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THE SITUATION ROOM
Edwards' Voicemails For Mistress Released; Murdoch Admits Phone Hacking "Cover-Up"; Michele Bachmann Interview; Osama bin Laden Pictures; Internship Scandal; A Pet's Second Chance
Aired April 26, 2012 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And you're in the SITUATION ROOM. Happening now, just released information in the trial of former presidential candidate, John Edwards, including voice messages he left for his mistress, messages he was trying to hide from the world.
Also, Rupert Murdoch now admits there was a cover-up from the phone hacking scandal that he calls a black (ph) on his reputation. Stand by to hear how the media mogul's bombshell testimony went down.
And the creator of "Girls Gone Wild" telling us how he bought a summer internship, he alleges, with the United States senator or at least he thought he did.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer, and you're in the SITUATION ROOM.
This just coming into the SITUATION ROOM. Key evidence against for presidential candidate, Democrat, John Edwards. It was released only moments ago, and it includes picture, phone records, new details on the messages that Edwards left his mistress. So, let's go right to our senior correspondent, Joe Johns. He's covering the John Edwards trial in North Carolina. Joe, what happened?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, well, the court, for the first time, today releasing transcripts of voice mail messages between Andrew Young and Senator Edwards. This is going all the way back to September 2007, December 2007. In fact, there's one voice mail message from December 14 of 2007, right after Edwards had been photographed with his mistress, Rielle Hunter.
He calls Andrew Young, his longtime aide and tells him he's going to call back, but if his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, is standing there, he's going pretend that he doesn't know what's going on, and he'll ask on the phone, how did this happen? What's happening? All of this to try to conceal the affair, of course. This, as the cross-examination here in Greensboro continued today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, Mr. Edwards.
JOHNS (voice-over): Thursday, for the first time, the court began releasing some of the prosecution exhibits entered into evidence, pictures of one of the houses in North Carolina where John Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, stayed after she moved away from the New York area to escape hounding by the media, phone records, transcripts of phone calls, and there was more painful cross- examination with prosecution star witness, Andrew Young, on the stand.
A former right-hand man to Edwards who helped to conceal the former senator's affair with Rielle Hunter and wrote a book to tell about it. Edwards' defense lawyer, Abbe Lowell, continued to try to chip away at Young's credibility and his recollection of dates, times, places and conversations he had with Edwards.
Young often sparring with Lowell saying he was not able to recall certain specific dates and times or even the sequence of events, not able to remember whether he wrote a check to buy a car for Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, or paid for it some other way. Lowell asked if he used Hunter as a way to get money for himself.
Young said no. Most of the money in question was given by a wealthy Edwards benefactor, Bunny Mellon of Northern Virginia. Mellon's check released publicly Thursday by the court had been endorsed by Young's wife and deposited in the Young family account. Mellon ended up giving $725,000, though, the larger amount she had promised is in dispute.
The Edwards' defense team needs a clear timeline to try to support its claim that Young was enriching himself while he was paying for living expenses, travel expenses for Hunter and the baby girl fathered by Edwards. The cross-examination was painful at times.
At one point, Judge Catherine Eagles warned the defense she might have to exclude certain evidence because it was confusing the issues or wasting time. A North Carolina law professor observing the trial defended Lowell's line of questioning.
MIKE RICH, ELON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: I think he's dealing with a hostile, difficult witness to get answers out of, and so, it's taken a long time, but it doesn't seem like he's been going around in circles and really wasting the court or the jury's time.
JOHNS (on-camera): The questioning this afternoon continued to drill down on the question of how much Andrew Young actually may have cashed in, may have actually benefitted from this cash that was coming in ostensibly to pay for the support and welfare of Rielle Hunter? More testimony from Andrew Young tomorrow -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Do we expect Senator Edwards to take the stand?
JOHNS: We've actually heard there's a lot of doubt as to whether he'll take the stand. Nothing official. Nonetheless, we do expect to hear from Rielle Hunter. There are attorneys around this courthouse, quite frankly, Wolf, who would said a defense attorney would be crazy to put John Edwards on the stand given all the things he could be cross-examined about.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Joe. Joe Johns reporting for us from North Carolina.
We're also learning more today about allegations that representatives of the United States government consorted with prostitutes and held wild parties while in other countries. The scandal that began in Colombia with the U.S. secret service appears to be exploding into something much, much bigger, but now, incidents being reported in El Salvador and Brazil.
