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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

White House Takes The High Road On Pot; Toronto Mayor Admits "Setback"; Wife Of Man Shot At Movie Theater Speaks Out; Plowing Inequality

Aired January 22, 2014 - 19:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Next, the White House backtracks on President Obama's comments that marijuana's no worse than alcohol so where does the administration really stand on pot?

Plus, Rob Ford admits he suffered a setback after new video shows him in a drunken rant. Toronto's crack smocking mayor stormed out of his own press conference today.

Plus new video of Richard Sherman, what he was saying to reporters right before his now famous rant. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Don Lemon in for Erin Burnett. Tonight, the White House takes the high road trying to blunt criticism from President Obama's comments that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president's position on legalizing pot has not changed.

The president who has admitted to smoking pot has taken aim at politicians who throw pot smokers behind bars when they probably experimented with marijuana themselves. What does this mean for lighting up in the rest of the country? Jim Acosta has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just days after President Obama's comments on marijuana appear to put his own drug policies in a haze. The White House is now trying to clear the air.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president's position on these matters hasn't changed. He's not endorsing any specific move by a state. He's simply making an observation.

ACOSTA: An admitted user of pot, the president was asked by "The New Yorker" about his recent legalization experiments in Colorado and Washington. Mr. Obama said it's important for it to go forward adding he doesn't think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol. The president's remarks reflect a shift in public attitudes in a CNN/ORC poll this month showing only 12 percent of Americans think marijuana is more dangerous.

But the comments stand in contrast with White House National Drug Control Strategy that this administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is your brain on drugs, any questions?

ACOSTAS: The partnership at drugfree.org, the same group behind the brain on drug ads say legalizing pot makes it harder on parents.

SEAN CLARKIN, PARTNERSHIP AT DRUGFREE.ORG: The question, I think, that we've asked on their behalf is it necessary to add another toxic substance to the list of substances that kids are exposed to at an early age.

ACOSTA: Though surprisingly the group admits the war on pot isn't working.

CLARKIN: There is almost certainly a middle ground here.

ACOSTA: The White House points to the president's comments in "The New Yorker" noting how minorities are locked up for drug crimes more often than whites.

CARNEY: There's no question that we've applied our drug laws in the way it's been counterproductive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many of you may be thinking, well, drugs don't concern me.

ACOSTA: But the president's stance marks a big change from former First Lady Nancy Reagan's warning on drugs in the '80s.

FORMER FIRST LADY NANCY REAGAN: When it comes to drugs and alcohol, just say no.

ACOSTA: Or Bill Clinton's embarrassing admission in the '90s.

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: I didn't like it, didn't inhale and never tried it again.

ACOSTA: Another sign that the nation is evolving on the issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's very much a president in flux on this. I don't think he feels comfortable coming down on the side either of we support legalization. This is the right way to go or saying we're against it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Further evidence of those mixed feelings, the president also warned in that "New Yorker" interview that he believes that legalizing marijuana could be a gate way to decriminalizing other illicit drugs. But the White House points to other comments that the president made that he still believes that marijuana use is a bad habit or vice that he would not recommend to his own daughters -- Don.

LEMON: All right, here we go again. Thank you very much, Jim Acosta, for that.

Joining me tonight is the former Congressman Patrick Kennedy and editor and chief of reason.com, Nick Gillespie. Congressman, you heard what the president said. You heard what Jim Carney, his defence of what the president said. What do you make of this? Can he put the genie back in the bottle after making those comments?

FORMER REPRESENTATIVE PATRICK KENNEDY (D), RHODE ISLAND: Of course, he can. His policy is important because, for example, he's been the best president so far on mental health coverage and addiction coverage so it's incongruous for his administration to be for a third legalized drug. So we have tobacco, alcohol and now we have marijuana.

LEMON: He didn't say that he was for the legalization of it. He says he believes it's equally as bad as alcohol.

KENNEDY: So the issue is it's the permissive environment that leads particularly young people to think there's no big deal with smoking marijuana when, in fact, the marijuana today is genetically modified, multiple times stronger than the marijuana that President Obama smoked 20, 30 years ago. So there are issues here. It is harmful. If the president listened to his own NIH director in charge of drug policy, Norah Volcock, she would tell him this is damaging to emotional growth as well as cognitive growth.

LEMON: For children -- whose brains have not developed? We're talking about, and if you're talking about this, you're talking about the legalization of marijuana, which would be for adults.

KENNEDY: I have no problems with adults in the sense that there's a consequences to allowing you and I have to a doobie.

LEMON: Right.

