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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Dennis Rodman and the Dictator; Smearing a Senator?; Inside a Sinkhole; Aggressive Treatment Holds Promise; Deadly Deception, Dirty Details
Aired March 4, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
And we have breaking news tonight involving a leading U.S. senator and allegations he had sex with teen prostitutes.
Also tonight, what kind of couple were they? Jodi Arias offering graphic new testimony today about Travis Alexander, the man she's now painting as a sexual aggressor, a physical abuser and a man she says she still loved right up until the day she killed him.
Later tonight, Dennis Rodman on what he sees in a man he calls a friend who also happens to be the North Korea's brutal leader -- why the former NBA star put on a show for Kim Jong-un. We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight with insight from Laura Ling, who you may remember was in prison in North Korea, and her sister Lisa Ling, who led the fight to free her.
We begin tonight, though, with breaking news, evidence that an especially damaging allegation about a powerful senator was simply made up. Made up by whom, we don't exactly know for sure. But we know part of the plot was fabricated by a member of the world's oldest profession, a prostitute for the world's best-known motive, money.
The senator is Robert Menendez of New Jersey seen here answering questions from Dana Bash about allegations of financial improprieties involving flights to the Dominican Republic. However, the truly explosive charges had to do with what he allegedly did while there.
The conservative Web site Daily Caller first reported them, the site running video from nameless women who say they have sex with the senator for money.
The charges were serious enough that we sent Drew Griffin to the Dominican Republic to investigate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: A run-down brothel in Santo Domingo is hardly the place for serious journalism, and yet here we are, knocking on its door and finding yet another mysterious clue leading to another closed door.
(on camera): Hello? (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Drew found nothing to corroborate the allegations. Neither did the FBI. And tonight CNN has obtained evidence which casts further doubt on those allegations, affidavits from one of the women who appeared on that original video, saying it was all a put-up job, saying she was paid to make the tape, and has never met Senator Menendez in her life.
But there's more to it than that.
Joe Johns is working with his sources, has more late details. Also with us is Carol Leonnig with "The Washington Post" who also broke the story.
Carol, a lawyer gave a script to another lawyer, who found a prostitute to read it? I mean, can you walk us through what you know? It seems confusing.
CAROL LEONNIG, "THE WASHINGTON POST": It sounds really fantastical, especially when we were given some of these documents.
But when we read them and my colleague Ernesto Londono translated them, what we saw was that a woman who describes herself as an escort said she was approached by a lawyer with her co-worker. They were asked if they would go to a hotel room and if they would read some language aloud, which they did.
That lawyer, who they identified, has now gone to the court with them in the Dominican Republic, and said he was also hoodwinked, that a separate lawyer, a second lawyer told him he needed a videotape of some women saying they had been unfaithful with a particular client, and this client had been unfaithful against his wife, that he was a divorce lawyer.
And when the tape surfaced at The Daily Caller, of course, it became big news in the Dominican Republic, and this escort and this lawyer both said, wait a minute, that's us. We didn't realize that we were slandering a U.S. senator and one of his most important donors, when we were just reading this stuff aloud.
COOPER: It's fascinating. In early February, CNN's Dana Bash caught up with Senator Menendez and asked him about these allegations about underage prostitutes. I just want to play that for our viewers. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: It's amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a Web site can drive that type of story into the mainstream. But that's what they have done successfully. Now nobody can find them. No one ever met them. No one ever talked to them. But that's where we're at.
So the bottom line is, all of those smears are absolutely false. And that's the bottom line. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joe, what is the senator's office saying about this tonight?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they say they're not jumping for joy, Anderson.
The senator was at the Capitol today. The only thing Menendez says he knows about this story is what he's read in the news media. But he also says he's been saying all along that there was nothing to this. So at least this part of the story, apparently, they're feeling pretty vindicated.
COOPER: Carol, is there a sense of why this woman, this escort is changing her story, coming out with what she says is the truth now? There are those people who will say, well, maybe she was telling the truth the first time around and now under pressure she's just reversing it.
LEONNIG: I don't think this is a case of a person changing her testimony, based solely on the affidavit. If you look at what she wrote, she basically said she had no idea she was being taped, that that was surreptitious, and that the lawyer who was the intermediary thought he was doing something kind of untoward, but did not realize this was about a U.S. senator.
