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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Lamar Odom Found Unresponsive With Fluid Coming out of Mouth, Nose; Donald Trump Released his Third Quarter Financial Data; Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Rewriting Their Shared History. Aired 8-9:00p ET
Aired October 15, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:20] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight in Las Vegas where a troubled story you know from either the basketball court or his stints on reality television is in the hospital, his condition unclear.
Lamar Odom, two-time NBA champion and tow-time Kardashian show veteran was found unconscious at a Brothel outside Las Vegas after spending four days there. The owner of the Brothel says Odom spent time with prostitutes in a VIP suite, drank at the Brothel bar and according to employees, used cocaine and herb sexual enhancement supplements.
On Tuesday he was found unresponsive with fluid coming out of his mouth and nose. He was taken to a hospital in Las Vegas. Now, the manager of the Brothel also says that Odom was adamant he didn't want anyone to know he was there, and he wanted rest and relaxation quote "to get far away from something." The brothel is the love ranch and operates legally in Crystal, Nevada about 80 miles outside in Las Vegas.
Our Randi Kaye got a tour today. She joins me from outside the Vegas hospital where Odom is a patient now - Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we spent a couple hours at that brothel today and it was unusual quiet. There was some very curious tourist out front. There was a lot of media trying to get inside. But it was quiet because most of the women who worked there have now left. They didn't like the media glare. They were also very upset to hear about what had happened to Lamar Odom.
Really, in just the few days that he was there, I'm told by the people that he really made quite an impression on them.
KAYE (voice-over): The Love Ranch in Crystal, Nevada is about a 90- minute drive from Las Vegas. T.J. Moore is the general manager and was one of the people who tried to save Lamar Odom.
So this is the bedroom where Lamar Odom would have been staying.
T.J. MOORE, GENERAL MANAGER, THE LOVE RANCH: This is the bedroom where he stayed. KAYE: She took us into the VIP suite where Odom stayed, the owner
suite reserved for special guests. The rate is at least $10,000 per night. The ranch says Odom spent about $75,000 here before they found him unconscious.
How did he look to you?
MOORE: He was on his back. He had foam coming out of his mouth and a little blood coming out of his nose. And I got him rolled over on his right side. And he did have a bunch of fluid come out of his mouth. But I knew from previous experience that I had to get him on his side.
KAYE: So he would have been -- was he on this side or that side?
MOORE: He was on this side of the bed and I let him know it was T.J.
KAYE: T.J. had driven Odom to the ranch on Saturday.
What did you guys talk about?
MOORE: About everything about a Brothel. He told me about his life. Told me about a lot of the sadness, losing his mom at an early age, being raised by his grandmother. We talked about baseball because I'm a baseball fan.
KAYE: How was his demeanor?
MOORE: He was relaxed. He was very comfortable. I was really surprised because he was so easy to talk to. It felt like I had known him for a long time.
KAYE: T.J. says Odom told her he wanted to have some fun. That fun she says included taking sexual enhancement supplements, sold here in this souvenir case.
Is this where you would sell, the ranch sells herbal Viagra.
MOORE: Yes, this is where we had it and they were actually good until 2016 and 2017 but I have pulled them from the case.
KAYE: Turns out CNN has learned it is neither herbal or Viagra. Back in his VIP suite, Odom picked out the women he wanted.
KAYE: So for most people you don't do the lineup in the actual suite but for him you did the lineup for him?
MOORE: For him that was his preference.
KAYE: So he requested that?
KAYE: What? He sat on the couch and align the girls --?
MOORE: He sat on the couch and then the ladies lined up right here all the way across in front of him. I introduced the ladies. I said this is Lamar. Ladies, please introduce yourselves.
KAYE: T.J. says Odom hung out in his suite with two women he chose, but also in the love ranch's bar where T.J. says he played You Tube videos. And talked and sometime after leaving that bar, Lamar Odom collapsed in his room.
COOPER: Randi, did - I mean, anyone at the ranch tell you that they saw Odom doing drugs?
KAYE: We talked to the manager T.J. Moore, Anderson, and she said that she never saw him doing any drugs, just taking that herbal supplement. And she said that he wasn't acting like he was on any drugs. She said if he was doing cocaine, it was her assumption he wouldn't be hungry and she said he was eating quite a bit that he ordered Kentucky fried chicken for everybody at the ranch on Sunday night. And he had a T-bone steak and mashed potatoes and he was eating all kinds of candy and skittles and homemade cupcakes. So he was hungry and eating. They do have a zero tolerance policy for drugs. So if she had seen it, she says probably would ask him to leave. But I guess with him eating, she said that he would, you know, he was still in a descent mood. He was chatty with everybody and he just seemed to be sad about the breakup of his marriage.
