Return to Transcripts main page


Rex Tillerson was pressed repeatedly about the report that his relationship with the President has become so strange that one Republican even likened it to a public castration; NFL players and owners set to meet over the national anthem saga; Puerto Ricans still struggling to get clean drinking water three weeks after hurricane Maria; Exclusive investigation finds Russian attempts to meddle in the election went way beyond Facebook and twitter; Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 15, 2017 - 19:00   ET



[19:00:16] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Top of the hour. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for being here.

On the same day that President Trump was enjoying a round of golf, his secretary of state was going round after round on whether he called the President a moron.

In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Rex Tillerson was pressed repeatedly about the report that his relationship with the President has become so strange that one Republican even likened it to a public castration.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Is it true? Did you call him a moron?

REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Jake, as I indicated earlier, I was asked about that, I'm not going to deal with that kind of petty stuff. I mean, this is a town that seems to relish gossip, rumor, innuendo, and feed on it. They feed on one another in a very destructive way. I don't work that way. I don't feel that way. And I'm just not going to dignify the question.

I call the President Mr. President. He and I have a very, very open, frank and candid relationship. I see him often. I speak to him nearly every day. I'm in the oval office a number of hours every week.

TAPPER: Either you didn't say it in which case there are a whole bunch of administration officials telling the press and telling the President you did and that's so a serious problem or you did say it and look, you are a serious guy. For you to say something like that suggests a real frustration with the commander in-chief. So when you don't answer the question it makes people think that you probably did say it. But either way, whatever happened it is serious. So can you please clear it up? TILLERSON: As I said, Jake, I'm not playing. These are the games of

Washington. These are the destructive games of this town. They are not helpful to anyone. And so my position on it is I'm not playing. I'm not playing. You want to make a game out of it, I'm not playing. It is as simple as that.

TAPPER: I'm not making a game out of it. I mean, I'm just trying to seek clarity because saying that if I said my boss was a moron, that would be a serious issue. I wouldn't be -- and my boss doesn't control news.

I'm willing to move on, but I just want to be clear, you still haven't denied that you called him a moron. And you know, a lot of people are going to watch this and think he probably said it.

TILLERSON: I'm not dignifying the question with an answer.

TAPPER: I wanted to ask about Senator Bob Corker who said something about you. And he was referring - he is a friend of yours. He has tremendous respect for you. He speaks highly of you all the time. He says that you are one of the best things about the cabinet and he is dismayed he think President Trump is constantly undermining you. This is a Republican chairman of senate foreign relations committee. He said that the President has quote "castrated you before the world stage." That's his word, not mine. What is your response to that?

TILLERSON: Well, as I indicated earlier, Jake, I think this is an unconventional President. He uses unconventional communication tools. He uses unconventional techniques to motivate change. And for people that have been around Washington a long time, this is a place that you know better than I. You been here longer than I. This is not a place that likes to change.

TAPPER: You have a cattle ranch, don't want to say anything about the senator calling -- suggesting you've been gelded before the world? That's not anything that bothers you?

TILLERSON: I checked. I'm fully intact.



CNN's Ryan Nobles joins me now from the White House.

Ryan, Tillerson was among advisers who went on TV today. They were trying to present a united front amid the questions over whether the President's tweets are undermining their diplomatic efforts and goals.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. In many ways they were trying to clarify exactly what the President's motivations were as it relates to this Iran deal, essentially saying that yes, the President wants a tougher deal but the end goal is for the administration to remain in this compact. And that's a lot different than what Donald Trump said on the campaign trail. And it's a bit different than what he said since he was President. Ana, just on Friday the President suggesting that if he didn't like

the deal, that the Congress returned to him, that he was prepared to terminate it. That's not what we heard from Rex Tillerson and other administration officials today. They hope that there is a diplomatic solution to this. They want to stay in this deal and they are going to do everything they can to get there.

CABRERA: Meantime, the President spent some quality time with Senator Lindsey Graham, we know, and Rand Paul this weekend. And they were golfing. He is set to have a meeting with the Senate majority leader this week. What can you tell us?

