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Trump Defends Moore; Weinstein NDAs; Turning Teens Around; Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET

Aired November 22, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] MATT SCHLAPP, CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: Alternative is the Democrat, and he's terrible on all the issues Republicans care about. So I think his focus so far is on the shortcomings of the Democrat. He could take that next step, Chris, and go down there and then, if he does, I think it's fair to call that an endorsement.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Ana, can you look at what the president said yesterday and see it as anything but supporting Roy Moore in that race?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think it's not express support, but it's certainly implicit and implied support. And the difference is very little.

I, you know, I think this (INAUDIBLE) is fake. We cannot do this as a Republican Party. We are -- we've been, we've said we are the party of family values, the party of unity, the party of Christian values. And so to tell folks that if your choice is between a pedophile or a Democrat, you should go for the pedophile, it's just a step too far. It is too high a price to pay for one vote. We cannot seed morality and dignity and basic right and wrong because of one vote.

I think what they're doing is taking a page right out of the Donald Trump campaign where he told a lot of Christian evangelicals, where he told a lot of people that had trouble, that were disturbed by his actions, look, I'm going to name a Supreme Court justice you're going to like, so hold your nose, look the other way and vote for me because I'm going to deliver for you. It is too high a price. The Republican Party cannot become the party of pedophiles and sexual assaulters. We just cannot.

CUOMO: But, Matt, hold on, help me out with something here. He doesn't say anything for seven days. We know what I don't support Roy Moore looks like. Mitch McConnell, all these other Republicans who are coming out and saying I don't think he should do it.


CUOMO: Rick Santorum saying he should step aside, telling Alabama voters, don't vote for him, he's never going to be in the Senate. That's what I don't support Roy Moore sounds like. Not what the president said yesterday. He kept saying -- I think it was almost two dozen times, he denies it, he denies it, he denies it. Doug Jones is no good. That means vote for Roy Moore. Why won't you own that?

SCHLAPP: I won't own that because it --

CUOMO: You must own it.

SCHLAPP: I won't because if I was in Alabama --


SCHLAPP: And, by the way, the voters in Alabama get to make this choice, not all of us sitting in Washington, D.C., and New York, who make --

CUOMO: No, but that's an excuse to -- for not taking a position. But, go ahead.

SCHLAPP: Who make -- but who get to make these judgments. And we're trying -- you know, many voices are trying to tell the people in Alabama that it's irresponsible to vote for Roy Moore. But, in the end, they get to make the call. And it is fair to say, if you're not going to vote for Roy Moore, a lot of Republicans might not vote, for instance. I think what folks are saying is, understand what the Democrat stands for because the Democrat stands for many things that are repugnant.

Second of all, these Republicans who have been against Roy Moore, remember, Chris, before all these charges came up, they were against Roy Moore. Roy Moore was incredibly controversial with a lot of D.C. Republicans because he takes hard right traditional views on a lot of social issues. So we already had a built-in anti-caucus with Republicans. Mitch McConnell and a lot of other people who are involved in Senate Republican politics spent a lot of money against him in that primary.

And the next point, very quickly is, I understand Ana's criticism of Republicans. But, remember, in this whole age post Harvey Weinstein, this is not a Republican problem. This is an American problem. And there's many Democrats, as we all know, who are facing these same charges. And as an institution, Congress is going to have to figure out how they handle these against John Conyers, Bob Menendez, Al Franken. There will be more. I guarantee you, there will be more. They're going to have to figure out, as an institution, how they handle this.

CUOMO: Well, but I think they are figuring it out. And one of the ways you enable that process is by respecting people when they come out with claims and calling situations for what they are.

And, Ana, this is the president hearing what these women have said and doing what he did when he was accused, saying the denial is good enough for me. I don't believe the women. I has to be true.

I had this guy from Breitbart on last night saying, well, you can have credibility on both sides. Both sides can be credible. No, they can't. If a woman says, when I was 14 the guy touched me in this way, it can't be that she's right and Roy Moore is right. So, you got to make a choice here. You've got to stand up for what you believe.

SCHLAPP: I agree with that totally.

NAVARRO: Absolutely. And, look, morality --

CUOMO: Yes, but you're endorsing someone not doing that.

NAVARRO: Morality --

SCHLAPP: I'm not endorsing anyone.

NAVARRO: Yes, morality is not a partisan -- you know, this what about- ism (ph) that is being done by -- both by Democrats and Republicans is ridiculous. And it's really a bad example.

I do not make a difference between Democrats and Republicans. I will say, I think that the talking point of including Bob Menendez in this is ridiculous. There were no underage prostitutes. If there had been, they would have been part of the ten-week trial the man just went through.

SCHLAPP: We'll know in the ethics -- we'll know in the ethics investigation. It's coming, Ana.

