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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

President Obama to Announce Afghanistan Plan; President Obama's Position on Gay Marriage?

Aired June 21, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.

Tonight: New York lawmakers now are just one vote away from legalizing same-sex marriage. President Obama is heading to New York later this week for a fund-raising event with members of the gay community. But new questions are being raised about what the president actually believes about gay marriage and whether his public opposition to it is real or just political posturing.

Tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest."

In 1996, when he was a college professor running for Illinois' state Senate from a wealthy liberal Chicago neighborhood, Barack Obama answered a question in a local paper called "Outlines." He checked a box negligence to the sentence "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.

Well, it seems pretty clear-cut, doesn't it? But once he was actually in office, his position suddenly and inexplicably began to change. In 1998, responding to an Illinois State legislative national political awareness test, here is how he responded to the question, do you believe that the Illinois government should recognize same-sex marriages? His answer, "Undecided."

By 2004, on the verge of his campaign for national office to the United States Senate, Mr. Obama was telling "The Windy City Times" that he supported civil unions, saying -- quote -- "I think that marriage, in the minds of a lot of voters, has a religious connotation. I know that's true in the African-American community."

Then, four years later, running for president, appearing at the Saddleback megachurch in Southern California, talking with Pastor Rick Warren, he said quite plainly he was against same-sex marriage.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.


OBAMA: Now, for me, as a Christian...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) OBAMA: For me as a Christian, it's also a sacred union. God's in the mix.


OBAMA: But...

PASTOR RICK WARREN, AUTHOR, "THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE": Would you support a constitutional amendment with that definition?

OBAMA: No, I would not.

WARREN: Why not?


OBAMA: Because -- because, historically -- because, historically, we have not defined marriage in our Constitution. It's been a matter of state law. That has been our tradition.

Now, let's break it down. The reason that people think there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because of the concern that -- about same-sex marriage.

I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage. But I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not -- that for gay partners to want to visit each other in a hospital, for the state to say, you know what, that's all right, I don't think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are.

I think my faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that I can afford those civil rights to others, even if I have a different perspective or a different view.


COOPER: So that's the chronology. In 1996, he supported same- sex marriage and said he would fight for it -- 12 years later, running for president, he opposed it and says he still does, though he now says his position is evolving.

Hard to see how the president's position has changed so much. The only thing that has changed is his need for a wider audience to vote for him.

Now, in the last several days, the White House seems to have struggled with exactly what to say about the president's flip-flop over the years on gay marriage. At Netroots Nation last week, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer was asked about that 1996 questionnaire.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I have got his exact answer right here: "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriage." DAN PFEIFFER, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: If you actually go back and look that, questionnaire was actually filled out by someone else, not the president. There was a long debate about this in the campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it's a fake questionnaire?

PFEIFFER: Well, it's -- so what I will tell you is, the president's position has been consistent on this. But what he has said -- and it was...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So -- well, hold on a minute. You're saying that this is a fake questionnaire?

PFEIFFER: This was litigated in the campaign. There were a number of other issues in the campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I don't think it's actually been clarified. So, I would like to clarify it now. There are a lot of people here who are concerned about this issue. So the president has never favored same-sex marriage?

PFEIFFER: The president's position on gay marriage -- and I will say it -- is that he has been against it. But he has said that his -- that the country is evolving on this and he is evolving on it. And I will tell you -- and he has said why it is.

This is an answer he gave when some folks in this room were in the White House for a meeting with the president. And Joe Sudbay of American Blog asked the president about this. And the president said that -- he said it's clear the country is moving on this. It's evolving and he's evolving.


COOPER: So he seems to be saying the president didn't ever support same-sex marriage, denying the president signed that questionnaire, dodging whether he said what he said in it.

Yesterday, a reporter for "The Washington Blade" asked Press Secretary Jay Carney about that same questionnaire. And, as you will see, the answer, well, I guess you can say it is evolving as well.


QUESTION: Can you clarify whether or not the '96 survey was signed by Obama?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's my understanding that it was. What I think we clarified on Friday that the -- the -- that Dan was referring to another questionnaire.

QUESTION: Did the president in fact support same-sex marriage in 1996?

CARNEY: Once again, I -- what I know is what his position was during the campaign and what it is now, that he's been very clear about it. He was very clear in the campaign. He's very clear about the fact that his position, that he's -- that it's evolving. And I really don't have anything to add to it.


COOPER: So it's interesting. He admits the 1996 survey was signed by Barack Obama, but you will notice he avoids saying if the president believed what he said back then and avoids explaining why the president has apparently changed his position, or even why it's now evolving back to what it may have been 12 years ago.

I spoke about all of this a few moments ago with Democratic strategist Paul Begala and Cleve Jones, human rights activist, colleague of the late Harvey Milk, and founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.


COOPER: Paul, how is it possible that then Professor Obama said he's in favor of same-sex marriage, and now he's had this evolution to where he's now no longer in favor of it? It's got to just be politics.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, probably, it is. I don't like to criticize other people's motives.

