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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Source Close To WH: Trump Not Joking About Tillerson IQ Test; Trump Falsely Claims Sen. Corker Set Up By NY Times; Explosive New Allegations Against Harvey Weinstein; Obamas, Clinton Condemn Harvey Weinstein; Owner Of Mandalay Bay Resort Questions Police Timeline; At Least 15 Dead As Wildfires Tear Through California. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 10, 2017 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This was, of course after Tillerson called the president a moron. When Sarah Sanders was pressed on that during the briefing she said it was all a joke, that the president's comment about taking the IQ test was a joke and that the White House press should have a sense of humor.

[21:00:29] Now, I did talk to a source this evening, Anderson, who is close to the White House who says, no, the president was not joking when he made that comment and this was the quote that was given to me from the source, "They knew he was pissed that people found out Tillerson called him a moron and he spouted off about the IQ test because he was mad." This White House knows it was not a joke and speaking of not being amused by all of this, Heather Nauert, who was the State Department spokesperson, she was asked about all of this earlier today and she insisted that Tillerson, in fact, does have a high IQ, Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Yes, I don't even know how to react to that. New developments today, Jim, also today and the president -- the feud between Corker and the president.

ACOSTA: That's right, also under the category, yes, this is real life, Sarah Sanders was asked about this back and forth between the president and Senator Bob Corker. Of course, Senator Corker as you've been reporting, Jonathan Martin of "New York Times" have been reporting, said that the president could be leading the country into World War III. The president obviously responded to that earlier this morning with that tweet referring to Senator Corker as "Little Bob Corker", talking about going off on the senator's height. Sarah Sanders was asked earlier today what about this notion from Senator Corker that the White House is sort of "an adult day care center" here's what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, Senator Corker is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but he's not entitled to his own facts. The fact is this president has been an incredibly strong leader on foreign policy and national security and he's been a leader on this front and I think that's been seen and demonstrated time and time again since he took office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Now, it's interesting, Anderson, Sarah Sander was quoting another senator there, the late Senator Pat Moynihan who came up with that quote, "You're entitled to your opinion but you're not entitled to your own facts." That's amusing I think because, Anderson, after all-this is a White House that has talked about alternative facts and so they're accusing the senator of trying to use his own set of facts when in fact the White House has tried to do the same thing themselves over the previous months of this administration, Anderson.

COOPER: It's also -- I mean, again, it is a continuation of the feud but to call a feud and sort of put it in the same category as, you know, the feud between Ivana Trump and Melania Trump, it sort of undercuts the severity of what Senator Bob Corker said, and the fact that it was Senator Corker saying on the record, I mean, talking about the possibility of World War III or the fear of World War III, saying that he knows for a fact that every day people in the White House are struggling to try to contain this president.

ACOSTA: Right, I mean, you know, Anderson, I've observed before that this is sometimes like covering bad reality television. It does sometimes sound like the real housewives of D.C., unfortunately these are the real leaders of the U.S.A.

And, you know, the president, for example, this morning, I think you're pointing this out earlier, was tweeting that Senator Corker was set up when, in fact, the "The New York Times" has audio of Senator Corker agreeing with Jonathan Martin over at the "The New York Times" that they would both record that interview. So there was no set up if they were both talking to each other and both recording that interview. It just goes to show you at times getting back to their own set of facts. This White House just lives in an alternate universe and alternate facts and we saw that play out today.

COOPER: It's also interesting because, I mean, Senator Corker one of the criticisms he made was that the president says things in tweets which are not true and everybody knows it and the people at the White House know it, and then the next day the president tweets out something which is not true as if to prove Senator Corker's point but -- anyway, Jim Acosta, thanks.

Joining us now is Kirsten Powers, Scott Jennings, Maria Cardona, Susan Page, Matt Lewis, and Jeffrey Toobin.

The idea the president was joking on the IQ thing, I mean, I guess it's entirely within the realm of possibility, but when you look back at the number of times the president has gone to that old chestnut of his amazingly huge IQ, I mean, he doesn't -- he wasn't joking before when he kept -- you know, he talks about going to an Ivy League school, he talk about how smart he is, how he uses the best word, and he brings up the IQ an awful lot.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, it would be better if it was a joke obviously, because it's such a bizarre thing to do over and over. It's not usually people who are secure in their intelligence and education don't talk about -- COOPER: I don't know --

POWERS: Yes.

COOPER: -- none of them have ever said to me, --

POWERS: Yes.

COOPER: I'm really smart.

POWERS: So I think it's -- to tell on his part that he's obviously very insecure about it and he was obviously very angry, you know, about what was said about him.

COOPER: Jeffrey Toobin, you went to an Ivy League school.

[21:05:01] JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: You know, my IQ -- I'm in four digits. I just -- you know, I don't know anyone after junior high school who talks about their IQ. I mean, it's just so surreally juvenile.

