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Southern California Experiencing Living Hell of Fire; Woman Says Friend Told Her About Roy Moore Abuse in 1979; What's Next for the #MeToo Movement. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired December 10, 2017 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:32] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for joining me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
And in less than 48 hours, voters in Alabama will make a choice that could have a major impact on the balance of power in the United States Senate. On Tuesday, either Republican Roy Moore or Democrat Doug Jones will be elected to the Senate and take the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Now only people in Alabama will vote. But the impact nationwide is enormous. This is why the Republican majority in the Senate right now is just two seats. So a win by the Democrat would shave that majority down, making some upcoming votes even more uncertain.
Each man has a big hurdle to clear. For Roy Moore, several accusations of sexual harassment and in one case molestation of an underage girl. Doug Jones, the Democrat, is trying to get votes in a deeply, deeply red state.
And there for us is CNN correspondent, Kaylee Hartung. She is in Birmingham right now.
Kaylee, President Trump has made his pick in this very important race and this weekend, he is apparently working the phones there in Alabama. Tell us about this.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana, voters across the state of Alabama can expect to hear President Trump's voice on the other end of the line. A robocall that lasts about a minute and a half in which he encourages Alabamians to vote for Roy Moore. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hi, this is President Donald Trump and I need Alabama to go vote for Roy Moore. If Alabama elects liberal Democrat Doug Jones, all of our progress will be stopped cold.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARTUNG: Now that call being heard across the state, but for the volunteers for the Roy Moore campaign who were on the streets of this state today, going door-to-door, knocking and canvassing, the goal is very direct, Ana. And that is to activate Moore campaign's base. The Christians, the conservatives in this state who they expect to keep this dependably red state red.
So this neighborhood that I'm in right now, I'm in northeast suburb of Birmingham, a very blue-collar area, this was a neighborhood that voted at its precinct overwhelmingly for Roy Moore in the Republican primary runoff against Luther Strange. This campaign very targeted in its efforts today on the ground. But that call from President Trump that will be heard statewide.
CABRERA: So these people you're talking to this weekend, Kaylee, canvassers and voters, what more are they saying about this election that 2the entire nation is now watching so closely, especially, I'm curious how the Moore supporters are making their case in light of those sexual misconduct accusations.
HARTUNG: Well, Ana, because the Roy Moore volunteers who are going door-to-door are going to homes where they anticipate a friendly audience, the questions haven't been too difficult. In this neighborhood, for example, just spoke with some canvassers who estimated they knocked on a hundred doors and didn't meet a single antagonistic homeowner among them. So when they're speaking to the friendly voters, they're able to carry that message you're hearing from President Trump, carry the message we've heard time and time again for Roy Moore, that he wants to bring the values of Alabama to Washington.
Those being not just conservative values, but also Christian values in a state where about half of the people here identify as evangelical Christians. And when it comes to the allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, we've heard him repeatedly deny those claims. The latest poll by "The Washington Post" says 28 percent of the people in this state still don't believe those allegations against him.
And when you think about the fact that the secretary of state has said he estimates 20 percent of this population will vote, the Roy Moore campaign knows exactly who they're talking to when they're making their pitch to get their base out to the polls on Tuesday.
CABRERA: All right, Kaylee, keep on working it and giving us some insight on what's happening there on the ground. Thank you for that reporting.
Doug Jones, meantime, the Democrat in the race, is trying to become the first Democrat to win a Senate race in Alabama in more than 25 years. And these are actually live pictures right now, as he is making his final case to supporters.
This is in Huntsville, Alabama. And to win, he will really need African-Americans who make up the majority of Democratic voters in the state to turn out in huge numbers.
Joining us now is CNN political commentator and former special adviser to President Obama, Van Jones.
Van, black voters were 28 percent of Alabama's electorate in 2012 and Obama still lost the state to Mitt Romney by 22-plus points.