[20:05:12] COOPER: As far as his medical condition now, what do you know?
KAYE: Well, the family isn't really saying much. They released a statement today saying that they are asking for prayers and of course privacy. They don't want anybody trying to find out about his condition or trying to reach out to them. But they certainly haven't said anything about his condition specifically and how he's doing and what the chances are for his recovery at this point.
COOPER: All right, Randi. Appreciate the update.
A lot of people, obviously, pulling for Lamar Odom tonight including one of his members - mentors, I should say, who coached him during the summers when Odom was a talented young high school basketball player. Gary Charles is a close to Odom throughout the years. He joins me tonight.
Gary, I'm sorry we're meeting under these circumstances. You've known him for what, 20 years?
GARY CHARLES, ODOM'S MENTOR/FRIEND: Since he was 15 years old.
COOPER: Fifteen. I mean, when you first heard what happened, what went through your mind?
CHARLES: I put my head down and, you know, shook it and my heart, you know, was beating a little faster. And I started to pray, you know, that he would be OK.
COOPER: Did it surprise you? CHARLES: I can't say surprised me. This is one of those phone calls
that you kept saying I hope I don't get.
COOPER: You were afraid of something like this.
CHARLES: I was afraid of something like this, yes.
COOPER: One of the things I know you've said is that he never knew how to say no. What do you mean by that?
CHARLES: Lamar is probably one of the greatest and nicest young men I ever met in my life, and so he would give you the shirt off his back. But, you know, if 20 00 people came he would give each one a shirt. And I said to him, I believe he was 18 at the time and I said son, I'm going to give you a piece of advice and that you better learn how to say the word no, OK? And because if he was around good people then he would do good things, but if he was around the other element, he would go with the flow. That's just who he was.
COOPER: People would take advantage of him and people are bad influences on him?
CHARLES: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes, you know, I've always felt that being with the Lakers and being with Kobe, I thought it would be a good thing because, you know, I knew Kobe would try to at least lead him the right way. So, you know, we were happy about that.
COOPER: At one point I know he talked to you about wanting to move to Vegas to kind of get his head right. What did you think of that?
CHARLES: I said to him, let me get this straight, you want to straighten out your life and move to Vegas? And laughed. The reason he was moving to Vegas is because he was going to stop boxing again and he wanted to go out there and start working out. As a matter of fact, he said to me coach, I need you back in my life. I need you to be able to say no like you used to and keep me doing the things I need to do.
COOPER: Do you think he was really committed to that?
CHARLES: Yes, he was definitely, you know, more serious about that. And I said to him, tell me about the Knicks because at one point he was supposed to come out for the Knicks. He said coach, I wasn't ready. He said but I think I'm going to be ready soon. And I said to him, I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to call Steve Mills, who is the president of the Knicks who is a childhood friend of mine. I'm going to make him aware what your goals and I'm saying this to you as an incentive to see if you're going to do the right thing.
COOPER: So he was still talking about making a comeback with the NBA?
COOPER: You know, he talked publicly about kind of death was always a random, he lost a lot of friends. Obviously, his dad struggled with addiction. Do you think that's something he felt, I mean, that he felt this shadow of what had happened to his dad?
CHARLES: He talked about it all the time. He was always around those type of things and he always worried about that and was afraid that could become him. And I would always tell him, Lamar, that doesn't have to be you, you know. Use that to go the other way.
COOPER: Do you think if he does pull out of this, if he recovers that he would change his life?
CHARLES: I'm going to tell you the same thing I'll tell everyone else. Lamar adapts to the people around him. If he's around the right people, he'll change. If he is not, well. You know, the shame of it is that you would think some of these people would realize the type of young man he is and help him instead of trying to pull him down. COOPER:
Well, Gary, appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Again, sorry it's under these circumstances.
CHARLES: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, coming up, several people say Lamar Odom took sexual enhancement supplements, the Brothel owners says they were sold there and you can find them for sale in lots of other places. But what exactly is in these pills? We will take a close look at that.
And later, it came up at the debate and the question lingers. Should Bernie Sanders have done more as the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs committee to hold the VA accountable for delays in care? We've been reporting on this for years. We're Keeping Them Honest when we continue.