COOPER: I think a men some (ph) meeting people probably --

TOOBIN: I've never been to one.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: I've seen it on T.V.

TOOBIN: But, also, I mean, if we can just say about IQ, having a high IQ does not correlate to being a good president or being a good employee in any setting, so the idea that oh, I have a big IQ, thus I can do X, Y or Z is completely ridiculous.

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Jimmy Carter probably one of the smartest modern presidents we had, nuclear, you know, we talk about being a peanut farmer, but nuclear engineer, not a great president. So, yes, there's no correlation. But, look, Donald Trump sees the world through uncertain pecking order and I think intelligence is certainly part of that.

COOPER: No, he commented that the shooter in Las Vegas was probably smart. I'm not sure that's a great compliment.

LEWIS: He also complimented the leader of North Korea for being resilient and smart --

POWERS: And several others --

LEWIS: Yes, but the height thing, I want to go to that a little bit. This is interesting. "Little Marco," "Little Bob Corker," Donald Trump if you are bald, if you're short, you're not worthy. You're not equal. There's something wrong with you. Maybe Bob Corker would have been secretary of state, that's been suggested or reported had he been a couple of inches tall. You can discriminate. By the way, it's interesting. You can discriminate against short people in this country and pretty much get away with it. You can't say -- you can't talk about people being fat. You can't talk about being -- there's age discrimination. You can talk about people being short and "Little Marco" and --

COOPER: It is interesting that the president does zero in on what he perceives as somebody's weakness whether it's a disability or height or, you know, whatever it is and, I mean, he goes for that which as, you know, a candidates one thing, again as president, it's interesting.

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, and what did we all learn in junior high and high school is that the person who is the biggest bully is the person who is the most insecure and that they are trying to prove something. We all know the stories about Donald Trump, how he's always tried to fit in, he always wanted to be part of New York elite and he never quite got there. He has always tried to prove and in politics recently in this election, always tried to prove that this election was legitimate. It's the reason why he doesn't want to admit that Russia meddled in our elections. But this is a lifelong trait for Donald Trump and what --

COOPER: He's won. I mean, he's president of the United States.

CARDONA: Well, exactly --

COOPER: -- he's the most powerful person on the planet.

CARDONA: -- but in his mind he still has so much to prove because only 33-34 percent of the people who are now supporting him are the only ones who are supporting him.

POWERS: But I think -- he does do this too because he wants to drag other people down to his level. And so when he did the "Little Marco" thing, remember how Marco Rubio overreacted and actually kind of debased himself, right? And so we already saw Corker, I mean, previous to the little thing, already starting to debase himself. This is what happens. People start getting pulled in to it. It actually does sort of knock them off kilter, you know. And that's -- I really think that's why he does it.

SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, USA TODAY: But, you know, it has another effect which is distracting. I mean, if you look at this interview which goes on quite a while they talk to -- and first talk to the president for almost an hour, at one point he says there's not much time left for diplomacy with North Korea and the White House this evening puts out a statement that the president met with his military advisers and went to plans to respond to North Korea attack or to act preemptively against the North Korean threat which is a very serious thing. It goes right to the heart of what the substance of what Senator Corker was talking about, but the president's use of the IQ thing and calling him "Little Corker" -- "Little Bob Corker," has the effect of making everybody not talk about the substance of the discussion.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think -- I'll give you some observations from the heartland. I think there's a lot of people in this country that the president has appealed to who feel like they're made to feel like they're not smart on any given day by some jerk boss, Hollywood, media, Washington people. They make them feel like you're not smart enough, your not good enough and sometimes the president says things that they wish they could say but they can't. And so, on this IQ thing when he says, you know, I'm smart, you know. I think sometimes people believe he's channeling some of the feelings they have but they can do nothing about it but he sort of speaks for them and so he comes back to this IQ thing a lot and I --

LEWIS: I always look to billionaires, you know, (INAUDIBLE) speak for me when I'm down trodden.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: -- interesting point.

CARDONA: I think Scott is absolutely right and that was the brilliance of how he actually got elected but let's realize everything that we just said whether it's bullying, whether it's distracting because of North Korea, because he doesn't want to admit that Russia meddled in our election, that he's insulting other people. We're talking about the president of the United States and that, I think, is the bottom line of why so many people now like Bob Corker are concerned.

[21:10:26] TOOBIN: I think Scott does have a point about his supporters. I mean, I was just at a Republican Party event in Arkansas and, you know, like -- a real base event. And, you know what, I heard over and over again, was, you know, he's not politically correct, he just -- he's just, you know, too honest. Now, the question is, what percent of the population that group is? I mean, I have no doubt that they are strongly supportive of him. You know, whether that's enough to persuade Congress to do things much less for him to get re-elected, I think that's a problem he's facing now.

