Return to Transcripts main page


At Least 17 Dead, 180 plus Missing in California Wildfires; Explosive New Allegations agains Harvey Weinstein; Trump: "Failing" NYT "Set Liddle Bob Corker Up". Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired October 11, 2017 - 10:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Two hundred more are missing. 20,000 people have been ordered to evacuate. Officials there are urging people to prepare ready-to-go bags with documents and medicine inside.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The job of fighting these fires, not getting any easier. The weather making it incredibly difficult. The forecast ahead. Not good when it helps to try to contain them. A California highway patrol captain making a dire prediction. He says this could be one of the worst disasters in California's history.

Let's go to our Ryan Young. He joins us in Santa Rosa, California. Walk us through what you've seen.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John and Poppy, this is just amazingly scary. In fact, I'm standing between two homes or what's really left between the two homes. 8,000 people lived in this neighborhood at one point. And if there's anything that we can do today, in terms of people watching this, maybe if they're near one of these fires, when that evacuation order is given, I'm sure they'll take it seriously now, especially when you see this. These people barely had time to get out in some of these situations. And I know you heard from someone like this a minute ago.

You look in the back here. You can see the washer and dryer. That's the only thing that we're able to sort of make out that's inside this home. And this sort of repeats itself over and over. I think we've counted more than 25 structures that were just taken out. And that's just in the half-block area, as we kind of walk through just to kind of see what's left.

This is the garage that's just sort of melted and even in the last five minutes, we've heard of glass breaking in certain sections, because stuff is still settling. But then you think about what firefighters are dealing with. You're talking about 17 active fires. You're talking about zero containment and the idea that the weather could pick up later on in terms of the winds, making this even harder. And then, 183 people are still missing.

Now, they believe part of that might be because of the communication challenges in the area because cell phone towers have been damaged in the area. So it's very hard to get calls out sometimes. But the idea that so many people are missing is quite scary. And then you look at how fast this fire was moving.

We know this is an active fire situation. Firefighters and police officers, even warning us, as we come into this area, that we would be on our own, because of the idea. They're still trying to battle and contain this as the people are trying to mull around this area. That's the other thing that just drives you crazy. Looters have been coming into this area. And we've seen police officers stopping cars, trying to ask people for identification, to see why they're here.

But, folks have been pulling up with pickup trucks and just gathering people's belongings and putting them in the into the back of their car and taking off, which is really disheartening. And something that stands out to me, when you talk about love and the idea that people have lost so much here is that couple that has been married for 75 years, the woman was 98 years old, the man was 100 years old. They didn't make it out of this fire. We're hearing more stories like that one. Again, 17 people died. This is not over just yet, guys.

HARLOW: Ryan Young, thank you for the reporting from there. Please keep us posted.

Also, this morning, a barrage of new allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Right now, more than two dozen women are speaking out against him, alleging years of sexual harassment, assault, and three women are now accusing him of rape.

BERMAN: The big question this morning is, who knew what and why did it take so long for employees to say they witnessed unwanted sexual advances from Weinstein to come forward.

CNN's Brynn Gingras and Brian Stelter both join us right now. Brynn, first, give us the latest.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The latest is, they're really -- all these allegations, they're so strikingly familiar -- similar. At least 25 women have come forward, accusing Weinstein of inappropriate behavior, sexual contact, and in some cases, sexual assault. And basically, the headlines here, Harvey Weinstein says he's now going to go to rehab. His wife, Georgina Chapman, a fashion designer, says she's leaving him.

And the film company Weinstein co-founded is distancing itself. Its plan to change the company's name as early as next week and it has dropped Weinstein's name from some shows he's produced like "Project Runway." Some big names, also actresses we know about have accused Weinstein of inappropriate acts like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Ashley Judd.

Now, much of this, of course, is coming out after "The New York Times" report. And then, that explosive article in "The New Yorker" which includes a sting operation against Weinstein in 2015 here in New York City. Now, according to that "New Yorker" article, an Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez went to the NYPD after she alleges Weinstein groped her. The following day, officers helped guide Gutierrez through a sting operation, according to this article, to get Weinstein to confess. Listen to some of this audio from that sting released by "The New Yorker."



