Michael Strahan and Menneifi (ph). So, I love doing what I'm doing. That gives my -- gives me the little itch, as far as the football. And then, the rest of the year, I'm fishing and scuba diving and living down in the Keys. So I would never leave, you know, the life that I have right now.
SANCHEZ: You dog, you. But you were a heck of a coach.
(LAUGHTER) SANCHEZ: Hey, look it must make you feel good that there's folks down there -- I have seen the signs, "Bring Jimmy back." Things are not good in Cowboyville right now. You think they will straighten it out?
JOHNSON: Yes, I think they are talented enough to straighten it out. But right now, they're a sloppy football team. Turned the ball over too much, they've got too many penalties. Really, for the last four or five years, they have been one of the most penalized teams in the league. They have got to correct that. They have got the talent. And I think they will turn it around about. But right now, they're a sloppy football team.
SANCHEZ: Hey, good to see you, Coach. Really --
JOHNSON: All right.
SANCHEZ: Really good to hear you are doing well and enjoying yourself, and I'm glad you were able to figure out your health. I think it is something -- I told my producers one of the reasons I REALLY wanted to talk to you today, I think for a lot of us guys out here that have this kind of experience, you know there is a lesson there. Sometimes we got to get checked out to make sure things are right.
So, be good. God bless.
JOHNSON: You're exactly right. We are going to get together one of these days.
SANCHEZ: I look forward to it.
When we come back, the very latest on what is going on "Trending" as well. You know, we have got a couple of interesting stories that are developing as we go. And I'm going to bring you those, bring you that information in just a little bit. Stay with us. This is "RICK'S LIST."
Gosh, it was great seeing Jimmy there.
SANCHEZ: You are not going to believe some of the details coming out of this case in Connecticut. There is information out there that these suspects, you know, the ones that went into this doctor's home. They tied him up, and then they violated his wife and his daughter. One of them was 19. I believe the other one with was, like, 11 years old.
Then they set fire to their house. It's -- it's just a horrible, horrible story, from beginning to end. And we have shared some of the information with you, but it just got worse. We have just received information that these guys actually were taking pictures while they were doing what they were doing to these girls and to their mother, while they were tied up. They were sending pictures to their friends and sending text messages, sharing their information, saying things like -- they sent eight pictures.
By the way, we are learning the courtroom, people in the courtroom were just stunned as the information was brought out. One of the photos showed the older female -- I can't even say it. Petit, the father, the doctor, whose family was lost in all of this, walked out of the courtroom today while much of this was going on.
And let me - can I -- do we have some of those text messages that they sent? All right. Here is the text messages they were sending. "I'm chomping at the bit to get started. Need a margarita soon." That's one text message from one of the assailants to the other, talking about what they were about to do with the girls.
"I'm putting the kid to bed, hold your horses." "Dude, the horses want to get loose, laugh out loud." I mean, can you imagine?
"In Session's" Sunny Hostin joining us live from New Haven, Connecticut, with the details. I can -- I'm stunned reading this when it was sent to me moments ago, imagining what that father must have been thinking as he heard this. And how did the court react? How did the jury react? Sunny?
SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, TRU TV'S "IN SESSION": Really it's just been a very difficult day for the jury especially. I was in the courtroom for some of this testimony, and I will say the -- some of the jurors, especially some of the female jurors in the front row, were glaring at this defendant. And as you mentioned, there was testimony about pictures, pornographic pictures, really, that were taken of little Michaela Hawke-Pettit and her sister and her mother. Very, very difficult for the jury.
I was also there in the courtroom when the associate medical examiner testified, Dr. Susan Williams. She performed the autopsy, Rick, of Mrs. Petit. And one of the jurors burst into tears when that testimony was going on. And also, again, several of the jurors just glared -- glared at this defendant.
SANCHEZ: We heard that the girls were tied up in beds, right? These are the pictures that they are referring to?
HOSTIN: The girls were tied up. My understanding is that some of the pictures were of the girls' private parts, of the girls tied up with one of the girl's skirts down, then one of the girl's skirts up, the victims completely unclothed.
