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Senate Investigates Veterans Charity; Interview With Senator Max Baucus

Aired May 23, 2012 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.

And we begin tonight with "Keeping Them Honest," and that's not just a catchphrase. It's our calling in part because of nights like this one.

Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest" reporting on a vital issue to America's wounded warriors and their families is actually getting action.

The Senate Finance Committee has just launched a probe, an investigation, a probe into potential abuses by a veterans charity that we have been profiling. Staffers for committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana, who is going to us shortly, says he learned about the story from reporting by correspondent Drew Griffin and our producer, David Fitzpatrick.

Drew is going to join us again tonight because this story is still unfolding. The charity in question is the Disabled Veterans National Foundation. That's their seal.

They have raised nearly $56 million in the past three years. What's outrageous is that not one dime has actually gone directly to help disabled veterans. We have been showing you this now for a long time. You may what happened when Drew tried to talk to the charity's president, a woman named Precilla Wilkewitz.


PRECILLA WILKEWITZ, CEO, DVNF: You're the one from CNN that's...


(voice-over): Meet Precilla Wilkewitz, president of the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, whom we found at a small VFW office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

WILKEWITZ: Well, this is the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and I really didn't think you'd do something like this. We've agreed to talk to you and answer questions.

GRIFFIN: Nobody has agreed. So here is the question raised over three years.

WILKEWITZ: Only in writing. Thank you so much.

GRIFFIN: And none of the money has gone to any veterans.

(on camera): So the bottom line is you're not going to give any interview?

(voice-over): CNN has been trying for two years to get an interview with the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, since we began tracking its fund-raising. We've gotten angry phone calls, angry e-mails, promises of written responses and now a slammed door, but no answers.


COOPER: And just think about this. If you had raised $56 million over three years and done it legitimately and actually had something to show for it and given that money to veterans, you would think you would want to explain yourself. You would think you would want to show your books and show all the veterans you have helped. They're not doing that.

The charity DVNF does send stuff to veterans group, stuff that they get for free, and stuff that veterans groups we have talked to say they don't need, they don't want, they can't use.

Here's one now infamous example, Coconut M&Ms, thousands of packages. DVNF sent one veterans group more than 11,000 of these bags of M&Ms, 2,600 bags of cough drops, 2,200 little bottles of sanitizer lotion, because that's just apparently what they think disabled veterans need. Probably not. That's just stuff that they were given for free.

Veterans groups have also received bulk shipments of chef's aprons, military dress shoes, random donations so useless that vets groups have had to sell the items at yard sales, like that one, just so they can try to raise some money for things they actually need.

So where did the $56 million that people donated to DVNF actually go?


GRIFFIN: As far as we can tell, up to the 10th floor of this Manhattan office building to a company called Quadriga Art, a company that specializes in fund-raising. And as far as we can tell, Quadriga Art knows a lot about fund-raising -- for itself.


COOPER: So this group Quadriga Art is basically paid to build mailing lists for groups like DVNF. That's where the money trail took Drew.

He learned that Quadriga Art and its subsidiaries have more than 500 charities on their client list, including DVNF and other veterans groups. So let's just be clear here. The money trail leads from unsuspecting wallets of concerned Americans, good people like you, who donate money to the DVNF, straight to the bottom line of a fund- raising company, the companies of Quadriga Art and its subsidiaries.

But it's the charity DVNF that is now being investigated because of its tax-exempt status, because all of us are giving it a tax break for the good work that it's supposed to be doing.

In the words of Senate Baucus -- quote -- "Our veterans should never be use as pawns in a scheme to exploit the taxpayers. DVNF has a responsibility to show it's genuinely helping veterans and playing by the rules."

Senator Max Baucus joins us now.

We should point out that this is a bipartisan effort initiated as well by a Republican committee member, Richard Burr of North Carolina. Also with us tonight is Drew Griffin, because there's a lot more to the story.

Senator, what is your goal with this investigation?

SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D), MONTANA: I don't want retired schoolteachers or any other good Americans to be duped by fraudulent organizations into giving money, thinking it is going to go to disabled vets, when in fact it's not at all. It's going in to pad the pockets of some scam artists. I want to stop this stuff.

COOPER: What concerns you most about this Disabled National Veterans Foundation?

BAUCUS: I -- it sounds like it's a front. I don't think it's legit.

They take about $56 million from ordinary good Americans who want to help veterans, but then don't give any of the money to veterans and in this case don't give any money to disabled veterans. It's just -- it's an outrage, frankly.


COOPER: Had you heard about the DVNF before?

BAUCUS: I have not, frankly. You highlighted it in one of your reports. And we got to looking at it and asked a lot of questions of the organization that they're not answering.

An outfit that rates charitable organizations gave them an F. And so we have spent more time looking at them.