AMBRA BATTILANA GUTIERREZ, MODEL: Please, I don't want to do something I don't want to do.

WEINSTEIN: Go to the bath-hey, come here. Listen to me.

GUTIERREZ: I want to go downstairs.

WEINSTEIN: I'm not going to do anything. You'll never see me again after this. OK? That's it. If you embarrass me in this hotel, where I'm staying at-

GUTIERREZ: I'm not embarrassing you.

WEINSTEIN: Just walk-

GUTIERREZ: It's just that I don't, I don't feel comfortable.

WEINSTEIN: Honey, don't have a fight with me in the hallway.

GUTIERREZ: It's not nothing, it's-

WEINSTEIN: Please, I'm not going to do anything. I swear on my children. Please come in. On everything, I'm a famous guy.

[10:05:01] 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 in. I'm used to that.

GUTIERREZ: You're used to that?


GINGRAS: Now, no criminal charges were filed and here's why. According to the Manhattan district attorney, they said, "While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law."

The NYPD tells me there are currently no open cases against Weinstein, and no new allegations have surfaced to police, at least here, again, in New York City. Weinstein's rep said this in a statement. "Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

Now, remember, Weinstein's a big donor for the Democrats since the '90s. So right now we're hearing from the Obamas, Hillary Clinton, all of them have made statements condemning all of these accusations.

HARLOW: Now. It took them five days.


BERMAN: Brian Stelter, what do you have? You have some new information, as well, about the company.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: And whether the company can really survive in its present form. You know, Weinstein Company is known for famed films and TV shows. One of my favorites in recent years, the movie "Lion" with Dev Patel. A lot of those Oscar contenders every single year. But this company was really Harvey Weinstein's. He was forced out on Sunday.

Now, what remains of the company, about 200 employees, they've brought in an outside law firm to investigate who knew what, when. Because as Brynn was saying, that is the overarching question here. Some staffers may have had no idea this was happening. Others may have looked the other way, to turn a blind eye to this behavior. There were a lot of people invested in Harvey Weinstein, invested in his larger-than-life status. Some of them may not have wanted to rock the boat. And maybe that's why this went on not just for years, but for decades.

HARLOW: "The New Yorker" article cites 16 people, current and former employees of the Weinstein Company, that knew about behavior like this, right? So the question becomes, also, you know, when people come forward, that stops other women from facing this. And no one seemed to have come forward. Any idea of the liability, why?

STELTER: Yes. You think about the 1990s, when Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow have said they were harassed by Weinstein. They shared that account yesterday with "The New York Times." In the 2000s, there were more settlements, apparently paid personally by Weinstein, as opposed to the company, which does make a difference.

I am told, after 2015, after that tape that we just heard. There was a change in his behavior. He was more subdued. He was more respectful, even around colleagues. Not as angry, not as hostile as he used to be. So perhaps that case, which never actually became a prosecution, but that case, which got publicity, may have chastened him somewhat.

HARLOW: I would just say, there's a difference between victims, people like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, who went through this, coming forward or staying silent for their own reasons and business colleagues who witnessed it and stay silent, right?

STELTER: Not just women, but men as well.

HARLOW: Totally.

STELTER: There are a number of people that seem to be complicit here. We don't know exactly their names. We don't know exactly how many. But there are a lot of unanswered questions about who in his orbit knew.

HARLOW: OK. Thank you, guys. (CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: All right. Brian, Brynn, thank you so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

BERMAN: All right, our next guest is speaking out against Harvey Weinstein, telling her own story. Lauren Sivan joins us now live from Los Angeles. Lauren, thank you so much for being with us. We know these last few days, had you been very difficult for you. Once again, just remind our viewers your story. What happened to you?

LAUREN SIVAN, WEINSTEIN ACCUSER: Well, you know, unlike the actresses that came forward, I didn't have any business dealings with Harvey Weinstein. I just met him by chance at a dinner party in New York City over a decade ago. I sat next to him. And you know we had a lovely chat, a lovely conversation. I was a 28-year-old local news anchor at the time. And it was, you know, quite flattering to be taken seriously by a man of his stature. There was nothing that implied anything inappropriate during that conversation.

