Return to Transcripts main page
Moore's Attorney Questions Accuser's Credibility; Moore Loyalists Stands Firm. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 15, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
An attorney for Moore's campaign saying tonight that accuser Beverly Young Nelson had a divorce case assigned to Judge Moore 18 years ago. And demanding she produce her high school yearbook so Moore's team can have a handwriting expert examine what she says is Moore's signature.
I'm going to talk to attorney Gloria Allred about that in just a moment to make sure she stands by for that. Time will tell what all of this really means but it's not a lot for Roy Moore to hang his political future on really, especially with four other women accusing Moore of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers. One of them just 14.
And the Washington Post reporting tonight that two more women are saying Moore made unwanted overtures when they worked at an Alabama mall, especially with his own party urging him to drop out of the race and threatening to expel him from the Senate if he wins, especially with the president of the United States dodging questions about him today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should Roy Moore resign, Mr. President? Do you believe -- should he resign?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Lots to discuss. I want to get straight to CNN's Kyung Lah. She's live for us in Birmingham, Alabama, Josh Moon, a reporter and columnist for the Alabama Reporter joins us as well. My goodness. It comes at you fast with this story, Kyung. There are new allegations coming out tonight against Roy Moore.
I want to read just part of the Washington Post reporting tonight saying Richardson says Moore now a candidate for U.S. Senate asked her where she went to school and then for her phone number, which she says she declined to give, telling him that her father, a Southern Baptist preacher, would never approve.
A few days later, she says, she was in trigonometry class at Gadsden High Scholl when she was summoned to the principal's office over the intercom in her classroom. She had a phone call. I said hello, Richardson recalls, and the male on the other line said Gina, this is Roy Moore. I was like, what? He said what are you doing? I said I'm in trig class. I mean, what more can you tell us, Kyung?
KYUNG LAH, SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, the Post continues on. In that conversation with Gina Richardson, who she, believes she's just before or right after she turned 18. He asked her out during that phone call. She declined. He found out she worked at the Sears at the local mall, the Gadsden mall, and that he showed up there and he asked her out and he kept asking her out until she agreed to go to the movies with him.
At the end of that day she says, telling the Post, that he drove her to her car and then gave her a forceful unwanted kiss that left her frightened. That's what she told the Post.
There's also a second accuser, Don in that story. Her name is Becky Gray. She's a bit older. She's 22 at the time that she recounted what she experienced. She told the Post with Roy Moore. That she also worked at the mall and that he kept showing up. That he was persistent. He kept asking her out. That she had to avoid him. That she was so disturbed by his presence there that she reported him to her manager and that her manager told her that this was not the first complaint that the manager had with Roy Moore.
Again, all of this being reported in the Washington Post. Don?
LEMON: Kyung, Moore's attorney is pushing back against allegations, zeroing in on Gloria Allred's client, the fifth accuser. What's the latest on that?
LAH: In a very surprising way. Because when we heard that there was going to be a press conference, we thought this would be something substantive about the future of his race. Instead it ended up being about signatures, about whether there might have been forgeries.
A high school yearbook now is the battleground in this U.S. Senate seat. The campaign saying that they want this signature looked at. The reason why is because the signature belongs to Roy Moore according to the victim. This is the 16-year-old alleging sex abuse by Roy Moore some 40 years ago. She says that signature came from Moore. The campaign is saying they believe it's forged. And then the attorney said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP JAUREGUI, ROY MOORE'S ATTORNEY: During the press conference that Miss Nelson and Gloria Allred had on Monday, they both said that Miss Nelson after the allegations had never seen nor had any contact with Judge Moore.
As it turns out, in 1999 Miss Nelson filed a divorce action against her then husband, Mr. Harris. Guess who that case was before? It was filed in Etowah County and the judge assigned was Roy S. Moore, circuit judge of Etowah. There was contact. (END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:05:05] LAH: OK, Don. Two immediate questions regarding that. The first is when you get a divorce, you don't always appear before the judge. So it is possible that she simply did not have contact. That maybe she didn't have contact. She didn't appear before the judge. So that's entirely possible.
But the bigger question is during that press conference, that emotional press conference that Nelson held with Gloria Allred, she said that as soon -- she was speaking the Roy Moore campaign put out a statement and he put out a forceful denial of knowing Nelson. In that statement he said "I don't even know the woman. I don't know anything about her." But now it turns out, Don, that he actually had heard of her.
LAH: He just might not have recalled at the moment that he put out that statement. So there are inconsistencies there.
LEMON: Yes. Stand by, Kyung. Josh, I want to bring you in now. You know, as I was reading this, you know, one of the women described in the Post, you sort of -- I wasn't going to laugh, but my goodness, like, when you read these accounts of what these women have to say, you can't help but really gasp.
JOSH MOON, REPORTER AND COLUMNIST, ALABAMA REPORTER: Yes. You know, and we spoke the other night and I told you then that there would be more women that come out. And this is a snowball now at this point. And I think it's going to continue to grow.
