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President Obama Promises Health Care Reform in 2009; Saying Goodbye to Michael Jackson

Aired July 1, 2009 - 18:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: CNN's Don Lemon has the breaking news on Jackson's will.

Don, you and I have been going through these doctors. What does this mean for the family?



LEMON: It means a whole lot. It means a lot of legal wrangling in the future for the family. And also attached to this will that I hold here in my hand, Suzanne, I want to make it very clear that it offers some people who are not family members, it makes them the executor of the will and all of Michael Jackson's assets.

But then attached to this, attached to this is a trust. And it is called the Michael Jackson Family Trust. It was amended and restated on March 22, 2002. And then this will was written up on July 7 of 2002. So, inside of that trust, inside of the trust, there are people, there are beneficiaries who are named, including Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, and then other people, including some nephews, some Jacksons that we have never heard about.

But let's get back to the will now, because we have to figure out how all that is going to go down. Those trust papers are private. And we are still going through it. That has to be offered through. Either a family member or someone has to give us those papers.

But let's talk about this trust. You mentioned Diana Ross. You mentioned all of that. I'm going to start with the executors of the will. This will again drafted back in 2002. And here is what Michael Jackson said.

He said: "I hereby give my executors full power and authority at any time to grant everything that's in my will. I appoint John Branca, John McClain, and Barry Siegel as co-executors of this will. In the event of any of their deaths, resignation, inability, and failure or refusal to serve and continue to serve as co-executor, the other shall serve and no replacement need be named."

So, those are the executors of the will. Then it goes on to say where it talks about Katherine Jackson here and about Diana Ross. It says: "If any of my children are minors at the time of my death, I nominate my mother, Katherine Jackson, as guardian of the persons and estates of such minor children. If Katherine Jackson fails to survive me or is unable or unwilling to act as guardian, I nominate Diana Ross as guardian of the person and estates of such minor children."

Two things here to tell you quickly. There was an ex parte hearing by the folks who are the executors, their attorneys, at least, the executors of the will, John Branca and John McClain. They wanted to take over immediately to distribute Michael Jackson's assets. That happened in court today. The judge said, hang on. There is a hearing already scheduled for Monday, July 6. Katherine Jackson will be administrator until then and we will get to that.

Also, I want to tell you one other piece of news here. Speaking to a probate attorney here in Los Angeles, he says he knows that, in fact, that there is at least one life insurance policy on Michael Jackson's life and that it may well be protected so that it would not need to be subject to executors or of trust, but would simply be able to provide to beneficiaries.

So a lot of parts of this story, Michael Jackson's will just coming out, the trust, and all of it, Suzanne, we are breaking down and going through the papers.

MALVEAUX: Sure. OK. Don Lemon, thanks for keeping us straight on all of that, all the details coming out of that will today. Thanks, Don.

At Neverland Ranch right now, anticipation is building for a final farewell to Michael Jackson. But, a short while ago, the Jackson family issued a statement disputing reports that there is going to be a public viewing of Jackson's body at his former home.

Let's bring in Kara Finnstrom at the ranch.

What are we hearing? What do we know, Kara, about these memorial plans?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, yet another twist here in the Michael Jackson story -- a family spokesperson saying a short while ago that there will be no public viewing, no private memorial service held here at Neverland, that spokesperson saying that there are some plans in the works for a public memorial, but that no details are being released yet.

Now, just 24 hours ago, a law enforcement source told us that the plans were in the works to bring Michael Jackson's body back here by motorcade. Since then, there has been quite a bit of talk here in this community from folks who didn't want to see a big spectacle here, they say, in their backyard. They didn't want the fans coming. They didn't want the crowds.

There has also been quite a bit of talk among state and local officials, who said that this would be quite a costly event. But there are also some disappointed fans here.

And I want to bring in Falana (ph) as we make our way around the front of Neverland here.

You said you walked actually quite a distance, about 40 minutes, from where you had to park to come up here. And you really felt this was a natural place for a tribute to Michael Jackson?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do. I believe it is. This is a place that people will always remember. It is a part of who he was and what he wanted to represent and what he wanted to continue.

