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Police On The Move Searching New Area For Killers; Trump Holds First Presidential Campaign Rally. Aired 7-8:00p ET

Aired June 16, 2015 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:08] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news in the massive manhunt for the two convicted killers. The search in a new area tonight. This as we're learning more about Joyce Mitchell's relationship with the prisoners, was she in on the plan or a victim?

Plus, Donald Trump now running for president. Why he could be Jeb Bush's biggest nightmare. We're going to live to Trump on the stump in Iowa tonight.

And a young mother of two, flesh eating bacteria taking over her body. Doctors tonight do not know how she got infected. Her husband is my guest. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news, hundreds of officers on the move right now combing a new area near the prison where the two convicted killers escaped. Police announcing this massive shift just moments ago. Here is what is happening. Authorities are redeploying searchers who have shut down the main road in the area warning residents that heavily- armed officers will be in and around their homes. Right now we know there are about 800 officers following up on 1200 leads.

Also tonight, Joyce Mitchell, the disgraced prison worker accused of helping the inmates escaped sees her husband for the first time since her arrest. His visit behind bars comes as we are learning new and disturbing details about Mitchell's intimate relationship with the fugitives.

Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT live in West Plattsburg, New York. And Jason, what are you learning tonight?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, we're learning a little bit more about why Joyce Mitchell may have agreed to be the getaway driver. We know that she may have had this inappropriate relationship with these two men, we know that she may have been part of their escape plan but she may not have been the only one.


CARROLL (voice-over): Despite the manpower, despite more than 1,000 leads, still no sign of Richard Matt and David Sweat. Their trail at least for now, has gone cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've gone over the charges with Ms. Mitchell.

CARROLL: The woman who investigators say aided the two in their daring escape behind bars and feeling the weight of what happened. This according to her attorney.

STEPHEN JOHNSTON, ATTORNEY FOR JOYCE MITCHELL: She's distraught. She's very weeping and very upset.

CARROLL: Joyce Mitchell's only visitor today, her husband Lyle who went to see her today.

(on camera): That visit lasted about an hour. There was no physical contact between the two. They spoke over the phone and they were separated by a glass partition.

JOHNSTON: All I know is that he said he's standing by her, so that's what he told me when I spoke to him.

CARROLL (voice-over): But Joyce Mitchell's role in the escape becoming for clear. Investigators say she may have agreed to be the duo's getaway driver after Matt and/or Sweat threatened her and her husband. Law enforcement looking more closely at Lyle Mitchell and mid allegations he may have known something about the escape plan. The Mitchell's daughter-in-law who initially defended Joyce Mitchell told CNN by phone today, I have nothing to say about my mother-in- law's arrest. Paige Mitchell also said she would not comment on allegations her father-in-law is under investigation. One alleged accomplice facing charges, the investigation may turn up more.

SHERIFF DAVID FAVRO, CLINTON COUNTY, NEW YORK: I can't conceive how these two people could put together such an elaborate escape route and have the understandings and thoroughly follow through with the mechanics of this elaborate escape without having multiple people involved.


CARROLL: Joyce Mitchell is going to be moved from the facility where she's being kept in this area to one further south near Albany. As for that manhunt, tomorrow searchers will redeploy their efforts near the prison, but again, as for now, the trail seems to have gone somewhat cold -- Erin.

BURNETT: Jason Carroll, thank you very much live where that hunt is going on tonight.

OUTFRONT now, the former NYPD detective Sergeant Joe Giacalone, criminologist Casey Jordan and Jim McNamara, a former FBI profiler.

All right. Joe, moments ago, I want to start with the breaking news on the search, police announcing that hundreds of officers are now moving to a new area still around the prison but they're looking in a new area. Could this be a breakthrough or is this just a sign that they are at a complete loss?

JOSEPH GIACALONE, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE SERGEANT: It also could just mean that they might have found something that could have been long gone now. You know, so they aren't going to take chances. They are going to comb this area, they're going to do that crime scene search, they're going to cover every inch of that ground, and make sure nothing can make them find anything.

BURNETT: And right now, the only person Jim, that they have been talking to that seems to know anything is Joyce Mitchell. And I know, look, there could be other people involved. She obviously doesn't seem to know where they are but every bit of information we get about her and them is crucial, and now we're learning she had a sexual relationship with both men. I mean, do you think this was part of their plan, they both knew about the other?