The group of us had moved to a different location afterward and it was to a restaurant club that he told me he was partial owner in. He was one of the investors in. So would I like to see the restaurant downstairs? He wanted to give me a tour.

And when I went downstairs, all of a sudden I realized the kitchen was empty. There was just someone sweeping up. There was no one down there. He shooed everyone away. And he kind of trapped me, you know, like in a vestibule of the kitchen where I wasn't able to get out, without passing him.

You know, I detailed it in detail in that "Huffington Post" article. But basically, you know, he -- he -- he tried to kiss me. I said, no thank you, and I realized immediately, you know, that was not what I thought this was and I'm sorry, I'm in a serious relationship and I'm not interested.

[10:10:00] But that's when he seemed to get annoyed and angry and told me to stand there, be quiet. And I didn't know what was going to happen next. And it turns out he you know, exposed himself and decided to, you know, pleasure himself in front of me.

HARLOW: He started to masturbate in front of you? And made you stand there and watch it.

SIVAN: Correct. Yes.

No one's prepared for that kind of situation. I don't know what the right reaction would have been. You know, people ask, why didn't you, you know, push him out of the way or kick him and run and -

I don't know what the right answer is. I was so stunned and so shocked. I'm frozen standing there watching this take place and your brain can't really understand how you got here and what is happening. Not to mention, I'm 5'1" He's 6'2" He's rather large man. He was intimidating. And he was standing in front of the exit. And I would have had to push by him to get through.

So once he was finished, I just said to him, are we done? Can I leave now? And we both walked out and I ran out of the restaurant and I never, luckily never really had to encounter him again.

BERMAN: There has been a fair amount of victim blaming --


BERMAN: -- here. That's gone on since these articles first started appearing. A lot of focus on everyone expect for Harvey Weinstein and the disgusting acts that he perpetrated. But one of the things you hear as well, look, if these women had only come forward when this incident happened to each one of them. They may have saved other women in the future from the same predicament. How do you respond to that?

SIVAN: Sexual harassment like this, it's not like food poisoning. It's not like, I had bad sushi at this restaurant so don't eat there, and everyone's like, whoa, thank you, thank you, we were going to eat there and now you've saved us from being sick. That's not how this works. He was a very, very powerful man. He ran Hollywood.

I mean, he's one of the most powerful men in the country. He ran a lot of things. So for me to speak out and whether or not that would have accomplished anything, whether or not people actually took me seriously or believed me, I don't think that behavior would have stopped. He still would have been Harvey Weinstein. He still would have been, you know, luring actresses into his hotel rooms, because actresses wanted to be in his movies.

HARLOW: Right.

SIVAN: And what -- the story I told would have just been a rumor, like so many of the rumors that we heard. And unfortunately, rumors aren't actionable.

HARLOW: You said, for you, Lauren, why you did come forward now, is when you read his statement to "The New York Times" in the original piece by Jodi Kantor, that was -- that was, in your words, the final straw.

SIVAN: His apology, yes, which wasn't an apology.

HARLOW: Right.

SIVAN: You know, these women, it took guts for people like, you know -- for the actresses that came out initially, Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, to put their name out there and potentially, you know, be blacklisted in Hollywood. So for him to come out and apologize and say, listen, I'm so sorry if I hurt anyone. And by the way, they're lying. Their allegations are false.

And also, I want to talk about my political -- what I want to do with the NRA -- I mean, all of it was so offensive, really. And I knew that my story would help validate their story. And that's one of the reasons I decided. You know what, yes, let's put this on the record. Let's tell people what he's like. This wasn't just showing up in a hotel room with a robe on. I mean, this was a disgusting, basically an assault, really.

BERMAN: Look, he also said that, you know, I grew up in a different era.

HARLOW: That was the part that struck me.

BERMAN: As if there was an era that doing what he did to you was ever OK. I mean, there's no era that accepted that kind of thing. In closing here, you know, what lessons do you think we should learn from all of this, now that Harvey Weinstein has been kicked off his board -

HARLOW: Right.