Brian Todd is putting all these pieces together for us. Brian, what are you finding out?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The incident in Brazil, Wolf, involves military and state department personnel, not secret service, but we are also getting information that secret service agents have been involved in incidents beyond Cartagena.
TODD (voice-over): A Congressional source tells CNN reports of misbehavior by secret service agents beyond the Colombia incident have been brought to Congress. KIRO TV, a CNN affiliate, cites a U.S. government contractor who worked extensively with the secret service advance team saying he was with about a dozen secret service agents and some U.S. military personnel a few days before President Obama's visit to El Salvador last year.
The source says they were at a strip club where members of the American team drank heavily, that most of them paid extra for access to a V.I.P. section where they were provided sexual favors in return for cash. This is from one unnamed source, and CNN cannot independently confirm the allegations.
Contacted by CNN, the secret service also cited this as coming from an unnamed source and issued a statement saying "Any information brought to our attention that can be assessed as credible will be followed up on in an appropriate manner." I asked veteran Washington criminal defense attorney, Jeffrey Jacobovitz, if he was head of the secret service or any other security agency --
Are you nervous right now something's going to blow up?
JEFFREY JACOBOVITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, sure. If you're the head of the agency, you're very nervous, because this is the kind of publicity you do not want in your agency.
TODD: "The Washington Post" reported that an unnamed source says such behavior is part of the culture at the secret service, not a one- time occurrence. Barbara Riggs, the first woman deputy director in the agency's history, denies that.
BARBARA RIGGS, FORMER SECRET SERVICE DEP. DIRECTOR: Throughout my career, I have been on advance teams. I've supervised advance teams. And I've worked, you know, on presidential detail on two different occasions, and I have never witnessed anything of this magnitude. TODD: And the secret service is hardly alone. In December of last year, in the Brazilian capital, three U.S. marines and a state department employee were involved in an altercation overpayment with dancers and prostitutes from a club. One woman allegedly started a fight inside a marine's vehicle and was injured when she was kicked out of the vehicle and tried to get back in.
LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Those that were involved have been punished and held accountable.
TODD: The marines were reduced in rank. The U.S. embassy staffer removed from that post.
TODD (on-camera): I called and e-mailed Lawrence Berger (ph), attorney for some secret service officers investigated in the Colombia case to ask for response to the latest developments regarding the secret service. I never heard back. Former secret service officers have told us the agency drills it into its recruits when they're training, not to place themselves in these situations, Wolf.
BLITZER: But if it was tolerated in other occasions, secret service agents going on advance trips or whatever and meeting and dealing with prostitutes, could they use that as an excuse now, these 12 secret service officers and agents as an excuse, if you will? You know, we just assumed it was OK because it's been tolerated so often in the past?
TODD: I asked that of Jeffrey Jacobovitz, the defense attorney said no, you basically cannot use that as a defense. He says even in the foreign corrupt practices act it says that that you can't just say in court. Look, everybody is bribing a foreign official, so we're doing it, too. The same thing applies here.
You cannot use that as a defense that everybody's doing it, really, in any context. So, it doesn't fly.
BLITZER: I think the story is going to explode. Thanks very much. Already exploding.
Now to the phone hacking scandal that has certainly tarnished Rupert Murdoch's media empire. The News Corporation chief publicly admitted today there was, in fact, a cover-up within his organization. CNN senior international correspondent, Dan Rivers, is covering Murdoch's testimony at a media ethics investigation in Britain.
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid a frenzy of flash bombs, the news tycoon who now is the news is whisked into London by court where he implied some of his executives tried to cover up the scale of phone hacking.
RUPERT MURDOCH, CEO, NEWS CORP.: There's no question in my mind that maybe even the editor, but certainly, beyond that, someone took charge of a cover-up which we looked into and I regret.
RIVERS: It was this man, Collin Myler, who was editor of "The News of the World," when the tabloid was closed down. Rupert Murdoch claimed Myler failed to tell him about widespread hacking.
MURDOCH: The new editor was appointed with specific instructions to find out what was going on. He did, I believe, put in two or three new steps of regulation, if you like, but never reported back that there was more hacking.
RIVERS: Myler now works for a competitor, and his lawyer says they have no comment. But Murdoch also sought to spread the blame for the hacking cover-up to other people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From where does this cover-up emanate, Mr. Murdoch?