JENNINGS: When we sit here, though, and sort of, you know, we all go nuts about these things, he says, there is a group of people in this country who when he does these things and we all gets spun up, they say, you know what, he's telling the country that the media people in this country to go to hell and I kind of like it and that's how they view it.

LEWIS: It's called cultural degradation. And it's because we live in a society that's become a reality T.V. show. It's not conservative values. This is not the way the country should be. I actually think you're right. I think you're right and I think it's a problem.

COOPER: Let's take a break. We'll continue this discussion. We got more to talk about what Maria called the president's life long trait, about IQ, height, physical ability, you name it. He's have demeaning anyone who disagrees with him.

Later, with all the accusers coming forward, all the sexual misconduct and allegations against Harvey Weinstein, there's reaction finally from the former president and Mrs. Obama, as well as Hillary Clinton. We look at the political dimension. The league (ph) of the mention as well as a truly disturbing sickening allegations at the heart of all of this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:15:32] COOPER: We've been talking about the president challenging his secretary of state to take an IQ taste and compare numbers. His disparaging the chairman of the Senate and Foreign Relations chairman as he calls him, "Little Bob Corker," two t's, none of this is new. Not the IQ boasting especially not the name calling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: "Crooked Hillary Clinton."

"Little Marco".

"Lying Ted Cruz", "Lying Ted".

"Rocket man".

And "Pocahontas" is not happy. She's not happy. She's the worse.

I call them "Little Marco", "Little Marco".

"Lying Ted Cruz".

"Lying Ted Cruz", "Crooked Hillary".

"Crooked Hillary".

"Crooked Hillary Clinton".

Jeb Bush is a low energy person. He's very low energy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Back now with the panel. Yes, I mean, because during the campaign it was effective because he actually would sort of zero in on, you know, perceived weaknesses of, you know, Jeb Bush's low energy and so things would sort of stick and I get why he would do it during the campaign, I guess I just -- I mean, I don't think know that there's a strategy to do it now. It's just what he's gut reaction is.

POWERS: But don't you think it's the same thing, I mean, the same idea, he thinks he's planting something, A, in the heads of person about the person and it's also he's trying to suck them into his game, you know, which is to -- you know, I think -- I mean, -- or he's just really juvenile or maybe all three things. I don't --

JENNINGS: It's a branding strategy. Remember, close to 90 percent of the Republican Party approves of the job he's doing and great many of them take their cues about how they feel about policy and other politicians from how he feels, and so, you know, he wants to draw somebody in with a nickname, he's signaling to them, I need you to view them the same as I do.

PAGE: But he's not running against Bob Corker.

(CROSSTALK)

JENNINGS: But he always needs an enemy.

PAGE: He may need an enemy but calling Hillary Clinton "Crooked Hillary" or "Lying Ted Cruz" served his interests. To degrading and demeaning Bob Corker is at odds with his interests and so it's like an immediate, maybe there's some immediate satisfaction. Over the long haul this is very dangerous territory for him if he wants to actually say get a tax bill through.

COOPER: You think it is? I mean, do you think it actually -- I mean, would Bob Corker actually --

POWERS: I don't think so.

COOPER: I'm not sure --

POWERS: And I also --

LEWIS: Would John McCain have killed health care, you know, reform if he had been nicer to him? Like --

COOPER: I don't know.

LEWIS: -- maybe it's --

CARDONA: Maybe.

LEWIS: If it's on the bubble, you know, I mean, if it's like -- I could go 50/50.

POWERS: I also think you have remember that his interests -- I'm not defending what he's doing, I don't think he should be doing, but his interest is that Corker has said some pretty seriously bad things about him and so he wants people to think bad things about Corker.

COOPER: Right.

POWERS: He's trying to discredit the person who is criticizing him. You know, so I think there is a method to the madness. I don't think it's presidential, but --

CARDONA: So, yes, I think that's right and Scott you are great at explaining Trump but you have never said one way or the other whether you think what he's doing is good for the country, whether you think what he's doing is good leadership, not just for the country but even for the Republican Party, do you like what he's doing? Do you think this is how a leader should act?

JENNINGS: Well, in this particular case to the point about Corker being a possible no vote on tax reform, I think the ball we should all be watching is tax reform was already teetering before this fight occurred. I'm not sure they have the votes for the budget resolution next week that they have to pass to get the tax reform. COOPER: Right.

JENNINGS: Corker's already expressed reservations about any tax package that adds to the deficit.

TOOBIN: Scott, so this is -- it's just an artful way that you did not answer the question.

CARDONA: -- thank you.

TOOBIN: You ought to run for office.

CARDONA: Thank you.

JENNINGS: My IQ is enormous. I've had complaints. I've had complaints.

TOOBIN: Good job. Good job, "Little Scott".

COOPER: You all just don't understand what he's been saying.

CARDONA: We have to join Mensa.

