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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
State of Emergency Takes Effect in Massachusetts; Kayla Mueller Family's Agony; Bruce Jenner Involved in a Devastating Tragedy; Should Brian Williams Stay Off the Air for Good?; Civilians Trapped Under Fire in Eastern Ukraine; Bobbi Kristina Brown's Condition
Aired February 9, 2015 - 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. Thanks for joining us.
Tonight with the war story still in question and other stories also under suspicion was the "NBC Nightly News" without Brian Williams. We'll double check the facts and ask two noted news watchers, should he say off the air for good.
We begin though tonight with breaking news.
The state of emergency now in effect in Massachusetts. For the --- for yet another night, snow measured not in inches, but in feet is piling up in New England, one to two feet with another big storm due on Thursday. Short time ago, just after a subway train lost power and got stuck for two hours in the snow, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority shut down subway and streetcar service for tonight and all of tomorrow.
Let's get the very latest now from Miguel Marquez who is stuck like a train in the town of Hall just south of Boston. What are -- so you're stuck, you're actually stuck?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are stuck metaphorically and literally. The war in home, the very end of the road here. If there were any light here, we would be able to see Boston just on the other side of the Quincy Bay here. But this is a snowdrift. The Atlantic over there, Quincy Bay right over there, and the wind is just whipping through here. The snow (INAUDIBLE) we're in hull. (INAUDIBLE) over two feet of snow each, just this one (INAUDIBLE). Roofs have collapsed in Quincy and areas in the south shore of Boston. Just a miserable, miserable, miserable situation here.
The governor has declared a state of emergency for very good reason. (INAUDIBLE) shutdown. In one case, a tire came off a train, just a very, very wickedly terrible night here, Anderson.
COOPER: And Massachusetts, I mean, it's been hit with storm after storm after storm. There's another one heading there Thursday, right?
MARQUEZ: There is another (INAUDIBLE) that they are trying to prepare for that. That's why part of the reason for the state of emergency, so they can get people off the road, get things shuts so they can keep the roads clear. One thing that is impressive to see here, is that no matter how much snow they get here in Massachusetts, they can keep it off the streets.
In most cases, except where we have to be right now, which there's nobody down there that way, so it's not very good reason for them to plow these roads. They aren't plowing here, but throughout much of this region, they were able to keep that snow off the streets. But it takes everything from snow shovels to (INAUDIBLE) to backhoes to every sort of piece of equipment you can imagine to keep the streets and sidewalks clear. Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel, can you show us your vehicle? Because that the vehicle is -- we were watching it before we went on air. It looks like you guys were -- you're actually stuck.
MARQUEZ: Steve, come around this way. This is -- we want to see the -- we are in a -- show the right side of the vehicle. But (INAUDIBLE). This is our snow -- it's not a blizzard mobile, I'm calling it a weather beast. Because this thing look like it.
COOPER: Mickey, please don't call it blizzard mobile.
MARQUEZ: It's a giant expanded expedition that they've outfitted, that they have expanded and put in a ton of gear that we're able to go live from all night. It's a very, very heavy vehicle so we can get out of most situations. This is proving a little more difficulty to you all weather beasts there, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, because I think the kids it an SUV. I don't know, not a mobile. Any, I digress.
Well Miguel, I hope you get out or at least that your heater's working or something.
Miguel Marquez thanks for joining us. We're going to check in with you throughout the hour. Hope you get to move on.
MARQUEZ: Got it.
COOPER: Let's go to Chris Welch who is up the coast in Boston. They've started to get creative about the way they're removing some of this snow. I mean, this is a serious problem. What do you seeing there, behind you?
CHRIS WELCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson. Well, I suppose you could call one of these a blizzard mobile if you wanted to. Take a look behind me. This is a snow melter here in Boston. What they're essentially doing is taking these piles, these mountains of snow, really, here in one of these so-called snow farms, putting it into these snow melters, and these snow melters can melt snow at a rate of 350 tons per hour.
Now, this snow farm here, if you take a look over here at the side of some of these mountains here, Anderson. This has been here for days. And when all was said and done over the last couple of days, they had 10,000 truckloads of snow in here. They have now gotten that down to about half of that. That's thanks to guys like these working the front-end loaders here. Over the next couple of days, it will get busier for them, as the snow that fell today, and continue until tomorrow morning, will then be brought here tomorrow, Anderson.
