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Sen. Al Franken's Defiant And Unapologetic Resignation; Extremist Groups Creating Online Platforms; Beyond The Call Of Duty; Black Lawmakers Skip Civil Rights Museum Opening Over Trump. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired December 8, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:32:20] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Senator Al Franken announcing his resignation but not apologizing in the wake of growing sexual misconduct accusations against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: Some of the allegations against me are simply not true, others I remember very differently. I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator -- nothing has brought dishonor on this institution and I am confident that the Ethics Committee would agree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: All right.
Joining us now is Tina Dupuy. She has accused Franken of groping her during a party in 2009. Tina, great to have you here.
TINA DUPUY, ACCUSED SEN. AL FRANKEN OF GROPING HER IN 2009: Good morning. How are you?
CAMEROTA: I'm well. How are you? I mean, what did you think as you watched his resignation announcement yesterday?
DUPUY: Well, I thought that he said to listen to women and then he talked about himself. It wasn't an apology. It was very defiant.
He wanted to talk about the pain that he was going through, which is obvious, but not the pain that he's inflicted. So -- and I think -- I thought that was inappropriate to do that from the Senate floor, quite candidly.
CAMEROTA: Not only that, I mean, basically, he said something that I hadn't heard before. He said that his apology -- because he had apologized previously, at least to Leeann Tweeden -- the one who had the picture of him on the USO tour. But the apology gave the false impression he said that he was admitting to things that he hadn't done.
DUPUY: Right. He was answering the president in that moment, which was -- he was talking to the president. He said that it was ironic that someone like Roy Moore and Donald Trump are still in good standing. That's not irony, that's one party being better on women than the other party.
CAMEROTA: But what do you think about that, that Al Franken -- well, let's -- first, let's talk about what happened with you.
CAMEROTA: So, in 2009, you were at an inaugural party for President Obama --
CAMEROTA: -- and you asked Al Franken to take a picture with you. Then what happened?
DUPUY: And he immediately put his hand on my waist -- just grabbed a handful of flesh and squeezed a couple of times.
CAMEROTA: Over your clothes.
DUPUY: Yes. But what I didn't put in the article was that, you know, I'd just quit smoking so I'd just gained 20 pounds. I was uncomfortable just being in clothing, let alone having some lawmaker manhandle me.
CAMEROTA: And so when he put his hand on your waist and squeezed and grabbed some flesh, what did that moment mean to you?
DUPUY: It was shocking. It was -- it was -- I mean, I keep on describing it as cognitive dissidence because here is someone I really admire, I really like, and he's doing something that makes me profoundly uncomfortable.
[07:35:00] And it's also -- he's someone who other people like, and no one wants to hear bad things about the people they admire.
And, Al Franken, in 2009, I mean, he was -- he was a hero. He was our 60th vote for Democrats in the Senate. He was our supermajority. It was a big deal to have him there.
CAMEROTA: So let's talk about what I think you and I were just referring to, which is in the continuum or the spectrum of sexual harassment --
CAMEROTA: -- is he in the same bucket as Roy Moore -- what we know the allegations against Roy Moore and the allegations against Donald Trump are?
DUPUY: See, I think that's a false equivalence and people have said that to me. They're like oh, he's no Roy Moore. And I'm like well, he's no Charles Manson, either, and that's not what I'm accusing him of. I'm saying that he calls himself a champion of women but he does these
things that says to the women that you have no ownership over your own body. That your comfort does not matter. That I can touch you and I can do whatever I want to you and it doesn't matter.
And candidly, if he were a Republican and he was, you know, trying to kiss boys against their will, men against their will, he would have been gone three weeks ago.
CAMEROTA: So you think that Al Franken did deserve to lose his career for this?
DUPUY: It's not lose his career as much as I think the most important thing at the end of the day is that he did not parade his victims in front of an Ethics Committee. I think that would be very traumatic for someone who had already gone through this -- who already -- some -- a lot of the women didn't come -- didn't use their names and I understand why.
But I think going through the Ethics Committee process for a victim is cruel.
CAMEROTA: So he did something honorable by --
DUPUY: I -- yes.
CAMEROTA: -- sparing them --
CAMEROTA: -- that.
And your article was also about how now is the moment for Democrats.