So, it's a tragedy that they are talking now that they are not going to have it here or memorialize him here, because this is what fans will remember him, a place to come and memorialize him, so yes.

FINNSTROM: All right, thanks, Suzanne.

And, actually, you know -- actually, a number of the fans we spoke with here felt the same way. And the fact that they had to walk in so far just to pay tribute today because it was -- the roadblock is so far out, gives you an idea of the logistics they would have faced had they held those tributes here -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right, Kara, thank you so much -- Kara Finnstrom outside of the ranch there.

Well, Jack Cafferty is now joining with "The Cafferty File."

And, Jack, what are you following?

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: When it comes to the 18-month-long recession, maybe -- I think it was Yogi Berra who says it ain't over until it is over. Well, it ain't over yet.

Consumer confidence taking an unexpected and steep decline in the month of June. And that's a big deal, because consumer spending makes up more than two-thirds of our economy. And it means that Americans don't feel so optimistic about their current financial situation or about what is to come. Some think the rising price of gasoline is part of the problems, with consumers feeling pinched at the pumps once again, although not as badly as last summer.

One expert told Reuters, the confidence data -- quote -- "kind of took the wind out of things a little bit" -- unquote. Investors had been expecting consumer confidence to hold steady this month, after increases in both April and May, pretty good-sized ones.

For months, we have been seeing economic data that suggest the recession isn't getting any worse. But investors want to see signs the economy is actually starting to grow again.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate which is at a 25-year high of 9.4 percent is expected to increase again for the month of June. We will get the jobs report tomorrow morning. And it could reach, they say, 10 percent later this year. If that's the case, it seems unlikely consumer spending is going to pick up significantly any time soon.

So, here is the question. What caused an unexpected steep drop in consumer confidence? Go to and post a comment on my blog.

Are you confident, Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: I think I am confident so far.


CAFFERTY: I think you are, too.


MALVEAUX: Thanks, Jack. All right.

Yes, you can. President Obama promises health care reform will happen this year, especially with emotional pleas so hard to ignore. Wait until you hear and see the president comforting an ordinary American. But can he comfort Americans worried about his health care plans?

Critics claim the Obama administration is keeping secrets. What they want revealed, they say, are things you should know.

And the defense secretary says there are ways to battle vengeance and blackmail against gays in the military.


OBAMA: President Obama has a message for some critics. He will get his way. Today, he made a bold promise regarding health care reform. And in a bold display of presidential concern, the president comforted a sick and emotional woman.

Let's go straight to CNN senior White House correspondent Ed Henry.

Hey, Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, a very emotional town hall, the president trying to sell his health plan in part by using some social media tools. But a new CNN poll suggests that he is facing a very skeptical public.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to pass it this year. That is my commitment.


HENRY (voice-over): The president was bullish about the prospects for health reform, but warned, critics are lining up to kill it. So, he used a town hall in Virginia to urge the public to rise up, as he fielded questions from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and a live audience.

OBAMA: Because if Congress thinks that the American people don't want to see change, frankly, the lobbyists and the special interests will end up winning the day. But when the American people decide that something needs to happen, nothing can stop us.

HENRY: One of those ordinary Americans, Debby Smith, cried as she told her story.

DEBBY SMITH, CANCER PATIENT: Now I have a new tumor. I have no way to pay for it.

OBAMA: I don't want you to feel all like you're alone on this.


HENRY: After comforting Smith, the president held her up as exhibit A.

OBAMA: The long-term problem here is going to be how do we create a system in which Debby's getting the preventive care that she needs and is able to get regular checkups, is able to get treatment in a way that is much more cost-efficient.

HENRY: But a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows the public is worried about picking up the tab for people without insurance -- 54 percent said they believe the amount they pay for medical care will increase, while only 17 percent believe it will decrease, one reason, the public is divided on the president's plan, with 51 percent saying they favor it and 45 percent opposing, similar to the split Bill Clinton faced before his health plan failed.


HENRY: Now, the White House is still optimistic, the president saying in the case of Debby, for example, if she doesn't get treatment, she is likely to wind up in an emergency room and taxpayers will pick up the tab anyway. So, White House officials are saying they will continue to put the president out there. They think he is their best salesman right now.

