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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Democrats and Republicans joining hands against the FBI; Al Gore Making a Comeback?; Warren Jeffs Followers Remain Faithful to their Absent Leader; Young Woman Tells of her Escape from Warren Jeffs FLDS; A Look into Utah Polygamist Sect The Kingstons;
Aired May 24, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
COOPER: Good evening again everyone. It started with cash in a congressman's freezer. Tonight a strange new twist. Democrats and Republicans joining hands against the FBI.
ANNOUNCER: What could make Democrats and Republicans agree in an election year? How about the cold cash scandal? Why are they both telling the FBI to back off?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: It's time for me to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: That was then. Now, a new movie, a new Al Gore and buzz about a new run for the White House.
If not Gore, what about Clinton? Hillary Clinton? Will she run? Can she win? We'll ask the insiders.
And how's this for a welcome?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys are all damned idiots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Doors slamming, death threats. Our exclusive look inside a polygamist sect. cross the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360 live from the CNN broadcast center in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: We begin with new developments out of Washington, including a rare twist in the cold cash scandal. Tonight, all the angles. Why top Republicans and Democrats in the House are joining forces against the FBI and Justice Department? Also, presidential politics and Hillary Clinton in 2008. What would her chances be and how the state of her marriage has already turned into front-page news.
Plus a wild card. Al Gore, he is back. His new movie on the greenhouse effect is generating buzz about a run for the White House in 2008. All that on the table tonight. We begin with Congressman William Jefferson, the Democrat from Louisiana, the cash in his freezer and the strange battle now brewing. CNN's Dana Bash has the latest.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a rare act of bipartisanship. The Republican House speaker and Democratic leader demanding the Justice Department return all materials seized from Democrat William Jefferson's congressional office. The two leaders called the weekend FBI raid a violation of constitutional principles designed to protect the Congress and the American people from abuses of power. Democrats questioning Bush administration tactics is routine.
REP. DENNIS HASTERT, (R) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We think those materials ought to be returned.
BASH: This is the top Republican in Congress escalating a high-stakes constitutional and political showdown with a Republican administration. Speaker Hastert also called for FBI and Justice Department officials involved in the raid to be removed from the case.
HASTERT: Those people involved in that issue ought to be frozen out of that just for the sake of the constitutional aspect of it.
BASH: His former deputy also stepped into the fray. He has his own legal troubles.
TOM DELAY, (R) TX: And the executive branch understands how dangerous it was or what a huge mistake it was.
BASH: Are you going to give the documents back?
Deputy attorney general Paul McNulty did not answer the question, but he defended the raid.
PAUL MCNULTY, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: The department has conducted similar searches in the past. Including the chambers of federal judges and the private residences of members of Congress. And we believe our actions were lawful and necessary.
BASH: Angry congressional leaders have been in intense meetings all week with Bush officials. But the Republican senator from Congressman Jefferson's home state disagrees with them and worries they're sending a dangerous message to the American people.
SEN. DAVID VITTER, (R) LA: I can tell you exactly how they're going to react. That Congress is protecting itself. That Congress is hiding something. I think that is enormously destructive.
BASH: Meanwhile, Congressman Jefferson received a stinging public rebuke from his own leadership. In a one-sentence letter, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi demanded Jefferson's immediate resignation from the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Some Democrats want Jefferson to quit Congress outright as the election season is getting under way. But Jefferson fired back with his own letter, refusing to step down, saying, "I will not give up a committee assignment that is so vital to New Orleans at this crucial time for any uncertain political strategy."
(on camera): Jefferson is now pressing his own case in court, demanding that everything from computer files to boxes of records taken from his office be returned immediately. Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
COOPER: Congressman Jefferson isn't the only politician democrats are buzzing about tonight. Al Gore is on the tip of a lot of tongues. His new documentary about the greenhouse effect opened today. It's called "An Inconvenient Truth." Here's a quick look at it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I've been trying to tell this story for a long time, and I feel as if I failed to get the message across.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The movie's getting only slightly less buzz than "The Da Vinci Code," not just because people are worried about the fate of the planet, they're also fascinated with the possibility of Al Gore running again for president.
CNN's Candy Crowley checks out the odds.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For voters in the throes of could have, should have, might have beens, this guy rings some bells.
JACKIE CALMES, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": The story I did on him about his movie coming out got more emails and more reader reaction from around the country than anything I've written in 16 years at "The Wall Street Journal." Ninety-five percent of it was positive for Al Gore.
