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Edward Archer Confesses to Philly Cop Shooting; El Chapo Recaptured; New Poll: Cruz Leads In Iowa; New Poll: Trump Widens Lead In N.H.; Woman Escorted Out of Trump Rally; Gun Owners Response; $800 Million Powerball Jackpot; Reality Check On Pres. Obama Conspiracy Theories; The Ridiculist: Rubio's Boots; Aired 8-9p ET

Aired January 8, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:11] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, good evening. Thanks for joining us.

We begin tonight with breaking news. There is now information tonight about the man authorities say confessed to ambushing and shooting a Philadelphia police officer last night. The attacked caught on camera. His name is Edward Archer. Now, police say he told them he was acting in the name of ISIS. The FBI just now telling us he made two trips to the Middle East to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and Egypt in 2012. Authorities say he fired 13 shots at Officer Jesse Hartnett using a 0.9 block that had been stolen back in 2013 from another city police officer. Three shots hit officer Hartnett who returned fire wounding the gunman then radioed for help.


OFFICER JESSE HARTNETT, VICTIM: Shots fired! I'm shot! I'm bleeding heavily!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All cars stand by. We have an officer shot 6-0 and spruce repeating in the 18th district assisting officer 6-0. We have an officer down.


COOPER: Officer Hartnett is recovering from his wounds. Again, police say the suspect has confessed to law enforcement sources telling CNN's Pamela Brown that the FBI did not have a case against him leading up to the attempted murder.

Our Miguel Marquez joins us now from Philadelphia with all the latest on it.

Miguel, so this new information from the FBI, do we know if this guy has ties to any actual terror groups?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the huge question is that's exactly what they are digging into. Certainly the trips in 2011 to Saudi and in 2012 to Cairo, they will look at very carefully. There is no indication that he was doing anything untoward there. But the police commissioner saying at one point during the police, during the press conference today that this is an individual who said at some point during the discussions with him that he felt that police work was contradictory to the teachings of the Koran also saying that after being silent a long time with their investigators, he finally spoke up and said I pledge allegiance to the Islamic state. I believe in Allah and that's why I did what I did.

His mother telling the Philadelphia "Inquirer" he was a practicing Muslim for a long time. But interestingly the imams in the areas surrounding the area where he live and he used to hang out, didn't recognized him, have no idea who is this guy is. So it's not clear how much of a Muslim he is and very not clear yet if there are ties beyond his owned mind to any international terror groups -- Anderson.

COOPER: We are seeing that surveillance footage that was taken of the shooting. How exactly did this unfold? Can you walk us through?

MARQUEZ: This is absolutely spectacular the way this police officer operated. 33-year-old Jesse Hartnett was on the routine patrol. He has his window down. He was in west Philadelphia driving through there. He was flogged down by this individual when he just started shooting the semiautomatic 0.9 millimeter. Moving up to the car window very quickly, his hand was all the way in the car window at one point, hitting the officer three times in the arm, wounding him very badly in the arm. Despite that, the officer was able to get out of the car and chase him, shoot him in the buttocks so that they could pick him up later. And other police officers arrived there were able to catch him before he could get away.

All while talking on the 911 dispatcher telling them to get other officers there, telling them his own situation that he was bleeding profusely. Unbelievable that this officer was able to survive this, bring this person down and is tonight still recovering in the hospital -- Anderson.

COOPER: It is just incredible. And that's all right there on that surveillance footage. There is been questions about this attacker's mental state. What do we know?

MARQUEZ: His mother spoke briefly to the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier today and she said that he had mental problems, that he played football, that he had an accident on his moped at one point and injured his head. They have been speaking to himself lately that he was mumbling a lot. They asked him to get medical help and it's not clear that he had.

He said that he felt he was being targeted by police. We do know he had one previous, at least one previous arrest and he was charged with fraud. He was due to be sentenced on it. It's not clear whether that had to do with anything that triggered him to do this. But his mother clearly saying that he suffered some sort of mental problems, wanted to get help, and it is not very clear that he ever did -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Miguel Marquez, I appreciate the update.

Again, the would-be killer opened fire with a stolen Glock. The weapon taken from another Philadelphia police officer's home and Deborah Feyerick has more on that angel. She joins us now. What do we know about the stolen gun?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we know is that it was a .9 Glock G-17, capable of 17 rounds and that it was fired 11 times at that police officer by this man. Now, the police commissioner when he announced that it had been stolen he said look, full disclosure, this did belong to another police officer. It was taken from his home. It was reported stolen. The officers disciplined as protocol.