KENNEDY: OK, and the consequences are --

LEMON: You say that like you know.

KENNEDY: I know. I know. The consequences are that young people think it's no big deal so we ought to not speak out of the mouth and act a different way. That's the problem.

LEMON: Go ahead, Nick.

NICK GILLESPIE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, REASON.COM: Yes. I think that that's absolutely true. There are consequences to legalization. There are also massive horrifying consequences to prohibition. We arrest 750,000 people a year for marijuana alone, 90 percent of those arrests are for simple possession. If you're black you're four times as likely says the ACLU to get arrested for simple possession of pot. To say that the status quo is OK is wrong. This is a terrible, terrible policy.

LEMON: Before you respond --

GILLESPIE: To make pot illegal.

LEMON: I want to read about what the president said. The incarceration rates for those caught smoking and he says middle class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot and poor kids do. The American Civil Liberties Union issued a report last year finding that African-Americans are four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana despite similar rates of use. That's the point here, don't you think?

KENNEDY: Yes. So, no, that's conflating two separate issues, you have the issue of racism.

LEMON: Wait. It's legalization of pot.

KENNEDY: And the application of all laws because it's not just marijuana. African-Americans, minorities are arrested and incarcerated much higher rates no matter what the offending offense is. Frankly, just like alcohol, you'll see more arrests because now you have just like alcohol you have the not selling to minors, you have loitering. All these other issues --

GILLESPIE: Wait. Wait. Wait.

KENNEDY: That comes with enforcing the lack of selling to young people.

GILLESPIE: Wait, Congressman.

KENNEDY: Because you'll enforce that.

GILLESPIE: Congressman, are you serious? Can you possibly be serious to say that legalizing the sale of pot to adults is going to increase the amount of arrests for selling of pot to minors, already illegal to sell pot --

LEMON: Wait a minute. Let him finish, Congressman.

GILLESPIE: No, no, no. An alcoholism model, we tried alcohol prohibition, it did not work. What it did, it did stop some people from drinking and all of the harms associated with drinking got worse under prohibition plus you brought in organized crime and all sorts of corruption of constitutional rights as well as of law enforcement. The same thing is happening with the war on drugs.

LEMON: So Nick --

GILLESPIE: I'm a parent. I'm a parent. I am totally confident that I can say to my kids, you know what, you're under age. You shouldn't be drinking. I'm going to kick your butt if you do. If you smoke a joint while you're under age, you're also in the dog house.

LEMON: Can we take the criminal element out of it if you do legalize it and it's available to people who are of age rather than --

KENNEDY: So Nick's point is to get rid of the cartels, but to do that you need to also legalize cocaine, heroine --

GILLESPIE: We're not talking about that.

KENNEDY: Then your argument about -- GILLESPIE: Legalize coke or amphetamine?

KENNEDY: Marijuana is just one piece. If you are really honestly interested in eliminating cartels, that's the extension of your civil liberties policies.

GILLESPIE: What I am interested in doing is first and foremost treating American adults like adults who are responsible for what they do with their life. We should criminalize intoxication.

LEMON: Of any kind of drug, right.

GILLESPIE: Yes, that is fine. Treat people as adults and then let it ride after that. The fact of the matter is we can have a legal weed industry that's coming. It's already here in Colorado and Washington State. And that is not what that will do is it will deprive cartels and criminal gangs of a lot of activity. It will also help the constitution.

LEMON: Nick, the public is on the president's side here if we're talking about people who don't think it's --

GILLESPIE: The president is not on the people's side. The president has not said.

LEMON: Nick, let me get in here. More dangerous for people to use, 73 percent of people say alcohol, 12 percent say marijuana equally as dangerous, 14 percent and should the use of marijuana be legal, 55 percent of Americans say yes, 44 percent say no.

KENNEDY: I agree with the president, alcohol is more dangerous. The problem is what's he going to do about it, Don? Can he regulate the liquor industry? I don't think so, Don. The liquor industry is so powerful. There is no way he's going to regulate the sale to minors. They are advertising hard liquor. So the point here, Don, is we don't want create another big tobacco, another big marijuana like the liquor industry.

LEMON: That has to be the last word.

GILLESPIE: Please, come on. It's time for America to grow up and do what is right.

LEMON: Nick, you know we'll have you on. You've been on here twice. We'll talk about this more. Thank you, Patrick. Thank you, Nick. We appreciate it.

Still to come, she watched her husband get shot in a movie theatre apparently over texting, and tonight she speaks for the first time about what happened then.

New surveillance video captures a deadly plane crash in Aspen, Colorado. You have to see this video.

And Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes an admission after a new video surfaced showing him drunkenly ranting. Dr. Drew Pinsky weighs in on his battle on addiction.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So you thought the Rob Ford show had come to a close, did you? No, it is back in full swing. An admission of alcohol use, a strange rant and dangerous behaviour by Toronto's crack smoking mayor and tonight he held a press conference where he admitted he had a setback and then ended the conference like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: I'll be happy to take questions on the budget only. If you have any other personal questions, I won't be answering those. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Our Paula Newton is in Canada with more on the mayor's new scandal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The circus is back in town at Toronto city hall. Centre stage, you guessed it, Mayor Rob Ford.

FORD: That's how I speak with some of my friends.

NEWTON: Reporters were hurling all too familiar questions about a new video, had he been drinking, doing drugs, driving drunk? The Mayor says the video was shot at a restaurant Monday night and it's quite a show. Mayor Ford putting on a fake, some would say offensive Jamaican accent and complaining about how police wasted money on tailing him for so many months. At one point, he uses profane language to describe the city's police chief, Bill Blair.

FORD: I said you know your eyes open. I swear to God.

NEWTON: Just weeks ago, the mayor promised he would never drink again.

FORD: I'll guarantee that. Guarantee it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you've quit drinking for good?

FORD: Guarantee it, 100 percent.

NEWTON: It was not to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you drinking last night?

FORD: Yes, I was.

NEWTON: Mayor Ford is trying to dismiss the incident as personal.

FORD: No, I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life. NEWTON: But many are insisting the mayor remains in denial about his addiction. The video has again shaken city hall and many others in the city especially since a second video from the restaurant appears to show him sitting with Alexander Lisi although CNN cannot independently confirm the man's identity.

Lisi is the man charged with extortion police alleging he tried to get his hands on a video showing Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine. The apparent meeting with Lisi that disturbed Toronto's deputy mayor.

NORM KELLY, DEPUTY MAYOR OF TORONTO: He's got legal problems, possibly criminal ones, and I think that in light of the all of the revelations of the past couple of months, two or three months, I would have thought that the mayor would have wanted to distance himself.

NEWTON: Even one-time friends are fed up with the mayor's antics.

GARY CRAWFORD, TORONTO COUNCILLOR: He made the guarantee that this wouldn't be happening again and it has. He has a problem, an issue, an addiction; it needs to be dealt with.

NEWTON: Ford's lawyer says it would be predictable trying to get sober. It's becoming clear that he may need a break to sort out his problems in private. Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: Thanks, Paula.

We now bring in the host of HLN's "Dr. Drew On Call," Dr. Drew Pinsky for more on the story. So Dr. Drew, you've seen the video of this latest drunken rant video that he's admitted to. What's your reaction to it?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW ON CALL": Well, not surprised I'm sorry to say that somebody who he is a binge alcoholic at the intensity with which you're seeing manifest here in Rob Ford, there's a mathematical certainty that he will relapse and do this again. We've not yet heard the last of him until something drastic happens and he has a moment of clarity where he can access and do something active, some sort of treatment to get him off of this merry-go-round, this will continue.

LEMON: Blooper it seems like, I mean, it is the ultimate denial. He is in denial. That looks like a moment of crisis to me, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: It is a moment. We've seen multiple moments of crises here. My gravest fear is it will take some sort of near-death experience or him hurting somebody else to finally breakthrough that denial and in fact, as you mentioned, this is denial. Maybe it's what I would consider a master class in alcoholic thinking. He deflects, blames, rationalizes. Every time you ask him if he was drinking, his response was, do you drink? That is how an alcoholic gets away with their disease both in terms of how they deny it in their own mind and how they are able to get other people to act. LEMON: You know, a lot of people have urged him to get professional help. As a matter of fact, on November 18th CBC's Peter Mansbridge asked him about the help that he had sought. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORD: I would say my excessive drinking at times. I don't do drugs and my health and my weight. I'm trying every day. I haven't touched a drop of alcohol in three weeks and I don't do drugs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Is he getting the help that he needs and the support from the people around him?

PINSKY: No. No way. His brother is continuing to deny with him.

LEMON: Is it worse that they're there? Should he have other people around him?

PINSKY: He needs people who actually are insightful and care enough about him to step forward and require him to do something about this. But notice in his thinking, he's making a distinction between alcohol and drugs. It's severely addictive in his case. The other thing is that somebody who's a binge alcoholic, they have a delusion sometimes it's realistic that they can control their using because they seemed to have control over it.

