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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Ex-Official: Christie Knew About Lane Closures; Super Bowl Security Scare; Women Ski Jump Into Olympics History; Knox: "I Will Never Go Willingly Back"

Aired January 31, 2014 - 19:00   ET

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


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, did he or didn't he? "The New York Times" suggests Chris Christie knew more about the bridge closure than he's letting on. Christie's future is on the line, but where is the proof?

Plus Amanda Knox says she won't willingly go back to Italy. A court convicted her of murder again, but will she be forced to serve time? She speaks.

Howie Mandell on growing up with obsessive compulsive disorder, why even tying his shoes was an utter nightmare. My special guest tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening to all of you. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight breaking news involving Chris Christie, "The New York Times" says there is evidence that the New Jersey governor, a likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, knew about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. This, of course, is the scandal threatening his political career.

The big question we have tonight is where is proof? Let me lay out exactly what happened. Here's the headline "The New York Times" first posted to. Christie knew about lane closings export official says. The headline seems to imply that he knew about them before they happened. "The New York Times" has toned that headline down to this. Export authority official says evidence exists Christie knew about lane closings, evidence which we do not yet have.

The implied allegation though is huge and it relies and here we have Chris Christie. I just want to show you this. I want to show you a live picture. Breaking news here, this is Chris Christie coming out of a birthday party here in New York City, Howard Stearns' 60th birthday party. A source who was inside that room told me personally that Chris Christie was just on stage a few moments introducing Jon Bonjovi who was performing for Howard Stern's birthday party.

Important to let you know that's where Chris Christie is tonight. Obviously as you can see, getting into his car and I don't believe we're going to get any comment from the governor, but I don't want to cut away from this until we're sure we're not. He's already in the car. He's not commenting.

All right, I just want to make sure we have that, but you can see the press and cameras around him because, as I said, the story and allegations here tonight could be huge. I actually now have the letter, CNN has obtained it, and this is the letter upon which "The New York Times" is basing this story. It's a 2-1/2 page, Steve Wildstein's attorney.

Now Wildstein is the man at the centre of the Bridgegate, the now former Port Authority official, the man who authorized the lane closures allegedly to punish a local mayor for not endorsing Christie in the New Jersey governor race.

Here is the key part of the letter and I want to read it to you. It has also come to light that a person within the Christie administration communicated the Christie administration's order that certain lanes on the George Washington Bridge were to be closed and evidence exist as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures during the period when the lanes were closed.

Contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two hour press conference, all right, here is what the governor said in that two hour press conference.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don't know what else to say except to tell them that I had no knowledge of this, of the planning, the execution, or anything about it just so we're really clear. I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: There are two big questions tonight. Did the governor know about the lane closures before they happened, therefore, did he order their closing? Now the denials from Christie we just played don't point to an exact date of when the governor knew and a source in the governor's office tonight tells me that Chris Christie stands behind what he said at the press conference and the source categorically tells me that while the governor has not been specific about the exact date he learned about the lane closures, he learned about them through press reports.

And the source further tells me that Christie is still categorical that he did not know about them before and he did not direct Wildstein to close the lanes, that he knew nothing about the closures prior to the event. So is this latest development in this letter damaging to Christie or not?

Joining me now, political analyst, Steve Adubato, and CNN political analyst, Paul Begala. All right, great to have both of you with us. Steve, let me start with you. You're a very familiar face to me and many people in this area. To those around the country you are a person who interviews Chris Christie often. You host a lot of those town halls. You know the man very well. What do you think about this letter? You've looked at it. You've looked at "The New York Times" story.

STEVE ADUBATO, POLITICAL ANALYST: I've looked at that paragraph over and over again. If anyone says it helps the governor, it doesn't. But here's the other part, I don't see it. Mr. Zegus, who is Wildstein's lawyer saying is he has the evidence. My question is, where is the evidence? He's saying he has evidence that could refute what the governor said in the press conference. My question is it's 7:00, 7:05 to be exact on Friday. Why don't you say it right there?

Now if Mr. Wildstein is attempting to get someone, the Port authority to pay for his legal defence, this is a way to do that and I'm not an attorney, I would argue I guess, that's a way to do it. But if you want to say that the governor lied, then show us how the governor lied. Don't imply that you can prove it and then not prove it. Then we in the media jump on it. What are we jumping on?

BURNETT: Right.

ADUBATO: We're jumping on conjecture or allegations that you can't prove or disprove. But there's nothing there. I don't see it.

