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Senate Candidate & Senator Face Sexual Misconduct Allegations; Hillary Clinton Responds on Bill Clinton's Indiscretions in Lewinsky Era; House Pass Tax Reform Bill, Senate Fight Expected. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired November 18, 2017 - 17:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for being here. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. We start off with the Russia investigation now drilling down on the president's inner circle including his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

A source now tells CNN Kushner told Russia investigators in Congress that he did not recall any contact with Wikileaks during the campaign, but now senators on the Judiciary Committee say Kushner did in fact receive an e-mail about Wikileaks.

He passed it on to a campaign official. This new revelation could lead to Kushner now coming back into testify again.

Let's bring in on CNN crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz. Shimon, what are Kushner's lawyers saying about this?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: Well, you know, their feeling is that the committee is being a little cute here. His attorney, Kushner's attorney, Abbie Lowell, said that the committee had asked a classic gotcha question and then he said that Mr. Kushner was asked if he had contacts with Wikileaks and he said no.

He went on to tell us that he did not know of such contacts, also that he did not know of any contacts by the campaign. And from all that he has seen, his statement when he testified to the committee was accurate then as it is now, what his lawyer said.

CABRERA: So Kushner's team claim this is was gotcha question because this was a forwarded e-mail?

PROKUPECZ: Yes, that's exactly correct, Ana. And the distinction here, his lawyer says he never actually communicated with Wikileaks, so he complied with what the committee has asked him.

He gave them information based on whatever contacts he may have had, you know, and so it's a little bit perhaps maybe tricky here because the committee says that they have asked him for information of any contacts or if he knew of any contacts that someone on the campaign may have been having.

And as you know, it was Donald Trump Jr. who was direct tweeting with Wikileaks information about that contact back when it happened, was forwarded in an e-mail to =Kushner. And the committee is saying that they have that e-mail from someone else, but didn't receive it from Kushner. And they are concerned that he hasn't turned everything over to them.

CABRERA: Let's me ask you about something else because perhaps the most unlikely person to be involved in this whole investigation could have a revealing impact. Rob Goldstone, the PR man behind that Russian meeting that Trump Jr. and Kushner both attended, he apparently will talk to Mueller.

PROKUPECZ: Yes, so he is now overseas and we expect him to come back to the U.S. at some point. Now, he is a figure in the Trump Tower meeting that is now part of the specific counsel, part of Mueller's probe. And he's a PR man.

He's a public relations guy who has some Russia connected. He is connected to some Russian people. And he was part of the team that set up that meeting with Don Jr. at Trump Tower during the campaign back in June 2016 where a Russian lawyer offered so-called dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Now, that meeting was attended by Kushner, Manafort and Don Jr. The response by the White House official when it finally came to light that this meeting happened and the "New York Times" was starting to report on it, there was some misleading statements that were issued.

And now that misleading statement, there was a meeting aboard Air Force One when that story was coming out, all of that is now part of the Mueller investigation.

CABRERA: All right. Shimon Prokupecz, so many new angels. Thank you. A lot of news to talk about with my panel. Joining us, CNN global affairs analyst, Kimberly Dozier, CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson and on the phone with us, CNN national security analyst, Juliet Kayyem.

So, Joey, let me ask you about Goldstone. He's not getting a subpoena. He's not even in the U.S., so what compels him to testify?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, listen, they have asked him to testify and apparently, he's agreed to testify as part of the longstanding investigation. And so, subpoena is one tool obviously to compel them to appear, but another tool is if they voluntarily do appear and we know people do.

[17:05:11] Goldstone apparently is and Jared Kushner, right, remember, let's remind the viewers that Jared Kushner and what we're talking about stems from his voluntary appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

And as a result of that, of course, they are saying, hey, you may have misrepresented something. And I just want to clarify a bit on that, people say well, you're not under oath. It's no matter.

In the event that they can establish, and they are a long way from establishing that, but if you establish a knowing and willful misrepresentation, then you run a (inaudible) of the law and you get yourself punished by five years.

