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Soon: Georgia Dome To Be Imploded; Who Will Benefit Most From The GOP Tax Plan?; Congresswoman's Aide Resigns Over Sexual Harassment Claim; Washington Post: Charities Ditching Trump's Mar-A-Lago Resort. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired November 20, 2017 - 07:30   ET



CUOMO: So we have Coy Wire there. We're trying to get him as close to the Thunder -- the Georgia Dome as possible. Coy, how is it down there?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, I'll tell you, it's a beautiful morning, as you can see this sunrise behind the dome there -- the iconic dome.

It's been there for 25 years and this is the only facility in the world, guys, that has ever hosted an Olympics, a Super Bowl, and a Final Four. And in a matter of just about 15 seconds, officials say, it will all be brought to ruin. It's incredible to think about that.

And you can also see it sits directly adjacent to the brand new $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home of the Atlanta Falcons, the MLS Atlanta united team.

And as you can see, my photographer Mike Calloway can zoom in there, there's a five-story high industrial tarp that is meant to protect the new stadium from damage if all goes well.

So now, we talk about this place being in incredible place of memories for not only the people of Atlanta but worldwide.

The '96 Olympic Summer Games, the Georgia Dome was essentially divided into two separate parts. On one half you had the Magnificent Seven that included that famous Kerri Strug vault that she landed on one foot.

CAMEROTA: Of course.

WIRE: You also had the Dream Team that consisted of Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, David Robinson. They all played here in the Georgia Dome.

Also, two Super Bowls. You may remember the Cowboys defeating the Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII. And how about Super Bowl XXXIV --


WIRE: -- one of the most memorable Super Bowls -- CAMEROTA: Hey, Coy?

WIRE: -- in history.

You hear that sound?


WIRE: That's the one-minute warning so that means --

CAMEROTA: One minute?

WIRE: -- in less than 60 seconds we will see the implosion.


WIRE: Twelve seconds for the initial detonation --


WIRE: -- about -- yes?

CAMEROTA: Listen, Chris made a good point. Is it too late to save the stadium? Chris is very nostalgic for this. I see some problems with the roof and we're less than a minute away, but is it too late for like some sort of petition to save this stadium?

WIRE: Yes, I think that -- once that siren sounded it is about to happen. We're going to get a great wakeup call if you're not woken up already.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This is what we do. This is what we do. You have to bring it down to make room for something else.

I get it, I get it. But there is something sad about it and I don't think it's just my wistful romanticism.

CAMEROTA: I think it is your wistful romanticism, which is appealing, I'll grant you.

CUOMO: Uh-oh.

CAMEROTA: Uh-oh, I think it's too late.

CUOMO: Never mind.

CAMEROTA: Never mind your romanticism. Here's an implosion.

WIRE: Absolutely incredible.

CAMEROTA: So, Coy -- hey, Coy, what happened to that outer wall right there?

WIRE: I'm having a tough time hearing you guys.

CUOMO: Because there's an implosion going on. WIRE: But I'll tell you what, Chris, Alisyn, I could feel this. It felt like a shotgun hitting you in the chest as far away as we are here and as high as we are. You could see some parts flying over towards the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium there. Hopefully, no major damage.

But you can see that debris rising up. It looks like a southward wind taking a lot of that debris.

A lot of cheers for the people who are down below lining the streets here along the -- where the Georgia Dome once stood. A lot of cheers, a lot of car alarms went off. You can really feel the floor shaking here at CNN center in Atlanta.

Incredible -- I have goose bumps right now, especially after hearing all of those cheers for the people who have been lined up to watch this historic day here in the city of Atlanta.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean, but look, it didn't completely do the job, Chris. You see that outer wall? So maybe Coy could just go over and give it a kick right there.

WIRE: Yes.

CAMEROTA: But it's amazing that the implosion, Coy, didn't take it all down. When you talk -- I, too, have experienced that -- the reverberation that sort of hits your inner organs when you're near some dynamite and an implosion that big. I know exactly the sensation that you're talking about.

