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White House Reigniting Its Feud With The Nfl; Thousands Of People In Mississippi And Alabama Without Power Knocked Out By Hurricane Nate; U.S. Intelligence Officials Have No Doubt Russia Meddled In The Presidential Election; Movie And Tv Producer, Harvey Weinstein, Has Been Forced Out Of The Company That Bears His Last Name. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 8, 2017 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:07] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Top of the hour. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Great to have you with us.

The White House is reigniting its feud with the NFL. And this time, Vice President Mike Pence is right in the center of it, walking out of the game being played by his hometown Indianapolis Colts after opposing players kneeled during the national anthem. Now, the vice President tweeted minutes after leaving quote "I left today's Colts' game, because the President and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag or our national anthem.

Also, on twitter today, an extraordinary exchange of insults between the President and a top Republican senator after being slammed by President Trump, Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said this, it's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.

Now, Corker was responding to tweets President Trump fired off this morning. And then, President Trump claims Corker quote "begged" the President to endorse him for re-election. He also said Corker wanted to be secretary of state, but he turned him down. President Trump then went on to blame Corker for the Iran deal.

CNN Ryan Nobles is live outside the White House and CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter is here in New York.

Lots to talk about guys. First to you, Ryan. And what do we know about Pence's decision to leave that NFL game?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that the President is taking credit for it. Shortly after vice president Pence tweeted out his reasoning for leaving the game early saying that it I because he was upset with the fact that NFL players, particularly those players on the 49ers were kneeling during the national anthem.

The President himself also went on twitter and said that he had told the vice President ahead of time that if players kneel that they should leave. This was the President's tweet. I asked VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneel, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and second lady Pence.

And in the timing of all of this, the fact that the vice President was so quick to leave and had the tweets ready to go. It was 1:08. It was a 1:00 kickoff. Now, the fact that the President responded so quickly has many Thinking that it was some sort of planned stunt ahead of time. This was a designed by the White House to get some attention. In fact, one of the players from 49ers in the locker after the game described it as such. He said it was a PR stunt. And Eric Reed is a safety up for the 49ers said this is what systematic oppression looks like.

So if the White House is looking to reignite this problem all over again or this controversy, I should say, they were successful.

CABRERA: Sorry about that stepping on you there for a second, Ryan. But I do want to play that sound, you had just a snippet of that reaction from the 49ers. So let's listen to it.



ERIC REED, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS SAFETY: With the information that I have, the last time we had done closed hands three years ago, so this looks like a PR stunt to me. He knew, I have seen this happen, most players protests. He knew that we were probably going to do it again. And so, this is what the stimulation of oppression looks like, a man with power comes, tweets a few things out and leave the game with an attempt to abort our efforts.


CABRERA: I mean, essentially, Brian, he say this was a protest of their protest. And in some ways, it ignored the root of the protest that they have, had been trying to call attention to which is the oppression and injustice, racial injustice

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I saw someone suggesting during the game maybe Pence could have gone down to the locker room, had some conversation with the players. That would be a way to actually engage in discussion about racism and an oppression and the reason why these players do kneel during the national anthem.

Instead, Pence is flying back to the west coast, you know. He was in Las Vegas this time yesterday with victims and survivors of the Las Vegas massacre. Then he purposely flew to Indiana, seemingly, for this game. Now, he is heading back to the west coast for a fundraiser.

So that is all the more reason to think that this was a stunt, a very expensive stunt. Again on the taxpayer's dime. Pence is free, of course, to do and say what he wants. He is the vice President. He can have the right to say whatever he wants about the anthem protest. But it is news worthy that the White House and the vice President seem to want to make this in the news again, seem to want to reignite, as Ryan said, this controversy. CABRERA: Yes. The President also wanting to reignite the controversy

between him and Bob Corker in the Senate because that was he was tweeting all about this morning, this feud between him and Bob Corker. How did we get here, Ryan?

NOBLES: Sometimes we ask ourselves that question almost every day. Don't we, Ana? But in this particular feud, this was something that really, you know, the beginning of it was back in August. And that's when Senator Corker talked about President Trump's competency. And then this week, he announced that he was not going to seek reelection. And then on Wednesday, talked about the President's administration, these cabinet officials around him. I'm going to play you both of those sound bites. Take a listen.


