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Comedian Louis C.K. Sexual Misconduct Reports "Are True"; House and Senate GOP Debate Tax Cut Bills. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired November 10, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Heather, as a comedian in this world, how do you take that?

HEATHER MCDONALD, COMEDIAN AND FORMER WRITER FOR "CHELSEA LATELY": I love that the women came out. I appreciate that he is admitting that it's true, because it is. And what is sad about this in all the cases is that as a female comic we've all heard women aren't funny. And you know, I would be the one comedian on a lineup of ten guys. To have to have a male comedian come to you and say, oh, I really think you are funny. Want to come up and talk comedy. Oh, my gosh I'm so excited it's Louis C.K., I admire him. And then you want to find that he just really wanted to sexually gratify himself in your presence or proposition you. And then you think oh, I guess he really didn't think I was funny. He really didn't think I was talented.

And that's where it's crushing to a woman in entertainment whose talent is their job. And then you are squelched not to talk about it. They tell you don't talk about it. Keep it out. He even said when Tig Notaro brought this up a couple months ago, a female comedian, his response is I don't know why she's bringing this up in the press. Because this is the way it gets out. That's why she's bringing it out in the press. So people know the truth. And I love that everyone is telling the truth.

BALDWIN: Right. No, it's about the truth. Finally.

MCDONALD: And the more people that say it, it's just a fact. And he was able to get away with it. And one of the things that bothered me before his statement came out is on social media whatnot people were saying, well, you know, the two comedians have an edgy dirty standup act.

BALDWIN: You mean the women coming out.

MCDONALD: The female comics. Just because a female is a stand-up and is a little more edgy with her words and she's out there in front of hundreds of people doesn't mean that we cannot be sexually harassed and cannot experience sexual misconduct.

A prostitute can be raped, and a female comic can be offended by a male. And we are women. And we are taught to be polite. And I believe those women were so incredibly shocked and they are like, is this a bit? What is happening? And then when they share it with people, people told them don't say anything. I'm sure their own team told them don't say anything. He's very powerful. He has a lot of things going on. He doesn't want you to know that you are his enemy. So, you keep it quiet until 2017 where it's just this freedom. It's freedom. We can say it.

BALDWIN: Shout it out loud.

MCDONALD: And we can still work.

Right. Right. And I can't believe you even had to say the last thing out loud, but we do, and it's necessary.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: I just want to point out though, that, yes, Louis C.K. releases a lengthy statement. He named checks people. He apologizes to his family, cast and crew's in different productions of, you know, projects that are now over and scrapped. Like movie next week coming up.

BALDWIN: That's a lot of people.

MELAS: But let me point out though. These rumblings have been out there for a while. Louis C.K. has been asked about these allegations, some of them before. And he has made, you know, comments about how he's not going to comment or why would he comment. He was asked to comment for the "New York Times" story and he did not. So, we have to wonder why did it take him so long to apologize. Why didn't he try to get out in front of this story when he knew "The New York Times" story was coming out? Why did it take him so long? Then there is it also the questions about who knew that this behavior was going on for so long, Brooke? Because, you know again, big names, like Roseanne Barr, Tig Notaro and others have commented about allegations of sexual misconduct by him before.

I want you to jump I, Liz, on all this but move the conversation to we mention in the lead all these different men who have been in trouble for various reasons. Do you feel like the consequences, we were having this conversation before, do you feel the consequences are different politics versus Hollywood?

LIZ PLANIK, HOST, "DIVIDED STATES OF WOMEN" ON VOX MEDIA: Well, today, obviously there are. We are seeing members of the Alabama legislature not only just standing with someone who is accused of being a pedophile. But you know, there is one State Senator that is actually now saying that we should sue the women who are accusing him even if they are telling the truth. Because they didn't tell the truth earlier and therefore our letting a pedophile out in the open.

It shows how far we are in politics. And also, how far we were only months ago in Hollywood. I mean, this is it happening really, really fast. And women have always spoken their truth. Right? But there've not always been the consequences there. And what I think is so telling about the Louis C.K. statement is that he didn't realize that what he was doing was wrong or that's his sort of claim.


PLANIK But I'm not buying that at all. Right. But there are so many men who think that what they are doing is totally fine because there have been no consequences.

[15:35:02] There has been no one to tell them you can't do that, and if you do you are going to lose your success. You're going to lose career. Women used to lose their careers when they called out the men who harmed them. Now it's the opposite.

MELAS: I'll say that I do believe change is coming. And I mean that because when you look at how Sony has now replaced Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in upcoming movie and you know, they're cutting him out of the movie and spending millions to do so. And then you have Netflix that cut ties with Louis C.K. in less than 24 hours. They also cut ties with Kevin Spacey. They are setting a standard that we are not going to stand for this anymore and that it's not OK.