NOBLES: Well, this is going to be an important conversation the President is going to have with Mitch McConnell because their relationship has certainly been on shaky ground. And Lindsey Graham, one of those golf partners of the President this weekend was on CBS. And this morning he said that it's not Mitch McConnell's fault that the Senate has not accomplished any of their goals.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Mitch McConnell is not our problem. Our problem is that we promised to repeal and replace Obamacare and we failed. We promised to cut taxes and we have jet to yet to do it. If we are successful, Mitch McConnell is fine. If we are not, we are all in trouble. We lose our majority. And I think President Trump will not get reelected.


[19:05:04] NOBLES: There's a two-fold problem here, Ana, not only is the President in need to repair these relationships with the members of the Republican Senate that are currently damaged but they also need to come up with a policy solution. And you can repair all of the relationships you want. If you can't come to some sort of agreement is to how to move forward on these big issues like healthcare and tax reform, the Republicans are going to continue to spend their wheels.

CABRERA: Ryan Nobles at the White House for us, thank you.

Secretary of state Rex Tillerson also making clear that despite what President Trump sometimes implies in his tweets, a war with North Korea is a last resort.


TILLERSON: He has made it clear to me to continue my diplomatic efforts which we are and we will -- as I have told others, those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.


CABRERA: Joining us now is Democratic congressman Ted Lieu of California. He serves on the House foreign affairs committee.

Congressman, thanks for being with us. Tillerson there kind of conceding that President Trump is playing good cop, bad cop with North Korea. And that President really does is want to continue diplomatic negotiations. Does that give you hope?

REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: No, Ana. And thank you with that question. Sitting on the House foreign affairs committee, there is deep bipartisan concern about the dysfunction coming out of the White House in terms of foreign policy. You have got the President who repeatedly undermines his own secretary of state and that causes two big problems. One, it is very confusing to the American people and to foreign leaders.

And second, it destroys secretary Tillerson's credibility. Now, when he speaks to world leaders or members of Congress, we don't know who he's speaking for. Is he speaking for just himself or is he speaking for the President? And this incoherence is weakening America.

CABRERA: But what about the idea that he is there. He is trying to do some negotiation. The President fires off a tweet that a lot of people would take alarm with or see, you know, signaling an alarm and that could, in fact, give Tillerson even more power by saying, what the President is saying, like that could be really bad, you better negotiate with me?

LIEU: If I were a world leader, I would start ignoring secretary Tillerson and start reading the President's twitter feed and makes it so that's really hard for Tillerson to do his job. And it makes it so that on such an important issue as North Korea, if you were to ask the Trump administration a very simple and crucial question, do we support the diplomacy in North Korea? Their answer is we don't know because the President clearly has a very different view than Tillerson.

CABRERA: Let me ask you about Iran as well. The President have asked Congress now to strengthen a nuclear deal. Listen to what he told reporters on Friday about the changes he wants made to the deal.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to see what happens. We are going to see what they come back with. They may come back with something that's very satisfactory to me. And if they don't, within a very short period of time, I will terminate the deal.


CABRERA: So the ball is in your court now in Congress. You have 60 days. What can we expect the deal to look at when we reach that deadline?

LIEU: I oppose the President's decertification of Iran deal. But there were some serious flaws with this deal. One of them is that all these sunset base and they will come here very soon, meaning, a lot of these provisions against Iran will expire. I want to see if we can work with our European allies and extend these sunset dates. I also want to make sure that we can extend and increase sanctions through a nonnuclear on Iran's behavior when it comes to funding terrorists and causing chaos in the region. So I look forward to working with Republican and Democrats to see if we can increase the strength of the Iran deal.

CABRERA: President Trump also seemed to punt health care to congress. Listen to what he said about that.


TRUMP: Now, if the Democrats were smart, what they do is come and negotiate something where people could really get the kind of healthcare that they deserve. What would be nice if the Democratic leaders could come over to the White House, we will negotiate some deal that's good for everybody. That's what I would like. But they are always a bloc vote against everything. They are like obstructionist. If they came over, maybe we could make a deal. The Democrats should come to me. I would even go to them, because I'm only interested in one thing, getting great healthcare.


