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The Situation Room

New Claims of al Qaeda-U.K. Bombings Link; Clintons Campaign in Iowa

Aired July 03, 2007 - 19:00   ET


Happening now, exporting terror -- new claims of a link between the U.K. car bombs and al Qaeda in Iraq. Tonight, we connect the dots and the danger.

Also this hour, a rising Democratic star deals with scandal. The mayor of Los Angeles speaks out about the other woman.

And trading places -- the Clintons campaign across Iowa with her in the driver's seat this time. It's a role reversal, but is it working?

Wolf Blitzer is off today.

I'm Suzanne Malveaux and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

There is a new twist to those failed car bombings in the U.K. as British police focus on the possible involvement of a number of doctors in the plot. There is word now of disturbing links to al Qaeda as a wave of terror spreads out from Iraq.

CNN justice correspondent, Kelli Arena, has been investigating this all day. Kelli, what have you found?

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, this latest terror attempt in Britain is very different from what we've seen before there. Counter terrorism officials say that it does not qualify as a home-grown threat. Instead, it has direct connections to al Qaeda central.


ARENA (voice-over): The fear is now a reality. The terror network in Iraq is expanding beyond that battlefield and into the West. Counter terrorism officials tell CNN the group allegedly behind the weekend attacks in the U.K. has connections to al Qaeda in Iraq. At least one is believed to have been recruited while living in the Middle East. Their connections and methods come as no surprise to intelligence experts.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Iraq is producing another generation of terrorists, trained in urban warfare and this type of weapon, the car bomb, is their weapon of choice. ARENA: At least five of those arrested in the U.K. attacks are doctors. Al Qaeda has long had an interest in recruiting medical professionals, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's number two, is an ophthalmologist. Counter terrorism experts offer an expertise in biological and chemical capabilities and have access to radioactive material, which could be used in future attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This wouldn't kill large numbers of people, but it would create a radiation scare and raise the level of terror to new heights.


ARENA: Most experts suggest that it's only a matter of time before the terrorists move their activities across the ocean to the United States. Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: And Kelli, is there any idea who actually recruited these terrorists?

ARENA: Well, investigators tell us that this happened sometime within the 2004, 2005 timeframe when Zarqawi was actually leading al Qaeda in Iraq. Of course, he's now deceased. But they're not yet drawing a link to him or to anyone else in the leadership. They say it's still too early, very fast-moving investigation, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you, Kelli Arena, for keeping up with all those fast developments.

Now let's delve deeper between the alleged connection with the U.K. car bombs and al Qaeda in Iraq. I spoke earlier with our man in Baghdad, Michael Ware.

Michael, thanks so much for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM. I want to start off by talking about the London terror plot. There are now reports that one of the perpetrators, one of those doctors involved in the plot received training from al Qaeda, possibly in Iraq. From your reporting, are you seeing evidence that al Qaeda is training potential would-be terrorists, exporting those folks to places in Europe and overseas?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, the short answer is yes. I mean, that's been part of al Qaeda and Iraq's grand design, that ultimately they would be exporting terror. And of course, you will recall that we saw the hotel bombings in neighboring Jordan in the capital Amman. That was carried out by al Qaeda in Iraq.

We also have Intel reports from Kuwaiti officials, Lebanese officials, Syrian officials, others in the region saying that they are picking up al Qaeda veterans from Iraq or al Qaeda in Iraq, veterans, the graduating class coming back, recruiting, training, forming cells. I mean this is precisely what happened in the 1980s after Afghanistan.

It's the same thing. When the Russians were defeated by Afghan fighters and by the Arabs who went to fight against them in the name of jihad, these Arabs went home and they became the heroes and around them formed groups and cells. And, eventually, we saw the emergence of al Qaeda itself, so this is going to be -- and we've said this for a long time -- one of the true great legacies of the war in Iraq. And that is going to be the ferment of a whole new era of al Qaeda jihadists that will come out of this place.

MALVEAUX: And Michael, you reported that we're also seeing another group, Hezbollah, inside Iraq, working with the Iranian Quds force now. I want to read to you a statement from the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman today who says today it is another silly and ridiculous scenario brought up by Americans based on a baseless remark of a person. It is a sheer lie and it is ridiculous. They're knocking down your reporting here.

WARE: Well, they're actually knocking down the American intelligence and, of course, the reporting, yes. I mean, I've been dealing with the Iran story for years now. And this is one of the great difficulties. It's getting to the story. I mean, this is great cloak and dagger stuff. Again, harkening back to Afghanistan, what America did to the Russians in the 1980s by funding and supplying the Afghan fighters and the Arab mujahideen, weapons, training, anything else they might have needed, that's precisely what Iran is doing.

