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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Officials: U.S. May Have Identified Foley Executioner; Poll: 50 Percent Ready and Willing To Use Military Force; ISIS Suspect Worshipped at Boston Mosque; Looking at 1000 Flight Paths in Search for MH-370; Baltimore Ravens on Firing Ray Rice; Scotland's Vote to Break From U.K. Too Close to Call

Aired September 8, 2014 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the breaking news, U.S. officials say they may know the masked man in the ISIS video of James Foley's execution. New details on his identity ahead.

Plus, NFL player, Ray Rice suspended indefinitely after video surfaced of him knocking out his future wife. We're standing by for a live news conference.

And finally, six months since MH370 disappeared. Still without a trace. Investigators tonight reportedly looking at 1,000 possible flight paths. That's stunning. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. We begin OUTFRONT tonight with the breaking news. New details on the man believed to have beheaded American James Foley. Two U.S. officials tell CNN, they quote, "have a pretty good idea who that man is."

The masked man seen in this ISIS video standing over James Foley just moments after he was brutally executed. As President Obama prepares to address the nation Wednesday and reveal his strategy on how to handle ISIS, there are new indications that most Americans believe the president needs to do something and quickly.

We have a new CNN poll out tonight, which shows 50 percent of Americans say the United States should be quote, "Ready and willing to use military force around the world."

That's up from 34 percent a year ago. A pretty stunning jump in a war shy nation. And 71 percent believed ISIS has terrorists in the United States. We'll have much more on that poll in just a moment.

But first our Pamela Brown, who has the breaking news on the terrorist that officials believe executed James Foley. Pamela, what have you learned?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, U.S. officials believe this possible suspect known as Youadi John is a British citizen tied to a group of extremists based in London officials said. But they declined to name the suspect, citing the ongoing investigation. There are a number of sensitivities surrounding publicly identifying him. First off, ISIS has other American hostages so that has to be taken into consideration. And officials want to uncover the network of possible co-conspirators this subject may have.

Now even though officials say they have a pretty good idea who it may be, they're not 100 percent yet. They're still working with British authorities to confirm that it is the person they think it is. There are many layers to this process.

And officials have been using technical human means in this process. It has been a top priority for them, Erin. They've been using voice analysis, analyzing metadata taken from the video as well as other methods. Officials say bringing the subjects to justice is a top priority -- Erin.

BURNETT: And Pamela, of course, we're talking about the James Foley video. There also was the subsequent execution of Steven Sotloff in which obviously from a lay person's perspective, it sounds like the same man.

But when you talk about all of this extensive analysis, do they believe it is the same masked man in both videos?

BROWN: Well, officials I've been speaking with today, Erin, are cautioning against drawing that connection even though as you point out, both men seem to have similar British accents and similar mannerisms.

At this point, I'm just being told that authorities are still trying to determine the identity of the militant speaking in that video of American Steven Sotloff to determine if it is the same person they believe is in the James Foley video.

But at this point, I'm being told it is too premature to know with any certainty. Just one week since the video of Sotloff's death was published -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Pamela, thank you very much. John King joins me now. John, as you get these details, they're trying to find out who it is that committed these heinous and horrible acts. We have new polls in tonight of how these videos, how all this affects the American people.

Seventy one percent of Americans think ISIS has terrorists in the United States, 50 percent support military action. A year ago that was an unheard of sort of statistic. What do the polls say to you?

JOHN KING, CNNCHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They tell us, number one, Erin, you're dead right. The American people are aware of these barbaric beheadings. It has made the ISIS threat much more personal and close to home, if you will, and they suddenly now after years we oppose the war in Iraq, we're exhausted in Afghanistan.

We want America to stop projecting force around the world. Now as the president prepares to address the American people Wednesday night. He has the American people at his back or at least majority of Americans saying, 50 percent now saying the country should be ready and willing to project force.

Now let's be careful. They're saying don't put boots on the ground. They're in sync with the president on that too, but they are prepared to act as the president prepares to lay out his plan.

Let's look at more of these numbers. Does ISIS have terrorists here? You mentioned these numbers, 71 percent believe ISIS has terrorists here in the United States. That again makes the threat much more personal and local, which is why support for military action has gone up.

Is ISIS a threat to the United States, 90 percent of Americans think yes, 45 percent very serious, 22 percent fairly serious, 23 percent somewhat serious. There is no question, Erin. The president has the public's attention and he has their support.

They agree this is a huge threat. Here the head winds for the president, though. They don't think he has a plan. Look at these numbers. This is damning. How is the president handling ISIS? Only 37 percent approve, 59, six in 10 Americans disapprove of how he is handling ISIS.

And does he have a clear plan? Does the commander-in-chief have a clear plan for dealing with ISIS? Only 3 in 10 Americans say yes, two-thirds say no. So those numbers there. As the president prepares to lay out a challenge that his top aides tell us is a three, five, ten-year challenge, he needs to convince the American people that he knows what he is doing and where this is going.

