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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Examining a Possible Defense for Bill Cosby; Aftermath of Storms Across US; Latest on the Campaign Trail. Aired 11:30a-Noon ET
Aired December 30, 2015 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TOM MESEREAU, MICHAEL JACKSON'S, EX-ATTORNEY: And again it's all deja vu how they prosecute someone. I'm a defense attorney.
[11:30:04] And again, it's all deja vu. They said all these young men were coming forward to show that Michael Jackson had a modus operandi. And they fell like dominos. I mean it was like bowling pins.
One witness was destroyed after another. That may happen in this case. These women have come out years later with allegations. They've jumped on a bandwagon, and I can't believe that these people are all credible. Why do they come back so late?
And you may see -- you may see them devastated in a courtroom.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Just a couple more points I want to make here, just a couple more questions.
Number one, first of all, this woman did go to authorities first before she filed the civil case, as you said, you've accused her of going to seeking money before anything else, that's not the case. She actually tried to get criminal charges. She went to the police first. They deemed that there was no case. Then she filed a civil case.
The second thing I just want to ask you, have you been contacted by Bill Cosby at all?
MESEREAU: Well, I would never comment on whether or not someone's contacted me. I would never do that.
But look, again, the same thing happened in the Michael Jackson case. We said they wanted a criminal conviction so to pave the way for a big civil settlement. This woman sued for money and apparently got money and took off, from what I understand. That's going to be a very important issue because financial motive and financial incentive now goes to bias of a witness.
And, you know, she may have gone to the authorities so she could get a conviction and get a civil judgment more easily, you know, if you're convicted in a criminal courtroom beyond a reasonable doubt, you simply get the certified copy of the conviction. You walk it over to civil court, and liability is established.
The only question is how much. I think the defense will argue that she wanted criminal charges so she could get a bunch of money in a civil case. BERMAN: Tom Mesereau, noted defense attorney, I think you've given us a little view of how Bill Cosby may defend himself in this case. Again, bill cosby to be arraigned this afternoon, charges stemming from a 2004 incident, he is now charged with aggravated indecent assault.
Andrea Constand is the woman involved in this case. Attorneys for her have come forward saying that they are pleased that such a thing has happened, that charges have finally come all this time later. And I expect, despite what we just heard from Tom Mesereau, we'll hear from attorneys from many other women who say they have suffered similar instances at the hands of Cosby. I expect that we might hear from them in the coming hours as well.
Tom Mesereau, thank you so much.
Moments from now, Donald Trump will hold a big rally in South Carolina. This is his final rally of 2015, the last time this year Donald Trump will take the stage and speak to his supporters, this coming as he has new attacks against Hillary and Bill Clinton.
What will he say today? Stay with us.
Plus, dramatic video just into CNN, you can see houses covered with water. Some being washed away by the rising floodwaters, there are rescues happening right now. More than 16 million people in the path of flooding, National Guard has been called in.
We will go there live.
[11:36:24] BERMAN: All right, we have breaking news out of Missouri right now. This is Eureka, Missouri.
We are looking at now is a rescue. Oh, a dog just taken off of a rooftop into a boat. I believe that man who just went into the water was the dog's owner. We had seen that man and the dog on their roof, on their roof, folks, which is now nearly completely submerged.
We saw that boat approach that roof a few minutes ago. And he were trying to -- the dog was incredibly agitated. They're trying to calm the dog down so that they could safely move the dog and the man into that boat. And then you just saw there, they pulled the dog from the roof and the owner as well. You saw the guy briefly fall into those floodwaters. But this just goes to show the incredibly dangerous situation right now taking place in Missouri, these floods setting records by the minute this morning.
Widespread evacuations underway, rescues all over the place like this one we're just seeing right here. Levees are being watched closely, entire towns facing imminent threat of going under water. You get a sense of how fast the waters are rising by that roof we just saw, that house almost completely submerged.
Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard. It's not just one river, it's the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Meramec as well, all expected to crest at the highest levels in history in that region. To make matters worst, the temperatures there are dropping.
This is a very rare time of year for this type of flooding to be going on.
Our team is there. Our Alina Machado is in Pacific, Missouri, one of the cities being evacuated. We also have Jennifer Gray in nearby Valley Park where floodwaters have shutdown part of Interstate 44 where some 100,000 people a day drive through there.
