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Trump Tweets Should've Left UCLA Players in Jail; Jared Kushner's Attorney Pushes Back on the Russia Investigation; Dems Make Trump Jr. Testify About WikiLeaks E-Mails; Charities Ditching Trump's Resort for Events; Harvey Weinstein Keeps Blacklist to Keep Sexual Harassment Charges; Senate Candidate Roy Moore Says His Campaign Under Attack; President Trump's First Turkey Pardon; Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 19, 2017 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: -- thanked enough for the assist he gave to -- to get his son out of a Chinese jail after he and two teammates were accused of shoplifting. Well, the president first tweeted, "Now that the three basketball players are out of China and safe from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail."

Hours later, it was still on his mind apparently and he continued, "Shoplifting is a very big deal in China as it should be, five to 10 years in jail, but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them, they were released and why they were released. Very ungrateful."

And by the way, these two started feuding out about the same time Twitter went to 280 characters.

CNN's Boras Sanchez is live for us at the White House.

Boris, this was on the president's mind like all day long.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, actually for several days now. Remember that when it was first announced that these students will be allowed to return to the United States and were freed from jail in China. The president tweeted, speculating, wondering out loud whether or not they would thank him for intervening on their behalf.

They were detained in China allegedly for shoplifting during the president's 12-day, five-nation tour of Asia, and the president found out about it, and according to White House sources, he intervened on their behalf asking President Xi Jinping for their release. President Xi complied and they were returned.

They actually thanked the president at this press briefing on Wednesday, all three of them. The president then tweeted about them saying that they should be weary of the many pitfalls in life. We thought it was over, and then on Friday, LaVar Ball tells ESPN that he doesn't think that President Trump played that big a role, literally at one point asking, who -- when answering a question about President Trump's role in getting his son LiAngelo back to the United States. And now the president is drawing criticism from those who say that

he's requiring credit for having released these U.S. citizens being imprisoned in China -- Ana.

CABRERA: Another big controversy, Boris. The president tweeting again, teasing a big decision on this elephant hunt in Africa.

SANCHEZ: That's right. It's this on again, off again decision. It was announced earlier this week that the administration was going to reverse an Obama-era policy that banned importing hunted elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The president caught a lot of flak for that. A lot of criticism on Friday night. He announced that he was putting that decision on hold. He even re-tweeted some people that gave him credit for putting it on hold. And then tonight, he tweeted out this, quote, "Big game trophy decision will be announced next week, but will be very hard-pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of elephants or any other animals."

So the president essentially saying, stay tuned, but then kind of tilting his hand a bit and showing how he feels about the whole thing -- Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Boris Sanchez at the White House, thanks for staying on top of everything tonight.

Let's bring in our panel. CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for Urban -- American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan, Bloomberg political reporter, Sahil Kapur, and CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter back with us as well.

April, on this LaVar Ball feud, what message do you take away from the president's tweets?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm sorry, I couldn't understand what you just asked. I'm sorry.

CABRERA: When you read these tweets from the president going after LaVar Ball.

RYAN: Yes.

CABRERA: Talking about leaving Americans in jail.

RYAN: Yes.

CABRERA: What message do you take away?

RYAN: You know, I'm taking away the messages from those who are reading what the president said on Twitter. People are very angry about this. This is something that a president -- we've never seen a president do. You know, president is supposed to be above the fray.

He helped get the release of these three men who were shoplifting and that typically that's the end of the story, but now it's this back and forth. It's very trivial and trite for a president to fight with a family member over this. He got them out. And typically, you know, the person can say what they want, and the president still remains regal and moves forward and moves on, but now the story has gotten bigger and what happened was the president was hearing, after he was taking this victory lap, a win, something the president has been wanting since he became president, and even still after he got a Supreme Court justice, that's really his only win.

And he thought this was a great foreign trip win, a foreign policy win, but it looks like the waters are muddied. The winning picture is now sullied and muddied because the president is doing this back and forth when he should have stayed back and let other people talk.

