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Roy Moore Denies Ever Meeting The Woman Accusing Him Of Sexual Abusing Her When She Was 14 And He Was 32; Bannon: Until I See More Evidence, I'm Standing With Moore; Louis C.K On Sexual Misconduct Allegations: These Stories Are True; WSJ: Flynn & Son Allegedly Offered Up To $15 Million To Forcibly Remove Cleric Wanted By Turkey; "Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent" Airs Sunday 9PM. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired November 10, 2017 - 21:00   ET



[21:00:35] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: More breaking news, top of the hour. Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore flatly denying allegations he initiated a sexual encounter when he was 32 with a 14- year-old girl. Two conservative Republican senators Michael Lee of Utah and Steve Daines of Montana pulling their endorsement late today. Former GOP Presidential Candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain calling on Moore to bow out of the race. And Moore, himself, speaking out today on Sean Hannity's radio show. He called accuser Leigh Corfman's allegations completely false but his recollection of his dating history with teenage girls, that is raising some eyebrows. Listen.


SEAN HANNITY, RADIO HOST: Would it be unusual for you as a 32-year- old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? That would be a 15-year difference or a girl 18. Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?

ROY MOORE, REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE: Not generally, no. If I did, you know, I'm not going to dispute anything, but I don't remember anything like that.

HANNITY: Would it be normal behavior back in those days, for you to date a girl that's 17 or 18?

MOORE: No, not normal.

HANNITY: You can say unequivocally you never dated anybody that was in their late teens like that when you were 32?

MOORE: It would've been out of my customary behavior. That's right.

HANNITY: In other words, you don't really ever dating any girl that young when you were that old?

MOORE: I've said no.

(END AUDIO CLIP) COOPER: That's called leading the witness just, in case (INAUDIBLE). Moore also denied knowing the accuser or ever meeting her and said that somebody who abuses a 14-year-old should not be a Senate candidate. Yet, some Republicans in Alabama so far seem to be standing behind him. CNN's Alex Marquardt joins us now from Gadsden, Alabama. So, Roy Moore show no indication certainly stepping aside today. What more are you hearing?

ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the Roy Moore that his supports know and love. This is the Roy Moore that his detractors can't stand, a Roy Moore who doesn't back down from a fight. This guy has seen so many controversies over the past four decades. Keep in mind, Moore was the Chief Justice of State Supreme Court here in Alabama and was twice removed.

You can here in that interview with Sean Hannity that he is offering that full-throated rejection of what he is calling a liberal conspiracy. But you can also begin to hear some self-doubt. And when you look at the way that the campaign is operating, this clearly is a nervous campaign, a campaign that appears to be in crisis, except for that interview he to gave to Sean Hannity and besides the statement that they put out yesterday, there's been almost no communication from the campaign, no appearance by the candidate, calls, text messages, e- mails to campaign spokespeople, do unanswered. So this is clearly a campaign that is trying to figure out what is going on.

I was speaking with an official from the county Republican Party earlier today. He did allow for the fact that Moore may lose some votes off this, but he says by and large his base will stand firm and turn out for him on the December 12th election and they may be energized out of this. He said that they have been through fire, which is a reference to all the controversies over the year. He did call this controversy unusual, but he said that under no circumstances does he believe that Roy Moore will drop out of the race. Anderson.

COOPER: You spoke to number of Roy Moore supporters I know. What are they saying to you?

MARQUARDT: Yes, two person, almost, a man and woman. They are sticking by him. The big question that they are asking is why now? Why are these allegations coming out just four weeks before the election? Why are these allegations coming out some 40 years almost after they took place? Are these women being put forward as part of a smear campaign against Moore in the final weeks of this race? So the Democrats supporting it or -- is the Republican establishment like Mitch McConnell supporting it? I was a bit surprised today when I spoke with a woman in a barbecue restaurant asking her that if she knew these allegations to be true, what would she do? Take a listen.


DOTTIE FINCH, ROY MOORE SUPPORTER: I would still support Moore because I feel as if that's happened in the past.

MARQUARDT (on camera): Even if he was inappropriately touching a 14- year-old girl? FINCH: If he went to the Lord, whatever, and asked for forgiveness for that and hasn't done anything like that since then, I believe that if the good Lord's forgiven him, as a Christian, I have to forgive him also.


MARQUARDT: So Moore does have a number of supporters who under any circumstances will vote for him on December 12th. The one exception who I found was a woman who -- until yesterday she said was a big Roy Moore supporter, now she's questioning it the reason why because she knows Leigh Corfman personally.

[21:05:12] Corfman, of course, was the woman who alleges that at 14- years-old she was inappropriately touched by Roy Moore. Now she is not sure what she is going to do but -- in talking to most people here, they do not believe these allegations. They want to see proof. They want to see more corroboration. They want to see Roy Moore stay in this race and they believe he will win. Anderson.