COOPER: And with those melters, oftentimes they put it over drains, and the water drained right in. But I -- I also understand they can also put some of the snow in the Boston Harbor, is that right?
WELCH: Yes, that's right. That's definitely something they're considering. Now, public works officials here in Boston say that's a last-ditch effort. That's really the last resort, if it has to come to that. But the city has been at least reaching out to the State's Department of Environmental Protection, that's the agency that really needs to be notified if a city wants to start dumping snow into the harbor.
We also know, though, that other smaller cities north of Boston have officially notified the state, and have begun that process. Now, they've been told they can't dump any snow that's older than this most recent snowfall. Because that has to do with cleanliness, you know, it's been sitting on the ground for a while, it's less environmentally friendly, I suppose, to put that into the water. But they're saying that oldest snow from this past snow can go in. But some cities are starting that but Boston not there yet, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Chris, thanks for the reporting, I appreciate it.
Now, Kayla Mueller, we're beginning to learn more details about what her family has been through during her captivity. A writer has described Kayla Mueller as a citizen of the world, a very good citizen for the work that she did helping victims of the civil war in Syria until she was taken captive by ISIS.
She's also a citizen of Prescott, Arizona, where for the last year- and-a-half, those who know and love her have been living a nightmare for most of it. Until Friday, when ISIS claimed that she'd been killed in an air strike, they suffered largely in silence and very much out of the spotlight.
More now tonight from Kyung Lah.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The days, months pass, for a year-and-a-half in Prescott, Arizona, Kayla Mueller's parents forced into excruciating silence. On August 4th 2013, ISIS captures their now 26-year-old daughter. There are threats her name gets out and ISIS will execute her. Todd Geller is a long-time family friend.
TODD GELLER, MUELLER'S FAMILY FRIEND: You have no control. So you have to abide by the rules. And it was a living hell. And it has been a living hell for the family and it is today. LAH: Geller says, Kayla's mother and father suffered in that hell
alone, telling virtually no one except U.S. authorities. Then last May, nine months after Kayla Mueller was taken hostage, ISIS sends the family proof of life confirmation.
Two months later, in early July, a daring rescue attempt by U.S. forces to save journalist James Foley. It fails. But the military finds strands of hair believed to be Mueller's. Just days later, on July 12th, ISIS announces it will kill Kayla in 30 days, unless the Mueller's pay nearly $7 million in ransom.
Increasingly desperate, the Mueller's begin reaching out to anyone they know in power. Their daughter's mentor, Northern Arizona University Professor Carol Thompson, joined and trying to reach human rights lawyers and activists. Thompson is in Zimbabwe on Sabbatical. We spoke by phone.
CAROL THOMPSON, NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR (via phone): The hundreds of people who mobilized for one month, because we were given a 30-day notice, to try to create other options. Because the threat was, you do A or B, or she's killed. We were trying to go beyond options A or B.
LAH: As more new, the silence in this town held, amazingly, even in the internet age, Kayla's parents personally telling friends, one slip and their daughter's life could be over. The 30 days pass and no word from ISIS on Kayla Mueller. Then last month, a terrible mistake, on ABC Sunday news program, the White House chief of staff accidentally says her first name.
DENIS MCDONOUGH, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: But the Kayla's family knows how strongly the president feels about this and we will continue to work this.
LAH: The Mueller's call local Arizona reporters who had figured it out, urging no one report Kayla's name. The silence again holds. Then Friday, this claim by ISIS, but no proof, saying Kayla Mueller died in this building.
LAH: What was Friday like?
GELLER: Friday. Friday was a dark day, punched a hole through you. A big hole. You go numb. You don't want to hear it. You don't want to believe it.
COOPER: And Kyung Lah joins us now. Of course, they don't want to believe it. I mean, to not know, I mean, at this point there's no proof one way or the other.
LAH: There's no proof. And they're desperate for that. So what the family is asking for, they issued a paper statement asking ISIS, asking the captors directly to reach out to them. The family spokesman tells us that what they want is for ISIS to reach them and quote, "The original channels." We don't really have guidance on what original channels means for this family, but that's what they're hoping for. They want to get down to actually talking to the people who have been holding her. They are hoping against hope, Anderson. But this is a twisted lie.
COOPER: We wish them the best. Kyung Lah, appreciate your reporting.
And quick reminder, make sure your set your DVR. You can watch 360 whenever you want.