You know, keep in mind, we're not even a week past the original allegations here. You know, this dropped last Thursday.
LEMON: Do you think there will be more?
MOON: We're not even a week into this. I'm sorry?
LEMON: Do you think there will be more?
MOON: I do, yes.
MOON: I do think there will be more. I think there will be a number of other women who come forward.
LEMON: What's the reaction now in Alabama? Do you believe voters will be more inclined to support Roy Moore now after this news conference and then this another round of women coming forward?
MOON: Honestly, I continue to hear -- I don't think with the base supporters of Roy Moore that this is going to make a dent in this. I really don't. You know, it's the middle ground there of people who are going to hold their nose, and vote for Roy Moore to prevent a democrat from winning that seat that this will play with.
Now, the question is, is there going to be enough turn out from the democratic side for that to have ever made a difference. And I'm not sure there ever was.
LEMON: Yes. You point out on Twitter that Moore's attorney focused on casting doubt on the yearbook book, not the actions.
MOON: Yes. And I think that that's -- you know, if you listen to that press conference, they were very, very careful to not go directly at the accusers, to not say that anything was false, you know. As a matter of fact, he said that a couple of times. The attorney said that they were not going to say that this was false. He's just asking questions here.
MOON: And I think that's a pointed way of attack here. You look back at that Washington Post article, the Moore campaign has still provided nothing to refute any of those allegations.
LEMON: Yes. Josh Moon and Kyung Lah, thank you very much. I appreciate that. I need to get to Gloria Allred now. She represents Roy Moore accuser, Beverly Young Nelson. Gloria, thank you for coming on. Before we get to that, what do you make of another round of women coming out in the Washington Post tonight?
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: I am so proud of brave women who decide that they're going to tell what they allege is the truth about their lives. It takes a great deal of courage to speak out against a very powerful, well-connected person such as Roy Moore.
And I'm sure that they are getting a lot of hate mail or possibly even threats, but still they've decided to tell what they say is their truth. And I just admire them for their courage. What motive could they have? All of these women.
And, Don, I ask once again the question, how many women is it going to take for a woman to be believed over the denial of one powerful man? That's the question, and I guess we're going to have to wait to find out the answer.
LEMON: Well, let's get to, let's talk about today, Gloria, because I've really been wanting to talk to you about this since I heard that press conference. Roy Moore's team is trying to poke holes in your client Beverly Young Nelson's story. Does she stand by her claim that she was sexually assaulted Roy Moore?
ALLRED: She has not made any public statement since the press conference and there has been no change in her statement that she made, and so we have nothing to correct or modify because she stands by her statement that she made on Monday.
[22:09:55] And again, what we have done yesterday is to send an e-mail letter, I did, to the chair of the Senate select committee on ethics and also the chair and the ranking member of the Senate judiciary committee seeking to have a hearing in the Senate by one or both of those committees in which Beverly can testify, take the oath, swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help her God and answer any and all questions relevant to her allegations against Mr. Moore.
LEMON: And you want her to do that as well?
ALLRED: We want him to be subpoenaed. If he won't appear voluntarily and for him to testify. He can deny it if he wants as long as it's under oath. Let him be cross-examined.
I did hear on CNN someone just briefly say something about, they can't do that. Well, actually, Don, today I speak to a former United States senator. I won't say who that is at this point, but I did, and I said could they do that? This senator, former senator said absolutely. They can do whatever they want. They could have that hearing.
ALLRED: So let's ask them, are they going to have that hearing or not. And I will get to the signature issue now.
LEMON: I do. I have a lot so, Gloria, just brevity, if you can. Because there are a lot of questions I need to get to in a bombshell that...
LEMON: ... you get, you know, your piece in here. The team put out the documents that showed that Judge Moore was assigned to Beverly's divorce case in 1999. Did Judge Moore preside over her divorce? Was this just filing of papers? Clear this up for us. How much involvement did she have involvement with him? What's going on here?
ALLRED: We will answer any and all questions about that issue and any issue that they would like to bring up at the hearing, which should be held within two weeks. If they do not have that hearing, then we'll go to plan b and I will say at that time what plan b is. So I'm not going to comment on that at this time.
LEMON: Well, can I...
ALLRED: I will talk about the yearbook...
LEMON: Can I ask you something? Yes. I'm going to ask you about that. But every -- when I hear your answers -- because I heard you on CNN earlier, when I hear your answers it seems like your answers are meant to compel him to speak on the record and under oath.
Listen, I'm not a lawyer here. Are you trying to compel him to do that because you want to get him on the record and you want to be able to depose him? What is -- what's your end game here?
ALLRED: Well, of course, there is no legal process except the one I am proposing, which is essentially a political process combined with a legal process.
LEMON: So then why can't you say if he presided over her divorce case, Gloria?