CUOMO: And what about that, Matt? You don't factor that in.

NAVARRO: Wait. And, listen, we're going to have an Al Franken ethics investigation. We're going to have a John Conyers ethics investigation.

SCHLAPP: They're going -- they're all going to have ethics investigations.

CUOMO: But you have something more.

NAVARRO: And that -- and -- and -- and that's fine.

SCHLAPP: And if Roy Moore wins, we're going to have an ethics investigation on him, too.

CUOMO: But you have something more with Moore.

NAVARRO: Ah, you know --

CUOMO: You have these Republicans saying, we won't seat him.


[08:35:01] CUOMO: And I'm not saying that in some tyrannical sense. They're saying, we're going to move to expel him. Rick Santorum last night was saying --


CUOMO: I don't think the guy is going to serve. Why don't you factor that in, Matt, in terms of -- SCHLAPP: I do. I -- look, I was listening to Cokie Roberts, a long- time Democrat and someone I respect, who -- on the radio on the way in and I think it would be very rare for -- almost unprecedented for Congress to not seat somebody who the voters have duly elected. Now, Congress can make the decision that he doesn't meet the criteria because there's a question as to whether he won the race. But if he wins this race, which I think is going to be very hard for him to do, but if he wins this race, I think they will seat him, Chris, because if they don't seat him, the Democrats and Republicans, there are others that are going to have to have same consideration over.

I think what they're going to end up doing with all of these senators and congressmen -- as I said, there's many more to come -- they're going to have to have ethic investigations on all of them. And I agree with Ana. If these charges are credible, they ought to get kicked out. And society is going to have to deal with these -- with these challenges.

Look, I have five girls. My oldest is 14.

CUOMO: You think the charges are credible? Do you --

SCHLAPP: If somebody called me to try to date my 14-year-old, I'd be unlocking my gun cabinet. I think these charges are serious and I think we have to deal with that.

CUOMO: Are they credible?

SCHLAPP: I -- from what I can tell, they sure -- they sure --

NAVARRO: And yet -- and yet he's not willing to say that person that did that with somebody else's 14-year-old daughter should not be the Senate.

CUOMO: Hold on, Ana. Ana, hold on. Hold on. Let's deal with the facts, not any type of, you know, extraction. Do you think the women are credible?

SCHLAPP: I think it sounds very credible. And I think that if I were a voter in Alabama, I would take every moment, very day up until that election and figure out what I was going to do. I have to -- you have to weigh the -- you have to weigh both sides.

But for people who aren't in Alabama, to tell them the morality of what their choices before them, I think that only helps Roy Moore. I think we're going to have to respect the people of Alabama. It's the way America voting laws are. The people in Alabama are going to make this choice and I've got to trust them.


CUOMO: All right. We're going to --

NAVARRO: Matt, but remember this, right now -- no, wait --

CUOMO: All right, go ahead. Go ahead. NAVARRO: Chris, let me say this.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

NAVARRO: We've got, you know -- the U.S. Senate makes laws that affects all Americans. Their salaries are paid by all Americans. By all U.S. taxpayers.

SCHLAPP: That's right.

NAVARRO: Right now we've got millions and millions that have paid out in -- that have been paid out in sexual harassment claims and settlements.

SCHLAPP: John Conyers.

NAVARRO: You know, folks against Congress.


NAVARRO: Paid for by all U.S. Americans. And so I would say that the choice is by the people of Alabama, but it affects us all, therefore we all have an opportunity, we all have a right to opine on this because you're going to be as offended as I am about this.

SCHLAPP: You don't get to vote in Alabama, though, Ana. You don't get to vote. They get to vote.

NAVARRO: I've said that 100 times. No, but I -- I have to live with their choice.

CUOMO: All right, but voting -- voting is not the -- right, and it's all --

SCHLAPP: We all have to live with it.

CUOMO: Voting is not the only definition of responsibility in this situation. You know that. I get that it's expedient. But it's also a little deceptive.

Both of you, thank you very much.

SCHLAPP: That's not deceptive. That's not fair.

CUOMO: Oh, it's a little deceptive. It's a little bit. It's a little.

SCHLAPP: That's not fair. No.

CUOMO: But I'm giving you a break because it's time for Thanksgiving.

SCHLAPP: Happy Thanksgiving anyway.

NAVARRO: It's time to give (ph) up.

CUOMO: Be thankful -- be thankful for the pass I just gave you.

Take care to both of you.

SCHLAPP: Whatever.

CUOMO: Best to your families.


SCHLAPP: Best to you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK. So we also have some new details on how disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein silenced his accusers for years. How was he able to do that? Well, "The New Yorker's" Ronan Farrow is here with his latest reporting.