Now it was very hard to catch America with its hand in the proverbial cookie jar in the '80s, same again now. But the fact remains there is a Lebanese Hezbollah man in American custody. Now is it any great surprise that no one wants to take responsibility for him? No. But the fact remains the guy is here. The guy was caught with the special groups' paramilitaries, which are funded by Iran.

The special groups' paramilitary commanders all admitted he was Lebanese Hezbollah, that he was working with them and they, like he, work for Iran. There were documents to support it. The materials they had with them confirmed their story. Also there's electronic evidence that the Americans say they have gathered to support this story. This is the whole point of having proxies. When they killed or captured, you can just sever the tie.

Plausible deniability is what it's all about. Now the difference in this case is that this time the evidence that the Americans have is much more tangible than anything they've ever had before. Nonetheless, you would expect General Suleimani, the head of the Quds force to brush it away. But I can tell you, Suzanne that in discussions with Iraqi representatives from this government who have been to Tehran recently, General Suleimani and others from the Tehran's regime haven't exactly denied their involvement in supporting these groups. In fact, some of them are very happy to celebrate the fact.

MALVEAUX: Michael Ware, thank you for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Thanks again.

WARE: Thanks, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Fourth of July celebrations already underway in some parts of the country. And there are heightened terror concerns with the holiday coming just days after the failed attacks in Britain. The Transportation Security Administration is taking no chances, deploying specialized forces known as VIPR teams, visual, intermobile protection and response.

They include air marshals, transportation inspectors, behavior detection officers and bomb sniffing dogs. And they're already on duty, patrolling airports and public transportation in eight major cities from coast to coast. The TSA says there are no specific threats and no link between the VIPR deployment and the U.K. attacks.

Chicago is one of the cities where the VIPR teams are deploying, but that is not the only anti-terror tool authorities are using. Now, huge crowds gathering for a fireworks display tonight. Our CNN's Kyung Lah is there live for us. Kyung, what are some of the other security measures that you're seeing there in Chicago?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well the first thing I'm seeing, Suzanne, is actually the small crowd that I've actually collected here. Behind this crowd we actually have what Chicago police are estimating tonight more than a million people gathering at the lake front. Now you asked about what security measures there are employed. They're having as many uniform police they can find here on the ground among the crowds, trying to act as a deterrent, but they're also getting some high-tech help.


LAH (voice-over): In an expected crowd of a million people, hovering up above...

SGT. GREG HOFFMAN, CHICAGO POLICE DEPT.: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can zoom in and not only see the package itself...

LAH: ... is the watchful eye of Sergeant Greg Hoffman.

(on camera): Multiple eyes are watching?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll be watching from every angle.

LAH (voice-over): As the "Windy City" prepares for its Third of July fireworks, the single largest public gathering of the year here, the Chicago police run through this drill, showing how with the click of a mouse its 450 cameras can work to reduce the chance of attacks in a crowd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Car 47, this is eight out of 20.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is car 47.

LAH: Deputy Chief James Keating is the responding officer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A report of a suspicious package in the southwest corner of Columbus and Congress (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you can see it on the cameras, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have this package on video between two blue garbage cans. It's a black backpack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you could, with your cameras, could you see if there's any kind of secondary device?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Donnie, you want to go to that location, please?

LAH: Within seconds, officers arrive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not sure what it is yet, but we're going to be cautious about it. This is July 3rd.

DEP. CHIEF JAMES KEATING, CHICAGO POLICE DEPT.: It's an eye in the sky. You know it's an eye in the sky. It is more tools to the arena.

LAH: It's not just the Chicago police. Agencies across the city come together in this even bigger situation room tonight; more cameras will fire up, thousands of them shared among local, state, and federal agencies, watching the roadways, railways and the airports.

HOFFMAN: We can't be everywhere and see everything. However, utilizing some intelligence tools, we know specifically where to direct our attention.

LAH: And while the concept of cameras everywhere may be uncomfortable to some, even they acknowledge it does bring comfort.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't like the concept just off the bat, but I understand for my security it's also for my benefit. I don't like a cop pulling me over when I'm speeding, but when I need him, I'm glad he's there.