CROWLEY: He has name recognition, the ability to raise a lot of cash, and as you know, a story to tell. Can you already see those Gore '08 bumper stickers? Or maybe not.
DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The hallelujah chorus that's following him today may not follow him if he decides to run for president. It's one thing when you're a non-candidate. America loves non-candidates. Once you toss your hat in the ring, everything changes.
CROWLEY: Which is to say when Gore is rated as a presidential candidate, most polls show he has high negatives. Several sources close to the former veep say a rerun is not unthinkable but it is unlikely. He's happy what he's doing, said one source. Gore will enjoy impacting the debate, offered another, but he won't run. That will disappoint some Democrats who think Gore is the only one who could stop the senator from New York. First in every poll of Democratic possibles, first in the money chase and everybody knows her name. Hillary Clinton is a tour de force on the political stage.
BRAZILE: I think the only person that can stop Hillary Clinton is Hillary Clinton.
CROWLEY: While everyone else treks to Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond, she avoids the political hot spots and piles up money in her various political coffers. She has yet to say she'll run which doesn't stop Democrats from worrying she'll lose. Jackie Calmes covers politics for "The Wall Street Journal."
CALMES: I think the number one thing Democrats are going to be looking for in their nominee is electability, and that's where she is seen as being weakest. Nobody seems to be sure that she or even somewhat certain that she could win the November general election. And so then you have people looking to the second.
CROWLEY: The second tier is packed with people looking to emerge as the not Hillary candidate. Former governors, current governors and seven current or former senators. Most are not marquee names on the national scene, but at this time in the '92 presidential cycle, few people had heard of Bill Clinton. There's a long way to go. Five hundred-pound gorillas can move on, others can move up. People who say they're not interested in running can change their mind. Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, David Gergen worked in the Clinton administration for a time. And CNN's John Roberts covered the president and vice president for years. We spoke to them earlier.
COOPER: Do you buy this Al Gore resurgent? Is that for real, or is that just sort of the media latching on to something?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: I think there's a hunger in the Democratic Party to find an alternative to Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: Because they don't feel she's electable?
GERGEN: There are many who worry, and they're not even sure she's going to run. If people closest to her say a firm decision hasn't been made, won't be made until November. I know people close to her who think she should not run, it would be better for her to wait another four years. By that time -- she's transformed herself in the eyes of New Yorkers. She's a much more centrist senator, middle of the road senator, liberal to be sure more middle of the road in New York than she is perceived to be around the country.
COOPER: And she really won Upstate New York. She won them over.
GERGEN: I think she's been a much better senator than anybody expected. She's been very effective in Upstate New York. I can tell you corporate chieftains in Upstate New York, I know a CEO who is a big Republican who held a fund-raiser for her at his house after he got to know her. And she did a lot of good things for Upstate New York and for his company.
She has transformed herself but she has not been able to transform herself nationally yet. Her persona is from the harridan from the left, that is very polarizing. So I think that there is a hunger in the party to see who else is out there.
Mark Warner, the Virginia governor, former governor, is obviously someone who's been cast in that role. Tom Vilsack, the governor of Iowa, is another Democrat cast in that role. But here comes Al Gore. And suddenly, something seems a little fresh. Oh, yes, he did win a majority of the votes. And I think that movie's going to help him.
COOPER: But has he really transformed?
GERGEN: I think the most interesting question -- I spent some time with him. I'm not sure -- one thing I think is different about Al Gore this time.
In 2000, he needed to be president. I think he'd still like to be president but doesn't need it anymore. I think that's a big difference. It really helps you as a candidate when it's not something you need psychologically. You don't feel complete, whole as your president. People get really edgy when they do that. I think he's found himself a little more since then. I think he's a more authentic candidate since then. At least on the environment. Now, at least, he's speaking out. He's going to speak right from his gut on that. And I think that will serve him better.
Is he the right guy? John Kerry doesn't think so. John Kerry would like to be the comeback kid in this election.
COOPER: Yeah, there can only be one comeback kid per election cycle.
John Roberts, what are you hearing from Democrats? Are they actually excited about the prospects of Al Gore?
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think there's a lot of concern that Al Gore's time came and went, ended very badly. While there's still bitterness about the 2000 election, if he were to run again for 2008 nomination that it's going to be all about the past as opposed to the future.
So I think while there may be a few people that could see him coming back, I think the vast majority of people would rather see somebody else. But it all depends on how the field looks like it's shaping up. If, in fact, Hillary decides not to run, then I think maybe gore's got an inside shot at it. If he's going up against people like Mark Warner or Vilsack, he might have a better chance. COOPER: Why should someone believe in an Al Gore if this guy allowed himself to be transformed and muted and reined in the first time around?