Remember, in the tape, the women are asked whether they recognize a particular person. They're not asked to identify a U.S. senator. They're asked, do you recognize this guy? And has he ever hired you? And they tell this kind of crazy story about how they said they wanted $500, but they only got $100.
Now they're going to be in court tomorrow morning in the Dominican Republic seeking protective immunity, saying that they were the unwitting dupes in this smear campaign. And, Anderson, you asked the perfect question, what's really behind this? That, we don't know yet. If we take these -- this woman and this lawyer's word for it, there is something bigger behind this in terms of somebody who hired that lawyer to get this rolling.
COOPER: Yes. And certainly there's a lot more to be learned.
In terms, Joe, of the larger investigation, the senator's troubles are far from over, because there are other allegations here, not just the prostitution thing.
JOHNS: That's true, Anderson. There's a wide-ranging investigation going on into the senator's dealings with his friend, Dr. Salomon Melgen, Florida eye doctor, also questions about alleged health care fraud.
Dr. Melgen was a big contributor to Senator Menendez. The senator rode in the doctor's private plane three times, didn't pay for two of the trips until it all spilled out into the open. So there's also a potential question for the Ethics Committee there, a lot for the investigators to chew on, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Well, Carol, I appreciate you being on tonight and the work you and your colleagues have done on this. Joe, as well, thank you.
You saw a bit of Drew Griffin's reporting at the top of the program, his search for the women in question, which came up empty, as did attempts to meet face to face with a shadowy tipster who was seemingly at the center of this story. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Drew, this whole story is from an anonymous e-mailer who was sort of selectively pushing out these tips. And you and your producer got one of these e-mails, right?
GRIFFIN: Yes, we an e-mail, cryptic e-mail like the other news organizations from a P. Williams.
But what we were able to do was take that I.P. address, Anderson, and we tracked it down to Santo Domingo. We then recontacted this person and said, hey, we would like to find you. We'd like to see what evidence you have that could back up any of these claims. And that's what brought us to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
COOPER: And the story you ended up doing from there, that's what you did, searching for this mystery man.
GRIFFIN: Who really did turn out to be a mystery man.
We didn't want to put any of these allegations, of course, on the air until we found this guy. And so we wound up going to all these cryptic hinted spots, the prostitution house, the attorney's house, the various spots where we were supposedly going to find this information. Or perhaps even find P. Williams.
But the mystery man turned out in the end to be just that, a mystery man who's remained anonymous and whose charges and allegations don't seem to add up at all.
COOPER: And when you look over these affidavits, do you have any clue who the mastermind is behind this effort to smear the senator with the prostitution claims?
GRIFFIN: I can tell you from my sources in the Dominican Republic now that they still are not very close to finding out who is the -- quote, unquote -- "mastermind," who is Peter Williams.
What this prostitute allegedly says in the affidavit is she was put up to this, given a script and told to read this script by a very low-level attorney that, quite frankly, Anderson, we tried to chase for three days in the Dominican Republic. The guy never even showed up to his office while we were in town.
And I know that CNN has tried to contact him again by phone tonight. And he still is not answering. So the authorities in the Dominican Republic I can tell you believe this was all -- these were the pawns who were probably working for P. Williams, or whoever is behind P. Williams. But it's not P. Williams.
COOPER: Well, the investigation continues. Drew, thanks.
Let us know what you think about all these allegations. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I'm tweeting about this already.
Up next, the former all-star NBA player defender and the dictator -- basketball legend Dennis Rodman talking about his new friend -- that's what he called him, his friend, North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un, a friend who runs prison camps and threatens the world with his missile power, not the friendliest guy, if you ask us. But We're "Keeping Them Honest." And we will talk to Laura Ling, who was in prison in North Korea's for nearly five months, and her sister Lisa who fought for her release. Would they consider Kim a friend and what they do think of what Rodman has been doing?
Also ahead tonight, demolition begins where a sinkhole swallowed a Florida man. The victim's brother speaking out again tonight. Plus, inside another sinkhole, an up-close look at what authorities are actually dealing with when the earth collapses. We will take you inside.
COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight with a guy talking about his new buddy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: He's a good guy to me. He's my friend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: "He's my friend."
That's Dennis Rodman, and this is Dennis Rodman's new friend. His name is Kim. Dennis is a pro basketball Hall of Famer. Mr. Kim is not. He has got other hobbies, but he is a fan. So, when Dennis, members of the Harlem Globetrotters, and a production team from VICE Media visited Kim last week, Mr. Kim and his crew really showed their affection for the player and the game.