CABRERA: Now let's remember there are multiple committees -- he testified before the two intelligence committees, the House and the Senate Intelligence Committee. This new request, this submission of documents is coming from the Judiciary Committee in the Senate. And is that an important distinction because he hasn't actually testified before them, and so they can't say he lied to them?

JACKSON: Well, no, it's not to the extent that if you testify before anyone, if you testify before Congress at all, right, you have an obligation to otherwise tell the truth. And in the event that you don't do that, it becomes problematic.

And that is the other problem with these investigations, Ana. You know, the end game of course is collusion and we know it's not a legal term, but sort of it because if you look at it, it's attached to conspiracy, was there an intention to otherwise influence an election?

It's attach to fraud campaign violations, but the issue becomes, right, what else are the investigators going to uncover as a result of that, but while they are doing all this investigating, you have the Papadopoulos issue where it's not the collusion that gets you, it's the lie that gets you.

Remember, he pled guilty to that. So, Jared Kushner obviously is under fire for the same thing, but let's be fair and let's remember his defense, hey, I was handling a lot of things, I was a person in charge of foreign affairs, I was dealing with dignitaries.

CABRERA: He's new to government and he says that they actually aren't misled investigators, that congressional investigators weren't specific enough what they were asking for when it comes to like the documents, for example. Juliette, though, in your view, should Jared Kushner should have security clearance?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST (via telephone): Well, remember, he does -- actually he does not have formal security clearance.

CABRERA: Temporary clearance.

KAYYEM: Yes. So, most people -- I've gone through the process and this is a very longtime frame to have someone so senior have to wait. So, something clearly going on with his security clearance review, which is yet again another process of review for Jared Kushner.

So, we don't know what they are discovering. But at this stage, you know, I have to be honest with you, this sort of I don't recalls, I don't remember, failed to disclose, at some stage when you have a dozen of them, I think it is legitimate for people to wonder whether he is in fact just lying that the stage.

I mean, if this were one time or two times -- we're now hitting, you know -- remember Jared started this with there was no interaction between the Trump campaign and the Russians. And there was no interaction between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks. And now we have, you know, sort of evidence that there was in fact specific information that Jared Kushner knew between -- knew contacts between Wikileaks and the Trump administration. And just to remind people, I think the collusion in some ways is already proved.

In other words, if you look at Donald Trump Jr. talking with Wikileaks, Wikileaks an agent of a foreign power telling him to tell his father to tweet something and 15 minutes later Donald Trump tweets it, you actually have some -- you have proof of interactions.

So, we keep waiting for a shoe to drop, and those of us looking at it from afar are like there are a lot of shoes dropping at this stage.

CABRERA: OK. So, Kimberly, Kushner's lawyer says he has been fully cooperative. As Juliette points out, there seems to be information that has turned up after the fact that wasn't disclosed in his initial testimony. But I mean, then it gets into what was the actual question he was asked and how did he respond, the specific wording. How do you see it in terms of whether he's been cooperative or misleading?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, of course, from his standpoint, he is giving as much as he has to give over, but they will always hold something back because every White House does. There are always conversations that once revealed can be seen from a number of different angles.

But the fact that the Mueller team is homing in on that Trump Tower meeting that the White House is trying to say was not collusion, well, they are taking it seriously and also the fact that they are going to be calling Hope Hicks in to interview her.

She is the person who has been at the center of a number of these things. She's had a front row seat to both the campaign, but also the Trump organization since 2012.

[17:10:09] So what we're going to have with Hope Hicks on the stand is a chance for the Mueller team to take all of this information, all of these statements that they have been told, some of which she will be prepared for to back up.

But they must have something through all their investigation that she won't be prepared for. She is the person who has been within the White House tempering Donald Trump, she is the one who he trusts, who can often rein in some of his worst instincts and she's used to watching his back.

She will be in a situation where she will have to either answer the question truthfully or protect him and hope that they don't have something that she's not aware of.

CABRERA: Joey, having Hope Hicks testify before the Mueller investigative team, what does that tell you about where they are at in the investigation?

JACKSON: Well, it tells you that they are digging in deep, right, and they have gotten to certainly a very important person being that communication person who should know what is going on.