BURNETT: Paul, let me ask you, right. Obviously you're on the Democratic side of this. I know if you saw something here you would be quick to jump on it. You would as you should. Do you see anything? My issue with this paragraph is, first of all, it does seem to be that the line is did he know before and did he direct it? That seems to be the key question. This paragraph talks about evidence exists, but nobody seems to have the evidence.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, in fact, that's right. I am a lawyer. Steve, it's good to see you.

ADUBATO: Good to see you.

BEGALA: Back in the day. Even less than you say, Steve. The lawyer does not say that Mr. Wildstein has evidence. It simply says evidence exists. Mr. Wildstein's been under subpoena now for some time. The New Jersey State Assembly has been investigating this and so he would be legally obligated to have already turned over what evidence he has.

So, look, Steve's right. There's no way you can spin this to be good for Christie. It's terrible for him. At the same time everybody needs to take a breath and let the facts come out and evidence. Let's get everybody under subpoena and under oath. Get all the facts out there.

Steve knows this, the "Star Ledger," the biggest newspaper in that state and already they have written that if this is true, he must resign or be impeached. The guy won a massive landslide a couple of months ago. I'm no Chris Christie defender. He's a bully. I don't like him. I would never vote for him. The people in New Jersey did. I don't believe in overturning elections without a hell of a high bar.

BURNETT: Do you think though that if everything in this paragraph is true that this is a bombshell? Because again, I'm getting back to this and maybe I'm wrong, but to me the issue is during this period he never said he didn't know during, when he knew, except for that one definitive line that I did not know before or I did not order it. If they were saying they had proof of that, and if they did, that would be a bombshell. ADUBATO: That would be a bombshell and the other thing is this, by the way, Paul, if is a big if. So the ledger and anyone else says that, I write for the ledger, that's a huge if. But here's the other thing, Erin, the huge issue is also this. When the governor said he believed it to be a traffic study, if that letter or any other evidence comes out that the governor in fact knew it was not a traffic study, in fact, it was something else, political retribution, if you will, then we are talking about game, set, and match.

BURNETT: A bombshell, right, exactly.

ADUBATO: Unlike Paul, I do respect the governor, I like the governor. I'm not a cheerleader for the governor. I'll say this, Paul. The problem is this anything other than the governor leading this effort, anything other than the governor lying about the fact, Erin, that he, as he said, believed it was a traffic study, everything else is conjecture and you can't prove any of this. I don't know where you go with it.

BURNETT: Right.

ADUBATO: Because there are other people who will say stuff as well about the governor.

BURNETT: Right. You have to have the proof. Paul, Christie addressed his relationship with David Wildstein earlier this month and that maybe, you know, when you also talk -- I mean, this guy is under subpoena, to your point. He's at the centre of this. He's trying to save his skin. Here's what Chris Christie said about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: Well, let me just clear something up, OK, about my childhood friend, David Wildstein. It is true that I met David in 1977 in high school. He's a year older than me. David and I were not friends in high school. We were not even acquaintances in high school. We didn't travel the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don't know what David was doing during that period of time. We went 23 years without seeing each other. In the years we did see each other, we passed in the hallways.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right, that's a pretty nasty sound bite, Paul. It's pretty nasty. I play it not just for entertainment value, but because it raises the questions for David Wildstein's motives when he says this. He's angry. He hates the guy.

BEGALA: Who cares? Well, he should. That's what I mean by the guy is a bully. I respect his political talent. I respect that he won that election. I don't want to see it overturned. He's a bully. Look at that arrogance. I was a jock. He sure isn't a jock anymore. Why do you have to kick the guy while he's down? Just a low class thing that Christie did. Now I don't care what Wildstein's motives are. I could not care less. I just want the facts out. Let's just get the fact out. Of course, I'm sure Wildstein's feelings were hurt. By the way, he fired that woman, Bridgette Kelly, and he called her an idiot or stupid or something, goodness gracious.

ADUBATO: Paul, I respect what you're saying and I know you want the facts out, but it seems to me while you don't like the governor's tone there, I may disagree with the fact that he handled that, believe me, there have been times when I've had situations with the governor and he's come after me on the air and I thought he has been overly aggressive, but here's the thing. That's not a crime. You don't throw somebody out of office over those things.

BEGALA: That's right.

ADUBATO: We're talking about this bombshell, respectfully, I don't see it. When I see the bombshell and I see the evidence and it's clear-cut, that's when you call for somebody to be thrown out of office. This is I don't see it.

