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Will Wall Street's Rally Hold?; Can Cain Continue?; Bachmann: Trump As Possible VP Pick; Republicans Push Payroll Tax Cut Plan; Western Media Disinvited from Event in Iraq Celebrating Soldiers; Georgetown Students Hypothesize Vast Underground Tunnels in China; Man Denied Custody of Adopted Children Because He is Gay; Adoption Fight; Inside "Occupy Wall Street"
Aired December 01, 2011 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Christine Romans.
Wall Street and financial markets overseas rejoice after a plan gives Europe more time to deal with its crisis. But can the markets keep up this rally?
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Herman Cain still holding on. He will decide whether to remain in the race in the next several days. But one powerful ally said it's time to get out, now -- on this AMERICAN MORNING.
ROMANS: And good morning, everyone. Thursday, December 1st.
Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING.
Nice to see you.
COSTELLO: Good morning, everyone.
ROMANS: First, let's start with investors cheering after the Federal Reserve joined forces with other central banks to make it cheaper for Europe's troubled banks to borrow U.S. dollars. It was exactly 24 hours ago right now when that big, emergency move was announced. The Dow soared 490 points yesterday. It's the best day for the Dow in more than 2 1/2 years. That rally spilled over into Asia, where stock markets there also closed higher. But in Europe, stocks are mixed this morning.
And while the markets for the most part are reacting positively to the Fed's news, earlier on AMERICAN MORNING, Matt McCall, president of Penn Financial Group, a Wall Street guy warned us we're not out of the woods just yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT MCCALL, PRESIDENT, PENN FINANCIAL GROUP: This is a very large problem and what happened is the central banks, including the Fed here in the United States, came out and solved that problem for the very short term. We still had this -- banks can't really borrow money. You look at the countries in Europe, they can't really borrow money, but we said, you know what? Here's some money just for now. Just kind of, you know, put you on the sidelines, put a smile on your face, the markets rallied.
So, the smart people out there know that we haven't fixed anything yet. We kind of just put it on the wayside and push it down. We are kicking the can down the alley that we've been doing for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Let's bring in our Nina dos Santos, she's live in London.
And, Nina, I hate to be always looking for the dark cloud that goes with that silver lining, this is really a big problem that Europe still has. It's why a lot of insiders like Matt McCall are saying, be careful of this stock market rally. Doesn't mean everything is hunky- dory, again.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we often call this a dead cat bounce, don't we? And, Christine, we often see these markets bounce one day after a statement like this, even a statement as monumentally important as the one we got about 24 hours from now yesterday.
But it seems, though, we're really seeing a little bit of that in the market here in Europe. Notably in the Eurozone market. So, I'm talking about the markets in Germany, the Frankfurt DAX, for instance, also the CAC 40 in Paris. Those two markets are the ones that are trading down. They are the two markets that are most representative of the Eurozone area, let's say.
And on the other hand, we've got other countries that are part of the European Union but don't share the euro as a single currency like the U.K. Our markets over here in London where I am bouncing still for a second day on the back of that concerted effort. Having said that, what we do have is countries like France and Spain going back to the bond markets today, raising about $11 billion.
But as we know, every time they do go back to the bond markets and these situations are not resolved. They have to spend even more money to try to convince investors to buy those bonds that they're issuing. It is a problem and it's going to continue to be a problem until we have some kind of concerted political leadership to follow on from what the central banks have done just 24 hours ago.
ROMANS: Yes. Certainly leadership from the central banks and not the leadership from politicians just yet.
Nina dos Santos, thank you, Nina.
COSTELLO: Imagine winds as strong as hurricane force winds tearing through parts of Los Angeles. Well, that's exactly what's happening this morning.
Powerful Santa Ana winds are battling southern California and causing quite a bit of damage. Trees are down. Power is out for more than 80,000 customers. This is a live picture we have, actually, of the Los Angeles International Airport.
Parts of the airport lost electricity overnight and you know what that means. More than 20 inbound flights had to be diverted to other airports. Near Simi Valley, one wind gust registered a whopping 97 miles per hour.
So, let's get the latest on this and head to Atlanta and Rob Marciano.
Good morning, Rob.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, guys.
I think most people who live in L.A. will tell you this is not your typical Santa Ana wind event. It's shaping up to be a historic one. Last check, SoCal reporting over 200,000 people now without power.
