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THE SITUATION ROOM
The Capture of Joaquim "El Chapo" Guzman; Is Supreme Court Justice Mailing It In?; Senate Candidate's Gruesome Web Postings; Uganda Makes Homosexuality a Crime; Tylenols Links to ADHD
Aired February 24, 2014 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Jake, thanks very much.
Happening now, stunning new details on the capture of the world's most wanted drug lord. After avoiding justice for years in Mexico, could the kingpin known as "El Chapo" end up in a United States court?
Ukraine's ousted president is wanted on charges of mass murder. But he's missing, nowhere to be found right now.
So how worried should Russia's President Putin be after the upheaval next door?
And there are now some now new signs that Jeb Bush is seriously considering a White House run.
So why is he now warning fellow Republicans to, quote, "chill out?"
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
We begin with extraordinary new information on the daring raid which led to the arrest of the world's most notorious drug kingpin after 13 years on the lam in Mexico. His nickname is "El Chapo" or "Shorty," but he's wanted in the United States on a very long list of charges.
Now, our Brian Todd has the inside story on how they got the man called "El Chapo" -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Wolf. New details tonight on the capture of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. U.S. And Mexican authorities have been after him for over a decade. DEA officials say he was responsible for at least 25 percent of the drugs entering the U.S., 80 percent of the drugs in Chicago.
One Mexican official told me, quote, "He is our bin Laden."
We're hearing the raid that captured him had some similarities to the bin Laden operation.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TODD (voice-over): 6:40 a.m., just before dawn on Saturday, in what's described as a surgical operation, an elite unit of Mexican marines burst into this apartment in Mazatlan, Mexico. They find the world's most wanted drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, lying shirtless next to his beauty queen wife.
Current and former U.S. and Mexican officials tell CNN not a single shot was fired.
MICHAEL VIGIL, FORMER DEA OFFICIAL: He had an AK-47 next to the bed.
When the Mexican marines entered the condominium, he was still asleep. They used the element of surprise and he did not have a chance to react and seize his weapon.
TODD: Michael Vigil is a former senior DEA official who says he was briefed on the raid. A Mexican official tells us the marines knew that Guzman and his bodyguard were asleep because they'd used infrared and body heat scanners to detect their positions. They say Guzman's 2-year-old twin daughters were also in the apartment.
Just days earlier, arrests of several operatives in Guzman's Sinaloa cartel yielded a trove of intelligence on his whereabouts, which Mexican and U.S. officials shared.
DUNCAN WOOD, DIRECTOR, MEXICO INSTITUTE, WILSON CENTER: A highly successful operation, very well coordinated, where you're using both human intelligence and the technological side of things, where you're tracking down cell phones and zeroing in on a particular location.
TODD: Just before he got to Mazatlan, U.S. and Mexican officials say, Mexican marines raided one of Guzman's safe houses in Culiacan. It took them several minutes to get past a reinforced steel door. Officials say that gave Guzman enough time to escape through a hidden hatch under a bathtub. They later discovered a series of tunnels between his houses in Culiacan. He was eventually able to use those and the city's sewer system to evade authorities and get to Mazatlan.
But by the time of his capture, officials say, the man known for ingenious and airtight security had VIGIL: I think that by that time, he was probably panicking, knowing that this was a large frontal assault on him and that there was a possibility that they were going to catch up with him. So he was physically exhausted.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
TODD: Mexican officials tell us Guzman is now in isolation in the basement of a Mexican prison, that he's under surveillance 24/7. The officials say he's being kept away from the general prison population there -- Wolf.
BLITZER: You also have some new information about how preoccupied he was with his own security.
TODD: That's right. And we're hearing that, you know, he lived this Robin Hood existence in the state of Sinaloa when he was on the run for many years, giving to the local population now, but also -- there, but also being protected by them. The story is when he would go into a restaurant, the restaurant would shut down while he was there. No one would be allowed to leave. All the cell phones were taken away from the patrons there.
He would then finish his meal. He would get up. He would say good-bye to everyone, pay everyone's bill and then they would get their cell phones handed back to them. That's the kind of security that he kept while he was on the run. But we're told that he got sloppy near the end.