[08:42:10] CAMEROTA: OK. So we're learning more about how disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein kept his accusers quiet. In a new piece in "The New Yorker," women describe feeling intense pressure to take settlements and sign NDAs. The Weinstein scandal empowering scores of women, though, to come forward since then. Since the Weinstein story broke six weeks ago, the list of men in power accused of sexual misconduct continues to grow. CBS anchor Charlie Rose just the latest. He was fired for accusations against him.

Joining us now is attorney and representative for Gretchen Carlson, Nancy Erika Smith, and Ronan Farrow, who wrote the latest "New Yorker" piece and exposed bombshell claims against Harvey Weinstein.

Great to have both of you here for this conversation.

So, as we know, the flood gates have opened, but for a long time accusers were silenced. So they were silenced because this was a taboo, number one. Because they thought they would lose their jobs. And we saw that happened, number two. And because of these NDAs. What does your new reporting find?

RONAN FARROW, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, "THE NEW YORKER": A team of powerhouse celebrity lawyers, you know, employed by Harvey Weinstein, hired private investigators to directly influence the district attorney's office in New York, former staffers from the D.A.'s office calling their former colleagues, the current people considering whether to charge this guy, saying, look, this woman bringing accusations is a prostitute. Here's all this dirt our investigators have dug up on her.

And, look, the D.A.'s office says, this is business as usual. Defense attorneys, you know, often kind of call and they come in and they present dossier of information. The fact that it's business as usual is obviously alarming to a lot of these women who struggle to come forward.

CAMEROTA: And do -- I mean do prosecutors -- are prosecutors fooled by that when people call in with dirt? Does it affect their case?

FARROW: They are animate that it doesn't affect their judgement. However, I had multiple law enforcement say they went after this young woman in this particular case, like they were an extension of Weinstein's defense team after that. And it was at that point that this young woman said she felt she had no choice but to sign an agreement buying her silence.

CAMEROTA: So, buying the silence, that's it, right? So NDA are often part and parcel with settlements.


CAMEROTA: And sometimes they're very big settlements. So, are settlements good or bad in these cases?

SMITH: Well, they're bad if they allowed harassers to do what these men have done for 20, 30, 40 years. They shut up women. My clients, for the past 37 years, don't want NDAs. They don't want their voices taken. They don't want to be told to shut up after they're victimized. And I read in Ronan's article that Gloria Allred said, oh, the clients love them. My clients haven't loved them for 37 years. And not having an NDA doesn't require a woman to talk about it. So it's absurd to say that women want to be shut up.

CAMEROTA: But do they -- this is where the money gets confusing. So -- but they take the settlements. So --

SMITH: Right.

CAMEROTA: Why take a settlement if you don't want to sign an NDA?

SMITH: Because what's the alternative. You're losing your job. You're being forced out of your job by a harasser. He's probably staying, but you complained and now you have to lose your job.

[08:45:07] The alternative is to try the case, but that's also very difficult. You have these powerful people with powerful lawyers coming at you trying the case.

I've tried them. I'm happy to try them. I don't think the harassers want to try them and I think that the laws pending in California, New Jersey to ban NDAs will really help us root out harassment, which is the goal. Passing money around so that women can't work and harassers stay in the workplace is not the answer.

FARROW: I think what we're seeing in that in a certain category of individuals accused of this kind of misconduct, heavy hitters, rain makers for companies, there is a power imbalance where they can exploit the use of these NDAs and use them as a cloak of silence to continue to operate. Woman after woman told me, I wouldn't have signed if I knew there were previous agreements and it was a pattern that I was perpetuating.

CAMEROTA: That is the problem, is that each NDA means that you can't talk about it and so then women coming after you don't know what's happening. Let's just talk about what's happened since you broke the story about

Harvey Weinstein. That wall of faces that we just saw, and let's pull up the graphic again, I mean --

FARROW: That is not a graphic you want to be in.

CAMEROTA: I -- honestly, I mean, look at this, just from Harvey Weinstein you have, you know, Louis C.K., James Toback, Mark Halperin, Al Franken, John Conyers now who's not listed on there. Obviously Roy Moore we're talking about, Charlie Rose. I mean can you believe everything that's happened in the past six weeks?

FARROW: You know, Alisyn, I think it's important to say, that list is conflating a lot of different types of behavior. We are in a moment of painful and, I think, long overdue reassessment. This was right under the surface. This is something people were silent about for too long and there is this explosion now and that's empowering a lot of people in a positive way.

But I do think we are going to need to figure out where the lines should be drawn because this is a whole range of behavior. Some of it, you know, actual assault, like Weinstein, and some of it very different.

CAMEROTA: Oh, for sure. I mean I -- there -- there was -- we were do for a correction. We are in the midst of it. I feel that we're in the middle of this sea change.

But, Bill Cosby is sometimes in a category of his own, or certainly in a much smaller category than other people. And so we're talking about, what is sexual assault is pretty clear. OK, there are laws. Sexual assault is pretty clear. Sexual harassment is a gray area.