CABRERA: Democrat Adam Schiff had this take on the tweets from the president.

[20:05:01] He wrote, "The president would have left American students in a foreign jail because their families didn't lavish the fish that preys on him? How can someone in such a big office be so small?"

Sahil, your take on the president's message.

SAHIL KAPUR, POLITICAL REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: Sure, I mean, it reveals the way President Trump views his presidency and his platform. He views it in part, you know, as a platform to put people in their place when he feels disrespected by them.

This is par for the course with President Trump. He goes after people all the time on Twitter when he's insulted or criticized by them. And it could be, you know, the parents of a dead soldier. It could be a beauty pageant contestant. It could be a war hero like John McCain. It could be various other Republican senators. It could be the speaker of the House. It could be NBA Stephan Curry. It could be NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

This is -- you know, this is a unique thing about President Trump as April had referred to. It's hard to imagine Barack Obama or George W. Bush getting into personal, sort of petty spats with individuals, and this was a bit of a unique one because LiAngelo Ball had apologized and taken responsibility and thanked President Trump. The president issued a nice tweet back at him. It seemed to be over until LaVar Ball got -- you know, got into things and President Trump of course took the bait, couldn't resist going after him.

CABRERA: Somewhat unique, too, because of who the president is now in this feud with. LaVar Ball, Brian, is a lot like President Trump in some ways. He never met a microphone he didn't like or wear out.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: And this happened on Friday. You know, LaVar Ball's comments were on Friday on ESPN. For some reason it wasn't until Sunday afternoon that President Trump decided to weigh in.

I thought Maggie Haberman said something really insightful on Twitter about this today. She said, Omarosa said months ago during a documentary that Trump's critics would be made to bow down to President Trump. So that that was the mindset. Now maybe that was only Omarosa's mindset. But I think we've actually seen that in President Trump's own comments whether it's about this case or other cases.

It reveals -- I think his tweets reveal a lot about his inner psyche and for that I suppose I'm grateful to Twitter that we get this inner look all the time.

CABRERA: And the timing of the tweets, April, what does it say? That the president tweeted about LaVar Ball, waited six hours and then tweeted about him again.

RYAN: The president is thin-skinned. He is watching Twitter. He -- I mean, you know, they can say that he doesn't watch TV, he doesn't watch the news, that's not true. He does. He's watching Twitter. And he sees the unfavorable words about him.

This president, according to those who knew him before, people in his inner circle, people who worked at the White House, this president does not like for people to chive him or to say anything negative. He takes it so personally. So -- but when you're a president, you're above the fray.

This president is different. He says he's modern-day presidential, and I guess this is what modern-day presidential looks like. If you're thin-skinned, you're going to attack back.


CABRERA: Something that we are so --

STELTER: When you're the president, you're the most criticized person in the world. It's a little bit like -- I remember when I worked at the "New York Times" and he would print out stories that didn't like that didn't mention "The Apprentice," you know, strongly enough, and he would circle the thing he didn't like and he would send those letters to me. The difference now is that he has a Twitter account to do it in front of the whole world.

CABRERA: We all know the impact of Twitter --

RYAN: And the question --

CABRERA: When you put yourself out there, the fire comes. The judgment is there. For any public figure or person on TV.


CABRERA: Like you point out, he is the president of the United States. So clearly people have their opinions.

RYAN: Right.

CABRERA: But, guys, I've got to get to the Russia investigation because I want to get your analysis on what these new developments mean when we hear from Jared Kushner's attorney today. Let's listen.


ABBE LOWELL, ATTORNEY FOR JARED KUSHNER: The committee investigations unfortunately are devolving into political gotcha games. If committees selectively leak parts of interviews or send me letters through the media or turn Jared Kushner's very clear e-mail that there should be no contacts with anybody in a foreign country into what they call is a missing document, then they are undermining their own credibility.

The issue of Russia interference in the 2016 election is a serious one. But these committee actions are not.


CABRERA: Sahil, is this a gotcha game?

