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Is This A Tipping Point For Sexual Harassment On Capitol Hill?; Beyond The Call Of Duty; Summers: GOP Tax Plan Makes Middle-Class Poorer; President Trump Mum On Moore. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired November 17, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:05] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEEANN TWEEDEN, ACCUSES SEN. AL FRANKEN OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: I've been angry about it, Jake, for over 10 years. If he did this to somebody else, or somebody else has been sexually assaulted, or if they've been, you know, abused in any way, that maybe somebody else can come out in real time because they find strength in numbers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: That's radio host Leeann Tweeden coming forward about Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissing her without her consent while on a USO tour in 2006.
So what do women on Capitol Hill think about this latest controversy?
Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Debbie Dingell. Congresswoman, good morning.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI), MEMBER, HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE: Good morning, Alisyn. Good to see you.
CAMEROTA: Great to have you on to get your perspective on all of this.
So what do you think should happen to Sen. Franken?
DINGELL: You know, a lot of people are talking about what's happening in this country and this is a watershed moment. I don't know if it's a watershed moment or not. What's been going on has been going on.
If you're -- I'm not old, but I'm seasoned. There isn't a woman of my generation -- I was one of the first to work for an auto company. Have been around Capitol Hill in different roles over the years.
It was a fact of life. It was Republicans, it was Democrats. People knew who to avoid. You tried to watch out for each other.
But if you said anything, you were the troublemaker. You were the person that would pay the price.
Right now, we need -- both the House and the Senate have now said we're going to have mandatory sexual harassment training. There are clearly outrageous situations where people have been violated and we've got to figure out how we're going to deal with those.
We've got to -- I don't know if there are more stories. I don't have all of the facts.
I think we've got to be careful to make sure that people are not guilty until proven innocent, and that you are innocent until proven guilty.
But there's a lot of -- it's not just in Capitol Hill, though. It --
CAMEROTA: No, my goodness. I mean, listen, we've been covering it. It's Hollywood, it's the media, it's Silicon Valley, it's Wall Street.
But, I mean, in terms of innocent until proven guilty, do you apply that same standard to Roy Moore?
DINGELL: Well, for me, when I see -- and I'm not saying that Al Franken doesn't need to pay the price. I want to be very clear of that.
CAMEROTA: But what is that price? Just to be clear, what is the price?
DINGELL: I think that if we see more -- I think it's their -- in my -- well, first, I don't think that any of the stories that I could tell or a lot of the people could tell are OK.
I think teenage girls is something that I find disgusting and I just -- I can't tell you what that does to me. I think --
CAMEROTA: So that puts it in a different category for you.
DINGELL: That puts it in a very different category for me. But there are a lot of men up on Capitol Hill, there are a lot of men throughout the country that have been inappropriate in their jokes and hopefully, you're going to start and stop thinking about it.
But then there are people like -- my first job -- my first -- I had never met John Dingell.
I was stalked. I had a man who was my supervisor who found out about my father, who I've only talked about in the last year or two, tried to blackmail me. Tried to do everything he could.
Other people knew about it and I was told look, 14th floor, which was Executive floor, likes him. Deal with it or leave.
That's not OK. That is simply not OK. None of these things are OK.
CAMEROTA: And -- but tell me -- tell me more about that. I mean, since you have been in politics for a long time what is your 'me too' story?
DINGELL: I have too many of them.
I mean, you know, when I was -- there was a senator who -- I was married but I didn't want my husband to know because I was afraid he might kill him. Everybody at my office knew and the minute we were at a social setting somebody would move in to protect me so I'd never be alone.
And everybody --
CAMEROTA: Because he was -- because he was aggressive towards you and not --
DINGELL: He would be aggressive not only towards me, everybody on Capitol Hill knew it. I just happened to be one of his people.
I have -- I was with a very prominent and historical person and I'm not going to name who this person is because -- and that's part of the problem. A lot of women don't have the courage because even though they've got the 'me too' story there are consequences.