JIM MCNAMARA, FORMER FBI PROFILER: It could be, Erin. Right now, there are two teams working this case, the tactical search teams and the investigative teams. What the investigative teams are doing is leaving no stone unturned to develop any information, any support network, either Matt or Sweat had. Any communication they might have had with them, and I guarantee that Mitchell was not the only person that Matt and possibly Sweat were trying to manipulate and exploit to get materials or communication out.

[19:05:24] BURNETT: Which would mean Casey, they didn't have a lot of trust in her if they were trying to multiple people.

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, no right in our -- is going to have complete trust in the prison they are trying to con. Because they run the risk of anytime of being made or found out. I think this is really like a layer cake or even a three-dimensional tic tac toe board. We have to figure out whether or not she's telling investigators truth or lying to help them, whether or not they told her lies thinking well, if she's ever caught, this is what we would like them to think we are doing --


JORDAN: -- and whether they just told her the truth and that, you know, this is why they are having such a hard time finding these guys is because of the layers of deceit.

BURNETT: And Joe, the Clinton County sheriff today actually on this point said, he thinks that using Mitchell as the getaway driver was not the plan A. He thinks it was the plan B and that they are actually going ahead presumably right now with plan A while the world is down the Joyce Mitchell plan B wrong track. Could it be?

GIACALONE: Yes, I believe we talked about this last night. I mean, these guys set a lot of things up, they set a lot of wheels in motion and now they just wanted the cops to go on a different direction so that they can make their escape and go undetected.

BURNETT: I mean, which would be incredible and show a lot of planning, more than possibly a lot of people gave them credit for. I mean, Casey, officials are also saying Mitchell may have been forced to help these escapees, that they threatened to kill her husband and that's how they got her to help them. Doesn't explain why she wouldn't have told police about it? Doesn't explain why she being the one not in jail and being the one in jail, she would be the one intimidated but yet, that's possible, isn't it?

JORDAN: Oh, I think the fact that she made that statement is possible.


JORDAN: I mean, she didn't make that statement until she got charged and got a lawyer. Now suddenly she has this theory that she was coerced. That maybe they threatened to kill her husband, she had to do it. That's just good lawyering if you asked me. And bottom- line is, there are procedures and protocols in place for every prison worker, they are well-trained in regard. What happens if an inmate threatened you or coerced you? They know what to do if this happens. Don't forget the inmates are in prison. They are in prison. So, you have nothing to lose by going to the warden and saying, this happened or this is happening --


JORDAN: -- and that's what you're supposed to do.

BURNETT: All right. So you don't buy that?


BURNETT: And Jim, on this point, her husband, Lyle, visited his wife's lawyer today. ABC News actually caught it on tape. So, we'll show you exactly how that confrontation went down. The lawyer says that Lyle is standing by his wife. Now I'm curious as to your view as a profiler, why he would be doing that, especially given that we don't get no whether she was in on a plot to possibly kill him or not.

MCNAMARA: Well, we don't know what the relationship is like. We don't know how much of this, you know, denial on his part, and, you know, we really don't know what is going out with her. Everything that she thought about is been self-report just from her. So, they're going to be trying to verify all of this.

BURNETT: Now, Joe, you think these, I mean, these men could possibly be psychopaths, right?

GIACALONE: Well, sure, I mean, just look at the crimes that they have done, yes. I mean --

BURNETT: So, could they have killed each other by this point? I mean, I'm sort of curious about the dynamics between these two guys on the run right now?

GIACALONE: Yes, I know, I think they need each other more than, you know, not. They need to stick, you know, listen, if I was them, I would be splitting up, too, at this point to make it more difficult to find me and if they find one guy, they're not going to get the other. But right now, I mean, they need to figure out, you know, if they are still on the run in regards to in that area, you know, food, water, the basics to try to get out from, you know, underneath what the cops are doing.

BURNETT: So, Jim, when you hear the search area is shifting at this hour as we know, hundreds of police are now moving to a new area by the prison, what is your interpretation of that? They have a clue or that's a sign they just don't know anything and they are just trying something new, why not throw a dart at the board.

MCNAMARA: No, that means that they have cleared the areas they've looked at and they're shifting resources to move to secondarily areas.

BURNETT: Okay. All right. Casey, the bottom-line is, do you think they will make a mistake?

JORDAN: Yes, I agree that physically, strategically they should split up but psychologically they need to feed each other, they are a fully -- they really on each other. And this could not have happened, one of them couldn't pull it off but together, they made it happen. So, I think they are still together and I think they will get caught.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to all three of you. And next, the New York governor says, the two killers could be in Mexico. Others say they are in a major U.S. city, Boston or New York City. Now, the clues next.