Now, as you mentioned, a 97-mile-per-hour wind gusts near Simi Valley. But it expands to Utah. Now, Utah is getting to act. Centerville, Utah, 86-mile-an-hour wind gusts, 69-mile-an-hour wind gust in Salt Lake City and at the highest peaks of the southern sierras Mammoth Mountain, one of the wind gauges there have been consistently reporting 130, 140-mile-an-hour sustained winds.
So, this is a widespread event. It encompasses several states. So, it's not just, you know, the Santa Anas typically that cruise through the canyons, although that's where you're going to find most of your winds.
Wind gusts today, again, 60 to 90 miles per hour. The same setup continues today, if anything, winds might even be a little bit stronger tonight. Downed trees and power lines, obviously, we've seen that and we'll probably see that continue.
The other threat is critical fire danger. It's pretty dry, but the winds when you get them cooking 70, 80 miles an hour, they're impossible to contain any sort of fire. As a matter of fact, a small college in Los Angeles was evacuated briefly because of a grass fire there.
So, a big storm, it's not just a high pressure, cold air over the mountains. There's an area of low pressure here that is getting up into the mountains and that's causing all sorts of problems in the way of snow across the Utah, Wasatch and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Denver reporting snow right now. So, this is a pretty big deal.
You go everywhere east of the Mississippi and finally things are getting back to normal as far as colder air across the Northeast. But it's still chilly across the South, 32 degrees right now in Atlanta and some spots closer to the Gulf of Mexico were below freezing this morning. So, a crazy day weather-wise -- the worse of which is out West.
COSTELLO: Wow, that is crazy. Hopefully, it will calm down later today.
Thank you, Rob. We appreciate it.
ROMANS: All right. It's about six minutes past the hour.
Here's what's new this morning: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has delivered a letter from President Obama to Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. It comes one day after the Nobel Peace Prize winner announced that she intends to run for parliament in that Southeast Asian nation. Also Clinton also delivered a letter from Mr. Obama to Myanmar President Thein Sein and called on him to sever military ties with North Korea.
COSTELLO: Stunning images of a plane crash in Boeing Field in Seattle. The small aircraft began to take off but crash back down hitting a parked plane and then flipping over. Both planes caught fire, two people were inside one of the cockpits, but they managed to walk away with only minor injuries.
ROMANS: Day two of hearings set for the man who shot President Reagan. Lawyers for John Hinckley Jr. fighting for his freedom, saying he is not dangerous, and should eventually be releases from a government mental hospital. But government lawyers say he is still capable of, quote, "a great violence." And they point out he recently went to a book store to look up information on presidential assassins -- this while a visit to his mother's home in Virginia.
COSTELLO: A judge denied bond to four suspects in the Amish hair-cutting case. The leader of a breakaway Amish group, along with his two sons and son-in-law have been charged with hate crimes and they'll stay in jail. The judge calling them a danger to the Amish community. Three other suspects will head to court tomorrow.
The men are accused of shaving the beards and hair of former group members.
ROMANS: It's a small, but significant first step in getting NBA players back on the court after the long lockout. Team practice facilities are working for voluntary workouts. Training camps begin in eight days.
Earlier on AMERICAN MORNING, we asked ESPAN analyst Doug Glanville about the injury risk from rushing players back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG GLANVILLE, ESPN ANALYST: That's a huge concern. I mean, December 9th they're getting involved. All of a sudden now, you have to get 16 days to try to be ready for this Christmas extravaganza.
And guys are getting hurt. You have free agents who haven't signed yet and they are trying to scramble to figure out what's next. You have rookie players who are unfamiliar with training camp routines. So, they don't have a lot of time and that usually makes players susceptible to more injuries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: All right. The shortened NBA regular season is scheduled to start on Christmas Day.
COSTELLO: It will be like five games played on Christmas Day. It's crazy.
Still to come, Herman Cain hanging on. He's still in the race for now, but one powerful Republican and close friend says it's time for Cain to step aside.
ROMANS: And China hiding nuclear secrets deep under ground, thousands of miles of hidden tunnels. What U.S. students uncovered on the web about China's growing military and its secrets.
And Santa stuck on a rope but he can't get down. The mall Santa could have used a sleigh and some reindeer to avoid this major malfunction.
Nine minutes past the hour.
ROMANS: And welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING.
