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Gen. Michael Flynn & Son Under Fire for Conspiracy Theories; Judge Declares Mistrial in Michael Slager Trial; Mom Takes on Internet Bullies and Wins; Man Punches Kangaroo To Save His Dog. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired December 6, 2016 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Fall on the kind of ears, vulnerable ears that can lead people to do horrible things. And that's not something that just came about in this election cycle we know, but it's just something we have to be vigilant about.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, look, we just had Van Jones on, and he has his special tonight, "The Messy Truth." And he went to talk to real voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania. This is not on the top of their list.


CAMEROTA: I mean they want jobs. They want -- they care about their pocketbooks. They want their lives to be better. So we're fighting this fight because -- we know how important journalism is to democracy, but I don't know if anybody, you know, is engaging in (INAUDIBLE).

GREGORY: Right, but journalism has got to be engaged in going somewhere to get some of its credibility back because we face our own problems in terms of people saying, you know what, we don't trust that you're listening to us, that you're reflecting truth, that you're too caught up in ideology yourselves. And so, you know, that's part of this whole mix. But it's also -- it's the role of citizens to make sure they're stepping out of their comfort zone and not just ordering up information on demand that validates their own world view, which I think is a real phenomenon (INAUDIBLE).

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It doesn't help giving it a name either. You know, we talk about it on the show. I don't use the phrase fake news. There's no news about it.

GREGORY: Right. Right.

CUOMO: We've created a competitive category now, whereas if you just stick to the obvious about what's B.S. and what isn't --


CUOMO: What's true, what's a conspiracy theory, I think you're just better off.

GREGORY: And I think -- CUOMO: People will see journalism.


CUOMO: You're never going to get people to believe in you because you tell them they should, you know?

GREGORY: Right. Look, and, by the way, you know, John Hinckley Jr., you know, shot the president based on some conspiracy theory in his own mind. I mean that's --

CUOMO: And, look, the pizza guy, I know, you're going to find out that this guy had something really wrong going on inside of him on one level or another.

GREGORY: Right. Right. So, yes, I don't think we can spend all of our time on this business, that's for sure, but we shouldn't have high government officials trafficking in this either. In a community of people, which is social media, that has all of this connected tissue.

CAMEROTA: David Gregory, thank you for "The Bottom Line."

GREGORY: Who doesn't love the -- who lives "The Bottom Line" more than me? Nobody.

CUOMO: Nobody.

GREGORY: That's it, nobody does.

CUOMO: You are the bottom line.

GREGORY: See you guys.

CAMEROTA: A quick programming note. Vice President-elect Mike Pence will be live on "The Lead." That's at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

CUOMO: All right, let's take a quick break. There was a mistrial declared in the former Officer Michael Slager's -- his murder trial. He was accused of killing Walter Scott. You remember the video taken by a kid with a cell phone that really shaped everyone's understanding. The prosecutor vows he's going to try again. We're going to speak with the Scott family's attorney. What's going on in their heads and in their hearts after what that judge just had to do.


[08:36:23] CAMEROTA: There's been a stunning mistrial in the murder case of former Police Officer Michael Slager. He was caught on video, you'll remember, repeatedly shooting Walter Scott as Scott ran away. The prosecutor and Scott's family saying that their fight for justice is not over. So we will speak with the family's attorney in a moment. But first, let's go to CNN's Nick Valencia live in Charleston, South Carolina, for the latest.



This decision, or lack thereof, has really confused a lot of people here in Charleston after a more than five weeks long trial, days of deliberation. It was on Monday afternoon that jurors handed a note over to the judge saying that they regretted to inform the court they were unable to reach a unanimous decision. This was supposed to be a slam dunk for the state. It was anything but.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are unable to come to a unanimous decision.

VALENCIA: A mistrial declared in the case of Michael Slager, the white police officer who killed an unarmed black man. Video of the incident sparking outrage nationwide. Former Patrolman Slager charged with murder of 50-year-old Walter Scott after firing eight gunshots as he ran away from him during a traffic stop last April.

JUDY SCOTT, WALTER SCOTT'S MOTHER: God is my strength and I know without a doubt that he is a just God. Injustice will not prevail.

VALENCIA: The South Carolina prosecutor vowing to immediately retry the case. Scott family attorneys confident they'll get a conviction.

CHRIS STEWART, SCOTT FAMILY ATTORNEY: We don't need to scream or shout because we know that it's coming, it's just been delayed.

