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Zimbabwe's Future; Sexual Harassment Scandals; Myanmar Military Raping Rohingya Women and Girls; Franken Apologizes After Groping Accusations; Roy Moore Trailing By 8 Points In Alabama; Israeli Women Call Out Sexual Harassment. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 17, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Ahead this hour, political upheaval in Zimbabwe. An anxious wait and see on what's next for the country and its embattled leader, Robert Mugabe.
SESAY (voice-over): Another unspeakable atrocity against Rohingya. A report that Myanmar's military is carrying out a campaign of raping women and girls.
VAUSE: (voice-over) Plus a growing list of high profile men accused of sexual misconduct. The latest is U.S. senator Al Franken. Can his political career survive?
SESAY (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE (voice-over): I'm John Vause. Thanks for being with us for the third hour of NEWSROOM L.A.
VAUSE: Zimbabwe's military leaders have been speaking with president Robert Mugabe, who is under house arrest since the apparent coup on Wednesday. Mugabe was seen smiling and shaking hands with the generals in a recent photo with the same generals whose forces now control the streets.
SESAY: It's still not clear if the president will step down but the military said it will advise the nation on an outcome as soon as possible. It also said it made significant progress apprehending so- called criminals around Mr. Mugabe. That was the justification the military used for its takeover Wednesday.
CNN's Eleni Giokos is following the story for us from Johannesburg.
Eleni, finally hearing from the military via a statement.
What else are we learning about where things stand right now?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a statement on the state broadcast which we know the military took control of earlier in the week and importantly the military still has control over general and key government points.
Now the statement basically says that they have accounted for some criminals that surround president Robert Mugabe. Interesting, though, they still refer to him as the commander in chief and that they are currently negotiating with him and in talks with him about a way forward.
They're talking about making sure things kind of remain stable. But security forces need to still conduct things as they have been. They're also saying they're going to be giving an announcement relatively soon.
So it seems we're going to have some kind of imminent announcement. Whether it's going to be from Robert Mugabe, something we have been waiting for, for quite some time, or whether they're going to be the ones announcing it on their behalf, we know Robert Mugabe is still confined, under house arrest and there's a very strong military presence.
And we also know the opposition party has already started to be vocal about their thoughts on this coup. Of course, it has the markings of a coup. The military is not calling it a coup but it is sort of textbook coup.
SESAY: Yes. We haven't heard from Robert Mugabe, as you make the point. We are hearing from the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. We know that they're been calling on Mugabe to resign.
What is unclear, and hopefully you can shed light on it, is when it comes to the MDC, the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, they want to see Mugabe resign.
What do they want to happen next?
GIOKOS: Yes. Well, it's interesting we know that Morgan Tsvangirai spoke to CNN's David McKenzie yesterday, he was saying that the only way forward is through the ballot box. Zimbabweans need to decide through voting.
It's something he's been calling for, for a very long time, in terms of free and fair elections, something that Zimbabwe has been scrutinized for over the last couple of years.
But they also want Mugabe to step down. Importantly when he was asked whether he viewed this as a coup, he said, whatever it is, it's unconstitutional. He's calling for elections, he's calling for Mugabe to step down and he's not sure about his role in a transitional government. But of course he's saying that negotiations are going to be very key to all of that.
SESAY: Eleni Giokos joining us there from Johannesburg, appreciate it. Thank you.
For more, we're joined by Johnnie Carson, who served as U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe from 1995 to 1997, he also served as assistant secretary of state for African affairs during the Obama administration. Ambassador Carson joins us from Washington.
Thank you so much for being with us. The Zimbabwean military moved to take control of the South African nation in the early hours of Wednesday. Since then, little light has been shone on what they plan to do next.
What does it say to you, Ambassador Carson, that the military leaders have still not publicly outlined their plans?
JOHNNIE CARSON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Let me say, first of all, that Zimbabwe is in the first stage of a major political transition that will likely bring president Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule to an end.
CARSON: Negotiations appear to be under way to get him to stand down as president and to turn over his leadership to his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa or at least to another senior leader in Mugabe's political party.
Although the military seized power and has placed Mugabe under house arrest, they do not appear to want to retain power. Military leaders, are eager, I think, to relinquish power and control to civilian authority and return to the barracks.
Negotiations appear to be under way between Robert Mugabe and the army commander chief of staff, General Constantine Chiwenga, and also negotiations with the Catholic archbishop.
There's a military spokesman there, have indicated that they do not call this a coup d'etat. They have insisted that they're only intervening to end corruption.
SESAY: How big a blow is this to efforts to turn the page on Africa's history of coups d'etat and military interventions?
How do you view this moment in the context of, you know, African commitment to democratic norms and basically, you know, democracy strengthening on the continent?
CARSON: The military, I believe, are eager to turn over power to a civilian authority. And therefore are trying to negotiate with Robert Mugabe for someone to come in and take over. I think that the military recognizes this. I think the leaders around Mugabe recognize this.
