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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

NBC Cameraman Ebola-Free; American Freed from North Korea; U.S. Weapons in ISIS Hands?; Police Charges Coming for Indiana Murders; Ferguson on Edge as Grand Jury Decision Looms; Legendary Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee Dies; Voter to Obama: "Don't Touch My Girlfriend"

Aired October 21, 2014 - 20:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Thanks very much for joining us. We got breaking news on many fronts tonight, including the sad news that newspaper legend, Watergate hero and "Washington Post" editor Ben Bradley has died, as well as two of the greatest stories we'll see all week.

A truly humble hero who saved the life then ducked the spotlight and a boyfriend who did not let a little like a Secret Service detail stop him from doing what his girlfriend knew he would -- speak up to the leader of the free world. The president smiled, and so will you, when you meet the couple live on the program tonight.

First, late word, that the NBC cameraman infected with Ebola in Liberia and being treated at a bio-containment ward in Omaha, Nebraska, is virus-free tonight. And Nina Pham, one of two nurses infected with Ebola virus in Dallas also appears to be making a recovery.

Doctors at the National Institutes of Health facility in Bethesda, Maryland, have upgraded her condition from fair to good. Meantime, federal officials have issued new rules on travel into this country from the worst-hit parts of West Africa.

And joining us with the latest on all of it, senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, we'll start with the NBC cameraman. What's the latest there? What more do we know about his condition?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that he has a -- he had a negative test from the CDC lab. Usually they do two tests a certain amount of time apart, just to make sure. I imagine that's what they did in this case. And he is now free to go to home in Rhode Island.

You know, Anderson, he was not in the hospital for long. Only about two weeks. And this really is testimony to how this disease can be treated often if the person is caught early and this man -- this gentleman caught his disease very early. He got a blood transfusion early and he got an experimental drug very early. All those things really make a difference. COOPER: He had the blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, who

recovered from Ebola.

As for Nina Pham, what's the latest we know about her?

COHEN: Well, we know that she's gone from fair to good. The hospital hasn't said anything more than that. But we know from previous statements that she is talking, she is eating, she is sitting up. We actually also saw on a video that the Texas hospital put out that she was able to communicate and talk again. She caught her Ebola very early, The minute that her temperature spiked she was -- you know, she alerted the authorities. She was put in the hospital.

She also got a blood transfusion from Mr. Brantly -- from Dr. Brantly very early. It is so important to catch this disease early and treat it early.

COOPER: Let's talk about the new travel rules. Anyone coming to the United States from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea, they're going to have to go through one of six airports now, is that right? What's the purpose of that?

COHEN: Well, the purpose of that is that they don't want people going from, let's say, West Africa, to Brussels, to let's say Miami. You know, where there's not going to -- where they're not going to have the screening. They want --

COOPER: Five airports, by the way.

COHEN: Five airports. Right. So they want -- so they want you landing at one of these five airports. They don't want you landing anywhere else. Only at these five airports will they have the screening. Now some people coming from West Africa were landing at one of those airports anyhow, but they want to be absolutely sure that if you've been in West Africa, you're going to land on one of those airports where they're going to take your temperature. They're going to ask for how you're feeling. They're going to take your contact information.

COOPER: So -- but somebody -- I mean, there's not a lot of direct flights anyway, so some of those traveling from West Africa to Europe, and then connect into the United States, that's still the case? They're somehow going to be able to track that?

COHEN: Right. I mean, I guess what they're going to do is look at people's passports because your passport will say where you've been. And I think you know one of the reasons why they've done this is they just want to discourage people from going around the rules. So will it be possible to skirt the rules? You know, probably. Rules are often skirtable.

But you will then know that you're breaking the law if you sort of take a bunch of connecting flights so you can avoid one of these airports.

COOPER: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, appreciate the update. More breaking news now.

Take a look. I want to show you U.S. Air Force Transport in Pyongyang, North Korea, on board, an American, Jeffrey Fowle, arrested back in May, and held until now all for the crime of leaving a bible at his hotel. Right now, he's heading home by way of Guam and from there across the Pacific.

Monitoring developments from Seoul, South Korea for us on this story is CNN's Paula Hancocks.