BLITZER: All right, we'll see what happens next. We're going to have more on that later this hour.
Brian, thanks very much.
He's accused of the mass killing of civilians in last week's bloody street violence. Now Ukraine's new government has issued an arrest warrant for the ousted president, Victor Yanukovych.
But Yanukovych, who fled Kiev over the weekend, is nowhere to be found.
Let's go to our senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh.
He's in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, right now -- Nick, the last we heard from Ukraine's president -- I should say former president, Yanukovych -- is when he declared that, "I don't plan to leave the country, I don't plan to resign and I am the legitimate president."
But we haven't seen or heard from him since, is that right?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly. I mean and we've heard of him, but not from him. We know that he tried to fly out of the country on a private jet. Border guards turned him away. That's a few days ago now.
We heard today that he was in the south of Ukraine, in Crimea, possibly at a private house in a town called Balaclava.
But everywhere he seems to go, people are deserting him at this point. The head of Sebastopol, the key town in Crimea, the mayor there turned around and said, look, I mean I'm a part of the ruling party that used to be Yanukovych's and I don't want my job anymore. I wanted nothing to do with the bloodshed we recently saw.
Plus, even the head of the ruling party for the whole country said today that they had been trying to ring Yanukovych and the guy hadn't been picking up his phone.
So a real question as to where he is. But no doubt at all that those in the square behind me want to see him put on trial. They consider him to be the main individual who ordered the bloodshed that killed dozens to the left of just where I'm standing last Thursday. And, of course, people also are asking quite how did this man manage to accrue so much money. Remarkable pictures of his wealth circulating around social media and on Ukraine television, as well. And at the same time, Ukraine asking why are the national coffers, the treasury, quite so empty -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, a lot of money missing in action right now, as well.
Nick, really, a remarkable situation -- a popular protest movement toppling this once powerful leader.
How are folks on the streets of Kiev, where you are, making sense of this uprising?
PATON WALSH: Well, this is remarkable, because this is the second time that Victor Yanukovych has been removed by a revolution or a popular protest, call it what you like, the first being in 2004, where many thought that the election that put him into power was false and came into the streets. People are still coming to terms, I think, with the losses, the deaths. There's a lot of grief down here.
I'm now hearing the national anthem being constantly sung. Earlier, just a piano serenading the crowd, as well. But the square is lined -- the floor lined with flowers, putting a carpet over the ashes, the remnants of the rubble that was being burned during the clashes here. But, also, I think a sense, perhaps, of people still coming to terms with the extent of their power here. We've had a breakneck day of parliamentary votes, putting in different ministers in cabinets, passing various laws.
But the fascinating scene drew all of that standard Ukraine smoke-filled back room dealing, was that outside in the street, there were Ukrainians chanting "Shame!" angry at how they didn't see the transparent protest as something they could actually lay their hands on or really feel they had a part in.
So Ukraine has a long way to go before their desire has been satisfied -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Nick is going to have more on the story later here in THE SITUATION ROOM, as well.
Nick Paton Walsh, thanks very much.
After watching the violence in his backyard and the toppling of a neighboring leader, should the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, be worrying if he's next or should the world be worrying what Putin might do?
Our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is here in THE SITUATION ROOM -- first of all, how are U.S. officials behind the scenes reacting to all of this?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, speaking to U.S. officials, they repeatedly make the argument that it's in no one's interests, including Russia's, for there to be a violent outcome here. And that's either on the streets or via military intervention.
Now, at the same time, the U.S. is laying out a vision for a path forward with four key elements. The first, deescalating the violence on the ground; the second, forming a coalition government, and this is key, this representative of all sides; and, three, that it has a technical focus to stabilize the economy that's a real priority going forward; and that all of this would lead up to early elections.