LAH: If you walk around the taste of Chicago or the lakefront this evening, you're actually going to see the security cameras. They're just above in the lights and they actually have a blinking blue light. And the reason for that, the Chicago police say, is that they actually want them to be seen, because they also act as a deterrent. Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: Kyung Lah in Chicago. I know those crowds, so have a safe and good holiday.

LAH: You too.


Stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.

And coming up, crime and punishment, outrage over President Bush's decision to commute the sentence of "Scooter" Libby -- is it unprecedented or par for the course at the White House? We're checking the facts. Also, he says it is true, the mayor of Los Angeles admits something about his personal life. Will people in Los Angeles now have trust issues with their mayor?

And forget stealing his words and accusations before huge, adoring crowds. Now Fidel Castro puts what his critics call his poison with a pen, but how many people are paying attention?


MALVEAUX: The House Judiciary Committee now is set to hold a hearing next week on President Bush's commutation of "Scooter" Libby's sentence. A day after dropping the bombshell, Mr. Bush now is refusing to rule out a full pardon for Libby, who was convicted of lying to investigators in the CIA leak case. Tonight the flood gates of Democratic criticism are wide open tonight.

Let's bring in our own Brian Todd. Brian, is Mr. Bush doing anything different than his predecessors?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in fact, Suzanne, it can be argued that Mr. Bush is not letting "Scooter" Libby off as easy as some of his predecessors did with their political allies. Still the comparisons and the fallout are considerable.


TODD (voice-over): The president defends his call to take care of one of his own.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I made a judgment, a considered judgment that I believe is the right decision to make in this case. And I stand by it.

TODD: But on the campaign trail, the political blow back has already begun.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This administration has no regard whatsoever for what needs to be held sacred.

TODD: But Hillary Clinton is reminded presidential forgiveness is a political minefield.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wasn't it Bill Clinton that was handing out pardons like lollipops at the end of his administration?

TODD: In comparing presidential pardons and commutations, analysts say Bill Clinton's pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich, just as Clinton left office, was more offensive than President Bush letting "Scooter" Libby avoid jail time. Bush had considerable pressure from conservatives to grant a full pardon to Libby, who many believe was caught up in a political witch-hunt. In that regard, Bush's action is compared to his father's pardon of six political allies, who had been embroiled in the Iran-Contra scandal, but in Clinton's case...

LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: The Marc Rich pardon was perceived to be corrupt and in that sense it was more egregious. It appeared to be a sneaky attempt to send a major favor to a big donor.

TODD: Other cases had a similar ring. Ronald Reagan pardoned New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who had been convicted of making illegal contributions to Richard Nixon's campaign. Others seemed less politically expedient, like when Jimmy Carter commuted the sentence of Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy. Richard Nixon did the same with teamster boss, Jimmy Hoffa. How does Nixon's own pardon compare politically with "Scooter" Libby?

ROBERT DALLEK, AUTHOR, "NIXON AND KISSINGER": I think that's the memory that will be most invoked and most recorded. Libby is a high- profile case. The Richard Nixon pardon was obviously the highest possible profile case. And, of course, Gerald Ford suffered serious political consequences as a result of that pardon.


TODD: Analysts say President Bush likely won't suffer such direct political consequences as a result of this commutation, aside from his approval ratings taking another hit. The brunt of his actions with Libby they say are more likely to be felt next year by his party's presidential nominee. Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: No doubt. Brian Todd, thank you so much.

And meanwhile, a few other well-known people convicted of the same crimes as "Scooter" Libby were not as lucky as he is. In 2004, a jury found Martha Stewart guilty of obstruction of justice and making false statements. She served nearly five months in prison.

In 1950, Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury. He served 44 months in prison. And rapper Lil'Kim was convicted of lying to a federal grand jury about a shootout outside a New York radio station in 2001. For that, she went to prison for nearly 10 months.

In our "Strategy Session" tonight, Libby's get out of jail free card, it is creating fireworks between CNN political analyst and Democratic strategist Paul Begala and Terry Jeffrey, editor-at-large of "Human Events".


PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: I think the reason that Mr. Bush chose commutation rather than pardon is because pardon stops everything. It would take the Libby case out of the legal system and it would stop him from this really despicable strategy he has had of saying I can't talk about it. I can't tell the truth about his own role in smearing...


BEGALA: Let me make my point. By commuting him, Libby can still proceed on his appeals and Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney can continue to stonewall the American public about their role in smearing...

MALVEAUX: Terry, jump in...


BEGALA: ... lying and covering up.



JEFFREY: Let me address this question of double standard. Bill Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice.