[19:05:03] SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and chief of staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos.

The President has not yet, has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.


NOBLES: And we have known, since Donald Trump ran for President, even before that, when he was a businessman, that if someone attacks him, he attacks right back. And so he went on twitter this morning and basically said that Bob Corker begged him for his endorsement. When he didn't get it, that's when he decided not to run for reelection.

Ana, Corker's office flatly rejects that version of the story. The Chief of staff Todd Womack put out a statement today where he said the President called senator Corker on Monday afternoon and asked him do reconsider his decision not to seek reelection and reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him, as he has said, many times. They are essentially calling the President a liar here.

And you know, Ana, I think it's important to point out that, you know, even though Bob Corker has had some choice words for the President, he has appeared with him during rallies. He has been a supporter in the Senate, voting for key pieces of legislation that the President needs. This is not somebody that's been on a war path against Donald Trump. Sense some very specific criticisms. So the idea that the President has now lashed out him against someone whose vote he still needs through the end of 2018 is still puzzling.

CABRERA: And Brian, obviously, the President has held no punches in the past when he feels under attack by somebody personally. But why this senator, why now?

STELTER: Yes. He is on the top of the counter puncher in chief. And he will always counter punch. I think it's notable, Corker's comment. His tweet about the adult day care, ten times as many shares on twitter today as the President tweets. So what Corker is saying is being shared for and while it is being heard far and wide. And it gets to the -- I think the biggest question of the year, is the President fit for office? Is he stable? Does he have the stability? And as Corker had said, the competency to be President? If this is what Corker is saying and he has able to speak for he is retiring, what are his fellow GOP senators saying? I'm really curious to see does anyone want to stand up next to Corker and agree with him or stay silent?

CABRERA: We will see. Thank you Brian Stelter and Ryan Nobles.

Let's continue our conversation. The President still going after Senator Corker. In fact, his latest tweet reads, Bob Corker gave us the Iran deal and that's about it. We need health care. We need tax cuts, reform, we need people that can get the job done!

With me now writer of the "Washington Post" right turn blog Jennifer Rubin and David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst and former adviser to four U.S. Presidents both Republican and Democrat.

So David, that last tweet, the President is right. Those things need to get done if he is going to continue to try to work on his agenda. Bur doesn't he need Corker to help him with that?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. The most distressing thing about this last series of events is that the President has chosen to pick fights with the national football league and with Bob Corker at the very time when the country is on edge, because in the last 48 hours, he has been suggesting we may be on the verge of war with North Korea. And he has a huge decision to put before the country and the Congress next week on Iran.

There are big national security issues, coming to a boil right now and it's the worst time to have a strained relationship not only with your secretary of state but now with the chairman of Senate foreign relations committee who is going to be pivotal. And yes, it does hold implications as Jennifer conveyed down the road on the budget because he needs Corker for his tax reforms, too, his tax cuts.

CABRERA: And Jennifer, I want to talk about what Corker said, though, implying the President was a child and need adults to take care of him. And that is stunning.

JENNIFER RUBIN, WRITER, RIGHT TURN BLOG, WASHINGTON POST: It is, but it's perhaps not. I think what's stunning is that he is the only one now who feels empowered to speak truth to the President of his own party.

Frankly, people in private say things like this all the time and things much worse than that. The President's stability, his self- control and his discipline are highly in question at this point. And not only are all these foreign policy issues as David absolutely correctly says boiling over, but just yesterday, we had another neo- Nazi march in Charlottesville. And we are not hearing a lot about that, probably because the President pulled this stunt again, another divisive issue with the vice President and he has now taken on the Senate foreign relations chairman. He does this constant distraction, constant controversy so that he won't be held accountable. So that he will dominate the news cycle, whatever it is. This is not the behavior of a stable, competent, successful President. And I think the Republicans do themselves a huge disservice, not only to this President and the country but the party's long-term capacity for leadership, by remaining silent. And my hope would be that more people, not fewer people, would speak out and try to urge the President, try to get him back on the straight and narrow and, if not, to take measures that they think are necessary so that Congress has more control over some issues, which in many cases is possible.

