Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With Iowa Congressman Steve King; Anthony Weiner Under Fire

Aired July 24, 2013 - 22:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news on two fronts.

Anthony Weiner, the serial sexter who wants to be mayor of New York, just spoke to reporters, and late word on a terrible train wreck with dozens of fatalities.

Later, Congressman Steve King taking heat for some highly controversial remarks basically claiming most children of undocumented workers are drug mules. "Keeping Them Honest," I will ask him directly how he justifies his words.

Also "Keeping Them Honest," it looks the height of luxury; just don't eat anything. What we uncovered about the food storage conditions on top of this top-of-the-line cruise ship is downright sickening.

All that and more tonight. We begin with breaking news, the terribly sad news out of northwestern Spain. A high-speed train snapped in two, some of the cars on fire. The train, which was coming from Madrid, derailed on a curve just short of the station, 218 passengers on board. We don't know how many crew members, a search now under way for survivors in the wreckage. The death toll so far at least 45, and that number could climb, dozens of people hurt, some badly. Local authorities asking for blood donations.

It's unclear how fast the train was traveling, but it was capable of speeds up to 155 miles per hour. As far as what caused the crash, too early to tell, but investigators are saying it doesn't appear at this time that terrorism played a part.

Also, breaking news back at home as well, disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner speaking to reporters tonight under heavy pressure to give up his run for mayor of New York. That drumbeat began yesterday when Weiner admitted to sexting for more than a year after he resigned from Congress over just that, inappropriate sexting. He said he's not quitting and he said it again tonight.


ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I have been saying repeatedly to people that I thought more things would come out, that I have done this behavior, which is very regrettable and I'm very sorry for and expressed my apology for over and over again over an extended period of time, but it's now behind me.

And I understand you're doing your job by asking the questions, but now my job is to talk to voters about the things that...


BLITZER: Anthony Weiner tonight leaving an event in Lower Manhattan.

On arrival, a totally unexpected, completely surreal moment. You will recall Weiner allegedly did his sexting under the screen name Carlos Danger. Today, he was confronted by, you got it, Carlos Danger.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you steal my name? I am Carlos. Why did you steal my name?


BLITZER: Only in New York does that happen.

But other than that, this is serious stuff, with "The New York Times" today calling on Weiner to quit the race. People far beyond New York asking a whole lot of questions, Dana Bash included. She confronted the candidate. Tonight, she's joining us now.

Dana, how did it go?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, he certainly avoided reporters going in, but as soon as he finished, or he was finishing his very first event of the day, which didn't happen until this evening, by the way, his aide said, look, he will come out and talk to you all.

He came out. It was very organized. He wasn't hiding and he stood there and answered about half a dozen questions. One of the key questions, of course, has been not just about his personal problems, but more specifically how he has dealt with that could impact what he really wants to be, which is mayor of New York. Listen to this.


BASH: What do you say to people who say, yes, this is personal, but it's beyond personal, it's also an issue of judgment, and do you have the judgment to be in Gracie Mansion?

WEINER: It's a fair question and people have to answer that question for themselves.

BASH: What is your answer?


BASH: Wolf, he didn't give an answer. He doesn't have an answer. At least, if he does, he didn't share that. At the end of his short press gaggle, he was walking away. I tried to ask the question again, what does he tell voters here in New York is the reason they should consider the fact that he does have good judgment? Again, no answer.

But the fact that he came out and took questions clearly makes it -- he said it many, many times, but he wants to make it clear by his actions, not just words, he's not going anywhere.

BLITZER: And what is it like out there, Dana? How are New Yorkers responding to him?

BASH: Well, this is the first campaign event we have seen since this scandal reemerged yesterday, and he came to where I am right now in Lower Manhattan to testify before the Housing Authority.

And, Wolf, we saw the Anthony Weiner that you and I knew back before the scandal broke two years ago, the guy in Congress who made a name for himself with his rousing speeches. Listen to this.


WEINER: If you are landlords in the private sector and you had hundreds and hundreds and thousands of outstanding requests for work and that floor was supposed to be replaced eight years ago, that wall was supposed to be replaced four years ago, I hate to say it, you would be in jail.