BERMAN: And you know was off into rehab and maybe his career is ruined and these women have come forward. What should we learn from this?

SIVAN: John that is such a good question because I ask myself now, what would I have done differently if I could go back in time. What should women do? Do we, you know, immediately run to the press, to the police? Would they even listen to us now at this point? I had no physical evidence. It was my word against his.

What could I have done differently and what should women do differently when they find themselves in these situations. When it's your boss, you know, performing this kind of behavior. Do you go to HR? Can you trust HR? Because at the end of the day, if he's the guy in charge, they're going to report to him.

HARLOW: Right.

SIVAN: I don't know what the answer is and I don't know how we give women a road map to deal with these types of situations. That is something that women and men need to come up with together.

HARLOW: One of the recommendations that your former colleague, Gretchen Carlson, of Fox News has is write it down, document it all, especially if it's at work. Tell someone else, so that you have a record, so that when you do eventually take it forward, you have that evidence, as well. But Lauren, you're brave. Thank you.

[10:15:02] SIVAN: Thank you, guys.

HARLOW: All right, ahead for us, politics. House Republican leaders are set to speak any moment. We're monitoring that. Will they talk about this ongoing feud between Republican Senator Bob Corker and the president? We're on it.

And Mr. President, you are better than this. One of the commander in chief's best friend, those are his words to the president, about his rhetoric and his policies.

BERMAN: Plus, Eminem, speaking out in really fierce terms against the president of the United States overnight. Will the president react?


BERMAN: All right. You're looking at live pictures right there. House Republican leaders speaking amidst tensions flaring between the president and his own party in Congress. We're watching it very closely.

In the meantime, let's go to Kaitlan Collins at the White House. The president wants to be or is purported to be about big policy today in between tweeting. Kaitlan?

Between the president and his own party in Congress. We're watching it very closely. In the meantime, let's go to Kaitlan Collins at the White House. The president wants to be or is purported to be about big policy today in between tweeting. Kaitlan?

[10:20:07] KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, but we're certainly seeing a big focus, not only on Twitter, but on this latest feud that the president has become engulfed in with Senator Bob Corker, a member of his own party. And a White House official told my colleague, Jeff Zeleny, that the president wasn't done with Corker yet. And we saw that made pretty clear yesterday when this fight reached the nicknaming stage, as the president deemed Bob Corker "Liddle Bob Corker" in an apparent reference to his short stature.

And that comic came just days after Bob Corker had an interview with "The New York Times," where he said he was alarmed because the president was turning the White House into a set for the apprentice. And then he was concerned that his comments could set the nation on the path to World War III.

But, John, this certainly isn't the first time that we've seen the president get into an argument with a member of his own party. He's done the same with Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and even Senator Lindsey Graham who he famously gave up his number at a rally, has said recently that he was publicity seeking and even once added that he didn't think he could win if he ran for dog catcher in South Carolina.

But those two men have apparently smoothed things over. They hung out on Monday and played a round of golf. So we're seeing how even though the president does tend to get in these fights with members of his own party, sometimes they tend to fix things. But Senator Lindsey Graham actually weighed in on this latest fight between the president and Bob Corker. Listen to what he had to say about it.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, I don't think it's particularly helpful. Bob Corker is one of my best friends. He's a great senator. Played golf with President Trump yesterday, I like him. At the end of the day, it's about the American people, their security, their prosperity and I think most people really don't care what two politicians think about each other. So I hope we can move on.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: So there's a chance we could hear more on this from the president today, as he welcomes the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau here at the White House. And then later this evening, heads to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to tout his administration's plan for tax reform. But we'll be waiting to see, John and Poppy, and we'll keep you updated if he says anything else.

HARLOW: Please do, Kaitlan Collins of the White House, thank you.

Let's discuss. There's a lot to talk about with Republican Congresswoman, Diane Black. It is nice to have you, Congresswoman. Let's start with the fight that is escalating by the hour, between the president and the junior senator from your state. He called him "Liddle bob." Corker shot back saying the White House is an adult day care center. What say you?

