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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Massive Witch Hunt For Chris Christie?; A Rare White House State Dinner Tonight; New Details From Private Diaries of Philip Seymour Hoffman Revealed
Aired February 11, 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, a major blow to Chris Christie's critics, a crucial piece of evidence against him simply untrue.
Plus the star of "Dirty Jobs" under fire tonight for teaming up with Wal-Mart, his critics say he is totally sold out.
And a look inside Philip Seymour Hoffman's private diary reportedly he describes in detail the demons that drove him to drugs. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening to all of you. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, a rare evening of glitch and glamour at the White House. President Obama and the first lady are hosting a state dinner for the French President Francois Hollande. It's the first state dinner in almost two years. Now right now you are looking at a live picture. Guests have been arriving right there on that red carpet. That's the most red carpet things can get, guests included people like Bradley Cooper.
There have been movie stars. The excitement of a dinner like this and all the dresses, we're still waiting, of course, for the formal picture of the president and the first lady, the dress she wears. Francois Hollande's arrival, we're going to have all that covered in every detail for you as we are monitoring that this hour. We're going to, of course, be going there live to the star-studded guests list and how much this cost taxpayers, you know, we are always looking at that angle. All of that coming up this hour OUTFRONT.
As we get ready though for that big photo op, I want to get to our top story tonight, which is massive witch hunt, Democrats versus Chris Christie. Today, another blow for the accusers. Now this one comes down to helicopters. The New Jersey state police now say that three helicopter flights that Governor Christie took during the week of those lane closures at the George Washington Bridge did not go over or anywhere near the bridge.
Now that is crucial because it means that the governor did not actually have sight line to the traffic. You may say, my gosh, could the story get anymore pettier. But listen, this is important because if he saw then that could mean he had something to do with it. Democrats in New Jersey investigating the governor's role were hoping, of course, for a different outcome on those helicopter flights and they are hunting for a smoking gun to bring the governor down. Meanwhile, Christie is in Chicago doing more fundraising and attempting to go about business as usual. Dana Bash is with the governor. Dana, is the governor having any success on that front today of trying to make this not the issue?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we had an hour long session at the economic club of Chicago here. It was a pretty prominent public event for any politician particular for Chris Christie given what he is doing and he only had one question. Now it was a friendly forum, Erin, that the guy who was doing the questioning happens to be somebody who Christie appointed to the Board of Governors in Rutgers University so that might have something to do with it.
But he did use that one question at one chance to try to frame the scandal as a plus actually as a plus in that he has handled it in a way that should have -- give people some confidence in him. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: If you are a leader, you have to try to get a handle on the story and then take decisive action, which we did by letting people go and talking to the public about it. We are in the midst of an internal review now and whatever that internal review discloses, we are going to release it to the public and if there is more action that needs to be taken off, take it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Now he also said that these past six weeks haven't been easy. I'm sure that is an understatement, Erin. But he certainly tried to move on and to talk about the things that made him a national figure before this scandal erupted things like why Washington is broken blaming both parties for that and talking in pretty blunt terms about what his Republican Party will need to do to get back to the White House without exactly saying anything about his own plans, which of course, is what everybody wants to know but he doesn't want to go there for obvious reasons.
BURNETT: I mean, I guess, everyone, assumes, right, that he is going to run. I know the Republican Governors Association is trying to help set him up for that and say, look, this guy still welds a lot of power. They announced today that he has outraised $1.5 million on his recent swing through Texas for the Republican Governors Association and $6 million in the month of January. They say more than twice as much that is ever been raised during the same month.
Now, you know, I always am skeptical of these numbers because, you know, while January versus January is that right comparison. You know, the reality here. Is this spin or is this a sign that Christie is emerging the victor here. He is still the guy that can get the money?
BASH: I actually think it's a little bit of both and it can be believe it or not because it's certainly the fact that they are putting this out there. That they are letting us know as you said that $6 million figure from last month. They want to make it clear that he still has fundraising prowess, which really is the main job of any Republican Governor's Association chair, to raise money for all the governors all across the country who are up for election.
As soon as he doesn't have that ability, you can bet that he will be in trouble with that job. But so far, it looks like he is not in that kind of trouble. At the same time, you know, he has had meetings with donors obviously doing fundraising, which is another main reason he is here. But he has had meetings with donors here in Florida and Texas and at this point, we've heard a lot of rumblings about the fact that people -- some people looking at him as a 2016 candidate are keeping their powder dry.
They want to know if there is another shoe to drop with regard to the scandal, but I think you can bet that at least in the short term. He is raking in the dough at least in the last month and probably will in the next couple of month because he is still a draw. If nothing else because people want to know what he has to say about the scandal (inaudible) right now.
