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Trump Administration's Tough Talk and More on Foreign Policy; New England Patriot's star Aaron Hernandez Found Dead in His Prison Cell; Bill O'Reilly Fired From His Job at Fox News. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired April 19, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:04] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Fox News kicked his biggest star to the curve.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Bill O'Reilly out after multiple women come forward of allegations of sexual harassment. The latest on the scandal that cause the network millions and caused the Factor host his job.
Also President Trump's awkward photo op with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Why some of the Pats skipped a trip to the White House.
Plus, the shocking prison death of former patriots star of Aaron Hernandez. Now, could his murder conviction be voided over a technicality? And what would that mean for his family and the family of his victim?
Let's get right to Trump administration's tough talk though and more on foreign policy. Here to discuss CNN political commentator David Swerdlick, political analyst Abby Phillip and political commentators Jason Miller and Symone Sanders.
Good evening all of you. Thank you. Welcome to the show, as they say.
So David, I know that I don't have to tell you but over the past two weeks we have seen airstrikes in Syria, the largest bomb ever use in combat drop in Afghanistan, a war of words with North Korea over nuclear weapons today the Trump administration turning to Iran what's happening with Iran now.
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. So after a campaign where President Trump said over and over again that the Iran deal was the worst possible deal could have gotten, that our leaders were stupid who had negotiated it and that he was going, you know, tough talk and deal much tougher with Iran.
Two things happened today. Yes, on the circus, Secretary Tillerson did come out and, you know, scold Iran and threaten potential review of implementing sanctions for their support of state-sponsorship of terrorism, which they do, which is a problem. But did not sort of highlight the fact that today the Trump administration came out with its schedule report saying as far as our intelligence knows Iran is comforting with the deal.
The challenge for the Trump administration is that look, they didn't like the Iran deal. Republicans don't like the Iran deal. But if you scrap the deal now, Don, you are starting from square one and there's really no way to get Iran, the p5-plus-1, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China back to the table. So you're either stuck with it or military action or nothing.
LEMON: Yes. And we heard how many times have candidate Trump says that he was going to tear this deal up. I mean, and you know, here it is. It's almost 100-day milestone. Do you think he is feeling pressure to do it?
SWERDLICK: I think it would be a sugar high, a feel good for Republicans who are almost uniformly against it. And I think that in terms of President Trump not being able to sort of make good on most of the things, very few of the things that he promised he would do in that 100 days, first 100 days, they would like that momentary political notch on their belt. But I think even President Trump and his advisor who have more foreign policy experience understand that at least right now based on what we know it's not a win to get rid of this deal. Not because it's a perfect deal but because if you get rid of that deal then you have Iran saying, fine. You know, they wash their hand of that, you know, nuclear agreement. Iran doesn't want to be sanctioned but they wouldn't mind going back to building their nuclear arson.
LEMON: Abby, let's talk more foreign policy now and this story of this quote-unquote "Armada" that was supposed to be heading to the Korean Peninsula except it wasn't. It was headed in the opposite direction. Here is what Sean Spicer - here is how he tried to explain it today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have an "armada" going towards the peninsula. That's a fact. It happened. It is happening rather. The statement that was put out was at (INAUDIBLE), it was heading to the Korean Peninsula. It is heading to the Korean peninsula. What's that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's headed there now. It wasn't headed there --.
SPICER: Sure but that's not what we ever said. If there's an impression then that's not there should have been clarification from people who were seeking it. But I mean, take on, put out a release talking about what is ultimate destination was going to be and that's where it ended up -- Kathlyn.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did the administration never clarify because it is definitely the intent in media reports that it was head there now and now it is going to be --.
SPICER: But that wasn't -- with all due respect that's not - we were asked a question --. (CROSSTALK)
SPICER: I know. No, no, no. That's not true. What I was asked was what signal did it send that it was going there and I answer that question correctly at the time that it signaled foreign presence, strength and a reassurance through allies. That's a true statement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Abby, what's your reaction on what you hear there?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: This is sort of like someone saying that, you know, your relative is dead but what they mean is that your relative is going to die at some point in the future. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I mean, the White House and other officials clearly were talking about movement that wasn't happening, at least not in the direction that they were explaining.