COOPER: Alex Marquardt, appreciate it. Thanks.

I want to bring in our panel, Philip Bump, Scott Jennings, Cornell Brooks, Alice Stewart, Tara Setmayer, and Kyle Whitmire.

Kyle, first of all, you worked in Alabama, I mean, based in Birmingham?


COOPER: So, politically, where do you see -- I mean, you know, it seems like -- because this happened so long ago, because right now it's a -- he said, --


COOPER: -- a number of women said, people can kind of see it through the lens of their politics or tribal, you know, political sides.

WHITMIRE: Roy Moore's constituency has been built up over 20 years. And these are voters who have followed him through a lot of controversial positions, a lot of moments that might have been embarrassing for the state of Alabama. They felt very strongly about -- what's different about this one is that all those things Roy Moore was in control over, his stance on gay marriage, his stance on displaying the 10 commandments in the courthouse. Those are calculations that he made. This is not something that he is in control of right now. He's been almost invisible in Alabama for the last several -- last few weeks as far as campaigning, making very few campaign stops.

But I think that a lot of those voters -- look, belief perseverance is a really, really powerful thing, and a lot of those voters have been conditioned by what we've seen in politics in this country in the last several years, if they want to, they don't have to believe these allegations.

COOPER: Had you heard whispers of any of these allegations?

WHITMIRE: There had been rumors through the years. And, you know, for a lot of Alabama political reporters, this is going to be the one that got away. I was approached through social media a couple years ago, someone who had a friend through a friend of a friend was in contact with one of these woman who is trying to work out some sort of arrangement where one of them would talk to me, but -- it went dead.

COOPER: -- suddenly, this isn't something that just came out of the shadows a few weeks before the election.

WHITMIRE: It's always been chasing ghosts before to try to nail these rumors down. It's like nailing jell-o to a tree or something. But, it's an impressive piece of work by "The Washington Post" to, you know, to have found not one, but four women, to have found -- I think they said was at 30 people they had interviewed.

COOPER: -- on the record too with their names.

WHITMIRE: And to really get down into hard details, confirming that some of them were where they supposed, you know, said they were at that time in the courthouse, including Roy Moore.

COOPER: How do you -- I mean, Scott, what do you suggest?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I agree it's an impressive piece of reporting by "The Washington Post". I am concerned that "The Washington Post" is being used now as the excuse to not believe it.

And so, as a political man, I'll give you a strategic view. We got to get -- if you were somebody who wanted to take Roy Moore out of this race, "The Washington Post" out of the middle, I'm interested to see now whether Ms. Corfman goes on television and speak direct to camera, because it's one thing to read her words in a newspaper. You may trust but it would be another thing to see her speak direct to camera and speak directly to the people of Alabama in her own voice in her own words. So we'll see if that comes next.

The other issue is Donald Trump needs to throw this guy overboard right now. They have no relationship. The first Trump spoke to Roy Moore was September 27th. He is embarrassing the president. He is putting the president's agenda in danger. I'm old enough to remember when the president of the United States threw a Senate leader overboard over making a dump insensitive remark at a birthday party. We'll well beyond that.

So Donald Trump in order to preserve his agenda the keep his embarrassment from staining his party, he needs to dump this guy immediately.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: One thing I learned. My first job in television news was in Dothan, Alabama. And you learn that a lot of people in these small towns get their news locally. And that they see on the local television, what they read in your papers, that's where they form their opinion. What happens in the "Post" and what we talk about up here is not going to influence the people of Alabama.

Folks who I'm talking too, won the ground there say this isn't changing their mind. As Alex said, those who like him, this will make him stand behind him even more. Thos who don't like him, this will make them more involved and to stand against him.

What I think is interesting, though, is the poll numbers, the RealClearPolitics, he had been 8 to 10 point ahead. Now he's about 4.7 points ahead. The last poll shows it tied up. But at the same time since this happened in the last 24 hours they've raised $100,000. So that goes to show, the people that are die hard with him will give the money and they'll continue to give their support. I just think the interview he gave today with Sean Hannity where he couldn't unequivocally say that this didn't happen --

[21:10:18] COOPER: Right, and Sean gave him, I mean to --

STEWART: It's a yes-or-no question.

COOPER: To say the least -- and multiple chances kept saying -- so you're saying it would have been very unusual, and he would say, well, sort of.

STEWART: It's a yes-or-no question and I think for him to say it's not characteristic with his behavior. I think that was a little bit questionable, but I think those who like him aren't going to change.

COOPER: Kyle you want?