COOPER: A big part of it seems to be all the money is being funneled to this organization Quadriga Art, which basically organizations use to boost their mailing list.

BAUCUS: Right. Right.

COOPER: And does that make sense to you and will that be part of the investigation as well?

BAUCUS: Well, clearly, frankly, I smell a rat there.

I have a hunch that that outfit, the mail order is using the veterans organization as a front for themselves. So they get the contributions from good, well-meaning, gullible Americans thinking they're helping disabled vets, when in fact the money is going to this other outfit, Quadriga, as a fund-raising operation, and none of the money is going to disabled vets.

We're going to be looking at all that. And I have a hunch unfortunately that there are other fraudulent, scam organizations like this as well. And we're going to do what we can to get to the bottom of it.

COOPER: And, Drew Griffin, Drew, you actually talked to another organization which it also has a contract with Quadriga that they're trying to get out of. And they at least off camera acknowledged that they were kind of trapped into this contract with this group.

GRIFFIN: Yes. They were trapped.

Well, I'm saying that. They aren't saying that. They are in a long-term contract for six years, which lasts until 2014, the National Veterans Foundation, which took in $18 million -- or excuse me -- took in $22 million or $20 million and gave $18 million of it back to Quadriga and its subsidiary, Brickmill. They did say they weren't happy with how this all worked out. And they have severed ties with them are now trying to break their contract.

COOPER: Senator, a big part of what Drew has uncovered seems to be kind of a shell game.

The charity, DVNF, they take credit for enormous amounts of money on their tax returns, but deliver a lot of stuff to veterans groups that veteran groups say they don't need, that it's basically useless, surplus dress shoes, chef's coats, hats, thousands of bags of Coconut M&Ms, and they claim it as goods in kind, so it will look good to the IRS.

Do you think the IRS needs to take a hard look at what this group actually does for veterans?

BAUCUS: There's no question there's some kind of a shell game, some kind of a scam going on here. And I don't know who's getting the money. It's certainly not disabled vets that are getting the money.

And I have a hunch there are other organizations like this. And it might -- the scam might be partly the disabled veteran foundation, and they're ripping people off. The scam could also be partly this other mailer outfit that is getting a lot of money that's on the receiving end of it.

So we just to get to the bottom of it.

COOPER: Drew, you have been struggling now for years to even get basic answers from DVNF and also this Quadriga.

GRIFFIN: Yes. For two years, we get nothing but phone calls that aren't returned. You know, we got a door slammed. We even went out to Sacramento last week, as you recall, Anderson, trying to find the person who runs this DVNF.

She was supposed to be at a concert, and she canceled at the last minute at a conference there. And we want to ask the same questions that the senator is asking and that you're asking. How can Americans who are so generous be pouring so much money and giving from their hearts to our disabled veterans right now coming back from the war, thinking the money is going to do good? It's doing no good. It's going all the way to the fund-raiser.

And, number one, where is the money? From the senator, and from you, Anderson, as I recall, how do you sleep at night?

COOPER: Yes. That's the question I would like to -- Senator, that's -- I'm sure that's -- I know that's not one of the questions you asked to the DVNF, but that's probably one of the questions you would like to ask. How do these people who are raising money on the backs of the disabled veterans, and not giving it directly to the veterans, I don't understand how they sleep at night.

BAUCUS: Well, there are a lot of unfortunate bad apples.

Let's not forget most charitable organizations are good. They do very good work, and this country probably wouldn't exist without all the charitable foundations that we have in this country. But there are a few rotten apples that take advantage of gullible, good American citizens.

And this one that frankly it really ticks me off personally, because we in Montana have the highest sign-up in the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq per capita. We're patriotic. And a lot of our men and women, they come home, they're disabled, they're injured and they're wounded.

And it just makes me angry, frankly, that some outfit wants to take advantage of gullible people for their own personal benefit, at the expense of veterans.

COOPER: And it makes it harder for reputable organizations that want to help vets.

BAUCUS: Yes, it does.

COOPER: It makes it harder for them to raise money. It takes money away from them.

Senator, I appreciate you being on this. And we will continue to follow it, your efforts, and Drew Griffin as well.

BAUCUS: You bet.

COOPER: Thank you. BAUCUS: Well, Anderson, thank you for your good work, because you spotlighted this. That's good work.

COOPER: Well, it's Drew Griffin who really has done it all. So I appreciate it, Senator.

BAUCUS: You bet. You bet.

COOPER: Drew and David Fitzpatrick, producer.

One final note. We talked about Drew's many unsuccessful attempts to get DVNF president Precilla Wilkewitz to answer questions about the charity that she runs.