I don't want to jump to any conclusions about it, but whenever you investigate these cases and you speak to investigators, you don't know what they know. You don't know what documents they have reviewed, what information they have gotten from other people, what stories they have been told.

And so again, even if they don't get to the ultimate issue of collusion, maybe they will, maybe they won't, you run a foul of making a misrepresentation in and of itself can cause you great grief and criminality and that pose a problem.

CABRERA: I want you guys to listen to what former CIA director, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told me. Watch.


LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: There are a lot of dossier, a lot of indications that various people did a lot of meetings here. I think there is something like 30 contacts with the Russians that took place by individuals involved in the campaign. But I don't know whether those dots can really be connected.

And I think that is going to be the judgment that Bob Mueller is going to have to makes a special counsel is whether or not you can connect those dots and really prove that some kind of conspiracy took place.


CABRERA: Juliette, can you connect the dots?

KAYYEM: No. And I think what we're seeing now though is -- as I was saying earlier, the magnitude of the dots is -- let's put this way, is not good for the White House because we have to remind everyone where this began. This began with there was no contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

And then almost weekly sort of since the election, whether it involves the attorney general, the vice president, former national security adviser, a long line of people who are no longer at the White House, we've seen this steady drumbeat.

So, the way I think about it is it's a spectrum between benign and collusion. And the dots are getting, you know -- the line is moving toward collusion. We're not there yet. But the noise is getting louder.

And I think that is what people are sort of he is reflecting on when you see who is Mueller calling at this stage, what are the theories of the case. And eventually is there is a case to be prosecuted. So, as between no noise and a lot of noise, we are into the lot of noise stage right now.

CABRERA: And Kimberly, there is still no solid proof as far as we can point to that says Donald Trump as candidate or as president knew what was going on here, right? DOZIER: No proof. And if you talk to Russian officials about this, watching this they are a combination of annoyed and amused. Annoyed that it is keeping them from what they think could be very warm relations with this White House, and amused that this influence campaign that they don't admit to is undermining this White House and dividing the country.

CABRERA: All right. Kimberly Dozier, Juliette Kayyem, and Joey Jackson, our thanks to all of you.

A new accuser comes forward against U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama Roy Moore. You'll hear her story coming up and also today Moore faith leaders in Alabama speak out about the controversial candidate. We're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: The list of women who now say Alabama's Republican Senate candidate was sexually inappropriate to them is growing. Judge Roy Moore now stands accused by eight women, the allegations vary from inappropriate touching to sexual abuse to simply pursuing a relationship with them as teens when he was in his 30s.

The latest accuser is Tina Johnson, she told CNN's Erin Burnett about her uncomfortable and humiliating as she puts it encounter with Roy Moore in his office in 1991.


TINA JOHNSON, ACCUSES ROY MOORE OF TOUCHING HER IN 1991: The moment we walked in, it was full-on assault. I mean, he was very, very flirtatious. He was commenting constantly the whole time and it was not like for five minutes. It was like was there for a long period of time. It was so uncomfortable. I knew something was up, but I just ignored it, just what it was.

When it was time for us to leave, my mother had got up and left the room to go out the front door. Well, when she was going out the door and I proceed out, he grabbed me from behind on my buttocks and squeezed it really hard. I remember thinking, I'm so ashamed. I felt humiliated.


CABRERA: Even though there are now eight accusations of sexual harassment, assault or misconduct against Judge Roy Moore, his support among Republican voters in Alabama has not sagged in large part and the Republican governor of the state says she still plans to vote for him even though she has no reason to believe any of these accusers are lying.

[17:20:14] CNN Nick Valencia is in Gadsden, Alabama right now. And Nick, Roy Moore's wife spoke out yesterday saying her campaign is still on track. Moore himself says these accusations are politically motivated lies. What are you hearing from voters in Alabama?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kayla Moore is probably his strongest defender. But here let's make no mistake about it, Ana, he has a very, very strong base. We've spoken to voters throughout the last week here, some who have said that even if these allegations are true, they would still vote for Roy Moore over putting a Democrat in office.

Just speaks to how strong his support is here. We've seen women come out in defense of Roy Moore, about 30 or 40 women. Kayla Moore was part of that group. They said they personally new Judge Roy Moore and that accusations don't speak to the character of the man.