BURNETT: And we all, I guess, sort of have that -- all right, thanks to Dana. And joining me now is Bill Kristol, the editor of the "Weekly Standard" and Chris Kofinis, is a Democratic strategist. So Chris, let me start with you. When is enough, enough on this? I mean, Democrats in New Jersey, you know, they have this committee looking into this. It's got two chairs.
They are both Democrats, looking for a smoking gun since October. So far they have not found one. Regardless of the look and feel of the Christie administration and the damage that could have been done from that. The reality of did he lie or not. There has been no smoking gun. It's kind of starting to feel like a witch hunt, isn't it?
CHRIS KOFINIS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I mean, I think it's -- I mean, no. I don't think it's a witch hunt. I mean, here you have a situation where as we all know the governor's staff basically orchestrated a bridge closing to punish political targets. So the question becomes not only just in terms of what the governor knew, but how does he run his administration and I think, you know, these investigations are ongoing. There are multiples ones.
When they come out with the reports, we'll know exactly, you know, what he knew and what he didn't. But at the end of the day, I think there's a bigger part of this and regardless of whether the governor knew. The bigger question for me is, how did he not know? How was it possible that he didn't know that his staff was doing this?
Because I keep telling you having worked with governors, it is a very close club in terms of how they work with their staff and the notion that somehow a deputy of chief staff was out on her own doing this and it never percolated up is probably more damning than almost the fact that he didn't know.
BURNETT: I mean, look, I hear your point. Bill, is there any way that he didn't know, given the way Chris says. Regardless of whether there ever is that smoking email that says, here it is, here is the proof.
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Sure it's possible he didn't know what his staff was doing. That happens in life or maybe he didn't know. You know what? We'll find out. That's why we are having investigations. What strikes me is how pathetically desperate the Democrats are. They want to be obsessed about this issue because they are terrified to talk about what's happening in the country, which is Obamacare is a fiasco. Democratic senators are both running from the president and they are going to lose because they voted for Obamacare and have continued to defend it. Republicans have finally kind of got their act together, I'd say. They are actually pushing some interesting conservative reform ideas. Speaker Boehner I think pretty deafly has managed to get the clean debt ceiling through the House so that's not going to be an issue. The Republicans can't be accused of shutting down the government.
BURNETT: Even though Boehner said he'd never do any such thing, right, I mean?
KRISTOL: You know what? Politics and privacy to be flexible, Erin, and I think he is good. Look, he did what he had to do. He doesn't have much leverage on this issue. They got through. Republicans won't be responsible for a government shutdown or for a default. They are not going to kill themselves on immigration so they can focus on Obamacare, the Democrat's great achievement.
BURNETT: All right, let me -- I'm only interrupting you for a moment. I just want you all to know what's on our screen for our viewers. This is the president, of course, and the first lady. This is the formal picture at the state dinner. This is a very special and important state dinner for the president of France, Francois Holland. We haven't seen him yet, but you can see Michelle Obama there. That's the gown she chose to wear. I do not yet know who designed it. I'm sorry. I can tell you there was speculation it might be a French- American designer, Sophie Tiale, but I do not know. So I'm only saying it was speculation. That's what it might be.
I will tell you it's an absolutely beautiful blue color and it looks like this is going to be the limo with Francois Hollande. It looks like it is. Just because I like the pump and circumstance, Gentlemen, I hope you'll bear with us so our viewers can see the formal greeting of how his happens and here he is, going for the formal greeting with the president and the first lady. You hear that worrying in the background? Everybody that is the photograph around the world, this is the formal picture that they are taking. Now of course the big scene here with how he has arrived stag without a date.
We will have much more on that in a bit and much more of course, on what I will admit everyone does love to talk about, which is the first lady's attire so that's coming up in just a couple of moments. But let's just go back to this Chris Christie conversation. Bill, you know, you're trying to defend him here, but I'm just curious, you know, today, the governor sent out another e-mail to his supporters vilifying the "New York Times" in which to its credit has in part admitted to some inaccurate reporting or at least they didn't like the tone of some of the reporting. But why is he still sending out e- mails in anger about it given that? Doesn't that show a pension for vengeance?
KRISTOL: I don't know if it's vengeance. He is just criticizing people. Look, I'm not sure -- I'm not defending Christie. I'm not honestly neutral on the question of what happened and what we are going to find out, and I don't think he is necessarily the frontrunner in the Republican nomination. I'm just amused that the Democrats' desperate desire to make Chris Christie the main story in America today. It was just something happened. We don't what Christie do or did. We are going to find and the Democrats are desperate to keep talking about.
