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Two More Women Say Roy Moore Made Unwanted Overtures; Trump: 'Tax Cuts Are Getting Close'; Trump: The U.S. Is Being Respected Again. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired November 16, 2017 - 06:00   ET



GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY FOR ROY MOORE ACCUSER: How many women is it going to take to be believed over one powerful man?

[05:59:30] PHILLIP JAUREGUI, ATTORNEY FOR ROY MOORE: Not once have I ever seen him act inappropriate against any woman.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: He is on the no-fly list for a mall. It gives credibility to these women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is reluctant to weigh in on this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His hands are too close to the fire himself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The House expected to pass its tax reform bill today, but all eye remain on the Senate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't vote for this Senate version, bottom line.

MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Trump is committed to passing tax cuts this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not a good deed. This is such a scam.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I don't know what this is. Makes you see a little funny about 40 minutes later.


Thank you very much. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, November 16, 6 a.m. here in New York.

As Chris and I still get ready, here's our starting line. Two more women coming forward, accusing embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore of unwanted advances. The "Washington Post" reports that one was a teenager at the time that Moore pursued her. He was in his 30s. But Moore is staying in the Alabama race and firing back at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, telling McConnell to, quote, "bring it on." This as Moore's lawyer tries to refute one of the accuser's stories. He demands that she turn over her yearbook to a handwriting analyst to figure out if the writing is, in fact, Moore's.

And just one quick note on this, and Alisyn has mentioned it before. Other names have come up. You haven't heard about them from us or other media sources, because you don't just make an accusation and then wind up in the media. Vetting has to be done. Reporting has to be done. Corroboration has to be done. So those who are saying, "Well, it's just an empty accusation, the media does vetting, and proof is always necessary.

That takes us to the president of the United States. Where is he on this issue? President Trump remaining silent on the sex abuse allegations plaguing Roy Moore. Instead, he's tweeting on tax reform ahead of the House vote this afternoon.

A top Republican senator says he is not for the Senate's version, because he says that it's not doing enough for businesses that drive the economy. President Trump also touting America is back and his accomplishments following his 12-day trip to Asia.

But his victory lap seems to be overshadowed by an awkward moment with a water bottle. Remember this? I guess you could call it, did he "pull a Rubio" during his speech? Because boy, did the president have fun with who he called Little Marco during his water incident. We'll take you through it and figure out why we're talking about it.

Let's start with CNN's Jason Carroll, live in Gadsden, Alabama -- Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Chris.

You know, state GOP leaders held an emergency meeting last night, and despite the allegations, despite what's being said about Roy Moore on Capitol Hill, state leaders are continuing to stand by him.


CARROLL (voice-over): Two additional women speaking out to the "Washington Post," accusing Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of making unwanted advances toward them when they worked at an Alabama mall years ago.

BETH REINHARD, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": She then was in school, a couple days later in trig class when she heard she got a call. Some thought, "Oh, my goodness! Was it my dad?" She went to the office, it turned out to be Roy Moore asking her out on a date.

CARROLL: A total of seven women have now come forward, including two who say that Moore sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

GRAHAM: He was on the no-fly list for a mall, which to me is pretty stunning. So it gives credibility to the allegations of these -- these women.

CARROLL: As Republican leadership in Washington actively tries to push Moore out of the race, the embattled candidate remaining defiant, tweeting a direct challenge to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: "Bring it on."

GRAHAM: It would be up to him. But he's the head of the party. It would probably be good if he would say something.

CARROLL: Despite mounting pressure to speak out, the president remaining silent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should Roy Moore resign, Mr. President? Do you believe...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should he resign?

CARROLL: Sources tell CNN president has expressed apprehension about commenting, due to his own past accusers. Mr. Trump's daughter, Ivanka, however, speaking out forcefully, telling the Associated Press there's a special place in hell for people who prey on children.