Coming up next, reality TV star and Olympic champion Bruce Jenner involved in a fatal car crash over the weekend when investigators and Jenner are saying about it all when we continue.
COOPER: Welcome back. Police here tonight trying to determine who's at fault for a weekend chain reaction crash in Malibu, California, that involved reality TV star and Olympic champion Bruce Jenner that left one woman dead.
Jenner was not injured. In a statement released on Sunday, a day after the accident, Jenner called the crash a devastating tragedy and said he'll cooperate with the investigation, quote, "in every way possible." Los Angeles sheriff's department said the investigation will focus on everyone involved in the crash.
Our Stephanie Elam joins us with what happened.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was just after noon on Saturday, right about this time of day, when Bruce Jenner was driving his black SUV towing an all-terrain vehicle on a trailer behind him. He was driving northbound on the pacific coast highway, just like we are. Right here along the very stunning Pacific Ocean off to his left.
Authorities say for some unknown reason, a black Prius was stopped in the road ahead of him. A white Lexus rear-ended the Prius. Jenner coming along in his SUV rear-ended the white Lexus right about here, sending it into oncoming traffic, and where it was hit by a hummer H- 2.
The woman driving the white Lexus, 69-year-old Kim How, dies. The five passengers in the H-2 are taken to the hospital to be evaluated, and sent home.
SGT. PHILLIP BROOKS, LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: It's going to take quite a bit of time to analyze all the evidence, all the vehicles have been impounded for examination to look for mechanical defects.
ELAM: While paparazzi were on the scene as evidence by the viral photos of the accidents, authorities say they weren't chasing Jenner. The 65-year-old who shot to fame when he won gold in the 1976 Olympic Decathlon, is these days constantly surrounded by cameras, as the patriarch on "Keeping up with the Kardashians." Interest in Jenner's spiking further because of changes in his
appearance and unconfirmed reports he's changing genders. Jenner did release a statement was says in part, "It is a devastating tragedy and I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them."
Authorities say they will be looking into the cell phone records of all four drivers. They also say that the three surviving drivers are all cooperating with the investigation, including Jenner, who volunteered to be tested, and was taken from the scene by deputies to a local hospital to have his blood drawn.
COOPER: And Stephanie Elam joins us now from Los Angeles with more.
Where does the investigation go from here? I mean, we heard from the sheriff who were saying it's going to take a long time.
ELAM: It does. There's a lot to go through here, Anderson. They've got to go through those phone records. And from what we understand, Jenner already voluntarily turned over his phone records. They've got to go through and look at all of the cars and everything involved with that. They're also going to go to the paparazzi and ask them for the pictures that were taken, and will go as part to subpoena them if they need to. But he's saying all in all, to go through all of this, it could be six months or so before we know if anyone is facing charges at all in this case, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Stephanie Elam, appreciate the update.
Let's get more inside the investigation. Joining me now is CNN Legal Analyst Mark Geragos, and Criminal Defense Attorney, of course.
So Mark, I mean, if there's no indication that paparazzi were contributing factor in this crash, does it shift the burden back to Bruce Jenner, or how does something like this play out? I mean, is the person in the original vehicle that allegedly, whether it's stalled or slowed down, there was initially rear-ended, is that person held responsible?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's -- literally the one of the reasons why they think it will take six months, and I don't know that it will take that long, there'll be a little quicker than that is because they have to determine what exactly happened. Why did that one car stall? Number two, why did he -- why did Jenner rear-end that car? And what was he doing just prior to that.
And they testing to see, and have his blood taken, is to determine that there's no alcohol or drug that is going to influence, or put him under the influence, such that it would have been a felony matter. The fact remains that even if there is no alcohol, no drugs, they can still do what's called a misdemeanor manslaughter, and that, in order to have that, you would have to find some violation of law which would be texting or doing something along those lines, or speeding. That then forms the basis for a misdemeanor. But first they've got to figure out exactly what happened, why the one car -- there one car was stalled. Until they do that, they're really behind the 8-ball.
COOPER: Because it's confusing, I mean, the woman who was killed, she rear-ended the car that was in front of her, and there was Bruce Jenner who rear-ended her vehicle allegedly at this point, driving it into -- or pushing it into oncoming traffic.