But, again, he's facing some skepticism -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: OK, thank you very much, Ed Henry at the White House.

Wal-Mart is embracing parts of the president's plan for health care reform, especially the idea of requiring large companies to offer health insurance to workers. Wal-Mart is the nation's largest private employer. Its backing of health reform could complicate efforts by critics to stand against the president. The White House reacted today.


ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think this represents a pretty big mind-set change on behalf of the nation's largest employer. And it is a recognition first and foremost of the notion that health care costs are increasing at a rate that cannot be sustained even by the largest employer.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: Don't ask, don't tell, could morph into who knew and who told. Some people want an all-out reversal of the military's ban against gays coming out while serving. But, in the absence of that, the defense secretary says there are ways to not enforce it.

Here is CNN correspondent Chris Lawrence -- Chris.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Suzanne, right now, the Obama administration is really looking for loopholes in this law, ways in which openly gay soldiers and sailors and airmen could still serve without repealing don't ask, don't tell.


LAWRENCE (voice-over): "Dismissed" -- fewer gay soldiers may be hearing that command if the defense secretary has his way.

For the first time, Robert Gates is looking at ways to selectively enforce the ban on openly gay troops. Gates says he would like to take into account who outs a soldier and -- quote -- "If we get that information from somebody who may have vengeance in mind or blackmail or somebody who has been jilted, in other words, if somebody is outed by a third party, does that force us to take an action?"

Sometimes, a service member is outed by a family member or civilian, like Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fehrenbach. The Air Force pilot flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan before an acquaintance outed him to the top brass.

AUBREY SARVIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SERVICEMEMBERS LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK: Or it could be a perfect stranger who has never met the service member, and it's nothing more than hearsay. But, once an investigation begins, then the service member is caught in this catch- 22.

LAWRENCE: Aubrey Sarvis runs an organization that opposes don't ask, don't tell. It says, even though Gates may have some legal flexibility:

SARVIS: I think the challenge will be difficult. It will take several weeks, if not months, to make those changes.

LAWRENCE: More than 1,000 military leaders recently signed a petition supporting don't ask, don't tell. They say, unlike civilians, who go home after work, the law recognizes the military's unique living conditions, characterized by forced intimacy, with little to no privacy.


LAWRENCE: Now, Gates says a team of lawyers is looking at this policy to see if there is any legal flexibility.

For his part, President Obama has been criticized by some for not pushing fast enough to try to get a full repeal. But, ultimately, that is a federal law. So, it would take Congress to change it -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Thanks, Chris -- Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

MALVEAUX: We now want to bring you breaking news from our other CNN Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, who joins us on the phone right now with new information.

Barbara, what can you share with us?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, this word just coming in. The U.S. military has begun what they call a major combat operation at this hour in southern Afghanistan.

A release, a press announcement just coming out within the last few minutes that says about 4,000 U.S. Marines are involved in this combat operation in the Helmand River Valley of southern Afghanistan.

This is ground zero now for the war in Afghanistan. The major goal of the troops, the major goal of U.S. combat is to get the Taliban out of that Helmand River Valley, get them out of the towns and villages, separate the Taliban from the people who live there.

British troops have already been in combat for several days now, the Americans joining them. We certainly expect to learn more overnight, Suzanne, and in the coming hours about how this major combat operation is unfolding -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Barbara Starr, thank you so much. We will get back to you as soon as you have more information about that operation. Thank you so much.

Well, there are two administrations with so many differences, but with yet with some things in common, President Obama's White House and the White House under George Bush. Both are now being accused of secrecy, withholding information that could impact you.

Let's get details from CNN's Elaine Quijano -- Elaine.


ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, some open-government advocates aren't happy with what they say is more of the same so far from a president who promised change.


QUIJANO (voice-over): As a candidate, Barack Obama pledged to usher in a new era.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will make our government open and transparent, so that anyone can insure that our business is the people's business.

QUIJANO: And, on his first full day in office, another promise. OBAMA: I will also hold myself as president to a new standard of openness.