First of all, do we know how this came about? Why exactly he was released?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we don't have the exact details from the State Department of what we can tell from what they said. It sounds like Pyongyang effectively said, we are going to release him. Come and pick him up. So Washington had to send a flight over to Pyongyang to pick him up. So we had a U.S. plane on the tarmac in Pyongyang, something you do not see very often at all.

Now the State Department said that they've been talking behind the scenes for some time. Of course they have back channels. They said they offered to send a U.S. envoy to Pyongyang as well, to try and secure the release of three U.S. citizens, only one was released today. So certainly they have been working behind the scenes.

They also said they wanted to thank the government of Sweden. Washington has no diplomatic ties with Pyongyang so they have to rely very heavily on the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang to try and coordinate all this. And they said they wanted to thank them for their help -- Anderson.

COOPER: Now our correspondent Will Ripley interviewed Mr. Fowle back in September. I want to play just a short bit of that conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFREY FOWLE, RELEASED FROM NORTH KOREAN PRISON: I admit my guilt to the government. And signed a statement to that effect and also the requests for forgiveness to the people and the government of the DPRK, so time is getting urgent. Within a month I should be facing trial and sentencing will be right after that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Do we know if he actually stood trial?

HANCOCKS: It appears he didn't. So of course the information we have is just from North Korea itself, but they would more than likely have publicized it if he had gone through a trial. Now what we know really is that in North Korea's eyes, his crime is less serious than the crime of the other two U.S. citizens who are currently in detention.

Kenneth Bae, of course, a former missionary, who was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. He's already spent almost two years in the country either in hard labor or in hospital as he has bad health. And then also Matthew Todd Miller was sentenced to six years hard labor just recently.

But Jeffrey Fowle, by leaving a bible in that Seamen's Club that actually was up in Chongjin. This is a northern port city. His crime in North Korea's eyes was not quite as serious, but of course, anything to do with religion will make Pyongyang very nervous. Anything that is not state-sponsored is completely illegal, completely banned. And as you can see in the case of Kenneth Bae, it will be penalized very heavily.

COOPER: All right, Paula Hancocks, appreciate it. Thanks.

Now a pair of truly worrying developments from the other side of the world, either one of which could affect us here in the United States. American weapons dropped into Iraq and eastern Syria, reportedly, though, falling into the wrong hands.

Also, a shadowy terror group that still may pack a deadly punch even after American airstrikes.

Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto has been working his sources. He joins us with the latest.

First of all, I mean, these American weapons falling into ISIS' hands, what are you hearing about it from sources?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.S. dropped some two dozen pallets -- this is a couple of nights ago -- to get urgently needed weapons and ammunition and medical supplies to those Syrian Kurds defending the city of Kobani. When it happened they saw one of those two dozen pallets go astray. And the military said they sent another plane to destroy that pallet on the ground.

So what's the explanation for this? It's possible the second pallet did not reach its intended recipients or it's possible the military said that there was a firefight after this and a pallet was dropped on Kurdish-controlled ground and ended up in ISIS hands.

But I am told by Pentagon officials that if ISIS did indeed get it and these things do look authentic that it's not militarily significant in the whole scheme of things there. Partly in light of the fact that ISIS has already captured a tremendous amount of American-supplied weapons in Iraq, when you think of all those Humvees and other things we've seen in their hands.

COOPER: Well, today you interviewed President Obama's former counter terror chief and I understand that he told you ISIS has actually been helped by Edward Snowden.

Did he actually offer any proof of this?

SCIUTTO: He did. ISIS and other terror groups. What he said is that the revelations of Edward Snowden that show -- revealed these once secret surveillance programs have led terror groups including ISIS, the Khorasan Group, AQAP and others to change the way they communicate. He said that they are using encryption more, they're changing their service providers.

And most worrisomely in some cases, Anderson, they've completely gone off the grid, which means they've fallen off the face of the earth and he told me that as a result of that there are senior terrorists in some terror groups that the U.S. was keeping track of and that they no longer have tabs on and that's worrisome.

COOPER: You also asked him about the Khorasan Group, the other targeted U.S. airstrikes in Syria. Did he say much about them?