WHITMIRE: Yes. There's something else here to understand about where Republicans in Alabama are. There's a precedent here. A little more than a year ago we saw allegations coming out. We saw the "access Hollywood" tapes come out.

COOPER: By the way, by "The Washington Post".

WHITMIRE: Right, Martha Roby Congresswoman at Alabama at that time denounced the president, asked the president, the then-candidate, to step aside. She got unseated by a write-in candidate. She has been -- I mean, she really is on the ropes right now to get re-elected. And a lot of Republicans in Alabama who might have strong feelings about that -- about this situation have seen that and they're scared. They're scared that if they step out and say something, they might be the next person to get primaried if Roy Moore's based forgives him or just walk straight pass this and doesn't accept these allegations as being truthful.

PHILIP BUMP, THE WASHINGTON POST: Which is also what you're seeing at the national level, you're seeing a lot of people coming out and saying, if this is true he should resign which gives him the (INAUDIBLE) never being able to be proven as true.

I do want to say, as the sort of physical embodiment to "The Washington Post" sitting up here, I keep hearing this thing about why now, why now? And there answer is quite obvious that there's a reason a people with murky backgrounds don't run for office and that's because there's a heightened amount of attention that is (INAUDIBLE) to you once you run for office.

And so what happens is Roy Moore wins the Republican primary and all of a sudden he's a figure off national attention. He might be the next U.S. senator from Alabama and so "The Washington Post" which has resources more than a lot of media organizations comes down to Alabama and hears these stories and investigates.

And so, I mean it's not rocket science. It's also, I think, place to why these women (INAUDIBLE), if you have beef with Roy Moore, this is your opportunity to stand up and say, hey, this is a thing he happened to me before he becomes a U.S. senator. And I think it's -- we hear a lot about this timing. They were all these implications about collusion, which again, goes back to -- it's been all this fire storm been whipped up, the media, the media is making these things up which is, of course, nonsense. But, this -- we are now the scapegoat. And I get your point about having a woman come forward but at the end of the day we stand by our reporting.

COOPER: We got to take a break. We're going to hear from the rest of the panel just a second. Speaking of the "Access Hollywood" moment that Kyle mentioned, Steve Bannon has just invoked it, weighting in on the candidate he's been backing, Moore. The question, is anything the last couple of days change his mind? Hear what he had to say tonight.

And later, we'll talk about the nomination to the federal bench of someone who has never tried one single case when "360" continues.


[21:16:42] COOPER: More breaking news tonight, Former Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon speaking out tonight defending the Senate candidate he back, Roy Moore. Bannon just finished talking tonight at the Citadel in South Carolina. Listen


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: They're finding some collusion going on and those stories about Judge Moore, right? And I think you will find on the mainstream media either tonight or tomorrow, I think there's going to be some pretty interesting stories about how that information got dropped and who paid for it and who weaponized it, right?

You know, is it just a coincidence that the Bezos, Amazon, Washington Post did the Billy Bush hit, and they did the hit on Judge Moore? Yes, just a complete, complete random thing in the universe, right? So I think you'll see tomorrow.

Look, like what Donald Trump has said, when I stand with a man, I stand with him, right? And I told Trump that day you've got a 100 percent chance, just focus on what's important. Until I see additional evidence on Judge Moore, I'm standing with him.


COOPER: Back now with the panel. Cornell, how do you see this?

CORNELL WILLIAMS BROOKS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I just find it just incredibly disturbing that Steve Bannon says he's standing with Justice Moore as though that means standing atop women.

Here's the bottom line. When one out of every five girls in this country experiences some form of sexual abuse, where we have these women who have demonstrated courage, have come forward, no doubt, know what they're going to be subjected to, for the former adviser to the president to basically say there's a conspiracy and we're going to make these women pay for being tools of this conspiracy, that is unconscionable. The president can speak out against that. The president can call that out.

We are at a moment where we've seen women across this country step up and speak out. And what are we doing? We are, in fact, using a senatorial campaign to send the message, if you speak out you're going to pay a price, you're going to be silenced. And that is frankly (INAUDIBLE).


TARA SETMAYER, POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR, ABC NEWS: There's so much moral bankruptcy going on and hypocrisy here, I can't stomach it. Steve Bannon is up there going after these women and making these statements, yet he was the master mind behind tracing out the women who accused Bill Clinton of his indiscretions and they cheer leaded those women and we were supposed to believe everything they said. And now because it's against someone that Steve Bannon likes, now all of a sudden that standard doesn't apply. I mean, if this isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.

He's talking about weaponizing this, that's what Breitbart does all the time. And he's pedaling in some conspiracy theory here, insinuated that there was some collusion going on and Philip can probably speak to this being from "The Washington Post". I mean, there's some rumor out there on the internet about these women were paid by "The Washington Post" reports, which is absolutely false, it's a conspiracy theory. And he's irresponsibly putting this out there like that.

