Return to Transcripts main page
Moore's Attorney Hot Debate with the Host; Republicans Divided Opinions on Moore's Controversy; Roy Moore's Scandal Sparks a Hot Debate; Michael Flynn's New Controversy Involves Possible Kidnapping. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 10, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Judge Roy Moore forcefully fighting back tonight against allegations of sexual misconduct.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
The embattled republican Senate candidate in Alabama vehemently denying the explosive allegations in the Washington Post that he sexually abused Leigh Corfman when she was a 14-year-old girl back in 1979 and he was 32.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
Roy MOORE, FORMER ALABAMA STATE JUDGE: I don't know Miss Corfman from anybody. I never talked to her, I've never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false. I believe they're politically motivated. I believe they're brought only to stop a very successful campaign and that's what they're doing. I've never known this woman or anything.
(END VOICE CLIP)
LEMON: Roy Moore is also alleged back then to have pursued dates with three other teenaged girls. They were 16, 17, and 18 years old at the time. All above the age of consent in Alabama. But listen to how he responded when asked this question by Sean Hannity.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS: At that time in your life -- let me ask you this, you do remember these girls. 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, what, 15 year difference or a girl 18? Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?
MOORE: Not generally, no. If I did, you know, I'm not going to dispute anything, but I don't remember anything like that.
(END VOICE CLIP)
LEMON: So that's an interesting way to say no. But let's put this story into context, which is a little bit hard to do because only Roy Moore and Leigh Corfman know exactly what happened. But one thing I do know and from personal experience is how hard it is for childhood sexual abuse survivors to come forward and tell their stories.
So I have a few questions to ask all of you about this, about this story. If a 32-year-old man was calling your 14-year-old daughter on the phone, what would you do? If she told you he picked her up around the corner away from your home, how would you react? If she then told you he drove her 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her she was pretty and kissed her, what would you think?
If she told you they met again and he took off both of their clothes down to their underwear, touched her and then had her touch him, would you be upset? Another question, if after she told you all of this and other people confirmed she told them about it too, you confronted him and he denied it, who would you believe?
Look, nobody likes hearing or reading such details. It is really disturbing. But that is what Leigh Corfman says happened to her. That's her story. Roy Moore and his supporters deny it. Though, as we just heard at the top of the show, he did not categorically deny dating teenagers as an adult man.
He says it is a plot against him, tweeting this today, "The forces of evil will lie, cheat, steel even inflict physical harm if they believe it will silence and shut up Christian conservatives like you and me."
His brother Jerry goes so far as to say that Roy Moore is being persecuted just like Jesus Christ was. And Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler, a republican dismissed the allegations by invoking Joseph and Mary, telling the Washington Examiner, "Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There's just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual."
The behavior alleged here in this case is actually all three. Illegal, immoral and unusual. But there's not going to be a trial that determines a verdict. The statute of limitations is long gone. So we are left with one last question, who do you believe?
So let's discuss now these allegations against Judge Roy Moore and his insistence that they're false. With Trenton Garmon, he's an attorney for the judge who also represents the Foundation for Moral Law which was founded by Roy Moore and his wife. Thank you so much for joining us this evening.
I have to ask you, Trenton, you are considering legal action against the Washington Post on behalf of Roy Moore for another story they published, but I want to ask you about these new allegations of sexual misconduct. Why would Leigh Corfman or the other accusers make up a story like this?
TRENTON GARMON, ATTORNEY, FOUNDATION FOR MORAL LAW: It's great to be on here, Don. I appreciate it. I hope that I'll be able to give you the name, Don, easy peasy lemon squeezy, right. So take it easy on me.
It's my understanding from my conversation though with your producer that we were going to be talking about the Foundation for Moral Law and the Washington Post and the prior misrepresentations of the Foundation for Moral Law's conduct.
[22:05:09] So, not necessarily the accusations that were brought up today. So I represent Kayla Moore and the Foundation for Moral Law and of course Roy Moore and his campaign will handle the allegations brought against him. I've known Roy my whole your life. I believe that there is no better man.
So, I'm glad to be here, I'm glad to process that with you but that was my -- what we would be talking about.
LEMON: So, then what is your take then? I'm sorry, that's your understanding. My understanding is that you came on to talk about all of this. So what is your take on this Roy Moore story and the Washington Post?
GARMON: Sure. Again, you need to refer back to what the campaign has said. But I will say knowing Roy personally for essentially my entire life, that I trust Roy. I know no better man.
And so, defending the Foundation for Moral Law and the way that it has operated and advancing truth as far as the foundation's perspective on moral law, the importance of ensuring that a jury is allowed to hear some of these allegations that have been made about how the foundation has been conducted is what I have spoken with chief about, also what I've also what I've spoken with Kayla about.
And that's what we sent a recanting letter over to the Washington Post on and have not received a response.
LEMON: Have you spoken with Roy Moore today?
GARMON: I have spoken with him twice today.
LEMON: You have spoken with him twice. And what does he...
GARMON: You need to turn that monitor back on up there, please.