COOPER: But it is, I mean, it is also interesting, again, because Kellyanne Conway just yesterday was saying, you know, world leaders are watching and these are irresponsible tweets and then, you know --

CARDONA: But that was astounding because that is one of the things that is so disturbing about this president and frankly, and I've said this before, what Corker is saying I think, and we've all heard this and you all that report about this have heard this too, privately many Republicans, not all of them, many Republicans agree 100 percent with what Corker has said. They believe this president is unstable. They believe that the job of the people around the White House is to keep him from continuing to be unstable. God forbid, to go for the nuclear codes when the leader of North Korea pisses him off. And so again, do you think that is good leadership, Scott? Do you and the people who support him, do you support how he is acting right now?

[21:20:12] JENNINGS: Well, no, I don't support the breakdown of the relationships that he needs to pass an agenda --

(CROSSTALK)

LEWIS: I don't mean to pick on you but since we are.

JENNINGS: Go ahead.

LEWIS: It sounds like you're only concern is if Donald Trump misbehaves and it stops Donald Trump from passing Donald Trump's agenda and I think that is a problem but there's a larger problem is that Donald Trump is destroying norms.

CARDONA: Yes.

LEWIS: That could impact democracy and this country like ongoing. Are you concerned about those?

JENNINGS: Well, number one, I think you're being a little dramatic. Number two --

LEWIS: I don't think so.

CARDONA: No, I don't think he is.

JENNINGS: I think -- I want Donald Trump to pass his agenda because it's the agenda that not only he ran on but virtually the entire Republican Party ran on and failure to pass repealing health care and now tax reform, people don't understand the political implications of this. The failure, the stink of failure, will stick with the Republican Party --

COOPER: I also want to backup Scott, because for somebody who supports the president's agenda, you are one of the few people who in the past has repeatedly pointed out when you disagree with something the president has done on style or whatever. You know, what you often say is, look, I want the president's agenda to pass, I wish he will wasn't doing this. So I give you big props for, you know, --

JENNINGS: Look, he does things that I would not do and he does things that make some people uncomfortable and certainly make me uncomfortable but at the end of the day as a Republican Party, what's the purpose of a party if not to pass some agenda that you ran on? And so right now he's destroying possibly --

CARDONA: Right, he is destroying a lot that this country stands for so at what point do you draw the line? At what point do Republicans get to where Corker is to say enough is enough?

LEWIS: I think Scott has a point. Like I think that -- if we were able to do real tax reform that would stimulate the economy. I'm a conservative guy. I'm a free market guy. I think that would obviously be good. That's an important thing to me and I wish that Donald Trump could get --

CARDONA: Is he setting the ground work for that?

LEWIS: But I don't think that's the only thing, right? So I think that's an immediate political goal but there's also a larger point about political norms and preserving -- what I would call it conservative, you know, a world view.

CARDONA: How about just leadership?

TOOBIN: The bigger problem with Corker may be that Corker has said he's not going to vote for any tax bill that increases the deficit. And every one says that this tax bill will greatly increase the deficit.

Republicans tend to only care about deficits when Democrats are president, but it is true that this is a big problem independent of the whole insulting business.

JENNINGS: Matt, you're raising a greater point about our culture.

LEWIS: Yes.

JENNINGS: Did our culture give us President Trump --

LEWIS: Yes.

JENNINGS: -- or did President Trump give us our culture? And I would argue that American culture has been going in this sort of direction for a long time and he is the result of that, --

LEWIS: Yes.

JENNINGS: -- not the cause of it, and that we're going to need to get used to it because my prediction is we're going to see politicians like this in both parties for the foreseeable future.

CARDONA: No.

LEWIS: But this is the topic we should be having.

CARDONA: God help us.

COOPER: Yes. We need to take a quick break. When we come back, there's breaking news. The Obamas and Hillary Clinton weighing in and finally on explosive allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Plus, an audio of him pressuring a woman in a hotel suite. We'll hear that, all of it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:26:57] COOPER: Breaking news in the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The list of his accusers keeps growing. Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie both saying they were harassed by Weinstein a new report with "The New York Times". And "The New Yorker" magazine spoke with 13 more women accusing him of sexual assault or harassment. Three of them accuse Weinstein of forcing them into sex. The magazine also has the recording secretly obtained during an NYPD sting operation in 2015. The woman speaking to Weinstein, a model, they're at a hotel. In it you'll hear Weinstein actually admit to groping her.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

AMBRA BATTILANA GUTIERREZ, MODEL: What do we have to do here?

HARVEY WEINSTEIN, PRODUCER: Nothing. I'm going to take a shower. You sit there and have a drink. Water.

GUTIERREZ: I don't drink.

WEINSTEIN: Then have a glass of water.

GUTIERREZ: Can I stay on the bar?

WEINSTEIN: No.

GUTIERREZ: I don't want to be touched.

WEINSTEIN: I won't do a thing, please. I swear I won't, just sit with me. Don't embarrass me in the hotel. I'm here all the time.