The armada was not headed toward the Korean Peninsula. It was headed in the opposite direction. And the fact that it is headed there now is a completely different scenario. But I will say this. This is another example to illustrate how this White House and how this administration is willing to use optics as part of their foreign policy or really as their foreign policy in some instances especially when it comes to Korea when there's a lot of talk about sort of being finished with sort of quote strategic patience with North Korea. But at the end of the day the actual policy towards North Korea hasn't actually changed. So there's a lot of signaling, not a lot of substance behind what we are seeing at this moment. And I think this is no different from that.
[23:05:42] LEMON: OK, Jason, this is your field because you were a Trump senior communication advisor. Some have said that to have a public communication like this doesn't exactly send the best image to our allies or our enemies. Do they need to run a tighter ship here?
JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think the president is doing fantastic on the world stage so far. I mean, when we take a look at Syria, we take a look at North Korea, even the negotiator in- chief that we are seeing come out with regards --
LEMON: That wasn't the question I asked you, though, Jason. I asked you about this communication about the armada.
MILLER: No. Look, they were saying the shipped were heading to the Korean Peninsula. They didn't say it was going to be there on Thursday. They didn't give us specific day or time. No. And this is completely ridiculous argument. I mean, the fact of the matter is finally, after eight years of inaction from the Obama administration --.
LEMON: Jason stick to the question. Jason, stick to the question.
MILLER: Don, I'm answering the question.
LEMON: No, you are not. You are talking about the Obama administration. I'm asking you about this particular's administration response to the armada. That's like me saying, Don, are you on your way home, yes I am. No, I'm on television but after the show, it is over at midnight, I will be heading home but that's not the question that was asked and that is not the way it was answered. My question to you was should they run a tighter ship, should they be be more specific about their answers instead of clarifying it day after day.
MILLER: I think they gave a fine answer to a very specific question that was answered today. And I think for the reporters who are getting flustered by it need to just get over it. They said the ships are going, they are. That's the issue at hand. And finally, has somebody standup to North Korea.
MILLER: I mean, Don, am I missing something? I don't see the big deal.
LEMON: Yes you are. You are missing accuracy. And when you ask a direct question just like I asked you a direct question immediately you pivot it. But if a reporter ask Sean Spicer or the president a direct question then that reporter or that person deserves a direct answer.
LEMON: Go ahead, Symone.
SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Communications 101 is what you learn when you are at the bottom rang (ph) of the press assistant. And Jason knows this, OK. Sean Spicer for that matter knows this. What Abby so eloquently said was the administration is vague and they are lying, OK. And what Sean Spicer does day after day after day is stand up at the podium and desecrate the podium with lies, I don't know, maybes and I'm not really sure. And you know, that is actually true, Jason.
MILLER: No, Symone. You're going way over the top now come on.
LEMON: Jason, I will let you respond. Go ahead Jason.
MILLER: Symone, I mean, you can't say the press secretaries get up there and just --
SANDERS: I can.
MILLER: You can because you are on this show. But I mean, it's not accurate at all. I think Sean does a good job from behind the podium. Very tough job. And I think he puts in the information he has out there. And you know, going back to the issue at hand, though, they are sending additional ships to the Korean Peninsula. They never said they are going to be there on some specific day. They were eventually going there.
SANDERS: Why is the bar so low for the Trump administration is my question? Why does the Trump administration and its surrogate, its officials get to work through all these loopholes, get to always add an and, but and oh, no, if, this and that. It's just too much confusion. We need the president of the United States and his office to be clear, direct and transparent. And we are not getting that from the Trump administration.
MILLER: I will tell you who is not confused, who is not confuse is Assad. I will tell you who is not confused Kim Jong-Un. Final, we have a leader who is standing up to these bad guys.
LEMON: Well, maybe we can get them - maybe we should get them to ask the question about of armada and --.
LEMON: Thank you.
We got to go. Thank you all.
When we come back Bill O'Reilly fired from his job at Fox News. The sexual harassment allegations behind his dismissal.
[23:13:23] LEMON: After millions in settlements and dozens of lost advertisers, FOX lowered the boom on its star Bill O'Reilly today in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual harassment.