The fact of the matter is, the fact of the matter is that we need to change the way we do things.



BASH: So, he was certainly getting the crowd very excited.

At the same time, not everybody was thrilled that he was here. We saw it when he first took the microphone to testify. There were maybe a handful of women who stood up there in the audience and they turned their backs to him in silent protest to make clear they were not happy that he was here.

Look, the bottom line is, this is still a very competitive race here for mayor of New York. The primary, which is really the key Election Day in September, is going to be pretty intense and Anthony Weiner was OK in the polls given what he had been through, but he still is not anywhere near the top of the heap. And nobody here, I have not found one person, Wolf, in Democratic politics who thinks even if he doesn't get out of the race, that he will make it to the next step, which would possibly be a runoff for mayor of New York.

BLITZER: What about his wife, Huma Abedin, Dana? There was so much made of her standing at his side yesterday. What about today? What happened?

BASH: She wasn't here at this first event. He's actually as we speak over in the Bronx at another event. Not sure if she's there.

But we did see her outside his campaign headquarters in Manhattan leaving the headquarters. She was there. And that really is telling, because she went out, she made a splash, she had this unprecedented presence at his press conference talking about these indiscretions that continued a year after he resigned from Congress.

That made that she's really all in on this, not just on a personal level, but on political and professional level. We also knew this from talking to people who are close to her and close to the couple that she's been a strategic presence very much involved in the inner workings of the campaign. Never mind that you talk to people who know her and care for her and worry about her, they are not happy about this at all, as you can imagine. They are very loyal and very upset at him.

BLITZER: I'm sure they are. All right. Dana, thanks very much.

Let's get some more now on the woman Anthony Weiner was corresponding with, if you can call it that. She's a 23-year-old living in Indiana. We sent 360's Randi Kaye there to learn more about her.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The woman at the center of the latest Anthony Weiner sexting scandal is Sydney Leathers, who also identifies herself online as sidneyelainexo.

We don't know much about her, but we do know she's very comfortable in her own skin. These are just some of the pictures she posted of herself on Twitter that have since before removed showing off her new tattoo or new ink, as she tweeted, and modeling her new bathing suit.

With this lounge photo, she confidently tweeted, "I would marry my legs if I could." She also posted this seductive picture, tweeting, "All that I am, big lips, good makeup, long hair, boobs and tattoos."

How did she meet Anthony Weiner? Lou Colagiovanni is a friend of Leathers.

LOU COLAGIOVANNI, FRIEND OF SYDNEY LEATHERS: She initially contacted him through Twitter. She was a fan. She said that she was a fan. I assume that based on how beautiful of a young lady that Sydney is, Anthony Weiner had no choice but to act on instincts. Sydney loved him, but then she fell out of love with him, because the idealized vision which she had of him was not true and not the case.

KAYE: Colagiovanni says the conversations quickly turned from politics to sex. This was the result, dozens and dozens of sexually explicit text messages and photographs, including images of his anatomy that are simply too explicit to show here.

Their online relationship continued for quite awhile.

COLAGIOVANNI: It's been reported in some outlets that this may have been going on for six months. I think it's more accurate to say it's been going on for eight or nine, maybe even possibly a year.

KAYE (on camera): We came here to Princeton, Indiana, hoping to talk with Sydney Leathers about her communication and relationship with Anthony Weiner. This is where a friend of hers who asked not to be identified told me she lived with her father. Nobody answered the door when we went inside.

That same friend also told me Sydney Leathers never mentioned Anthony Weiner by name, but did say she had met a lot of people with strong political contacts online. Politics was her passion.

(voice-over): The friend says and Leathers worked together for a few months at a tanning salon with she says Leathers quit last summer to work for the Obama campaign. Online, Sydney Leathers has identified herself as a field organizer for the Obama campaign.

On the Web site, we found Sydney Leathers' profile. The petitions she signed say a lot about her passions and her politics. It seems long before Sydney Leathers first communicated with Anthony Weiner, she had her eye on him. One of her Web sites that's since been removed listed him as one of her heroes, along with President Obama, Jon Stewart and Charlie Sheen.