GERGEN: Well, you know, Richard Nixon I think one of the smartest things Nixon did when he lost in 1960 is he sat out the next election. He stayed out eight years. And he came back as the new Nixon.
Eight years is a long time in politics and people may be willing to take another look at Al Gore. That's not so say the Democrats are going to rush to embrace him. I think John Roberts is absolutely right about that.
It is to say if he starts to do well in the polls, if the movie helps to transform our sense of him that he really has found himself and found his voice, then you'll see his numbers start to climb, and Democrats will say, well look, we need a winner. And if it's not going to be Hillary, who is it going to be and what is the alternative?
I don't think there's any doubt at the end of the day, if Hillary Clinton runs for it -- and I'm assuming she will, but I don't believe she's made the decision -- if she runs, somebody is going to emerge as the alternative, as the un-Hillary. And whether that's Gore or Kerry or Vilsack or Warner or Bayh or Edwards, there are a lot of other alternatives out there. I do think Al Gore is now again in the mix and the movie has catapulted him back into the mix.
COOPER: Well, more from David Gergen and John Roberts coming up.
It was the election that made hanging Chad a household phrase. We all know the 2000 presidential race was close. In case you've forgotten how close, here's the raw data.
Nationwide Al Gore won more than 51 million votes, or 48.4 percent of the popular vote. George Bush won more than 50 million votes or 47.9% of the popular vote. In Tennessee, Al Gore's home state, Mr. Gore won 981,720 votes. Mr. Bush prevailed there, pulling in more than 1 million votes. Eleven electoral votes, of course, were at stake in Tennessee, enough to have put Al Gore in the White House, but he didn't get them. As we know, the candidate with the most electoral votes gets to move into the White House.
While no Democrat is working in the Oval Office some now have high hopes of regaining control of Congress. The time seems right, but there are big question marks. A clear platform, for instance, and a clear leader. In a moment, we'll look at who's driving the ship with Democrats. Don't even try guessing. Chances are you'd be wrong.
Plus, they were the last Democrats to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and some say they could be the next. Tonight, a look at Bill and Hillary Clinton, their unusual marriage and what it could mean for 2008. We'll also continue our investigation into polygamist leader Warren Jeffs on the run and on the FBI's most wanted list. Tonight, one of the dangers of polygamy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's gotten to the point where you're related to almost everybody. More than once.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The woman who once belonged to a sect where polygamy and incest mixed. Ahead on 360.
COOPER: It's no secret that congressional Republicans are having a rough time right now. Their poll numbers have been shrinking as more and more people say they'd rather have Democrats in charge. The question tonight is why? Critics say it's not even clear right now what the Democrats stand for. It's a problem that has not gone unnoticed, and the party. Once again, here's CNN's senior international correspondent, John Roberts.
ROBERTS (voice-over): To hear the Democrats tell it, there is nothing left to wonder about their election-year agenda.
SEN. HARRY REID, (D) NV: We as Democrats are declaring our commitment to change.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) CA: As of now as we're going at our positive agenda.
SEN. DICK DURBIN, (D) IL: And for those who have argued where's your agenda, where's your agenda, it's being rolled out on a daily basis.
ROBERTS: But behind the rhetoric what's lacking apparently is anything voters recognize as a substantive plan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no clue. To be honest, I have no clear what they're doing.
ROBERTS: And this is not the time to be leaving voters frustrated.
AMY WALTER, COOK POLITICAL REPORT: I think that the environment right now is about as good for Democrats as it could possibly be.
ROBERTS: Good might be understating it. Polls show Democrats winning on all the big issues. Including terrorism. That's huge.
But if they hope to convert on that goodwill in tight races come November, they need to give voters more, says political analyst Amy Walter. WALTER: Give voters something they can sort of chew on, something they can grab on to that suggests that they are doing more than simply launching another partisan attack.
ROBERTS: Democrats claim they're marching in lockstep this year.
PELOSI: We're unified, we're organized, we're disciplined, we're focused.
ROBERTS: But on Iraq, for example, they're all over the map. Many want to pull troops out now. Others want a timetable, and some want to throw Senate veteran Joe Lieberman overboard for supporting the war.
(on camera): Getting a party that's traditionally had so many competing factions on message, one Democrat told me, is like trying to herd cats. And the chairman of the party agrees.
HOWARD DEAN, DNC CHAIR: It's getting better. We're making progress. Interesting thing about that, there's some truth to that. We tend to be more of a bottom up organization and try to involve more people in the leadership.
