Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
VA Scandal Still Happening; Ferguson Shooting Investigation; Secret Service Fiasco; Prince Charles Speaks Out in Exclusive Interview
Aired March 13, 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 HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
In Ferguson, Missouri, the manhunt continues in the investigation of shooting of two police officers Wednesday night. The police chief says detectives were working around the clock following a number of leads. We'll have the latest on that, also a live report from Ferguson where Sara Sidner spoke with the mayor.
But, first, we begin tonight with new and disturbing revelations about how V.A. hospitals are treating the people who serve this country and the ways they continue to fail them. It's an issue this program has been focused on for almost a year now. Veterans being placed on secret waiting lists at V.A. hospitals with sometimes deadly consequences.
President Obama today went to the Phoenix V.A. medical center, ground zero in the scandal, a place where as we reported, at least 40 veterans died while waiting for appointments. The president went for a status report of sorts, meeting with the new V.A. secretary, veterans and employees to hear about the agency's progress in trying to make things right.
You know, some things have changed, no doubt about it. There has been progress. The head of the V.A., the chief of Phoenix Medical Center and other officials lost their jobs. But we found not much else changed at the largest V.A. in the country.
CNN has uncovered evidence that the V.A. Los Angeles is still making veterans wait for their first appointment, hiding wait times and possibly misleading Congress on exactly how long veterans are being forced to wait for care.
Our senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, tonight keeping them honest.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It's still happening. Thousands of patients at the greater Los Angeles Veterans Medical Centers have been waiting more than 3 months just for an appointment. The detailed evidence comes from the V.A.'s own documents obtained by CNN and confirmed by medical and administrative sources inside the Greater L.A. V.A. Hospital System. New patients seeking care are forced to wait the longest, sometimes
months to see a doctor. Records show this January 15th, more than 1,600 veterans who were new patients were waiting 60 to 90 days for an appointment. Another 400 veterans had been waiting up to six months and the documents provided to CNN show the lengthy wait times are still happening.
All of this comes 10 months after the head of the V.A., General Eric Shinseki, was forced to resign because of mismanagement of the exact same issue.
Now listen to what one V.A. official from Los Angeles told Congress just last month.
REP. DAN BENISHEK (R), MICHIGAN: How long is the average wait time for a new patient at the Greater L.A. Medical Center?
DR. SKY MACDOUGALL, L.A. V.A. OFFICIAL: The average wait time for a new patient right now is about four days.
GRIFFIN: That statement is simply not true. According to these V.A. documents, and a half dozen doctors and administrators within the hospital who spoke to CNN, the average wait time is 10 times greater. It's not four days. It's 44 days. The delays are even taking place at the Los Angeles Clinic for Mental Health where documents show more than 300 veterans seeking mental health care have been waiting 30, 60, even 90 days.
Specifically asked about mental health wait times, that same V.A. official, Dr. Sky MacDougall, told Congress the wait time is no different. She said just four days.
BENISHEK: Is that true for mental health patients as well?
MACDOUGALL: That's true for mental health as well.
GRIFFIN: Again, according to V.A. documents and a half dozen sources interviewed by CNN, that is not true.
This chart shows as of March 1st new mental health patients in Los Angeles are waiting an average of 36 days just to get an appointment.
Los Angeles V.A. officials wouldn't talk to CNN about the discrepancies, instead, sent a statement explaining the report given to CNN does not include same-day appointments or in some cases, same- week appointments for those veterans who need care quickly. "New patients," the V.A. told us, "typically account for less than 10 percent of all veteran appointments and are not representative of the whole patient population. The V.A. also is sticking by its own math, that new vets waited four days for appointments in January, just eight days in March.
The real truth, say doctors and administrators CNN has interviewed, is wait times for patients at the Los Angeles V.A. Medical Centers extends into weeks and months and are a serious problem.
COOPER: Drew, I mean, this is really incredible these allegations. These new numbers from the V.A. that show great progress in reducing wait times and hiring new employees and trying to address the needs of these veterans still waiting -- I mean, are they to be believed?
GRIFFIN: You know, from the beginning of this scandal, we've been hearing across the country of this entrenched V.A. bureaucracy, hidden wait lists and come up with what I would call it funny math to show just how great things are when in fact they weren't. Now, we're hearing in some places it's continuing. No doubt progress has been made, Anderson, but it's really difficult to trust any numbers coming from the V.A. itself. That's why I think today's announcement of an outside advisory council is a good step, I think.