KAPUR: Well, it's notable that I think Kushner's lawyer is trying to make this a process fight between them and the committees. That's a more -- that's an easier argument for them to have and that's an easier kind of shot or that's an easier target to take shots at, but the bigger picture is not really this one committee in the Senate or their, you know, relationship with Kushner or the rest of President Trump's orbit. It's that there's a series of investigations going on. Probably the most important of which is led by Bob Mueller, the special prosecutor.

The big picture is very, very important here. The "Washington Post" had looked into this and found that there were -- during the campaign or at least between the Trump campaign and Russians, there have been at least 31 intersections and 19 known meetings. This is all coming up slowly, it's a slow trickle, and the process argument I think is something -- you know, grist for the mill.

[20:10:02] It's something for them to talk about it's neither here nor there. There are a lot of questions that Kushner and others have to answer for.

CABRERA: And April, with this heat on Kushner and now Hope Hicks that set to speak to Robert Mueller, what does this say about where these investigations are at this point?

RYAN: You know, couple of weeks ago Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that she had heard that it was coming to a close. That is farthest from the truth. It looks like it's ramping up. And then the next day she had to come back and say, well, you know, they were hopeful that it was coming to a close. But it sounds like the investigations continue. Bob Mueller's even going to apparently talk to Gladstone, the gentlemen from Russia.



RYAN: Put together a meeting. Yes. Yes, yes. So this investigation continues. And it's wide, the scope is wide and broad. And I'm sure we're going to hear more leaks from be it the Mueller investigation or from the Hill, but the investigation continues, and I believe if there is indeed a family member of the Trump's -- of President Trump's, a Trump family member who could be indicted, this could be very bad. So of course, you know, when you hear Jared Kushner or a junior, Donald Trump Jr.'s name being mentioned, it's not a good sign when it comes to issues of these investigations. So these investigations continue and just we have to wait and see what happens.


Brian, has the constant drum beat of fake news from this administration created an immunity of some sort to the legitimate question surrounding the Russia probe?

STELTER: Among a minority of the population it has, but the majority of the public is supportive of these probes once they get to the bottom of what went wrong last year and wants the government to take action to ensure there is not more interference in the midterms or in future presidential elections. So I think the public is on the side of Robert Mueller and on the side of the congressional investigators, even though there is a portion of Trump's base that is rejecting all of this.

There's a remarkable paragraph in tomorrow morning's "Washington Post" that sums this up really well. It says, "Witnesses questioned by Mueller's team keep coming up -- keep hearing about foreign contacts and meetings that have, quote, 'not yet become public.'"

They're expecting a series of new revelations in the coming weeks and months. So in other words, Mueller knows a lot more than we do, and when he's in these private interviews the way he has coming up with Hope Hicks, he's asking questions about meetings that the four of us haven't even heard of yet. I think that means it's going to be as one source said to the "Washington Post," a long winter.

CABRERA: All right. And we'll be here every step of the way.

Brian Stelter, April Ryan, and Sahil Kapur, thank you all.

Coming up, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager is going to join us live to offer his take on his new revelations about WikiLeaks. Contact with people in the Trump campaign.

Plus a chilling message from ISIS. A threat to attack the Vatican at Christmas featuring the image of the notorious executioner, Jihadi John.


[20:17:12] CABRERA: Back to the Russia investigation involving the president's son and his son-in-law under new scrutiny tonight. And it had to do with WikiLeaks, the site that published e-mails stolen from the DNC and the Clinton campaign. A source now telling CNN Jared Kushner told Russia investigators in Congress he didn't recall any contact with WikiLeaks during the campaign, but now senators on the Judiciary Committee say Kushner did receive an e-mail about WikiLeaks, and he forwarded it on to a campaign official.

Also, Democrats want to see Donald Trump Jr. called before Congress for secretly corresponding with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign. And earlier this week, Don Jr. released images of that online conversation. And he downplayed it by noting, quote, "whooping three responses."

I want to bring in CNN political commentator and former Hillary Clinton campaign manager, Robby Mook.