LEMON: What does he -- what does he say about these allegations? I don't have control of the monitor. No one here does, so whoever is in the studio will have to do it.
GARMON: Sure. That's cool.
LEMON: So, what did you -- go on.
GARMON: OK. Yes. I spoke with him twice today. You know, Roy again is a family friend. Love Roy. Highly respect Roy. I've got a five-year- old daughter that is at home in bed and so if one were to do what is alleged, then it would be inappropriate, but Roy has come out denying it, and I believe Roy and I believe that we've had some wise politicians that have deferred judgment and said if, and we've had some others that have not allowed the process to work its way out.
And I think that you, Don, do an excellent job. I love CNN. I'm a libertarian but I think you do a great job of pulling out facts as they arise and so, you know, I believe that as this story continues to unfold from both sides, what you're going to see is momentum gained by Roy.
You're going to see him be elected. This is me as a friend to the family, not as counsel. I'm representing right now for the purpose of putting the Washington Post on notice an offer to them to not have us run to the courthouse but just put back out there a recanting of what you have published that was in fact just not accurate and not true.
LEMON: So let me ask you something.
GARMON: That's the...
LEMON: Let me ask you, we have a limited time.
LEMON: And I'm sure you will probably go long, producers, so just so you know.
LEMON: So I asked a couple questions at the top of the show and I said to you, Trenton that, you know, from personal experience I know how hard it is for people to come forward. No one knows except for Leigh Corfman and Judge Roy Moore exactly what transpired.
But usually victims don't make these things up and it's hard for them to come forward. Knowing as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I did not tell my mother until I was 30 years old.
Why would she or any of these women make up these stories? And my question at the top of the show was if you were a father, you said you have a five-year-old at home, if that five-year-old fast-forward to the future turned into a 14-year-old and told you the story that Miss Corfman said, would you believe her or would you believe the man?
GARMON: Well, the way the question is postured I think is unfair to what you're trying to draw out of this. I will say this. Roy and every district attorney...
LEMON: Why is it unfair? Why is it unfair?
GARMON: And every -- let me answer. That every judge that has heard those type of cases or prosecuted on behalf of victims definitely understand your perspective and what you're saying.
So you'll again need to refer back to the campaign's response. I mean, this is four decades later, so I think it's both. I think it's both people get falsely accused and there are victims of molestation. It's horrible. It's unspeakable to think that those things go on.
But both are true. It's not an either or, and I think that a wise mind that allows for there to be process implemented doesn't kneejerk but listens to what unfolds, and there are things...
LEMON: I understand that.
GARMON: The campaign is going to allow...
LEMON: I understand that. But here -- that's why I said specifically at the top of the show -- what I said specifically -- it's a conversation. It's not a monologue.
GARMON: Yes. I got...
LEMON: What I said specifically at the top of the show was the statute of limitations has run out, so there will be no judge and jury. There will be no process.
LEMON: The process is that a woman...
LEMON: -- has come forward.
GARMON: I hear you.
LEMON: -- on the record --
GARMON: But hey, Don Lemon, squeezy keep it easy. Here's the thing. The statute has not --
[22:10:02] LEMON: It's just Lemon. My mom didn't name me -- hold on. My mom didn't name me Don Lemon easy squeezy keep it easy. It's just Don Lemon. Go on.
GARMON: I've got you, man. So, what I'm saying, Don, is that is not just a factual or legal opinion that's correct. The truth of it is as someone representing the Foundation for Moral Law and Kayla Moore, we have asked news outlets to represent both sides of the story.
There is out there now the opportunity to report even as it relates to these most recent things a two sided part of it. You know, one of which includes Mrs. Corfman at the time probably being 17 and not 14.
But again, the judge has adamantly denied it and I believe the judge, a four decade long wait is unfortunate, but, you know, the truth is there are both offend, they're both false accusers and there are people who are victims of child molestation.
GARMON: God forbid that, you know, this continue in our world. Unfortunately, we live in a very fallen world, and so I always seek to advocate truth and righteousness. And so I believe the righteous thing to do at this point in time is to allow the process to work its way out and...
LEMON: But that was my question, Trenton. Forgive me for jumping in there. But that's what I asked you, you know, a minute, or two minutes ago. What is the process? I've already told you the statute of limitation has run out, so what's the process?
GARMON: Well, the process -- and that, again, is inaccurate. The process is investigative reporting.
LEMON: What's inaccurate?
GARMON: And the process is Judge Moore moving forward with his campaign. You'll have to talk to his campaign.
LEMON: No, no, no. Specifically -- hold on. You said that that's inaccurate. What's inaccurate, that the statute of limitations has run out? That's inaccurate?
GARMON: Well, what you're asking me is for a legal opinion in an issue that I have not been told --
LEMON: That's not what I asked you. I asked you -- you keep saying let the process play out I'm wondering what the process is. That's what I want to know.
GARMON: I got you. Well, the process here is both sides reporting and Judge Moore continuing with his campaign and being elected on December the 12th and us going against the Washington Post for the false --
LEMON: OK. Just to gain some understanding. You mean the political process.
GARMON: People who have now -- Don, I'm still talking.