BURNETT: All right, we'll thanks to both of you. We appreciate it. There'll be a lot more on this conversation. I can promise you pathetically desperate or not. Still to come, a look inside the private diary of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the actor reportedly wrote quite a bit about drug deals and demons. We have the details on that diary now tonight.
And the man at the center of the so-called loud music trial testifies, why he says he fired his gun into a vehicle full of teens.
And the most dramatic video of the day, a suspect trying to elude police, he's taken down hard. We are going to show you that video.
And was this really racist?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you get a lot of reaction to that Super Bowl commercial?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all look alike.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: New details tonight from the private diaries of Philip Seymour Hoffman. According to NBC News, the 46-year-old Oscar winner's private thoughts reveal that he was troubled by demons, struggled to control them with narcotics anonymous meetings and was addicted to heroin. Hoffman is believed to have died from a heroin overdose after police found him with a needle in his arm February 2nd. Multiple sources familiar with the contents of the diaries say the late actor's entries and I want to quote here, "hard to read with scribbled lines, sentences that ran into each other implying he could have been keeping it and maintaining it as he was actually under the influence of heroin."
Bob Forrest is a recovering addict and a former head counselor on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab."
And Bob, let me start with this question of the demons. I mean, that could mean a lot of things. It could be a general thing or something specific. He was seeing, I mean, having been through this, anyone who suffers an addiction obviously is battling demons. But what do you think the so-called demons that an addict saw might have been?
BOB FORREST, RECOVERING HEROIN ADDICT: Well, what happen is the person's priorities in life become all distorted and out of whack. So though you care about your family, you find yourself caring about drugs. And though you care about your job, you find yourself caring more about getting the money in order to get drugs. And so it just this regulates everything about the person's priorities and their personality and what's important to them. And that's what you can't see that when it's happening, you can't see what it is that's driving it. And it's the drugs and your quest for them.
BURNETT: And, you know, it seems these diaries obviously are going to be incredibly candid and personal. And a look in his mind, you know, we don't often get. Now, according to NBC's reporting, you know, Hoffman was almost writing in a stream of consciousness. And the answer is do make reference to specific drug deal, a person named Frank who has the money and a 15-year-old girl from Texas. We have no idea who these people are. Is this someone he met in rehab or what that might have been. But what does that sound like to you? Sort of what you would expect, given that it seems he was keeping this during a time he was fighting heroin?
FORREST: Well, it seems like he had a history of recovery. And so, when somebody relapses, you have this ability to understand what's happening to you, but not stop it. And so there's -- a friend of mine did the same thing, a very famous musician and he started documenting his life on videotape and in this depth that you're going through. And it's a strange narcissism that addicts are. That's what I call it, a strange narcissism because it's a self-destructive narcissism.
BURNETT: It's interesting you say that. I mean, it is strange narcissism. Because when I hear you saying that, I'm thinking the only thing worse it would seem than being addicted would be being addicted and knowing what you were doing to yourself and not being able to stop it. That's actually worse would be having that knowledge.
You know, we know he went into rehab in 2013 and supposedly, I mean, who knows, had been clean for two decades before that. But do you think I -- what's your view on that? Does that make sense that you could be clean for 20 or 23 years as I know it's reported and suddenly he could have descended into this?
FORREST: Yes, certainly. It's happening all over the United States in the recovery community because of prescription drugs mostly. It's happened to a lot of my friends. I had two friends that had 14 years and 12 years end up, you know, as you age, you end up hurting your back, snowboarding and you get a surgery and the next thing you know, you're in the situation that this man was in. It's -- they say in the 12 step world there's no worse place to be than to have a belly full of beer and a head full of AA. And that is this spot that you're finding more and more sober Americans returning back to.
BURNETT: Bob, thank you. Good to see you.
FORREST: Thank you.
BURNETT: Still to come, Mike Roe, famous for being the down to earth host of the show "Dirty Jobs" under fire tonight because he's supporting Wal-Mart. His fans say he sold out. He's standing aggressively firm.
Plus, Samuel L. Jackson mistaken for Laurence Fishburne during an interview? Should he have been outraged or not?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're the entertainment reporter? You're the entertainment reporter for this station?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Should Samuel L. Jackson be outrage? So the actor as we first showed you yesterday slammed Los Angeles TV anchor Sam Rubin for confusing the "Robocop" star with another actor, Laurence Fishburne.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM RUBIN, LOS ANGELES TV ANCHOR: Did you get a lot of reaction to that Super Bowl commercial?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: What super bowl commercial?
RUBIN: You know what? My mistake.
JACKSON: See, you're as crazy as the people on twitter. I'm not Laurence Fishburne.
RUBIN: That's my fault. I know that. That was my fault. My mistake.
JACKSON: We don't all look alike. All black and famous but we all don't look alike.