JEFFREY: Wait a minute.


JEFFREY: Wait a minute. Federal District Judge Susan Weber Wright held him in contempt.

BEGALA: That's not perjury or obstruction...

JEFFREY: Excuse me, Paul. I let you speak. Federal District Judge Susan Weber Wright called President Clinton in contempt of her court for perjury and obstruction of justice. He was disbarred for that. The United States House of Representatives impeached President Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice. He was not, in fact, convicted by the United States Senate when many Democrats members said this is a matter for the courts of law. Now if you believe that President Clinton should have gone into a court, actually had been indicted, stood trial for obstruction of justice...


JEFFREY: Oh, come on.

BEGALA: Ken Starr was not sufficiently tough for you. He wasn't sufficiently obsessed for you...


BEGALA: Please. Dear God, Terry, get over Clinton.


BEGALA: This is about George W. Bush commuting the sentence of a man who obstructed justice to protect...


BEGALA: ... George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

JEFFREY: No. Come on. BEGALA: That's why he lied in that grand jury. Talk about...

JEFFREY: Oh, come on.


BEGALA: ... the crimes were Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush.

JEFFREY: Oh, come on.


JEFFREY: That's ridiculous.


JEFFREY: The beneficiary...


JEFFREY: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.


JEFFREY: President Bush did not say this man did not commit a crime. He did not let him off. He merely commuted his sentence. Bill Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice. He was impeached for it.


BEGALA: He was found not guilty by a Republican-controlled Senate...


JEFFREY: Wait a minute. Let me ask you a straightforward question. You do not believe that Bill Clinton lied under oath in his deposition...



MALVEAUX: Up head tonight in THE SITUATION ROOM, some are calling it "The Bill and Hill Show", the Clintons on the campaign trail together again. Will the former president upstage the woman who wants to be the next president?

Plus, Jenna Bush makeover -- the former party girl is turning over a new leaf. We'll give you a rare up close and personal look at a first daughter coming into her own.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: A storm appears to be building over how things are being run at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It is under review after the center's director complained about lack of funding and aging forecasting technology.

CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti is following that rift.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, the new director of the National Hurricane Center has only been on the job for about six months, but apparently he ruffled some feathers when he echoed NOAA's questions about some aging equipment. Well guess who came knocking on the director's door?


CANDIOTTI (voice-over): How did you feel when they showed up without prior warning?

BILL PROENZA, DIR. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: Surprised. And I'm sure the whole staff felt surprised.

CANDIOTTI: The new outspoken National Hurricane Center Director started his week with a pop inspection by Washington brass and this memo from his boss -- quote -- "I have become aware of concerns about the center's ability to meet its mission."

PROENZA: We can't be more ready than we are today.

CANDIOTTI: The unscheduled visit comes on the heels of Bill Proenza's frank comments about a key hurricane satellite called QuikSCAT. The QuikSCAT satellite is five years beyond its life expectancy, operating on a back-up transmitter. If it fails, Proenza says, forecast tracks could be off by up to 16 percent. After Proenza spoke out last month he got a reprimand from Washington. Here is what he told CNN's John Zarrella back then.

PROENZA: They wanted me to be quiet about it.


PROENZA: Essentially.

CANDIOTTI: Now one of the hurricane center's veteran forecasters is calling Proenza's comments misguided.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: QuikSCAT is another tool that we use to forecast and the forecast would not be degraded if we don't have the QuikSCAT.

CANDIOTTI: Senator Mary Landrieu will testify next month about the need to replace QuikSCAT. She issued a statement defending Proenza. Quote, "It has become clear that this administration is more focused on spinning the punishment of whistleblowers than on correcting the errors of management they bring to light."

CANDIOTTI (on camera): Do you think you're going to keep your job?

PROENZA: I don't really -- I can't really say, but I can say this. That I feel very, very certain and comfortable of the fact that we've done everything we can to deliver our mission to the American people.


CANDIOTTI: A mission he says, to protect American lives. But nobody is forecasting the forecaster's future. Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Susan Candiotti. And just ahead, L.A. confidential...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to get into every detail of my relationship and nor should I.


MALVEAUX: The Los Angeles mayor confronts marital scandal and acknowledges an affair.

And an exclusive interview with the traveler diagnosed with Tuberculosis. Did doctors overstate his case and the danger to fellow flyers? Find out why the man who touched off a health scare and demanding an apology.




Happening now, help needed. The State Department tells about 200 new hires they'll have to help clear a massive passport application backlog. The workers were ordered to report to Louisiana and New Hampshire to help out for two months.