VALENCIA: The jury deadlocked Friday by one holdout who told the judge he could not in good conscience convict Slager of murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot and will not change my mind.

VALENCIA: By Monday, a majority of the 11 white and one black jurors were undecided. The shooting, caught on video by a bystander, a key piece of evidence in the case Slager shot Scott repeatedly from approximately 18 feet away. On the stand, Slager argued self-defense, telling jurors the video doesn't show the full confrontation. He saw Scott as a threat.

MICHAEL SLAGER: I was in total fear that Mr. Scott didn't stop, continued to come towards me.

VALENCIA: Scott's family hoping a conviction could help heal the wounds.

ANTHONY SCOTT, WALTER SCOTT'S BROTHER: In my heart, I will find the peace to forgive Michael Slager for doing that. Until my family can see justice, no, there's no forgiveness.


CUOMO: Let's get reaction to the mistrial from Walter Scott's family attorney Chris Stewart.

Councilor, thank you for joining us. This is one of those tough roles as family counsel. It's not just about your appreciation of the law, but of the tremendous emotional impact that this mistrial has had on the family. How are they today?

STEWART: Disappointed but determined. You know, they could come out with anger and despair, but that puts us nothing in a -- but in a cycle of anger and despair. So they're determined.

CUOMO: Determined for what?

STEWART: Justice. You know, that was just round one. He's getting retried immediately and the DOJ is coming after him.

CUOMO: So they look at you and they say, you understand this system. This is what you do. You're the lawyer. How did this happen? It was one thing to hear that there may have been one conscientious holdout in there, but then the reporting came out that there were more on the jury who had a hard time figuring out what this was in terms of a crime or some justifiable act of self-defense. What did you tell them?

STEWART: Well, our understanding from talking to multiple sources is, it ended up still being 11-1. And, you know, the bright, shining light of it is that only one person, who obviously ignored all of the testimony and evidence, held out for their own personal reason. I mean you can't fix that. So we're determined to go again.

[08:40:16] CUOMO: So you believe it was just one. The prosecutor says he wants to do this again. Do you have any advice for the prosecutor or is the team working with you at all to go through what they did and see if they maximized it? There's been criticism for them as well.

STEWART: I think they did a phenomenal job. You know, we were there the entire time watching the trial go on. You just sometimes can't change a person's mind who has already decided before the trial even happened.

CUOMO: So you're banking on that it's 11-1 and that this was a holdout. You said the federal side. That's such a high bar to bring federal charges in this. Not only would you have to establish the different elements of the crime here, murder, voluntary manslaughter, they're federal equivalents, but that Slager, the officer, did what he did because Walter Scott was black. Do you think they can meet that burden?

STEWART: You know, that's something that they're still looking into. They were there the entire time watching the state trial go on. But hopefully they'll let Schuyler Wilson (ph) try this thing again and that one person who held out, that that won't happen again. But you should have seen the emotion on the jury member's faces crying at the end when they had to announce that they were deadlocked.

CUOMO: What did you see?

STEWART: Everybody. And, you know, we were told that we were going to lose from the beginning because the jury was majority white. But as you can see, if it truly ends up being 11-1, that means that all of the other white jurors were with us. So we have faith. You know, no matter what color you are, you can see that what happened was murder. CUOMO: So what happened here hasn't given the family any pause that

maybe Walter Scott was an imminent threat to this officer because it got declared a mistrial, because somebody on the jury felt that if it's true that it was only one. Is there any consideration of that possibility within the family?

STEWART: No, because we all see the tape where he's 18 feet away running for his life and getting shot in the back, which every human being, no matter what color you are, can see unless you have already made up your mind before trial starts.

CUOMO: Did Slager say anything on the stand that surprised you? That you hadn't anticipated as part of the defense?

STEWART: Well, he continued with his lies that he told the investigators in the beginning, but that wasn't surprising either. I mean, you know, he's -- he's fighting for his life. He had no explanation for moving the Taser next to a dead body. And, you know, it's shocking to the entire world that it wasn't a guilty verdict. But we're -- we're not -- we're not worried. We are not worried. He'll face justice, it was just delayed.

CUOMO: Chris Stewart, thank you very much. Appreciate you being on the show. I know this is a difficult time for the family. We will stay on this story until its conclusion.

STEWART: All right. Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Be well.