BURNETT: Just fascinating when you go through those numbers. When you say convincing the American people that he knows what he's doing and he knows about the situation. I'm thinking about that interview he gave earlier this year. Where the president said about ISIS, and I want to quote him here.

He said the analogy we use around here sometimes and I think it is accurate is if a JV team puts on a Lakers uniform, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant. He was asked about that comment on "Meet the Press."

Now he is saying, this is a clear and present danger, 90 percent of Americans say it was threat to the homeland a few months ago. He said it was a JV team.

He was asked about that in the "Meet the Press" and here's how he responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Keep in mind, I was not specifically referring to ISIL. I've said that regionally, there were a whole series of organizations that were focused primarily locally. Weren't focused on the homeland because I think a lot of us, when we think about terrorism, the model is Osama Bin Laden and 9/11. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Of course, he emphasizes regionally as if he wasn't talking about ISIS. The full transcript of the "New Yorker" interview, John, as you've seen, "The Washington Post" has fact checked it. It shows the conversation was indeed very clearly about ISIS.

How big of a problem is this for the president? Now he is trying to backtrack on something that you can have a news organization fact check and say it's not the case.

KING: Well, the transcript doesn't lie. The president may have misunderstood the question at the time. He may have been thinking about something else at the time, but the transcript doesn't lie. So this is why, number one, his biggest test, Erin, is how he handles this.

What happens weeks and months from now as he responds to the ISIS, there is no question at the moment, One of the reasons he is in such a tough political environment is because quotes like that have given his critics to say we're in this mess, we face this challenge.

We're responding to the beheadings of two Americans because they say this president underestimated the ISIS threat. That he didn't think it was a big threat. That he himself called them the JV team and he did not marshal the resources of the United States sooner to respond to it.

So it has grown now to where it is a much bigger problem to deal with. That's what the president's critics say in this political environment and you see in the polling showing the president's handling not only of ISIS, but approval rating of his handling of terrorism more broadly which remember, skyrocketed.

He is the president who got Osama Bin Laden. The president's numbers are struggling and they're in the tank and that is a head wind as he prepares to try to rally the country, which is moving in the direction of a more muscular response.

But still skeptical about him personally. It's a big challenge for the president and everything he said in the past will be used against him. Remember, we're 58 days from an election. Like it or not, we're in a hotly contested political environment as well.

BURNETT: All right, John King, thank you. Joining me now is Republican Congressman Peter King. He sits in the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, good to have you with me. I know you were just briefed by intelligence officials on the latest that they know. What did you learn?

REP. PETER KING (R-NY), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Again, I can't go into details what we were told other than the fact that ISIS is a major player. ISIS is a very real threat to U.S. interests. To our allies in the region. And it is clearly right now the dominant terrorist force, the Islamic terrorist force. And that urgent action is needed. That is as far as I can go. Other than to say this is a, not a JV team at all. This is a serious, serious player and the United States and the American people have to make a commitment and realize, this is not going to be over in a matter of days, weeks, or months.

BURNETT: Congressman, you criticized the president last week. You said, I'll quote you, "We have to get a coalition together. We have to formulate a strategy." He had 12 months to do this and he's failed. Now he has announced a coalition. That was Friday. He will be speaking to the nation Wednesday and presenting his plan to counter ISIS. Are you willing to support him now?

KING: I will certainly support the president if I agree with his plan. Whatever has happened before will be definitely in the past. But again, with the coalition, it depends what the coalition will be doing. And also the president can't just be waiting for the coalition to function.

Each day that goes by, ISIS becomes more powerful. The president also, I would hope, I sincerely hope that when he makes the speech on Wednesday, that he doesn't keep saying what he won't do.

It is important that he says what his overall strategy. Is don't give specifics to the enemy. Let them think we'll stay there for 50 years and use every weapon we have. Don't be putting limits on what we'll do.

Whatever limits he wants to put, fine. Don't announce it to the world or our enemies.

BURNETT: So when you look at the polls, the CNN poll we have, 50 percent of the American public now support military action to counter ISIS, right? To counter terrorism overall. That was 34 percent a year ago. That's a sea change in a country that is a war weary country.

When you look at this problem, are you willing to support, to tell the American people that, yes, military action may be necessary and not just air strikes. But actual boots on the ground. If that is what's necessary, are you willing to make that argument?

KING: Ultimately, if that's necessary, yes. But I think right now with air strike, the use of Special Forces and with Americans embedded with the Iraqis and the Kurds, I believe that is sufficient as far as the U.S. response.

But again, we can't take anything off the table, but right now if we can again have massive air strikes, sustained air attack. If we can use Special Forces and if we can get Americans with the Iraqis and the Kurds to ensure they cooperate with one another.