Robby, thanks for spending time with us. What was your reaction when you heard these news stories on WikiLeaks and two of the president's closest family members?

ROBBY MOOK, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER, 2016 HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN: Well, unfortunately I'm not very surprised. As soon as we saw the direct Twitter conversations that Donald Jr. was having with WikiLeaks, which by the way Trump's own director of the CIA has called a hostile intelligence service.

You know, once we knew that this was going on, it's pretty clear that there's a lot more, this is just the tip of the iceberg. It's not a question now of whether the Trump campaign was communicating with the -- with Russians and with WikiLeaks, the question is, to what extent, you know, were they potentially providing input to what those people decided to do.

When you look at the Twitter messaging that was going on between Don Jr. and Julian Assange, it's clear that Don Jr. himself and then his father, the president, is reacting to what Assange is suggesting they do, tweet out links to things in WikiLeaks and so on. So the question is, was there information going other way?

And of course, we've also learned that Cambridge Analytica, which was working closely with the Trump campaign, actively offered to WikiLeaks to help disseminate this information.

CABRERA: But what evidence do you have that the president himself -- because you just said that not just Don Jr. through the WikiLeaks correspondent that we saw that Don Jr. put out there for the public to see. But you just said that there's evidence that the president was also communicating or dealing with WikiLeaks?

MOOK: Well, there's clear evidence that the communications that were happening between the president's son and Assange were prompting the president to, for example, tweet out links. There is in fact one tweet that Assange or a message that Assange sends to Don Jr. over Twitter and minutes later the president is tweeting out a link that Assange suggests they shared.

[20:20:13] We also know that the president, you know, at the podium called on Russia to put out Hillary's e-mails. And we've learned now that Mr. Papadopoulos had been told as early as April that the Russians had stolen e-mails related to Hillary Clinton.

So we have a lot more to learn and the investigation needs to go on. I don't think we're spending enough time frankly talking about what we're going to do about this to make sure it doesn't happen in the future. It's very important to know exactly what happened in the past, but I think we have enough evidence to know at this point, either the Trump campaign was overwhelmingly duped by the Russians into, you know, communicating with them and so on or they were actively coordinating with them.

And I think we need clearer laws to say you just can't do this. You can't work with hostile intelligence services to influence a political campaigns.

CABRERA: Yes. That is the bigger picture. That's why this matters to every single American. This is not a political issue. However, I want to ask you about some comments from the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and former president, Bill Clinton. They appeared together at an event just last night. They were actually giving different answers on why Hillary lost the election. Let's watch.


HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Now we know that Russia was sending a lot of those messages on the Internet. They were weaponizing information, stealing information, providing phony news. So there's reason to be disappointed.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We have a slight disagreement about this. If the voters hadn't been told that the e-mails, the first e-mail which was the most important issue since the end of World War II, I doubt if the FBI director could have flung the election at the end.


CABRERA: So, Robby, I'm going to put you smack in the middle of the former first couple. Why do you think the Clintons disagree on this issue?

MOOK: Well, I think what they're getting at is that two outside interventions took place. We can argue about which one was more important. Certainly what the FBI director did at the end of the election was absolutely unprecedented. In fact it's been recorded that he decided to hold a press conference on the secretary's e-mails because of intelligence that was gained through Russians by the way.

So all of this keeps going back. But we'll never know the answer. We can never quantify how much these things mattered. I think what's important is that we prevent them from happening again. And that's -- that's why, you know, Hillary brought up all of this information that was being trafficked online. That's why we have to stop what the Russians were able to do because Hillary wasn't able to talk about what she was going to do to help people.

And that's what these elections should be about. They should be about what a candidate is going to do to help people. And here we are today in a situation where the Republicans are going to pass a disastrous tax bill. It's going to cut taxes for the wealthiest in this country, make working people pay that bill, and we're not talking about that. We're talking about how the Russians meddled in our elections so the Russians, I would argue, are still succeeding in their effort. And we need to take action to stop this from continuing.