[18:05:04] So to win, Jones is going to have to pick up moderate white voters, too, obviously, or hope that they stay home on top of the African-American turnout, close to Obama levels. Do you see this happening?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's going to be very, very tough. One of the things to keep in mind is that this is also a special election. It's in December. It's on a Tuesday, you know, shortly before Christmas. We have no idea how the Alabama voters or any voters respond to this level of unusualness for an election. And so there's question marks all over the place. We're going to be second-guessing ourselves a thousand times.
But what you can be sure of is, African-Americans are probably motivated to come out. There's a lot of organizing to get them to turn out because they know that their vote will count and will matter. The challenge is there's just not enough African-American voters to do it on their own. And so then the second question becomes, what about those moderate voters? Those who don't like some of the stuff that they're hearing about Roy Moore?
There's only two responses. They -- you know, assuming they don't want to go and hold their nose, they either stay home or they come out and vote against a Republican. Now usually, when you have these kinds of allegations, you can de-motivate voter behavior. You can de- mobilize voter behavior, but you still need something else to inspire someone who might ordinarily vote for a Republican to climb over the wall and actually vote the other way.
And so the Democrats have in Jones a candidate that has a lot of appealing factors, but it's not just about disqualifying Roy Moore for those moderate voters. You've also got to qualify Jones, and that's what we don't know yet.
CABRERA: I heard some of the other analysts on our air say it would almost be a gift to Democrats if Moore wins. But if he does win, Moore, is there any risk for Democrats who would try to weaponize his victory against Republicans in the midterms?
JONES: Well, I think, one of the things that we saw in the Trump candidacy in 2016 is that just disqualifying your opponent, just pointing out your opponent's flaws, saying Trump is bad or saying that Republicans are bad because, you know, they supported Trump or maybe in 2018, Republicans are bad because they supported Roy Moore, that is -- did not prove to be enough of a difference maker.
And so, you know, Democrats can use that, but they're also going to have to come up with a positive reason to motivate their own voters to come out. There's a certain number of voters who are going to be forgiving of these kinds of things. Certain voters will never be forgiving of those things. But in the middle, you've got to have more than just, you know, the Republican Party has gone astray.
You've got to be able to talk about jobs. You've got to be able to talk about criminal justice reform and addiction and immigration. And things that right now in this environment, Democrats aren't getting their positive message out. And I think the concern for Democrats should be, in the middle of all this, can you get a positive message out to motivate your own base and to bring those swing voters over to you?
CABRERA: Van, I'm curious to get your take on this message. Take a look at this flyer from Doug Jones and his campaign. He's got a lot of criticism for this. You can see a young African-American man with a skeptical look on his face and it reads, "Think if a black man went after high school girls, anyone would try to make him a senator?"
Van, what did you think of this strategy?
JONES: Well, I think that one of the things that Democrats have been frustrated by, certainly African-American voters have been frustrated by, is that for a Barack Obama and a Michelle Obama, who were such exemplary people, at the level of character, at the level of education, at the level of dignity, at the level of how they conducted themselves in the White House, and yet they were still just hit with brick bat after brick bat from their opponents.
I think in a sense, well, listen, when African-Americans put up a candidate, our candidates have to be, you know, pure -- beyond pure. They have to act better than anyone. And yet they still aren't treated with respect. Why is it -- there seem to be a double standard from the conservatives for their candidates when they put up candidates that don't meet that Obama -- that Barack and Michelle Obama standard.
CABRERA: But -- but will that light a fire under those African- American voters? You talked about voter enthusiasm.
JONES: Look, I think that that -- listen, if that's the only ad they're running down there, I don't think that ad is going to be enough to clear the hurdle. I do think that there is a lot of frustration with Democrats, especially with African-Americans, that there seems to be a double standard that conservatives did not find Barack and Michelle Obama acceptable despite their dignity, despite their poise, despite their education, despite their incredible character that they carry themselves with, and yet they seem to give a pass to their own.
And there does seem to be, in the eyes of many people, a racial dimension there, beyond the partisan dimension, whether that's good election strategy, I don't know. But it is a real sentiment out there.