CABRERA: Are you willing to meet the President at the table and where do you think Democrats and Republicans could find middle ground?

LIEU: I am on Obamacare. It is not a perfect law. And you can always improve or update any law. I'm willing to work with the President, with Republicans. But what Donald Trump did this week is he intentionally harmed millions of Americans by issuing an executive order that's going to cut funding to an important part of the affordable care act. He is doing that out of spite. He doesn't need to do that. He needs to faithfully execute the laws which is his duty under the constitution. So sure, I'm happy to negotiate. But he can't harm Americans and then try to use that as negotiating leverage.

[19:10:05] CABRERA: Before I let you go, I want to get your take on the Harvey Weinstein scandal as well because your district includes Santa Monica, Malibu, (INAUDIBLE), places a lot of Hollywood stars call home.

Weinstein we know is a prominent donor to Democrat. Did you ever receive donations from him?

LIEU: I did not.

CABRERA: What do you think should be done, though, about this culture of people in positions of power taking advantage of that power?

LIEU: The conduct that Harvey Weinstein allegedly engaged in is unacceptable whether in the private sector or public sector. And if the allegations of rape are true, then he should be indicted and prosecuted and he should be going to prison.

CABRERA: Congressman Ted Lieu, we appreciate your tom as always. Thank you.

Coming up, NFL players and owners set to meet over the national anthem saga. Can they reach an agreement after weeks of controversial protests? We discuss next live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:15:02] CABRERA: After weeks of controversy, the NFL is gearing up for a big meeting this week between the league, team owners and the players union over the protests during the national anthem. And while the league says there are no plans to mandate players stand for the anthem, they do want to come up with a solution to move past the controversy.

CNN's Coy Wire joins us with the latest -- Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Ana, within the past few weeks there has been an increase in the divisive rhetoric regarding the players who are protesting racial and social injustice during the national anthem. I spoke to several NFL players and league executives who feel the protests have been inaccurately pegged as protests of our flag, our military and of America as a whole and that has damaged the image of the players and the league. So now there's a concerted effort to get the messaging of the protest back on track.

Part of the problem has been the perception of an inconsistent approach to the protest. Today, the New Orleans Saints took a knee before the national anthem and then stood while it played as we saw the Dallas Cowboys do.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in Minnesota for the matchup between the Packers and Vikings where both teams stood locked arm in arm and to show solidarity. Now, the 49ers, the organization for which Colin Kaepernick played when he first started the protest against racial and social injustice had several players kneeling during the anthem as has been the case for that team.

Now, team owners and the commissioner are going to discuss the anthem issue during their fall meetings this week in New York City. And Ana, part of those meetings will be to figure out how all parties can approach this anthem issue on a more unified front. I was a player representative during my playing game. And I can assure you that a meeting like this to unify on a single subject is essentially unheard of. There's normally a contentious relationship between the two parties.

I talked to a high level NFL execute who said the league feels that it is vital that the owners provide a platform for the players to create a positive change in their communities. And also help them prevent the purpose of their protest from being misconstrued.

So Ana, what will this platform look like? How else will the league help the players enhance community relationships? Will teams contribute financially? As we have already seen, the San Francisco 49ers donate $1 million to charities that focus on race issues. Or the Packers and head coach Mike McCarthy that donated $100,000 each to the community's police foundation.

Now, Ana, on a conference call this past week, NFL said that there are no proposals on the table that would force players to stand during the anthem. Something else to keep an eye on coming out of the upcoming meeting this week. CABRERA: We will be watching. Coy Wire, thank you.

Let's bring in our CNN political commentators on the right, Ben Ferguson, host of the "Ben Ferguson" show. And on the left, Marc Lamont Hill, host of BTE News and a professor at Temple University.

So Ben, the NFL is a business. Business can make rules about what its employees, I should say, can or can't do. But since they have already let the genie out of the bottle, so to speak with these players taking a knee, would it harm the NFL's relationship now with its players if it tries to pull back on that?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think -- I guess, it get harm in the short-term but hopefully they can sit there and say, look, we need to come up with a better way to protest that doesn't seem like we are disrespecting the American flag and those that fought and protect and defended it.