And that the Iraqi army is refortified and it recovers from what Maliki imposed on it with its corrupt commanders, I believe that will be sufficient. We cannot be putting publicly any limits on what we are going to do. BURNETT: Before we go, you lost many people on 9/11 and this of course is the sacred week in which this country remembers that horrific day. The senior State Department officials are telling CNN today all U.S. facilities overseas are on high alert ahead of the anniversary.

They're concerned that jihadists may try to impress ISIS, to try to make a name for themselves, to try launch an attack against U.S. facility. I remember sitting here when the attack on Benghazi happened on September 11th and saying that night as that happen. That could not be a coincidence. How concerned are you tonight?

KING: We have to be concerned not over any specific threat even though there is always a number of threat streams that are out there. On what we have to do is assume there will be an attack and certainly assume an attack on 9/11. I want to emphasize.

There was no specific intelligence I'm aware of which talks of a 9/11 attack. We have an enemy out there which is willing and able and wants to attack us anytime. And it is more than one enemy. It is the entire al Qaeda network and that includes ISIS.

BURNETT: Thank you very much, Congressman King.

KING: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, an NFL star out of a job tonight after shocking video surfaced showing him punching his fiance, who subsequent to that incident became his wife. We are standing by for a live news conference.

Plus, it's been six months since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished. Still there is no trace of that plane. Investigators tonight reportedly looking at 1,000 possible flight paths.

And extremism in America. What drew at least eight terrorists, including one with suspected ties to ISIS to a mosque in Boston?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And breaking news. We are waiting a news conference. The head coach of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens expected to speak shortly. The team released running back Ray Rice who has become major superstar in the league. He was fired by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL, hours after this shocking video surfaced. This shows Rice knocking out his now wife, she was his fiance at the time inside a hotel elevator in Atlantic City earlier this year.

As we get ready for this press conference which could start at any second, we want to give you the full story here. And for that, we begin with our Miguel Marquez.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A shocking incidence of domestic violence caught on camera. Baltimore Ravens star player Ray Rice purging his then fiance Janay Palmer, knocking her out cold callously dragging here from the elevator. The reaction, swift, terminated by the Ravens, indefinitely suspended by the NFL. His career possibly over. That was not the reaction when the video from outside the elevator was published by TMZ in February. Rice was suspended two game, considered by many way too forgiving. Through it all, Janay Palmer stood by her man.

JANAY PALMER, WIFE OF RAY RICE: I love Ray and I know he will continue to prove himself to not only you all but the community. And I know he will gain your respect back in due time.

MARQUEZ: Even appearing to apologize for her role in the incident.

PALMER: Do I deeply regret the role that I played in the incident that night. But I can say that I am happy that we continued to work through it together.

MARQUEZ: Both Palmer and Rice were charged with assault in the February incident at an Atlantic City casino.

RAY RICE, BALTIMORE RAVENS PLAYER: My actions that night were totally inexcusable. You know, that night, let me put this away. That night, I just replay it over and over again in my head. You know, that's not me. My actions are inexcusable.

MARQUEZ: Both the Ravens and the NFL said they had not seen the second video from inside the elevator until it was made public by TMZ today. The NFL said Rice was undergoing a pretrial intervention program in May that would have kept him from being prosecuted and given him a clean record after a year. Rice and Palmer wed in March.

PALMER: We are continuing to strengthen our relationship and our marriage and do we have to do for not only ourselves collectively but individually and working on being better parents for Raven and continuing to be good role models for the community.

MARQUEZ: The sickening video now testing the limits of that relationship forcing the hands of the Ravens and NFL. The season just beginning, domestic violence now in the spotlight.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: I want to bring in our legal analyst Mel Robbins and the author of "crazy love," and a survivor of domestic abuse Leslie Morgan Steiner along with Don McPherson, the former NFL player.

All right, great to have you all with us. Leslie, let me start with you. You're a survivor of domestic violence. Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were married a month after the assault we see in this video. And in fact, according a report I have seen they were planning for a summer wedding. That wedding actually got moved up to the day after Ray Rice was indicted for aggravated assault. What do you think when you hear that? LESLIE MORGAN STEINER, AUTHOR, CRAZY LOVE: Well, it doesn't surprise

me at all. And in fact, I married my abuser five days after the first time he attacked me. And it is very hard to understand domestic violence from the outside. But love and violence are a potent mix. And I think what happens a lot to victims is that we don't realize that we're actually victims. And we want to, we love our abusers and we want to help them. And somehow in a very twisted way, we think by standing by them and by supporting them in their darkest hours, that we will help them. And it is very important to stress that the worst thing you can do for an abusive person is to allow him or her to abuse you without consequences.

And what Janay needs to do is to leave him until he gets better and to stop apologizing for her own role in it. I understand why she is apologizing, but it doesn't help anybody. Mostly it does not help ray rice or herself.