WIRE: Oh, yes, you hit it. That's exactly what it was. I've never really felt anything like that before except when I was a young child, you know, and used to go hunting with my father every now and then. You could feel that just big boom just shaking through your bones and in your chest, Alisyn.

And again, the car alarms that went off. We're downtown Atlanta here. Cars everywhere. The alarms were sounding, people were cheering.

But that's it. The Georgia Dome is gone and now the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the new venue, and it is incredible. One of the best in the world facility for not only sporting events but concerts and performances as well.

So there you have it. A good morning to you. Wake up, America.

CAMEROTA: Coy, thank you very much for the color commentary on the implosion of the Georgia Dome. Twenty-five years of history there going up in smoke. Thank you very much -- Chris.

[07:35:10] CUOMO: Twenty-five years of history going up in smoke. It takes all those years to build something like that. What a metaphorical value, though.

I mean, it is just how my head works that it takes us so long, 25 years, to amass all the memories, to build the building, and in a moment it's all gone. Life is fragile, my friends.

All right, time for "CNN Facts First."

The president and GOP lawmakers keep insisting that this tax cut is going to be the biggest middle-class cut we have ever seen. That is just not true.

Facts. We took a look at after-tax income. Why? It's a very good indicator of how people are directly benefited by this new plan. In 2019, everyone will do better according to the bipartisan joint Committee on Taxation.

However, as you can see, the group that does the best is not the middle-class. People making half a million to a million dollars a year, they're going to do the best. So why isn't it called an upper- class tax cut? Because that's not politically good right now.

Jump ahead to 2021 and now we see the truth of this. The tax cuts are going to start to fall off. Why? Because the government has to pay for these cuts and that's going to require more revenue, which means less tax cuts.

And, in fact, we're going to go the other way. We're going to see that most of the income classes have a drop-off of about a half a percent. But that half a million to one million dollar income level just loses three-tenths of one percent.

That trend continues -- 2023, after-tax income for the lowest income bracket is flat. The higher income groups continue to increase, right? One is going down, the top bracket is going up.

In 2025, same thing. The poorest incomes flat. Those in the higher income brackets continue to see up to a two percent increase.

Now, a little bit of math here. Hold the prompter because they pay so much more in the upper brackets, OK? So what you're going to see is a -- they're going to say this is an apples-to-apples.

But still, it's about what is the intentionality of the cut? If it's designed to help the middle-class they should be advantaged more than anyone else.

It's just not true, all right, with the exception of the $200,000 to $500,000 bracket. That is also going to recede a little bit. It starts to get be more of mixed picture as they play with the numbers.

By 2027, 10 years from now, all the brackets are seeing their after- tax incomes decrease except those making $500,000 or more. There again, seeing their after-tax incomes increase a little bit.

In fact, at no point in the Republicans' plans do those upper income brackets ever take any kind of real hit. The middle-class, lower classes, they do.

Now, whether the politics are good or bad, that's a separate question, but those are the facts, Alisyn. CAMEROTA: OK, Chris. Thank you very much for that.

So, sexual harassment. How do we curb it in every industry, including on Capitol Hill? Is this a tipping point?

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence joins us with her new legislation, next.


[07:42:20] CAMEROTA: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell making headlines on NEW DAY by sharing her "me too" moment. So will stories like Dingell's lead to change on Capitol Hill?

Joining us now is Democratic Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence. She's the co-author of legislation ? at curbing sexual harassment in Congress. Congresswoman, thanks so much for being here.


CAMEROTA: So as we've learned over the past, I don't know, how many months -- just a couple, I guess -- it's everywhere, you know. It's not just the media. It's Hollywood, it's Silicon Valley, it's Wall Street.

And, of course, it has hit Capitol Hill. Your own office -- sexual harassment has become an issue. You had to get rid of or at least accept the resignation of your chief of staff as a result of this.