QUIJANO: But some open-government advocates are still waiting.

MELANIE SLOAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON: The truth of the matter is, it's not looking so different right now.

QUIJANO: Melanie Sloan heads up the nonpartisan watchdog group CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. CREW is suing the Obama administration for the release of White House visitor logs relating to coal company executives.

An energy bill just came through, and we think the American people would be interested to know who's influencing the Obama administration on energy policy.

QUIJANO: Sound familiar? The Bush administration fought a similar lawsuit.

Former Deputy White House Press Secretary Trent Duffy:

TRENT DUFFY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: There is a fine line between governing and campaigning. And, you know, each politician has to deal with the promises they make on the campaign trail.

QUIJANO: Mr. Obama never did make any promises regarding visitor logs, although spokesman Robert Gibbs says the White House is reviewing the visitor records policy, and says the administration's transparency shouldn't be measured against other White Houses.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is not a contest between this administration or that administration or any administration. It's a -- to uphold the principle of open government.

QUIJANO: Still, for some, a disappointing showing so far from a president who won in part by differentiating himself.

SLOAN: We see him come in, and, immediately, they take the same kind of secrecy positions that the Bush White House did. So, that's very troubling.

QUIJANO: (on camera): An administration official argues, President Obama has backed up his promise of transparency in other ways, including using the Web to broadcast meetings in the White House and to track the government's use of taxpayer money.

As for the visitor logs, no word on when the administration might wrap up its review -- Suzanne.


MALVEAUX: Thank you, Elaine. A registered nurse who says she worked with Michael Jackson claims that he begged her for a powerful drug just days before he died. We are investigating her story and how it conflicts with accounts from Jackson's personal doctor.

Plus, does it pay to work in the Obama White House? Six-figure salaries revealed.

And how the House Republican leaders tried to catch a Tiger.



MALVEAUX: You are looking out live pictures outside Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch.

A short while ago, the family announced that they would not hold a public or private viewing of his body at the ranch. But there is still some mystery surrounding Michael Jackson's last wishes. We know details about his will, but what about the trust that will control his millions? We are looking into a nurse's disturbing claim that Jackson begged her for a powerful drug just days before his death.



Happening now: Michael Jackson's will made public. But will his final wishes be carried out, and what happens next? CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is here with expert insight.

Also, too much information from South Carolina's governor about his affair. Now there are growing calls for him to resign.

Plus, President Obama vowing health care reform this year, but are the numbers on his side? We are looking at some new polls -- all of this plus the best political team on television.

I am Suzanne Malveaux, and you are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

New fuel today for speculation about whether the use of medication may have contributed to Michael Jackson's death. A nutritionist and nurse claims that Jackson pleaded to get a powerful sedative. But her claims cannot be independently verified.

Our Brian Todd is sorting through all the conflicting claims about Jackson's medication.

You have been looking into this all day. What do we know?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, the medical mystery surrounding Michael Jackson seems to grow deeper every day. One of the most troubling questions right now, what information did the star share and not share with his health care providers about his medication? (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): (AUDIO GAP) registered nurse who says she worked with Michael Jackson earlier this year tells of a frantic call just a few days before he died. Lee's says Jackson's staff said he wasn't feeling well and begged her to come and help him, but she was in Florida.

Three months earlier, she says, Jackson pleaded with her to find someone who could provide him with the powerful sedative Diprivan used mostly in hospitals during anesthesia. Lee says she advised him against it.

CHERILYN LEE, REGISTERED NURSE: I said: "Michael, you keep wanting to sleep. You keep saying you want to be knocked out and sleep, but what about waking up tomorrow?"

TODD: Did Jackson's personal physician know about that call just days before his death, or had he ever been approached by Jackson about Diprivan? We tried to contact the attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray.

The lawyer's representatives said they couldn't answer those questions. They issued a statement saying -- quote -- "We will not be responding to rumors and innuendo."

Dr. Murray's attorney had previous said he was not aware of any prescription drug abuse by Jackson. But they also said this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't know for sure whether he had any other doctors. There were some suspicions that there might be other doctors, but he didn't know for sure.