[20:14:00] COOPER: As we mentioned at the start of the program, employees at the Brothel where former NBA star Lamar Odom was found unconscious say they saw him use cocaine as well as herbal supplement tablets. In the case of the herbal supplement, we are talking about a legal product, something that is sold at the Brothel and other places, a supplement that the Brothel owner says is herbal Viagra. So it is legal and herbal, but the question of course, is it safe?
Our CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen reports.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's available nearly everywhere, gas stations, sex shops, and all over the internet with dozens of brands. It's called herbal Viagra but it's not real Viagra. The food and drug administration has warned about some of the products, Stiff Nights, King of Romance, Black Panther, Rhino Blitz. In studies founded by Pfizer, which makes Viagra, Dr. Irwin Goldstein investigated 58 different brands to see what they contained.
DR. IRWIN GOLDSTEIN, DIRECTOR, SAN DIEGO SEXUAL MEDICINE: It was unbelievable what we found from rat poison to commercial paint to heavy metals, to even drugs that did other things. We found drugs that lowered blood sugar, just goes to show you the quality of the manufacturing of these is extremely poor.
[20:15:11] COHEN: And it's big business.
DANIEL FABRICANT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATURAL PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION: Unfortunately, a lot of these folks are based overseas and fly by night operation.
COHEN: The supplement industry is not as tightly regulated as the drug industry. The FDA found these supplements often contain of an undeclared ingredient, sildenafil, the same active ingredients found in Viagra. In large doses it may dangerously lower blood pressure.
GOLDSTEIN: People want this stuff. People don't care about the warnings when they are faced with the inevitability that they are going to have sexual activity and they may not be good performers.
COHEN: So does it work? Maybe if it contains enough Viagra and the placebo effect can be huge. It might work because a man thinks it works.
COOPER: Elizabeth, do we know how this herbal Viagra interacts with other drugs like cocaine for example?
COHEN: You know, Anderson, in many ways we don't because we don't really know what is in it as one experts said. It's Russian roulette, who knows what is going to turn up at your particular batch. But one thing that we know is that it's probably - it is quite likely that there will be Sildenafil, which is the active ingredient in Viagra or similar drug. And here is the issue, you take a lot of active ingredient in a drug like Viagra and your blood pressure could drop dangerously low. And then on top of that you're taking cocaine. So you got two drugs that are acting on your cardiovascular system, terrible things can happen which is why every health authority we talked to said don't take these supplements.
COOPER: Elizabeth, thanks.
Well, it wasn't just herbal supplements the Brothel employees reported Odom was using. They told 911 dispatchers that he had been using cocaine as recently as Saturday. And the Brothel owner said he had been drinking in the bar, as well, although you heard the manager tell Randi she herself did not see use of illegal drugs.
Addiction is a long-time spectrum in Odom's life. He spoke on reality television about his father's struggle with heroin. As a young NBA star he was suspended for smoking pot. There was a DUI arrest, rehab and now this.
Addiction medicine specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky joins me now, host of course of "Dr. Drew" on HLN. You and I talked about this last night. You believe these sexual
performance enhancers likely had nothing to do with what happened for it. But if you take it with cocaine, isn't that, aren't those both things that can affect your heart?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST, DR. DREW: They can but let's face it, the alcohol plus cocaine is well-known to be cardio toxic severely and cause sudden death. In spite of, as was reported in what we just saw in the piece that ran, these herbal supplements are everywhere. People that take them, believe me, abuse them and take too much. And it is not like emergency rooms are overloaded with people with herbal supplement overdose. Yet, I dare you to walk into an emergency right now and not find someone related to cocaine or opiate overdose because they are common.
The herbal supplement just is not an issue here. We need to get off of that topic. This is the story of addiction. How does a cocaine addict? Somebody with a history of cocaine addiction, how do they die? They die of cardiac deaths, strokes and then when they add in opiates, they die respiratory arrest and aspiration.
Now, this report of him being found gurgling, dying, that is respiratory extremist. That is somebody in the process of dying. That comes from somebody whose respirations have been suppressed and/or an aspiration with pneumonia which is typical of pills these days which we see pills being opiates (INAUDIBLE), which we see all the time. We don't see emergency room filled with sexual enhancement problems with people overusing them. We see people all the time with opiate (INAUDIBLE) complications, all the time.
COOPER: It was reported that he had used cocaine as - you know, on, I think it was Saturday but he was found on Tuesday. Is it possible, I mean, must he have used something between then?
PINSKY: Some pills. Nobody has to see it. People don't see people use pills. They do it on the D.L. And maybe you find something around or maybe you don't.