RUBIN: I am guilty.
RUBIN: I am guilty. I thought you were Bob Dylan.
JACKSON: You're the entertainment reporter?
RUBIN: I know.
JACKSON: You're the entertainment reporter for this station? And you don't know the difference between me and Laurence Fishburne?
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: I'm sitting here with Don Lemon. We're both laughing. I had to play this again.
All right, Rubin later apologized and said the obvious, he was hugely embarrassed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIN: I pride myself on fact that unlike a lot of people who do this kind of work, more often than not I really do know what I'm talking about, but I didn't 30 minutes ago. And I'm really embarrassed about it and I very much apologize to Samuel L. Jackson and anyone else who was offended for what was a very amateur mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right, Don Lemon is OUTFRONT.
Now Don, have you been mistaken a number of times for another anchor that used to work here, T.J. Holmes.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Yes.
BURNETT: And you guys even joked about it once on the air.
LEMON: Not once. We would joke about it all the time. And he would text me, T.J. and I are friends, so it's fine. I just texted him I said where are you? I was going to bring him here actually and have come on and pretend to be me. We'd probably have to get that approved from somebody. But I was --
BURNETT: Standards and practices would not be all right with that.
LEMON: But he would say -- he would send the text to me sometimes saying the lady in terminal B who checks tickets is going to be mad at you because she called me Don and I ignored her, right? And so, we would just kind of joke around. And sometimes people call me -- it doesn't happen frequently now because he's not on the network. I would just say I'm Don or laugh and go I'm the other black guy or I just say nice to meet you, my name is T.J. Or, here is a thing, people all the time say to me you look just like Don Lemon. And I will go like hear that all the time. And after a moment, I'll go I am Don Lemon. They'll go, no, you're not. And I will say, why? They say because he would never be on the subway or you would never be at the gym or he would not fly, you know, coach. And I'm like, yes, I do all those things.
BURNETT: All right, now, here's the thing about this. When this happened, I mean, it was, Samuel L. Jackson handled it so beautifully, right? But, a study in the American psychological association found, and I quote, "people are notoriously will awful at recognizing faces from other races" because, I mean, I have an infant at home, right? He spends all day, unfortunately for him, having to stare at my face when I don't have hair and makeup. Now, here is the thing, he's getting used to that set of features that we are so used to. So, when someone looks as a different face structure, when blend them together. LEMON: Well, when someone is in our tribe. It's easiest. This is just me talking. When someone is in our tribe, I think, it's particularly easiest for us to tell them apart because we're used to their facial differences or the little differences or the mannerisms or what have you. But when someone's in a different tribe, sometimes it's harder.
But let's be honest. I'm trying not to get in trouble here. People do look alike. There are features that African-Americans have that are similar. There are features that white people have that are similar, there are just some Hispanic people that are similar. And so, if you're not used to seeing that -- last time I was in a restaurant, and the guy I was asking him for food. He said I don't really eat meat. I said where, are you from India? And he goes no, close. And I said OK, sorry. I started thinking about it, and I said Bangladesh. He said good, yes. I'm from Bangladesh. So, we try to figure it out. People look similar.
BURNETT: Right. Well, it's true. And you can say, I mean, I know, you know, having Asian friends, they all know every single distinction, and sometimes it takes you awhile to get to know people from different places and you get to say well, this might indicate you're from here versus there.
LEMON: I mean, quite honestly, I will go certain place. You go to Brooklyn. And everybody's got a beard and plaid shirt. They may be able to tell each other part but they kind all look alike to me. I go to certain bars. That's the reason they say there are Chelsea gays and house kitchen gays because they have a certain look.
BURNETT: Two areas in New York, everybody.
LEMON: Two areas in New York which is predominantly gay. They all have the same haircut. They all have the same look. They wear tiny t-shirt. They all go to the same gym. And you're like are you Chad or are you Steve? I don't know. You guys kind of all look the same.
BURNETT: That is funny. I've got to show you one picture before we go. This is just because, you know, a lot of people think that -- I'm saying this goes both ways. I showed you and T.J. so -- yes.
BURNETT: Emily Deschanel.
LEMON: Emily Deschanel. You are better looking, though.
BURNETT: UI just want to say, you know what I meant? To me, a lot of people go those two women look exactly the same, two white women with blue eyes. There you go.
LEMON: You're both beautiful women. And if someone mistakes me for T.J. Holmes, I could do worse, right? Can I say something quickly, I know you have to go here.
Samuel L. Jackson, that may have come from a wound that's been opened over and over again because of black actors in Hollywood are always looking to be recognized. He's made over 70 movies. Even a Tyler Perry movie now is still in the other category. So, someone who has made over 70 movies, you should probably know his name by now.