GUTIERREZ: I'm feeling very uncomfortable right now.

WEINSTEIN: Please come in now. And one minute. And if you want to leave when the guy comes with my jacket you can go.

GUTIERREZ: Why yesterday you touch my breast?

WEINSTEIN: Oh, please, I'm sorry, just come on in. I'm used to that. Come on. Please.

GUTIERREZ: You're used to that?

WEINSTEIN: Yes, come in.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, the tape was handed over to the district attorney in Manhattan. The D.A. told us today that the recording is horrifying but it was insufficient to prove a crime had occurred.

Also tonight, reaction to the scandal from President Obama with Weinstein being a top Democratic donor, former president released this statement. "Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein. Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture -- including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect -- so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future."

Hillary Clinton also released a statement today, "I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior."

Back with the panel joining us as well as CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter. Kirsten, I mean, this was -- for Hillary Clinton this was like five days after "New York Times" broke the story and there was growing pressure about, you know, she's a big Democratic donor, there's -- he's been a big Democratic donors, photographs of them together. Did it take her too long?

POWERS: I think that it did. I know Jeffrey has been saying that the timing doesn't really matter that much but when you are -- it's not just that she's a Democrat, she's a major force in the world for women's rights and as somebody that a lot of women look up to and this is somebody that she was associated with but even if she hadn't been associated with him, I think she probably should've said something. And it's not clear to me why it took so long and it wasn't even her statement. I mean, it was put out by her press secretary and she retweeted it. But It wasn't even -- you know, I don't understand why the day this came out she wasn't on Twitter condemning it. It doesn't make any sense to me.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, had he been a Republican, --

POWERS: Yes.

COOPER: -- would it have been a different story? Would the criticism by her --

TOOBIN: I don't know. I mean, I think the bigger problem for both the Clintons and the Obamas was their embrace of him previously. This was not a huge surprise.

[21:29:58] You know, Seth MacFarlane made a joke about him preying on actresses in the 2013 Oscar nominations. And it was that well-known that he was a bore if not a criminal and the fact that the Clintons and the Obamas embraced him I think is a dark mark on their record. And whether they issue the criticism, you know, today or two days ago, I don't think that matters. I think what matters is that they were so close to him in the first place.

COOPER: It's interesting, though, because I think the perception of him would have been before that oh, he was sleazy, he was using the casting couch --

TOOBIN: But the casting couch is sexual harassment.

COOPER: I know, this is sexual -- no, I mean, it goes beyond just harassment --

TOOBIN: Yes.

COOPER: -- it seems like in many cases. But I think years ago and I don't -- maybe there has been some sort of a shift, hopefully, but I think years ago maybe in Hollywood it was just seen as, you know, he's a boar or, you know, gross or pervert. But I mean, this is -- it seems like criminal behavior.

LEWIS: This actually does raise an interesting sort of side point, which could get me in trouble, but I'm going to do it anyway. So obviously, I mean, he's accused of rape. That's obviously a black and white issue, right? Groping is obviously wrong. Threatening, quid pro quo, if you don't do this I'm going to fire you -- those are obviously like criminal and evil things to do.

TOOBIN: Oh, God there's going to be a but and you're going to regret saying it. yes, OK.

LEWIS: However, however -- so he denies any, you know, unwanted sexual contact, at least for now. We should say that. But I guess my question is, what are the rules? What are the rules? Because if you are a -- if you are a powerful man, if you're a boss, he called these women, by the way, colleagues. I don't know if they're colleagues or subordinates, but what are the rules?

CARDONA: Are you really asking that?

LEWIS: I'm asking --

TOOBIN: Did you listen to that tape?

LEWIS: Let me tell you what, no -- of course, that is. But let me tell you what I'm getting at, if you are a powerful man in this country, you're a celebrity or whatever, are you -- let's say you're not married. Are you allowed to hit on younger women --

POWERS: No, no.

LEWIS: You're not?

POWERS: Not --

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: Not if they are -- not if they are your subordinates.

LEWIS: In the olden days.

CARDONA: We're not in the olden days. We're not in the olden days.

(CROSSTALK)

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: -- to a Donald Trump defense?

LEWIS: Actually, it has weird unintended consequences.

COOPER: Let's hear.

LEWIS: It used to be that doctors married nurses and lawyers married clerks and that was part of social mobility and it less income and equality, doctors --

CARDONA: Come on.

LEWIS: No, I'm asking --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But if you are young, if you are in college and you are -- want to be an actress and this person is dangling a script over your head or suggesting perhaps oh, I can get you in a move if you do this.

LEWIS: That's quid pro quo, though. That's a quid pro --

(CROSSTALK)

POWERS: But he's asking for massages (ph). He's exposing him selves to them. I mean, did you really --

LEWIS: I'm not defending Weinstein --

(CROSSTALK)

POWERS: There's not even one incident where he was courting somebody. That's not what he's doing. He's clearly harassing them.