Dennis tweeted -- quote -- "They love basketball here. Honored to represent the United States of America."
Here in this case is North Korea. Kim is North Korea's new dictator, Kim Jong-un. His other hobbies include testing nuclear weapons, building rockets to carry them anywhere in the world, and threatening to use them on Dennis' home and -- well, I will let the North Korean spokesman finish that thought.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, we will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Not very friendly, is it?
Oh, and, by the way, Kim Jong-un also maintains a whole network of concentration camps where tens of thousands of people are housed and die of starvation and disease and neglect and execution.
Kim Jong-un is belligerent toward the United States. He's downright vicious to his own people. According to Human Rights Watch, Kim's rise to power since the death of his father -- quote -- "has had no positive impact on the country's dire human rights record."
More than 200 North Koreans, it's estimated, including children, living, starving and dying in forced labor camps, concentration camps, really. Many spend their entire lives from cradle to grave behind barbed wire. Outside the wire, this is a country with a history of government-imposed mass starvation that continues to this day. Millions died in the '90s, and even now North Korean dissidents tell of smaller famines throughout the country, old people abandoned for lack of food, even children being killed and eaten.
It's not just -- and when they take, by the way, a political prisoner, and they send them to a concentration camp, they don't just send that person. They send three generations of that person's families, the only country in the world that has this draconian punishment, that and always random terror, imprisonment and torture, all of which, in fact, any which would make a chilling backdrop to Dennis Rodman's visit.
It certainly makes a mockery of the P.R. footage and happy tweets. You saw at the top Rodman appeared this weekend on ABC's "This Week," defending his friend and the trip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODMAN: I don't condone what he does. But as far as person-to- person, he's my friend. As far as what he does, that...
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Someone who hypothetically is a murderer who is your friend is still a murderer.
RODMAN: Well, you know, seriously, guess what, guess what? What I did, what I did was history. Was history against what? It's just like we do over here in America, right? It's amazing that we have presidents over here do the same thing, right? It's amazing that Bill Clinton can do one thing and have sex with his secretary and do one thing and really get away with it and still be powerful.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... compare to prison camps?
RODMAN: So, prison camp is doing one thing. We don't need to do one thing. Object that. We don't need to do it and object that. Guess what? We doing one thing. Like, friend to friend, right? It's a friend to friend. He's a friend to me. That's about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He doesn't make any sense. He says he's going back, by the way. He also said Kim Jong-un wants President Obama to call him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The United States has direct channels of communications with the DPRK. And instead of spending money on celebrity sporting events to entertain the elites of that country, the North Korean regime should focus on the well-being of its own people, who have been starved, imprisoned and denied their human rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We should mention that the whole Rodman event is expected to air in a documentary on our corporate cousins HBO.
With me now are journalists Laura and Lisa Ling. Laura and Euna Lee, you will remember, were detained in North Korea for nearly five months back in 2009. They were jailed, interrogated, convicted in a show trial and sentenced to 12 years hard labor before former President Bill Clinton and others secured their freedom. Laura and her sister Lisa write about the ordeal in "Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home."
Appreciate both of you being with us.
Laura, as someone who has seen really the brutality of the North Korean government firsthand, when you hear Dennis Rodman call North Korea's dictator a great friend, a great guy, call him honest, awesome, what do you think?
LAURA LING, JOURNALIST: Well, listen, I think that who really takes Dennis Rodman seriously? And it's all pretty absurd.
But the fact that he was a guest of Kim Jong-un, who was clearly wining and dining him, and showing him the best that Pyongyang had to offer, you know, I wasn't exactly shocked by it, let's say. It's Dennis Rodman, after all.
COOPER: Were you -- I mean, Lisa, I just finished this "60 Minutes" story about a young man born into a North Korean concentration camp, where torture, starvation, rape is commonplace. This is the only country in the world that has a policy of three generations of punishment for political prisoners. As you know, they don't just imprison the alleged threat. They kidnap, they imprison their children, their parents.
Do you think Dennis Rodman has any idea of what North Korea is really like?
LISA LING, JOURNALIST: After watching him be interviewed this weekend, I really don't think he had any clue.