The end may be near for Herman Cain's presidential campaign. The embattled candidate says he'll decide whether to drop out of the race in the next several days.
But our next guest says that Cain should not wait that long. It's time to step aside right now.
Joining us live from Cincinnati is Ken Blackwell, executive vice president of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies and a friend of Herman Cain's.
Thanks for joining us this morning.
KEN BLACKWELL, FRIEND OF HERMAN CAIN: It's good to be with you, Carol.
COSTELLO: I just want to make things for our viewers. You're friends with Herman Cain. But you support Rick Perry, is that right?
BLACKWELL: That is absolutely correct.
COSTELLO: OK. I just want to read what you said earlier about Herman Cain. And this is a quote from you.
You say, "Herman is a friend. I pray that he will sacrifice his ambition for the family that he loves. He should be humbled, state his case and exit the stage. High character leaders are compelled by wisdom, integrity and an operative conscious to sacrifice for others -- in this case, his family."
So, you do believe Herman Cain should step aside now.
BLACKWELL: I think he should have a singular focus on the welfare of his family. I was encouraged yesterday when he said that he was going to step down off of the campaign stage and focus on his family and talk with Gloria and map out his course going forward.
Look, Herman Cain has a lot to offer in terms of advancing policy reforms in this country and getting our economy growing again. The campaign stage is not the only stage from which he can advance those reforms. I also think that he has to understand that by traditional measures, whether that be campaign cash, campaign organization or the forcefulness of his message, all of these things have been impacted by this tremendous distraction.
COSTELLO: Do you think that some voters are more angry at the allegations that continue to come out against Herman Cain, or are they more angry about his inability to deal with those things effectively?
BLACKWELL: I think that there are a lot of folks who believe that the case -- he deserves his day in the court of public opinion. That he should not admit guilt if there is no guilt, but that he must forcefully answer this on a sustained and clear basis.
Right now, he is beset by conflicting messages from his campaign, managers and advisors and himself. And, so, getting that clarity of message consistency of message, and he can go out and make his case that this -- these charges are not true. If, in fact, they are true, he has a lot of mending to do.
And, so, I say let's get on with the care of his family and getting him back on a track where he can advance economic growth and tax reform.
COSTELLO: When Herman Cain says there was no sexual affair with Ginger White, do you believe him?
BLACKWELL: I have no reason not to believe him, but I think that he has a pattern of allegations now from multiple sources that actually require transparency and a forceful defense and advance of his position on this. He cannot -- he cannot side step the issue.
He cannot talk about conspiracy theories. He cannot play the victim card. He, in fact, has to come out and deal with full disclosure and let the true fall where it may.
COSTELLO: I want to talk a little bit about his wife because you know her, as well. She has come out and said, you know, if what these women are saying about Herman Cain is true, he would have to have a split personality. When you hear these allegations, do you feel the same way?
BLACKWELL: Well, I would just say that that is, there has been nothing in my relationship with Herman over the last almost 15 years that would suggest that gives me any indication to say, boy, that's consistent with what I've seen. This guy has been a stand-up fellow. He's been an advocate of the moral traditions that have made our country great.
And -- but these are, these are serious charges by multiple sources, and they have to be addressed. So, you know, I'm not going to play psychiatrist. I'm not going to be the sitting and hanging judge. I am like millions of other Americans. I want to have Herman focus on these charges, and I want him to put the allocations -- the accusations behind him.
COSTELLO: And just, again, you still believe that Herman Cain should step down now for the good of the Republican Party?
BLACKWELL: Well, again, I think Herman should have a singular focus on his family and getting these accusations behind him. He has to have that singular focus. I believe that his campaign is at a point now where he has to make a choice between his family and getting these issues behind him or staying on the campaign stage and watch his campaign die a slow death.
That is -- that is a problem. That is a choice that he has to make. As I indicated, I was encouraged by his comments yesterday in Ohio where he said that he was going to go home. he was going to talk with his family, most notably with Gloria, and they would, together, as they have done so many times over their 43 years of marriage, they will map out their future path together.
COSTELLO: Ken Blackwell, thanks so much for joining us this morning. We appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: Good to be with you, Carol.
ROMANS: Meantime this morning, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is naming names on her short list for vice president if she were to win the White House, and Donald Trump is one of them. Bachmann telling Fox News that Trump is a pick that a lot of people would be intrigued with.