The embattled candidate fighting back on multiple fronts, releasing a list of 12 female character witnesses, writing an open letter to prominent conservative Sean Hannity, denying the allegations and attempting to discredit one of his accusers, Beverly Young Nelson, who says that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old.

BEVERLY YOUNG NELSON, ROY MOORE ACCUSER: I thought that he was going to rape me.

CARROLL: Nelson says after Moore attacked her, she never spoke to him again. But Moore's lawyer challenging this claim, citing Nelson's 1999 divorce.

JAUREGUI: Guess who that case was before? It was filed in Etowah County, and the judge assigned was Roy S. Moore.

CARROLL: This statement raising questions about Moore's own defense earlier this week.

MOORE: I don't even know the woman. I don't know anything about her.

CARROLL: Moore's lawyer casting doubt about the authenticity of this inscription in Nelson's yearbook, signed, "Love, Roy Moore, D.A."

JAUREGUI: Release the yearbook so that we can determine, is it genuine or is it a fraud? Nelson's attorney agreed to turn over the yearbook if a Senate committee holds a hearing to investigate Moore's actions.

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. (END VIDEOTAPE)

[06:05:09] CARROLL: Well, Moore has made a few public comments this week, but he's not allowed himself to be questioned during a press conference. Moore released a statement basically saying that he is going to be filing a civil suit. And he says that limits what he can say -- Chris.

CUOMO: Jason, I appreciate it. Thanks for starting us off.

Let's bring in CNN political analyst John Avlon and CNN legal analyst Paul Callan. The politics here are dominant, there's no question. But this is an interesting legal story, as well. Because one, it's being used as misdirection. There will be -- and we keep pointing it -- there will be no investigation. You can't say, "Well, let's wait for the allegations to be proven or not." There's not going to be a prosecution. Legally, what do you think is cropping up here that's relevant to you?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think what's happening is when prosecutors have multiple potential victims, they look to try their strongest case first, because it creates an public atmosphere of belief in the victims. The opposite is happening here. Moore's counsel has picked up the Nelson case and claimed there's a forgery of the infamous yearbook involved.

CAMEROTA: Because he supposedly wrote a little inscription to her in the yearbook, and that's what she presented as proving that that was the day that he also assaulted, sexually assaulted her.

CUOMO: The signatures were relevant. They've brought up the signature, and that's why we have this on your screen right now. How he signed as a judge and other versions of it.

CALLAN: Well, he's got the D.A. thing there. See the D.A.?

CUOMO: What do you make of all that, by the way?

CALLAN: Well that D.A. -- the D.A., he had a clerk when he was a judge in the divorce part, and the clerk used -- his initials were "D.A.," and when he signed an order, he would put "D.A." on the order.

Now, Nelson appeared in front of him as a litigant in that divorce case. And by the way, did not ask to recuse Moore, as she would have presumably, if she had had this incident with him many years before. And that D.A. thing turns up on the yearbook so many years before.

CAMEROTA: Couldn't it mean district attorney?

CALLAN: Well, he was a deputy district attorney. And he said he would never use the term "D.A.," because he was only an assistant district attorney.

Whether this is true or false, all I'm saying is this puts a stain on the strength of the victims' cases. And if she gets completely discredited, will the public in Alabama think, "Well, the others are just coming forward and they're phony cases, too"? That -- that's how the legal, I think, will bleed into a political strategy for Moore.

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. But let's just focus on the fact that what we've got here is a "he said, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said" situation. OK? And before we go all yearbook truther about the allegations, that this is a forgery, yes, we have an obligation to be skeptical. Yes, if it is proven to be a fraud, it would have an impact on people's assessment. But it's also, from a political standpoint, clearly an attempt to distract and deflect and muddy the accusations, because there's not going to be a clear resolution.


CALLAN: John is, John, let's get -- let's get one thing straight.

AVLON: Let's get a lot of things straight.

CALLAN: I've tried cases involving claims of forgery. I'm not saying that this is true. I'm telling you -- I'm telling you how it will play out publicly. I'm telling you how Moore's lawyer is going to try to turn this into a truther.