[18:10:05] CABRERA: Van, you talked about the choices here. There is another choice besides voting for Roy Moore, Doug Jones, or staying home. The other Alabama senator, Republican Richard Shelby, says he has cast his ballot, but he could not support his party's Republican nominee. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: I didn't vote for Roy Moore. I wouldn't vote for Roy Moore. I think the Republican Party can do better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: He says he wrote in another Republican person on his ballot. Credit where credit is due?
JONES: Well, I think that that was an admirable move on his part. You know, he voted for a Republican, but not that Republican. And I think that's another possibility. That won't be enough for Jones to win. You would have to have a mass number of people do that for him to win. What he really needs is for a Republican voter to send a message to their own party that they would literally rather vote for a Democrat than vote for this type of Republican.
And that's a high bar. I do think you're going to see, especially for an off-year special election, close to Christmas, I mean, that's -- that is a recipe for low voter turnout. But I think you're going to see higher voter turnout, especially from African-Americans and from Democrats, but there are just not enough African-Americans to win on their own.
The moderates, and they only sit down and stay home, that won't be enough. They've got to actually jump the fence and to do that, they're going to have been motivated to support Jones, to believe that his record as a prosecutor, that his overall conservative Democratic credentials are enough, and that they want to send a message to the other Republicans, that they still have those high standards that they expect from Democrats.
CABRERA: It sounds like you don't believe he's going to end up pulling this off and neither has anybody else we've talked to tonight but you never know.
Let's talk about this speech that former president Obama gave this week before I let you go, Van. He sounded the alarm on needing to defend democracy. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARRACK OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, presumably, there was a ballroom here in Vienna in the late 1920s or '30s that looked pretty sophisticated with the music and the art and the literature and science that was emerging and would continue into perpetuity. And then 60 million people died. An entire world was plunged into chaos. So you've got to pay attention and vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Van, what's your thought on that?
JONES: Well, I think that he's making a broad point. Again, when he's on the global stage, you can't assume that he's always just talking about Donald Trump and the Republicans. Globally, authoritarian movements seem to be gaining strength. Whether you're talking about Putin or China or ISIS or some of these more right-wing populist movements in Europe. You know, Brexit, et cetera. Movements that seem to be very authoritarian, very xenophobic, very intolerant, sometimes playing footsy with violence are growing.
And that's not a partisan issue. That's an American issue. That's a democracy issue. Both Republicans and Democrats for most of the last hundred years have stood together in defense of democracy, against authoritarianism.
Now we may disagree about how to make democracy work and which bills to pass. But there's never been at the high levels of our government, any sort of playing footsy with Nazis and that kind of stuff. So I think the president is trying to sound a global alarm, and it's one that I share, as well. You know, democracies can fail. In fact, democracies historically have failed. It's a miracle that we've been able to hold on to ours for, you know, these many centuries.
It is -- I applaud the president for trying to call people's attention. We shouldn't take democracy for granted. In both parties, we should fight to defend our institutions.
CABRERA: Van Jones, good to see you. Congrats on the new show. Looking forward to it.
JONES: Thank you.
CABRERA: Thanks for spending time with us.
Coming up, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says there is pretty damning evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. That's next.
[18:18:25] CABRERA: A big week ahead in the Russia investigation. Take a look at this. Tomorrow morning, Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and former campaign aide, Rick Gates, will be back in court for a bail hearing. Then on Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is going to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about the special counsel investigation. And he will likely face tough questions from Republicans, especially, about potential bias after an agent working on the case was caught sending texts that could be seen as anti-Trump.
And as early as this week, Rob Goldstein, that British publicist, the guy who set up and attended the Trump Tower meeting, could testify before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about what went on at that now infamous gathering back in June of last year.
With me to add some perspective to the week ahead, "Washington Post" columnist Josh Rogin and former senior adviser to the national security adviser under President Obama, Samantha Vinograd.
So, Josh, what's number one on your radar this week?
