Return to Transcripts main page


Bannon Delivers Fierce Attack on George W. Bush; Trump: "Past Presidents Playing a Tremendous Role" in Hurricane Relief; Sgt. La David Johnson Laid to Rest; Sen. Graham Warns "War on Terror Moving to Africa"; Sgt. La David Johnson Laid to Rest Amid Controversy; Police in L.A., N.Y., London Investigating Harvey Weinstein; Bill O'Reilly Settles Harassment Claims, Re-signs with FOX News. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired October 21, 2017 - 13:00   ET


[13:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Listen to just some of Bannon's remarks last night.


STEVE BANNON, EDITOR, BREITBART NEWS & FORMER SENIOR TRUMP ADVISOR: President Bush to me embarrassed himself. Speechwriter wrote a high- falluting speech. It's clear he didn't understand anything he was talking about. He equates the industrial revolution, the agricultural revolution, globalization, he has no earthly idea whether he's coming or going. Just like it was when he was president of the United States.



BANNON: I want to apologize up front to any of the Bush folks outside, in this audience, OK. Because there's not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush's.


BANNON: The rise of China started with the Clintons and Bush. When they had this great theory, that you let them in to the World Trade Organization and give them Most Favored Nations that they're going to become a liberal democracy as they get bigger, OK, and they're going to become more free-market capitalist. This is not a small mistake. This is a strategic mistake of incalculable problems.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Boris Sanchez live right now from the White House.

Boris, Bannon was outwardly promoting President Trump. Any reaction from the White House on that effort?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESONDENT: None yet, Fred. But this is really something we've seen from Steve Bannon before. He has a track record of going after these Republican establishment figures, like Senator Bob Corker or the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. Just last week, he compared Mitch McConnell to Julius Caesar, saying people on Capitol Hill were searching for his Brutus.

This, however, is on a different level. These vicious attacks on a former president, fully questioning his intelligence, saying that he didn't know what he was saying, when former President Bush gave that speech on Thursday in which he talked about the dangers of nativism and of trade protectionism. He also talked about bigotry being emboldened in our country. And he specifically said that he believed that the nation was more susceptible to conspiracy theories. He didn't call out President Trump or Steve Bannon by name. But if you read between the lines, he's referring to things like Birtherism and economic nationalism. So in a sense, this is a bit of a tit-for-tat. Steve Bannon certainly vowed to go after anyone that challenged President Trump when he left the White House as the chief strategist here. He's certainly doing that.

Don't forget that he is now currently recruiting Republican candidates to challenge incumbents. And he's fundraising for the midterm elections next year. Some of the people he likely will challenge are people that the president will now need to move his agenda ahead, whether on a reforming Obamacare or tax reform -- Fred?

WHITFIELD: And, Boris, stay with me on this.

Because tonight, we'll also see all five former U.S. presidents take the stage for a benefit concert for hurricane relief efforts and part of the One America Appeal campaign. The concerts will feature rock and country musicians.

The White House, apparently, just released a message from President Trump who will not actually be on stage at the event tonight. But listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My fellow Americans, the heartbreaking devastation cautioned by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria and Nate, along with the terrible wildfires in California, have impacted millions of our fellow Americans. As a nation, we mourn for those who died. And we pray for those who lost their homes or their livelihoods.

In the aftermath of these terrible storms, the American people have done what we do best. We came together, we helped one another. And through it all, we remained resilient. We came together as one. As we rushed to the aid of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Now, as we begin to rebuild, some of America's finest public servants are spearheading the One America Appeal. Through this effort, all five living former presidents are playing a tremendous role in helping our fellow citizens recover.

To Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, Melania and I want to express our deep gratitude for your tremendous assistance. This wonderful effort reminds us we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another.

I also want to thank every person, including everyone here tonight, who has contributed to this vital effort. There's a lot of work ahead of us. I want to thank groups like the Points of Light for making such a big difference in our disaster response efforts.

Together, we will recover, we will rebuild, and we will come back stronger and better than ever before.