And in June 2011, she posted this: "Anthony Weiner can continue sending 'expletive' pics every single day for the rest of his life, as long as he continues to legislate like he does."

Sydney Leathers is now 23. Her friend says she never slept with Anthony Weiner or took any money from him, but that he did offer to help her get an apartment in Chicago and suggested he visit her. At one point, she told the Web site that Weiner asked her -- quote -- "Do me a solid and hard delete all our chats."


BLITZER: So, Randi, I know you're in Indiana. You didn't find her. Any idea where she might be?

KAYE: Well, Wolf, the guy we spoke with for our story today, the guy we interviewed said that Sydney Leathers is hoping to make some money by selling all this dirt that she has on Anthony Weiner.

So it's very likely she's far from her somewhere peddling that story of hers. He told us she has hired an agent who told her she could make as much as $100,000 for selling her story. Wolf, she's not the only one it seems who is looking to profit. We spoke to another woman today who didn't want to be identified, a friend of hers who worked at that tanning salon with her. She didn't want to go on camera but she did ask us if we would pay her if she did go on camera. We told her we would not -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Of course not.

All right, Randi, thanks very much, Randi Kaye reporting.

Up next, what's in a name? We're going to talk about what Britain's new prince will be called and what his many monikers mean to his future subjects.

An, later, a 360 investigation into a luckily cruise liner where it appears the bacteria ate better than the passengers.


BLITZER: Tonight, the name the whole world has been waiting for. Deep breath here. It is, His Royal Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

That's the big name for this little guy, William and Catherine's first son, the announcement coming this afternoon. If and when he takes the throne, it will be easier to remember, King George VII.

For now though the tabloids are having a little bit of fun. Tomorrow's "Daily Mirror" headlining it, "Boy George," though reverently adding in very small type, "That's His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, to be precise."

Other way, the name George runs deep. St. George is the patron saint of England. On a more earthly plane, the name was also big with the punters, as the British betting public is called, London bookies making the name their odds-on favorite. And they were absolutely right on the money this time.

I talked about the choice earlier tonight with correspondent Max Foster and CNN royal commentator Victoria Arbiter.


BLITZER: Max, we now have a name for the new prince, Prince George Alexander Louis. Take us through the announcement of the name.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We didn't really know when it was going to come, and it could have come at any point over the next few days, but it was really that visit by the queen to Kensington Palace that got me going, because William had said yesterday they were working on a name and then we had to interpret that. Had they chosen a name? Had they not chosen a name?

And then the queen popped over. I suspect that he wanted to put it past her first in the first visit to the baby, her first sighting of her great-grandchild and future heir. So I think they put it past the queen and that got me thinking and then by the end of the day we got it in an e-mail, a bit of notice we had and then it came out. That's really the sort of conclusion to this whole royal baby story.

BLITZER: As you say, today's announcement was relatively quick in royal standers. It took Charles and Diana a week to come up with the name William, right?

FOSTER: It did. But also, they were very quick on Harry, so there is a difference there. And also, I think this is linked in, Wolf, to a statement I got a bit earlier, not a statement actually, some words of guidance from the palace that this is now their private time. They want to spend some time with their son and they have gone to Bucklebury in Berkshire to the Middleton family home.

I think there is a message here that they now think this is all over. They gave all of that to the world media yesterday. We saw those extraordinary scenes, but now they want to be on their own. They want the media to stay away and by coming out with the name at this point, actually there is less to speculate from here.

BLITZER: That's a good point.

We did see -- we did learn Prince Harry and aunt Pippa, should we call her, also visited the new baby today. How did that go?

FOSTER: We haven't got much information on that and we didn't really find out about Pippa for awhile because she went in through a backdoor.

They announced that Harry had met the baby. So they were in Kensington Palace for about a day. They stayed overnight. They managed to meet the queen and introduce the baby to Harry. That was really the formalities done with. They are a very tight unit. You have got mother, father and baby but around them you have got the immediate Middleton family and Harry and Prince Charles and the duchess of Cornwall.

They have all met the baby. Now it's time for the family to bond, and they want the media to stay well out of their way.

BLITZER: Yes. That's a good point, too.

Let's bring in our CNN royal expert Victoria Arbiter.