MURDOCH: I think from within "The News of the World" and to one or two very strong characters there who I think had been there many, many, many years and were friends of the journalists. The person I'm thinking of is a friend of the journalists, drinking pal (ph), and is a clever lawyer.
RIVERS: Taken to be a reference to this man, legal affairs manager, Tom Crone, who hit back with an angry statement saying, "His assertion that I took charge of a cover-up in relation to phone hacking is a shameful lie." As a former deputy editor of "The News of the World," Paul Connew knows Tom Crone well.
PAUL CONNEW, FORMER DEPUTY EDITOR, NEWS OF THE WORLD: He's a lawyer, a very experienced lawyer. He's, obviously, very upset. He, obviously, feels that he's being -- or attempts are being made to make him culpable, a fall guy. I don't know, you know, how involved he was in the cover-up. All I believe is that the buck has to go higher than Tom Crone.
RIVERS (on-camera): But Rupert Murdoch's troubles aren't yet over. A powerful committee of politicians will issue their report on the whole phone hacking affair on Tuesday -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Dan Rivers, thanks very much.
Meanwhile, a new fight brewing here in Washington pitting the White House against the House Speaker John Boehner, and college students are caught in the middle.
Plus, an Israeli general, not just an Israeli general, but top Israeli general, suggesting Iran does not necessarily want nuclear weapons. Is he right? I'll speak with a key member of the House Intelligence Committee.
And brand new details emerging right now on what Osama Bin Laden did only moments before U.S. military personnel killed him.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here with the "Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Wolf, it's kind of sad, really. College graduation season is just around the corner and a lot of people are going to come out of school and already be under water. Student loan debt tops a staggering $1 trillion in this country, more than all the car loans or all the credit card debt. It's estimated the average kid graduating from college owes more than $27,000, up 54 percent from a decade ago.
As a result, a lot of students and recent graduates want their student loans partially or fully forgiven, but that could open the door to the taxpayers getting stuck with another huge bailout. In Washington, student loans have been a hot topic of debate this week. President Obama pushing hard for Congress to prevent student loan rates from doubling to 6.8 percent as they're scheduled to do on July 1st.
House Speaker John Boehner says the House will vote tomorrow to extend the current rates for another year. All this should make college graduates think long and hard about choosing what to study. With unemployment above eight percent, if graduates can't find a job, they might very well have trouble paying off these loans.
A new study suggests students who major in subjects like health care, education, psychology, social work, and business have a better shot at getting a job. On the flipside, "The Daily Beast" reports the most useless college majors are these, fine arts, drama, architecture, graphic design, philosophy, religion, English, journalism, archaeology, music history, and political science.
So, here's the question, what's the most useless college major? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile and post a comment on my blog or go to our post on the SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page. Somebody already wrote in, Wolf, and said whatever one your waitress has.
BLITZER: All right, Jack. Thank you.
CAFFERTY: You're welcome.
BLITZER: You might think the political fight over student loans would ease up a bit now that the House plans to vote to extend the current rates, as Jack mentioned, but guess again. There's still a red-hot spat going on between the White House and House Speaker John Boehner. Let's bring in our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin. What's the biggest sticking point here, Jessica?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the fight really now is all about how to pay for this. Both Democrats and Republicans have proposed plans to extend the current lower interest rate on student loans at 3.4 percent.
They would both extend it for one year, and the cost of both plans is roughly $6 billion, but the disagreement, again over this pay for is Republicans propose paying for that $6 billion cost by finding money in a fund for preventative care in the Affordable Care Act, the health care plan.
Democrats, they would close a corporate tax loophole, not loopholes. I see. That's what the graphic says. It's one loophole, in particular, that Democrats would close and therein lies the rub and guess what? We are facing a battle between the two parties over how to pay for it neither likes what the other one is proposing -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And the clock is ticking, Jessica. They don't have a lot of time because those interest rates will double in a few months, unless, they pass this very, very quickly. The White House certainly coming out and going on the offensive on this issue. What are you hearing?
YELLIN: They are going on the offensive, and the clock is ticking, Wolf, but let's not get into their timeframe too much because the clock is not ticking in the way Washington works too much. It's where they have two months to work this out, and in Washington, that's a lifetime. So, the White House is using fighting words.