I also think this is an opportunity for the NFL players -- this afternoon, I was looking at a lot of the conversations they were having online. And before we did this today and there's so many people that say they support the players. And what they are trying to get across but the way they are doing it and their messaging is not connecting with people.

If you are running a protest, you want to bring as many people to your mindset, to your thought process as you possibly can. This is probably the worst way for these NFL players to get their point across because it looks like to the majority of Americans that it's inappropriate to use a moment where you are supposed to be honoring the flag and the men and women that have fought protect and defended it to push another issue. If that, in fact, is the issue that you're really trying to push.

I also think the NFL has an image issue because the biggest day of their protest was a day where it looked like the majority of people protesting were actually protesting Donald Trump and his words, they were not involved in the protest for the year before that, so they need to hit the reset button. And if I was advising them, I would say guys, you need to make sure that you are not having more people hate you than like you. You need to have more people listening to you than turning you off. And from an NFL perspective, most people sports bring us together. It brings us together because we are not talking politics.

When I watch a game, the last thing I want to do is deal with politics. That's why cities come together when their teams are making a run at a championship, right?

CABRERA: I think a lot of people can agree with you that sports and politics we want to replay.

But let me bring Marc into the conversation, Ben. I hear what you are saying and you bring up a good question, Marc, does kneeling still represent a protest of racial injustice and police brutality or has it become a protest of the President and what some see his attempt to shut down their freedom of expression?

[19:20:02] MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Ben said lots of stuff so let me try and get to as much as of it is possible to answer your question directly.

Yes, kneeling still represents a racist and racial injustice, to state violence and to police violence. That's exactly what's it for. Ben points out that, you know, the majority of Americans find this disrespectful to the flag. I'm not sure if that's true. I haven't seen any data to confirm that. But let's not be a historical here.

CABRERA: In the polls that have been done just -- I'll let you finish, Marc. But just in the polls that have been done, you know, we have seen that the majority of Americans say they don't agree with kneeling during the anthem but the majority have also said they don't agree with the President saying you can't kneel during the anthem that you should be fired for it.

HILL: Right. I understand what the polls say that most people disagree with it. What I'm saying is there are multiple reasons to disagree with it. Some of which don't have to do with the reason to do with Ben is suggesting. I'm saying, and so we unpack the data (INAUDIBLE). It's hard to know what people are disagreeing with.

But my bigger point is, at every junction in history there have been -- the majority of people have disagreed. The majority of people disagreed with Martin Luther King. Majority of people disagreed with Rosa Parks. There has never been this moment where America moved forward from consensus and from majority rule. The majority has always been against justice. If you go by (INAUDIBLE), that's not what we go by and --

FERGUSON: The difference.


CABRERA: Let's let Marc finish.

HILL: So then the other question here is who gets to define what patriotism is? Who gets to define what respect for the American flag is? There are many people who would say that Donald Trump disrespects the American flag through his presidency. There are many people who will say through his practice, through his acts, through his word. There is a disrespect for the American flag.

There are many different perspectives on these. But these players have a right and a duty, I think, to speak up against injustice in a way that they see fit and then kneel in their minds do that.

And again, they were very clear about saying, look, we are going to take a knee as opposed to sitting down. We are going to take a knee as oppose to not standing at all. They made a very clear decision that is in response to the advice of a veteran and they said look -- go ahead. Apparently --

FERGUSON: This is where the NFL -- and Marc, I think the difference between you said the polls that were against, for example, you know, it is Martin Luther King and civil rights era, that's a poll that is completely different context. You are talking about suppressing people.

The majority of Americans believe that the NFL players have the right to protest. The majority of the American people I think support the idea of standing up to racial injustice and they support them in doing that. The only issue here is the avenue of doing it during the national anthem, the presenting of the colors, honoring our military the appropriate moment in time to do that. And I said it earlier, I will say it again. If your job in a protest is to bring more people to your way of thinking and your way of life then you want to make sure that you're not alienating more than 50 percent of the people that think we support your rights bill. We do not support the way that you are doing it.