ROBERTS (voice-over): In 1994 when Republicans won control of Congress, they rallied around one man, Newt Gingrich. But who is driving the bus for the Democrats this year? IS it Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? Hillary Clinton? John Kerry? Howard Dean? Al Gore? An informal poll of Democrats today found it to be Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
A shrewd strategist, for now Emanuel is taking broad themes over specifics.
REP. RAHM EMANUEL, DCC CHAIRMAN: And if you think the last six years have been good, all the Republicans are going to offer you is another two years.
ROBERTS: It's too early, he says, to lay out a detailed agenda. Recalling the famous Republican contract with America in 1994 was released only six weeks before the election. John Roberts, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Earlier I spoke about the troubles with Democrats with former White House adviser David Gergen and John Roberts.
COOPER: David, why has it been such a struggle for the Democrats to try to identify who they are?
GERGEN: Well, you know, in his farewell address, Ronald Reagan said, It's said that I'm the great communicator. If I'm the great communicator, it is because I have great things to communicate. And I think what the Democrats are lacking is something great to communicate. They're fine for packaging the message, but there's got to be something inside the box. And right now, who knows what they believe on Iraq? Who knows how they really would solve the energy problem? Who knows how they would ultimately solve the education problem, the health care problem of the country?
Lacking that, I think they're finding it very difficult. Until they get a standard bearer, someone who is really Ms. Democrat or Mr. Democrat, it's going to be hard for them to come up with an agenda.
COOPER: And John, at this point that certainly seems unlikely they'll be able to find a standard bearer, given Hillary Clinton and now I guess the resurgent Al Gore.
ROBERTS: They don't have a standard bearer because there really isn't one. I talked with one very highly placed Democratic source today who said in the House, it should be Nancy Pelosi who is coming forward as the standard bearer, but she's kind of being elbowed out of the way by Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer who are both trying to do a sort of end run around her.
You've still got that Democratic infighting. Will Rogers said, I belong to no organized party, I'm a Democrat. And to some degrees it's still that way a lot. They're trying to get them unified on a cohesive message is really like trying to herd cats.
I tell you one thing, I talked to Rahm Emanuel today, and he said you know me, John, from when I was in the White House, there's nothing subtle about me. And I'll tell you, Anderson, he is prepared to crack the whip and crack it hard to get these disparate factions in line. I think he's laying down the law to these people to say this is our chance. You blow it, you're going to hang for it.
COOPER: But David, just from a political sort of mercenary perspective, with the Republicans divided and infighting, does it make sense for Democrats to try to come forward with bold initiatives even if they had them?
GERGEN: I think they're called upon to do at least some sense of what direction they're going to go on, whether it be energy or education or health care or Iraq.
I think simply run on had enough which was the old Republican slogan that helped to sweep the Democrats out of office some years ago, Harry Truman, is not sufficient in this day and age. You know, when the Republicans took over in '94 in the House of Representatives, it was Newt Gingrich and company, Dick Army and others who put together a 10- point plan, an agenda if you'd like, and they were able to run on it.
I don't think that's what got a lot of Republicans elected that year, but it gave them the basis of trying to govern and push themselves forward. So I do think they're called upon to do more than what they've done. I think just to run as 535 different candidates or 400 and whatever number different candidates in the field this year, they may win the election, but they're not winning very much. COOPER: John, I mean, it is easy -- it's easier to throw stones at something than it is to try to come up with solutions on your own. The Democrats you talk to behind the scenes, I mean, are they content to kind of sit back and let the Republicans, you know, continue to self-destruct or continue to throw stones at each other?
ROBERTS: I asked them that question specifically. I think they have been up until now, but they know they can't just go on being as Republicans have labeled them, the party of no. If they wasn't to be the agents of change, and that is the way they are portraying themselves for this fall's election, if they want to be the agents of change, they have got to have an alternative to offer people.
They're cautious about rolling that out too early. There's a lot of pressure in the Democratic Party as David was talking about to come out with some sort of 10-point plan that the Democrats would have. But they don't want to get it out now because if they do, then the Republicans will have all summer to pick it apart.
And not just Republicans, too, but disparate factions inside the Democratic Party will say well, maybe we should have done this or should have done that. They are beginning to formulate plans. You saw Hillary Clinton come out the other day with an energy policy. You're hearing them talk more about immigration. They're getting the message formulated right now. But as for a concrete agenda, that's something we are not going to see until the fall.
But keep in mind that the Republicans only rolled out their contract with America six weeks before the election. So it could be said that the Democrats still have a lot of time to do this.