Victoria, George was certainly the popular choice among a lot of those betting firms. What's the significance of this name?


George was indeed a front-runner. There have been six King Georges since 1714. The last prince of Cambridge was Prince George and the queen's beloved grandfather George V, who actually was the founder of the House of Windsor, if you will, was a god obviously.

The queen's father took George as his kingly name. So there are a lot of positive George sentiments here. So I think we did expect to see George. It's also become quite cool and trendy again in the U.K. so a child can go to school and not get fear of being teased by fellow classmates for too old-fashioned a name.

BLITZER: Prince George is a lovely name.

Alexander and Louis, is there a special significance for those names as well?

ARBITER: I think there are. They have been very, very clever here in honoring family members.

Alexander is, of course, the male form of Alexandra, which is the queen's middle name. Princess Alexandra is William's godmother. But, also, there have been three Alexanders of Scotland. And William and Kate did meet in Scotland.

In terms of Louis, it is a middle name of Prince William's, but it was also the uncle of Prince Philip, much beloved uncle. Charles adored him and he called him an honorary godfather. So I think, really, it's a nice way to pay homage to a family member from Philip's side, but also someone that Charles so greatly adored.

BLITZER: Very, very nice point.

And, Max, what is next for the new prince?

FOSTER: Well, the next public event, if you would like, is a photo shoot. A stills photographer will be invited into the family to take some pictures and we will all share those pictures. And then after that you will the christening probably in October. That will be a moment.

Some talk about us having opportunity to film the birth certificate being signed, a small thing, but obviously it will get a lot of coverage because of the huge publicity around this baby. Also, we got the name, but it's not entirely conclusive because will he be known as Prince George, if you consider that Prince Henry is known by his nickname, which is Harry? And there are other royals that have taken their middle names as a familiar name. So maybe he will become known as Prince Louis. We don't exactly know. But for now, he's certainly Prince George.

BLITZER: He certainly is. Max Foster thanks very much. Victoria Arbiter, thanks to you as well.

As you have been hearing, the new infant prince is now third in line to be king, yet the day before yesterday, Prince Harry was, and now he's number four. When it comes to future kings and queens in Britain, the first to arrive does not always get to wear the crown.

360's Tom Foreman has the royal rules.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is the baby, the new royal heir in the United Kingdom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Although he's waited nine months for this day, the proud grandfather, Prince Charles, has waited a lifetime at the head of a shifting line of people who some day might take the throne when Queen Elizabeth is gone.

(on camera): Here is how this has worked. When he was only a child, Charles was already the eldest son of the queen and that made him the heir apparent. Next in line was his sister Anne but only for a period of time, because with the birth of her brothers, Andrew and Edward, she got pushed down the chain. It's always favored males over females. She dropped to fourth place and the changes were not done yet.

(voice-over): Just over 30 years ago, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana had Prince William and two years later Prince Harry. As children of the heir apparent, they slid into the slots immediately behind their father, just as the baby has now slipped into third place behind William and in front of his uncle Harry. And after them comes -- well, a lot of people.

This is the current lineup of royal family members who might one day ascend to the throne. It includes not only those brothers of Charles, but also all of their children and of course way down the list once again Anne.

(on camera): You may think this is pretty unfair to women and many Brits did, too. That's why right now they are in the process of changing their law so in the future the crown will go to whomever is next in the direct line, male or female.

(voice-over): Still, it may take a long time to test that law, because the new baby is a boy, the queen is looking pretty good at the age of 87. Her son has been waiting 65 years and his son is 31, meaning this prince's shot at the throne may yet be a half-century away.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


BLITZER: All right. For more on this story, go to

Just ahead here, I will ask Congressman Steve King about his very controversial remarks about immigrants. He's compared legal immigrants to bird dogs and says that most children of illegal immigrants are drug mules. He's taking a lot of heat and he's not backing down.

Also ahead, a "Keeping Them Honest" report that may literally turn your stomach, what health inspectors found on a luxury cruise liner that markets itself as ultra-exclusive.


BLITZER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa taking a lot of heat for remarks he made while arguing against the DREAM Act. That's the legislation that would ultimately give citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants.