SCIUTTO: He did. Because I asked him, it's been a month since the U.S.-led air campaign began in Syria, you remember on that first night, a number of those strikes, each strikes were targeted at the Khorasan Group, really a group that we hadn't heard of until the night of that campaign. And U.S. officials said at the time the reason we struck them is that they were planning an imminent attack on U.S. interests or U.S. soil.

So very key, so I said, OK, what do you know now a month later? Did it diminish that imminent threat? And he said that it's his judgment no, that one night of strikes, one in any circumstances is not going to do that. And that while they do think it had an effect they don't think it's taking away the seriousness of this threat and certainly has not eliminated this group of former al Qaeda leaders plotting to attack America.

COOPER: All right, Jim Sciutto, appreciate the update.

We've got a lot more ahead in this hour. I always like to remind you, if you want you can always set your DVR so you can catch 360 whenever you'd like and watch it whenever you want.

Coming up next, the remarkable life in history making career of Ben Bradley of "The Washington Post" who has died at the age of 93. We'll have more on that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Breaking news tonight in a horror story that just keeps growing deeper. Indiana officials say to expect new charges within days against Darren Vann in the killings of three more women. Now he's already charged in case you haven't been following the death of one woman and has led investigators to what appeared to be the dumping grounds of bodies.

They're searching the area right now, not knowing exactly what they'll find but worried what they may find.

Details now from Poppy Harlow.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The grim duty of searching for more possible murder victims in Gary, Indiana.

(On camera): Why are you in this area specifically? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in this area for the reason as the bodies --

some of the bodies of the victims were found in this immediate area. HARLOW (voice-over): Abandoned homes here used as a dumping ground

for at least six women murdered in cold blood. Police want to know if there are more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The individual that committed these crimes, it seems his MO was to put people in the abandoned -- these dead women in abandoned houses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just need to get the houses away, like you say people are getting killed in the houses.

HARLOW (on camera): Do you know any of the women that have been found dead?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, but I don't -- I don't leave the house past 8:00 because it's so dark out here. They call it Scary Gary.

HARLOW (voice-over): The prime suspect for the murders, 43-year-old Darren Vann who led police to the six bodies after admitting he strangled 19-year-old Afrika Hardy to death at this Motel 6 Friday, and left her lying nude in the bathtub.

LORI TOWNSEND, MOTHER OF VICTIM AFRIKA HARDY: They're somebody's daughter, somebody's mother, somebody's sister.

HARLOW: The son of a woman married to Vann for 16 years spoke with CNN Tuesday.

EDWARD MATLOCK, MOTHER MARRIED TO SUSPECT: I said that the guy was a nut case. He is. And I have to watch him. And I can't allow him near my kids or in my home because he just creeped me out. Period.

HARLOW: Darren Vann's criminal history spanning at least a decade from Texas to Indiana is brutally troubling. In 2004, he threatened to burn his then-girlfriend up while holding a lighter and a gas can. A felony that landed him in jail for 90 days. In 2009 he was convicted of aggravated rape and served five years in jail. Gary, Indiana's police chief says Vann, a registered sex offender, was monitored in September by the sheriff's department.

CHIEF LARRY MCKINLEY, GARY, INDIANA POLICE: They go out and check their place of residence and see how they're living and see if they're still in compliance on what they need to be doing.

HARLOW (on camera): Given the fact that Darren Vann was monitored as recently as September and everything you're saying checked out, do you think that the system needs to change so something like this doesn't happen again?

MCKINLEY: Well, it's a possibility that it can always be tweaked. And there can always be some changes.

HARLOW (voice-over): It's an understatement to say Marvin Clinton would agree with that assessment. His girlfriend of nine years, Teaira Batey, is one of the murder victims.

MARVIN CLINTON, VICTIM'S BOYFRIEND: She was a loving, kind person, good heart, big heart person. It's really sickening because of the fact that you have a convicted sex offender, registered sex offender, and I feel that any sex offender should be monitored closely by any state that they live in.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And Poppy Harlow joins us now from Hammond, Indiana, so Darren Vann, I mean, as we said, is a registered sex offender, but in Texas where he was charged with raping a woman, he was deemed as low risk. That's surprising.