It's interesting to note usually in an instance like this, when a candidate is accused of something, the natural instinct is to blame the opposite party, but we're not hearing that. The campaign believes the GOP establishment is behind this.

The name Mitch McConnell has been brought up a lot. They pressured him to try to step down from his Senate majority leader spot. They also think the "Washington Post" paid these women to come forward. That is an allegation that has been denied by the "Washington Post" who broke this story, also denied by the women.

Roy Moore supporters still question the timing of these women coming forward saying it's rather suspicious that after nearly 40 years they would now accuse the candidate of in some cases sexual assault. The women said they wouldn't be believed if they would have come forward back then. A lot of people though are listening to them right now -- Ana.

CABRERA: And Nick, five days ago a group of Alabama religious leaders came out in support of Roy Moore. Today, we heard from a group of different religious leaders, ministers coming out with a very different message essentially condemning the accusations and Roy Moore. Who are these different religious groups on these different sides?

VALENCIA: That is a great question. Earlier in the week it was mostly people from Alabama, religious leaders from across the state. Admittedly there were some from New York that came in for that press conference where we heard Roy Moore speak for the first time in days that the point.

But today we heard a different tone from other religious leaders, principally William Barber from the NAACP, who is from North Carolina, he came down here to talk about the principles of Roy Moore saying he is dangerous for the state and that he is dangerous for the people of Alabama.


REVEREND WILLIAM BARBER, PRESIDENT, REPAIRERS OF THE BREACH: It is unlikely that any of Moore's accusers can definitely prove that he sexually assaulted them 30 years ago. A point the defiant former judge knows well. But even, and this is critical particularly for the media to hear, and where we have to stand as Christian ministers, even before these allegations made national headlines, it was clear that Moore's policy agenda endangered the children of Alabama.


VALENCIA: This allegation seemed to at least have affected Roy Moore in the polls. New Fox News poll this week shows that he is behind his Democratic challenger by 20 points among women, eight points overall.

But even still on it, it doesn't seem to translate to what we're seeing here on the ground. Roy Moore for his part defiant as ever showing no signs of withdrawing ahead of this December 12 vote -- Ana.

CABRERA: Nick Valencia, thank you. From Roy Moore to Senator Al Franken to Hollywood stars, the accusations of sexual misconduct are growing and they span decades.

In line of this, I sat down with Bill Clinton's chief of staff about -- ask him about he views the former president's legacy, how it might be tainted or impacted by the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. We'll hear from him live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.



CABRERA: Let's talk more about what is happening in Alabama. The Republican candidate for Senate denying a growing list of sexual misconduct allegations. A sitting U.S. senator now accused of forcibly kissing and groping a woman before his election to Congress.

And just yesterday, a U.S. senator, New York's Kristen Gillibrand told a reporter that she believes Bill Clinton's sex scandal should have cost him the presidency, that he should have resigned in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky affair. I asked as the man who served as President Clinton's chief of staff for his take.


LEON PANETTA, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF UNDER CLINTON: My own judgment with regards to President Clinton is that he more than paid the price for what he did. The fact that he went through an impeachment process as president of the United States, that the House of Representatives voted for Articles of Impeachment, the Senate did not.

But the mere fact that he went through an impeachment process as president means that there will always be a shadow on the legacy of his presidency. So at least from my point of view, I think he's more than paid the price.


CABRERA: I want to bring in "New York Times" contributing writer, Anushay Hossain. Anushay, Judge Roy Moore, Senator Al Franken, the accusations out of Hollywood, the entertainment industry. You know, some of these accusations are from decades ago. A lot of people are asking why now.

ANUSHAY HOSSAIN, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, "NEW YORK TIMES": I think the answer to that question why now is because we're clearly at what could be a really revolutionary moment in not only the women's rights movement in America, but all over the world. But I think that our focus is off. I don't think it should be about, you know what, Clinton should have resigned, or Trump is worse or Moore is worse. Guess what? This is sexual harassment and sexual assault with not partisan issues. Republicans and Democrats are equally capable. The issue right now, now, not talking about the Clinton years, is that we have a self-admitted sexual assaulter in the White House and we have Roy Moore an alleged child molester, and the GOP attempting to justify child abuse. And we have religious leaders coming out on the Republican side attempting to do the same. The question should be, can the Republicans ever recover from this.