TODD: Doctor Murray hadn't started as Jackson's personal physician until early may. Cheryl Ann Lee says she hadn't seen Jackson since April, but that he had asked her about Diprivan, mentioned he gotten Diprivan from another doctor a long time ago, but wouldn't say who that doctor was.

An expert on medical ethics says many patients, not just the wealthy and famous, play health care providers off each other and compartmentalize information.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They might assume that one health care professional would disapprove of a behavior, and another seems more open. They might think that I should tell my nutritionist about one thing and my doctor about another, and not see that the doctor needs to know the whole picture.


HENRY: And Paul Wolfie (ph) says compartmentalization like that can be very, very dangerous. The personal physician, he says, has to be the captain of the team. He needs to know all the drugs you are taking so that he or she can coordinate what you are doing and warn you about risky behavior. Right now, part of this mystery surrounding Michael Jackson is, did he share enough information with his doctor? Suzanne, we may not know that for a while.

MALVEAUX: And Brian, do we know if Diprivan is even available as a prescription drug?

TODD: Every indication we have is that it is not available as a prescription drug. The doctors we contacted, including an anesthesiologist say that it's really only used in hospital settings or possibly some other formal setting where you are having a procedure.

They say it has to be tightly controlled and usually administered by someone trained in anesthesia.

MALVEAUX: OK, thank you very much, Brian.

Let's take a closer look at how this nurse and nutritionist may have been involved in Michael Jackson's care.

We are joined by CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen. And Cherilyn Lee was licensed as both a registered nurse and as a nurse practitioner. What would she be able to do for Jackson?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: A nurse practitioner, Suzanne, can do pretty much what a doctor can do. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with additional training, at least a master's degree. And they practice very much like physicians. They see patients. They prescribe drugs.

In some states, they can even operate completely independently from doctors. In a majority of states, they work in a collaborative relationship with MDs -- Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: Can they be hired, or do they work in clinics?

COHEN: It could work either way. Nurse practitioners work in clinics. They work sometimes in some states on their own. And I suppose if you wanted to hire your own nurse practitioner to come to your house and take care of you, if you have enough money, you can do that, too.

MALVEAUX: Well, it's a five page will scrawled with the king of pop's initials. But are Michael Jackson's wishes as clear-cut as they seem?

Let's bring in our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. It's a short document, but there are a lot of questions about this, obviously. In plain English, what does it tell us about where Jackson's kids go and what happens to his estate?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Let's talk about the money first. Basically, what it does is it says all the money, all the assets should be managed for the benefit of a different entity, the Michael Jackson Trust. It basically says all the money is going into this Michael Jackson trust.

We don't know what the instructions are for the trust. The trust documents were not made public. The trust documents presumably say, I want my kids taken care of. I want some family members taken care of. I want some money to go to charity. That's all in the trust, but that's not disclosed.

So it is really kind of a placeholder in the way for the trust in terms of the money.

MALVEAUX: The kids, what happens to the children?

TOOBIN: The kids, it says, Jackson recommends that custody goes to his mother, his 79-year-old mother. It also says if she is not able, he wants the custody to go to Diana Ross, whom we know Jackson has been a long-time fan, friend, fan.

And she is, however, also, 65 years old. So for young children, it may raise some questions.

And also, he doesn't have the last word. The will isn't the last word on who gets custody. A court still has to approve that. They probably will approve --

MALVEAUX: There is no risk that that won't happen?

TOOBIN: At this point, it doesn't look like there is any other reasonable candidate to be the -- have custody of the kids.

MALVEAUX: Let's talk about Debbie Rowe, the ex-wife of Michael Jackson. He mentions her two times in the will, once that the marriage is dissolved, that they are no longer together.

TOOBIN: I am not just divorced, I'm real divorced.

MALVEAUX: And secondly, he says I have intentionally omitted to provide for my heirs, I've intentionally omitted to provide for my former wife, Debbie Jean Rowe Jackson. What do we make of this? Does this mean she doesn't get anything? Are we to look at this in some way and say she is just cut out of all of this?