HARLOW: Yes, I mean, that's really surprising and it's frankly surprising that he only served five years in prison. Look, Anderson, the authorities here are saying that they just didn't have the resources to monitor all of the sex offenders here all of the time.

The sheriff's department admitted to us that they only once have checked on Darren Vann, and that was in September just to make sure that he lived where he was supposed to live. And that's really the extent to which the check went.

We know from the police tonight in Gary, Indiana, that he confessed to all seven of those murders. They're saying and, interestingly, he actually was in the police squad car over the weekend when they found all of these six other bodies. He took the police to each of those abandoned homes where they were.

But again, I think the real issue here is, are things going to change? You've got at least seven murders, this man confessing to them. Someone who had such a long litany of criminal background and was back on the street with very little to no monitoring.

COOPER: Yes. Wow, Poppy, thanks for the reporting tonight. I appreciate it.

As always, there's more on this story and others on CNN.com, but just ahead a lot more in this hour on this program.

Will Officer Darren Wilson be indicted for the death of Michael Brown? Ferguson, Missouri, is a city on edge tonight as the grand jury's decision looms.

Plus, how about the Chicago voter who made a -- well, kind of funny, slash, cheeky remark to President Obama, how did he know the commander-in-chief would welcome a chance to banter? I'll ask him about ahead. He and his girlfriend join us ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We learned of the sad news right before we went on air tonight. Ben Bradley, the legendary editor of "The Washington Post" has died. He's died at the age of 93. We're going to talk to Carl Bernstein, obviously a legendary reporter

during the Watergate years who was assigned by Ben Bradley as well as Bob Woodward to reveal the goings on at Watergate. Their reporting and Ben Bradley's editing of their reporting ultimately went to bring down the president. President Nixon. We'll talk to Carl shortly, coming up in the program.

In Ferguson, Missouri, tonight, the calls for justice for Michael Brown are getting louder with many in the city saying the only justice they'll accept is an indictment of Officer Darren Wilson. That's their interpretation of justice. There's of course no guarantee there will be an indictment. A recently leaked details about the investigation have added to the tensions that have rocked the city for more than two months now.

Today, Missouri's governor announced plans to create a commission to examine the social and economic conditions fueling the outrage that erupted when the unarmed teen was shot dead, his body left on the streets for hours.

Sara Sidner tonight has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On any given night, tension goes from zero to a 100 in seconds in Ferguson. Nightly protests sometimes end in arrests, but this is nothing compared to what some of the demonstrators say will happen if the grand jury does not indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Businesses in the city still bears the scars of the first time anger and frustration boiled over here.

(INAUDIBLE) St. Louis, Pastor Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou has been in Ferguson throughout the turmoil. He participates in the protests and has been arrested twice. He talks to us as we walk by the burnt out quick trip near the center of where the first protest started.

OSAGYEFO UHURU SEKOU, PASTOR: Democracy is on fire, and we're called to be firemen.

SIDNER (on camera): You're OK with things going just up in smoke?

SEKOU: I mean, it's not my preference, no. But I'm more concerned about the conditions that produced this. That the simmering poverty, the simmering oppression, the simmering alienation, the existential that black youth feel in America. Some far more concerned about the conditions that produce the burning of buildings.

SIDNER: The frustration that people feel?

SEKOU: Yes, our children are in a tremendous amount of pain.

SIDNER (voice-over): What started out as an explosion of anger over the police shooting of Michael Brown has turned into a movement that has not stopped since the day Brown was killed August 9th. The idea Officer Wilson might not be indicted and what that might mean to the town has city and state officials on edge. Today, the Missouri governor announced the formation of a Ferguson commission to study and find solutions to the underlying social and economic conditions fuelling the unrest in the wake of Michael Brown's killing.

(On camera): Are you worried about what might happen when the grand jury decision is made and announced?

GOVERNOR JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: When you have this level of energy and when you have what has happened over the last 73 days you can rest all assured that we are focused and concerned about what could be the most problematic of scenarios.

SIDNER (voice-over): But Pastor Sekou echoes other protesters' reaction to the governor's commission.

SEKOU: The only words that would have mattered, that could have possibly begun the process of some symbol of justice is the creation of a special prosecutor or the announcement of the indictment of Darren Wilson, the officer who viciously killed Michael Brown.

