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Roy Moore Accused of Sexual Encounters with Young Girls; Kevin Spacey Replaced in Film; Trump Security Chief Testifies on Russia Offer to Send Women to Hotel Room in Moscow. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 9, 2017 - 14:30   ET



[14:33:20] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Here we go. Here's breaking news from Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are reacting to this explosive new report out of "The Washington Post" regarding Alabama nominee for U.S. Senate, Roy Moore. So at least five Senators, including the majority leader, have said he should step aside if these allegations are true. "The Washington Post" reports that Moore has been accused of initiating a sexual encounter with a then-14-year-old girl when he was 32 years of age.

And when CNN reached out to this controversy former state chief court justice, he said, in part, quote, "Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks in the modern political arena. But this story in "Washington Post" alleging sexual in propriety takes the cake. They know their candidate is in a death spiral and this is their last-ditch Hail Mary. Goes on, winning with a double-digit lead, so no surprise, with over four weeks remaining, with national implications with this race, that the Democratic Party and the country's most liberal newspaper would come up with a fabrication of this kind. The garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation."

"The Washington Post" standing by their story.

Jason Carroll is with us now, CNN national correspondent, with more that's coming out of this "Washington Post" piece.

Because it's not just the then-14-year-old with these allegations, there were other girls.

[14:34:56] JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And when you look at how much "The Washington Post" went into this particular article, they interviewed more than 30 people. Some of those were reluctant to come forward. They had to seek them out as opposed to these people coming forward. It's incredibly damaging. And already seeing reaction coming from the Hill from some folks asking and saying if these allegations are true that this man should withdraw. But let's go over some of the allegations. CNN has not been able to verify the allegations. But we want to go into what "Washington Post" is alleging here. What they are saying some party between 1979 and 81 there are four girls who say at the time when Moore was 32 years old, he had some sort of relations with them. The youngest being 14 in 1979. She says she had two encounters according to "The Washington Post," where Moore kissed and hugged her. And another incident where he put his hands, put her hands on his genitals. That's when she was 14 years old, that's what she's saying now as adult. Another alleged incident in 1979, another young girl, teenager, she was 18, said she was working at a mall, at a jewelry store, and, again, Moore who at the time was in his early 30s, approached her, had some sort of relationship that was kissing and hugging. Another young girl says in 1981, again according to "The Washington Post," when she was 17, then and now, in Alabama, was 16 years old age of consent, but this woman said when she was 17-year-old teenager met him when he was speaking at her high school. He was assistants da, she was a student in the civics class. And according to "The Washington Post" he made advances to her at that point. And then again, in 1979, another young woman who says when she was 16 years old she says that she was working at one point in the mall as a Santa helper and he made advances at that point too.

Again, he denies all of this, saying that this is fake news. This is a part of the Democratic Party trying to discredit him. Said called it garbage, very definition of fake news. But these are very troubling allegations. And we're already starting to hear reaction coming in from the Hill.

BALDWIN: I think you made a great point off the top that "The Washington Post" put this forth. Sent a reporter to Alabama to tell the story of this race. These now women did not come forward. They had heard, this reporter had heard of some allegations of impropriety years ago and had to really talk some of these women into sharing their story.

CARROLL: Absolutely. Really had to get them on board. And again, to point out just didn't speak to just these four women at this point but spoke to, according to the article, that this account is based on interviews with more than 30 people who knew more during that period of time in the late '70s and in the early '80s.

BALDWIN: Stay with me.

Let me bring two more voices in, our political director, David Chalian, and Mark Preston, here.

So, David Chalian, first to you.

We are one month away from this runoff election in Alabama. And I'm just wondering, again, these are allegations.


BALDWIN: But how damaging might this be for Roy Moore?

CHALIAN: Well, let's look at how damaging the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, the Senator in charge of the national Republican Senatorial campaign committee, corny gardener things it is, because it didn't take two hours for this story to be posted that they already issued a statement, if true, he must step aside. So clearly the allegations are serious enough that Republicans are instantly not even waiting to determine whether or not these allegations are true. They are just saying if true we have to dump him. Brooke, we are now looking into the process by which if indeed Roy Moore either by himself said he's dropping out or the party withdrew his nomination, there is no way to remove his name from the Alabama ballot. So what would happen then if he was a dropped-out candidate, his name would still appear on the ballot, but the state canvassers would not count any votes registered to him. So any replacement candidate would have to be a write in candidate. When you are talking about two seat majority in United States Senate for Republicans.

BALDWIN: This matters.