Thank you. God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.


[13:05:07] WHITFIELD: All right, so that's the video statement that will also get some air time during the concert tonight in Texas.

So, Boris, back with me now. Also joining us, CNN's Kaylee Hartung, who is live Texas, where the concert will be taking place.

Kaylee, you first.

In terms of the release of this video, the appearance of the sitting president while five former presidents are there live.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, it was not long after we confirmed with the George H.W. Bush Presidential Foundation that President Trump would be involved tonight by way of that video message that the White House then released the video. Quite frankly, it's been really difficult to get a straight answer from either party about whether or not the president was invited and why he wouldn't be a part of tonight's event otherwise. This video, the answer we're getting from both sides, when asked that question.

This event on people's calendars for a long time. It was originally scheduled to be the 20th anniversary celebration of George H.W. Bush's Presidential Library and Foundation. But as those floodwaters ravaged Houston and hurricane Harvey devastated so much of the coast of Texas, it was George H.W. Bush himself had the idea to turn this celebration into an opportunity to raise funds for those in need. That need, of course, grew with Hurricanes Maria and Irma. We do know, tonight, we will see all five former living presidents on stage together. Though, Fred, it's unclear who among them will address the crowd.


So, Boris, the White House's strategy, the importance of releasing this video now as opposed to saving it until this, you know, this evening, and then unanswered from the White House as to why the president wouldn't be there live.

SANCHEZ: Hey there, Fred. Yes, so there was a bit of a response from the White House in terms of the video. They said that -- they expressed a deep gratitude for being asked to participate in the event. There's no clear indication as to why the president wouldn't be there in person. But it's not really hard to imagine that the optics would be odd. Just this week, you had two former presidents, as we were discussing earlier, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, directly and indirectly talking about the state of politics in this country in a negative light with some allusions to this administration. Bill Clinton is also going to be there. The president has, as recently as last week, been tweeting about the former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton in not positive terms. There's no love lost between President Trump and the Clintons. So it would be an odd optic to be on stage at the same time, even if for a good cause.

I did want to point out the president did thank all these former presidents, even those who have been critical of him, by name, saying he's deeply grateful for their efforts and their ability to work together signals we are all one united nation -- Fred?

WHITFIELD: OK. Boris Sanchez, Kaylee Hartung, thank you.

To talk more about this, let me bring in our CNN contributor, Salena Zito, a national political reporter for the "Washington Examiner." Also CNN political analyst, Nathan Gonzales.

Good to see you both.

OK, so now we have this video of the president, the sitting president's message that will be played during the concert tonight where there will be five living, you know, former U.S. presidents. And President Trump expressing there that Melania want to express deep gratitude, to the assistance for all here and showing this great unity in values and there's more after that.

Salena, what's your reaction to the video that sends a message of unity, and yet, the sitting president won't be there. And then you have that with this backdrop of all kinds of language disparaging former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, and their criticism, even though they didn't use the name Trump, but seemingly directed at the sitting president. So how do you make sense of all these varying messages?

SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that Americans have actually for centuries been able to separate the drama and the theatrics of politics and going after each other, even though we've entered a new phase in terms of Twitter, social media and so forth in the way that President Trump uses those social media applications. But also, that ability, at the end of the day, to be gracious and show unity when it's really important. Especially, you know, in the aftermath of all the disasters that this country has faced in the past two and a half months. So I don't know that it's that big of a struggle for the American people to see, you know, on a daily basis the President Trump butting heads and taking on his political opponents. When it's important and benefits the country for him to be gracious and say hay we're all in this together, this is really important, and I want to thank all the former presidents, you know, who are involved with this.

Can I say it's so cool that we have six presidents, five former presidents --


[13:10:26] WHITFIELD: It's extraordinary.

ZITO: Yes, I don't know that's ever been repeated in our history. That's really great.

WHITFIELD: It is extraordinary.