They argue that Republicans' real goal here is to try to chip away at the health care plan, and that what Republicans are really trying to do is find ways to tear apart pieces of the health care act, and this is just another way to do it. Here's Jay Carney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We've seen this before. We watched this movie during the payroll tax cut debate. It didn't end well for them, and that's because the American people overwhelmingly support this action. They overwhelmingly support to pay force that we propose.
And they need to just -- if they want to fight about -- like we know what the Republican position is on the Affordable Care Act. They want to repeal it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: In truth, they would -- the Republican plan also says whatever money isn't used to fund student loans and the rest of this preventive care fund, they would just get rid of it and send it to deficit reduction closing down the preventative care fund altogether. So, the White House has a point.
On the other hand, the White House proposal to pay for this student loan bill, the Republicans aren't going to swallow that either. So, buckle your seat belt, Wolf. Get ready for a big battle over how to pay for this student loan extension. In the end, though, everyone expects it to get passed, somehow -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. It will get passed because the new leader of the Republican Party, Mitt Romney, wants it passed just as the president does. They'll figure out a way to do it, I am sure. Thanks very much, Jessica.
Costco is offering up a new item that you can't buy in bulk, but it could help with a big problem in this country.
Also, the infamous "Girls Gone Wild" video is now linked to a Capitol Hill internship scandal. We're talking with the video's creator. Stand by.
BLITZER: An EPA official in trouble for implying he wanted to, quote, "crucify the oil and gas industry." Lisa Sylvester has that and some of the other top stories in the SITUATION ROOM. Lisa, what do you have?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf. Well, the official is apologizing for what he's calling a poor choice of words when he said this back in 2010.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL ALMENDARIZ, EPA OFFICIAL: It's kind of like how the Romans used to conquer the villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they say. They crucified them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVESTER: The EPA issued a statement saying the following, it is deeply unfortunate that in the 2010 video, an EPA official inaccurately suggests we are seeking to make examples out of certain companies in the oil and gas industry. It does not reflect our record. The clip of the speech was posted online by a Republican senator critical of the EPA.
And Costco has taken the concept of buying bulk to a whole new level, now in addition to discount roles of toilet paper, food and appliances, well, you can also get a mortgage. The retail giant has partnered with the community bank and 10 other lenders to launch a full-service lending program on its website. More than 10,000 mortgages have been issued, so far.
And, he may not be a father yet, but Prince William is already being called a natural at the whole baby thing. The second in line to the throne got the chance to hold a newborn during a charity event with his wife, Kate, the duchess of Cambridge, and he seemed very much at ease. You see him there. The royal couple will celebrate their first anniversary this Sunday.
So, I know a lot of people, Wolf, are waiting for the news saying if they might be expecting any time soon, but there he is. Look at that. He does look like a little bit of a natural there, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. And Prince Harry is coming to Washington. I'm very excited.
BLITZER: He just got invited to a dinner in his honor. So, that will be very, very cool.
BLITZER: Thanks very much for that, Lisa.
The first lady, Michele Obama, is opening up. You're going to find out what her secret fantasy is while living in the White House.
Also, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, kept one United States congressman out of his country, but that congresswoman, Michele Bachmann. She's here in the SITUATION ROOM. I'll ask her why she decided to go to Afghanistan while her colleague was denied entry.
BLITZER: Despite growing concerns in Israel and around the world that Iran could be on the brink of producing a nuclear bomb, the top Israeli general is now reportedly suggesting just the opposite and it's raising some serious eyebrows including right here in Washington.
And Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is here, the former Republican presidential candidate, a member of the House Intelligence Committee and I want to get to some of the missions you've been on lately, but your quick reaction to what we are now hearing from the Israeli military's chief of staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz quoted in Israeli newspapers as saying this about Iran and its nuclear weapons ambitions.
"Iran is going step by step to the place where it will be able to decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb. It hasn't yet decided whether to go the extra mile. I don't think -- and he's referring to the Ayatollah -- he will want to go the extra mile. I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people." Do you agree with that assessment based on everything you're hearing?
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINNESOTA: I don't. I don't agree with that assessment at all. I had Michael Oren, the ambassador, in my office yesterday --
BLITZER: The Israeli ambassador --
BACHMANN: I had him in my office yesterday. I traveled to Israel to meet with the Prime Minister Netanyahu to talk about the situation with Iran and ironically the night that I was flying into Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv there were 110 rockets that were sent in to Gaza and the Iron Dome was deployed. That doesn't happen very often.