TOOBIN: I'll tell you what it suggests. It suggests that he wants her to get nothing.

But it doesn't establish for certain that she will get nothing, because, as I said, all the money, all the assets is going to this trust. The trust documents may say I want Debbie Rowe to get some money, I want my -- it will certainly say I want my children to get some money.

All that paragraph means is she doesn't get any money directly from the estate, from his current assets. Whether she gets any money from the trust, I don't know.

MALVEAUX: And what about the heirs, because the heirs not only include the children, but it could be Joe Jackson, it could be the siblings. Are we to look at this and say perhaps there is nothing for his siblings or for his father, or perhaps, that too, there is some sort of acknowledgment to them in this trust, but we still don't know what's in the trust?

TOOBIN: I don't think you can draw any conclusions from that paragraph about whether his family is going to get any money. The answer to that question is in the trust documents. We'll know if and when those become public. And we don't know for sure that they will ever become public.

MALVEAUX: And final question, you mentioned Diana Ross, obviously. Can we presume that she was consulted, that she, in fact, does want to take that responsibility to take care of the kids if she was named in the will if Katherine Jackson cannot?

TOOBIN: I think we can presume that. John Branca is a well- known, respected attorney. He would not prepare a will with such an important provision involving such a well-known person without consulting her first.

So even though it's not legally required that Diana Ross give her permission to be listed in this way, I have to believe she knew about it and approved it.

MALVEAUX: OK, thank you very much, Jeff.

And again, we have not heard from Diana Ross or her spokesperson, but we are looking for a response.

South Carolina's governor revealing some new, shockingly personal details of his affairs amid new calls for his resignation. Why some say now is the time for Mark Sanford to step down.

Plus, a CIA report on controversial interrogation techniques. Its release is being delayed once again. Could it help vindicate former vice president, Dick Cheney? The best political team on television is standing by.


MALVEAUX: Calls for South Carolina's governor to resign are getting louder as he reveals what many feel is just too much information about his affair with an Argentinean woman.

Joining us to talk about that and much, much more, our CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger, CNN's senior political correspondent Candy Crowley, and CNN's senior political analyst David Gergen. They are all part of the best political team on television.

And I want to start off with you, Candy, because you have been reporting about Sanford. About a dozen or so state senators that came out today calling for Sanford's resignation.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: More than half of the Republican state senators have called for his resignation. But it is far beyond that. I talked to a source earlier today who said, basically, there are two different camps, the Republicans who have called for him to resign, and the others are the people that haven't called for him to resign simply because they want to be able to privately try to get him to do that. So it is growing worse for him.

But I will also tell you that this source that is close to the governor, who has knowledge of the conversations today with the governor who said that the governor is defiant.

And he points out that Mark Sanford has never had a problem going it alone, either in Congress up here, when he was like the sole no vote, or in South Carolina, where he tried to reject the stimulus against everything everybody wanted from the state legislature.

MALVEAUX: David, do you think he can pull that off, this go-it- alone approach and survive this?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: His reputation has collapsed already. I think he can probably hold on to the job. But we are sort of into bread and circuses here.

He is under heavy pressure now. We understand from both U.S. senators who are both Republicans who have called him to ask him to, quote, "do the right thing."

I guess he can hold out against impeachment. But at some point, Mark Sanford is going to say, you know, this is not worth it to my reputation and to my family to keep going. The only person who is emerging from this is Jenny Sanford, the only person emerging with any dignity at this point.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For what reason would he hang on? He is a term-limited governor. His term is up in 18 months. He doesn't get along with the Republican legislature. They overrode ten of his vetoes. So what business will he really be able to conduct anyway as a damaged governor?

MALVEAUX: Let's talk about the role of Jenny Sanford. You wrote a great blog yesterday about this. And then Maureen Dowd weighed in today. She says that when there is an Associated Press bulletin quoting your husband saying he has found his soul mate, but he is going to try to fall back in love with you, change the locks.

When your husband turns into a harlequin romance babbling to the A.P. -- yes, even the A.P. thought it was TMI, too much information, about a magical encounter on an open air dance floor in Uruguay, just beat it. If you think the worse is over, it's probably only beginning.