And there's obviously a criminal investigation by law enforcement. But also, obviously there's going to be civil lawsuits involved in this. And when there's a celebrity involved in this, does that automatically attract a lot of attention from civil suits?
GERAGOS: Well, you can imagine that within, I would guarantee you within 90 days you'll have lawsuits being filed here. I mean, that's just the nature of the beast, so to speak. And that mean even before there's actually --
COOPER: Even before a police investigation --
GERAGOS: Even before a police investigation, exactly.
COOPER: So even before a police investigation determines who's at fault, or according to law enforcement who is at fault, you think civil cases will be filed?
GERAGOS: I say, I don't think there's any doubt if that's going to happen. This is not an unusual circumstance for that stretch of PCH. Unfortunately, I know of cases, I've defended a criminal case, a misdemeanor case along that stretch, back when the Malibu Courthouse was open. And there are accidents that happen there, and unfortunately fatalities that happen there. And it's just one of the things that you face when you live in Sunny Southern California.
COOPER: All right. Mark, appreciate you've being with us. Thanks very much. We are going to check in with Mark little bit later on in another case.
But coming up next, Brian Williams, off the air tonight for the first time. We'll get you up to date with all the latest developments about what is happening now, the embattled NBC anchor.
COOPER: Well, tonight viewers of the "NBC Nightly News" got their headlines from Lester Holt, not Brian Williams. In a memo to colleagues over the weekend, Williams says he was taking himself off the air saying, it would be for the next several days. The reason he said, that he is become quote, "too much a part of the news due to my actions." He also canceled a Thursday night appearance on David Letterman.
His actions as you no doubt know, began with revelations that a story he repeatedly told involved a helicopter he was on in Iraq was not true, certainly not as he recounted it. Williams gave an on-air apology but that is done little to end the matter. After saying on "NBC Nightly News" two Fridays ago that his chopper was hit with an RPG, and he then said he misremembered and then his chopper was behind that was -- the one that is hit during the convoy, the one that was hit.
Whoever, "Stars and Stripes" we've broke the story last week as reported that the downed chopper was actually an hour ahead of the one Williams was on. And today the paper posted audio of their complete interview with Brian Williams from last week, in which they asked him about the discrepancy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRAVIS J. TRITTEN, STARS & STRIPES REPORTER: And what I was told by one of the crewmembers who was actually on your Chinook, is that you guys were like an hour behind this grouping of three Chinooks who were out in front and that's three Chinook out in front came under fire, and the middle one was hit.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR: And that's the first I've heard of that. I did not think we were in trail by that far. I think that's probably a good question for Tim, who I now learned witnessed the over flight. But I could not see in front of us, but I thought we were just in one flotilla, for lack of a better word. I did -- that's the first time I've heard that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Again, that's from last week. Now, Tim refers to retired soldier Williams mentioned in the broadcast in which he made the claim about taking RPG fire. Whoever that single story, as you know, don't know, is not the only one is now under a microscope.
More on all of it from our Randi Kaye.
WILLIAMS: Here at the super dome as we left there tonight, the first signs of restlessness.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the ground in the New Orleans, tale of dead bodies, dysentery, and wild games.
Stories that now have skeptics taking a closer look at Brian Williams' reporting.
In a 2006 interview, the "NBC Nightly News" anchor shared this.
WILLIAMS: When you look out of your hotel room window in the French Quarter, and watch out a man float -- float by face down --
KAYE: How can that be? Others claim the French Quarter remained mostly dry. The former general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel where Williams stayed during the storm told the "Times-Picayune" newspaper that there was no physical way the water was deep enough for a body to float-in, recalling just six to eight inches of water on the first floor. Some picture shows streets under water but it's still unknown exactly how deep the water was.
And there's more. In his own 2005 documentary about Katrina, Williams claimed he'd heard the story of a man taking his own life in the superdome. But what he told his predecessor, Tom Brokaw, just last year seems to go far beyond simply hearing about the suicide.
WILLIAMS: We watched -- all of us watched as one man committed suicide.
KAYE: That story, among others, is all under investigation by "NBC News," including his account about getting sick from sewage water while reporting on hurricane Katrina.
Author Douglas Brinkley quotes "Williams as saying, he was fading in and out. And that the hotel was on lockdown to keep out armed gangs."
WILLIAMS: Our hotel was overrun with gangs.
KAYE: The "Washington Post" reports that three different people told reporters that no gangs had infiltrated the Ritz-Carlton.
