Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Saddam's Execution Imminent?; Harlem Celebrates James Brown; Interview With Donald Trump

Aired December 28, 2006 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: A major winter storm threatens holiday travel. It is more than just brewing; it is already starting to cause havoc for the country.

ANNOUNCER: Not again. Yep. Ready or not, here it comes again and again, just in time for make New Year's the wrong time to travel.

Final days -- new details about Saddam Hussein's date with the gallows and what happens then.

Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell, now it's nuclear.

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS: Well, Rosie is a loser. She has always been a loser. She's unattractive in every sense of the word.

ANNOUNCER: And that's not all he told us.

Plus: As the world says goodbye to the godfather of soul, hear from the star whose say he was our godfather, too.


ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Reporting tonight from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: Want to thank our viewers here in America and watching around the world right now on CNN International.

First Christmas, now New Year's -- call it deja vu or just plain wicked weather. Tonight, Denver is bracing for another blizzard, just days after digging out from the last week's major storm. It is already starting. You're looking at a live shot there of the leading edge of the storm.

By Saturday, the Mile High City could be more than three feet deep in snow. Here is the Broncos' football stadium. The Broncos have a game on Sunday. They are going to need a lot of snow plows.

Other parts of the state could be hit even worse. Then, it travels east and really makes a mess, all of which means another potentially travel nightmare on another holiday weekend all across the country. The airline cancellations, they have already begun.

CNN's Reynolds Wolf is standing by in Denver with the latest -- Reynolds.


Right now, snowfall rates are falling at well over an inch an hour. And we're expecting the possibility of anywhere from 10 to 20 inches of snowfall between now and midday tomorrow. We get a bit of break on Friday, then more snowfall, again, another 10 to 20 possible through Sunday, so, the potential of up to -- to 40 inches of snowfall total.

Right now, out at the airport, as you mentioned, we do have many, many cancellations, many delays. The airlines are urging customers to simply go to Web sites or the 800 numbers to get the latest information.

I will tell you, people across Denver are bracing for this. They're getting ready for it. But this storm is affecting, as you mentioned, far more people than just people in the Mile High City.

In fact, take a look at this video. This video takes you to Pine, Arizona, not from far Flagstaff, where the snow has been falling. We have seen snow from Pine, Arizona, back across the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, into New Mexico, where snow advisories remain in effect in both states.

Now, we are going to take you from there over to Lake Sammamish, Washington, where they have seen a -- a touch of winter weather there as well. That little blip over there in Lake Sammamish will eventually affect parts of the Central Rockies, as we get deeper into the weekend.

And, we take a look at the weather map, we're going to fast- forward ahead into Friday, and you are going to see wide, far-reaching effects that this system is going to have on many parts of the country. In fact, we can expect snow advisories to be scattered throughout the Northern Plains, the Dakotas, possibly heavy rainfall, severe storms across the central and southern Plains, possibly tornadoes as well.

And, as we get deeper into, say, Saturday, some places, especially along the Gulf Coast, could be dealing with heavy rainfall, maybe even New Orleans. Flash flooding is certainly not out of the question. So, again, as I mentioned, it's going to mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but, here in the Mile High City of Denver, it's all snow biz.

COOPER: A lot of people trying to get home -- it's going to be a messy weekend.

Thanks very much, Reynolds.

We are going to be monitoring the storm throughout the night. But, right now, we turn to Iraq and breaking news. There are new indications tonight that Saddam Hussein's execution could take place within the next 48 hours. All the networks are chasing this story tonight. CNN has learned new details. And NBC News is reporting that the Iraqi government has put in a formal request for Saddam Hussein to be transferred into Iraqi custody. That is one of the final steps required before his execution.

CNN's Arwa Damon joins me now from Baghdad.

Arwa, what have you learned?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, administration officials have confirmed that Saddam Hussein is expected to be transferred to Iraqi authorities this weekend, bearing in mind the weekend in Iraq actually begins today, Friday.

What we do know is, we earlier also spoke with his chief defense attorney, Khalil Dulaimi. He spoke to us from Amman. He said that Saddam Hussein met with two defense lawyers in the Iraqi capital, where he's being held, at Camp Cropper, out near the Baghdad Airport.

He said that Iraq's former president appeared to be in high spirits. However, the defense team has not been notified of a timing as to when the execution is going to take place. And, according to Khalil Dulaimi, his family has not been notified either. Iraqi law does state that Saddam Hussein's family, that an individual on death row, their family needs to be notified of when an execution is going to take place.

However, the Iraqi government could very easily cite security concerns, and try to keep this entire event under wraps. In fact, what we are hearing is that the execution could take place, and we will not be notified until some time later. But all indications now are that Saddam Hussein is likely to be executed within the next 36 hours -- this all, of course, marking an end of an era in Iraqi history -- Anderson.

COOPER: It is a remarkable development.

Arwa, do we know at this point -- you said it might be done in total secrecy. I assume they are going to photograph it or videotape it. I don't want to get to -- to graphic or maudlin, but are they going to release that? Or do they want people to see him die?

