Return to Transcripts main page

American Morning

Awaiting DNA Results From Raymond Clark, Suspect in Yale Murder; Charges of Racism Aimed At Rep. Wilson; Young Former Wall Street Employees Find New Lines of Work

Aired September 16, 2009 - 07:00   ET


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, meanwhile, we're at the top of the hour. Welcome. It's Wednesday, September 16th. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm John Roberts. Thanks for being with us. Here are the stories we will be breaking down for in the next 15 minutes.

New information this morning on the man in custody in the case of murdered Yale grad student -- the murdered Yale grad student who was found hidden in a wall on her wedding day. We are awaiting DNA tests from the person of interest, Raymond Clark. We are going to go live to New Haven for the latest on that.

CHETRY: Former President Jimmy Carter saying that race played a role in the "You lie!" outburst during President Obama's speech last week. Carter said he thinks, quote, "an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man."

Today we will give you a chance to weigh in on that explosive charge.

ROBERTS: And the swine flu vaccine gets the green light. The Food and Drug Administration just approved two versions that should be available next month, one a shot and one is a nasal spray.

Is it safe for expectant moms? Our Elizabeth Cohen is with one of the first pregnant women to get the shot this morning, and she will be bringing that story to us in just a little while.

First though, major development this morning in the murder investigation of Yale grad student Annie Le. Police are calling this man that you see here Raymond Clark, a lab technician at the university, a person of interest. And he is being forced to give DNA samples to investigators.

Le's body was found stuffed inside of a wall panel on Sunday, the day she was supposed to be married. And according to the New Haven police chief, they had their eye on this coworker of Annie's all along.


CHIEF JAMES LEWIS, NEW HAVEN POLICE DEPARTMENT: We have known where he was at all along. He was exactly where we expected him to be when we served the search warrants tonight. We have been with him, you might say, since we took this case over. So we have always known where he's at. There was never an issue of where he was at. We have always known where he's at.


ROBERTS: Our Mary Snow is live in New Haven this morning with new information on the man taken into custody. So what do we know about this fellow at this point, Mary?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, good morning. We saw Raymond Clark being led out of his home in Middletown, Connecticut and handcuffed. This as police issued a search warrant on his apartment, and also police offered a search warrant on him, essentially, to take that DNA evidence, evidence that was taken from saliva form hair, from fingernails.

And police say what they are trying to do now is take those samples and see if they match any of the evidence, 150 pieces of evidence they say they seized so far in this case.

And police say by the end of this week they will know whether he will be arrested or he will be exonerated. And they are stressing that he is a person of interest at this point.

He is a lab technician who works at Yale, 24 years old. And he had access to the building where Annie Le's body was found on Sunday.

And we do know, John, that there has been police presence at his apartment complex. Police have said that they have known his whereabouts since they took over this homicide investigation late Sunday.

And at that apartment, neighbors say that the police have been there for more than a day keeping is surveillance. It is believed that he lives with his girlfriend, and a person by the same name is also listed in the Yale directory as lab technician.

Now, police are also stressing that they are looking at everyone else. They say they don't want to have tunnel vision in case there are other potential suspects out there, and that they say they have been going over some 700 hours of surveillance video to take a look at anyone who had access to that lab building.

Police say that he will be released and cooperate. We are still waiting official word to see his whereabouts at this time -- John?

ROBERTS: Mary Snow for us covering the case in New Haven, Connecticut. Mary, thanks so much.

And with more insight on what police are doing to crack that Yale murder case, we are going to be having Don Clark, former FBI agent, coming up with expert analysis of how they will catch her killer.

CHETRY: Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill Congressman Joe Wilson has been officially reprimanded by lawmakers in the house for yelling "You lie!" to President Obama. The resolution of disapproval passed mostly along party lines.

The House historian has said this is the first time the chamber has ever disciplined a lawmaker like this for shouting at the president. But Wilson did not apologize like House Democrats wanted, and said that the vote was just a waste of time. Here is a listen.


REP. JOE WILSON, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: Political game playing, that's what the president says shouldn't occur. But they proceeded with the game playing.

And I believe, as I sincerely stated, that I apologized immediately to the president. He has been very gracious to accept the apology. The vice president accepted the apology. The president on Sunday night during "60 Minutes" again accepted the apology.

But now it truly is time to work on health insurance reform.


CHETRY: He got the most mild form of censure, saying it was just an inappropriate...

ROBERTS: A very mild rebuke, yes.

CHETRY: Inappropriate outburst, mostly along party lines.

But interestingly enough, one person weighing in on this whole situation is former President Jimmy Carter speaking out on Wilson's outburst, saying it is just another sign that racism is playing a major role in the opposition to President Obama. Here is what he said last night at the Carter Center in Atlanta.


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: There is a feeling among many people in this country that an African American ought not to be president and not ought to be given the same respect as if he were white.

And this has permeated publicly ever since I have been involved in back the 1960s.

