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Less Confidence and Trust in Trump; Cowboys Owner Hires Lawyer; UCLA Players Arrested; Culture Around Sexual Misconduct. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 9, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:32:06] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Big job of the president is to invite unity. Can President Trump do it? A new CNN poll shows just 30 percent of you think he can. That's down 13 percent down from the number where he was elected a year ago.

So let's get "The Bottom Line "of what this poll means from CNN political analyst David Gregory.

What is your bottom line?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I look at these unity numbers and to me it underscores the fundamental premise of the Trump presidency. He's a divisive figure. He embraces that. He likes to be controversial. He wants to be at the center of the news, whether the news is good or bad. He'll take whatever comes as long as he is at the center. He'll fight against Republicans if that's what he thinks that he needs to do. So he's got a personal political brand that is independent even of party.

The problem with all of that is, look at the times that we're living in. These are heavy times. Whether it's sexual harassment in the workplace, these incredible, you know, hurricanes and floods that we've seen devastating parts of the country, terrorism, racial strife. I mean these are just heavy times for the country.

And this is not a big leader. America looks to the leadership in Washington and they say, this is not watching. Watching the news day in and day out is a real bummer for people, too. It only hardens those divisions. So I think that -- that contributes to the unity. And I don't think Trump has tried to be a big figure, a big unifying figure. I think he's a pugilist, and that is what swept him into office among enough people who look up and say, really, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, this is what we got? You know, we may not like Trump or everything he does, but he's still slugging it out.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Here's another poll number to have you chew on. This is, has he kept his promises? And 40 -- only 40 percent now say, yes, they believe he's kept his campaign promises. That's down from April at 48 percent.

But, you know, David, there's a lot of runway between here and the midterms and certainly here in the next presidential race. GREGORY: No doubt.

CAMEROTA: So he still can keep his promises and that would, you know, turn around.

GREGORY: Nod doubt. And I think, look, you -- I don't think that he's necessarily going to absorb all the blame for that because -- and we've seen this with past presidents. If he is seen fighting forces that are bigger than him, then he is still going to get the benefit of the doubt among important parts of the electorate.

But I do think delivering is a key part of this. Remember, people were willing to accept the fact they didn't trust him, that he doesn't tell the truth all the time, that he's a divisive figure. Even his supporters, lack of appropriate temperament for the job, because, you know, he was going to go in and shake things up and get things done. He's not doing it. He took on such a hard task of health care and hasn't gotten it done. And that's what he came out of the box trying to do rather than something that could unite both parties a little bit more, say infrastructure, which people have been calling for.

Now tax reform. So difficult, even when his own party is in control. But that can change. The president is right to keep emphasizing that people feel good about the economy. Unemployment's low. The stock market is high. And the promise of the government delivering on a tax cut, whatever that ultimately looks like, which is an important detail, is something that he can ultimately run with. And, more importantly, the party can run with, because that's what they're going to be facing in a mid-term.

[08:35:23] CUOMO: So you have two propositions. You have that the divisive rhetoric, the negativity wound up biting him in these recent elections in Virginia and elsewhere across the country, versus productivity. If he can show that he delivers on the agenda, then he will be fine. How do you balance those two? Clearly Speaker Ryan is all in on the latter proposition, that if they can deliver, in this case, on taxes, he does not have to deal with any of the other parts of the analysis. How do you balance the two?

GREGORY: You know, I think all of us, in our minds, we go back to, well, how did Trump win? And the missing piece between then and now is an opponent. A divisive opponent in Hillary Clinton. So people were willing to make certain compromises based on they didn't like the choice.

Here, I think, you know, there's a disaffected part of the electorate, those independent voters who voted for Trump who might have voted for President Obama. They're going to go elsewhere now as well, or by a mid-term election. They are movable voters. And some of this disaffection, in his own party, as well as the middle of the electorate, it's got to go someplace.

In a midterm election, when his party is likely to face a hard hit anyway, because that's what typically happens, that's the real danger. And I -- again, the only thing -- the only promise of Trump was not that he was going to be a big unifier, but that he was going to be ruthlessly effective in what he was able to achieve. We haven't seen it yet. And when you control Washington, you're going to be held to account for that as previous presidents have seen.

CUOMO: Can you believe it's been a year?


CAMEROTA: I guess not. I guess not. Who knows? (INAUDIBLE).

GREGORY: But I would say one other thing, guys, which is, there are still big -- big events that moved previous mid-term elections, whether it was Iraq or the financial collapse or health care. This is still about, how do we feel about the president personally, his personal characteristics. We don't really know what that as an issue is going to will do in terms of moving people's attitudes.

CUOMO: True.


CUOMO: The super vetting (ph) event.