I will talk to the congressman in his first live television interview since making the remarks in just a moment, but first a little background on what has gotten so many people upset.

In a recent interview, Congressman King said many undocumented children, the vast majority, in fact, are drug mules. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Some of them are valedictorians.

Well, my answer to that is -- and, by the way, their parents brought them in. It wasn't their fault. It's true in some cases. But they aren't all valedictorians. They were not all brought in by their parents.

For everyone who is a valedictorians, there's another 100 out there that they way 130 pounds and they have got calves the size of cantaloupes because they are hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the dessert.


BLITZER: The House speaker, John Boehner, called the language hateful. And the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, called it inexcusable.

But, today, Congressman King doubled down, saying the facts support his words. And it's not the first time he's made controversial comments about immigrants. In a 2012 speech, he compared legal immigrants to bird dogs. Listen to this.


KING: You want a good bird dog, and you want one that's going to be aggressive, pick the one that's the friskiest, the one that's in games the most -- and not the one that's over there sleeping in the corner.

If you want a pet to sit on the couch, pick the one that's sleeping in the corner. So, that's -- so, you get the pick of the litter, and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog.

Well, we got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet, because it's hard to get here. They had to be inspired to come. We got the vigor from the planet to come to America.


BLITZER: Just days ago, Congressman King stood by those remarks, saying his speech was actually complementary to immigrants.

"Keeping Them Honest," plenty of people didn't see it that way.

Congressman King is joining us right now.

Congressman, thanks very much.

And I want you to respond, give you a chance to respond, first on all, to the speaker of the House, John Boehner. He called your comments about immigrants and drug smuggling wrong and he said this. He said: "There can be honest disagreements without using hateful language."

And, as you know, the majority leader, Eric Cantor -- and I'm quoting him now -- "I strongly disagree with his characterization of the children of immigrants and find the comments," in his word, "inexcusable."

So, do you want to revise and amend, as they say, your comments, or are you standing by them?

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Well, of course, I wouldn't revise and amend. And first, I've got to back a couple things up, Wolf.

And one of them is, that discussion about the pick of the litter is about self-selected legal immigrants who are the cream of the crop, the vigor of the American civilization. And that speech was clear, and nobody there thought otherwise. And so this has been regenerated across through the media.

Then neither did I describe the vast majority of those who would come in here are drug smugglers. What I said is that, for every valedictorian, there are 100 for every valedictorian that are smuggling drugs into the United States. And I think the numbers support that.

And so no, I won't back up on that statement. I think it's important that the people in Congress are able to objectively look at the data that's out there, the real facts, and know that 80 to 90 percent of the illegal drugs that come into America come from or through Mexico, and the people that are carrying them are increasingly young people.

Now remember, the DREAM Act goes all the way up to 35. We're just talking about young people here. But we're seeing that the numbers of those arrested have grown a multiple of ten times over the last year and a half or so, and in Mexico, there are the multiples also, 800 to 900 a year in Mexico arrested smuggling drugs and for drug-related crimes.

So we have a problem here. These people would be legalized with those valedictorians, as well. That's my point. And I think it's important we stop, look at the facts, and take a deep breath and analyze what's going on here. We're setting policy for the destiny of America.

BLITZER: Let's talk about that, because another fellow Republican congressman, Raul Labrador, Idaho, as you know, he called your comments -- and I'm quoting him now -- "irresponsible and reprehensible."

Can you see how someone might be offended by those comments...


BLITZER: ... someone who may even agree with some of the policy proposals you're taking, but they take issue with your language?

KING: And, you know, I would suspect that none of those people that you've referenced their quote ever saw the video of what I did, nor -- nor read through the full transcript of what I said. Instead, they're reacting to what a reporter has said to them, which is going to be an edited version of this. And they ought to take a deep breath.

And I would do this. If I were going to make derogatory comments about my colleagues, I would go listen to what they said and I would have an objective opinion. None of those people do have.

BLITZER: So you think John Boehner and Eric Cantor, Raul Labrador, would react so bitterly and angrily against you if they didn't get a full picture of what you actually said accurately?

KING: I don't think any of them saw the video or read the full text. I think they're reacting to a part of it, and it may well have been the staff recommendation.