CAMEROTA: The truth outside -- let me inject this for one second. So they're calling on handwriting analysts to come in and look at this, and they're calling on maybe a chemical test to see when the ink was put on the page.

CALLAN: The test thing is fascinating. I had a case once, actually, that involved this. And they -- if a certain kind of ink is used, they can actually date the ink. The IRS loves this, because if you try to backdate your receipts, you don't take a deduction when you get audited, the IRS has a master list of the chemicals that are in certain inks, and you can demonstrate that this is an ink from 1990, not 1977.

CAMEROTA: So maybe there is an answer. Maybe we will have an answer.

CALLAN: We're not going to have an answer in advance of this election, because there will be no trial. No time for a trial.

AVLON: As a result, what we are doing intentionally or not, is it helping the Moore campaign muddy the waters around this accusation? We need to be skeptical about these complaints, but we also have a preponderance of evidence at this point about Moore's behavior at a certain period of time, which seems to contradict.

CALLAN: I happen to agree with that, because my role here is when you can fill a small school bus with women who say you abuse them, the preponderance of the evidence is for the victim, clearly.

CAMEROTA: Well, luckily, Sean Hannity is on the case.

AVLON: Well...

CAMEROTA: So that is great. He gave, as you know, Judge Roy Moore 24 hours to come up with something convincing so that Sean Hannity could be won over. So then Roy Moore last night released an open letter to Sean Hannity.

AVLON: As one does before they file, usually, a criminal complaint.

CAMEROTA: Here's a portion of that.

"We have documented the most recent accuser, Beverly Nelson, was a party in a divorce action before me in Etowah County Circuit Court in 1999. No motion was made for me to recuse. In her accusations, Nelson did not mention that I was the judge assigned to her case in 1999, a matter that apparently caused her no distress at the time that was 18 years closer to the alleged assault. Yet 18 years later, while talking before cameras about the supposed assault, she seemingly could not contain her emotions."

This is interesting on many levels, Paul, because he claims he didn't know her. He hadn't met her. She he also forgot that...

CALLAN: He's got -- he's got a problem with that, too. "Well, I didn't remember her, because there are hundreds of litigants who come before me. So how would I necessarily remember her? But she would have remembered me, because it was her divorce."

So you know, as -- there's not going to be a trial. You're only going to hear discussion about this. And in the end, this is -- this is damage to one case. But there are six others.

CUOMO: Look, I'm doing heavily listening on this, because I think it's all very interesting. And you know, we've lived through this before. I remember when Alisyn was knocking on the doors about the Cosby accusers. And the numbers became overwhelming there. But they weren't always overwhelming.

And when things happened a long time ago, things are often complicated. And I remember, you know, all the hand wringing, about, well, this one has this and this one. It's all OK. It all has to be vetted. Roy Moore has a right to test the credibility of these people. You've got no proof.

It's that, one, when a woman says something, you should listen. Their voice matters. They shouldn't be discounted out of hand, which happens too often. But at the end of the day, here's what I don't get anymore. Vote. Figure it out.

You know, look, every elected leader, especially in that party, should stand up and say what they think of these accusations and take a moral stand. Because that's one of the reasons they're in office. But this whole, "Let's monkey with the system and let's push the governor."

She's in a weird spot, female, says she doesn't believe these accusers. There is a little bit more responsibility for women right now to be present on this issue. But all of these machinations and wanting to pervert the system, no pun intended, in order to get an outcome that the Republicans like. Is that the right thing to do here? Hannity got out over his skis on this, and then he wound up being in a position where he had to take a position he didn't want to. Why shouldn't it just be -- I want to hear where you are on this,

Avlon? Because you're a GOP elected leader, but now let the people vote. And if they don't believe it's enough, that they want this kind of guy in office, then that's that. And we move forward. But no more of this, how to pervert the system to get an outcome that they like.

AVLON: Well, look, there's the political calculation, and then there's the moral quandary that people should feel they are in.