CUOMO: But I still can't get past that it's been a year.

CAMEROTA: I understand. I think you're right about that. That the news cycle is so crazy right now. We pack so much into each day that in some ways it's been five years of our life.

CUOMO: And it changes.


CUOMO: Things don't stay relevant as long. New things come up.


CUOMO: The intensity is different.

CAMEROTA: I know. David Gregory --

CUOMO: A year ago we were on a couch having Chinese food watching the election returns, David.

GREGORY: I remember it will, buddy.

CAMEROTA: In your pajamas. But I've tried to unsee that.

CUOMO: He brought a bottle of wine and I think he took it back home with him.

CAMEROTA: Typical Gregory. Thank you for "The Bottom Line." Meanwhile, a football feud is erupting. The owner of the Dallas Cowboys is threatening to sue the NFL. We explain why in "Bleacher Report," next.


[08:42:03] CUOMO: A power struggle is brewing in the NFL. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threatening to sue the league if Roger Goodell is given a contract extension.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."

How do you see this one?


And this "Bleacher Report" presented by the new 2018 Ford F-150.

So Jerry Jones has hired high-powered attorney David Boies, who's currently representing Harvey Weinstein, to try to keep the NFL from giving Roger Goodell a contract extension. And that's according to "The New York Times" and ESPN. Jones reportedly not happy with the way Goodell has handled the suspension of Cowboy's running back Ezekiel Elliott and the handling of the national anthem controversy.

Now, Goodell has been the NFL commissioner for 11 years and his contract expires after the 2018-19 season. A spokesman for the NFL tells CNN that all 32 owners gave the OK in the spring to give Goodell a new contract.

All right, three players for the UCLA basketball team remain confined to their hotel in China after being arrested for allegedly shoplifting sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store. They are not being allowed to leave the hotel until the legal process plays out according to ESPN. Now one of those players is LiAngelo Ball, the younger brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

And, Alisyn, of course, this is all happening while President Trump is in China.

CAMEROTA: Got it. OK, Andy, thank you very much.

So another victim is accusing actor Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct. What happens next in the hash tag me too movement? We have a discussion of where we are with sexual harassment, next.


[08:47:44] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can assure you that this is not the kind of attention anyone wants. Certainly not the kind my son and family want. But the climate in this country has changed now thanks to the brave women and all sexual abuse victims who have come forward with their accusations against Harvey Weinstein and other sexual abusers.


CAMEROTA: All right, that's the mother of the latest young man to accuse Kevin Spacey of sexual assault. A new CNN poll finds that 74 percent of Americans think that attention on sexual misconduct cases will increase the understanding of the issue.

And look at the new cover of "Newsweek" just out. Well, that's quite the metaphor for what's happening. Is the culture of sexual harassment changing?

Joining us now are attorney Nancy Erika Smith, who represented Gretchen Carlson against Roger Ailes, cultural critic and writer Michaela Angela Davis, and CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney Areva Martin.

Great to have all of you back for this conversation that we continue to have.

So, Michaela, let me start with you because this is a culture question.

She -- you know, you heard the mom there. She thinks that the culture is changing. It sure feels like it's changing. We're having this conversation on national television.


CAMEROTA: Powerful men are losing their movie roles, they are losing their jobs. They might be criminally charged. Are we being overly optimistic by saying this is a watershed moment, or are we in a watershed moment?

DAVIS: I -- yes, we are. And you what was striking, she said all the brave women, right? Even though she was talking about her son and we know that there's Terry Crews, there's men involved. But this is something that I think women have really broken through. And, yes, no, of course this is in -- this is -- this is a new moment in the issue. It's not a new issue, right? It's new because we're talking about it, but, obviously, it's something that our mothers, our mothers' mothers and some men have been dealing with for a very long time.

CAMEROTA: I mean when Gretchen Carlson came to you and you together launched the lawsuit against Roger Ailes, it did feel like a different time.

NANCY ERIKA SMITH, ATTORNEY FOR GRETCHEN CARLSON: It certainly did. It felt scarier and more alone than it feels today. And it really shows the difference it makes when we are able to have a voice. We have not had a voice because we've been forced into secret proceedings, confidentiality agreements, arbitration, and there's power in numbers.

[08:50:02] I think also we've been motivated by the fact that somebody who was an admitted sexual assaulter won the presidency and women are just saying, enough, we need to speak up for ourselves and our daughters and the future.

DAVIS: We're all we got, you know?

CAMEROTA: Areva, how do you see it?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I absolutely agree. As a lawyer that's been involved in these cases for years, and I know Gretchen's lawyer can attest to this, we would go into arbitration rooms in these private centers, enter into these settlement agreements. No one could talk about it. We'd leave those rooms feeling like we did something for that one individual but knowing that we hadn't moved the needle in terms of sexual harassment.