ALLRED: Well, I'm saying we're not going to put out bread crumbs of pieces of evidence. We have evidence that we have not revealed to the press and we're not going to reveal it...
ALLRED: ... bread crumb by bread crumb. We will be happy to answer all questions and provide all evidence at the hearing if there is one. We think that's the way to do it.
LEMON: OK. So then what about the signature? Roy Moore's attorney denies Moore ever wrote in Beverly's yearbook. Can you say definitively that this is his signature?
ALLRED: I think what they wanted was a handwriting expert to examine it, and we are willing if there is a hearing that is conducted by the Senate to allow an independent expert to examine the signature in the yearbook and in addition, of course, that handwriting expert would then compare it to exemplars of Mr. Moore's handwriting signature at the time that he signed the yearbook. So we are certainly open to that, assuming there is going to be a hearing. That's fine with that.
LEMON: So you can't say definitively that it's his signature?
ALLRED: Well, I'm saying that since they are now challenging that, we accept that challenge, and we're willing to have an independent expert.
ALLRED: But let's get to why is Roy Moore trying to avoid and evade...
LEMON: I'm going to let you answer that but let me...
ALLRED: ... the testimony under oath. Why is he...
LEMON: I'll let you answer that, Gloria, but just to finish this point. I will let you get to that after this.
You can understand that there are a lot of people out there who believe Beverly. They were moved by her news conference, but they might be hearing your answers tonight and they might think that you're not being direct. What do you tell people now who may be thinking that I don't know what to believe now?
ALLRED: Well, first of all, of course, the credibility of any witness is always at issue, and we have corroboration of what our client said through some of the witnesses that she told at the time, her sister within two years, her mother who said Beverly tells the truth even if it hurts.
[22:15:03] LEMON: OK.
ALLRED: And we have others to present. Those names will be disclosed at the hearing. We have other evidence as well. So we're just going to wait. We're going to do it all in a very professional way.
ALLRED: Dignified way if that hearing is held. If not, we'll discuss plan b at that time.
LEMON: And I interrupted you. You were making a point. Go on.
ALLRED: Well, does my point had to do with the signature, which we will permit to be examined. And so we'll look forward to that if there is a hearing.
But now let's ask the chairs of the Senate committees, are they going to conduct the hearing? They can do it. They should do it. They should do it promptly, fairly. And this is an important issue.
Let's do it in a public setting. I don't want any closed door hearings so that everyone can hear all of the evidence and all of the cross- examination. Then everyone can reach a conclusion.
LEMON: Gloria Allred, I appreciate your time. Thank you for answering the question.
ALLRED: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you. Joining me now is Tom Vastrick, he is a handwriting expert and a forensic document examiner. Tom, good to have you on.
TOM VASTRICK, FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINER: Thank you.
LEMON: So let's talk about these signatures, OK? So, just a caveat here. I realize that you haven't seen these signatures in person and that you can only look at them on the screen. But we have three signatures, and I'm sure that you've looked at them, right, you just from the paper or what have you.
We have a recent 2017 signature on the top left, a signature from 1999 on the top right and the alleged 1977 yearbook signature. What are some of the similarities and what are the differences here? What do you see?
VASTRICK: Well, you see a general overall similarity, but in the end it could be a genuine signature, which is why they look a lot alike or it could be an attempt to copy or trace the signature, which would also make it look a lot alike.
But more importantly, we don't see any known signatures from around the timeframe of 1977. What did Mr. Moore write like back in 1977? In addition to that, there is a lot of cursive writing prior to the signature, and that is some excellent material for comparison purposes.
But again, we need to have comparison material from within about two or three years, either before or after 1977 to do an adequate and proper comparison.
LEMON: How, overtime, how often does it typically a signature change? Because I've looked back at my signatures from high school or from whatever, you know, from in my 20s, 30s, it changes, but how typical is that?
VASTRICK: It's typical, but it's also very case specific. You can have people that handwriting doesn't change much at all for many, many decades and there are other people where it can change drastically over a fairly short period of time.
But the only way to use that is to use known specimens, adequate known specimens, which is a significant number of signatures and non- signature cursive writing from within two to three years of 1977.
LEMON: Can you tell if you look at signatures -- because I don't know if it's an exact science. I heard some folks on the air earlier saying that it was -- Jeffrey Toobin our legal analyst saying it's not an exact science. Could you tell? Is it an exact science to you?
VASTRICK: Well, it's kind of an interesting thing. Ask someone if there is anything that is an exact science, and the answer is no. It's a fun term to use, but in reality there's no such thing as an exact science.
LEMON: I want to play more for you, Tom, of Roy Moore's attorney. He raises this issue with the signature. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAUREGUI: And then finally, after Judge Moore signature it has the initials capital D.A. Remember I told you about that '99 divorce action. Judge Moore looked at that D.A. after his signature, which they allege was because he was the district attorney. Well, he wasn't. He was the assistant district attorney.