BLITZER: Let me play the clip one more time because I want to be fair to you. Here's exactly what you said that has generated this uproar. Listen to this.


KING: Some of them are valedictorians. So my answer to that is -- and by the way, their parents brought them in. It wasn't their false. It's true in some cases, but they aren't all valedictorians. They weren't all brought in by their parents. For every one who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that they weigh 130 pounds, and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes, because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.


BLITZER: So for every valedictorian, who's a DREAM-er, as they call them, there's 100 out there who are smuggling drugs, is that what you're saying?

KING: Wolf, yes. And, you know, you only get one valedictorian per class per year. And they aren't all dreamers. And a lot of other American kids out here that are competing for that valedictorian status.

But every night there are dozens and scores of people that are smuggling drugs across our border. I've been down there multiple times. I've sat along the border at night. I've traveled with the Border Patrol for days on end. I've sat on a ranch house out in the desert and had the Border Patrol or helicopter pilots come to me one at a time in a clandestine setting, tell me their narratives.

This isn't something that just was made up out of thin air. This is something I get from the people enforcing the law down on the border. I've seen it with my eyes. I've unloaded the illegal drugs with my hands. And I've dealt with the people that are enforcing the law. And I've watched the data and the videos that support what I say.

And the longer this dialogue goes, the more the American people are going to understand what I'm saying is factually correct. It's probably understated.

BLITZER: Nick, because I know you gave an interview also today to Radio Iowa. You elaborated on the source of your figures. And among other things, you said this -- and I want to be precise on what you said.

You said, "That comes from being down on the border, spending days and nights down there on multiple trips and time with Border Patrol. That description essentially came from them."

So are you saying the Customs and Border Patrol officials basically told you that, for every valedictorian immigrant out there, there are 100 who are drug smugglers?

KING: It's interesting to me how this interpretation can come off of what I said. I was clear about what I said. And the law enforcement officers, I have seen these drug smugglers. The law enforcement officers have described them to me, as well. They know -- they know what they're doing. They have to chase people down now. The people they meet crossing the border illegally used to surrender themselves when they were -- when they encountered Border Patrol agents. Now more often, they will take flight or fight. And these are the characteristics that you'll hear from the people that are putting their lives on the line to defend us.

And so, no, I wasn't talking about the ratio. They don't know. Border Patrol agents don't know how many valedictorians we have that are also DREAM-ers. In fact, I don't know that the public knows either, but I can tell you it's not nearly as many as the advocates for the DREAM Act would like to have you believe.

If you want to see what's going on politically, run a little word search through the congressional records for the Senate and the House and see how many times the word "valedictorian" pops up. And I'll tell you that it peaked in 2006 in the middle of our immigration debate, and it threatens to peak again now, because they would like to characterize this as being about valedictorians.

I say, look, these kids are good kids. Some of these kids, it's not their fault. It's never the kid's fault. Yes, there are some really good kids that are part -- that are part of this, and it's too bad that they're caught in this -- in this flux that we are in.

But by the same token, you will -- you will also be legalizing those people that are breaking our laws in a very bad way, smuggling drugs into the United States. Not just crossing the border but making money with illegal activity, smuggling contraband into the United States. And we need to know about that, and weigh that in with our policy.

Remember though, and I'll just tell you that I believe in the dignity of every human person. It's a faithful tenet with me. And what I've said here is descriptive, is accurate, and it should not offend anybody, because it's also objective.

BLITZER: And I just want to be precise. Your source at the border for this information was a member of the Border Patrol, is that what you're saying?

KING: It was a number of Border Patrol agents, a number of ICE agents, a number of helicopter pilots and customs border protection personnel. Number of those folks down there know me, and I hope to go back again and reconnect with them.

I think you'll find that, when you talk to the agents, they're going to tell you Steve King is right. And we should not, as a Congress, stick our head in the sand because we feel some political pressure. We've got to do the right and objective thing. We only get to do this once. There's no putting the genie back in the bottle, Wolf.

BLITZER: Congressman King, thanks for joining us.

KING: Thanks for having me.