COOPER: Would he have had to take them at the same time as the cocaine in order to --?
PINSKY: No, well, but I will tell you this is my experience, I'm speaking from my experience exclusively and I have seen a lot of this that long-term cocaine users, they want to get more of an effect from the cocaine and they will begin to sprinkles in opiates. That's the phenomenon of speedballs for people that use heroin. It's extremely common and why (INAUDIBLE) die.
And today it's such (INAUDIBLE) to give access to opiate pills that they need to only slip a pill in with the cocaine and they get a much bigger high and a much more dangerous combination.
COOPER: We know that this guy - I mean, that Odom would apparently disappear for periods, several days where family and friends wouldn't hear from him and couldn't find him. Disappearances like that - I mean, that seems like a classic sign of addiction. [20:20:01] PINSKY: Right. When somebody disappears and somebody is
behaving differently with the history of addiction, you have to assume that disease is active, particularly if they are not active in their recovery.
You know, people have been critical of the Kardashians. I'm here to tell you, I thought Khloe Kardashian, the way what we see in terms of how she's trying to handle the situation, she does a very good job. You can only do so much. You can't force an addict to get well. You can set limits, you can set boundaries, you can get them into treatment, use every bit of leverage that you have. But ultimately, you must leave and leave with love and kindness but can't to be part of someone dying.
COOPER: Well, it's so sad. Someone with so much promise.
PINSKY: It is terrible.
COOPER: Thank you so much.
Just ahead, the gloves are off, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton taking swings at each other on the campaign trail and rewriting some of their shared history like Trump's third wedding and donations given before they were actually rivals. Details on that ahead.
[20:24:47] COOPER: There's breaking news tonight on the campaign trail. Donald Trump has released his third quarter financial data, including contributions, cash on hand and spending, the campaign disclosed those number as short time ago.
CNN political reporter Sara Murray joins me now.
So what does the Trump campaign financial situation look tonight?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, even though Donald Trump has been running all over the country saying he's not actively raising money, his campaign still managed to raise a little bit of that end. They raised about $3.9 million. It came from 75,000 donors. So we are not necessarily talking about huge donations here. \
But what is really interesting is when you look at the campaign spending, all told throughout the campaign, they spent about $5.6 million. About $1.9 million of that is Donald Trump's own money. So the guy who says he is self-funding is actually spending more of other people's money than his own at this point, Anderson.
COOPER: And as we have been saying all along, I mean, it's almost impossible to calculate the amount of free media that Donald Trump has gotten as long as that continues, his campaign can save huge amounts of money for advertising. MURRAY: You are absolutely right. Other campaigns are going to look
at this budget and be envious particularly going forward as they try to decide whether to spend significant sums of money on the air waves. Donald Trump doesn't have that problem. He does interviews all the time. We take his events live. You know, we speak to him a lot. And so this just, the value of that you just can't over estimate how beneficial this is to his campaign.
COOPER: All right. Sarah, thanks very much for the reporting, Sara Murray.
More news out of the Donald Trump camp. He and Ben Carson are threatening to boycott the next Republican presidential debate hosted by CNBC less than two weeks away unless their demands are met. They say they will drop out unless they allow to give opening and closing statements. And CNBC limits the debate to no more than two hours including commercial breaks. CNBC say they will take the candidates' views into consideration as they finalize the format.
Now, in the latest FO News Poll, Trump and Carson are nearly neck and neck with 24 and 23 percent respectively. Ted Cruz is in third place with 10 percent, everyone else in the single digits. Other polls, though, show Trump well ahead in four early voting states.
Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton has a solid lead at 45 percent and Bernie Sanders at 25 percent, Joe Biden who is yet to enter the race if he will at all is at 19. Being front runner is impossible rivals in the general election of the campaign trail, Clinton and Trump are now rewriting their shared history.
Here is Gary Tuchman.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Moro Lago (ph) Estate in Palm Beach, Florida. The site of Donald Trump's most recent wedding in 2005 included on the guest list, Hillary and Bill Clinton. You might assume they were all friends. But it's remembered differently.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: With Hillary Clinton I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why? She had no choice because I gave to a foundation that frankly that foundation is supposed to do good. I didn't know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn't know him that well. I mean, I knew him. I knew him and I happened to be planning to be in Florida and I thought it would be fun to go to his wedding because it's always entertaining. Now that he's running for president, it's a little more troubling.