COOPER: So, the four days that the doctor said to Congress, are they saying it's four days once you include not just new patients coming to the California V.A.?
GRIFFIN: You know, we don't -- we tried to get an explanation. They simply will not talk to us. They won't explain their numbers to us. But we're trying to compare apples to apples with their own documents. Average wait times for new patients, average wait times for new veterans entering the system for the first time in Los Angeles, our insiders and our inside documents say it's 44 days. That person representing the V.A. in Congress said four days. It's apples to apples.
COOPER: And has Congress said anything about this? I mean, if that's true, somebody's not telling the truth here.
GRIFFIN: That's exactly right. I think trust and transparency has been a big part of this issue between Congress and the agency and what's worse in this case is that the chair of the House Veterans Committee back in May, Anderson, warned the V.A. specifically about a scandal brewing in Los Angeles over wait times and fudged numbers. Congressional investigators we now know are looking into this report, I just have not heard back on what they are finding yet.
COOPER: It's just incredible.
Drew, I want you to stay with us, because I want to bring in Louis Celli. He's director of the American Legion's Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division.
Louis, thanks for being with us. I mean, after this time, this whole scandal, the fact that veterans are still having to wait so long for care they deserve, it just seems outrageous to me. I just don't get it -- 44 days, 60 days in a lot of cases?
LOUIS CELLI, AMERICAN LEGION DIR., VETERANS AFFAIRS & REHABILITATION: Anderson, it's unbelievable. And as a matter of fact, the American legion went to the Los Angeles campus in October right before they passed the health care act and we specifically addressed wait times. What we were being told by veterans is that if they had had trouble waiting or getting appointments and did have to wait and we expected the Choice Act to be able to satisfy the needs of those veterans out there.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, the Veterans Choice Act and for people who don't remember, that was passed by Congress, signed into law by the president last year. It's supposed to eliminate these kind of delays.
CELLI: That's exactly right. And at a minimum, if they're having trouble with new patients, that should be able to eliminate the existing patients in the backlogs and free up resources to take care of those new patients. When we had heard that the V.A. was getting ready to change the way they counted wait times, we understood that a medically necessary wait time would make sense.
That if I came into a doctor and they said that I needed a follow-up appointment in three months for, you know, whatever my ailment is, and it's unreasonable to hold the V.A. to a 30-day wait time standard, three months then becomes the standard. But for new patients, that can't possibly be true. New patients can't have a wait time more than what's medically necessary than immediate.
COOPER: Right. And, Drew, are you finding that those V.A. managers responsible for the wait times and the hidden wait lists are being replaced, are held accountable?
GRIFFIN: You know, it's very hard to fire these people as we've seen across the country. Some have been let go. A lot of them have been pushed into retirement.
But just take a look at Phoenix today, Phoenix, where Sharon Helman was fired, right, but that was a long process. It turns out she is going to get her bonus back and her second in command who sat with Sharon Helman in her interview, many, many months ago and told us there was no hidden wait list, he's still at the hospital today. What we're seeing in a lot of V.A. facilities, troubled facilities is they're just shuffling the deck chairs and the entrenched bureaucracy that got us all into this mess continues to run the V.A.
COOPER: We're going to continue on it. Drew Griffin, thank you. Louis Celli, thank you so much.
CELLI: Thank you.
COOPER: A quick reminder: make sure you set DVR. You can watch "360" whenever you want.
Just ahead tonight, the latest on the search for suspects in the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, the manhunt still under way. Police chief says detectives will not rest until they find out who did it.
Meanwhile, calm seems to be holding. But given what's happened in the past, who's in charge of keeping the peace? A live report from Ferguson, next.
Also, later, new twists in the case of the fraternity that was shut down over that racist chant, how the fraternity is now fighting back, when we continue. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Investigators in Ferguson, Missouri, continue to follow leads in the shooting of two police officers but there are no imminent arrests or anyone in custody. That's the word from the St. Louis County police chief who said detectives are working around the clock. The calm on the street seems to be holding. St. Louis County police are handling security relating to any protest while Ferguson police are in charge of routine police operations.
Now, the looming question is, how this community goes forward given all that's happened since last summer?
Sara Sidner spoke with the mayor. She joins me now live from Ferguson.