[19:00:30] CABRERA: Well, it's interesting because what you said sends an awful lot like what Ted Lieu said. He is a Democrat, of course, in congress. Let's listen.


REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: I wish I could replay what people tell me on the floor from my colleagues across the aisle.

CABRERA: What are you hearing?

LIEU: I can't do that, but they are similar to Senator Corker. I can just say this. The President is not respected by many members of Congress. You are seeing that play out in terms of failed legislation. And you see that played out when the President goes after and singles out individual members of Congress and attacks them. That's not how you build relationships.


CABRERA: David, if a lot of Republicans are saying this behind the scenes, why is it taking an outgoing law maker to actually speak up?

GERGEN: Well, you have got to remember, they are in politics. And they like to be reelected and break with the President at this particular moment. It does require a lot of courage unless you are in a safe district because you will get primary and you are going to have in a fight. You are going to be in fight with the White House. And so, if Bob Corker is one of the few people who is really liberated.

I do think Jennifer is right, so is the congressman, that behind closed doors, there is more than a whispering campaign now. There is a lot of fear and anxiety among members of the Senate and among - and some Republicans in the House. It's not shared by the base yet. But you begin to say things crack. And when that happens, unless the President can pull out a victory or two or show us that he is in- charge in an effective way with North Korea or Iran, is this is a slide that could be very dangerous for him, some would argue not very good for the country.

CABRERA: You know, the event today that happened with the vice President leaving the NFL game after some of the players kneeled during the national anthem, we learned shortly after that Trump told Pence to leave if that had happened. So, Jennifer, was this all just a political stunt and was it effective? RUBIN: Of course, it was a political stunt. And this is what Trump

does. He simply feeds red meat to his base. And it really, I think it has reached the point of diminishing returns.

David is right. The last AP polls show him at a 32 percent approval rating. Also showed his support among Republicans down to 67 percent. Now that may sound like a lot. But that is a dreadful number for an incumbent President on his own party's level of support. And you will also see other polls showing a high level of pessimism about the Republican Party.

Trump is running now against the Republican Party. His ally Steve Bannon is coming up, not only with one, but we think a batch of primary opponents. He is working across purposes. He insults and attacks his Senate majority leader. This is not someone who is crafting a governing strategy. And those people who say this is some genius 14-level chess game. This is all very sophisticated indicated. I don't think so. This is just totally out of control. And I think it really gets down to his personality and temperamental disorder that prevents him from leading a country.

CABRERA: Well, that word chaos has been grown up. In fact, there was Bob Corker who used that earlier. But let's take a step back for just a second, David, and look at the events that have transpired in the last week.

President Trump visits Puerto Rico. Lambasted for the paper towel incident.

President Trump visits Las Vegas, calling for unity, secretary of state Rex Tillerson didn't deny calling Trump a moron in the press to address the report.

Senator Bob Corker says the grownup is mad.

Tillerson and Kelly are keeping the world from chaos.

Trump makes cryptic comments, calm before the storm. Says you will see what he was referring to.

And then he also suggests that an intel committee investigate news networks.

President Trump goes after late night TV hosts, calls for equal time. He tweets when it comes to North Korea, there is only one thing that will work. And then today, of course, he goes after the sitting senator and renews the national debate about kneeling at NFL games.

Whew, David, what do you think?

GERGEN: That's a long litany. What do I think about on my Monday? I've forgotten about my Friday because so many other things have happened in between.

CABRERA: I can't remember what happened Thursday. GERGEN: I think it's emotionally exhausting for the country. And

listen, in his favor, you have to say, look, he handled Harvey right the storm with Irma right. And he got into Texas. He got into Florida and that sort of thing. He was terrible on Puerto Rico, you know.

But he -- and Vegas, you have to say that he went out and had good conversations. He did what a President should do. He was more quote "Presidential," if we still think about that and Trump in the same sentence.

But the fact is the litany you just read off is so damaging and it is -- I cannot stress this enough. The single most important thing that's happened in the last few days is Trump has told us, you know, watch out. A storm is coming. And he then told us, talk doesn't work with the North Koreans. We have only one option.