Bachmann has met with Trump four times during her campaign. She also named fellow candidate, Rick Santorum, as a possible VP pick, and she mentioned Florida senator, Marco Rubio.
COSTELLO: I can't imagine Donald Trump being number two on a ticket.
COSTELLO: Just saying.
Santa on a rope. It's not a gift idea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO (voice-over): Check out what happened to this mall Santa. So embarrassing. He was trying to repel down to meet the kids at a South Florida mall when his fake beard got caught up and all that repelling gear. He was -- look, he's just stuck about halfway down. Eventually, he had to actually rip his beard off to free himself, and then, he dropped not so gracefully to the mall floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: We could get the reindeer inside, the sled -- I mean, repelling and Santa are two things you don't usually see together and that's probably why.
Ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, China hiding military secrets deep under ground. Missiles and war heads, allegedly, in a hidden web of tunnels and how one group of American students uncovered it.
ROMANS: Good morning. Twenty-four minutes after the hour. "Minding Your Business" this morning.
Right now, U.S. stock futures are trading slightly higher following on that big rally yesterday. The Dow was up 490 points or nearly 4.5 percent, putting the Dow in the plus column for the year, all because of that big intervention, the move by major central banks around the world to ease the flow of dollars into the global financial system.
We're standing by, also, in about six minutes for the latest initial jobless claims report. It's expected to show maybe 390,000 people filed for the first time for unemployment benefits last week. If that's true, that would be seen as a good sign for the labor market. Anything under 400,000 is seen as a good sign and, of course, we're going to get the big November jobs report tomorrow.
Republicans now are pushing a new proposal to extend the payroll tax holiday. In order to cover the $200 billion plus price tag, though, Republicans want to freeze federal worker pay, reduce the federal workforce by attrition, and prohibit millionaires from receiving unemployment benefits and food stamps. The GOP says some 2,300 millionaires in 2009 actually were getting jobless checks.
Long-time talk show host, Larry King, joins the long list of people interested in buying the Los Angeles Dodgers. He's part of a group of investors who want to take over that franchise. King says he's been a Dodgers fan since he was a kid, and it would be a thrill of a lifetime to become a partial owner.
And you have just 31 days to use them or lose them. We're talking about your vacation days. And according to a new survey by Expedia, the average worker only uses just 12 out of their 14 vacation days. That means Americans are giving up about $34 billion worth of their time. The reason, most folks say they simply can't afford to get away. Up next, a CNN exclusive, inside the "Occupy Wall Street" operation. Cameras have never been allowed inside their offices until now, and we've got the looks. You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. It's 26 minutes after the hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imagine a tunnel 30 feet by 20 feet high running from Nova Scotia to Tijuana.
COSTELLO: Yes, U.S. students dig up China's nuclear secrets. What's the country hiding behind an underground great wall on this AMERICAN MORNING.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. Top stories right now.
U.S. stock futures trading slightly higher after the Dow's huge rally yesterday.
ROMANS (voice-over): That rally was because of the big intervention by major central banks around the world stepping in to ease the flow of dollars into global financial system to keep the blood pumping to the banks as that European debt crisis rages.
COSTELLO: Herman Cain says he'll make a decision about the future of his campaign in the next several days. The embattled candidate, his fund-raising has taken a serious hit and his wife is suffering emotionally ever since that Georgia woman went public with claims she had an extramarital affair with him.
ROMANS: And hurricane force winds ripping through parts of Los Angeles overnight. Trees are down. Power knocked out to 80,000 customers. Parts of Los Angeles International Airport lost power, too, with more than 20 inbound flights diverted to other airports. Near Semi Valley out, one wind gust registered at an unbelievable 97 miles an hour.
COSTELLO: And now to Iraq and a special ceremony overnight honoring the service and sacrifice of coalition and Iraqi soldiers just weeks before U.S. troops will be out of Iraq. CNN's Martin Savidge live in Baghdad this morning. Good morning, Martin.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. This was a meeting that was really supposed to be open to everyone, especially the western media, which, of course, like the Iraqi media wanted to cover this event. But we were told last night around midnight, no, you will not be coming. And we asked, what is the reason for that? They said security. And it was a very odd description that was given to us. Initially we were told we would be allowed to come cover this service which was meant to commemorate the sacrifice made by U.S. and Iraqi forces in the conflict that will be coming to an end December 31. But then we got that notification.