CHALIAN: Ton of head winds. Each seat matters. So this will be a hugely consequential story if these allegations are true and Roy Moore bows out of the race.

BALDWIN: Sunlen Serfaty, you're on Capitol Hill.

What other news are you getting?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, they are wasting no time saying if this is true, he must step aside. Some of the words coming out of Senators mouth, this is very serious, concerning horrific from one Senator, and Mitch McConnell and Cory Gardener, both saying if these allegations are true, he must step aside in this race.

We also heard just moments ago from Senator Jeff Flake. Here's what he had to say.


[14:40:25] SERFATY: Does he need to step down?

SEN. JEFF FLAKE, (R), ARIZONA: If there is any shed of truth to these stories he ought to step down now.

SERFATY: Would he benefit to serve in the Senate if this is true?

FLAKE: No. No. No. If there is any shed of truth he ought to step aside immediately.

SEN. LUTHER STRANGE, (R), ALABAMA: It has just come to light, and read about it, and it's very disturbing. And I'll have to more to say when I learn more.

SERFATY: Should he step down?

ALABAMA: I'll have more to say when I learn more facts.


SERFTY: That was Luther Strange on the Hill responding.

It will be interesting what he does next. No word yet whether he would run as a write-in candidate.

Of course, in this special election race, I have to tell you Brooke, he was on the Hill meeting with Republican establishment up here, in a caucus meeting with all of the Republican Senators, gave a speech about a week ago, said I think I can win this race. Trying to win over some reluctant Senators who really had not embraced him. The fact that even before these allegations was such a controversy figure. Of course, this makes him more so. So certainly, keeping distance. I have to say, when I was coming up here to get on air, I heard one Republican mutter under his breathe in the elevator this is not what we need right now.


Let's remind everyone, Mark Preston, this was a Steve Bannon guy. This was not the one that President Trump and Mitch McConnell had supported. This is Bannon-wing candidate. And so I'm just wondering, in an already fractured Republican Party, how this issue could further divide Republicans?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there is no doubt that it is going to further divide Republicans no matter what the outcome is. If the story of course is deemed to be true, then in fact there will be a little bit of less of a fissure between those who supported Roy Moore and those who did not. The story does not prove to be true though, this could be a very big problem within the Republican Party. Reason why is that you are going to have the Steve Bannon types and those who support Roy Moore and trying to make change in Washington, they are going to look at Washington and going to look at Mitch McConnell and say you jumped to a conclusion. You waited no time to give this man his time to refute it. Now, of course we'll see if this plays out in the next couple of hours. If not the next couple of days. But I do think there is a bigger story to look at right now. If you are a Republican, you saw what happened in this election. You are looking at this as a piece of cancer that is growing. And if you can cut the cancer right now, and get it out, and wait a few years for it to come back, then that is a success. When I say that, if you look at the numbers in the United States Senate right now, Republicans control the chamber 52 to 48. Next year, heading into 2018, Democrats unbelievable disadvantage heading into that election. Republicans are expected to probably gain some seats. Perhaps they were looking for some more. There are ten Democratic Senators right now, Brooke, that are in states that Donald Trump wants. So when I use the cancer analogy, what I'm saying is if you are able to get rid of this now, if a Democrat were to win in Alabama, it wouldn't be devastating because eventually that seat is going to go back Republican.

BALDWIN: No, the numbers matter, as David pointed out off the top. It matters. And it's a matter of do they do something now, do they wait.

Again, these are just allegations, if you are just tuning in, Roy Moore who is up for the Senate seat in Alabama has been accused, this is all according to "The Washington Post," accused of initiating sexual encounters with multiple, at the time, young girls, one as young as 14 years old of age, back in the '70s and '80s. He and his campaign vehemently denying these allegations. "Washington Post" standing by the story. Getting reaction from Capitol Hill. Much more on the breaking news.

[14:45:22] Quick break. We'll be right back.


BALDWIN: Another axe has fallen for actor, Kevin Spacey. In a bold unprecedented move, producers of what would have been his next film have dropped the actor and replaced him with someone else.





UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: How much would you pay to release your grandson if not $17 million?



BALDWIN: Spacey was the star, as the billionaire, J. Paul Getty. The movie was in the can, shot, set for release next month. But with more sex allegations against Kevin Spacey, Tri Star Pictures dumped him for actor, Christopher Plummer. They will reshoot and reedit all of Kevin Spacey scenes.