This evening, the group sent the following statement. It reads in parts -- quote -- "The Disabled Veterans National Foundation has helped tens of thousands of veterans with direct financial aid and supplies that have made a difference in their lives. Media reports about our activities have been plain wrong and we welcome the opportunity to set the record straight."

Let me just point out for the record, we have given them multiple opportunities to try to set the record straight, in their words. Again, we invite her at any point to talk to Drew, come on this show. We will talk to them.

To say that -- you know, that this is misleading, and that they're going to set the record straight, we have been waiting for two years to try to get them to set the record straight. It's -- it's ridiculous.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight.

Up next: the part of Mitt Romney's record that no one seems to be talking about with all the shouting over Bain Capital, namely, his record as governor of Massachusetts. We will look at it next.


COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" now on the campaign trail.

For weeks now -- it seems like forever -- we have been watching the Romney and Obama campaigns battling over Mitt Romney's job creation record at Bain Capital. As you heard, President Obama now says this is going to be a central part of the campaign.

Now, you can agree or disagree about whether that record at Bain Capital is anything to brag about or it's fair game to attack or even if it belongs in the campaign at all, if it shows what he's going to be like as a leader.

Mitt Romney though does have another record when it comes to job creation, his time as governor of Massachusetts. So instead of talking about Bain tonight, we're going to talk about that.

First, though, the news he made on the issue, promising to put Americans back to work and setting a goal. Watch.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we put in place, we will get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent, or perhaps a little lower.

It depends in part upon the rate of growth of the globe, as well as what we're seeing here in the United States. But we get the rate down quite substantially.


COOPER: Now, his critics say that he's essentially promising something right there that may happen anyhow, no matter who's in office.

In the words of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's projection earlier this year -- quote -- "As economic growth picks up after 2013, the unemployment rate will gradually decline to around 7 percent by the end of 2015, before dropping to near 5.5 percent by the end of 2017." And by the end of 2016, the CBO estimates the jobless rate will be 6.3 percent, which is pretty close to what Governor Romney is there promising.

Now, that 6 percent he mentioned today is also -- it's actually a lower standard that he's apparently holding the White House accountable to. When the last batch of jobless numbers came out, you may remember he said -- quote -- "Anything over 4 percent is not cause for celebration."

Whatever the figure, though, he mentions jobs and his knowledge about how to create jobs whenever and wherever he can.


ROMNEY: I know what it takes to create jobs.

Not just watch jobs being created, but actually creating jobs.

I will first make America the most attractive place in the world for job growth, for investment, for small business, for big business.

I understand what it takes for businesses to thrive and create jobs. Create real jobs. Create jobs. Create jobs. Create jobs. It's time for someone who knows how to create jobs.


COOPER: So "Keeping Them Honest," how did he do actually when he was chief executive of a big state, Massachusetts?

The campaign says -- quote -- "As governor, he confronted an economy very similar to Obama's economy." They went on to say, "Under his leadership and economic reforms, the Massachusetts unemployment went from 5.6 percent to 4.7 percent, and the state had a positive record of nearly 50,000 new jobs created."

Now, that is absolutely true. However, Northeastern University economist Andrew Sum tells "The Washington Post" the jobless rate fell because so many people left the work force. And in fairness, the same thing is happening to President Obama now.

Yet Governor Romney is blaming the president for that and taking credit for the same thing when he was governor in Massachusetts.

Governor Romney inherited hard economic times in Massachusetts when he started office, but there were hard economic times nationwide. And while there was some recovery during his time in office, as he rightly points out, there was recovery nationwide. And when compared to the rest of the country, in fact, the job market in Massachusetts was slower to recover than all but three other states, 47th nationally in job creation.

One of those other states, as James Carville pointed out last night, was Louisiana, hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Now, as Governor Mitt Romney faced a Democratic-controlled legislature and could not enact all the programs he wanted, that's also true. That's one of the things he points out. The fact remains when he took office, the state ranked 37th in job creation, went from number 37 to 47.

I'm joined now by chief political analyst Gloria Borger and chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, host of "STATE OF THE UNION."

So, Gloria, does it surprise you at this point that the Obama campaign is focusing more on Bain Capital than they are about Romney's Massachusetts job creation, or do you think it's just a matter of time?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think it's a matter of time.

I think they're going to get to Massachusetts. We're starting to hear a little bit of it now. They're going to talk about those job creation numbers. But I think the reason they have decided to do Bain Capital first is that this is the moment when you try and define your opponent.

They have looked at the polls. They see that Mitt Romney does best when it comes to the question of who's better able to manage the economy. So they kind of want to disqualify his business experience argument. And, also, Bain Capital for them -- or so they think -- allows them to make a values argument against Mitt Romney, to say, you know what, this man doesn't have the values to be president because he's really not a job creator, like he's telling you. Actually, he is a job killer.