BLITZER: Coming up, what health inspectors found on one of the most exclusive luxury cruise lines around. Meat -- get this -- stored in crew cabins, pots and pans, in the hallways. What's going on here? Drew Griffin is "Keeping Them Honest." That's next.

Also ahead, a very close call for a crocodile trainer in Thailand, all caught on tape.


BLITZER: Tonight, a cruise ship's secrets exposed. It's been a rough year for the cruise industry, between on board fires, a cruise stranded at sea without working toilets, and a slew of bad publicity.

Now comes word on these pictures of a cruise line dodging government health inspections by hiding treys of food, including cheese, eggs, milk, even raw meat, inside crew cabins. And to make matters worse it happened on one of the most luxurious cruise ships around.

And tonight you'll hear some people say it's not -- repeat, not -- an isolated incident. Investigative correspondent Drew Griffin is "Keeping Them Honest."


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Silver Sea Cruiseline bills itself as ultra-exclusive: small ships, personalized service and an intimate, luxurious setting. A high-end experience that comes with a very high-end price. On average, the company says, a little more than $5,000 per week per passenger.

The all-inclusive tab comes with endless free drinks, sophisticated entertainment, and a culinary experience the cruise line calls world class.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every Silver Sea voyage is a feast for the senses.

GRIFFIN: But passengers didn't know that feast might include this. Look at these: pictures taken by crew members showing meat stored in crew cabin sinks, pots and pans in crew hallways; wrapped food stashed everywhere, except in the galleys, where it belonged. Why?

It's all spelled out in this damning report from U.S. health inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control. It writes, "An organized effort was made to physically remove over 15 full trolleys of food, including milk, raw meats, pasteurized eggs, cheeses of all types, all hidden in individual cabins shared by two or three galley crew members, in order to avoid inspection."

The surprise inspection took place after the CDC was tipped off. Adriano Colonna, an Italian pastry chef, says he had a 40-day contract on board the Silver Shadow and says night after night he and others were ordered to hide food in his cabin in case of an inspection. It was so bad, this chef wouldn't eat the food served to passengers.

ADRIANO COLONNA, PASTRY CHEF: Absolutely, sir. That's why I didn't even eat. I used to make a pizza for myself on a daily basis and that was all. Because if you think about it, you know, and omelet with the eggs that have been in a temperature high of almost 70 degrees, that would make everybody sick.

GRIFFIN (on camera): And you personally had to sleep with some of this food in your very cabin quarters?

COLONNA: Yes, sir, with three crew cabin members.

GRIFFIN: so it was you, two other crew cabin members, and a trolley full of salami?

COLONNA: And two trolleys full of blue cheese, sir.

GRIFFIN: And blue cheese.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): The CDC finally figured out what was happening when a crew member sent these photos to federal health inspectors and maritime attorney Jim Walker. Walker, whose law firm represents cruise ship employees in wrongful termination and injury cases, says from what he's been told, what you're seeing here is a common game.

JIM WALKER, MARITIME ATTORNEY: That's right. There's typically a scramble that takes place. This is what we learned from the crew members.

GRIFFIN: What is different this time is the CDC was tipped off and on June 17 staged a surprise inspection as the Silver Shadow docked in Skagway, Alaska. The federal health inspection shows a dismal grade of 82. WALKER: So I believe they were caught, essentially, playing a game. The CDC was alerted by crew members who were concerned about the hygiene on the ship. And they went in and verified their complaints.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Silver Seas, the cruise company based here in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wouldn't give CNN any interview on this topic but did send a statement saying it's deeply disappointed by this specific and only unsatisfactory score. The company cited its long track record with the CDC of good scores, some above 90 percent, some as high as 100 percent and said in this case, it's taking action to fix the problem.

(on camera): They called it an anomaly, basically. This ship scores 97 to 100.

WALKER: Do we really think that this was the one time, the one time where they played hide and seek and they ran everything out on trollies from the galley, and we just happened to catch them one time?

GRIFFIN (voice-over): According to the CDC report, inspectors poured chlorine liquid over the discarded food on board the Silver Shadow to prevent any of it from being reused.

It may surprise you that that is all the federal health inspectors could do. No fines; the ship was not shut down. Instead, the cruise line filed a record of the corrective actions taken to fix the problems. Among them, the cruise line reminded its crew that hiding raw meat, cheese and eggs in non-refrigerated crew cabins was not allowed.