CABRERA: But Ben, may I just ask you or throw this in there? I mean, the President has not really acknowledged what the message of those protests were initially. The President has not acknowledged the part of the racial injustice that is there and exists in this country when you talk about unifying the country, is he really doing that by creating this division in this controversy with it?

FERGUSON: Of course he's not.

Look. I think you see how this debate is gone on now for so long. You see how many people have chimed in on the debate. There are a lot of people that cannot get past the fact that you have NFL players that are stretching on the sidelines during the national anthem. That are sitting and kneeling during the national anthem that don't even come out of the locker room during the national anthem. That were not out there - and they are not under protesting with Colin Kaepernick until Donald Trump spoke about it.

CABRERA: Ben, finish your sentence and then go ahead, Marc.

FERGUSON: No. Go ahead, Marc. You can take it from there. It's fine.

HILL: So one thing is again, Ben was talking about color guards, honoring troops, honoring people from wars abroad with these (INAUDIBLE) have done. All of these things are politics. To pretend as if the NFL players were kneeling injecting politics into sports is simply untrue.

The NFL has always been about politics. The only difference is it's been a very singular narrative about politics, a very singular narrative about war and about troops, about military and about justice. And now these players are intervening, say hey, let's not take this for granted. If we are going to sing the national anthem, let's acknowledge the fact the words of the national anthem don't ring true for a whole lot of people. Let's acknowledge that this American flag that flies all around the country and in some ways around the world simply doesn't hold true in a democratic principles for the vulnerable of this country. So let's have a different kind of conversation. And again, to keep continue to tell people, hey, you can't -- you can

protest but you can't protest. And that's exactly what happened during the civil rights struggles. They told people, yes, you are allowed to protest. You have your right to free speech, but why do you have to do on the bus? Why do you do in our lunch counters? Why do you have do it in schools? Why do you have to do it in front of this university? It's always the narrative. We have to stop telling people they can't protest. The only reason we are talking --

FERGUSON: I want to quote the NFL players here.

[19:25:00] CABRERA: Hold on, Ben. Go ahead, Marc finish up.

HILL: The only reason we are talking about this right now is because these players took a knee. If these players were to go to the local civic inside of (INAUDIBLE) local coffee shop. If they were go to a local rally outside of the NFL nobody would be talking about this.

We only talk about this because -- Ben, there are rallies against police brutality every day. And we are not talking about them. We are talking about this one because prominent people are putting something on the line. That's what Colin Kaepernick is a hero because he is prominent. He was rich. He was famous. And he still took a knee in full public view. That's what we are talking about. And that is what these players have to continue to kneel during that national anthem because that's --.


FERGUSON: Here's the one thing I say. I wish the NFL players would go back and look at their own tape when they were over in England playing a game and they knelt during the national anthem, but they stood all of them for "God, Save the Queen." Why? Because they understood the respect. And when you don't respect this country but you respect another country when they are seeing God Save the Queen, I'm just telling you - let me just finish.

HILL: They are not getting shot by British cops. They are not getting oppressed by English mass incarceration center.


CABRERA: OK, guys. We got to leave it there, guys.

Ben Ferguson, Marc Lamont Hill, always great to have you both on. Thank you so much.

Coming up, Puerto Ricans still struggling to get clean drinking water three weeks after hurricane Maria. The situation so desperate some are now turning to a hazardous waste site. How did it come to this? A report next.


[19:31:00] CABRERA: Puerto Rico still has a long way to go to recover from hurricane Maria's devastation. Right now, 85 percent of the island is still without power. The Puerto Rico's governor says he wants to have 95 percent of that power restored before the holidays.

Meanwhile, as CNN reports, people are drinking contaminated water from a hazardous waste site as a leading House Democrat now calling for a federal investigation into the water quality there.

CNN's Ed Lavendera joins us from San Juan with the details - Ed.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, nearly a month after hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico there's still some serious questions about just where some Puerto Ricans are getting their water from.