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the Rosenstein testimony has to be the thing that most people in Washington are focused on for a couple of reasons. One, because, you know, we rarely get to hear from this guy and he -- on the one hand, he's a Trump administration appointee, on the other hand he said last week in an interview that he's satisfied with the Mueller investigation so far.
And what we're seeing now is an increased ramping up, coordinated, well thought-out, well planned-out effort to sort of investigate the investigation. And this latest detail with the guy who texted his lover about anti-Trump stuff, that's only one piece of a larger strategy to sort of muddy the waters, you know, confuse the sort of issues, but also to sort of, you know, smear the Mueller investigation to the point that when he comes out with whatever he's going to come out with, people won't believe it or there might even be cover for the president to fire him.
[18:20:08] So that will be an intense hearing and I think you'll see Republicans and Democrats alike sort of get at this issue which is, OK, is there really any evidence that the Mueller investigation is biased? If so, I haven't seen it, but let's wait and see what happens when the hearing comes off.
CABRERA: And as these congressional investigations are going on, parallel to the Mueller investigation, we have Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee saying, even before these hearings there's already enough evidence of collusion. Here he is on CNN earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We do know this. The Russians offered help, the campaign accepted help. The Russians gave help and the president made full use of that help. And that is pretty damning, whether it is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of conspiracy or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So, Samantha, as a former national security official, do you agree with Adam Schiff, that we've already seen enough evidence to point to collusion, that it's damning enough, or is it too soon to be making such a bold statement?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think we need to let the special counsel finish their investigation before we decide whether there was collusion or not, but what we do know is that the Russian government launched an expansive intelligence operation and targeted campaign and transition officials. Remember, just a few weeks ago, former Russian ambassador Kislyak said he actually couldn't list all of Trump officials that he had contact because there were too many.
So we know that the Russians tried to target as many campaign and transition team officials as they could. We also know that Trump officials haven't been completely forthcoming about all the contacts that they had with the Russian government. And so as investigators, for example, go through all the documents that they seized from Paul Manafort --
CABRERA: 400,000 documents, we learned. VINOGRAD: Exactly, exactly, a huge amount of material. There's an
important intelligence angle there. Those documents may have more information on contacts with the Russian government that could help set the parameters of who the Russian government contacted and when. So that we begin to understand the full scope of the Russian intelligence operation.
CABRERA: So there could be even more information that's not just related directly to this question of collusion.
CABRERA: But really getting our heads wrapped around how Russia is trying to infiltrate the U.S.
Josh, there's a CBS poll that came out this week and one number really caught my attention. You kind of alluded to this, this idea that the credibility of the investigation is now being questioned, and it turns out, Republicans, a vast majority, 81 percent believe that the Russia investigation is politically motivated. And only 17 percent think it's justified. And even when you look at independents, 48 percent also believe this is a politically motivated probe.
How did we get here?
ROGIN: Right. So let me expand on what I was saying earlier, which is that, there is no evidence that the Mueller investigation is politically motivated or biased, that has been shown to us, at least. OK. But there's a lot of innuendo, a lot of sort of spurious reasoning, no, because someone said this, this must mean that. But that's not actually evidence. But what they show is when you get the president's Twitter feed and like 75 percent of FOX News pundits and a House Intelligence Committee which is running an investigation that's like the definition of a biased investigation, you know, all those things together it works. And whether or not --
CABRERA: So why do you say it's the definition of a biased investigation?
ROGIN: I mean, you've got to this chairman, Devin Nunes, who recused himself but never really recused himself. And now that he's been cleared by the Ethics Committee of committing a classification violation, he's emboldened to sort of ramp up his investigation into the Mueller investigation.
It's not a sort of OK, let's do both sides and see what the truth is, it's how can we get stuff on the investigation? It's all pointed in one direction, which is sort of the definition of bias, right? Now that's fine, and well and good, because that's not really where the action is. The action is the Mueller investigation. That's how we find out what happened to our democracy. And until we see some evidence of actual impropriety in the Mueller investigation, which, again, Rod Rosenstein has said he hasn't seen or at least that he's satisfied so far, then what are we talking about here?
