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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
VA Secy Eric Shinseki Subpoenaed by Congress Regarding VA Hospitals; U.S. Passenger Jet Nearly Collides with Drone; Search Area Flight 370 Could Be Completely Wrong; Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Allegedly Says He Was Jealous; Nigerian Military Responds to Accusation It Had Four-Hour Notice of Raid at Boarding School
Aired May 9, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
Tonight breaking news, and yet another veteran's hospital. This time in Wyoming, where the inner-office e-mail could turn out to be a smoking gun. The scandal that our Drew Griffin has been leading and reporting on for six months.
Drew's investigation found as many as 40 veterans dies while waiting for at Phoenix VA hospital. That according to a doctor who used to work there. And according to sources many veterans were on a secret waiting list to hide long delays for medical care. Drew's reporting sparked to subpoena for the head of the head of VA, General Eric Shinseki in congressional investigations that in the last 48 hours have heated up.
And now tonight, stunning new development. Late today, General Shinseki told Congress that an employee at the VA hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming has been placed on administrator leave after Shinseki learned about an inner office e-mail. The e-mail suggested that Cheyenne VA was also fudging its waitlist to hide delays in care. Shinseki said he immediately request an investigation by the VA inspector general's office. He also said quote "if true, the behavior outlined in this e-mail is unacceptable."
Drew joins me now with the latest. Drew, what do we know now?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this is yet another hospital that is manipulating the system to hide the fact that veterans are waiting months to get care. But this time someone put it in writing, a VA nurse who also works as a scheduling coordinator sent this how-to guide to federal employees on how to cook the books. The e-mail describes in detail how the clerks can meet the VA's internal goals, Anderson, of scheduling veterans for care within 14 days.
Even though the real appointments can be put to up for months. And the coordinator admits in this e-mail, take a look at this. Yes, it is gaming the system a bit. But you have to know the rules of the game you are playing. And when we exceed the 14-day measure the front office gets very upset.
Anderson, late this evening CNN tracked down the new whistleblower who says she is the one who wanted to make this e-mail public. Lisa Lee worked as a scheduler for the VA at the VA's clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is connected to the Cheyenne system. She says she is coming forward tonight for the first time because she is concerned veteran's health care is at stake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA LEE, MEDICAL SUPPORT ASSISTANT SCHEDULER: We were being told to game the system because it made Cheyenne look good. We were sat down by our supervisor in the conference room. He opened up his laptop and he showed us exactly how to schedule so it looked like it was in the 14-day period. And so, it was all verbal when I was down there. And they would keep track of the schedulers who were complying and getting 100 percent of that 14-day, and those of us that were not doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I mean, it is amazing they were looking at who was and who was not gaming the system. The new email now in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I mean, it seems to make it indisputable that this practice of delaying care, in front of hide the delays has been a part of the practice throughout the VA system.
GRIFFIN: This is the exact scenario, a clerk working in San Antonio told us about it last night where he says he was encouraged to cook the books on veteran's wait times just to make it appear that veterans were getting timely appointments when in fact, Brian Turner on your show last night, Anderson, said, he said these vets are waiting months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: So it could be months and looks like 14 days.
BRIAN TURNER, VA SCHEDULING CLERK: It could be three months and looks like no days, looked like they were scheduling the appointments --
GRIFFIN: So scheduling the books, fudging the books --
TURNER: I can call it that. You can call it that. The VA doesn't call it that. They call it zeroing out.
GRIFFIN: Zeroing out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Anderson, all of our sources tell us this was widely known what was going on. Congressman Jeff Miller who heads the veteran's affairs committee released a statements made this afternoon saying that problems now with the Cheyenne VA were well known that the VA should have been on this long ago. And said the late response from Eric Shinseki to put this in play who wrote the e-mail on paid leave, while he opens yet another OIG investigation is, more of a knee-jerk reaction to tough media questions than anything else.
COOPER: And from the last statement, let me ask you the questions that you have been asking for an -- I mean, you have been asking for an interview with the VA secretary Shinseki for six months now. Every day he is ducking and diving everywhere. Any responds today?
GRIFFIN: They are not even acknowledging my asking for an interview. They simply do not respond. It is like a nether world.
COOPER: Unbelievable. And yet he gives interviews to people who have not been on this story as much as you have. A breaking news on this.
Drew, again, we'll keep at it. Thank you.