Government prosecutors say he should be sentenced to die if he is found guilty. A former Army private accused of participating in the gang rape of an Iraqi girl and the murder of her and her family. Steven Green faces trial in Kentucky.

And presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani raises $17 million in the second quarter, topping his two leading Republican contenders. One of them is Mitt Romney, who raised $14 million.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Los Angeles City hall rocked by scandal as new details emerge about an affair between the mayor and a TV news reporter.

CNN's Ted Rowlands is live in Los Angeles. Ted, what is the mayor saying about this today?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the mayor is saying more than he has over the past few months. This is something that has been simmering in the city of Los Angeles, especially around city hall for the past few months.

And today, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa came out and said, indeed, there is another woman.


ROWLANDS (voice-over): Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, whose marriage of 20 years has been publicly collapsing over the past few months, now acknowledges he's having a relationship with a television news reporter named Mirthala Salinas.

MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, LOS ANGELES: It's true, I have a relationship with Miss Salinas.

ROWLANDS: The latest chapter in a public unraveling of the mayor's personal life that's been playing out since January, when people started noticing that he had stopped wearing his wedding ring.

Last month, after weeks of dodging questions about the ring, he announced that he and his wife were splitting up. Corina Villaraigosa, who voters saw faithfully at her husband's side in the run-up to his 2005 election victory, has filed for divorce.

While Villaraigosa admits there's another woman now, he doesn't seem to think that voters will care.

VILLARAIGOSA: The vast majority of people base their sense of trust on what you do in your public life, whether or not you keep your promises.

I said to people when I first was elected that I'd work as hard as you do from my first day to my last, that I'd accept responsibility as I have today, as I have every time it was necessary. I'll continue to do that.

But as I said, I'll leave the speculation to others. I'm not going to get into every detail.


ROWLANDS: And by every detail, he didn't get into when he started seeing this other woman.

He did, however, address one other detail. And that was a rumor that she was pregnant. He said emphatically that she was not. Otherwise, very little to say about it.

We tried to contact Miss Salinas. She did not return our phone calls or e-mails. According to a station spokesperson, she was a political reporter, but she has been taken off of that beat -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Ted, do you believe the mayor when he says he really doesn't think the voters care about this relationship, that they'll put this aside?

ROWLANDS: Well, you know, that will be up to the voters. And the mayor, I'm sure, will quickly find out as he runs for reelection here in Los Angeles, or as many people believe, he will run for a higher office. He's a fairly young guy with a huge political future. Whether or not this is going to hurt him obviously remains to be seen.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you very much. Ted Rowlands.

Presidential candidates often rely on their spouses to shore up their campaigns. But when the spouse once served as president himself, well, that's a one-two political punch. The downside: he could easily steal some thunder.

CNN's senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, is on the campaign trail with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Iowa.

Candy, it is always tough sharing the stage with Bill Clinton. You get a front row seat. How are these two doing?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far, so good. It is quite a show. Not a lot of substance here. Reporters are kind of kept at arm's length.

Nonetheless, this has been quite a little role reversal. And it's not as easy as it seems.


CROWLEY (voice-over): Meet Bill Clinton, spouse.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You will never have a chance to vote for someone who will leave more people better off when she quit than when she started, who will make you more proud and who will restore our country's leadership for peace, and freedom and prosperity. I hope the next president of the United States, Senator Hillary Clinton.

CROWLEY: It is the first time they have campaigned together since she announced her presidential ambitions. It is a delicate dance. She's the candidate, and he's the best politician of his generation.

B. CLINTON: I know some people sort of say, "Well, you know, look at them. They're old. And they're sort of yesterday's news, you know." Well, yesterday's news was pretty good.

CROWLEY: He's the party's good old days. She sells herself as the future.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Are you ready for a Justice Department and a White House that actually believe in the rule of law again, and follow the Constitution? Well, if you're ready for change, I'm ready to lead.

CROWLEY: The idea is for her to soak up the sunshine he brings without standing in his shadow. That is why it took the campaign six months to bring him out on the trail. They wanted the time to let her establish herself as a separate entity.

He talks about her, and she talks about the world.

H. CLINTON: We have to do what we must to bring our troops home, to make it clear to the Iraqi government that, if they don't start dealing with their unfinished political business, we will not continue to fund them.

We cannot be in a position where we are sending them money when they are not making the decisions that will lead to some sort of stability before it's too late.