I want to go to you, Gloria. Can she save her husband's career, this job, or does she even bother?

BORGER: Why would she? I don't think she cares at this point. She even told reporters it's not her job. If I were Jenny, I would be dealing with the problems my children may be having as a result of this. And she has been very outspoken about this to the A.P. again about her role in this, which is to care about her family, and she told the truth.

CROWLEY: She told the whole story as she saw it.

MALVEAUX: So how much impact would she have?

BORGER: She could have a big impact if she said, OK, I've forgiven him, he is coming home. That's not going to happen.

Understand, this is not Tammy Wynette again. This is a woman who is vice president for a huge banking firm in charge of acquisitions and mergers. She ran all his campaigns. She knows exactly what she is saying and what she is doing in public and how much impact it could have. And she clearly doesn't want it to have an impact.

GERGEN: Greg Marcus had it about right, I though, in the "Washington Post" today and said she is actually sort of the model of the wrong spouse in this situation. She has not acted the victim. She has not acted the enabler. She has been tough. She has been the investment banker and vice president.

And she has been very realistic about it. I think it is in her interest for him to get out of the spotlight and let this be settled in private, where much of it should have been stayed to begin with.

MALVEAUX: I want to try the corner if I can, because I know you have some reporting on this, the CIA interrogations. They were supposed to come out with new information about whether or not they were justified in using these harsh interrogation techniques. What do we know about that?

CROWLEY: There was a report that was supposed to come out that's been delayed. It is being vetted by the Justice Department.

What I have been told by somebody knowledgeable with the contents of this Inspector General report is that post 9/11, what we are going to see when we look at this, that there was kind of a rocky start to how you conduct these interrogations.

And one source said to me that the CIA might look a little bit out of control in this right after 9/11, given the situation that they were thrown into, because there were not strong controls in place.

But what this report won't do is answer the Dick Cheney question, which is, did these harsh interrogation techniques really make all the difference, or could you have gotten the same amount of valuable information, and we will learn there was valuable information gleaned, but could you have gotten the same amount of valuable information using different techniques?

My source says we're never going to be able to know the answer.

BORGER: How would you do that? CROWLEY: And as long as you don't have the answer to that question, though, does that present a problem when it comes to the Bush/Cheney legacy, of whether or not they were justified in using some of the harsh techniques?

BORGER: The Bush/Cheney legacy has larger problems than this. I think it is an impossible question to answer.

Once you have tortured someone and they have told you what you wanted. You then go back and say, would you have said that if we hadn't tortured you? There is just no way to prove it.

So people will continue to believe what they believe right now.

GERGEN: I think the essence of this delay is just about trying to protect the CIA. And Leon Panetta takes that role very seriously.

And I don't think it has much to do with Dick Cheney. He has to change the way things are done there and keep the morale of the agency up and keep the support of the agency for his own leadership.

MALVEAUX: OK, thank you very much, all of you. David, Candy, Gloria, thanks for joining us.

West wing salaries revealed. We are getting new details of who is making what in the White House. We are crunching those numbers for you.


MALVEAUX: Well, it's good work if you can get it. More than 28 White House staffers make more than $160,000 a year according to a annual salary report that was released today.

Here are some of the names and faces you may recognize -- Senior Advisor David Axelrod, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, top speech writer Jonathan Favreau, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and National Security Advisor James Jones, they all earn $172,200 per year, to be exact.

Jack Cafferty joining again in New York. Hey, Jack.

CAFFERTY: What are we paying the president these days? Is it $400,000?

MALVEAUX: I think that's pretty close.

CAFFERTY: The question this hour is what caused an unexpected steep drop in consumer confidence. Mark in Arkansas, "Jack, come out of your ivory tower. See the unemployed workers, see the restaurants that are closing up, see the small businesses laying off people, and see retailers closing shops.

Look around. How many confident consumers do you really see?"

Ben writes "The fact that people are starting to realize is the only thing Obama is good at is talking and spending money."