More breaking news tonight. For the first time, we are just now hearing of a near collision between a U.S. passenger plane and a drone. The two coming so close that the pilot was sure he collided with it. Apparently, this happened in late March as the commuter jet was approaching Tallahassee, Florida according to the FAA.
Joining me now live our CNN aviation and government regulation correspondent Rene Marsh and CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien.
So Rene, why is actually happening, and why are we just hearing about it now?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Good question. You know, a potentially deadly situation here, a drone nearly crashed into this U.S. Airways plane and it really could have taken the plane down.
The FAA is describing it as a near meteor collision, some 2300 feet over Florida seats in the air over Florida. It happened near the Tallahassee Florida. Of course, that is well above the typical altitude of a private drone.
As far as what it looked like, the commercial pilot described it as a fixed wing aircraft that looked like a model replica of an F4 Phantom jet. Now, to be clear, it wasn't the size of a phantom jet. But it sure look like one.
We do know this sort of collision -- near collision I should say, is rare. But as far as why it is taking so long I did ask the FAA just that. We should note that this all came to light because an FAA official was speaking at a drone conference just yesterday and started discussing this. So we didn't come by way of a press release. When asked why we didn't know about it before because the incident happened in March, the FAA could not immediately answer, Anderson.
COOPER: Do we know who was controlling the drone? Who was flying this thing?
MARSH: At this point, no. They don't know. And they say they are still investigating, you know, who was operating it? Who was behind it? We know it was painted in camouflage. That's about all we know. But who was behind it is still a mystery.
COOPER: So Miles, I mean, are there any regulations in place for drone to this point?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, not this size of drone. Anderson, the FAA has been spending time trying to figure out how to put big drones, you know, predator-sized drones in the international air space. And that is a regulatory process that is under way.
Now, for the smaller ones, like the ones we're talking about here, there is basically a letter of understanding, a circular which came out in 1981 which is circulated among the radio-controlled model clubs, which says keep it below 400 feet and keep it three miles away from the airport. And there was self-policing kind of situation. And over the year, that worked out pretty fine.
But in case you have not noticed, anybody can buy a drone now very easily. They're very easy to purchase and fly. It doesn't require a lot of effort to make them work. And this industry has exploded beyond the ability of anybody to regulate.
COOPER: Right. And these drones, I mean, typically they don't have a transponder. They don't show up on radar, is that right?
O'BRIEN: No, that is the problem. There is nothing about these drones that fits into the FAA system at all. They don't see them on radar. They don't have the technology to integrate them into their air traffic control system. Unlike the bigger drones which they're working on figuring out how to do that.
So, what you have is a self-regulating industry which worked out when it was small. That is a much bigger drone we're looking at there. But with these smaller drones, when you have these many people who own them you're bound to have some very stupid person do something like that that we're talking about here and it really could have huge consequences.
COOPER: Rene, have you heard from pilots on how they feel about sharing air space with drones? And do we know how many we are talking about?
MARSH: I mean, well, here is an estimation from the FAA. They are estimating that, you know, in the next five years. And we are going to see some 7500 drones flying into the U.S. air space at any given time.
COOPER: 7500, wow.
MARSH: Yes, at any given time, imagine all that, fitting that in with the commercial air travel that we have.
At this point, we know that the FAA, they're working on rules so that they can safely integrate these smaller drones that are everything from what these hobbyists use to the larger drones that can be as big or have a wing span of a 737. And they're capable of flying some 60,000 feet in the air. I mean, that is the wide range of the rule that they're trying to get in place here that can be applied to all kinds of drones.
As for pilots, they're some who are really worried about sharing the air space with the drones because they believe it spells disaster. And the reason is, they say that the accident rate for these drones are pretty high.
COOPER: And Miles, the FAA officials that alerted people to this close call, they say that a jet/drone collision could be a catastrophe.
O'BRIEN: Well, you know, catastrophic, you know, if you are onboard the plane and you could hit by drone, you probably called that a personal catastrophe. But would it bring down a plane like the sully flight where they hit a whole flock of geese?
Yes, you might very well lose one engine. But that aircraft would it, you know, with a reasonably professional flight crew could have landed the plane with one engine just fine. Having said that you don't want these drones above 400 feet as the FAA has prescribed. And you know, I bought a drone recently. There is no warning on it, whatsoever. I mean, it just tells you to go up and have fun. And the drone will go up way higher than you want it to, to be comfortable.
So, this is an industry, you know, that said the drones are out of the hanger here. And the FAA does not have the capability to police these smaller ones.