TUCHMAN: Donald Trump was actually quite supportive of the woman who he could end up facing in the presidential election. In addition to donating to that foundation, the Clinton global initiative, SEC filings show he made four donations to Hillary Clinton while she was in the Senate, once in 2002, and three times in 2005, all following his wedding. But if there is any fondness for Hillary Clinton that remains, Trump is doing his best to hide it.
TRUMP: Well, she's not a friend of mine. I think nobody is probably hit her tougher.
She's the worst secretary of state in the history of our country.
Here is a woman cheating the United States government for years with her emails.
If that were a Republican that did what she did with the e-mails, they would have been in jail 12 months ago.
TUCHMAN: Clinton had some fun with the animosity here on "the Tonight Show."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you, Hillary, I haven't seen you since my last wedding.
CLINTON: Well, I'm sure I'll see you at the next one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey bartender. Keep them coming.
TUCHMAN: And on season's premiere of "Saturday night live" where Clinton played a bartender.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All anyone wants to talk about is Donald Trump.
CLINTON: Donald Trump? Isn't he the one that's like, you're all losers?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to be the one to take him down. I will destroy him and I will mount his hair in the oval office.
TUCHMAN: But she's also repaying the animosity with animosity.
CLINTON: He has been stoking prejudice and paranoia. He's been really appealing to the worst instincts of human nature. I think it's dangerous. His demagoguery is no longer amusing.
TUCHMAN: Interestingly, Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and the Clinton's daughter, Chelsea are friendly with each other. And in recent months, Bill Clinton said who has gone gulfing with Trump in the past, has said some positive things about the billionaire businessman.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's been, believe it or not, uncommonly nice to Hillary and me. He thought Hillary was a good senator from New York after 9/11.
TUCHMAN: But trump says it was a relationship of business convenience.
TRUMP: I get along with Democrats, I get along with Hillary, I get along with Bill, I got along with everybody. Because as a businessman, that's what you have to do.
TUCHMAN: And now, the gloves are off.
CLINTON. Yes, it's entertainment. I mean, look. It's all entertainment.
TRUMP: Believe me, Hillary's worst nightmare is me.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN New York.
COOPER: Well, joining me now is Sam Close, the Trump national campaign's co-chairman and policy advisor, also CNN political commentators Van Jones and Amanda Carpenter. Van served in the Obama administration, Amanda is the former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz. Sam, good to have you on. Just first, real quick, this word that Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson might boycott the next Republican debate being hosted by CNBC unless the format is adjusted, do you think it's actually going to come to that or do you think, frankly, Donald Trump is too big a draw for CNBC to actually let that happen?
SAM CLOVIS, TRUMP NATIONAL CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIRMAN & POLICY ADVISOR: I think they will compromise on it. I think they'll figure something out and I think the time constraints we are asking for are not out of bounds and I think it's interesting that the two people who are leading in every poll are the two people asking for these accommodations. I think CNBC will do fine and will come to a reasonable agreement on this.
COOPER: Amanda, you know, everyone has been talking for months about Donald Trump is going to implode or fizzle out. Not only has that not happened, he's dominating the latest CNN polls in key early states. How likely do you think it is that we see a Trump versus Clinton matchup here?
AMANDA CARPENTER: Well, at this point in time you can't ignore the polls, you can't ignore the traction that he's gained. And so I think it is time to start thinking seriously about how they would matchup. You know, Anderson, I think it's so fascinating, so hard to have the consummate (ph) Washington insider potentially versus the consummate (ph) Wall Street business insider. It's really a battle of the titans. And we have to think about how this would play out. If it's a debate over policy, you know, making America stronger, greater, safer, versus handouts for the middle class. Donald Trump will win, but if it's a debate over personality, the Wall Street businessman versus a lifetime public servant, then Clinton will win in a rout.
COOPER: Van, you know, it's interesting you saw in Gary Tuchman's piece this past friendship, acquaintanceship, whatever you want to call it usually beneficial relationship between Trump and Clinton, kind of reminder that neither of them are obviously everyday citizens. She's lived, you know, in the Secret Service bubble for better part of three decades and is multimillionaire. He's a billionaire in his own bubble of sorts. They are, you know, were known around the world. A general election would in some odd way kind of be an even playing field in terms of they are renowned throughout the world.
VAN JONES, FORMER Obama ADMINISTRATOR OFFICER: Yeah, I mean, it's very interesting. You have Hillary Clinton who is probably the most famous woman in the world and frankly, she's been now for decades one of the most respected women in the world in poll after poll after poll. Donald Trump, one of the most famous men in the world. He may, in fact, besides Obama be the most famous man in the world right now.
