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Explosive New Allegations Against Harvey Weinstein; Trump Suggests I.Q. Test. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired October 11, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harvey Weinstein stands accused of rape and assault.
[05:59:07] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He excused himself. And when he came back, he was just in a robe, buck naked.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It definitely feels like our culture is starting to take this more seriously.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: The Obamas and the Clintons embraced him. I think it's is a dark mark on their record.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He made a joke. Nothing more than that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I laughed when he said it. He did not laugh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need the president to act like a president instead of undercutting his own secretary of state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trying to get out of here. Saw it; now it's getting across the road.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is still zero percent contained.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We tried to go direct in a couple of different places and hopped (ph) along by the fire.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, October 11, 6 a.m. here in New York.
Up first, disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein facing explosive new allegations from at least two dozen women, some of Hollywood's most high-profile actresses coming forward with accounts of how Weinstein harassed them early in their careers. Gwyneth Paltrow said this way of treating women ends now.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Three women also accused Weinstein of rape. Weinstein's wife is said to be leaving him as he reportedly heads to rehab.
The controversy engulfing some of the biggest names in the Democratic Party. Was it really known that the mogul was victimizing women in this way? Why did it take days for Hillary Clinton and the Obamas to denounce Weinstein, a longtime Democratic donor. And as these allegations mount, there are questions about whether Weinstein could face criminal charges.
We have all the angles covered. Let's begin with CNN's Brynn Gingras. She has the latest with the latest -- Brynn.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As you said, this list just continues to grow. The allegations strikingly similar among the women. More people are really just trying to separate themselves from Weinstein. His name has been dropped from the credits of shows he's produced, like "Project Runway," and the board of the film company he cofounded may change its name as early as this week.
GINGRAS (voice-over): The board of the Weinstein Company insisting Tuesday that they had no knowledge of the explosive allegations against co-founder Harvey Weinstein, calling the claims, quote, "an utter surprise." This despite widespread rumors that Weinstein's alleged abuse was the worst-kept secret in Hollywood.
Comedian Seth McFarland even knocked Weinstein's bad reputation while hosting the Oscars in 2013.
SETH MCFARLAND, COMEDIAN: Congratulations. You five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.
GINGRAS: At least 25 women, including some of Hollywood's most prominent actresses, have now come forward accusing Weinstein of acts ranging from harassment to rape. Gwyneth Paltrow telling "The New York Times" that when she was 22, a meeting with Weinstein, quote, "ended with him placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages. I was petrified," Paltrow said.
Ashley Judd alleges that two decades ago Weinstein had her sent up to his hotel room and then greeted her in a bathrobe, asking if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower. Angelina Jolie also telling "The Times" that Weinstein made unwanted advances on her in a hotel room in the late 1990s.
KATHERINE KENDALL, ACCUSED HARVEY WEINSTEIN OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: He was in the bathroom, came out of the bathrobe in a robe and asked me to give him a massage. I said, no, I didn't feel comfortable. He said, "Everybody does it."
Two other women recounting similar stories on CNN last night.
KENDALL: And said, "Well, at least if you won't, you know, give me a massage, then can I see your breasts?"
LOUISETTE GEISS, ACCUSED HARVEY WEINSTEIN OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: He told me he would give me a three-picture deal, and he could get my movie made. And you know, I don't doubt that he could, but he said, you know, "You have to watch me. But you've got to stay and watch me masturbate."
GINGRAS: "The New Yorker" publishing disturbing audio with a 2015 police sting involving Weinstein and model Amber Battilana Gutierrez. Weinstein attempts to lure her into his hotel room before admitting to groping her the day before.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN, MOVIE PRODUCER: On everything. I'm a famous guy.
AMBER BATTILANA GUTIERREZ, MODEL: You're making me very uncomfortable right now.
WEINSTEIN: Please come in now. And one minute. And if you want to leave, when the guys comes with my jacket--
GUTIERREZ: Why yesterday you touch my breast?
WEINSTEIN: Oh, please, I'm sorry. Just come on in. I'm just used to that.
GUTIERREZ: You're used to that?
GINGRAS: The Manhattan district attorney's office says in a statement that, quote, "While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was in sufficient to prove a crime under New York law."