And we have to get to a point -- let this be a watershed moment in changing the culture and men understanding it's not OK because the face of the matter is -- look, I'm a United States Congresswoman and I've been around and I've got -- I'm a lot -- I'm luckier than 99 percent of the women.
For too many women those 'me too' stories are going to have consequences. Economic, if you're a waitress --
DINGELL: -- or you're on a factory floor or you're in a small business and you target the small business. Where is their job? But I would still pay a price if I were to name some of them.
I was lucky the night it happened -- very -- I didn't know what to do. I was in a first-year marriage so it tells you how long ago it was. Historical figure, hand kept going up the leg, I took it off. A woman member was at my table, recognized what was happening, and said switch places.
You know, we watch out for each other. That's the other thing we've got to do.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Well --
DINGELL: But we've got to change -- people need to speak up.
DINGELL: Men and women speak up and say it's not OK.
[07:35:00] CAMEROTA: That is happening. I mean, I -- look, I hear it --
DINGELL: Not enough.
CAMEROTA: -- I feel it -- sure. But let me ask you about that because, as you know, now that the curtain has been peeled back about what's happening on Capitol Hill -- as you know, some of your colleagues, Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Barbara Comstock -- they have come forward to talk about two sitting lawmakers, OK, still in Congress right now functioning who have engaged in sexual harassment and lewd behavior, but they haven't named those lawmakers.
And I'm just wondering, Congresswoman, in the interest of sunlight, in the interest of what you're talking about, should those sitting male lawmakers be named?
DINGELL: Well, I don't know who they're talking about, you know. I've heard rumors for a long time.
I want to -- I want to give you a different side of it, which is we have to protect those that -- and one of my colleagues says we can't call them victims. We need to call them the survivors.
And we need to -- but women are still going to play the consequences. That's what I want to figure out. How do we protect the survivor so that in the end they're not labeled a troublemaker? You know, it sounds great for the moment but are they going to be able to get the next job?
DINGELL: If you're in a law firm are you going to get promoted to partner? If you're at a hospital is it going to hurt your getting ahead?
There are consequences still --
DINGELL: -- and we've got to figure out how we're going to make sure that women don't -- there's a young woman -- this is different but the same.
Go to Title IX for a minute. A high school student in Lansing who was raped and spoke out.
School (INAUDIBLE). She could never return to school. She was ostracized.
DINGELL: What I'm trying to do is to say is I love the 'me too' movement and if you're a member of Congress or you're in the media or you're in Hollywood, we're a lot luckier than most women across this country.
CAMEROTA: Well, this is my point. Exactly, Congresswoman, exactly.
You are in a position of power. You are a powerful woman in this country. If you can't name the person who did it to you, why not? Hasn't the tide turned?
DINGELL: No, and I've said that to my colleagues. I don't think it's the watershed moment that so many people think it is because I still think that for too many there are consequences in naming who the person is. And what we have to do is change the culture and that we have to have everybody speak up.
And, do the mandatory sexual harassment training --
DINGELL: -- so people understand what's acceptable and what's not.
DINGELL: And how do you make pendulum -- people were afraid to hug each other goodbye for Thanksgiving.
DINGELL: And, you know, the pendulum --
CAMEROTA: Well, look, obviously, there's a possibility of an overcorrection but that's OK. We're due for a correction.
DINGELL: Yes, we are.
CAMEROTA: But if this isn't the watershed moment, what are you waiting for? What would a watershed moment look like to you?
DINGELL: A watershed moment is going to be the time when that tip waitress that works back in my district is going to be able to step up and say something's wrong and not be afraid of losing her job or not having an income to support her family.
DINGELL: When somebody who works at a small business and the owner of it is totally inappropriate has a -- can really go do something about it and not be afraid she'll lose her job and never be able --
DINGELL: -- to get another job. That's real.