Here's how Jay Carney put it today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: So, it's certainly not in Russia's interests to have tens of thousands of people in the street deeply discontent with the government that they were closely backing. And instability and violence in Ukraine is certainly not, and should not be seen, as in Russia's interests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Now, U.S. officials realize that they have to get Russian buy-in. But the Russians are not sold, by a long shot. You see it on Russian television. You hear it from Russian officials, Russians saying that the West is encouraging extremist elements in the Ukraine. And officials saying either Western officials don't understand the situation on the ground or, Wolf, that they're deliberately trying to destabilize the situation. And that's a bold argument to make.
BLITZER: You had an important conversation -- and I read it today -- with folks all around the world.
What are they asking you?
What are they saying?
SCIUTTO: Well, it's interesting, with all the hot spots that are going on that you and I cover, you know, Iran, Syria, you name it, but Ukraine was very much at the top of the list. And this question that we've just been discussing very much at the top of the list -- what is Russia going to do?
Are they going to take military action?
Will they invade?
Some participants recalled the Russian military intervention in Georgia. One posting saying, as you see it there, "Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 under very similar pretexts."
I noted to some of the viewers who were taking part today that that also happened around the Olympics, the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Another posting saying -- echoing the Obama administration's argument that there's nothing in Russia's national interests in intervention. This isn't a proxy show of saber-rattling. The 1800s were a long time ago.
But there certainly is real concern out there. And it was interesting, you saw Jay Carney there take a little bit of a swipe at Russia, as well, saying it's not in Russia's interests to have people in the streets who believe that the government is corrupt, illegitimate, supported by Russia, you know, saying that, hey, we're not the only bad -- potential bad actors here.
BLITZER: And what happens in Ukraine remains to be seen. This is by no means a done deal, by any means.
BLITZER: All right, thanks very much, Jim Sciutto, for that.
Up next, is a U.S. Supreme Court justice mailing it in?
Our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, is here to explain why he's suggesting the Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas, is engaged in what he calls "a disgraceful silence."
And posting online pictures of gruesome x-rays and joking about it -- why a Kansas doctor turned Senate candidate may not have found the best formula for political success.
BLITZER: It's now been eight years since Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas, has asked a question during the Supreme Court's oral arguments, and writing in the new issue of "The New Yorker" magazine, one of the country's top Supreme Court experts calls Thomas' behavior, quote, "embarrassing and disgraceful." That expert happens to be our own CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, who's joining us now from New York.
Pretty tough piece in the new issue of "The New Yorker." Let me read a couple of sentences. "Thomas only reclines. His leather chairs first so that he can stare at the ceiling which he does at length. He strokes his chin. His eyelids look heavy. Every school teacher knows this look. It's called not paying attention. Thomas is simply not doing his job." Why doesn't he participate in the Q&A sessions? All the other justices ask questions. He's the only one who remains silent.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, he gets asked that question a lot when he speaks at law schools and the like and he says he gets all the information he needs from the briefs and he thinks the other justices ask too many questions and don't let the lawyers finish their thoughts. You know, all of which is perfectly reasonable for not asking a lot of questions.
But eight years of not asking questions just shows contempt for a significant part of the job. And, you know, yes, he does write his opinions, but that's not the whole job. And I think he's still angry about the whole Anita Hill controversy. He's very angry at the news media, doesn't like the way he's treated. And I think this is a gesture of contempt and hostility that, frankly at this point, only makes him look bad.
BLITZER: And because all the other justices, including Antonin Scalia, you always hear their sharp questioning of witnesses who come -- and lawyers who come before the Supreme Court to offer their analysis of what's going on. We only get to hear it on audiotape. We don't see it. And that's a serious problem and there's a group now saying there should be TV cameras. The American public have a right to see these justices, the Q&A that's going on during these oral arguments. Listen to this ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Supreme Court's decisions impact the lives of Americans everywhere. But only a privileged few get to see justice in action. Republicans, Democrats, and a large majority of American support a simple fix, putting cameras in the Supreme Court.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Why don't they have cameras here so we can watch these justices go about their business?
TOOBIN: Wolf, I can answer that question in two words. Jon Stewart. They don't want to be made fun of on the daily show. They don't want to have their behavior, their questions, their public performance open to public scrutiny. I think it's disgraceful. I think it's terrible. But you know, it's their candy store and they get to decide who sees it. But it's just totally inappropriate that these sessions are not televised.