Can you share with us exactly what he did that was making so many people uncomfortable?

LAWRENCE: The challenge that I had is that I was, through an article and anonymous sources I was made aware of concerns of inappropriate comments and allegations of inappropriate touching. Alisyn, what I was confronted with is in -- with my experience of being an EEO investigator is being confronted with knowledge about a concern that I did not know about.

That was very concerning for me because I've introduced legislation based on my experience and my expertise. I was a manager of training, I was in labor relations --


LAWRENCE: -- and EEO, that we on the Hill had exempted ourselves. Those employees of a congressional offices from mandatory sexual harassment training.


LAWRENCE: Now, what was ironic was that we require, as mandated for the military and for federal employees, but we were exempt.

CAMEROTA: Right. LAWRENCE: That's unacceptable.

CAMEROTA: Yes. So your legislation would change that now --


CAMEROTA: -- and you would force Capitol Hill employees to take mandatory sexual harassment training. It stands to reason. It makes perfect sense.

But just back to your chief of staff for a moment because --


CAMEROTA: -- in the political article that you are referring to there were three female employees who said that they did come to you with their concerns --


CAMEROTA: -- about him. And that he was touching them inappropriately, he was saying inappropriate things to them about their looks, about their clothing. He wanted them to wear more makeup, he wanted them to wear high heels.

So did they share these stories or even their concerns with you?

LAWRENCE: None of those concerns were made or given to me. I did not have the opportunity to address them, which I would have. And while I am still confronted with anonymous sources, I took action because I do have a zero tolerance. No one should be in an environment where they feel like they are not safe when it comes to a work environment.

[07:45:13] And that's why I'm doing an independent investigation in my office. And what I did, I brought in an outside person to do an assessment of my office, to interview staff -- my district and congressional staff -- and make sure that we set in processes that -- already, I require every new employee to get a sexual harassment in their training in the manual. It's like what are you rights and where do you go?

With this mandatory training it takes it to another level.


LAWRENCE: Who are the Office of Compliance? What does inappropriate behavior look like?

But the thing that I want to do is make sure that I'm checking in on a quarterly or twice a year to do a check-in and say are you OK?


LAWRENCE: Do you feel safe?

CAMEROTA: Exactly. LAWRENCE: Is there anything?

I want this to be a model for all of our offices. I never again want to be made aware of someone's concern in an anonymous article.


LAWRENCE: And -- because that's unacceptable for me for any employee to feel that way.

CAMEROTA: Were you concerned when you noticed female staffers leaving?

LAWRENCE: I had staff that had left, male and female. I've only been in office for three years. I talked to others members and did an assessment.

The migrate of attrition was not higher than any other office. People left, telling me that they had other job opportunities. And so, on the Hill, there is a high turnover because there's so many opportunities.

But the reality is, when we get to the sexual harassment piece I started exit interviews. I received letters from employees stating that they had had a good environment, that they were thankful for the experience they had. I have that in writing from my employees who left. I did exit interviews.

Never was I told that anyone felt like they were being sexually harassed --


LAWRENCE: -- but that's not the issue. The issue is that this was brought forth.

Now, let's talk about the "me too." What the "me too" and what I'm hoping -- and we keep talking about the watershed moment -- is that we create an environment where it's not 10 years later, it's not after -- two years after someone leaves. But they actually have the culture and the environment where they feel safe to say I don't -- I don't like this being said to me. I don't want this happening.


LAWRENCE: When someone is not acting appropriately so we can deal with it at that time.

CAMEROTA: At the time, absolutely.

So listen, if your internal investigation does find that women left because they felt uncomfortable in the office because of your chief of staff, would you rehire these women? Would you try to get them back? Would you reach out to them?

LAWRENCE: I've reached out to the women who have worked in my office and past employees to ask that question and I have not yet -- those who have responded and talked to me, they have not said anything about sexual harassment to this date. Some have not responded.