We're talking about trying to work the refs. We're trying to -- working the crowd and provide cover for a president to either get out of this or fire Mueller or whatever he's going to do, if and when the hammer comes down, and it's working. OK. Whether or not it's based in evidence and fact, Republicans are believing it. And that has its own political consequence, which I think we've only begun to really understand.
CABRERA: Got to leave it there.
Samantha, I owe you another question next time. Thank you both for being here with me. Josh Rogin and Samantha Vinograd.
Coming up, investigators are still waiting for progress on a tax cut bill. Investigators I should say are waiting for that progress to be made. There's also interest rates that could be on the rise.
Christine Romans has a look ahead to the week on Wall Street -- Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Wall Street ended the week with a pretty strong jobs number. Now looking for progress on a final tax bill this week. Lawmakers working out the differences between the House and Senate versions. Hope for tax cuts has been a driving stocks higher all week, and investors bet the conference committee process goes smoothly.
[18:25:08] On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates and will release its latest economic forecast. It also marks Janet Yellen's final press conference as Fed chief. Her term ends in February. Investors also watching Bitcoin. Have you seen this? The virtual currency keeps breaking records, surging about 70 percent last week, 70 percent in one week.
This week, Bitcoin futures start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. That could drive even more volatility, as hedge funds and big asset managers maybe try to get in on the cryptocurrency craze.
In New York, I'm Christine Romans.
CABRERA: Bitcoin, who knew? Thanks, Christine.
New evacuation orders for some residents in southern California, still, today, as the wildfires continue to spread. The number of acres burned so far is almost as big as the city of New York. We will give you a firsthand view of how firefighters are battling the flames, next.
[18:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: For nearly a week now, firefighters have been waging what seems like an endless war against dangerous wildfires in southern California. They are trying to contain a half dozen active fires that have left residents in a, quote, living hell.
Wildfires have burned nearly 200,000 acres, an area almost as large as New York City. And even though the Santa Ana winds are expected to die down, there is no rain in the forecast for the next two weeks. Senior National Correspondent Kyung Lah is on the front lines of the
firefight in Santa Barbara County.
Kyung, are fire officials making any progress?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are making significant progress with some of the smaller fires, but it is this fire, the Thomas fire, which is the largest fire, that is still a major problem.
You can see the hillsides here, Ana, are still lit up as the fire continues to churn through that very dry brush that you were talking about. A hundred and 73 acres so far, and growing, 15,000 structures threatened, and -- an evacuation order that has just expanded this afternoon, a sign that this fire continues to be a threat.
LAH (voice-over): Unrelenting and growing, as punishing winds and dry land fuel the largest of California's fires, the Thomas fire.
CAPT. DAVE ZANIBONI, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, SANTA BARBARA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: It's not a house-by-house fight yet. We're trying to prevent that. And you know, if we can get the wind to cooperate with us -- the wind's definitely picking up now.
LAH (on camera): So you've been hitting it from the air as well as working it from the ground?
ZANIBONI: Yes, correct. The helicopters have been a huge help.
LAH (on camera): You can see the wind as it pushes the embers this way. All of these embers fly towards the houses that haven't burned yet.
ZANIBONI: Firefighters are just -- they're busy.
LAH (voice-over): Exhausted and in the back of this truck, injured. Thousands of firefighters weary after nearly a week battling wildfires raging across southern California.
In northern San Diego County, homes burned in minutes. A wildfire spreading so fast, terrified thoroughbred horses ran in circles, trapped. Others, burned alive in their barns. Some horses barely made it out, their trainer's escape route burning around them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got five heading out of San Luis Rey.
LAH (voice-over): This entire neighborhood disappeared in just 20 minutes. Daylight revealed all that was lost.
In Los Angeles' Bel Air neighborhood, hillsides and mansions burned. More people running from flames.
FELICIA WALDMAN, WILDFIRE EVACUEE: We just started panicking. We didn't know what to do. So we hadn't been told to evacuate but we were going to evacuate.