MCDONALD: It be great for them to replace those specials with female comedians.

BALDWIN: I'm sure Heather would be all about that. But Heather, I want to come back to you in L.A. but first just, you know, last night here at CNN we've been having this conversation on my shows and other shows. And last night we had the huge, huge town hall on sexual assault, and one of Harvey Weinstein accusers spoke, Jessica Barth, actually spoke out just about how difficult it is to come forward. Here she was.


JESSICA BARTH, ACTRESS WHO ACCUSES WEINSTEIN OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: There is shame with speaking out. And I think part of the process in moving forward is to try to alleviate that shame. I think women who have a story and need to speak out can look at the media right now. I don't know how it's going to be in the future, but right now it seems to be that the media is a powerful tool in getting justice and for these perpetrators to get consequences. We see every day, you know, Kevin Spacey being scrubbed from a Ridley Scott movie. We see agents being fired. Executives being fired. Just based on allegations. Of course, there is investigations to be followed through. But the media is a powerful tool.


BALDWIN: So, Heather, to you, the media is a powerful tool. The media can be this vessel to help be the catalyst for change in terms of starting this conversation and having consequences. But where does it go from here? What does change look like?

MCDONALD: Well, for me, a year ago I played audio of the owner of podcast one where I had a podcast, Norm Norman Pattiz, sexually harassed me when I was doing a bra ad. He said can I touch your breasts? These are memories foam hands. I left that company which he made it difficult for me to leave. I started my own podcast and I eventually played the audio, which he knew he was being taped. He got a crisis management team. He squelched the story. But I've been since banned from ever being a guest on any podcast one show. But I put all my energy into my own, "Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald." And what is great that is in this world that we live in everyone can have their own show. We are taking back the power. You are not going to put me on your show, no problem. So, if nobody wants to hire Louis C.K. again in blockbuster movies, well the people that still love him can listen to his podcast. But I think it's great. Speaking up and telling the truth is the biggest part about being a comedian, so maybe Louis C.K. will have a great one hour about what a gross pig he was for 20 years.

BALDWIN: Who knows, and also with regard to Norm I just need to say that's obviously your story and CNN hasn't told that story. And we haven't heard from Norm, perhaps we will now.

MCDONALD: There are articles.

BALDWIN: I know, I know, there were. I know there were. I just feel like I needed to pop that in.

MCDONALD: Oh, sure.

BALDWIN: But Heather, thank you so much. And Chloe and Liz, I appreciate all of you and all of your voices. Keep speaking up.

Ahead here on CNN president Trump and Putin face-to-face today in Vietnam. Quickly here, shaking hands. But was there any business chat beyond the photo op? We'll talk about that coming up.


BALDWIN: Senate Republicans unveiled the details of their plan to overhaul the tax plan one week after the House colleagues released their own legislation. And obviously the listen they are up against the deadline if they want to deliver on getting compromise bill on the president's desk by Christmas. So, how do these two plans compare? The Senate and the House. Let's go to MJ Lee sitting here with me in New York. CNN national politics reporter to explain to us big headline pieces Senate versus House.

MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, this was a week of progress in that the House and the Senate each unveiled their tax reform proposal. But each sort of the key point here, right. The House has own plan, the Senate has its own plan. And as you said, they are at some point going to have to reconcile those two plans. So, just a couple of things how the two plans differ in key important areas.

The number of tax brackets, House plan has four, Senate plan has seven. This issue has been hugely important. The state and local tax deductions whether those will stay in the tax reform bills. In the House plan it is repealed. But in the Senate plan -- I'm sorry in the Senate plan it is repealed. But in the House plan it is repealed, however, the property tax break remains in place. So, as you can tell, they are very complicated issues here. As far as the estate tax goes, House plan repeals that tax. The Senate plan keeps it in place. And then the finally the mortgage interest deduction in the House plan it is capped. But in the Senate plan that is kept in place.

So, a lot of sort of differences here. And as you know, Brooke, the issue of tax reform is already so complicated. But it's the fact that those areas are areas where the House and Senate already have differences, that is going to be really problematic.

BALDWIN: Can they bridge the divide?

[15:45:02] LEE: That is what they are hoping to do. The House wants to pass their own plan and then the Senate will pass its own as well. And then at some point, they will come together and go to conference. Politically speaking the pressure is very immense, comes from the president himself, comes from leadership. They really want to get something done before the end of this year.

And when they saw how the elections played out this week, a lot of members are looking at the results and saying, look, if we can't see we had one victory, one accomplishment before the end of the year, we are going to head into an election year without a lot to show for what we have been doing in Congress. I think the political calculation is going to be well some members vote for something that is not perfect. And while other members simply say, look, I can't vote for something that is not good for my constituents.