I don't think he would have talked about Kim Jong-un or the North Korean regime so effusively had he known. But, as Laura said, I don't know that anyone has ever really taken Dennis Rodman seriously. But what he did do that no other American has been able to do is get -- have direct interaction with the man who leads the most reclusive and isolated country in the world.
And that was some invaluable information. I mean, when Laura and her colleague were detained in North Korea, President Clinton went over to secure their release, and much of the world thought that Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong-un's father, was on his deathbed. And so for Dennis Rodman and this VICE TV crew to have been able to actually secure that kind of information, in some ways is pretty invaluable.
COOPER: Laura, is there a danger, though, in kind of giving people around the world misperceptions of what life in North Korea is like? I mean, you know, Dennis -- most North Koreans aren't going to be able to attend a basketball game like the folks in that stadium who I imagine were high-party officials or had one reason or another that they were able to be there.
A lot of North Koreans I have talked to who have escaped concentration camps, who have actually fled the country are upset that the media focuses a lot on, you know, this new younger leader, with his wife and pictures of them visiting amusement parks, and that it gives a misperception of what life is like in North Korea for most people.
LAURA LING: Sure. And I agree with that.
I mean, Kim Jong-un is trying to portray himself as this more jovial leader, more in the vein of his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung. But we're sort of guilty of it when we shine a lot on this whole Dennis Rodman visit, because that's the information that is disseminated, whereas we really should be focusing on the egregious human rights abuses that are taking place in that country.
But I do think that, you know, for people who don't know anything about North Korea, you know, here's a chance for us to talk about it, and to talk about the misinformation, and how ill-informed Dennis Rodman may have been and probably was at the true nature of what's going on inside that country.
COOPER: It's interesting, Lisa, to your point about relationships also being important, obviously the relationships that some Americans managed to build up in the North Korean government were a big factor in your sister's release and were very helpful.
But it even seems like Rodman missed an opportunity. And I don't know. Maybe he did make an effort to mention the fate of -- there's an American being held hostage -- being held in North Korea right now. I think his name is Kenneth Bay.
LISA LING: Yes.
COOPER: And I don't know that anyone on the Rodman camp or who was with them broached that topic when they were sitting around the basketball court with Kim Jong-un.
LISA LING: One can only hope that the experience that Kim Jong- un had with these Americans was so positive that he might consider merciful and allowing the American, who has been there since November, to be released.
But I think any opportunity to try and engage this regime, it could be perceived as positive or it could be productive, let's just say. And having confirmation that he has this fascination is, I think, unique.
COOPER: Well, Laura, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.
And, Lisa, I know you're due any day now. So I wish you well, and thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.
LISA LING: Thanks, Anderson.
LAURA LING: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, coming up, a toddler who may have made medical history. This is really extraordinary. Researchers say she was born with HIV, and is now cured. The question is, does her case raise hopes for other babies with HIV, for adults with HIV, for anyone around the world with HIV?
Today, we finally saw what the details of that case were. We will talk to Anthony Fauci from the NIH about it.
Also, we saw the sinkhole, what that sinkhole actually looks like, the one that swallowed a 37-year-old man. The story made a lot of people wonder and worried about a natural hazard as freakish as it is real. David Mattingly tonight takes us inside another sinkhole for an up-close look of what they're like and how somebody could simply disappear inside one.
We will be right back.
COOPER: The world got its first look today at the sinkhole that opened up beneath a Tampa, Florida area home last Thursday and took the life of a man named Jeff Bush.
You will remember we spoke with his brother shortly after the nightmare began.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY BUSH, BROTHER OF JEFFREY BUSH: I ran toward my brother's bedroom, because I heard my brother scream.
So I ran to the bedroom. I went to go open the door and run in. My old lady turned the light on, and I seen that there was no floor there. Everything was gone, my brother's bed, my brother's dresser, my brother's TV. And my brother was gone, and this big hole.
All I could see was -- barely see his bed. And I jumped in the hole to try and dig him out, and got a shovel, and just started trying to dig him out. I thought I heard him screaming for my help. I thought I heard him asking me for help.
So I tried and tried and tried to get him out. And I was screaming and screaming for him. And I couldn't get him out. I tried so hard. I tried everything I could.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back then, he wanted emergency crews to do more to rescue his brother. Well, today, he wants them to do more to recover his brother's remains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: They had a hard time pulling concrete up. That means that the ground was still stable right there. Why couldn't they -- you have got that long arm. Have somebody hang from that arm trying to dig my brother out or something.