CABRERA: Robby, really fast, we only have a few seconds left here. But I got to ask because we continue to see this feud between the president and Hillary Clinton, and I mean, last night, she even said something along the lines of Donald Trump is obsessed with me, but by continuing on that narrative herself, I mean, does that prevent the Democratic Party from also moving on past this past election?

MOOK: Well, I think -- I think the Secretary is just noting what's a fact which is Donald Trump cannot stop talking about her.

CABRERA: She's talking about him, too, though.

MOOK: Well, she's simply reacting to all the incoming from him. I think the fact is Trump is desperate. He's looking for a foil. He liked the campaign because he had someone he could attack every day. The fact is he's in charge now. His party runs absolutely everything. He's been able to get nothing done. And at some point, he never will, but he should take responsibility for that and try to focus on getting something done.

But I think part of the reason he doesn't want to talk too much about what he's trying to get done is that the American people saw the substance of this tax bill, they'd be horrified and that's probably why he wants to talk about, you know, scandals and intrigue and insult his former opponent rather than talk about substance.

CABRERA: Robby Mook, thank you so much for coming on. We'll talk to you again soon I hope.

MOOK: Sure thing, thanks.

CABRERA: Coming up, changing social scene at Trump's Winter White House. Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort used to be the place for glitzy charity events. But more and more it is catering to a far different customer. We'll take a look at this next.


[20:29:24] CABRERA: Charity balls, musicians playing Mozart and ambassadors mingling in white ties and tails. That was the scene at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. Sure, at least it was.

CNN contributor and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the "Washington Post," David Fahrenthold is with us. He just wrote a fascinating piece on this, the changing social scene there.

David, I'm so glad we have a chance to talk about this. You found that a lot of charity groups are avoiding Mar-a-Lago in favor of other resorts now. How did we get here?

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: That's right. So one of the big businesses in Mar-a-Lago is hosting -- besides the membership and the services they provide to members, one of the big businesses was hosting these really large charity balls in the ballrooms there.

[20:30:07] Now that brings in a ton of money, it could be like $275,000 a night for one single gala, but it also put Trump at this sort of center of Palm Beach life. All the rich people, all the most powerful people of Palm Beach, they would come to him and party at his house and he could sort of be the host for the evening.

What we're starting to see is that those events, by and large, have left after Charlottesville, after President Trump's comments about the white supremacist marchers in Charlottesville this summer. 19 of the 25 big charity events on the schedule left.

CABRERA: Let me show our viewers a line from your "Washington Post" article today. You write, "Once a retreat from the divisive business of politics, the Palm Beach landmark is now a place defined by those decisions. The dynamic the club is monetizing by booking events with Trump's political allies."

In other words, are you saying that Trump's properties, Mar-a-Lago in particular, have maybe become as polarizing as the political parties themselves?

FAHRENTHOLD: That's right. What we're seeing is that the president's business is basically being pulled in opposite directions by his presidency. There's at least one that's doing really well, the Trump Hotel in D.C. which can -- has sold out big rooms to trade associations, foreign governments, activist groups. People who are coming to Washington to influence the Trump administration spend big at the Trump Hotel.

Everywhere else, the golf courses around the country, the hotels in Chicago and New York, those are places where he's dependent on clients who aren't -- don't really need anything from the government and aren't going to see Donald Trump in person. And those places, we're starting to see the business go down. Golf courses are suffering, the hotels are suffering.

And so the question for me was, which camp is Mar-a-Lago in? Is it benefitting from this association with Trump?


FAHRENTHOLD: The sort of Winter White House aura or is it not? And it seems like it's kind of a mixed bag. We're starting to see more losses recently.

CABRERA: Now are you finding certain organizations that are eager to book events at Mar-a-Lago?

FAHRENTHOLD: That's what's interesting is the folks that have come in to replace these charities the sort of mainstream apolitical charities that have left. And often their charities -- or they are groups that are associated with Republicans, with conservatives, so there's a gala started by Pat Robertson, the televangelist who's very supportive of Donald Trump. There's been some Young Republicans events, Republican Attorney Generals Association events, and a couple of events that are not really charities, they're just random people who know Donald Trump who want to have a party basically for the purpose of putting money in Donald Trump's pocket. It's maybe --


CABRERA: They want to support the president.