But, Nathan, it also seems like this would be a beautiful opportunity, a real opportunity seized to have the former presidents and the sitting president speak in a unified voice, particularly when there has been so much dissension expressed. So is this a missed opportunity for this White House?

NATHAN GONZALES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I tend to think that the way it looks like it's going to play out, as Boris was saying, is probably the best way. I mean, if the president had showed up at the event, I think there would be so much media attention on every comment, every look and glance, every comment between the former presidents and the current president. I think, you know, what we're seeing, we're seeing the president fill what most people would call a presidential role in this event. And if people are going to criticize President Trump for not being there, they're probably criticizing his overall performance and performance on the hurricanes and the other natural disasters. But I think it could be -- you could see it as a missed opportunity, but I think it would be a distraction from the real purpose of the event.

WHITFIELD: OK. Meantime, as we're talking, we're also coming off a very tough week for so many, for the families involved, of the four fallen Green Berets in Niger. The White House's handling of, criticism of congresswoman, listening to a conversation.

And now live pictures right now of the procession of the hearse carrying Sergeant La David Johnson there in Cooper City, Florida. His body returning to the family this past week. Now the hearse and this motorcade now taking the body of this young man after the funeral, taking place at the Christ Rock Church there in Cooper City.

And so now, Salena, the White House is also, you know, still dealing with just a series of events surrounding this sergeant and now the ongoing investigation which might be intensifying about Niger. What do you see the pathway now for the White House in terms of dealing with so many controversies surrounding the deaths of these young men, and at the same time, trying to offer some control of what appears to have been a sequence of rather chaotic events?

ZITO: Well, I think it's really important and I hope it's the direction that the president and the administration takes and that they get to the bottom of what happened in Niger. You know, we don't have all of the facts. We have some here, some there. And, you know, it is clear that these young men that were put in this position were not prepared, nor was the auxiliary operation was prepared as it appears. So I think that's the most important thing out of all of this. Obviously honoring the soldiers that have fallen. In terms of everything -- the soap opera that played out this year, this week, was really embarrassing on all parts. In that, you know, it probably would have -- probably had been best that Congresswoman Wilson had -- after she -- after that event happened, that she called the White House privately and said, hey, look, I don't think that this went the way you wanted it to, I think you need to give this family a call. And for the president, on the president's part, he didn't need to react the way he did.

I think all of this could have been avoided if people were a little more discrete and a little less theatrical about their politics but, unfortunately, that's the era we live in now.

WHITFIELD: And, Nathan?

GONZALES: I think if we take a step back - and I want to be careful not to -- if we take a step back specifically from the congresswoman and the fallen soldier, you know, this isn't a president who backs away from conflict. I think he enjoys conflict. I think he sometimes incites conflict, intentionally. And so he doesn't -- this doesn't bother him. I don't know what we're going to -- as long as he's president, there's going to be a time where we -- where we lack a consistent drum beat of some level of drama and conflict going on, because I think that the president, he almost feeds off of it. So this is a -- he came in as a very different type of president. I think he's going to govern as a very different type of president.

WHITFIELD: All right.

Again, live pictures right now out of Cooper City, Florida. The body of 25-year-old La David Johnson. Sergeant La David Johnson, on its way to the burial ground, after a funeral taking place in his hometown of Cooper City at the Christ Rock Church. He's a father of two. Father of a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old. Now being laid to rest, at any moment, when they do reach that burial ground.

All right, Salena Zito and Nathan Gonzales, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

All right, coming up, a sobering warning from a top Republican.


[13:15:32] SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The war is headed to Africa. It's beginning to morph as we suppress the enemy in the Mideast. They're going to move. They're not going to quit.


WHITFIELD: Details on the latest U.S. effort to combat the expanding global terror network. Stay with us.


[13:19:52] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Live pictures from Cooper City, Florida. The hearse carrying Sergeant La David Johnson now making its way to the burial ground after a morning funeral of the 25-year-old. He is one of four Green Berets killed in an ambush in Niger. This father of two now being laid to rest, and husband, there in his hometown of Cooper City, Florida. Flags across the state are flying at half-staff today as a sign of respect. You see the arrival there. Now the burial grounds.