QUESTION: You want somebody to go in there and find him?
BUSH: I don't want nobody else's life at risk, but if it's dangerous, yes, I don't want nothing else to happen to nobody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, meantime, about three miles away, it is happening again, the ground opening up between two homes, no damage to either, no relation, except for relative proximity to the deadly sinkhole.
Joining us now with a unique perspective on all is David Mattingly inside yet another sinkhole in Florida.
David, you're actually inside one.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. Look how big this place is.
You could put a basketball court inside this sinkhole, it's so big. We wanted to come down here to find out what sort of forces were in play and get an idea about how these amazing geologic structures are created. We came down here looking for answers, and we found them here, 50 feet beneath the surface.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): It's just a few short steps down to an incredible underground site.
JERRY BLACK, GEOLOGIST: This was the original cavity that eventually collapsed in.
MATTINGLY: A massive sinkhole, carved out of solid limestone by drops of water.
(on camera): So this is what a sinkhole looks like from the inside.
BLACK: From the inside, yes, before you fill it up with sand and dirt.
MATTINGLY: And if someone were living right on top of this, they'd be at risk.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Geologist Jerry Black says Sunshine State homeowners might be surprised to find out just how common these are.
(on camera): What are the chances of someone having a house in Central Florida and living on top of something like this?
BLACK: Very good, not probably as close to the surface as this. But you can -- you definitely have cavities of this size all over the state of Florida.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Fossils found in this sinkhole show it's been around since the Ice Age, but no different, Black says, than the sinkholes we see opening up today. These are just a few of his pictures. The one thing they all have in common is water.
BLACK: Rainwater is going to turn into groundwater, and that's what's naturally sitting. That's the device that dissolves the limestone and will help create these cavities.
MATTINGLY: What is unusual about this sinkhole, it's easy to get inside. Called the Devil's Den, it's open to tourists for viewing and diving.
Dive instructor Prince Johnson (ph) takes me under for a look. I find that this seemingly placid pool of water is anything but.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water has gone down considerably because of the aquifer. And -- but it's has also risen when we have had hurricanes and tropical storms. It has risen another 45 feet.
MATTINGLY (on camera): Forty-five feet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty-five feet.
MATTINGLY: So the water is constantly going up and down a bit?
JOHNSON: Up and down.
MATTINGLY: Depending on drought or hurricane.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Down here it's easy to see how fluctuating ground water has silently reeked havoc. I passed by limestone boulders as big as cars sitting on the bottom and these same forces are still at work compounded by the demand for fresh water.
JOHNSON: It is progressively dropping yearly. And that's basically the whole state of Florida. Aquifer is getting lower and lower.
MATTINGLY: Perhaps most striking to me how appearances of the sinkhole are so misleading. A single beam of sun light reveals the cavern is even bigger below the water line with tunnels and passageways carved deep into the darkness.
COOPER: It's incredible to see it like that, David. I mean, do you know, like, how deep that one is? And also how many there are in Florida?
MATTINGLY: Well, there are thousands across the state of Florida. Literally, thousands that pop up every single year. The state keeps a loose track of them. People call in to report them when they happen. But think about this. We were talking about how deceptive these things are when you look at their size. There is much more to this cavern below the water level than there is up here where I am standing.
But look up here -- atop. The hole that opened up when the sinkhole was formed, you see the size of that. Now you see how deceptively large this whole cavern is underneath it. So when you see a sinkhole opening up on the surface there is so much more going on down below that we never see.
COOPER: Yes. You get a sense how a person can disappear inside.
David, just incredible to see that. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Up next, how doctors say they have cured a baby with HIV. You may have seen the headlines about this today. Got a lot of coverage. What exactly does that mean? We're going to take a look at that with Dr. Anthony Fauci from the NIH.
Plus she says she loved her ex-boyfriend even on the day she killed him. New explosive testimony from admitted killer, Jodi Arias. We're going to take you inside the courtroom. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Love and murder. But was it self defense? Jodi Arias back on the stand professing her deep affection for her boyfriend even she says on the day she shot him and stabbed him 29 times. Randi Kaye was in the courtroom when we come back.
COOPER: There's a lot of excitement tonight and also some skepticism about a Mississippi toddler who appears to have made medical history. You maybe saw headlines about this day. We don't know her name but researchers say that she appears to be the first baby to be cured of HIV. The virus that causes AIDS.