FAHRENTHOLD: So the unusual thing about that is yes, people have been able to support the president before, you give to his campaign and you give to his allies. This is putting money straight in the pocket which is something the president's supporters have not really had the ability to do on this scale before.

CABRERA: Now you've reported on some curious security related incidents also at Mar-a-Lago. Trump, he once told a guest it was going to be a big night, turns out that was the night there was the military strike in Syria. There was of course also the incident where he and the Japanese leader were reading classified documents by the light of a cell phone.

What have you learned about security in a place like this that the president has frequented so often?

FAHRENTHOLD: Well, it's certainly a challenge for the Secret Service and for other folks who try to keep the president and his information secure because, you know, as you mentioned, when there was a crisis involving North Korea when the Prime Minister Abe from Japan was visiting, they just put out their cell phone on the dining terrace while other Mar-a-Lago guests basically gathered around and took pictures of them like they were zoo animals.

And he sort of walked through the club with Chinese premier Xi Jinping, also with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. He's tried to sort of play both roles at once which is president, the guy who has all this classified information, but also sort of a glad-handing ringmaster host of Palm Beach.

And so the one you mentioned, the big night comment, he comes up to Shannon Donnelly, who's sort of the big society writer in Palm Beach, one night and says hey, big night, big night. She's like what, it's prime rib night. That's all I know about it. And it turned out later that he was referring to having launched cruise missiles into Syria.

To me that really shows you how he was trying to sort of play both of those roles at once. The most powerful man in the world and the most powerful man in the room.

CABRERA: David Fahrenthold, again, fascinating read. Thank you for bringing your reporting to us.


CABRERA: Coming up, Harvey Weinstein's blacklist. Disturbing new report about how far the disgraced mogul want to keep the sexual assault claims against him private.


[20:38:39] CABRERA: The latest scandal surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is a secret so-called hit list of people allegedly targeted by Weinstein to cover up sexual harassment allegations. It's first reported by "The Guardian" and then the "Hollywood Reporter," Weinstein allegedly used the list to prevent accusers from going public. It reportedly includes 91 people, including actors, producers, publicists, financiers, other industry workers.

Now this list was allegedly drafted by Weinstein himself along with four of the "New York Times" first brought the allegations against the Weinstein to light.

"Hollywood Reporter's" editorial director Matthew Belloni is joining us now.

So thank you for joining us. Let's talk about this list and who's on it. What can you tell us?

MATTHEW BELLONI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Well, it was a combination. A lot of the accusers that have since come forward, people such Rose McGowan and Annabella Sciorra, some other actresses, they were on that list because the rumor in Harvey's world was that they were potentially going to talk to the "New York Times" for what ultimately became that first bombshell story.

There are also some other people there, people in the industry that worked at Miramax and the Weinstein Company. People in Hollywood who had interactions with Weinstein that made him think that potentially they had dirt on him that they could be speaking to the "New York Times." The report is in the "New York Times" themselves. A lot of people were on this list.

CABRERA: So what -- how did it work? I mean, what did he come up with ways to intimidate them or how did he use the list?

[20:40:04] BELLONI: Well, what has been detailed by Ronan Farrow in the "New Yorker" is that Weinstein's lawyer, David Boise, authorized what was essentially a covert operation. They used ex-Israeli spies and other private investigators to essentially dig up dirt on these people and try to get leverage over them to prevent them from either talking to the media outlet or they even looked up the media outlet themselves and the editors to try to get dirt on them.

CABRERA: I want to pivot to Al Franken also under fire for sexual indiscretions, and inappropriate behavior.

Let's watch a clip as "SNL" took a swipe at his situation last night.