CUOMO: All I'm saying is this. I don't think that morality is what's bothering them. I think the number of seats is what's bothering them.

AVLON: No, no, no. From a political standpoint, of course. Let's not get too cute about that. What we're trying to go is, look, people who are trying to defend Roy Moore right now are trying to go after the accusers. Right? It's an old game of you're going to blame the victim and say that...

CUOMO: There are some vulnerabilities, by the way. Maybe we have an obligation to be skeptical but not cynical as journalists about these claims. That said, the political calculation, clearly some people are being motivated by -- by rational self-interest. I would say Mitch McConnell, if he was, wouldn't have abandoned Roy Moore and said, "If he comes to the Senate, we're not going to seat him."

There's an obligation if you are a leading Republican. And Paul Ryan has stepped up. McConnell stepped up, to say what you think about this case and about this candidate. And particularly for members of the Alabama Republican Party. You know, does sometimes party loyalty ask too much? Do you vote the person, not the party? That's going to be a fascinating test case in Alabama in this upcoming election (ph).

CAMEROTA: We're going to have lawmakers coming up on the show, and we're going to pose these questions.

AVLON: Let's do that.

CAMEROTA: Thank you very much, gentlemen. Paul Callan, John Avlon.

With one prominent Republican senator already in the "no" column, is the Senate tax plan in trouble? That's next.


[06:17:11] CUOMO: President Trump busy promoting tax reform and himself. The House votes on his tax plan today or in the House version of the White House's tax proposal today. The Senate plan still in the works but now on somewhat shaky ground. The promise that the making is that tax cuts are definitely coming. He's still pushing that it's all about the middle class. But he seems equally interested in pushing the accomplishments that he got through during his 12-day trip to Asia.

So let's start at the White House, bring in Joe Johns. What are you hearing?


The president is expected to head to Capitol Hill today, hoping to savor the moment with House Republicans as they take their biggest step yet toward putting that enormous tax bill on his desk. But the emerging drama is whether the Senate version of the bill could be heading for some resistance even from Republicans.


JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump looking to build momentum around one of his top legislative priorities, previewing this afternoon's House vote on their GOP tax bill and accusing Democrats of obstruction. But the real focus is on the other side of the Capitol where uncertainty is growing around the Senate's bill. After Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson became the first Republican to openly oppose the legislation in its current form.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't vote for this Senate version. Bottom line.

JOHNS: Johnson expressing concern the corporations are getting a better deal than small businesses, saying in a statement that neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment. The president personally reaching out to Johnson yesterday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just kind of wondering, you know, what the concern is, and I think he shares the concern.

JOHNS: Republican Senator Susan Collins has also expressed reservations about the bill, leaving Senate leadership little room for error. Though they remain confident, they have the votes needed to pass the bill. This legislative push coming on the heels of President Trump's 12-day tour through Asia.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My fellow citizens, America is back. And the future has never looked brighter.

JOHNS: After teasing a major announcement about his trip, the president delivered a speech in the White House Wednesday that focused largely on touting his secret abroad and criticizing his predecessors.

TRUMP: This great respect showed very well our country is further evidence that America's renewed confidence and standing in the world has never been stronger than it is right now.

JOHNS: The speech overshadowed by this moment, 11 minutes in.

TRUMP: They don't have order. That's OK.

JOHNS: The president stopping to sip from a bottle of water, something he mocked Senator Marco Rubio for during the campaign.

TRUMP: It's Rubio. Help me, I need water. Help.

(END VIDEOTAPE) JOHNS: And on another light wrote, the president got something he all

but asked for on Wednesday when members of the UCLA basketball team thanked him for helping secure their release from the custody of Chinese authorities on shoplifting charges.

[06:20:15] The president had tweeted, "Do you think the three UCLA basketball players will say thank you to President Trump? They were headed for 10 years, apparently, locked up there in China. The president apparently got what he wanted, and the message was received by the players.