SIDNER: Police have said Wilson was defending himself from Brown.

(On camera): What do you say to people who say the justice system is going through its cases, let it work.

SEKOU: The justice system? This justice system? Which has a wonderful set of facts to support the way it has engaged police who have taken black lives. This justice system.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Sara joins us now.

What more do you know about this commission? I mean, will it have any kind of power? Exactly what is it supposed to -- how is it going to be set up?

SIDNER: You know, we asked the governor that. What kind of power, what kind of teeth does this commission have? He talked about things like it's going to do a wide-ranging, unflinching study of the situation there in light of what has happened, in light of the unrest, and try to solve some of the underlying problems in the community both economically, socially and education.

He also talked about bringing in expertise and having the commission create some very specific goals and get those goals done. But it does not have the kind of teeth that the protesters want. And that is the ability to say good-bye to the police chief of Ferguson, to have him resign and to get the prosecuting attorney to charge Wilson.

They do not have those powers and the protesters say that is what they want and they're not real happy with what they're hearing from the governor.

COOPER: All right, Sara, thanks for the reporting. Joining me now is CNN legal analysts Sunny Hostin and Mark O'Mara.

Sunny is a former federal prosecutor. Of course Mark represented George Zimmerman who was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Also with us St. Louis Alderman Antonio France.

So, Sunny, first of all, what do you make of this idea that perhaps information is being leaked either from the grand jury or from other sources to try to kind of let people anticipate that there may not be an indictment?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I've got to tell you, it's remarkable that grand jury information is being leaked. That in and of itself is remarkable. Because remember --

COOPER: Not clear if those were from the grand jury necessarily. It could be from federal authorities or others.

HOSTIN: Well, we don't know. But grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret. That is the law. And so just the notion that information is being leaked is bizarre. I think it's also rather convenient that the information that is being leaked is the -- you know, sort of testimony of Officer Wilson. And so that I think in and it of itself is causing some concern.

And I think that what is interesting is when you hear about Officer Wilson's conduct he says he feared for his life. Michael Brown grabbed his gun. Well, I don't know, because that still doesn't explain why according to certain witnesses, he still shot Michael Brown while he was surrendering or had his hands up.

And all of that information tells me that perhaps there won't be an indictment. And they're trying to ready the public for what could happen.

COOPER: Yes, Mark, what about that? A former St. Louis County police chief says about the same thing. That he thinks these leaks are strategic, appears also to try to basically let people down slowly. Is that common to lay some groundwork to ease the impact of a potentially unpopular outcome? Or explosive outcome?

MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, in the very, very unique world of a high profile case, like now, the Michael Brown case is, you have to understand that the government's role may well be one where they're trying to let out some of this information to insulate the public a bit.

I don't think it's right. I don't like when any information is leaked out or acknowledged to be there from one source to the other. But it would make sense that with the way some of the information has been released that they're doing it for a purpose beyond just the information itself.

COOPER: Alderman, what do you make of, I mean, what the mood is right now at the community? Are people preparing for the fact that Officer Wilson might not be indicted, obviously tensions seem high? I mean, we saw a CNN crew, you know, basically shouted off the air last night. People yelling that CNN is, you know, being run by Zionist. What's going on?

ANTONIO FRANCE, ST. LOUIS ALDERMAN: Yes, tensions remain high. People are upset and they have been saying for over 70 days now that they did not believe that this prosecutor would deliver a fair result.

And I do believe that we've set ourselves up for the worst case scenario where this thing could be solved or determined behind closed doors in a very non-transparent way, which is this grand jury process. The way the information is being leaked. This doesn't give a lot of respect about the process or give people a lot of faith in the process.

COOPER: Alderman, do you think it is being leaked to soften the blow?

FRANCE: Perhaps, what we need to do right now is not just worry about PR, but worry about public safety. And many people are concerned about what is going to happen if this grand jury comes back with a non-indictment. And I -- and I think that the county prosecutor, frankly, should have known about this.

And the governor should have used his opportunity when he had it to replace this prosecutor. And frankly, I think there is enough evidence just to warrant the indictment from the prosecutor without a grand jury process, which again would be the worst possible case.