Let's discuss now. CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom who represents several of O'Reilly's accusers and Marc Lamont Hill who is a frequent guest on O'Reilly show, and defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, the author of "Taking the stand, my life and the law."
Good evening to all of you. I used to watch you go at it.
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Those are the good gold old days.
LEMON: That was the good old days. You are going to give us an insight.
But Brian, I want you to get us up to speed the latest on what we know about how this all went down.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Turns out even Bill O'Reilly is not too big to be fired, you know. There was view inside Fox that he was invincible. But the Murdochs had a law firm and they did an investigation. We don't know exactly what this investigation found. But they found enough. They found enough to remove O'Reilly without much of a fight.
You know, think about this, Don. O'Reilly did not put up a public fight about this. He was flying home from his vacation early. He post a statement essentially saying he wishes Fox well. He doesn't seem to be wanting to battle with the people who are now wanting to let him go. LEMON: Alan, why do you react to that?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well I have a theory, I can't prove it. But remember there's a tape of O'Reilly himself making sexual noise. That tape was sealed as part of a settlement. I suspect that the (INAUDIBLE) firm got access to that tape during their investigation and O'Reilly could not survive the release of that tape. And so, my theory is that another deal has been made even now. The tape doesn't come out, he survives and he leaves gently and with just a nice thank you, et cetera.
[23:15:03] LEMON: Alan, there's another attorney at the table who represents several of the accusers here and she is not --.
LISA BLOOM, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I represent three of the accusers and I have been intimately involved in this investigation for the last several weeks. And I can tell you what's going down because we have been working seven days a week on it. And that's giving them the evidence and witnesses to corroborate the claims brought by my three clients who have come forward since the "New York Times" article. So we knew that there is new contract provided that he could be terminated if there were new complaints.
It was therefore incumbent upon us to find those new complaints, to vet them, to make sure that they were good complaints, and then to bring them to Fox News. That's what we did. The lawyers and my law firm and I, we have been working very hard on this. It was a concerted effort. My clients, God bless them. They walked through the fire, they walk through the fear and they called into the hot line that FOX News told us to call in and that's how we did this.
LEMON: There was another complaint, another accuser today - yes, there is another complain today.
DERSHOWTIZ: Deserves a lot of credit for the work you did but there's no comparison between cumulative acquisitions and his voice on a tape.
BLOOM: Yes, but that's already been heard since 2004. I agree with you. Andrea McKris -- he should have been fire in 2004 when she came forward with that tape.
DERSHOWTIZ: Nobody has ever heard the tape.
BLOOM: I have read -- OK. Alan, I have read, I actually am very familiar with all of these.
Hill: There's no evidence of this.
BLOOM: OK. I'm not just shooting from the hip here. I have actually read the transcription of the tape that was revealed in Andrea McKris' complaint in 2004.
LEMON: OK. OK. Let's get this back on track.
Brian, there was another accuser today, someone who was a frequent contributor on this show.
STELTER: Right. A guest on O'Reilly show, (INAUDIBLE). I don't watch Fox often enough but I should.
LEMON: But she also run for the chairman --.
STELTER: (INAUDIBLE) interpreter to the network. She had been a guest of -- several years ago and she says O'Reilly would say things that weren't inappropriate. She doesn't call it sexual harassment but she believes it was inappropriate in a work place. She spoke to the "New York Times" last year, but did not want to be named, actually. That she couldn't be named. Only today did she call the hotline to share this information. So another example of another woman inside FOX trying to raise red flags about the situation.
LEMON: You were on the show a lot.
LEMON: What was your take on Bill? I mean, he was a cultural icon.
Hill: He is. But also he had a pretty big influence on pretty big conservative voice.
Hill: Absolutely. I mean, Bill O'Reilly is a fascinating figure. First of all, he is a genius. He is a master at making good TV. There is no coincidence that he keep night after night, year after year, unless you are a remarkably talented in what you do. And he didn't mind telling you how talented he was. Well, he literally said that (INAUDIBLE). He said, you know, this is much harder than it looks. I'm a genius at it. He say let me tell you that bill.