Again, pornographic photos, really, and very, very difficult for the jury in this case. The judge has warned them every time one of the witnesses gets on the witness stand that they are going to see very, very graphic photographs.
SANCHEZ: And I understand, or at least according to the notes I got from one of my producers here, is that the father just walked out at some point?
HOSTIN: Well, this morning, Dr. Petit and his family, many of them weren't there. My understanding is that they recognized, or were at least told by the prosecution, that the medical examiner would again be testifying.
They have not been in the courtroom for that type of graphic testimony, understandably. And so when this type of testimony is coming into evidence, yes, the Hawke and Petit families are not there.
SANCHEZ: It sure looks like a slam-dunk. I mean, you know, I would imagine -- here you've got them shooting pictures of what they were doing. What more do they need? It's -- we probably aren't too far from the prosecution resting their case, right?
HOSTIN: You know, I will say as a former prosecutor, I never want to say that a case is a slam-dunk, because you never know. Sometimes you have jury nullification, anything can happen.
But, Rick, in this case, I have never seen a case with such overwhelming evidence against a defendant. I am not going to say slam-dunk, but the evidence against this defendant is overwhelming. Overwhelming.
SANCHEZ: I forgot -- and pardon me for asking again -- I think you and I talked about this the other day -- does Connecticut have execution? Do they execute?
HOSTIN: Connecticut does have the death penalty, but what is very interesting is that the last time the death penalty was even on the table was about five or six years ago, and that was for a serial killer. Before that, 50 years. And so, this case is a death penalty case.
Many people are saying, you know, Connecticut doesn't execute. But many people are also saying with the horrific crimes here at issue, what better case for the death penalty? If not this case, then never.
So, it is a death penalty case, and I've got to tell you, many people are saying that the defense believes there is going to be a conviction and is really saving most of their evidence for the penalty phase, trying to save this man's life.
SANCHEZ: I can only imagine what they are saving after some of the stuff that we have been seeing coming out of that case. Unbelievable.
Thank you so much, Sunny Houston, for bringing us that information.
We are going to be right back. Stay with us.
SANCHEZ: We have been raising the question here in my conversations and coverage on this story of why it is that Bishop Eddie Long has not been heard from since his scandal began. Well, it appears in we finally heard from him, but in the form of a tweet.
Here it is, sending his support and prayers. "Thanks for all your prayers and your support. Love you all, Bishop Eddie Long."
So, there you go.
All right. The president of Iran spoke to the United Nations today, and he told everyone who was behind the attacks of 9/11 -- in fact, take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: I mean, in and of itself it's illogical, because what he just said is that the United States orchestrated the investment to improve the economy, when we all know that the 9/11 attacks had a dire effect on the U.S. and world economies. So, even if you took him at face value it still wouldn't make much sense.
But here is Wolf Blitzer now standing by.
I imagine, Wolf, that there is going to be a lot of reaction to the comments by Mr. Ahmadinejad.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You actually saw when he was saying that delegations at the U.N. General Assembly, including the U.S. delegation and several U.S. allies, walking out in protest.
But, you know what? With knowing some of the other things he has said, we shouldn't be all that surprised. This a guy who denies that the Holocaust actually happened, that six million Jews were killed. So why should we be surprised he now suggests the U.S. was behind the World Trade Center and 9/11 bombing in order to try to promote the U.S. economy? It just goes with the territory.
SANCHEZ: And meanwhile, the president spoke today, and I know you're going to be covering that as well. And what the president is trying to do is say, you know, we need to put heat on the Palestinians and we need to let the Israelis know that they need to continue trying to look for some kind of peace process to begin here.
Is the president late coming to this game? Is he getting enough -- is he doing enough from -- as it's being seen, Wolf, not just here in the United States, but around the world?
BLITZER: Well, if you look at his speech today -- and I know you did, Rick, and a lot of our viewers probably saw it live here on CNN -- he spent a lot of time talking about the Palestinian/Israeli peace process, much less time talking about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example. Even less time talking about Iran and the potential for nuclear proliferation.