And the number two men at al Qaeda taken out by an American drone. Just how dangerous is his deputy who is taking over?

Plus, Donald Trump is live right now in Iowa. He says he's running and he's fairly confident, fairly, that he can do the job.


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: I will be the greatest job's president that God ever created. I tell you that.



[19:10:02] BURNETT: We have bringing God into it. Why he could be Jeb Bush's biggest nightmare.


[19:13:20] BURNETT: Breaking news in the manhunt for two escaped prisoners. So, right now at this hour, police are on the move there moving to a new search area we understand but after 11 days on the run, do police really have any idea where Richard Matt and David Sweat are? The answer suddenly appears to be no.

Polo Sandoval is been covering the manhunt and he's OUTFRONT.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The early search for escaped killers Richard Matt and David Sweat focusing on the immediate area, 250 officers covering a few square miles around the prison. And then the manhunt shifted. A local newspaper reported, no police guarded the terminals for the ferries that cross Lake Champlain to Vermont. The two could have found easy passage. Another possibility, Canada just 20 miles north of the prison but a former FBI agent lead manhunt says, the killers would not try to drive past border check points and going on foot is even harder.

JONATHAN GILLIAM, FORMER FBI AGENT: Those woods are very thick, it's kind of a harsh environment, cold at night, they are instantly setting themselves up for fall.

SANDOVAL: Searchers are scouring parts of the Adirondack, in Upstate, New York, it's a six million acre wilderness at the doorsteps of the prison. It's filled with hundreds of cabins, many abandoned in the offseason. Investigators think the pair could be hold up in one of them or they warn that they could invade a home and take hostages.

GILLIAM: That's a big chance to take, if you go in and you do that, even if you leave, now you've set a footprint for the police to latch on to.

SANDOVAL: At least one escape plan called for prison employee Joyce Mitchell to supply a getaway car. She told investigators that Matt and Sweat kept their destination vague.

ANDREW WYLIE, CLINTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: -- told us today, approximately seven hours away, no specified location.

SANDOVAL: And an average of 60 miles per hour they could get for than 400 miles away, that's putting cities like Boston, New York and Philadelphia within reach, maybe the easiest place to disappear.

GILLIAM: Small towns people are very aware of who is around them, they're very aware of what other people are doing. Once you get into a larger city, people just stop paying attention.

SANDOVAL: Now even New York's governor has to admit the trail has gone cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We don't know if they are still in the immediate area, or if they are in Mexico by now.

SANDOVAL: And Mexico about 2,000 miles away could be a real possibility. In 1997 Matt brutally murdered a man near Buffalo New York, back then he fled to Mexico and killed another man there before being captured. Now time may be on the killers' side.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You can't sustain this type of a manhunt for very long. It's just too much of a vacuum of all of the resources.


SANDOVAL: And tonight this shift in resources now means that these hundreds of officers will now be focusing their attention on an area closer to the Clinton Correctional Facility, that's close to Dannemora, about seven miles from where we are tonight, Erin. Now, as for this increase in police patrols, they don't expect those to go away any time soon -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Polo, thank you very much. Live in West Plattsburg tonight.

And OUTFRONT now, the former inspector for the U.S. Marshal Service, Craig Caine, he was also a member of the New York and New Jersey regional fugitive taskforce. And the former NYPD officer and private investigator Bill Stanton.

All right. Good to have both of you with us. Craig, let me start with you. You think they have, not just a plan A, B, C, D, E and F and this could have been a big conspiracy?

CRAIG CAINE, FORMER INSPECTOR, U.S. MARSHAL SERVICE: Yes, I do believe when these guys are finally captured, they will going to find out that there was a big conspiracy and that money had been funneled to these guys to make their escape, and they are going to know that prison workers, staff members, or family members, they are going to start unpeeling the layers, okay? And as they unpeel, unravel every layer, A knows B who knows C who knows D, they are going to find a common thread at some point and that common thread is going to the lead them to the person that's going to break that case and give law enforcement the tip they need.

BURNETT: And right now that's obviously not Joyce Mitchell at this point.

CANE: No, but it does take a lot of time, a lot of perseverance, a lot of methodical police work.

BURNETT: Now, Bill, you think that Richard Matt and David Sweat could be hiding in plain sight. When you say that, what do you mean?

BILL STANTON, FORMER NYPD OFFICER: Well, a couple of scenarios could be if all those plans, you know, went to pot, they could literally be, you know, where do you hide a needle? The say a haystack. The best place you hide a needle is in a box of needles. They could very well be in a homeless shelter, if they have no avenue to escape, think about this, they don't ask for IDs in a homeless shelter.