So, what's the latest first in the investigation?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a $10,000 reward. We know that the trail has not gone cold, according to the St. Louis County police who are investigating this. That they do not have anyone in custody, but they do have several leads. That is the very latest that we have heard from St. Louis County investigators.
We also want to talk to you about what's happening in Ferguson and who was actually in charge after the fallout from the DOJ report.
SIDNER (voice-over): The leadership shake-up in Ferguson is vast. But protest groups want to see even more heads roll.
RASHEEN ALDRIDGE, FERGUSON COMMISSIONER MEMBER: The mayor needs to resign as well. The leaders in this community knew what was going on. He knew what was going on under his watch.
SIDNER: And what does the mayor have to say about that? We asked him.
(on camera): Why should they trust you since you were here during all of the madness that has unfolded in the city?
MAYOR JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON, MISSOURI: Sure. I can tell you this. There are ways to remove me if that is the will of the people.
I think it's important to recognize that there's a lot of people who may be angry at the situation, there's a lot of people who are frustrated in this community with the way things have gone down, but there's a lot of people who still and expressed it to me, expressed confidence in both my willingness and members of the council's willingness to listen, to be responsive, and to make changes as necessary. People in the community recognize this.
SIDNER (voice-over): That includes black and white residents we've talked to. BLAKE ASHBY, FERGUSON RESIDENT: We believe the mayor has done a good
job. He's only been there four years and in the four years he's been there, he's consciously tried to reach out to all parts of our community. If we lose Mayor Knowles, we lose a force for change and it will be harder to make the changes that the DOJ is asking for.
SIDNER: But it's an understatement to say race relations here remain raw.
(on camera): Would you say race relations are now worse since all of this, since August 9th?
KNOWLES: I think they're definitely more strained than they've ever been in a long time here in this community and probably, you know, across the country. But I think, right now, there's people here in this community who are wanting to talk about it and willing to talk about it. So, one of the things we're focused on, you know, is bringing people together and bridging that gap. And so, whereas before, maybe we didn't see any of these frustrations.
SIDNER (voice-over): But when it comes to protest groups in and out of Ferguson calling for Mayor Knowles to step down, he says they'll have to recall him because he is not going to resign.
(on camera): Look, if you want to get rid of the mayor, do it the way everyone else has to do it. Do a recall.
ALDRIDGE: No. I mean, he did things that was not right. He did things that was under his watch. He knew what was going on and he needs to take responsibility for it.
SIDNER: But there is a legal way to do it, right? People can get a petition and recall him from office. Why hasn't it happened?
ALDRIDGE: That could be a step. If not, I don't think individuals are ruling it out. It could be a possibility.
COOPER: What's interesting, Sara, protest groups are calling as loud as ever to step down but as you said, there is a mechanism to do that. Why not already initiate that mechanism if it's something they really believe they should do?
SIDNER: Absolutely. And the mayor said that himself. Look, if you recall me, I will obviously have to step down, but until then, he says, look, I'm from this city. I grew up here. I used to ride bicycle up and down the road just past where the department is now. He's not going anywhere unless they use those legal mechanisms to make him go -- Anderson.
COOPER: Also, Sara, is there any update on the condition of the officers? I mean, we know they were released from the hospital yesterday.
SIDNER: No, they have not talked to us about that. We know they were at home as you just stated, but we did talk to someone from the St. Louis Police Association who said at this point, until they get a little more time and heal a little bit more, they're not sure whether they'll be able to return to their normal police work -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Sara Sidner, thank you very much.
Part of the investigation involves figuring out what type of weapon was used in the shooting. Officers report see muzzle flashes 125 yards away.
Gary Tuchman went to a shooting range to find out how feasible it would be either a rifle or a pistol to be accurate at that distance. Here's what he found out.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the advanced bullets outdoor gun range in Temple, Georgia, we come to find out about long- distance weapon firing, and accuracy for both rifles and pistols at 125 yards, the distance police in Missouri believe a bullet traveled to wound two police officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This ammunition is 308.
TUCHMAN: A .308 caliber. This rifle is a Remington 700, a traditional deer hunting rifle. The target is 110 yards away, about the same presumed range as the Ferguson gunshots
After a short lesson, I take a shot.
(on camera): Gun against my shoulder and here we go.
TUCHMAN: I think that's a good shot.
(voice-over): Indeed, the bullet hits the target first try, direct hit. Same results with the second try.
So, there's no question such a rifle is capable of the shootings in Missouri.