CAMEROTA: OK, you have to see this next story. It is mom versus meme. And mom is going to win. We speak with a mother who fought back after her daughter's image was used in a vicious meme. How she got the image that you're not seeing here because we're not showing you the disgusting one.

CUOMO: Good.

CAMEROTA: How she got it removed from the web, next.


[08:46:55] CAMEROTA: So, this is a parent's worst nightmare. A picture of your child online being used and shared in a creepy way by strangers without your permission. For our next guest, that nightmare became a reality. This is the picture, the original picture, of her then four-year-old daughter Sullivan (ph) posing with Hillary Clinton and it was then used in a vicious meme and popped up everywhere.

What did the mom do? And joining us now is that mom, Jennifer Jones, along with Jonathan Vick, assistant director of cyberhate response at the Anti-Defamation League.

Great to have both of you with us. Jennifer, I will start with you. Just for a little bit of background,

let's explain your daughter, who was then four years old, she went as Hillary Clinton for Halloween. She loved Hillary Clinton. She idolized Hillary Clinton. And then she got a chance at a campaign event to meet her idol, Hillary Clinton, and she took that adorable photo. Then what happened, Jennifer, the day after Hillary lost?

JENNIFER JONES, DAUGHTER'S PHOTO USED IN ANTI-HILLARY MEME: Well, a friend of mine got in touch with me and told me that the image that we held so dear to our hearts had been turned into a horrible meme put out by some people from the Trump campaign, and I was in shock and disbelief. And I felt very violated and helpless and that I failed my child, that this was out there for the world to see.

CAMEROTA: And, Jennifer, was it the Trump campaign --

JONES: And then --

CAMEROTA: I just want to interrupt for one second because I thought that you had traced it to a FaceBook page, "Men for Donald Trump." So just supporters of Donald Trump.

JONES: Well, yes. Exactly. People that supported Donald Trump was where I initially traced it back to. And I found out that there was a Trump FaceBook page and I contacted them and asked them to remove it.


JONES: Initially they did not want to remove it.

CAMEROTA: But then, ultimately, they complied.

JONES: And then eventually --

CAMEROTA: But just take us back to that moment. When you first saw -- we're not showing the disgusting meme. We're not even characterizing it. But when you first saw it, just share with us that feeling of, oh, my God, this is on the Internet now.

JONES: I felt incredibly helpless because I've always heard that once things are on the Internet, that they're -- they're there forever and there's nothing you can do. But I was determined, even if it was just me alone, to get it removed.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And --

JONES: Fortunately, I had friends and family that stepped in to help.

CAMEROTA: So -- right. So your friends sort of flooded the zone and you --


CAMEROTA: Contacted Pantsuit Nation, which was the FaceBook, you know, community that supported Hillary Clinton and they had an idea for you. Enter the Anti-Defamation League. And I want to turn to you, Jonathan. JONES: Yes.

CAMEROTA: When you heard about this, this mother's plea, how can I ever get something expunged from the Internet, because we all know that's impossible, or we all think that's impossible, what did you do?

[08:50:07] JONATHAN VICK, ASST. DIRECTOR OF CYBERHATE RESPONSE, ADL: Well, there are certainly steps you can take at the outset to examine the situation, to look at the picture, to look at who owns the rights to the picture and to start a chain of events that can certainly mitigate the problem. And step in and be a friend to the people who are being affected and empower them to do something.

CAMEROTA: OK. So, Jennifer, when you had -- got word that there was, in fact, something you could do, how did you feel and what did you do?

JONES: I celebrated. I became very close with a lady named Shawn (ph) from the Anti-Defamation League. She became my sister, my shoulder to cry on. Unfortunately, I've never had the opportunity to meet her. We will meet one day. We're sure of it. I speak to her daily. She has reassured me that this will be taken care of. And she was right. It was. And so much relief. We took that photo and we made it ours again. And it's something once again we're proud of. My daughter proudly displays it in her bedroom. Secretary Clinton signed it and personalized it to her.


JONES: So it really truly is a family heirloom for us.

CAMEROTA: That is a great outcome. But what did you do, Jonathan? How did you get it off the Internet?

VICK: Well, first, we reached out to the Hillary Clinton campaign, who owned the rights to the photograph, ask them to institute what's called a DMCA takedown, Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice to FaceBook and to a number of other places we found the photo.

CAMEROTA: OK, so just let me stop you there. You figured out that if somebody took the photo, they own the rights to that photo.

VICK: Correct. Correct.

CAMEROTA: And anybody who puts it up is breaking the law.