Chris and Alisyn, back to you.

CAMEROTA: OK, Joe, thank you very much. You've give us a lot to talk about, so back with us is John Avlon. And let's bring in CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillip. Great to have both of you.

OK, let's start with the tax plan. Ron Johnson, not a fan. Who saw this coming?

AVLON: Well, look, Ron Johnson is trying to speak up for small businesses. And like the point this plan has been billed, for the middle class, small businesses, you know, the business equivalent on the middle class has really been left out. It's much more about broad corporate tax breaks. He's being motivated by a specific provision. And I think this is not a no vote. This is a negotiating stance. But it's good to see a senator speaking up for small businesses, because those folks too often get lost in the shuffle.

CUOMO: The issue is pretty clear, also. Small businesses are called pass throughs and you wind up being almost double taxed. OK? Because you have one set of treatment with the -- at the business level. But they have to pay it as income. And that's been there for a long time. Because small businesses are actually not just the manufacturing but the job engine of this particular economy.

AVLON: That's right.

CUOMO: So Johnson is important if he stays where he is. The word is he got a call from the president. How strong is his resolve? He's always been pretty adamant. He came here and dominated our board.

CAMEROTA: I remember.

CUOMO: Do you think it's what John says and this man will move in line with just a little finesse?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Potentially. I think they would certainly have to give him something in order to do that. And I actually think that -- that's a fundamental problem with this bill, is that it creates sort of strong support for corporations. It makes the corporate tax cut permanent. And other tax cuts expire or are fairly modest.

And they're also -- they're taking things away from taxpayers that also raise their taxes. But I also think that the real people to watch will be the ones who are the deficit hawks out there. You know, McCains, the Collins, the Corkers, others who are kind of like worried about the impact on the deficit. This is the part of the bill that is not going to change. They are not going to suddenly find, you know, a trillion dollars.

CAMEROTA: But didn't they suddenly find lots of money because of the mandate?

PHILLIPS: They're going to find -- they're going to find, like, $300 billion. That's -- they're going to try to use that to reduce taxes for middle-class families, who are some of whom -- many of whom, actually, are going to see tax increases. But the overall cost of this bill is going to be astronomical. And they have absolutely no intention of paying for it. It's going to be a deficit.

AVLON: Look, if you're a deficit hawk, you should not support this bill. The problem is, the Republican Party seems to care most about deficits and debt when a Republican -- when a Democrat is in the White House. They've completely given away the store on this. But, you know, to the extent that Ron Johnson can put the focus back on small business or help do that. Because look, global corporations don't need the tax relief or any kind of relief nearly as much as small businesses and the middle class. Those are the folks who really deserve the kind of relief out of government action.

But if you're a deficit hawk, forget it.

PHILLIP: And you have to take into consideration this idea of trickle down. There are a lot of questions about whether this even works, whether it leads to sustained growth. And if you're talking about, you know, the engines of the economy, the people who are actually going to pocket this money, reinvest and hire people. It's small businesses. So I think there are a lot of senators who are going to be worried about that.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let's talk about the next topic. But first...


AVLON: Well-played.

CUOMO: All right.

AVLON: But two hands? Two hands?

CUOMO: You're not doing the baby grip. You have to do the baby grip. Gets a little bit of dry mouth, which is obviously going to be raised. Back into it. Why did he need two hands to lift the water bottle? Here it is.

AVLON: It's a very odd moment.

CUOMO: Gets a little bit of the dry mouth, he needs to. All right. The cap discharge, keep it to the side. No reason to get it on yourself. Now, you get the baby grip. Two hands. Puts it back. There it is. The bend down and back. You thought I was leaving. I'm not.

AVLON: Lincolnesque. Now hold on a second. It's a good question. Let me think about it.

CAMEROTA: Are they replaying this?

CUOMO: Yes. Yes, we are.

AVLON: I thought there were nine bottles of water.

CAMEROTA: I thought there were two water moments. We searched around for a while, yes.