CAMEROTA: That after they let the accusations against Bill Clinton go, they have some reckoning themselves --
CAMEROTA: -- and this is the moment.
DUPUY: Right. I believe that that is the original sin that we chose as Democrats. We chose Bill Clinton over the women and we keep on making that same mistake over and over again. And I believe with Al Franken we've stopped doing that.
CAMEROTA: And so then, what if Roy Moore is elected and goes to Congress, then what can be expected?
DUPUY: Then I think the Republicans need to deal with the Republicans.
CAMEROTA: Well, Tina, the article is in "The Atlantic" for anybody who wants to read it. And thank you for coming forward with your story. It's fascinating to
talk to everyone -- with all the women who have come forward.
DUPUY: I really appreciate this. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Thanks for being here.
Let's get back to John.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, great discussion, Alisyn.
So where do extremist groups go when they get kicked off of YouTube and Twitter? The companies accused of hosting hate, next, in the CNN series "DIVIDED WE CODE."
[07:42:00] BERMAN: Now, to our series "DIVIDED WE CODE."
As CEOs in Silicon Valley decide who stays on their sites and who goes, some platforms are becoming weaponized by so-called fringe groups. Those groups are building their own forums allowing racism, sexism, and hate to thrive. Reassuring, isn't it?
CNN's Laurie Segall joins us now with these revelations. Really interesting stuff.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean increasingly, there's pressure for companies like Facebook and Twitter to kick hate speech -- kick these people off of their platforms.
But I think it's important for us to realize that these people don't go away. That speech doesn't go away. They're actually, in many cases, building out their own Internet infrastructure.
Now, I want to warn our viewers they might find the following content offensive or disturbing. Take a look.
SEGALL (voice-over): The backlash has begun. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have a dilemma.
On one hand, they're fighting violent content, removing terrorist propaganda, and trying to combat harassment on their platforms, but they're also walking a delicate line between censorship and free speech. And increasingly, some people think they've gone too far.
Anthony Mayfield is the founder of PewTube.
ANTHONY MAYFIELD, FOUNDER, PEWTUBE: When they see this crackdown, even if it's not personally their content that's being censored, I think they're offended.
SEGALL: It's his alternative to YouTube.
Can you describe your users?
MAYFIELD: I knew that at the beginning it would be mostly French characters.
SEGALL (on camera): Here is what that looks like. This is a pretty horrific title for a video.
(Holocaust atrocities to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence.")
Oh, wow. So, racist images or anti-Semitic images. That's pretty awful.
I'm running into like trouble. Do we even show any of this or do we just kind of scrap this because I don't actually think that some of these people deserve a platform and clearly, some of the tech companies don't, either.
But the news value there is that they have a platform and that they are gathering, and so you can't ignore it even if you don't agree with it.
SEGALL (voice-over): PewTube is one many alternative sites popping up.
This is Cody Wilson. I spoke to him years ago when he was working on a pretty controversial project.
CODY WILSON, FOUNDER, HATREON: I think I'm known as one of the more radical free-speech activists.
SEGALL: He was dubbed one of the most dangerous people on the Internet when he posted instructions showing how to 3D print a homemade gun.
Now he has a new crusade. It's called Hatreon. It's a place where extreme political content can get funding.
WILSON: Andrew Anglin, you could call him a fascist probably.
SEGALL (on camera): He's like a very famous troll.
WILSON: Yes. Sent to federal prison and other things for like the way he trolled AT&T. If you can get somebody to like leave (ph), that's a nice endorsement.
SEGALL: Even though he is known as one of the worst trolls on the Internet --
SEGALL: -- he's a good get for you?
WILSON: I think so.
SEGALL: Just remember, the -- WILSON: I think so.
SEGALL: -- that narrative -- OK.
WILSON: Well, Mr. Spencer, I think is considered a pretty successful cultural troll.
SEGALL (voice-over): Keep in mind, Richard Spencer's ideal is to have a wide ethnostate.
[07:45:00] The fundamental question is should these people get a platform and where should the line be drawn?
SEGALL (on camera): Are you worried that if some of this speech that's getting funded will incite violence, will you draw the line there?
WILSON: So, no, I'm not worried about it. I mean, when I'm talking about like incitement or (INAUDIBLE), I'm talking about OK, you're outside of someone's home, there's a mob, and you say there he is, get him. That's not protected speech.