People in here are some of most members of the British Parliament saying that about the queen of England, a head of state. In our country, it's different.

The president is not only head of government, he is also the head of state. And no matter who he is and no matter if you disagree with his politics, you ought to treat him with respect in his official role at a joint of the U.S. Congress.

I think it was a dastardly thing to do, and I believe it was so bad that it should have been corrected by an overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans (inaudible).


CHETRY: President Carter also added another example. He said protesters that compare the president to Hitler and his policies to those of Nazi Germany.

ROBERTS: The debate has also hit our "A.M. Fix" hotline, and some of you are pretty divided over whether race is a factor in the protests against the president. Check this out.


CALLER: These people that are hollering racism on these tea parties are so far off base. It has nothing to do with race.

CALLER: The tea parties that are being held around the country are festering a deep racial divide. How many blacks are among those tea partiers, maybe one or two?


ROBERTS: So what do you think? Is race in play here? Leave your comment on our blog, the address three,

New this morning, Senator Max Baucus, the leader of the bipartisan moderates known as the gang of six, is set to unveil his version of a health care plan this morning.

The three Republicans and three Democrats in the group have been hammering out details for months, but the Republican negotiators reportedly still are not happy with some parts of the bill and not ready to sign on to it yet.

CHETRY: It's the second day of Vice President Joe Biden's unannounced visit to Iraq. He's meeting with Iraqi officials in Baghdad today, and as he put it, he is there to listen.

A pool reporter traveling with Biden said that a mortar hit the green zone while he was there. They were told to take cover. The vice president is OK. This is Biden's third visit to the country this year.

ROBERTS: And Arlington, Texas, students who weren't shown President Obama's back-to-school address now can't go see former President Bush speak either.

The 500 fifth graders were supposed to go see former President George W. Bush speak at the new Cowboys stadium, but the district canceled that field trip after a community leader criticized what he called a double standard.

CHETRY: And forget that Roger Federer lost in quite an upset in the U.S. Open men's final. The dominating headline from the Grand Slam tournament was and still is that profanity-laced outburst by Serena Williams. Williams says she was in the moment. She doesn't even really remember what happened. And now that she apologized, she just wants to move on.

ROBERTS: Serena Williams will be here in our studio the next hour to talk about all of this and her new book, which we have here. It's titled "On the Line." It is a book about her life story. It's her memoir from growing up in Compton to the Grand Slams around the world. It is a fascinating look at her career in tennis.

And she will be here live at 8:15 eastern to talk about all that right here on the Most News in the Morning.

CHETRY: And you don't want to miss that.

Meanwhile, we are also going to be talking the latest on this investigation in that killing that took place in Yale University.

ROBERTS: Former FBI agent Don Clark will be with us in just a couple of minutes. Stay tuned for that.

It's nine minutes after the hour.

CHETRY: More on our developing story this morning as authorities are trying to crack the Yale murder case. They could be a step closer to finding out who killed Annie Le this morning.

Police have searched the home of 24-year-old Raymond Clark. They are also searching Clark himself under what was called a body warrant in order to test his DNA.

Joining me live this morning to discuss the latest the Yale murder investigation is Don Clark, former agent in charge of the FBI's New York division, criminal division in New York. Thanks for being with us this morning, Don.


CHETRY: So they say this is a Yale university lab technician, this gentleman. They say he is a person of interest in this case, not a suspect, yet we saw him led away in handcuffs. There you see the video this morning.

What may be going on right now as they try to get more information in this case?

CLARK: Well, they can probably call it a person of interest, or whatever they want to call it. I like to call it a suspect. If you lead somebody away in handcuffs, they are probably a suspect.

And what they will do now is going to take -- they are going to scrape hands and do everything they can to get as much so they can do DNA testing and compare it to whatever they may have found on the body at the scene. CHETRY: It's very interesting. They have a lot of evidence, I guess, at their fingertips right now. They talk about reviewing 700 hours of surveillance video from that building. They say that they have gone over 150 -- and collected 150 pieces of evidence, interviewed more than 150 people, some of them twice.

It sounds like they really, you know, pulled out all stops trying on get to this. And here we have this one person, Raymond Clark. So is he going to be released then again? If he's not under arrest, they are not technically calling him a suspect, but they are sort of processing some DNA.

CLARK: Well, I would think that they may be very close to being able to put the handcuffs on him and calling it an arrest situation and call him the suspect in this case.

Like you say, they have gone through a lot of information. I think they have done a terrific job in a short period of time of really boiling this down.

But with all of the technology and everything, Kiran, I think it is going to be unlikely that we are going to see this person walk away.

CHETRY: You know, and the coroner has ruled her death a homicide, as we know. The state's attorney, though, in New Haven asked the medical examiner's office who -- I guess they had a cause of death. And they asked them not to release those autopsy findings. The quote is because they want to make sure they can facilitate their investigation.