The 25-year-old killed during that ambush just earlier this month. The incident prompting a deluge of questions over the past week. A formal investigation is under way after early reports that Johnson's body was found nearly a mile from the three other U.S. troops killed in Niger. Many civilians here in the U.S. asking, why were the U.S. troops in Niger in the first place.

And even U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham issuing this stark warning.


GRAHAM: The war is headed to Africa. It's beginning to morph as we suppress the enemy in the Middle East. They're going to move. They're not going to quit.


WHITFIELD: Let's bring in CNN senior diplomatic correspondent, Michelle Kosinski.

Michelle, the FBI is now on the ground in Niger, helping to evaluate evidence there. Are there any new details?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: There are a few and you know there's been criticism and all of these questions over the last two weeks really. Even over some of the most basic details. There's been back and forth reporting from U.S. officials over whether these troops were even in their unarmored vehicles or were they outside. You know, what was the situation really. And what was the time line. A lot of that is unknown.

A few details that have come out of this investigation being led by Africa Command, assisted by the FBI, all four branches of the military. Including that, as soon as it was realized that 25-year-old Sergeant La David Johnson was miss in missing the search started immediately. They want the public to know dozens more U.S. troops were moved into the capital to be ready. Some of them did go into the field. In terms of the investigation itself, we know all members of the team is there been interviewed.

There's also something new out of the State Department today. There was beginning in the "Los Angeles Times" that is viewed by some U.S. officials that the U.S. ambassador to Niger had been pushing back or was resistant to U.S. military requests for more support, more equipment, more medical support. The State Department is flat-out denying that any requests were rejected by the ambassador. This close cooperation ensures activities are coordinated and sustainable. The president directs that disagreements, which are rare, are quickly referred to the secretary of defense. What they didn't answer, was there resistance to requests for more

support in Niger? Were there disagreements that were elevated to the secretary of state, because that's how they're saying that the disagreements or pushback or any of that is handled.

There are question marks that remain in terms of the situation on the ground, the investigation, and what contact may have gone on between the State Department and the Department of Defense over this -- Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: Michelle, the FBI is involved, it is apparently customary, but is there any reason to believe the investigation will be any different in this case, any different from any other mission that results in the death of U.S. troops?

KOSINSKI: Yes. That's a good question. Obviously because of these questions and because of the time frame, that some of these basics are not known, at least to the public two weeks, after the firefight. That's disturbed people like Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He's alluded to the fact that there could be calls for a congressional over this.

Given the pressures there, we know the Pentagon has wanted to emphasize, you know, all of the aspects of this investigation. That it's broad. But he hasn't wanted to rush it. So we know some of those details that the Pentagon has given us. But we also know because of the complexity here, it could take quite a long time, too.

[13:24:47] WHITFIELD: All right, Michelle, thank you.

All of this, of course, as we look at live pictures out of Cooper City, Florida. Very sad, painful day for the family of 25-year-old Sergeant La David Johnson, being laid to rest.

We'll be right back.


WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Live pictures out of Florida. Family members lining up there with the arrival of the body of Sergeant La David Johnson. He is one of the four Green Berets killed in that ambush in Niger. You are seeing family members there arriving, all wearing white.

[13:30:00] A painful, sad day, especially, how the investigation now is intensifying, surrounding the details of the ambush. It was one of the facts revealed with the ongoing investigation that Sergeant's La David Johnson's body was found some one mile away from the location where the bodies of his three fellow soldiers was retrieved. Among the family members there, his wife, Myisha Johnson, their two small children.

And there, a close review of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who got into a rather heated exchange of facts surrounding her call or a call from the president of the United States made to Myisha Johnson. It was the congresswoman, who is also a mentor of the family, who was in the vehicle when the phone call was on speaker. It was the congresswoman who said that the family was so disappointed in the way in which the telephone call transpired, that, in her view, and in the family's view, that the president didn't seem to know the sergeant's name, didn't show compassion.