But Judge Moore says he can't ever remember ever signing his name with D.A. after it, but he had seen it before. You know where he had seen it? When he was on the bench his assistant, whose initials are capital D.A., Dellver Adams, (Ph) would stamp his signature on documents and then put D.A. That's exactly how the signature appears on the divorce decree that Judge Moore signed dismissing the divorce action with Miss Nelson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tom, looking at the D.A. in 1999 and -- 1999 and 1977 signatures, do they appear the same? What do you think?
[22:19:57] VASTRICK: Well, again, what I see is 22 years difference, just because you see differences, it doesn't mean anything. It could be the evolution of the person's writing or it could be indicative of two different writers.
LEMON: Yes. Tom Vastrick, thank you so much. I appreciate your expertise.
VASTRICK: Thank you for having me.
LEMON: When we come back, Roy Moore is refusing to drop out of the Senate race even as more women accuse him of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers or making unwanted overtures. His own party wants him to drop out, but Roy Moore still has his supporters. I'm going to talk to one of them and that's next.
LEMON: Five women in Alabama accuse Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers. And tonight the Washington Post is reporting that two more women say Moore made unwanted advances towards them when they worked at an Alabama mall. Moore's attorney said tonight he continues to deny allegations of sexual abuse against him. And he questioned the credibility of one accuser.
Joining me now is one of Roy Moore's supporters. His name is Steven Guede, and he is an official in his campaign. Mr. Guede, thank you so much for coming on. Good evening to you.
There are two more women as I said coming out accusing Roy Moore of unwanted overtures according to the Washington Post and this took place at an Alabama mall they say. This is something that we have been hearing, this inappropriate behavior from Moore, at the mall. What do you think?
STEVEN GUEDE, CALHOUN COUNTY COORDINATOR, ROY MOORE CAMPAIGN: I don't know what to think about that. I think there's a couple reasons you might keep hearing more and more of this. I was reading an article today that the Washington Post still has an open thread that is paying people $5,000 for any information they might have on this subject.
[22:25:05] I don't know if that's the motivation for anyone. And I certainly don't really care.
LEMON: You don't know if that's true, right?
GUEDE: And I don't know if that is true because, again, you don't know what you read. You know, our president coined the name the term fake news and I'm not calling you fake news or you at all...
LEMON: But if it's not -- let me ask you this. You could go on, but if you don't know it's true, why do you bring it up?
GUEDE: Well, because of the things that are brought up that aren't necessarily true about Judge Moore. And I don't know -- I don't have any reason to know to pretend to know why these women are saying the things they're doing.
The only -- the only evidence they've offered is this yearbook and when they came into question then it was a big deal the other day when they brought it in as the piece of evidence that irrefutably says that Roy Moore did the things that this woman says she did. And so, I understand why the -- well, right. And that's the only piece of proof and we have Gloria Albright (Ph), I just heard her on your show saying...
GUEDE: ... well, we don't have proof. He has to commit -- Allred -- when we -- when we, he hasn't committed a crime but we want the legislature to prosecute him even though he hasn't been found guilty of the crime. We want the legislature to bring him and try to prosecute him again in the court of public opinion.
LEMON: Well, she didn't say prosecute.
GUEDE: Even though she doesn't have any lead.
LEMON: She wants him to come in and to testify in front of -- not prosecute him.
GUEDE: She wants him to come in and do a big circus and a show trial on the election hasn't even happened yet.
GUEDE: Why don't we save that kind of thing for after the election happens and let the people of Alabama decide who they want to be their senator, not the D.C. legislature and not the media and not the press, but Alabamans.
LEMON: You understand this, Mr. Guede, though, you understand that it's not the media or the press that's bringing this forward. It's so far, I think six women on the record who are saying this and other women who have had similar encounters allegedly with Roy Moore.
GUEDE: I told Miss Brook -- I told Miss Brook in the afternoon the other day that this story didn't break from a local newspaper. It didn't break from mail.com. It didn't break from one of the local stations that we were talking just a minute ago.
This came from the Washington Post. Now, I want to ask you this, does the Washington Post have a ton of in-depth operatives that hang out in Alabama and glean information all the time? I live in -- I live in the neighboring county...
LEMON: They have reporters who are doing this they were down there covering, doing a profile on Roy Moore because, I mean, this is a very talked about, highly sought after seat for the Senate. The attorney general now is -- you know, it's his former seat. I mean, it's a lot of focus on this and like any newspaper the Washington Post sent people down...
LEMON: ... to do a profile. That's normal.
GUEDE: The point I was making is that I've never heard any of this locally. I live in the next county. I have a 10 minutes' drive from my house and I can be in Etowah County.
LEMON: Local reporters who work there...
GUEDE: Maybe 15.
LEMON: ... have said that they heard the same thing and they are reporting it here and at their local sites that they heard rumors for years but no one would go on the record to talk about it and now they are.