BURNETT: And Don, you know, do you this and focus on this issue which is all too common place in the NFL and elsewhere. But that is what happened. She apologized. They appeared together and she apologized for quote-unquote "her role" in that night. What do you know about this?

DON MCPHERSON, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Right. Well, there is other piece that gets laid on top of this which is that exactly what you're seeing right now, which is the Ravens. It is the NFL. There is a tremendous amount of economic upside for Janay and for this couple to try to keep things as they were.

BURNETT: To stay together? Say everything is fine?

MCPHERSON: Exactly right. And so, there is that piece of it. But I think at the larger -- I think with everything that she says is right on point is that there is this notion that women can somehow, are complicit in this violence. And we are not holding the men accountable.

BURNETT: And Mel, what about the -- what seems to be, it is very hard to understand, right? The NFL itself. The original penalty here for Ray Rice was you're going on miss two games. You're going to miss two games because we saw this video of your fiance when you were lifting her out of the elevator. And you admitted it was because he assaulted her.

But they are saying because we didn't actually see the punch, that means it was only two game. Now we actually see the punch that resulted in you being comatose on the ground. He is going to be indefinitely suspended. How does that add up?

MEL ROBBINS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Erin, good evening. I'm so glad you are answering this question. And Don and Leslie have done a fantastic job kind of putting everybody in the mindset of what a victim goes through.

But let's talk about the NFL. They had a videotape of an unconscious woman. They also had an admission by this player that he had punched her and caused her to be knocked out like this. They already knew what happened. And so it is, I think, stunning to me that it took having to actually see the punch for the NFL to do the right thing here. He should have been released from the Ravens the second this happened and the NFL should have suspended him indefinitely because they had evidence already and an admission that she was knocked unconscious, Erin.

BURNETT: Right. Don, what about that? I mean, there was an admission, right? There was a video of a limp body being dragged from an elevator that responded in assault charges and a grand jury indicting him on aggravated assault. So clearly, they knew what had happened. So how could they explain why, now we see the actual punch. How does the NFL explain this?

MCPHERSON: I think they have explained to do on two different sides. One is you did not see this tape and TMZ saw this tape and the NFL didn't? I have a hard time believing the NFL security apparatus did not do due diligence to find this tape, to find this evidence that occurred. We saw Jay-Z get beat up in an elevator. We can find this tape in this evidence.

The second thing is even the unconscious body that Ray Rice was very (INAUDIBLE) trying to remove from the elevator, is that the decency of the people in the NFL that we expect fans to go out and watch? So the NFL has to explain why this was also acceptable. And (INAUDIBLE) Ravens in particular because they had power to fire Ray Rice and did not with that kind of evidence.

BURNETT: No, they did not. And they actually benefited from the fact that his wife went along with all of this. They went ahead with that wedding.

All right, we are awaiting this press release and all three of our guests are going to be with us as soon as, we anticipate it will be the head coach for the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh who is going to speak in just a few moments.

I want to update thought on another key story we've been following which is the update in Malaysia airline flight 370. They're now looking at 1,000 flight paths. It is a pretty incredible statistic that it was six months ago today that that plane disappeared. The families of the 239 people on board are still waiting to know what happened to their loved ones. Not a single piece of debris. Not a single solid lead. And the next phase of the search begins next month. And that is headline. The man leading the hunt tells the telegraph that investigators they are considering 1,000 possible flight paths. That is right, 1,000. So will MH 370 ever be found?

Our Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Video shot from the Dutch vessel leading the latest search for missing airplane MH 370. This next phase covering 60,000 square kilometers over the expanse of southern Indian Ocean, set to restart in just weeks. WARREN TRUSS, AUSTRALIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: I remain cautiously

optimistic that we will locate the missing aircraft within the priority search area. This search will obviously be a challenging one.

LAH: Challenging would be an understatement. The last six months have been frustrating and costly well into the millions. Multiple countries launch hundreds of aircraft in ships, covering 4.6 million square kilometers. Yet investigators say they're still looking into a mind-boggling number of possible flight path, 1,000 of them. It has been months of false starts and hope. The search team led by Australia once believed last April that they were close.

TONY ABBOTT, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: And we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box on MH 370.

LAH: A lead that led nowhere. Then there was a suspected ping from the so-called black boxes that turned up empty. And Tuesday deployed the high-tech towed pinger locator but even that never found the so- called black boxes.

CARROLL GRAY, FLIGHT HISTORIAN: This has entered the realm of highly strange mythical event.

LAH: Aviation historian Carroll Gray says MH 370 is nearing the mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance. But in the case of flight 370, today's technology should have prevented it from happening at all.

Is the takeaway that in today's modern aviation, you can lose a plane and you cannot find it?

GRAY: Yes. But you know, the big takeaway is that 227 people and 12 crew members can disappear. I mean, that's bizarre.