DAMON: Well, Anderson, that actually has been a subject of debate amongst Iraqi government officials for quite some time now.

On the one hand, they do want this broadcast, either be it taped or broadcast live. They say that this will allow Iraqis to have closure, especially those who suffered most under Saddam Hussein's regime. More importantly, they say that it will prove to the Iraqi people that Saddam Hussein, the former dictator, Iraq's former strong man, is indeed dead, and that he will not be returning.

At the same time, though, there are some Iraqi officials who are concerned that, if this broadcast, if it is broadcast live, or even if it is broadcast taped, that will have this current Iraqi government viewed in the same brutal light, viewed as a brutal regime, in the same manner that Saddam Hussein's regime was.

So, the latest indication that we have from the Iraqi government is that this is still under debate. But, again, just recently, back in mid -- mid this month, mid-December, we did see other execution video that was broadcast.

COOPER: All right, Arwa, thanks very much. We will continue to follow the story very closely.

Now, whenever -- as Arwa mentioned, whenever Saddam Hussein's execution happens, this much is clear. It is unlikely to stop the violence now consuming Iraq.

With that, here is CNN's Ryan Chilcote.


RYAN CHILCOTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Iraq awaits the execution of Saddam Hussein, the violence continues.

In just 24 hours in the Iraqi capital, a double bombing at a second-hand clothes market kills at least seven, and sends dozens more to the hospital. Another roadside bomb at a gas station kills at least 10 and wounds at least two dozen -- a mortar attack on a mostly Shiite neighborhood in the Iraqi capital, killing and wounding more innocent bystanders, among them a child.

And attacks on American troops continue. December has been the second deadliest month this year for U.S. forces, the fifth deadliest since the beginning of the war.

(on camera): Will executing Saddam lead to a more peaceful Iraq? The government hopes it will by demoralizing his supporters into giving up their fight.

(voice-over): Mussab al-Zawbay is a Baathist from Saddam's party. He asked that we not show his face for his own protection. He predicts the violence will increase and it will only get worse for the Americans.

MUSSAB AL-ZAWBAY, BAATH PARTY MEMBER (through translator): They will not be able to walk the streets anymore, just like the first Fallujah battle. It will happen again. Saddam is great man. They will lose, we will lose, the whole world will lose if Saddam dies.

CHILCOTE: Many loyalists say that the fight has been going on without Saddam since he was captured more than three years ago, and will continue after his death.

But Saddam's supporters only make up one part of the insurgency. In Baquba, some extremists who want to build an Islamic state in Iraq took to streets in a show of force. For them, Saddam never mattered. The chaos will continue, and only a complete American withdrawal will do.

Ryan Chilcote, CNN, Baghdad.


COOPER: Well, again, the precise timing of Saddam's execution may be a mystery tonight, but we know about this much. When the time comes, the former dictator is indeed going to be hanged. A noose will be placed around his neck. A short time later, the dictator, convicted in the killing of 148 Iraqis, will himself be dead.

With a look of exactly how it will happen, CNN's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This what is Iraq's government calls the death chamber. Soon, Saddam Hussein will be here to meet the same fate as these men. This is what his final moments will look like. But we wanted to know what hanging will feel like.

(on camera): Will Saddam suffer in death?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: He certainly will suffer up to the point of hanging. Whether he will suffer during the hanging itself is a question that nobody knows the answer to. My suspicion is that there is no consciousness when a person is hung.

KAYE: We have our hanging victim right here. Once the noose tightens, what is the very first thing?

KOBILINSKY: Well, two of the cervical vertebrae will break. And the spinal cord will become severed. The body will go into immediate paralysis.

KAYE (voice-over): Forensic scientist Larry Kobilinsky says paralysis is what protects a person being hanged from feeling pain. Also, the trauma from the severing of the spinal cord makes the brain go haywire, Kobilinsky says, so the body doesn't even recognize pain.

KOBILINSKY: When you have this chaotic flow of energy in the brain, I don't see how there can be a consciousness.

KAYE: Hanging has been used for centuries, dating back 2,500 years to the Persian Empire. Today, it is still used in many Middle Eastern countries. In the United States, New Hampshire and the state of Washington still allow prisoners to be hanged.

WESTLEY DODD, CONVICTED MURDERER: Hanging, that's the way I am going to go. I am going to hang.

KAYE: Serial child killer Westley Dodd was executed by hanging in Washington back in 1993. He told CNN he wanted to hang because that's how he killed one of his victims. The last hanging in the U.S. came three years after Dodd, in 1996, when convicted murderer Bill Bailey was hanged in Delaware. The outdoor gallows used in that execution were later torn down.

(on camera): Once the vertebrae is broken, what would be the next thing to happen to the body?

KOBILINSKY: Well, the next thing is the compression of the major blood vessels that feed the neck and supply oxygen to the brain. Those blood vessels are compressed. We're talking about the jugular vein and the deeper carotid artery. When you compress these blood vessels, there is no longer any supply of oxygen to the brain.