BLITZER: Well, is it across the board all nine justices don't want cameras inside or is there a split, as far as you know?
TOOBIN: As far as I can tell, it's pretty unanimous. You know, Steven Brier had said he'd like to see a study of how it's done. Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, when they were in their confirmation hearings, they expressed openness. Since they've gotten on the court, they have gotten noticeably more quiet on that subject. I think there's just a tremendous institutional fear of the court looking bad.
And I think that it's appropriate that it's appropriate that they care about the institution, but you know, when you think about the arguments against cameras in the courtroom, you know, that witnesses will be intimidated, the jurors won't want to serve, none of those apply to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court only has experienced lawyers dealing with important legal issues.
I just think it is completely outrageous, but, there is no way that even Congress can force them to televise their hearings. It's up to them and I wouldn't hold your breath.
BLITZER: It took them a long, long time to even let the audio versions of these arguments come forward.
TOOBIN: And it's not live audio.
TOOBIN: Right. It's actually -- now, they only release it at the end of the week.
TOOBIN: They used to release it on the same day for big cases. So, the situation has actually gotten worse in terms of public disclosure at the Supreme Court.
BLITZER: It's an excellent article in the new issue of "The New Yorker," as usual. Jeffrey, thanks very much.
TOOBIN: All right. Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: X-ray pictures and online jokes about gunshot victims have brought sharp scrutiny down on a Kansas Republican who hopes to becoming United States senator. Some thought he had a chance to one seat in incumbent, but now, everyone is wondering how this drama will play out. CNN's Tom Foreman has the details.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An x-ray of a person savaged by shock on blast, a comment with it, "This is my second favorite gunshot wound of all time." The man behind those internet posts and more jokes about gunshot victims, Radiologist, Milton Wolf, a Kansas Republican who was confronted by the "Topeka Capital Journal" after the paper found the pictures.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think this is professional? Do you still do this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I take care of patients.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you still post images of dead people on the internet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is not an image of a dead person.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it? What is this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are x-rays.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: X-rays of dead people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen of the revolution, please welcome your next senator from Kansas.
FOREMAN: Wolf is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. senate, courting conservatives in hopes of unseating incumbent, Pat Roberts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They call me the archenemy of Obamacare.
FOREMAN (on-camera): Wolf admits he's posted many x-rays online but says he's never revealed the patient's identity and the postings of all then to educate other doctors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at any medical textbooks, that's all of this kind of imaging --
FOREMAN (voice-over): Still, he says it was insensitive when he was asked about an awkwardly post corps and replied, "It's not like the patient was going to complain," and when he wrote, "what kind of gun blows somebody's head completely off? I've got to get one of those."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a joke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it isn't. You know what, it is not a joke about taking care of patients.
FOREMAN: All the online comments were made some years ago and Wolf subsequently took them down, yet, the fact remains, politically, he shot himself in the foot.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
BLITZER: Other stories we're following in the SITUATION ROOM right now, part of the Mississippi River has reopened, but more than two dozen vessels remain stranded following a weekend oil spill near New Orleans. A barge leaked more than 30,000 gallons of crude after a collision with a towboat. At one point, 65 miles of the river were closed as well as the port of New Orleans.
The longest serving member of Congress in the country of the Congress says he's ready to retire. Eighty-seven-year-old Michigan Democrat, John Dingell, won't seek re-election to the House where he served for 58 years. He was just 29 when he was elected to replace his late father who had held the seats since it was created back in 1932. There's speculation Dingle's wife of 38 years, Debbie Dingell, might make a bid for her husband's seat.
And the actor and writer and director, Harold Ramis, has died. He was a leading figure in American comedy starting with the Second City Troop back in Chicago, but he's best known for his movie work, including "Animal House," "Caddy Shack," Ghostbusters" and "Stripes".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. That's really very good. I'd like to try it one more time and then we'll call it a day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Great
Have a great time. Bye-bye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What a great talent he was. Harold Ramis was 69 years old. He suffered from a blood vessel condition. Our deepest condolences to his family.