BURNETT: Yes, you should. And he handled it well. I mean, he showed he was angry but did it with humor and I mean, on the fly. I thought it was, you know --
LEMON: He apologized. It is over. Move on. Sam Rubin is a great reporter.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Good to see you, Don.
LEMON: Good to see you, Mr. Holmes, as well.
BURNETT: That's right. Thanks, T.J.
OUTFRONT next, a rare event at the White House tonight. A state dinner in honor of the French president. You just saw the first lady in an absolutely gorgeous gown, long and flowing, what I would call a French slate blue, but it's a party that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Is it necessary?
And the white man charged with shooting a black teenager takes the stand and testifies on why he opened fire.
BURNETT: Tonight, an evening of pomp and circumstance at the White House, President Obama and the first lady hosting a rare state dinner for French President Francois Hollande.
This just happened moments ago during our program at the top, Francois Hollande coming up for the formal portrait with the president and the first lady, who is wearing Carolina Herrera, we can now report, an absolutely gorgeous gown. This is the first state dinner in almost two years. It's a very big deal.
Guests arriving include A-listers like Bradley Cooper and Julia Louis- Dreyfus. And we just caught a glimpse of Michelle Obama's gown. As you can see, it's long and flowy. It's sort of got like a little pin tuck thing at the back.
I have got a guy who can talk a lot more about it -- and lace and I think her hair goes perfectly. She got it all right this time. But, believe me, I don't know. He's going to tell you.
For more on the pageantry and diplomacy of the night, "The Washington Post"'s Sally Quinn. She's covered dozens of state dinners. She's been to a bunch of them and she's the author of "The Party: A Guide to Adventurous Entertaining," and creative director for "Elle" magazine, Joe Zee.
Sally, let me start with you. And I really wanted -- you all were the guest I really wanted for this segment, because you have been covering these state dinners for years.
And people say, well, what is the point of these? We go through the menu and all the fanciness of it. But it is important, right?
SALLY QUINN, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, the point of this state dinner is Syria, Syria, Syria.
And when people talk about these dinners being frivolous or they cost too much, $600,000, if that's what the this dinner costs, is nothing when you talk about it in terms of P.R. and in terms of our being able to reach out to an ally like France, who is incredibly important to us.
As we have seen, France has stood by us in Syria and other places around the Middle East. You can't buy that kind of publicity. And you can't buy that kind of goodwill. And by doing this, we're not -- we're not just honoring Hollande. We're also honoring the French people.
We're saying, actually, we're sorry that we kind of hung you out to dry when you said you were going to back us when we agreed to use force if the Syrians didn't back down and get rid of their chemical weapons. And we're also saying, we want you to be on our side and we want you to stick with us if we have to go into Syria.
QUINN: So, I mean, when you look at a dinner like this, you see Michelle Obama in this gorgeous dress and it's fabulous, but it's all about honoring the guests.
STEIN: And, you know, people -- it has been said that wars have been started over wrong seating at state dinners. It can be a treacherous thing. You have to have nerves of steel to be a White House social secretary.
BURNETT: Oh, I can't even imagine how difficult that job would be.
And, Joe, but, you know, to the whole point of -- and, by the way, when people out there say, the British, for example, weren't with us on Syria, the French, really, when it comes to al Qaeda and things, really are the stalwart friends. We have got to do whatever it takes at this point.
But let's talk, Joe, about the pomp and circumstance of this. Part of the way you honor is the way you dress and the way things happen. Let's talk about her dress.
JOE ZEE, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, "ELLE": Well...
BURNETT: What do you think about it and what do you think about her choice of designers, not a designer with French links, as some had thought?
ZEE: No, and, actually, this is quite interesting. I think tonight's state dinner is very significant for two reasons.
I mean, listen, we're very obsessed with everything FLOTUS wears. But I think, tonight, number one, the French president came stag. So, the spotlight was on Michelle. So, we were looking to see...
BURNETT: That's right. There was no second dress. You're right.
ZEE: No. She was not sharing the spotlight. She was it.
And I think we were expecting her to wear potentially an American- French designer that had some sort of link back to tonight's state dinner. But she chose Carolina Herrera, which is of Spanish descent.
And Ms. Herrera is an incredible evening wear designer, but I don't think that's the one that we thought she would be wearing tonight.
BURNETT: Now, tell us a little bit more about your view of the style, how she looks in it. And also, as we talk about, Sally mentioned the cost of the dinner, which I want to talk more about in a second. But what does a dress like that cost?
ZEE: Well, first of all, I love the dress on her because I think it's so elegant and so simple. That shape is what we call the princess shape. It's got that sort of poof at the bottom, but it's very billowy at the same time. It's strapless.