But these personalities that use Hatreon right now, these people are, at worst, trolls, performance artists, provocateurs, vulgarians. And, best, they represent elements of a political speech that should not be censored.
SEGALL (voice-over): While he doesn't align himself with all their worldviews, Wilson is enabling what he calls the political speech of these characters.
He's taking a cut, too. He gets five percent of every dollar raised on Hatreon.
SEGALL: You know, there is this concept that evil festers in darkness and how much attention should we even pay to these groups. But I think we have to pay attention to them because increasingly, over the last year you have a lot of this hate speech turning offline.
BERMAN: And there are people making money on it.
BERMAN: All right. Laurie Segall, thank you very, very much.
BERMAN: Be sure to catch the CNN special "DIVIDED WE CODE." That's tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. eastern time.
CAMEROTA: OK. So, a civil rights museum is opening in Jackson, Mississippi tomorrow and President Trump plans to attend, but some black lawmakers say they will boycott the event.
So we have the mayor of Jackson here with his thoughts on what will happen next.
[07:50:47] BERMAN: Some Atlanta police officers put to the test as they tried to free motorists trapped inside a burning car.
CNN's Martin Savidge shows us how they went beyond the call of duty.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This bodycam video shows the desperate determination of Atlanta police trying to save two people trapped in a flaming wreck.
The doors of the car are jammed, a fire extinguisher fails to douse the fire, and Officer Michael Skillman's baton is just bouncing off the windows. Everyone knows those inside are moments from a horrible death.
OFFICER BILL BROOKS, ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT: For me, it was one of the most dramatic scenes I've ever been on.
OFFICER ELIJAH MCCALL, ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Once we arrived at the scene we were just -- you know, we really -- we had to act fast.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The fire department is on the way, they're just minutes out -- only there aren't minutes left.
OFFICER ANDRE VALENTINE, ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT: So I was -- I was really like, yes, let's just get them out and so it won't blow.
SAVIDGE: With no equipment to pry open the doors officers can only try to keep the flames under control until fire teams get there.
VALENTINE: I feel like my fire instincts should win out instantly.
SAVIDGE: The men never back off or give up, motivated by the desperate pleas of the trapped victims.
SAVIDGE (on camera): It must have been terrifying.
BROOKS: He's screaming, you know, help me, please. I don't want to die. I mean, it was kind of rough at times.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Finally, they even throw emergency water from the jugs stored in their police vehicle onto the burning car.
SAVIDGE (on camera): But that was key because you bought time.
VALENTINE: Yes, sir.
SAVIDGE: In fact, you bought just enough time --
VALENTINE: Just enough time.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Firefighters arrive. They put out the flames and free the driver and passenger, who survive thanks to some determined Atlanta police officers who even after reaching the limits of everything they had, went beyond the call.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.
CAMEROTA: God bless those officers.
OK, now to our next story.
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is going to open in Jackson tomorrow and President Trump plans to be there. But two black Congressman, civil rights icon John Lewis, and Bennie Thompson, who represents Jackson, say they will not attend.
Joining us now is the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, Chokwe Antar Lumumba. Mr. Mayor, thank you very much for being here.
MAYOR CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA (D), JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: Good morning. Thank you for having me.
CAMEROTA: So, how do you feel about President Trump coming down for the opening of this museum?
LUMUMBA: I believe that the decision of President Trump to come for the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is ill-considered.
I think that this is a necessary history that has to be told. I think that, you know, we are aware, obviously, of the great sacrifices and struggles that took place to bring us to this point. And, President Trump and the policies he espouses are disrespectful to the legacy and history that is to be portrayed in this museum.
CAMEROTA: I mean, he's the President of the United States. Shouldn't he be here for this museum opening -- this groundbreaking moment?
LUMUMBA: I think that if President Trump is sincere about recognition of civil rights, though one could imagine that being at a museum could demonstrate that, the policies you implement each and every day, your continuing commitment to advancing civil rights is a greater salute to a sincere effort to support a civil rights movement --
CAMEROTA: Here's what Congressman John --
LUMUMBA: -- and I think he fails to accomplish that on a consistent basis.
Here's what Congressman John Lewis and Bennie Thompson say about why they will not attend this.