And the good news is that when the dome was deployed there wasn't one Israeli that lost their life, but what it showed is that this is a very real, persistent threat that Israel faces. There's never a time when Israel does not face a threat, but I think that people on the ground in Israel recognize that Iran has only had one ambition and that is to develop a nuclear weapon and use it against Israel. BLITZER: Because what General Gantz seems to be saying -- he seems to be on a different page than the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is that the Iranians have not yet decided to go ahead and build a nuclear bomb, that they're very rational and they're considering all of this deliberately and there seems to be no rush, at least on his part, to take action.
BACHMANN: I don't see that this is rational what Iran is doing, but I also think that we also recognize that Iran is not going to publish a memo when they make the decision to go to nuclear weapon capability. They will not be posting it so no one will know when they actually do. That's Israel's conundrum. That's their problem. They can't wait until Iran is already nuclear weapon capable because there is no reaction time on Israel's part.
Israel has to have the right to create survival for itself. That's really where they're at right now. We're in a very difficult place. I don't think Israel wants to in any way have to attack Iran, but it's very clear Iran hasn't taken any steps -- this is easy to solve, honestly. It's easy to solve. Iran just has to surrender their enriched uranium. They have to stop and cease all production of enriched uranium. They need to dismantle some of their nuclear weapons facilities and have continuous open doors on inspections. Do that and the rest of the world will supply any medical isotopes they want for cancer research -- done.
BLITZER: Let's move on to another issue. Afghanistan right now, you were recently on a congressional delegation that went to Afghanistan. One of the members, Dana Rohrabacher, the congressman from California, he was here in THE SITUATION ROOM with me this week. He was prevented from going to Afghanistan, a country that receives billions of dollars in U.S. assistance. Hamid Karzai doesn't like him. First of all your reaction to Hamid Karzai's decision not to let a Democratically- elected member of the United States Congress to visit his country.
BACHMANN: It was preposterous especially when you consider that he receives about $l1 billion from the allies that are helping him and his country right now out of something over 12 billion --
BLITZER: He didn't meet with you when you were there, Hamid Karzai, did he?
BACHMANN: He did not and our --
BLITZER: Was that a snub?
BACHMANN: We had -- well I don't -- that would be -- Louie Gomez (ph) was the one in charge of the delegation.
BLITZER: The congressman.
BACHMANN: He was in charge of our delegation and we had a mission. We had a threefold mission, to visit our constituents who are soldiers on the ground to assess the current situation in Afghanistan and third to meet with the Northern Alliance. It was unfortunate what Karzai did. BLITZER: By not allowing Dana Rohrabacher to come in --
BACHMANN: By not allowing him in --
BLITZER: Was it -- what was your reaction when you heard that the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton and the secretary of defense, Leon Panetta said that he shouldn't go at this time and a U.S. military plane that was waiting in Dubai to fly you, the congressional delegation and him to Kabul, wouldn't take off if he were on the plane.
BACHMANN: That's right and we thought it was preposterous and outrageous. We felt that the defense secretary and the secretary of state should stand by the members of Congress as opposed to standing by Karzai --
BLITZER: Why did you go? Your fellow members, why didn't you say, you know what, if Dana Rohrabacher isn't going I'm not going either.
BACHMANN: Well there are two reasons. First of all, we had our mission which was to visit the constituents, meet with General Allen. General Allen was in my office six weeks ago and invited me to come to Afghanistan, so I came at his request and number three was to meet with the Northern Alliance. We decided that we could continue that mission and succeed in the mission. Dana did not want to be an impediment. There's one other piece, Wolf, though that you left out and it's this. Ryan Crocker, our ambassador who I can't say enough good about and also General Allen, they were in the process, particularly Ambassador Crocker, he was -- at 11:59 and 59 seconds on negotiating the deal for handing off the baton for leadership in Iran from ISF, the International Security Forces to the Afghans to be able to run this conflict on their own and defeat the Taliban.
This agreement was completed while we were there. We did not, in any way, want to turn an international incident into preventing this agreement from being signed. This was months in the making, and so we didn't want to be the ones that would prevent this from happening. Over this weekend, Wolf, I stood over the bed in ICU unit of a soldier who lost his legs due to an explosion just a couple of hours earlier. We are not willing to let one more soldier lose their legs or lose their life because we started an international incident. We think Karzai was wrong. We think Secretary of State -- Panetta and Hillary Clinton could have done a better job in how they handled it, but at the same time we did not want our actions to prevent this agreement from being signed and I want to give kudos to Ryan Crocker, who went to hell and back to get this agreement signed. He did a wonderful job negotiating the terms.