STANTON: You shave your beard, you shave your head, butt on a ball cap and they could be nice and warm and cozy.

BURNETT: Say, change your appearance.

STANTON: That's right. Expect them not to look like they look here.

[19:18:05] BURNETT: Wow! All right, which is interesting. I like that. Hide a needle in the box of needles. Now, Craig, what about as Polo was just reporting, the different,

you know, if they had a car or if they are walking, right? If they were walking with the lead time that they had even if they got only 19, 20 miles, that's just where they could have gotten, that's the Canadian border. They could be there tonight?

CAINE: Absolutely. I'm not a big fan of the Canadian border but a human being could walk three miles, three miles per hour, okay? That's a normal human being. That's on concrete, pavement, pretty well fit. Okay? Now, cut that in half with wooded terrain. Okay? They still between the time they busted out of the jail --


CAINE: -- and the time they found them from the point of origin, they could be 20 or so miles. By the time they set up a perimeter and by the time they started putting the dogs out and getting the game plan and quadrants set up where they want to search, they could have been another 15 miles, okay? That being said, they could have very well made it over Canadian border up north, hang a left, out into the wilderness of Canada. But like I said earlier, I believe they were being helped.


CAINE: But there is also the possibility like my partner here said, they could be and nobody knows. That's the million dollar question.

BURNETT: Yes. Well, that's what incredible. Nobody knows.

STANTON: Time is their friend in this.

BURNETT: Right, because you can't have 800 people looking for them, right? You have to scale it back.

STANTON: And we're only going to talk about this for so long. So, once this goes away, they don't need to run away, they just need to walk away.

BURNETT: They just need to walk away and you're saying it's possible they actually could have hostages right now.

STANTON: Right, I mean, they should be checking in the circles --


STANTON: -- who is not reporting into work for the last seven or eight business days because if they can't find an empty place, summer or winter home, you know, they could be in there holding them, sending one out while holding the other bringing in food and money.

BURNETT: And that would get them everything they needed.

Now, Craig, in terms of Joyce Mitchell, you've described her as excess baggage.

CAINE: That's what I said.

BURNETT: Right. So, explain to me exactly what you mean.

CAINE: Two is company, three is a crowd. They were playing her, okay? I believe that the best thing that she did was get cold feet, if that's true.


CAINE: Because like I said, she would have been found on the side of a highway at some point. Okay? And as for the part about --

BURNETT: But they would have just killed her.

CAINE: Yes. They would eliminate her because the human brain right now, they are focusing on two guys, okay? And that's what most people are concentrating on.


CAINE: When you have, now, the word gets out that there is a blonde haired woman with them, okay? And then driving along the interstate trying to be nonchalant, you know, your eyes as a man or whatever is going to focus on the blonde hair girl and then -- oh, wow, and they're going to maybe make a connection. I think she would been dangerous for them to have with her. Okay? Unless she was supplying them money --


CAINE: And contacts out of state or what have you.


CAINE: She was gone.

BURNETT: All right. So you're saying they could be nearby, they could be in a homeless shelter. You're saying, they could be in Canada, I know you have mentioned maybe even Midwest.

CAINE: They could be anywhere.

BURNETT: They could be anywhere. You found a fugitive 40 years after he escaped.

CAINE: Correct.

BURNETT: Forty years.

CAINE: Forty years.

BURNETT: Do you think these guys could pull that off? That would be the rest of their lives.

CAINE: Well, you know, what? Back then Erin, the world was a little bigger --


CAINE: There was no social media. There was nothing. This gentleman in 1950 escaped from a Virginia road gang, cut the ball and chain off like a movie and ran through the swamps and never heard again. So, he, you know, made himself up to come to New York, he co- mingled with everybody in Brooklyn. Nobody knew that he existed.

BURNETT: Right. And -- of the crowd.

CAINE: And he made a mistake --


CAINE: And he made a mistake by registering a vehicle of 40 years in his own name, Erin, through some police work that we've done and some of our little secrets that we don't give out over the air --


CAINE: -- we were able to find this guy.

BURNETT: Find him.

STANTON: These two were smart mental morons. They will get caught eventually.

BURNETT: Smart mental morons. An interesting description. Well, we will see. I mean, this is one incredible case. Thanks so much to both of you.

And OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump, he is live right now in Iowa. This is his first afternoon as a presidential candidate. Here is the thing, he might actually be a major spoiler in the GOP race.