GUEDE: They're reporting it now that it's sensational and people can get -- can get TV viewership over it, but nobody said anything before that. And I'm going to tell you, I've worked for -- this is the third campaign I've worked for Roy Moore and they have all been brutal.
They have all been -- he has been viciously attacked from every corner. And why wouldn't this attack have come out sooner if it was there the whole time lying dormant, because politics is local and you do hear these things.
You hear about, I'll give an instance. And into the Governor Bentley story from just a year ago, locally here in Alabama we knew about these things and there was trouble in paradise for Mr. Bentley long before the story ever broke. Long before that. You hear these things.
We heard nothing about this until the Washington Post broke this story. And now it's an epidemic level. It's an epidemic level because it's sensational, but it feels a lot like and I told Anderson Cooper even though he didn't air it, that it feels like a lot like the dirty dossier thing for Donald Trump. They swore that Donald Trump did these horrible things with these prostitutes and did some really sick, sick stuff and that turned out to be completely fake. LEMON: Well, actually...
GUEDE: And somebody just fabricated it.
LEMON: Listen, so we haven't reported here on CNN the salacious details of that dossier, but much of the dossier has been corroborated. There are things in it that have not, but you don't know...
GUEDE: Actually, the dossier that first came out said that the dossier was about him doing some sick sexual things with some prostitutes.
LEMON: OK. You can report that. CNN is not reporting that part of it.
LEMON: So if you want to go ahead and say it, you can.
GUEDE: That's what I'm saying. That's what the initial story I read was and I said wow, that sounds horrible but that can't be true. Who would do that kind of thing?
LEMON: Well, his long-time aid did testify saying he was offered prostitutes or women and he said that he denied it. So part of it is not that false. It was actually in there and he said that those women were available to him if he wanted them.
[22:30:01] GUEDE: So, again, if you hear a story and 75 to 95 percent of the story is false but 10, 15, 25 percent of the story is true, is the story true or is the story false? Where I come from is...
LEMON: Well, it's not mutually exclusive. There could be parts of a story that are true and there could be parts of a story that are false. Just because you prove one part of it true or false, it doesn't mean the whole thing falls apart.
GUEDE: Well, it kind of does. In my eyes it does. And I only speak for me. If you were a person in my life and you tell me, and75 percent of what you tell me is false, I probably don't want to hang out with you and I don't want to listen to you because you don't tell the truth.
If you can only tell 25 percent of the truth you're not an honest person in my life. And if 25 percent of the truth is all you can offer in any situation, it's not very truthful.
LEMON: Would you say the same thing about Roy Moore?
GUEDE: Absolutely. LEMON: Because these women are accusing him of not telling the truth,
even though there were people at the time who they told their stories to. Multiple women who work in the mall said I remember him. She told me that I used to protect her, try to protect her, she was young. She was a preacher's daughter and on and on, women who don't know each other. Some of them are republicans who supported President Trump and other republicans. So, who do you believe?
GUEDE: Exactly. Who knows what to believe because right now it's his word against theirs, period. It's he said she said stuff right now. It really is.
LEMON: Yes. How many women...
GUEDE: And again, we're not -- we're not...
LEMON: How many women would it take for you to come toward forward, just a question, to believe that he did this?
GUEDE: Well, let me ask you this, how many women have to come forward before you believe that Senator Mendez did what they're accusing him of?
LEMON: Well, he is on trial now.
GUEDE: Exactly. He is on trial. Judge Moore isn't on trial right now.
LEMON: But you're saying that shouldn't happen to Judge Moore.
GUEDE: I'm saying that people...
LEMON: So one should be accountable and another one should not?
GUEDE: No. I'm saying people are innocent until proven guilty. That's what I'm saying.
LEMON: That's in a court of law. This is not in a court of law. This is a run for Senate.
GUEDE: I'm saying all people are innocent.
LEMON: That's -- yes, we have that in a court of law.
GUEDE: So you should...
LEMON: We're not in a court of law now. This is a run for Senate. This is a Senate seat.
GUEDE: So you should be because somebody is running for public office, you should be able to say anything and cast any aspersion that you wish upon them because they're in the public eye and running for office.
LEMON: Well, no, no, no. But it sounds like you're agreeing with Gloria Allred then because now she wants to take it as close to a court as possible and get him to testify on the record.
GUEDE: But that's not a court.
LEMON: And so that people can determine whether it's guilty or innocence because it's her word or multiple women's word against one man who is saying it didn't happen.
GUEDE: Bringing this to a congressional show trial is not a court.
LEMON: Well, how is it -- there's no other way. The statute of limitation has run out.
GUEDE: Well, exactly. But she's wanting to bring it to a show court on the congressional floor.
LEMON: So then what are the repercussions then?
GUEDE: And do we not have enough...
LEMON: So then how do you -- then what happens here then? What are the repercussions? How do you figure out who is right and wrong and telling the truth if you don't do it some way? How do you do it?