She was treated with high doses of anti-retroviral drugs shortly after she was born. She was just 30 hours old when she started getting these drugs. That was very early. Now within weeks the virus was undetectable in her blood. She stayed on the drug for about 15 months. She's now 2 1/2 years old and still has no detectable traces of HIV and she's off the drugs.
It's a dramatic response certainly, and possibly historic. That said, and it's important to point out it is just one case and experts caution that further research is needed.
COOPER: Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health. He's done pioneering research on HIV/AIDS. He joins us now.
Dr. Fauci, I mean, is this baby really 100 percent cured of HIV? Is there a chance it could come back?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The people who have been studying the baby have done everything that we can possibly do to determine if this virus that's viable or replicating in the infant and the baby. And they can't find it. They can see some remnants of virus that doesn't look like it's live virus. The trouble is that you can't access every single nook and corner in the person's body so it is conceivable, unlikely but quite conceivable that there may still be some virus that's there that might be able to resurge or come back and rebound in a year or two.
That's the reason why you've got to be cautious if you say this is an absolute definitive cure. From all of the techniques that we know we can call it a cure.
COOPER: Can you explain to me what's different about how this baby was treated immediately after being born? You know, my understanding is she was given medication within 30 hours or something versus how babies who are born to HIV positive mothers are normally treated?
FAUCI: Generally most people get some degree of prenatal care. So if you discover that a mother is affected during pregnancy, you treat that mother with a triple combination of drugs. You still give the baby about six weeks of what we call prophylaxis and in the meanwhile during that time, you try and determine if the baby is infected.
If after six week, you find the baby is not infected you stop that prophylaxis. If the baby is infected then you give the aggressive three drug therapy. The difference in this case was that because of the very high risk to this infant because the mother had no prenatal care at all and no treatment that judgment call made the pediatrician was to treat the baby immediately as if the baby were infected and they did make the right call retrospectively because the baby turned out to be infected.
And then what happened is because they treated the baby so early within 30 hours they found out that when the mother on her own discontinued the therapy after 18 months the baby was quite well and there was no indication that the baby was infected.
COOPER: And the idea is that with the baby because you started this treatment so aggressively so quickly no reservoir of HIV was allowed to form?
FAUCI: Exactly. That's the point. Or if it was formed it was so small that after a period of time it attenuated itself whereas as an adult who's been infected for months to a year, then goes on therapy, the reservoir has already been established.
COOPER: This really could have application, again if it is true, in the developing world?
FAUCI: The real issue and real problem is in the developing world where you don't have that easy access to ante-natal prenatal care the way this woman in Mississippi didn't have. She may have had access but she didn't utilize it.
COOPER: How much of a hot topic -- focus is the idea of a cure among researchers, among scientists?
FAUCI: Well, it's growing to be a much hotter topic than it has been because of the advances that we have with such good drugs and being able to suppress the virus so well. So the next question is, can we, in fact, cure people where they don't have to be on life long therapy? And over the past few years, there has been an extensive acceleration of research in that direction.
COOPER: Can you -- you've been working in this field for so long, do you believe some sort of functional cure will be found in the near term? Less than five years?
FAUCI: I think if this proves that it is applicable and not just this individual case, I think within a few years you can have a principal of -- the ability to be able to cure a baby by aggressively treating them. I think the idea of an adult who has been infected for years that in order to get that person cured I think we are still in the discovery phase where we don't know exactly how we are going to do that.
COOPER: Dr. Anthony Fauci, I appreciate your expertise. Thanks for being with us. Thanks.
Well, coming up tonight, the Jodi Arias trial was back in full swing today with the accused murder back on the stand. Her testimony once again. Well, we'll play you details ranging from extremely graphic to flat-out bizarre. We'll show it to you.
COOPER: Welcome back. In "Crime and Punishment" tonight, Jodi Arias was back on the stand in Arizona today where she's on trial for obviously the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Now after four days of cross-examination, Arias is now answering questions in the redirect. And the interesting part of this drama is that the jurors will also have the chance to ask her questions through the judge.
For now, though, this has been the case where much of her testimony. Today was again focused on her sex life. Randi Kaye was there. And again we have to warn you, some of the testimony is graphic.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a damaging week on cross examination the first order of business for Jodi Arias's defense team was knocking down any hint at premeditation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you go to Mr. Alexander's home on June 4th with the intent on killing him?