So you have two little power houses going up against each other. Now, what happens for Trump in a Hillary Clinton matchup is suddenly his overwhelming media advantage goes away. Right now he gets to dominate, you know, ten, 12, other people. When it's just Trump versus Hillary, he will certainly have for the first time equal treatment from the media. That will hurt him. But what will hurt her on stage together, she is easily irritated and he is irritating.
JONES: So you're going to have one of the most irritating people in the world going up against one of the most irritable people in the world and in that situation she's in grave, grave danger.
COOPER: Sam, from a campaign standpoint, I assume it's too early for you-all to be kind of thinking down the road of a general or is it? I mean, are you already kind of thinking about what a Clinton versus Trump matchup would be or are you solely focused, I mean obviously, there hasn't even been, you know, a single vote here yet?
CLOVIS: Well, I think we have to look at it from the aspect of what we're seeing right now, the fall classic. If you don't win the first game, you don't get to play the second game.
CLOVIS: So we have to win Iowa before we can go on to New Hampshire and then we'll win South Carolina and then we'll win Nevada and then we'll win the Southeast conference primary and then we'll get ready for Super Tuesday. So we are, I think, this is we have a deliberate methodical way of going about doing this, the same as every campaign does when it has to build the ground game. So, nothing changed. I mean the blocking and tackling is the same when it comes to, you know, fundamentals of getting people to the polls to vote and this is one of the things that I think we're doing.
JONES: Anderson, if you had told us in June, July, August, when all of us were on, he's a week away from exploding. He attacked John McCain, it's over. Then we would literally now be sitting here talking about the blocking and the tackling for the Super Bowl. This is not reality television. This is your life, America. Somebody has got to do something about this. This is insane.
COOPER: Well, Amanda, I mean it is interesting to Van's, you know, point about just how wrong, you know, pundits and others have been at really every step of this process and frankly, that's something we kind of are reminded of every presidential cycle because I remember, I think it was Tucker Carlson on the eve of the matchup between Kerry and Bush saying the night before the election that Kerry was going to win.
I don't mean to be, I'm not trying to like throw him under the bus or anything. That's just an example that pops in my mind, but it's interesting just how wrong every election cycle it seems like people kind of are reminded of how much this is in the hands of the voting public, the American citizens and how little we really kind of understand the process sometimes.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Yeah, and I've got to - I feel like in my gut we're in for many more surprises this election cycle. You know, we do have to look at the polls, they are a very good indicator of what people are thinking at that moment in time, but you also have an organization like Gallop saying that they are getting out of the polling business because they don't trust their polling anymore and so we are going to have to see what happens in the early states. Yes, we should pay attention to the polls, the fact that Donald Trump is double digits ahead of other people in the field is significant, but that doesn't mean the game can change at any moment in time.
COOPER: And also, I just want to point out the tucker Carlson example just popped in my head and if I'm wrong, I apologize.
COOPER: This is not sort of launching of an attack against him or anything. He seems like a lovely guy.
[ laughter ]
COOPER: All right. Just to clear that up. Sam, it's always good to have you on, Van Jones, Amanda Carpenter as well. Thank you very much.
Just ahead, as Gary mentioned, Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton are friends, whose parents are obviously now rivals on the trail. A closer look at that relationship next.
COOPER: As we talked about a moment ago, frontrunners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton end up winning their respective nominations and running against each other, it will definitely make for an interesting election, to say the least. It could also make for some awkward moments between another Trump and another Clinton. In an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow this week, Ivanka Trump talked about her friendship with Chelsea Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You are very good friends with Chelsea Clinton and she gave a recent interview and she said, "I love Ivanka," and she said that both of your parents running potentially against each other in a general election has not affected your friendship. How do you guys navigate that? Do you not talk politics? Do you talk kids?
IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: We - it has not been an issue for us. I have great respect for her, she's been a great friend to me, I've been a great friend to her. So, you know, the politics of our parents is not relevant to our friendship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's an interesting discussion. What if their stakes become even higher? Does their friendship have what it takes to survive? Takes a closer look.
DONALD TRUMP: Hillary who I think has got very big problems, by the way, very big problems. I think she's got bigger problems and whether or not she's going - we'll find out.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As their parents sling insults at each other on the campaign trail.
HILLARY CLINTON: He's been throwing a lot of heat my way. That's fine. I can take it.
HILLARY CLINTON: But I do, I do find a lot of what he says pretty ridiculous.