And so they will move on from this to the Massachusetts story. You can be sure that'll be coming up next.

COOPER: But, Candy, all of Mitt Romney's Republican challengers during the primaries, they used the Massachusetts argument, tried to use it against Mitt Romney, didn't apparently seem to work with voters.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And this is why the struggle for who gets to define you takes so long.

We don't know yet how the general public -- that was a Republican group and who in fact got quite upset for some of Romney' opponents for going after Bain, and talking the vulture language, that he was a corporate raider, et cetera, et cetera. Did not set well with that particular group.

We don't know how it will sit in particular with the 6, 7, 8, 9 percent of swing voters that will end up probably deciding this race. I think it matters where they live. I think it matters, you know, in what areas they think this economy is weak.

And it also matters, Anderson, not just what Mitt Romney has done or what Barack Obama has done, but who they think actually might be able to take the country into the future. So they're not just selling their past records. They're selling kind of that -- to bring it back up again, they're selling hope.

And whoever can do that best and say I'm your guy is going to end up winning.

COOPER: But, Gloria, clearly, the Obama campaign wants to make this election not a referendum on President Obama's record of economic -- his economic record, but a referendum on a choice between these two candidates.

BORGER: Right. Right.

They definitely want to make it a choice. And that's why they're talking about Bain Capital and the president the other day saying, look, Mitt Romney may have some business experience, but it's not the kind of experience you would need as president.

But in the end, Anderson, when you have an incumbent president, he's got a record that he's got to define. And if the American public doesn't think you have done a good job, they're not going to rehire you. That's why what worries the Obama campaign right now are some of these economic numbers which show -- there was one today in "The Wall Street Journal"/NBC poll which said that over 60 percent of the American public doesn't believe their children's lives are going to be better than their lives.

That's a very difficult number if you're sitting there in Chicago running the Obama campaign.

COOPER: It is difficult, Candy, to overcome.

The flip side is that if there is an upward trend heading into the fall, then Romney has to come up with some other viable plan B.

CROWLEY: Well, I think he has his plan B out there, which is, listen, we're all happy that the economy is getting better, because in fact they have already had to deal with this because there are signs the economy is better. It's clearly better than when President Obama took office.

The question as they will posit it from camp Romney is, look how much money we spent to get it to this point. He's going about this the wrong way. He drove us into debt to, you know, the tune of almost $1 trillion with the stimulus plan and other things that he's doing and he's still headed in the wrong direction.

So the plan B is already kind out there right now. Right now, it's been about how good is the economy, but it's also going to be how much does it cost to get us here, which everybody admits is not far enough.

COOPER: Right.


BORGER: And it's also going to be, Mitt Romney is going to say, you know what? If I had been president, we would have gotten there faster.

COOPER: Faster, right.

Gloria, Candy Crowley, thanks very much.

Coming up: the outrage over a doctor in Pakistan who helped the CIA, helped America track down Osama bin Laden allegedly getting a 33- year sentence in Pakistan for treason -- details ahead.


COOPER: One hundred and twenty-two girls, three teachers poisoned at school. We will tell you where the attack took place when we continue.


COOPER: Tonight's "360 World View": A doctor in Pakistan has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason for helping the United States track down Osama bin Laden.

You heard that right. This man, the man who attempted to help capture a mass murderer, has been sentenced to prison for 33 for trying to help. Shakil Afridi is his name. He's a doctor. He was sentenced by a tribal court after a two-month trial. The tribal justice system didn't allow him to actually defend himself.

Afridi helped the CIA use a vaccination campaign to try to verify bin Laden's presence in the Abbottabad compound, where he was killed in the U.S. raid in May of 2011. It actually didn't work.

A statement from U.S. senators, including John McCain, calls the sentence shocking, outrageous. I want to talk about it now with CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend, a member of the external advisory board for the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security.

It's incredible that this would happen. How do you explain it?

FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, first, you know, there's lots we don't know, Anderson, because it remains heavily classified.

We don't know whether or not the CIA had planned to exfiltrate him and was unsuccessful and whether he didn't want to go, because oftentimes with extended families, an asset doesn't want to leave.

COOPER: Right.

TOWNSEND: So we don't know really why he remained after the raid.

Look, this tribal court is not anything anybody -- any American would associate with due process, right? As you said, he couldn't defend himself. It was very limited in terms of the process that was wrapped around this. What hasn't happened yet is, there's an ongoing federal investigation in Pakistan where they're also looking at treason charges.

The federal case, when that comes to a conclusion, if he's charged with treason, he could face the death penalty.

COOPER: So, is it possible though that the federal court could overturn the tribal court in Pakistan?