And I think that we'll see pressure put on this military group to relinquish power. I think those negotiations that are under way clearly are intended to get the military out of statehouse and back into the barracks. SESAY: Ambassador Johnnie Carson, great to have you with us. Thank you so much for the insight and perspective. Thank you.
CARSON: Thank you, Isha.
VAUSE: A wave of sexual harassment allegations which started in Hollywood and swept across the country has now reached the U.S. Senate, with Democrat Al Franken first accused and then apologizing for sexual misconduct. Some in Congress and Franken himself are calling for an ethics investigation.
SESAY: Radio host Leeann Tweeden said the former "Saturday Night Live" comedian groped her and forcibly kissed her in 2006 while they were on tour entertaining the military in the Middle East. She released a photo of Franken with his hands over her chest while she was asleep.
Here's what she said happened while they were rehearsing the skit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEEANN TWEEDEN, RADIO HOST: He just mashes his mouth to my lips. And you know, it was like wet and he puts his tongue in my mouth. And you know, my reaction, it was just sort of a, you know, I push his chest away with my hands.
And I'm like, if you ever do that to me again, I was so angry. I was in disbelief, really. And I just sort of -- you know, my hand -- to this day, I talk about it and my hand clinches into a fist, because I think my initial reaction was that I wanted to hit him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Joining us now, CNN political commentators, Democratic strategist Dave Jacobson and Republican consultant John Thomas.
John, let's check out the front page of Friday's "New York Post," there it is up on the screen, "Franken Slime" with that photograph. OK?
Politically, how happy are Republicans right now?
JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think anybody's happy about this, John.
THOMAS: No, I mean, look --
VAUSE: I'm not talking about the fact that it happened but politically --
THOMAS: Well, politically, there could be massive consequences. Remember, he only won by 400 votes. So I guess the seat could be in play if he resigns. But I don't even think partisans are there yet. I think we're relieved in a sense to start seeing a clearing of the air in the Senate.
Look, John, this is a bipartisan problem and we're going to see both sides getting it in the coming days.
I guess the difference here is, you know, I feel like Al Franken is getting, even though we're talking about it, he's getting more of a pass because he apologized. But he has a history of talking about these things. And he said, oh, as a comedian, but oftentimes comedy mirrors real life.
VAUSE: OK. Well, right now, most Democrats believe that this should all be handled by a Senate ethics investigation. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very disappointed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I support an ethics investigation. This kind of conduct should not be tolerated by anyone, any public official.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you think that this could lead to his expulsion?
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D): I wouldn't want to prejudge anything at this point.
RAJU: I mean, that's pretty serious to say you're not ruling -- an expulsion, you can't shut the door on expulsion?
WHITEHOUSE: The Senate will take this up through proper procedures and will work its will. Don't you prejudge it and I won't prejudge it, either.
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D): He said that he's going to cooperate with the Ethics Committee. That's the right place to handle this question.
RAJU: . Could he be expelled from the Senate, do you think?
MERKLEY: I think the right place to address this is the Ethics Committee. I don't serve in that committee. I'll leave it to the appropriate process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And, Dave, to John's point, is there a double standard here, demanding Roy Moore, the Senate Republican nominee or candidate for Alabama, demanding he should step down and resign and get out of the race, whilst giving Al Franken this chance to essentially have a hearing?
DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: John, this is a tough issue for me because yesterday I was having conversations; we were speculating about presidential contenders for 2020. And Al Franken was on the short list. And I thought he'd be a great candidate.
But honestly I think Democrats have a real opportunity to make this a defining issue. And the fact is, we're going to look like hypocrites if we don't call in Al Franken to resign. And that's tough for me to say. I'm a fan of his. I've read his books for years. I followed him as a comic. I think he's led the charge on some really progressive, forward-thinking policies in the Senate.
But the fact is, what he did was inexcusable and for Democrats to not call on him to resign, we're going to come off looking like frauds and hypocrites.
THOMAS: Well, and here's a bigger problem. The senator talks about the appropriate procedure but we just talked the other night that the procedures are bupkis.
THOMAS: The bigger thing I want to see now is I want to see Congress to unmask these names of all those millions that were paid in settlements and the NDAs that were signed, because we as a taxpayer have a right to know where our dollars are going and reelecting probably these members of Congress.
VAUSE: There are subtle differences here, obviously, between what's happening with Roy Moore and Al Franken. Al Franken put out a very terse initial statement, he followed up with a longer second statement. Here part of that.
And focus on that photograph, he said, "I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture and it doesn't matter. There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And what's more, I can see how millions of women would feel violated by it, women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having (INAUDIBLE) experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me."
And this is the difference here. This is one woman accusing Al Franken of inappropriate behavior, which is pretty awful, but it's not multiple women and there are not minors involved.
THOMAS: There was a second woman today that accused him of inappropriate -- of harassing her three times and she had to threaten to call the police to get her -- I mean, look, this is what's good about this process, is time typically tells.