COOPER: Miles O'Brien, appreciate the update. Rene Marsh as well.
A quick reminder, make sure you set your DVR so you can watch "360" whenever you want.
Coming up tonight, more and more, it looks like everything the investigators are relying on in the search for missing Malaysian airlines flight 370 may be wrong, everything. New analysis is now suggesting investigators may have been looking in entirely the wrong ocean. The latest and why some experts are coming to that conclusion next.
Also ahead, more newly released audio that is allegedly to believe that L.A. Clippers Donald Sterling, another recording of him. It sounds like everybody he talks to seems to be recording this guy. He says he is not racist, he is just jealous. We'll explain ahead.
COOPER: Well, if you remember the search for the missing airplane that it seems many in the nation obsessed about for two months, it seems everything we thought about where it went and went down could be completely and utterly wrong. That is the take way in the new article in the "Atlantic" magazine. Some very smart people using some not so simple math are saying investigators may have been looking in the wrong ocean. And that the pings that focused the search may not have had anything to do with flight 370 at all.
Scientists and engineers outside the investigators are going back to the drawing board looking at the satellite signals sent by the plane and many of those experts say the analysis just does not hold off.
Ari Schulman wrote the "Atlantic" piece. It is a fascinating piece. He joins me now live along with CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien and CNN safety analyst, David Soucie, author of "Why Planes Crash: an Accident Investigator Flight for Safe Skies."
Ari, so you write in your article quote either Inmarsat analysis doesn't totally make sense or it is flat out wrong. That is a bold statement. In layman's terms, can you tell us why you say that?
ARI SCHULMAN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE NEW ATLANTIC: Well, it is hard to lay it out briefly but basically the way I described the satellite pings is that it is sort of like playing a game of Marco Polo over 22,000 miles of space. You get a little bit of information about where the plane is because you can tell how far away it is each time it sends out this little request to the plane -- the satellite requests to the plane. And you can tell about how fast it is moving towards or away from the satellite. And that gives you enough information to kind of start to piecing together a picture of possible flight paths.
And that is the analysis that Malaysia airline has released, but was done by the satellite British company, Inmarsat. But there are some basic characteristics you would expect to see in that data and basically the data that they have released doesn't have those characteristics.
COOPER: Have they released all the data?
SCHULMAN: No. They have not released -- basically what they have released is something that is sort of downstream in the analysis. They have released their conclusions in a very partial way. They have not released the raw data that they have used to this analysis and they haven't explain their model. And that is what these outside experts have been trying to do. They have been trying to figure out basically reverse engineer are the raw data and figure out what model they're working for and those are very vexing problems.
COOPER: David, it is amazing that after -- I mean, untold millions dollars and weeks searching that this might all just be completely wrong. Do you buy that?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: You know, it is hard for me to buy. But after talking with Ari and I spoke also with Michael Exner and some of the other folks who have been a part of this report, these are not people who are just taking a swag at this. These are the pros. These are people who do satellite calculations just like this. They are devoted to it.
So to have them come out and say hey, this is wrong. There is some information that doesn't make sense. All the reason more now the Malaysians need to come out with the information, talk about the air satellite delays and things that these folks need to do to verify it, to have the outside look.
COOPER: Miles, why wouldn't Inmarsat just release all the data?
O'BRIEN: It is not their purview, unfortunately Anderson. I suspect if they had their choice they would at this point. It is up to the Malaysians. And we've seen the track record with the Malaysians on the release of information. You know, there are customs and rules that go along with the accident investigation. And one of the customs and rules is you hold back information until you have the final answer and they release it. That may be the norm. But I think it is time to break some rules.
This is an extraordinary event and we have great experts the world over who are looking at a percentage of the picture. We don't even know what percentage of the picture, what has been held back and are coming up with holes.
Now, those might be real holes, that might be a function the fact that they don't have the full the picture. But all the more reason for the Malaysians to do what is I think morally, absolutely mandatory at this point to release all this data for the families who are just emotionally wrought. It is unconscionable that they hold it back.
COOPER: Ari, do you know the passengers -- the families of the passengers released an open letter yesterday saying quote "we implore the Malaysian government to release the raw Inmarsat satellite engine ping data.
Is a, do the Malaysians seem at all inclined to do that? And do you know if the outside experts that they're looking, have they reached any kind of conclusion or they pointing in any direction they're talking about?