The reason they say security is the event has to be held indoors. They say that means limited space, and once you have the dignitaries in there and the soldiers in there and Iraq media in there, there simply was no room for the western media, so don't bother showing up.
The real question is, who made that call? In other words, whose decision? The Iraqis said the U.S. made the decision and the U.S. says no the Iraqis made the decision. We filed formal protests and we haven't heard answer yet who really made that call.
COSTELLO: As for the U.S. soldiers attending this ceremony, you'll get a chance to talk with them, or maybe you have already.
SAVIDGE: Yes. You know, a couple ways to look at this story. For the American service members that are leaving Iraq, number one, they're happy because they're leaving and their tour of duty has been cut short and they're going home and home in time for the holidays and feel very proud about the mission they have accomplished. They believe security much better than it was in the dark days during the sectarian violence and that's a result of the surge and cooperation with Iraqi officials.
The Iraqi people on the other hand, they have a very different view. They believe it is good riddance that U.S. soldiers are leaving. They saw it as an occupation. They believe now their nation will have to pick up and do on its own. How well it can succeed, excuse me, that remains to be seen, Carol.
COSTELLO: Martin Savidge reporting live for us from Baghdad this morning.
ROMANS: All right, China may be hiding a major secret about its nuclear capability, a secret deep underground. Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence joins us now with this story.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: While the Chinese were building these tunnels, a Georgetown professor was digging into China.
DR. PHILLIP KARBER, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: The students downloaded 200 hours of Chinese video.
LAWRENCE: Dr. Phillip Karber and his team of students have produced the world's largest reports on China's tunnels. China admits they were dug by a secretive branch of its military responsible for deploying ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.
KARBER: They had 3,000 miles of these tunnels, 3,000 miles. LAWRENCE (on camera): Can you put that in any perspective?
KARBER: Imagine a tunnel 30 feet by 20 feet high running from Nova Scotia to Tijuana.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): Karber is a former Pentagon strategist who used to look for weakness in the old Soviet Union. Based on the size of these tunnels, he says China could have as many as 3,000 nuclear warheads.
LAICIE OLSON, CENTER FOR ARMS CONTROL AND NON-PROLIFERATION: The problem with the study and the way that it comes to this estimate is that the students and the professor make the assumption that because, because China is working on this system of underground tunnels this must automatically mean that they have a far -- they're working on new nuclear weapons.
LAWRENCE: Policy analyst Laicie Olsen and others working on arms control questioned the Georgetown team's methods. Olsen says suggesting that China has 3,000 weapons is a huge jump from the current estimate of a few hundred warheads and could lead rival Asian nations to start an arm's race.
OLSON: These will lead us to estimates that could potentially impact foreign policy in a very negative way.
LAWRENCE: But students who slogged through 200 hours of video and translated more than a million words disagree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seeing hundreds of thousands of Chinese men who worked to build these things and hearing their stories and hearing how much effort they put into this is another issue and shows how important it is to the Chinese military.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They may provoke an arm's race, even unintentionally.
LAWRENCE: No matter how many weapons you believe China has, the teams research did yield some fascinating revelations, including how China would use disguised railcars to transport some of its long-range missiles in secret.
Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.
ROMANS: All right, some numbers just in about your jobs and the job market. The latest report on jobless claims is out. It's how many people every week are filing for the very first time for an unemployment check. Last week it was 402,000 people for the very first time filing for benefits. That's more than economists had expected, and it's above that 400,000 sign, which is, frankly, signaling weakness still in the labor market. The big job's report for the month, the really big important read of what's happening in the job's market, that comes tomorrow at this time. We'll have it for you then, Carol. COSTELLO: The first lawsuit has not been filed in the Penn State sex abuse scandal, and it's coming from a new accuser who is not included in the criminal charges. The lawsuit claims that Jerry Sandusky abused the boy more than 100 times and threatened the boy's family so he would keep quiet. The victim, who is now 29 years old, also claims that Sandusky's abuse began well before authorities think it began, and the suit also names Sandusky's Second Mile charity and Penn State University.
ROMANS: Terrifying moments during a college cheerleading routine. Michigan cheerleader Taylor Young takes a nasty tumble during the performance at that Michigan State-Florida State basketball game last night. She fell hard face first. Medics took her away on a stretcher, but she did flash a thumbs-up sign and a smile on her way out, and we're told this morning she's doing OK.