BEGALA: Yes. I'm totally with you. I don't want the voters decisions overturned. I mean, that goes back to the declaration of independence where Jefferson said. I am not calling for that. I'm not saying this is a crime, but there is a pattern of bullying that this governor's had throughout his term in office and this fits into that.

BURNETT: That, of course, is what he has to put all of those sound bites back into headlines again. But interesting that they both agree, both Steve and Paul, that this is not a bombshell, which seemed to be our take reading it, but of course, I'm not a lawyer. If we find out that he knew it before and that it wasn't a traffic study --

ADUBATO: That's a different story.

BURNETT: -- those would be bombshells and political changers for the governor. All right, thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate it. Of course, everyone, go online, read this letter. CNN has made it available. Let us know, do you disagree with our take on it.

OUTFRONT next, on a day full of terror scares just before Super Bowl weekend, how safe is this major U.S. sporting event. We're going to take a ride over to the stadium in a Blackhawk because they are circling all around the New York area, Chinooks, Blackhawks.

Plus, Amanda Knox vows to fight the murder conviction handed down by an Italian court. You'll hear her in her own words.

And a team of American Olympic athletes doing something that has never been done before.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: A number of Super Bowl security scares today near the stadium. Hazardous materials team and bomb squads brought in after white powder was found in several New Jersey hotels. A suspicious letter also found at the Manhattan office of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The FBI was looking into these tweeting substances and suspicious letters in New York and New Jersey deemed non-hazardous, additional testing to come.

Alexandra Field is on Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square. Alexandra, you got a firsthand look at the massive security operations in effect. We've seen these helicopters flying over. You got a bird's eye view from a Blackhawk today. What did you see?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Erin, well, we got a look at the stadium where we know the goal will be to keep everyone inside Metlife Stadium safe, but the goal really in the air on Sunday will be to keep everyone away from Metlife Stadium. There is a no fly zone that will be in place and border protection agents showed us how they're going to enforce that no fly zone, a 10-mile perimeter around Metlife Stadium.

They'll be sending up Blackhawk helicopters on Sunday. We took a ride in one today. The pilots of the Blackhawks tell us that if anyone breaches that protected air space, the Blackhawks will intercept. They will use physical signs and radio signals to communicate with the pilot and let that pilot know that they're in protected air space. The Blackhawk would then plan to escort the pilot to the ground and federal agents would be waiting and as you would expect that pilot would have some questions to answer.

Now on the ground there is a vast security effort that's being coordinated and a secret command centre. We also got a tour of that. Law enforcement officers from 100 different states, local and federal agencies are working together. This is a place where they can share information and intelligence in real time. They're also monitoring a vast network of cameras in real time. So, Erin, they will have every angle of the Super Bowl covered.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Alexandra. You're going to see a lot more of Alexandra's reporting, the amazing Blackhawk video that she shot. She has a special report tomorrow morning on "NEW DAY SATURDAY."

But joining me now is former FBI counterterrorism agent, Tim Clemente. He's handled the FBI security at major professional sports and entertainment events. So Tim, let me ask you about this because the Super Bowl obviously taking place in New York City, a central target for many who would do harm to the U.S., around the world.

I was told today that this is a bigger risk event for New York City than New Year's Eve, which of course is seen by everyone around the world with thousands and thousands of people in Times Square. Do any other events compare to this one?

TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT: Well, first, let me say, Erin, it's great to have you back. Maternity has done well for you.

BURNETT: Thank you.

CLEMENTE: Yes, this is a big event. Events like this are called national special security events. NSSE is an event where the federal government takes the lead. Secret Service handles security precautions for something like that whereas -- so it makes it a bigger target. The FBI handles counterterrorism and crisis in consequence management. In New York for Times Square, New Year's Eve, that's a local event only. It's not a major federal event like this, and the Super Bowl is an iconic event.

Iconic events are always the target of mass terrorists. I mean, Al Qaeda has for decades gone after the World Trade Centres, which were the center of our finance in New York City. Other iconic targets like that. The Olympics in 1996 were targeted by a lone bomber. Iconic events are always the things we worry about the most because it attracts the most global attention. The biggest TV audience in the world would be watching this. So if a terrorist can create any kind of havoc, they get worldwide exposure for their cause.

BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much, Tim Clemente. I can tell you as someone who lives here, we're not really seeing that sort of security and certainly not the military helicopters ever before.