CAMEROTA: One last question.
About this $17 million in settlements that we have now learned of in just the past week, since the 1990s, why haven't -- why aren't the guilty -- why is this taxpayer money? Why wasn't the guilty -- the guilty paying out of their own pockets and who authorized those payments?
DINGELL: So I learned about it at the same time as you did. We were all trying to get more information. I think the House Administration Committee is getting more information about it. I think that there was further clarification that it wasn't all --
CAMEROTA: It's not all sexual harassment but still, it's still shouted.
DINGELL: -- sexual harassment. I want to know what the money is and why it's being -- and why -- I think we all need to see the sunshine and the transparency on that.
CAMEROTA: So, Congress is working to reveal that to all of us.
DINGELL: I am -- I'm told that people are trying to get the facts on that. I think there needs to be more transparency in all of this.
You know, you get all these claims -- I mean, I'm aware of other things where there have been sexual harassment claims and people settle, and there are confidentiality agreements in them. Is that the fair thing to do? Is that the right thing to do?
DINGELL: Do people have a right to know --
DINGELL: -- that, you know --
And, by the way, there's another side to it. Some women are -- have filed inappropriate claims and you're not allowed to say to other people about that either.
CAMEROTA: I know.
DINGELL: How do you have a -- you know, it's a complicated subject.
CAMEROTA: It is.
DINGELL: But you and I are both angry because you and I have both had it and we both have had our 'me too' moments.
CAMEROTA: I appreciate that, Congresswoman, but I also think that it's just -- this is the conversation. This is the moment where we shed some light on it, we talk about it, and then hopefully, we can figure out some of these complications.
But we really appreciate you coming on and weighing in on what's going on on Capitol Hill. Thanks so much --
DINGELL: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: -- for being here -- John.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I've got to say, anyone who thinks there's easy answers to this whole discussion should watch that interview right there. Fantastic, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Thank you.
BERMAN: All right. There's an oil leak in the Keystone Pipeline and it's the largest one yet. How could this affect the project's future? We'll have the latest, next.
[07:44:15] BERMAN: The Keystone Pipeline is suffering its largest spill to date. The pipeline's owner, TransCanada, says 210,000 gallons of oil leaked Thursday about three miles from the town of Amherst -- that's in South Dakota.
The leak comes just days before officials in Nebraska announced whether the Keystone Pipeline, a sister project, can move ahead.
Environmental officials say there are no signs of spilled oil affecting waterways, water systems, or wildlife.
CAMEROTA: New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez' federal corruption case may have ended in a mistrial but he is not in the clear. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calls for an ethics investigation into Menendez right after the jury declared it was hopelessly deadlocked.
Menendez faced conspiracy, bribery, and fraud charges. Prosecutors did not immediately say whether they plan to refile those charges.
[07:45:03] BERMAN: A Philadelphia police officer not only helps catch suspects with his sketches, his drawings also help grieving officers' families.
CNN's Polo Sandoval has more in "Beyond the Call of Duty."
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's a crammed crate of space in the basement of Philadelphia's police department. It's where Officer Jonny Castro stays busy with one of the oldest forms of crime solving, forensic art.
JONNY CASTRO, POLICE OFFICER, FORENSIC ARTIST, PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT: I've always been good at drawing. My dad taught me a lot with portrait work.
SANDOVAL: The job of this retired military police officer is to draw what a crime witness or victim can recall.
CASTRO: I start with the eyes and kind of just do a light sketching of it.
SANDOVAL: He then comes up with a sketch of the suspect.
Castro says when there's no evidence or photographic clues in a case, his pencil and paper are a detective's last resort.
But a year and a half ago this patrolman took on a new, more solemn duty, sketching the faces of the fallen. Castro uses a digital paintbrush and tablet on his spare time to capture an officer's bravery.
CASTRO: It's a canine officer from Louisiana, a police officer from Europe.