ROMANS: It's music's biggest night, the 54th annual Grammys. Kanye West scored seven nominations, but the real showstopper is Adele. The British singer came away with six nods, including one for the night's top honor, the album of the year. Also up for that title, The Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and Rihanna. The Grammys air in February.
COSTELLO: Ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, an international custody fight. We'll talk to a man who can't bring the two sons he's adopted back to the U.S. because he's gay.
And a CNN exclusive, inside the new offices of Occupy Wall Street It's a real upgrade from Zuccotti Park, we must say. Cameras have never been allowed in until now. You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. It's 36 minutes past the hour.
COSTELLO: It's 40 minutes past the hour. Welcome back.
He's fighting to get his two sons back. They were legally adopted in Columbia, but Chandler Burr says authorities refused to let him bring the boys back to the United States once they found out he was gay. In a moment we'll talk to Mr. Burr about his fight, but, first, a little more background on the story.
COSTELLO: Chandler Burr thought he achieved his life-long dream, a single gay men, he adopted two Columbian young boys though an international adoption agency.
CHANDLER BURR, DENIED ADOPTION BECAUSE OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION: I was happier than I think I've ever been in my life in a sense. You're just, to have your sons, finally.
COSTELLO: It is legal for gay men to adopt in Columbia but was seldom allowed, the adoption went through. Burr was on his way to get a passport when he told a social worker he was gay. BURR: I said it and I thought that we would have an intelligent conversation. Some might be upset and some debate it and this sort of thing. I never in my life expected them to do everything illegal that they possibly could taking my kids away.
COSTELLO: But then the Columbian government changed their mind.
BURR: They would turn the children back into orphans and raise them in an institution rather than put them with their gay father, like me.
COSTELLO: Burr's sons Joseph and Brian have been in legal limbo for six months. Columbia's family services officials canceled an interview with CNN, but a judge has upheld their right to review the adoption, not because Burr is gay, but because he didn't tell that to social workers reviewing the initial adoption. He did not present himself during the adoption process as the person he really is in the same way that Chandler Burr the right to learn about the minor children, the children had the right to know who in the reality was the person who was going to adopt them.
COSTELLO: Chandler Burr joins us now. Thank you for coming in. We appreciate it.
So, when did you first meet the boys. How long have you known them?
BURR: My gosh, 2009, they spent the summer with me here in New York City.
COSTELLO: So they know you very well.
BURR: Very well.
COSTELLO: What do they think about all of this.
BURR: It's funny because they were taken into a room by the lawyer who is leading this, and she interrogated them individually. My kids were abandoned at birth. And she said to them, you know your father's game. And my older son Brian, who is 13, he said, yes, I know it. It doesn't matter.
COSTELLO: So, you told the kids you were gay. I mean, it's common knowledge and they're accepting of that fact.
COSTELLO: So why would the Columbian social service agents turn around and say it's not because you're gay we're not granting this adoption. It's because you didn't tell us you're gay. And they also claim you didn't tell the boys.
BURR: Why would they? Are they claiming that?
COSTELLO: I think so.
BURR: What they're doing is they're essentially, there's a legal fact which is that I'm an adoptive parent. And why are they doing this? They're breaking the law. Why are they doing this? It's because they hate gay people, and "hate" is not too strong a word, more than they love the children in their care.
COSTELLO: So, you didn't tell the social services workers in Columbia that you were gay initially, but somehow at some point down the line you brought this on yourself.
BURR: I thought I am going to help, I'm going to help the kids who need to be adopted. You went through this process and you see so many kids and you think, I'll take that one, I'll take that one. I don't have the money or the resources to do that and I will help those people, and I expected to have a rational conversation. And they freaked out and took the kids away.
And what is interesting is the Supreme Court decision, I brought this on, the Supreme Court decision 290 of 1995 specifically says that sexual orientation cannot be a criterion in adoption. So, everything they've done is illegal and everything they continue to do.
And it was very interesting because there was a memo and it says very clearly it is illegal in discrimination the basis of sexual orientation for purpose of adoption and it places the Columbian state in the situation of violating the human rights of an American national and violating the human rights of the children.
COSTELLO: So, the question is, where do you go from here? The kids are in Columbia. It's a very difficult fight since you're here in the United States.