Because generally if somebody is a pervert or a harasser, they do it multiple times. And people will feel emboldened, just like you saw with Roy Moore.
JACOBSON: Well, I do think you're onto something. There is obviously daylight between what Al Franken did, which was absolutely wrong and inexcusable, but he's not a child molester.
THOMAS: He just drugs these women and molests them. He talked about giving them pills in his comedy routine and taking pictures with them.
VAUSE: Donald Trump has yet to weigh in on the issue with Roy Moore, but he is tweeting about Al Franken. Here's one of them in the last couple of hours.
"The Al Frankenstein picture is really bad. Speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 while she sleeps?"
Dave, does this tweet about Franken make his silence on Moore just sort of even more telling or worse than it really is?
JACOBSON: Yes, for sure. The president looks like a hypocrisy, just like Democrats will look like a hypocrisy if they didn't ask for Al Franken to resign. Donald Trump should probably resign because of what he did, right?
And (INAUDIBLE) kissed women. We know that, right? Or if you remember the P-bomb situation that he -- I mean the fact is like Donald Trump should be held to the same standards that any U.S. senator should, that any man in a powerful position should, whether it's in politics or the entertainment industry.
THOMAS: I think there's a couple key differences here. First of all, the president definitely lives in a glass house on this issue. But the president was bragging on an "Access Hollywood" tape about how his celebrity allows him to do anything he wants essentially without consent.
There was no consent with Franken. And here's the real defining difference because we could parse that, I know. The defining difference is the American electorate knew full well what Donald Trump had bragged about on "Access Hollywood" and they still voted him in.
Americans didn't know about Al Franken and we now know that Roy Moore --
THOMAS: -- opportunity to throw him out.
VAUSE: One thing which I wondered about is now we've heard from the White House spokesperson, Sarah Sanders, saying the president believes the voters of Alabama should decide.
Let's look at the latest FOX News opinion poll. The Democrat, Doug Jones, is now up by I think by --
VAUSE: -- so they are deciding. I wonder if the president's --
 VAUSE: -- silence up until this point has been because he's worried that if he put pressure on Roy Moore to get out, he wouldn't and there would be another loss for him, for Donald Trump.
JACOBSON: But then there's also the fact that Donald Trump actually endorsed Roy Moore and he hasn't revoked his endorsement. We haven't seen that yet. He still has that option, right?
VAUSE: The last words we heard out of Donald Trump's mouth about Roy Moore is that he ran a good race and be is a good man. And that's what's standing out there right now, John. So he does have an obligation to --
THOMAS: I think he should correct the record. Politically speaking I think the president doesn't want to demand he get out because he knows he doesn't have the power to do it and I think he also knows that the seat is likely going to a Democrat and no amount of cajoling -- the only thing that putting his heavy hand in this race will do is upset Republican voters across the country to say, hey, look, the establishment is trying to -- you know, election year here.
VAUSE: This is the turnaround, though. It was always looking like it was going to be Moore up until this point. This is only in the last day or so that --
THOMAS: But the thing ISE, even if he does get elected in some way, the Senate is going to throw him out. I don't see a scenario where that doesn't happen.
VAUSE: OK, Dave, John, good to see you.
VAUSE: Thanks, guys.
SESAY: We should say what happens.
VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) right now.
SESAY: A lot.
SESAY: OK. We're going to take a very quick break here. A worsening humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, where women and children are describing unthinkable horrors. More on the Rohingya crisis next.
(MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: For months, Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar, almost 1 million have crossed the border into the relative safety of refugee camps in Bangladesh.
And now slowly the world is learning more about the violence and brutality they're escaping.
SESAY: A new report by Human Rights Watch accuses Myanmar's military of carrying out a vicious campaign of rape against Rohingya Muslim women and girls in the country's Rakhine State. Earlier this week, a U.N. envoy said sexual violence was being commanded, orchestrated and perpetrated by the armed forces of Burma.
Its military released a report on Monday, denying all allegations of rape and killing by its security forces.
VAUSE: The general in charge of Rakhine State has been replaced. Senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward has visited the refugee camps in Bangladesh, in which so many women told her a similar story of being attacked and raped by Myanmar's soldiers.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rashida Begum rarely speaks these days. When she does tell her story, she speaks quietly and mechanically as if trying to recount what happened without reliving it.
"We were five women with our babies," she says. "The military grabbed us, dragged us into the house and shut the door and they raped us."
She tells us they stabbed her and tried to kill her but she survived by pretending to be dead.
"It will good if I had died," she says, "because if I die, then I wouldn't have to remember --
WARD (voice-over): -- "all these things."
Stories like Rashida's are all too common in the Bangladesh camps that now host nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims. Every tent, it seems, has a story of agony, shame and death inside it.
When the military came to Aisha's village, her husband fled, leaving her alone with five children.
"Two soldiers stood guard in front of my door," she says. "Another came in and pointed his gun at me. He raped me."
WARD: Did he say anything to you? WARD (voice-over): "He punched me and ripped off my clothes. He said, 'If you move, I will kill you. If you scream, I will kill you.' And he covered my mouth with his hand," she says.