Coming up, they finally got "shorty." Now, should Mexican authorities, that is, turned the notorious drug lord over to the United States? I'll ask the House Homeland Security committee chairman, Congressman, Mike McCaul. He's standing by live.
And new signs that Jeb Bush is seriously considering a White House run. So, why is he now warnings some fellow Republicans to chill out. Stay with us. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Happening now --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER (voice-over): 2016 includes Jeb Bush gives what could be a preview of his campaign strategy. Talks about a potential problem if, if he decides to run for president.
And Tylenol shocker. A new study just release links the pain killer to a condition afflicting millions of children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER (on-camera): I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Amid growing indications that he's at least considering a 2016 run for the White House, Jeb Bush made a campaign-style appearance today up in New York State. He had a special message for some fellow Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH, (R) FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: You've got to show respect. You have to listen to people rather than kind of dictate how it's going to be. And, I think we've become a little more harsh than we need to be. So, the first step would be to tone it down a little bit, you know. Chill out. We don't always have to come across as angry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Probably pretty good advice. Let's discuss with our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, and our chief national correspondent, John King. Gloria, could this strategy, don't be so angry, be a little more positive, be a key for success for the Republicans in 2016?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, maybe in a general election, but honestly, I think, not in a primary.
BLITZER: Midterm election.
BORGER: But I'm even thinking if he does run for the presidency, if he runs for the presidency, the base of the Republican Party is angry right now. They're unhappy. And I think if he were to run for the presidency, he'd have to have a little bit of a re-education in how to talk to the base of the party because it's changed over the last seven or eight years.
BLITZER: Come become more, shall we say, more to the right? Is that what you're saying?
BORGER: Well, the whole country has become more polarized in the base of the Republican Party, particularly with the Tea Party on the rise, you know? I think it's a different party than Jeb Bush left when he was governor.
BLITZER: What do you think of that strategy? The strategy he's advocating?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is something that he's long believed, number one. To Gloria's point, immigration is going to be an issue in the next primary. Jeb Bush is more to the center than the base of the party, probably. Health care will be an issue in the next primary. He was very interesting today where he said there's nothing I like about the president's Affordable Care Act but then he went into what Republicans should do to replace it. He's a policy guy, which makes him interesting.
The thing that was most fascinating to me about today, Wolf, he's been off the bike a long time. He hasn't run for elected office in quite some time. So to see him in town hall-style setting, I actually thought he was having fun. Number 1, he was humorous. Number 2, and if you're a Republican wondering is he's too rusty, if you look today, you probably think pretty good. He turns political questions into policy questions.
BLITZER: And he was twice elected governor of Florida. He was a popular governor in Florida.
BORGER: (INAUDIBLE) candor right out of him, though. Because the minute -- if he were to say, okay, I'm running for the presidency, suddenly you have the handlers around you constantly, you're worried about every word that you speak. Right now, he can afford to be a little bit more relaxed, but once you're on that national stage, forget it. It all changes.
BLITZER: Let's not forget, Florida it an important electoral state.
BORGER: Oh, yes.
BLITZER: All right. Listen to this He also said this today. I'll play a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: One of the first people I met - this was really early, maybe spring of 2007 that was a strong supporter of President Obama's in the primary. And I said why? He looked at me and goes, we had a Bush, then we had a Clinton, then we had a Bush, then we're going to have a Clinton? And then he turns to me and goes, and then we're going to have a Bush?
BUSH: So I get the point. I get the point. And it's something that I'd have to -- if I was to run, I'd have to overcome that. And so will Hillary, by the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Which is a fair point, right?
KING: It is a fair point. Look, in our politics, people are always looking for new faces. Fresh faces -- President Obama helped him - of course, his opposition to the Iraq war helped him, too. So it is. He noted and he went on to say, hold Hillary to the same standard. It wouldn't be an issue. It might be mitigated by the fact that if she's the Democratic nominee, it's less of an issue or it's everybody's issue.
I'll tell you this: I know from my reporting he's thinking seriously about this. A lot of people thought when he said I'll have a timetable, people said he's just saying that. He just wants the attention. But he has had several conversations with fundraisers recently.