But, in addition to being sort of genius at this and being skillful at it, he also had a considerable amount of impact. What he said matter. He galvanized people. People all around the country, in the fly over states, people who ultimately voted Trump, they had a significant reaction to what Bill O'Reilly said and thought.
But the underside of that is at the same time, he had this cultural impact and he saw himself as a steward of American culture, American morality and values, there are all these people at Fox News who were making claims that Bill O'Reilly said and did things that were wildly inappropriate.
I have been on Bill on O'Reilly a lot. I' have never witnessed it, but I certainly heard people at Fox News talked to people who said it was common knowledge that these things were happening.
BLOOM: And he also hurt a lot of women, OK. And this is really important. This is really important because this isn't just about some remarks or even some disgusting things that were caught on tape. This is about driving at accusers not only out of FOX News but out of the television industry entirely.
LEMON: Yes. BLOOM: he really did doing some damage to Andrea McKris' careers, for
example, the careers that Julia Cudy (ph) the couriers of Rebeca Diamond.
You know, all of this women, actually have the legal right to complain about sexual harassment in America and keep their jobs. And what has motivated me in this fight for the last few weeks is how dare they drive women out who have the right to that decency in their employment?
HILL: And you know what, Lisa --.
BLOOM: And this wasn't respected.
HILL: And you know what, Lisa, what's interesting to me also, and I agree with everything you just said is that it wasn't the complaints ultimately that moved FOX News. FOX News doesn't have principles that it has interests. And at some point when advertisers are running away at large volumes and they said, hey, wait a minute. We have to do something here, not because of the complaints ultimately, but because they were losing too much money. That's a sad commentary.
LEMON: Well, let's -- you were talking about driving women out. Because FOX has lost its CEO, Roger Ails. You guys know that. Three of its biggest stars, Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly, Greta Van Susteren. And then here is Bill O'Reilly defending Roger Ails. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'REILLY, FORMER FOX NEW HOST: I have worked for Roger Ails for 20 years, right. Best boss I have ever had. Straight shooter. Always honest with me. And I believe over the years he has been in the business for 50 years, 95 percent of the people who work for Roger Ails will say the same thing I just told you. I stand behind Roger 100 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[23:20:05] LEMON: So Alan, it sounds like these two stuck together without Roger Ails was O'Reilly left without his most powerful ally.
DERSHOWTIZ: Look. He survived even after many, many acquisition over many, many years something happened which was different. It wasn't just the accumulation of accusers, something different happened which allowed him to leave with his career still, in fact, otherwise he wouldn't have left. That's not Bill O'Reilly.
So there's something we don't know. I suspect it's the tape. Others of your guest think it is something else. But it is not simply the accumulation. Because his fans would continue to support him, whether it was 13 women. 15 women, 20 women. His fans would continue to support him. Listening to his voice on tape, that would have destroyed everything.
HILL: Alan, I'm not discounting your tape there. I'm just saying until we have proof of it, I just don't want to lean on it too much. This is not actually proven to --.
But I think it's the thing, again, it could be, a lot of things could be true, we don't know. But what's interesting to me is that it's not just accumulation it's advertisers. I agree with you. It's not that just suddenly there's so many women we have to walk away. The issue was suddenly advertisers were walking away. And that's a different issue here. And it also could be these --.
LEMON: But don't you think --.
BLOOM: It was a concerted effort by a group of women led by me and my law firm who day after day after day, we are calling in complaints who are going on TV despite the fear, who are putting the public pressure on, who are going to advertisers. Maybe it is the people who actually made this happen. Maybe that's what happened, Alan.
LEMON: And it is also - but also, Brian?
STELTER: Why didn't he fight back?
BLOOM: He did fight back. He attacked me --
LEMON: This is the next part of the question, I also think part of it is because the culture has changed. I think the culture has changed. And certainly when we look at all of the Cosby accusers and we look at what is happening with Bill Cosby. And also think of all of the accusers now for Bill O'Reilly.
I think the culture has changes. And I think women aren't putting up with this. I don't think the culture is putting up with this at this moment. And it may have been instead of one particular thing a confluent of events that led to this particular moment. Because he could survive without advertisers. He is right. He could survive. It's not like they took the money from FOX News they just reallocated it, Brian.