But, at that time, his politics were all about winning a state Senate district from a very progressive part of Chicago, which is a progressive city. Then the politics changed. He became a young man on the move, Illinois a much different place than just his little district. And he then came out against it.

It is just politics. Now, I have to say, on this one, he's kind of behind the American people. He was way ahead of us, frankly, on health care, on the auto bailout, on any number of issues. But, on this one, he is a lagging politician, that we have a narrow majority of Americans who now support full equality in marriage for all Americans.

And I think the president's a little late to the part, frankly.

COOPER: It's interesting, Cleve, because people who are opposed to same-sex marriage point to President Obama and say, well, look, President Obama doesn't support it as well.

Do you believe he actually doesn't support it, or do you think this is just -- he made a political calculation of, you know what, I'm just going to say I don't support it, even though maybe I really do?

CLEVE JONES, GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Well, I think it's clearly a political calculation. And, sadly, I think it's the wrong one.

I think this president needs to reenergize his base. I support the president. I campaigned for him. I anticipate campaigning again. And I believe that the role that he and his advisers would wish me to play would be to be reenergizing the base.

And this is not the way to do it. He is definitely behind the curve. The evolution of the country on this issue is proceeding at a far more rapid rate than his own. So, I'm concerned about it. And this visit to New York, given the situation there right now, I think puts him in a very difficult position.

COOPER: You know, Paul, Democrats attack conservatives for being hypocritical on issues that they're hypocritical about. But I don't hear a lot of Democrats attacking their own president for hypocrisy.

The president is now saying, well, my opinion on this is evolving, which is clearly kind of a hint to people in the gay community, to people who do support same-sex marriage that maybe he will one day support it. I mean, is he trying to have it both ways?

BEGALA: Well, sure. All of us do, and certainly politicians no different from the rest of us.

I don't think it's hypocritical, though, at all. I do think there may be some -- who knows? I can't peer into his heart. There may be some authentic evolution here.

But Cleve makes a good point. He's a little late to this. And there is -- I know this...


COOPER: But how do you evolve from, I support it in '96, to I don't support it, to, oh, you know what, I'm thinking maybe I'm going to support it? It just doesn't logically make sense.

JONES: He seems to be evolving backwards. And that is of concern.


BEGALA: Sort of devolution.

But, no, but, also, look, the politics did change. But here's the politics he needs to worry about. Were I advising him, I would say, Mr. President, you got 73 percent of the gay vote when you ran in 2008. Now, that was less than John Kerry got. John Kerry got 77. It's the only real heart of our base where you did less well than John Kerry, at least that I came across.

And so -- and, by the way, two years later, in 2008, the Democrats -- in 2010, rather -- only got 69 percent. So we have had an eight-point erosion in our performance among gay Americans. We need to do something. Cleve is exactly right. We have got to do something to energize this base or the Republicans will continue to gain with gay Americans, even though I don't think their agenda reflects the gay community.

COOPER: Does the Democratic Party take gay Americans for granted, feeling that, well, look, they're not going to go to the Republican Party?

JONES: There's great cynicism and enormous frustration with this administration.

And, of course, as in my case, it's also mixed with a lot of affection and respect. But the fact that they would continue to defend don't ask, don't tell for as long as they did, for the fact that he's already stated that, in his view, the core of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, well, then he should sign on to Senator Feinstein's bill to repeal it and signal some support there.

I have been working with Courage Campaign trying to get more co- sponsors for Senator Feinstein's legislation. The momentum is clear. The tide of history is clear. His window of opportunity to stake his claim on the right side of history is diminishing rapidly. He needs to move. An, right now, this opportunity in New York is an extraordinary opportunity. He could really move us all forward very decisively. I hope he will hear this and do that.

COOPER: Paul, just politically, though, this is a president who -- he's a politician and he weighs things very carefully, and often tries to find consensus and walk a middle ground.

Do you think it's likely that he actually would say he is for marriage equality for gay Americans before the elections? Or is that something he would do after the election, when, politically, there wouldn't be a price to pay?

BEGALA: Oh, I think he's likely to do it -- this is not based on any insight. I don't talk to those guys and gals down the White House. But I think he's likely or certain to do it before the election, because he's going to have.

People are going to come to him, as they came, the White House press corps today, and say, well, you had this position then and now this.

COOPER: So, you think he will come out publicly for it?

BEGALA: I do. That's my best guess.

Now, I -- one political problem he's got with doing it right now -- he should do it right now because of this vote in New York. New York's state Senate is one vote away from full marriage equality. And he's going to be in New York.

But here's the problem politically. He's going to be at a fund- raiser from -- hosted mostly by the LGBT community. I got to say, if you go to a fund-raiser and then endorse the agenda of the people who are giving you money, that looks kind of bad politically as well. I almost -- I hate to say it -- I know he needs the money. I almost wish we didn't have the fund-raiser and could just focus on that vote in the state Senate in New York.