But the real big question that police are asking tonight is where did he get this gun? How many hands did this gun pass through? And also, was it given to him specifically in connection with the shooting? If so, that's a link it could suggest some conspiracy. So they are going back to see what they know about it but he could have gotten it on the Glock market. He could have been given it or by a drug dealer. He does have a long criminal past and as a matter of fact, in March of 2015, he served, he was supposed to serve nine to 23 months for a charge of carrying a gun and he was on probation. So, you know, the guy had a lot of running with the law, as well.

[20:005:45] COOPER: You know, when you think about instances, and I'm just trying to remember in recent memory of an officer's gun being used in a crime. Kate Steinley, obviously, in San Francisco you think about, I believe that gun was recovered or was taken from a federal officer.

FEYERICK: Yes, that's exactly right. And the gunman in that particular case, an immigrant told police that he found it on a bench on this very busy San Francisco pier. That he picked it up and it went off accidently. But again, it was stolen from this vehicle. And when we did a search and the national crime information center says there are about 190,000 guns that are stolen every year, nine percent of those lost or stolen are reported or registered to federal law enforcement. So the amount we're talking about in terms of stolen law enforcement guns is 5800 a year.

COOPER: All right, Deborah Feyerick, thanks so much.

More now on the possible ISIS connection, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen joins us. He is the author of the new book "United States of Jihad" which is an amazing read, all about homegrown jihadist. Also, former FBI counterterrorism special agent Tim Clemente joins us.

Peter, from what we know so far about this guy and still - I mean, we just learned this information about the overseas travel, how does he fit into the profile of other homegrown terrorists?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, you know, one thing that is kind of interesting is the (INAUDIBLE) reporting that he was not known to law enforcement because so typically, jihadi terrorists, whether it is the Boston marathon bomber or the Ft. Hood shooter or others, usually come up on the law enforcement screen at some point. Now, in this case in Philadelphia, he wasn't known to law enforcement and that's similar to the San Bernardino case where they were not known to law enforcement and it gets to this question of that these ISIS inspired attacks and how difficult they are to basing people law enforcement t, you know, to head them off.

COOPER: Tim, I mean, even if mental issues did played some part in this guy's motivation or this person's thinking, you believe still there must have been warning signs.

TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM SPECIAL AGENT: Absolutely, Anderson. I mean, unless he live in a vacuum, unless he lived completely alone and had no colleagues and he didn't have a job or family, he didn't have friends, somebody would have noticed changes in his behavior. If he had mental problems, then maybe the changes had been around for a long time. But his behavior, clearly, was not normal. I mean, what he said to the investigators immediately after being arrested, I did it for ISIS, I did this for Allah because of the laws, these police officers and enforcement are against Islam. These are things that he probably uttered to other people. And they either were probably ignored by those other people or they were people that didn't care to pay attention to it which might have been family members or friends. But there had to have been people that were aware. That either his muttering changed, his dress and demeanor may have changed, but things about him most likely changed based on what we seen, and all these other attacks, behavior, beards were grown, clothing changed, they become more religious. There is usually out ward signs that are evidenced and ignored.

COOPER: And Peter, you've been studying other homegrown terrorists for your new book which as I said I just read. How big right now - I mean, let's put this in some context. A, how often do you see people who may have mental issue linking that with radical Islam and just overall what kind of numbers are we talking about of homegrown terrorists or would-be terrorists here in the United States?

BERGEN: Well, you know, 2015 saw more jihadi terrorist case in the United States than any year since 9/11 and the FBI has said that 900 investigations in 50 states. And so, that's a significant number. Now most of those, of course, are lone wolves or past, they are not like some huge conspiracy as we saw in Paris.

But I wanted to pick up on what Tim said. It was I think it is very interesting. Now, the FBI talks about leakage. Now, leakage is when a perpetrator says something to someone and usually in deciding order of likelihood they talk, they tell peers, they may tell family and then sometimes an authority figure may pick up something, a cleric or teacher and finally they are strangers who have the least useful information but most likely to come forward. But the problem is, Anderson, is the people with the best information are peers. And the FBI has found that they are the least likely to come forward and they are the people with the best information.

COOPER: Why is it that they are the least likely? I mean, because they are friends with this person or they just don't want to get involved or they don't believe it?

[20:10:03] BERGEN: I mean, it's hard to ascertain. But, you know, we have this huge see something, say something campaign which is really produces a lot of false positives because the people who were really know something are the people as Tim said are the people in the immediate circle who usually, and this comes out at school shootings, Anderson. And school shootings, the FBI determined a long time ago that the perpetrator often said something, you know, they are going to pay or there were some kind of information that was known to people in the circle. And there is also true now in jihad terrorism cases. And unfortunately, people are not coming forward often enough.

COOPER: And Tim, talk about the just the difficulties of tracking a person now who may be a lone wolf and let's just, for the sake of argument, assume that this person is, although to Deborah's point is very possible, you know, he might have been given this gun by somebody who wanted him to commit an attack. We simply don't have that information at this point, but just in terms of tracking these people.