Now, his team says he comes in touch with them all the time. He raises money for Republican candidates, but I'm told in those conversations he's talked about, if I run, what would it take, who are you with? He's thinking more seriously about this 2016.
BLITZER: (AUDIO GAP) Others suggested maybe he shouldn't do it.
BLITZER: We always listen to our mothers, Wolf. But I think it may be the fund-aisers are more serious about this, particularly given the problems that Chris Christie has had, suddenly if they sort of feel that they are in the center of the party, the establishment part of the Republican party, they are looking for somebody that they could say, okay, he will represent my views. If they were turning from Christie -- and some pollsters show that they are to a certain degree. I mean, the jury's out on that, obviously. Then maybe Bush would be one of those people that they would turn to.
BLITZER: A more moderate Republican.
Chris Christie is chairman of the Republican Governor's Association. All of the nation's governors were in Washington today at the White House. He was not here. I know that his daughter's 18th birthday was yesterday, but he could have come back, though. What's going on?
KING: He has a state budget to put together as well, state business to do. And he's made a calculated decision here to step back a bit from the national spotlight. He's still chairman of the Republican Governors. He's still traveling to raise money. He'll be on the road raising money with even governor Romney coming up, and so he's going to go to some key states.
But for this week, when all of the other governors were here and this is the annual "are you running" meeting. They all come, and they all get asked if you're going to run for president, he decided I think because, a, he wants to prove that he can effective in New Jersey, b, some personal issues and c, the investigations of what we now call Bridgegate, to dial it back a bit.
BORGER: You know, he's had enough exposure lately. I don't think he's looking for any more. And when we saw at that town hall meeting last week, he was a little more subdued. It wasn't the Chris Christie who came out there and took people on, sort of calling them names, et cetera, et cetera. It was a very different kind of Chris Christie. So I think leaving town was probably a smart thing for him to do.
BLITZER: And he's not going to get a picture with the president but he had a picture with the president just before the last election. A lot of Republicans were not happy about that picture.
BORGER: And by the way, Mitt Romney is going to appear with Chris Christie, and a lot of Romney supporters were very upset about that picture during the campaign.
BLITZER: I remember that well. All right, guys. Thanks very much. By the way, Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida, will be my guest tomorrow here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We've got a lot to discuss.
KING: Ask him about that.
BLITZER: We'll ask him what he thinks about a lot of stuff. All right, guys, thanks very much.
Up next, will Mexico hand over this notorious drug kingpin to the United States? He's just been captured. I'll talk about that and more with the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Republican Congressman Mike McCaul. There he is. He's standing by live.
Also, disturbing study results: what parents and would-be parents need to know potentially about Tylenol.
And with a stroke of a pen, a new law creates a living nightmare for gays and lesbians. Some are now facing potential life sentences.
BLITZER: Let's get back to our top story. Thirteen years after he escaped from prison, Mexican authorities have finally recaptured the notorious drug lord, known as El Chapo or Shorty. Is it time to turn him over to the United States? Let's discuss with the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Republican Congressman Mike McCaul of Texas.
Congressman, thanks very much for coming in.
REP. MIKE MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: Thanks for having me, Wolf.
BLITZER: So you trust the Mexicans to get the job done now with El Chapo?
MCCAUL: Well, listen, I do want our U.S.-Mexico relationship to be based on trust. We had a significant victory with the United States working with Mexico to take down the most wanted drug lord, the godfather of the drug cartels, if you will.
My concerns, Wolf, to be quite frank, is the fact that El Chapo Guzman has already escaped a Mexican prison in 2001. He was given a sentence of 20 years, which is not what he deserves.
We had another drug lord just last year who escaped a prison with a judge's help and the fact is corruption is still prevalent down there.
I believe that the best thing for both countries would be to extradite him to the United States, put him in a supermax prison where he can't escape but also where he will face justice and get the maximum penalty for what he has done.
He has smuggled more than anybody in the world tons of drugs, not only in this country but Europe. He's responsible for thousands of people being killed and he hasn't paid the price for hat.