Weinstein's reps declined to comment on the tape, but said in a statement Tuesday, "Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Weinstein is a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton and a major donor to the Democratic Party, raising more than $1 million for Democrats since the '90s.
After days of silence, Clinton condemned Weinstein on Tuesday, saying, quote, "The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated."
The Obamas also denouncing Weinstein, saying, "Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. And Weinstein's wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, announced she's leaving her husband. The couple have two children together.
As for Weinstein, a spokesman says he's headed to rehab -- Chris and Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: All right, Brynn. Thank you very much for all of that.
Let's discuss it with CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter and CNN contributor and "Entertainment Tonight" host Nischelle Turner. Great to have both of you here in studio. Nischelle, so this was an open secret, right, in Hollywood? I mean,
you are out there. You cover this. What was it like about Harvey Weinstein?
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't know how much of an open secret it was back in the day. But I was talking earlier, and I said after Ashley Judd did the "Vanity Fair" article a little bit ago, I think that the talk started getting louder, saying, "Is she talking about Harvey Weinstein? Maybe she's talking about -- I think she's talking about Harvey Weinstein."
So that's when you first started hearing some of this, in my estimation, you know, as general talk. This much, this layer, the stuff that's happening now, it's blowing me away, and I've been covering Hollywood for a long time. I just didn't know there were this many layers to it.
[06:05:13] CAMEROTA: And this many high-profile women. When you see Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow willing to publicly speak about it, the flood gates have opened.
TURNER: Right. Absolutely. And I think it's -- but I think it's very important. And I think we should all be very glad that they did. Because like we saw over at FOX News, once Gretchen Carlson stepped and said this happened to me, it let -- let the door open for a lot of other women to say, "This happened to me, this happened to me."
And I don't know how many women are going to come forward. We might see what we saw in the range of what we saw with Bill Cosby, around 50 women or more. Who knows what this man was doing for how many years?
CUOMO: Well, the timing becomes relevant in two ways. One, it doesn't matter that -- whether it's Paltrow or Jolie, that they waited a long time and not because there's almost no incentive for them to have come out. You know, you don't get believed. You can get belittled. And the same power dynamic that allows his to prey on you may still wind up victimizing you even later on. So that's one timing issue.
The second is, did the people who took the money on the political side know? There is a political aspect to this story. And that's really important. It's important to know on the criminal side in terms of when should Harvey Weinstein have been investigated?
But you have a lot of big-name politicians who took money from Weinstein, and whether it was a whisper or whether it was known, there's going to be an accountability story here.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And this is about the many layers or many faces of Harvey Weinstein. The version that Hillary Clinton knew, the version that Barack Obama knew was not the version that was preying on these young women. I'm thinking of the last time I saw him Wednesday about a month ago at a very fancy party out on Long Island.
And sure enough, he's around his fellow media executives. He's not acting like a creep. He's not acting like someone with this criminal kind of behavior. He's acting like one of the guys. Right? One of the guys that runs a big movie company.
If you take that and then you take this -- the guy we hear on this tape, this disgusting tape sounding like a predator, that's a different side of him. And I don't think there's any reason to believe Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would have seen that disturbing side of him. You know what I mean? There are different versions of him.
TURNER: I will say this, though. In Hollywood, it was generally well-known that he was a mean cuss, that he could be a real--
STELTER: Right. Volatile. Prone to anger.
TURNER: Exactly. Absolutely. So in that respect, there were two sides of him that people did know this Harvey and this Harvey. This Harvey--
STELTER: Yes, I think people knew he was a creep but not that there could be criminal behavior going on for decades. That, to me, is the shock. A settlement as early as 1990 and as recently as 2015.
CAMEROTA: It's so similar to me to Roger Ailes. It fits the same parallels. He can be charming, and powerful, and charismatic, and he can be a bully, and mean and intimidating. And that whole power dynamic where young women, ambitious women are, he's offering something to them. They come to him, and then something changes and shifts. It gets much darker. It's the same M.O. I mean, it just smacks--
TURNER: Doesn't that audio tape just chill you to the bone, hearing that, and hearing that girl's, that poor girl's voice and hearing how scared she sounded and how, you know, shaken she sounded.