What they don't realize is that the next relapse is right around the corner and it is inevitable unless they stop altogether. For some people a time celebrating, for some people it's just Thursday and I want to have a drink. The bottom line is that the disorder of alcoholism is a disorder of motivation and motivational priorities. So the using of the substance takes priorities over everything else including things like your job, your family, your health. And here is a prime example of that.

LEMON: Thank you, Dr. Drew.

Coming up, the wife of a man who police say was shot for texting at a movie theatre speaks out for the first time.

Then new video of Seattle cornerback, Richard Sherman, what he was saying before his infamous rant?

And a secret reveal about the latest movie in the "Star Wars" franchise.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: It's an alleged murder that shocked the nation. A man gunned down in front of his wife in a movie theatre during a preview. The reason, police say it was because he was texting his daughter's babysitter. Well, tonight, Nicolle Oulson who was on a date with her husband, Chad, when he was shot speaks out for the first time. Here's our Martin Savidge. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nicole Oulson's voice resonated with pain.

NICOLE OULSON, WIDOW: Right now, I'm just trying to still recover from the shock. My main focus will be on my daughter, Alexis. It's just unimaginable.

SAVIDGE: She and her husband, Chad, had gone to this movie theatre North of Tampa for a date.

OULSON: I was just so excited and looking forward to spending the day with the love of my life at a place of entertainment, family entertainment.

SAVIDGE: But the screening of "Lone Survivor" quickly turned violent. Her husband was texting their daughter's babysitter during the previews when according to witnesses this man, Curtis Reeves, confronted him. Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves and that's when police say the 71-year-old retired police officer pulled out a gun and fired.

OULSON: And just to think that in the blink of an eye my whole world just got shattered into a million pieces and now I'm left to try to pick them up and put them all back together.

SAVIDGE: CNN has tried repeatedly to get Reeves' side of the story, but his lawyer will not return calls. Police say Reeves told them he fired in self-defence. Meanwhile, his attorney says his client is also suffering.

RICHARD ESCOBAR, REEVES' ATTORNEY: Mr. Reeves is certainly heartbroken over the fact that someone's life has been lost here, but you know we need to focus at this point in time on gathering the true evidence and bringing that forth before the court.

SAVIDGE: Nicole Oulson says she's grateful for the outpouring of words and wishes, which she says so far has carried her through.

OULSON: It's so hard and it's so unbearable that I want to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: The bullet that killed her husband first passed through the hand of Nicole Oulson. It is possible that she may need follow-up surgery. Meanwhile, a fund has been set up on her husband's behalf. It continues to take donations and so far they've raised a little over $20,000. Curtis Reeves, his next court appearance is scheduled for February 5th -- Don.

LEMON: Thank you, Martin. Next, while parts of the country are dealing with the bitter cold and inches of snow, another part suffering from severe drought and soon you might start to feel its impact on your wallet. And an 8-year-old boy who sacrificed his life to save six members of his family.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.

An important development this evening in the Iran nuclear deal. An exclusive interview with our Jim Sciutto, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif says the Obama administration has been mischaracterizing concessions Iran made to the U.S. and other world powers.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAVAD ZARIF, IRAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, the terminology is different. The White House tries to portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran's nuclear program. That is the word that they used time and again, and I urge you to read the entire text. If you find a single, a single word that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I will take back my comment.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: What is it --

ZARIF: On --

(CROSSTLALK)

SCIUTTO: Admitting?

ZARIF: No. What, the text? What Iran has agreed is not to enrich above 5 percent. We did not agree to dismantle anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, he went on to say the White House has been both underplaying concessions and overplaying Iranian commitments in the agreement. And in it, Iran agreed to suspend the uranium enrichment to 20 percent, which is near the grade needed to develop a nuclear weapon.

A warning the images that you're about to see right now may be disturbing to watch. A shocking video has been released of that Aspen, Colorado, plane crash that killed one person and injured two others earlier this month. As the plane tried to land, five infrared cameras captured the plane making contact with the grouped and then becoming engulfed in flames.

During a previous landing attempt, the pilot had reported high winds. One camera also captures three ground workers who witnessed the crash. They're highlighted.

One seems to put his hand on his knees and then kicks a piece of equipment in anguish. A selfless act in Upstate New York, 8-year-old Tyler Doohan rescued six relatives including six children from a fire in a trailer he was staying in. Once outside, Doohan broke away from his aunt, and -- get this -- he bravely went back into the burning trailer to help his disabled grandmother. Before the two could escape, though, they were overcome by the heat and the smoke.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRYSTAL VROOMAN, TYLER DOOHAN'S MOTHER: He makes me really proud, it really does, but I just want him back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The two were found in a bed in the back room and it appeared that Doohan was trying to lift his grandmother from the bed. It turns out the trailer did not have a working smoke detector.