CROWLEY: They are drawing good, if not eye-popping, crowds and hoards of media on this three-day, six-city media.

B. CLINTON: I will be brief. You came here to hear her.

CROWLEY: And you can expect to see Team Clinton on the road again soon. He's getting the hang of this spouse thing.


CROWLEY: Billary, as the couple has been called, is an attempt to get the best of both worlds, the hint of incumbency that comes, putting him on the stage and the kind of energy that comes with her talk of change -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And Candy, certainly, I guess there's a risk involved in this, too. Is there any chance that this would cut the other way and perhaps hurt her campaign?

CROWLEY: Well, you know, there's -- there is the risk that people remember the bad old times, too, with Clinton and impeachment and all that came with that.

And there is also the fact that people may look and say, "Do we want another third term of anybody?"

Now Democrats will tell you, yes, we obviously will have and want a third Clinton term, as it's called. In the general audience, that may be a tougher sell.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thanks so much, Candy.

Up ahead tonight, weeks after isolation, Andrew Speaker gets a new diagnosis. The Atlanta attorney at the center of the big tuberculosis scare goes one on one with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

And later, the president's daughter on a new mission. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


MALVEAUX: Doctors in Denver are reclassifying their diagnosis of Andrew Speaker. He is the man who set off a flurry of concern after he flew overseas and back with a dangerous form of tuberculosis.

His doctors in Denver are now saying he has a more treatable form of disease and not the highly drug-resistant form that the CDC originally diagnosed.

The CDC and the Jewish Medical Center, where Speaker is being treated, are discussing their differing diagnoses, but the man in the middle is also talking about it. He sat down for an exclusive interview with our CNN's Anderson Cooper.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Should the CDC apologize to you? Do you think you're owed an apology by the CDC?

ANDREW SPEAKER, TB PATIENT: Yes, I do. I think they owe an -- apologies to the people that they scared.

It just -- I know they do dual testing here. When they're running a test to see whether or not something has tuberculosis or what kind, they run two at the same time to make sure the results are correct.

They -- they created a huge international panic. They scared millions of people around the world.

SARAH SPEAKER, ANDREW SPEAKER'S WIFE: And I say, too, I know was I was just reading, MDR, too, is something that is definitely not something that we're happy that you have, and I know it's difficult to treat.

MDR, there's half a million cases in 2004. I don't know the latest year, but you know, I think the term XDR is what -- is what scared people to such a degree.

And also, because of that diagnosis Drew was put on some very scary drugs, I mean, some drugs with some very awful side effects.

SPEAKER: That I wouldn't have been put on.

S. SPEAKER: That he wouldn't have been put on.


MALVEAUX: You can see the entire interview with TB patient -- TB patient Andrew Speaker and his wife tonight on "ANDERSON COOPER 360". That's at 10 pm Eastern, 7 Pacific.

The first family's twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara Bush, have been largely spared the glare of the media spotlight in recent years. Well, that is about to change. Jenna Bush is cutting a much higher public profile with her work in UNICEF. She also has a book that's coming out in the fall. I got a rare chance to see her up and close and personal.


MALVEAUX (voice-over): Jenna Bush is stepping out. The 25-year- old captured the international spotlight when she traveled to Africa with her mother, the first lady. It's a tease for a new role she'll soon play, as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: She will have a higher profile. And it's been really fun for me to have this opportunity to be here with her.

MALVEAUX: At first glance, Jenna seems shy in front of the cameras, saying little, nodding in agreement with her mother. She's now embracing her first daughter duties, which includes a lot of standing around with other first daughters.

Occasionally, she's caught looking bored, but Jenna comes to life when she's with children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (speaking foreign language)

MALVEAUX: She's engaging, affectionate and disarming.

For many she befriended, she generated downright excitement. These images are a far cry from the infamous picture of her snubbing the press and reports of her days as party girl.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I think it's a great time for Jenna to step out into the public. Because if you think about what her piers are doing right now, none of them are faring as well as she is. You've got Lindsay Lohan, who is of a similar age. She is in rehab. You've got Paris Hilton, who just got out of prison and is partying in Hawaii right now.

MALVEAUX: Since leaving the White House, Jenna has been teaching at a charter school in Washington, D.C. She also worked in Panama for nine months, documenting children's stories for UNICEF.

She's got a book coming out in the fall that focuses on a 17- year-old she befriended.

L. BUSH: The girl that she wrote about, her parents are dead. She's an AIDS orphan, and she contracted AIDS at birth from her parents. So, it's just a story about her amazing courage and inspiration. She inspired Jenna.