Well, despite the massive security operations surrounding the game, New York is going crazy with Super Bowl celebrations. For starters, Times Square has been transformed into what's called Super Bowl Boulevard. Fans are lining up to pretend they're the star player all suited up even making the kick of the lifetime. There's a Super Bowl winning field goal and you're allowed to go ahead and do that there.

And the best part I think is the Super Bowl toboggan run. It's the coolest thing I've ever seen in New York, right. It's typical New York style, it has eight lanes. For the truly adventurous fan is a Budlight Hotel on a cruise ship. The ship will play host to some big name musical acts including the Fu Fighters and Run DMC. Hopefully no norovirus comes with that particularly cruise ship. It doesn't even look like it can sail in the ice.

All right, still to come, a group of American athletes smash through a barrier ready to take flight in Sochi. This is a stupendous story.

The latest instalment of our special series about mental health, comedian, Howie Man Dell here to talk about his battle with OCD and ADHD. He is going to talk about why he couldn't tie his shoes and why he had to dip his hand into an entire bucket of Purell last night on Jay Leno.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Countdown to the Olympics, U.S. athletes arriving in Sochi today ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic games. All in all 230 members of the U.S. team is the largest delegation of any nation at the winter games. Among them is the first ever American Olympic female ski jumping team. Getting to this point, getting there to Sochi for this opportunity of a lifetime was an uphill battle for the ski jumpers. Ted Rowlands is OUTFRONT with what really is an inspiring story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's super bound.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jessica Jerome, the feeling of a perfect jump is like nothing else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's effortless, clean and you just float.

ROWLANDS: Jessica's incredible Olympic journey started with this jump at the age of 7.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number 48, Jessica Jerome!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good jump, Jess.

BARB JEROME, JESSICA'S MOTHER: She came home and announced she wanted to ski jump. I had no idea what she was talking about.

ROWLANDS: Within a few years she was competing hitting jumps at 60 plus miles per hour right alongside the boys.

JESSICA JEROME, OLYMPIC SKI JUMPER: We jumped with our hair tucked back and you couldn't tell the difference.

ROWLANDS: It was decided that women would only be able to compete against each other.

JESSICA JEROME: Which was great for us because we had our own we wanted our own competitions, but then they would say, well, you just don't have the depth that the guys have.

ROWLANDS: The women could compete, but no Olympics and no official support.

JESSICA JEROME: The guys were sponsored by the U.S. ski team. They had a substantial budget compared to what the girls had. The girls had nothing.

ROWLANDS: But they kept jumping, and the former mayor of Salt Lake City who had firsthand experience with the Olympics got involved.

DEE DEE CORRDINI, PRESIDENT, WOMEN'S SKI JUMPING USA: This is discrimination, plain and simple.

ROWLANDS: But for decades the International Olympic Committee disagreed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sport must be widely practiced around the world. This is not the case for women's ski jumping.

ROWLANDS: Jessica and teammate, Lindsey Van and 13 girls from five different countries decided to take on the IOC in court. They filed suit and demanded that women jumpers be included in the Vancouver Olympics. It turned out to be another heartbreaking defeat.

JESSICA JEROME: There were a lot of times when I wasn't sure I wanted to jump anymore.

ROWLANDS: Jessica says watching the Vancouver Olympics felt like seeing a party that she wasn't invited to, and she was getting tired of fighting.

JESSICA JEROME: I didn't like having to be an advocate for the sport. I would rather have been a participant.

ROWLANDS: Alan Alborn, a three-time Olympic ski jumper was one of the skeptics.

ALAN ALBORN, U.S. WOMEN'S SKI JUMPING HEAD COACH: I would be the first to say I was very narrow-minded when the women first started fighting.

ROWLANDS: But now he's a believer and he'll coach the first ever U.S. Women's Olympic ski jumping team at Sochi.

WHITNEY CHILDERS, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, WOMEN'S SKI JUMPING USA: They are going to be one of the biggest stories in Sochi. They already are, such a Cinderella story because of the pureness of it.

CORRDINI: To see these athletes finally achieve their dreams is just fabulous.

BARB JEROME: Took so long, a lot of energy, a lot of sacrifice! It's a great moment for them.

ROWLANDS (on camera): Opening ceremonies, what's that going to be like for you?

JESSICA JEROME: I have no idea. I hear from other people that it's awesome and I'm expecting it to be probably the moment where everything kind of sinks in.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Jessica's Olympic dreams started as that 7- year-old who loved to jump, and while she says she's proud of the fight it took to realize that dream, she's glad it's over.

JESSICA JEROME: Now I can focus on training and trying to have the best jumps of my life.

ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Park City, Utah.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Still to come, Amanda Knox reacts to being convicted of murder again. What she says about returning to Italy to serve more than 20 years in jail.

Is the next Justin Bieber living in the Vatican? I'm not kidding here. You'll see. We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Amanda Knox is defiant. She says she's not going back to jail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA KNOX, CONVICTED OF MURDER: I will never go willingly back to the place where I -- I'm going to fight this until the very end.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: That was Knox speaking out today on ABC's "Good Morning America", after an Italian court found that her -- and her ex- boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty of murder for the second time in four years. Earlier this morning, Italian police stopped Sollecito in a small town less than 30 miles from the Slovenian border, northern Italy.

At first, it appeared he was actually trying to flee. His attorney, though, says he was driving to his girlfriend's home and not trying to flee the country. The former couple was convicted in 2009 of killing Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher in what prosecutors described as a sex game gone wrong. It was a gruesome murder. The case made headlines around the world. Tabloids dubbing the American exchange student Foxy Knoxy.

Knox spent four years in an Italian prison, but was freed in 2011 after an appeals court in Italy overturned the guilty verdict. At the time, that court cited a lack of evidence. The reversal was another stunning twist in the case. The world watched as Knox returned home to her family in Seattle. That's where she was when she says she watched her third trial unfold in disbelief.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KNOX: Like this really has hit me like a train. I did not expect this to happen. I really expected so much better from the Italian justice system. They found me innocent before. How can they say that it's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: The guilty verdict is little consolation to Meredith Kercher's family. After nearly seven years of controversial evidence and testimony they now say they may never know the truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LYLE KERCHER, MEREDITH KERCHER'S BROTHER: Nothing's, of course, going to bring meredith back. Nothing will ever take away the horror of what happened to her. The best we can hope for is, of course, finally bringing this whole case to a conclusion, you know, and a conviction and everybody can then move on with their lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: There's one more appeal left. Italy's highest court. There is going to be a decision. The final conclusion could still be a way off. But Amanda Knox says she will fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA KNOX, CONVICTED OF MURDER: There are people who know better than I do the way these systems work and -- and the way that there was this entirely preventable thing that happened that was systematic, and I really hope that -- that people try to understand that like when you have over zealous prosecutors and when you have a biased investigation and coercive interrogations like these things happen and I'm not like -- I'm not crazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: That, of course, is her side of the story.

OUTFRONT tonight, Steve Moore, a former special FBI agent who wrote a book about the Knox case and advised the family, and CNN legal analyst and former homicide prosecutor, Paul Callan.

All right. Great to have both of you back last night. Very spirited conversation last night. Look, you guys ardently disagree.

Paul, let me start with you. Does she convince you when you hear her, you see her speak, of innocence? I mean, this is the reason this still captures so many people's minds when they see this is people still don't know.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think today's interview, she's very convincing. She's extremely sympathetic. She's for the first time almost weepy in her approach. The hair's been cut.

It looks like she's sort of had a makeover for the purpose of projecting in a different way. You know, a lot of the criticism of her initially was she came across as being cold and unfeeling. And, by the way, in jury trials or in judge trials the way a defendant comes across often has an effect.

BURNETT: Right.

CALLAN: Now, I thought in that interview very, very emotional, very human and I think this is an attempt to humanize her because American public opinion is going to be very important on the extradition issue which she --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Right, if she is convicted by the highest court in the land of Italy.

And, Steve, obviously you have ardently made the case for her innocence. You just heard her speak. She said this hit her like a train but, you know, it's not quite as clear-cut as that interview seemed to imply, right?

I mean, she had been convicted, then she was acquitted, then convicted. You know, this is an appeals process. Different than the United States, but that's the process there.

Was she really not prepared for this to go either way?

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: I think she was hoping against hope that it was going to go her way and, yes, actually, it is a little bit cut and dry. The way the Italians couch what happened is always part of an ongoing appeals process. Fine, call it what you want. That's like calling waterboarding part of an interrogation.

You can call it what you want but it's really something else. When the extradition request comes to America, I believe one day it will, because I don't believe in the Italian legal system, I believe that you'll find is it's going to be defined by how an American court judges double jeopardy and they impaneled a jury against her with the same charge after an acquittal. There's no chance in America of this not being seen as double jeopardy.

BURNETT: You can't try someone for the same crime twice. They call that the way their appeals system works.