Princess Leia usually holds top secret information close to her, well, her white gown, but she may have just blown it. Carrie Fisher who plays Leia, while she seemed to inadvertently confirm to TV Guide rumors that Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill will return for a "Star Wars Episode 7". Everybody in the studio is smiling because they all want to see it.

She offhandedly says that the two actors are expected to return to work in March or in April. Oops. I don't know. Fisher says she is also reprising her role and has a suggestion for the director, JJ Abrams. She said she'd like to wear her own cinnabun buns but with white hair. It's a good look for her, don't you think? Kind of cool.

LEMON: OK. So millions of Americans digging out from the storm that dumped record-breaking piles of snow all across the Northeast. But in New York City, some residents are digging in. They're turning snowplowing into an issue of class warfare, I kid you not.

And it's a fight -- it is a fight, I should say, that could have big political implications for President Obama, too. Here's the headline last night from "The New York Post", "De Blasio getting back to us by not plowing Upper East Side residents." OK?

And then, de Blasio, the new mayor of New York City, was also hit hard today. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: I'm sure you've heard complaints from parts of Manhattan, the Upper East Side, for example, that they were treated differently than other parts of the city. Are they just mistaken?

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: They're just mistaken. No one was treated differently.

REPORTER: I went to the Upper East Side today, and I can tell you that there's plenty of snow on all the main thoroughfares.

DE BLASIO: Look, we had I think an extraordinary effort in the last 24 hours.

REPORTER: I could not see a lot of equipment out on the Upper East Side.

DE BLASIO: We all go out and we all see things and it's all imperfect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He was asked about it a lot in that press conference. Those less familiar with the Upper East Side of New York City, it's one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country. And in the highlighted, the median household income is more than $240,000. Compare that to the median household income across the United States, about $51,000.

So, why do the Upper East Siders think de Blasio is out to get them? Well, he has pledged to raise taxes on the rich. And they say they're not getting services. This was his message on inauguration day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE BLASIO: Big dreams are not a luxury reserve for the privilege few, but the emanating force behind every community in every borough. When I said I would take dead aim at the tail of two cities, I meant it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: It was the tale of two cities. The city that got plowed, that part. That part that didn't get plowed. His message is one that other Democrats, including President Barack Obama are using as well. But will it back fire?

Joining me now are CNN political commentator Reihan Salam and Amanda Seales, who is a cultural critic.

OK. So, despite of all those denials today from de Blasio, he has now issued a statement and here's what he said. "After inspecting the area and listening to concerns from residents earlier today, I determined more could have been done to serve the Upper East Side. I've instructed the commissioner of the Department of Sanitation to double down on cleanup efforts on the Upper East Side."

(LAUGHTER)

AMANDA SEALES, CULTURAL CRITIC: It sounds like the Upper East Side doubled down on him. That's what it sounds like to me. It doesn't make sense.

I live in New York. I live on the Upper West Side a.k.a. Harlem.

LEMON: That's where I live. My streets are pretty good.

SEALES: My streets are pretty good, too.

LEMON: People usually complain in Harlem, in Brooklyn, in the outer boroughs. People in Manhattan usually don't complain, especially mid town, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, they don't have to worry. I love having Bloomberg as a neighbor because of my streets.

This is something new. Is this reversed, is there a conspiracy theory going on here, or is this about snowplow inequality because he's talking about income inequality?

REIHAM SALAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If there was actually this kind of scheme, the thing is that it's a good metaphor for the larger idea that we're a tale of two cities. And I'll tell you why, because the thing is that it's not just rich people who just live on the Upper East Side happily. It's also black and brown people, lots of working class people of all colors who go to the Upper East Side to work jobs, to drive cabs, to run diners, to do all kinds of things.

So, when you don't plow the streets, guess what? Those people in their apartment towers, they don't come out. They don't go to the diner. They don't pick up their dry cleaning. They don't do all kinds of things.

Those are people who actually get hurt. If your streets get plowed in Brooklyn where I grow up, you know, you get on the subway, you can't actually get to work because there are no customers.

LEMON: We have been talking so much about Christie and the bridge. The question is, is this political payback for the people who may not have supported him because he's going -- he said during the campaign, he's going to raise their taxes. These are the people with money and they may not have supported them. You don't think it's political payback?

SEALES: No, I don't think. And I think that, you know, Reihan right here is a smart guy. But I think de Blasio is also smart enough to understand the exact same comparison that you made. So, he would also see that if he was trying to make a sinister plan, you know, to shut the folks down on the Upper East Side, he would be affecting the people he's trying to help.