But what about a pistol? Weapon not as high powered and designed for closer range. This is a Glock .9 millimeter.
RICK ASHWORTH, ADVANCED BULLETS OUTDOOR RANGE: Typically, we do not shoot handguns past 11 meters.
TUCHMAN: Which is about 12 yards, but our instructor Rick Ashworth will aim for the range's farthest target.
(on camera): It is 110 yards with the pistol.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The bullet barely misses the target. The pistol doesn't have a scope. It isn't as accurate as the rifle but it certainly would have hit somebody standing at a group from that distance.
(on camera): So there's no question someone who is up to no good, who has a pistol, may not know much about guns, can fire it and it will go under 125 yards.
ASHWORTH: Yes. The bullet will go that far. Yes, sir.
TUCHMAN: How far could the bullet go? It could go much farther?
ASHWORTH: It could go a lot much further. It could be 200, 300. But that bullet is going to drop after a certain distance.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And for that reason, the pistol is to be slightly tilted up to hit the intended target at that distance.
There's also the possibility that in Ferguson, somebody could have taken a wild shot simply in the direction of the officers. Not intending to hit them, just hoping to scare them or the crowd, an act that would be beyond a bad idea.
ASHWORTH: Gun safety is number one. There's no more important rule or no more important thing to have ownership than gun safety.
TUCHMAN: Something nearly everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, would agree with.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Temple, Georgia.
COOPER: Also, number of people pointed out to me last night in Ferguson at the time of the shooting, police were actually bunched pretty close together, so it didn't necessarily mean the shooter was all that accurate if they were just pointing in the right direction, the chance of hitting an officer were probably elevated because of the bunching.
Police dispatch audio has been released from the time the Wednesday's night shooting. I want to play just a small portion of it now gives you a sense of the chaos at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POLICE: Got an officer down, officer down, shots fired at this station.
POLICE: Officer down. Officer in need of aid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining me now is Dan Bongino, formerly with the NYPD and the Secret Service. Also in Ferguson, CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes.
Tom, how much tougher does the situation on the ground in Ferguson make the police's job right now in terms of finding whoever did this?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Anderson, the people that are looking for who did this are not the same officers that are going to be out here night after night protecting the protester and responding to that. So, you have St. Louis County detectives diligently working to solve the case, doing everything they can to locate the individuals responsible for the shooting. They have enough officers. They have the manpower to be able to do both and they're doing both.
COOPER: Dan, I mean, one of the critical things though is getting, you know, buying from the community. Getting people to report and admit what they saw. That's often difficult in some communities in the best of times. In a place like Ferguson where there's such distrust, there's such animosity, it's got to make it all the more difficult though.
DAN BONGINO, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: All right. Good point, but nothing makes a community coalesce more than the tragic killing of those two NYPD officers and then violence directed at police officers.
This is -- outside of a fringe element in the United States, very few people would ever support directed targeted violence at police officers. And one of the points they brought up that was pretty good in the prior segment is, it doesn't matter if they were shooting at the police or those two police. If they were shooting at the police in general, this is the kind of thing that's universally scorn.
COOPER: And, Tom, the fact that they don't know if it's one shooter or two or exactly what kind of gun or at least publicly haven't said what kind of gun was used, does that make the investigation more difficult now or does that not really matter at this point?
FUENTES: Well, what's difficult, Anderson, is they don't have a description of who pulled the trigger to send those bullets at those police officers. People saw a muzzle flash and heard the noise coming from up the hill, up the road from where the officers were standing but nobody got a clear look at the shooters.
The one vehicle that was seen driving away quickly were the three people that turned out to be innocent. They just left because they were afraid and fleeing the scene, which is often what happens in these shooting situations. The descriptions given to the police of the potential shooters are just citizens afraid and trying to get the heck out of there before they get shot. So that's part of the problem here.
And I want to add also, Anderson, from the beginning over the last 200 plus days, the days when there was particular violence, it was often caused by people from outside of Ferguson, in some cases, the Greater St. Louis area or even coming cross country to cause trouble.
So, you know, when we talk about the difficulty in the community here, the community can be helping the police but there might not be much they can do for the police if these were outsiders unknown to the local people. COOPER: And, Tom, Crimestoppers are offering a $10,000 reward for
information leading to the suspect. Incentives like that, in the past, how much have they actually helped the process?
FUENTES: Well, they do help. And the publicity often helps but it would help a lot more if there was more description as to what happened here.