BLITZER: We're out of time -- one quick political question. Why haven't you endorsed Mitt Romney yet?
BACHMANN: Well I've said all along that I will we be backing our party's nominee --
BLITZER: You haven't yet.
BACHMANN: -- and I will happily do that.
BACHMANN: What I'm doing is working behind the scenes bringing together all factions of our party. Don't forget, when there was the dust up between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama there were 18 million women who had backed Hillary Clinton. They wanted no part of backing Barack Obama. It took time to get them to come over. I'm working behind the scenes to knit together the Tea Party, the evangelicals to come together with the conservatives and back our nominee --
BLITZER: He's the leader of the Republicans right now, Mitt Romney, right?
BACHMANN: Mitt Romney is the presumptive nominee right now.
BLITZER: So you want him to beat President Obama.
BACHMANN: Of course.
BLITZER: Why don't you just say I endorse him?
BACHMANN: Well of course that will all come --
BLITZER: What are you waiting for --
BACHMANN: You just want me to do it on your show, that's the thing.
BLITZER: Yes, I do --
BACHMANN: That's the thing and so it will happen --
BACHMANN: It's just not going happen right now on your show.
BLITZER: I only want you to do it if you want to do it. It's a free country, but what I hear you saying you're not yet ready to say I'm endorsing Mitt Romney, but you will at some point.
BACHMANN: Well as the line says in the "Wizard of Oz", all in good time, my pretty. It will happen.
BLITZER: Michele Bachmann, as usual thanks for coming in.
BACHMANN: Thank you.
BLITZER: Osama bin Laden's wives and children, they are now on the move. They're leaving Pakistan. We're going to tell you where they're headed.
Also, the infamous "Girls Gone Wild" video is now at the center of a Capitol Hill internship scandal here in Washington.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: All right this just coming into THE SITUATION ROOM, a week away from the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, a federal judge has just ruled that pictures of bin Laden's corpse should not be released. In the ruling the judge says and I am quoting now "A picture may be worth a thousand words. Yet in this case, verbal descriptions of the death and burial of Osama bin Laden will have to suffice, for this court will not order the release of anything more."
The ruling comes as federal officials issue a bulletin to law enforcement authorities across the country about the possibility of a terror attack on the anniversary of bin Laden's death. At the same time saying there's quote, "No credible information it will happen." The new issue of "TIME" magazine, our sister news organization, has some compelling new details about bin Laden's final days and about the U.S. raid that killed him almost exactly a year ago.
We are joined now by Massimo Calabresi (ph) the Washington correspondent of "TIME" magazine. You know it is amazing the role that the president of the United States personally played in all of this. In this article by Graham Allison (ph), you detail a lot of it.
MASSIMO CALABRESI, TIME MAGAZINE: He had some really interesting insights and the story the president learned first in August 2010 kept it in a very close circle --
BLITZER: Exactly a year earlier.
CALABRESI: Quite a long time earlier and -- and shared the information with only a few officials at the White House. Even in December when they confirmed that it was likely bin Laden in Abbottabad, the president still only expanded the circle to a small number of two people outside the CIA and the small group in the White House.
BLITZER: You just got this -- this actual copy of the order from Leon Panetta. He was then the CIA director, right?
CALABRESI: That's right. As director of the CIA he was given nominal command over the mission so that it could be covert. He received from Tom Donilon (ph) on the morning of April--
BLITZER: The national security adviser.
CALABRESI: The national security adviser the orders from the president to launch the raid, noted down for himself and for the record the specifics of the order he had received so that there would be a written order.
BLITZER: And this memo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and I'll show it to our viewers right here, it's written in Leon Panetta's handwriting which is pretty good --
BLITZER: -- a little bit better than mine I should say, but -- (CROSSTALK)
BLITZER: -- historic document when he gave Admiral McCraven (ph), the head of the Special Operations Forces, the formal authorization, go and kill him.
CALABRESI: That's right and it's fascinating what a top government level official will put down in writing to make sure that there is a record of the orders.