CLEMENTE: Well, as you just heard from Peter, the problem is that those closest to these individuals don't give up the information. The thing is that if you see something like behavior changing in an individual that you think is either a, radicalized or mentally unstable or both and you don't notify the authorities because people think, I'm falsely convicting them. You are not convicting anyone. By making a phone call to either law enforcement, locally or to law enforcement federally, to the FBI, and alerting them, you are not convicting anyone. You're not putting anyone in prison. You are not forcing any kind of even an investigation on them.

What you are causing them is to come on the radar and that might be enough. An individual like this, his mother apparently said he was mentally unstable. You know what? Maybe there were authorities that should have been notified locally that this man was living in this neighborhood wasn't stable or mentally unstable and that might have been enough to have them, maybe go look at him, talk to him, whatever. But there needs to be more of the impetus by the community, by those closest to the people committing these acts in order for the FBI and other agencies to do anything to prevent these types of attacks.

COOPER: And yet - I mean, often in these kind of tactics and frankly, other drawn of attacks, even school shootings. We have seen, you know, people who live at home whose parents seem to be in some form of denial or, you know, not even sure what to do, how to get help of try to get help for in the case of a teenager.

CLEMENTE: But in San Bernardino, you saw the father of the accused say that he was radicalized. I was liberalized.

COOPER: Right. Tim Clemente, good to have you on. Peter Bergen, I'm sorry under this circumstances. Thank you.

Next, more on some other pieces of a deadly larger pattern, ISIS targeting the very people whose job it is to keep us safe. We have seen other instances, this one in New York, you're looking at right now.

Also breaking news, how they got shorty, drug lord, "El Chapo" shorty, who gave the jailers the slip in July. What we are learning about the massive effort that got him back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:16:25] COOPER: The ambush of a police officer in Philadelphia and precautions now being taken in New York are more than just breaking news tonight. Part and parcel of what has become a low level war by ISIS and ISIS sympathizers on street level symbols of authority, namely law enforcement. And as our Randi Kaye reports, the danger could be growing.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It happened just yesterday, a man carrying a butcher's knife yelling God is great in Arabic attempts to attack a police station in Paris. It is 11:30 in the morning, exactly one year to the minute since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, magazine. This woman saw what happened but asked not to be identified.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They shouted get back, get back, get back, and when he didn't, they shot three times.

KAYE: He is shot dead by police who later find a piece of paper with the ISIS flag printed on it along with a handwritten note claiming responsibility of the attack. He was also wearing a fake suicide vest.

Back in 2014 another attack in broad daylight, four New York City police officers are rushed by a man swinging a hatchet two officers are struck, one in the head, the other in the arm. The other officers shot and kill the attacker. The suspect is later identified as Zale Thompson. On his Facebook page, a picture showing an armed jihad fighter and a quote from the Koran, "judging those who wondered astray."

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER JOHN MILLER, NYPD INTELLIGENCE AND COUNTERTERRORISM: Every indicator points to that he was acting alone, self-radicalized, self-directed.

KAYE: In the days before the attack, police say the suspect had viewed ISIS videos online including beheadings and propaganda. He had also watch news stories about recent terror attacks in Canada that happened just weeks before when two members of the Canadian armed forces are run down by a self-radicalized man in a car. The suspect had been on police radar after posting videos of violent attacks on Facebook. Royal Canadian mounted police had classified him as radicalized. He leads police on a chase before his car rolls into a ditch. Police shoot and kill him.

In Australia, a month earlier, police shoot and kill an 18-year-old terror suspect after he attempts to stab two police officers at a police station. One is slashed in his neck, stomach and head and the other in the arm, both survive. The attack comes just days after Australia's prime minister had raised the country's threat level to high meaning an attack is considered likely.

TONY ABBOTT, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: There are people with the intent and the capability to mount attacks here in Australia. KAYE: The suspect in the Australia attack had posted images of a

masked man on his Facebook page along with what police say appeared to be the ISIS flag.

The threat against police officers even more serious with the rerelease of an ISIS video last year, calling for followers in the west to rise up and kill intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers and civilians. Their targets, the United States, France, Australia and Canada. All countries where police have already come under attack.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, there is more breaking news tonight south of the border. Blood thirsty and totally ruthless merchant of mayhem and terror is back in custody. We are talking about drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman who was last seen there back in July just before slipping out of a prison shower, recaptured in a coastal city in the state of Sinaloa.

His capture reportedly involved members of the Mexican Navy and a number of intelligence agencies as well as American help in the search according to U.S. law enforce the official.

Several "El Chapo" associates were killed in the raid. Our Raphael Romo has been monitoring all the late developments. He joins us now. How did the raid and capture go down? Do we know?