LEMON: No, no, I'm just asking you. You mean the political process, is that what you're talking about?
GARMON: Then offered money as false accusers to do this and there has now been reports that have come out she was not 14 at the time.
LEMON: So, do you mean the political process?
GARMON: She was 17.
LEMON: Do you mean the political process?
GARMON: And there's a history of her bringing false accusations against pastors and false accusations against people in the past. So there are both end, there are both false accusers and there are victims. For you to contextualize this is simply a victim story I think is not...
GARMON: -- in line with the ethics of reporting.
LEMON: That's fine.
GARMON: So there are both ends. Chief justice Roy Moore is asking you to do your job and to draw out the facts from both sides.
LEMON: OK. You said a lot. But let's -- hold on. If you slow down. We can talk. We can have a conversation. OK.
GARMON: Hey, I'm talking.
LEMON: So you said --
GARMON: It's part of back and forth.
LEMON: But you've done a lot of things. So the process -- you mean the political process.
LEMON: Is that what you're saying? You're not talking about the legal process.
GARMON: Well, I'm talking about right now you and the reporters that are covering stories like this working out the process, number one. And then the political process I've said again and again and again, Judge Moore, I believe, is going to be elected on December the 12th. But you will have to get where his campaign about that.
I recorded the telephone conversation that I had with CNN earlier and I was asked to come on to simply talk about the Foundation for Moral Law, Kayla Moore and the accusations made by the Washington Post.
LEMON: Well, I apologize for that.
GARMON: And you get me on here and you change -- OK, you change the scheme of it and that's totally OK but again, it's both end. Both are false accusers and there are people who molest children. I stand by Judge Moore and I fully believe him when he says that he did not do that. I fully believe him 100 percent. And I believe as the story continues to develop the facts are that lady was 17 and not 14.
GARMON: There are now people that say they were offered money. I'm still talking by the Washington Post -- (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: Well, you're still talking but now -- number one, you're still talking but you haven't answered the question.
LEMON: I said is that a political process and you said while --
GARMON: I think I answered the question.
GARMON: I think I gave you an answer that you may not have preferred.
LEMON: You didn't really answer the question. So the question is when you say the process to work out, you're talking about a political process or are you talking about a legal process?
GARMON: I'm talking about the process of the news media reporting on what the phone conversation I had earlier with Jeff your producer was supposed to be --
LEMON: It is my understanding my producer said they wanted to talk to you about this particular story and we would also --
GARMON: OK. The video I have it recorded.
LEMON: ... discuss the other story.
GARMON: I know how that works.
LEMON: That's fine. We'll give you the opportunity to talk about the other -- (CROSSTALK)
GARMON: It's not a joke, you know.
LEMON: We'll give you the opportunity to talk about the other things.
GARMON: And actually I'm in Florida. Disclosed it, so.
[22:14:59] GARMON: You know, you'll need to talk to the campaign. Judge has denied it. The facts indicate as they come out now that this only alleged victim in this situation -- again, it's both ends. It's horrendous if a young person against her consent has something like that happen.
LEMON: So where is the evidence?
GARMON: An objective reporter's report things like she was 17, not 14. She's made false accusations in the past.
LEMON: Trenton, if that is indeed the case.
GARMON: Thousands of dollars have been offered to people...
LEMON: Trenton, let measure you...
GARMON: -- to bear witness falsely against Mr. Moore.
LEMON: You've said that -- you've said three or four times.
GARMON: I'm telling you that we have the Washington Post --
LEMON: But you said it three or four times and you have to let me get in here so that you can -- so that you have to respond to the questions.
LEMON: You have said the exact same thing three or four times. OK? So, again, it's not a monologue.
GARMON: You must not be hearing me, then.
LEMON: So my question is, now, if that is indeed the case, you can better believe that the news media -- (CROSSTALK)
GARMON: It's not a question.
LEMON: -- the news media will report it out.
GARMON: What you're framing --
LEMON: If you'll let me finish I can ask you a question.
GARMON: Yes, sure. LEMON: So, the question is you said that she was 17 instead of 14. And that she has other allegations that she made up. OK. So where is that information? Where are you getting that information?
GARMON: Again, let me respond to each segment of it. Number one, I said there is out there an investigative opportunity for people to discover whether she was 17 or 14.
Again, the door is closed as it relates to Roy. Chief Justice Roy Moore and his denial of it. He says it didn't happen. But if in fact she lied even about the age at the time, just like she's lied in the past, what it does, it actually -- (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: But how do you know she lied in the past if you're saying it's out there? Do you have -- do you have concrete information that she is --
GARMON: I'm still talking, man.
LEMON: I know you're still talking, but again you've said the same thing. This is now the fifth time I think you've said the same thing. So I'm asking you for the proof and evidence -- (CROSSTALK)
GARMON: I know it's going to be different.
LEMON: I'm asking you for the proof and the evidence that she lied. Where did you get that information and then we can move on or we can discuss it. You're saying it's out there.
GARMON: My point was this --
LEMON: Just saying it's out there doesn't prove anything.