REP. DIANE BLACK (R), WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: Thank you Poppy for having me. Look, I don't want to hear all of this nonsense being thrown back and forth. I want to see get our work done. I think the president is really -- very frustrated with the Senate. I'm frustrated with the Senate. They're acting like the adult day care center. We have sent them good bills like the repeal. Dodd Frank, 12 appropriation bills, sanctuary city. And we see no action on those. So there is a real frustration with the Senate. I feel like they need to do their job.

BERMAN: Let the record show, you just entered the name-calling, calling the Senate an adult day care center.

HARLOW: I'm thinking about my daughter in day care now. But she's 18 months, to be clear.

BERMAN: Look, the question is, are these exchanges good for the country and good for the Republican agenda? The president's close friends who chaired the inauguration, Thomas Barrett, said of the president. He said, he thinks he has to be loyal to his base. I keep saying, but who is your base. You don't have a natural base. Your base is now the world and America. So you have all of these constituencies. Show them who you really are. In my opinion, he's better than this. That's what Thomas Barrack said about his friend. In my opinion, he's better than this. So my question to you is, do you agree? Is the president better than this?

BLACK: I think we're all better than this. And we're here to do the American people's work. People are suffering. People have high insurance. They can't get health insurance. The Dodd-Frank Act hurt them and being able to borrow money.

Look, I have a rural area and banks now can't loan money the way they used to, especially in these small rural areas where there is not a lot of income and they need these small loans. We see people suffering and we have the opportunity to fix that. So let's get to work and do that. I'm encouraging the Senate. Pick up the bills we have sent them, over 300 bills. Let's get our work done.

HARLOW: To be very clear, you do not like the Senate, the Senate version on the tax -

BERMAN: Or the Senate in general.


HARLOW: Or the Senate in general, this is true. But you don't like them, especially right now when it comes to their tax plan. You want them to vote on the House plan. OK? -


HARLOW: You sit on the House Ways and Means Committee. - Let me just -

BLACK: I - to go my budget.

HARLOW; All right, I hear you. Let me just ask you this, though, you're a big player on tax reform, because you sit on House Ways And Means. In February of last year, here's what you wrote. "The United States cannot lead the world if it cannot balance its own checkbook."

Those are your words. Does that mean that you vow to vote against any sort of tax reform that will add to the deficit?

BLACK: You know what I want? I want a comprehensive form. And we're sending them a bill, a budget bill that balances in 10 years.

[10:25:02] We believe in that. Our conference voted on that. We had support for that. And we're going to go in a conference committee, fighting for what we believe in.


HARLOW: I know. But that's not the question. The question is -- Will you vote against anything that adds to the deficit?

BLACK: I will take a look at whatever plan that they have, but again, this is comprehensive in looking at what does all of this do? And obviously, we believe in that here in the House of Representatives. We put out a plan that balances in 10 years. A plan -- that's against the reform mandatory spending. These are things that we believe in.

Now, is tax reform going to make a difference in this country? Absolutely, so, it's the first time in a generation we have this opportunity. It's very complicated. And it will help to put more money in people's pockets, which means the economy will grow. If you have more money in your pocket, you know what you do with it? You spend it.

And when you spend it, it's another good or service. So tax reform is very important. So we have to look at all the factors. But I will tell you, what we put out here in the House is a good plan and we will fight for it in conference committee.

BERMAN: Some tax cuts, historically, have added to consumer spending, some have not. It has an uneven record historically if you go back to the Kennedy years. But just to be clear, do you think the tax cut will add to deficit? BLACK: I'm sorry. Do I think what?

BERMAN: The tax cut will add to the deficit?

BLACK: What we believe is that there will be growth, but that's not the only way to make sure that we keep the deficit down. Because you can bring in more money, but if you continue to spend, this is why we believe that it is so important to address the mandatory spending. It is two-thirds of our spending. You've got to address it all. And that's why our budget does just that.

BERMAN: All right. Chairwoman Diane black with the Budget Committee and Ways and Means, thanks so much for being with us. We'll be watching very, very carefully.

All right, politics and pop culture, where does one end and the other begin? Eminem, the rapper, now in a feud with the president. The president in a feud with the NFL. The circle goes round and round and round.