COOPER: John Roberts and David Gergen.
Then there's another wildcard that could turn the 2008 election on its head called the Bill factor. Former president Bill Clinton, certainly one of the most successful politicians ever, but how will he play in the next election if his wife decides to run? Will he help or hurt her chances?
Also, the newest developments in the hunt for fugitive polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. Tonight we take you to a town where outsiders aren't welcome. Nor are reporters. Where Warren Jeffs is still a savior. Our Gary Tuchman wouldn't leave without trying to get their side of the story next on 360.
COOPER: Well, it's almost impossible to talk about the next presidential election, of course, without talking about Hillary Clinton and her husband. If Senator Hillary Clinton does run for the Democratic nomination, and many people are expecting she will, she'll face the usual challenges and possibly some others.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER (voice-over): In Democratic politics, it's the elephant in the room.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NY: An issue that is not going away.
COOPER: Senator Hillary Clinton was actually talking about energy when she made that point yesterday, but there's something else that's not going away.
JOHN HARRIS, "WASHINGTON POST" POLITICAL EDITOR: She's not just a political figure for a lot of Americans. There's a sort of dramatic quality to it. This is the latest chapter in really the climactic chapter in a very long-running drama that, you know, many people view as elements of a soap opera.
COOPER: A soap opera that nearly imploded in 1998.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: When I was alone with Ms. Lewinsky, on certain occasions in early 1996, and once in early 1997, I engaged in conduct that was wrong.
H. CLINTON: He's my president as well as my husband. You take the good with the bad. And the good has far, far outweighed any bad at all.
COOPER: Bill and Hillary Clinton's marriage may be the most publicly dissected union in political history. The question now, what does it mean for Mrs. Clinton's political future?
HARRIS: There's going to be a lot of people who say look, I just don't want to go back and relive the 1990s. I've had it with the soap opera.
COOPER: But it's not that simple. Bill Clinton is one of the most successful politicians ever.
HARRIS: He is a great strategist. And having him there, advising her, giving her advice, telling her how he did it and how he can replicate her success, that's a big advantage.
BRAZILE: He's a great asset in terms of name recognition, the ability to raise money, put together an organization, and people actually love Bill Clinton.
COOPER: It wasn't love at first sight when Hillary Clinton arrived at the White House. She was a new kind of first lady. And many Americans didn't like her. When the new president put his wife in charge of healthcare reform, some accused the first lady of assuming authority she didn't have. As senator, however, she's become a political player in her own right.
BRAZILE: Look, in New York, people thought that she would flop. But she's been a terrific senator. And right now, she's drawing broad support, Upstate, you know rural areas.
COOPER: One of the challenges, if she runs for president, keeping her name separate from her husband's. Even if she capitalizes on his successes.
HARRIS: I think on balance, he's probably a political positive at this point. But he's definitely sort of a constant factor that she and her advisors are going to have to manage. How much visibility does he have? How much prominence in the public eye? I think he very much his wife to be president.
COOPER: Well, tomorrow night, we're going to look at the Republican side. John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, front-runners and wildcards, all the angles.
Now from politics to polygamy and the hunt for a fugitive. To us, Warren Jeffs is a polygamist fugitive on the run from the FBI. To his faithful, he's a man of God, a prophet. Tonight, we'll take you back to their isolated community where the followers are finally speaking out. That story's coming up.
We'll also have this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
It was a matter of life and death to me. Really. Because I was alive physically, but inside, I was dead. Down there. I had nothing to live for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Incredible story, daring rescue from a former believer of Warren Jeffs. That story coming up.
COOPER: There are new developments tonight in the hunt for fugitive and polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. FBI agents have been seen around this gated ranch in Eldorado, Texas. Still however no sign or word from Warren Jeffs. It's one of the newest compounds built by Jeffs' followers who came there from the polygamist towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. Now those twin towns have been the home or base, for Jeffs' polygamist church for 50 years. And as our Gary Tuchman found out, residents want nothing to do with the outside world there. But Gary was determined to get their side of the story. To find out why they still obey a man on the run, a man authorities say is pure evil. So Gary Tuchman returned, and here's what happened.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Colorado City, Arizona, the American flag flies. But most of the citizens pledge allegiance to Warren Jeffs. What do you think of the man?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's awesome.