Williams' coverage of Israel's war with the militant group Hezbollah from 2006 is also under scrutiny. In 2007, he spoke of Hezbollah rockets flying beneath his helicopter.
WILLIAMS: There were Katyusha rockets passing just underneath the helicopter I was riding in.
KAYE: But just a year earlier, on his own blog, there was no mention of that close call, only that there was activity on the ground and a rocket launch six miles away. All of this came long after the incident in Iraq, now in question, from March 26th, 2003.
In his first report, no mention of a rocket-propelled grenade attacking his helicopter.
WILLIAMS: On the ground we learned the Chinook ahead of us was almost blown out of the sky.
KAYE: But ten years later, Williams told David Letterman his was one of two army choppers hit.
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN: No kidding?
WILLIAMS: RPG and AK-47.
KAYE: RPGs and AK-47s, or nothing at all. That remains for the NBC investigators to figure out.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: So that's the back drop. Tonight it's not clear, Brian Williams will return to the anchor desk for "NBC news."
Joining us now David Zurawik, media critic for the "Baltimore Sun." Also "Daily Beast" columnist, PBS contributor, best-selling author and former colleague Jeff Greenfield. It's great to have you both on. I'm sorry it's under this topic.
David, you've been writing about this now for the past few days. You say that Brian Williams should step down at least as the managing editor of "NBC Nightly News." why?
DAVID ZURAWIK, MEDIA CRITIC BALTIMORE SUN: You know, what we know, Anderson, and this story really has, you know, exploded, and there's all kinds of aspects of it on social media, and everywhere, and charges and countercharges and all that.
But what we know to be true, if we go back to old school journalism, said what do we know to be true at this point? What we know to be true is that Brian Williams lied about his -- the helicopter he was in getting hit by RPG fire in Iraq in 2003.
The other stuff that the report set up that's out there is really devastating, but just limited to this. I don't think a person who has told that kind of lie, and that's what it is, don't call it misremembering, don't call it anything else, it's a lie, should be the managing editor and probably not the anchor of the largest daily newscast on American television. I think that's a position of tremendous trust and tremendous prestige especially the managing editor aspect of it. And if you're in the business of credibility, you can't have someone who tells these kinds of stories as your face and as your newsroom leader. Unless, unless our standards have slipped to the point where it's now OK for that kind of person to be in charge. And I think, listen, I don't know. That may be something NBC says is fine, we can live with it for economic reasons. But I don't - you know.
COOPER: Jeff Greenfield, what do you make of this? Because I mean everybody I know who's, you know, spent a lot of time out in the field tends to downplay all the experiences they've had of personal danger, things like that. I mean, how do you see this?
JEFF GREENFIELD, JOURNALIST, MEDIA MANAGER: I'll give you what might be a plausible scenario. And it stems from the fact that in this day and age, and you know this a hundred times better than I do, the anchor has to be something other than a delivery of gravitas. He has to be of vivid personality. The network CNN started with the premise of the news is the star. That was never true and it's certainly isn't true now at any network. And vividness, that's why so many of you folks are put, I think, in areas where there is war, or natural disasters, or some horrible event, because there is a way that that connects. The only thing that I can figure out is that in his desire to connect more, particularly with people in the military who face real danger every day, to be seen as more of a person, not a multimillion dollar celebrity anchor, but as a person undergoing some of what the grunts undergo. He concocted, or conflated, whatever the right word is, or made up this story to be more in the center of events. Now, that's a thesis.
COOPER: But Jeff, what's interesting about it is, there were other people involved in his reporting, in all these cases. I mean there would have been a crew with him on that helicopter. There would have been a producer with him. And other people who knew what had actually happened. So why didn't they speak up, or if they did, what does it say about NBC News that nobody listened?
GREENFIELD: Let's commit candor here, Anderson. If you are the anchor of the nightly news, or the anchor in waiting, how comfortable would a subordinate be to challenge that person and say, you know, you're blowing smoke.
COOPER: But I can tell you, every - I mean my executive producer I've traveled with extensively in very dangerous places, you know, my cameramen, they like to, you know, take me down a few pegs every time we're out in the field. So, I think they would be very quick to say, what are you saying? You know?
ZURAWIK: Anderson, I think - listen, I think --
COOPER: Sorry. Go ahead, David.