TOWNSEND: Well, our understanding from the Pakistani legal experts is that Afridi, Dr. Afridi could appeal into this federal system, and depending on who you talk to, it sounds as though he'd probably have a pretty good chance of getting it overturned.

But this is -- there's high-stakes diplomacy going on.

COOPER: Right.

TOWNSEND: We know Senator Clinton intervened in his behalf and there's been other senior-level visits, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marty Dempsey, Secretary Panetta, David Petraeus from the CIA.

COOPER: So, is this the kind of thing that in a back room somewhere, a deal could be made?

TOWNSEND: Sure. We have seen instances where that...


COOPER: Right. There was an American, right.

TOWNSEND: Right, the CIA contractor who was held for an extended period of time, and ultimately he got out because there was money paid to the family of the victim.

And so, yes, there are -- what's most important is both sides have to be careful about how strident their public statements are, because, of course, there are these backroom negotiations going on. And they have to give themselves...


COOPER: Right. So the more they yell about it in public on the U.S. side, then the harder some sort of negotiation or deal becomes?

TOWNSEND: That's right, because in the end, both sides are going to have to claim that they got something, they won something.

COOPER: But relations between Pakistan and the U.S., I mean, are at a really, really bad point.

TOWNSEND: That's exactly right.

And so, likely, what the Pakistanis are looking for out of the Afridi negotiation is some leverage. Right? What they want is some commitment from the United States that in terms of going on a go- forward basis that the U.S. won't use Pakistani citizens on Pakistani soil without working those assets jointly.

COOPER: Right.

Interesting. Fran, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

There's a lot more we're following tonight. Isha is here with a 360 "News and Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan apologized on Capitol Hill for the prostitution scandal plaguing his agency.

In a grilling by a Senate panel, Sullivan said the agents involved in the incident at a Colombia hotel were reckless. He insisted it was a one-time event, but lawmakers were skeptical.

More than 120 girls and three teachers were poisoned at an Afghan school with some sort of spray. The Taliban is being blamed. Testing is under way to determine which poison was used.

Check your refrigerator. Marketside baby spinach, the 10-ounce clamshell bag, and Private Selections organic baby spinach, the five- ounce bag, are being recalled because of possible salmonella contamination. Both have a best buy date of May 25.

And look behind this happy couple at this Kansas wedding. That is a tornado. One of two in the area during the ceremonies.

Wowzles -- Anderson.

COOPER: Isha, thanks. Charles Worley, the North Carolina pastor who laid out a detailed plan from his pulpit to eliminate gays and lesbians, or as he said, the queers and homosexuals and lesbians, he isn't backing down. And he also isn't talking to us.

Others in the community are. Some who support him, some who don't. You'll hear from them ahead.


COOPER: A North Carolina pastor's detailed plan to eliminate gays and lesbians has sparked an uproar far beyond his pulpit. His supporters, however, digging in. We'll hear from one of them, just ahead.


COOPER: Hey, welcome back. We're "Digging Deeper" tonight on the North Carolina pastor who preached about a plan to eliminate all gays and lesbians, using electrified fences.

The pastor's name is Charles Worley. He preaches at Providence Road Baptist Church not far from Charlotte, North Carolina. Now, a couple of weeks ago on Mother's Day, he lashed out at President Obama's support for same-sex marriage and laid out his plan for eliminating gays and lesbians.


REV. CHARLES WORLEY, PROVIDENCE ROAD BAPTIST ROAD: I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all of the lesbians and queers. But I couldn't get it passed through Congress. Build a great, big, large fence, 150 or a 100-mile long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. And have that fence electrified until they can't get out. Feed them and you know what? In a few years they'll die out. Do you know why? They can't reproduce.


COOPER: Now, in case you're thinking maybe his words were taken out of context, in that very same sermon, Pastor Worley doubled down, basically saying he knew what he was saying was controversial. Listen.


WORLEY: I'll tell you right now, somebody said who you going to vote for? I ain't gonna vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover.


WORLEY: He said, "Did you mean to say that?" You better believe I did.


WORLEY: God have mercy. It makes me puking sick.


COOPER: Well, his church apparently saw nothing wrong or surprising about the sermon, because they posted his entire 90-minute- long sermon on his Web site.

A group called the Catawba Valley Citizens against Hate is organizing a protest this coming weekend. On their Facebook page, they say they're now expecting so many people they're moving the protest to a bigger location.

Now despite all this, Pastor Worley is not backing off his message. This past Sunday he preached again about gays and lesbians. His tone and the language seemed more restrained, but his message was clear.


WORLEY: All of those sodomites and lesbians and all of the -- what's the other word?


WORLEY: Gays -- I didn't want to say queers -- saying that we don't love you. I love you more than you love yourself. But I'm praying for you to be saved, and you can't go to heaven unless you're washed in the blood. And God saves us from our sins, not in our sins.