[20:20:14] RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN-AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Yes, Anderson. Mexican officials say the raid happened at 4:30 in the morning in the coastal city of Los Mochis located in the state of Sinaloa which by the way gives its name to a Sinaloa cartel.

It was a bloody raid. According to the Mexican Navy, five people died in the shootout and six were arrested, Anderson. One soldier was injured in the first pictures after they captured Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman appears stunned. We have also obtained video of the drug lord where you can see him half naked and being led into a Mexican government place.

Remember, this is one of the world's most wanted. This is the man "Forbes" magazine included in their list of the most powerful people in the world estimating his fortune at $1 billion.

Anderson, "El Chapo's" people had a lot of firepower at the site of the raid. The Navy confiscated armored cars, assault rifles and listen to this, also, a rocket launcher.

COOPER: And I understand we talked about the U.S. assisting in the search. Do we know what level?

ROMO: Yes, there's been a lot of cooperation between Mexico and the United States in recent years according to a law enforcement official in this case, the Americans provided assistance in the search but the raid itself and "El Chapo's" capture was an operation conducted solely by Mexican Special Forces.

COOPER: Given the fact that this guy escaped from, you know, a Mexican prison, could the department of justice extradite him? Would Mexico send him to the United States?

ROMO: Yes, that's a very good point, Anderson. Not only did the U.S. justice department but also eight American states, eight with pending drug trafficking cases against Joaquin Guzman. And not surprisingly, states like Arizona and Texas but also New Hampshire appears on the list. The matter, of course, is entirely in the hands of the Mexican government but they are under a lot of pressure to extradite him, Anderson, because "El Chapo's" escape last July was a huge, huge embarrassment for Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto who had previously said that a breakout would be unforgivable.

COOPER: Yes, Rafael Romo, thank you so much.

Just ahead, breaking news on the campaign trail. New polling showing Donald Trump widening his lead in New Hampshire while Ted Cruz is leading in Iowa, but how big of a threat is Cruz?

Also ahead, did President Obama put his critic's concerns to rest during CNN's town hall on guns? What a room full of gun owners told Gary Tuchman next.


[20:25:59] COOPER: There is breaking news on the campaign trail tonight. New polling tonight from Fox News shows Donald Trump maintaining a big lead in New Hampshire. He is at 33 percent. That's up six points. Marco Rubio is second at 15 percent. Ted Cruz in third place with 12. Everyone else single digits.

Now, in Iowa Ted Cruz is leading at 27 percent. Trump, though, is at 23 percent. Rubio at 15 again everyone else single digits. Cruz is hitting the trail hard in Iowa. He made six stops just today. Iowa is first the nation's caucuses are now less than three weeks away.

Mr. Trump just finished speaking at a rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina. And obviously it holds its primary on February 27th. That's an open primary. Registered voters can cross party lines.

Let's go now tonight to CNN political commentator and "New York Times" op-ed columnist Ross Douthat who made the case in his column this week that Trump won't win the Republican nomination. Also CNN political commentator Paul Begala who is co-chair of a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC and Trump's supporter Jeffrey Lord who served as political director for president Reagan.

So Ross, this FOX News new poll showing Donald Trump still trailing Ted Cruz in Iowa, though only by a few points, you wrote this week that for Trump to lose, he doesn't actually have to collapse, he just has to fail to expand his support. Do you not think he can expand his support?

ROSS DOUTHAT, OP-ED COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think it's a challenge. I think what you see in the polls of states where voters are paying the most attention and where the campaigns are actually focusing their efforts is that Trump's numbers have been pretty stable between 25 and 35 percent basically since he surged into the lead last summer. And this is true in Iowa where he is a little lower. It's true in New Hampshire where it's higher. It is even been true in South Carolina.

And Trump does have a large contingent of Republican voters who say they won't vote for him. And when you break down second choices, you get a lot of people whose second choice is Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio than to pick Trump. So it's very easy to see a kind of consolidation happen where Trump ends upholding on to a lot of the voters he has right now but Cruz surges past him as he already has in Iowa by consolidating evangelicals and if and when figures like Jeb and John Kasich and others drop out, someone like Rubio consolidates the rest of the vote, many of a three-man race but it is one where Trump is again, stuck at 25 to 30 percent.

COOPER: Jeff, as a Trump supporter, what do you make of Ross' argument?

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, if in truth, I think it is a lot of if this, then, if that, you know. If I got a phone call from Julia Roberts, could I date Miss America maybe on a good day? Who knows? I mean, I just don't think that's reflective of what is going on out there.

You know, a reminder here, in 1976 Ronald Reagan lost not only the Iowa caucus but he lost New Hampshire. He lost the first six caucus and primaries and then suddenly caught fire in North Carolina and the thing went down to the convention where he lost by 117 votes. And then of course four years later he lost the Iowa caucuses to George H. W. Bush.