One area in particular is of intense concern here. It's an area around a town called due Ratto, just west of the capital of San Juan. There is an area there that has been labeled as a super fund site. For those not familiar with what that term means, it's created by the Environmental Protection Agency. And it basically describes an area that is highly contaminated with toxic materials in the ground.

There are a number of water wells on that super fund site. And there are reports, and we have seen it ourselves, of people getting water from those wells. Now, one of the wells that has been used has been officially cleared by government officials here in Puerto Rico. And they have been actually just passing that water out to people who standing in the long lines to come and get that water. They say that the water has passed all of its testing.

Some of the other wells, it's not exactly clear. A team from the environmental Protection Agency went around this weekend testing some of those wells. And it could take most of the week to get the results back. And it is believed that in this water that there could be high levels of toxic materials from industrial waste that is in those waters that could be cause serious health problems for people. EPA officials say it would require long-term exposure to that water.

But we were with one of those EPA officials and this is what he had to say about the testing that their doing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's urgency. It is a concern. And it's a concern both in public health and perception. Both we understand that people are hurting right now. We understand there's a lot of thirsty people out there. And they are accessing whatever water they can and we are trying to ascertain if it is pose any hazards or not.


LAVANDERA: Some independent experts that we have spoken over the last few days getting them to examine EPA documents about this super fund site say it is disturbing that water wells are being used for drinking water. Some people have been exposed to that drinking water and have used it for drinking water. And what is more fascinating that many people as we have gone around to some of these wells, many of the people who live in this area had no idea that this area had been designated as a super fund site. And they had no idea they were tapping into possibly contaminated water. So the work on determining exactly what is coming out of those water wells will continue to be done this week -- Ana.

CABRERA: Ed Lavandera, thank you from San Juan.

Coming up. How famed director Woody Allen is sparking controversy with his remarks on the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal.

Stay right there.


[19:38:12] CABRERA: Two new voices now jumping into the middle of the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal and both might just surprise you. First there's famed director Woody Allen who as you probably know faced his own operate sexual assault allegations from his adopted daughter, called the situation tragic for the poor women that were involved as well as sad for Harvey Weinstein.

Allen also added this, you don't want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem Atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman I suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself. That's not right either.

Well, that led the President's son Donald Trump Jr. to tweet back. It's not a witch hunt when it's actually happening and if you think it's not after the past two weeks I have to question your motives.

Let's bring in CNN's senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter to talk more about this.

So Brian, this is getting pretty bizarre. I mean, first, we have Woody Allen commenting on this after his own history and the fact that his son, Ronan Farrow, did one of the exposes on Weinstein.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He is an estranged son, really, Ronan Farrow, because Ronan taken his sister side believing his sister's allegations against Woody Allen.

But putting that aside, if that is possible, Woody Allen is saying this is sad for everyone involved. And I think there's a distinction to make here. What happened to these accusers is sad, to these victims is disgusting. It is actually empowering, though, this moment, for these accusers because their stories are finally being heard and there's some measure of justice finally being applied to Harvey Weinstein. We have seen him disgraced in Hollywood in the last ten days, kicked out of the academy. So up until now it has have been sad. I would argue the last ten days is actually been empowering for these women who have been able to come forward and be respected and have their stories heard for the first time.

[19:40:00] CABRERA: And again, we have to say Harvey Weinstein through his lawyers said he did not do anything other than consensual sex with some of needs women.

STELTER: Right. He denies the rape allegation. And by the way, he has been quiet all weekend. I have been wondering how he is reacting to having this Oscar recognition taken away. He was the synonymous figure with the Oscars, now he is no longer in the academy. But we have heard nothing from him all weekend long.

CABRERA: So let's look again at Donald Trump's Jr.'s response to Woody Allen here.


CABRERA: It's not a witch hunt when it's actually happening and if you think it's not after the past two weeks I have to question your motives.

Brian, a lot of people are probably reading that and screaming at their TVs right now given the allegations that came out against his father and the whole "Access Hollywood" tape.

STELTER: That's right. Exactly one year ago, President Trump was on the defensive on the campaign trail denying the allegations made by numerous women of sexual assault and harassment in his past. Donald Trump Jr. is here is playing onto this anti-Hollywood, anti-media line. The RNC, the Republican Party, some of the President's aides have been promoting this as well.