So we just started thinking -- my husband said just take anything that, you know, you think you might need. Everything can be replaced. Let's just get out of here.
LAH (voice-over): Nearly 200,000 people in southern California evacuated this week. Some returning to a home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, honey. It's me. Our house is still there. Yes, everything looks good.
LAH (voice-over): Others digging through what's left.
DAVID KARIAN, WILDFIRE EVACUEE: There's not much, but if there's a few things that will help them, you know, have some connection to the past, then that's what's -- that's what I'm trying to do. It is what it is. Material stuff but, like you said, memories of a lot of years.
LAH: Back live here, as you watch the Thomas fire burn, 173,000 acres and growing. The winds are out of the northeast at 30 to 35 miles per hour.
This red flag warning, Ana, is expected to be in place until 8:00 p.m. this evening when firefighters are hoping that the weather will turn in their favor.
If it's possible, Ana, they're hoping that they'll be able to do air night drops overnight, meaning they'll be able to keep those helicopters in the air and try to put out this fire when the winds die down. Ana.
CABRERA: Incredible images. Kyung Lah, thanks for that reporting.
Stay safe. We saw you so close to those flames. It's unbelievable. Thanks for being our eyes and ears on the ground.
[18:35:04] Coming up, Roy Moore claims that he doesn't know any of the women accusing him. But in a CNN exclusive, an old friend of Roy Moore accuser Leigh Corfman comes forward on camera to tell the story about what Corfman told her years ago. The interview, next.
CABRERA: In just two days, Alabama voters will choose their next senator. Republican candidate Roy Moore says he is not guilty of the sexual abuse allegations against him. He spoke today with the "Alabama Political Reporter."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROY MOORE, REPUBLICAN ALABAMA CANDIDATE FOR SENATE: I said I did not know any of the women who have charged me with sexual allegations --
BILL BRITT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER: OK. [18:40:00] MOORE: -- of molestation. And I did not know any of the
women. When I saw these pictures on the advertisements of my opponent, I did not recognize any of those people.
MOORE: I did not know them. I have written cards, graduation cards. I have known families. I have known a lot of people throughout my life.
But these allegations are completely false. I did not date underage women. I did not molest anyone.
MOORE: And so these allegations are false.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Several women have accused Moore of pursuing sexual relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Gary Tuchman talked to a woman who says her childhood friend was one of those targeted by Moore.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Betsy Rutenberg Davis lives in California but grew up in Gadsden, Alabama, the hometown of Judge Roy Moore.
BETSY RUTENBERG DAVIS, CHILDHOOD FRIEND OF LEIGH CORFMAN: This is me up here. And almost directly below me is Leigh, right here.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Leigh Corfman, the woman who says Roy Moore sexually abused her when she was a 14-year-old girl. An allegation that Moore denies. Betsy Davis is one of the two friends Corfman has said she told at the time.
DAVIS: Leigh and I grew up together. I've known her since we were babies.
TUCHMAN (on camera): She confided in you about something when she was 14 years old and you were 14 years old?
TUCHMAN (on camera): What did she tell you?
DAVIS: She told me that she snuck out of her house and went on a date with Roy Moore, and he had sexually assaulted her.
TUCHMAN (on camera): After she told you this, what was your understanding of who Roy Moore was in the community? What was -- what did you think he was? DAVIS: He was like a -- he was a big lawyer. He was a powerful guy.
He was supposed to put criminals in jail.
TUCHMAN (on camera): And did she tell you, Leigh, how old he was?
DAVIS: I knew he was a lot older. I mean, I don't know that she said that he was 32, but I knew that he was like more than twice her age.
TUCHMAN (on camera): What did she tell you that he did to her?
DAVIS: I remember her saying that he made a pallet on the floor. Maybe with blankets, something like that. And I remember her saying that he came out of his room in nothing but tighty whiteys, which is what we used to call jockey underwear.
TUCHMAN (on camera): And what happened then?