The medical examiner as office did comply with that, but what's does that tell you, if anything, about what they are trying to figure out right now in this investigation?

CLARK: Well, I think they probably have some very, very good leads. Obviously they did to be able to pick up this suspect, this person that I'm going to call a suspect at this point. So I think they have very, very good leads.

I think good policing, Kiran, is that there are sometimes things that you just can't let get out prematurely, that you have to hold close to the vest to be able to put your case together.

So I suspect right now that the reason that they are holding something close is that they may be very close to solving this particular mystery, and they don't want to get it out prematurely and cause some damages.

CHETRY: Much was made over a quote from the police chief when he said they want to make sure there aren't any other suspects. But the interesting thing is that they said that Clark was not a suspect, technically a person of interest. What about the possibility that maybe other people were involved? Why would he use that language?

CLARK: Well, I think that's a catch-all phrase there, that, yes, we are going to make sure we weed through everything, that there's nobody else. But that's good police work, because you do want to make sure that there wasn't an accomplice there.

And if there was an accomplice, you want to be able to identify that person and bring that person into the fold as well.

CHETRY: And meanwhile, what does it say about security, if anything? I know there's a lot of students on the campus and parents of students who go there, they are really feeling a little bit scared right now.

You take a look at this situation. This was a highly secure, at least supposed to be, facility. You needed cards to get in. And we are looking right at the pictures of the lab. Lot of jitters, I guess you could say, after this situation happened.

CLARK: Well, you know, it is kind of like if someone breaks into your home, you know. You can't say that, well, I don't know want go back there again because it's not secure. I mean, you cannot be 100 percent secure at all times. And there's always some little object that you can get in or get out of.

So I think that the building is probably secure. Will they look around and see if they need to tweak something else to try and make sure nothing like this happens again? Of course they will. But I wouldn't say that it's not secure. But they will tidy up the loose ends.

CHETRY: All right, Don Clark, former FBI special agent in charge of the criminal unit in New York. Thanks for being with us this morning.

CLARK: You bet, Kiran. It's good to be with you.

ROBERTS: So it looks like the H1N1 swine flu vaccination is just about ready for distribution. Of course one of the really high risk groups is pregnant women, and we wonder how the vaccine is going to work or if it will work on them. Will it be safe? Clinical trials are underway now.

Our Elizabeth Cohen joins us in just a couple of minutes to tell us how that's going so far, so stay around.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

And a developing story now -- the swine flu vaccine getting FDA approval.

CHETRY: It should be available for everyone next month. Clinical trials are already underway for pregnant women who are high on the priority list. But why would a woman expecting a baby step up and volunteer to get a shot like this? Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen takes a look. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: John and Kiran, would you volunteer to be a guinea pig to be one of the first people ever to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine? Yesterday I spent the day with a pregnant woman who was one of the very first to sign up.


COHEN: Amy Wolf is off on a historic medical mission. She's about to become one of the very first pregnant women ever to receive the new H1N1 flu vaccine.

BEN WOLF, HUSBAND: My first gut reaction was oh, no, what's she up to now?

I love you.

COHEN: Amy's husband isn't the only one who has reservations about the experimental vaccine. Eight months into her pregnancy, Amy's not 100 percent sure either. But still she makes her way to the study at Vanderbilt University.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arm pain, tenderness, maybe some fever, maybe feeling achy.

AMY WOLF, SWINE FLU VACCINE VOLUNTEER: Going through the waivers and all the medical things you have to sign, you almost feel like you are signing your life away a little bit. So I will say that makes me nervous. And that's not just me. You know, I have a baby.

COHEN: Amy, who works at Vanderbilt, signs the forms and gets the H1N1 shot. So why did she do it?

A. WOLF: All of a sudden we are in the middle of Babies R Us, and he turns and says you are not doing this vaccine because you might get paid for it. And I thought, I don't even know if I'm getting paid for it, but that would be a perk.

COHEN: But she says the $300 she received for joining the study isn't why she did it. She wanted to get the shot because she is scared of swine flu. And what really clinched her decision, on Monday she found out her neighbor's son got H1N1, and now he is in the hospital.

A. WOLF: It terrified me. I was scared to death. I mean, pregnancy hormones and all, I just started to cry.

COHEN: Amy wants to protect herself and her unborn baby.

COHEN (on camera): Amy just got her H1N1 vaccine. Will that vaccine protect her child from H1N1 once he is born?

DR. BUDDY CREECH, VANDERBILT, DEPARTMENT OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES: What we are wanting to do is vaccinate women early enough in their pregnancies so that they can give the antibody to their unborn child.

COHEN: So in the end, Amy got the swine flu vaccine for both of them.

A. WOLF: I hope it's the right thing to do. I will never forgive myself if it isn't. But I think it is the right thing to do.


COHEN: John and Kiran, the swine flu vaccine is expected to be available next month. This week, four drug companies received permission from the food and drug administration to market their vaccine.