CABRERA: I want you to hear what Hillary Clinton is saying. She, too, was asked about her husband's indiscretions during the Lewinsky era in light of all of this conversation that has been sparked with new allegations of sexual harassment and assault, really impacting people on Capitol Hill and in all walks of life. Listen to her.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE & FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over): This was a painful time not only in our marriage, but in our country, as I've written about. But it was investigated fully. It was addressed at the time. He was held accountable. That is very different than what people seem to be remembering from that period because you can go back and look at the history.


CABRERA: Hillary Clinton saying people are remembering that period incorrectly. I'm curious if you agree, and if you think Democrats have had a reckoning on what happened then.

HOSSAIN: You know, I think it's sexist of us to drag out on the wives and partners of the accused. We saw Roy Moore's wife come out yesterday in support of her husband, and Hillary Clinton in the '90s did that. But that is distracting from the allegations. The women are not being accused, it's their husbands. And I think often women are used as P.R. tools for their husbands. So really on both sides it's incredibly sexist. What we should be focusing on is the GOP -- I mean if we're really going to talk about is franken worse, Trump worse? They are all terrible. They should not be abusing women.

CABRERA: And it shouldn't be a -- it should have really no boundaries when it comes to -- no place in politics.

HOSSAIN: Exactly. It should not be a partisan issue.

CABRERA: But let me ask you about this angle because we've heard a lot of people say this is perhaps a watershed moment in our time when it comes to sexual harassment and how women are viewed. But Representative Debbie Dingell shared her moment and she said this is not a watershed moment and she said there are still too many women afraid of facing consequences for sharing their story and naming their accuser. How do you see this issue going forward? Do you think we'll see more women empowered to name their accusers in.

HOSSAIN: I hope so. But the question also is what kind of women. A lot of high profile women have come out and said maybe we're just listening because so much rich famous white women are speaking out. How is the situation different for women of color, for black women, for Latinos, for women who like me have had to deal with this for ever longer for, you know, without any consequence. I think what we should focus on is -- maybe it's not a watershed moment, but it's the beginning of some conversation where we say it's not ok. And we believe you. We believe you. Women have very little to gain when they come out and allege something like this, but I also want to say really quick, if we're serious about confronting rape culture, and I just wrote about this, we as a nation cannot take this issue on if we don't address the big fat orange elephant in the room, the president, Donald J. Trump.


CABRERA: Anushay Hossain, that definitely opened up the conversation more going in that direction.

Thank you very much --

HOSSAIN: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: -- for your perspective. We appreciate it.

HOSSAIN: Thank you.

CABRERA: Leaders say cutting corporate taxes will mean more money for the workers as well. We want to talk about your money and how it will be impacted by the Republican tax plan. There are some CEOs who say could they get the benefit of having more money in their pockets. They were asked what they would do with that, if it will be trickle down. You'll see the awkward moment when we come back.

But first, Anthony Bourdain is in Seattle for this week's "PARTS UNKNOWN." He explores the city's tech industry and the food scene that is popping up with it.


[17:35:19] ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, PARTS UNKNOWN: Ah. Seattle. If you're looking for a dump site, to dispose of the recently killed victim of your serial killing spree, this would be the perfect environment.

UNIDENTIFID MALE: Literally, you can hide bodies like a short drive from wherever you are.

BOURDAIN: In fact, it has been favored by serial killers throughout the ages. Also, chefs. Wow. That is really good.

And musicians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were hundreds of thousands of bands here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that you have us on the show made me realize that you've run out of things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the landscape that inspired Kurt Cobain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Woo. Check that out.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have no idea how much that cost to arrange.






CABRERA: Follow Anthony Bourdain through Seattle, tomorrow at 9:00 eastern, on CNN, "PARTS UNKNOWN."