DAVIS: They started to fool around. And he guided her to -- it's like he -- you know, like he was trying to teach her what to do. And she didn't want any part of it. And she told him so.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Is it your memory that when she told you about it, she was scared or didn't understand what was going on?
DAVIS: I wouldn't use scared but definitely creeped out.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So when she told you this, what did you say to her?
DAVIS: I said, you cannot see him again. This is not good. He's too old for you. You're too young for him. You've got your life ahead of you. You know, you've got to go to college, and you got to, you know, live your life.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Were you mature enough at 14 to realize how debilitating, psychologically, mentally, this could be for a 14-year- old child to be with a man who was over 30 years old?
DAVIS: I don't think I understand that. But what my mother had always said to me and drilled it into my head was, you know, in terms of sex, men take what they want, and it's always the woman's fault.
And I knew that if she went down this path, she was going to be blamed, and she was the one that was going to be left. And it wasn't going to affect him at all. So I told her -- she was my friend -- get out, this is no good.
TUCHMAN (on camera): He was asking her to go out again?
DAVIS: That's my understanding, yes.
TUCHMAN (on camera): And she was asking you for advice, how she should handle it?
DAVIS: Yes. I was like, just, no, absolutely not. TUCHMAN (on camera): After she told you about this, what happened on
the floor on this mattress or whatever it was, did you discuss at all telling any adults, your parents, about what happened?
DAVIS: I'm not sure that we discussed it, but I know that we knew that we weren't going to tell anybody.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Why's that?
DAVIS: We felt like we were equipped to handle it. We had decided that it wasn't a good idea. Nobody wanted to get in trouble. And we didn't know if anybody would believe us.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Betsy Davis and her husband, Charlie, live in Los Angeles and are the parents of two boys. He says he's known about this for a long time.
TUCHMAN (on camera): When did your wife first tell you about this?
CHARLIE DAVIS, HUSBAND OF BETSY RUTENBERG DAVIS: Well, shortly after I met my wife, I met Leigh Corfman on our visit from Gadsden. And from that time on, I knew that she had an incident. But I didn't know who Roy Moore was in the beginning, but that all came out over time.
TUCHMAN (on camera): And how many years ago was that, that you first found out?
C. DAVIS: Nineteen years.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Betsy Davis says she is a Democrat. But!
DAVIS: I'm not here to tear Roy Moore down. I'm here to hold my friend up.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And regarding unproven allegations that women speaking out against Roy Moore are doing it for money -- has anyone paid you to talk to us? Any Democrats?
DAVIS: God, no!
TUCHMAN (on camera): Any members of the news media?
[18:45:00] DAVIS: No!
TUCHMAN (on camera): Any establishment Republicans?
DAVIS: No. And I ran! I cannot tell you how many phone calls I've declined, how many messages I haven't returned.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So why are you talking to us now?
DAVIS: Because at the end of the day, I need to set examples for my kids. And one of those examples is to stand up for the truth and to stand up for my friend.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Election Day is this Tuesday. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Los Angeles.
CABRERA: Coming up, from Alabama to Capitol Hill, a reckoning on lawmakers. Three members of Congress ousted in three days over allegations of sexual misconduct.
One of the founders of the #MeToo Movement weighs in about what's next, coming up. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:50:12] CABRERA: It was a week of cold hard reckoning for sexual harassers and one that's been a long time coming for women.
First, "TIME" Magazine's recognition of collective bravery. The 2017 Person of the Year went to the silence breakers, honoring thousands of women who stepped from the shadows to name and shame the men who did them harm.
Next came a collective display of woman power within the corridors of power. A groundswell of female Democrats uniting, demanding a reckoning for a member of their own party resulting in this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: Nevertheless, today, I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as member of the United States Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Senator Al Franken was just one of three political casualties in three days. Just the day before, veteran Democratic Congressman John Conyers stepped down amid multiple claims of sexual harassment despite denying any wrongdoing.
And then two days later, Republican Congressman Trent Franks resigned after inappropriate discussions with female staffers about being a surrogate parent to his child.
So what's next?