CHETRY: All right, Elizabeth Cohen for us. Thanks so much.

We already have people here just dropping like flies from the flu.

ROBERTS: Yes. I guess there's the regular seasonal, and then there's the swine flu. And any time anybody is a little bit sick you say have you gone to a doctor yet? No, I haven't. Well, maybe you should.

CHETRY: And the doctors don't let you in there either. They kept you in a separate part.


ROBERTS: It's a nasty world out there, particularly when you get the swine flu.

CHETRY: It's 22 minutes past the hour right now.

We are talking about "Banks Gone Bust," the series that we are doing all week. Christine Romans talks to the people who used to work at Lehman Brothers. Not the huge traders, not the big, big people raking in millions, but the little guys just starting out. What happened to them? Where are they now?


CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. It's 25 minutes past the hour right now.

Imagine you went to school for years. Your only goal was to try to break into the world of finance. And then it happens -- you get an interview and you land a job of your dreams. And your company goes bust, markets across the globe tank. And you are the bad guy to everybody out there on Main Street.

Our Christine Romans is "Minding Your Business" this morning. A unique perspective of some people who worked at Lehman Brothers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Some of these kids really just worked, worked, worked to get this coveted of job on Wall Street. And then, boom, some of the youngest workers at the banks gone bust. What did they do when they worked their whole life for a job in finance, barely get there, and then they see Wall Street go into a spin?

Meet these three recovering Wall Streeters.


ROMANS: Mimi Connery traded pinstripes for black leather. Avi Yesham went green, and Ryan Stroker looked on the sunny side. It has been quite a year for these fired Wall Streeters.

MIMI CONNERY, DIRECTOR, TRUE MEANING: I'm grateful, personally, for the experience I had.

ROMANS (on camera): You're grateful?

CONNERY: Not for bankruptcy and the market going under and lost jobs, but for the business background.

ROMANS: New gig for this former investment banking analyst at Lehman Brothers -- she is on tour with the rock band Third Eye Blind, running the lead singer's foundation.

CONNERY: Going on tour with the band was quite an experience, actually not that different from investment banking in terms of hours.

AVI YASHCHIN, PRESIDENT, CLEAN EDISON: We can just do it under us.

ROMANS: Avi once spent long hours trading credit default swaps for Lehman. He now says he got lost when it crumbled.

YASHCHIN: I immediately started calling my friends and trying to find out what the next big thing is. And everyone said the same thing -- green. You have to get into the green industry.

ROMANS: He sees green as a modern day gold rush. He started a company to sell the tools, training, and education to help people get these jobs.

And Ryan, a former Merrill Lynch subprime mortgage trader, recently launched a new line of BluBlocker sunglasses with his girlfriend.

RYAN STROKER, CO-FOUNDER, MY BLUBLOCKERS: This quickly separates the people who had talked about doing for something so long. So you quickly find those who actually take advantage of that, and that's fun to see.

ROMANS: These three all took advantage, taking what they learned on Wall Street, a place they never thought they'd leave.

YASHCHIN: I could sleep for a week when I found out they offer. I was very excited. It was my dream and my goal.

ROMANS: Hard work and the lure of big money.

STROKER: The guy who was 27 and sat next to me was brought over from Bear Stearns, made $750,000.

ROMANS (on camera): $750,000?


ROMANS (voice-over): But Wall Street blew up before these three could get that far.

So what have they learned?

CONNERY: So when you go to work, you should actually be passionate about what you're doing, and that's not just the day-to-day task. I think it is important to take a step back and actually see what you are contributing to the world.

ROMANS (on camera): What would Gordon Gekko be doing right now a year after the collapse of Lehman, I wonder? Would he be in green technology?

STROKER: He'd be selling BluBlockers.

ROMANS: He might be selling BluBlockers?

STROKER: That's very possible.



ROMANS: And Ryan recently took a new job on Wall Street. So two of those are doing their own thing, one has gone back to Wall Street.

I asked them, I said, look, think about your friends and people you used to work with at Merrill or Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers, what are they doing now? Most of them have new jobs.

They say they know a few people who are still looking for something on Wall Street. Most of them have been absorbed. Started something new and taken their Wall Street skills and moved on to something else.

CHETRY: They are all high achievers, clearly. They were able to sort of pivot and move on.

ROMANS: Well, this kind of drive, drive, driving that they were -- you know, got them the jobs I on Wall Street they've taken to something else.

But I asked them, you guys have a bad reputation. You can't go around with a t-shirt saying I used to trade subprime mortgages for Merrill Lynch. Ryan said no, I would not go around advertise I was trading subprime mortgages.

But they were on the bottom of the ladder trying on do their way up just doing their job every day, and this whole thing blew up in front of them just like it did everybody else.

CHETRY: So $750,000 is just the bottom of the ladder.

ROMANS: No, no, that's the myth. Everybody knows one guy like that, and that's what keeps you going at those jobs. You see one guy get a bonus like that, and that's why people stick around.