Alina, let me start with you. We just saw a rescue, a man and his dog pulled from a rooftop. Just goes to show the situation there now.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and that's exactly what authorities here were trying to avoid. It is incredibly cold. So I can't imagine what it was like for that man and his dog to actually be inside these floodwaters.
I want to show you the situation here in Pacific, Missouri. You can see buildings surrounded by several feet of water. Hundreds of people have been evacuated here. So far authorities here tell us that at least 400 homes and businesses have flooded out.
What you're looking at is the Meramec River. The River has been at flood stage since Sunday, and it isn't expected to crest until sometime tomorrow. So this is going to continue here for at least a couple of days.
There is a Red Cross shelter we're told that has opened up in town. We're also told many people who evacuated the town are staying with family and friends. Floodwaters here are expected to break the previous record of 33.6 feet. That record, John, has been in place here since 1982.
BERMAN: All right, Alina Machado in Pacific, Missouri joined by Jennifer Gray in Valley Park also.
This is an area Jennifer where you are right now. The governor told me today he is very concerned. The waters there are rising very, very quickly.
What are we likely to see over the next 24 hours in terms of the floodwaters rising and perhaps the weather as well?
JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, well, luckily we are going to stay dry. But it can be misleading. It's not raining, but yet the waters are still rising. That's how these river floods work.
Look behind me. It tells the entire story, John. Look at this water. This is I-44. That bridge right there and a huge chunk of that is now shutdown 24 miles of Interstate 44 shutdown from 270 to route 100. And it could be closed until Friday.
[11:40:05] Underneath it is highway 141 that runs perpendicular to it. The traffic lights are almost completely submerged right there.
So I would imagine that a good 12 feet under water. So we could see 141closed until Monday or Tuesday.
The Missouri Department of Transportation Spokesperson, Tom Blair, was in our satellite truck just a few moments ago and gave me that information. But folks that I've talked to, locals that have been around for the 1993 flooding they say that this area in particular is worst than it was in '93.
And so they are very concerned, hoping for the best, but looking around, they're definitely getting discouraged. John?
BERMAN: Yeah, we can see a man and a boy behind you right now taking a look at something they have never seen before because the water simply have never been that high before. People want to come out and get look. But everyone there needs to be careful.
Jennifer Gray, Alina Machado, thank you so much.
Well you have more breaking news today in the case of the so-called affluenza teen, Ethan Couch and his mother. We thought they'd be back in the United States this morning.
Now we learned they are fighting extradition. They are in Mexico. There are new legal developments in their case.
We're going to speak live with a former U.S. marshal coming up.
BERMAN: All right, happening right now, Donald Trump on the stump in Hilton head in South Carolina.
While we were on break, Donald Trump talking about Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, explaining why he has been bringing up Bill Clinton's past indiscretions on the campaign trail. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're fed up with them. And they're fed up with those guys back there, the media. They are the worst. They're the worst.
[11:45:00] No, no, no, they're fed up. They're fed up with the media. I mean, I've got -- and you know, not all bad. But there's so much dishonesty in the media. And I like to call it out.
And one of the things that's really been amazing to me and such -- it's been so beautiful to watch, the level of genius in the public. They get it. You know, they really get it. They want to marginalize us, they want to do all of this, and they want to make everybody look like oh, gee, that the level of genius. They fully understand. They know they're crooked. They know they're dishonest, and they really -- otherwise who gets worse publicity than me? And yet I see a poll at 42 percent. And you know, you're talking about 15, 16 people, started with 17. How are you? Started with 17 people. And you know, I'd be happy with 42, if we had 3, okay? Not thrilled. I'd like to be over that 50 mark, but I think we're doing really well. And you know, it's interesting, but the debates, OK, so the debates -- I love you too, darling. I love you. I do. I love you. I love everybody -- you know what? The rooms, no matter where, whether its stadiums or big ballrooms like this one, it's amazing. And there's love in the room.
And I told the other night, I said, a friend of mine, very, very successful guy who I would love to have negotiating against China. That's what we need. Not these hacks that we have. No, no. I have guys -- Carl Icahn endorsed me, great business man. I have great, great businesspeople that want to be involved. And we're going to use -- we have the best. We don't use them. We use political hacks. We use special interest people that really don't care about the country. They care about their deals. This is going to change so fast.
