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CNN NEWSROOM

North Korean Threat Escalates; Texas Murder Investigation Continues

Aired April 3, 2013 - 15:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The closing of this crossing signaling a shift in North Korea's behavior.

To get more on this, we go now to Barbara Starr. She's at the Pentagon.

Barbara, tell us about this missile defense system.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello to you, Don.

This is for Guam, as you know, about 2,000 miles out in the Pacific Ocean from North Korea. And we have some video to show you of the type of missile system that is on its way to Guam. This is a missile system that sits on the back of a truck. The missiles come off of it, and they are going to be positioned in Guam to protect the U.S. military base on that territory against a possible North Korean attack.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talked about all -- the North Korean threat to Guam and to other areas just a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Some of the actions they have taken over the last few weeks present a real and clear danger and threat to the interests certainly of our allies, starting with South Korea and Japan, and also the threats that the North Koreans have leveled directly at the United States regarding our base in Guam, threatened Hawaii, threatened the West Coast of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: Now, you will recall that already a few days ago Hagel announced a move to put more missile defenses on the West Coast of the United States and in Alaska.

This, think of it as the halfway point, if you will, Guam, to protect that nation, that territory against the North Korean threat. Now, a lot of people might say North Korea doesn't have the missiles to attack Guam, but Hagel is making it clear he's not taking any chances. There is a lot of intelligence that is floating around indicating that the North Koreans are planning to at least try more missile launches in the coming weeks, according to U.S. officials we have talked to -- Don. LEMON: Let's talk about not taking any chances, because the secretary of defense has said today it only takes being wrong once. Is this the latest move by the U.S.? Is this the latest move that, you know, that the U.S. no longer believes that North Korea is bluffing?

STARR: Well, I think the view in the Obama administration is they can't afford at this point to bet, if you will, that North Korea might just be bluffing, because they're unpredictable, nobody knows what they might do.

And U.S. intelligence is lacking. Remember, the U.S. really has no ability, if you will, to see inside the North Korean regime. The U.S. talks to China a lot. That's one of the ways to get some understanding of what the North Koreans are up to. But the intelligence is very sketchy, very uncertain.

So at this point, they just don't want to bet on being wrong -- Don.

LEMON: Barbara Starr in Washington. Thank you, Barbara.

STARR: Sure.

LEMON: And from Washington now to Texas. A news conference is scheduled this hour that could reveal more details in the search for the person who killed two prosecutors in Kaufman County.

Right now, the main clues are muddy tire tracks outside the home of one of the dead prosecutors. Tight-lipped investigators are desperate for clues in the hunt for the killer or killers of Kaufman County district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia.

With us now live from Kaufman County, CNN's George Howell.

George, hello to you.

What more could we learn at this upcoming news conference?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, you know, we have many, many questions under the sun right now. A lot of reporters here asking a lot of questions. And put it into context. You have a community that is nervous. You have prosecutors that are concerned that public officials are being targeted.

So, yes, we have a lot of questions to ask. We got some sort of better understanding of where this investigation is going. I want to show you right over here, you can see cameras are set up, this news conference that will happen here in the next 20 to 30 minutes, our camera right there in the red, front and center.

And we will ask investigators, you know, to find out where they're looking, if there are any people of interest in this case, what they're looking into. And we will, of course, pass that on to you.

LEMON: Yes. And as you can see from the cameras, cameras that are set up there, lots of interest in this particular case.

George, I understand investigators questioned a former county employee. This man is named Eric Williams. We will put his picture up. He agreed to be questioned by investigators. There he is -- hours after the killings of the McLellands. He's one of a number of people whose names have popped up. Why him, George?

HOWELL: Again, this is a person who both McLelland and Hasse at one point prosecuted. So what we understand, we spoke with his attorney, David Sergi, and we learned that investigators, they had a meeting at a local Denny's to take swab samples from his hand to test for gun residue.

Now, CNN does not know the result of those swab samples, what it revealed to investigators. But Sergi says that his client did cooperate voluntarily. He says his client has -- quote -- "nothing to hide." But you said it right, this could be one of many different people that these prosecutors have talked to over the time, so investigators are doing their best to find credible leads to get to the bottom of this murder case.

LEMON: George, as we said, a lot of interest in this. We will be carrying the press conference live for you at the bottom of the hour if it happens on time.

Thank you, George Howell.

President Barack Obama trying to rally support for his push to tighten the nation's gun laws by hitting the road. The president is set to speak at the Denver Police Academy in about two hours. That's not far from the Aurora movie theater where a gunman killed 12 people last summer.

Colorado lawmakers recently passed tough new gun laws, including universal background checks and a limit on gun magazine size. President Obama wants similar laws nationwide.

To Jake Tapper now, our chief Washington correspondent and anchor for "THE LEAD." He joins us now.

So, Jake, take us forward. What do you expect to hear from the president today?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "THE LEAD": Well, I think what you will hear, Don, is President Obama call for Congress in Washington, D.C., to do what legislators in Colorado have done, which is, Colorado, the president will say, it is a frontier state, it's a state that has a history and respect for gun ownership, but they did take some measures to add restrictions on gun ownership, including universal background checks, expanding them, and also a ban on a high-capacity magazine, I believe over 15 rounds.