KAYE (voice-over): At three minutes, the brain will be dead from insufficient oxygen.

(on camera): With such a tight noose, three minutes seems like a very long time to actually cut off somebody's air.

KOBILINSKY: Well, it's a matter of the brain going into a -- a certain mode, where it tries to conserve energy and use whatever oxygen is available as efficiently as possible.

KAYE (voice-over): When the brain runs out of oxygen, the person will be declared dead, even though the heart may beat for another 10 minutes


COOPER: This may be a dumb question. Why a hood? They often put a hood over people?

KAYE: Well, according to Dr. Kobilinsky, who we talked with today, who you just saw in our story, he said, under that hood, there would certainly be a grimace. The -- the -- the face would actually contract. The muscles would contract, which is an automatic reflex from the noose and not being able to breathe.

He said that there are -- are also reports of hemorrhaging or bleeding into the white parts of the eyes. But he set us straight on that today. He said that doesn't happen, because, actually, the arteries and the veins, they are shut down. They are closed down right here, so the blood isn't actually supplying any pressure to the brain, or even into the eyes. So, you wouldn't actually see any of that.

COOPER: So, it seems to be more for people who are witnessing it, less than...

KAYE: He thinks it's -- right. He thinks it's actually either just part of the tradition or just to disguise what is, I'm sure, a very horrible, very disturbing face under that hood.

COOPER: All right. Randi Kaye, appreciate it. Thanks.

KAYE: Mmm-hmm.

COOPER: Tonight, President Bush is preparing to lead the country in mourning for former President Gerald Ford, but he has also just gotten a stinging rebuke from the late commander in chief -- coming up, some newly released tapes, Gerald Ford sounding off about the Iraq war.

We will also take you to Harlem, where James Brown's final appearance drew thousands to the Apollo Theater.

And take a look at this.


TRUMP: Rosie has been pulling the wool over people's eyes for a long time. She's a stone-cold loser. What she is, is a bully.


COOPER: Donald Trump, Rosie O'Donnell, they are at it again. You have got to hear the latest. And you will -- my one on one with the Donald here on 360 -- coming up.


COOPER: Well, a Marine was killed today in Iraq's Anbar Province, bringing the number of U.S. military fatalities to 100 for the month and 2,989 for the war.

Meantime, President Bush and his national security team met today at the ranch in Crawford -- the president saying they were making good progress on a new strategy for Iraq. He called success vital. An American failure, he said, would give terrorists a safe haven from which to plan new attacks on the United States -- nothing new there.

And, in Washington, a bombshell on Iraq, literally from beyond the grave -- what the late Gerald Ford said to the journalist who had a leading role in bringing down his old boss, Richard Nixon, a story that could only be told now.

Here is CNN's Brian Todd.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nearly two-and-a- half years before his death, Gerald Ford cut a deal with Washington's most powerful journalist. He told Bob Woodward of "The Washington Post," You cannot print what I'm saying until after my death," understandable concern, given Ford's comments about his fellow Republicans in the White House, including two of his former aides and the war they started.


GERALD FORD, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Rumsfeld, Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction.

(END AUDIO CLIP) TODD: During the July 2004 interview, Ford tells Bob Woodward he wouldn't have ordered the invasion, would have tried sanctions or other means.


BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": The body language was one of consternation, unease. Here is this very seasoned, experienced politician. And he -- he just did not buy the Iraq war.


TODD: But Ford has a broader problem with Bush's foreign policy.


FORD: And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security.


TODD (on camera): In that interview, Ford, the very symbol of a moderate Republican, also wondered aloud about a perceived ideological shift by a man who once worked by his side in the Oval Office.

(voice-over): Dick Cheney, he says, was a first-class chief of staff, "but I think Cheney has become more pugnacious" as vice president.

Neither Cheney's office, nor a White House spokeswoman, would comment on Ford's criticism.

But CNN contributor and fellow conservative William Bennett is disappointed.

BILL BENNETT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You -- you put the bomb in the tape recorder, and it goes off after he's out of -- out of reach. I think that was a departure from the normal Jerry Ford that -- that we know.

TODD: Still, one historian says, the release of this after Ford's death carries what he calls tremendous gravity, because presidents have historically been hesitant to criticize their successors, unless they felt a compelling need.

RICHARD SHENKMAN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Harry Truman criticized President Eisenhower. You had Jimmy Carter criticizing president after president. This is a rule that is almost made to be broken.

TODD: In his interview, Gerald Ford also let go on Henry Kissinger, saying of the former secretary of state -- quote -- "He had the thinnest skin of any public figure I ever knew."

A Kissinger aide said he's out of country and would not comment on Ford's remarks.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, from the serious to the surreal, you might say -- on her blog, Rosie O'Donnell just posted another blast at Donald Trump. Actually, it's a poem with a pretty inflammatory comparison. The Donald, well, he is not amused.


COOPER: Do you think she's calling you a pimp?

TRUMP: Well, she certainly is. And she shouldn't do that, because that could cost her a lot of money.