You know, last year, $500 billion trade deficit with China. Think of it, 500. You know what $500 billion is? You do -- you do 100 dollar bills, you'd fill the room to the ceiling. $500 billion deficit. Trade deficit with China. What are we? Yeah, I guess the answer is certainly, let's not blame us. Our leaders are stupid. And -- and/or -- you have to say and/or they have deals. Because what's happened is all of this money is being given to them by special interests, by all of these people, including lobbyists, and these lobbyists make our leaders do -- our leaders, can you believe, our leaders -- but they make the leaders of our country do things that they don't even want to do. Because they've given them tens and tens and tens of millions of dollars.
When I look at this guy Jeb Bush, he spent $59 million on his campaign. And he's down in the grave. He's nowhere. No, no, think of it. It's got to be much more than that. It was actually $59 million a while ago. Every time I turn on an ad, I see an ad about Trump. I mean, it's not that bad an ad either. It's like, you know. If you're going to do an ad, do an ad.
Look, he's a low-energy person, let's face it. We don't need low energy. We need lots of energy. But he spent -- think of it, think of it -- he spent $59 million. I spent nothing. Right? Nothing. Now, I'm going to be spending -- you probably saw I'm going to spend -- we're going to start spending a lot of money because I don't want to take any chances. You know, I love getting up, and for the last couple of months, I've been leading from practically the time I announced, right?
And for the last -- leading a lot. I'm going to go over that because go up poll, I love polls. I love polls. Now, if they turn negative, I don't like them. And I promise, if they turn negative, I'm not going to be talking about them. In fact, I get criticized all the time. You're always talking about your polls. One of these guys has got 2. He's at 2. I'm at 42. And one of these guys who's at 2, he always talks about his polls. And I don't. And I wouldn't either if I had 2. I swear I wouldn't. I wouldn't. I wouldn't do it at all. But, you know, I love to tell the story where I've spent nothing. And Bush has spent $59 million. Much higher than that. That's just, you know, because I see since then. I mean, you can't turn on the television without these commercials at Fox. Every two minutes, it's a commercial on Trump. You know what he did? It's false advertising. So I killed him in the debate. According to Reuters, according to everybody, Drudge, who's an amazing guy, by the way, if you don't know Drudge, Matt drudge. Great. He's a great guy.
But Drudge, 46 percent. 46 percent, you have 15 people. Now you notice a couple have dropped down, couple of more. But 15, 16 people, 46 percent. "Time Magazine," 49 percent. Think of it. Slate, 51 percent. "U.S. News & World Report," 69 percent said I won the debate. I won the debate. Right?
[12:50:07] PBS, Public Broadcasting System, 69 percent say Trump won. You know what, it's amazing. We have the "Washington Times" at a 62 percent, and CBS at 59 percent, and Fox Las Vegas 62 percent.
So, they all say then I go back home after we'll I like to see how did I do. Did look good? Looking good is very important, right? Sometimes it is not as much is like what you say, how did you look? I looked good. Didn't sound good but that's OK. You wonder is that a good trade. But I go home and watch and...
BERMAN: Donald Trump in South Carolina talking about the polls, also talking about how much he hates political advertising. As he announce seem (ph) a launch political advertising, he's last political rally of the year more right after the break.
BERMAN: All right. Welcome back, and John Berman here in New York, the other man on the screen is Donald Trump. You might have heard of him. He is in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in the middle of his final political rally of the year.
So far in just the last five or ten minutes, he has talked about Hillary Clinton. He's spoken about Bill Clinton. He's talking about Jeb Bush and none of them, none of the three in particularly flattering terms.
I want to bring in former Deputy Chief of Staff under Eric Cantor former RNC communication record Doug Heye, a former Senior Spokesman for the Hillary Clinton campaign back in 2008 and the former DNC communications director Mo Elleithee.
Gentlemen, thank you so much for being with us. Mo, let me start with you and how Donald Trump essentially opened up this speech in Hilton Head. He explain to the crowed there why he's been talking about Hillary Clinton and more specifically Bill Clinton over the last few days.
[12:55:03] Hillary Clinton suggested that some of Donald Trump statements are sexist. Donald Trump says, well, if you are going to be talk about sexism, I am talk about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. MO ELLEITHEE, FMR. SR. SPOKESMAN, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN: Yeah, I think that's great. Republican primarily politics for him, It's going to be terrible in general election politics for him. You got to understand what's going on here.
Ted Cruz is ascendant (ph) in the polls. He is toping into a lot of Donald Trump support. He's being seen as an alternative to Donald Trump, a more acceptable alternative by a lot of Republicans right now who are desperately trying to find a respectable alterative to Donald Trump.