COLIN JOST, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Al Franken is being accused of sexual misconduct on a 2006 USO tour by Leeann Tweeden who posted this photo of Franken apparently groping her breasts while she was asleep. Now I know this looks photo, I know this photo looks bad, but remember

it also is bad. And sure this was taken before Franken ran for public office. But it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school. It's pretty hard to be like, oh, come on, he didn't know any better, he was only 55.


CABRERA: So considering Franken himself used to be an "SNL" star, what do you make of the fact they're now targeting one of their own?

BELLONI: Well, I think in this environment "SNL" was in a tough situation. They would have been criticized far worse if they hadn't gone after Al Franken then for what they actually did. I thought it was interesting. They didn't actually mention his connection to the show. And he not only had appeared on the show, he is one of the key writers in the history of "SNL," wrote some of the most famous sketches ever, especially for "Weekend Update."

So I think it's a little weird to me they didn't say, you know, Al Franken who spent year after year at this show, but they kind of had to go after him.

CABRERA: Now we've learned Franken's also been edited out of a PBS special called "David Letterman, The Mark Twain Prize," which was taped just last month. Here he is on the red carpet last month talking about sexual harassment in light of the Harvey Weinstein revelations. Let's listen.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Last question. What do you make of the Harvey Weinstein scandal? It's been an interesting time in entertainment.

SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: It's a horrible thing. It's a horrible thing. And unfortunately sexual harassment happens in every profession and I think that we need to do something legislatively to make it easier for anyone to not only go to court, but so that this isn't secret.


CABRERA: Now the allegations against Weinstein obviously far, far more gravity there than the allegations against Franken, but this issue of sexual harassment here a month later, Franken finds himself in a situation where it doesn't look good. It's kind of ironic to have him make those comments, don't you think?

BELLONI: It is. I mean, this has happened to a number of people. We saw this with Richard Dreyfus a couple weeks ago, where he had to come out and made some strong comments on the subject and then an accuser came forward and made some comments about him. So I think that there are a lot of words flying around right now and someone like Al Franken, who is in the public eye and has been in the public eye for a long time, he probably -- if he had this in his past, he probably should have known not to say that, you know, right before it came out, but, you know, obviously he didn't know.

CABRERA: All right. Matthew Belloni, thank you for that, I appreciate it.

BELLONI: Thank you.

CABRERA: Quick break, we'll be right back.


[20:48:16] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

CABRERA: Now an update on a breaking news story out of Texas. A Border Patrol agent is dead after injuries he received while on patrol in Van Horn, Texas. That's near the U.S. border with Mexico. President Trump tweeting about this tragedy moments ago.

"Border Patrol officer killed at southern border. Another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will and must build the wall."

Now officials are not saying what happened at this point, only that the FBI is investigating.

And also breaking, Judge Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, who lost the support at the state's largest media group today, is saying he is not only a target of Democrats, but that establishment Republicans are also fighting to keep him from being elected.

Now he spoke to a radio host earlier today. That station just put the recording on the air. He says none of the many allegations of sexual misconduct against him are true.


ROY MOORE (R), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: They brought up matters supposedly of a sexual impropriety, which never happened. Never would have happened. And never would have been brought up because -- but to detract this campaign from arguing the issues which finally affect our country.

So what I'm saying is, this is just an attempt to stop a campaign that can't win. They didn't win. And it's a combination of not only Democrats, but the Republican establishment which is behind it.


CABRERA: Now Alabama's largest media group today urged newspaper readers in the state to support Moore's Democratic rival for the vacant U.S. Senate seat.

[20:50:07] Also today, the Young Republican Federation of Alabama pulled its support for Roy Moore's Senate run saying their duty is to the party, not the candidate.

Coming up, Anthony Bourdain explores "PARTS UNKNOWN" in Seattle where the chefs are sharing the city with tech geeks. Stay right there.


CABRERA: On tonight's brand new episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN," Anthony Bourdain explores Seattle's food and music scene. And I recently sat down with him to get a preview. Here's our conversation.


CABRERA: I'm curious, first, why you chose to go to the Pacific northwest. What was it that lured you over?