COOPER: Coming up, Donald Trump vs. Rosie O'Donnell, round two. Or is it round three? Or is it round seven? I'm -- I'm not sure. I lost count. No matter -- you won't want to miss it, my conversation with Donald Trump, next on 360.



TRUMP: Probably, I will sue her, because it would be fun. I would like to take some money out of her fat-ass pockets.



ROSIE O'DONNELL, CO-HOST: Frankly, here's my comment to him.



COOPER: Well, that was round two, sort of, the feud the country is still talking about.

What began with a few snarky comments quickly turned nasty, exploding into a -- well, an all-out war of words between two big celebrities. There was a cease-fire, of course, over Christmas.

But, in the last two days, a new round has begun, when Rosie posted a poem on her blog. And, well, the nastiness is only growing.

Earlier today, I talked to Donald Trump about the prospect of a truce. We will have that interview in a moment.

But, first, how we got here, in all of its ugly brilliance.


COOPER (voice-over): It started with an act of forgiveness: Donald Trump, last week, deciding not to strip Miss USA, Tara Conner, of her crown, after she had been caught underage-drinking.

TARA CONNER, MISS USA: Mr. Trump, I want to thank you.

COOPER: Rosie O'Donnell wasn't buying it. From her perch on ABC's "The View," she fired the first volley.


O'DONNELL: He's the moral authority. Left the first wife, had an affair, left the second wife...


O'DONNELL: ... had an affair, had kids both times. But he's the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America.



O'DONNELL: Donald, sit and spin, my friend.



COOPER: That didn't sit well with Donald Trump. Nor did her allegations about him filing for Chapter 11. He fired back and threatened to hit her where it hurts, the wallet.


TRUMP: So, probably, I will sue her, because it would be fun. I would like to take some money out of her fat-ass pockets.


COOPER: The next day, Rosie didn't seem to take the bait. She remained mostly mum on the subject.


O'DONNELL: Well, here is my comment to him.



COOPER: But Trump wasn't done. He went on CNN's "LARRY KING" that night, and continued firing away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE") TRUMP: The best thing Rosie has going is her girlfriend, Kelli. Now, if Kelli ever leaves Rosie, she will never find another one, believe me, because who is going to want Rosie? How would you like to have to kiss that good night, Larry? That would not be for you.


COOPER: And it seemed that was that.

But, on Wednesday, Rosie took to her blog, penning a poem, which doesn't mention Trump by name, but doesn't need to.

"A young girl in New York," she writes, "meets a pimp. He cons her into a life of illusion. She works for him. No fun. No (EXPLETIVE DELETED), no future. She is owned. When she sneaks out to party the night away, he freaks. He roughs her up a bit, shames her in front of the others, teaches her to behave, for his own benefit."

Not to let Rosie get the last word, Donald Trump used today's "New York Post" to call her a mental midget.

Now the fight that was in danger of dying out is back on, but for how long?

KATRINA SZISH, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "US WEEKLY": This feud has to end soon, because these two are treading a fine line. The public is fascinated with this feud, but, very quickly, the public is going to get annoyed with this feud. And there really isn't much more to talk about. The major mudslinging has been done. I think, with the new year, they are going to have to move on. And I think the Donald is going to be the one to sort of patronizingly say: I have had enough of -- enough of this. I'm done.


COOPER: Not much more to talk about? Au contraire, mon frere.

To say no love has been lost between these two, well, that is putting it mildly. Glad tidings and holiday cheer have not made a dent in this feud.

That much was clear when I talked to Donald Trump earlier today.


COOPER: So, what happened?

It seemed like there was a Christmas cease-fire. Then, all of a sudden, Rosie writes this poem on her blog. Did it surprise you that -- that she would continue the fight?

TRUMP: Well, you know, Anderson, Rosie is a loser. There's no question about that. People know it. People that know her know it. And I assumed that it was over.

She got beaten up pretty badly. And then she wrote a blog. Now, she didn't mention my name at all, because she's gutless. But she's a -- a person that, frankly, Barbara Walters, you know, she resurrected her. And I will tell you this. Barbara's not thrilled about it, because I spoke with Barbara. Barbara is not a fan of Rosie. That, I can tell you. Now, I don't think...

COOPER: But -- but, publicly, she's...

TRUMP: Now, I don't think Barbara is going to admit that.

COOPER: Yes, publicly, she...

TRUMP: But Barbara is not a fan of Rosie.

COOPER: Publicly, Barbara Walters has -- has put out a statement, basically saying that she's a friend of yours, but that she -- she likes having Rosie on "The View."

You -- you think that's not the case?

TRUMP: Well, what else is she going to say?

And Rosie will fail with "The View," just like she has failed with everything else. In all fairness, Rosie got thrown off the air with her other show, because she got poor ratings.

And you are doing very well in your ratings, so, congratulations.

But Rosie's ratings were not good. And then she had a magazine, which was a total catastrophe. In fact, a rising star, the head of that whole publishing company, ended up losing his job over "Rosie," the magazine. It was a total failure.