I think we want to call that French blue, maybe, to tie it into the evening.
BURNETT: Yes. I was calling it French slate blue or something, but definitely.
ZEE: I think some people might call it periwinkle, and it's got the sort of jet bodice and everything and I think it's really pretty. But a dress like from Mrs. Herrera could potentially run up to almost $10,000.
BURNETT: Wow. But she doesn't pay full for it, or does she?
ZEE: Not even close, I don't think.
BURNETT: Not even close, right.
All right, now, Sally, what about the cost of the overall dinner? CBS News is reporting it could be $600,000 -- I'm sorry. They said the first dinner with India could be $600,000. Where do you think tonight's dinner will rank? By the way, I heard the dinner with India cost $600,000 in part because of $400 bottles of wine.
And all I thought at that time was, if you were going to do $400 bottles of wine, you should have waited for the president of France.
QUINN: Well, by the way, I think that dress probably cost around $12,000. But that's just my guess.
BURNETT: I bet that's an informed guess, but OK. Thank you for...
QUINN: But in terms of the expense of this dinner, first of all, it's larger than most of the state dinners that they have had. So it will be more expensive. They probably are cutting down on the price of wine because they were getting criticized.
And I think that the Obamas have entertained less, have had fewer state dinners than most presidents because they don't particularly like to entertain. And they keep to themselves a lot, but also because of the economy. I mean, you know, they -- when people are starving and don't have jobs, it doesn't look good to spend too much money.
But I think that the economy is up enough now, and it's important for us to entertain the French. So I think this is -- it's worth every penny.
BURNETT: Before we go quickly, Joe, just we have a few pictures of other dresses she's worn at other state dinners. Where does this one rank, given that you probably have them rated in your mind?
ZEE: I think this one is actually more grand than some of the dresses she's worn in the past, though I did like the red McQueen, but she got a lot of flak for that one, back when she was doing the state dinner for China.
But I think this is a much more grand dress, but it's also very subdued at the same time.
That's absolutely -- I love it, but I'm not a fashion person. You are.
ZEE: I love it, too, so I'm with you.
BURNETT: I'm glad that you have at least made me feel like my taste was all right in this case.
ZEE: I validate you.
BURNETT: All right, thanks so much to both of you. Well, the shooter in the so-called loud music trial has taken the stand in his own defense. Police say that Michael Dunn shot and killed Jordan Davis, who was 17 years old, a black teenager, and apparently the reason was that he was playing loud music out of his car at a gas station.
Dunn explained to the jury this afternoon why he fired into an SUV full of teenagers after he asked them to turn their music down.
We want to warn you some of the language you are about to hear in this testimony that we have put together could be offensive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL DUNN, DEFENDANT: I hear, I should kill that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
And I'm flabbergasted. And then even a more elevated voice, I hear I should (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kill that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
And now he's screaming. And I saw sticking above like the windowsill about four inches of a barrel. After he opened the door, then he looked at me and said, you're dead, bitch.
I would say over here is my glove box. I'm looking out the window. And I said, you're not going to kill me, you son of a bitch, and I shot. I had no choice but to defend myself. It was life or death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Our Martin Savidge, who has been covering the trial, is OUTFRONT in Jacksonville tonight.
Now, Martin, the state had a chance to cross-examine Dunn. Obviously, we just played part of the testimony there. How did it go overall?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very contention cross-examination, John Guy for the prosecution, immediately the prosecution challenging that this in any way by Michael Dunn was self-defense.
They claim what really happened here was that Michael Dunn was angry because a teenager, especially a black teenager, had mouthed off against him. Michael Dunn said, no, that's not the case. Then the prosecution said, well, how come you didn't tell the love of your life, your fiancee, that these teenagers had a gun?
Dunn said he was pretty sure that he did. Then the prosecution came back and said, and after the shooting, why didn't you call police? And that's when Michael Dunn said, well, I didn't think I hit anybody. And, two, I was in the wrong state of mind really. Remember, he went to his hotel. No gun was found in that SUV.
And then the next morning, they said, when you knew a teenager had died, why didn't you call the police then? And that's when Dunn said that, well, he tried to reach out to a friend in law enforcement. Well, that's when the prosecution produced phone records that showed he called nobody. Then they called his fiancee and they put it to her. Did he tell you about those teens having a gun? Listen to this.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And, Ms. Rouer, and also on November 23, 2012, after the shooting, when you came out of the gate gas station and you got into the defendant's car...
RHONDA ROUER, FIANCEE OF MICHAEL DUNN: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... did the defendant ever tell you he saw a gun in that red SUV?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the defendant ever tell you that he saw a weapon of any kind in that SUV?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no mention of a stick?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no mention of a shotgun?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no mention of a barrel?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no mention of a lead pipe?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: If there was ever an aha moment in the case, that might just have been it.