Paul, before we get to that, that will be the crucial question on the extradition question. I simply want to ask this. It seems so many people assume it's a bad justice system, they didn't do it right. Well, still, I mean, reasonable doubt is a very difficult thing to prove and it has never been -- you know, that's a matter of -- a subjective comment. It's not as if everyone knows what happened that night. They don't.

So, how can we say their system is bad because she got convicted?

CALLAN: Well, I don't think you can say that and I don't think it's fair to say that. With the Italian system, it's different than ours. It's a sort of combined judge and jury system. You've got a judge and sometimes two judges and then laypeople who sit on the court and hear the evidence. That's on the lower court, the trial court. It's in the middle level court and eventually it goes to the Supreme Court.

BURNETT: In the end, this evidence has been looked at and analyzed by a huge number of judges and ordinary people and ultimately we now have a finding of guilt. So, I think you can't say that their process isn't a correct process. They looked carefully at this evidence.

You might disagree with their analysis, but they certainly tried to be careful.

BURNETT: Steve, to that point, first of all, I want to go through some of the evidence. We went through this last night. I know you find all of this evidence not to be compelling. You've gone through reasons why. I don't need you to do that.

The knife had her DNA, Meredith's, on it. The knife didn't fit the profile of the one that was used to kill Meredith. There was a bra clasp that you believe was tinted, a false confession, a bloody footprint that may have belonged to Sollecito and a homeless man he said he saw. That was some of the evidence. And you've explained away a lot of it. But can you really explain away a lot of it? Is there a tiny part in your mind where you don't know?

MOORE: No, there's no part of me that doesn't know. And, by the way, I do respect Mr. Callan's experience with prosecutions. I'm a prosecution guy at heart, but the -- it is not that I disagree -- simply disagree with this bad evidence. As Mr. Callan will tell you, that there are rules of evidence.

If rules of evidence aren't followed, then bad evidence gets in. I am not saying that this is legitimate evidence that is misinterpreted, I am saying this is illegitimate evidence that should never have come into court, never would have come into a United States court because it's illegitimate.

It is like playing a football game where --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Let me ask you this question. Even if that's illegitimate, how does that mean that she didn't do it? How can you be so sure?

I mean, the only reason I ask is, this keeps coming up again, up again, up again. People are so obsessed with it. And if they were 1,000 percent sure I don't know that they would be obsessed with it. There's always a question.

MOORE: There isn't a question because here's what happened. You have a burglar going into a room, into a house. He is surprised by a woman coming home. He kills her. He sexually assaults her, he leaves.

What happens then is you have his DNA and her DNA, that's it on the crime scene. And guess what? We have only that.

If Amanda and Raffaele were in the murder room, had anything to do with it, their DNA, their prints, their evidence would be there. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

(CROSSTALK)

CALLAN: Are you saying a burglar is Rudy Guede, the guy who's in jail now?

MOORE: Yes, that's him.

CALLAN: OK, that's Rudy Guede.

BURNETT: But before we go, he raised a fair point, right? He said there -- what would be the motive of the Italian justice system to go after this American girl? I don't get it. I don't understand.

MOORE: I can answer that.

CALLAN: Well, let me just talk about it for a minute because Steve's written a book saying, you know, it's superstition, religious bias, scientific ignorance. This is all from his book. You know, I look at the system and say, they don't charge just an American girl, they charged an Italian national, Sollecito, they charged a man from the Ivory Coast with the same, and they charged an American girl.

Now, why do they -- why do they single out all of these people for a crime that they -- at least two of them they didn't commit?

Let me say one other thing about the case that's really strange I think in terms of Steve's approach. Why is everything wrong this case? The confession's wrong, the DNA's wrong, the knife is wrong.

MOORE: I can tell you why.

CALLAN: The motive is wrong. The prosecutors are corrupt and they're all ignorant superstitious idiots. That's a little overreaching. I tried murder case --

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: I can tell you.

BURNETT: All right. Steve, reply.

MOORE: The week before the murder, Rudy Guede, the burglar, was arrested in Milan for the burglary. The police in Perugia asked the police in Milan to release him without charges, give him his knife and send him back to Perugia. You know the only reason to do that is that he's a police informant.

A week later, he murders a woman and the police in town say, oh, my God, we got a guy out and he's killed a woman, how do we save our butts now?

That's what this is all about.

CALLAN: And they got the Supreme Court of Italy involved in this conspiracy? You know, that's like --

MOORE: Yes, they do.

CALLAN: That's like saying --

MOORE: You're being naive. You don't understand the Italian system. You don't understand it.