JODI ARIAS, ACCUSED OF KILLING TRAVIS ALEXANDER: No, I didn't.
KAYE: Another attempt to convince the jury she murdered Travis Alexander in self defense. Even though she's changed her story three times. Testimony quickly turned to Arias' broken finger on her left hand. The prosecution has tried to prove she hurt her finger while stabbing her ex-boyfriend dozens of times and dragging his bloody body around the house. To dispute that Arias' defense lawyer offered a show and tell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that is an injury you incurred when you testified to having received when Mr. Alexander was kicking you in the ribs and he ended up kicking your hand, correct?
ARIAS: That's correct.
KAYE: Arias says Alexander broke her finger six months before the murder, the day after she caught him allegedly masturbating to a photo of a little boy. She claims he became increasingly violent after that.
(On camera): Even though the couple had broken up Arias says she and Alexander continued to have sex. But she wasn't the only one Alexander was seeing. Now the state has painted her as jealous and obsessive. But here in court Arias portrayed herself as unfazed by this other woman. She even asked Alexander about her.
ARIAS: I didn't want to be confrontational. I wanted to just throw it out there, let him know it's OK. If you're dating someone, you can let me know. I'm going to be cool about that.
KAYE (voice-over): Again the couple's sex life was on full display. The defense worked to convince the jury it was Alexander and not Arias who was the more experienced sexually. Listen to this recording of the couple's phone sex played in court.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot say I don't work that booty. We've had two or three-hour sessions many times.
KAYE: There was also this question about an encounter of oral sex in the car?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he do anything to make you believe that this wasn't his first encounter of this nature?
ARIAS: Yes. He flipped the visor down and angled the mirror so that he can have an additional visual vantage point.
KAYE: But what about the text message Arias sent Alexander saying she wanted to dress up like a horny little school girl?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was that the idea of the schoolgirl outfit, was that something that you were interested in or was this something you were doing to please him?
ARIAS: It would be more for his pleasure because just being with him was enough for me. But he enjoyed that kind of stuff.
KAYE: All along the prosecutor has painted Arias as the one who unleashed Alexander's sexual appetite. The defense tried to counter that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So based on what you've told us in your testimony before you met Travis in your sexual history you would have had anal sex no more than four times? Is that accurate?
ARIAS: That is accurate.
KAYE: And what to make of Arias' strange behavior at Alexander's memorial service? She left him a note, shown in court, telling him she loved him. Remember this was less than two weeks after she slit his throat. Nearly cutting his head off.
ARIAS: Well, I still have love for him, yes. And I was thinking now more in terms of eternity.
KAYE: Arias told the court she still had deep love for Alexander on June 4th, 2008, the day she killed him.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Well, joining me now is CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, also criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, co-author of the upcoming book, "Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works and Sometimes Doesn't."
Mark, are you surprised that Arias was on the stand again all day and is going to be on tomorrow? I think on Friday you were saying the defense should basically get her on there and get her off as quickly as possible.
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You would think so but, you know, there may be some -- there may be a method to this madness. The more she is on there the more there's a chance that she resonates. All you need is one juror.
GERAGOS: And this is going to come down -- I think it's a gender kind of a split because the longer she is up there the more she's going to turn off most males. There's just going to be a -- I think this is not going to resonate with most males. But I think there are women who can understand or at least appreciate what she is talking about.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: See, I actually would draw the opposite conclusion. I do think it's possible that some jurors might, you know, have some sympathy. But women jurors are often very tough on women particularly in rape cases, in consent issues. So I don't think it's necessarily men that --
GERAGOS: I mean I --
TOOBIN: Who will be harder. I think it's women who may be harder.
GERAGOS: I think that's why they dressed her down and frumped her up. I mean, all the study showed the women are harder on women. But there is a developing sense even in the beginning when she was on direct that women were starting to say, I kind of understand that. You start to see that throughout there.
COOPER: But, I mean, her story is that she feared for her life and that's basically why she killed this guy. We haven't heard much about that fear.
GERAGOS: You remember years ago with the murder out in California with the Twinkie defense that people said well, this was so outrageous. It's the vehicle to get in the testimony so that the person gets some kind of empathy, sympathy or resonates with the jury.
TOOBIN: It must be because it certainly doesn't sound like self defense.