The defense and state have now rested. Tomorrow morning, we expect the closing arguments and the jury may get this tomorrow afternoon, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Martin Savidge, thank you very much.
Still to come: a popular TV host under major fire for supporting Wal- Mart in a major way. Is he a corporate sellout?
Plus, Paula Deen, is she on the verge of a comeback?
BURNETT: Is Paula Deen about to come back?
According to "The Wall Street Journal" tonight, a newly formed company appropriately named Paul Deen Ventures has received an investment of up to $100 million from a private equity company. Deen came under fire last year after admitting she used the N-word.
The paper reports Deen will move away from a business that relies on licensing her likeness to teaming up with retailers and other companies on deals. Deen reportedly earned an estimated $17 million in 2012. When she lost her show, a lot of people said she was gone for good. We shall see.
A dramatic takedown, the news camera rolling when this suspect grabbed a bike and tried to make a run for it. Sacramento police tell us it all started when an officer asked a teenager for his fare to transit station. That was the small spark that caused this. Then he tried to punch the officer. The two fell into a platform. The suspect ran. Police called the canine unit, their unit, and set up a perimeter. Wow. That's a lot of -- got a lot of reaction.
Soon, the teen tried breaking through the perimeter, but was tackled by an officer.
All right. A champion for the working man selling out to the world's biggest retailer. Mike Rowe is the former host of the realty TV show "Dirty Jobs." And he's under fire tonight for narrating a new commercial for Wal-Mart. Here's the commercial.
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MIKE ROWE, FORMER REALITY TV HOST: At one time, I made things. And I took pride in the things I made. And my belt whirred and my engines cranked.
So, I opened my doors to all, and, together, we filled pallets and trucks. I was mighty. And then one day, the gears stopped turning. But I'm still here. And I believe I will rise again. And we will build things and build families and build dreams. It's time to get back to what America does best, because work is a beautiful thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Critics are blasting Rowe on social media for promoting the retail giant, saying things like: "It's hypocrisy. Wal-Mart's products are all made in China. Wal-Mart contributes to those empty factories. What's so powerful about an ad that makes no sense?"
OUTFRONT tonight, Marc Lamont Hill, a political commentator for us, and Mel Robbins, a former legal aid and criminal defense attorney.
Marc, let me start with you in response to that comment about everything is made in China. Mark Rowe has been on Facebook. And we know 400,000 have been engaging in this conversation. He said: "That's not entirely accurate. There's a lot of merchandise currently in Wal-Mart manufactured right here in the USA, including Dirty Jobs cleaning products. Wal-Mart is promising to buy $250 billion of American-made stuff and put it on their shelves. Whatever else you might think of the company, can you really root against an initiative like that?" MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, no one's rooting against the initiative.
No one is saying, boo, don't put jobs back in American spaces. No one is saying that at all. They're saying you can't be a champion of the everyday guy, the everyday woman, and then work with Wal-Mart, which is known for, one, foreign holdings, for buying Chinese products more so than American products, for having severe labor problems, for having cruelty to animals. There's a big controversy right now about Wal-Mart and pigs in their factory farms.
We can go down the list, environmental abuse, labor pricing. I mean, anything you can think of that is bad when it comes to work, Wal-Mart is at the center of it. This is not a good look.
MEL ROBBINS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, come on.
Wal-Mart's at the Wal-Mart of it, Marc, because they're the biggest, so people go after them.
ROBBINS: Wal-Mart, I want to remind everybody, is also a company -- listen to me -- where, when you look at the management team, 75 percent of those management teams, Marc, came from entry-level folks that started there.
Wal-Mart is the kind of place that if you want to work hard, you can climb the ladder and have the kind of job where you are going to make $50,000 to $100,000.
HILL: That's not true.
ROBBINS: Nobody's complaining about Apple, Mark, that 85 percent of Apple's vendors are overseas.
HILL: No, the average Wal-Mart worker makes $17,500. That's 20 percent less than the average American retail worker. They make less. They have a 70 percent turnover rate per year.
That means that...
ROBBINS: You know what, Marc? If you don't like it, don't shop there. If you don't like it, don't shop there, Marc.
ROBBINS: J.C. Penney is practically going out of business because people don't like it. I get so sick and tired of people attacking companies that are providing jobs. BURNETT: But Tom Foreman did a report on this show recently that showed in terms of the full-time jobs, that Wal-Mart actually pays above the market, but to your point, Mark, there are a lot of part- time workers and that brings that average down.
I just it's important to make the distinction. But on that front, the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, so it is Democratic -- I will say that, Mel. I will acknowledge that. But they said on this issue of part-time workers, because they earn so little, they're forced to rely on government programs like food stamps.