ROBERTS: Like this guy at Citigroup we keep talking about who is going to get $100 million.

ROMANS: Wow. That's a lot of money.

CHETRY: There you go, six numbers.

All right, Christine, good piece. Thank you.

By the way, you can read more about Christine's story and rest of the "Banks Gone Bust" series. Head to our show blog,

Meanwhile, we are coming up to the half hour now. We check on our top stories.

Police in New Haven, Connecticut, have a Yale University employee, a lab technician in custody this morning. That's in connection with the killing of Yale grad student Annie Le.

Authorities will not say whether 24-year-old Raymond Clark is a suspect. Instead they are calling him a person of interest. Our Mary Snow reports that police are taking Clark's saliva, fingernail samples as well as hair samples for DNA testing.

ROBERTS: Take a look at this, and incredible video of an out-of- control bus in flames speeding across a bridge in southeastern China. China's state run media says it happened on Sunday.

Luckily no one was on the bus at the time. The report says after the bus caught fire, the driver pulled over and got everyone off, and that's when the bus took off on its own. That's something you don't see every day.

CHETRY: Yes, amazing.

The company that started video rental revolution Blockbuster falling victim to technology. The company says it is closing as many as 960 stores by the end of next year. More and more Blockbusters' profits are being eaten away by online companies like Netflix, iTunes, video on demand as well from cable and satellite companies.

ROBERTS: Fed chief Ben Bernanke says the recession is very likely over. But he admits there is still a tough road ahead. And there's still sites and towns across the country where it is hard to breathe a sigh of relief.

One city hit the hardest in the recession is Lansing, Michigan. For months, we have been checking in with Lansing's mayor and keeping tabs on how people there are doing. And Mayor Virg Bernero is back with us again this morning.

Mr. Mayor, it's great to see you. So what do you think? When Ben Bernanke, the fed chairman, says the recession is likely over, are you seeing any signs of recovery there in Lansing?

MAYOR VIRG BERNERO, LANSING, MICHIGAN: Well, some signs -- look, I hope he is right. And GM certainly is doing well. As they -- as they right size. We have been fortunate to be adding shifts and adding work. But we are working to diversify our economy. But look, there's a long way to go. I mean, President Obama is to be credited with doing a lot, saving the auto industry, tackling health care, re- regulating Wall Street which needs to happen.

He is to be commended on all those fronts. But I would say it is premature at this point to say the recession is over. It isn't over for a lot of our people. It is not over for working people. It may be over for Wall Street. But I will tell you, there's still a major disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. Even in the banking crisis, the way that was handled. I mean, the banks at the top have seen some relief.

Our community banks aren't feeling the relief. What they are feeling is clamping down on credit. We can't get financing for a lot of great projects. They still can't get financing done. It seems like we have been sort of red lined here in Michigan and other working areas. You know, the heartland of this country, the industrial heartland.

ROBERTS: The auto industry there is such a huge part of your economy. And I guess what, you got about 6,000 people now working for General Motors, down from a high of 30,000. So you've got 24,000 jobs there that have been eliminated. At least temporarily and I would expect, too, mayor, that many of these jobs are never going to come back.

BERNERO: Well, there's no question about that. Look, some of that happened over time. Some of that was the shift to robotics. We have great plants that are making better cars than ever before. And people are being retrained for what we hope will be the future economy, the green jobs, the green energy revolution that's taking place. We want to be a part in that.

And we are working to try to make that happen. But the fact is that there is still a lot of work to do. There's a lot of people hurting. I talked before with you, John. We've got to put the "p" back in GDP, gross domestic product. We need to get people working again. A lot of people are not feeling the effects of the recovery.

ROBERTS: Do you have any faith that this new manufacturing czar is going to be able to spur more manufacturing in this country? I know that we've talked in the past, Mr. Mayor, about the hollowing out of the American manufacturing base.

BERNERO: Absolutely. Look, that's a very hopeful sign, John. The fact that the president understands the importance of manufacturing because up until this point we kept hearing from folks, you know, Democrat, Republican, you name it, saying manufacturing is over. That's a thing of the past.

If we give up on manufacturing, we are really giving up on being a first rate economy. Advanced manufacturing is where it is at. We have some of the most productive people in the world in places like Lansing, Michigan. And they can make the green products and whatever products. They can do it and they can do it very well. So I'm delighted that the president did this.

Ed Montgomery, it's going to be a great thing to have somebody really looking - I mean, Ron Bloom looking out after manufacturing. And we need do that. We need to cultivate manufacturing the way other countries do. We need to look out for American workers the way other countries look out after their workers.

And that means looking at free trade and let's not forget the president is standing up to China. He just stood up on the issue of tires being dumped in this country. So we have the hope that we are going to be looking at fair trade as opposed to free trade. The president is to be commended for doing that.