BALDWIN: We shall see. MJ Lee. Thank you so much.

Next here despite the best efforts to talk taxes, Republican lawmakers were peppered with questions with the acquisitions of sexuality assault Senate candidate, Roy Moore, in Alabama. You have to see their very awkward 44 seconds of silence.


[15:50:46] BALDWIN: The New York Police Department's elite hostage negotiation unit was the first of its kind for law enforcement in the whole country. And CNN's Brynn Gingras was given exclusive access to this team that regularly goes beyond the call of duty.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody's wanted for a crime and will not come out of a house they have barricaded themselves in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three or four blocks --

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What you see here happens almost daily for lieutenant Chris Zimmerman, head of the NYPD's hostage negotiation team. CNN was given exclusive access to Zimmerman and his team of 125 negotiators. He's the only full-time officer in the unit and with 28 years on the job, Zimmerman could have retired nearly a decade ago.

LT. CHRIS ZIMMERMAN, COMMANDER, NYPD HOSTAGE NEGOTIATION TEAM: I don't look for the easy way. Never did. I also enjoy the challenge. I like to know that I can help somebody. I will tell you that some of it is taxing. You talk to somebody, you create a bond. And all of a sudden you hear this person at this worst moment. They may be a father, they may be a mother, and then what we look for is something that brings them back to reality. ZIMMERMAN: Just trying to calm this guy down.

GINGRAS: And that's why Zimmerman says he hand-picks the unit, only choosing negotiators who have experienced pain.

ZIMMERMAN: So, I interviewed this guy and go, what makes you want to be a hostage negotiator? He turns around, looks at me and starts crying. He goes, my son is as big as you. He's autistic. He provides a force of disorder. I've had to handcuff my own son four times. Done. If you can do that, you can do anything.

GINGRAS: last summer, Zimmerman found himself talking to this man as he tried to climb Trump Tower with suction cups.

ZIMMERMAN: We started talking to the kid. He responded a little bit. Thank God that emergency service detective reached out and grabbed him. Because I don't know how much longer he would have been able to manipulate himself.

GINGRAS: On this call, a man barricaded himself inside his apartment. He'd taken his girlfriend hostage. For our safety, we were kept a floor below where negotiators and tactical teams worked.

ZIMMERMAN: He's got a real violent history. Our victim is in there. We've got to get the victim out.

GINGRAS: After more than an hour of talking, detectives made the arrest. The man's girlfriend was found safe inside.

ZIMMERMAN: At the end of the day, it all comes up to human life. It's all about helping somebody who is in crisis.

GINGRAS (on camera): So, in those moments, do you feel like a hero?

ZIMMERMAN: No. That's not what I signed up for. Do my job.

GINGRAS: Brynn Gingras, CNN, New York.


BALDWIN: Doing their job. NYPD, thank you so much for all that you do.

Coming up next here on CNN, Melania Trump takes a break from her tour of the Great Wall of China to talk exclusively to CNN. What she has to say about her first year as first lady.


BALDWIN: Voting is now underway for the CNN Hero of the Year. Here is one of this year's top ten. She is Jennifer Maddox.


JENNIFER MADDOX: A lot of our young people are fearful to even come outside. The shooting, the killing, 5, 6, 7-year-olds, they're losing people they love and care about.





MADDOX: We are in a state of emergency here in the city of Chicago. I'm a law enforcement officer but I'm also a mother and a member of this community. I don't think that any child should grow up feeling like this could be it. Our center offers an escape for the young people. We make sure that the kids have healthy hot meals. They get help with their homework.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 11. So what you do with the 1?

MADDOX (voice-over): We mentor them.

MADDOX (on camera): Don't cry. Don't cry, babe.

(voice-over): I am very proud to be one of the bridges to connect police and community. We have to learn to trust one another.


BALDWIN: How awesome is her story? Vote for any of our top ten now. Go to

President Trump's five-nation Asia tour is also the first lady's first trip to the region. Melania Trump did take some time to tour the Great Wall in China, and that is where CNN's Kate Bennett caught up with her for an exclusive interview.


KATE BENNETT CNN CORRESPONDENT: How are you feeling one year into this role as first lady? How has it been for you?

MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: It's my honor to be a first lady of the United States. And it was a very busy year and we love to live in Washington. We have a very busy life. It's exciting as well. I'm looking forward to work on behalf of the children.

BENNETT: Great. And any frustrations or anything that has been unexpected or surprising for you?

TRUMP: It's a very exciting life. And it's a lot of things that you need to take care of, a lot of responsibilities, and it's part of being a first lady.


BALDWIN: Moments ago, the first lady visited with military families in Alaska before she returns home to Washington. I'm Brooke Baldwin. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.