SERFATY: Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton's long-standing friendship is about to be put to the test. It's a test their parents have failed. After once being close friends themselves, Hillary Clinton attending Donald Trump's wedding, Trump making donations in the past to the Clintons and their foundation, they are now rivals, not holding anything back.
HILLARY CLINTON: I think the guy went way overboard, offensive, outrageous, pick your adjective.
DONALD TRUMP: She's the worst secretary of state in the history of our country.
SERFATY: But Ivanka and Chelsea have a private relationship, one that has grown more intimate over the years. The two women both in their 30s, new moms and living in Manhattan finding bonds in their similarities, their unconventional upbringing in the spotlight.
IVANKA TRUMP: Do you talk to kids about why math and reading ...
SERFATY: Their career paths from high-profile TV gigs, to big roles now in their respective family businesses and their family ties, both marrying men of the Jewish faith, Ivanka converting with marriage. On social media, they both seemed to be president of the other's fan club, diffusive in their praise on Facebook and tweeting out compliments, Ivanka quoting Chelsea in the tweet with the hashtag "wise words." Chelsea telling "Vogue" magazine there is nothing skin deep about Ivanka, saying she's always aware of everyone around her. "It's an awareness that in some ways reminds me of my dad and his ability to increase the joy of the room." But their biggest connection could also become their friendship's - both are fiercely loyal to their family and big boosters of each of their parents' presidential bids.
IVANKA TRUMP: I can tell you that there is no better person than my father to have in your corner when you're facing tough opponents or making hard decisions. He's battle tested.
SERFATY: A battle that could now become a rivalry for this Trump and Clinton, too. Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, up next, keeping them honest, are Bernie Sanders' critics right? Did he drop the ball on VA scandal when he was chair of the Senate's Veterans Affairs committee? I asked him about it at the debate.
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COOPER: Why did it take 18 inspector general reports and a CNN investigation and others before you and your colleagues took action?
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COOPER: Well, some vets say he could have done a lot more. Their complaints when "360" continues.
COOPER: For years on this program we've been trying to keep the V.A. honest reporting on dangerously long waiting list and deadly delays in care at veterans hospitals across the country. CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin uncovered damming evidence that hospitals were even keeping two sets of books to hide their long wait times for appointments, but it was disturbing revelation for piling up Bernie Sanders who was chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee at the time wasn't pressing for answers or holding anyone accountable at the V.A. I asked him about that at Tuesday's Democratic debate.
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COOPER: Why did it take 18 inspector general reports and a CNN investigation and others before you and your colleagues took action? SEN. BERNIE Sanders (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I was chairman
for two years and when I was chairman, we did take action. What we did is pass $15 billion piece of legislation, which brought in many, many new doctors and nurses into the VA so that veterans in this country could get the health care when they needed it and not be on long waiting lines. And the other part of that legislation said that if a veteran is living more than 40 miles away from a VA facility, that veteran could get health care from a community health center or the private sector. As a result of that legislation, we went further than any time in recent history in improving health care to the men and women of this country who put their lives on the line to defend us.
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COOPER: What Senator Sanders didn't mention is all the opportunities his critics say he missed to act much sooner. They say he ignored a growing pile of evidence that something was seriously wrong. Here is Drew Griffin.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernie Sanders was chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs during the height of the VA wait list scandal, but critics like the founder of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association says you'd never know it.
PAUL RIECKHOFF, Iraq AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION: For far too long he was apologizing for the VA. He was refusing to acknowledge the severity. He was positioning it as a smaller issue than it was while veterans were dying waiting for care.
GRIFFIN: Paul Rieckhoff says Sanders had to be ignoring what was happening just across the capital in the House where the House Veterans Affairs Committee investigators were digging up records, swearing in whistle-blowers and exposing the massive scandal.
RIECKHOFF: Chairman Sanders was at the helm during the biggest scandal in V.A. history so the question for Bernie Sanders is where were you? Why didn't you conduct more oversight? Why didn't you get to the bottom of this? Why didn't you listen to the veterans groups who came forward and said this was a problem?
GRIFFIN: Republican senators on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee were so troubled by the lack of oversight, they sent this letter to Sanders complaining "our nation's veterans do not deserve to wait to receive their benefits and/or needed health care services" adding "this committee must conduct aggressive oversight to ensure they receive the care they need when they need it."
Sanders did finally hold a hearing in May of 2014 at the height of the scandal and after CNN reported about secret waitlists in Phoenix. He acknowledged there were problems, supported an independent investigation, but also praised the V.A.'s handling of 200,000 appointments a day and for delivering quality health care to our vets.