GUEDE: Well, exactly now, but you don't do it in front of a show trial. What has a congressional show trial ever done for anybody except for bring something to a camera eye that gives -- that just tries to distract emotion in the people's heart.
So I'm going to tell you right now I ran for office four years ago.
GUEDE: And the only thing that my opponent in a republican primary which I tried to run honorably said true about me was they spelled my name right most of the time. But every other thing that was said by my opponent about me in a republican primary was a damnable lie and I didn't have a way to defend myself. But I didn't cry about it. And when the election was over, we went our separate ways like men and didn't cry about the spilled milk.
LEMON: Were you accused of a crime?
GUEDE: No. I was -- but I was accused of all kinds of other false -- I was accused of stealing money from the teachers of Alabama.
GUEDE: How about that?
LEMON: That's a crime. GUEDE: Literally.
GUEDE: OK? Literally.
GUEDE: I was accused of that. So, you know -- so it's really hard for me, Don. You know, it really take these kind of things sitting down. You know, if you're going to accuse somebody, have proof. I know that politics is ugly business. We all do. But how ugly are you going to let it be and when do you stand up and when do you stand by and say enough is enough.
Well, I stand up and say I've known Roy Moore for over a decade and he's been a good man and honorable man and he comes from an honorable family and his family is honorable.
LEMON: So, you...
GUEDE: And I live, again, I live in the neighboring county right next door.
LEMON: You think that...
GUEDE: And I've never heard a whisper of this.
LEMON: Before I let you go, you think all of these women came forward as either democratic operatives or were paid by the Washington Post?
GUEDE: I have no idea what the actual truth is because the story is so sensational and so big and repeated so quickly and so often that we never know what the actual truth is. That's what I'm saying.
[22:35:05] LEMON: OK. Thank you, Mr. Guede.
GUEDE: And I'm saying for those -- thank you very much.
LEMON: We spent a lot of time. Thank you so much, sir. I appreciate you taking the questions. Thank you for coming on.
When we come back, President Trump takes a victory lap after his Asia trip touting his accomplishments and trashing his predecessors. We're going to take a closer look when we get back.
LEMON: The president addressing the American public today and giving himself a pat on the back for his two-week trip to Asia but refusing to answer questions about Roy Moore. I want to bring in now CNN political director David Chalian, political
analyst April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Radio Networks, and CNN contributor J.D. Vance, the author of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis."
Good evening, everyone. David, you first. Senate republicans are hoping the president will intervene in the Alabama Senate race.
[22:39:59] Yesterday the majority leader, Mitch McConnell said -- expressed -- he expressed some hope that it would be dealt with soon. Watch this and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITCH MCCONNELL, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: It's a very complicated matter, and I think once the president and his team gets back, we'll have further discussions about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But after wrapping his 24-minute speech without mentioning Roy Moore, the media raised this question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should Roy Moore resign, Mr. President? Do you believe that Roy Moore, should he resign?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Why is he unwilling now, David, at this point to talk about Moore?
DAVID CHALIAN, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, CNN: I think there are a couple of factors going on there. One, this is not so clear-cut politically for Donald Trump. As you know, he was on the wrong side of that primary race with Luther Strange. He lost it. Many of his core supporters are very supportive of Roy Moore and so he's not necessarily looking to cut against the grain to some of his own supporters.
So politically, it's not the easiest thing. As you know, Steve Bannon is supporting Moore and Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are still very much in touch about making sure not to do anything to disintegrate his solid relationship with his base.
Then, of course, there's Donald Trump's personal history here that makes it complicated for him to weigh in. He's got a lot of women lined up with accusations against him. I think the last conversation he wants to be having is that whether or not he believes Roy Moore's accusers, because the obvious follow-up question is well, then, why should people not believe what the women are accusing you of?
LEMON: Yes. Interesting. The president had tweeted out that he'd be making a major announcement, April, leaving many to think that maybe he would be weighing in on that Roy Moore, that controversy. He announced no significant new agreements on either trade, North Korea. So maybe he's got an announcement that he's going to make, but we didn't see it today. What did he accomplish on this trip?
APRIL RYAN, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Well, the president says that he has reset issues of trade, but in talking to people who are experts in foreign policy, they're saying this president is treading water when most people are swimming together as it relates to coming together with trade policies.
And we've walked away from things like TPP. And this president is trying to go reset it when we are actually treading water and not doing what the rest of the world is doing. We're not integrating with the rest of the world when it comes to trade.
But he did talk to China on issues of North Korea, but at the same time did not deal with issues of human rights, you know, capital punishment, one child policy. You know, we have a very interesting and sensitive and delicate relationship with China because of funding for the Iraq war and other issues and also trying to get them to help us with North Korea. But he did not deal with that issue of human rights, which is big when you deal with China.
So he wants everyone to think it's a win because he really has no legislative wins at the time. We'll see how it plays out, you know, and the deliverables with Toyota and Mazda with these 4,000 workers that could be getting jobs here in this country.