[17:41:02] CABRERA: Get ready for a Senate showdown on tax reform. Senators are poised to debate the GOP tax bill after they return from Thanksgiving break. The House passed its tax bill this week with just 13 Republicans opposing it. The fight in the Senate though is expected to be much tougher.

CNN's Brianna Keilar reports on what is next.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republicans are hard at work trying to overhaul the tax system.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're working to give the American people a giant tax cut for Christmas.

KEILAR: And it has a giant price tag. $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Even as Republicans argue questionably that economic growth will help cancel the big addition to the debt, it's a costly plan for Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan, who have built their brand on fiscal conservativism.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We face a crushing burden of debt, which will take down our economy.

KEILAR: That was in 2011 when Ryan was House budget chairman. In 2013, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the debt and deficit --

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The transcendent issue of our era. Until we fix that problem, we can't fix America.

KEILAR: But now Republicans are championing a plan that many deficit hawks say is anything but fiscally responsible. The tax plan's $1.5 trillion price tag is a low-ball figure. It's the price tag they need to come under in order to use special Senate rules requiring them to need only 51 votes.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscally conservative advocacy group, puts the real cost at $2.2 trillion.

MAYA MACGUINEAS, PRESIDENT, COMMITTEE FOR A RESPONSIBLE FEDERAL BUDGET: There are a lot of gimmicks they are slipping into make the costs look less.

KEILAR: Here is one major gimmick. While the corporate tax cuts would be permanent, the tax cuts for American taxpayers would expire after 10 years, on paper anyway, even though it's expected Congress would just make the cuts permanent. That fishy math allows Republicans to claim a smaller price tag.

MACGUINEAS: On the one hand, they are saying sure there are all these expiring tax break, but we fully intend to extend them, and you won't have to worry about your taxes going up. And on the other hand, they are saying, don't worry the cost of the bill, sure, $1.5 trillion which everyone should worry about, but we're not going beyond that limit, when really they are.

KEILAR: Some Republicans say they are not quite as committed to this charade that the bill won't add more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit, such as retiring Senator Bob Corker.

SEN. BOB CORKER, (R), TENNESSEE: If I believe it will add to the deficit, I'm not going to vote for it.

KEILAR: Critics say it will add significantly to the deficit, just as the Bush tax cuts did, exactly what Republicans warned against in the past.

RYAN: It is unconscionable to leave the next generation with a crushing burden of debt and a nation in decline. Washington's obsession with the next election has come at the expense of the next generation.

KEILAR (on camera): There is also a dubious promise that the White House is making about the tax overhaul. The Congressional liaison for the White House, Mark Short, saying that every income bracket will see a decrease in taxes and every working family will see a decrease. That is not fully true. Independent analysis shows that American families earning less than $75,000 a year are, over time, going to pay more in taxes.

Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.


CABRERA: Let's talk more about the GOP tax plan and its potential impact on middle class Americans with Stephen Moore, Heritage Foundation Fellow and former Trump economic adviser, joining us now.

Thank you, Stephen, for being with us.


CABRERA: I want to read you part of a letter from an Ohio woman. Donna says this, "I am one of millions of middle class Americans who would experience a significant increase in my tax bill under the Republican tax plans. My higher taxes are not going to reduce the deficit or invest in the future of our country through education, research and development, infrastructure, or health care. My higher tax bill has one purpose only, which is to provide revenue to enable tax breaks for the wealthy. It is shameful that I am paying higher taxes to give tax breaks to the 1 percent."

Stephen, you've been an advocate for the GOP tax plan. How do you respond to this woman?

[17:45:10] STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: Well, I don't know her particular financial situation, but I do know if you are making say -- let's say she's making between $60,000 and 150 240$150,000 a year. Anything in that range. Then she will get a significant tax cut. The average person in that income range is going to save roughly $2500 to $3,000 on their taxes. And here is why. We doubled the standard deduction so that means now -- again, I don't know if she's married or single, but let's say she's married, her first $24,000 of income is now going to be tax free. So you don't start paying -- again, I don't know if she has children, but if you're someone out there who has children, you'll get an extra $600 credit for every child. And then the rates go down. So it simply isn't true -- she may have some special circumstances.