The Harvey Weinstein is a symbol for all that is wrong with immoral Hollywood. I think they are painting with a little too broad of (INAUDIBLE). Yes, there's a problem in Hollywood's culture. And the Harvey Weinstein's scandal has revealed that. But they are, I would say, Donald Trump Jr., some of the President's aides are politicizing this in a way that it doesn't need to be politicized.

What has happened is sickening. Thankfully, there are criminal investigations now under way by the NYPD and the London police. We will see if anything comes from that. This is not inherently political, but I think some folks are trying to make it that way.

CABRERA: The President did say on that tape that when you are a star, you can grab women by the -- you know what.

Let's move on to "Saturday Night Live." And of course, there was some criticism last week because they didn't tackle the Harvey Weinstein situation. They did this week. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apple has announced that it will add hundreds of new emojis to its IOS system, including a person at a spa, a vomiting face, and shushing (ph) finger, finally giving emoji fans the ability to describe what it was like to work for Harvey Weinstein.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Weinstein has been accused of multiple counts of sexual assault is reportedly going to Europe for sex rehab. Somehow, I don't think that's going to help anybody. He doesn't need sex rehab, he needs a specialized facility where there are no women, no contact with the outside world, metal bars and it's a prison.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, this is a tough spot for a comedian because it's so hard to make jokes about sexual assault. But it's so easy to make jokes about a guy that looks like this. I mean he looks like chewed bubble gum rolled in cat hair.


CABRERA: OK. So you spoke with Jodi Kanter who broke the original "The New York Times" article. And she talked about kind of the vastness of the indiscretions from Harvey Weinstein. Let's listen to a portion of that.


JODI KANTER, NEW YORK TIMES: I also thought it was so significant that here in the last week the "The New York Times" has published thousands and thousands of detailed words about these allegations. "The New Yorker" has published thousands and thousands of detailed words about these allegations. And yet, there has been almost no overlap between our journalism.

The number of women who were -- who have been in both of our stories, the number of situations that we both reported on is very small. I'm sorry to say this in a way but there appear to have been more than enough allegations to go around.


CABRERA: She makes it sound like it's the tip of the iceberg.

STELTER: And we have heard a few more allegations from women this weekend in "the Washington Post" and in a British newspaper. Actually, one new rape allegation in Britain that's now being investigated by the police.

CABRERA: There really is no laughing matter.

STELTER: But that's why SNL's is on to something with that joke that it is also a serious comment about Weinstein belonging in prison. Let's see what the police find. They may or may not bring charges in New York or anywhere else, but it is -- it is a serious investigation under way looking into these allegations police now belated following up just like the media belatedly following up on Weinstein's behavior.

CABRERA: Thank you so much, Brian Stelter for staying on top of it for us.

Now, on tonight's brand-new episode of "THIS IS LIFE," Lisa Ling explores a provocative question, when does teenage sexuality cross the line and become a crime. Here's a preview.


LISA LING, CNN HOST, THIS IS LIFE (voice-over): Like a lot of teens, Zack had big plans. Going to college with a sports scholarship then joining the military. But five months ago at the start of his senior year, Zack's future took a detour when he began exchanging text with a schoolmate, a 14-year-old freshman girl. Did you guys ever interact in person?

ZACK, COLLEGE STUDENT: It was mostly on Snapshot, but we would say hi to each other in the halls and then we just kept talking from there.

[19:45:02] LING: How did you eventually get to the point where you had sex?

ZACK: She invited me over to her aunt's house after school before our pep rally. And she waited outside for me and then we started kissing and it all happened.

LING: Do you think that as a freshman who was in awe of you, she might have felt pressured by you?

ZACK: She might have, but I didn't mean to pressure her at all.

LING: What did you think when you left?

ZACK: That we would continue talking and everything was going to be OK. Ten days later the cops showed up at my house.


CABRERA: Tune in tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern for "THIS IS LIFE, the age of consent," right here on CNN.