So President Obama will say that Congress and Washington, D.C., should do what Colorado has done. Of course, they're very different. The legislature in Colorado is Democratic, whereas in Washington, D.C., this is -- obviously the House is Republican and there are even some questions about whether or not this gun control legislation will be able to get through the Senate, because not every Democrat is on board and certainly some Republicans are not as well.

So -- but that's basically his pitch today.

LEMON: OK, so that's a political battle here.

Let's go to the front lines, so to speak. You spent time with agents on the front lines of the nation's battle with gun violence. Tell us what you learned from that experience.

TAPPER: Well, this is interesting, Don, because everybody talks about how enforce the laws on the books. That's something that the gun control people want, something that the NRA people want, and they say just enforce the laws on the books and crime will be reduced.

Well, we went out with a team from the California attorney general's office, these law enforcement agents. And their job is to get guns from people who are not allowed to have them, but do have them. California has gun registration so they combine the list of people who have guns with the list of people who are not allowed to have them, felons, people who have domestic violence problems, people who have been adjudicated as having mental or emotional problems.

And they go and they make this -- take this other list, this third list, they're called armed and prohibited, and it's about 20,000 people in California. And these 30 or so agents then go and try to get the guns from these people. It sounds very difficult. It is even more tough than you think it is. So we went out to see what enforcing the laws on the books actually means.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: And even though he's admitted that there are guns in the house and he's not allowed to own guns, you are not allowed to go get them?

SPECIAL AGENT JOHN MARSH, CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF FIREARMS: Well, everybody has rights and his rights are against search and seizure. At this time, he denied consent to search his residence. We'll go present all of the facts to a judge and ask to search the residence for the weapons inside the residence, what we believe to be in there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: And, Don, that was the home of somebody who had a domestic violence restraining order. And the law enforcement agents went there. The guy said he had the guns in the house, but he was not going to let the agents in the house to get them.

LEMON: Can't wait to see that. Jake Tapper, thank you very much. For more on the nation's battle with gun violence, don't miss "THE LEAD," Jake Tapper, right here at 4:00 p.m. Eastern at the top of the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011.

Today is day two of jury selection in Los Angeles in the civil trial over Jackson's death. Jackson's mother, Katherine, is suing concert promoter AEG Live for $40 billion alleging AEG did not properly supervise Murray while Jackson was getting ready for the concert, for his concert tour.

Let's bring in Mr. Alan Duke, a man I have seen a lot of lately. Spent some time with in Los Angeles this weekend, covering the preps for this trial in Los Angeles.

So, Alan, have you seen any Jackson family members so far in court?

ALAN DUKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. They have not been there.

Randy said he may come yesterday. He didn't for the camera and the courtroom arguments. None of them are here. This is really a tedious time. They're going through one by one this jury pool, trying to select about 100 people who they then next week would whittle down to about 18 people to hear this case. And it is awfully difficult. One reason, Don, you know how much a juror gets paid per day in Los Angeles? Any clue?

LEMON: No. It is about 25 bucks here.

DUKE: Worse, $15 a day. And they're expected to be here for maybe three months to decide a case that could give the Jackson family billions of dollars. Kind of strange, kind of ironic.

LEMON: Yes. It is. Alan Duke, I wish we had more time. Thank you very much. Alan, we will be seeing you a lot more and hearing from you a lot more as you will be writing about this trial, covering it for CNN.

Make sure you tune in Friday night for a special CNN report. It is on Michael Jackson. It is "The Final Days," Friday night, 10:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

Mark Sanford left office when his affair became public. Now Sanford wants back into politics, and right by his side, his mistress turned fiancee. What are voters in South Carolina saying about this comeback, can we call it? That story is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, remember the South Carolina governor who said he had gone hiking on the Appalachian Trail, but was actually down in Argentina on an extramarital fling.

Mark Sanford, that's him, take a look, right there. And he is smiling. Why? Well, he's one step closer to a comeback, just having won the Republican primary for a seat he once held in Congress. The woman at his side, that's her, the one from Argentina. They're engaged.

So, with us now from Charleston is Bill Sharpe. He's a news anchor at CNN affiliate WCSC.

Bill, not a huge surprise that Mark Sanford won his primary runoff yesterday, but what about the fiancee effect appearing right next to him? What are people saying about that?

BILL SHARPE, WCSC NEWS ANCHOR: Well, Don, she almost stole the show from him. Not even Mark Sanford knew she was going to be there, according to what she told us.

She had apparently told the governor she was in Miami. He wasn't expecting her either. I had been asking Mark Sanford for weeks, Don, when will we meet your fiancee? We haven't seen her. Are you going to bring her out in public? When will we meet her? He said, Bill, you're delving into my private life here and she's a very private person. I can't answer that.

So last night we spotted her, Don, followed her as she walked up to Governor Sanford, and you saw a grin that was from here to California on his face, not just because he won the runoff, but because he saw his fiancee. Now, when she came up to him, his boys, he has several boys, were surrounding him. They kind of moved out of the way. The fiancee moved in. Mark Sanford hugged her and he had a big grin on his face.