I think that it's a mistake to pin everything on one or two or three or four even more than that primaries. I think this is going to be a bit of a drawn out battle here and I think Donald Trump has got the reserves. And I think he can deal with this.

COOPER: Paul, do you see this as a drawn out battle, as well?

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I do. Mr. Trump has -- I think a lot of advantages. The scale the way the cameras are attracted to him. But one great event he doesn't control is a crowded field. These other candidates, you know, Ross said and he is right. If the other establishment candidates, many of them, most of them had sense they would all quit, pick one establishment person and let that person take on Mr. Trump. But the problem is they don't have sense. They have more ambition than sense.


BEGALA: Seriously.

LORD: Paul Begala. BEGALA: If I could get Trump alone, I could beat him. I just need to

get Christie out of the way. Rubio out of the way, and Kasich. It's not going to happen. This is going to be a crowded establishment lane. There is going to be Christian evangelical lane that Ted Cruz will dominate. And I think he is probably -- Trump's greatest threat is Ted Cruz, not the establishment.

But as long as it's a multi candidate field, that 35 percent or 40 percent ceiling that Trump has is plenty enough to win.

COOPER: But, Ross, that multi-candidate field will, I mean, it will dwindle down pretty quickly after South Carolina -- I mean, and New Hampshire and South Carolina, don't you think?

DOUTHAT: Right. I mean, exactly. Again, I mean, Jeff, one, I agree with both Jeffrey and Paul, this is going to be a long drawn out battle and it's totally possible, again, Trump will hold support and be a major factor in the race. And he could even push it towards 1976 style convention showdown. But he's not going to be the one probably in the lead going into that convention showdown.

And, look, because it's such a long drawn out battle, the fact that the establishment lane is splintered now, he is only going to be true in New Hampshire and maybe South Carolina. And it's possible that, you know, you could imagine Christie and Rubio both doing well in New Hampshire and they both stay in. But you aren't going to have four or five figures in the field once we're four or five or six days in.

Their fundraising will dry up, they'll be encouraged to depart and will depart in spite of their perhaps foolish ambitions.

COOPER: Jeffrey...


COOPER: Sorry, go ahead, Jeff.

LORD: Oh, in 1980, there were several -- there was more than George H.W. Bush in the race as establishment candidates. Howard Baker was on there, Dole was in there, John Conley was in there and when they -- the others departed the field and it was finally just down to Bush, Regan still won and won fairly well.

DOUTHAT: But are why are we -- but why do we think that Trump support is in anyway analogous to Regan support. Trump's constituency is fascinating. It's a fascinating figure. He is combining kind of disaffected Democrats with certain...

LORD: Regan Democrats all across...

DOUTHAT: We used to call them that Regan Democrats where a different species, that was 35 or 40 years ago, Jeff. Trump is running -- he's not running on a conservative platform particularly except on immigration. He's not a figure like Regan who's been a darling of the conservative movement going back 20 to 30 years. He is not a governor. He is not -- he doesn't have an infrastructure or get out the vote operation.

Again, there is just no reason to expect that he's going to get to 45 percent or 50 percent of the vote in time to head off well-funded challengers.

COOPER: Paul, who can -- I mean, obviously, you're a Democrat, who concerns you most on the Republican side? Is it Marco Rubio for general election against Hillary Clinton?

PAUL BEGALA, CO-CHAIR PRODUCERS-HILLARY CLINTON SUPERPAC: You know, first, look, you were -- you covered the last presidential election and I did not say this then. The Republican field has a lot of talent, and I said that from the beginning and I mean it. There is a lot of talent there.

So I do -- number one, there is a ton of talent there. Number two, my party doesn't win three in a row. In fact, the Republicans don't either very often, it only happen once in my lifetime and that was George H. Bush succeeding Ronald Regan. And that took the full time support of the due caucus campaign, which was like the greatest asset that Bush have.

OK. So these things will happen very often. Let me flip around. My Republican strategist friends worry the most about Trump and Cruz. That those two, they believe, could cause a landslide for Hillary.

Again, Democrats don't get landslides in this country. I wish we did but we don't. So it's going to be a 50/50 race even if they as I hope and afraid they do, Mr. Trump.

COOPER: Paul Begala, Jeffrey Lord, Ross Douthat, thanks very much.

BEGALA: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: There's more breaking news from the Trump event that wrapped up. We've learned that a woman was removed from the rally. You can see she's wearing hijab and a t-shirt reading "Salam, I come in peace".

Our Jeff Zeleny is there, he joins us now. So, Jeff, what happened?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I can tell you that this is something that follows Donald Trump most everywhere he goes, protesters.