"I felt so awful. He did it so roughly. He did it without mercy."
Human rights groups say that rape is one of the Myanmar military's most feared weapons. While it's difficult to estimate how many women have been assaulted, hundreds of cases have been reported.
These Rohingya women are learning songs to offer support to the victims.
"Rape can happen to anyone," the lyrics go.
Within three days of rape, you need to consult a doctor. The program developed by Doctors without Borders is headed by midwife Aerlyn Pfeil. She explains that beyond practical concerns, many victims are struggling to reclaim the family their dignity.
AERLYN PFEIL, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: A piece for me that is kind of the most heartbreaking is that the women coming in are still wearing the same skirts. It's just heartbreaking that three months later, you're still putting on the same skirt that someone assaulted you in.
WARD (voice-over): For Aisha, the pall of shame still hangs heavy.
"When I remember what happened, tears come to my eyes. Why did they do this to me?" she asks.
"Why did they rape me?"
She finds peace in reading the Quran. For many here, faith and ritual provides some solace amid the squalor. Rashida's anger still burns.
WARD: What do you want to see happen to the man who raped you?
WARD (voice-over): "If we get the opportunity, then we must take revenge," she says. "We will be pleased if the military who raped us and killed our parents are hanged."
But for now, survival takes priority over justice. There are mouths to feed and a new generation to protect from the horrors of the past -- Clarissa Ward, CNN, in the Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh.
SESAY: Save the Children has a new report titled, "Horrors I Will Never Forget," detailing the unfolding crisis and its impact on Rohingya children. With me now is Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International as well as the former prime minister of Denmark.
Thanks so much for being with us. Tell us what this report reveals about the experiences Rohingya children have endured throughout this crisis. HELLE THORNING-SCHMIDT, SAVE THE CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL: Save the Children is working in Bangladesh on the border to Myanmar. We have already helped 250,000 people there and we've also taken the opportunity to ask children and their families what they have experienced and what they have witnessed.
And the stories that they're telling us are just horrifying. And we took it upon ourselves to write down so that the world could hear these stories. And they have asked us to let the world hear their stories.
And what they're telling us is basically about the seeing their parents being murdered right in front of them, children being burned alive in their houses, children of course being killed and maimed and sexual abuse to children as young as 12 years old being raped and sexually abused.
So these are horrifying stories and this is a direct challenge from these children to world leaders, to hold the Myanmar to account and to act now for these children.
SESAY: It absolutely is. You yourself have visited the refugees there in Cox's Bazaar. What state are the children in, having been through so much?
THORNING-SCHMIDT: I mean they in a very, very difficult situation. I walked around the camp and it is vast. You have to imagine 600,000 people coming into Bangladesh in an area which is not fit for kind of influx of people.
There is mud everywhere. People have no shoes on. They had absolutely nothing and this is truly a children's emergency. More than half of the people coming in are children. They are just children everywhere.
And I spoke to a family who had their own four children; they had taken four orphaned children in and --
THORNING-SCHMIDT: -- the invisible wounds of these children are unimaginable. And that's we're speaking to leaders today, listen to these voices that we have assembled. Many world leaders are meeting in Myanmar next week, starting on Monday. Foreign ministers will be coming in from Europe and Asia and New Zealand and Australia and this is a real good time to speak up and make sure that these things happened.
We are extremely worried about the people who have not yet fled, who are still hiding in the forest and the mountains in northern Rakhine State. They are in a very, very dangerous situation.
SESAY: If this crisis is not ended in the near future, what will this mean for all these children?
Help our viewers understand what is at stake here. THORNING-SCHMIDT: There is everything at stake; 600,000 people are many, many children and before Christmas we will see more people leaving Myanmar or hiding in Myanmar.
We've also seen pictures of what happens around the border and (INAUDIBLE) day care. I feel that if we don't help these people now we will be stealing (ph) their future many times over.
First of all, they need immediate help. We have just opened that emergency health clinic but we need more help to come in to these people. But we also have to tackle the invisible wounds of war that we will be seeing in the future.
And of course the next stage, if the international community cannot secure that these people can be -- can return to Myanmar in a safe, sustainable and dignified way, we have to stop looking at how can we help these people have a future?
Which, for these children, of course, means education. They need to get in some kind of education very, very soon. Otherwise I feel we will just have stolen these children's future twice.
First, they had to experience these enormous violations and crimes. And then we are stealing their future by not providing education. So urge world leaders to talk to Myanmar, the Myanmar government, stop these atrocities. Stop the violence. Let U.N. get into the ground in northern Rakhine State. There is still so much we can do to stop the violence.
SESAY: Helle Thorning-Schmidt, I really hope that world leaders hear your voice and take the necessary action. We thank you for joining us. Thank you very, very much.
VAUSE: Just think about it, you've got the kids (INAUDIBLE). You've got the kids in Syria, who some haven't seen a school because that (INAUDIBLE). You've got --
VAUSE: -- in Yemen. (INAUDIBLE). OK.