BLITZER: Yes, let me show it to our viewers so they can see it and get a tight shot of that, there you see the director of the Central Intelligence Agency of Washington, D.C., a two-page memo for the record, if you will, and then he signs it on page two. Peter Bergen, our national security contributor, he's written an amazing new book -- it's about to come out, but he's got an excerpt in "TIME" magazine. He details the final hours, if you will, of bin Laden.
CALABRESI: It's fascinating because he has got both extraordinary detail of bin Laden's life in the compound with his wives, multiple wives, children, the kind of food they ate, how they lived, what their bathroom looked like -- it was fairly squalid -- and then he also has fascinating details from a different chapter in the book about the raid itself and how it went down and what Osama bin Laden's last words were, what he was doing when the SEALS came up the stairs -- it's very compelling stuff.
BLITZER: He's going to join me once the book formally comes out here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Peter has done an amazing job of reporting and you've got some good stuff in the new issue of "TIME" magazine.
CALABRESI: Great excerpts, yes.
BLITZER: Massimo, thanks very much for coming in.
CALABRESI: My pleasure, thanks for having me.
BLITZER: We are told that bin Laden's three widows and two daughters are leaving Pakistan tonight for Saudi Arabia. Their lawyer says 14 bin Laden family members are being deported by Pakistan. Their detention for living in Pakistan illegally ended last week.
An internship scandal on Capitol Hill unfolding right now. We are getting details, the infamous "Girls Gone Wild" videos are at the center of it. A United States Senator, now the FBI, they are all involved. Stay with us.
BLITZER: The infamous "Girls Gone Wild" video is now at the center of an internship scandal brewing right here in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill. Our Lisa Sylvester spoke with the creator of the videos. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It started with this, an online auction. The winning bidder scores a summer internship in Washington, D.C., with Senator Mark Pryor's office. The charity behind it is the Wilshire Boulevard Temple (ph), a Jewish synagogue in Los Angeles. The winning bidder, this man, Joe Francis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to "Girls Gone Wild" --
SYLVESTER: Francis best known as the creator of the "Girls Gone Wild" brand. Francis is currently hosting a show called "The Hottest Girl in America Contest" on HD Net. In an exclusive interview with CNN Francis explains how he bought the internship for $2,500 thinking it would be great to send the winner of his show to Washington for four weeks.
JOE FRANCIS, CEO, GIRLS GONE WILD: I thought it would be a really cute idea to send the hottest girl in America to Washington, D.C., think Elwood (ph) is the character in "Legally Blonde Two" (ph). I thought it would be really fun and really funny, a great opportunity.
SYLVESTER: But in Washington, D.C., Senator Pryor said he had no knowledge whatsoever of any auction offer. He called it a hoax.
Quote "We believe someone outside Senator Pryor's office has broken the law by fraudulently impersonating a U.S. senator." But a little digging shows this is not the first time an item from Pryor's office has been offered up for auction. In 2006 someone paid $2,550 to have lunch with the senator. And according to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple (ph) website, Senator Pryor has visited the temple. He was the guest of a congregate Chad Brownstein (ph).
Brownstein (ph) now admits in a letter of apology to Senator Pryor that it was he who offered up the internship. Quote "I thought it might be possible to auction off an unpaid month long summer internship for a high school student with your office. I said that if the person whose bid was selected was for whatever reason not approved, the Temple would give the money back. I didn't realize that the item would be posted before I had a chance to check with your office. Nor did I realize that it would be posted without the caveat that the person would have to be approved. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication." The money was returned to Joe Francis, but in that exclusive interview, he says he wants more.
FRANCIS: I think the senator should apologize to me and that's all I want. I'm just not going to be called a liar, and that this was a hoax, and I'm not going to have my reputation tarnished. And I'm not going to be embarrassed by this guy.
SYLVESTER: We reached out again to the senator's office and they issued this statement. Quote "As previously stated, I have never sold, auctioned, or donated internships. I'm glad the responsible party has come forward to clear up the matter. I had already referred the case to the FBI and it is now up to them to determine whether a crime has been committed."
SYLVESTER: Now, Joe Francis says that he had no malicious intent when he bid on the item. But it turns out that Chad Brownstein's (ph) father, Norm Brownstein (ph), is a senior partner at an L.A. law firm, Brownstein Hyatt (ph) and that law firm recently won a $2 million judgment against Joe Francis over an outstanding gambling debt. Now I asked Francis about that and he said he had no idea the Brownstein (ph) family was connected to the senator in any way, Wolf, so --
BLITZER: Good reporting. Good digging around and clarifying this story once and for all.