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: You are defending -- you are defending something you don't understand.

BURNETT: I'm only -- I am going to hit pause there. I know you guys -- that's why I love having you on, on this.

But, of course, we want you a all to weigh in. This is why this case is so compelling to so many because people still have these questions. Still to come, the latest installment of our special "Kids in Crisis" series. Comedian Howie Mandel here to discus his mental health crisis. It's pretty incredible interview. And the pope is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And now to our special series, "Kids in Crisis: Fragile Minds", a look at our children's mental health. Tonight, we're looking at disorders that you or someone you know probably have like ADHD, which according to the CDC affects one in 10 children.

One person who is affected by ADHD and obsessive compulsive disorder, known as OCD, is comedian Howie Mandel. And he's been outspoken about his struggles, which includes simply shaking someone's hand. He even joked about it last night on the "Tonight Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: This is Purell.

HOWIE MANDEL, COMEDIAN: You have been --

LENO: To cement our friendship.

MANDEL: I have not -- you have always been a wonderful friend. You've been a supporter.

LENO: You're supposed to do it afterward.

MANDEL: No. I have never done -- I swear to God, but you deserve it. You're a good friend. You're an icon. I love you, Jay. I love you, buddy.

LENO: All right. Howie Mandel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: You can see Howie Mandel OUTFRONT.

Let me just ask you, so the point Jay was making, why do you have to -- why did you want to dip your hand in before you shook his hand? Do you feel the need to do it afterwards?

MANDEL: Just part of -- well, you know, truth be told I -- my fear, OCD is much more complicated than I've led people to believe. It's not just my fear of germs, it's just I obsess. People who have OCD can't get through a thought.

So my biggest fear is that I will trigger something, but I get a lot of help and I see people, I'm medicated as I sit here. I knew I wouldn't be triggered by -- you know, I know intellectually if I shake somebody's hand I'm not going to get sick and die. But --

BURNETT: Right.

MANDEL: But there are times in my life where I have touched something or somebody and then I'm just obsessed for the rest of the day in scalding my hand. I'll wash my hand and go out. I feel like I missed a spot and I go back. I come out. Then I go back and I wash. And I get into this never-ending obsessive, you know, compulsive world and I can't leave and move on with my life. It just stops my life. That's OCD.

BURNETT: So what was it like? Now you're in a position where you have a medication which I want to talk to you more about. But you have the help in the form of a therapist to deal with this.

But what was it like as a child when you didn't really have those things and you're dealing with it? When did you know it was different? How afraid did you feel? I mean, what was it like?

MANDEL: Well, here's the -- and this is the reason I wanted to do this show. I happen to have a title for what I have. You know, it was diagnosed late in life, in adulthood I learned what I had was OCD.

And I learned that what I had -- an inability to focus and concentrate was ADHD. But as a child I didn't know that these things even existed. I knew that I was very different. I knew that I felt isolated.

I knew that -- you know, like I didn't want to -- I'll give you an example. Like very young age I can remember I had learned to tie my shoes, went to school and the laces came undone. They touched the floor and then I didn't want to touch the laces and tie the shoe, so I would walk along with a limp just trying to keep my shoe on so it wouldn't fall off.

The kids would make fun of the way I walked. The kids would make fun of the fact that I didn't know how to tie my shoes because I didn't want to say I do know how to tie my shoes so that -- you know, then I would have to touch it.

It was an incredible amount of pressure and incredible amount of stress, isolation. It was very depressing. I was -- though I come from probably one of the most supportive, loving families anybody could come from and I survived it, I'm here to talk about it.

But the reason that I wanted to be on your show today is because I believe this is -- this is why I talk about it. This is the problem with the world. Mental health is the problem. There is nothing in place. There wasn't and there's still really isn't anything in place where people could identify a problem and go to the problem.

You know, I was talking to you before we went to air. And you were talking about -- you just had a baby. Having just had a baby I would imagine you have lined yourself up with a pediatrician, right?

BURNETT: That's right.

MANDEL: Am I correct?

BURNETT: Yes.

MANDEL: Why do you have a pediatrician? Is your going to be sick? Is your baby sick?

BURNETT: No. It's just you are always worried. You are scared. You're not sure.

MANDEL: Right. But you go there and the pediatrician will weigh your baby.

BURNETT: Right.

MANDEL: And he'll say it's growing at a normal -- it will test your baby and you will check your baby. When your baby gets a little bit older, you will have a dentist and the dentist will check your baby's teeth. If they are not growing right maybe you'll have a little retainer. You'll need some braces or whatever.