TUCHMAN: The FBI fugitive has instructed his followers not to talk to the news media. Almost always that demand is strictly obeyed. Can I ask you a quick question? I'm Gary Tuchman with CNN. I just wanted to check with you. Do you have any idea where Warren Jeffs is? Any idea at all? I just wanted to ask you if you have any idea where Warren Jeffs is. The police department where the chief is also a member of Jeffs' FLDS church doesn't return repeated phone calls. Anybody there? And the cops have no interest in speaking when we stop by. They don't even speak to a county attorney special agent who's been here for 18 months investigating Jeffs and his supporters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well it is bizarre, but then again we are here in Colorado City. Every one of the police officers are FLDS members. You know, they've sworn to follow Warren Jeffs.
TUCHMAN: We travel a lot in this job. Rarely do we go anywhere where we feel so unwelcome as this place. For the most part, when we come up to people, they scatter. Can I ask you a quick question? But in this town of about 9,000 where Warren Jeffs lived in this house before he went underground some coaxing did result in some comments. Hey, do you know where Warren Jeffs is?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir. Ain't nobody seen him for two or three years that I know of.
TUCHMAN: What do you think of him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a great prophet. And you're damn fools for bothering him. Because your ass is going to get hung one of these days when you look up from hell and look at him in the face.
TUCHMAN: Jeffs' very passionate followers also believe his father, Rulon, was a prophet. Rulon died in 2002 and is buried here in town. Warren Jeffs has been the FLDS leader since then. Do you have any idea where Warren Jeffs is right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't.
TUCHMAN: When was the last time you saw him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About three years ago.
TUCHMAN: Would you think he's been back to Colorado City at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He could have. I mean that's none of my business, though.
TUCHMAN: How come? You're a follower of him, and you think he's a prophet, and you think he's the greatest man on earth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He does what he needs to do and I don't have to know about it.
TUCHMAN: And how are you able to continue following his way if you don't see him or hear of him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The words that he's already given us.
TUCHMAN: Investigator Engels says his presence is not welcomed either. And he's occasionally harassed. GARY ENGELS, MOHAVE COUNTY, ARIZONA INVESTIGATOR: Sometimes if they're stopped at a stop sign or something, they'll try to take off real fast, throwing gravel on my vehicle or the diesels, you know, they'll accelerate real fast, blowing a lot of black smoke out.
TUCHMAN: Well, lo and behold we got a similar experience. The FBI may have Warren Jeffs on its ten most wanted list, but what most people here want --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys are all damn idiots.
TUCHMAN: -- is for us to get out of town. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Colorado City, Arizona.
COOPER: It's just fascinating.
Coming up, a story of a woman who was born into the church of Warren Jeffs. By the time she was 16, she knew she had to leave to save her own life. Her story and her incredible escape is coming up.
Also ahead tonight, inside perhaps the most incestial and shocking polygamist family in the nation. When "360" continues.
COOPER: Before the break, you heard followers of fugitive polygamist Warren Jeffs, that man right there, who they say is a righteous man, a prophet and a beautiful man. That's how his followers still describe him. Tonight you're going to learn about the dark side told from a former believer, a girl that did something that few have ever done. She escaped from Jeffs, literally leaving in the dead of night, giving up the only life she knew. CNN's Heidi Collins reports.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Posing for the camera, secretly dressing up in jeans and makeup, sneaking into movies, Fawn Broadbent rebelled at age 16.
FAWN BROADBENT, ESCAPED THE F.L.D.S.: I didn't want to be like every other girl. I wanted to be my own self. I didn't want to have to deal with the problems I was facing, you know. I just wanted my own life.
COLLINS: But Fawn wasn't just breaking family rules, she was disobeying the prophet.
BROADBENT: The only thing you were supposed to feel was the love for the prophet, the love for the leader and for obeying.
COLLINS: Fawn was born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, one of 14 children in a family following FLDS leader and now FBI fugitive Warren Jeffs. How would you have described yourself back when you lived in Colorado City?
BROADBENT: Lost, you know. I considered myself worthless when I was there.
COLLINS: But she felt worth something outside the FLDS. And on one secret night out with friends two years ago, she and her best friend, Fawn Holm, decided to stay on the outside. The ultimate rebellion. They escaped.
BROADBENT: I called my mother you know I told her, I said, "mother, I'm not coming home. I'm safe. You know, everything's going to be okay."
COLLINS: Now she felt like she was running for her life. Protected by anti-FLDS activists the girls traveled from safe house to safe house. They knew church members were searching for them. You must have wanted this pretty badly.
BROADBENT: I did. It was a matter of life and death to me, really. Because I was alive physically, but inside I was dead down there. I had nothing to live for.