And I've said publicly and I've said in the article I welcome anyone who worked in my office if they feel like they've been sexually harassed I would love to know that. But to this date, I want to tell you, I haven't had that -- I haven't had that information provided to me.

But that's not the question.


LAWRENCE: The question is to address the concerns even though they're anonymous.


LAWRENCE: Even if they are anonymous because this is where we have to fix this on the Hill where we create an environment in every work industry, whether it is the movie industry, whether it's political --


LAWRENCE: -- whether it's in the workplace, where women feel -- and I have to be clear. It's victims.

I was an EEO investigator. There were and women -- it's about power -- who would sexually harass people in the workplace.

CAMEROTA: Yes, yes.

LAWRENCE: So we have to make sure that we create an environment and so we don't ever again have this "me too" 10, 15, two years later that people are actually coming forward to you.


LAWRENCE: And for me, that's my greatest disappointment about all of this is that I didn't get an opportunity to address it because I was never made aware.

CAMEROTA: Understood.

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, thank you very much fro joining us with what you plan to do personally and with legislation. Thanks so much.

LAWRENCE: And also, my bill, which requires mandatory -- has over 100 signatures on it -- bipartisan men -- I mean, bipartisan, male, female, Republican, and Democrat, so we're moving in the right direction.

And, Paul Ryan, to his credit, has put out a directive for all offices to have mandatory sexual harassment --

CAMEROTA: Yes. LAWRENCE: -- training, but I don't want this to just be a speaker saying do it. I wnt this to be the law and I want it to be mandatory like it is for all other federal employees.

CAMEROTA: It sounds like that is a very good start, Congresswoman. Thanks so much for being here.

[07:50:01] LAWRENCE: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Chris --

CUOMO: All right.

There's an interesting development to tell you about. There's been a lot of reporting about concerns that the president and his family may be benefitting from the presidency, but "The Washington Post" reports that there may be a downside as well.

We're going to tell you about what's happening in one of the president's favorite properties, next.


CAMEROTA: More than 50 million people will hit the road this week for Thanksgiving. Will Mother Nature cooperate?

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has our forecast. What's it looking like, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Alisyn, it's cold but certainly, dry. Drier than some Thanksgivings with snow storms going on. I just don't see that.

Temperatures right now in the thirties and forties, even some spots near Memphis were down to 25 this morning.

This weather is brought to you by Tempur-Pedic. Tempur-Pedic sleep is power.

Here is the cold air coming across the Great Lakes tonight with a little bit of light lake-effect snow. But this is the radar forecast map for the next four days. Very little going on.

A few showers over Miami and also into Orlando. And maybe even a shower Wednesday morning into New York City, but just a shower -- a passing thing. Nothing organized, nothing that should slow down your travel and certainly, not slowing down airplanes anywhere.

[07:55:10] We will be in the forties. Slightly cooler than normal but we'll take that with the sunshine. Even New York City on Thanksgiving Day, 42 degrees -- Chris.

CUOMO: Oh, boy, all right. We'll keep checking every day, obviously.


CUOMO: I'll be here all week and we want to make sure that people know what's coming their way. Chad Everett (ph), thank you very much.

President Trump is going to leave tomorrow for his Thanksgiving break at one of his favorite properties, Mar-a-Lago in Florida. But the social scene at the resort has changed significantly since he became president.

Joining us now is CNN contributor Dave Fahrenthold. He co-wrote a new piece on this in "The Washington Post."

Dave, we've often talked about how yes, the president doesn't get a salary but there are all these different ways that his businesses may benefit from the exposure and luster of being a president. However, there's a downside as well.

What did you learn?

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, we looked at Mar-a-Lago, which as you know, the president lives there when he's down in Florida but it's also a private club -- it's got members.

It has big social galas and those galas have been a really big part of the business model at Mar-a-Lago. They take in sometimes as much as $275,000 in a night just for one gala.