CAMEROTA: And yet how, what I was struck by was how much she was holding her ground. "I'd really like to leave now. I'm very uncomfortable. I'm leaving. I don't like this. Why did you do this?" Like she was--
CUOMO: She seemed to be checking some boxes. What do we know about the tape?
CAMEROTA: She was wired, right?
CUOMO: Obviously, she was wired. But she was trying to check different boxes. I don't mean in any way to ascribe negative motive on her part. She was just trying to prove what was there.
Let's listen to more of the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINSTEIN: Go in the bathroom.
GUTIERREZ: Please, I don't want to do something I don't want to do. WEINSTEIN: 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 don't -- if you embarrass me in this hotel.
GUTIERREZ: I'm not embarrassing you. It's just that I don't feel comfortable.
WEINSTEIN: Please. I am not going to do anything. I swear on my children. Please come in. On everything. I'm a famous guy.
GUTIERREZ: I'm -- I'm very uncomfortable right now.
WEINSTEIN: Please come in now, in one minute. And if you want to leave, when the guy comes with my jacket.
GUTIERREZ: Why yesterday you touch my breast?
WEINSTEIN: Please. I'm sorry. I'm just kind of used to that.
GUTIERREZ: You're used to that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: I mean, there's so much there to unpack. Him groveling. You see him trying to play all the different corners.
CUOMO: Well, they're in the hallway, though, which is helpful to me. Hearing that part of it explains the desperation in his voice. Because he's not sounding this predatorial, but it's because he's afraid he's about to get busted.
TURNER: Right. Exactly.
CUOMO: And that's the common-sense take, that he wanted to get her into, you know, a secret location, the room where then people wouldn't know what was going on. So his manner may have been very different when he was in private.
CAMEROTA: Definitely. I mean, the women described him as chasing them around. The women who he pinned. You know, we had Lauren Savan (ph) coming on. He blocked the exit so that she couldn't leave in the basement of an empty restaurant.
[06:10:08] STELTER: And that was in 2007.
STELTER: This tape was in 2015. And yet, the D.A. said it wasn't enough to prosecute. The world changes really slowly until all of a sudden it changes really quickly.
Gretchen Carlson sued Roger Ailes just 15 months ago. Bill O'Reilly, the allegations against him came out just six months ago. And now here we are, here in more than a dozen women describing behavior by Harvey Weinstein. It is incredible to me how quickly this country is changing. Our mindsets are changing. And how quickly, after years, decades of women having to suffer in silence, people feel they can now speak out.
TURNER: But is Harvey Weinstein changing something, that's one of the things that I'm wondering. We have reporting, "Entertainment Tonight," that he is going to seek treatment at a live-in facility overseas.
But I thought it was interesting what he -- the e-mail that -- that we saw from him yesterday when he -- at the end of it he says, "Maybe I can get a second chance."
STELTER: Second chance. Second chance.
CAMEROTA: He's had more than a few second chances.
TURNER: Exactly. And I'm like, is that what you're thinking about? So that really tells us a lot.
CAMEROTA: In fact, some of the women now say they came forward, because his apologies or his explanations were so lame.
CAMEROTA: That they were, like, "Come on."
CUOMO: What would he -- what could he have said?
CAMEROTA: He could have said, "I take responsibility for the disgusting behavior."
STELTER: "I've done a lot of terrible things, and I'll disappear for a while."
CUOMO: I wonder how much it gives us concern. Obviously, there is something very perverse going on here. Right? So you know, whether he's able to communicate what he does that's wrong is an open question.
Also, there could be some legal exposure for him. There are questions for the D.A. here in New York City as to why he didn't prosecute. These are not easy cases. I know that's frustrating for people. They should be easy cases. They're not under the law in many instances. But we do need more explanation.
CAMEROTA: OK. Guys, thank you very much. We're going to be having this conversation all morning. Ahead on NEW DAY, we're going to talk to two of the women who say that they were harassed and accosted by Harvey Weinstein.
Lots of Democrats, Hillary Clinton, the Obamas, both took campaign donations, lots of Democrats. Lots of people took donations from Harvey Weinstein directly or indirectly. They're finally speaking out. But it took days. And that's the question. Why did it take so long? We discuss next.