I'm joined now by Tarana Burke, one of the founders of the #MeToo Movement. She was among those honored as one of the silence breakers in the "TIMES" 2017 Person of the Year.
TARANA BURKE, FOUNDER, #METOO MOVEMENT: Thank you. Thank you so much.
CABRERA: So I know the #MeToo Movement is saying this is just the beginning. And this week, we did see an incredible display of females coming forward, uniting together, flexing their moral muscle. In your opinion, what's next?
BURKE: Well, I think it gets wider from here. I think that we're seeing this fallout in politics, but I'm -- what I'm hoping happens is that this spreads to other industries.
I think we have a really great opportunity to look at what's happening with low wage workers, look what -- at what's happening in the other industries outside of Congress, outside of Hollywood. I think what's next is that we keep powering forward.
CABRERA: I want to read you a little quote from "The Wall Street Journal's" editorial board.
The truth is that Mr. Franken is being run out of town by fellow Democrats, in large part, for their political purposes. They want him banished, so they can claim to have cleaned their own stables so they can attack Republicans who support Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and Donald Trump. Mr. Franken is a political ballast who had to go.
So was that what we saw this week, do you think, Tarana? Was it a political posturing moment, or do you think that these women had had enough and that this was really about sending a message regarding sexual harassment and sexual misconduct?
BURKE: I mean, look, I don't know what the -- you know, the bottom line was for the women. I do know that I have spoken to one of Al Franken's accusers, and she was deeply troubled by his lack of apology. She was deeply troubled by the way he went about speaking about what happened between them.
And I've also talked to Representative Speier, and I know that there is a -- there is an energy that's happening on Capitol Hill where they really are tired of this and want to set an example that it has to be zero tolerance.
And so although somebody even like Al Franken who's beloved and is a hit for the Democratic Party, they -- I think they had to have -- really, it is a reckoning for all the parties.
And even if it is about push -- you know, standing up against the Republicans to actually show that they're different, that's not really bad, I don't think. I think somebody has to do it.
CABRERA: Is there a line, though? I mean, is there a gray area that you see where, again, as some people pointed out, these allegations haven't been proven. Some of them happened so long ago.
CABRERA: I mean, at what point does every allegation that comes out result in some kind of punishment?
BURKE: I mean, sexual violence happens on a spectrum, and I think the accountability should happen on a spectrum, too. I don't think that all punishment across the board should be the same, and it has to be looked at. Every case has to be looked at, and you have to deal with what the
survivors want and what they call justice. And so, you know, to that end, these things have to be handled as they come in and as people examine the case.
I don't think it should be a sweeping indictment of folks that they just -- they're just pushed out of their positions. But I do think there has to be accountability and it has to -- it should happen swiftly.
CABRERA: Do you think that the men out there who have lived in a culture that was maybe different decades ago in some of these allegations that have come forward, do you think they're thinking about things differently now?
BURKE: I hope they are. I hope -- for their sake and for our sake as a country, I hope that they are. I think men should be thinking deeply about their behavior.
These men have benefited from patriarchy for years. They've been really comfortable in their positions, and they have been able to sit back and benefit from these things and act out in these ways without having any accountability. And so now, we've reached the time in our history and in our country where that's not going to be tolerated.
CABRERA: Real quickly, do you think, if the election were this year instead of last year, Donald Trump still would have been elected president given the accusations he is facing?
[18:54:59] BURKE: After this movement happened? I would hope not. I would hope that in this moment, after we've had all of this happen, if the election happened now, that people would have a different feeling, a different sensibility, and would not vote him in.
CABRERA: Well, Tarana Burke, thank you again for coming on, for sharing your thoughts.
BURKE: Thank you.
CABRERA: And for being such a great example of girl power. Just thank you.
BURKE: Oh, thank you. Thank you.
CABRERA: Still ahead. Just days from the election now and the senior Republican senator from Alabama goes against President Trump and the RNC. What he told our Jake Tapper about Roy Moore and how voters in Alabama are reacting, next.