And last year while Trump was president, he basically kept the same schedule of these things. Palm Beach society still came to Mar-a-Lago the way they had. That changed over the summer, though.

President Trump's comments about Charlottesville where he said that they were quote "very fine people" among the white supremacists protesting in Charlottesville, those caused a huge exodus of charities.

So out of the 25 charities that he had booked for this upcoming season -- the one that's starting right now and will go through Mother's Day, roughly -- he had 25 events booked, 19 of those events canceled. Huge clients -- the American Red Cross, Susan G. Komen, the American Cancer Society. A lot of money walked out the door this summer.

And so, we saw -- and so it was not just money but also these events that brought Palm Beach society into his home and made him the host for those folks.

CUOMO: Right.

FAHRENTHOLD: Most of them are gone.

CUOMO: It's interesting. Let's put the graphic back up there as Dave answers the next question.

It's such an obvious political play we sitting here also. The Red Cross, Salvation Army, Susan G. Komen, they're all going out. Why? Because they are big 10 people, right? They want to make sure that they don't get painted with any particular political brush. And then you look at the inside and you see people who are obviously looking for that kind of attachment -- Trumpettes USA, Truth About Israel Gala, and the Christian Broadcasting Network which, of course, Robertson's outfit.

What's you take on that?

FAHRENTHOLD: This is what's interesting.

To fill in those empty gala days you're seeing these events that are either Trump's political allies, like Pat Robertson, the televangelist. He didn't have a gala. He has a charity but he never had a gala before. He started on this year and purposely put it at Mar-a-Lago.

And the other two ones you mentioned, the Trumpettes USA and the Truth About Israel Gala, these are new events. It's hard to call them even charity because the point of them is not really to raise money for a charity. It's to put money in Donald Trump's pocket.

These are some people who support Donald Trump, want him to -- they like this actions a president and so they're just going to pay him. They're going to pay him money through Mar-a-Lago because they support him.

That's not an event that Trump really had before and it shows kind of the evolution of Mar-a-Lago from basically an apolitical place that sold luxury to a place that's now selling Trump's political alliances.

CUOMO: And yet, your sense at this point in terms of whether being president is helping or hurting the bottom line for the president personally.

What's your sense?

FAHRENTHOLD: It's hard to tell because The Trump Organization tells us so little about the money that it makes. But from what I can tell, the presidency is basically pulling The Trump Organization two directions.

There's a place, the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. where he can sell to trade associations, to foreign governments, to conservative activists. People that are coming to see him or coming to see his administration. He can basically monetize those relationships and he's made a ton of money there at the Trump Hotel in D.C.

Other places, golf courses, hotels in Chicago, New York, L.A., they're scattered far away from Trump's base and also from where he's personally going to be. And a lot of those places -- those -- they seem revenue declined. They're losing businesses because people don't want to be associated with the Trump name.

The question for me was whether Mar-a-Lago fit in the -- in the plus category or in the minus category. Right now, it's hard to tell. It may be kind of going in two directions at once. CUOMO: Appreciate the digging, brother. This Thanksgiving week we've been very thankful for you and your reporting. The best to you and the family.

FAHRENTHOLD: Thank you. You, too.

CUOMO: All right. There are a lot of big headlines this morning so what do you say, let's get after it.


CAMEROTA: President Trump says he should have left the UCLA basketball players imprisoned in China after one of their fathers downplays his role in getting them home safely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This feels like a spat between two reality T.V. stars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump looks amazingly small for engaging in this.

ROY MOORE (R), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: Mitch McConnell and the establishment are in cahoots with the Democrats to stop this campaign.

LEIGH CORFMAN, ROY MOORE ACCUSER: At 14, I was not dating. He basically laid out some blankets on the floor of his living room and proceeded to seduce me.

CUOMO: Charles Manson is dead. The cult leader who orchestrated gruesome murders that shocked the world is gone.

DEBRA TATE, SISTER OF SHARON TATE: He needs to look into our eyes and see the pain that he's caused.


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