He spent a lot of time talking about what's happening now, this effort to try to get this peace process off the ground. It started a couple weeks ago in Washington, moved to Egypt, Sharm el-Sheikh, continuing in Jerusalem. It's a sensitive moment right now, and there are some who think that maybe within a year something can happen.
There's a moment of opportunity. Let's see if it's delivered.
SANCHEZ: Good point. I hadn't thought of it that way. I mean, quantitatively, he did spend as much time as anything else, which usually signals that this is were he is going to put his emphasis.
Look forward to "THE SITUATION ROOM," as usual, Wolf.
Time for another check of what's crossing the "Political Ticker" as well. That's coming up as well.
This is RICK'S LIST. Thanks so much for being with us.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back.
It is time for a "CNN Equals Politics" update with Paul Steinhauser. He is among the best in "The Best Political Team on Television."
Paul, what's crossing right now?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Rick, I pay you good money to say that, and I appreciate it. It's worth the money I'm spending.
SANCHEZ: Keep it coming.
STEINHAUSER: Let's talk about angry voters. Keep it coming, exactly.
Let's talk about angry voters. Everybody is saying that this year, voters are angry and that Republicans are angrier than Democrats. Well, you know what? A brand new poll suggests just that.
And that poll, by the way, and that story is up on the CNN "Political Ticker." I wrote it just a little while ago, brand new this afternoon.
It indicates that Republican voters, Independents as well, are angrier than Democrats. And we had a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll last month that said the same thing.
Now, you would assume that angrier voters would be more motivated, more inclined maybe to actually vote on Election Day, ,and that could be troubling for Democrat, if these kinds of numbers keep going.
That's what I got.
But Mark Preston, you have a lot more. MARK PRESTON: Hey, Rick. How are you?
Hey, you know, today, the Senate Democrats failed to get this new legislation passed through the chamber that would put new restrictions on how spending could be done on political advertising. What does that mean? Well, let's just talk about the 2010 midterm elections, Rick.
One hundred and sixty-seven different special interest groups have spent $140 million on political ads so far this election cycle. And our friend Evan Tracey over at Campaign Media Analysis Group tells me that that number is going to double at least in the next four weeks. So, you can imagine how much the special interests are putting into this election, particularly on TV ads.
But you know, Rick, I want to talk about something that I find heartening, but also a little bit funny. You know, I've been known to rattle a few pots in the kitchen a little bit. I like to cook. I don't know if you like to cook.
PRESTON: Well, John King says he likes to cook, Rick, and he's actually up in Boston this evening, and he's doing a fund-raiser called The Men of Boston Cook for Women's Health. It's a good fund- raiser, of course, for the Codman Square Health Clinic.
But Rick, I have a very, very important question to ask you. Would you wear that apron?
SANCHEZ: No. No, it's not masculine enough for me. I would not wear that apron.
PRESTON: Well, I'm going to tell -- I am going to pass that message along to John King and we'll see the two of you face off, if not in the kitchen, maybe in the ring.
SANCHEZ: I can't believe I just said that. I love John, but, you know, it really is kind of a silly apron. Just saying.
Thanks, fellas. Appreciate it.
Man, I'm getting into it with Jimmy Johnson and now John King.
By the way, this book, it's called "Conventional Idiocy." It makes fun of what we are supposed to think is conventional wisdom.
Much of what we talk about on this newscast is in this book, the back-story behind the stories that we often share, social media as well. And every day we give one away. So let's do that right now. Here we go.
Somebody who enjoyed the Jimmy Johnson interview -- I know many of you did -- especially you Dallas fans. Everybody saying, "Come on, Rick, talk him into coming back. We need him. We've got to win some games." "Rick looked like a kid on Christmas morning talking to Jimmy Johnson."
I did. I'm gong to see if I can get Shula back. You know what? I'm going to call Don Shula. I'm going to get Don Shula and Dan Marino on this show next week as well.
Would you like that? OK. Deal.
Here now, my good friend as well, Wolf Blitzer.