This is Tri Star in a statement here saying, "There are over 800 other actors, writers, artists, crafts people, and crew who worked tire easily and ethically on this film, some for years. It would be a gross injustice to punish all of them for the wrongdoing of one supporting actor in the film."

And most Americans think the harassment stories about Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein will lead to positive change. And 74 percent feel the attention will lead to greater understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment and a salt. And 22 percent say it will reduce what they face.

So with that, CNN entertainment reporter, Chloe Melas, who has broken this Kevin Spacey from the beginning wide open.

The fact that this whole movie was shot, set to release in a month, and.

[14:50:33] CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Yes, six weeks from now.

BALDWIN: And reshooting all of those scenes with Kevin Spacey.

MELAS: I've never heard of a situation like this before. Usually a case where a star passes away and still make sure they have included them. In this case they are cutting Kevin Spacey completely out. Keep in mind he's a supporting actor in the movie don't have to reshoot all the scenes. But big names. We have Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg. This could be one of the biggest manufacture ease we have in ha ward season as getting into that right now. But again, they have a lot to do. And Sony doing this, getting Kevin Spacey out of the picture with just six weeks to go, reshooting, going to cost a lot of money, all the trailer, everything is out there, have to get rid of there and put new ones out there. But this is a major move. Meanwhile, I tried to speak to his camp again, and no word on previous allegations of assault or harassment either.

BALDWIN: So this is the Christopher Plummer now.

MELAS: So Christopher Plummer is now going to take on his role and she will reshoot all this. They have a big weight on their shoulders to get this done in six weeks. But I spoke to ridiculously Scott team and Sony pictures and they believe they can get this done in six weeks. But this is an unprecedented move. And what does it say? It says we are not going to stand for this type of behavior. No criminal charges against Kevin Spacey right now. There is police investigation going on in Nantucket due to the press conference we said yesterday with the mother who said her son was allegedly sexually assaulted in 2016. But we have to keep in mind a move like this sets the tone for other film studios in Hollywood to keep them accountable.

BALDWIN: Do we know where Kevin Spacey is?

MELAS: Last we heard, he was in rehab. But CNN has repeatedly reached out to his team for comment and haven't heard anything back. So we are still waiting.

BALDWIN: OK. Cloe Melas, thank you very much.

MELAS: Thank you.

BALDWIN: As more reports of sexual harassment come to light, there was no better time to talk about how to solve this massive problem. Join my colleague, Alisyn Camerota, for a live CNN town hall tonight, 9:00 eastern, right here on CNN.

We'll be right back.


[14:57:09] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BALDWIN: All right. We continue on here.

We have more breaking news now. Breaking news Thursday. This is about President Trump's personal body guard and confident, Keith Schiller, and testimony to Congress this week.

So here's what we are learning. That sources tell CNN that back in 2013, after a business-related meeting to the Miss Universe Pageant, a Russian in this meeting offered to, quote, "five women to private citizen Donald Trump hotel room in Moscow." And it was rejected. That's the key piece of this.

So let's go to Manu Raju, CNN senior congressional correspondent, who is working this Keith Schiller breaking news.

So these women were offered, according to Keith Schiller, and he rejected them, and then, what, Trump thought it was a joke?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Essentially. What Keith Schiller has said to the House Intelligence Committee this week in testimony this week, this offer was made by a Russian, around a lunchtime meeting. And Schiller initially testified that he took it as a joke. That they were to send five women to then-private citizen Trump's hotel room that evening. Now the day carried on, and I'm told by sources, that Schiller testified that he went to then-candidate, private citizen Trump's hotel room and said to Mr. Trump that this offer had been made. And at that point, Mr. Trump laughed it off. And Schiller told the committee that he waited outside of Trump's hotel room for several minutes, which is protocol as body guard, and then walked away and couldn't account for what happened the rest of the night.

Now the reason this came up, Brooke, the so-called Trump Russia dossier that was compiled by the British agent Christopher Steele that had allegations when he traveled to Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant that he was involved with. And some of the salacious allegations have not been verified, even though allegations within that Trump dossier have been corroborated by the Intelligence Committee.

Now he was asked about the dossier in the private testimony, Schiller was, and also asked about the "Dailey Caller" report from January that cited the dossier and suggested that Schiller rejected this offer. Now, he said that he did reject this offer. But in that "Dailey Caller" report, it said that the person who made the offer was from a man who was a Russian pop star and the son of a Russian oligarch, who is close to Vladimir Putin, and worked with Trump to bring the pageant to Moscow. Now we're told Schiller actually said that the man did not offer the women to be sent to them, as private citizens, to their hotel room in --