That was extremely ominous. We may be coming into one hell of a bad period of American policy, very tense, very dangerous and instead of focusing on that and seeking out the best advice from serious people in the country, he has got these games going on. You know, he clearly wired that thing with Pence. They talked ahead of time or communicated ahead of time. They knew exactly what was going to happen, you know. And as Ryan said in the last segment, you know, it's on the taxpayer's dime. How much is it costing the taxpayer to have a foolish political stunt like this, especially stressing on the edge what could be major quarrels and conflicts with other nations.

[19:16:30] CABRERA: David Gergen and Jennifer Rubin, thank you both for being here. We always appreciate when you come on.

GERGEN: Thank you.

RUBIN: Thanks.

CABRERA: Ahead this hour, news threats, what's left of hurricane Nate, spawning tornadoes across the southeast.

Plus, a week after a deadly massacre in Las Vegas, police are piecing together what they have learned. What a handwritten note in a gunman hotel room is revealing.

And later, engineers in Russia, how he protest outside an Islamic center in Houston was actually created and planned by a controlled factory in Russia.

You are live in CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:21:08] CABRERA: Thousands of people in Mississippi and Alabama without power knocked out by hurricane Nate. The storm hit the gulf coast just east of New Orleans, while tonight pushing water into beach towns as far as Mobile, Alabama.

Now, here is where the storm is now, downgraded to a tropical depression.

Meteorologist Tom Sater is in the severe weather center.

Tom, the storm has the potential to cause a lot more damage than it did. How does the southeast come out of this with so little damage, really?

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, if this would have been moving in five to ten miles per hour, this would have been a completely different story. And I do believe it would have been a category two or three. But because it was moving 20, 25, 26, they just can't develop.

Now, we have to remember Nate was a deadly storm. It took 28 precious lives in Central America with flash flooding and the landslides. So we did have a good six-foot storm surge I past (INAUDIBLE), but at landfall area in Biloxi, 10 feet.

The evacuation save lives. There is no doubt about it. I'm not sure what this gentleman is doing out there. But no injury is reported, so I guess he is OK. The remnants still moving now quickly. Notice the brighter colors to the east. What we are seeing is still the threat for severe weather. We have had numerous tornado warnings.

And not just tornadoes that are popping up and just disappearing. We are having power outages. We are having downed trees. And we are getting structural damage. We will see if there is any more right now. There have been a few in South Carolina and North Carolina. But right now it seems to be -- we are in the clear. It doesn't mean we couldn't have a few more.

The precipitation shield, though, over that high terrain of the Appalachian spine is severely creating some possibilities of flash flooding. Therefore, some watches and warnings.

Watch how fast the shield moves into the mid-Atlantic area, moves to the northeast. This is going to be a headache for anyone that is going to flying for business or pleasure later on this evening and through the day tomorrow because what is still left of Nate and the remnants, carry that heavy amount of rainfall, even in areas such as Cincinnati, Columbus, up towards Cleveland, Pittsburgh, into Charlotte.

So just to give you an idea, this is based on weather, it's a forecast of possible delays. You can do that business. The gulf coastal area, Pensacola airport wasn't going to open until tomorrow morning. But they did a soft opening today. There are shares, there are some cleanup on the coast. But again, no major structural damage.

Atlanta winds, possible 30, 45 minutes delays. Then you get to run Dulles international, Reagan national, BWI. That would be tonight and tomorrow with the rain and the wind. Philadelphia, volume is not as great. So it's only 15 to 30-minute delays.

But Ana, there you have it, New York, metro areas, New York, LaGuardia, and JFK all have the possibility of some delays. So pack your patience with that as well. But quite significant from a landfall, you know, in the gulf coastal states and the system is moving off the northeastern coast, you know, 24 hours later.

CABRERA: Yes. It's just so crazy how many hurricanes and named storms that we have had this year. I mean, is this expected? Is there any good explanation to it?

SATER: Well, we have a - it is a hyperactive year. We have known the water temperatures are extremely warm. There isn't any dry air to break these systems down. So what they are doing is rapidly intensifying. We have seen this.

Nate was the ninth consecutive name storm to make it to hurricane strength. That's only happened once that we believe in history in 1893. But they didn't have satellite data back there.

So again, most likely we are going to have a couple more. We got in the season until the end of November, unfortunately. But I think we have all had enough. We are hurricane wary.