[06:16:01] CUOMO: Five days it took for Hillary Clinton and former President Obama to denounce Harvey Weinstein. The question is why? Were they waiting for more information? Was this somehow about politics? There's no question that Harvey Weinstein filled a lot of pockets in politics directly and indirectly.
So let's discuss this aspect. It matters. We have CNN political analyst John Avlon, an associate editor of RealClearPolitics, A.B. Stoddard. What's your take, John, on the delay? Is it a delay, first of all? Is that a reasonable way to call it. Was five days longer than we would have expected?
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Five days is a delay. It is a degree of situational educate ethics, because they would have filed on a Republican, had they been asked about it, similar circumstances.
But look, money talks. All the money in politics in every other way. And Weinstein had raised more than a million dollars for the Democratic Party and was very tight personally with the Clintons and with the Obamas. But this is behavior that is indefensible. They should have come out against it earlier. It's great that they did unequivocally.
But it really calls into question. And it's a reminder that no party is a monopoly in virtue or vice. And it calls into question the relationships of this nature that these politicians get cozy with big- money folks and producers, and there's a shady side to what they do. And you've got to apply the same standards aggressively and early.
CAMEROTA: A.B., let me read the statement, in case we misstate, of what we the Clintons put out what Hillary Clinton put out, as well as the Obamas.
So first, here's Hillary Clinton's: "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."
I'll quickly read the Obamas': "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 held accountable regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have 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 the behavior less prevalent in the future."
What are your thoughts?
STODDARD: Well, I agree with John. I mean, it just doesn't matter if this information was shocking to the Obamas or the Clintons or if they had actually heard rumors for years about Weinstein being creepy and being a letch. I know of reputations of people in my business at this moment that I
don't think are under investigation. It's very possible that this stuff got around all the way to the people who are receiving very generous donations from Mr. Weinstein. But even if they were totally caught unawares by this, you don't wait five days. Surely, their friends were burning up the phone lines and the e-mail, telling them more. You come out right the way it looks terrible that they waited as long as they did.
And I think that it -- you know, this does what the Obamas said in their statement about a culture which Vice President Biden was talking a lot about with regard to the question of campus sexual assault. There's a lot of issues here that need to be debated. It's not only how, in a corporate culture, this kind of thing is covered up. And it's -- it's been enabled, and people around the person become complicit in helping protect their reputation.
But we need to obviously make sure that women feel that they can speak up about this and be able to be heard. But men don't think that they can -- can do this kind of thing, particularly, as John pointed out, if they throw around a bunch of political donations. I mean, the fact that this becomes something where people are nervous to make Harvey Weinstein mad, because he's given so much to Democrats. There are Democrats right now vying for 2020 who are going to come out in the next six, nine months, try to build a national reputation, that have taken money from him. And they have to be ready with an answer to this.
AVLON: Just -- you know, our politics, situational ethics is an epidemic. We see it every day. We see double standards. But a really honest and dependable politician is going to cut through that crowd immediately. You've got to apply the same standards, and this is about power structures. This is -- the parallelism to the extent it exists between Weinstein and Ailes is about power structures that protect people who are -- who are widely rumored to engage in incredibly creepy, ugly behavior.
[06:20:16] It's difficult to nail down because of things like, you know, paying people off and silencing. But -- but it's our obligation as journalists, I think as a society to dig deep into that. Because these people have been protected and have been creating horrific abuses to individuals for a long time.
CAMEROTA: It's just a no-brainer. You know, when you hear something of this magnitude, where women are starting to come forward and telling really these sort of grotesque stories. The idea that it took so long is puzzling. It is a no-brainer.
CUOMO: I get the calculation. I mean, first thing, you want to make sure that it's true. You don't want to go out there against a friend if it's not going to be real. And then you don't want to put your head out there too far because people are going to hit it. But it's a political calculation.
AVLON: Without court documents, these things are very difficult to report, especially if people are afraid to come forward. CAMEROTA: -- 100 percent.
AVLON: People are paid off for their silence. That add -- that's another layer to what's been enforced, whether or not it's a taxpayer issue, or sorry, a shareholder issue in the case of Ailes, where is that money coming from. Was it accounted for? But these are big deals, because that's part of this. If we don't have court docs, it's difficult to report. People aren't coming forward.