COOPER: Well, we sent Gary Tuchman to North Carolina to try to talk to Pastor Worley in person. For two days now he's tried to track him down through e-mails, phone calls, showing up at his church. None of that has worked. He has talked to other people in the community.

Gary joins me now. Gary, what are you hearing?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know where Pastor Worley is, Anderson. He's right in the sanctuary behind me, because for the second night in a row, there's a special prayer service going on inside this church.

There are hundreds of people inside right now. These are people who support their pastor and support what he said on Mother's Day.

We can tell you, normally when we cover stories, we're allowed in any church. We have been told by the sheriff's office here that, if we step foot on this property, we'll be subject to arrest, and that's because the church told the county sheriff's office to say that. So we have not been able to talk to this pastor.

We can tell you we spent part of this day talking to a woman who's been to up to 20 of these services over the years and has heard this pastor's sermon at least 20 times over the years. She is not one of the people inside this building. We'll tell you why. We'll call her Jane. We're protecting her identity.

There are two reasons she's not here. One, she's not a member. She goes because a close relative is a member.

But the No. 2 reason is the more important reason: she is a lesbian who lives here, and she's very outraged about these comments.

However, she has a very complex feeling about this pastor. Now, we're protecting her identity because, although she's open about being a lesbian, she has two small children. Her children's friends' parents, not all of them know she's a lesbian.


TUCHMAN: When you heard these comments that he made on Mother's Day, Pastor Worley, how did you feel?

"JANE", HAS ATTENDED WORLEY'S CHURCH: I was saddened. I was disappointed.

TUCHMAN: Were you surprised?

JANE: I was not surprised.

TUCHMAN: And tell me why you weren't surprised.

JANE: I've been aware of his opinions and his beliefs about homosexuality.

TUCHMAN: Have you heard him utter similar comments over the years when you have attended the church?

JANE: I've heard comments along those same lines in the past.

TUCHMAN: If you had a chance to talk to him now -- and perhaps you will soon, because it's a small town -- would you say something to him about this?

JANE: I would -- I would say hello. I would extend my hand. And I would say, "You've been going through a tough time. This is a very difficult situation for our community. And I pray for you, for hope, healing, peace, tolerance."


COOPER: Well, Gary, there's word of protest here this weekend. What are you hearing about that?

TUCHMAN: Yes, what we're being told by the civil rights group is they expect up to 2,000 people to turn out in this county. You mentioned before they have to move the location. They wanted to do it here, but it's too small of an area. They expect to do it by the county courthouse, but they expect it to be a very large protest. I should also tell you, Anderson, like I said, we've been trying to talk to this pastor. We've not been able to. We talked to one woman who left the service. All she would tell us is that this pastor is shocked at the national reaction to what's happened.

COOPER: Gary, appreciate the reporting. Thank you.

Pastor Worley obviously has strong support within the community. There's some 1,200 seats in his church. Gary said there's a service going on right now.

Stacy Pritchard is one of the church members. She joins us tonight.

Stacy, I know you're a defender of Pastor Worley, and I appreciate you coming on the program. Do you agree with his statements that he said on the pulpit, that gays and lesbians should be put in -- behind electrified fences until they die out?

STACY PRITCHARD, CHURCH MEMBER: I believe that that was taken -- I mean, yes, he said that, but of course, he would never want that to be done. Of course, people are going to take it and make it their own way and make it into what they want to. But I agree with what the sermon was and what it was about.

COOPER: But you're saying he doesn't want it done, but he said he wanted it done on the -- he said it from the pulpit. How do you -- why do you interpret that's not what wants?

PRITCHARD: As I say, OK, let me -- let me try to say it a different way. Maybe -- maybe that's what he felt like should be done. I mean, it could be said either way.

OK, to make the short of it, yes I agree with him. If they can't get the message that that's wrong, then, you know, they can't reproduce, and eventually, they would die.

COOPER: So you believe only that gay people are only born of other gay people? You're saying they can't...


COOPER: You're saying they can't reproduce, so therefore they would all die off? But aren't gay people born...

PRITCHARD: If a man...

COOPER: Gay people get born to straight parents all the time, no?

PRITCHARD: No, that's not what I meant. If man and man were in the same fence, and women were in the same fence, they can't reproduce together. That's what I mean.

COOPER: Right. But that wouldn't eliminate all gay people. There would be more gay people born outside the fence to straight people. Wouldn't there?

PRITCHARD: Exactly. But we were meaning the ones in there. See, it's all taken out of context and twisted. The main point is always the same.

COOPER: So what is it about gay people that are worse than adulterers, who Leviticus points out, and people who curse their mothers and fathers, who should be put to death, and promiscuous girls, who can be put to death in Deuteronomy? What makes gay people worse than those people?