CARDONA: He wasn't hitting on them. He was committing sexual assault.

LEWIS: I am not defending Weinstein --

STELTER: Married by the way.

CARDONA: Well, then just the fact that you asked that question is actually -- is actually -- no, no, no, no, it's not. It's disturbing -- it's disturbing that you -- you would know in a situation like that, I hope what to do and what not to do so why are you asking the question?

LEWIS: I'm not sure that all men do know what the rules are.

POWERS: Well, I think that's a good point. Because I do think that there's a broad cultural problem that people don't understand -- no, it's not that people don't understand. I think there's just too much of an acceptance of --

CARDONA: Yes.

POWERS: -- sexism and misogyny in our culture. And, look, I'm going to say this as somebody who sat and watched a lot of people (INAUDIBLE) eyes and revere Hugh Hefner very recently, somebody who made his life out of objectifying women and who viewed women as objects in the same way that Harvey Weinstein viewed women as objects.

Now, I know people will come back and say no, no, no, he was a big free speech advocate or no, no, no, he published really wonderful literally, you know, giants, but if he hadn't put women in bunny costumes and if he hadn't put naked women in magazines, we would never have been talking about him. That is what made him --

LEWIS: But I also think there was a --

POWERS: So we live in a cultural that demeans women to the point that you, Matt, don't understand what's --

CARDONA: Yes.

POWERS: -- the problem here.

LEWIS: No, I think you're being hard on Matt.

(CROSSTALK)

LEWIS: I want to make a point about the liberal bias.

COOPER: Matt, you can respond. We'll take a quick break. Again, with two big stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie speaking out, claiming Weinstein sexually harassed them. A number of accusers comes higher, so the legal questions. We'll have more of that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:38:13] COOPER: We're now breaking news tied to the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. "The New York Times" reporting Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie say he harassed them years ago. There's also an explosive report in the "The New Yorker" magazine by Ronan Farrow, with more accusers and more legal questions. We're back now with the panel.

Matt I think you were -- you had the floor.

LEWIS: All right, so, thank you. And you mentioned the political angle earlier and I didn't want to let that opportunity go to waste. I do think there's a political angle to this. I think that conservatives -- if this were a conservative Hillary would have obviously spoken up. Part of it is I think the perceived hypocrisy, you know. Conservatives in the past at least with the Christian coalition have portrayed themselves as sort of, you know, arbiters of morality or something whereas, you know, a lot of liberals have, hey, man, you know, we do want we want to do so they don't have the hypocrisy angle. But, look, I mean, if it's Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, Woody Allen, you mentioned Hugh Hefner, what about Bill Clinton? There was a journalist, I think her name was Nina Burleigh, who said, I won't repeat exactly what she said, but she basically suggested that she would do something to Bill Clinton as long as he kept abortion legal.

So I do think that liberals and Democrats were held to a different standard partially because of the hypocrisy issue but partial because the perception was they have the right idea.

COOPER: Weinstein was clearly playing on that in his earlier statement where he said, well, I'm going to go away and focus my anger on the NRA which just seems -- I mean --

TOOBIN: But no one in the liberal world gave him an ounce of support when he said that. He has been completely rejected. This absurd attempt to -- and, you know, we've managed to have this conversation about sexual harassment in powerful people. Is there any one in public life now who is prominent who has succeeded despite admitting to sexual assault of women? The president of the United States.

[21:40:15] CARDONA: Thank you.

TOOBIN: What about him? I think it's -- it's shameful, it's too bad that, you know, Hillary Clinton didn't issue this statement 72 hours earlier. How about getting elected president of the United States after you admit --

CARDONA: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

LEWIS: The reason that Donald --

TOOBIN: Don't insult -- don't insult me. I'm interrupt.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: I think, you know, that is a very significant point about where we are as a country, that you can get elected president of the United States after admitting sexual assault.

COOPER: Brian we haven't heard from you.

STELTER: And President Obama statement tonight is an implicit critique of Trump. When Obama says any man who demeans or degrades women should be condemned and be held accountable. He's talking about the president of the United States. I know that it's interesting to talk about Clinton and Obama, but the biggest, the biggest sinner here is Harvey Weinstein, let's be clear about that and the biggest ongoing issue is not Bill Clinton with all due respect, it's Donald Trump.

CARDONA: And the thing is, is that, you know, you talked about Bill Clinton and I'm so glad you brought up Donald Trump because that is the biggest hypocrisy, you know. You have Republicans who are demanding that Hillary say something, who are demanding that Obama said something. Yes, so they said something. But Democrats are not going to elect Harvey Weinstein president of the United States. So I think what we have to do --

COOPER: Although, there were plenty of people gave him awards and embraced him because he --

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: I agree and I think that's disgusting and, you know, Democrats -- the Democrats who are in office now who had his money are now going to give it back and I think that's the right thing to do. But at the end of the day, you know, Republicans to be criticizing Democrats for supporting Harvey Weinstein when they elected the president of the United States, looked away after the "Access Hollywood" tape.