GARMON: I get you, man. Hey, my point was this, Don, it actually diminishes -- if these allegations are false, people who are really victims. I get that, man. I get the fact. But it's a both end. The Foundation for Moral Law and Kayla Moore have been slandered by the Washington Post. That is why I'm on here.
There's no doubt we have written proof, confirmation of it, and the process itself as it relates to the foundation, and you'll have to talk to the campaign about chief Justice Roy Moore.
GARMON: But the process itself, I'm asking you and or news outlets to allow for it to work its way out. Be objective. Here we've given the Washington Post, the Alabama media group we've, also given one of the political organizations the opportunity to recant their false reporting prior to this coming out related to the foundation, related to Kayla, that even related to chief justice.
I'm going to be talking to my law partner Flint Liddon. We're going to be processing what it would look like to move forward as it relates to filing suit. These people don't run to the courthouse. I've been trying to convince them since 2015 to file a lawsuit overall these slanderous accusations that are out there against them and they keep telling me, no, no, no, because these are good people.
So it's a both end. Both people falsely accuse because I've seen it time and time again, I've been around the legal practice my entire life, 38 years old, been around it for about 20. I've been practicing for about ten.
GARMON: And I have seen false accusers. You would be surprised at the number of them. And I've also seen victims.
LEMON: No I wouldn't be surprised. This is a story that I've covered --
GARMON: And chief justice Roy Moore was a district attorney that helped prosecute people who were accusers.
LEMON: -- a lot and I understand what you're saying.
GARMON: Perjury and trials like that and also the victims of sexual molestation.
LEMON: So just --
GARMON: So he's dedicated his --
LEMON: Just one more question for you.
GARMON: -- career to be an ambassador of justice.
GARMON: So what I'm encouraging you to do is process that out and in an objective way rather than misrepresent something to somebody, get them on a television show when I've got a recorded phone call and tell me I was about --
LEMON: You just -- you just spent more than a minute talking about the reason that you initially wanted to come on and talk about and I let you talk about it for probably about two minutes.
GARMON: Well, I didn't want. I was asked to come on. And I'm honored to be here, Don. I'm enjoying the process --
LEMON: It's good to have you but I have to ask you this. GARMON: I hope you didn't get offended, man, when I called you Lemon
squeezy. I was just joking.
LEMON: I'm not offended.
GARMON: You look like a guy that I went to WestPoint with.
LEMON: I'm not offended. I just -I just --
GARMON: I love CNN. I love watching you, man.
LEMON: I'm still talking so I'll use your words now.
GARMON: OK. It's kind of hard with the earpiece here. I apologize.
LEMON: I understand. I just think it's disrespectful to call people out of their name. I wouldn't call you some other name other than yours.
GARMON: I'm sorry.
LEMON: OK. So, listen, I'm going to ask you --
GARMON: It could actually be an encouraging thing. But go ahead.
LEMON: I'm going to ask you this.
LEMON: So if you want others to believe that maybe she is want telling her truth and there's something wrong with her story, so I'm going to ask you what if she did, what if is right, what if she is telling the truth, then what do you think should happen?
[22:20:05] GARMON: Here is what I think should happen. The Foundation for Moral Law, and Kayla Moore, should proceed with testing the allegations that have been made against them and uncovering the lies that have been made about the foundation.
I think the voters should focus on the issues and not allow for what could be, and I think is, a tactic to distract from whether the Constitution and whether the Declaration of Independence are going to be advocated for in Washington. So, again --
LEMON: So what do you think should happen to --
GARMON: -- there are accusers that are false and there are victims.
LEMON: .. Judge Roy Moore if she is indeed telling the truth.
GARMON: And Roy has spent his life advocating for victims and Roy has spent his life ensuring the truth is uncovered. LEMON: OK.
GARMON: So I would encourage people to focus on December 12th on the issues as they are and not these sidebars because that clearly --
LEMON: You still didn't answer my question. Are you going to answer the question?
GARMON: -- after 40 years is a credible question to ask. I didn't really understand it because --
LEMON: My question is if she is telling the truth, what should happen, what should happen to Roy Moore?
GARMON: Sure. And if who is telling the truth?
LEMON: If Miss Corfman is telling the truth.
GARMON: Well, in an objective setting, if someone is telling the truth in that situation, the process would bear itself out. So I don't know the question you're asking of me as far as the intent but --
LEMON: I think the question is very direct. If she's telling the truth, she was 14, he was 32 and he sexually assaulted her, I think it's pretty clear that that was my question. What should happen to him? I mean, I think, you know.
GARMON: Here is my response to you. If she's not telling the truth, what should happen?
LEMON: That wasn't my question.
GARMON: I understand what you're saying, in any objective setting, if someone is molested, there should be an opportunity to evaluate that. If someone is false accused, there should be an opportunity to evaluate that.
Chief Justice Roy Moore has adamantly denied. Chief Justice Roy Moore has a 40-year stint between this accusation and here it is less than a month before the election and in my opinion, this is yet another distraction that has been thrown up and as the facts come out, which I pray you'll report on, to include prior false accusations made by her. Again, it's a both end. Both there are false accusers and there are victims.