ROBERTS: Mayor, a lot of people are concerned that we may also be looking into trade war with China. Mr. Mayor, between this time and the last time we talked to you the whole "Cash for Clunkers" program took place. Real boom for dealers. General Motors sales were up some 30 percent. I know that some people have come back to work there in Lansing as a result of that.

Are you seeing any further ripple effects? Is that something you can build on? Or is that just going to be a temporary bump in the economy.

BERNERO: John, I got to share with you -- a woman from south Lansing just told me last night, she said she walked by the dealerships. She walked by a Hyundai dealership and she walked by a Chevy dealership and she saw a lot more clunkers sitting in the back of the Hyundai dealership.

And she is right on. Because middle American -- the American citizens are smart. They want to know why are we subsidizing the purchase of foreign vehicles? They said why wasn't it just American vehicles that were subsidized with this?

Why would we promote people buying foreign vehicles? See, they get it. The American people are pretty sharp. So we got to look out for American workers. And look, this business about a trade war, the president is to be commended first. Why is it that every time an American politician stands up for American workers, it is protectionist or it's a trade war. But other countries do it all the time.

Our competitors do it all the time. You can't go do business in China without having a partner who owns 50 to 51 percent of the business. You know, why is it it's a double standard? We have got to get rid of the double standard. We have to not be shamed about standing up for American workers. Look, we go to war. I'm not saying we want to trade level but we got to level the playing field. We got -- we need fair trade, not free trade. And it was Democrats and Republicans, Ross Perot stood for this. Dick Gephardt stood for this. We need fair trade that works for American people.

ROBERTS: And that is a point on which you get an awful lot of agreement from people across the country. Mr. Mayor Virg Bernero, it is great to see you and thanks for dropping by this morning.

BERNERO: Always a pleasure. Thanks, John.

ROBERTS: All right. We'll see you again soon.

CHETRY: Well, speaking of agreement, pretty much on partisan lines that the Congress voted to censure Joe Wilson after he screamed "you lied" to the president. Some were asking, was this just a waste of time? Joe Johns keeping him honest. 36 minutes past the hour.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Thirty- eight minutes past the hour now.

The fallout from the "you lie" outburst by Republican Joe Wilson continues. The House has now officially passed a resolution criticizing him for heckling the president. But our Joe Johns is looking at what might be the real question, what's the point?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Kiran, the House vote on Joe Wilson was supposed to be about upholding the dignity of the institution of the House of Representatives. But even some Democrats are wondering whether it would have been better just to drop the whole thing.


JOHNS (voice-over): Please what are they doing? What's going on here? The complex health care debate, Afghanistan, and the economy all ramped up to a fever pitch and yet, what are they focused on on the floor of the House?

REP. STENY HOYER (D), MAJORITY LEADER: What's at issue here is of importance to this House and to our country.

JOHNS: That's right. Today they debated whether they should approve the mildest possible rebuke of South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson. He is the guy who launched out of obscurity with the two words he shouted at President Obama -- "You lie."


JOHNS: You know what happened next. Under pressure from his own Republican leaders, Wilson apologized. Then created a campaign video making about to be a truth-telling crusader that brought in $1.5 million in contributions from people who support him and presumably what he said. To be fair, his Democratic opponent also raised about that much.

(on camera): Which brings us to today. And your tax dollars at work. And the bold debate over whether Wilson should be punished. Congressional Democrats called for a so-called privileged resolution of disapproval. Even though some Democrats admit that right now the Congress has more than enough on his plate.

Don't you think this Joe Wilson resolution is a waste of time? Don't you guys have more important things to do?

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: You know, that's like they don't -- call me. And say "Hey, Luis, what do you think?" I say let them -- they already made an incredible -- he embarrassed himself. He embarrassed the Congress of the United States and I think the nation of this outburst. And I would just walk away. That's my own personal opinion. I would just walk away. We have important things to do.

JOHNS: So Congress voted to punish Joe Wilson. Here is the deal on the privileged resolution of disapproval. Only three dozen members of the House have ever been sanctioned by a vote of the whole House and this is the first time for yelling at the president.

But it is totally tepid -- it involves no fine, no reprimand and no expulsion. Your office is right next to Wilson's.

(voice-over): This thing probably has more negative results for members of Congress who have to share Wilson's office building than it has for Wilson himself.

JOHNS (on camera): Your office is right next to Wilson.

REP. JIM HIMES (D), CONNECTICUT: That's right. Yes, it is.

JOHNS: How is that working for you?

HIMES: Well it's been harder to get into my office the last couple of days. There's a lot of cameras (INAUDIBLE) standing out there.


JOHNS: Some Democrats welcome this because their fund-raising went up but perhaps more importantly, it rallied their base.

John and Kiran.

CHETRY: There you go. How things are done in Washington, right?

ROBERTS: I love Joe. "So, your office is right next door. What do you think?"