JONES: It's going to look a lot worse when he goes there to ask these people for money, and then has to somehow explain to them that in his view they still don't deserve equal protection under the law.

So he's in a difficult position. The right thing to do would be to do the right thing.

COOPER: Cleve Jones, great to have you on the program, Paul Begala as well. Thank you.

BEGALA: Thanks.

JONES: Thank you.


COOPER: Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I was a little bit late to the tweets tonight, but I'm starting already.

Up next: President Obama getting ready to announce troop pullouts from Afghanistan. We're going to preview that and talk about how our unreliable ally Pakistan is, well, costing American lives in the war. And are they giving up secrets to help the militants? Some new evidence of that. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

And later: a potential shocker in the Casey Anthony trial. Her father's alleged mistress, George Anthony's alleged mistress may take the stand as early as tomorrow. And there was new testimony today on duct tape, DNA and leaves where Caylee's body was found -- full details ahead.


COOPER: President Obama speaks to the nation tomorrow night about Afghanistan, a congressional source telling us he's going to announce plans to pull out 10,000 troops this year and another 20,000 by the end of 2012.

We obviously are going to bring you his speech at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. We will have details about it later that night on 360.

Tonight, though, we're "Keeping Them Honest" on the country next door, our ally Pakistan. It's where a lot of the IEDs that kill and maim American troops are made, in Pakistan's tribal areas near the Afghan border.

In recent weeks, however, American officials have reportedly told Pakistani intelligence about four bomb-making factories. And in all four cases, the intelligence has apparently leaked to the insurgents. By the time Pakistani troops get there, the factories are empty.

Someone has been tipping them off, though Pakistani officials, including the country's top military spokesman today, deny it. In addition, Pakistani authorities have arrested dozens of people for helping in the raid that kill Osama bin Laden, while steadfastly denying he had a support network helping him live for years in the very heart of Pakistan.


REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was a man who was living in a fortress, and you have intelligence agents swarming all over the country. How did they not know?

REHMAN MALIK, PAKISTANI INTERIOR MINISTER: Nine-eleven happened in New York. With all the maximum and the best available intelligence tool, the American parties could not make out 9/11's culprits. And they were still making training in the institutions there. So, sometimes, intelligence failures are there.

SAYAH: In your investigation, have you found any evidence that bin Laden had a support network here in Pakistan?

MALIK: There is no such thing at all, not an iota of doubt...


SAYAH: So, you categorically deny that he had a support network here?

MALIK: Categorically deny it, no support network.


COOPER: Well, even if that unlikely claim is true that he had no support network, new polling from Pew Research tonight suggests bin Laden had plenty of popular support among Pakistanis. It shows 63 percent disapproval rating for the raid that took him out. Just one in 10 approved of it.

The same polling reveals only 12 percent of Pakistanis had a positive view of America, only 12 percent, despite billions of dollars in humanitarian aid and military aid flowing into Pakistan since the 9/11 attacks.

I talked about the Pakistan problem earlier tonight with world affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria, host of "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" and editor at large of "TIME" magazine.


COOPER: So, there have been several incidents of insurgents in Pakistan abandoning bomb-making facilities after the U.S. informed the Pakistani regime about them. That certainly seems to play into all of the U.S.' concerns about collaboration between elements within the Pakistani military and terrorist groups.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS ANALYST: Look, at this point, there's really no question. Everybody has noticed a pattern in which, when you ask the Pakistani military for help with regard to certain militants, certain groups, certain bomb-making factories, by the time you get there in 50 percent of the cases, the militants have been tipped off.

I think it's important to point out I don't think this is happening at the very highest level. I don't think General Kayani, the head of the army, or perhaps even General Pasha, the head of the ISI, the intelligence service, knows about this.

But that's even worse, because what it suggests is that there are elements of the Pakistani military that are infiltrated with this radical Islamist ideology, and they're being insubordinate. They have become rogue elements within the Pakistani military. This is very disturbing, because most of us always believed that, for all its problems, the Pakistani military was a professional military.

COOPER: And we have always talked about kind of lower-level elements in the ISI or in the military that may have connections, but now you have a brigadier general, highest-ranking senior officer, arrested in Pakistan and being held for links to a banned group in Pakistan.

ZAKARIA: Yes, this is quite striking, for the reason you say, a very senior guy, a brigadier general, and with a very nasty organization. And...

COOPER: Right. It's called -- I had never heard of it. It's called Hizb ut Tahrir?

ZAKARIA: Right, Hizb ut Tahrir. It's a strange organization founded in the '50s, I think, in the 1950s in Jerusalem, really one of the original Pan-Islamic terrorist organizations, in a way a role model for al Qaeda, very strong in Central Asia.

COOPER: They want U.S. troops out of Pakistan, out of the region, and a Muslim caliphate?