STELTER: No, the answer is all of the above. So many pieces that lined up in the situation, the spotlight of "the New York Times," the advertisers abandoned him. Reports from new women coming forward for the first time, finding the courage to do so, you know. And all of those factors made it impossible for O'Reilly to hold to this job.
LEMON: Lisa, let me add. This is a statement, OK, that he basically saying this is a witch hunt, alright. He said it is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back at my time at Fox with great pride and the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers.
What is your response to that?
BLOOM: Well, if it is a witch hunt ding dong, the witch is dead. And if is unfounded why did the poll ways loss or in which represents Fox News and its parent company find sufficient reason to fire him? And they found sufficient reasons because we worked with them day after day giving them the evidence that they needed to say that these charges are substantiated. These things did not just happen, they were made to happen by my clients and my law firm and by all the hard work. And I want those women to get credit for what they did because they were terrified. And we worked with them. But ultimately, they walked through the fire and they did this. And they deserve the credit.
LEMON: And if it wasn't for their, them telling their story, none of this would come out.
HILL: And the years of activism against Bill O'Reilly - I mean, (INAUDIBLE) has been extraordinary. But for years, of media organizations, watch over organizations. Spoken out not just against sexual harassment but against racism, against xenophobia, anti-Muslim sentiments, Islamphobia, all of this stuff has been part of a conservative effort to challenge the narratives that come out of FOX News. And I think what's really important. I think what least to saying is critical that it is the effort, it is the push back, it is the fight that made this happen.
LEMON: Thank you all. I appreciate it.
When we come back New England Patriot's star Aaron Hernandez found dead in his prison cell, apparently a suicide. The latest on the investigation into his shocking death.
[23:38:25] LEMON: Prison officials in Massachusetts say that former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found dead this morning in his cell, an apparent suicide. He was serving a life sentence following conviction of first degree murder.
I want to bring in CNN contributor, Susan Candiotti who has been covering Aaron Hernandez's troubles from the very beginning.
Susan, good evening to you. The news of Hernandez suicide came as a shocker. He went from incredibly talented to incredibly trouble. Take us through what happened today and how Hernandez came to such a tragic end.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Don, you know, this is a stunner. And like so many other people I woke up to the news of the suicide just shaking my head.
Just five days after he has found not guilty of killing two people, when he was emotional in hugging his lawyers and then going back to prison in a life sentence for killing Odin Lloyd, 3:00 a.m. today, usually there are hourly checks but he has found dead hanging from a bed sheet attached to a cell window. Objects found jammed against the inside of his locked cell door to make it hard to open. Efforts to revive him fail.
Such a promising life and a career ending like this. For many of those who knew him in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut, sadness. He had such a great start in life. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): The idea that Hernandez could have murdered three young men shocks though who remember him growing up in Bristol, Connecticut.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aaron was our golden boy. He had the family traits, his father and uncle were stand out athletes.
[23:30:00] CANDIOTTI: His older brother DJ was a sports hero too. Bob Montgomery covers high school sports for the Bristol press.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aaron did track, in addition to football also does basketball. He was a scribed in any sport he played as a man playing with children.
CANDIOTTI: Hernandez's athletic ability was partly genetic, partly parental influence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His father was pretty strict. I mean, he told me his father used to make him shoot 500 shots before he went sometimes to play with his friends.
CANDIOTTI: That father-son relationship comes up in jails conversations between sheriff Thomas Hudson and Hernandez after his arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His dad clearly kept him anchored.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw a closeness with them that I have never seen before. There was something about Dennis and Aaron the way they intertwined it was magic in my eyes.
CANDIOTTI: Magic that didn't last, ending when Hernandez was just 16 years old. Brad McMillan and Andrew Rogali were on his basketball team.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coach walks in and says Dennis has passed away.
CANDIOTTI: Dennis Hernandez, Aaron's father, his anchor, died unexpectedly after routine hernia surgery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Couldn't stop the tears.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Felt uncomfortable to see him so hurt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly at 16 years old losing your father, it would be very easy to fall into the lifestyle of following the people that don't help you make the best choices.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then, Don, he goes on to the University of Florida. He gets great stats. But as my sources have told me, he had issues. He was cited for example for using marijuana. And once when he was out at a bar with quarterback Tim Tebow at one point who was his roommates, he gets into a beef over a bar bill and police say that Hernandez sucker punched the bar manager causing him to lose his hearing for a time.