ZURAWIK: Go ahead, Jeff, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
COOPER: Jeff, yes, I'm sorry, go ahead
GREENFIELD: No, it's OK. David, go ahead. You have a point to make.
ZURAWIK: No, I want to thank you for that, Candor. And may be really, Jeff, you've worked in both cable and network TV, but I think maybe -- my perception of covering this for a long time is that especially in network television, the anchor has such tremendous power, especially when they have that title of managing editor, whether they flex those muscles or not, that it would be at enormous risk that you would say anything to contradict such a PR statement on their behalf. They may not be able to fire you, but you won't see air time. There's a million ways they can make your life miserable. I think that's a really honest thing that Jeff said there.
COOPER: I think that's absolutely true. But I think it's a mistake for anybody to surround themselves with "Yes" people in an environment where critical, you know, critical feedback is crucial. And Jeff, I mean, do you think he should step down?
GREENFIELD: Can I say something that I used to say at CNN a lot? And I wish more people would say? I don't know. I certainly think that if the stories that are now being looked at reveal more fabulism, exaggeration, lies, whatever the right word is, he can't survive. You know, I don't mean to be flip. But if Brian were like a rock star and if Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters were still around, he could go and confess to an addiction for exaggerating, he could go into a clinic for four weeks and come out purified. I don't think for a journalist that's possible. And in fact, I've been trying to think all day and asking people, if you were Brian Williams, would you make a public mea culpa, where would you do it and what would you say? Let me confess to you, Anderson, in my new more humble life, I can't come up with a credible answer.
COOPER: Well, I think that's a really important point. I've been having the same thought all day. And David, I'm curious to see your thoughts on this. Because I think it was Jeff Rosen, I think, at NYU, a media critic said, look, he should be leading on this. He should be the one pointing out what's true and what's not true. I mean he could very easily answer the questions, well, is it true, did you see the body floating in the French Quarter, even though there wasn't much flooding in the French Quarter. Did you see - were there Katyusha rockets under your -- he could answer all those questions. But by remaining silent, and also, David, to your point earlier, the person who's leading this investigation is an investigative producer for NBC News.
Can that person really investigate the managing editor? Because that person down the road, if Brian Williams continues, is going to rely on Brian Williams agreeing to have his pieces show up on the nightly news, no?
ZURAWIK: Yeah, this is even worse than the NFL's bought-and-paid-for investigation of Ray Rice. I mean because this person is in some ways essentially an employer, at least a colleague of Brian. So that's really going to be tough. Anderson, I think really - I really do - both of you know this better than me, but I think this is going to, in the end, come down to a dollars and cents in credibility decision. And I think one of the things, and I think Jeff, I know I wrote about it. I think Jeff may have written about this as well, it's not just that I think members of military families are going to have a problem with Brian Williams now, and I think baby boomers, too, who grew up in a culture like I did, where you don't ever exaggerate military, or especially battlefield things, because of the scars and what World War II did to that generation.
But I think the worst part of this now is with the young demographic, what millennials and post- millennials may not know anything about Edward R. Murrow, or even Peter Jennings, but they do now know that Brian Williams is a joke on their tablets and on their iPhones and on their laptops. Social media has just been brutal to him. And I don't know if NBC looks - you know I'm sure they're testing that right now.
COOPER: Yeah, no doubt.
ZURAWIK: What is this doing to this guy's credibility with younger viewers?
ZURAWIK: If they think they lost that, I don't think he comes back.
COOPER: I mean it's been a stunning turn of events. And it's sad no matter how you look at it. David, I appreciate you being on. And Jeff, it's great to have you on as well. Jeff Greenfield, thank you.
COOPER: Coming up next, front line report on the war in Ukraine and a possibility of American weapons flowing onto the battlefield.
COOPER: President Obama says he's considering the possibility of arming Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed rebels who have turned the country into the bloodiest European battleground since the former Yugoslavia broke apart. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (in Russian) (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: As a massive explosion at a chemical plant late last night near a separatist stronghold in eastern Ukraine, heavy shelling in the area all day. At least 5,000 people have died in the fighting there since the war began.