TRUMP: I'm not using lobbyist, I'm not using donors, I don't care. I'm really rich.


BURNETT: And a young mom, two small kids perfectly healthy one day, the next infected by flesh-eating bacteria. She's fighting for her life tonight. Her story an incredible one and I'm going to talk to her husband this hour.


[19:26:50] BURNETT: Well, right now you are looking at a live picture, this is from Donald Trump's first campaign rally, the newest republican presidential candidate will be taking that stage any second now in Des Moines. In Iowa, he is already on the trail. Now, Trump has threatened before but earlier today, the multi-billionaire officially launched his first ever bid for the White House. Joe Johns is with me OUTFRONT. And Joe, a lot of people did not

think Trump would actually do it. Right? He has often flirted with this idea but he's never actually done it but this time it was serious.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right, a lot of people were very concerned that this was all a ruse. He's been flirting with the run for president for decades. This is the first time he's made it official. And he did it with a raw, unfiltered speech that jumped off script repeatedly.


JOHNS (voice-over): The Donald is in, delivering a jolt to the already crowded 2016 presidential race.

TRUMP: I will be the greatest jobs president God created. I will tell you that.


JOHNS: Billionaire Donald Trump kicking off his presidential campaign in New York by to touting his wealth as a selling point.

TRUMP: I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyist, I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich. I'll show you that in a second.

JOHNS: And foreign policy.

TRUMP: Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. I'll bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places, I'll bring back our jobs and I'll bring back our money.

JOHNS: He's long been a favorite target of late-night TV for behaving exactly the way he did today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, most of you know who I am already, because I'm and I'm handsome in.

JOHNS: This isn't the first time Trump has flirted with presidential aspiration.

TRUMP: Oh, this is very serious. I am seriously thinking about it.

I am seriously considering it.

I've never taken it seriously like this.

I think you'll be surprised at what my announcement is.

JOHNS: But now that he's officially in the race, he's quickly taking aim at his GOP rivals.

TRUMP: You looked at Bush, it took him five days to answer the question on Iraq. He couldn't answer the question. He didn't know.

JOHNS: And President Obama.

TRUMP: Our president doesn't have a clue. He's a bad negotiator.

JOHNS: Up next for Trump, a trip to Iowa tonight where he already has an uphill battle, a recent Iowa poll showing 58 percent of republican respondent saying, they would never vote for him. And on to New Hampshire tomorrow but age predict his numbers will rise now that he's officially in the race and hope Americans don't use the catch phrase from the "Apprentice" on him.

TRUMP: You're fired.


JOHNS: You know, Erin, he backed up his claims of wealth by releasing a financial statement that puts his net worth at almost $9 billion in Iowa tonight, New Hampshire tomorrow, working on what very well may be the greatest sales job of his lifetime selling himself to the voters.

BURNETT: Well, he's right about one thing, if he submitted those papers and that $9 billion is real, he doesn't have to raise money.

JOHNS: I bet you, it will be scrutinized too.

BURNETT: I'm sure. There is always been a lot of questions about what the number. Thank you so much to Joe Johns.

And now Ben Ferguson, a republican commentator, radio host of "The Ben Ferguson" show, along with Dan Pfeiffer, former senior advisor to President Obama.

Okay, good to have both of you with us. Obviously, you come on polar opposite sides of the spear but you kind of agree a little bit.

Ben, how big of a problem is Donald Trump for the GOP field?

BEN FERGUSON, REPUBLICAN COMMENTATOR: He is the biggest problem, period, out there right now because this is a sideshow that people are unfortunately going to have to take seriously and they better -- all these campaigns better get together and do everything they can to push him out of this as quickly as possible, because the longer he stays around, the more of a threat it is to the actual policies, the actual positions of the real candidates.

It's also going to take somebody off stage with the top ten and that could ruin someone's chance to actually make a difference. Donald Trump is not going to get elected.

BURNETT: Just to interrupt, this point about there is too many people running to fit in the debates, right, he right now is in the top ten on the cusp. So, he would be on here. You could see a Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, all in a row on stage at the first debate.

FERGUSON: Yes, it would be an embarrassment and it would be a disaster because Donald Trump today would spend as much time talking about ISIS and foreign policy, as he did about his great golf courses and how rich he is. I mean, that's not going to connect with voters.

But you look how Republicans are rejecting him and I think that number is going to get bigger. Majority of Republican voters do not look at him as an even remotely close to a possible of anybody they would vote for. And yet, the other candidates now will have to play a game with him.