Well, we'll have a quick break. "STATE OF AMERICA" with Kate Bolduan is coming up next for our viewers in Asia. For everyone else, the (INAUDIBLE) that began with Harvey Weinstein continues to grow in what many believe is a seismic cultural shift in women's rights.
SESAY: Plus a decision by the Trump administration would let American big game hunters like the president's son legally bring some elephant trophies from Africa back to the U.S.
[02:30:22] JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour, Zimbabwe's military says it's currently engaging with embattled President Robert Mugabe. A new photo shows a meeting with the commander of the country's defense forces. President Mugabe remains under house arrest following an apparent coup on Wednesday. A senior opposition source tells CNN that takeover have been planned a long time ago by recently dismissed vice president.
VAUSE: U.S. Senator Al Franken has issued a lengthy apology on a radio host as he groped her and forcibly kissed her. It happened in 2006 while they were on a USO tour. Franken asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate and says he'll cooperate.
SESAY: New polls in the U.S. State of Alabama showing embattled Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore trailing his Democratic opponent Doug Jones. The latest numbers have Moore down by eight points among likely voters. He's been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women who are teenagers at the time including one who was 14 when he 32.
VAUSE: It's only been six weeks since the movie heavyweight Harvey Weinstein was outed by the New York Times as a serial offender who allegedly used his powerful position to harass, abuse and intimidate. He's accused of preying on young hopeful starlets and Hollywood royalty alike. And with that revelation, the floodgates were breached. From the U.S. Congress to the Britain's Parliament, from Alabama Senate race in Roy Moore to the California Statehouse, women are speaking out and going on the record accusing powerful men all acts ranging from inappropriate, to repulsive, to criminal. In recent weeks, the list of those accused reads like who's who. Actors Kevin Spacey, George Takei, Dustin Hoffman, Comedian Louis C.K., Directors Oliver Stone and James Toback, Movie Producer Brett Ratner, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Journalist Mike Halperin, Olympic team Dr. Larry Nassar.
It's been a relentless and sort of harrowing stories often filled with the smallest details only a victim would remember. And with each passing day, there are new allegations, new denials, and the occasional apology. And many are asking when will all of this stop. Joining me now is CNN Legal Analyst Areva Martin and Sociologist Anna Akbari who is in Bali, Indonesia. So, Anna, often, you know, it's hard to know when you're in the middle of a historic cultural moment but we've seen to be one now. How far will this go to try and you know, correct the sins of the past?
ANNA AKBARI, SOCIOLOGIST: Yes, well, I do think that it's a social revolution and at this point, there's no going back. And I don't think there's a limit how far back and how long this will go on because while we might think there's some kind of growing fatigue of hearing about this stories, you know, we have to remember that this is really the first time these issues have been properly discussed and victims have thought they need to come forward. So I think this is going to continue regardless of time or numbers.
But in terms of us being a historic cultural moment, I think we need to recognize that this is really more than just men behaving badly. I think this is highlighting our current crisis of masculinity which stems from a lot of men starting in 20th century not really understanding what their current role is supposed to be. It's not a provider and protector. So we're seeing a lot of that masculinity expressed in sex, sexual aggression, and in violence. And so, I actually don't think that this rampant sexual harassment is totally unrelated to the (INAUDIBLE) mass shooting here. It's all connected to this American crisis in masculinity.
VAUSE: It's an interesting point. Ariva, to you there's now this long overdue realization of what is and is not acceptable in terms of behavior but there's still uncertainties here. There's still questions like is there a sliding scale of bad behavior. You know, is the man guilty until he's proven innocent? Should it be firing offense automatically if he's accused or he's actually done guilty harassment? Is there a statute of limitations? So how do you see?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think we shouldn't conflate some of the issues. One, the standard of guilty until proven innocent, beyond reasonable doubt, those are courtroom standards. And until these cases get into the courtroom, I don't think that's the applicable standards. It doesn't matter that you may you know, have this standard in a legal case. The issue that we're seeing now is about integrity character in leadership. So when we look at Al Franken, he doesn't have to present his case as if he were in the court of law, we have to ask ourselves, do we want someone in the United States Senate who has acted in the way that he has acted. That's the question with respect to Franken, that's the question with respect to Roy Moore.
And it's the question with respect to Donald Trump. I heard one of your Republican Strategist say that Trump is different because we knew about the allegations and we still elected him. I beg to differ with that. We knew about the allegations and first of all, he didn't win by the popular vote, he won by the electoral vote. But Congress still could have acted to remove him from office in the same way that Mitch McConnell is saying if Roy Moore is elected, the Senate is going to remove him from office. So just because someone is elected into office doesn't mean that we as an entire country has to normalize and accept that kind of conduct.
[02:35:31] VAUSE: Are you saying there's a double standard in politics? Oh, my goodness. Anna, you know, one of the dividing feet to this -- of this right now, you know, you talked to a lot of men, they are sort of back in their minds. They're trying to remember the past event thinking am I guilty of sexual harassment? Is there anything which I've done in my past which I need to apologize for?