SALAM: He's just not smart enough to know the city works.

(CROSSTALK)

SALAM: To know how the city works and also to -- look, the sanitation department, it's a complex big bureaucracy. Michael Bloomberg was the guy -- for all of his faults -- wasn't a huge fan. Every day, he was the guy who actually knew how to make a bureaucracy work.

LEMON: Got it.

SALAM: Bill de Blasio ran Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign in 2000. He's a politician. He's not a guy who knows how to make the streets run.

SEALES: But I also say this, he also just got the job.

LEMON: OK. But I want to bring this back to the bigger picture because we've been talking about income inequality, and that's what the Democrats are hammering. That's what he talked about. A lot of people were offended by de Blasio's speech here.

President Obama, other Democratic leaders, have been pushing a very similar equality message in their fight to extend unemployment insurance for about 1.3 million long term uninsured Americans. Here's what the president had to say just two weeks ago about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The relentless decades- long trend that I want to spend some time talking about today, and that is a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle class American's basic bargain, that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, it's what's happening in New York City really a test case for Democrats across the country. If you talk about a tail of two different cities or tail of two different nations, is that exactly what you are going to get?

SEALES: I mean, I think it's what it is. I mean, I think it's not even about what you're going to get. It's not what it is.

And think that the folks that are not acknowledging that are able to live in a rose colored glass house -- well, not a glass house. But, you know, they going to get some rocks thrown if they don't realize what's happening.

LEMON: Yes.

SALAM: I think that Bill de Blasio, Elizabeth Warren, they are a bunch of people who are actually to the left of Barack Obama, who planned in pushing these policies much further than President Obama ever would. So, I think we're in for an interesting few years.

LEMON: We're going to see. We're going to have the smoke for a while in New York City. So goes New York City, I'm telling you, so goes the rest of the country. So, we'll be watching Bill de Blasio and Democrats as well.

Thank you. It was a pleasure having both of you. Stay warm. Let's hope your streets get plowed.

Mine were good. All right, Harlem.

Extreme weather from coast to coast, we have been talking about it tonight far from the frigid New York City temperatures. Folks out west are experiencing some of the worst drought conditions in at least a century here.

In California, some cities are tying the record for heat, for sparking wildfires and jeopardizing the livelihood of farmers and ranchers. And there is no relief in sight. Four months.

Here's our Kyung Lah with the record. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, this part of California is critical to the rest of the country. About half of the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables come from California, much of it from right here. The drought hurting agriculture, as well as the animals.

(voice-over): Harold Kelly speaks to his horses. It's the call to feed.

HAROLD KELLY, RANCHER: The grass is basically all gone.

LAH: Gone, because of California's historic drought, the worst in the century. What that means for these majestic creatures, so gentle that they'll eat out of a stranger's hand. There's simply no food. As Kelly rounds left his 50 hours, you can see their ribs, where there should be fat.

The 71-year-old rancher like all the ranchers and farmers in California Central Valley is forced to buy hay, also skyrocketing in price before the drought.

KELLY: Not really. I borrowed money. I hate to even say that, I borrowed money recently to buy hay.

LAH (on camera): Just to feed the horses.

KELLY: Just to feed the horses, yes.

LAH: How bad is this drought? Normally, all of this is green, you can see this is just dust now.

ANTHONY CAGLIA, SILVER WINGS HORSE RESCUE: It's getting there. It's on the verge of very desperate.

LAH (voice-over): Anthony Caglia runs Silver Wings Horse Rescue. He's at capacity, like many rescue operations on the state. Look across the land here, what's known as the nation's salad bowl, and you can see why. Formerly lush farms are arid deserts and with no rain forecast anytime soon, owners are ditching their starving animals.

CAGLIA: I've been here all of my life and I've never seen it this bad.

KELLY: You don't have to be too smart to figure out what you have to do.

LAH: Kelly is giving away all of his horses, every single one will go. He doesn't have time to sell them. He's finding them new homes, to people who can afford to feed them like Marcy Hanson.

Drought measured here not by rain lost but in good-byes said.

KELLY: Go girl.

It's time to accept the things that I cannot control. There's no need in me trying to -- I can't make it rain but the drought is probably one of the most devastating things for this whole area.

LAH (on camera): What Kelly will not do is sell his animals to the slaughterhouses. He says that he'll go broke and starve before he allows that to happen.

While other ranchers are making that choice, selling their animals by the pound to the butchers -- Don.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: Thank you very much, Kyung.