CABRERA: No doubt about it. Tom Sater, thank you very much.


CABRERA: Are you dancing along with me? That person is country singer Jason Aldean performing on SNL last night singing that famous Tom Petty song to honor the victims of last Sunday's shooting. We will tell you what he did today to give back to the city and mourning. Live to Las Vegas next.


[19:29:29] CABRERA: Country music superstar Jason Aldean on "Saturday Night live" paying tribute to rock 'n' roll legends Tom Petty and also the victims of the musical festival in Las Vegas. Aldean was performing on stage in Las Vegas when the killer opened fire last week. Before this song, a very serious moment, Aldean sharing his thoughts on moving forward after the tragedy.


JASON ALDEAN, COUNTRY SINGER: This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. You can be sure we are going to walk through these tough times together every step of the way. Because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit is unbreakable.


[19:30:16] CABRERA: Meanwhile, back in Las Vegas, at the site of this massacre, there has been a major development. Investigators have figured out the meaning of those numbers left under a piece of paper on a tape in the gunman's hotel room.

CNN's Stephanie Elam is joining us in Las Vegas with this new detail -- Stephanie.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, what we have learned now is that these calculations, investigators believe it was actually math. The final numbers for looking at where his bullets would go across Las Vegas Boulevard.

Take a listen to what David Newton from the Las Vegas metropolitan police department had to say on CBS.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were the numbers? I'm trying to -- he had done calculations or --

OFFICER DAVID NEWTON, LAS VEGAS POLICE: Yes, he had written - he must have done the calculations or gone online or something to figure it out of what his altitude was going to be on how high up he was, how far out the crowd was going to be, at that distance, what the drop of his bullet was going to be.


ELAM: And while that is another clue added into the details, they still do not know the motive for the 64-year-old man to open up and start shooting upon all these concert-goers, still looking for a motive here, but just one other detail that they have now figured out, Ana.

CABRERA: Meantime, that community is trying to heal, trying to make sense of all of this. We are seeing more gestures, outpouring, support, love. Jason Aldean who was performing at the time of the shooting. I understand that he is back there in Vegas today. What is he doing?

ELAM: Yes, he is keeping up on his word that he was talking about the healing process that we heard him talking about on "Saturday Night Live" last night. He did show up here in Las Vegas today at the University Medical Center where he went in and met with some of the critical patients there, hoping to maybe lift their spirits, help encourage them on, on the long road ahead as they are on the road to recovery. But obviously, for some of these folks, to see the country star the superstar walking in. He was performing at that time, hopefully, that was a little helpful for them today.

CABRERA: That's nice.

Stephanie Elam in Las Vegas, thank you.

Ten minutes. That's how long it took the Las Vegas gunman to kill 58 people and ruin nearly 500 other concert-goers. Many of those killed left behind children, husbands or wives but all left behind friends and family who really loved them and needed them. We pause now to remember each one of those whose loss is being felt by an entire nation.


[19:39:44] CABRERA: It was three days since those back-up statements from the commander-in-chief.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Maybe it's the calm before the storm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the storm?

TRUMP: The calm before the storm.


CABRERA: The calm before the storm. We will see. Three days later, we are still none the wiser about what he was actually talking about. The comments have sparked a storm of alarmed speculation.

Joining me now to try to make some sense of all this is retired rear admiral John Kirby. He is a CNN military and diplomatic analyst and also served as Pentagon press secretary and state department spokesman under President Obama.

Admiral, thanks for spending your time, part of your weekend with us. The President followed up those comments with equally cryptic tweets this weekend on North Korea. Listen to the reaction from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington on our air last night.


[19:40:35] CABRERA: I have to ask about your reaction to President Trump tweeting just an hour or so ago, only one thing will work in North Korea, what do you think he means?

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D), WASHINGTON: Well, Ana, I think it's incredibly irresponsible. These are war tweets is what it looks like. It's, you know, undermining all of his negotiators who are trying to find other ways I believe to address the situation in North Korea. It's terrifying the country.


CABRERA: Admiral, that how you view it? I mean, she talks about these being war tweets.

REAR ADM. REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I do agree that these tweets, not just the tweets recently, Ana, but the things he said in the past the fired and fury comments.