So I think that creates the problem but when you look at publicity in any major crime whether it's, you know, "America's Most Wanted" or "The Hunt with John Walsh," or the "FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted List", those programs are very effective but it's where you have a description of somebody either by name or a good physical description. We don't have that yet in this case.
COOPER: And, Dan, I mean, the chief talked about the reach where there's an absence of credible information coming in saying that's the point at which you need to stop, need to regroup. Does it seem to you like that because the chief didn't seem to think that they were?
BONGINO: Yes. Well, Tom brought up some great points. And, you know, I add to that, they may be at an impasse here.
Anderson, they are absolutely going to need the weapon used in the assault. I'm sure they recovered the round sadly from the officer's body. Those rounds all leave fingerprints. They're going to need that weapon for whatever, if it was a rifle in the barrel and that's going to help. Outside of that, the trajectory and the impact wound and where it could have come from, from what I'm hearing, there's not a lot of information. So, you're correct, they maybe at an impasse.
COOPER: Yes. Well, hopefully, they can get things solved this thing quickly.
Dan Bongino, I appreciate you being with us. Tom Fuentes as well.
Just ahead, the SAE chapter, they were shut down by the University of Oklahoma, over the racist chant, well, they are now pushing back. They've hired a high profile lawyer who says members of the disbanded frat are getting death threats.
Plus, U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock, a rising Republican star, is facing new questions tonight about a trip to India and the photographer he took with him.
COOPER: Tonight, the University of Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is pushing back. As you know, the fraternity shut down the fraternity after video surfaced showing members singing a chant about hanging black men from trees. Two SAE members who appeared to be leading the chant were expelled. Now, in a new twist, the chapter's board of trustees has hired high-profile lawyer Stephen Jones. At a news conference, Jones said a lawsuit against the university isn't their first choice, but he did not rule it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN JONES, ATTORNEY FOR SAE, OU CHAPTER: We are not here because we are interested in a legal solution. We hope and I hope my statement will make it clear that we seek to have some other resolution of this matter. I have been retained to represent the chapter and its members where they wish for me to do in any matters that may relate to the due process of the students. But our first concern is for their physical safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mr. Jones said that some members of the disbanded SAE chapter have perceived death threats while others have been physically assaulted. He did not go into specifics. Just to be clear, he was hired by the board of the local SAE chapter, not the national organization, which says it continues to review the incident. Let's talk about it now. CNN legal analyst, Mark Geragos and Jeffrey Toobin.
So, the attorney is saying, Jeff, they're not ruling out a lawsuit. But they don't want to do that. If they did have a lawsuit, do they have a case?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not as far as I can tell. You know, he said that he's interested in sort of a gentleman's agreement. Well, maybe Mark can correct me, but in my experience, when someone says, they want a gentleman's agreement, that means they are hoping for some sort of a deal because they don't really have a case. If he had a case, he'd be threatening it. Remember. It's not just that the university wants them off campus. It's the national organization of the frat. So they, I don't know who they'd sue. I mean how could they sue their own fraternity because it's their own fraternity that threw them off as well as the university.
COOPER: Mark, I mean, anybody can file a lawsuit. What would they actually sue for?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: If they were shut down by the president, this is where Jeff and I were discussing this earlier today, then I could see the lawsuit against the university because frankly, this is right smack dab in my opinion in the middle of the first amendment. You know, it's revile, it's repulsive speech.
COOPER: You believe, though, it's protected speech.
GERAGOS: But it's clearly protected speech. I don't even think it's close. In fact, the ACLU came out today and was saying the same thing. And I mean, you know, if you can see KKK marchers in Skokie, clearly, this is protected speech even though it's repulsive. The problem is, as Jeff points out, it's under - from what I understand it's their national chapter who shut them down and that's a real problem. What, are they going to sue the national chapter and say you've got to give us - our chapter back?
COOPER: But according to attorney, Mark, I mean the incident was on one of five buses, I guess, going to some party for members who were not on that particular bus, do they then have a better case against those who were on the bus?
GERAGOS: I don't think so. This was bad enough for the national organization to shut it down. Just because not every single member in the frat was ...
COOPER: Chanting. You have to either accept the responsibility for the fact that you're in an organization.
GERAGOS: You believe it's not protected speech. You can go back and forth on it.