COLLINS: After three months on the run, a family in Sandy, Utah, took Fawn in, giving her love and safety. Now her challenge? Life outside the FLDS. Like did you even know who the president of the United States was?
BROADBENT: I had no idea who the president of the United States was when I left.
COLLINS: The FLDS had pulled Fawn out of school after the fourth grade to do chores. Now she loved being back in school and graduated from high school in just two and a half years.
BROADBENT: I never thought I'd get this far. I thought I'd end up like all the other people that live there, they don't get far very, they don't finish school, they don't do any of that.
COLLINS: Heading to college this fall, Fawn plans to major in criminal justice so she can give children a voice. She knows all too well what it's like not to have one. Heidi Collins, CNN, Salt Lake City, Utah.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Her tale is a sobering one. But what's next is even more unsettling. Revelations of hideous birth defects attributed to incest in polygamist relationships. A blend of religion, wealth and multiple wives all at a terrible human price.
Plus putting Jesus on trial? An atheist wants to sue for fraud. He claims the Catholic Church has no proof Jesus ever existed.
But first, turning motherhood into a profitable business model. That is tonight's "On the Rise."
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Van Gogh, Picasso and babies? The founders of Metropolitan Moms have created a masterpiece of a business. They offer moms private walking tours of New York's museums, galleries and historic neighborhoods, all with their babies in tow.
MOLLY SNYDER, FOUNDER, METROPOLITAN MOMS: It's basically adult education for the mom. The idea is to provide the moms an outlet to the world outside their baby.
SHERRI SCHUBERT, PARTICIPANT, METROPOLITAN MOMS: All of us feel like we've lost a little bit of our artistic ability and some of our interests since we've had children.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: While on maternity leave with their first children two years ago, Molly Snyder and Dara Rosenberg realized they didn't want to return to their previous careers. The Metropolitan Moms was born.
SNYDER: I didn't want to have a 9:00 to 5:00-type job. I really wanted the flexibility to be able to be with my kids. I came up with the idea just through my own experience of having a child and feeling a lack of intellectual stimulation and wanting to get out and explore New York.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Many moms must be able to relate. Revenues for the business are expected to reach $250,000 by the end of the year.
SNYDER: Our next step is launching Metropolitan Moms in other markets.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Well, if you step into the world of polygamy in Utah, you'll eventually hear of the Kingston family. Unlike Warren Jeffs' cult, the Kingstons blend right in. They dress like everyone else, literally they're hiding in plain sight. They're also infamous for what goes on behind closed doors. Their secret ways, inbreeding and multiple wives, not to mention their vast wealth. Rarely there's a firsthand account emerged of life within this clan, but tonight CNN's Randi Kaye has one.
Can I give bunny a treat?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lu Ann Cooper has four children and a husband Dustin. But before Lu Ann became a Cooper she was a Kingston, one of the most secretive and incestuous polygamist families in the country. At age 15, her father arranged for her to marry this man who was then 23 and already had three wives. LU ANN COOPER, FORMER KINGSTON CLAN MEMBER: I married Jeremy Kingston. He is my first cousin/nephew. Because his dad is my half brother. We have the same dads. And his mom is my aunt.
KAYE: You married your cousin and your nephew?
COOPER: Yeah. That's -- it's gotten to the point where you're related to almost everybody more than once.
KAYE: What was it like to get into bed with your nephew?
COOPER: It was awkward. It was awkward. I didn't know him.
KAYE: She had two children with him. Then in 2000 at the age of 20, Lu Ann fled what was known as the order, taking her daughters with her.
COOPER: When I left, my aunt said to me, "What do you think you're doing? You're taking purebreds out of the order?"
KAYE: The desire to remain purebreds is the Kingston rationale for incest.
COOPER: My dad decided that the Kingston blood linked all the way up to Jesus Christ, and so he wanted to keep that blood pure.
KAYE: Lu Ann's father John Ortell Kingston was one of the order's first leaders. Her uncle, Elden Kingston, founded the sect in 1935. Saying he was prophesied to write the Mormon Church when it strayed. Her half brother, Paul Kingston, leads the 1500-member sect today. The followers believe they are a superior race, and that idea may even have come from breeding cows.
JOHN R. LLEWELLYN, AUTHOR, "POLYGAMY'S RAPE OF RACHEL STRONG": They were trying to breed a special type of milk cow. And they became so enhanced with this that they decided that they could do the same thing with the people in their group, with their children.
KAYE: That led to horrible birth defects. Since most Kingston children are born in secrecy, former members of the sect tell me that many deformities, even deaths, go unreported. Stillborn babies are buried so quickly hardly anybody notices. Another common abnormality, they say, is dwarfism. Lu Ann remembers hearing about one child in particular.