[21:20:00] I mean, the duplicity here is just unbelievable and I have to say to the credit of many Republican senators who have come out and said this is not acceptable. You know, if it's true part of it is to, of course, is to give them a little bit of cover in case for some reason this is some elaborate hoax, which I don't think it is considering there were 30 people that went on the record that was part to this "Washington Post" story.

There's also another corroborating witness that went on the record today who was the boyfriend of Ms. Corfman back 20 years ago, or -- well, no, 1989, I think. And he said that she mentioned the abuse to him. And that he has no reason not to believe her, just another corroborating witness now on top of that. So enough people -- I remember, I'm old enough to remember when Mark Foley was run out of Congress because he was inappropriately texting young pages. I remember Republicans were upset about Anthony Weiner for sending pictures or Chris Smith who resigned from Congress because he took a picture with shirt off. What happened to those people? And shame on these evangelicals who are going out there trying to pervert biblical scripture to justify this -- a deplorable behavior. They're going to have to answer for that. I mean, Paul wrote a bunch of scriptures in the Bible warning the church about this kind of sexual immorality ad justifying it at the end times. I suggest they go back and re-read it.

STEWART: If he's innocent, then he shouldn't come out unequivocal answer all those questions they had earlier, yes, no, yes, no, unequivocally answering these questions, plead his innocence. Fight this race. Win this race to represent the people of Alabama. But if they're going to go about doing it in this manner where they're going to try and discredit these women, call this fake this, say this is a conspiracy, I think that as unfortunate way to do it, but it was the playbook that helped Donald Trump win.


STEWART: And a lot of their supporters will go with it. But I think if he's going to fight this, which I think he should, if he's innocent it should be based on --

COOPER: -- the tribalism, I think it was last night, and I just thought it was so important -- because we are in this time when the truth doesn't matter, it's who's making the allegation and what side you're on and people just choose to believe what they want to believe.

JENNINGS: No doubt. And in the absence of leadership, people revert to their tribes. And that's what people are doing right now, but where do you get leadership in politics? You get it from the top. Donald Trump right now should take control of this party and end this charade. Steve Bannon had interesting 48 hours. His first Senate 2018 project Roy Moore is blowing up in Donald Trump's face right now. And there was a report this morning that Bannon has been talking to Mark Cuban about running for president as a Democrat. Does any of this sound like it is helping Donald Trump be a successful one or two term president? Absolutely not.

And so, he's now going to run interference for Roy Moore and try to take everybody's eye of that ball. Donald Trump could show real leadership for the Republican Party right now. Ask Moore to get out of the race. Luther Strange, Jeff Sessions, any of these guys probably --


COOPER: It's tougher for Trump, I mean, --


COOPER: -- the allegations. JENNINGS: Why?


SETMAYER: -- allegations the "Access Hollywood" tape --

JENNINGS: Well, Lord have mercy. If hypocrisy renders us silent and paralyzed, then no one will speak in politics.


SETMAYER: -- a different level, come on, Scott. The "Access Hollywood" tape was Donald -- I mean, -- Steve Bannon is trying to use that as an example of a conspiracy against the president when it was his own words admitting that he liked to grope women by the genitals and get away with it. This is Roy Moore taking the playbook out of -- straight from what Trump did, double down and --

WHITMIRE: And don't forget, Donald Trump has already been burned once by Roy Moore. He came to Alabama and campaigned for Luther Strange. And we had reporters at that even. They asked the people going to this event, are you going to vote for Luther Strange? No, we're going to vote for Roy Moore. Why are you here? We just want to see the president. We really like him. But when it came to that decision they made that on their own. Roy Moore is the embodiment. He is -- Trumpism without Trump incarnate. And it would potentially be, I would say catastrophic but embarrassing again for Trump if he comes out and says that perhaps Luther Strange or some other candidate should step in.

Mind you, right now they would have to write. There's no way to take Roy Moore's name off the ballot. If Roy Moore wins anyway, then he looks even foolish or worse if --

JENNINGS: He's never looked foolish doing the right thing. It's never the wrong day to do the right thing.

SETMAYER: When has Donald Trump ever done the right thing, though, Scott?


BUMP: I just want to make one quick point which is that Roy Moore is still probably still going to win this race. I think that poll today is a little -- this is Alabama, there are, you know, this is an off year election. When you have Republican voters are more likely to come out, yes, there's a Democratic head wind we saw in Virginia, but that's Virginia. That's not Alabama. Roy Moore is still, I think, in a strong position here. And Donald Trump also does not want to have Roy Moore come to Washington and be irritated with him after he wins the Senate race.