LEMON: Well, love does those things to you. Right? He said he fell in love.

So, for those who don't know, Sanford's opponent is Elizabeth Colbert Busch or Colbert, however you want to pronounce, sister of cable funnyman Stephen Colbert. She's the Democrat. Sanford is the Republican in this district. The district they're running in is very strongly Republican and yet Republicans seem worried. Why is that?

SHARPE: Don, I don't think Republicans down here are worried at all. Mark Sanford is a force of nature in many ways. He's like Lazarus from the Bible.

He came back from the dead. When he first announced about two months ago, I asked him, I said, Governor, you have cheated on your wife, you lied to your staff about hiking the Appalachian Trail, you left your post for five days unattended as governor, nobody knew where you were, and you had one of the biggest ethics fines in state history. Why should anybody vote for you?

Well, he said, Bill, you know, I made some mistakes. But I have gotten right with God and his grace is a wonderful thing and I have asked everybody's forgiveness.

And, Don, it seems like a lot of people have forgiven Mark Sanford. A lot, though, haven't. So it will be interesting to see how this race shapes up on May the 7th for the special election between Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch. By the way, she pronounces it Colbert-Busch. Her famous brother, as you know, Stephen, pronounces it Stephen Colbert.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Yes. Well, his fiancee is very pretty. I do have to say that.

All right, thank you, Bill Sharpe.

SHARPE: She's an attractive lady.

LEMON: She certainly is. Thank you, Bill Sharpe. Appreciate that.

You can hear more from Mark Sanford live in just a few minutes here on CNN. Sanford talks with Jake Tapper at 4:00 Eastern on "THE LEAD."

It's a moment that everyone is still talking about as Louisville guard Kevin Ware's leg snapped on national TV. This hour, we will hear from Ware and his mom about his injury and recovery.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Imagine watching live TV anywhere you want, on your iPhone, on your iPad, like this one right here, for just $80 a year.

From the CNN Money newsroom, I'm Zain Asher. And this is "Your Money."

Aereo is a company that allows users to stream live network television straight on to their mobile devices. Networks, however, like ABC and NBC are pretty unhappy. They have filed lawsuits saying the company violates copyright laws. This week, though, a judge disagreed ruling in Aereo's favor and now the company is expanding and networks are crying foul.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See all color shows in living color.

ASHER (voice-over): First came the tube, then the flat screen. Now the television industry is preparing for another revolution, this time with these.

CHET KANOJIA, FOUNDER AND CEO, AEREO: The one key media point that is missing in -- on the Internet is television. That's our true objective.

ASHER: Meet Chet Kanojia. For $80 a year, his company, Aereo, will let you stream live TV from network stations like ABC and NBC straight on to your phone or iPad, all day, every day.

JOHN BERGMAYER, PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE: There is a lot of demand for people to be able to access content over their computers in a more flexible way. People want to pay less. KANOJIA: We think of Aereo as the simplest way you can get television online. There's no box, no wires, nothing required.

ASHER: It works by using these tiny antennae, about the size of a dime, to capture broadcast signals. It is precisely the reason the network giants are having trouble sleeping. In a statement, the National Association of Broadcasters called Aereo's operation illegal, agreeing with other critics who called it a sham.

BERGMAYER: This is a controversial service for sure and the legal fight isn't done.

ASHER: Networks say the startup has found a clever way to make money from content it doesn't own. But lucky for Aereo, David is winning against Goliath. On Monday, a U.S. appeals court found that Aereo's technology violated no copyright laws, a huge blow to the 17 network broadcasters who had hoped it would retreat back into its cave.

KANOJIA: Aereo is not a threat to any of these media companies. Technology is something that media companies typically are slow to adopt. But we think it brings great opportunity.

BERGMAYER: I think it is very likely that you are going to see a lot more flexible ways for people to watch TV because if the broadcasters are smart, they are going to start responding to consumer demand. And if they don't start doing that, then Aereo and companies like Aereo are going to continue do it for them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Right now, you can only get Aereo if you live in New York or parts of the Northeast. But the company does plan to expand to 22 cities this year and up to 100 by the end of next year.

From the CNN Money newsroom, that's it for me. We will be back same time tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: OK, as we told you earlier, news conference happening this hour that could reveal more details in the search for the killer of two prosecutors and a woman in Texas.

Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were killed last weekend and ADA Mark Hasse was gunned down in January.

CNN's George Howell is standing by for that press conference now.

George, it is going to begin at any moment and hopefully we will get some answers to a whole lot of questions.

HOWELL: My colleague Ed Lavandera telling me that there will be an arrest made in a related case. That's some of the information, Don, that we will get in this news conference that is just about to start here in a few minutes. Again, this is a case that has shocked this community. We're talking about the murders of two prosecutors in the span of two months. We're talking about Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, and also Mark Hasse. And there have been many questions about why this happened, a lot of speculation as to different groups that could be involved.

There have been theories, Don, about the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas possibly being connected to this case. There have been...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: George, he's started stepping up to the Mike. Let's listen in, George.