COOPER: Mark, I heard you wanted to say something.

O'MARA: Yes, the information I have is that, we, the African-American population, the rest of us are looking at the case and tying all hopes of a civil right justice on one indictment or one case.

And that is a horribly dangerous thing to do. There have been problems with the criminal justice system and the way they treat young black males for a long time.

But if we focus on one case and say unless there is an indictment in this case the justice system failed then we're giving way too much power, for the facts of one case and not looking at the overall picture.

And I think, we, as journalists and certainly as alderman have a responsibility to make sure that we don't focus on just one case when the outcome is much more sustainable.

HOSTIN: I agree with what Mark is saying, bottom line is it's not only about this case. We have seen a change in this country certainly from the George Zimmerman case. Then we went to Michael Dunn then we went to McBride.

Now we are talking about this and so I think there certainly is a fatigue within the African-American community, Mark, of justice not being done when you see the death of an unarmed African-American young boy --

O'MARA: Renesha McBride -- HOSTIN: -- so this indictment is very important and you got to admit

that I've never seen anything like this. Bottom line is he didn't even have to take this in front the grand jury. A case like this, a prosecutor goes by information and charges himself.

COOPER: I want Mark to be able respond and we got to go.

O'MARA: The problem with it is that had he not taken it to a grand jury and made a decision not to indict. You would have been that much more frustrated and all of us would have been.

The idea of taking through a grand jury, which by the way he said he was going to make the proceedings public afterwards is the best way to handle this. It's 12 people who is going to look at a case and decide whether or not to go forward. We have to believe in the process.

HOSTIN: I couldn't disagree with you more.

COOPER: Mark O'Mara and Sunny Hostin. The debate continues. Alderman French, always good to have you on.

Ahead, Carl Bernstein on his legendary boss, Ben Bradlee, who died today at age 93 after an equally legendary life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Anyone who does what we do owes a debt of gratitude to the people who came before us and showed us how it's really done when it comes to journalism to getting the story to getting it right, to reporting without fear or favor even if it means taking on the powers that be.

Few did it better than Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee, and nobody did it with more style, more flair or charisma than he did. As executive editor of "The Washington Post," Ben Bradlee championed a somewhat unlikely pair of young reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who's reporting exposed what became known as the "Watergate" scandal and brought down an American president.

That was far, far from all he did, though. Ben Bradley died today at home of natural causes, he was 93. Carl Bernstein joins us now. I'm so sorry for your loss. I mean, the career of Ben Bradlee, so entwined with modern American politics with "Watergate," the Pentagon papers. He was a confidant of JFK. What was he like to work for?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): He was the most galvanizing, remarkable figure to work with and for and you know, those are kinds of cliches that people use except this time it's really the case. He was sui generis, there was a kind of physicality the way he presided over the news room, all about getting the story.

But his life was really about the truth. There has never been anybody that I have known in this profession that -- it just had an absolute standard about the truth. And he would dress you down pretty well if he thought that in any way you had not done -- a Bradlee interrogation was quite something to go through but -- COOPER: You also can't overstate the professional risks that he took

along with you and Bob Woodward and Kate Graham who own "The Washington Post" during "Watergate." I mean, to stand behind reporting that ultimately brought down President Nixon.

BERNSTEIN: I'm just sitting here tonight actually at Bob's house, at Woodward's, and we just had a good hug and cry. And we were over at the house earlier today. But I'm sitting here reading this interview that Bob and I did with Ben for all of the president's men, that was done on July 16th, 1973.

And on every page of this taped interview is you hear this remarkable voice and it is all about getting the story, getting it right, the responsibility that you have to the institution, to your readers, to the truth, perseverance.

And he was a hands-on editor in the sense of talking to his reporters. He didn't tell them where the story was. He said you go get the story. And there was a story Bob and I like to tell about when the movie "All the President's Men" was made and Jason Robards was chosen to play Ben.

He was given a script. He said I can't do this. It's all the same, all Bradlee does is go through the news room all day and say where is the effing story, and we said, that is what he does.

COOPER: That is what he did.