I think, if brought into the United States, I know he has indictments where I am right here in New York right now, in San Diego; Chicago, they call him public enemy number one because of all of the damage he's done in Chicago.
So to say this is just Mexico's problem is not correct. This has had a severe impact on the United States as well. I think we have a vested interest to try him here and I hope the Mexicans will think about this. I plan to talk to the Mexican authorities on this to negotiate his extradition to the United States.
BLITZER: But the argument that a lot of the Mexicans make, as you know, Congressman, is that most of the crimes he committed, most of those people who allegedly were murdered by him were done in Mexico.
They deserve the right to try him and sentence him and let him spend the rest of his life potentially in jail. But you're raising serious questions about their credibility.
MCCAUL: Well, listen, I respect Mexico's point of view on this, their sovereignty. It is a sovereign nation. He is Mexican. He did kill thousands of people. In Juarez alone, 6,000 people were killed between the Sinaloa and Zeta cartels.
So they have a legitimate claim there. My only concern, again, is the idea that he could break out of prison again like he did in 2001. The problem of the corruption in Mexico and the fact is that we can hold him in a more secure place in the United States and get some more severe penalties.
The conviction rate -- the criminal conviction rate in Mexico is very low. I know he served -- he served eight years on a 20-year sentence, but I believe we can give him the maximum penalty in the United States and that would be, under extradition laws, life imprisonment
So I'd look forward to working with the Mexicans on this. I do applaud the Mexicans for what they did in working and I also applaud our ICE agents and DEA agents and Homeland Security officials who brought really the number one most wanted drug lord to justice by capturing him.
BLITZER: Let me ask you to do a postmortem now. Fortunately, the two weeks of the Olympic Games in Sochi ended without, without a terrorist attack. All of us were worried deeply going into the Olympic Games in Sochi. You and I, last time we spoke, we had this conversation. Let me play this little clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: You say these are the most serious threats to an Olympic Game you've ever seen.
What's your deepest concern?
MCCAUL: A suicide bomber. I think the proximity to where the terrorists are in the Northern Caucasus, the threats we've seen come out of there already -- and most recently, Zawahiri, the top Al Qaeda leader, basically joining these efforts, calling for attacks.
And so this thing is ratcheting up, not ratcheting down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Fortunately, our worst fears were not materialized.
Who gets the credit for -- were there actual terrorist operations that were thwarted or were we just lucky or what happened?
MCCAUL: Well, I think a combination of things. And I watched the Olympics because my children enjoyed it tremendously.
I will say, thank God, nothing happened. The fact is, there was a threat to our aviation sector, as you know, with the Black Widows and the six Austrians that we were able to thwart and stop that threat to our aviation sector, and I applaud the Russians cooperating with our intelligence authorities to stop that from happening. And they did. I also credit the Russians for stopping the threat within. I thought the biggest threat were suicide bombers, not in the Olympic Village but outside somewhere, and I would credit that really to the heavy-handedness of security in Russia.
When I was there, they don't have a constitution; they don't have due process. They went into Dagestan and, for lack of a better word, eliminated the threats in Dagestan. They put the Black Widows under house arrest. They tossed out people in Sochi who are not registered under the law.
And I think this was all in combination very effective from a security standpoint to eliminate any potential threat to the Games and I applaud the Russian authorities for that.
But I also applaud our intelligence community and Homeland Security folks who helped stop it as well.
BLITZER: Well, fortunately, it was quiet and the Olympic Games went without any terrorist attack.
Congressman, as usual, thanks very much.
MCCAUL: Yes, thanks, Wolf.
Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Just ahead, living in fear. Gays and lesbians in one country could now face life sentences for simply being gay. Details of a harsh new law.
Plus the possible link between Tylenol and ADHD. We're just getting some new details of a brand new study.
BLITZER: Uganda's president has signed a severe anti-gay bill into law that imposes penalties including, get this, life in prison for some homosexual acts, lengthy sentences for anyone who counsels or even reaches out, reaches out to gay people.
The White House strongly condemned the Uganda law today.
CNN's Arwa Damon reports.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 2010 tabloid banner read, "Hang them." David Kato told CNN then he knew he was in danger.