TOOBIN: I don't, but I - remember. This is not a public march. Yes, it is true. They could chant this on the street. But they are also a registered part of the university. The university has a right and an obligation to maintain relationships with all students and create an atmosphere where all students are welcome and they have a guide. And they have a ...
GERAGOS: The conduct guide. And I get that. And I understand that, if you're the president of the university, the last thing you want in Oklahoma is for people to be portraying your university like this, but this is not the first time nor it will be the last that kids, I mean these are young kids, and they're in college and they do stupid things and they say stupid things and that's what you, to some degree, want in a university. You want this free flow of exchange of ideas, and you want people to criticize you, and you want to have that kind of give and take, even if it's repulsive or vile speech. And so, I think it's really an unfortunate situation. I think they could have been suspended. I think they could have agreed to do training. I think there's all kinds of things you do. I think this is way overboard.
COOPER: I mean on the one hand, you look at this, and you think, well, it's great that it was captured on tape because people see it and can discuss it and can start a dialogue. On the other side and certainly from the perspective of those who support the people involved here, or the families of the people involved here, you think about, well, what stupid things did I do in college, or, you know, horrible cruel things that I did in my past that had it gotten out when I was that age would have ruined my entire life?
TOOBIN: I mean, I don't have a lot of sympathy for that. When you're talking about lynching black people at a bus, which is a student function, I mean, it's not in a dorm room. It's not in a bar. This is an organized frat activity.
COOPER: And clearly it was something that had been done plenty of times before.
GERAGOS: Since everybody apparently knew the words.
TOOBIN: They all knew the words. You know, I don't worry about the chilling effect. If that kind of speech is chilling, as far as I'm concerned, good.
COOPER: I guess I'm not a parent, but if I had a kid just in this day and age with everything being videotaped, the stakes are so high on young people today.
GERAGOS: In the interest of full disclosure, I've got a son. He was a member of SAE in college. These kinds of things.
TOOBIN: Not at Oklahoma.
GERAGOS: Not at Oklahoma. Then these kinds of things just terrified me. I mean you just live for, in trepidation that at any moment, something stupid could happen, your kid could do one stupid thing and then that destroys them. And I just - and I agree with you. This is the worst kind of speech. We've had this argument on this show so many times about how I've heard these kind of things growing up and I hear it behind closed doors. And, you know, people say race were - we're in a post-racial society, we're not. And I think these kinds of things can be, you know, pivotal in terms of teaching people.
COOPER: No, no doubt about it.
GERAGOS: I don't think that we have to get to the point where we take such draconian measures.
TOOBIN: Well, but I mean I think you can draw distinctions among different kinds of embarrassment. I mean look, there are kids, I have a kid in college. You know, drunken selfies are something everybody worries about, but drunken selfies are not going to ruin people's lives and nor should they, but, you know, this speech is different. This is really deeply sinister. It's not just speech, it's behavior.
GERAGOS: Yeah, but don't you think that the ...
TOOBIN: It's also the behavior that actually reflects on actual actions, not admitting somebody to an organization.
GERAGOS: But you've got the public shaming aspect of this, which to some degree I think is in and of itself enough punishment. I mean, on top of it, we're going to pile up? I mean these two kids, idiots that they are, do they deserve to have their lives ruined over this?
TOOBIN: You know what, I don't think their lives are going to be ruined. They got thrown out of this college. They'll get into a different college. Life will go on.
GERAGOS: Can you imagine being the admissions director now when these kids vote to transfer?
COOPER: The parents, I mean - to see what their child has done, I mean ...
TOOBIN: Their admissions essay might be interesting.
COOPER: All right. Mark Geragos, thank you. Jeffrey Toobin as well.
Just ahead, did the Secret Service agents who crashed into that barrier of the White House, did they actually mess up an active investigation? Now, there's pushback tonight on that story and a lot of details on that.
Also, at U.S. congressman Aaron Schock ending the week with new questions about an alleged ethics labs, this is talking about a photographer he brought with him on a trip to India without disclosing it.