I do believe that they are irresponsible. I do not believe that they are going to work in terms of trying to bringing about a peaceful solution to the North Korea crisis. I don't think that Pyongyang can be bullied or threatened into some sort of submission here. So I do think the President is sort of off kilt with his own staff. I do believe, however, that the national security team, the people

around him, they have been working this problem very, very diligently, since before the inauguration. And I think that they have approached it in a measured, deliberate fashion. I think they are rightly putting diplomacy first, in trying to get a diplomatic solution.

So I'm not excusing the President's tweets. I wish he would stop. I don't think they are helping at all. They certainly - I agree with the congresswoman. They certainly undermining the efforts of his team. But I do think it's important for the American people to realize how hard his team and how well his team is actually functioning in trying to find a diplomatic solution forward.

CABRERA: People talk about the madman theory, that this is all sort of choreographed to keep Pyongyang on their toes. Can you think of anything positive though about the President being so flippant with a possible military conflict with a nuclear adversary?

KIRBY: No, no. Short answer is I can't. I find it irresponsible, these kinds of vague threats or even specific threats about fire and fury. Again, they are not going to work. They are only going to charge the atmosphere that much more and make it harder for any kind of diplomatic solution to be found. I know the state department is working on this very hard. I know they are supported by the defense department. Secretary Mattis and secretary Tillerson are working closely together to try to find a peaceful way forward. And they are doing that in spite of the kinds of actions from the commander-in- chief.

Now, there is a line of logic out there, Ana, that the President rather than being a madman theory, what he is trying to do, rather than undermine Tillerson is try and sort of charge, pressurize the atmosphere for negotiations. In other words, make it sort of a good cop/bad cop thing, making it easier for Tillerson to get Pyongyang to the table. But I just honestly, I'm not a North Korean expert, but those I talk to, they tell me that that strategy is just never going to work.

CABRERA: Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary asked to the President's put out that only one thing will work tweet, she said all options are still on the table. So I mean, it does sounds like conflicting messages. Do you understand or have a vision what the White House's position is on no North Korea?

KIRBY: Well again, I think you have to, as ridiculous as this sounds that we have to even say it. I think you have to separate the President from his national security team on this issue. And he just doesn't seem to be on the same page, at least publicly with the rest of his team. I'm glad to hear Sarah Sanders say that all options are on the table. Because I know that's where secretary Mattis and Secretary Tillerson as well as Ambassador Haley want to be. They still want to find a peaceful diplomatic solution here.

But every time the President says stuff like that, fired and fury, and only one thing will work, he is actually not only closing down his own decision space and his own maneuvering space, because they do sound rather threatening. But he is also closing down the decision space of those in Beijing and those in Pyongyang, you know. He is making it harder for the international community to actually try to help us find some way back to the negotiating table. And you never want to close down the maneuver space in diplomacy and foreign policy. You want to keep it open as much and as long as possible.

CABRERA: How do you think the international community is taking these tweets back and forth between Bob Corker and the President? Maybe they are not paying attention that Bob Corker saying that the White House is an adult day care?

KIRBY: Yes. I think that the international community has long realized that there with is going to be tension between the White House and rest of the government, particularly the White House and Congress. I think they do pay attention to the President's tweets. I do think they are unsettled by a lot of them. But I also think they realize that he has real professional work around him trying to continue to pursue balanced and measured courses forward, at least in some issues, North Korea being one of them.

But I think they're used to these mixed messages coming out of this administration. I'm not saying that they aren't bothered by it. I'm certainly not suggesting they would rather see a nice cohesive tight foreign policy out of Washington. But sadly, I think they're getting a little used to this.

[19:45:33] CABRERA: Rear Admiral John Kirby, always good to have you on. Thank you.

KIRBY: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: Coming up, it was a protest outside an Islamic center in Houston. But what was promoted as a rally for the heart of Texas wasn't even engineered in the U.S., but straight from Russia.

That story next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:50:16] CABRERA: U.S. intelligence officials have no doubt Russia meddled in the Presidential election. But as their investigation continues, we are learning more about the effectiveness of tactics used by Russian operatives, especially on social media. One disturbing example, a recent protest over the open of a library in Houston.