LEMON: OK. Trenton, you've made that -- you've said that -- you've said about false accusations a number of times with no proof.
LEMON: Just remember, there's a lot of praying to go around in this situation.
GARMON: No, no. Hold on, we're not here presenting a case to the jury. The proof is out there but you need to research it out. So again, I was told that I was going to be coming here to talk about the Foundation for Moral Law.
LEMON: OK. Trenton, thank you.
GARMON: The Washington Post --
LEMON: You said, this is like your seven times saying that. Thank you, Trenton Garmon. I appreciate that.
GARMON: OK. Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Up next, while some republicans keep saying wait and see about Roy Moore's allegations, others say get out now. Is the party facing a defining moment about what they stand for?
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Republicans on Capitol Hill in a bad position over the sexual assault allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore despite his claims that they are completely false.
I want to talk about this with CNN political commentator Ed Martin and Evan McMullin, a former chief policy director of the House republican conference. Gentlemen, good evening to you. Ed, two republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah and then Steve Daines of Iowa, who had endorsed Moore now say it is time for Moore to go. They are not alone. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM KINZINGER, (R) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: I think Roy Moore needs to step aside now. These allegations are disgusting, and I believe them against him. And there is no way to defend this. And secondly, I think the Senate should say that they will refuse to seat him or in fact expel him if he is the -- if he is the senator from Alabama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But, Ed, the state Republican Party has taken a different tack. One GOP consultant in Alabama summed it up like this. I think it was already perfectly well stated that no one in Alabama gives an S, an ish. What Mitch McConnell or John McCain thinks we should do? Is that the standard we should be using here?
ED MARTIN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Well, Don, can I clarify. Was that Kinzinger, Adam Kinzinger that spoke? I didn't -- I can't see the thing.
LEMON: Yes, it was.
MARTIN: Yes, OK. Look, I mean, You have a gathering of all the people who didn't want Moore to be in the race and this is an old-fashioned -- in you've over ran a campaign, I know Evan ran for president but, Don, I don't know if you've ever run. But if you've ever run a campaign you've seen a lot.
Down the stretch this is an old-fashioned political hit. And it doesn't matter. All the people that are saying run for cover are people that don't believe that they want a conservative there. And Kinzinger, I'm going to do a rally in 10 days in Kinzinger's district. He won't run for re-election. That guy, he's not a real republican. He's not a conservative.
So the litany of people that are saying this, the Republican Party is not split. Evan McMullin left the Republican Party and the people that don't want to be on the side of Moore and Martin and Trump are leaving the party. And that's fine.
LEMON: Are you saying the same thing about the president? Because remember the president didn't want Roy Moore either?
MARTIN: No, he came around to him. I don't mind. I mean, you can have disagreements in primaries, but you see, after a disagreement in a primary, which is what we had, we now have the Washington Post and the Bezos and republicans, you notice the coordinate.
This is the same game that McMullin's pals, Romney and the boys did to Trump. As soon as Trump had the Billy Bush video there was a coordinated roll out where Romney said, my gosh, it has to stop.
LEMON: It sounds like you're channeling Bannon here.
MARTIN: And then McConnell said --
LEMON: But let me ask you.
MARTIN: No, I'm not channeling anybody.
LEMON: Do you believe Roy Moore or do you believe the women?
MARTIN: I believe Roy Moore because why, because after 40 years and 40 days before the election you get a political hit? Don, if you're remotely serious you have to first say what does this woman, she's got multiple bankruptcy, it's reported, she's got multiple false accusations, it's reported, is any of that being covered?
When McConnell comes out and says with a straight face before any of those facts are out, he says, boy, if it's true he has to get out of the race. That's called a political hit. And Don, we the people, the American people, we're sick of both parties, democrats and republicans --
(CROSSTALK) LEMON: So, here, I've to get Evan in. But I have to say I don't know -- it is not CNN's reporting about any false allegations. We will certainly check into that.
MARTIN: OK, good.
LEMON: But she admitted in the Washington Post article that she has a past and that she was afraid that people would use it against her.
[22:30:01] So, Evan, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney weighed in on the controversy and said this. "Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Here account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside."
So, Even, Mitt Romney got a lot of props for that statement, but is anyone listening?
MARTIN, CNN: No one.
EVAN MCMULLIN, 2016 INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think people are listening, but, you know, Ed's comments are interesting themselves. So, what Ed has just done if you listened to him is he's made it a litmus test. Either you're with Moore and therefore, you're a republican.
MARTIN: No, that's not right. Evan, that's a straw man, buddy. That's a straw man, buddy.
LEMON: Can you let him finish, please.
MCMULLIN: Ed, I listened to you.
MARTIN: Yes. That's not true, though.
MCMULLIN: Ed, I listened to you very patiently. Now I'm going to respond, OK, buddy?
MARTIN: OK. Yes. But don't make stuff up, Evan. Everybody is sick and you're making a stuff up. Nobody is impressed.
LEMON: Can he please finish, Ed?
MARTIN: Yes, go ahead.