LEMON: Listen, you know, he may not have made the announcement that many people were waiting for, J.D., but for the people who support this president, he said some things that they want to hear. America will be respected again, that kind of thing. But do you think that he is delivering real results?
J.D. VANCE, CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: Well, obviously the economic numbers are pretty good and we can did he bail all night whether those numbers are because of him or because of the policies of the past administration. So, at least in some ways you're starting to see things like wage growth, you're starting to see some job growth in the country.
And whether, again, the president deserves some credit for it, he's definitely going to get a fair amount of credit for it especially from the folks who voted and put him into office.
I think the most interesting thing to watch politically over the next few months is whether if republicans fail to make big results on tax reform, whether the party starts to turn against the congressional leadership.
Because the temptation for the president at that point is not going to be able to throw up his hands and say, well, I'm sorry, we haven't gotten anything done. It's going to be to point fingers and I think the person who is going to point fingers at most directly is Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. So I think there's a really interesting question over the next few
months whether the republican party civil war which has really been bubbling below the surface for the past year breaks open or whether ultimately they're able to get a legislative program done.
And people are circulating the wagons and celebrating regardless of whether the ultimate policy is super affected down the road. It at least gives the president a win. So that's what I'm looking at.
CHALIAN: Hey, Don. You know, what J.D. is saying there, we have some evidence on healthcare that republicans already blame the republican leadership in Congress far more than they blame the president for not getting stuff done. No doubt if they're unable to get tax reform done, I think I agree with J.D. you'll see that even -- you'll see that exacerbated.
[22:45:03] LEMON: Yes. And listen, the president stopped mid-speech, not once, but twice for a very critical moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thousand jobs -- thank you. They don't have water? That's OK. What? Japanese manufacturers, Toyota and Mazda announced that they will be opening a new plant...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So I was listening at the gym and I thought my headphones cut out. I was like, what just happened? I ran over to the screens and I saw it. I mean, look, we all keep water. We keep it at the desk. You know, people need that.
But, listen, the president, he campaigned on America first. He made fun of Marco Rubio infamous mid-speech water sip. He stopped to sip Fiji water which is bottled and shipped in an island nation. I'm being a little nitpicky here. But, you know, karma, karma, karma, April.
RYAN: It does come back and bite. You know, this president delivered 24 minutes of a speech and he needed water. He didn't finesse it well at all. Twice he didn't finesse it well, but he calls himself newly presidential.
RYAN: You know, other presidents would be very I guess polished in their attempt at drinking water while they are looking at the teleprompter and addressing America. He actually stopped mid-sentence, as you said, at very important parts of the speech. And I mean, it was so abrupt that he brought attention to himself. And I guess...
LEMON: Yes. I just have to say, look.
RYAN: ... if you're working with him. LEMON: If there's not -- when you're giving a major speech like that there's not an artful way to take a sip of water. My thing is that careful what you say.
RYAN: There is an artful way. You just take a glass, just put it up and then put it down.
LEMON: It will come back to bite you. But still, I mean, come on, the man needs a drink of water.
RYAN: Well, but there is an artful -- we've seen. Don, go back and look. There's an artful way of doing it. We've seen other presidents do it from democrats and republicans. But this president is, he's still learning.
There's a learning curve and he's going to have to learn that you cannot deliver a major speech, built up this speech and then stop and make just -- and just take water like he's going to have to learn that you have to do it in a very polished way because he broke the momentum two times.
LEMON: All right. I've got to go. This is tea, actually, and I don't want to spill anymore.
CHALIAN: I got my water right here.
RYAN: That's not for panel.
LEMON: Thank you, guys. When we come back, first thing this morning the president asks for a thank you for intervening on behalf of three basketball players busted for shoplifting in China. And a little later in the day he got it. Why does this president need praise? We're going to discuss that next.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Three basketball players from UCLA apologizing today for shoplifting in China, and publicly thanking President Trump for intervening on their behalf.
I want to bring in now CNN contributor, Michael D'Antonio, he is the author of "The Truth About Trump," CNN political commentator, Mike Shields, and Tara Setmayer, former communications director for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.
Good evening. So I want to -- I'll start with you, Tara. The president is known as he's a transactional guy, loves to make deals but he rarely does anything unless he stands to benefit from it. That's his personality, which brings us to these three UCLA basketball players who got arrested in China for shoplifting.
They were released back to the United States after the President Trump spoke with the Chinese President Xi on their behalf. Good story, you would think? Well, this is what Trump had to say about it Twitter. He said, "Do you think the three UCLA basketball players will say thank you to President Trump? They were headed to jail, for ten years in jail. So what do you think, Tara?
TARA SETMAYER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR TO CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACKER: You know, I mean, Donald Trump is tacky and he refers to himself in the third person on Twitter like that because he just is so desperate for adulation.