LAH: But the families who were inconsolable in the aftermath, the pain has become a lingering ever present grief with no loved one to bury, with no answer. Some of the families have turned to crowd funding their own efforts to find the plane driven at time by conspiracy theories and distrust of the Malaysian authorities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like I'm living in a constant nightmare. Constant. It is bad enough to lose somebody that you love. But Philip isn't gone, he's lost.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: So as far as the latest phase, they have been able to narrow down the search area. Still off the coast of Australia but where they were looking at 600,000 square kilometers, it is now 60 square kilometers. They've been able to extensively map the ocean floor.

So Erin, they say they have a better idea of where they're looking. But if it sounds like a broken record. We have heard it before. They are just a bit closer -- Erin. BURNETT: Kyung Lah, thank you very much.

And next, we are awaiting the news conference from the Baltimore Ravens on the firing of running back Ray Rice for beating his wife.

And what drew the woman nickname lady al-Qaeda, and other convicted terrorists to (INAUDIBLE) this Boston area mosque we're showing you now. A Special Report next.

Plus, Scotland could be splitting from the United Kingdom and becoming its own country. It is kind of incredible. But what will it may not for scotch whiskey?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Breaking news, we are waiting any second a news conference from the Baltimore Ravens on the firing of Ray Rice after the video emerged of him beating his now wife. She was his fiancee at the time. They subsequently married. We're going to be going live to that as soon as we have it.

But our other top story is the breaking details about Americans working for ISIS here in the United States. A Boston man wanted for possible ties to the ISIS social media wing worshipped at the same Boston mosque as the marathon bombers. Several other known terrorists have also attended this mosque.

Deborah Feyerick is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mosque on Prospect Street is not only Cambridge, Massachusetts's largest mosque, it is also the city's only mosque. As many as a thousand people a week including immigrants, students, families and residents from surrounding neighborhoods stop by to pray up to five times a day as Islam requires. It is open to everyone and it attracts all kinds, including at least eight extremists and recently convicted terrorists. One now under investigation for ties to ISIS.

Mosque spokeswoman Nichole Mossalam confirms they attended, saying none, quote, "ever exhibited any hint of criminal or violent behavior." Adding, quote, "The Islamic Society of Boston unequivocally condemns ISIS."

Yet over two decades, the numbers are too big for law enforcement to ignore, says former DHS official and now CNN analyst, Juliette Kayyem.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN ANALYST: At some stage, we have to accept reality, which is a number of people who have taken up arms against Americans either here in Boston or abroad with ISIS have an affiliation with that mosque.

FEYERICK: They include the alleged marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Lady al Qaeda, an imprisoned MIT-trained neuroscientist who ISIS suggested swapping for American James Foley. And now, a University of Massachusetts computer graduate wanted for

possible ties to ISIS' social media wing.

(on camera): Run by the Islamic Society of Boston, the mosque doesn't check IDs and rather than a core membership, attendance is much more fluid. That makes identifying the outliers more difficult.

(voice-over): Spokeswoman Nichole Mossalam says, "If we ever observed any criminal or violent behavior, we would immediately intervene and notify the authorities."

The mosque says it preaches mainstream Islam. There's no evidence to suggest otherwise. However, the degree of extremism in a handful of people is alarming.

KAYYEM: The mosque is and ought to be subject of scrutiny because there's just too many factors involved.

FEYERICK: Aafia Siddiqui was found in 2008 carrying bomb-making documents for a mass casualty, chemical and biological weapons attack against targets like the Statue of Liberty and the Boston Bridge.

Boston pharmaceutical student Tarek Mehanna was found guilty of plotting an attack on a local shopping mall.

And Boston high school wrestler Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will stand trial for his alleged role in the marathon attack. He prayed at the Cambridge mosque, as did brother Tamerlan, and two friends, one of accused of murder and the other obstruction of justice.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: And law authorities, law enforcement authorities do have this mosque on their radar. The mosque says they have a very good relationship with both local, state and federal authorities -- Erin.

BURNETT: That's just an incredible story. You're able to tie all of that together to the same Boston mosque.

FEYERICK: They're watching. Yes.

BURNETT: All right. We're going to keep following that story. Deb has been doing incredible reporting on that.

We do have the breaking news, though. The head coach of the Baltimore Ravens about to speak at a news conference. The team fired running back Ray Rice after video surfaced after Ray knocking out his wife in an elevator earlier this year.

The NFL has suspended Rice from football indefinitely today. You're looking at a live picture. We understand that officials from the Baltimore Ravens are going to be stepping up on that podium momentarily, along -- all right. Here's the head John Harbaugh from the Ravens. We're going to listen in.

JOHN HARBAUGH, BALTIMORE RAVENS HEAD COACH: Coming off a tough game yesterday and we're going to work on our next game. Obviously, you're here for more than just that. And we had a chance after seeing something this morning, seeing the video this morning.