SANDOVAL: He likes to include honors that some officers didn't even get a chance to wear.
CASTRO: He was posthumously promoted to a sergeant so he never had any photos as a sergeant, so I put him in a sergeant's uniform.
SANDOVAL: That kind of attention to detail can go a long way for the loved ones of an officer.
CASTRO: The main thing I'm concerned about is just making sure I'm drawing this person the way people that knew him remember him.
SANDOVAL: His 104th sketch goes to Joel Davis' family. The New York state trooper was killed in the line of duty in July.
CASTRO: I want to make sure that if his son or daughter sees it they're seeing their father.
SANDOVAL: After Trooper Davis' portraits have been trimmed, signed, and shipped, a copy will be added to the Wall of Heroes. That's Castro's personal memorial that continues to grow.
CASTRO: Even when I start working on one, you know, you'll still get the notification that another was killed somewhere else.
SANDOVAL: The biggest challenge for Castro is keeping up, sketching two or three officers a week.
CASTRO: Unfortunately, it's -- there's always going to be an officer to do.
SANDOVAL: That's the sad reality. Castro will always have an inspiration for his next piece.
Polo Sandoval, CNN, Philadelphia.
BERMAN: What an important, heartfelt memory. All right, thanks to Polo.
So, what does former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers think about the Republican tax plan? Why he calls it a serious policy error. That's next.
[07:52:04] BERMAN: Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers pulling no punches when it comes to the Republican tax overhaul plan. He says it will cost the middle-class.
CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel sat down with Summers and joins us now. Hey, Jamie.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
He's always outspoken so he was no exception today. He says it's irresponsible. He says he would have resigned if he had been in Trump's cabinet after the Charlottesville thing.
But we started by asking him what he thought about Senate Republicans trying to repeal the Obamacare mandate.
LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: Jamie, this is madness. It is madness to spend $300 billion taking health insurance away from more than 10 million Americans in order to finance tax cuts for the top one percent of Americans. What values are served by doing that?
I think this plan will bloat our deficit, favor the most affluent, and mortgage our future. It's a serious policy error.
GANGEL: The Trump administration is still saying it could give middle-Americans a salary increase of $4,000 to $9,000.
SUMMERS: It's a nonsense claim. Yes, there may be some stimulus to investment and yes, that may have some impact on wages. But no serious expert who looks at the actual plans under discussion has or will support the $4,000 to $9,000 claim.
GANGEL: You have taken on Treasury Secretary Mnuchin recently. You've said the administration's claims about the tax plan were quote "dishonest, incompetent, and absurd."
Did you go too far? Has it gotten too personal?
SUMMERS: No, no. I said that with respect to his specific claim that the tax plan would pay for itself. There is no serious economist nor any reading of the experience to support his claim that the tax bill will pay for itself. I've been doing this for a lot of years and I've never said anything like that about any public official before.
The specific claim that the Treasury secretary has made repeatedly that the tax bill will pay for itself by spurring economic growth -- I respect the office enormously so it pains me to say it -- is nonsense.
GANGEL: It's nonsense.
GANGEL: Why do you think he's saying it?
SUMMERS: You'll have to ask him why he's saying it.
I imagine that it is not easy to have Donald Trump as a boss.
I have been very --
GANGLE: You --
SUMMERS: -- surprised and disturbed that there have not been principled resignations from the Trump administration. I don't know how some of these people face their children.
[07:55:02] GANGEL: You would have resigned?
SUMMERS: I would have resigned, absolutely.
GANGEL: As a professor, overall grade you'd give him?
SUMMERS: Anybody at the end of their first year gets an incomplete.
CAMEROTA: OK, blunt talk there. So, but who does he think should have resigned?
GANGEL: So, he didn't name names but he did carve it out.
He said that he thinks the National Security folks should have stayed in place. That he has respect for them -- they're important people.