MCMULLIN: So Ed says that all of us who are attacking Moore on this issue of pedophilia are not with the Republican Party and it's time for us to lee and we are leaving.
Now, Ed is in part right about that. Many of us are leaving or have left over the Access Hollywood tapes or other such issues, the president bragging about sexually assaulting women. That was his own voice on that tape. And now we have this accusation against Roy Moore which I believe. I
think it's credible. The sad thing is that Ed and others like him are saying, look, if you're going to attack Roy Moore over this you're not a real republican. You're a democratic or you shouldn't be with us, et cetera.
The reality is, the party needs people like us to even have a majority, to have a majority in the House, to have a majority in the Senate, to function at all or to have any decency, I would argue. But so this is the thing. You get rid of us, what are you left with? But let me say, let me just say, you are losing us. And it's becoming increasingly --
MARTIN: Good. Good riddance, Evan.
MCMULLIN: OK, Ed.
MARTIN: Good riddance.
MCMULLIN: OK, Ed.
MARTIN: I mean, nobody is --
LEMON: Ed, Ed, Ed, hold on, Ed, hold on. Hold on.
MARTIN: Hey, Don, how long does he can talk?
LEMON: Listen -- listen, Ed. Both of you. Listen, listen, Ed, you spoke for a long time. He sat there patiently. There is no need to be rude even if you don't disagree with him. If you feel you need to respond to something, please let him finish and then you can respond to him, but don't be rude. Go on, Evan, finish your point.
MCMULLIN: Look, it's just becoming increasingly difficult for decent people to associate with the Republican Party. That's the reality. This is not -- this shouldn't be a difficult test.
You just heard Ed attacking a woman who is a victim. She's a victim. She was a Trump voter. She's a republican voter. She's -- yes, she's had a troubled life. Many people who are assaulted and sexually abused as children then go on to have challenges in life. It's -- that's not uncommon. And here you are attacking her when she's bringing to light an issue that's actually --
MARTIN: Nobody attacked her. Come on, Don. Give me a break, Don. Come on.
MCMULLIN: You did.
MARTIN: No, I didn't attack anybody. I said there's facts -- if you're going to cover a story I said there's facts on both sides. And here's the facts, Evan. You want a country that was being destroyed by your policies. You see, the American people rejected you --
MCMULLIN: My policies?
MARTIN: Yes, immigration on demand and amnesty and trade deals --
LEMON: What does this have to do with Roy Moore and the --
MARTIN: No, it has to do -- it has to do --
MCMULLIN: You have no idea what my positions are on those issue.
MARTIN: Because the hit jobs -- because the hit jobs -- of course I do, because he hit job --
MCMULLIN: No, you don't. Because you mischaracterize --
MARTIN: hey, I thought we were having to have -- hey, Don, I thought we were going to let people talk.
LEMON: I'm really out of time. I'm really out of time.
MARTIN: Yes, Don, we were going to let people talk.
LEMON: I'm really out of time here.
LEMON: So if you get to the point you keep talking about people don't want -- Evan, and you keep --
MARTIN: Well, I thought you were going to -- I thought you were going to --
LEMON: -- if you let -- Ed, here is the problem. I let you talk for a long time. He sat there patiently. The moment he opened his mouth you started talking again. You know what that does? It doesn't give you the opportunity to respond because you eat up the time here by yelling and cross talk.
LEMON: I've got to go. We're done. When we come back, special counsel -- thank you very much, by the way. Special counsel Robert Mueller looking into allegations that former national security adviser Mike Flynn and his son were offered millions by the Turkish government to, quote, "forcibly remove a political opponent refusing to return to his home country." Does that sound like a kidnapping to you?
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: New developments in the Russia investigation tonight. Bombshell allegations that Turkey offered former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn as much as $15 million to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric from the U.S.
That is according to an explosive Wall Street Journal report written by my guest. My next guest is a senior writer James Grimaldi. James, good evening. Thank you for coming on the show this evening.
JAMES GRIMALDI, SENIOR WRITER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Thanks for having me.
LEMON: Let's see if this one, where this interview goes. So what can you tell us about a meeting, the special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating involving former NSA director Michael Flynn and Turkish officials at the 21 club in New York last December?
GRIMALDI: Right. Yes, that happened in mid-December. And this would be the follow-up meeting to the one that I wrote about and that you featured on your show in March. That was in September that Jim Woolsey attended where he said that he heard discussions about forcibly removing this Muslim cleric from the Poconos back to Turkey.
Well, apparently that continued, that discussion continued at the 21 Club in midtown Manhattan. And the FBI is looking into that meeting. There were Turkish officials there as well. And there was discussion of $15 million possibly changing hands.
Mike Flynn, Mike Flynn's son, Mike Flynn, Jr. were supposedly going to be involved. And, you know, I think that's the essence of what we reported today. There were even discussions about a private jet that would take him to an island in Turkey as well.
And, you know, we've been hearing about this for a while and the FBI has been asking about it. Now we have enough people to report this for the first time online in the Wall Street Journal and in the paper tomorrow.