Trump knows that throwing is out there is like catnip to a whole segment of the Republican electorate, who's hatred for Barack Obama is superseded only by they hatred anything Clinton. So he tosses this out to them. I think it's great for him in the Republican primarily. It's going to solidify some support for him.
But should he be the nominee? And I think there's a real good chance he is the Republican nominee. I think this is going to solidify a lot of Hillary's support for her, should she be the nominee. One thing we see in time in time again is her supporters rally around her when people feel like she is being unfairly hit with this line of attack.
And look, we also have to remember, this line of attack was used against Bill Clinton in realtime back in the 1990s. In 1998 in the midst of the impeachment, Democrats actually picked up seats. It didn't hurt Bill Clinton then in real time politically, so I am curious to see why anybody would think it hurts Hillary Clinton 20 years later. It does not add up to me. I think, if I were still Hillary staffer, I'd be smiling the more he does this.
BERMAN: Doug Heye, you are watching it happen in realtime 2015-2016. Donald Trump in his final rally of the year. Is this a smart move for him today, and will it work going forward?
DOUG HEYE, FORMER COMMUNICATION DIR, REPUBLICAN NATL. COMMITTEE: Well, I think it is a smart move for Trump in that, it continues the conversation that Donald Trump has had now for months. Talk about anything that doesn't deal with how to defeat ISIS, how we're going to grow jobs, fix schools, or even fix the trade deficit with China, which he mentioned but then didn't provide any specifics to.
If you want a substance to this campaign, as Donald Trump has done very well and doing, talk about anything but the issues. So talk about Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton, or Jeb Bush, or Carly Fiorina's face, Lindsey Graham cell phones, talk about anything but issues. You will draw a headline, you know, and you'll do well in the polls, but ultimately when you get past the primaries as Mo alluded to, you're going to have to deal with Hillary Clinton his going to be a very tough candidate, and every day that Trump opens up his mouth, is the day that Hillary's staffers will tell you, they are smiling.
BERMAN: But Doug, you know, as you noted, it does help him it seem in the polls. He is winning at least in the national polls, indicate he is winning, he's winning in New Hampshire the poll there indicating he's winning in South Carolina that's what the poll there say. And in Iowa, he is running a close second to Ted Cruz, so it is working. So why on earth, if you are Donald Trump or if there is such a thing as a Trump strategist. Doug, why would you change this?
HEYE: No, I don't think they're going to change it and if I were advising them which I would not be doing obviously. I would tell them keep on track with the strategy. Donald Trump doesn't have any clothes, he doesn't have any answers, so don't put him in a situation where he has to provide them. And even if he is getting tough question, certainly Jake Tapper and Dana Bash have asked a lot of tough questions of Donald Trump.
Then talk about anything other than your lack of preparedness, your lack of answer, and we'll all respond to the latest outrage du jour and talk about that for another week.
BERMAN: Mo, we learn from Donald Trump last night that he plans on spending $2 million a week leading up to the early voting stage $2 million in ad, this even as he said he doesn't need ads and he hates political ads. What will be effect B, if he really goes through with this?
ELLEITHEE: Yeah, it's hard to imagine what the effect is going to be because the guy -- look he said it himself, he's $35 million under budget, he has not spent any money on ads and he's catapulted to the lead. So, it hard to see how much talk that really grasp how much they're going to help.
Although I will say, I think Donald Trump does have to worry a little about Ted Cruz right now. Ted Cruz is ascendant, and Marco Rubio is still hanging around there. They seem to be the two guys who have the best shot of knocking of his perch.
This kind of ad by this late in the game will help -- coupled with his incredible media savvy is -- I think going to help counter whatever sort of ascendancy those two guys have. It seems a like a pretty good insurance policy right now.
BERMAN: And if you are as rich as Donald Trump says he has one of the questions, why haven't you been spending the money all along? Interesting question.
HEYE: He hasn't needed too.
BERMAN: Mo Elleithee.
BERMAN: Happy New Year to both of you. And nobody is more relaxed than political strategists who are not work on a campaign right now. Amen to that.
HEYE: Amen, have a great New Year.
BERMAN: You too. Thank you all for joining us at this hour. A lot of breaking news happening today. "Legal View" starts right now. [12:00:12] RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone I'm Randi Kaye in today for Ashleigh Banfield. Welcome --