SCHULMAN: Some of the experts will have different opinions on that. I think -- I've been trying to get information from the Malaysians. These experts have been trying to. Lots of journalists have been trying to and they just have not been getting anything.
I think some of the experts have some opinions about where the plane might have gone. I think that all of those conclusions ought to be put on hold until we know that we can actually understand the data that the Malaysians have released. And it is very baffling because they haven't actually been staining (ph) our data. They have been releasing it, but in the partial way to sort of give the impression that they know what they're doing without the data actually even being full enough to really make sense and verify that they do know what they are doing.
COOPER: It is weird, Ari, though that they would find pings or what they said are pings along the alleged route that this plane took. So what do they now say about these pings?
SCHULMAN: I'm not sure what the latest claims that they have on that data report circulating that those pings, the acoustic underwater pings could have been from tag of whales, from other sorts of underwater devices. I think the fact that they haven't found the plane yet based on those pings really lend some skepticism to the idea that those are actually from the plane.
COOPER: David Soucie, do you agree with that?
SOUCIE: Yes, I do. We have been talking about the convergence of data, the convergence of facts and what is happening. If you take the Inmarsat data which might be a little sketchy. It is new math. It is new stuff we've never done before. They admitted that. And now, you talk about the pings, that the frequencies are off. You know, according to some other folks that reported to me, I have been contending all along, it is the pings from the aircraft that tell to prove differently. Well, as of today, I was proven differently,
There are pingers out there that are being used illegally for fishing nets, that are attached to the fishing nets, the pings at one second and 33 megahertz. So that put doubt in me that these pings are really from the aircraft at this point. So now we have two pieces of information that together add to their confidence but separately in doubt.
COOPER: Miles, I saw you shaking your head when Ari was talking.
O'BRIEN: Well, it is highly unlikely this is a ping attached to a marine mammal. Any scientist worth his salt is not going to ping every seconds. You run down your battery before you got any data. So that is unlikely.
However, the fishing net is a possibility. Another possibility here is, you know, whatever happened to that submarine, the tireless, was it in the neighborhood doing some sort of sound sounding at 33 kilohertz, e don't know that for sure. The fact is the Australian have still said this is the likely site. They obviously have something more that they're not sharing.
Do they have defense radar information which leads them to believe the flight ended in that location? If they do, I would call upon them to released that data right now. And what about the Chinese who had a ping sounding that they heard prior to this ping sounding that we're talking about? We never really followed up with that one, did we?
So I think there is a lot of information that is being held back here. Sometimes because of secrecy, sometimes because of customs in the case of the Malaysians. It is time to lay all of these cards on the table for the sake of these families.
COOPER: It concerns me that the Chinese, you know, alleged ping that they heard, the video that they released, I mean, to show a bunch of guys like with the zodiac, you know, with a microphones sticking to the water basically.
O'BRIEN: It looked like a photo op. But having said that why don't they release the data anyway? At this point, I'd like to see everything.
COOPER: The article in "the Atlantic," Ari Schulman is fascinating. Thank you, great reporting.
Miles O'Brien, David Soucie, thanks for joining us.
The shift in search areas in the hunt for the flight brings to mind another search when aviator Steve Fossett plane this fear in 2007. That took more than a year for the mystery to be solve, to find the plane in the United States. In the end it came down to not charts or technology or data analysis, but a hiker simply happened upon the plane or upon the ID.
Our Randi Kaye take a look back.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is September, 2007, Steve Fossett takes off from the flying M ranch in Nevada, heading south in a single engine airplane. He promises to be back for lunch. But that is the last anyone sees of him.
MAJ. ED LOCKER, NEVADA NATIONAL GUARD: The best way to characterize this is looking for the needle in the hay stack. This is 10,000 square miles.
KAYE: Within hours a desperate search for the famed aviator is under way. The terrain is rugged. The wilderness between western Nevada and eastern California is vast.
Did that plane have like the equivalent of a black box?
MAJ. CYNTHIA RYAN, CHIEF AIR PATROL: It has an ELT. That a locater system that can be picked up by satellites.
KAYE: Radar picks up the plane's track along the crest of the sierra Nevada mountains, following the trail that Fossett hiked as a teen.
Coleen Keller volunteer in the search.
COLEEN KELLER, FOSSETT SEARCH VOLUNTEER: Before they could really pursue this evidence, they were distracted by another piece of evidence that popped up which was a visual sighting out in the desert. That one was very tempting because whenever somebody says they see the airplane, people tend to put a lot of credence in that.