ZAKARIA: Yes, they want -- exactly. There goals are pretty much al Qaeda's goals. It's a caliphate. It's a hard-line Sunni organization. They don't believe in women being educated.

It's about as extreme as you can get. Musharraf tried to ban them. But in Pakistan, they haven't done any real violence yet. So a court order overturned the ban, because it said this is jut free speech.

But, still, they're a very nasty group. And the fact that he would be tied to them suggests that there is again some international dimension to this as well.

COOPER: Do you think his arrest is sort of an olive branch to the United States? Or do you think it's in Pakistan's best interests?

ZAKARIA: No, I think it's precisely that. I don't know if it's an olive branch, but I think that CIA and the Obama administration have been pressing the Pakistani military.

I know that they have given them a list of specific things they want them to do. And among them are to try and figure out really who has infiltrated within the Pakistani military. And they're trying to deliver on those things.

It is in Pakistan's best interests.

COOPER: Right.

ZAKARIA: But, unfortunately, that is not always how the Pakistani military sees it.


COOPER: Were you surprised by the announcement of the levels of the troop withdrawal that we're going to be seeing or allegedly will be seeing in Afghanistan?

ZAKARIA: I am not surprised, because I think Obama's heart was always more with Joe Biden. If you remember, there was this debate. Biden wanted a much smaller troop presence in Afghanistan and a focus on counterterrorism. Petraeus and Gates said, no, let's go in there and do the surge.

I think that Obama really was more in Biden's camp, but the military outfoxed him by leaking the -- their recommendations, and a Democratic president can't go against certainly a military adviser like Petraeus.

COOPER: That's interesting. So you think he was really more wanting what -- the more counterinsurgency strategy?

ZAKARIA: Yes. I think so. I think his -- I think his basic view is that we are -- that we have too large a military footprint in these places, that what we need to do is draw down and broadly rebalance American foreign policy away from this massive investment in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the broader Middle East.

He wants to move to dealing with issues relating to the rise of China, India, Russia. And this I think means that you stay bogged down, because when you have those many troops in a country, Anderson, as you know, 90 percent of a president's time ultimately is taken up where American troops are.

COOPER: Right.

Fareed Zakaria, appreciate it. Thanks.

ZAKARIA: Pleasure.


COOPER: Well, a quick reminder: President Obama is speaking on Afghanistan tomorrow night from the White House 8:00 p.m. CNN is going to start carrying it live 8:00 Eastern time. We will have full coverage, details on A.C. 360 of course at 10:00.

Coming up, though, tonight, you probably heard Newt Gingrich and his wife had a line of credit at Tiffany's worth up to $500,000. Well, now we have learned about another line of credit at Tiffany's. And you're not going to believe how much this one was worth. We will tell you ahead. And later: a potential bombshell in the Casey Anthony trial -- George Anthony's alleged mistress could be testifying as early as tomorrow in the case. She was outside the courtroom today. We will also have the latest on the DNA testimony when we continue.


COOPER: Tonight: a "Keeping Them Honest" follow-up.

We told you last week about the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. That's Brian right there. He was killed in a gunfight along the Arizona-Mexico border last December.

The weapon used to kill him was purchased in the United States, but what's really stunning is that it was intentionally allowed into Mexico by U.S. authorities. See, it was an operation called Fast and Furious. And the idea was to monitor gun trafficking, link them to Mexican drug cartels, and then make arrests in Mexico.

But once the sales were made, ATF whistle-blowers say that agents had actually no way of knowing where the guns ended up. And, unbelievably, their Mexican counterparts, who were supposed to make the arrests, they were never even told about this operation.

So, a program meant to stop gun smuggling actually put weapons into criminals' hands in Mexico. And there are at least 1,800 other weapons out there mostly still missing. So far, no one in the U.S. government has admitted they approved this program, and no one has taken responsibility.

Now, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the ATF, Kenneth Melson, is expected to resign in the next day or two.

But "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, he may just be the fall guy.

Drew Griffin of the Special Investigations Unit joins us.

Now, Drew, Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled about this program by Congressman Darrell Issa, who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, back in May. I just want to play some of that for our viewers.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Now that you have been briefed on it, the president has said on March 22 that you didn't authorize it. Did your deputy attorney general, James Cole, authorize it?

HOLDER: My guess would be no. Mr. Cole, I don't think was in the -- I think -- I don't think he was in the department at the time that operation started. ISSA: How about the head of the Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer? Did he authorize it?

HOLDER: I'm not sure whether Mr. Breuer authorized it.


COOPER: No one seems to know who authorized this thing.

Border agent Brian Terry, Drew, was murdered back in December of 2010. Considering the ATF is part of the Justice Department, does anyone buy that Holder wasn't aware of the program when agent Terry was murdered or even before it?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: You know, I have been on the phone talking to some of these ATF agents today. I have talked to them over the weekend.