So, Rosie was down and out, and Barbara resurrected her, at least for a little while. But Rosie will fail. I mean, Rosie has got a death wish. She is -- is not a smart person. I know Rosie. This is not a woman with intellect.

COOPER: What do you mean she's got a death wish?

TRUMP: Excuse me?

COOPER: What do you mean she's got a death wish?

TRUMP: Well, I think she's got a death wish. I think Rosie will fail at whatever she does, because, ultimately, she's got a death wish. That's my -- that's my theory on Rosie.

COOPER: You are probably not a big reader of her blog, but I just want to read a poem, or part of a poem, that she put on, which has sort of sparked this all up again.

She sort of compares you to -- to a pimp. She says: "Remember the '70s. A young girl in New York City meets a pimp. He cons her into a life of illusion. She works for him."

Do you think she's calling you a pimp? TRUMP: Well, she certainly is. And she shouldn't be doing That's right. , because that could cost her a lot of money.

But the fact is that what I did and how this all started is, I own the Miss USA Pageant and the Miss Universe Pageant.

The Miss USA has had problems. Rather than getting rid of her, which a lot of people, frankly, wanted me to do, including Rosie, I gave her a second chance. She's right now in rehab. And I gave her a second chance.

So, instead of saying to this young woman, who is in the very formative years, I said: Hey, I'm going to give you -- life is about second chances. I'm going to give you a second chance.

Rosie went crazy. Now, I guarantee you, Rosie would have given her a second chance, but for other reasons. Rosie went crazy. And this is how it all started. It is totally ridiculous. But I really think Rosie has some real problems.

COOPER: I want to play for -- for the one or two people on the planet who didn't see this, or haven't seen it subsequently, what Rosie originally said after the Tara Conner press conference.

Here -- here what is she said on "The View."


O'DONNELL: He's the moral authority. Left the first wife, had an affair, left the second wife...


O'DONNELL: ... had an affair, had kids both times. But he's the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America.



COOPER: Was it -- was it that comment or was it her -- her false allegations that you have declared bankruptcy multiple times?

TRUMP: Well, you know, it's sort of interesting. I never declared bankruptcy. And, like everybody else in the early '90s, I had difficulty. But I never went bankrupt. She said I did.

I'm on the cover last month of the Forbes 400. I'm the cover boy of the Forbes 400 rich list. And I don't care about that, except it just shows what a liar she is.

She said I went bankrupt. She talks about moral -- and which was false -- she talks about moral compass. I mean, look at Rosie. Look at where she comes.

Have you ever seen her comedy act, which is, by the way, terrible? I was at one of her comedy acts. And most of the people left because she was so disgusting, not funny, and disgusting.

So, you know, Rosie shouldn't be talking. I mean, the one I feel sorry for in the whole thing is her girlfriend, Kelli. Anybody that has to kiss Rosie, I feel very sorry for.


COOPER: So -- all right. So, this is all fun, in a perverse sort of way. But is it also just a big publicity stunt? Huh? What do you guys think?

I asked Donald Trump about that, coming up, and whether he would actually be willing to go on "The View" and shake hands with Rosie O'Donnell, and bury the hatchet in a friendly kind of way, not in a, you know, attacking kind of way. His answers are coming up on that.

And, then, today's remarkable sights and sounds in Harlem, in the Apollo Theater, where thousands came to bid farewell to James Brown.


COOPER: Ding, ding, ding, ding. Back to the feud that refuses to die, Rosie O'Donnell versus Donald Trump. There was a brief lull over the Christmas holiday, but both sides came out swinging this week.

On her blog, Rosie started it by firing some shots at Donald Trump and the beauty pageants that he operates, in the form of a poem. More of my conversation with Donald Trump. Here's part two of round three.


COOPER: Rosie, on -- in this new poem she's also very critical of beauty pageants, calling them -- I quote -- "where women were paraded around, judged valuable or not by an old white man"...

DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: If you looked like Rosie you'd be critical of beauty pageants, believe me. Rosie is a very unattractive woman, both inside and out. And as hard as it is to believe, inside is probably uglier than outside, and that's really saying something.

But you have to understand, I know Rosie. Rosie's a loser. Rosie's been pulling the wool over people's eyes for a long time. She is a stone cold loser. What she is is a bully. Rosie says a lot of negative things about a lot of people. Nobody -- they don't do anything about it. I did something about it.

Rosie is not a talented person, Anderson. And I think I've exposed that. I hope I have.

COOPER: How much of this is just for publicity, I mean, on her part, on your part?

TRUMP: On my behalf I will tell you nothing. "The Apprentice" comes on on January 7. The show, as you know, does very well, gets very high ratings. I don't need Rosie to help me with my ratings. She probably needs me to help her with her ratings. But I don't need Rosie to help me with my ratings.

COOPER: You're not really going to sue her, though? Most legal experts we've talked to say there's probably not that much of a case.

TRUMP: My lawyers are dying to do it. No, no, my lawyers -- Hey, Anderson, I'm a very rich guy. It doesn't matter.

COOPER: I've heard that.