Then it was following that, of course, you heard from the White House by way of the chief of staff, John Kelly, who also is very critical that a congresswoman was on that phone call that should have been very sacred between the president and the United States and the family members of the fallen soldier. Then the chief of staff going on to be very critical of what he believed to be inappropriate behavior. And then a dispute of facts, that the congresswoman said he misremembered the events. Videotaped material then showed that John Kelly's facts were not quite that of the case in describing the congresswoman's verbiage during the dedication ceremony of an FBI building in Miami.

But now a very solemn moment of the burial of Sergeant La David Johnson, not to be lost on the sequence of events. And now he's being laid to rest, 25-year-old father of two and a husband. So many turning out, turning out for this Cooper City Florida event.

Also with me now, chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter.

There are four young men involved here, the consequences of this ambush. Still the investigation intensifying what took place, how is it, what were the circumstances of these four soldiers and their death, why Sergeant Johnson's body was found a mile away 48 hours after the retrieval of the other three.

But it is Sergeant La David Johnson's name that has become a household name, Brian, the one most familiar in what is still, you know, a fog of circumstances surrounding their deaths.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: I think this sergeant's life and his death have in some ways personalized America's forever wars. You think about casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq and now Niger, a place that many Americans didn't know there was fighting or U.S. military action going on. So to have this ambush in October 4th. And now more than two weeks later, we see this funeral for the sergeant. There have been other funerals as well. Our colleague Kaylee Hartung was at one of them last weekend. Now here we are this saturday watching this sergeant's funeral.

I'm struck by how La David Johnson has become a household name in his death. It was partly because of that incredible and painful video of his widow meeting his casket at the airport, that video from several days ago, where you see her spend time with the casket with one of their daughters standing next to her. And then you realize she's pregnant with their third child as well. So that video there, you see on the right side of the screen, I know I'm not going to forget those images. I don't think you are either, Fred. That moment where his body is arriving back, back in Florida. Absolutely painful to see. And frankly, we don't see it often enough. We don't see often enough the consequences of the wars that are being fought in our name around the world. So I'm grateful in a way to be able to see this today and reflect on what an awful week it's been. You know, this started, let's remember, the conversation about

Sergeant La David Johnson began because President Trump was asked why he hadn't commented publicly on the ambush in Niger. He was asked that question on Monday. It seemed like as a result he made phone calls to the families, including to this family, and that is what touched off, as you were describing, days of scandal, days of controversy, days of falsehoods and confusion and back and forth. But you look at these pictures and you realize what actually matters.

[13:35:23] WHITFIELD: Yes. And what a moment that flag draped coffin, followed by family members, mostly wearing white. The camera right now is fixated on the congresswoman, who has made it very clear in her many appearances how close she is with the Johnson family. It is Staff Sergeant -- it is Sergeant La David Johnson who is being laid to rest here, 25 years old.

The names of his three comrades also fallen in this ambush attack in Niger, Staff Sergeant Bryan Black, Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson, and Staff Sergeant dustin Wright.

The circumstances surrounding their deaths still very cloudy, Brian. The FBI, as we've been reporting, on the ground in Niger also trying to talk to witnesses, gather evidence, which is customary when there are deaths that involve U.S. troops.

But this investigation has reached a certain level, you know, a particular pitch because, as you underscore, so many Americans had no idea there were U.S. troops in Niger. There are Americans, you know, dotted across the map of the continent of Africa. All the circumstances not always clear, particularly now with the growth and the spread of ISIS and terror groups. There apparently are circumstances taking place in Niger, which may surround this ambush, that involves the terror activity of ISIS or splinter groups. And we heard from Senator Lindsay Graham, who says, you know, everyone should be paying attention to the potential of terror activity now rooted deeply in Africa.