LEMON: James, you know, Flynn's lawyers responded tonight and here is what they said, OK? They said, "Out of respect for the process of the various investigations regarding the 2016 campaign, we have intentionally avoided responding to every rumor or allegation raised in the media, but today's news cycle has brought allegations about General Flynn ranging from kidnapping to bribery that are so outrageous and prejudicial that we are making an exception to our usual rule. They are false."
Explain why you stand by your reporting.
GRIMALDI: Well, I mean, let's just look at all the other circumstantial evidence that they -- surrounding these meetings that they've admitted to.
[22:39:56] I mean, we know that, for example, that Mike Flynn was paid half a million dollars to represent certain interests apparently to the benefit of the Republic of Turkey, which he reported on his financial -- I'm sorry, on his lobby disclosure form after the fact, something that he had been doing while he was advising the Trump campaign.
We first reported that meeting involving Jim Woolsey that occurred in September. They denied that that discussion had taken place. They made all sorts of suggestions that it was mistaken. Yet they did admit that they talked about Gulen at that meeting.
If you look at the lobby reports, it said they were trying to figure out a way to get Gulen back to Turkey. You look at the report that the op-ed piece that mike Flynn wrote on Election Day that ran in the Hill newspaper in which essentially called him a terrorist saying he was running possibly a sleeper terrorist network and a radical Muslim.
It looked like he was preparing the ground to do something possibly extra-legal or -- well, first of all, we know that the Justice Department had already rejected repeatedly the attempts by the Erdogan regime to return Gulen back to Turkey, saying that they had not provided enough evidence in order to make the case that he should be extradited.
So what else did he have left to do? And then we have reports and we have several people who have talked to the FBI that there was talk of $15 million. How were they going to get him back?
GRIMALDI: Obviously it's an extraordinary claim, I admit it, but we spent a long time looking at this. And this is -- and we have come to the conclusion, at the very least, the FBI is investigating.
LEMON: Well, we will be watching for other additional reports. Thank you, James Grimaldi. We appreciate it. Have a great weekend.
GRIMALDI: Thank you. You, too.
LEMON: When we come back, what is Mueller getting at when investigating Flynn's ties to Turkey and should the president's inner circle be worried?
[22:45:00] LEMON: Explosive allegations against Michael Flynn and his son. I want to talk more about this with CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd, and Julia Ioffe, a staff writer at the Atlantic. Hello to both of you. Good to have you on. Phil, first, first things first here, is this kidnapping?
PHILIP MUDD, COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST, CNN: I don't think so. I think the media focus has been on a big question, which is whether General Flynn participated in a conversation with the Turks about kidnapping a Turkish cleric here in the United States.
Going behind the scenes, Don, I think the questions are more complicated but also more interesting. That is if General Flynn went into a conversation with the Turks about this cleric, this individual in Pennsylvania in the United States, did he declare that as General Flynn, did he declare his relationship with the Turks to the U.S. government and did he declare to the U.S. government all the money he collected from the Turks?
As you saw in the initial Mueller indictments, if you didn't declare the money, Mueller will come down on you. The second question is even simpler. When he went into a conversation about this with federal officials, was he truthful or did he lie?
Because regardless of what happened, if he didn't tell the full truth to federal officials, that's what we call in the U.S. government a 1001 violation. That's lying to a federal official and that's a federal offense. Mueller will bring that down on his head if he didn't tell the truth.
LEMON: Julia, on Election Day in 2016 Michael Flynn wrote an op-ed in the Hill to (Inaudible) our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support. And it reads in part, "The forces of radical Islam derive their ideology from radical clerics like Gulen who is running a scam. We should not provide him safe haven in this crisis. It is imperative that we remember who our real friends are."
So this was after the September meeting, before the December meeting at the 21 Club and on Election Day. It's interesting timing, right?
JULIA IOFFE, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Right. And before, if you scroll down, you'll see that about four months later the editors of the Hill were like, by the way, this guy was lobbying for the Turkish government and didn't declare it and he was paid to write this article, essentially.
And I think it just gets back to, you know, you have Mueller basically kind of pushing the walls in on the Trump circle. And what he's getting at essentially is a lot of conflicting interests and a lot of -- a lot of unclear webs of, you know, conflict of interests and that in some ways go to the very top, to the very center of the Trump organization and the Trump administration.
And this is just -- he's getting at the kind of low hanging fruit, the most glaring examples, but this isn't the only person in Trump's orbit who has a conflict of interest.
LEMON: So Mueller looking into these meetings, what does that tell you about the organization and where it's going, Philip?
MUDD: This is pretty straightforward. When you start this investigation you start from the outside. You talk to the lower level people to determine what they know about the higher level people. When you go into the more senior people in the White House, for example, conversations with the individuals Mueller will speak with in the next week or two or three, you have a volume of information. Information like phone and e-mails, but also interviews with lower level officials.
The bottom line here is that the Mueller team has proven that as they go into those senior level conversations, if those senior level people don't tell the truth, they will bring down a federal violation for lying to the government. I think if I were in the White House, that's what I'd be worried about. Not only what do I know about the president, but if I don't tell the truth, will Mueller bring a charge of lying to the federal government, and he will. He's already done it.