AKBARI: Yes, I think there are a lot of scared men right now. And men also know that it could very well be them that we're all talking about right now. It could be them that's part of this new cycle based on their behavior the last few -- the last few decades. So I actually predict that we may see a few brave men step forward and pre-emptively speak out on the topic. Maybe they'll acknowledge some of the behavior that they know they've engaged in and could very well come out in the coming weeks and months and apologize to victims. Because a lot of comments that we have heard from these men so far have been kind of non-apology and it hasn't really been going over so well. So I think this would be a really bold alternative. VAUSE: And Areva, you know, when we look at the victims, these women
aren't just the victims here. You look to Kevin Spacey for example. He's recently being accused of harassing 20 men during his time as director of London's Old Vic Theatre and they apologize. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE VARAH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE OLD VIC THEATRE: The Old Vic apologizes wholeheartedly to the people who we have told have been affected. We've learned that it's not enough to have the right process in place. Everyone needs to feel that they can speak out no matter who they are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And Areva, just on that last point there. You know, providing an environment where people feel safe to speak out. That same speech possible the most important thing here moving forward about almost anything else. We need to be able to feel safe and secure if they feel they've been a victim of this.
MARTIN: That's so true John. We hear over and over again as women and men come forward and people ask why did it take 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. And what we keep hearing is that the shame, the humiliation, the fear, the fear that their carriers will be completely ruined, the fear that they would be ostracized, that they would be isolated, and that is something that we to change. As we're looking at how do we create safe workplaces, it starts with creating a process by which any victim female or male can come forward, tell their story when it happens, not feel that they have to wait 10, 20 years until they're you know, literally dozens of people that have come forward. But there needs to be a vehicle through which women and men can come forward, report harassment, report abuse. And there needs to be swift and severe consequences to anyone that engages in this type of behavior.
VAUSE: And Anna, with now six weeks into this and nothing really lost six weeks in the news cycle unless it's called Donald Trump these days. So where do you see all of this is heading? When do you think it will also settle into some kind of normalcy?
AKBARI: Well, I do think we're just not crashing the surface. We could keep in mind, these are just the celebrity and national public figure that we're hearing of that guilty of this behavior. So we can only imagine how many everyday individuals have been harassed by last well-known man. So I actually think the next be of this will come into local level, the bosses, the coaches, the civic leaders, or the athlete, I think these men are now going to be doing sort of call to action and that will be the -- that's where the normalcy will set in. It's where we're talking about this amongst the people that we actually know.
VAUSE: Yes. One of the single mom working in a factory views here harassed by the supervisor, that kind of thing. Areva, I don't know if I'm going to say this so I apologize in advance if I don't get this right but you know, are there any issues in applying new 2017 standards in terms of sexual harassment and treatment of women to a culture and a society of 30 or 40 years ago. And so you know, essentially you know I'm asking you, can people be judged in the past by what we're looking at now?
MARTIN: I think I will answer that question differently if we didn't have decades of federal anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws that have been in place in this country. We have to go back to 25 years ago with the Anita Hill hearings when Clarence Thomas was being reviewed for his place on the supreme court. So these laws aren't new. We've known that sexual harassment is unlawful. We have laws that have prevented employers from creating hostile work environments.
[02:40:04] So this isn't as if all of a sudden now we're holding predators to a new standard. Some of these allegations against Roy Moore, these are crimes. These are criminal actions. There have been statutes on the books for decades that have prohibited statutory rape, adults having sexual interactions and sexual relationships with minors. So I can't give you a pass based on this theory that somehow we're holding you to a new standard because the standard has been there. We perhaps are causing you to be held accountable in ways today that we didn't 10 years ago but shame on us for not doing it 10 years ago.
VAUSE: That's a good point to end on. Areva and Anna, thanks so much. I appreciate it.
MARTIN: Thank John.
SESAY: The moment that John Vause was scolded by Areva Martin. While that Harvey Weinstein effect is spanning the globe as women begin speaking out against abuse and harassment. Now Israeli women are joining the need to campaign. And one of the country's most famous daughters is leading the charge. Here's Oren Lieberman.
OREN LIEBERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Israel brightest Hollywood star Wonder Woman Gal Gadot an empowering figure for women trying to bring the message off the silver screen as well. In the growing Me Too campaign, Gadot tweeted support for women coming forward. "Bullying and sexual harassment is unacceptable. I stand by all the courageous women confronting their fears and speaking out. Together we stand, we are all united in this time of change." Gadot confirming on NBC's Today Show Producer Brett Ratner had been removed from the highly anticipated sequel. Ratner has been accused of sexual misconduct by half a dozen women. Allegations Ratner's attorney denies. Ratner has also filed suit against one of the accusers calling the accusation malicious.