AVLON: He briefly gave up.


AVLON: And then...

CAMEROTA: Then he went back.


So why is this relevant? Well, you could argue it ain't. But because of what happened with Marco Rubio, then-candidate Trump just punished Marco Rubio for what happened. You remember this deal?

Now Trump's water bottle much bigger than Rubio's, by the way.

CAMEROTA: That will come up.

CUOMO: But he used it as proof that Marco Rubio was out of his depth, that he was off his game. He was nervous. He was unseasoned. And then this happened. Are we talking apples to apples here?

[06:25:09] PHILLIP: Really owned his water bottle moment. I mean, remember when Rubio did it? He was, like, trying to do it on the side...

CUOMO: He was literally nervous and out of sorts. He was.

PHILLIP: ... trying to make it seem like he wasn't doing it. Trump really owned it. He held it, opened it up. I think he really was like, if I'm going to do the water, I'm going to do the water.

AVLON: And he came back from Asia, clearly with a bottle of Fiji water. This is not America first, people. There's Ozark water. There's plenty of American water.

CAMEROTA: It's now called America thirst.

AVLON: Sorry. Hashtag, yes.

CAMEROTA: Hashtag.

Marco Rubio seized on this moment. He tweeted out, "Similar, but needs work on his form. Has to be done in one single motion. Eyes should never leave the camera. But not bad for his first time."

CUOMO: By the way, this was what Marco's problem was. I was actually doing our coverage that night when this happened. And I was not adequately moved by it. So I got counseled to pay more attention to it. He was nervous. That was the truth of the night, that he wasn't handling the moment well. Do you think that that's what's about with the president, or is this just about poking fun?

AVLON: This is hypocrisy. You know, that's one of the reasons. And he did it in the most awkward way imaginable. Presidents have given plenty of addresses. Usually not something substantive, rather than do victory laps. And rarely are they punctuated by giant double-hand grab of water bottle that breaks up the speech for, like, 30 seconds.

CUOMO: He's needing the double grab of water of a water bottle.

AVLON: By any objective presidential standard, this was odd. Even Trumpian standards.

CAMEROTA: Abby, any last thoughts?

CUOMO: No, no, wait, don't waste the last.

What about that tweet that he gave to the UCLA players? Because the truth is, by all accounts, they helped. They got the players released. And that is always something to be celebrated.

AVLON: Absolutely.

Cuomo: It then goes, well, he'll wind up blowing up his own spot by tweeting about it and saying I should be thanked. What's your take on this?

PHILLIP: I think it's just really unusual for a president to say, "Hey, I helped Americans. You need to thank me." That's actually literally the job.

CAMEROTA: But then they did thank him.

PHILLIP: And they did thank him. Look, he deserves credit for that. I think it would have gone down, had he not said anything. It would have been written on the list of things that he accomplished on this trip. It's really significant, because 10 years in jail is a serious thing. But at the same time...

CUOMO: Being stuck in China is a serious thing. You know what I mean? What happened to sovereignty.

PHILLIP: The demand for praise is unusual. And also, I thought about the idea that sometimes when we bring people home, we want them to stay quiet for as long as possible and not sort of blow themselves up. And Trump really demanded the whole dog-and-pony show. And they delivered. But I think that's not usually what we see when they come home. They come home, and they -- you know, they make their apologies on paper, and they move on.

CAMEROTA: Abby Phillip, John Avlon, thank you for a fun segment there.

Ahead on NEW DAY, we're going to be speaking to Senator Ron Johnson about why he is not backing the Senate tax bill work. He's changed his mind after a call from the president.

CUOMO: You really didn't get the double hand grab part of that moment.

CAMEROTA: No. Now that you pointed it out, I do.

It's such a good one.

CUOMO: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife are getting criticized for these online pictures. Why is he holding up a big sheet of money? Why does she have that...

CAMEROTA: Three hands.

CUOMO: This was another multi-handed moment. We will explain why the image and why the criticism next.