VICK: Potentially -- not breaking the law, they are violating an agreement within the Internet community regarding honoring of copyrights and the abuse of copyrighted material.

CAMEROTA: Can any of us use that? I mean, look, I think every person out there has things on the Internet that they may not be comfortable with. Can anybody use this?

VICK: Yes. If you own the rights to the property, to the picture, to the video, that is your first and best recourse.

CAMEROTA: That is great and this is a great lesson for everybody.

Jennifer, we're so happy that this worked out well for you and your daughter, Sullivan.

JONES: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thank you very much for sharing this story with us.

Jonathan, thank you for telling us that there is hope out there for people who think that the Internet is forever.

VICK: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much.

Let's get to Chris.

CUOMO: A fair ending and a provocative question, what does Alisyn have on the Internet that she is not happy with?

All right, so how about this? What do you do when a kangaroo takes your dog? We're going to show you in a second. Man law.


[08:56:33] CUOMO: Time for "The Good Stuff." 'Tis the season to spread holiday cheer. And these kids did it. A beautiful bunch of sixth graders from Idaho. Look what they're doing.

CAMEROTA: Painting?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's fantastic that we can give back to the community and they can give back to us. And we like to be part of the community here and they're doing a fantastic job.


CUOMO: Yes, painting, but it's where they're painting, captain obvious. The kids are decking out more than 30 store fronts with the theme winter wonderland. Why?


CUOMO: For extra credit. No, to make people smile.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't really care about presents. I mean it's more about giving than receiving.

I like helping the community.


CUOMO: Bella, Mario, Chacha, did you hear that, more about giving than receiving. This is the fifth year --

CAMEROTA: Listen up Cuomo children.

CUOMO: The fifth year. They are just waiting for Santa's arrival. They want the town to look nice. It's called Operation Donation. That's what funds all this. Take a look at it online. It's in Idaho.

CAMEROTA: That's a great "Good Stuff," but here is Chris' favorite story so far.

CUOMO: Ever.

CAMEROTA: Man versus kangaroo with dog.

CUOMO: What do you do?

CAMEROTA: CNN's Jeanne Moos has the story.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were in Australia hunting boar. But what happened was anything but boring.

Greg Tonkins (ph) went running to rescue his dog Max from a kangaroo that was holding the dog in a headlock. Tonkins approached. The kangaroo released the dog. And the two squared off, man versus marsupial.

Kangaroo reacts with a, "you did not just do that" look of disbelief before turning tail.

Round one goes to the man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's exciting. So he launches a right hand to the kangaroo's snout.

MOOS: But the fight overthrowing that punch heated up as the video went viral.

MOOS (on camera): So the question is, did the guy do the right thing by punching him?


MOOS: He didn't?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Poor kangaroo. Kangaroos are beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I don't think he hurt the kangaroo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's somebody that needed to protect his dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think it's a happy ending.

MOOS (voice-over): But there was also an unhappy ending. The hunt was organized to fulfill a wish for 19-year-old Kylum Barwick (ph), who suffered from a rare form of cancer. A few months later, and just a few days after marrying his sweetheart in his hospital room, he died. Those on the hunt say Barwick thought the kangaroo encounter was the highlight of the trip. The story packed a punch. A kangaroo can be extremely dangerous between its claws and its kick.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, wait a minute. This is my husband.

MOOS: They can also be extremely well built. Check out Roger the muscular marsupial. It turns out the dog owner who punched the kangaroo is a keeper at an Australian zoo. Taranga's (ph) Zoo is reviewing events and will consider any appropriate action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good day, mate.

MOOS: When encountering a kangaroo, caution is advised.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you get punched by a kangaroo?


MOOS: This guy's probably saying something similar to his buddies.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CUOMO: How do you not love everything that took place there?

CAMEROTA: I do love everything that took place. Why didn't the kangaroo use its feet? Shouldn't it have fought the guy back?

CUOMO: It was stunned. Look, his defense wasn't great, but I'm telling you, Australian men are no joke. He went out there to give a buddy a great last memory and, boy, did he give him one and the rest of us as well.

CAMEROTA: I like how casually he just punched him.

[09:00:01] CUOMO: That's a real man right there.

CAMEROTA: That is a real man.

CUOMO: See what the New York men were like? Oh, that's not nice.


CUOMO: Australian, man (INAUDIBLE).

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: On that note, that's some advice for my daughter, you guys, when approaching a kangaroo, approach cautiously.