I mean, you're the President of the United States. How much more adulation do you need? But this is a pattern of behavior for him so we shouldn't be surprised. Because I thought it was in poor taste. Because I think that those players probably would have thanked the president of the United States anyway. Why was it necessary to have to put that out there in a tweet? But that's the nature of his...
LEMON: He did helped them, he did intervened. They could have been, look...
SETMAYER: He did.
LEMON: ... and he could have used the opportunity, though.
SETMAYER: Yes, to be safe.
LEMON: ... to talk about the harsh penalty for shoplifting and other harsh penalties that actually for people who live there.
SETMAYER: Right. But you're asking him to rise to an occasion that he's incapable of doing. It has to be all about him all the time, so why are you surprised?
LEMON: Yes. Go ahead, Mike, I know you want to weigh in on this.
MIKE SHIELDS, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Yes. You know, I mean, look, I think the same impulse that causes him to send that tweet is the same impulse that caused him to have the press conference he had today, which is people are not going to give me credit for things so I'm going to tell them what I'm doing over and over again and speak past the media directly to the American people.
I'm going to tweet out the things that I've done. I'm going to tweet out the things that I don't like and I'm going to give a press conference that -- by the way, that press conference today if it would have been an Obama press release, they would have said the same thing bragging about what he's doing.
And so he is reading his own press release on television, because he doesn't think he is going to get a fair shake and that's the only way he can do it. And for a guy that's been successful in business, my guess is, his impulse is, everything I have ever done in my business, I did it myself. Just let me do it, I'll do it.
Let me be the spokesman, let me be the strategist, I'm going to be on camera and tell everyone what's going on and I'm going to tweet everybody what they should say and what they should do.
LEMON: Mike, let me just say this.
SHIELDS: And normally -- normally I would say, you know, that's not a great strategy, but I also think that 16 other presidential campaigns and the primary wouldn't have thought it was a good strategy. And Hillary Clinton would not have thought it was a good tragedy, and here he is the president of the United States. So what do we know?
LEMON: But Mike, Mike, let me just...
SETMAYER: With a 35 percent approval rating.
LEMON: Mike, let me talk to Mike. Mike, we carried every single stop, every time we arrived. I would be in the middle of a different conversation, I would say, there is a president now he is arriving in Japan, there is the president now he's arriving in Hawaii, we covered it live. We did it.
Listen, I'm not saying, it's fine that he went on there and did it today. But for you to say that he is not going to get a fair shake when we covered every single thing live...
[22:54:59] SHIELDS: No, I'm saying he doesn't believe he is going to get a fair shake.
LEMON: Well, that's a different thing.
SHIELDS: Yes. I'm not so much commenting on whether or not I thought -- I'm not commenting right now on whether or not I think he got a fair shake.
Look, I haven't worked around or been around a politician ever that doesn't say at some point, you know, we're doing all of these great things and nobody knows about it. How can we get our story out. How can -- both republicans and democrats say that.
I wish we could tell people more about all the amazing things that we're doing. So that impulse in other people may cause them to do one thing, and President Trump it cause him to say, you know what, I'm just going to go keep talking about it over and over again till everyone hears...
SHIELDS: ... what I want to say, so that's where this comes from.
LEMON: I've got -- I got to...
(CROSSTALK) SETMAYER: So why do it in such asinine fashion all the time. He has a platform on twitter where he could actually if that's when he feels like he could be statesman like and do it instead of acting like a petulant child that needs to be patted on the back with a gold star all the time. That's the part that's frustrating.
LEMON: Michael D'Antonio, weigh in. Listen, one of the things that we saw during the speech today was him blaming his predecessors for some of the situation that he had to deal with, you know, since taking office, and then promote his accomplishments, trash his predecessors. Did he need to do that?
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: Well, of course he didn't need to do it, but he established that this is how he rolls. So he has been this way his whole life. There has never been I think an elegant moment in Donald Trump's public life.
The other people who preceded him also sought attention for their accomplishments. But what they would do is make sure someone else talked about them. You know, even the press release might have been inappropriate in the Obama administration, but they would have made sure everybody knew.
God help the person who Donald Trump assists in getting out of some really serious jam. Because he is going to want their first born child, you know, this is a guy who sets the bar for what he wants in payment for doing his job. So let's not forget that this is actually his job, so he did something right. Every other president would have done the same thing, it's just -- this is where he is. He is a petulant child.
LEMON: Well, I've got to go. But you can blame Mike and Tara for taking up your time, Michael D'Antonio.
But I do have to say that I would be thanking the president, too, if I did something in, you know, a country with such strict rules and strict laws.
SETMAYER: They are lucky.
LEMON: They are very lucky and they should be thanking the president and everyone involved...
LEMON: ... and apologizing to their team.
SHIELDS: Well, I think they did.
LEMON: Yes, yes, absolutely. Thank you.
When we come back, five women say Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually abuse them when they were teenagers, two more say he made unwelcomed advances. The Senate majority leader asking for the president to intervene in the Alabama Senate race. Does the GOP have any options?
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)