BURR: We will work it out. No, you know what's great is it's actually astonishing. The Columbian people in general don't feel this way. This is a group of crazy people.
The woman who took them away, by the way, was the head of the child welfare system, she was just, she just left the directorship last week and she's now being indicted on corruption charges and implicated in the deaths of several children under her care because of her corruption. This is what is going on. It's crazy.
COSTELLO: So -- but, again, I mean, what resources do you have here that might help you?
BURR: We have a great team in Colombia and they're wonderful. It's an organization called De Justicia (ph) and it's led by one of the main constitutional scholars in Colombia his name is Rodrigo Uprimny and they're terrific. And they're fighting this battle and we're going to win because everything that (INAUDIBLE) the child welfare system of Colombia is doing is illegal. It's against the law.
And I have a document here, actually. It's interesting, the woman who physically took them away, Isvia Ruth Cardenas (ph) this is the memo right there and you can look it up. It's online and she asked the lawyers at the Ise de Jefe (ph) the child welfare system, can I take sexual orientation into account for this adoption? And they said it is illegal according to the constitution of Colombia to ask about sexual orientation or to use it. It is invidious discrimination. That's the law.
COSTELLO: But, I guess in retrospect, do you regret ever mentioning to these social service workers that you're gay.
BURR: I think about it -- I think about it all the time, yes. Given all this, I regret it. I was there in March, we adopted, we were together. The video that we just saw was us in Bogota. And it was wonderful and they're my kids. You know I -- I talked to them and they say, (INAUDIBLE) "Daddy is how was the court case?" And they know what's going on. They're old enough. They are -- they are -- Joe's 9 and Brian's 13 now.
And all the suffering that it has caused to them and to me, no, it wouldn't be worth it. I never imagined that the Colombians, the Colombian authorities would break the law like this. I never imagined for an instant that they would violate a legal adoption that's done where sexual orientation legally has no place.
COSTELLO: Well we wish you luck and thank you so much for coming in.
BURR: Thank you. Thank you.
COSTELLO: We appreciate it.
ROMANS: All right, still to come, Occupy Wall Street out of Zuccotti Park and into some new digs. Cameras have never been allowed inside until now. It's a CNN exclusive of where "Occupy" is occupying this morning.
Ahead on AMERICAN MORNING. Its 47 minutes after the hour.
ROMANS: It's 49 minutes after the hour. Here are your "Morning Headlines".
The Labor Department just announced that 402,000 jobless claims were filed for the first time last week. Now, that's more than economists were expecting. Any time this number comes in above 400,000, frankly it shows weakness still in the labor market.
Markets open -- the stock markets open in 45 minutes and right now stock futures are flat after yesterday's huge 490-point rally for the DOW. A lot of people want to see if they can hold on to those gains.
Herman Cain, still reassessing the viability of his campaign. The embattled candidate says fund-raising has dropped off and his wife is struggling ever since a Georgia woman came forward and claimed she had a 13-year affair with him.
We can learn the first initial results from Egypt's parliamentary elections today. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Al Nour Salafi Muslim Party claim that they're ahead in the ballot counting. Once the lawmakers are selected, they'll have to draft a new constitution.
That's the news you need to start your day. AMERICAN MORNING is back right after this quick break.
ROMANS: That's our picture of Central Park here in New York where it's 39 degrees. Higher -- higher later this afternoon, maybe sunny and 50 for December 1st.
COSTELLO: Not so bad. Yes not so bad for December 1st.
Welcome back, cameras have never been allowed in before, but we're about to take you inside the new Occupy Wall Street operation.
ROMANS: That's right. After that famous eviction from Zuccotti Park, movement organizers chose two Manhattan locations to set up shop. And the irony of those choices is inescapable.
Poppy Harlow with a "CNN Exclusive".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM (on camera): Zuccotti Park is nearly all cleared out, but "Occupy" has moved to places that you probably wouldn't expect, including an office right off of Wall Street.
You walk in and you get a name tag like this.
Is this Occupy headquarters?
MEGAN HAYES, ORGANIZER, OCCUPY WALL STREET: Not at all. This is one of our offices. Because we don't have Zuccotti Park.
HAYES: We are spreading out our resources so we can have people join us. Working groups can continue to work and continue to plan.
HARLOW: All right, show us around.