TRUMP: Doesn't make a difference. I'm a very, very rich guy.

For Rosie to say I went bankrupt three times when I never went bankrupt at all. I never went bankrupt. And she said -- I mean, you're not allowed to do that.

For Rosie to call me a pimp. I'm a pimp. You know why I'm a pimp? Because I own a beauty pageant. That's why she says I'm a pimp. I'm a pimp, because unlike her, I gave a girl a second chance. That's why I'm a pimp. You're not allowed to make statements like that, Anderson.

COOPER: You've been really tough in some of your comments, I mean, saying she's a loser, commenting on her weight. Why attack so hard?

TRUMP: I'm not running for office. I don't have to be politically correct. I don't have to be a nice person. Like I watch some of these weak-kneed politicians, it's disgusting. I don't have to be that way.

Rosie is an unattractive person. Rosie is a very -- she's a slob. And you know, how she gets this girlfriend I don't know. But I look forward to the day that Kelli leaves her because Kelli, if you're listening, Kelli, and I'm sure you are, you can do much better.

COOPER: Is some sort of rapprochement between you two possible? Are we going to see you on "The View"?

TRUMP: Anderson, I have no interest in Rosie. Rosie is a stone cold loser, resurrected temporarily by Barbara Walters. She will fail. She may pull Barbara down with her, but she will fail. She'll go off. She'll do something that's so insane that -- I believe that Rosie has some serious mental problems. That's my feeling.

COOPER: Why do you think so many people find this fascinating? I mean, Maureen Dowd wrote about it in the "Times" this weekend.

TRUMP: Maureen Dowd is a great woman who does -- I think she's -- I've been reading her. She was very nice to me. And to be honest it started with a beauty pageant contestant. And frankly, she's a great beauty. Tara is a great beauty.

So you have beauty and then you have Rosie, the beast. You have beauty and the beast. So it works well. And then you have Trump, so it's like a good combination of events.

But the fact is that it started, very simply, without Rosie. She interjected herself into this. A very big story was the Miss USA story, whether or not she was going to be terminated.

And then the exact opposite of Miss USA in terms of looks, Rosie O'Donnell. You can't look worse than Rosie. She interjected herself into Miss USA, which is sort of hard to believe. And all of a sudden, it went from the Miss USA, which was the monster story of the week, to Rosie and Donald Trump, which became the monster story of the week.

So, you know, I don't know. She interjected herself in, but I finished it. I mean, I've exposed her for what she is. She's a bully. She's a woman with not a lot going for her. And you know, the one thing I respect about Rosie, if you have that little going for you, to be even moderately successful like she is, is hard to believe. I give her credit for that.

COOPER: Would you go on "The View" and shake hands with her?

TRUMP: No, I don't want to go on "The View". I've been on "The View" many times. It's frankly not a show that does very good ratings. I mean, unfortunately, the only problem I have is I'd bring up the ratings of "The View". This whole thing brings up the ratings of "The View". I have no intention of going on "The View". Why would I go on "The View"?

COOPER: Good question. I think we'll leave it there. Donald Trump, appreciate talking to you.

TRUMP: Have a good time, Anderson.

COOPER: Have a great new year's.


COOPER: Well, obviously, oddly fascinated by this dust-up. We believe in talking to people on all sides of an issue. We wanted to talk with Rosie O'Donnell. We asked her to come on the program or call in tonight, but she declined when we asked for her response to Trump's latest remark, her spokesperson directed us to Rosie's blog, saying that it stands on its own.

That said, Rosie has an open invitation to come on 360 any time to give her side of the story.

Moving on now, James Brown made his debut at the Apollo theater in Harlem way back in 1956. Today, look at those crowds. Thousands waited in line to see the Godfather of Soul one last time. A good-bye for the ages and the history books. That's next on 360.

And coming up in our next hour, the most unforgettable stories of 2006.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Whenever James Brown played the Apollo up in Harlem he blew the roof off the joint. He'll never do it again. But today, at the venue that every African-American performer once dreamed of playing, James Brown quietly brought the house down one last time.

More now from CNN's Carol Costello.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): With all the pomp and pageantry of a royal funeral, horse-drawn carriage carrying the golden casket, thousands packing Harlem streets. Politicians, celebrities and mourners joined together to say good-bye to the man they say epitomized the slogan "I'm black and I'm proud."

The Reverend Al Sharpton spoke about the man he considered his mentor.

REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: He became a superstar on his own terms and he made you respect us. That's why we respect him.

COSTELLO: His partner nearly collapsed, his grandson wept after seeing Brown's body on display. Fans say his message was deeply personal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It wasn't a time when you was proud to be black, and there was color. I didn't know how to define myself. And that was the first time I heard something like that, and it made me feel good, made me feel proud.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still today, I can say I'm black and I'm proud, thanks to James Brown. I'm still black and I'm proud.

COSTELLO: James Brown, born in poverty, became one of most influential black musicians of the century.

Today, he returned to his musical roots, the Apollo Theater, where he made his debut in 1956 and secured his spot in history as the godfather of glitz, glamour and raw soul.