Still to come, a brand new interview with Richard Sherman. What microphones caught him saying right before he went on this rant.

An incredible video -- we take you on a wild ride with a sky diver.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Getting close to the top of the hour. Anderson is coming up. Anderson, what do you have for us?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, don, we've got breaking news tonight, and a story that we've been following closely. A young mother being kept on life support in Texas even though her family says she is brain dead. The hospital is refusing to honor her family's wishes to take her off life support because she's pregnant. Now, we have new information on the health of the fetus that could change the way this case is viewed.

Also tonight, you already know Washington is broken. Tonight, when it comes to trading money and power, you'll see how it got broken without anyone breaking the law. We're keeping them honest.

And in crime and punishment, a murder mystery in southern California, a young woman and her young brother turn up dead. The fiance is missing. Now, weeks later, a new development that could turn this into a triple homicide.

Those stories and tonight's "Ridiculist", a lot more at the top of the hour, Don.

LEMON: See you then. Thank you, Anderson.

You know, we're just getting brand new video of an interview with Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman. Moments before that post-game rant he gave to Erin Andrews on Sunday, and as you're about to see, Sherman was fired up when speaking to Fox Desports (ph).

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD SHERMAN, NFL PLAYER: (INAUDIBLE) You don't try to get me. Crabtree is weak.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a play.

SHERMAN: Hey, I'm the best to do this right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to New York for the Super Bowl, first time in your life.

SHERMAN: I feel good. We work for this. We deserve it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Denver Broncos.

SHERMAN: LOB.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Fox Deportes.

So, it was an interview with Andrews that you saw at the end of the clip getting a hug from Sherman, that had the cornerback speaking out today, saying he is not upset over losing control but rather taking the spotlight off his teammates. That's what he was upset about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERMAN: If I had known it was going to blow up like that I would have approached it differently, you know, just in the terms of the way it took away from my teammates, great game. So many people played great games that you would think the story would be about them. So, that's the only thing I feel regretful about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. So, should Sherman have known that was going to result in a crazy response.

Coy Wire, former Atlanta Falcon and Buffalo Bills player joins me, and also sports commentator, Lewis Johnson.

Good to see you, Coy.

Long time no see. We used to be buddies.

COY WIRE, FORMER NFL PLAYER: You had to leave us. You had to leave us.

LEMON: I know. Football is an emotional sport. How tough do you think it is to manage that emotion in that moment? You said you've within that.

WIRE: It is. That wasn't Richard Sherman that we saw. That was his alter ego, Don. We have a switch. As any elite athlete will tell you, there's a switch that goes on and off. An alter ego that allows you transcend normalcy and get to the highest level of being a competitor.

That's what we saw from Richard Sherman. He forgot to turn the switch off.

LEMON: Yes. But you're a Stanford alum so this hits you doubly hard? WIRE: It does, Don. I'm not proud of how he chose to represent Stanford University in that moment.

LEMON: Come on.

WIRE: Truthfully, it hurts. But at the same time I know where he's coming from. We saw what happens when adrenaline, endorphins and supreme competiveness collide.

LEMON: Lewis, you're shaking your head. That new interview taking place minutes after the game ended, Sherman says he got caught up in the moment.

Is that an excuse?

LEWIS JOHNSON, SPORTS COMMENTATOR: No, I think it's really the truth. Now we know why the NFL has the ten-minute cooling down period in the locker room to help guys kind of calm down a little bit, get their heads together.

But if you're the star of the game, you've got to know there's a good possibility you'll have a microphone jammed in your face within seconds after the game is over. Not everybody handles it like Russell Wilson or Peyton Manning.

And I just think he got caught up on the moment. There are really kind of two levels of responsibility here. I would have love to have seen Sherman kind of calm down and really tell a story about getting to that moment, the season, the game, the play, really take people inside. That's what I try and get athletes to do.

And then for the journalists, for those of us who are asking the questions, we're grabbing people and getting them set up for a live shot, for an interview. We also need to kind of check them and make sure they're OK. Crack a joke and get them to calm down a bit. Then maybe they'll be more apt and ready to really tell a story and articulate what just happened and not go on the rant like he did.

You're not buying that, Don?

LEMON: I'm not buying that. And listen, I really don't get the outrage from people.

I don't -- I understand perfectly what Richard Sherman said. Listen, when I'm in work mode I'm in work mode.

LEWIS: Right.

LEMON: So if you catch me coming hanging out with my friends, coming out of a bar, whatever, I may be in a completely different mode. I'm not journalist on.

In that moment, he was a football player, cornerback who had just made the winning play. So, cut the guy some slack.