European leaders including Ukraine's president and Russia's president Vladimir Putin are hoping to meet on Wednesday for ceasefire talks. President Obama who will not be attending said again today the diplomacy and economic sanctions against Russia should be given a chance to work but that other steps should be considered as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now, it is true that if in fact diplomacy fails, what I've asked my team to do is to look at all options. What other means can we put in place to change Mr. Putin's calculus? And the possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that's being examined.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Bottom line, the leaders exchanging words around the table are one thing. Two powerful forces exchanging heavy fire something else entirely. Nick Paton Walsh reports from the frontline.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The roads to Uglegorsk, an entire town victim to this war is lined with the separatists armed with artillery, tanks. There are two state-backed armies here fighting at full throttle chewing up eastern Ukraine. They tore a hole right in the heart of this town. A stepping stone for separatists en route to the wider goal, the next town, Debaltseve. Ukrainian armor little match.
The damage done to this, which must have been the Ukrainian defensive position shows you the kind of heavy weapons being used in this conflict, civilians trapped in the middle. Some still managing to now for the first time flee Uglegorsk. But the streets that they leave littered with damaged armored vehicles.
Shells outgoing, but life emerging from underground. "We were underground for five days," Oksana says. "It was terrifying. We took the kids out and came back for our things."
Vladimir has gone out to get bread. But also set it out in the basement with elderly neighbors who told him they'd rather die here than leave.
Here, closest to the new frontlines, the crossfire fiercest. This used to be a nine-story building full of people, of families. But as you can see by the hole made by this shell, it is now reduced to rubble. Empty, some trying to eke out a life here. But this kind of destruction not seen in the former Soviet Union really since the Russian wars in Grozny, Chechnya. So much here to rebuild, such a long road ahead.
Like so many, Gala and Victor fled early and now saying they will not come back and are salvaging what they can. We asked her who's doing the shooting. She says, - our opinion, we just hear and see it.
Victor adds, "One side blames the other. What can we say? We just hide in the basement." The questions echoing who is the fight here for? And what will be left after it.
COOPER: So, Nick, what's the latest on the fighting on the ground?
PATON-WALSH: Well, this day the separatists are claiming they are encircling a key town called Debaltseve. There could be hundreds, maybe thousands of Ukrainian troops trapped in there. Ukrainian (INAUDIBLE) says it hasn't been encircled, but the key road in and out is being attacked. That's a very delicate situation and will play hugely into these peace talks. That's always been a town that both sides wanted to keep hold of, Anderson.
COOPER: And President Obama said today at a joint news conference with Merkel from Germany, that he's not yet decided whether to send lethal defensive weapons to the military in Ukraine. How was the news received there?
PATON-WALSH: Well, I think any help the Ukrainian military could get would be deeply appreciated by them. They're in a bit of a mess, underfunded for decades. In the corruption the Ukrainian government left them in a poor state against the much better equipped, disciplined Russian military, frankly, here, that are backing up the separatists. But with Barack Obama today very unconvincing about whether he thought it would actually go ahead. I think it was complicated to see those two leaders out there in Washington, at the White House, ahead of these peace talks. They weren't really as united in the threat, as potentially that the Kremlin might need to strike a deal in Minsk on Wednesday, Anderson.
COOPER: Interesting. Nick Paton-Walsh, I appreciate it. Thanks.
Just ahead, late Whitney Houston's daughter remains in a medically induced coma as new information about her case comes to light. What the investigation is now focusing on next.
COOPER: There are disturbing new questions tonight into the investigation to what happened to Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 21-year old daughter of the late Whitney Houston has been in a medically induced coma for more than a week now after being found unresponsive in a bathtub full of water in her home. A source close to her family tells CNN that she has injuries that still need to be explained, and another source says investigators have turned their focus to her boyfriend as they try to put the pieces together. Martin Savidge joins me now with the latest. So, the unexplained injuries, what are you learning?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this is something that has come to light, and it's something that has come to us as a result of a source with the family. Mystery injuries, unexplained injuries, they don't go into specific detail, they will only say that there are apparently marks on Bobbi Kristina's body that in some ways suggest that these are injuries you cannot explain, but could go some way to may be explain how she ended up face down in the bathtub. Does it possibly suggest that there was foul play here, if it was something more than, say, just an accidental drowning that took place? We don't know. But that certainly caught the attention of the families and no doubt it's caught the attention of the investigators as well, Anderson.
COOPER: And her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, what are police saying about his involvement in the investigation?