BERNSTEIN: And look, you know, he was hands-down, he had this instinct -- he took the profession somewhere it had never been. And I don't mean just a "Watergate" story. There is what he did with the Pentagon papers and did "The New York Times."

But he understood the role of the press in a democracy and that where there is darkness that we've got to have light, and that that is what we're all about and he had this instinctive genius for saying OK, go with it. And then there were times where he would say you don't have it yet. Go get another source.

COOPER: And I mean, he cared about the truth. I mean, that is at the core of what you wanted.

BERNSTEIN: There is the only -- Ben was as tolerant about so many things as anybody that I know. Also there was this utter joy to be with him. I mean, obviously, we have this bond, Woodward and Bradlee, and I, but just to be around him as anybody can tell you is just a remarkable experience.

And tolerant of almost anything you can imagine except taking the short cut with the truth. And that is the only time I ever saw him dress anybody down. And he has no tolerance for it.

COOPER: And Carl, you speak of him in the first person still, in the present and I think -- it has to be hard to imagine that he is gone.

BERNSTEIN: It really is. Bob and I, have been here -- we've known this has been coming for a while. And the moment that it happened, we just -- you know, took a deep breath. And -- we really ought to think -- forget about bob and me for a minute and think about what this man did for our country and did for our profession. There has been nothing like it.

COOPER: And there will not be another one like him.

BERNSTEIN: It has been a great honor to have been his friend, to work with him. It is -- you know, he was amazing and will continue to be in our memory.

COOPER: Well, Carl, thank you so much for talking to us tonight. And again, I'm so sorry for your loss and hard to talk about Ben Bradlee in the past tense.

Up next, a couple in Chicago who had a voting experience today that they will certainly never forget.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: President Obama today cast his ballot in Chicago in the first day of voting in the midterm election and the woman who was voting right next to the president got a huge shock when her fiance took the opportunity to make a wise crack to the president. I'll speak with the couple in a moment and they are a real joy to talk to.

But first, watch the voting experience they will likely never forget. You will not see the young woman's fiance, you will hear his voice.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I really wasn't planning on it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am sorry, please excuse him.

OBAMA: There's an example of a brother, just embarrassing me for no reason whatsoever. And now -- you'll be going back home and talking to your friends about what's his name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike.

OBAMA: I can't believe Mike, he was such a fool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He really is.

OBAMA: I was just mortified.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: All right, so that is the story they will be telling at parties for years to come and also right now, Aia Cooper and Mike Jones join me.

So I love what you guys did. Aia, just walk us through this because you showed up for early voting. You had no idea, first of all, that the president of the United States was going to be there. What did you think when you first saw him?

AIA COOPER, CHICAGO VOTER: It was crazy. When I was first saw him, he was kind of addressing the media. And he came over and shook our hands, I was like, he just shook my hand, the people were like, you're going to go stand next to him. I'm like I have to go stand next to him.

COOPER: You didn't want to stand next to the president?

AIA COOPER: No, too much pressure. The next thing I know, they were like you, here, stand, I'm like OK.

COOPER: I understand all along, you thought Mike would say something.

AIA COOPER: Yes, that is just Mike's personality.

COOPER: So Mike has done this before to other people?

AIA COOPER: Yes, yes, it is a good thing, he just does some spontaneous things.

COOPER: You know, Mike, was there ever a moment when you thought yourself, you know what, I'm not going to do it this time. This is the president of the United States. I'm not going to embarrass my girlfriend in front of him.

MIKE JONES, CHICAGO VOTER: No, not for one minute. I knew this was a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity.

COOPER: So you knew when you saw the president -- I love that Aia's first impression was, my gosh, that is the president. Yours was like, I'm going to step up my game and embarrass her on a presidential level.

JONES: That is right. When I saw him in the room I was shocked for one moment. I'm like wow, that is the president and I was pretty much scheming.

COOPER: It is funny. When you're in the room with the president usually everybody is hushed, nervous. People stand around. Maybe some take pictures, but nobody is thinking about trash-talking the president.

JONES: All I heard was shuttering of cameras and lights and flashing. That is all it was. The silence --

COOPER: But that didn't stop you.