And as I've been saying, I said this last night, when you think about John McEnroe, John McEnroe used to talk smack on the court.

LEWIS: Right.

WIRE: Right.

LEMON: To the ref. And made a name for himself doing it.

What's the difference?

WIRE: It's a great point, Don. And it wasn't what he said, it was when and how he said it. Because you look at a guy like Joe Flacco, a couple of years ago he said I'm the best quarterback in the NFL.

LEMON: What's wrong with that? He is.

WIRE: What's wrong with that? But it was the way Richard said it. It was the way Mr. Sherman chose to project and vociferously proclaim and pontificating that he was the best at the wrong moment.

LEMON: All right. Let's talk about it, because that, him being so confident or whatever, however you want to call it, has led to all of these things. People saying racial things about him, which were absolutely ridiculous.

Go ahead, Lewis.

JOHNSON: And all those things are awful, but what we have to remember here is that after that play, there were 22 seconds left in the game. The guy's switch is still on. He's celebrating the moment. They know when you go to training camp you prepare for one thing, to try and win a championship. Now they know they're going to the game.

But he has no time to flip that switch. What I really think is the issue is he hasn't had the proper training to understand how to manage the moment.

I'm heading to Sochi to cover my eighth Olympics here in about ten days. One of the things we thrive on is storytelling. It's getting kids to tell their story. We tell their stories.

You need to be able to articulate yourself in those big moments when you've won that Olympic gold medal or whatever it is. It's the same thing for the athletes. When they get to those moments, they've got to be able to flip a switch maybe it's training to be able to articulate what the moment means.

LEMON: Why do you want to train them away from their authenticity?

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: What's that?

LEMON: I think people want authenticity. Why do you want to train away their authenticity?

JOHNSON: That's not what we're saying. We're talking about training them so they could really answer a question.

How often do you watch television and say, OK, the reporter asked him this and this guy's saying our backs were against the wall. We gave it all. The best team won.

We don't want to hear that. We want to hear real things. He got a little bit too real. He cleaned it up after the post-game interview and showed himself well. But it was a little raw, I like to see him be a better storyteller.

LEMON: I know, Coy, you're itching to jump in. I'm sure we'll be talking more about this.

Can't we all just get along, please? Thank you.

Still to come, a skydiver drops in on a NFL stadium. Jeanne Moos takes a closer look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: What does Mile High Stadium look like from 5,000 feet? Well, thanks to helmet cam video you can get a skydiver's eye view that's pretty spectacular.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's across the 50, the 40, the 30, clear sailing at the 20. But that's no running back. That's a skydiver.

And if you've ever wondered what it's like to drop into a stadium, come along for the jump. But how do you aim for that itty bitty oval down there?

Grab the steering handles.

DAVID BILLINGS, DENVER BRONCOS THUNDERSTORM: You pull down on the left, you go left. You pull down on the right, you go right.

MOOS: David Billings is a member of the Denver Broncos Thunderstorm.

Six skydivers who routinely jump into sports authority field at Mile High Stadium. After they jumped as part of the AFC championship pregame show, they released the helmet cam video.

(on camera): If you've never landed on a spectator?

BILLINGS: No. Absolutely not.

MOOS (voice-over): There were some 77,000 directly beneath them.

BILLINGS: We're coming in at speeds probably about 50 to 60 miles per hour.

MOOS: They use high performance smaller swooping canopies, the biggest hazards are the crisscrossing cables the TV cameras run on.

BILLINGS: Every blue line is a wire we have to avoid. Enter the field about here, do our spiral, come in under these wires. Now, we're under all the wires until we touch down right over here.

MOOS: Touchdown at the 20. Who needs the end zone? The skydivers were greeted like heroes. But 20 years ago, an unexpected and unwelcome paraglider --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a parachute has landed on the edge of the ring --

MOOS: Intentionally crashed a heavyweight title bout at Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is entering at the left side.

MOOS: That guy got beaten up by fans and arrested.

But the Broncos skydivers get high fives. Though a Patriots fan did gave two-handed middle finger salute.

(on camera): The Broncos skydivers have never had a problem. They make it look easy. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

(voice-over): Well, there was the time more than a flag was flying in the outfield at a Texas Rangers game after an army skydiver got hung up on the pole.

(on camera): When's the last time you're actually paid for a ticket to get into the stadium?

BILLINGS: You know, I've never actually paid for a ticket. I've never had a ticket for the actual game although I've stayed for quite a few.

MOOS (voice-over): They pay him to enter at this gate. Talk about long yardage.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: So, now, you know. "AC360" starts right now.