PRITCHARD: From the Bible there is -- there is no difference. That is what he was talking about.

COOPER: So you believe people who -- you believe adulterers should be put to death, because there's in the Bible?

PRITCHARD: Like you said, like it was said, you know, just not really whatever happened. But yes, OK, I'm not going to keep answering the same question over and over again. Yes.

COOPER: So is it -- does it seem Christian to you, though, to talk about putting people behind electrified fences and watching them die? Because I've talked to a number of pastors over the past couple of days who says that just doesn't sound Christian. That just doesn't sound like the message of love that they hear in the Bible.

PRITCHARD: People keep, once again, harping, harping, harping on the electric fence, this and that. It's about the homosexuals, and it's wrong. That's what it's about.

COOPER: But you would understand why some people would be -- would feel this is -- this is wrong to say. I mean, you say people are harping on it. Do you understand why some people might be concerned? I mean, if some people were talking about putting Jews behind electrified fences, I imagine that would be of concern to you.

PRITCHARD: Well, you know, it's not -- here we go again. You know, nobody is going to put them behind an electric fence.

COOPER: Actually. That has happened. It's called the Holocaust. It has happened. You said nobody is going to kill homosexuals. Homosexuals are killed around the world. It's happening right now in Iraq. It's happening right now in Iran.

PRITCHARD: Yes. And this is 2012.

COOPER: Right. It's happening right now in 2012 in Iraq and Iran.

PRITCHARD: Yes. And you know -- and you know what? This is a pastor that speaks the word of God. Anybody can take it any way they want to. And if they don't like it, they don't have to. They can turn -- turn around and go on.

COOPER: Stacy Pritchard, I appreciate you being on the program. I know it's a difficult topic, so thank you.

PRITCHARD: Sure, yes, thank you so much.

COOPER: That's one of the supporters of Pastor Worley in that town in North Carolina.

More news tonight. A new development in the death of a Florida A&M University drum major who died after -- during a school hazing ritual. A fellow student saying he asked to be hazed. Details ahead.


COOPER: Tonight a "360 Follow" on the hazing case that's led to the suspension of Florida A&M's marching band and the arrest of 13 people. Now 11 are charged with third-degree felony hazing in the death of drum major Robert Champion last November. He was beaten to death aboard a bus after a football game.

According to court documents released just today, some of the band members charged in his death told police that Champion chose to go through the hazing ritual that ended up killing him. CNN's George Howell joins -- joins me now.

We've learned a lot of stuff that we didn't know before in these documents.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, basically, we are getting a better sense of the politics of hazing. We're hearing from these witnesses, some of the suspects, the statements that they gave the investigators.

And they describe hazing as a rite of passage or a ritual, something band members wanted to go through. They also say -- and we heard this from two people and a former drug major -- that Robert Champion wanted to go through with hazing.

Now, Anderson, you know, you've interviewed Pam Champion. She has said that her son did not want to go through hazing. This flies in the face of that.

In fact, along with the hundreds, the thousands of documents that was released, there were some audio recordings. And you can hear one of these drum majors talking about the fact that he says Robert wanted to go through with it. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you talk to Robert before this went on? Because you said it was against what he believed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you guys have a conversation about the fact that -- what you were doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We was talking about it. He really -- he really didn't want to do it. But he was kind of like, "I'm just going to do it."

You know, I told him, I said, "If you don't want to do it, don't do it. You know? You don't got to do it, like, you don't have to do it."


COOPER: So doing it was a way to kind of gain respect in the squad?

HOWELL: Getting credibility within the band. Yes. And you know, Pam Champion held a news conference in Atlanta, described this as shocking and described it as character assassination against her son, saying that these band members are doing whatever they can do to protect themselves, to pass the buck.

COOPER: There's also more details about exactly what happened on that bus.

HOWELL: You know, these witnesses, the suspects, they paint this picture. On the bus, on November 19 -- so the bus was dark. And this apparently happened toward the back of the bus. Some witnesses say there were adults, supervisors, on the bus in front. But again this happened toward the back.

They describe these two hazing rituals. The first is the hot seat, where a person sits in a seat and the band members put a blanket over the person. Beat and punch repeatedly.

The other is crossing Bus "C," and they describe this as Robert Champion trying to get to the back of the bus but other band members pulling him back, trying to stop him from getting there, all the while attacking him.

COOPER: Just so sad (ph). George, I appreciate the reporting.

HOWELL: Thank you.

COOPER: Thank you very much.

Isha is back with a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

SESAY: Anderson, a historic day in Egypt. Polls are now closed in the country's presidential election more than a year after the uprising that brought down Hosni Mubarak. With 13 candidates on the ballot, results aren't expected until the weekend. If no candidate wins a majority, a second round of voting is set for mid-June.