DAVID KATO, UGANDAN GAY RIGHT ACTIVISTS: So I was in the newspapers. So the (inaudible) the villagers wanted to set my house ablaze. They wanted to burn my house.
DAMON: Homophobia in this deeply conservative Christian nation is rabid. David's mother says she didn't know he was gay until he was murdered.
"I would condemn him," she responds. "I would hate him, but I would counsel him." She, too, stigmatized by his sexuality and did not want us to visit her at home.
"The community keeps accusing me that I bring whites to promotes homosexuality among the children," she tells us.
The irony, gay rights activists say, is that it was a small group of American evangelicals who came to Uganda speaking out against homosexuality, which was already illegal, that really took the persecution of the LGBT community to a new level.
Kasha Nabagesera is one of the few gay activists to speak out in public.
JACQUELINE KASHA NABAGESERA, FOUNDER, FREEDOM AND ROAM UGANDA: So they went to parliament and advised them to change the law. They went to universities and told students that we are recruiting them and told them that we have a lot of money, that they should be careful. Then they went to Paris and told them that we are recruiting their children.
DAMON: The first draft of an anti-homosexuality bill, she recalls, introduced in 2009, including the death penalty. The new version replaces the death penalty for certain homosexual acts with life in prison and makes simply being viewed as promoting homosexuality a crime that could land someone in jail.
DAVID BAHATI, UGANDAN LAWMAKER: Now parliament processes all these amendments to come --
DAMON: David Bahati is the architect.
(On camera): So is your aim to eradicate homosexuality completely by forcing people to stay silent or face a prison sentence?
BAHATI: Well, the aim is to make sure that we do protect the institution of marriage and stopping the promotion of homosexuality in our country. If in the process that is achieved, that would be good for our society.
DAMON: That homosexuality be eradicated from society?
BAHATI: That would be good for us as a society.
DAMON: Do you respect other religions, an individual's right to practice another religion other than Christianity?
DAMON: So why can't you respect another individual's differing sexual orientation?
BAHATI: Well, I don't think that homosexuality is a human right.
DAMON (voice-over): Now the LGBT community fears it will become the target of an even broader witch hunt.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Kampala.
BLITZER: In an exclusive interview with CNN's Zain Verjee, Uganda's president said that being homosexual also saying it's not a human right. He said of gay people and I'm quoting the president of Uganda right now, said this of gay people, quote, "They're disgusting."
Coming up, Tylenol and ADHD. Is there a link? A new study has some troubling implications for parents.
Plus plans for controversial cuts to the United States military. Will the Pentagon downsize the Army to pre-World War II levels?
BLITZER: Results have just been released from a study of one of the most widely used pain medication.
Here's CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's supposed to be the safe option. Acetaminophen, most widely known as Tylenol, is routinely prescribed by doctors for pregnant women in pain. But a new large study out of Denmark calls this long-standing practice into question.
In the study, women using the common pain reliever during pregnancy were more likely to have children who went on to have ADHD. The biggest increase was among women using acetaminophen the most often and later in pregnancy. Women who took the drug throughout half or more of their pregnancy were almost twice as likely to have a child with a severe form of ADHD.
DR. BEATE RITZ, PROFESSOR, UCLA FIELDING SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Any medication in pregnancy is something to avoid if you can. We have to be extremely careful what we expose fetuses to.
COHEN: Dr. Ritz says acetaminophen may cause damage by disrupting hormones critical to fetal brain development and alternatives to medications, like massages and baths maybe a better option for mild pain relief.
RITZ: You certainly should not just take a pain medication because you have maybe a slight headache.
COHEN: In a statement, Tylenol maker Johnson & Johnson tells CNN, "Tylenol has one of the most favorable safety profiles among over-the- counter pain relievers. If pregnant or breastfeeding, the consumer should ask a health professional before use."
Bottom line, most women in the study who took acetaminophen did not go on to have children with ADHD. Experts stress this is just one study and more research needs to be done, and, in the meantime, pregnant women should not replace acetaminophen with other pain medications. And, of course, they should talk to their doctors.
Elizabeth Cohen, CNN.