KAYE: That visual sighting came from a ranch hand in the area who tells authorities the plane flew over him while he was standing on his porch just about 15 miles from where Fossett took off. He says the plane was flying pretty low, it was just about a thousand feet. The tip changes everything.
KELLER: It was very distracting and they never went back and looked at some of the previous evidence they had. They focused everything on this new piece.
KAYE: The search area suddenly shifts dramatically from the mountains about 60 miles northeast to the desert. The search continues for months. Still no sign of Steve Fossett or his airplane. That is until a hiker finds some of Fossett's personal belongings. It is now October 2008. More than a year after he disappeared.
PRESTON MORROW, HIKER: I came across the id card and the other cards. And the -- and the 100 dollar bills in the dirt and pine needles and stuff. And I went wow, we put it altogether, it is that Fossett guy.
KAYE: Turns out these items are discovered in the heart of the original search area. The mountains. Search teams quickly change their focus once again.
SHERIFF JOHN ANDERSON, MADERA COUNTY, SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Just about the time we were going to call off the search the aircraft from the Yosemite National Park spotted what they thought was wreckage on the ground.
KAYE: It is Fossett's plane. Right along the original radar track. The very spot in play before authorities shifted their attention to the desert, based on a so-called hot tip from a ranch hand.
KELLER: They probably could have found him relatively quickly if they had followed up on the evidence they had very early on in the search.
KAYE: Instead of the plane being located in just days, the search lasted over a year and cost millions.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: That was a search not over water. As always you can find out more on the story at CNN.com.
Up next, just when you thought the shock meter was maxed out, a new recording surfaces in the Donald Sterling story. If it is really him as it seems to be then he has taken excuses. Well, there is a whole new reason he said what he said according to him.
Also breaking news, the Nigerian military firing back, responding to allegations from a human rights group that insists that the Islamist terrorists were going to raid the boarding school where nearly 300 girls were kidnapped.
COOPER: Well, the hits just keep on coming for L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling and NBA moves forward with plans to wipe the slave (ph) clean. Former city group and "Time Warner" chairman Richard Parsons has been named the new intern CEO for the team.
Meanwhile, Sterling's estranged wife Shelly is in talks with the NBA to keep her 50 percent stake in the team. All of this as yet another audio recording has now surfacing with Radar Online says it is Sterling talking on the phone with an unidentified man. In this newly released recordings, Sterling said that the racist comments that got him banned from the NBA were simply a matter of him being jealous. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD STERLING, L.A. CLIPPERS OWNER: I'm talking to a girl, I'm trying to have sex with her. I'm trying to play with her. You know -- if you ever have sex with a girl and you're talking to her privately, you don't think anybody is there. You may say anything in the world, what difference does it make?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
STERLING: Then if the girl tapes it and releases it, my God, it is awful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then that's the thing, you have to be careful on that. You supposed --
STERLING: All the (INAUDIBLE). Who would thinks somebody's going to tape something? What the hell? I'm talking to a girl. The girl is black. I like her. I'm jealous that she is with another black guys. I want her, so what the hell can I in private tell her? You know, I don't want you to be with anybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, joining me now live, our legal analyst, Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Geragos, and former federal prosecutor, Sunny Hostin and Jeffrey Toobin. So Jeff, Donald Sterling certainly isn't doing himself any favors here. It seems like basically everybody he is talking to is recording him. By the way, I was not recording him. I think we're the only two people who have not recorded conversations with Donald Sterling.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think he has his own private NSA just sort of surrounding him taping him. Look, this guy is gone. The NBA is getting rid of him. The only question now is whether his wife goes with him and you know, whether they stay married, which may turn out to be legally significant. You know, overnight I was thinking about my concession to Mark and that --
COOPER: It bothered Sunny, didn't it?
TOOBIN: And Sunny, that I was wrong. But that -- they're going to have a hard time taking the franchise away from Shelly, the wife, as well. I was right all along, they're going to take it from her. They're wrong and I'm right.
COOPER: Why do you think that?
TOOBIN: Well, because also it is a community property situation. They are not divorced. There is no legally significant difference between her -- Shelly's property and Don's property. So the NBA is just going to take it from both of them. They are both gone.
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Spoken like a guy who is still married to his first wife who doesn't live in California. Jeff, let me tell you what happens in California. Community property couldn't be more significant and the problem is that she -- I'll tell you the one thing I may agree with you on is if they come up with some smoking gun on her and you know they have that health inspector video where she is imitating being a health inspector.