And a programming vote: be sure to tune in this Friday night at 8 and 10 Eastern for our special report, "Arab Spring: Revolution Interrupted." Our focus will be on Egypt, Syria and other countries in the headlines.

Former secretary of state, Colin Powell, said today that he supports same-sex marriage on "THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER." Powell said legal same-sex marriage seems to be the way we should be moving in this country, and he has no problem with it.

Three investors have filed a class-action lawsuit over last week's Facebook IPO. The lawsuit claims performance estimates for the company were not shared with all investors. Facebook says the lawsuit has no merit.

And the Library of Congress has added 25 songs to the National Recording Registry. Some you might recognize: "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

COOPER: "A Charlie Brown Christmas?"


COOPER: I like that one.

SESAY: You do?


SESAY: I have Donna Summer on that for you, Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight." And Prince and the Revolution's "Purple Rain."

Now, Anderson, to be clear, to be added to the registry, the songs have to be at least ten years ago and deemed, quote, "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."

COOPER: OK. They seem like all good choices then.

SESAY: Any of them on your playlist?

COOPER: Not currently, no. No.

SESAY: What is -- what's on your playlist?

COOPER: A lot of Rihanna. I run to Rihanna a lot. I know.

SESAY: That is a very surprising admission from you.

COOPER: Really? Is it really?

SESAY: You never fail to surprise me.

COOPER: What? I mean, it's like poppy -- I like to run to, like, poppy stuff. Pop stuff.

SESAY: I'm just saying it's kind of cool.

COOPER: I don't think it's cool. I don't think anything I do is cool, but...

SESAY: Rihanna, you don't think Rihanna is cool?

COOPER: I like Rihanna a lot. Clearly. I think she's very, very talented. SESAY: She's cool is my point. Not you. That was the point I was making.

COOPER: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Ow. That hurt. Words hurt, Isha. Words hurt.

SESAY: Don't be like that. I'm here to make you cool.

COOPER: Oh, well, thank you. Yes, I will -- will draft in your shadow.

Well, tonight, one cool dad who knows how to keep his kids entertained in the car. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see a little silhouette of the a man, got a mush, got a mush, will you do the fandango. Very, very frightening me. Galileo, Galileo.


COOPER: He says it's become a habit to sing "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the way to school in the morning. They've been doing it for a while. The kids know all the words, even the little guy in the car seat in the back.

SESAY: Impressive.

COOPER: He said, depending on traffic, they can usually start the song as they pull out of the driveway and pull into the school just as it ends. So...

SESAY: That is pretty impressive. Even I don't know all the words.

COOPER: I think so.

Coming up if you thought it was sort of odd when Prince Charles did the weather report, that was only the beginning. The royal hijinks continue. "The RidicuList" is next.

COOPER: Hey time for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding the artist formerly known as Prince Charles.

Now, I'm not talking about the new Prince Charles. I mean, the old Prince Charles, the one who seemed perhaps a bit staid, maybe a bit on the reserved side, a little introverted. You know, the Prince Charles from back in the old days, the old days about two weeks ago.

If you heard about him at all back then, it would be because he was watching a polo match or painting watercolors or whatever he did. But oh, what a difference a fortnight makes. Because now we've been swept into a veritable maelstrom of the madcap antics of Prince Charles, version 2.0.




And now.


COOPER: Your eyes did not deceive you. That was Prince Charles getting a DJ lesson in Toronto. The Fresh Prince is the easy headline, of course, but if you'll remember the Fresh Prince was the rapper. Jazzy Jeff was actually the DJ. So I'm going with two turntables and a monotone.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's the sound you want to hear. There you go.

Then if you want to come to this side. And now to that side.


COOPER: So there seems to be something of a movement afoot to change Prince Charles' image. Make him seem more approachable or something. Because really, what's more approachable than a 63-year- old British guy DJ'ing in a suit? Nothing. The answer is there is nothing more approachable than that. Except maybe for that same guy talking about the weather.


PRINCE CHARLES, UNITED KINGDOM: We are under the influence of low pressure. and this weather front pushing northwards is bringing cloud and outbreaks of rain.

There will be snow for the higher ground of the highlands and Avadicia (ph). The potential for a few flurries over Balmoral -- who the hell wrote this script -- as the afternoon goes on.

But a cold day everywhere with temperatures of just 8 Celsius and a brisk northeasterly wind. Thank God it isn't a bank holiday.


COOPER: Oh, smashing.

Yes, the new Prince Charles does it all. He quips about bank holidays. He lays down the fat beats -- I will never use that phrase again, I promise. It didn't sound right at all. I apologize.

The point is out with the old, in with the new. Prince Charles, version 2.0, reigns supreme on "The RidicuList."

OK, that's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.