CHETRY: "How is that working out for you?" Well, tell us what you think about the whole "You lie" saga. Was admonishing Representative Wilson a waste of time or was it something important to do? Go to We would like to hear what you think. We'll be right back. It's 42 minutes past the hour. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


CHETRY: Good morning, New York. We have a shot of Central Park this morning. You can see the reservoir there. You can see the ball field. It's partly cloudy. Sixty-five. It is not getting much warmer today. Going up to a high of about 66. A few showers today and cooler. So, boy, ushering in autumn already, I think.

ROBERTS: A little early, don't you think? Considering that we didn't get summer until the later part of July.

Well, it's a rumble in the Bronx last night. Both benches cleared as the Yankees took on the Toronto Blue Jays. It started when two Toronto players were beamed with pitches. The Jays seems to answer when reliever Jessie Carlson threw a pitch behind Yankee's sketcher Jorge Posada. Later that inning, Posada bumped Carlson while crossing home plate and that's all it took. Both players were ejected and possible fines and suspensions now in the works. Toronto 1-2, by the way. The score was 10-4.

CHETRY: I always laugh at the people usually in the background, all they're doing is jumping up, jumping up and down. Trying to get like a look inside.

ROBERTS: What's going on?

Rob Marciano is checking the weather across the country today. He is at the weather center in Atlanta. And we got some wet weather down the south. As we are saying, some cool weather in the northeast today.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. It will feel a little bit more like October than September in places like the Bronx where the Yanks and the Blue Jays will go at it again. By the way, when you are 20 games behind the Yankees, who are in dominant first place right now, it's - you know, it's hard to kind of suppress animosity you might have. So let's behave tonight, gentlemen.

Heavy rain across the south again today. That's going to be the main weather story. This is not moving. If anything, actually, some of our computer models have it backing up, back over east Texas. So that's going to be an issue for not only today but days oncoming. We've gotten cool weather across the northeast, still a couple of showers with this front. That will continue to cause some problems for you folks.

Two to three inches across parts of southern Arkansas. We have over four in some spots yesterday. Flash flood watches and warnings not only through today but through tomorrow as well. All of this area of low pressure you saw it and everything rotating around it. Most of the heavy stuff right now is across parts of Arkansas. But it is stretching out across the southeast. We had some heavy rain across parts of northern Georgia last night, and that stretching into parts of the western Carolinas. Here's the forecast for rainfall again. The bull's eye will be across Little Rock with a couple more inches expected there. And daytime highs will be held down because of the rainfall. 73 degrees expected in Chicago and a high of only 65 in New York. 60 degrees up there in Boston.

Come on, John. Get your Toronto Blue Jays in order. Behave.

ROBERTS: Hey, listen...

MARCIANO: ... for unsportsmanlike conduct.

ROBERTS: I was at the game with the Orioles on Sunday, and the Yankees beat them by a whole lot. The Orioles didn't sound off. Then again, none of them got beamed.

MARCIANO: Like I said, they are your Blue Jays. They're the Canadian team. You got to -- we talked about manners all week.

CHETRY: And that's Rob's ungarnished of the Yankees.

MARCIANO: Exactly.

CHETRY: But you are, of course, a Yankee fan.

MARCIANO: I am. Living in Atlanta, quite frustrating.

ROBERTS: All right. Rob, thanks.

MARCIANO: All right.

CHETRY: All right. We are going to continue the talk of what's going on with the ACORN controversy. Our special investigations unit reporter Abbi Boudreau is digging into the latest controversy, the latest allegation made against ACORN when it comes to these undercover videos. And we have a new tape now that we're going to show you, coming up. Right now, it's 47 minutes past the hour.


CHETRY: Forty-eight minutes past the hour now. Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. There is now a fourth undercover video out where it seems to show an employee of the nonprofit group ACORN giving tips to a pretend pimp and prostitute and it may be the most damning one yet.

ROBERTS: In it, a female ACORN employee admits that she has some first-hand experience operating an escort service. She says Heidi Fleiss is my hero and claims that she shot and killed her abusive husband 10 years ago. Now, it's important to note that the shooting has not been confirmed.

CHETRY: Well, the Senate has already voted to block some federal grants to ACORN. Now Republicans in Congress want the president and the IRS to cut ties with the organization as well. ROBERTS: Now, ACORN is also responding to the previous three sting videos. And as our Abbi Boudreau found out, it is not going down without a fight.


ABBI BOUDREAU, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIOSN UNIT (voice-over): The three videos show ACORN workers apparently offering help and advice to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute. ACORN's spokesman calls it a right-wing setup.

SCOTT LEVENSON, ACORN SPOKESMAN: It's a sham is what it is. It's an orchestrated sham. It is journalism by "Borat" that they are attempting to create news rather than report the news. And in doing so in a deceiving, not genuine way and trying to trick people who are trying to help people.

BOUDREAU: So far ACORN has fired four of the workers from the videos. And has started a nationwide review of its local offices. Yet it questions the motivation of the filmmakers and it suggests the tapes were doctored, though it's not been able to produce any evidence to back that claim.