GAL GADOT, ISRAELI ACTRESS: But the truth is you know, there's so many people involved in making this movie. It's not just me. And they all echoed the same sentiments. LIEBERMAN: The Me Too campaign has now reached Gadot's native Israel.
Channel 10 Anchor Oshrat Kotler was initially skeptical of Me Too, a viral social media campaign empowering women to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and assault.
TEXT: My first instinct was to say why now, where were you until now, why weren't you speaking up, what is this hypocrisy?
LIEBERMAN: Kotler changed her mind as she reflected on why she found it difficult to tell her own story 25 years ago.
TEXT: When I try to evade and to suggest lunch, he clarifies to me, "No, no, dinner, and make sure you keep the evening free too." Then I told him, "My. Gilady, I'm really flattered that you invited me for dinner, but you know, I'm married." Then he explains to me, "What has that got to with it? Don't you know how they advance in T.V. in Hollywood?"
LIEBERMAN: Kotler was accusing Alex Gilady, President of Israeli media giant, Keshet, and a member of the International Olympic Committee. She says it was an indecent proposal that didn't go any further. But Gilady is accused by at least three other women of rape or sexual misconduct. Gilady has temporarily stepped down from his position he says to focus on proving his innocence. In a statement given to CNN, Gilady's lawyer said Mr. Gilady denies all accusations and will vigorously defend his name and his reputation in any relevant proceedings.
MERAV MICHAELI, ISRAELI POLITICIAN: They know, they just did not dare speak about.
LIEBERMAN: Politician Merav Michaeli is an outspoken advocate for women's rights. She sees here an opportunity for progress even at the risk of backlash.
MICHAELI: When you see Israel now is yet another wave which is extremely important as it is in the States but it's over yet. It's not the end. It's just another wave which will move us forward. And we will also have to suffer backlash and deal with it but that's how we go on.
LIEBERMAN: Defense Attorney Leo warns about the goal of this cultural process.
LIOR EPSTEIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
LIEBERMAN: Oren Lieberman, CNN Jerusalem.
VAUSE: Well, some awkward moments. The Actor Ben Affleck on the Late Show Thursday night when host Steven Colbert asked about Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie producer accused of sexual harassment by dozens of women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR: For me, it was a little bit -- I mean, it was awful to see extent of these terrible crimes and it was hideous and I have worked for Harvey for more than 15 years but nonetheless, I felt this attachment to movies like "Good Will Hunting" and "Shakespeare In Love," and "Chasing Amy," and some of the early movies that I really love doing when I still was, you know, totally brand new and I --
[02:45:04] And so it sort of tainted that a little bit to realize while we were having these experiences and making these moves, there were people who were suffering and dealing with awful experiences so I didn't really know what to do with that, you know, it's hard to know but I decided to give back the residuals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Affleck also addressed accusations that he sexually harassed a woman and he seemed to carefully choose his words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AFFLECK: I mean, when I was accused of -- by a woman was of touching her breast while I gave her a hug, I don't remember it, but I absolutely apologized for it. I certainly don't think she's lying or making it up. It's just the kind of thing that we have to -- as man, I think in this -- as we become more aware of this, be really, really mindful of our behavior and hold ourselves accountable and say, if I was ever part of the problem, I want to change, I want to be part of the solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. Ben Affleck there. (INAUDIBLE) then he made a joke about the whole sexual harassment allegation during the promotional tour for Justice League --
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's right.
VAUSE: OK. A little more careful at Stephen Colbert we'll take break. When we come back, a victory for the big hunters of the U.S., big game hunters like Donald Trump's two sons. They'll be among those allowed to bring home elephant remains as trophies from some African countries.
SESAY: Hello, everyone. Big game hunters like President Trump's sons Eric and Donald, Jr. are celebrating a major victory. The Trump administration is lifting a ban on importing elephant trophy, shot for sport in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
VAUSE: Officials suggest that by easing these rules will actually help endangered species. Brianna Keilar explains.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Soon, elephants killed on hunts in two Southern African nations, products previously banned will be imported into the U.S. The Trump administration poised to overturn in Obama era provision on the trophies as conservationist sounds alarms.
WAYNE PACELLE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: It's just thrill killing, bragging rights trophies for a threatened species, the largest land animal in the world. They're shooting an elephant like shooting a parked car. I mean, there's no sport in it either.
KEILAR: But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service argues the move would actually help the elephants in the countries. Saying in a statement, legal, well-regulated sport hunting is part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation. The Fish and Wildlife Service is overseen by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke who is champion by Donald Trump Jr., himself an avid big game hunter. And in March, Donald, Jr. helped install his hunting buddy Jason Hairston as the liaison at the interior department between sportsman groups and the administration.
[02:50:01] These pictures from a 2011 hunting trip in Zimbabwe show Donald Jr. and Eric Trump posing with their kills including an elephant. Trump Jr. holding it severed tail. The photos sparked controversy when they were initially released before Donald Trump ran for the White House.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody tells me what they did in the world of hunting is fine but I'm not a fan.