STELTER: This was the greatest single combat loss since President Trump took office and this was on October 4th, the day of the office. At first, it appeared only three U.S. servicemembers had died. That was because Johnson's whereabouts were unknown. Then we found out about the fourth death as well. For a week, there was little information until more questions began to be asked by the media to President Trump and to the White House and to the Pentagon. And now more than two weeks later, like you said, Senator Lindsey Graham, we're seeing congressional officials pushing for more information, as well as members of the press corps, pushing for more information from the Pentagon about the circumstances of what happened that day in Niger.

This is, like I said, I think it's a moment to see up close right here in our living rooms the consequences of these ongoing military actions. We rarely see these sorts of funerals taking place. And it's partly because it was politicized as the week went on. We see the congresswoman there I believe and some of the other friends and loved ones of the family all gathered there in Florida now. WHITFIELD: A heartbreaking moment, a heartbreaking day. The nation's

heart breaks for Sergeant La David Johnson, and his three fellow soldiers, Bryan Black, Jeremiah Johnson, Dustin Wright.

We'll be right back.


[13:43:05] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. As disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, completes a weeklong stint in sex rehab, he is facing multiple sexual assault investigations spanning the country and globe. Police in Los Angeles, New York, London, are all looking into multiple claims of Weinstein's unwanted sexual advances on women going back decades. This all happening as the number of women coming out against the producer grows to more than 40. Here, you see 17 of the names and faces.

Let's discuss with our legal guys right now, Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor in Cleveland. And Richard Herman, a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor joining us from Las Vegas.

Good to see you both.


WHITFIELD: OK, so Richard, you first.

Because when we talk about allegations that span decades, first comes to thought, you know, statute of limitations. But in some cases, there really is no statute. So define how prosecutors, investigator, will go about trying to see if they can potentially impose charges against this producer.

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: OK, Fredricka, in most cases, civil assault is usually a one-year statute of limitations so those are gone in the majority of any of these cases there, if that even occurred. Criminally, many jurisdictions do not have a statute of limitations for sexual assault. but you have to understand, Fred, Harvey Weinstein has become the face of the visceral disgust for the casting couch culture in Hollywood. If a young person, an actress or an actor, meeting with him and he solicits them to give him a massage or take -- watch him take a shower or have sex, that is not criminal, Fred. And at that time, that person has a right to say yes, I'll participate, in hopes of a benefit, or no, no thank you, and walk out the door. If they participate, Fred, that's consent. That's a total defense. And there's no claim here for that.

[13:45:12] WHITFIELD: Avery, you're shaking your head on almost all of that. Why? I mean, as it pertains to touching versus alleged assault and even that consent that Richard was defining.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Well, that isn't how you define consent when you have something like this. Again, the difference between civil and criminal. What surfaced this week was very important. Rose McGowan, who's a studio executive, claimed in 1997 she was raped by Weinstein in a hotel in Park City, Utah. Well, there's a four-year statute of limitations in Utah. To the credit of the legislature, they changed the law and got rid of the limitations. So the problem here is you have the original four years, then you have something called tolling, which, from 1997, the date of the rape, you add 11. Well, 11 and four is 15, and this happened 20 years ago. So in that particular case, would surface this week, there may be a problem. The other problem is that she settled it, at least according to one source, for $100,000.

But what it means is that in other states that have a tighter timetable here, there may very well be criminal charges and that of course remains to be seen. We've got 40 cases. One or two or three may very well surface within that critical statute of limitations.

WHITFIELD: So then, Richard, there are a variety of accusations here. You talk about, you know, Richard, Rose McGowan, Utah, and alleged sexual assault. Richard, you talked about, you know, massaging and how you define that as, you know, consent if the person does, you know, carry out the massage. That reminds me of the Lupita Nyong'o, you know, most recent allegations, that's how she was approached, you know, from him. So you have all these varying types of experiences and different jurisdictions. At what point might all of these jurisdictions try to work together or, you know, compare and contrast these allegations before setting out to pursue any types of charges?

HRMAN: Well, they may try to gain information to find some sort of similar conduct in the other jurisdictions but they're never going to work together, Fred.