COOPER: Well, she lies about being a health inspector and it is caught on tape.
GERAGOS: Right, it doesn't look good. There are also comments that are totally inappropriate in terms of the housing and stuff like that, she is going to have real problems. But other than that, absent some other smoking gun, and God knows I'm with you Jeff, and Anderson. If I'm Donald Sterling, I'm not letting anybody come talk to me unless I've search them and have some kind of a wand. No way, they're just selling these tapes, the guys talking to them. They go to Radar Online, they get 25 grand. They go to TMZ, they get 30 grand. It is unbelievable.
COOPER: Is that how much money they make really?
GERAGOS: Yes, they're -- I will tell you the amounts of money that they get paid from selling these tapes is astronomical. Really, the first tape sold was not sold by V. Stiviano. It was one of her girlfriends who V. had forwarded it to. And her lawyer took it and sold it to TMZ. You will not believe the six-figure amount they made on that tape.
COOPER: Wow, so Sunny, what is interesting about the argument for Donald Sterling, well, I was just jealous of her. I wanted to have sex with her as he plainly says. I was just jealous of her, he says on the tape, you're with black guys. It is not saying I don't want you to be photographed with anyone. It is I don't want you to be seen with black people. I don't want you to bring them to the game.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That is why I thought it was so odd. I thought he leaked this new piece because I thought he was trying to spin the narrative. But Dylan Howard from Radar Online told me he did not leak it. So I can't even figure it out. What I'm thinking is that he really believes this will change the narrative. This notion --
GERAGOS: It will, because Sunny, doesn't he want the narrative to be that he is just a horny old guy?
HOSTIN: That he is just a horn dog than a racist. And I have to tell you that given the poll that CNN took, that 50 percent of the people don't think he should be ousted and a lot of guys say well, when I want to get in a girl's pants I would say anything too.
GERAGOS: There is a variety of people out there that would say yes, I would say anything to get into her pants, too, they relate to her.
TOOBIN: You can talk all you want about narratives and spin. The NBA, Adam Silver has made it his mission as new commissioner of the NBA to get this guy out. The nine owners who are the sort of leading committee have been unanimously with him so far. It doesn't matter what Donald Sterling thinks about a narrative. Whatever goofy tape comes out next, he is gone. The players will not play for him.
HOSTIN: I would like to address that point actually.
COOPER: But what I don't understand about this rationale is how is this sexy talk? How is that --
HOSTIN: It is not sexy talk. I'm a woman -- COOPER: I am not in the profession where I haven't tried to convince a woman, but how is he saying don't be seen with black guys like enticing sexy talk --
HOSTIN: Men have told me some outrageous things. I have heard some pretty horrible lines. But I think what is just so fascinating about it is that he obviously believes somehow that this makes sense. And perhaps it will make sense to some people. Perhaps it will.
TOOBIN: Not to the people who matter, not to the NBA owners.
HOSTIN: But, I wanted to address that point.
GERAGOS: Well, I don't know.
HOSTIN: About the players, you know, I've been thinking about that. And I just wonder are the players going to be so noble as to not play for a team that may be owned by Shelly Sterling? And don't they have contracts? So if they decide not to play I don't know what grounds they have Jeff and Mark just to decide not to play. Aren't they then breaking their own contracts?
GERAGOS: They're bound by the contracts, but I'm telling you ultimately what is going to happen here is that the sponsors will weigh in. And when the sponsors pull like they did right before Silver then it is not financially viable anymore.
HOSTIN: That is right, but it is not about the players.
GERAGOS: It is not about the players. It is all about the sponsors.
GERAGOS: And think about the prospect of the NBA, which is run and owned largely by white people fining players for refusing to play for Donald Sterling? It is never going to happen. The players and the league are on the same side.
COOPER: Fascinating, Sunny Hostin, Jeff Toobin, Mark Geragos, thanks very much. Up next, breaking news out of Nigeria, the military is responding to some stunning accusations that they had four-hour notice that Boko Haram fighters, some trained by al Qaeda affiliates, were going to raid that school and nearly 300 girls were kidnapped. Plus, the latest in U.S. military efforts to help find the girls.
Also ahead tonight, an update on the first U.S. patient with the often deadly MERS virus.
COOPER: Back to more breaking news tonight, the Nigerian military is firing back at Amnesty International, the human rights group alleges the country's top military leaders had at least four-hour notice that Islamist terrorists were going to raid the boarding school where close to 300 girls were kidnapped.