SHARPTON: James Brown shines for us, that never had anybody shine for them.

COSTELLO: Diehard fans waited for hours for the chance to pay their respects to the fast footed legend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody can outperform him, in this age of technology and everything. He did it without technology and still was bigger than all the stars today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's No. 1, always be No. 1 and there will never be another one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He brought a lot of good to the world, to everyone's heart. And of course, music is the kind of thing that transcends politics and religion. It's just basic human enjoyment. COSTELLO: His children and relatives took to the stage in his honor, a fitting tribute, it would seem, to a man many Americans considered royalty.

Carol Costello, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Someone once said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture; words don't quite measure up. But inasmuch as you can use words to describe what James Brown did, when he discovered that you could turn the entire band into one big rhythm nation. James Brown was an innovator.

He was also an influencer, to musicians, to listeners, to people who dance about poetry and people who just plain dance.


COOPER (voice-over): He was the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite, the hardest working man in show business, but when you met him in person, he insisted on being called simply, Mr. Brown, a small sign of respect for the man who dramatically changed the sound of American popular music.

Brown said his music was a statement of race, a force of stature, of stride, the perfect marching music to the mood of America.

JOE LEVY, MANAGING EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE": He emphasized the African in African-American music, and he created music unlike anyone had heard before. This is music that continues to have impact today.

You continue to hear that funk sound, that dry, brittle sound, in hip-hop. You continue to hear it in all dance-based music. He wrote the book on rhythm in the late 20th century.

COOPER: And his rhythm was all his own, more driven by beat than by lyrics, a departure from what was at that point considered the norm. Brown created the mold for funk, for R&B and the foundation for hip-hop and rap.

But it was more than just his music. It was his passion, his energy, that demanded audiences' attention and other performer's' adulation.

LEVY: And you can see his impact on performers like Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson and Prince. Merely just the greatest performers that rock 'n' roll has seen.

COOPER: James Brown's riffs were so unique, so infectious, he's said to be the most sampled man in music history. His music the baseline used by other performers in hundreds of songs today.

LEVY: Public Enemy, LL Cool J, some of their greatest hits are James Brown songs. COOPER: Brown's popularity skyrocketed in a time of political and social strife, but his music was not just about rebellion. Brown said it was the rebellion itself.

CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, MUSIC CRITIC, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": James Brown provided a soundtrack for the civil rights era. He provided the kind of music that fit the kind of messages that civil rights workers and civil rights leaders wanted to get across.

COOPER: He influenced people with not only his music but his actions. Brown supported the troops in Vietnam, helped elevate presidential profiles and calmed combustible crowds during the 1960s.

FARLEY: When Martin Luther King passed he went on TV and said, "OK, calm down. Don't take this out on your own community. He summoned, really uplifted the black community with his music, with his message, with his life.

COOPER: This one small man, this self-described napoleon of the stage helped ignite a cultural, musical and social revolution. A revolution that continues on even after his death.

Up next, another chart topper who says James Brown was like a godfather to him, Bob Seger. A break first. You're watching 360.


COOPER: The procession this morning for James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, who picked up a lot of self-adopted godchildren along the way. One of them was Bob Seger. He of the "Night Moves" and the Silver Bullet Band and the new album, titled "Face the Promise". We spoke earlier today.


COOPER: What -- what made him different?

BOB SEGER, MUSICIAN: Energy. You know, the way he danced. He was like kind of forerunner of Prince and Michael Jackson. He was a great dancer. But you know, a fantastic singer. We all owned the album "James Brown Live at the Apollo" and listened to that in high school.

COOPER: Yes. You've called that album your favorite album of all time. Why?

SEGER: Kind of like was the basis of what I wanted to be. You know, a great live performer, nothing like James Brown, but in my own way, you know? And I sang a lot like him. I tried to. When we would play nightclub gigs and stuff like that, we'd do a lot of James Brown gigs, and I was always the one that sang them.

COOPER: It's also amazing when you think about James Brown's influence on all sorts of genres of music. I mean, soul, obviously, funk, hip-hop, rap, R&B. He really is at the core of all of this. SEGER: He was so ahead of his time, you know. He was doing talk type narrative songs, you know, so -- so far ahead of rap and hip-hop and everything. They didn't call him the Godfather of Soul for nothing, you know.

I loved all types R&B. I liked Motown, but I always gravitated personally to the real heavy stuff. And to me the heavy stuff, the big beat, the great rhythmic stuff was James Brown.

COOPER: Did you ever try to sort of imitate James Brown on stage?

SEGER: No, but I used to be able to do that dance where he moved his feet like this, kind of. I learned that and just because I was such a fan. I learned how to do it.

COOPER: The energy, I mean, some of the old clips I've seen of him back in the day were just -- it's extraordinary. He had this sort of potency that kind of burst forth from him.

SEGER: It's all really, really high energy powerful in the '50s, '55, '56, '57. And that's when James Brown was also, you know, cutting his teeth in the south. And he wasn't the big record seller, but he was the big performer, if you know what I mean.