WHITMIRE: -- Alabama about Roy Moore is that his floor has always been in ceiling. He has one base. They come out. They vote for him. I think it is a jump ball at this point. I think that Doug Jones might be able to pull enough of the Republicans who are going to sit on the sidelines, who are not going to go to the polls in December because let's face it, right now if you're where I'm from, and this is your ambassador to the world, I mean, forget about, you know, whether this is morally reprehensible or if any -- (INAUDIBLE) are discussing. Just from an economic development perspective, how do you recruit business to a place like Alabama if this guy is your state's man?

[21:25:37] COOPER: We got to with Cornell.

BROOKS: I just want to note this. We have a number of weeks between now and the general election. That's an eternity. The fact of the matter is 50 percent of the population in Alabama are women. There are a number of the evangelicals who are caught between hell and a hard place. Well, one of the things that is pretty clear is your church may differ with respect to divorce celibacy, marriage quality, but there's a damning consensus with respect to pedophilia. And the fact of the matter is people, I believe, are going to decide on the -- if they're going to come out -- out on the side to the right.

COOPER: All right, a lot more ahead. The Senate Judiciary Committee approves President Trump's 36-year-old judicial nominee. Some of these never tried a case. Much less been a judge at any level. The vote was on party lines. I'll talk to one of the nay votes Senator Amy Klobuchar next.


COOPER: Talking about Senate Candidate Roy Moore and the allegations against him. Joining us now someone who might be a colleague should he wins, Senator Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, thanks so much for being with us.

I want to ask you about --


COOPER: -- what is going on with Roy Moore. Several of your Republican colleagues have said that he should drop out of the race if these allegations are true. Does that go far enough for you?

[21:25:09] KLOBUCHAR: You know, I think at this point when you have four women that have come forward with documentation, with 30 witnesses that have been interviewed, and no one has really poked a hole in these stories, if I were him, I'd step down. And that's something he's going to have to decide. And the Republican Party is going to have to decide.

But I just find it outrageous that we keep seeing these candidates, in this case someone who was removed as the justice of Alabama Supreme Court because he wasn't following the law. That's a pretty unique circumstance to have that person running as a candidate. So there were already many issues that led Republicans to doubt this person as a candidate. And now this is the final thing.

COOPER: I talked --

KLOBUCHAR: If he's our candidate, the one thing to remember is there is a good candidate that we have, Mr. Jones who, in fact, is a former U.S. attorney, a prosecutor, someone running on trust, someone running on his record, someone who is talking about things that matter to the people of Alabama like affordable health care and affordable college. So there is an alternative out there.


KLOBUCHAR: As was noted earlier on the show, the numbers are closing in the polls.

COOPER: I talked to a state rep from Alabama who supports Roy Moore, does not believe the women who have come forward. And what he said -- and what many people or reporters on the ground are talking to supporters of Roy Moore saying is, why are these people coming forward now? It just seems questionable that we're just hearing about this now given that he's been in public life for some time and that this is some sort of a plot by unnamed like "The Washington Post" or liberals or whomever it might be.

KLOBUCHAR: I think when you have someone in this kind of a prominent race, this was pointed out earlier on your program, people decide it matters to come forward. And they make that choice. It doesn't mean that it didn't happen. In fact, it seems to me that these are pretty documented stories with someone as news organization, reputable as the "Post" that are running them.

And so, to me it just means the stakes are higher and maybe, you know, when you see women across the country are coming out and speaking out about what happened to them and harassment and sexual abuse and things like that, there's also been a change in this country, a change where women are willing to stand up and speak.

COOPER: I want to ask you about that change. You put forward legislation which would require anti-harassment training for senators, for staff, for interns. It passed the Senate yesterday. I just wonder, what do you make of the moment that we're in? I mean, do you believe this is some kind of lasting turning point?

KLOBUCHAR: I really do. It was actually quite enlightening to work on that because I had men working on it as well like Senator Grassley of Iowa a Republican and Senator Shelby and others. And then there are a lot of Democratic support from the very beginning. And we now have mandatory training in sexual harassment, something we never had when we should be the example, within 60 days, and then to every single Congress and for every new employee.

And to me, what's happening right now is people are telling their stories. But what matters is what happens next. The policies change, the work cultures change. And when you still look at kind of the prophetic numbers of women that are running movie (ph) or studios, or running businesses, or managers that plants or -- in the United State Senate and the Congress, something's wrong here. There's an environments where women feel like when they're trying to move ahead they get pushed down.

So my joy will not be so much as seeing some of the people that we've seen fall from power. What I'd like to see is women rise up in power and be able to have a new day where people judge them on their merits and not push them aside and call the names and laugh behind their backs. And this error abuse them much worse like some of the stories we've been seeing.

So to me this is about empowerment and something that's been pushing women down for a long time. So there's another side to this coin besides the girls stories.