We had a chance to get together with Steve, Dick, Ozzie and myself. It was not a long meeting. We came to the decision we came to, to release ray and that's what we did. So you know that.

I had a chance to talk to Ray along with Ozzie this afternoon, after we did it. And I have nothing but hope and good will for Ray and Janay and we'll do whatever we can going forward to help them as they go forward and try to make a best of it.

REPORTER: John, what was it like to see that video?

HARBAUGH: You know, it's something we saw for the first time today, you know, all of us. And it changed things, of course. You know, it made things a little bit different.

REPORTER: Were you misled in any way? Because you stood up here and defended the guy, and now, you see the video and make a different decision.

HARBAUGH: I don't want to get into all that. I don't -- I don't think of it that way. You know, everything I said in terms of what I believe, I stand behind. I believe that still. And I'll always believe those things. And we'll always stand in support of them as a couple. That won't change.

REPORTER: Coach, how come your team was not able to see the video today?

HARBAUGH: I have no answer for that.

(INAUDIBLE)

HARBAUGH: Well, you know, we'll have exactly what we've had so far. We've got the guys that we have. I'm excited about our offense. I'm excited about some of the things we did yesterday in terms of yards and points and opportunities to score points. We need to score more points. And first downs and things like that.

And I know we can play a lot better than we did. I'm looking forward to seeing how we did.

REPORTER: You said it changed for you. How did it change after seeing the video?

HARBAUGH: I don't know if I want to get all the details about it. I think it's pretty obvious and pretty apparent. Everybody has seen the video and let's just leave it at that.

REPORTER: Coach, do you believe the NFL has seen that video before today?

HARBAUGH: I don't have any understanding or knowledge of any of that. I don't know. REPORTER: Is there a discussion between the Ravens and the NFL

(INAUDIBLE)

HARBAUGH: Well, not that I'm involved with. You know, I'm involved right now with the football team and getting ready for Pittsburgh.

REPORTER: You came into the league when Ray came to the NFL. You talked to me, you had a long relationship with him. This has to be personally kind of devastating to you.

HARBAUGH: Well, it's always -- when somebody that you care about does wrong, you know, and is faced with the consequences of doing wrong, and rightfully so, it is tough. It is hurtful. And my pain is for both of them as a couple, you know, and going forward.

My hope is that they can make it work. And from everything that I understand and talking, you know, to Ray, up until his suspension, talking to him a lot, it seems like they were working hard and they're really doing well in that direction.

I hope they can weather this part of it, too. And I'll be praying for that, you know? If I can help in any way, may wife can help in any way, we will. That's where it's at.

REPORTER: Can you (INAUDIBLE) any reaction (INAUDIBLE)?

HARBAUGH: You know, I'd really rather not, Jerry. It's more personal.

(INAUDIBLE)

HARBAUGH: Absolutely. Absolutely. I'm not following where you're going with that.

REPORTER: I'm just curious why the team didn't see the videos.

HARBAUGH: I don't know why that would be a hard thing to understand. It wasn't made available. It wasn't there for us. As far as I know, yes. It wasn't something we ever saw, ever had access to.

REPORTER: Did you discuss it with the team as a whole? (INAUDIBLE)

HARBAUGH: We did. You know, I think the team responds as everybody responds to these things. And again you're talking about somebody you know. So, it's a little more challenging when you talk about someone who is part of your family, so to speak. So, our guys felt it. And all the same emotions that everybody out there would feel we all felt.

REPORTER: Why did the video change the team's reaction so drastically? What did you think happened in the elevator before you saw the video?

HARBAUGH: You know, I don't want to get into all that. Talking about feelings and that stuff, it's -- I think it's pretty easy for everybody to understand, you know, anybody that's got a heart can understand how that goes. (INAUDIBLE)

HARBAUGH: Excuse me?

(INAUDIBLE)

HARBAUGH: I'm sorry. Say it again.

(INAUDIBLE)

REPORTER: The events of the evening to you guys (INAUDIBLE)?

HARBAUGH: Right, I'm not going to get into all that, Aaron. Those are personal conversations and that's really where that belongs. I want to respect that.

(INAUDIBLE)

REPORTER: What do you think about the timing of this (INAUDIBLE)?

HARBAUGH: Right. You know, the timing is the timing that it is. And we have a football game to play Thursday night. We have no control over that.

I don't have any feelings about that at all. It will not impact us in any way, football wise. You can't allow that. This is professional football and we'll be ready to play Thursday night.

REPORTER: This affects your organization on so many different levels, John. For you, which is the most difficult?

HARBAUGH: I wish I had an answer for that. That's a pretty deep question. I haven't given it that much thought to think of it on that many levels right now.

REPORTER: What would be one that you can think of?

HARBAUGH: I don't have those options in front of me. I don't have that list right now.

(INAUDIBLE)

HARBAUGH: I don't know. I don't have any expectation for anything right now. The expectation really is to move with our team going forward and be the best football team we can be.