It's really hard for them to imagine that Holder wasn't at least briefed about it. This was a major operation, Anderson. And, quite frankly, up until the disastrous death of Brian Terry, this they thought was going to be a big hit or a home run for them. They were going to arrest cartel members.

That required a lot of approval, a lot of approval for overtime just to do the surveillance, wiretaps, surveillance video being done. All of that requires approval up the chain all way into the Department of Justice. And to the boots on the ground, it's unimaginable that high-up people in the Department of Justice, including Holder himself, at least didn't know about it.

COOPER: So now you have the acting director of the ATF, this guy Kenneth Melson, expected to step down in the next day or two because of this program. I mean, is he just the fall guy?

GRIFFIN: He seems to be being set up that way.

The question, I think, to ask is, for Justice, does this end? Justice is obviously trying to get this behind them as quickly as possible. If they can replace Kenneth Melson, get somebody else in there, and try to smooth this over with Congress, they think they can move on with their own internal investigation, and maybe come out with something in a few months.

But members of Congress say, no way. Congressman Darrell Issa, head of the House Oversight Committee, is going to press hard. We got a statement from Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican from Iowa who has been pushing hard on this.

And I will just read it to you. He said: "It would be a shame if the Justice Department makes Mr. Melson the only fall guy for this disastrous strategy. There's plenty of blame to go around at both the ATF and Justice Department. A resignation by the acting director would be, by no means, the end of our inquiry."

Grassley also said he'd be interested in hearing what Melson has to say to him after he is kicked out of Justice, as we all believe will happen.

COOPER: And -- and when President Obama and -- and Eric Holder were asked about the program, they -- they both pointed to an investigation that's being conducted by the inspector general of the Justice Department. Do we have any idea when the findings of that are going to be released?

GRIFFIN: We don't. There's a big complaint. The members of Congress think they're being stonewalled. We've gone over this. Why does it take five, six months to find out who in your own department approved anything? You know, that should be a decision that you can come back with in five minutes. But the stonewalling, according to Congress, continues while ATF and the Department of Justice try to -- try to fix this.

COOPER: All right. Drew, appreciate the follow-up. We'll continue to follow it

Coming up new twists in the Casey Anthony trial. Why the alleged mistress of Casey's father, George Anthony, is expected in court tomorrow. We'll tell you what she's expected to testify about. We'll have the latest from Orlando.

First Randi Kaye, though, has a "360 Bulletin" for us -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, an unmanned U.S. Navy helicopter went down while on a NATO surveillance mission over Libya. NATO says it lost contact with the helicopter this morning. Libyan state TV reported that it was a manned Apache helicopter, but NATO says no Apaches have been lost during the entire mission.

Newt Gingrich apparently had at least two lines of credit at the jewelry store Tiffany's, one worth as much as $1 million. About a month ago, financial disclosure forms for Gingrich's wife showed that they had a line of credit at the store for between a quarter and a half million dollars during 2005 and 2006. The campaign says the account has a zero balance and has been closed.

Republican Jon Huntsman announced his bid for the presidency today at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Huntsman is the former governor of Utah and also served as U.S. ambassador to China under President Obama.

More than 10,000 firefighters are at work against 52 wildfires now burning in 12 states. The fires have burned almost 2,200 square miles, nearly the size of Delaware. U.S. Forest Service says the number of acres burned is three times the 10-year average

And Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords's husband, Mark Kelly, is retiring from NASA and the U.S. Navy effective October 1. Kelly commanded the final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. He says he wants to be by Giffords's side as she continues her recovery.

Meanwhile, Scribner has announced it will publish the couple's memoir at a date to be determined, Anderson. COOPER: Time now for "The Shot," Randi. Tonight, I don't know if you've seen this. It's video from the Calgary Zoo in Alberta. Let's give it up for Zola.

Zola is Western Lowland Gorilla. He's eight years old. The zoo says he loves to play in water, as you can see. I think online there's music added, but for some reason we don't have the music.

KAYE: Yes. There's like break-dancing music online.

COOPER: Is there?

KAYE: Oh, yes.

COOPER: Their music was better. Otherwise it just looked like she was getting ready to poop or something

KAYE: Well, you know, Anderson, seeing Zola, even without the music, well, that...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got us thinking.

COOPER: Yes. Very good.

KAYE: Yes. That got us thinking, as we like to say, about your visit with the noble apes last fall. There was no dancing involved, but there was a bunny suit.


KAYE: Remember this?

COOPER: You're confusing people who did not see this. Yes. How could I -- this was the strangest -- yes, the strangest experience I think I've had.

KAYE: Is that you hopping around there?

COOPER: Yes. It's like a -- yes. Apparently, the apes wanted -- I don't know. I had to feed them ice cubes and eggs. It was all very strange, dresses like a rabbit.

KAYE: And they told you to put that bunny suit on and you listened. Right?

COOPER: Yes. I know. Which I still think is like, you know, some sort of a plushy joke, that I was being punked about. But I don't know.