MALVEAUX: The first lady also told me that it was Jenna' twin sister, Barbara, who inspired her to get involved in relief work. Barbara had volunteered in South Africa before taking a job at a New York museum. And up ahead, sidelined by sickness, Fidel Castro finds a surprising way to still get his message out.

Plus, questions from the public that you probably won't see in our upcoming presidential debate. Jeanne Moos takes a most unusual look.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


MALVEAUX: For decades, Cuban president Fidel Castro was known for making fiery speeches that could last for hours. But now, failing health forces the aging communist leader to let the fire shoot from his pen.

CNN's Morgan Neill is in Havana.

MORGAN NEILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, even as he recovers from an unnamed intestinal ailment, Cuban leader Fidel Castro has managed to take on a new role, that of columnist in chief.


NEILL (voice-over): Used to be when Fidel Castro had something to say, it was dynamic and aggressive, marching at the front of thousands or waving an accusing finger.

These days, this is how the ailing leader communicates. Columns in Cuba's state-run newspapers called reflections of the commander-in- chief. Last week when U.S. President Bush made this comment...

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One day the good Lord will take Fidel Castro away.

NEILL: Castro answered with this headline: "The Good Lord Protected Me from Bush", a bit of humor from the leader of the once officially atheist nation.

But Castro's reflections aren't limited to snappy rebuttals. He's written some 24 pieces since late March. But is anybody reading them?

This woman, looking a bit embarrassed, says she hasn't had time to read the latest. OK. But which have been her favorites?

"Come on, sweetheart," she says, "not everyone is going to take these things in word for word."

This cook, named Fidel, just like the president, says he hasn't read the latest either. Which most interest him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking foreign language)

NEILL: He hesitates for a moment: "They're all interesting." The topics can sometimes seem haphazard: weighty discussions of biofuels, a wandering piece on CIA attempts to kill him, a diatribe against a new British submarine.

They certainly show that Castro is following world events. Are they a sign he could soon return to power? Analyst Hal Klepak doesn't see that.

HAL KLEPAK, ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE: This is just what I would expect from an elder statesman who feels quite confident that his brother is in charge and that he can relax and sit back and say some of the things that he has wanted to say for a long time.


NEILL: Now for those who don't have time to sit down and read all of these articles, not to worry. They're read aloud in their entirety on radio and television -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Morgan Neill in Havana. Thank you so much.

Last week, we told you about the death of Farfur, a Mickey Mouse look-alike on a Hamas children's television show in Gaza. The TV show promotes Hamas' ideology and urges Palestinian children to fight the state of Israel.

Now, video of Farfur's final appearance has popped up online. Let's bring in our own Abbi Tatton.

Abbi, explain how this kind of all went down.

ABBI TATTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, this is a kid's character that -- it garnered international attention and condemnation after it was posted on the Hamas-run TV station for teaching violence to Palestinian children.

In past episodes, this character, Farfur, has mimicked shooting Israelis with assault rifles. The Palestinian information ministry had condemned the show.

Now the character of Farfur is gone, killed off. But look at the way he went, beaten to death by an actor portraying an Israeli who was trying to buy his land.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking foreign language)

GRAPHIC: I am not handing them to criminals, to terrorists!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking foreign language)

GRAPHIC: You call us terrorists, Farfur? Take this. Take this!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking foreign language)

GRAPHIC: Stop! Stop! TATTON: That video from a Hamas-run TV station posted on YouTube by Palestinian Media Watch, a pro-Israel monitoring group that tends to highlight extreme views in Palestinian media.

The young presenter shown there goes on to tell the audience that Farfur died a martyr.

He may be gone, but this isn't necessarily over. The TV station says that they're looking into ways of creating a new cartoon personality that will follow the same political line as Farfur -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Thank you very much, Abbi. Very interesting.

And up ahead, a campaign full of presidential candidates and a world full of questions as CNN and YouTube line them up for the next great debate. Jeanne Moos highlights those questions that don't quite cut it.


MALVEAUX: Here is a look at some of the "Hot Shots".

In Calcutta, India, a young man drags a rickshaw through flooded streets.

In Kentucky, a bare back rider struggles to stay on his horse during a rodeo.

In Madrid, Spain, a man smashes up a hotel room during a stress relief event.

And in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hugged by the Nathan's Hot Dog mascot during the weigh-in ceremony for tomorrow's hot dog eating contest.