The group says instead they left the security to 17 soldiers and a few police officers to take on Boko Haram fighters. It was all a terrorist group getting training from al Qaeda affiliates and could be connected to more than 2,000 deaths in Nigeria in just the past four months alone.
Today, more help arrived in Nigeria from the U.S. military, but a senior official says that the U.S. has no clear idea where the girls are being held. Our Vladimir Duthiers joins us now with the latest developments from the Nigerian capital. So this Amnesty International report, Vlad, that alleges Nigerian officials have four-hour notice, what more can you tell us about the report?
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, well, the Nigerian military strongly saying the report is not true. But it echoes very closely with what we've heard from families on the ground. They say the night of the attack the Nigerian military was nowhere to be found. They say that the Nigerian military is out-manned and out-gunned by the terrorists. What is more is what they've told us over the course in the last three weeks is that they've always felt neglected and unprotected by those in power to keep. One official said the threat of Boko Haram is so great that many prefer to sleep out in the bush instead of their own beds -- Anderson.
COOPER: That is incredible that many are out in the bush instead of their own bed for fear of retaliation. Are we any closer of finding out where these girls are? A senior official told the U.S. has no clear idea, a report shows that it is possible the girls have all been separated.
DUTHIERS: Look, finding these girls will be very, very difficult. Where they were supposedly taken to after the abduction to a very remote area, a very dense area, considered to be a Boko Haram strong area. Now with U.S. intelligence reports suggesting the girls may have been split up and trafficked to neighboring Cameroon. You're talking about an enormous land mass or any action deployed to the area will make these girls very, very challenging.
COOPER: All right, Vlad, appreciate the reporting, let's talk more about this with CNN national security analyst Fran Townsend. She is a member of both the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security external advisory committees, and security consultant, Jeff Biddy, who's worked for the CIA, the FBI and also a former delta force officer.
Fran, let's start with you. These U.S. military advisers arriving in Nigeria today strategically speaking, are they there for an intelligence resource? What are they going to be doing to try to help Nigerian forces?
FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No question, no question that they will bring all the tools, the assets and intelligence collection, all of that you have eliminate officials and the whole variety of national security tools. There are also there frankly if there is a tactical opportunity, the U.S. military advisers can work with the Nigerian military assuming they want that help to talk with them and gain the information on how you would mount a rescue operation? COOPER: Jeff, let's talk about that. I mean, from an operational standpoint, if these nearly 300 girls were broken up into smaller groups that is a logistical operation.
JEFF BEATTY, SECURITY CONSULTANT: It is very, very difficult. It would be difficult for the United States and the NATO allies, if you have ten different sites where the girls might have been held. To go after the early warning, to be out-gunned and out-manned, boko haram has been very clever. They launched a major attack in the capital city just in April where they killed 70 people with bomb attacks. That forced some of the Nigerians to bring some of their best security forces, 5,000 into the capital city to protect the ongoing economic conference, which left really, really very few forces out-manned for sure. Left to help out in the north.
COOPER: So they actually brought really all of their best forces to guard the capital. Meanwhile leaving other parts of the country exposed?
BEATTY: Absolutely, you know, you just have to make choices. When this conversation is over they will be able to re-focus some of those assets.
COOPER: Do the Nigerians have the Special Forces? Do they have groups like that?
BEATTY: They do, they have some of their own. They have been advised by the U.S. and other friendly U.S. allies in how to conduct operations like this. Counterterrorism operations. They are also part of a multi-joint national task force they put together, that consists of Nigeria, Chad, and Niger. They clearly are getting training but it is a very small operation, focused on the border. It is so porous with weapons coming in there, there are estimated to be about 1,500 border crossing points where Boko Haram and weapons could be brought to and out of the country.
COOPER: And there are huge, vast spaces that are really unguarded by man and Nigerian forces. A senior defense official told the U.S. They have no clear idea where the girls are. You say it is unlikely the U.S. would actually send in troops of their own in a rescue operation?
TOWNSEND: I think that is right, Anderson. I mean, I think it is unlikely because while there is a compelling moral reason there is not a real U.S. national strategic interest in putting our troops at risk. This is one of the most difficult decisions the commander in chief ever has to make. He has to weigh the risks to the lives of U.S. forces if he is going to commit them against the benefit. And what is the U.S. national strategic interest? I think this is a hard case to make here, as awful and compelling as the case is that would have to be a very tough decision because I think you have to ask yourself is it worth the loss of U.S. life?