TOOBIN: That all this evidence about their sex life, how that relates to the issue of self defense is pretty much lost on me. I think it's just generally designed to paint a picture that might generate some sympathy. But I just think they ought to get her off --
GERAGOS: I've had so many cases where you have this kind of dynamic where it escalates. It is domestic violence. And there is always this -- I find after you talk to the jurors especially or people who were following the trial they get into this thing. I don't know -- they don't really care about the facts. It's whether the other person reminds them of some abusive ex-boyfriend they had. Those kinds of things, that's -- you know, you're talking about 12 people in there and all kinds of things can kind of come and play into their decision.
COOPER: So keep her up there. I mean, that's the thinking. Just keep her up there and hopefully it will resonate over time with somebody --
TOOBIN: You do get to know someone. I mean, that's the thing about testimony this long. You get to know a personality. And then to ask to jurors who know a person to then sentence that person to die is --
COOPER: How do you think she has held up on the stand? Because I mean we saw her breaking down when cornered on Thursday in her testimony which was really the first time we kind of saw that her lies kind of caught up with her. But, I mean, she's pretty composed on the stand pushing back even the prosecutor the past two days.
TOOBIN: I mean, she has -- I find it's a weird affect, this sort of half smiles that are all the time. Her story to me is so preposterous that it's hard to evaluate her as a witness independent of the fact that, you know, she slaughtered this guy in cold blood and shot him and stabbed him 27 times and nearly cut his head off. The demure librarian on the witness stand is very hard to match up.
COOPER: It's also not a journal entries about her fear of this guy and stuff. And there's plenty of journal entries about details of their sex life and stuff.
GERAGOS: You can bring it up. You -- it gets you to put the person on the stand. You use it as a vehicle. It is not what's driving this case. What's driving this case is they are hoping that those jurors are going to just say, look, fox on -- fox on her house, let her rot away for the -- the rest of her life in prison, or as I kind of mentioned before, it would not be the first time that I have seen a jury hang between first and a lesser. Premeditated and a lesser.
TOOBIN: I am looking forward to seeing what the jurors have to ask questions. This is a very unusual --
COOPER: Well, that's just fascinating.
TOOBIN: One of only three states. I've actually never seen a trial where jurors are allowed to ask questions.
GERAGOS: This is the most absolutely mind boggling, meddlesome thing. They use it in California. Some judges do. It's -- they call it an Arizona jury. And it will drive you crazy as a lawyer.
TOOBIN: But I think it's a great system.
COOPER: It's going to be fascinating to see where they're at.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin, Mark Geragos, thanks very much.
Coming up, a story about a swimming cat. Well, that makes -- just made our "RidicuList' tonight. Find out why ahead.
COOPER: Time now for the "RidicuList." And tonight we got a very important news item from Roanoke, Virginia. A local news anchor there tried to tackle a very serious story about feline obesity and the struggle of one cat in particular to lose weight. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cats, they're not usually known for their love of swimming. But one feline in northern Virginia is hitting the water instead of the gym in an effort to lose weight. Holly is a 13- year-old cat who dislikes the outdoors and other physical activities. But with encouragement from her owner and weekly visits to the pet resort --
She has managed to lose one pound in six months.
Stay with us, everybody. We've got a lot more to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So unprofessional. That poor cat worked his tail off to lose one pound in six weeks. I think that's what she said. And the anchor can't even keep it together to give that story the gravitas it deserves.
Now, look, I know what you're thinking. And yes, I, too, have lost it laughing a few times on this program. But let's move beyond that, OK? I'd like to point out there have been many more examples of times when I have held it together against all odds. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Let's think -- let's think about this, though. By the way, a couple of --
It's going to cost you.
But if you're the adventurous type or if you just like to splurge on crap -- literally.
So Subway hasn't commented on the lawsuits but it did release a statement today promising that it really does want to give you all 12 inches. And I -- and I quote -- we have redoubled our efforts --
It's the Christmas boobsy. Goodness. It's a beer koozy with breasts.
A concept that debuted at the holiday wonder land that is Hooters.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't eat my pants.
COOPER: Watched it like 30 times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, of course, sometimes you have no choice, you have to let it all out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Come on. This is torture.
Part two. I know you got it but --
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COOPER: All right. Look, there will always be those stories that just get to you. And let's face it, sometimes after all the bad news, a fat wet cat is just what the doctor ordered.
That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT" starts now.