CABRERA: How can you be sure? I don't know her personally. But it sounds like a woman who has looked at the tax plans and has determined even with those pieces that you just pointed out that her taxes are still going to be going up. I mean we look at some of these deductions that people often take that are being eliminated like the student loan deductions for example, perhaps property tax deductions if you look at the Senate's plan, for example. And what Brianna just laid out, this nonpartisan committee says under Senate bill for example, people earning less than $75,000 a year will see a tax increase according to their analysis. And that is 10 years down the road. But still, that will haunt some people. MOORE: Well, look, a couple things. First of all, you're looking at

the impact of the tax plan in terms of people's taxes. I worked on the tax plan. We devised it so that virtually every American would get a tax cut. Now, there are some people in certain circumstances for example if you live in a very, very high tax state, we're taking away the state and local tax deduction, some people in those states may pay are more. But I think you're missing the point here. The purpose -- the main purpose of this tax cut is to grow the economy. To get businesses to grow, to have more jobs that have left the United States to come back to the United States by making our tax system more competitive. And we believe that this will raise the wages and salaries for average middle-income Americans by $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 a year.

CABRERA: Where is the evidence that that could happen?

MOORE: For example, the Congressional Budget Office, which is not -- hardly friendly to Republicans says about 60 percent of the gain from cutting business taxes go to workers. By the way, I can show you that study because CBO says that you will have more business investment as they invest more, they will hire more workers. That is our expectation. I never know what will happen for sure. It happened awfully well in the Reagan years when we cut taxes, and we had all the jobs. So this is --


CABRERA: The Bush years, however, not so much.

Stephen, I welcome the study that you speak of because I want to understand. And I hear what you're saying in terms of the intent of this tax plan.


MOORE: I'll send to you and you can post it on the website.


CABRERA: We still have the video of CEOs who didn't raise their hand, very few who raised their hand when they were asked if they would be investing more.

MOORE: And one quick thing on that, that was the "Wall Street Journal" conference. That was in washington. A large number of the people who were there were not CEOs, they were government affairs representatives. They were the lobbyists. Lobbyists hate this tax 34r57b because we're draining the swamp with this. We're getting rid of a lot of the rigged system and lowering people's rates.

CABRERA: And yet, Gary Cohn did seem surprised by their response.

MOORE: That is a fair point.

CABRERA: Stephen, I'm getting the wrap.

I really do appreciate your expertise. Thank you so much for your perspective.

MOORE: Have a great weekend.

[17:49:01] CABRERA: We'll continue the conversation another day.

You, too.

We'll be right back.


CABRERA: Voting is now under way for the CNN Hero of the Year. Here's one of this year's top-10 heroes. Meet Leslie Morrissette.




LESLIE MORRISSETTE, CNN HERO: My son, Graham, passed away two years after he was diagnosed with leukemia. We spent two years pretty much in and out of the hospital.

When he was sick, the computer definitely helped him stay in contact with his school and friends.

When you lose your child, the love doesn't go away. It has to find a place.

I really wanted to make a difference with the families and the children that I had met in the hospital.

So I heard you like iPad, is that true?

You give away free technology to children with cancer and other serious illnesses.



MORRISSETTE: We'd love to say that we're connecting kids when their world is out of reach. One of our major goals is to connect kids to their classrooms which really helps them continue their education.

CLASS: Hi, Phillip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Phillip has to have a bone marrow transplant. We'll be here in the hospital like six weeks. Thanks to that robot, he's not going to miss out on anything.

MORRISSETTE: Nothing makes me happier, the joy that they have fills my heart back up.

(END VIDEO CLIP) [17:54:50] CABRERA: What an amazing mom. If you want to vote for Leslie or any of your favorite top-10 heroes, do it at

I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. Thanks for spending the past few hours with me. I'll be back in an hour from now, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

"SMERCONISH" is next.


[17:59:50] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: I'm Michael Smerconish, in Philadelphia. We welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.

A torrent of sexual wrongdoing charges continues across party lines. The latest against Senator Al Franken, who some already say should step down. Could that happen? Should that happen? Feminist icon, Naomi Wolfe, is here to weigh in.

Meanwhile, despite additional accusers, Alabama Senate Candidate --