KAYE: Well, it's a good look for you.


KAYE: Good look.

COOPER: Thanks for bringing that up. I appreciate that. KAYE: Any time.

COOPER: Yes. Serious stuff coming up next, "Crime & Punishment," day 24 in the Casey Anthony murder trial. The focus today, DNA, duct tape and plant growth at the site where Caylee Anthony's remains were found.

And meantime big surprise from the prosecution. Plus, George Anthony's alleged mistress may be called to testify as early as tomorrow. We'll talk to you about what she may say.

Also ahead, the death of Ryan Dunn. The autopsy report is now out on the star of MTV's "Jackass." We have details on that.


COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight, a new twist in the Casey Anthony trial. Word tonight that George Anthony's alleged mistress may take the witness stand tomorrow morning. Her name is Krystal Holloway, the woman who says she had an affair with Mr. Anthony. Although she told police one thing; she told the "National Enquirer" something else. It's an affair, though, George Anthony denies.

This woman told an Orlando television station that she'd been subpoenaed to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Holloway said she's prepared to testify about what she says Mr. Anthony told her in 2008 before his granddaughter's remains were found.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did George tell you about that?

KRYSTAL HOLLOWAY, SAYS HAD AN AFFAIR WITH GEORGE ANTHONY: That it was an accident that snowballed out of control. I don't believe that George picked the body up like they said. I think it was an accident.


COOPER: Well, more on this development in just a moment. First though, day 24 in the trial. Today the defense called a string of expert witnesses to testify about DNA and duct tape and leaves. But the question is, did the testimony actually help or hurt the defense's case?

Gary Tuchman was in the courtroom. He joins us now.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Casey Anthony often covers her mouth in court when she talks to her attorneys. She doesn't want others to read her lips. But if she was asking how the day was going, a candid answer would have been "not so great".

RICHARD EIKELENBLOOM, WITNESS: My name is Richard Eikelenbloom. TUCHMAN: The defense is now calling its witnesses. This is the time where Anthony's attorneys have the best chance to bolster their case. DNA scientist Richard Eikelenbloom was asked about the lack of Caylee's Anthony DNA on the duct tape that was found on her skull. The defense theory: because no DNA was found, that means it was put on her skull after the crime, after her body decomposed, by someone other than her mother.

EIKELENBLOOM: If you would put tape on a face you would get -- it's very likely you would get DNA.

TUCHMAN: But prosecutors have said after months in the woods, the DNA disappeared, a theory Eikelenbloom did not deny when pushed during cross-examination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The DNA could have simply degraded and decomposed, correct?

EIKELENBLOOM: That is possible.

TUCHMAN: The defense also called a government chemist to try to discredit the prosecution finding that poisonous chloroform was in Casey Anthony's car trunk. But the jury heard this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The relative abundance of the chloroform seemed very unusual to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you solemnly swear or affirm to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?


TUCHMAN: And then there was another defense witness, botanist Jane Bock. Anthony's attorneys are trying to convince the jury somebody tampered with Caylee Anthony's body and dumped it in the woods just a couple weeks before it was found. Defense attorney Dorothy Clay Sims asked her.

DOROTHY CLAY SIMS, CASEY'S ATTORNEY: Can you tell me whether or not you have formed an opinion as to the shortest period of time that the remains of Caylee Anthony could have been at the scene in which they were found?

BOCK: Yes. Two weeks.

SIMS: And what is the basis for your opinion?

BOCK: Because of the pattern of the leaf litter.

SIMS: But the prosecution got her to sing a different tune, too.

JEFF ASHTON, PROSECUTOR: Are you presenting the opinion that that growth into the bone could have occurred in two weeks in December?

SIMS: I suspect so, but I'm no expert on bones. ASHTON: It's also possible it was there for a great deal longer than two weeks.

SIMS: Yes.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Casey Anthony's defense is that her daughter accidentally drowned in the swimming pool and that Casey's father conspired with her to keep the death a secret.

With that in mind, listen to this attention-getting statement made by the prosecution in court.

(voice-over) It was made outside the presence of the jury. The prosecution had just learned about something that happened to an inmate who was in the same jail as Casey Anthony.

LINDA DRANE BURDICK, PROSECUTOR: Apparently, her child died in a swimming pool and was found by the child's grandfather.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): There is no evidence yet the two women had talked to each other. But the prosecution will investigate whether it's possible Casey Anthony made up a story based on the true story of another woman.


COOPER: It's interesting, Gary, how hard a time the defense is having in this case to even kind of make their own case.

TUCHMAN: You know, Anderson, the defense is swimming against a strong tide. And we've seen over the last few weeks a lot of circumstantial evidence. But they've also put themselves in a box, defense attorneys, because of the opening statement where they say Casey's daughter drowned, and then Casey decided inexplicably not to say anything about it.

And it's a crazy statement. It's a crazy defense. And I use the word "crazy" purposely, because if it's 100 percent true, it's still crazy. Who does something like that?