BURNETT: Well, you know, he's polling with Santorum, Pataki, Christie, right in that range.

I mean, Dan, Donald Trump is famous for repeatedly infamous might be the appropriate word, calling for President Obama to release that long-form birth certificate. He took credit when you finally had to do it. You were there that day in the briefing room.


BURNETT: Yes, had to release the document. And the question to you, though, is, you know, he forced that to happen. Are the people who are ignoring Trump or laughing at him underestimating the guy?

PFEIFFER: Well, look, I agree with Ben. He's not going to be the president. He's not going to be the Republican nominee. But he's very, very good at getting attention. Just look at today. Here's a guy who's not going to be president and the entire media world stopped to watch him.

So, there is a very chance he's going to pull the Republican field not to the right or left but absurd. And that's bad for serious candidates like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Rubio, and it's really bad for the lesser candidates trying to get attention or get drowned out by Trump's constant very loud talking here.

BURNETT: All right. So, today, he talked about immigration, he talked about ISIS, and he talked about Iran. And he did it in a characteristically Trump way. Here he is.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would build a great wall and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.

Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody.

I will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and we won't be using a man like Secretary Kerry that has absolutely no concept of negotiation, whose making a horrible and laughable deal, and then goes into a bicycle race at 72 years old and falls and breaks his leg. I won't be doing that.


BURNETT: Dan, is this a giant expensive publicity stunt?

PFEIFFER: Look, publicity is like oxygen to Donald Trump. So, I'm confident that he's doing this for publicity. I mean, there is clearly a lack of self-awareness, but he's going to get more attention and he loves attention and it's going to come at a cost for serious Republican candidates, and that's bad for the Republican Party. Ben's right.

FERGUSON: It's narcissism. And the guy doesn't even I'm not even sure he knows what he's going to say when he goes out there. It's all reactionary when it comes down to it.

But there are real candidates that are at the bottom, lower half of these polls. Many of them are governors that are going to be trying to get in this and, you know what? They have great ideas, but when you have Donald Trump up there taking away from that, again, I think this may be the first time in a primary that you see every candidate work together to destroy Donald Trump as fast as they can and get him as far away from the stage as possible because they don't want him around.

It's bad for the party. It's bad for the election process. It's honestly an embarrassment and I think you're going to see a lot of these guys that may not get along on stage with one another after the fact, totally work together to destroy him early on.

BURNETT: Well, I have to say, I found something on which you two ardently agree. So, I will take that as a win for this program.


BURNETT: Thanks very much to both of you.


PFEIFFER: Thank you, Erin.


BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, confirmed, a top al Qaeda leader killed by an American drone strike. Some are calling it the biggest blow to the terrorists since Osama bin Laden was killed. But is it?

And, a young mother stricken with a deadly flesh-eating bacteria. Her doctors have no idea how she got it.

[19:35:00] And her husband is my guest tonight.


BURNETT: Tonight, al Qaeda's second-in-command dead, a new leader named already. The U.S. government confirming today that Nasser al-Wuhayshi was killed in a drone strike. Now, the U.S. calls this a major blow to the terror group. Al-Wuhayshi is said to be responsible for the deaths of many westerners, including Americans. But already, a successor is in place, a man considered the, quote- unquote, "brains of the operation".

Is this kill a game-changer or not?

Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Today, the White House claimed a major blow to al Qaeda's most dangerous affiliate, "Wuhayshi's death removes an experienced terrorist leader," the White House statement read, "and brings us closer to degrading and ultimately defeating these groups."

One of al Qaeda's last heavyweights, Nasser al-Wuhayshi was a charismatic figure, adored by many of AQAP's fighters. And he was believed likely to one day take over al Qaeda from its current global chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Under his leadership, AQAP grew into a terror affiliate capable of planning sophisticated attacks abroad, including the underwear bomb designed to bring down a U.S. airliner.

[19:40:08] The plot to blow up planes with printer bombs, one that nearly succeeded, and attack on U.S. embassy on Yemen, and the Paris attack on "Charlie Hebdo" earlier this year.

Once bin Laden's personal secretary, the United States recognized al-Wuhayshi's significance in 2010, offering a reward of $10 million for information on his whereabouts. The same prize they put on the head of ISIS leader al Baghdadi. He was last seen in public with dozens of jihadists in a video released last year, telling the group, "We must eliminate the cross. The bearer of the cross is America."

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Wuhayshi was really the leading light of the al Qaeda network. He wasn't even 40 years old, but already he has established a really impressive jihadi track record.