Obviously, props to the women coming forward.
CUOMO: Yes. The only difference is here is that we're talking about something where the law is not enough. And so the culture matters just as much. And what you ignore, you empower. And if this were a contract dispute, I'd get why you'd wait the five days. But this isn't a contract dispute; it's something that deserves the energy.
Let's talk about something else that deserves some energy, A.B. Let's put up the quote from the president about Secretary of State Tillerson in this aftermath of all the moron talk: "I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have is to compare I.Q. tests. And I can tell you who's going to win."
His press secretary, Sanders, went on, like, a shame campaign that none of us can take the joke. This was just meant as humor. Jim Acosta here at CNN has a source that says it wasn't a joke. What does this mean in terms of the future of Tillerson? We don't really care whether the president was joking or not. We care about the stability of the government around him. What's your take?
STODDARD: Right, that's the larger question. And I mean, I just go back to that tweet from last weekend, where he said, you know, Rex is wasting his time. There's only one way to deal with this.
I mean, basically, the secretary of state was in China, and the world now knows that he doesn't speak for the president or this administration at all and that the president will just overturn whatever he's saying publicly at any time.
It also said that the president is not really placing a premium on diplomacy, not empowering his secretary of state. And sort of laughing off the diplomatic solution at this point on Twitter.
And so the fact that he puts him down all the time and undercuts him with comments like the I.Q. thing is another matter. It really -- it really speaks to whether or not he has a job anymore that he can do.
And I think at this point his serving in this position really looks futile. I think he has a great -- he's done all he can. I think a lot of people want him to stay in the job. But I wonder how he can continue to do the job considering that his boss has rendered him powerless on the international stage.
AVLON: A.B., I thought the president said yesterday he doesn't undercut people. That doesn't possibly--
STODDARD: Not at all.
AVLON: I think, look, the larger problem here, as Bob Corker pointed out over the weekend, is it just adult day care? It's about trying to -- cabinet officials trying to contain the president from his worst impulses.
And so you've got this so-called axis of adults. Right? You know, you've got Tillerson, you've got Mattis, you've got McMaster.
CAMEROTA: I'm writing that down.
AVLON: And you're welcome. You're welcome. But this is a really serious issue, because our constitutional system isn't designed to have to contain a president who has terrible impulses and impulse control simultaneously.
When you see a tweet like the I.Q. test, it reads like an outtake from an absurd satirical novel that would never pass muster. And this is real, folks. This is happening. Joke or not, you've got the president asking for an I.Q. test in public with his secretary of state. That's insane.
CUOMO: Look, we heard from Senator Ron Johnson yesterday, a Republican. You know, he's a player. OK? No question about it.
CUOMO: And when asked about this state of play, he immediately defaulted to the position that you're laying out right now. Which is, you know, "We've got good guys there. We've got Kelly. We've got Mattis. We've got Tillerson. These are good guys. I trust them."
And is that what they're banking on right now? Is that somehow this axis of adults will be able to hem in the most powerful man in the world? It seems--
AVLON: Yes. That's the best card to play right now if you're a Republican on Capitol Hill.
CAMEROTA: There you go. John Avlon, A.B. Stoddard, thank you very much for the conversation.
[06:25:00] Now to this breaking news. More evacuations ordered in California. Deadly wildfires wiping out entire neighborhoods in Northern California. So we have a live report from the front line of this fire, next.
CAMEROTA: We do have breaking news right now, because the death toll is up to 17, and more evacuations ordered as more than a dozen wildfires engulf entire neighborhoods in California wine country.
CNN's Ryan Young is live for us in Santa Rosa, California. What is the situation, Ryan? RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, just a scary situation. When
you look at the immense damage here, it's really just breathtaking. Where we are, the entire neighborhood is gone. There are repeated scenes just like this one, where you see a car that's just left in front of what should be the house. And then you look at the next direction. That would have been the neighbor's home, where you see that chimney right there. But as you walk up to a home, like you look for something. It is is very hard to make anything here besides maybe that sewing machine that's in the distance over there. This is repeated all over the place. Seventeen people have been killed so far. Twenty-thousand people have evacuated.