LEVENSON: We've been demanding the raw footage, the unedited tape, the undoctored tape to really try and figure out what was really going on.

BOUDREAU: In the latest undercover video from Brooklyn, New York, filmmaker James O'Keefe and his colleague Hannah Giles walk into an ACORN office looking for help setting up a fictitious brothel, using underage girls trafficked in from El Salvador. Rather than call the police, a staff member advises the couple to hide their illicit income in a tin can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You get a tin and you bury it down in there. And you put the money right in there and you tell a single soul but yourself where it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A tin and I put the money in the tin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put it in there...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... and over it with grass, put the grass over.

BOUDREAU: In an earlier video, D.C. workers advised the pimp about how to get his money, and protect his good name after he tells them he intends to run for Congress some day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What you're going to have to do is say you're giving a gift from somebody.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the money got to go in the bank.

BOUDREAU: And Baltimore weighed in how to hide the fact that the brothel was going to be staffed by young girls brought in illegally from El Salvador.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When the girls come, they really not going to be employees because -- you're not going to issue them W-2s at the end of the year. They are under 16 so - you don't worry about it. Plus, on the other portion of the return you show them as a dependent.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can use them as a dependent because they live in your house, especially if they are under 16.

BOUDREAU: We tried to contact all of the workers in the three cities without success.

Abbi Boudreau, CNN, Atlanta.


CHETRY: And CNN, by the way, has called in to the FBI since we're now talking about two states and the district as well as international sex trafficking allegations. The Department of Health and Urban Development authorizes ACORN to give people housing advice. We've also called asking whether HUD plans to investigate this. Well, we're still waiting for a response from HUD.

ROBERTS: All right. So good work from our Abbi Boudreau there. Fascinating, fascinating story.

Hey, Serena Williams -- she has got a brand new book out. This is her memoirs. "Serena Williams On The Line." She talks about growing up in the world of tennis, how it got her out of Compton and where she's going with her life. Of course, there's also a little controversy at the U.S. Open as well. We'll talk to her in just a little bit. Fifty-three minutes after the hour. She'll be coming up in a few minutes. So stay right here.



CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN"; A group of native Americans are trying to force the Washington Redskins to change their name because they find that word offensive. Yes. So, the team will now be known as the Maryland Redskins.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Another tell-all book about the last White House is about to hit the shelves. It is called "Speechless." It is by President Bush's former speechwriter, Matt Latimer. In it, he claims that the former commander in chief was rather, shall we say, plain spoken and blunt about last year's presidential candidate saying about Hillary Clinton, "wait until her fat kiester is sitting at this desk." But he says that the former president didn't exactly say the word "kiester." Our Brian Todd picks things up from there.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John and Kiran. This book is getting a lot of brush back from former top Bush aides who we corresponded with. They say the president described in this book is not the man they know.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: .. have to give him a briefing.

TODD (voice-over): New portrayals of a president taking his plain spoken vernacular to very personal levels. Matt Latimer, speech writer for George W. Bush for the last two years of his presidency, writes in a new book that Mr. Bush made disparaging comments about several major political figures at the time.

Excerpts from the book "Speechless" are posted on "GQ's" Web site. Latimer writes that after then-candidate Barack Obama gave a blistering speech against his administration, President Bush fumed: "This is a dangerous world... and this cat isn't remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you."

Another quote, "If B.S. was currency ... Joe Biden would be a billionaire." We tried several times for a response from the president's and vice president's press offices and got none. No one at President Bush's office responded to our repeated calls and e-mail.

Ed Gillespie, former counselor to President Bush who was one of Matt Latimer's bosses tells us Latimer's recollections don't ring true to him.

ED GILLESPIE, FORMER COUNSELOR TO PRES. BUSH: It is possible he was in meetings with the president that I wasn't in, but it's unlikely and I just don't recall that. The fact is President Bush has been nothing but gracious toward President Obama and Vice President Biden.

TODD: Latimer says President Bush wasn't impressed with the Republican ticket, either. After Sarah Palin was tapped as John McCain's running mate, Latimer writes Bush said, "'I'm trying to remember if I've ever met her before. I'm sure I must have." His eyes twinkled then asked 'What is she, the governor of Guam?'"

GILLESPIE: The notion that he didn't know who Sarah Palin was I can tell you flat out is just not the case.

TODD: That sentiment echoed by former Bush aide Jason Wrecker, who was loaned out to the Palin campaign. Wrecker said Latimer was not a significant figure at the White House, quote, "You would be hard-pressed to pick him out of a lineup."

(END VIDEOTAPE) TODD: We tried to get reaction to that from Matt Latimer's representative. She didn't respond directly to those comments, instead pointed us to some general praise of the book by various pundits. We were told Matt Latimer would not do any interviews until his book is released next week. John and Kiran, back to you.

ROBERTS: Our Brian Todd for us this morning. Brian, thanks so much.