JONES: No, not at all and I don't want anybody to think I wanted to give out the impression that the president made a move, not at all. It was completely organic. Just something I said because I saw them right next to each other. And I saw her shaking -- as she was attempting to go do her ballot.

COOPER: So now, explain what you said exactly.

JONES: As I walked past, I said I know you're the president, but don't touch my girlfriend. I couldn't help it. I couldn't help it.

COOPER: Now, was there ever a moment that the president didn't know if you were kidding or do you think he knew right from the get-go?

JONES: I think he knew from the beginning because I gave him a smirk as I walked by. The tone of my voice, you know, she knew off the top and started laughing. I think that lightened up the mood.

COOPER: I was worried that the Secret Service would get up all in your business and be nervous on their ear phones, like, he is talking to the president.

JONES: Yes, I got response from family and friends. They thought I was pretty bold. They thought the same thing would have happened.

COOPER: So when you heard what Mike said were you just blushing?

AIA COOPER: I was blushing, and in my head I was thinking, my gosh, just please shut up. Please!

COOPER: And then the president leaned in for a hug and a kiss?

AIA COOPER: A hug and a kiss, yes, yes, Michelle, please don't come after me.

COOPER: Now, Mike, when you saw the president hugging and kissing your girlfriend, did you think wait a minute, I'm going to say something else, or did you felt like at that point, you know what, I'm going to let my girlfriend just have this moment?

JONES: You know what, I thought about it, but at that point, I think I did my job. She definitely had an experience to remember. I didn't want the president to think I was serious so I kind of left it alone. I saw the wink after that and that was it. It was just all fun and games.

COOPER: Well, Mike and Aia, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

AIA COOPER: Thank you, take care.

COOPER: Mike and Aia Cooper, amazing.

Coming up, a travel warning from a televangelist, you're going to want to stick around for this. "The Ridiculist" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time for "The Ridiculist," tonight we have a travel warning for all Americans, not from the government, but from the grouchy grandpa of televangelism. Recently, a 700 Club viewer asked him for advice about a planned mission to Kenya.

Some of the viewer's friends and family were concerned about this person going to Kenya because of Ebola. Robertson said there is no need to worry about Ebola in Kenya and then he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAT ROBERTSON: You have to be careful about AIDS, the towels could have AIDS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That is right, do not even get him started on the wash cloths with other diseases, if Pat Robertson you somehow missed all the research and the depth and information, you cannot get HIV if you share towels. Now, if a guy has shared towels it is true, he might be gay.

Even though, there is no guarantee, some people just love to share. I have to say one thing about Robertson's opinions, when it comes to things like Ebola and AIDS. He is kind of measured in his opinion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: I was there during the Ebola outbreak, and we were helping people, there was not all this panic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: If there is one thing you can say about Pat Robertson throughout the years is that he is anti-panic, I mean, why panic about Ebola when the bath mat is trying to give you a disease, and your food will kill you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: If you're overseas, don't eat fresh vegetables. If you go overseas, don't drink ice in any drink because the water is not pure. Be careful of ice cream and milk, because the milk may not be pasteurized.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Do not eat ice cream when you go to Italy, I'm telling you, everybody says the gelato is great, but it is going to kill you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Everything overseas, they have bacteria overseas, you just can't even imagine. I'm starting to think maybe we would be better not traveling at all. Right here in the good old United States, except steer clear of San Francisco and that is, of course, where all the gay people live, and Pat Robertson thinks they have a way of giving you the stuff, what he called aids in this classic clip last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: You know what they do in San Francisco, some of the gay community they want to get people, so if they got the stuff they will have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring has a little thing where you cut your finger. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really?

ROBERTSON: Yes, really.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: How much did they pay that woman to sit there like a zombie? I mean, do you think she actually believes what Pat Robertson is saying, or do you think she just thinks, he is my boss, better smile. Really, rings?

That is what the gay people want to do to you in San Francisco, stick you with the rings. Summing up, if you are going to San Francisco, do not shake hands with anyone. If you're going anywhere overseas don't eat the ice cream, and whatever you do not have unprotected sex with a towel in Kenya. Those are travel tips you can use on "The Ridiculist." Thanks, Pat.

That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "ROOTS: OUR JOURNEYS HOME" starts now.