And that's this hour's "Hot Shots".

Comedian Robin Williams is speaking with Larry King about problems facing celebrities.


ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: I think Britney just has to keep away from a razor for a while. I think if you're going to go Brazilian, you don't go commando, and you don't get out of a limousine like you're sliding into third. You know?

So next thing you know, everything is in a witness protection program. People come out of that going, "What are you doing?"

Lindsay, initially when she was going to get out, she was going to have a birthday party sponsored by a vodka company. Not wise in rehab, you know. It's like taking the child just out -- the little hypoglycemic child, to Krispy Kreme. You know, it's -- take some time, a little quiet time. You know? I think that will be good for her, and for all of them. You know, rehab is just the beginning, having been through it. You know?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": You went through it?

WILLIAMS: I went through it. Yes.

KING: What was it for?

WILLIAMS: I had a little problem with alcohol. It wasn't a problem. Everybody had it. But it was...

KING: You were...

WILLIAMS: I was -- I was an alcoholic. A drunk.

KING: You were a drunk?

WILLIAMS: Well, that's nice of you to say that.

KING: You said it first.

WILLIAMS: You know, you wake up in a field with a road flare nicely placed. What's your name? Shh!


MALVEAUX: And Robin's interview also continued outside of the studio. Take a look.


WILLIAMS: OK. Go tight on Larry, just real reel tight if you can. That's tight? Just try and cut the suspenders, because I wore those first. OK.

Larry, we've got an interview with one of your sperm. It's in an assisted living in Miami. So we're hoping to see. It's been there for a couple of years. And I don't know. Bob, cut to the sperm.

OK. Back to Larry. OK, Larry. Larry, we've got -- give me the shot of Britney. Pan up. Oh, yes, keep the two of them in. Keep the producer there, wondering how we're going to air this. OK.

Now we've got Mel Gibson and a rabbi. Let's see what happens. He's doing a production of "Fiddler on the Roof" in Orange County. It's really fun.


MALVEAUX: You can watch that full interview tonight on CNN's "LARRY KING LIVE". That's at 9 p.m. Eastern.

And if you've ever wanted to ask the presidential candidates your own questions, now is your chance. CNN and YouTube are soliciting video questions from the public for our upcoming debate.

Here is CNN's Jeanne Moos, who has the submissions.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Move over, moderators. Wait until you want to see who wants to grill the presidential candidates at the next debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Greetings. I am Bjorn Swenson.

ROBOTIC VOICE: My question is...

MOOS: Oh, they have questions all right.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This question here is for old John Edwards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you're cute?


MOOS: These YouTubers are whispering. They're leering.


MOOS: They're whining.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you answer my question?

MOOS: CNN and YouTube are asking you to submit videotaped questions, questions each candidate will watch on a monitor built into his or her podium.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know what you think is -- I don't know -- the greatest invention you've heard of.

MOOS: Toothpicks and visual aids are encouraged. This guy waved around a Social Security statement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But seeing that Social Security is going to be extinct in the near future, why am I still getting this?

MOOS: That's the kind of serious question CNN honchos probably will choose to include. The ones we're highlighting are what you probably won't see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN will never use that.

MOOS (on camera): There's no such thing as a dress code among those submitting questions for this debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I call myself the anonymous American. Will you, right then and there, sign an executive order beginning the withdrawal of troops from Iraq? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you plan to deal with illegal immigration?

MOOS (voice-over): This guy tried a little show and tell...


MOOS: ... demonstrating how little money goes to science, compared to weapons research.

Some are questions candidates don't normally get asked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they have donated blood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "In God we trust." What do those words mean to you?

MOOS: And then there was the "do ask and do tell" teddy bear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to keep my name and hometown anonymous, because I am in the military and I am gay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a middle of the road registered duck -- I mean Democrat. Do you feel the terrorists will come here? Oh, my God, there is one here right now. H-h-h-h -- stop, please.

MOOS (on camera): My question to you candidates? Do you regret agreeing to do this debate yet?

(voice-over) Even a real cat submitted a question: "How can you protect my food in the future?" What with the contaminated pet food scare.

A pair of comedians had a question for John Edwards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you're better looking than Barack Obama?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell you what, shirts off. We're going to count abs. We'll have an ab counting contest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want nobody taking off their shirt.

MOOS: Especially not any female candidates.


MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


MALVEAUX: Well, you can catch that CNN-YouTube debate on July 23.

Up next, the Glenn Beck special, "We the People".