SCIUTTO: AQAP acknowledged al-Wuhayshi's death in a video released today, and named AQAP's military commander Qassim al-Rimi as his successor. Most agree he's a formidable one.

CRUICKSHANK: Somebody who is seen as the brains behind the AQAP operation, somebody who played a key military and operational role in the group and not somebody to be underestimated.


BURNETT: And, you know, Jim, you talk about that replacement already, a formidable guy. You know, Stanley McChrystal, the general, recently told me -- go ahead, cut off the head of the snake, the snake won't die. You're going to get a whole more snake heads popping up immediately.

Does this kill really change the war on terror?

SCIUTTO: It's a change, but is it definitive? No.

I spoke to the head of the NGA. This is National Geospatial Agency. It's one of the intelligence agencies and their imagery helps lead to an assassination like this, where he said, listen, very powerful in terms of command and control, very powerful in terms of charisma, attracting supporters and recruits. They're going to be looking for disruption inside the organization following this.

But this is a group that replaces one with another. And we already see. The replacement is there. This replacement in some ways more brutal than the guy who was just killed. So, you know, these organizations survive these assassinations.

BURNETT: Incredible. The replacement in some ways more brutal than the man killed.

All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much.

SCIUTTO: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, an ex-marine, the mother of two, fighting for her life against a mysterious flesh-eating bacteria. Tonight, her husband is my guest next.

And Jeanne Moos with what could be a fried fast food nightmare.


[19:46:55] BURNETT: Tonight, a former marine, mother of two, is fighting for her life after being infected with a deadly flesh-eating bacteria. It started as a simple shoulder pain. But now, Cindy Martinez is facing multiple amputations and doctors have no idea how she got the infection.

She didn't go swimming in any kind of water, nothing. Some strains more than one-third of cases are fatal and I'm going to speak to Cindy's husband in just a moment.

But, first, Alina Machado is OUTFRONT with Cindy's story.


ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cindy Martinez, a Georgia mother of two, is fighting to recover from a potentially deadly infection and facing possible amputations after being infected with a flesh-eating bacteria.


MACHADO: Her husband unsure of how she got sick.

MARTINEZ: She didn't have any injury and when I initially at home when she was feeling the pain, I looked at where the pain was at and I didn't notice anything. That is what is, you know, troubling.

MACHADO: The CDC says a few hundred people are affected every year nationwide. Infections from the various strains of flesh-eating bacteria are rare but can be deadly.

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, VANDERBILT MEDICAL CENTER: These are very sneaky infections, and when we talk about pain being the leading symptoms, it's really pain beyond what you would think would be warranted.

MACHADO: According to the CDC, a majority of flesh-eating bacteria cases are found in the Gulf Coast region. In Florida so far this year, two people have died, after being exposed to the bacteria in warm coastal waters, where one of them strains, vibrio vulnificus, normally lives. The cases sparked a warning from the state health department, alerting beach goers with open wounds to avoid the water and wear protective clothes.

Dr. Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, says wounds are one way to get sick.

SCHAFFNER: The other is more subtle, because the bacteria sometimes can find their way under your skin without an obvious wound.

MACHADO: That seemed to be the case with Lana Kuykendall, who initially thought a bruise on her leg was a blood clot. Instead, the South Carolina woman who had just given birth to twins days earlier, underwent more than 20 surgical procedures as doctors tried to repair the damage done by the bacteria. She didn't need amputations but others aren't as fortunate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This just feels freeing, it's more like weight.

MACHADO: Amy Copeland lives with prosthetics after losing both hands, a leg and a foot in 2012, when the bacteria entered her body through a gash in her leg. The Georgia student told OUTFRONT she hopes her grueling recovery can be an inspiration to others.

AMY COPELAND: I think it's important to bring hope to those and give a voice to those who can't speak. So, I'm definitely willing to take on that role.

MACHADO: Copeland is reportedly looking forward to meeting Cindy Martinez and sharing some hope with her.

Alina Machado, CNN, Miami.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, Cindy's husband David Martinez.

And, David, thank you so much for being with us tonight.

MARTINEZ: Thank you for having me. [19:50:00] BURNETT: Impossible to understand what you're

enduring, what your wife is enduring. I know that she is fully aware of everything happening at this time.

How is she?

MARTINEZ: She's in good spirits. You know, it's been a long battle for her.

But over the last few days, maybe about the last week, she's finally been in a position where she can actually understand and be coherent as to what's going on. It's been hard because I had to explain everything to her.