(INAUDIBLE)

HARBAUGH: Certainly. You know, everything's discussed. Like I said, it wasn't a long meeting, though.

REPORTER: Why wasn't -- why wasn't it long?

HARBAUGH: Is there anything else?

(INAUDIBLE) HARBAUGH: Right. We held Marshall back. He's healthy. No injury there, but we sat Marshall out today.

All right? Anything else?

REPORTER: Who is your starting running back Thursday?

HARBAUGH: Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett, they'll both play a lot. And Lorenzo Taliaferro will be a big part of it too.

Good. Good question. Thanks. All right, thanks a lot.

REPORTER: Thank you.

BURNETT: That was the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh speaking about Ray Rice who has been fired from the team and suspended indefinitely by the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

All right. We've got our panel here with us. Mel Robbins, lawyer, author of "Crazy Love", survivor of domestic abuse, Leslie Morgan Steiner, and former NFL player Don McPherson.

Don, let me start with you. What is your takeaway from that press conference? Pretty interesting that he didn't want to really get into that on a lot of things.

MCPHERSON,PLAYER: I've been around football my entire life as has John Harbaugh and the Harbaugh family. They're part of the NFL.

BURNETT: He grew up with it. His brother is a coach, his father was a coach. He's a football man.

MCPHERSON: He's a football. And I understand football speak and that was football speak.

Right now, what the Baltimore Ravens need to do and the NFL is show their humanity, not that football sense. This is not getting ready for a football game. Show your humanity. You now have video evidence of one of your players physically assaulting his fiancee.

Show your humanity. Right there you saw football speak. He smiled when he thought about, let me forget this and get back to the game.

BURNETT: Right, he was smiling at the end. Good question, because he wanted to talk about whatever the question was about who would play a certain position.

Mel, let me just play for our viewers who are joining us, again here, the very basic, simple facts of what happened. Today, a video came out showing Ray Rice actually punching his then fiance. They subsequently married.

Let me just show you the videos to our viewers. All right? You can see he punches her here. She falls to the ground. He knocks her out.

You see that. This is the video that caused him to be fired and indefinitely suspended. Now, there was a video that the NFL was aware of, that the head coach of Baltimore Ravens was aware of, that caused Ray Rice to be indicted on aggravated assault months ago. And he was only suspended for two games for this video.

And in this video you see him picking up his comatose wife. He admitted that was because he had punched her. So, the only difference between two videos is you don't actually see the punch. But one was a firing and one was a two-game suspension, how's that add up?

ROBBINS: By the NFL. Not by the Ravens, by the way.

BURNETT: Right. They did nothing.

ROBBINS: I hear Don's outrage and he is absolutely right.

Not only was this football speak. It was a load of dung. And, frankly, when the coach kept saying, oh, I don't want to go there, I don't want to talk about that. Anybody with a heart would understand why I don't want to revisit, why we didn't do anything.

Anyone with a brain knows that they should have done something when that first video came out. And the reason why this coach didn't want to address the question that was asked, not once but four times, which is why does this particular video when you see a punch make a difference? He didn't want to answer it because he couldn't look America in the face and say, well, if we didn't see it, then we could assume that Janay was somehow to blame. We wanted this to go away like Don was saying.

And you know, I just -- I think Don is right. They need to show some humanity.

And this is simple. This isn't a hard decision. It's not hard to let go of Ray Rice. This is not what we stand for. He made a mistake. He's gone. Bye!

BURNETT: Right. Well, it's hard for them to say that because when they knew about it months ago, they didn't make that decision.

Leslie, what do you make of the other head coach there said? More than once when he was taking questions from the press, which is that he hoped this couple could, quote/unquote, "make it work"?

STEINER: Well, I think that's so very difficult, because it implies that Janay Palmer is somehow at fault here and that she's part of the solution.

And she isn't. This is Ray Rice's responsibility. Domestic violence is men's responsibility. It is not a women's issue. But I do take some hope from what happened today.

I think it is a warning to all men who abuse their wives, girlfriends and children that there will finally be consequences in this country for domestic violence. It is a crime of the number one reason women visit emergency rooms. It's the number one hostage situations in our country. And for too long, people have paid lip service to the fact that it's wrong, but there have never been consequences.

So, I am at least a little bit heartened that there is a price to be paid for Ray Rice here. And I hope that this turns out to be a watershed moment in the domestic violence.

BURNETT: Very quickly, Don, before we go -- after this first surfaced, the NFL changed the rules so that if you were -- you had domestic violence, you had six-month situation --

MCPHERSON: Right.

BURNETT: I mean, six-game suspension.

Shouldn't you be fired if you're beating your wife?

MCPHERSON: If that was anyone else, we would not have a job the next day. There is no question about it. And for John Harbaugh to say he hopes they work it out, this is a prevailing problem that men need to get aware of. If Ray Rice had knocked John Harbaugh out, you talk about the family that this team is, would they be trying to work it out?