COOPER: But its is, you know, what we're seeing in Alabama, you know, Steve Bannon was talking about this tonight saying that, you know, there's evidence now of collusion. We're going to be hearing more about that in the days to come. It does seem like, you know, questions -- there's questions being raised about one of the women, allegations that she was a sign language interpreter at some point for the Hillary Clinton campaign, which seems an odd connection. But, given -- she started -- according to "The Washington Post" she started her own company and to help people successful company and this seems like just one of the aspects of that company. It does seem like when women come forward --

KLOBUCHAR: -- sign language interprets usually work at a lot of different events.

[21:35:00] COOPER: Right. But when women come forward, often they become the ones who are targeted.

KLOBUCHAR: That's exactly right. And I think that these women -- you ask why they didn't come forward before. Well, of course, they thought something like this would happen. But at some point people decide the stakes are too high. You ask yourselves, you know, why didn't they come out earlier against Harvey Weinstein? Why didn't they come out earlier and (INAUDIBLE) number these cases? Well, at some point there's strength in numbers where it no longer just becomes, "I'm going to hide to my background," and it becomes, "this is something that I must do so it doesn't happen to others."

As a former prosecutor, I saw so many victims in this case of criminal sexual abuse. It was just a horrible experience to have to come forward and testify in front of the eyes of the jury. But what I also saw was redemption through all of it. They didn't want what happened to them happen to someone else. And that is exactly why theses women are coming forward.

COOPER: Senator Amy Klobuchar, appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. It's great to be on, Anderson.

COOPER: Coming up, a rare admission from someone recently accused of sexual misconduct, comedian Louis C.K. admits the allegations from five women reported by "The New York Times" is true. What he's saying in his statement tonight, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: A day after "The New York Times" reported sexual misconduct allegations against comedian Louis C.K from five women he released a statement today admitting to those allegations, he said, "These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was OK because I never showed a women my penis without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your penis isn't a question. It's a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly." He went on.

With me now, Michaela Angela Davis, Cindi Leive, Tara Setmayer, I'm sorry, Cindi Leive, and Alice Stewart. Sorry Cindi. What do you make of his apology?

[21:40:04] CINDI LEIVE, EDITOR IN CHIEF, GLAMOUR MAGAZINE: Well, I think, you know, it certainly is better than some of the non apologies that we've seen lately. I think it probably would have done if (INAUDIBLE) a little bit better if he included the word sorry or I apologize.

You know, I do think it was -- it seems heartfelt and I think a lot of people took it in that spirit. But, you know, fundamentally there is still the question of why is the apology coming out only after these allegations are public and his lost distribution deals. What will it take to get us to a point where sometimes an apology is made before you're found out?

COOPER: It did. According to the "Times" he had written apologies or contacted some of the women to apologize. I don't know if that was because the story was being worked on or why that may have been, but how do you see this?

MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CULTURAL CRITIC/WRITER: It was an apology-ish. It was a creepy kind of message. He said over and over that they admired him. They admired him and I -- never did he say I'm sick, I'm a creep, I'm broken, that was criminal. He never really admitted what was actually happening. And if you read the whole statement, I think he must have said that I was admired about 10 times.

So it was creepy. And he never -- he just admitted it and you can't tell whether it was like a shady strategy to -- I'm going down so maybe I'll save a little bit of my soul or maybe I see that other people are litigating and it's not working so maybe I'll try something else. I didn't feel that it was heartfelt. I felt like it was -- maybe a last resort.

But, you know what's the hardest thing, Anderson, is like -- this is a man of power that need other men of power to do this kind of work, right? There's a lot of reporting about people knowing that his colleagues knew, that all the people that he wrote for and with knew and they admired him. So men admired him and companies admired him because of the money that he brings with him. And then all these women suffer. And so I'm not impressed by him admitting. I don't feel like he apologized. I feel like he just said, yes, I did it. But he never said, I'm a creep, I need help, what I did was criminal, what I did destroys people. It was still very careful.

STEWART: What I thought was interesting, him having a career as a comedian who is very self-deprecating and constantly sort of making himself the butt of jokes that --

COOPER: And, by the way, talking about, --


COOPER: You know, masturbation --

STEWART: Exactly. Yes. For his statement to be like they say talking about how knowing that all these women admire him, he sort of -- he felt it gave him a pass.

Look, I think it's a sad day when we have to look at what we've had in the last few weeks with sexual harassment and say, well, on the scale from 1 to 10 this was probably the most heartfelt apology.