People knew him from his performances, kind of like when I first saw Prince. He was known as a great performer first, and then he became like a radio, you know, and video and everything else star. But he started out being a great performer. There's a great parallel there, I think, between Prince and James Brown and then later on Michael Jackson.

COOPER: Bob, it's a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks for coming on.

SEGER: Thank you, Anderson.


COOPER: Bob Seger.

In a moment, a bizarre end to a would-be carjacking. That's "The Shot of the Day". You won't believe what happened to the perp. But first, Randi Kaye with a "360 Bulletin" -- Randi.


The body found yesterday on a mountain in China's Szechwan province has now been identified. It is that of missing American climber Charlie Fowler. It appears that he was caught up in an avalanche. Fowler and fellow climber Christine Boskoff were last seen in November. She is yet to be located, dead or alive.

Four New Orleans police officers were indicted today on first degree murder charges and three for attempted murder for their role in a shootout in post-Katrina chaos. It happened on the Danzinger Bridge.

A police report says they were answering a call of officers down when they came upon a group of people who opened fire on them. When it was all over, four people were wounded, two dead, including a mentally retarded man.

The Food and Drug Administration has given preliminary approval to milk and meat from certain cloned animals. The agency says it will probably not mandate special labeling for the food. Final approval could come in about a year.

And come Monday, there will be almost 2.9 million more people in the U.S. since the last count. The Census Bureau says the country's population as of January 1 will be almost 300.9 billion.

And Anderson, think of how many of those people will be with you on Times Square on New Year's Eve.

COOPER: That's true; there will be many of them. We'll talk about that a little bit later on.

Randi, thanks.

It's time now for "The Shot of the Day". An attempted carjacking in Florida went terribly wrong for the perpetrator. All of it caught on tape. Police say that Tyrone Davis -- you can kind of see him there hanging on the car -- he tried to take a 76-year-old woman's car in Titusville yesterday.

The driver hit the gas, unaware that Davis was still hanging onto the car. Police gave chase when they saw him dragging. The driver finally pulled over.

The would-be carjacker is now behind bars. He faces a number of charges and has also given a traffic ticket for, get this, riding on the outside of a vehicle. They clearly have a sense of humor there in Titusville.

One of our missions on 360 is holding people in power accountable. It's a segment we call "Keeping Them Honest". But we're not doing it alone. We ask viewers to be sending in examples of people who are fighting that same fight in their own communities.

We've got a lot of submissions. We're sharing some on the stories we've gotten on our web site, Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people united will never be defeated.

COOPER: Tonya Harris is "Keeping Them Honest" in New Orleans. While Hurricane Katrina took away so much, Harris is fighting to get it all back. Her mission: help rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward.

Attorney Richard Bernstein has made it his personal crusade to keep the city of Detroit honest. Bernstein is blind, but living with a disability never stopped him. He fought to make sure the disabled in his hometown have equal access to public transportation.

Filmmaker Ian Inabra (ph) is keeping them honest with his camera.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then you can just kind of pan across and get stable shots.

COOPER: Inabra (ph) founded the group Video the Vote and recruits volunteers to monitor polling stations and document election irregularities.

And 14-year-old Sydney Mercer (ph) is keeping them honest after a potentially life-threatening experience. A Type I diabetic, Mercer's (ph) insulin was damaged by an airport X-ray machine. She took on the Transportation Security Administration and helped change the way insulin is handled at airport security.


COOPER: Four remarkable people. You can go to our web site,, for the link. You can watch the full stories about those people and actually vote for who you think has made the biggest impact in their communities. Then watch on New Year's Eve during our live coverage from Times Square. The winner is going to be my guest right there in Times Square and join us live on the program.

Coming up next tonight, from Warren Jeffs to Kim Jong-Il, to James Frey, Sago mine to Kiryat Shmona, unforgettable people, places and stories. A 360 special next.


COOPER: Good evening, everyone. Unforgettable is a powerful word, and these were powerful stories. They not only made news; they changed lives.


ANNOUNCER: The slide to civil war and the message that seems to miss the point.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're winning, and we will win.

ANNOUNCER: Thirty-four deadly days. Israel and Hezbollah at war. Civilians caught in between.

COOPER: There have been reportedly more than 100 Katyusha rockets that are falling in Northern Israel so far today.

ANNOUNCER: War and politics. A midterm message to the president and Congress.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER-ELECT OF THE HOUSE: Tonight is a great victory for the American people.

ANNOUNCER: Twelve trapped miners and the miracle that was just a mirage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's one survivor. That's it.

ANNOUNCER: From rehab to prison. A year of shame, including a Florida congressman's fall from grace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mark is contrite, remorseful, and devastated.

ANNOUNCER: A fugitive polygamist caught and the secretive world of child brides now on trial.

Across the country and around the world, this is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360. Reporting tonight from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: We want to welcome our American viewers and everyone watching around the world on CNN international.

The year that's about to end was extraordinary in many ways, both large and small.