So the jury is certainly expecting to hear something about that. This trial's been going on for weeks, and they haven't heard anything about that.

In addition, Anderson, you have prosecutors who are at the top of their game. You have a judge who is very smart. He's gentle and he's strict at the same time, and he's very careful not to allow any inadmissible testimony or questions to come in via the lawyers. And so far it's the defense lawyers who have had most of the inadmissible questions.

COOPER: Interesting. Gary, thanks very much for the update.

Today is the first we've actually heard during the trial about this woman, April Waylon, the inmate whose child apparently died in a pool. Earlier I spoke about the day's developments with Jean Casarez, who's a correspondent with "In Session" on TruTV, and Dr. Michael Hunter, forensic pathologist and the chief medical examiner in Panama City, Florida.


COOPER: Jean, as we heard from Gary, this woman April Waylon, who was in the same jail as Casey for a brief period of time, had a very similar story to hers about her own son drowning in the family pool, being found by his grandfather. What more do we know about this? Do we know if there really was a link between her and Casey?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": No. And that's what prosecutors are investigating right now. They said today in court outside of the presence of the jury that a citizen had actually called the Orange County Sheriff's Department to report this, that an April Waylon, who was an inmate back in 2009, and she was a couple cells down from Casey Anthony, that in 2007 on Christmas day her little son that was close in age to Caylee actually drowned in the family swimming pool about 2:20 in the afternoon. The child had disappeared for 20 minutes. The whole family was out trying to find her little son. And it was the grandfather that found the little boy deceased in the pool.

So the issue is, April has said she never spoke to Casey. She never told Casey. Never even met Casey. But she said she did talk with some other inmates and told them about her son. So could Casey have overheard that? Could the other inmates have told Casey? And in so doing, would Casey have then gotten a story, a fictional fantasy story about an accidental drowning?

COOPER: Right, and even though the prosecution's rested, they can call her as a witness later on.

Dr. Hunter, the forensic botanist seemed unsure about the length of time that Caylee's remains were actually at the crime scene before they were found. Is there any way to know for sure how long they were there?

DR. MICHAEL HUNTER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: I don't think so. As far as time of death goes, you know, what a forensic pathologist can do is looks look at the remains early on and give a good estimation.

The intermediate range is really going to be the entomologist's field. He's going to be able to look at the remains, look at the insect infestation going on, and look at the life cycle of insects to gave an estimation at least within that week to two weeks to maybe a little bit longer time frame.

The botanist, he can go out further than the entomologist. He can look at what's going on around where the victim is subsequently found, the growth around where the skeletal remains are found, the deposits on the skeletal remains, the leaf material, other types of material that may settle, and provide an opinion.

COOPER: Jean, how well do you think the defense's experts, the forensic experts -- the pathologist, the botanist -- how well do you think they are doing to disprove the prosecution's experts?

CASAREZ: Here's the thing, Anderson. There were some renounced experts on the side of the defense. But as they testify, and especially on cross-examination, it appears as though they don't know the facts of the case. They don't know what the defense believes to be the case or factually is the case.

So when it comes to cross-examination and the facts are brought out by the prosecution, they become prosecution witnesses. And I think the challenge for the defense with these forensic witnesses is immense in this case.

COOPER: Jean, also George Anthony's alleged mistress was subpoenaed. What is the defense going to try to prove with her testimony?

CASAREZ: I saw her in the hallway today.

Well, here's what she testified to authorities. She said in a sworn deposition that George Anthony had told her -- and by the way, she denies any affair in the sworn testimony before law enforcement, but she came out public to the "National Enquirer" saying she had an affair.

But she said under oath that George Anthony said to her in an intimate moment that this was an accident that snowballed out of control. But was that just wishful thinking on the part of George around any, or did he even say it at all?

COOPER: You said, Jean, today the mood in the court was especially sad.

CASAREZ: You know, today was a tough day. Jurors were taking notes, but as the day went on they got restless. They got listless. And you know, the forensic experts possibly could cancel each other out. They really could. Because you're seeing inconsistencies.

And you know, jurors could rely on in the end is the smell in the trunk, that witness after witness that has experience with deceased bodies could smell the decomposition odor from Casey Anthony's trunk.

COOPER: Dr. Hunter, that is, I guess, the dawning danger when you have dueling experts like this. They kind of cancel each other out, and people just go with the explanation that seems most basic or simple: you know, a smell in the trunk that they can relate to.

HUNTER: Right, Anderson. You know, you've got to keep in mind, you know, witnesses for the prosecution, those experts, they really have to testify to a higher standard. They're testifying beyond a reasonable doubt.

The witnesses for the defense, these experts, they really have to bring in the question of what's possible. You know, when you open up what is possible, then you have arguments that can come about. You have a lot more that I think the defense can work with. Possible does not rise to the level that I think the prosecutors really need to get in a case like this.