STEWART: But you look at -- Harvey Weinstein never apologized. We have Kevin Spacey go apologized but then said I don't remember. I will say this, he did go for this -- and did acknowledged the women and the pain that he caused them but it doesn't seem sincere, and it wasn't until all of this was brought to light. It wasn't until he lost the Netflix deal and HBO streamline and a movie deal. When he knew that his livelihood and butt was on the line, his financial future was on the line, for him to wait until that point to come forward just really takes it all the way.

SETMAYER: That's always the case, right? People don't change until they feel enough pain that causes them to finally reflect. I think obviously he was rather impressed with himself and he felt the need that -- need to do this with women for whatever reason. I mean, I'm sure psychologists that are more qualified than I am to determine why men that are that narcissistic feel the need to have to pleasure themselves in front of women or use his power over women to validate themselves. It's very strange.

But I just think that at this point I'm glad to see that there are women that finally feel comfortable enough to be able to say, yes, this has happened and we're seeing -- it's almost like a water shed moment here because we're taking down very powerful men where in the past women couldn't do that and think that they would be protected. That's why they've been silent for so long. So I'm glad to see that there's finally some consequences going on here. So at least that's a step in the right direction. But, yes, I found that -- the same way, my reaction to his words were very -- it seemed very convenient.

DAVIS: Right. You know, Cindi and I were talking about Terry Crews, right? And how -- what a big deal it was for this big guy who dances with his pecs say that he was molested and then file charges. You know, I have a question for you, Anderson. Why do you think men don't stand up? Why do you think they don't protect each other or don't protect -- why do you think that it was a woman that saw that boy in the bar with Kevin Spacy and a women protected him? Why don't men --

[21:45:05] COOPER: I think it's such a male thing about not --

DAVIS: Sure.

COOPER: I mean embarrassment if you're -- I mean if, you know, if you're straight and some guy comes up to you and does that to you.


SETMAYER: It was also a career issue.

COOPER: Right --


SETMAYER: Yes, but he's --

COOPER: -- and also actors are in such a vulnerable position. I mean, you know, we all think, oh, they're famous, they have money -- a lot of them, A, really don't and they working job to job and they need these executives.

DAVIS: But now that he's out. Where his boys? We take knees for each other. I don't understand why now that it's out -- that these women are their colleagues, they're somebody's daughter, they're somebody's mother. I'm confused why men don't help other men and help each other, you know, and help the women, even after they've shown that first step of bravery.

COOPER: I do think -- do you feel like something has fundamentally changed?

LEIVE: Absolutely.

COOPER: Because, I mean, I hear that from a lot of people I talked to in the Hollywood who feels like it's not gone.

LEIVE: The floodgates are open. I think everything is different. I think, obviously, for a lot of women it's kind of borne out of the political moment we're in. I think that a lot of this directly for a lot of women does tracks back to Trump's election and a lot of women's feelings that (INAUDIBLE) here we have a commander in chief who had bragged about sexual assault. So if that's the playing field we're on, you know, there's a sense of anger, I think, that a lot of women feel.

I do think it's interesting that historically women have been kept out of some many jobs because of this fear that their hormones are going to make them make terrible decisions and I think we have unequivocally proof which sex is more --


COOPER: -- mama the keys, was it you who said that? LEIVE: Yes. Well, no, I was saying that you could look at these and you could be -- you know, women could to say men like, OK, time to turn over to wheel, give mama the keys, let us drive.

COOPER: Thanks. I really appreciate it. Good discussion.

Coming up, a story of an alleged plan to pay Former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn and his son, millions of dollars to kidnap a Muslim cleric from the United States, spared him over to Turkey to prison. What Flynn's lawyers are saying about that next.


[21:50:19] COOPER: Tonight lawyers for Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn are denying a report that he's being investigated in a bizarre plot to kidnap a Muslim cleric on behalf of a foreign country. The "Wall Street Journal" broke the story that Flynn and his son were to be paid millions of dollars to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the United States delivering him to Turkey to go to prison.

In a statement, Flynn's lawyer has called the report outrageous and false. Back now with the panel.

I mean, Phil, if this is true, I mean, again, bizarre doesn't even begin to cover this. This was a guy, Flynn, who was about to become the national security adviser of the president of the United States, one of the most powerful positions there is.

BUMP: Right. According to the report they're sitting in the 21 club in Manhattan having this conversation about essentially seizing someone who is a non American citizen living here, I believe, with a green card --

COOPER: He's got a green card.

BUMP: And taking him to jail in island of the island Turkey. I mean, it's bizarre. I mean, it is so far an allegation and I think that the thing to keep in mind about this is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking for ways in which he can have leverage over folks, right? And so, that this allegation exists out there, that this is something apparently that the FBI may be investigating, that is a point of leverage and if there is something that Michael Flynn knows and doesn't necessarily want to share with Robert Mueller, this is another way where Robert Mueller can exercise that leverage over him. And I think that's why this is --

COOPER: But Scott, I mean, you talk about a guy who has a number of points of leverage. I mean, with Michael Flynn it seems like there are numerous points of leverage.