Now that we have these high-profile women speaking out, we have a conversation that we could never have. We even have legislators talking about prohibiting the use of nondisclosures agreements in sexual assault cases. And that was never discussed 10 years go.

So we are at a real reflection point in this country on this issue and I hope we can go further than just a hash tag and that we can make real changes, not just for those women at the top, but for those low income women, those minority women who have been marginalized and are often left out of this conversation.

CAMEROTA: Oh, for sure. I mean women in powerful positions with a platform obviously need to stand up for the women who don't have the access to that.

But let's just -- I just want to recognize the men, too, because I think that it's not easy -- obviously it's not easy for Heather Unruh's son there to have to come -- you know, become public and talk about this. For Terry Crews, the actor, who you brought up, who's so recognizable to so many of us, he went to the police. He's pressing charges against what happened to him at a party where somebody -- I mean according to him -- a powerful male executive fondled him. So the flood gates are open for everybody, men and women.

DAVIS: You know, it's interesting because you can't heal if you're just making a deal, right? So part of, you know, winning cases is a step, but we don't get to heal as a society if we don't get to talk about it and be out.

But, you know, when thinking about the men, I'm wondering where are the -- where's the male outrage? Where are the men who are, you know, also powerful? Where are the Spielbergs? Where is the Cameron (ph)? Where -- where are they in this issue because these are their colleagues. You know, if you can be out there with guns and tiki torches and black power fists, where are the men in the issue in terms of being brave and fighting about it? Because this -- and this is Hollywood. These are your peers. This is your community. The silence with the men is deafening. And, you know, Quentin Tarantino kind of was like, oh, I'm sorry. But where are the -- where are the men? Where are the fathers?

CAMEROTA: Some -- I mean some have taken a stab at it but then, you know, they -- there's pushback on them. I mean, I hear you, that there needs to be more of a sort of vocal movement from them.

Well, how do you see it?

SMITH: Well, I think it's very hard. We live in a world where we have an employment at will country That means you can be fired for any reason at all. That we have fought for years for just this little bit of just cause termination. That your employer actually needs a reason to fire you. We've lost that. So everybody in this country can be fired for no reason or any reason. That shuts people up, too. They're afraid.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. And, in fact, I mean, there used to be, and I don't know if this has changed because this is also new, but, Areva, if you brought a sexual harassment claim against your employer, the feeling was, the word on the street was, she'll never work again.

MARTIN: Oh, absolutely, Alisyn. And that's why women were so hesitant, and men, to come forward because they feared the retribution, they feared the retaliation.

Look, in these lawsuits, these claims, defendants come at victims hard.


MARTIN: They call them gold diggers They call them sluts. They ruin their reputations. They vow to make sure that they never work again.

Let's look at the story that Farrow did about the $600,000 that Harvey Weinstein spent with this secret investigative agency using ex-Israeli spies to imbed them into the lives of people like Rose McGowan.

So this is not for the faint of heart. And the people that have come forward, women and men, we can't say enough about how brave they are because Nancy and litigators like myself that have been involved in these cases, we know these cases are very, very difficult for women and men who accuse people in power of sexual harassment or assault.

CAMEROTA: Well, listen, every time we have the conversation, I have to believe that it helps.

Nancy, Areva, Michaela, thank you all.

DAVIS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: And join us tonight for a national conversation about sexual harassment. It's the CNN town hall "Tipping Point: Sexual Harassment in America." It is 9:00 p.m. Eastern tonight.

"The Good Stuff," next.


[08:58:38] CUOMO: A different kind of "Good Stuff" but equally good. Very emotional. The country music community coming together to honor the victims of last month's Las Vegas massacre. This is Carrie Underwood breaking down as she sings a touching tribute to the Country Music Awards last night. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARRIE UNDERWOOD, MUSICIAN (singing): Tenderly Jesus is calling, calling -- he's calling, oh, sinner, come on home.


CUOMO: You should remember 58 people were killed. You see their faces in front of you right now. Five hundred others just about were wounded in the Vegas attack. Underwood and her co-host Brad Paisley also delivered a heart-felt message to the victims of the Texas church massacre and the recent hurricanes.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. I mean just even hearing her voice crack there and her not being able to continue makes me welt up. It's really raw and, you know, we don't have any real answers yet.

[09:00:01] CUOMO: Well, you don't have answers when you don't look. I mean the tragedy of Las Vegas is the legacy of it. You then wound up having another one, a month later in Texas, and still no real talk about why they happen and how to stop them.

CAMEROTA: All right,