"President Trump's disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants, and National Football League players disrespect the efforts of those who have given their all for Mississippi to be a better place.
After President Trump departs, we encourage all Mississippians and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum."
Mr. Mayor, will you be attending the opening ceremony of this museum?
LUMUMBA: I will not be sharing the stage with President Trump. I join Congressman Thompson and Congressman Lewis in, you know, asking individuals to actually visit the museum and to celebrate this history.
But, I -- you know, the legacy of the individuals who fought in this movement and continue to advance civil rights in our country and throughout the world -- that legacy will not allow me to stand with President Trump, who shows a blatant disregard for that movement.
[07:55:15] CAMEROTA: Mr. Mayor, isn't, though, this a time for dialogue? Isn't this a time for coming together?
I mean, I understand that you have very significant differences with President Trump, but isn't this the moment for some -- I mean, particularly, the opening of this museum, for some fence-mending, for some open conversation about all of this?
LUMUMBA: I absolutely believe it is a time for progress and a time for moving forward, and that's what we are pushing for in the city of Jackson and in the state of Mississippi, for that matter.
But when there is a consistent demonstration of a lack of appreciation from our national office, a lack of integrity from our national office, and disparaging comments that go to support a lot of hurt and harm within our society, then showing up for a museum opening is inconsistent with the actions that our president demonstrates on a daily -- on a daily basis.
CAMEROTA: And what do you mean?
LUMUMBA: And so, we are all for --
CAMEROTA: What specifically are you objecting to?
LUMUMBA: Say that one more time.
CAMEROTA: Specifically, what is it that you are objecting to that is so significant that it won't allow you to go to this museum opening?
LUMUMBA: Well, I'm objecting to, you know, a president who has demonstrated a wanton disregard for civil rights.
A president who not only has done the things that Congressman Thompson and Congressman Lewis have alluded to, a president who has sent -- well, a Department of Justice under his administration that has sent a letter to the city of Jackson suggesting that we are a sanctuary city where we just put forth a policy which is consistent with the law. A policy of anti-racial profiling. A president who continues not to denounce the alt-right that supports him. I think his actions, his decisions are consistent in that he does not uplift or push forward any effort for a civil rights -- for civil rights advancement or human rights advancement.
A president who disrespects the rights of women.
And considering the sacrifices of the great people who are -- who will be listed and who will be recognized in this museum, that legacy will not allow me to stand on a stage with a president who continues to disrespect their work.
CAMEROTA: The White House talks about those sacrifices and here's their statement. Let me read it to you.
"We think it's unfortunate that these members of Congress won't join the president in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history. The president hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds."
What do you want to say to the White House on that front?
LUMUMBA: I would say that the president does not have to remind us in Mississippi what this movement is about. We are very clear about what this is about. We are very clear about the positive direction in uplifting those sacrifices, supporting our Mississippi martyrs, and supporting our veterans of civil rights movement.
What we have issue with is a president who does not demonstrate the words in which he suggests in that statement each and every day. That is our concern.
And until he shows a consistent effort towards advancing civil rights, human rights, and women's rights, then any effort to stand on a stage with people whose lives have been forever altered based on that -- those principles -- those ideals, is disingenuous and ill-considered on his behalf.
CAMEROTA: Mayor Lumumba, we really appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective on all of this.
LUMUMBA: Thank you so much.
CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: We say zero tolerance for sexual harassment in the halls of Congress.
BERMAN: Republican Trent Franks making a surprise announcement that he is resigning in the face of an ethics probe.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Every one of these claims, they have to be taken very seriously.
FRANKEN: I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office.
DONALD TRUMP, JR.: It wasn't really follow-up because there's nothing there to follow up.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Newly- revealed e-mails show that there was, in fact, follow-up e-mails by participants in that meeting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So far, we haven't seen any follow-up that touched Trump, Jr.
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: Why are you not just telling the truth if nothing happened? It's what people do when they're hiding something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your new day. It is Friday, December eighth, 8:00 in the east.
Chris is off this morning; John Berman joins me. We still have a lot to do in the next hour.
BERMAN: We sure do.
CAMEROTA: OK. Meanwhile, three lawmakers in three days resigning amid sexual misconduct allegations.
First, there was John Conyers. Then, Republican Congressman Trent Franks abruptly announced last night that he's stepping down.