JENNINGS: Yes, he's got a lot to work with Flynn, and of course, Flynn hits closer to home more so than Manafort because he actually finished the campaign, went through the transition, took a job in the White House.

COOPER: And spent a lot of time --

JENNINGS: And was with the president a lot, a lot more than Manafort. So it does a closer to home. This is a lot of speculation. I mean, we don't really know what's happening here, but what is clear is that the Flynn operation has become central to what Mueller is doing and what we don't know is the key issue, is any of this connected to Donald Trump? Does any of this have anything to do with Trump? Was he aware of any of it? He may not have been. We don't know. And so if you're at the White House that's what you're wondering about today is, can they ever draw the line between Flynn and Trump? But we don't know that.

SETMAYER: But this is where Trump becomes relative in this because -- maybe Trump wasn't involved in the Turkey stuff which is all problematic in and of itself.

Where this becomes a Trump story, we have to remember that part of the reason why, allegedly, Trump fired Comey was not only the Russian investigation getting maybe too close to him, but he also allegedly asked Comey to cut Flynn a break. So that is central to the whole obstruction of justice, why was Comey fired aspect of what the special counsel is investigating.

So that's where -- so the Turkey and the foreign money taking and not registering properly, all those things can be used to lean on Flynn to see if he's going to give up the goods about conversations potentially between him and Trump and what was going on concerning Comey. And also, if you remember back in March, it was Flynn's lawyer who said that he had a lot to say.

COOPER: A story to tell.

SETMAYER: A story to tell and was potentially looking for immunity at the time. So that's where the tie in with Trump comes in the greater Russian investigation.

STEWART: And with regard to the Turkey story, I was talking with someone who is very familiar with this and while it sounds extraordinary, paying someone $15 million to kidnap someone and take them back, if you put it in a little different context in that Turkey is a NATO ally, they're asking for this person to come back to their country and the United States something that's not out of the realm of possibility for us to consider returning that person and giving Flynn the benefit of the doubt he may have been just working to help extradite the person back to Turkey as opposed to kidnapping and taking him back. (INAUDIBLE) exciting is the kidnapping but consider that possibility.

COOPER: That's a big difference.

STEWART: Absolutely.


STEWART: I think more troubling is certainly the Russia ties and to Scott's point Flynn brings it more close to home, also because his son is involved in it.

COOPER: Right.

STEWART: And I think that is much more --

COOPER: -- point.

STEWART: Yes, that's more closer to Trump than the Turkey situation.

BROOKS: But, I mean, to the extent that the vice president thought he lied and that it appears that he may have been out here freelancing, I mean, it just gives the impression that this is an administration that is not in charge of foreign policy, doesn't know what's going on. The secretary of state is barely authorized to do what it is that he is obligated to do and committed to do. So there's a lot to be said, and we can look for more, but this is concerning.

[21:54:57] COOPER: Yes. Thanks everybody. Appreciate it.

Up next, some more serious stuff this weekend on CNN. Anthony Bourdain, serves up the story of America's first celebrity chef a guy name Jeremiah Tower. I recently spoke to Bourdain about the film. Our conversation in a moment.


COOPER: This Sunday, Anthony Bourdain presents the CNN film, "Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent", he's held as America's first celebrity chef, accredited as the founding father of American cuisines. Though many folks might not have heard of him, I recently spoke with Bourdain about the film. Take a look.


COOPER: This is such a fascinating story because Jeremiah Tower pioneered a lot of the dishes that you've been cooking over the years but you didn't really know that they came from him.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "JEREMIAH TOWER: THE LAST MAGNIFICENT": Exactly. Jeremiah was maybe the Chuck Barry of American cooking. He absolutely changed the landscape. Not just the recipes, the dishes. He changed what dinning rooms look like, the mix of high and low, you know, villains and the celebrities, the open kitchen is largely his invention. The entire American regional menu, before him menus were written in French or they certainly didn't celebrate American ingredients and American sources, American whines. And maybe most importantly, he was the first celebrity chef. The first chef --

COOPER: The first one.

BOURDAIN: The first American chef who customers not only wanted to see in the dinning room but insisted on seeing him in the dinning room. They want to hear from him.

COOPER: So why isn't he more well-known? BOURDAIN: It's a really good question. Because at what seemed to be the height of his success he disappeared and because he disappeared, off to Mexico and other places around the world, he was largely written out of history, disgracefully, I think, by journalist who knew his importance, but since he wasn't around anymore it became more convenient for them to let others tell the story.


COOPER: Well, this Sunday, Anthony Bourdain present "Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent" at 9:00 p.m. here on CNN.