So this is an unusual situation here in Rock Hill, South Carolina tonight. A 56-year-old flight attendant who is a Muslim, who lives in Charlotte, we spoke to her before the rally. She stood up during the rally when Donald Trump was talking about Syrian refugees.

She was not saying anything. It was a moment of relative silence and then suddenly some people in the crowd around her sort of turned on her and some police came forward, as you can probably see in this video here, and escorted her out.

And my colleague Jeremy Diamond spoke to her afterward and she said she was very surprised by this. She said she came to this rally with the idea of allowing Trump supporters to see what a Muslim looks like. Of course, there is some inflammatory rhetoric in the last several weeks since Donald Trump have called for a ban on travel for Muslims (inaudible) U.S.

So she said she came to the rally not far from Charlotte just to see it, and mainly so Trump supporters could see her. But as you can see there, she made it about half way through the rally and she was escorted out.

So just one of several disruptions at this rally tonight, of course not as many as last night in Burlington, Vermont. But Anderson, it was an unusual moment, somewhat of an uncomfortable moment for someone sitting around her.

[20:34:58] And then some other people in this crowd turned pretty ugly on her and started shouting some epithets and other things. So just one slice of an otherwise pretty boisterous Donald Trump rally here in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Anderson?

COOPER: Thanks for the update.

Just ahead, did President Obama change any minds at our town hall meeting Guns in America? Did he put to arrest any skeptics fears he wants to take away weapons? We'll hear from group of gun owners who watched the town hall with Gary Tuchman at a shooting range.

Plus, Powerball jackpot that shattered all records, what are your actual odds of winning $800 million and what would you actually net? Richard Quest is crunching the numbers for us tonight.


COOPER: This time last night we were at George Mason University about midway through our live town hall Guns in America. President Obama took questions from me and members of the audience including NRA members, gun rights advocates. The back and forth got tense at times, it was a wide range of conversation, a chance for President Obama to talk face-to-face with his critics as well as supporters.

Our Gary Tuchman the event from a Florida gun range with a grown up of gun enthusiasts, and tonight he reports on their reaction.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At Okeechobee Shooting Sports Range in Okeechobee, Florida, they shoot before the sun goes down.

And after it sets, we joined people who fire guns here in front of the TV in the range store to see what they will think about what President Obama says during the CNN town hall meeting.

How many of you think it's a good idea that Barack Obama took executive action? It's pretty silent here.

(Off-Mic) [20:40:00] Not happy about it, the President will have to do some convincing.

COOPER: What can you say to somebody tonight to convince them that you don't want to take away everybody's guns, that you're not coming for their guns?

PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, first of all, Anderson, I think it's useful to keep in mind I've been now president for over seven years and...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't remind us.

OBAMA: That conversation has to be based on facts and truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would be great.

TUCHMAN: As early as the one commercial break, it was clear the president wasn't going to convince this group of much.

KEN LEMOINE, GUN RIGHTS SUPPORTER: I think he is just lying to the nation to allow for his agenda.

TUCHMAN: So what do you think his agenda is?

LEMOINE: To keep on infringing on the Second Amendment rights.

TUCHMAN: What President Obama is saying is that by taking executive actions that he will make this country safer. Won't be able to eliminate all tragic shootings but maybe some, do you not believe that?

LORALEA SUEVER, GUN RIGHT SUPPORTER: No, I don't believe that by taking executive action and being a bully over the existing legislative process is going to provide any resolution like he seeks.

TUCHMAN: After the commercial break.

OBAMA: This is not a recipe for solving every problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, it's not a recipe for solving any problem.

TUCHMAN: This group's feelings toward the president only stiffened. They did not like it when Mr. Obama angrily said it's fair to call it a conspiracy, the ridiculous idea he's says that is creating a plot to take everyone's guns away.

OBAMA: Maybe when I propose to make sure that, you know, unsafe drugs are taken off the market that secretly I'm trying to control the entire drug industry. Or take people's drugs away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not trying to take your guns and you can keep your doctor if you want it and you can keep your health care plan.

TUCHMAN: When the town hall was over, I asked...

So do you have a better idea than the president?

WILL FARRUGIA, GUN RIGHTS SUPPORTER: Yeah, enforce the laws that exist, the current laws that exist.

TUCHMAN: Criminal laws.

FARRUGIA: Yeah, the criminal laws. I mean, at the end of the day, the crimes are being committed by the criminals.

TUCHMAN: Jeff Wait is the owner of the gun range.

When the President says fewer guns would mean fewer violent crimes, you think that is not accurate?

JEFF WAIT, OWNER, OKEECHOBEE SHOOTING SPORT: Well, how could you get fewer guns without confiscation?

TUCHMAN: So when he says he doesn't want to confiscate, you don't agree with that?