With respect to Miss McGowan, I don't know if she was raped or not. If she was, that's horrible. But she didn't go to the police and she didn't file a complaint and she didn't compile DNA evidence and she didn't press charges. She didn't do any of that, Fred, and that's what you have to do --


WHITFIELD: Well, except, you know, that becomes so common in so many alleged rape cases because, you know, of so many circumstances. There's fear, there's shame, and sometimes people are worried about, you know, what will happen next in terms of the consequence of not being able to work, et cetera, so that isn't necessarily an admission that it didn't happen at all.

HERMAN: But you're talking about a criminal crime here, Fred. And there's a burden of proof that has to be sustained. And the fact that they fear coming forward does not sustain that burden of proof, Fred. There's a burden that has to be met. If it's not met, there's no conviction and there's no convicted crime. That's a fact.


FRIEDMAN: Well, I mean, look, you have to recognize the reality is that as you've mentioned, Fredricka, women that go through this, and frankly, my civil cases involving people that do things like this that is alleged usually will happen after a quick criminal prosecution. You've got time. The difficulty here is that for the suffering that women go through when they experience a big shot, who has all the power, who has all the authority, to get away with this, it takes as enormous amount of strength to move forward. If Rose would have gone forward before, I think it would have been a lot different situation. But, again, it's typical. Because of the pain, because of the suffering, it is very difficult to move forward. And hopefully, people will be inspired by saying you see what happened here, we're going to stand up, we're going to fight back we're going to do something about these kinds of allegations.

WHITFIELD: All right, Avery --


HERMAN: Fred, any nonconsensual touching is a crime. If that occurred, you have to move forward and press charges. You have to do it. You can't hold back and then 20 years later say this happened.


HERMAN: You're never going to prove it.

[13:49:47] WHITFIELD: We'll leave it right there.

Richard, Avery, thank you so much. Always good to see you.

All right, also this just in now. "The New York Times" reporting today that Bill O'Reilly, formerly of FOX, settled harassment claims to the tune of $32 million, then went on to re-sign a contract with FOX News.

CNN's senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, has more on all of this Brian?

STELTER: A shocking story just in the past few minutes, Fred. I've confirmed from the source that that $32 million is accurate. This is a settlement that Bill O'Reilly paid to a long-time FOX contributor, Liz Weihl. This in early January of this year. He paid because Liz Weihl had come forward with a list of allegations against him, suggesting she was going to sue for sexual harassment. According to "The New York Times," these allegations included claims of nonconsensual sexual relationship between the two of them. There was this $32 million payment that was negotiated between O'Reilly and Weihl's attorneys, $32 million. This is far more than any settlements we previously knew about involving Bill O'Reilly. That's in January, Fred. Then in April, that's when "The New York Times" story first came out about the other settlements in Bill O'Reilly's past. Remember, that story and the ad boycott against him is what led 21st Century FOX to send him out the door, to cancel his top-rated show and to leave him without a job.

What's notable about this is the idea that the Bill O'Reilly, just months before that story came out, actually reached a 32 million settlement with another accuser. No comment from FOX News about that right now.

WHITFIELD: Interesting.

So, Brian, you said O'Reilly's attorneys and the attorneys of the woman, now, are we saying that FOX did or did not participate in that settlement?

STELTER: This is apparently between O'Reilly himself and between the accuser. So that means "FOX News" wasn't paying the money. But what's important here is that the company did know about the settlement and went ahead and renewed his contract anyway, a $25 million-a-year contract. That's how he was able to afford such a hefty settlement in the first place.

What's curious, Fred, is "FOX News" decided to go ahead and renew O'Reilly's contract, even though he had just paid out another settlement, a $32 million settlement. Of course, all of this happened earlier this year. FOX was in turmoil in the wake of the Roger Ailes scandal. There was an ongoing federal investigation into whether FOX covered up the Ailes payments to his accusers. This is going to raise new questions about what FOX decided to do, why it decided to keep O'Reilly way back last winter, and whether that's going to have any impact on the federal investigation.