About a week ago, I was having a conversation and asking her what she thought about what was going on. She told me she thought she was going home in a few days. That's when I knew I had to tell her everything -- what exactly occurred and how she almost lost her life and where we're at now and what's going to happen, or possibly happen in the future.

BURNETT: And I know when you talk about what might happen, she could be facing multiple amputations, which is simply impossible for anyone to imagine that it could happen to their family and, yet, it is -- it's happening to you. Is there still hope that that might happen? When will you -- when will you know what you and Cindy are facing?

MARTINEZ: Well, there's no exact time frame right now. Unfortunately, we just have to wait and let time take its course and see what her body is actually going to -- you know, what's going to happen to her body in the next few days. It could be the next few weeks.

But, of course, there's been an onset already, as certain things are going to have to be amputated. You can tell without a doubt, you know, because of dry gangrene she has on her fingers and her toes. And again, the body in a sense kind of claim to see what's savable and what isn't.

BURNETT: How, David, do you think this happened? I mean, I know that a lot of people, when they get this, they get it from swimming or, you know, being in a stream or a lake. That's not what happened to her.


BURNETT: She didn't do anything like that. Do you have any idea how she could have gotten this infection?

MARTINEZ: We have no idea. We're just a normal, regular family doing day to day activities, just like everyone else. It's just going to and from work, picking up the kids from school, probably going grocery shopping, going outside and having fun with the kids.

So, again, it's nothing out of the ordinary that we did. So, that is the mystery. We don't know exactly how she got it. BURNETT: You have two young children, ages 2 and 5.


BURNETT: I know they're the center of their life and the center of hers, as you said. That was what her life was about. Right.


BURNETT: She worked and she was also a full-time at work and full-time mother.


BURNETT: They're 2 and 5. Do they understand what's happening at all?

MARTINEZ: They don't understand. All they know is mom hasn't been there for a while. And I explained to them that mom is still not going to be there for even a longer time. It's kind of hard for them to comprehend, but I can actually see, you know, the fear and them a little scared.

But I try to reassure them, and, of course, I read them their children's bible and tell them to have faith and believe in God. But I also incorporate them into the activities. Let them know when mom comes home, there are certain things we may have to help her with, you know? I want them to participate and feel that know they can do the right thing and we can overcome this as a family.

BURNETT: Well, we all -- I know faith is so important to you and everyone watching this program is going to be thinking of you, wishing for you, praying for you and for her that --

MARTINEZ: Thank you.

BURNETT: -- that she gets better. Hopefully, it's minimal, and she can come home and go back to that wonderful life you've felt together. David, thank you.

MARTINEZ: Right. Thank you. I appreciate you.

BURNETT: And Jeanne Moos is OUTFRONT next.


BURNETT: It's something you joke about but never think will happen. You go to a restaurant and get served what looks like a rat. That's one customer's story.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A fast food chain has taken a licking for its finger licking good chicken shaped like a rat. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very hard and rubbery.

MOOS: California security guard Devorise Dickson says he bought a three-piece box of tenders at a KFC in L.A. On "The Randy Economy Radio Show", he described taking a bite.

DEVORISE DIXON, FAST FOOD DINER: It was nasty. I spit it out. I realized it was in the shape of a rat with a tail and everything in it.

MOOS: Dixon posted photos on his Facebook page and put the tender in the freezer. He says he returned to the restaurant with photos and his receipt.

DIXON: The manager freaked out to confirm it was a rat. She apologized for it. They actually just offered me a free meal.

MOOS: Which he declined. He said he's lawyering up.

This is what a chicken tender tends to look like.

But shape alone is not enough to prove a chicken tender guilty of being a breaded rat. KFC says, "Our chicken tenders often vary in size and shape and we currently have no evidence to support Dixon's claim."

Reminds us of the flap over a bred chicken head that showed up amid McDonald's wings.

But in the case of the supposed rat -- the unanswered question, what's lurking under the breading?

We sure don't know. Dixon isn't returning our messages.

So good.

KFC tells CNN, "We've made various attempts to contact him, but he's refusing to talk to us personally or through a lawyer, nor has he come forth with the chicken piece in question for verification," which KFC offered to have done free of charge at an independent lab.

Dixon claims that single bite affected his appetite.

DIXON: Nauseous, woozy, I can't eat.

MOOS: But amid this finger-lickin', finger pointing', heck if we know who is the chicken and who is the rat in this story.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: That looks more like a mouse.

Thanks for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to watch the show any time. "AC360" is next.