SMITH: Right. And we can't conflate sexual assault and sexual harassment, but we have to stop both. The judge made rule that sexual harassment has to be severe or pervasive, which we're reading about now because of the little video that is being shown at Vice and at -- in Congress. But that judge made -- that's not in the law. Who said that it's OK to have a little sexual harassment in the workplace as long as it's not severe and pervasive? We have to root out all harassment so that women can live to their full potential in the workplace, period. And we might be at that moment.

CAMEROTA: We've also learned about what was happening in Congress. I mean that there were all of these settlements paid secretly --

SMITH: With our money.

CAMEROTA: With our money. With taxpayer money.

FARROW: And that people who came forward had to sign an NDA as part of the process.

SMITH: Before -- before they even revealed what happened to them they were forced into silence.

CAMEROTA: Right. So legislation is now being proposed to change that, as well as what you're talking about, getting rid of the NDAs.


CAMEROTA: So it does feel like things are changing.

SMITH: I hope so. I hope so.

CAMEROTA: Nancy Erika Smith, thank you very much.

Ronan, thanks so much for sharing your reporting with us.

FARROW: Good to be here. Thanks.

SMITH: Thanks.


CUOMO: All right. There's a lot going on today. Here's a look at what to watch for.


ON SCREEN TEXT: 1:00 p.m., Macy's Parade Balloons inflation begins.

9:00 p.m., CNN exclusive "Secret State: Inside North Korea."

10:00 p.m., CNN special report, "Late-Night in the Age of Trump."


CAMEROTA: OK. Meanwhile, a big declaration by the United States government about the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Will labeling the violence committed against them, now ethnic cleansing, will that make a difference somehow?

CUOMO: And a former gang member is on a crusade to stop violence on the very streets that he, himself, terrorized as a teen.

CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta has his story in this "Turning Points."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shanduke McPhatter grew up in the Brooklyn projects.

SHANDUKE MCPHATTER: Some nights I had to eat a syrup sandwich. And that hunger will send you out to look for different ways, like going into the store just to steal a cake or something to put food into my stomach.

GUPTA: But petty theft turned into armed robbery and then selling drugs. He was first arrested at 16 and joined a gang in jail.

MCPHATTER: No father figure, no meaning, nothing to live for.

GUPTA: He was in and out of prison and spent almost a decade behind bars.

MCPHATTER: I wasn't at the point of turnaround.

GUPTA: Until he saw a heartbreaking family reunion. A fellow inmate greeting his newly convicted son in prison.

[08:50:04] MCPHATTER: I look at his father and there's tears coming down his eyes.

GUPTA: With twin boys at home, McPhatter didn't want his sons to grow up like him.

MCPHATTER: It's time to create what has not been there for me.

GUPTA: He was released in 2008. Four years later, he started a non- profit to help at-risk youth stay in school, get mental health counseling and find jobs.

MCPHATTER: So many of our communities have been ravage with that gangster mentality. My goal is to stop the violence in our communities. It's about giving them an opportunity. A way out. I like to look at prison as a business because I once was a consumer. So now I'm trying to take away their business.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.



CUOMO: We are following breaking news this morning. The U.S. government declaring the ongoing violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as ethnic cleansing.

CNN's Michelle Kosinski has the breaking details from the State Department.

What does this mean?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, these are some strong words and it is, obviously, a very strong statement. And in the last several weeks, we've seen the State Department not want to criticize the Burmese government too much. It's a new democracy. Also the government doesn't have that much control, if any, over the military, which is being held largely responsible for these atrocities. I mean there have been reports of Rohingya villages burned to the ground. Extreme violence and murder. Hundreds of thousands of this minority have fled and crossed the border into Bangladesh.

Now, though, after hearing people like the U.N. secretary-general call this a clear case of ethnic cleansing, Secretary of State Tillerson is calling that, saying it is clear this is ethnic cleansing.

What does that mean? Well, they're calling for accountability, continued investigation and this could, down the road, lead to sanctions. [08:55:07] CAMEROTA: OK, Michelle, thank you very much for that.

OK, on a much lighter note, happy Thanksgiving.

CUOMO: Happy Thanksgiving to you. I am thankful for you.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you. And you.

And it is the start, of course, of the holiday gift season. I have a suggestion for everyone. It's my book called "Amanda Wakes Up." And starting now through the holidays, you can find it on the new releases table of "Barnes & Noble." Pick it up. It will be a very entertaining read for your family.

CUOMO: Good idea. Fair and objective.

All right, CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman -- better buy the book right after this break. Have a great Thanksgiving. I'll see you tomorrow.

CAMEROTA: Have a great Thanksgiving.


[09:00:04] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.


We do begin this morning with breaking news.