WHITFIELD: Wow. Pretty significant.

All right. Brian Stelter, thank you so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.


[13:55:17] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. In tonight's episode of the "Wonder List," CNN's Bill Weir explores a sunken Egyptian city and the treasures that lie beneath the water.


BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We motor across the Bay of Alakea (ph) on seas so calm, a fan tail warbler captures a nap.

I'm too excited to doze. Mind full of details from an old roman mosaic I saw, one of the earliest depictions of life on the Nile Delta, how they hunted, worshipped, raised families right here before everything changed.

Back in the day, we could have made this journey on foot or by donkey but, today, the only way to get to Heraklion (ph) is through the "Princess Duda" research vessel of a guy named Frank Godio (ph).

(on camera): Hello.


WEIR: Thank you. So great to be here, Frank.


WEIR (voice-over): The ship is a hive of activity. A United Nations of soggy antiquity. Cuban, Russian, American divers, French and Egyptian archaeologists all buzzing with constant discovery.

(on camera): I could barely afford my first cup of coffee and you



WEIR: -- 2,000-year-old artifacts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Look. Look at that.

WEIR: Look at that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely intact.


WHITFIELD: OK. Bill Weir joining me now.

That was extraordinary. And then I can't wait to see what's beneath. As a scuba diver myself, I think I'm going to have to add that to the list. Maybe I'll be your grip next time.



WHITFIELD: So, what was the most fascinating part about this journey for you?

WEIR: That sunken city was the whole reason we went to do the story there. It is unbelievable to think that you're holding a piece of dishware that the last person to hold it lived in a 1400 years ago on the Nile Delta. And that entire city went down. It was a big earthquake, the earth turned to liquid. Temples crashed on to ships. It was a big port. It was the biggest city outside Cairo. And then Alexander the Great built Alexandria to replace the city. This Frenchman miraculously found that lost city and took us down there. Jaw bones of donkeys and plates and pillars and sphinxes. It is go cool. But it's also a lesson about the future of Egypt.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. So what is the biggest threat potentially to -- it really is kind of a graveyard, right?

WEIR: It is. But the biggest threat is rising sea level. The Nile Delta is the breadbasket of Africa and the Middle East. It is becoming inundated with salt water. The farmers there we talked to, every crop every year is getting smaller and smaller. Imagine when those people go hungry. You saw what happened with the Arab Springs. So this has ramifications for everybody.

Also, the rising water is threatening all these antiquities that are in Alexandria, the catacombs and all these amazing wonders of world that need preserving but Egypt, of course, so much turmoil. Three presidents, three constitutions, coups and revolutions. The tourism industry has plummeted. We look into all of that as we try to take lessons from the past to warn us about our future if it we don't figure stuff out.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. So you saw intact dishes and donkey bones. But what surprised you the most?

WEIR: Just the idea of sort of the mundane. When you're able to go down and touch that stuff and imagine the family that owned it and how the table was set the day the whole world changed. We live in this idea that everything around us is permanent. It's not. Societies are ebbing and flowing. And to go down and see it.

Now as a diver, the visibility isn't awesome, as you --


WHITFIELD: I was just about to ask you that.


WHITFIELD: I was like, wait a minute.

WEIR: It's super silty, but it protected it from looters. If it had been clear, grave robbers would have picked it clean years ago. So that murky water protected this incredible antiquity.

WHITFIELD: So what a challenge of a dive that was.

Bill Weir, thank you so much. We'll be watching.

WEIR: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: Do not miss the "Wonder List," airing tonight at 9:00.

We've got so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM. It all starts right now.

Hello, again, everyone. Thank you so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

A hero's farewell for a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting the war on terror. Sergeant La David Johnson is being remembered this hour as he is laid to rest there near his home town of Cooper City, Florida. You see family members all wearing white, paying homage to him. People lining the streets of his funeral processional, holding flags and saluting the fallen soldier.