WAIT: I else he make (inaudible), they don't evaporate.

TUCHMAN: So you don't trust the President?

WAIT: No, I don't.

TUCHMAN: At this gathering, President Obama changed no minds.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Okeechobee, Florida.


COOPER: President Obama could not have said it plainer last night. He flat out denied he wants to confiscate any guns. As you saw in Gary's report, though, a lot of people, certainly the gun owners there do not believe him.

We asked Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin to drill down on the conspiracy theories that fuel these suspicions. That's what President Obama was calling them at least, where did they come from and what did they encompass? Here is his report.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: A two-month U.S. military exercise last summer across half a dozen states only added fuel to the fire of conspiracy theories swirling around President Obama.

OBAMA: We did a military exercise in Texas, and a whole bunch of folks were sure that this was the start of Marshall Law.

GRIFFIN: It was in March months before the exercises would even begin that a conservative radio talk show host called it a preparation for civil war. Soon the conspiracy theory spread and got weirder if that's even possible when actor Chuck Norris posted on the World Net Daily website, "The U.S. government says it's just a training exercise. But I'm not sure the term just", he writes, "has any reference to reality when the government uses it".

Even Texas Governor Greg Abbott gave the theory credence. His Tweet, "I've ordered the Texas safeguard to safeguard Texas' constitutional rights, private property and civil liberties". The town hall conducted by the U.S. Army, one local resident wondered if the army wasn't coming for his land.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is preparation for Marshall Law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a preparation for Marshall Law, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what you say.

GRIFFIN: Nothing of course happened. The Army trained and went away. The conspiracy theories never do.

Among the right wing conspiracy theories, President Obama wants to take away land, take away rights and especially take away guns. And if you think it's just a bunch of internet goofs, or fringe radio talk show host, former Astronaut Mark Kelly husband of whom Gabby Giffords and a gun control advocate told President Obama he actually heard it in the U.S. Senate.

MARK KELLY, ASTRONAUT: When we testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, we heard not only from the gun lobby, but from United States Senators that expanding background checks will, not may, will lead to a registry, which will lead to confiscation, which will lead to a tyrannical government.

Griffin: We checked it out and it's true. One of the Senators was Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassly in a hearing after the Newtown massacre in 2012.

[20:45:03] Here he is commenting on fears Obama was coming to take away guns.

SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLY, (R) IOWA: No wonder many Americans fear that the president might take executive action and Congress may enact legislation that could lead to tyrannical government.

GRIFFIN: During the Obama administration, there have been runs on ammunition for fear the government was buying up all ammo, even rumors of coming after people who stockpile ammunition. We've runs on AR-15s and other assault weapons for fear assault rifles would be banned. And the general fear of guns being taken away has led to a general run on guns in stores over the last seven years. None of it has happened but the conspiracy theories continue and those who benefit from them allow them to swirl.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is an assault on the Second Amendment. You know, Obama is going to do an executive order and knock the hell out of it.

GRIFFIN: True or not, bizarre or not, Republicans on the campaign trail won't let the gun theory go. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has even turn, "Obama wants your guns" into a fund raising poster. He's all too happy to convince you, Obama really does want to take your guns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is anything but fear-mongering?

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is actually quite accurate.


COOPER: And Drew joins us now. After Jade Helm, I mean, obviously, the army did not enact Marshall Law and did the Governor Greg Abbot in Texas or Chuck Norris ever admit they were wrong?

GRIFFIN: You know, Chick Norris walk back some of his comments. The governor of Texas has gone on to move to guns now. He's worried about President Obama taking guns, but these conspiracy theories just get more and more convoluted even when they're proving false over and over again.

I'm sure by commercial break. You and I will be wrapped up in the conspiracy theories going in discussion which is Obama wants to take away guns despite what he says. The government is preparing for some kind of Marshall Law especially down on the boarder, and the new conspiracy theory with Jade Helm, which is the program that we're talking about in Texas that might have been a dry run to see what they can get away with.

COOPER: Drew Griffin, thank you very much.

Just ahead, the Powerball jackpot is higher than it's ever been in the history of the United States. What are your chances of winning a cool $800 million? Hard to even imagine such a figure, Richard Quest breaks it down for us.


[20:51:09] COOPER: All right, do you have your tickets? It is the biggest jackpot in American history, the power ball jackpot has been growing since beginning of November. It is now hit $800 million for tomorrow night's drawing. Previous lottery record was $656 million in 2012.

Richard Quest is with me to crunch the numbers. What are the odds of actually winning?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN: We are talking about wealth beyond the dreams of anything (inaudible) in this one, Mr. Cooper. Now, I realize you want to know the odds.

COOPER: I'd like to roll my R.S. like you do.

QUEST: Well, keep practicing.