And then there were just other issues as well. We talked to several people who said he had a hair-trigger anger. And my sources at the University of Florida said that as long as they could keep an eye on him on the field, no problem. The problem was when he was away from the field. And they called it a recipe for disaster -- Don.
LEMON: Susan, let's talk about this a little bit more because the death of his father does it all come from -- stem back to that moment that he started to change, because a lot of people have issues but don't end up where Aaron Hernandez is.
CANDIOTTI: Exactly. Well that is what a lot of people believe. That is what a lot of people who knew him intimately think is what happened and really played a major role. For example, Hernandez talked quite a bit with the sheriff when he was initially arrested and talked about really missing his father. And the sheriff actually talked him about that and tried to get to open up about it. And they were very, very close. That's what a lot of people said. And things did seem to take a dark turn after his father's death.
LEMON: All right. Susan, I want you to stick around.
When we come back, I want to talk about what could be a bizarre twist in this case.
[23:37:29] LEMON: Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez found dead this morning in his prison cell. Officials say he hanged himself.
Back with Alan Dershowitz now and Susan Candiotti.
So Alan, Hernandez's attorney Jose Baez issued a statement about the apparent suicide and here is what he said. The family and legal team was shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron's death. There were no conversations or correspondents from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like that was possible. Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence. Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determine to find out the truths surrounding his untimely death. We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation.
So Alan, the prison Hernandez is in has a terrible reputation for violence. A lot of people are questioning whether Hernandez committed suicide at all. What do you think?
DERSHOWTIZ: Well, it certainly will have an investigation. He just won an acquittal. He had at least some chance of prevailing on appeal, certainly of getting the charges reduced from first degree murder to a lower offense because first degree murder in the Massachusetts were really not satisfied in the first trial. You know, in the first trial, the prosecutions tried to introduce
evidence at the second murder in the first trial. It's very fortunate that judge kept that out because if they hadn't kept it out, then perhaps this acquittal would have resulted in a reversal. That conviction had he remained alive.
Look, this is a tragedy for everybody. Certainly for the victim, certainly for his family. But the rule in Massachusetts and the rule in many other places is that if an appeal is still pending, then the conviction can't really stand because the defendant didn't have a chance to complete the criminal process which includes an appeal.
LEMON: Yes. I want to talk about - let's just put that up now because this is a bizarre legal twist that you are talking about because he died before his appeal process could be resolved, for practical purposes, his conviction is wiped out. Here's how the chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts bar association described it. He said Aaron Hernandez goes to his death an innocent man under the eyes of the law, as if the case never existed. Why is a law like that on the books and do you think it's a fair one?
DERSHOWTIZ: Well first of all that over states it. He doesn't go as completely innocent as if it never existed. What happens is under the law because the appellate process hasn't been completed. And of course, there's chance it could have been reversed on appeal. He is deemed as if the conviction hadn't occurred for legal purposes. The conviction didn't occur. So that, for example, the family of victims trying to sue him cannot say look there's been a conviction and therefore we don't have to prove the crime itself. All we have to do is prove damages.
Now the family will have to go and probably has to prove the crime itself. And so, it makes it more difficult to the family. But it's not like as if nothing happened. You can't erase. You can't un-ring the bell of life in this way.
[23:40:34] LEMON: What I'm wondering, Susan, is what sort of - what does this mean for the daughter and the wife as far as keep, you know, keeping his money?
CANDIOTTI: Well, I mean, that's certainly as Alan was explaining that will be taken up in civil court. So it is unclear how this will impact them. And then there's also the consideration, Don, as you indicated what about the victim's family of Odin Lloyd as an example. His mother who is Ursula Ward I spoke with her attorney today, his name is Douglas Shef (ph). And he said that he actually hopes that this won't have any bearing on the civil judgment. He won a summary judgment already and they are now battling over the liability charges. So he already has one summary judgment on getting Hernandez's home and his car. And Mr. Shef said Ursula Ward the mother of Odin Lloyd who forgave Aaron Hernandez right after that conviction. He said that she is very circumspect about all of this. And I think in his words, she said justice is justice no matter what happens next.