SYLVESTER: Yes, we finally got to the bottom of who was responsible.
BLITZER: You are good. You are very good, Lisa --
SYLVESTER: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you very much. Jack Cafferty is here with "The Cafferty File" -- Lisa Sylvester does an excellent job for us, Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: That was a good piece.
CAFFERTY: The question this hour is what is the most useless college major? Kevo writes "The stupidest majors are things like women gender studies or textiles. You don't need to go to a university to learn about clothes nor do you need to go there to study women although that's pretty much all you do in college."
Carol writes "None, I was a Spanish major. I ended up managing director of one of the largest banks in the world, a Dutch bank. No Spanish ever used or needed. It doesn't matter. My son's in advertising as an economics journalism major. They didn't want marketing or advertising majors. Liberal arts degrees are golden no matter what the major. They allow you to learn to think, write, and speak."
Gary writes "Rocket science, Jack. Rocket science without question, the market is dried up, no more moon shots. The shuttles are retired. NASA is a skeleton and the country's bankrupt. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that."
Pat in Michigan "Probably anything in the field of sports or any degree from the University of Michigan." Pat went to Michigan State.
Raymond in Massachusetts "No college major is useless. Jack, I was a philosophy major after reading that the lawyers I admired most were philosophy majors. It's not the degree that's useless. It's the graduate who can't find a way to use the skills that that major gave him or her." Chris in New York writes "The most useless college major is philosophy. Jobs are disappearing in the United States. A diploma in which you question logic is a sure way to end up as a statistic."
Ivan writes "Trust me on this, it's theater." And S. writes "After reading this op-ed, I'd say journalism is the most useless major."
Well, I don't have a college degree. If you want to read more about this, you go to the blog, CNN.com/CaffertyFile. You probably knew that or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jack thanks very much. I majored in history and international relations, very, very excellent majors, Buffalo and Johns Hopkins University --
CAFFERTY: Well and you're obviously doing quite well.
BLITZER: I love those majors.
BLITZER: Thank you, Jack.
CAFFERTY: You're welcome.
BLITZER: A second chance like no other -- Jeannie Moos coming up next.
BLITZER: A cat found on the streets getting the chance to turn his life around thanks to a surgery that's turned his legs around, literally. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We've seen dogs missing legs --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) smile.
MOOS: -- and a dog with an extra white leg.
MOOS: But a cat with his hind legs on backwards?
MOOS: Corky was seven months old when he was found dragging himself down a sidewalk. He ended up at the pound where he would have been put to sleep if the women from the Cats Cradle Shelter in Fargo, North Dakota hadn't taken him in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I could just constantly hear his bones cracking against the tile floor. It was horrible.
MOOS: Corky was born with a defect that caused his legs to be backwards as well as crisscrossed.
(on camera): And if you're wondering why they named the cat Corky, here's a hint. His twisted legs reminded them of a cork screw.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's Corky.
MOOS (voice-over): He had a human like way of sitting, sort of like that frog on a bench that went viral this week with captions added such as "I was thinking about life and how one day we all croak". But Corky isn't croaking. Earlier this month, he got surgery to correct his legs and now he's learning to walk using them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you go, buddy.
MOOS: Dr. Dan Berchel (ph) customized the surgery he had previously only done on dogs. In the before and after x-rays, you can see the doctor basically turned the leg bones then added steel plates. With his legs no longer crisscrossed beneath him --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now for the first time in his life he's able to go to the litter box like a normal kitty.
MOOS (on camera): Well that must be a relief.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's -- yes --
MOOS: No pun intended.
MOOS (voice-over): Corky has his own Facebook page. He's even gotten a get well video from another cat.
MOOS: And the shelter has raised over $14,000 in donations that should more than cover Corky's surgeries. He's needed four. On Thursday due to complications they had to amputate the bottom quarter of his left leg, but he should still be able to walk on it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're hoping to get him certified as a therapy pet.
MOOS: To visit kids in hospitals who have had orthopedic procedures.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he can do it, they can do it.
MOOS: Corky is already doing what passes for the limbo with his re-positioned limbs. Jeannie Moos, CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh wow.
MOOS: New York.
BLITZER: Good luck Corky. That's it for me. Thanks very much for joining us. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. The news continues next on CNN.