COOPER: Very interesting stuff. Dr. Michael Hunter, thanks.

Jean Casarez, as well. Thanks.

CASAREZ: Thanks.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, how much would you pay for a gun that once belonged to the gangster Al Capone? Wait until you hear what one auction house hopes to rake in when it sells one of its revolvers

And "The RidicuList" tonight, you're going to meet the 51-year- old actor who married a 16-year-old aspiring singer, an actress. And while they may be getting criticized for their decision, tonight we're adding their haters on "The RidicuList."


COOPER: Coming up on "The RidicuList," all those people hating the love and marriage of a 51-year-old actor and his 16-year-old bride. But first Randi Kaye has another "360 Bulletin" -- Randi.

KAYE: Anderson, Leon Panetta will be the next secretary of defense. The Senate approved Panetta's nomination in a unanimous vote of 100-0. Panetta currently heads the CIA. At the Pentagon, he'll succeed Robert Gates, who is resigning in 10 days.

An autopsy report shows "Jackass" star Ryan Dunn and a passenger in his car died of blunt and thermal trauma. Dunn was driving his Porsche when it crashed and caught on fire in Pennsylvania early Monday. Police believe speed was a factor in the crash. And they won't know for several weeks when toxicology reports come back if alcohol was also involved. A photo posted on Dunn's Twitter page just two hours before the crash showed him at a bar with a drink in his hand.

And a handgun once owned by notorious gangster Al Capone is going up for sale tomorrow in London. The auction house Christie's is selling the .39 Special revolver. Christie's expects the winning bidder to cough up at least $80,600 -- Anderson.

COOPER: That's cool. Neat.

All right, Randi, time for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding those heartless folks who are criticizing the love between this actor and his new bride. I'm talking about a guy named Doug Hutchinson. Apparently, he was in the movie "The Green Mile" and had some small roles on "Lost" and The X Files."

Now, I'm not familiar with his work, really, at all. But here's what I do know. He's 51 years old. And a few weeks ago in Las Vegas he married a 16-year-old girl.

Now, a lot of people are making a bunch of noise about how the girl, Courtney Stodden, is a mine for and how there's a 35-year age difference between them. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I don't see what the big deal is. The wedding was on May 20, according to my calendar. That was a Friday. So she probably only had to miss one day of high school. What was she going to miss in 11th grade, anyway? Algebra? Who ever uses that?

But it did get me thinking who is this young lady who found true love with a character actor in his early 50s? Luckily, like a lot of 16-year-olds, she has a YouTube channel where she posts videos, probably talks about her homework and getting her driver's license and Justin Bieber and stuff. Let's take a look.



CRYSTAL STODDARD, MARRIED TO ACTOR (singing): When I'm a walking, talking, when I walk by it's not my thoughts you can't control.


COOPER: Oh, goodness. Well, I'm sure there's more to her than just that.


STODDARD (singing): Don't put it on me, girl. Don't put it on me, girl, no. Don't put it on me, girl. Don't.


COOPER: Well now, a lot of people are suggesting that someone should have told Courtney don't marry that guy. He's too old for you. You have your driver's test coming up. Someone, you know, like her parents, maybe.

But guess what, romance haters? Her parents gave their permission. They're not those uptight parents who don't let their teenage daughter stay up past 11, or make music videos on boats, or marry someone three times her age. They're cool parents.

Her mom told Radar Online they're, quote, "totally supportive of this marriage." And her dad said his new son-in-law, who's four years old than he is, is, quote, "the nicest man I've ever met in my life." So cool.

But they also have instilled morals in their daughter. Here's another one of her YouTube videos.


STODDARD: I have never done pornography. I never will. About myself, I am a Christian girl. I hold my faith very tightly.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Believe me. You learn how to hold things very tightly when you go to the beach wearing nothing but the American flag.

I like that at age 16 she makes it a point of pride that she's never done pornography. That's like basically saying "I'm about to do pornography," or "Inevitably, I will do pornography, but I haven't done it yet."

I wonder if her parents booked her for that photo shoot. They are so cool.


STODDARD: I'm a virgin, and I plan to stay that way until I am married.


COOPER: OK. A little bit of an over share. But I'll say this about Courtney. She likes to keep it real.


STODDARD: My breasts are real. Everything about me is real. My hair is real, my teeth are real, my eyelashes are real, my breasts are totally real. You know, believe it or not but they are.


COOPER: Did she mention that her breasts are real? I think she mentioned twice. You know what else is real? Their love is real.

Courtney, I wish you nothing but the best in your singing career and your marriage. But if it doesn't work out, someone's recently back on the market.

And to all you haters, remember, age is only a number. Fifty- one, just a number. Sixteen, just a much, much, much smaller number. Ain't love grand?

So to all you doubters and haters, don't be too hard on these love birds, at least not until the divorce with the inevitable reality show about the divorce comes out. Until then, all of you are on "The RidicuList."

We'll be right back.