[20:55:06] ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN": Well, it's a very chef friendly environment. Very early on in the American food revolution, Seattle took the lead. It became a food destination and a sort of hot house of talented chefs and artisinal producers, possibly because of the independent spirits, possibly because the ingredients there have always been so good. Access to really great ingredients.

But even before sort of the larger cities caught the foodie craze and the chef craze, Seattle was way out in front. But I guess I picked Seattle this time as the location because we had the opportunity to work with a great musician, Mark Lanegan, formerly of the Screaming Trees and many other great bands, whose music I really admire. He collaborated on the title track for the series.

And we thought it would be great -- if he's from the Washington state area, Seattle area, wouldn't it be great if Mark Lanegan could score an entire show and how his songs either play the songs himself or we use his other material as a score for sort of the moody -- dark moody episode examining changing Seattle.


BOURDAIN: Of course we were there the one week it was sunny.

CABRERA: I was going to ask you. Because you always think of gloomy.


CABRERA: You think of coffee houses and grunge music. But --

BOURDAIN: Yes. And we had this wonderful morbid dark music.


BOURDAIN: And then it was, like, the sky was beautiful every day.

CABRERA: There's not a prettier place

BOURDAIN: We're going to have to catch that host.


BOURDAIN: It's much too pretty.

CABRERA: How do you see the city changing?

BOURDAIN: The tech brothers. The invasion of the tech brothers. You know, newly empowered nerds with lanyards invading and infesting everything. And there's a lot of mixed emotions about that.

CABRERA: What kind of food did you eat because I think of seafood?

BOURDAIN: Well, great seafood. There's really good -- you know, such a rogue cheese makers up in those parts. The produce is fantastic. I mean, it's just a sensational place.

CABRERA: Is there a particular dish that you would recommend for those going to that neck of the woods?

BOURDAIN: The crab is good. I mean, get some dungeonous crab or king crab or -- that's always good. Extraordinary. Whatever is in season.


CABRERA: And of course, marijuana is legal in Seattle, which he explores as well. That's coming up in a brand new episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN" next right here on CNN.

But before we let you go, a reminder, this week President Trump will make use of his presidential pardoning powers absolving two lucky turkeys right before Thanksgiving. And this year's birds have already been picked. They are enjoying a little R and R at a D.C. hotel before the big pardoning event. It's a time honored White House tradition going back 70 years. But this year there might be a few who are feeling a little jealous of the poultry.

Jake Tapper tackles that in this week's "State of the Cartoonian."


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: It's President Trump's first Thanksgiving at the White House.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, everybody. Good food, good food. I love to eat the food we have in here.

TAPPER: But before the big meal the president has a big job. The annual turkey pardon.

TRUMP: Please mention turkey, OK. Because I'm a businessman. I talk turkey.

TAPPER: A tradition with roots dating all the way back to Harry S. Truman. This week President Trump gets to save two plump birds from Minnesota. Turkeys are generally picked for the honor, for their beauty, for their plumage or tail feathers, their beards or snoods.

Of course, this will not be President Trump's first pardon. That honor went to Sheriff Joe Arpaio who have been found guilty criminal contempt of court and a court order to refrain from racially profiling Latinos. TRUMP: I mean, he knows borders, right? Amazing guy. Tough guy but

he's an amazing guy.

TAPPER: Which makes us wonder who else might be watching the proceedings this week with longing. Perhaps Donald Trump Jr.

TRUMP: My son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer.

TAPPER: Or Paul Manafort, the president's former campaign chair.

TRUMP: I've always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man.

TAPPER: What about former National Security adviser Michael Flynn?

TRUMP: He's a general. He's -- in my opinion, a very good person.

TAPPER: We should note that Flynn initially failed to disclose that he was lobbying for Turkey, but that was the government of Turkey, not the bird. Either way, we will all be watching with interest.

TRUMP: Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very simply said, pardon me. I don't think so.


CABRERA: That does it for me. An advance Happy Thanksgiving. I'm Ana Cabrera, thanks for being here. "PARTS UNKNOWN" is next. Have great week.