SANDERS: One of the concerns that I have to be very honest is there has been a little bit of a rush to judgment. What happened in Phoenix, well, the truth is we don't know. But we are going to find out.
GRIFFIN: He later appeared on CNN that same morning again cautioning against a rush to judgment.
SANDERS: Did the delay in care of these people on the secret waiting list actually cause these deaths? We don't know.
GRIFFIN: Two weeks after Bernie Sanders raised that question, the scandal reached its climax and V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned. In his resignation speech Secretary Shinseki apologized for the nationwide scandal, acknowledging exactly what the House Veterans Affairs Committee and what CNN had been reporting for nearly two years, that in the V.A. system, some managers were hiding months long waiting lists of veterans seeking medical care.
COOPER: Drew, I pressed Bernie Sanders about this in the debate. Is it fair to say he had little to do with fixing the V.A.?
GRIFFIN: If you just look at the numbers while this whole crisis was going on, the House committee was holding 42 separate hearings on all of this, Anderson. Bernie Sanders committee held just seven hearings. It's why his fellow senators were so angry with him and sent a letter basically begging him, we need to look into this. We need to do what's going on over in the House to find out what is actually happening at the V.A. He didn't do that. That's what these critics are saying.
COOPER: I understand, Drew, you tried to reach out to the Sanders campaign to get their comments.
GRIFFIN: Yeah, and so far we haven't got any comment. We wanted to ask him about the veterans groups that are criticizing him and quite frankly, about other legislators who are coming forward saying that, you know, basically, Bernie Sanders either ignored this issue or was just asleep at the wheel when he was the helm of the chairman of the vets committee.
COOPER: All right, Drew, thanks very much.
Well, up next, why President Obama is keeping thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan despite his promise to end America's longest war.
COOPER: A major reversal from President Obama, the commander-in-chief is backing off his pledge to pull most U.S. troops from Afghanistan. President Obama says thousands of U.S. forces will remain in the war zone even when he leaves office in 2017. Today's announcement comes as the Taliban shows the resurgence in the country, just weeks ago their fighters gain control of a major city for the first time since 2001. Jim Sciutto, our chief national security correspondent joins us with more.
Jim, the president wanted to get all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan before he left office. What's changed?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he won't. He won't be able to fulfill that promise. You're going to have 9800 U.S. forces there until late into 2016 and in 5500 extending into 2017 when, of course, he leaves office and you'll have a new president, in effect, hanging this war already the longest in U.S. history onto the next president, and in addition to that, you're going to keep these troops not just in Kabul in the center of the country where they were going to end up originally to gravitate towards, they can stay out in Jalalabad and Kandahar, in Bagram, keeping a presence around the country as the Taliban advances.
COOPER: And the president mentioned today that combat missions in Afghanistan are over, but these troops that will remain there, they will be facing combat, right?
SCIUTTO: They will. Listen, the administration has parsed that word combat not just in Afghanistan, but in Iraq, as well. The fact is they will be in combat. We saw that even with the advance on Kundush just a couple of weeks ago that you had forward deployed U.S. advisors, they were calling in air strikes including that horrible air strike that hit the hospital there in Kundush. You know, they are not directly on the firing line as it were, but they are very close to the front lines plus you have U.S. aircraft doing close combat support. You know, you and I have been to a lot of war zones, Anderson, I think by any definition, that is in some form of combat. It is not just a counter terrorist or training operation.
COOPER: And did the president say anything about how he felt about having to make this decision?
SCIUTTO: He was asked as he was leaving the podium, was he disappointed. He said no, he's not disappointed. Listen, he said in his words he believes it's the right thing to do and the fact is, his commanders have been telling him this for months. The facts on the ground are that the situation is in the president's words fragile and deteriorating, Taliban making advances, and you have to think that the spectrum of Iraq was in the back of his mind. He pulled U.S. forces out of there and we saw the advance of ISIS. I'm sure he didn't want to see that in Afghanistan as well.
COOPER: All right, Jim, thanks very much.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, as we mentioned at the top of the broadcast, NBA and reality TV star Lamar Odom is In Las Vegas hospital tonight after being found unresponsive at a brothel two days ago. We don't know much about his condition as it stands right now, but we will continue to monitor the situation, bring you more information as it comes up.
That does it for us now. We'll see you again 11:00 for another edition of "360". Anthony Bourdain, "Parts Unknown" starts now.