HAYES: This is some of our working spaces. You can see lots of occupiers working here. We have some offices, our info hub to help people who were staying in the park who are now homeless.
HARLOW: Is there a copy machine, fax.
HAYES: As every office needs, we have a copy machine.
HARLOW: Look, rent in Manhattan isn't cheap. How are you guys paying for this?
HAYES: We are not, it's donations. Our office furniture was donated and our food still donated and our water's donated.
HARLOW: So this really stands out to me. We walk in here. What print media is saying about the movement today? So, they're posting all the stuff that we, the media, are putting out there. You're keeping an eye on us.
HAYES: Of course.
HARLOW: Is it a more professional movement now? You've got an office, is it different now?
HAYWOOD CAREY, ORGANIZER, OCCUPY WALL STREET: No, I don't think so. One of the things that we're trying to reconcile here is that we're trying to show the world a different way of doing things. And the way -- we may be in an office space, we want to stay true to exactly who we are.
HARLOW: So, there's no boss on this office floor?
CAREY: Absolutely not. We are -- we are a movement without leadership. People oftentimes say a bunch of anarchists can't run anything, they'll just do whatever they want. Nothing to be further from the truth in Occupy Wall Street. We have layer upon layer upon layer upon layer of structure, regulations and guidelines. The difference is, is that we as a people came up with those.
HARLOW: Here right next to the New York Stock Exchange in the Trump building is another public meeting area for Occupy Wall Street where a lot of them have gone since Zuccotti Park got evicted.
AREY: It's a little bit ironic. This is actually the lobby of a bank, but that actually makes it so much more important to us.
HARLOW: Is this space as important as your office is that we were in earlier?
CAREY: This space is much more important than the office.
CAREY: Because what you're seeing right here is decision making. I can't tell you what we're going to look like in a year, but what I can say is what you see around here is what's going to determine what we look like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: And I also want to show you some interesting video we caught that night. We've got a much longer piece on cnnmoney.com.
But take a look at this. What we walked into was in a former bank, believe it or not, that has been turned into their storage facility also right off Wall Street. They told me they get hundreds and hundreds of boxes of donations. Everything from medical equipment to blankets, jackets, hand warmers for the winter when they were in the park. So, that was an interesting thing for us to see, as well.
One thing that stood out to me, Carol and Christine; in the office, was I saw this map on the wall -- a hand-drawn map of all the streets in Lower Manhattan with push pins and names for each meeting location of protestors on that day of action, November 17th. It was color-coordinated. There were names of the leaders. That was organized.
And I said to one of the women we were with, I said, "Should people be nervous now that believe this movement is unorganized and isn't going anywhere?" She said, "Then they don't really know what we are." It was much more organized than I thought.
ROMANS: So what is the goal?
HARLOW: That's the question. I asked that to everyone I spoke with. Still though, your critics say you don't have a singular goal. What is your mission? I've heard different goals from a lot of you. Some say it's money out of politics and some say it's pushing Obama's jobs plan. What is it?
They say, that's not what we're about. The media criticizes us for that. That not what we are about.
What was interesting to me, some of the people working in the office I talked to I said, "Did you quit your job to come here?" Two of them quit their jobs in technology making decent salaries and they told me that they're working there at the office commuting in from Brooklyn, 13 to 19 hours a day. Are they making any money? No salary right now.
So, the question is, how sustainable is it, right?
ROMANS: Once they were out of savings --
HARLOW: When you run out of savings that they're living on what is going to happen? One woman told me, "I guess I'm going to have to get a part-time job." So reality kicks in here at some point but I think this shows a different side --
COSTELLO: Wait a minute, somebody is paying for that office space, right?
COSTELLO: Yes. Donated money that, of course, we aren't really sure where that's coming from. But at some point you might think that these people will get paid for doing work.
HARLOW: If they get enough because they've already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. If they get enough and they can set up a system, like a non-profit, then yes -- ROMANS: But then they're part of the system that they're saying hasn't worked. Right. Such an interesting conundrum and it will be so interesting to see it evolve.
ROMANS: Thanks Poppy.
COSTELLO: Three minutes to the top of the hour. We'll be right back.
ROMANS: And that does it for us this morning. Happy Thursday. One more day to go, Carol.
COSTELLO: That's right. Until happy Friday. Over to you, Don Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": You guys are excited about that, almost Friday. Have a great day.