LEMON: All right.
IOFFE: That's the other thing we're seeing -- I'm sorry to jump in here, but that's the other thing we're seeing from kind of the preliminary results of Mueller's work is that it hasn't so far really been about collusion with the Kremlin. It has been about basic, you know, conflict of interests and corruption and financial crimes.
IOFFE: And obstruction of justice.
IOFFE: And that's kind of -- that's been the charter around the investigation for months, right.
LEMON: And that --
IOFFE: It's going to be very hard to prove collusion, but most likely of this administration and the people around they can get in trouble is financial crimes and obstruction of justice as Phil said, you know, lying to federal investigators.
LEMON: And that's what happens when you have the special investigators. That's what happens and you will never know where he or she will go.
LEMON: Thank you both. I appreciate it.
When we come back Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore denying allegations of sexually assaulting teenage girls. He says he is staying in the race. But will his presence on the ballot create a nightmare for the GOP.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: I want to turn back now to Alabama where Senate candidate Roy Moore is speaking out and defending himself and saying he's not dropping out of the race. Not dropping out.
Let's discuss now with CNN political commentator Alice Stewart, Kurt Bardella is a former spokesman for Breitbart News, and Karine Jean- Pierre is a senior adviser for MoveOn.org. And as you see they all three joining me. Thank you. Good evening to you. Kurt, I'm going to start with you because Moore gave an interview to Sean Hannity today on his syndicated radio show, he has denied all the charges against him. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
ROY MOORE, SENATE CANDIDATE, ALABAMA STATE: I never knew this woman, I never met this woman. And these are politically motivated and they do exactly what they're doing. The democrats is 11 points behind, he's very liberal, they don't want to talk about his record, they don't want to talk about his inexperience, they want to diffuse this just like they diffuse President Trump's agenda by bringing up the Russian deal.
They're bringing up something that's a crack from this campaign, and they know what they are doing and they got me obviously on the radio, hearing things about a sexual encounter that never happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: He says these charges are politically motivated. What do you think, Kurt?
KURT BARDELLA, FORMER SPOKESPERSON, BREITBART NEWS: I don't think it matters what the motivation, I think it matters if they're true. That these four women independently have talked to the Washington Post and recounted of what happened to them. I could give a crap frankly, whether to ask you with the election, the timing on any of that.
It happened and that's what -- that's really what we should be focusing on. This happened and the republican nominee for the United States Senate stand accused of sexually molesting inappropriately developing relationships with teenagers, why isn't that the conversation for anybody?
LEMON: Well, at the beginning of the show, Karine -- well, I'll ask this to you, Kurt, because I have another question for you, Karine. You know, the attorney was saying well, you hear this when she was 17 but so he's as 32-year-old man, and you know, 14 is awful and 17, you know what is not much better? She's still a teenager, he's 32 years old, a grown man.
BARDELLA: I don't know any parent, any father or mother, brother who would be OK with their 17 or 16, 14-year-old sister bringing home a 32-year-old man --
BARDELLA: -- who wants to take them out, take them for a long drive and wants to make out with them and even if it didn't progress any further than that, that is still creepy.
LEMON: Yes. Karine, what do you think?
[22:54:59] KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, MOVEON.ORG: I think that's right. I think Kurt is right on. Look, as a mom myself, I can't even imagine that happening to my daughter. It's just repulsive and it's amazing to me that in 2017, republicans can't seem to distance themselves from pedophiles.
I think the story is true. You have four women who went on record, you have 30 resources that came to put the story of this ironclad, I believe Washington Post story and I just can't believe that republicans are doing the qualifier if this is true, no. If we learn anything this past year is that when woman come forward, you believe them, you trust them and you give them a voice and you fight for them.
LEMON: Alice, listen, we heard the Sean Hannity interview and there was a longer interview and we both heard that longer interview. What did you think?
ALICE STEWART, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: I thought it wasn't helpful. Yesterday I came on your show and I talked to the campaign and they were unequivocal that this didn't happen. He denied these allegations. He said he's going to fight it and I supported the decision. Fight it if it's not true. Run for office and represent the people of Alabama.
In that interview, Sean Hannity gave him the opportunity numerous times to flat out outright deny the allegation and just say no. One of them he said do you unequivocally say that this didn't happen with regards to this teenager, and he said that's not my characteristic of my behavior.
That's not a no, that's not a denial. So I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. I would love for these not to be true. But if didn't do this, you'd be screaming from the mountain top if this didn't happen and you would be a lot more forceful.
And I think for him not to answer the questions unequivocally I think is troubling and it makes it difficult to believe his story.
However, the people of Alabama, they liked him for many years and they have supported him and he, you know, right now the polls have tighten up. But he's still got four weeks to go and there is a lot of people that do support him that will continue to try and rally the votes.
LEMON: Thank you, all. I appreciate it. Ahead the next hour, more on the explosive allegations about President Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Flynn seem denying being paid to forcibly remove an enemy of the Turkish government, so what exactly was he paid to do?