COOPER: Tonight, different pictures emerging of the latest Secret Service fiasco of the White House. We first told you about this on Wednesday. Two top ranking Secret Service agents driving in a government car, crash into a barrier at the White House interrupting an active threat investigation. The agents were allegedly drunk. One of them is the second in command of President Barack Obama's private detail. As we reported Wednesday, they've been temporarily reassigned, but tonight, two law enforcement agents familiar with the investigation are pushing back on that version of events. Michelle Kosinski joins me with the latest. So, what are the law enforcement sources saying? Because I understand, they are calling to question the narrative of exactly what happened.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. Exactly. And they're familiar with the investigation as well as familiar with what the videotape showed. And they say that these agents driving in the same car were going literally one mile an hour and that they went under some police tape, so they did enter the area that was under investigation, because it was a suspicious package, but these sources say that they went up to a checkpoint and in getting to the checkpoint, they nudged one of those orange plastic barrel type barriers out of the way. That there was no crash and no damage. They nudged this out of the way a few feet, went to the checkpoint, showed their badges with the window down for about 25 seconds, were waved on to the next checkpoint, their car was checked and that was the extent of it. They say just drove on.
So, they are saying that these agents didn't get out of the car. The whole thing lasted about one minute and the sources are saying that they're also now calling into question that allegation that they were drunk. They're not sure where along the process that came from. There's a question now, did that allegation come up sometime later? If it wasn't that night, was it a day or two later even after the fact? And why did that come up in the way it did, if it seems that there was nothing on the scene to show that there was a suspicion that way? That's according to these sources. So, they are saying that nobody that they've spoken to can even corroborate that. So, big question mark there, and you have different sources saying sort of different things at different times, Anderson.
COOPER: And what, whatever happened that night, and obviously it seems like it's in contention now, the director of the Secret Service, he wasn't told about it for several days, right?
KOSINSKI: Right. And it's possible that staffers at the White House knew about it even before he did. So, our law enforcement sources say yeah, that should not have happened, especially nowadays. He should have been notified right away. So, somewhere along the line of communication up the chain, that failed.
COOPER: And the woman who left a suspicious package that night, was she already on the Secret Service's radar?
KOSINSKI: Yeah, she was. I mean, apparently according to people we've talked to, they were well aware of her and what was interesting, was that she fled the scene in her car. There was a bulletin put out by the Secret Service to law enforcement to be out - on the lookout for her and then law enforcement caught up with her in Virginia four days later. And when they arrested her, she had scrawled across her car in marker, police say, White House bound, and she told deputies that she was running for president and yeah, this is someone that Secret Service was familiar with. And we asked the question, you know, it took four days for somebody to catch up with her. Isn't that another failure? But law enforcement sources we've talked to said, well, when you look at the Secret Service, their goal is to secure the scene and they're in fixed position. They can't necessarily jump in a car and go chasing someone. That kind of happens after the fact with other law enforcement agencies.
COOPER: All right, Michelle, I appreciate the reporting. Thank you.
We just got word that U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock has now canceled his appearance at this south - by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, this weekend. The embattled representative from Illinois was supposed to speak on a panel called millennials, the unstoppable force. Tonight, he's facing new questions. This time, about a trip to India and why he didn't disclose information that's required under House rules. Representative Schock, as you may know, isn't shy about sharing pictures of himself on Instagram. We've seen him parasailing and snowboarding and posing with all manner of famous people. He likes to travel off on private planes owned by donors. For weeks now, his use of taxpayer and campaign funds to pay for his adventures has been under scrutiny. Tonight, Athena Jones has more on the new allegation he's facing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. AARON SCHOCK (R ) ILLINOIS: But you are welcome to join me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we ask you some questions on the way out?
SCHOCK: You are always free to ask questions.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The questions keep coming for Republican Congressman Aaron Schock, now facing allegations he broke House ethics rules by not disclosing that he took a photographer with him on the trip to India last August as part of his work to support clean water initiatives.
SCHOCK: More people own a cell phone in this world and have access to a toilet.
JONES: The Dallas based photographer, Jonathon Link, traveled to India to take photos for Schock and the global poverty project. The anti-poverty group that paid for the trip. Under House rules, members are allowed to travel with a family member or a staffer on an outside group's dime as long as they disclose it. But link's name appears nowhere on the disclosure form Schock filed after the trip, which was well documented on his Instagram feed. It's not clear whether his photos were taken by Link. It's also not clear if Link was a staffer at the time of the trip. Schock's office paid Link's photography studio for work in April and May of 2014, but Link doesn't appear on Schock's personnel payroll until September 1st, a few days after the India trip. Schock's spokesman did not respond to questions about Link including when he was hired. Schock is a prolific fundraiser who brought in millions in the last election cycle according to "Open Secrets." He's hired two high-powered Washington lawyers to take a close look at his books after multiple allegations he's used taxpayer and campaign money for personal business.