BURNETT: Right.

MANDEL: What is in place for mental health? How do you know the baby is responding the way they are supposed to respond? Nobody would identify me as being afraid. You know, everything I would tell you would be, would almost sound normal. I don't want touch my laces because they touch the ground and they are dirty. And they would say, oh, don't be silly, Howie, if I will tell my parents that.

BURNETT: Right. Of course, right.

MANDEL: There's nothing, we take care of our dental health. We don't take care of our mental health. I believe this is a scene for every problem we have in this world right now -- from the kids walking into Columbine and killing people to drug addiction to the way we deal with our education because we don't really know how -- kids don't know how to cope in social situations or even in today's school.

It is proven by medical people that even our physical health is greatly impaired or, you know, affected by our mental health. You know, they're doing research here in California, at UCLA, where they're actually -- there are some thoughts that they are tracing it back to the Strep virus.

I had incredible strep throat, I had ear infections, and they find a lot of people that had severe infections as a child, there is a big number of people that are affected later on in this way.

BURNETT: Another thing that you often hear about things like ADHD in particular is that it's over-diagnosed and kids are put on a lot of -- studies have proven Adderall can be incredibly powerful and addictive.

MANDEL: I believe that.

BURNETT: You know, some believe they can cause horrible things.

I know you are on a lot of drugs. But what you deal -- how do you deal with that, with the people out there who say, look, this is overmedicated, over-diagnosed?

MANDEL: I believe that, you know, with ailments we have, sometimes people are overmedicated. That being said, if you are diagnosed with something, then there's a panacea. You can get medicated and hopefully, you're helped, and you're seeing somebody.

BURNETT: Having gotten where you have gotten in life and talking about this and people saying I will never admit to be in that situation because I'm going to look weak or, you know, sometimes, I'm going to look back. You come out and do it.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Kids out there go, I can be like him and have that and that's powerful.

MANDEL: Well, the thing is we've got to lose the embarrassment. We've got to lose the stigma. And, you know, this is what your series is about here, mental health.

And you know something? From the time you have a baby and I'm telling you this as a new mother, just be cognizant that you may want to make it part of your child -- little boy's world, you know, just like you are going to take him to the dentist, just take him to a counselor, just see if he is responding the way -- in the most healthy way, to whatever it is and be open. And don't hide this because it is, I think it is the solution to making this world better if we would just be healthy mentally. And so many of us aren't and we don't know how to cope.

BURNETT: Thanks to Howie Mandel. And please give us your feedback on Howie's interview.

Still to come the paparazzi follow his every move, millions of fans scream his name and now, he is on the cover of "Rolling Stone." Now, it's not Justin Bieber anymore. It's Pope Francis, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: So, when you think of iconic "Rolling Stone" magazine covers, this one is probably not what comes to mind, and yet, few issues have garnered the attention of this week's featuring Pope Francis, the world's first rock and roll pope.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT (voice-over): The Pope has arrived. Forget about "TIME's" Person of the Year. Today, Pope Francis is on the cover of "Rolling Stone." He's the first pope to make the cut.

But why this pope at this time? Well, we asked Mark Vanilli, the man who wrote the Pope Francis cover story.

MARK BINELLI, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: I write a little bit in the piece about, you know, going to see the pope in St. Peter Square, going to the general audience and there was a weird sort of I was standing in the VIP area with a bunch of mostly Italians. And they, fittingly since it was Rome, the city that invented paparazzi, they were shouting at him like paparazzi, holding up their cell phones, saying, "Papa Francesco, Papa Francesco", trying to get him to look up when he was near us the way he would if he was Bieber working at rope line or something.

BURNETT: Yes. That's why "Rolling Stone's" editors decided a 77- year-old pope could sell magazines to the youngest, most pickled demographic out there. And they maybe right, because it's not just magazines he is selling, Pope Francis is moving all kinds of merchandise, everything from T-shirts and buttons to pet wear and chastity belts, I mean, thongs, for real.

Sales of people merchandise, licensed and unlicensed, are way up, with some reporting an increase of 200 percent since Francis took over. A pope who is celebrated for his humility has become a rock star, hanging with the rich and famous, blessing birds for strippers. There are Pope Francis impersonators.

For the first time in a long time, the church is getting good press. And that's got to have Catholics all over the world looking up.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Now, we're just waiting to see how popular the name Francis and Frances with an E for girls. And, of course, what the pope will do with women.

Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend. See you on Monday.

"AC360" starts now.