DONALD TRUMP, JR., PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S SON: In Africa and people who haven't been there don't see it like, you know, over there, an elephant will feed villages for weeks and it all gets used, nothing gets wasted in Africa. And beyond that, all of that money goes to fund the anti-poaching leagues that prevent the people from going in and doing damage.
D. TRUMP: Say a few words.
KEILAR: On his father's presidential campaign, Trump, Jr. spearheaded gun rights outreach.
D. TRUMP, JR.: If I can get some kid off a couch, get them away from a video game, learning the disciplines of a shooting a rifle. Take them into the woods on a hunt, teach them how to cast the fly rod, if I can get them out there and do that and make sure that we can perpetuate for this -- for the next generation, I'm really happy to do.
KEILAR: His so-called second amendment coalition on the campaign included the head lobbyist for the NRA and also Paul Babaz, now the head of Safari Club International, the main champion of the elephant ban reversal. The move is questionable considering elephant populations in the African savannah plummeted 30 percent from 2007 to 2014, according the Great Elephant Census.
In some places, it has dropped more than 75 percent due to ivory poaching. Only about 350,000 remain from the estimated 20 million that roam the region before Africa was colonized by European countries. In 2014, the U.S. government specifically banned the import of elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe. Two popular destinations for big-game hunts because the Obama administration said, their governments were failing to protect the endangered animals. As far as Zimbabwe goes, it's also a bizarre time to do this with the country in upheaval. The military just took over the government there and the Trump administration is arguing that the government in Zimbabwe is in a position to assure hunting and conservations efforts are well-governed.
SESAY: Hmm. Thanks to Brianna Keilar there. Well, the controversial Keystone Pipeline is shut down after nearly 800 kilometers of oil leaked in the U.S. based off of South Dakota. That equaled about 500 barrels, the pipeline's operator TransCanada is investigating. Their spokesman says, there are no initial reports of water systems or wildlife being affected but this comes day before Nebraska officials decide on whether to extend the pipeline. In March, the Trump administration approved the Keystone XL project despite furious opposition from environmentalists.
VAUSE: They said it wasn't going to leak. They said there wouldn't be a problem, weren't they -- OK.
SESAY: Yes. We'll then take a break. Next, on CNN NEWSROOM, the U.S. President did many things, decider-in-chief, commander-in-chief, and an (INAUDIBLE) the selector-in-chief. We'll tell you what exactly that entail, next.
SESAY: It's a time on political out form doing whatever it takes of where the questions he just don't want to answer.
VAUSE: The U.S. President has developed a smile and wave technique while absolutely run in both trouble and the hard questions. It's called the art of ignoring. Here's Jeanne Moos.
[02:54:58] JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The art of ignoring. Translation don't ask, President Trump was mute when it came to Judge Roy Moore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should Roy Moore resign, Mr. President? Do you believe his accusers?
MOOS: With a wave.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Roy Moore drop out, sir?
MOOS: With thumbs up, the president thumbed his nose at the questions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe the accusers of Roy Moore, Mr. President?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Roy Moore drop out, sir?
MOOS: Why has the president dropped out of the answering?
MICHAEL GRAHAM, COLUMNIST, THE BOSTON HERALD: Look, for anyone who doesn't know why Donald Trump is reluctant to talk about Roy Moore's allegations, I have an access Hollywood tape I'd like to sell here.
MOOS: But at least the president hasn't actually run when it comes to getting answers, running down a stairwell doesn't bode well. Nothing else, Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks got a workout.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
STEPHEN COLBERT, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: Running away from your problems in a downward spiral, I think we've got a new Republican metaphor.
MOOS: The subject were sure conversation killer for Republican leaders when the story first broke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe those women who have on the record accusations against Roy Moore, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, folks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can they see me if I don't move?
MOOS: Of course, all politicians dodge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Couple questions on two critical issues that you were discussing today --
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you --
MOOS: At least President Trump hasn't resorted to Ronald Reagan's tactic of blaming his ears.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know who.
MOOS: Hear no evil, speak no evil. When it comes to Judge Moore, apparently less is more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should he resign?
MOOS: Jeannie Moos, CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should Roy Moore drop out, sir?
SESAY: He's got it down. If a train is late, an apology can help sue the frustration and make up for the trouble.
VAUSE: Ah, but there are reports that a rail company in Japan took that to a whole new level that puts the formal apology because of the severe inconvenience of a train which left the station -- how late? Let me guess what -- well, you can see it -- 20 seconds, it's like 20 seconds early. Of course, Japan is known for being polite, for being very precise, for being punctual. But in this case, no one missed the train, no one even complained about the -- you can call it an early departure.
SESAY: Yes. Well, people around the world have used and a little bit envious.
VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) asked apparently people in Japan, they -- well, they time their watches to the train schedule.
SESAY: I'm going to check that.
VAUSE: Yes, I know. I don't trust the guy.
SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live in Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Follow us on Twitter @CNNNewsroomLA for highlights and clips of the show. The news continues with Cyril Vanier.