COOPER: The baby was born without arms or legs or eyes and ears. It was just basically a tomato is what some of the people said. And it didn't live longer than a few days.
KAYE: When Lu Ann got out she filed charges against her husband for incest. Jeremy Ortell Kingston was sentenced to one year in prison for incest. But that was barely a slap on the wrist for the Kingstons. The family owns everything from pawn shops to supermarkets, coal mines to casinos.
COOPER: We're supposed to shop at only the Kingston stores to keep the money circulating within the Kingston group.
KAYE: We went to the Kingstons' lawyer's office to ask for their response. Attorney Carl Kingston told us in a statement, "The society, as it calls itself, believes in freedom of choice." He says, "The majority of families are not polygamists and the percentage of birth defects is extremely low." For her part, Lu Ann Cooper says she feels free at last, but freedom comes with a price.
COOPER: I haven't seen my mom in the last two years, two and a half I think. And it's hard. But at the same time, I don't want my kids around them because I don't want them trying to lure my girls back in.
KAYE: So she keeps her children close to home. Life as a family of six never felt so good. Randi Kaye, CNN, Salt Lake City, Utah.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
The shot of the day coming up. But first, Erica Hill has some of the business stories we're following. Erica?
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, the losing streak is over on Wall Street. The Dow closing up 19 points today. The NASDAQ gained 10. The S&P added 2. And today's news of a sharp drop in durable goods orders last month brought out the buyers who think the Fed may not raise interest rates again.
Also helping to boost stocks, unexpected results on April home sales. The Commerce Department says new home sales rose nearly 5 percent last month. Prices, though, were only up slightly. The number of unsold homes also hit a new record, climbing to 565,000 homes.
On to the courts now where CBS and radio host Howard Stern have settled a breach of contract lawsuit. Both sides, though, say the agreement hasn't been signed yet. Details not being spelled out at this point. CBS, you may recall, had accused the shock jock of improperly using his final months at CBS Radio to promote Sirius Satellite Radio where he now works, Anderson.
COOPER: Go figure. Check out the "shot of the day." Unbelievable video. It's a hit and run caught on a dashboard camera of a sheriff's patrol car in Webberville, Michigan near Lansing. Take a look at this. Monday an SUV was hit on interstate 96, flipped over about ten times. Unbelievable.
HILL: That's insane.
COOPER: Yeah. The driver survived with minor injuries. Police say her seatbelt likely saved her life. Police have released -- take a look at it again. The car swerves over there, hit by another car, and then boom, right over there.
HILL: And they're still -- I read, too, they're still apparently looking for that other car that hit the SUV.
COOPER: Right. They hope someone has information on the driver of the car that hit the SUV because they obviously just kept on going. But just amazing that only minor injuries. Yet another reason, wear the seatbelt.
HILL: Wear your seatbelt, darling.
COOPER: Let that be a lesson to us all.
HILL: It is.
COOPER: Erica, thank you.
HILL: Good night.
COOPER: Well still ahead tonight, one of the most shocking stories of our time. It is not about a missing teen or salacious court case, it is about hundreds of thousands of women being abused. Hundreds of thousands. Absolutely nothing is being done about it. A story you'll find hard to believe, but it is terribly true.
Also tonight, a man targeting the Catholic Church. He's suing a priest because he says Jesus didn't exist and they're committing fraud. Will a court actually take this case?
Later, a CNN investigation. What happened at a New Orleans hospital after Katrina? Did the hospital let patients die? New developments all ahead when "360" continues.
COOPER: He says Jesus never existed so he's suing a Catholic priest, taking on the church. And get this, a court is thinking about hearing the case, next on 360.
COOPER: Good evening. A shocking look inside a violent world you have probably never seen before. Atrocities that simply cannot be ignored.
They smile, they sing. But these women are living in hell. It's a story too many people have turned their backs on, but one we think you must see. Tonight, you will.
Al Gore returns, Hollywood style. He's got a new movie out. But is it really the beginning of a new campaign for president?
And is the story of Jesus a hoax? One man says so. And the courts may hear his case.
If he is right, the repercussions for the Catholic Church are enormous. Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN broadcast center in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: We begin with a story that you won't see anywhere else. And it's not because we got there first, but because many people often ignore it. There is no doubt about it. What you are about to see is disturbing. But the truth is it is too disturbing and too important to turn away from, so please do not. Tonight's report comes to us from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the center of Africa, a country torn by years of war.
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