LEMON: Susan, he was acquitted of a double murder - hang on, Alan. He was acquitted of double murder charge just this past Friday. Alan mentioned that. And his attorneys were appealing the 2013 murder conviction of his friend Odin Lloyd that landed him life sentence, why would he kill himself now?
CANDIOTTI: Yes, that is the question, of course, everyone is asking. And there's no evidence of any suicide note. Interestingly, one of his former teammates at the University of Florida, Mike Pouncey, with the Miami Dolphins, he posted on Instagram today that he had a conversation with Hernandez just the other day and talked about his heart hurting. That is to say Mike Pouncey's heart hurting over what has happened.
And I also had contact with the widow of one of the double murder victims, Daniel de Abreu and his widow said that she just doesn't know what to make of this. She is as shocked as everyone else as she put it. She said he is a young man who had so many chances and that his guilt caught up to him. Those are her words.
LEMON: Alan, you talked about the acquittal. Did he stand a good chance of acquittal in the Odin Lloyd case in your opinion?
DERSHOWTIZ: I wouldn't say a good chance. I think he had a good chance getting the charges reduced from first degree murder which would have given him light at the end of the tunnel. He could actually been released after some years.
But getting back to the civil liability, remember the O.J. Simpson case. He was acquitted by a jury unanimously of the crime. Nonetheless, he was successfully sued and the family did win a very, very large verdict against him.
So the fact that there is no conviction, doesn't mean it never happened. It means for criminal purposes it never happened but for civil purposes, the family has the right to establish it did happen. My prediction here is the family with probably in the end collect though they may have to do it in a more serquitous route than they would have had he stayed alive and had the appeal been thrown out.
LEMON: Who is going to lead this investigation into whether it was a suicide or whether something else happened, Alan?
DERSHOWTIZ: Well, I think the district attorney's office has to lead the investigation.
Look, he was blessed with two of the best lawyers representing him, both of whom I know. They did a terrific job and they are not going to let go. They are going to make sure there as a transparent investigation. And I think everybody is interested in knowing what happened. Nobody wants there to be a murder in a prison.
DERSHOWTIZ: If it's a suicide, look, you can't help that. But you want to protect the prisoners against the other prisoners.
LEMON: I got to go, Susan, but I want to ask you. The same day his team goes to the White House for winning the super bowl. I mean, my goodness.
CANDIOTTI: The timing of this is amazing. I mean, if you really want to go down a certain path you have to think did he somehow know about that? I don't know how that's possible. But you know I mean, he was just back slapping his lawyers the other day in court. It's just hard to understand.
LEMON: Thank you both. I appreciate it.
When we come back I'm going to sit down with superstar Andra Day.
[23:48:59] LEMON: An exciting new series tomorrow night at 10:00 right here on CNN. It is called "Sound Tracks, songs that defined history." And it explores the impact of music on our lives.
Singer and songwriter Andra Day is featured in the series. And I got a chance to chat with her one on one.
LEMON: You are really on a roll, right? The first album came out two summers ago. Cheers to the fall. You are in two Grammy nominations. You had a standout performance at the Grammys, that award show, you performed your hit "Rise Up" at the White House twice.
Can you believe all this? Your voice has been compared to Jazz legend Billy Holiday, Aretha Kit (ph) and also Amy Winehouse. I mean, what is fell like to be Andrea?
ANDRA DAY, SINGER/SONGWRITER: You don't sleep very much. You are busy. But I mean, it's amazing. You know, this is kind of -- I can't say this is exactly what I dreamed about when I was young, because this turned out to be bigger than, you know, my dreams. And I'm grateful for that. I guess, honestly, what I experience every day is just gratitude.
[23:50:03] LEMON: "Rise up," so that came from your soul?
DAY: Oh, yes.
LEMON: Because you were rising up.