CNN's Clare Sebastian explains.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A small group of anti-Muslim protesters gathered outside an Islamic center in Houston, Texas in May of 2016. A much larger counter ready forms across the street. Just another example of the struggle for tolerance and understanding in America. And yet, this is different. The anti-Muslim protesters were responding to an event promoted on

Facebook. It was organized by a Facebook group (INAUDIBLE) of Texas. It was organized by a patriot group means Heart of Texas.

Heart of Texas, according to sources with knowledge of the matter is among 470 pages of fake accounts Facebook turned over to Congress following is its investigations of ads generated by Russia. As Facebook say came from an organization called internet research agency, that according to those who worked there, operated out of this building in St. Petersburg. More than 5,000 miles from Texas. The Houston rally, an examine principle of a Russian effort that had real impact on the ground.

While the stated mission of heart of Texas was to promote Texas secessionism, CNN has recovered parts of the account that suggests sewing racial and social discord was also part of its playbook. One post asked since when has this country turned into a liberal cesspool full of all sorts of ethnic and sexual minorities. Another raises the issue of voter fraud and argues against gun control.

The Houston rally was small and ended peacefully according to the Houston police department, yet the counsel of Islamic relations in Texas alerted the FBI after a post on the page threatened to quote "blow this place up." Fair in division on the streets of Houston engineered in Russia.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.


CABRERA: We are following breaking news on the Hollywood producer, major Democratic fund-raiser caught in a scandal just three days after the story broke about Harvey Weinstein paying off sexual harassment accusers. He has been fire d from his own company. Details on that coming up next.


[19:57:03] CABRERA: Breaking news in the entertainment world, movie and TV producer, Harvey Weinstein, has been forced out of the company that bears his last name, a Weinstein company. Now, news follows the report in "The New York Times" detailing numerous sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein, spanning decade. Actress Ashley Judd was one of the accusers featured in that article. News of Weinstein's ouster from his company comes just a day after his attorney Lisa Bloom announced she would no longer be representing him.

Brian Stelter is back with us now.

Brian, how did the company come to this decision?

STELTER: There had been discussions all weekend long between Weinstein's attorneys and the board of directors of the company about what was going to happen with him. You know, two days ago, the company said we are going to maybe find way to make this work. He is going to take a leave of absence, work on his issues and he simply maybe come back some day. But this crisis deepened over the weekend as some clients of the Weinstein company, some authors, actor, said I'm not going to be associated with this firm if Harvey Weinstein is still involved.

So, we know this evening, the statements come out from the company saying he is out. We can put that statement on screen. Notice the name Robert Weinstein in the statement. That's Harvey's brother, Bob, who is a part of the group pushing him out.

The statement says in light of new information of misconduct by Harvey, there was a merged in the past few days, we have determined and informed him that his employment with the Weinstein company is terminated effective immediately.

This is an earthquake in Hollywood because Harvey Weinstein was for a very long time, was a hugely famous and successful media mogul. I was going to describe him as untouchable for a moment. You know, for decades, these stories, these whispers followed him around. Women in Hollywood had unsavory, in some case, disgusting stories to tell about him, but they were never shared publicly. All that changed three days ago in the "New York Times."

CABRERA: Is sit because people didn't believe him at the time or --?

STELTER: I think some folks didn't want to hear it. They felt he was too powerful. He could make or break careers. And he was also able to bury stories that he didn't want the see published. We are in the middle of a profound cultural shift in this country whether it's involving Bill Cosby or Bill O'Reilly or Roger Aisles or Donald Trump and now, Harvey Weinstein.

We are seeing these men who were thought of as unreachable, too powerful to ever be talked about in this way, to have their skeletons explored. It's changing now. I don't think we are at the end of this shift. It was certainly are very brave of Ashley Judd and others to speak out to the "New York Times." They released eight settlements that Harvey Weinstein had reached with various women over the course of his career.

From 1990, 2015, he had paid these women essentially for their silence. The actress Rose McGowan, for example, reportedly receiving a settlement. On twitter tonight, she is commenting on this. She has not able to use Harvey Weinstein's name, but she is taking this moment to recognize that women in many different industries, need to be able to stand up and speak out when they experience or know about harassment.

CABRERA: Sounds like they see this as a breakthrough.

Brian Stelter, thank you very for that reporting.

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