How about this, 1 in 292 million? Now, those odds remain the same because obviously, certain fixed number of balls, five of the white, one of the red. Those odds remain the same no matter how many people play because obviously, anybody can win assuming they pick the right numbers.


QUEST: But one in 292 million, well, you actually have more chance of being struck by lightning, having conjoined twins...


QUEST: Yes, quite -- or being attacked by a shark. Of those three, which -- keep going...


QUEST: Or you could win the lottery, 1 in 292 million.

COOPER: How much would you take home if you win?

QUEST: That's the wrong question because the question you need to be asking is do you take the lump sum or do you take...

COOPER: That's the option.

QUEST ... the annuity over 30 years. Actually, you're better off taking the lump sum.

COOPER: Really?

QUEST: And that 800 million comes down to 496 million because that's the current value of the jackpot but, of course, you don't get anything like that because you have to pay tax.

COOPER: Wait, so this 496 is before tax?

QUEST: That is just the 800 million discounted for the current net value of the jackpot, 496 million. Then you have to pay taxes, all right. 39.6 percent for federal income tax. Uncle Sam gets his cut and then state and local taxes, if you're in New York, 8.82, plus, ding-ding-ding, residents of 3.9.

I've already done the sum for New Yorkers. Of the 496 million, you get 283 million. Those of course who -- those of course who have residents elsewhere, maybe in Connecticut, they would of course pay less tax.

COOPER: All right. For that kind of money, what can you get?

QUEST: What would you buy?

COOPER: For 200 something million? I wouldn't buy anything. I would just invest it. I would just sit on it. We got to go.

QUEST: You could buy a 747 plane.

COOPER: OK, well -- but then you have to fuel it. That's not a good idea. I don't do that. If you get the money, don't buy a plane. Richard Quest, thank you very much.

Coming up these boots were made for talking and that's just what everybody is going to do, Marco Rubio's footwear on "The Ridiculist" next.


[20:57:27] COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist". And tonight, I want to appeal for return to civility in the presidential campaign, especially when it comes to a very important issue of choice. By that, I mean, the candidate's choice in foot ware.

I think you may know what I'm talking about. This all started earlier this week when a New York Times political reporter posted this on his Twitter account. "Marco Rubio is rocking some seriously fashionable black woods today. He was on the boots. They're black, they're shiny, looks like they're maybe a side zipper. They have a very modest, I don't know, maybe two of three-inch heel and sort of look like he bought them at Prince's Garage Sale.

But less we forget the P in GOP stands for Party and in those shoes Rubio looks like he's the only presidential candidate ready to party like it's 1999. That's a compliment by the way. I'm defending him, I'm not lashing out.

This is lashing out. Ted Cruz's communication director twitter and I quote, "A vote for Marco Rubio is a vote for men's high heel booties". Now, that's going too far. New Hampshire is a battle ground state, you got to hit the ground running, not really running in heels. That's a like a good way to twist your ankle.

Let's say the run up to the New Hampshire primary is like a dance. Marco Rubio is simply trying to be the lord of the dance and his fellow candidates just won't let it go.

Carly Fiorina tweeted this, "Yeah, Marco Rubio but can you rock these?" She's one upping him because her high heels are a little higher, a whisper more height. Again, I say, lay off him, it's a very nice shoes.

So what if you can buy a very similar version of them at the American girl doll store? Is that true? Can you do that? Is that any reason for Rand paul to go and make a video?


RAND PAUL, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hey, guys, I'll be on "The View" in a few minutes. I'm here in Whoopi Goldberg's office trying to choose some shoes. We've Rubio has those cute new boots and I don't want to be out done. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: We can always count on one person to bring it back to reality, of course we speaking about Donald Trump. He was asked about Rubio's boots by a radio host Howie Carr.


TRUMP: You won't see me wearing them. I don't know what to think of those boots.

HOWIE CARR, RADIO HOST: Do you think it's a height thing that he's trying to del with here?

TRUMO: I don't know, they are big heels, they are big heels. I mean, those heels were really up there. But, you know, it's almost like it doesn't matter too much. Probably he would have been better off not going that route, would you say? He's taken a lot of -- I notice he's taken a lot of hits. You know, I just hope it works out fine for him.


COOPER: Rubio himself addressed this important issue at a town hall yesterday and very correctly pointed out there are much more important issues to discuss, but will he again wear those shoes?


[21:00:01] MARCO RUBIO, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Boy, are we getting a lot of coverage about a pair of boots. This is craziness. People have lost their minds. I've gotten a chuckle out of it. Who knows, they may make a comeback here soon, stay tuned.


COOPER: Oh, we will. It's an election year, so someone is always on your heels on "The Ridiculist." That does it for us, "Guns in America" my town hall with President Obama, starts now.