COOPER: And to your point, Jeff, it is a lot more difficult than hitting a one-position like Osama Bin Laden position. You have multiple positions in an area that the terrorist forces are very comfortable.
BEATTY: Very familiar with and they have tremendous weaponry. They have armored personnel carriers.
COOPER: Look at the Boko Haram videos. It is not like the resistance army in northern Uganda. These guys are very weaponed. They have personnel carriers --
BEATTY: Interesting about the weapons, there are reports with NATO, some of the weapons have showed up in Boko Haram's possession are weapons that have come out of Libya. You know, you go into Libya and solve the problem there and it is kind of like a balloon. You know, you squeeze it in one place and some of these things pop out in other places.
COOPER: Because there were concerns about where the Libyan weapons were.
BEATTY: And some of them actually made their way to boko haram.
COOPER: Jeff Beatty, appreciate your expertise. Thank you. Fran Townsend as well.
Up next, new deadly clashes in the streets of Ukrainian city. At least seven reported dead.
Plus investigators in Florida say they solved the mystery of who killed the family of four living in the mansion of tennis pro, James Blake. Details ahead.
COOPER: In Crimea today, Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in Victory Day celebrations held to mark the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. It was Putin's first visit to Crimea since Russia annexed the disputed territory from after Russia broke from Crimea there are tensions that turned deadly. New today, clashes between the pro-Russian forces and southeast region health officials said at least seven people were killed, 39 others injured. Relations are at the lowest point since the cold war.
And Anthony Bourdain talks about what it was like.
COOPER: So you went to Russia, you had not been to Russia for quite a while?
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": I try to space out my trips because I really have a hard time with the drinking. You know, interviewing, making friends in Russia, getting people to open up and talk to you requires a lot of drinking, and frankly more than even I can be comfortable with.
COOPER: You can drink a fair enough. I have seen your show.
BOURDAIN: But a bottle of vodka has an effect and I need some time in between shows. So it has been quite a while.
COOPER: How long has it been since you were in Russia?
BOURDAIN: A few years. You get a sense of what it is like to live in Putin Russia.
COOPER: Nobody else's, it is his. Did you find it different than where you had visited previously?
BOURDAIN: You really feel in earlier trips any notion that this is a functioning democracy is a joke. They kill journalists there. They're happy to do it and it is OK.
COOPER: People get killed in business dealings there.
BOURDAIN: There is a definite line. Everybody we spoke to comes up against a line to -- you can criticize the government. There are certain things you can say. But when you start to talk about corruption and Putin's possible connection to corruption, you could see it in their eyes. A real fear. We spoke with you know, one -- one billionaire oligarch who had been stripped of absolutely everything.
COOPER: And there are --
BOURDAIN: For expressing his discontent. Bad things happen to you when you cross Vladimir Putin.
COOPER: And food in Russia?
BOURDAIN: Food in people's homes can be really good. Food in mid- range restaurants where they are doing traditional Russian dishes, can be really delicious. The soups, the best restaurants are sort of like you know, 1989 post disco era. You know, pan/Asian fusion horror show. Gene generally speaking, it is -- eating in the best restaurant in Moscow is kind of the worse case scenario.
COOPER: It is going to be fascinating if you have not watched his show, it is great. Don't miss "ANTHONY BOURDAIN PARTS UNKNOWN" this Sunday 9 p.m. Eastern, all new edition.
Coming up next, an update on an often deadly virus that has reached America for the first time.
COOPER: Update on some other stories, Susan Hendricks has a 360 Bulletin -- Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, authorities in Central Georgia are looking for help. They say an 88-year-old man was found beheaded in his house in his gated community. His 87-year-old wife has disappeared. They believe she was kidnapped. The couple is described as sweet as could be. Investigators say the fire that ripped through a mansion owned by tennis star of James Blake was set to cover up a murder-suicide. They say he set the fire, killed himself, and authorities don't know the motive.
An Arkansas judge striking down the ban on same-sex marriage. The judge ruled the 2004 voter approved measure to be unconstitutional.
And finally, the first U.S. patient to test positive for the often deadly MERS virus has been released from a hospital in Indiana. Health officials say the patient has fully recovered and the community is not at risk. The patient apparently got the respiratory virus while working at a hospital in Saudi Arabia.
COOPER: Susan, thanks. That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" is next.