BLITZER: And Drew is joining us now. So that's it, they told the crew not to do it again?

Who gave the order? Who was responsible for all of this? Who was fired, Drew?

GRIFFIN: You know, those are really good questions, Wolf. We were surprised to learn they come with no answers. The CDC relatively powerless in this. As we reported, there's no fine. The cruise line wouldn't tell us who gave the orders. Who, if anyone, was fired. They merely said, "We're not going to do it again and we're allowed to keep sailing."

BLITZER: And that's it? It doesn't seem very comforting if you were a cruise passenger on board this ship, Drew.

GRIFFIN: No, and this is part of the weak regulations, the weak rules, the weak laws that people like Senator Jay Rockefeller have been holding hearings about and critics like Jim Walker, the attorney, have been speaking out about.

Listen, all the cruise line has to do, as far as we know, even though they were caught not only with health problems, Wolf, but with trying to deliberately hide those health problems from health officials, is they were merely told don't do it again, and there they go.

BLITZER: Drew Griffin reporting for us. Good report, Drew. Thanks very much.

Up next, why the former NFL star Aaron Hernandez could now be facing new murder charges.

And an incredible video of a trainer's close call with a crocodile. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: "Crime & Punishment," the former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez back in court for his probable cause hearing, but a judge delayed after the prosecution said they need more time to present evidence to a grand jury. The new hearing date is August 22.

Hernandez is charged with murder in the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, whose body was found last month near the athlete's home. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.

But tonight, there's new information that authorities in Boston could be getting closer to charging him in another murder, a double murder, in fact. Susan Candiotti is joining us with the latest.

Susan, a double murder, what do we know about it?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know a grand jury is looking into this, and they're especially interested in a silver SUV. We told you about this before. Authorities believe that is linked to the double shooting, and it was seen -- it was seen in the area of the shooting right after it happened.

Well, police discovered this SUV a few weeks ago. It was parked in the garage of Aaron Hernandez's uncle in Bristol, Connecticut, and it had an inch of dust on it.

Now, authorities are keeping a big secret what they found inside that. A judge ruling he's not going to let anyone know about it, because prosecutors are very concerned that, if the word gets out, it could jeopardize their investigation into this double shooting.

We've also learned that there are informants involved, other witnesses involved, and evidence. And we'll hear more about this when the grand jury work is done.

BLITZER: Susan, you were in court today. Hernandez's lawyers seem frustrated that the murder he is currently charged with isn't moving more quickly. What are they saying?

CANDIOTTI: Well, they're saying that they fully believe that Aaron Hernandez will be fully exonerated when this case is all over with. Remember, he's pleaded not guilty. They say he didn't do it. BLITZER: So how did Hernandez seem to you today when you saw him?

CANDIOTTI: Well, for one thing, he looked differently. He -- once again, he was out of his prison uniform we've seen him in on a couple of occasions, but he also had on -- he had street clothes on again that covered up most of his tattoos.

And we saw him twice mouth to his fiance, who was sitting in the back of the courtroom, the words "I love you." "I love you." We saw that happen twice.

In the meantime, the victim's family was also present in there. The victim's family, the mother -- including the mother of Odin Lloyd. And she was wiping away tears as she was listening to what happened in court today.

BLITZER: Susan Candiotti reporting for us. Thank you.

Let's get the latest on some other stories we're following tonight. Isha Sesay has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: Wolf, President Obama says that for the rest of his term, he's focusing on working-class Americans. In a speech in Illinois, the president said Congress's top priority should be reverting growing economic inequality in the country, and part of that means raising the minimum wage.

Former president George H.W. Bush shaved his head in support of a young cancer patient. Patrick is the 2-year-old son of a Secret Service agent on the former president's protection detail. Other members of the team shaved their heads, too.

And check this out: a stunt gone bad at a crocodile farm in Thailand. The crocodile clamped its jaw down on the trainer's head and thrashed him around. The trainer was hurt, but he walked away.

We will be right back.


BLITZER: That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching. The CNN documentary, "Will and Kate Plus One," starts right now.