COOPER: Do you think the Clinton should give back money that he gave them?

CARDONA: I mean, if it's possible. I don't even know that those accounts existed or if that is money that is even there. That's why the Democrats who are in office now and the committees who have taken his money recently, they are all giving it back.

JENNINGS: Yes, the Democrat National Committee gave it to other Democratic Committees.

CARDONA: But you know what, Scott, we didn't elect a sexual predator president of the United States.

JENNINGS: You didn't in the '90s?

CARDONA: Was he a self-professed female genital grabber?

JENNINGS: Did he or did he not prey on a woman in the Oval Office?

CARDONA: And did he or did he not get impeached? He paid for it.

JENNINGS: Here's the thing. This is a filthy disgusting story. We have to find something like good to take out of it and here's what I think. This is going to possibly inspire and rip the lid off who else out there in Hollywood is engaging in this conduct. There's like this eye opening tweet storm from the actor Terry Crews tonight who was groped recently apparently at a party by a male Hollywood executive. He didn't out the executive but he said I need to tell this story so the guy knows who he is and he stops doing it. How many more people are going to come forward? If the net result of this is Weinstein gets what he deserves and other people are inspired to come forward and the culture is cleaned up that would be at least some positive outcome.

STELTER: And Scott, much more important part of the story than who donated to who.

CARDONA: I agree.

STELTER: This is a profound cultural shift in America. Thank goodness it's happening versus a decade ago or two decades ago.

TOOBIN: Who says it's happening?

STELTER: I see it happening, Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, these men were accused decades ago and stayed in their jobs. You don't stay in your job anymore.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: Unless you're president of the United States.

COOPER: Go ahead Kirsten.

POWERS: No, I think it also would be progress, frankly, if we didn't do what just happened here which is everybody went to their corners and, you know, we have to pretend like Bill Clinton wasn't accused of sexual assault, which he was.

CARDONA: He was. And he was impeached, by the way.

POWERS: OK. No, no, no. But I mean, he was for Monica, but there were other accusations and if we believe all rape accusations should be believed then there's some serious ones against Bill Clinton. And I think we have to stop politicizing it. It has to be -- it's not, you know, -- yes, Donald Trump did bad things. He should be held accountable. That doesn't mean Hillary is off the hook --

COOPER: Yes.

POWERS: -- either, right? I mean, I think that we have to treat them all the same way.

COOPER: That's a good point to end it on. Thank you, everybody. Breaking news also in the Las Vegas shooting aftermath. A live report from the utter devastation on the California fire alarms. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:48:37] COOPER: More breaking news tonight. And the ever changing timeline of the Las Vegas massacre, the company that owns the Mandalay Bay Hotel is now casting doubt on what investigators have been saying publicly over the last two days. CNN Sara Sidner joins us with details. Sara, what's going on?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've been asking questions of Mandalay Bay and they're own by MGM resort. The Spokesperson Debra DeShong sending out this statement after this new timeline was put out by the sheriff yesterday. She says, "We cannot be certain that the most recent timeline that has been communicated publicly, and we believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate." That is the view of the MGM resorts which owns the Mandalay Bay. They're now questioning authorities' timeline.

This is now the second timeline that we have all gotten and this certainly is due to one very important part of that change and that has to do with the Mandalay Bay's own security guard, who in the beginning police had said went up to the 32nd floor and ended up interrupting the shooter as he pointed his gun and shot down 32 floors down to the concert below killing so many and injuring so many more.

Now, yesterday, the Sheriff's Department came out and said, wait a minute, that is now revised. We now think that the person that went up there, the security guard, Jesus Campos actually was shot a full six minutes before the shooter actually decided to start engaging on those concert goers and that's a big gap in time, a full six minutes, after the security guard was shot that the shooter began shooting and creating this mass chaos down there at the concert. That is a big discrepancy. And now the MGM coming out saying we don't believe that actually is accurate.

[21:50:20] Now, we have heard from law enforcement since then as you might imagine. A law enforcement source telling us that they are indeed are pretty sure that it is accurate, and they're going to stick with that with the facts that they now have. Anderson.

COOPER: All right, well, more to discover. Sara Sidner, thanks.

There's more breaking news as well. Wildfires across California from Orange County to the south to Wine Country of north, at least 15 people have died. It's already one of the deadliest fire outbreaks on record in California. CNN's Dan Simon tonight has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From northern to southern California more than a dozen wildfires still burning out of control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trying to get out of here. We saw, now, it's going to cross the road. It's all bad.