BURNETT: Right, very good question. Thanks to all of you.

Next, should Scotland become independent? A look at what it could mean.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Tonight, a major wake-up call for America's closest ally. For the first time in modern history, London could be at risk of losing control of Scotland. It could become its own country. As we found out first hand, next week's vote is splitting the country in two.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MEL GIBSON, "BRAVEHEART": They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!

BURNETT (voice-over): This scene from "Braveheart" playing out again right now in Scotland. Scots beating the drum about breaking free from London's grip.

Recently, I was filming in Scotland where independence is the only thing anyone is talking about. For months, polls showed Scots opting to remain part of Britain, but the nationalists, backed by some big names like Sean Connery, are clever campaigners.

And this morning in shock, Brits woke up to headlines like these, "Don't let me be the last queen of Scotland," "Last stand to keep the union".

The new poll for the U.K. "Sunday Times" newspaper shows 51 percent of Scots plan to vote yes for independence. (on camera): This is also the year of Scottish homecoming. So,

they're trying to encourage people from around the world of Scottish heritage to come home. And we were talking to the guys in the pub about this. And they started talking about how proud they are of being Scottish and of Scotland and why they're so passionate about Scottish independence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's absolutely no way Scotland cannot do well as an independent country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes sense.

BURNETT: Are you yes or no on independence?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think it would be stupid not to vote yes, to be honest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think (INAUDIBLE) is money, and that's the thing.

BURNETT (voice-over): And there's a lot of money at stake. Most of the U.K.'s oil reserves are off Scotland's shores. Scotland is the European Union's largest oil producer. And the British nuclear submarine fleet is headquartered in Scotland. That's something that would change if Scotland went it alone.

Ronald McDonald is one of the top economists in the U.K. says losing British business might mean Scotland's independence doesn't add up.

RONALD MCDONALD, SCOTTISH ECONOMIST: The Scotlands are facing a 30 billion bill. That's a number I came up with.

BURNETT (on camera): Oh, that's your number.

MCDONALD: Yes. So, yes.

BURNETT: So you're at the center of this.

MCDONALD: Yes.

BURNETT (voice-over): McDonald also had a warning for those we met with earlier in the pub.

MCDONALD: It's fine to be passionate by wanting for the independence. But as a professional economist, you know, you got to look at it with the head rather than the heart.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: But if Scots go with the heart and choose independence, they have more than just oil, they have scotch whiskey. And that brings me to tonight's number: $6.9 billion. That's how much whiskey Scotland exports every year, according to the Scottish Whiskey Association. It is second only to oil and gas. And if they didn't have to pay those sky high taxes to London for every bottle sold, they'd have a lot more of it to spend. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Another baby is on the way for Prince William and Kate.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Take it from me, little sibling's still safe in the womb, you're going to have a heck of a coming out party. Prepare to have people putting words in your mouth like they put in mine. They're even reading my thoughts about you!

Sure, some folks are happy about a second royal baby --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love babies. I'm a nanny. So, I'm actually very excited.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Big deal. Women get pregnant every day.

MOOS: At least those reporting on Kate's extreme morning sickness --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hyperemesis gravidarum.

MOOS: -- had time between the first pregnancy --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kate has hyper -- hyperemesis.

MOOS: -- and the second to perfect their pronunciation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hyperemesis gravidarum.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's called hyperemesis gravidarum. It sounds like something Harry Potter would say.

MOOS: Analogies worthy of a meteorologist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn't like morning sickness like a hurricane is a little bit of rain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is morning sickness like a tornado is a little wind.

MOOS (on camera): With a name like this, even royal morning sickness has gravitas.

(voice-over): It's been an eventful 14 months for Prince George. He met his first bilby in Australia, had a public flirtation with a girl only to drop her just as fast as he dropped his toys. He even had his own look alike by the age of 3 months.

But already, the press is speculating, will the new royal baby save the union? With Scotland voting soon on whether to separate from the U.K., "The Guardian" ran a poll asking that very question. The vast majority said no, but talk about pressure on a fetus.

A joke made the rounds that it's as if Scotland said, "I'm leaving", and England replied, "I'm pregnant. Don't go."

A new baby puts Prince Harry even further away from becoming king, to which he replied --

(LAUGHTER)

PRINCE HARRY: Great.

MOOS: One guy responded to the news of a new royal baby with a two- letter word?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So? So?

MOOS: We asked people to put a number on their level of interest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably an 8.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, probably about a 6.

MOOS (on camera): What are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A zero.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: And you're English.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two.

MOOS (voice-over): How about if you're walking more than a dozen kids tethered to a leash?

(on camera): How much are you interested in this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Zero.

MOOS: At least these kids aren't tethered to a throne.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Thanks for watching. Anderson's next.