And according to this analysis and across the country, a Wal-Mart super center costs on average $904,000 a year to taxpayers in the form of providing these ways of support.
Again, I'm emphasizing these are part-time workers, not the full-time workers. But what do you say to that? That's hard of justify, isn't it?
ROBBINS: I say free markets is what I say to that.
I mean, look, to me, it's not Wal-Mart's responsibility to turn this economy around or to be responsible for every single person that works for them. Their number one priority are their customers.
HILL: They're not responsible for every worker?
ROBBINS: And if the customers keep showing up, which they do -- 60 percent of Americans, Marc, shop at Wal-Mart. And they shop there for a reason.
It's because cheaper prices and stores that as far as I'm concerned look like a hurricane ran through them are more important than supporting a store that has better policies towards their employees. We have a free market system in this country for a reason.
HILL: But I'm talking about a market that is anything but free. Wal- Mart has had so much deregulation attached to it, that it makes it easy for them to shut down all the mom and pops. That's why 60 percent of people go, because everything else is gone.
To say that Wal-Mart doesn't have responsibility for all of it workers is actually un-American.
BURNETT: Marc, what about the issue though of Mike Rowe? Is he a sellout, the guy that does "Dirty Jobs"? Is he a sellout for supporting Wal-Mart for saying, look, I believe in this initiative? There are people on his Facebook page saying, look, I work for one of these factories Wal-Mart is investing in, a flip-flop factory, a fishing gear tackle factory, and it's helping me?
HILL: I don't want to call Mike a sellout. He's a decent guy. And I think he is making a decision that he might think is principle. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.
But he's still wrong. he's still wrong because Wal-Mart on the whole still does way more damage to everything from labor to the environment, et cetera, than it does through this initiative. The initiative is great.
ROBBINS: So, what's your point, Marc, that Wal-Mart's wrong, so they shouldn't make the investment at all?
HILL: I didn't say that, though.
ROBBINS: Because I don't like Wal-Mart, they should -- like it's terrible.
HILL: You make a compelling argument, but I didn't make that argument.
So, what I'm saying instead is, they should do the initiative. It's a great idea to invest in American jobs. I'm saying that doesn't let them off the hook, they're still not above critique. And I'm here to critique Wal-Mart because I'm of the 40 percent that doesn't shop there because I actually like American jobs and American workers and American people.
And I will be willing to go to a different store, even if I can't get a flat-screen TV and..
ROBBINS: Well, then maybe you should shop there, because there's 1.3 million Americans that work there. And every time they open a store, they have got 10,000 people lining up for the 300 jobs. So there is something that Wal-Mart is doing right on some level.
HILL: If you put a dirty glass of water on the table, people will drink it. There's no other jobs in the labor market. Of course they will work at Wal-Mart, but they all quit, because they hate it because they don't pay.
BURNETT: All right, we are going to hit pause there, but we're going to continue to follow this issue, specifically about Mike Rowe and Wal-Mart.
I'm sure your conversations at home are as heated as that one.
Still to come, Shirley Temple dies at the age of 85 -- a look back at her amazing life.
BURNETT: Shirley Temple Black has died at the age of 85.
A former ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, she spent most of her adult life working as a diplomat. Now, of course, while she accomplished many things in the Diplomatic Corps, including being the first woman to serve as the U.S. chief of protocol at the Department of State, she will always be best remembered for the 60-plus films she made in the '30s and '40s, when she was being paid more than almost every other Hollywood adult star, $2,500 a week.
And that brings us to tonight's number, 2,500 days, or, more simply, six years and 310 days. That was Shirley Temple's age when she was honored with an Oscar, the first juvenile Oscar ever awarded. Between 1934 and 1960, the Academy handed out 12 honorary Oscars to performers who were 18 years old or younger. The Academy decided there were a worthy -- a number of worthy performances by children, but didn't think they'd be able to compete with adults.
So, they created a special statue that was only seven inches tall. And while performers like Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney and Hayley Mills also received the award, Shirley Temple was the first and remains today the youngest person ever honored by the Academy, a pretty incredible achievement and a name of course we all know.
Of course, you have had a Shirley Temple, right, kids? We take a look back at some of her most memorable roles tonight.
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BURNETT: And before we go tonight, some late-breaking news that my friend and mentor Tom Brokaw is fighting cancer.
Doctors are encouraged with his progress tonight. Tom is an institution in America, the person invited in your home every night to share the news for decades. He's a generous, loyal, and deeply kind man to all of us lucky enough to know him. He's a champion who is going to fight this fight. And I'm thinking of him tonight.
Thanks to all of you for watching.