SAVIDGE: Well, of course, he's at the center of the investigation. For obvious reasons. I mean, he is the one who was both physically and romantically closest to Bobbi Kristina. So, naturally, he would figure very high in the investigation, he was also there at the time that she was discovered inside of that bathtub. Does it go beyond that, in other words, are there reasons to suggest that there's something sinister afoot there? Authorities have said nothing public about that. They are keeping their investigation very close to the vest at this point.
COOPER: Yeah. As they should. Martin Savidge, thank you very much. CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin joins me now. You have sources that have been telling you stuff. What are they saying now?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, they have said, Anderson, that Bobbi Kristina did have some injuries, that they're concerned about, that can't be explained - or have not been explained to them. But they also told me just today, just recently, that they're seeing positive signs that she is improving, and that prayers are working, and things are getting better. And so ...
COOPER: No specifics, though? That's just ...
HOSTIN: No specifics. But at least some good news. This is the first I've heard that the family feels that they are seeing some positive signs here.
COOPER: Because obviously, the longer one is in a medically induced coma, I mean from all reports, the more difficult the situation becomes. There seems to be divisions within the family about the boyfriend.
HOSTIN: Yeah. You know, what I'm being told is that Pat Houston, who has a restraining order against Nick Gordon is not a fan.
COOPER: Nick Gordon was taken in by Whitney Houston when he was a young boy.
HOSTIN: When he was about 12 years old. And so, she raised him like an adopted son, but he then turned - then he had a romantic relationship with Bobbi Kristina. And the family is very upset about that. They are not supportive of that. Bobby Brown especially is not supportive of it. And Pat Houston certainly isn't. There was all this information about how they were possibly married. The family made it very clear to me that they were not legally married, and that Bobby Brown, her father, is the person in charge of her medical condition and situation at the hospital. They're also telling me that Nick Gordon has not been allowed to see her in the hospital. So that family doesn't want him anywhere near Bobbi Kristina.
COOPER: And Whitney Houston's mother, Bobbi Kristina's grandmother has come.
HOSTIN: That's right. She arrived on Friday, the family did tell me that she would be arriving. She's 81 years old, she came in from New Jersey, flew in. I'm told that she is at her bedside and has been at Bobbi Kristina's bedside since Friday. But is really concerned about her granddaughter. Really concerned.
COOPER: Sunny, appreciate the update. Thanks very much.
Just ahead, the Boston area gets battered with snow for the third Monday in a row. Making a tough travel for a lot of people, including our Miguel Marquez who is at the top of this hour, his vehicle was stuck. There you see him pushing his vehicle. We'll check back with him in a moment to see if he's out.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give it a gas!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go!
Go, go, go!
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COOPER: The snow winter storm warnings have just been extended through 4:00 a.m. tomorrow morning for all of Massachusetts north of Cape Cod. That's on top of the state of emergency already in effect. Boston schools closed today, and tomorrow at least. Rail service suspended. Boston's Logan Airport is open. Most of the flights are canceled. Let's get the update now from Miguel Marquez just south of Boston in the town of Hull. You were stuck at the top of the broadcast. Are you no longer stuck? What are the conditions like?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are out. We are out. The snow beast is out. The weather beast. I'm going to jump into this. This is how thick it is. It's both snowing here, and -- wow, that's how deep the snow is. At least this deep. It's about four or five feet that I'm stuck in now. The hull here has gotten about 24 -- over 24 inches of snow, as has Quincy and Wamouth (ph) and areas like that. (NO SOUND) this area down. This is our producer Julia getting in this shot. The wind is just intense down here, creating huge drifts across the bay here. We should be able to see Boston in this direction. But it is just - it is just socked in. It is snowing hard still here. The wind is blowing. They'll probably get up to about 30 inches in this area before it's all over. But just an incredible other worldly like experience here. What is amazing that the few people who are here, lights are on, life goes on? The main roads are completely clear. Anderson?
COOPER: I think you've gone snow giddy, snow crazy. Just very briefly, there's supposed to be another snowstorm on Thursday, right?
MARQUEZ: Another storm coming on Thursday. State of emergency declared for this area. (NO SOUND) every precaution it can in order to ...
COOPER: And we lost your audio.
MARQUEZ: Keep everything as clear as possible.
COOPER: We'll catch - all right, we're losing your audio. Miguel, get some hot cocoa or something. Thank you very much for the reporting.
Thanks very much for watching, everybody. That does it for us. We'll be back on, again, at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. Another edition of 360. Blockbuster, "The Story of American Sniper" starts now.