He did say I think some people in the economic side should have. So who was standing next to Donald Trump at Trump Tower that day --
CAMEROTA: After Charlottesville.
GANGEL: -- after Charlottesville -- Gary Cohn and Sec. Mnuchin. So I think that's what he was talking about.
BERMAN: He doesn't seem to have a lot of respect for Sec. Mnuchin, plain and simple.
GANGEL: You know, he -- Treasury secretaries don't criticize each other normally. This is -- on policy -- he says it's just not fair.
CAMEROTA: Jamie, thank you --
GANGEL: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: -- very much for sharing that interview with us.
OK. Meanwhile, President Trump has yet to make any major comments on the scandal surrounding Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
CNN's Jeanne Moos explains why it's been all Q, no A.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, how was your meeting?
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The art of ignoring.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much. MOOS: 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: Should Roy Moore drop out, sir?
MOOS: -- with a thumbs up, the president thumbed his nose at the questions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe the accusers of Roy Moore, Mr. President?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should Roy Moore drop out, sir?
MOOS: Why has the president dropped out of answering?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 you.
MOOS (on camera): But at least the president hasn't actually run. When it comes to getting answers, running down a stairwell doesn't bode well.
MOOS (voice-over): If nothing else, Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks got a good workout.
TOM LLAMAS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Do you believe Roy Moore over the women?
REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: I believe that the Democrats will do great damage to our country on a myriad of issues.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Running away from your problems in a downward spiral. I think we've got a new Republican metaphor.
MOOS: The subject was sure a conversation killer for Republican leaders when the story first broke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe these women who have made on-the- record accusations against Roy Moore, sir?
SAMANTHA BEE, HOST, TBS "FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE": Can they see me if I don't move?
MOOS: Of course, all politicians dodge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple of questions on two critical issues that you were discussing today.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much.
MOOS: At least President Trump hasn't resorted to Ronald Reagan's tactic of blaming his ears.
RONALD REAGAN FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know.
MOOS: Hear no evil, speak no evil. When it comes to Judge Moore apparently, less is more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should he resign?
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should Roy Moore drop out, sir? Should Roy Moore drop out, sir?
MOOS: -- New York.
CAMEROTA: All right. We're following a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TWEEDEN: He just mashes his mouth to my lips and puts his tongue in my mouth. I was so angry.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: This kind of conduct is totally unacceptable and I think Al Franken's apology recognizes this.
CAMEROTA: President Trump attacking Sen. Franken but remaining silent about accusations against Roy Moore.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president believes this is a decision for the people of Alabama to make.
ROY MOORE (R), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: This is an effort by Mitch McConnell and his cronies to steal this election from the people of Alabama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The allegations of those women are much more credible than the denials that he's made.
TWEEDEN: The tide is turning. People are more aware of it now and I think people are not as afraid to speak up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your new day. It is Friday, November 17th, 8:00 in the east.
Chris is off. John Berman joins me.
Quite a conversation we've been having already.
BERMAN: Oh, yes, indeed.
CAMEROTA: Let's continue it right now.
This morning, sex assaults and harassment scandals rocking Washington and President Trump is commenting on one, but not another.
President Trump blasting Sen. Al Franken in a series of tweets after a news anchor came forward saying that Franken had groped and forcibly kissed her. The president slamming Franken's behavior despite the fact that more than a dozen women have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct.
BERMAN: And while President Trump is commenting on Sen. Franken, he won't say anything about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore who is accused of sexually molesting a girl when she was 14. The president refuses to say whether he thinks that Moore should be a senator.
We want to begin with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux live on Capitol Hill -- Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.
It was absolutely chaotic when news broke about the allegations against Al Franken yesterday. People scrambling, trying to figure out what was going on. We have now two parties embroiled in allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and abuse.
And sources say President Trump has been reticent to speak out against Republican Roy Moore about his own troubles and allegations because of the topic, if you will, around the own allegations of the president himself.