DAY: Absolutely. You know, "rise up," I always say "rise up" really started as a prayer. It was just kind of -- there was a lot going on I think in my personal life and in my career, and a friend had just been diagnosed with cancer. And you know, when you are an artist, you sort of romanticize what the music business is, right before you actually working in it. And then when you get in, there's a lot of things that surprise you. You know, some are good and some are bad. And so, it was kind of like navigating that and questioning my path and what I should be doing. And I remember just praying and just asking God saying, what -- just speak. Like speak something that would be encouraging to me right now. LEMON: I remember watching the convention in 2016 Democratic
convention. And everybody was kind of speechless, the audience was speechless because of this moment. The mothers of the slain boys, Trayvon Martin and (INAUDIBLE) as well. They stood on stage in support of Hillary Clinton. So tell me about that appearance and the emotion for that moment with those grieving, yet strong women.
DAY: Yes. I think -- well, first of all, I was kind of caught by surprise. I didn't know I was going on right after them. And so it -- to meet them backstage, to see them backstage, I didn't know they were even going to be there. And so, once I went backstage and was preparing for show, I saw them and I just went and was just kind of weeping with them, because, you know, it was -- I was sad for their loss, but I was also inspired because I haven't had to experience what they specifically have experienced. But they were still here. They were lifting their voices. They were - they understood that their purpose for being there was bigger than just them and just their pain. They were speaking into everyone's pain. And so, it was hard to keep it together at that point.
LEMON: Why do you think that, you know, this Black Lives Matter, been reporting on the floor. I mean, your song became the anthem for - not only part of the election but for that movement. Do you realize the history in that?
DAY: Yes. Absolutely. And I was actually speaking to one of the founders of Black Lives Matter the other day before it was even Black Lives Matter, when it was the, you know, justice for Trayvon Martin movement. And, you know, history obviously is much deeper with civil rights and then you go into mass incarceration. And you know, it is -- for me, the song, my desire is really for it to be transcending, right. It just speaks into struggle. But the fact that it's been adopted by the Black Lives Matter movement or just by the black community in this country in general just says, you know, it says two things. Again, it reminds me of the power of my platform and my duty as an artist to create music that, you know, brings about change. But it also kind of reminded me, we have a lot of fighting to do still, you know. And just because some things have sort of fallen more to the back ground, it doesn't mean they are not present and we are not still dealing with these things. And so, it's this twofold in that way for me.
LEMON: Let's talk about soundtracks, eight-part series. Songs that define the history. Eight-part series. You're in it a lot. It explores music, pivotal moment in history, it talks about, you know, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and all those things. Why did you want to do this series?
DAY: You know, I mean, I'm drawn to it first of all because everyone in it made music that inspired me and, you know, made me into the artist I am now. But I see, just looking through our history, and then in my own life, how influential music is. You know, music can cause revolutions around the world. And can change legislation, you know, and give us freedom that we have been looking for and equality that we have been looking for. And I think that's why it was important to me. LEMON: Do you think that the movement would have been the same
without the music, without the soundtrack?
DAY: I think the movement would not have been the same. I don't think it would have been the same timeline without the music. I think the movement would have happened because it needed to happen. It was born out of necessity, obviously. But I don't think the timeline would have been the same. I don't think the awareness would have been the same. You know, it was kind of music that spoke into people's spirits and their psyche to say hey, what are these lyrics talking about? We need to be aware of what is going on. And so, I actually think, you know, the movement would have happened. It wouldn't have looked the same and I think the timeline might have been a little slower without music at that time.
[23:55:06] LEMON: It's been a pleasure.
DAY: Always. Always. Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you so much.
LEMON: It was indeed an honor.
Before we leave you tonight, here's a preview of a musical journey unlike any other soundtrack. Songs that define history. The new CNN original series premieres tomorrow night at 10:00.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Music is an explosive expression of humanity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every movement has to have a song.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The music will always remind us that it is possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One small step for man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is what anthems are made of.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's about standing up for your rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were killing our own children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought, what in the hell are we going to do that for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a cultural, political statement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Music is a vehicle for revolution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That kind of courage changed how I viewed human beings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The aftermath of 9/11, everybody was in it together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody has to put this into words and emotions for everyone to hear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is how we remember history.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Soundtracks, songs that defined history, premieres tomorrow on CNN at 10:00.