SCHOCK: I've said that I take my compliance obligations seriously and I'm conducting a full review of that.
JONES: In the meantime, the questions will continue.
SCHOCK: And you understand why people are concerned? Enjoy your time in the 8th district.
JONES: Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, just ahead, a rare look at royal life. And exclusive interview with Prince Charles. What he has to say about his trip to the United States next week.
COOPER: Welcome back. Prince Charles is getting personal and opening up about his life. In a rare exclusive interview with CNN's Max Foster, the future king talks about his 10-year marriage to Camilla and their trip next week to the United States. On the agenda, another visit to the White House. Here's some of Max's exclusive interview.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The prince of Wales just doesn't do interviews very often, and when he does, he doesn't want to talk about anything personal, but he's decided to do so now. He invited us into his home in Scotland to do just that.
PRINCE CHARLES: I must have met quite a lot of the presidents of the United States.
FOSTER: And quite often, those encounters have taken place at the White House, during Charles' tours of the United States.
(on camera): It's a country that you've visited many times, officially and privately. It must be a country you're very fond of.
PRINCE CHARLES: I think I'd been 20 times or something like that, in the last 45 years. That just shows how old I'm getting, though. FOSTER: As Prince Charles and the duchess of Cornwall prepare for their upcoming four-day tour of the U.S., he granted me an exclusive interview. And he shared memories of past visits.
PRINCE CHARLES: I remember the first time. We were invited to stay, my sister and I, in 1970 at the White House, by President Nixon for the weekend. That was quite amusing. That was the time they were trying to marry me off to Trisha Nixon.
FOSTER: Ten years ago, Camilla joined Charles. Their first official overseas visit.
(on camera): 2005, your first joint overseas tour with your new wife, the duchess of Cornwall. What are your memories of that visit?
PRINCE CHARLES: Well, I remember we had a very jolly time in California, I seem to remember. And they were all so friendly there.
FOSTER: It will be interesting next week to see how Americans accept the royal couple on their tour, which starts in Washington, D.C. next week, because ten years ago, when Camilla first did a tour of the United States, there was quite a lot of negativity. They were comparing her to Diana. Diana fans were holding up very vicious placards in places, but I think certainly Brits warmed to Camilla in the last decade, and it will be interesting to see whether Americans have done the same.
COOPER: Max Foster.
Up next, breaking news, the Red Cross reports unbelievable destruction after a massive cyclone slams the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Details ahead.
COOPER: More happening tonight. Gary Tuchman has a "360" news and business bulletin.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, breaking news out of the South Pacific. A massive category five cyclone with winds topping 150 miles per hour is slamming Vanuatu. Red Cross has reported unbelievable destruction. It says humanitarian needs will be enormous.
In Phoenix today, Mr. Obama met the parents and brother of Kayla Mueller. Kayla, as you'll remember, was murdered by ISIS last month. The family shared memories and talked about Kayla's Hands, a foundation being set up aimed at improving the lives of others. And math fans, rejoice. Saturday, tomorrow, it's pi day. Anderson, you see the beginning of the infinite series of digits that make up pi on the screen. Take a look. Tomorrow marks a once in a century opportunity when the first 10 digits of pi hit on 3/14/15. That's 3.1415, at 9:26:53, continues 92653, and you don't want to miss it. One thing we can tell you for sure, Anderson, in 2115, the next time it happens, sadly, we won't be reporting it. COOPER: My math knowledge is so bad, I only understand little bits of
what you're actually saying.
TUCHMAN: Just wake up early tomorrow. You can experience it too.
COOPER: I look forward to that. I'm counting the moments. Gary, thank you very much.
This Sunday, don't miss another installment of the CNN original series, "Finding Jesus: Fact, Faith, Forgery," where science and archaeology offer insight into ancient artifacts that could be linked to Jesus. Here is a quick preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jesus wanted to be sacrificed. He asked Judas to betray him. And Judas says, why me? Jesus says to him, because you are the closest to me. I beg you to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He understands what's happening. He's helping Jesus. He knows that because of what he has to do, he's going to be hated forever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judas is doing what Jesus wants him to do. Look, God sent Jesus to die for the sins of mankind. Someone has to betray him. Someone has to fulfill this mission. Jesus is saying, I have to die on the cross in order to do what I was sent here to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: "Finding Jesus," this Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern. "The Wonder List" with Bill Weir starts now.