Jeff writes, "I had confidence till May when I was laid off. Now I'm struggling to pay my rent. No other companies in my industry are hiring in southern California. So my confidence fell off a cliff, and I'm not sure when it will come back."

Alyssa writes "The reason why consumer confidence has dropped so much is because people are starting to value other things besides buying. They're spending time with their families, planning for their futures.

I know I asked myself if I really need something of if the money could instead be put in my savings account."

Mike in Texas says "The constant, 24-hour bombardment of negative news has caused the consumer to reduce spending. Why not report on the 91 percent of Americans who have jobs and stop obsessing on 9 percent that don't?"

David in San Diego -- "Rising gasoline prices. Consumer sentiment is fickle." Melissa writes "It's summer. People realize they still don't have money to go on vacation because they had extremely unrealistic expectations of what the stimulus from both Bush and Obama would do for them, and that's bound to be a bummer for anyone."

And William says "To put it kindly, the economy is still in the toilet."

If you didn't see your email here, you can go to my blog at file. Look for yours there among hundreds of others -- Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: OK, thank you, Jack.

South Carolina's governor is hanging onto his job as calls for his resignation grow louder by the day. The Mark Sanford sex scandal and the emails that only added fuel to the fire.


MALVEAUX: Here's a look at today's hot shots in Poland. People feel the pain of heavy rains as they make their way through the flooded streets.

In Iran, President Ahmadinejad meets and shakes hands with the oil minister of Venezuela.

In Afghanistan, boys play soccer right in front of the ruins of the royal palace.

And in Florida, the manager of Washington Nationals stops to sign autographs. That's this hour's hot shots, pictures worth a thousand words.

Pressure is mounting on the South Carolina's governor to step down after the Republican admitted he had cheated on his wife. A growing number of state lawmakers are calling for Mark Sanford's resignation, including a majority of senators in his own party.

Emails Sanford reported sent to his Argentinean mistress are only adding fuel to the fire, creating the most unusual TV moments.

Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's enough to make you afraid to email.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about those e-mails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then Maria responded --


MOOS: What we responded to is how members of the press opted to deliver the lovie-dovie line, , for instance, from a blackberry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With Maria responding "You are my life."

MOOS: Or delivered dramatically, accompanied by romantic music.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I love the curve of your hips."

MOOS: Other anchors couldn't bring themselves to read them aloud.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm blushing now, and I'm not even looking at it.

MOOS: The newspaper "The State" obtained the emails, and CNN has not independently confirmed authenticity. But everybody is reciting them from Larry King to Barbara Walters.

WALTERS: "The erotic beauty of you holding yourself, or two magnificent parts of yourself." Oh, my dear.

MOOS: We gave some of the emails to a couple who has been married 43 years, they added commentary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My head is saying how to put the genie back in the bottle? A little late now, pal.

MOOS: His wife read Maria's reply emailed in imperfect but endearing English.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's expressing his deepest emotions. Too bad they aren't to his wife.

MOOS: Favorite parts of the emails cascaded out.

Things could be worse. Pity the poor reporters who had to read the emails from the Mark Foley scandal. Remember the steamy emails from the former congressman to teenaged congressional pages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you wearing? T-shirt and shorts? I'd love slip them off you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Worst phone sex operator ever.

MOOS: There are some lines from Governor Sanford's emails you hear over and over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Magnificent gentle kisses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or that I love your tan lines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or that I love your tan lines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has he ever written you steamy emails like this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, he doesn't do e-mail.

MOOS: I bet the governor wishes he didn't.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


MALVEAUX: Governor's Sanford's affair is more than scandalous. It's illegal under South Carolina law. The state code says any man or woman who shall be guilty of the crime of adultery or fornication shall be liable to indictment and on conviction shall be severely punished by a fine or imprisonment regardless of where the adulterous act took place.

The law provides for a maximum fine of $500 and up to one year in prison. But the last known prosecution under the law was in 1909.

Well, what do you think Michael Jackson's legacy is? Submit your video comments to room.

I'm Suzanne Malveaux in for Wolf Blitzer here in "The Situation Room." Up next, "Lou Dobbs Tonight," Kitty Pilgrim in for Lou -- Kitty?