SIMON (voice-over): Fifty miles northwest of San Francisco and Wine Country, flames tore through parts of Santa Rosa, California, turning cars and subdivisions into ash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Screaming, fire, fire, fire, get out, get out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happened so fast. It -- get a time to do (INAUDIBLE) with nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have cars and Harlies and boats and all kind of stuff all gone.

SIMON (voice-over): Fast food restaurants, hotels, and homes all destroyed. Allison Detottol is seeing her parent's house for the first time.

ALLISON DETOTTOL, PARENT'S HOUSE BURNED DOWN: They're 85 years old, and I just don't know if they can rebuild. I mean, so many family hair looms I thought my whole life I'm going to inherit this someday, this is what I'm going to pass down to my kids. Oh God, I can't.

SIMON (voice-over): Hospital in the area evacuated, flames turning several subdivisions into piles of debris.

PENNY WRIGHT, HOUSE BURNED DOWN: All of your life savings and work over the years is gone.

SIMON (voice-over): More than 115,000 acres have burned. Much of it in California's Wine Country, Napa and Sonoma Counties.

Penny Wright and her husband are trying to see what they could salvage. Even their safe couldn't withstand the heat.

WRIGHT: Since we lived here in 10 years, I never thought that Santa Rosa would have a fire like this and we would lose everything.

SIMON (voice-over): Fires in Anaheim have lit up the skies over Walt Disney Land. Hurricane force winds push the flames so fast firefighters couldn't keep up.

SGT. DARON WYATT, ANAHEIM FIRE & RESCUE SPOKESMAN: On the eastern flank last night we tried to go direct in a couple of different places and we got out run by the fire.

SIMON (voice-over): Mill Valley California Fire Chief Tom Welch's own home near Santa Rosa burned.

CHIEF BARRY BIERMANN, NAPA COUNTY FIRE DEPT.: The fires are still out there. They are still actively growing.

SIMON (voice-over): And the fire fighters are exhausted.

BIERMANN: Resources still continue to be limited. We have folks on the fire line starting the third shift right now. They have not been relieved because there's -- their folks (ph) are not available to come in with so many fires in the area.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON: Authorities have begun identifying the victims. They include an elderly couple, the husband, 100 years old, the wife 98 years old, Charles and Sarah Rippy of Napa, California.

Anderson, you can see the ashes behind me. Just ashes as far as the eye can see. And this is replicated all throughout the community. And this fire here in Santa Rosa, California is still zero percent contained, Anderson.

COOPER: Dan Simon, thank you very much.

Coming up, we just want to make you smile at the end of a difficult day. "The Ridiculist" is next. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:57:25] COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist" and tonight we can all sleep well knowing that the president of United States thinks he's smarter than his secretary of state. He said this to Forbes regarding reports of Rex Tillerson called him a moron. "I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I tell you who is going to win."

Now here is the State Department spokesperson today and yes this is actually happening. It's real life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- of nothing, what's the secretary's IQ?

HEATHER NAUERT, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: It's high. Anybody who can put things together, you know, --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have a --

NAUERT: It's high.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Once again from the White House briefing room the press secretary insisted the president did not say what he said, but wait there's more, she also threw in a free comedy lesson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: President certainly never imply that secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent. He made a joke, nothing more than that.

Again, he wasn't questioning the secretary of state's intelligence. He made a joke. Maybe you guys should get a sense of humor and try it sometime.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: O, it's was joke. Let me see. Knock, knock, who's there? IQ test. IQ test, who? IQ test I would win. Yes, I don't get it. Maybe the humor is just too settled a nuance and say, wait, right over my head, because as we all know this president is incredibly when he constantly making jokes and pit (ph) the observations. In fact we pulled together a highlight reel of all his best jokes.

Yes, there aren't any. I ask you, what it more likely that he was making his first joke in what, 71 years or that he was continuing this pattern?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They say pissed Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me. I'm like a smart person.

I'm like a smart person.

I'm really smart, really, really, really smart.

When you're really smart, like really, really, really smart like I am.

My IQ is much higher than theirs, all right?

I have a very good brain.

I know words, I have the best words. But there's no better word than stupid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Just my own little life lesson, when you're really, really smart, you don't need to say that you're really, really smart.

If the president wants to put his brain where his mouth is, there's this today, "American Mensa would be happy to hold a testing session for President Trump and Secretary Tillerson." I would totally watch that on whatever premium cable channel aired it. And unlike the president, I don't know who would win. But if it's possible one of the contestants doesn't know how to spell the word little, it's just fine. Perhaps, to say purpose (INAUDIBLE) the spelling. Another one of his word famous inscrutable jokes, here are some other jokes where he can't spell. Honored, hereby, healing, council, principal. The list goes on and on.

Now, I don't want to skew the results, but the president might want to warm up a little bit with a -- like a close door White House staff only spelling bee before he enters the world of pay-per-view competitive IQ test.