Return to Transcripts main page
Uber Changes Ways; Palestinians Killed in Gaza; Warriors Beat Rockets; Supreme Court Rules on Betting; Trump Helps Chinese Company; Interview with Rep. Eric Swalwell. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired May 15, 2018 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:30:00] DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: No longer try to hide the problem and will allow victims to speak out, Alisyn. It's a warning to others. Uber calls this turning the lights on, pledging transparency, integrity and accountability. One of the problems we exposed for many victims of sexual assault, when you download that Uber app, in the fine print you're agreeing to arbitration for any legal claims you may have against the company, basically forfeiting your right to sue. That is about to change. It was an issue for one woman we told you about who took Uber after a night out thinking that she had a safe ride home. Instead, she says her Uber driver raped her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: You're in the backseat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yep.
GRIFFIN: You were, I assume, passed out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. He had woke me up. He had to. He was already penetrating me and then I remember him performing oral sex. And then after that I don't really remember.
GRIFFIN: Were you able to fight back, tell him no?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was too inebriated.
GRIFFIN (VOICE OVER): Her driver, a 47-year-old man, was found carrying her cell phone at a car wash and arrested. He had been charged with a prior sexual crime, but never convicted, which allowed him to pass Uber's background check. Charges against him in this case eventually dismissed. The Uber driver insisted the sex in the backseat of his car was consensual. She is now suing Uber.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Alisyn, like many of these cases in which the victim is intoxicated, the criminal charges against the Uber driver were dropped. She is suing Uber, as we said. Uber tried to keep her out of the courts, out of the publics by trying to force arbitration and nondisclosure agreements. Uber announcing its abandoning that legal strategy. Uber chief legal officer, Tony West, who congratulated CNN on our
reporting, just announced in this blog post that the company is overhauling the way they can handle sexual assault cases. The company is going to no longer require the arbitration of individual claims in sexual assault or harassment. Uber will no longer force victims of sexual harassment or assault to sign these nondisclosure forms. And Uber says it will not silence victims anymore. They can speak out. Finally, Uber says it will commit to publishing a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents. That is one thing we sought from Uber in our reporting and were refused. Now the company says it's going to release internal data on reported sexual assaults.
All of these changes coming after our reporting and months, I should say, after we began asking Uber about all this and exposing the vulnerability of women riding alone in the backseat of a stranger's car.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Drew, I mean, listen, that's huge. OK, all of those developments on the arbitration and just shining sunlight on all of this I mean because of your reporting, huge. But can you just answer, how did this happen in the first place? Were they not doing rigorous enough background checks on all of these people?
GRIFFIN: Regulators across the country would say no. Uber would say, yes, we do background checks, but it's complicated and part of our continuing story and our continuing investigation. It is not as vigorous a background check as you would get for a taxi or a limo driver. Why? Uber says they're trying to make this more accessible. But a lot of regulators across the street are calling for fingerprint background checking, which Uber does not do. Uber has announced this morning they are going to rerun background checks on its drivers who have been driving a year or more.
But, still, you're not getting the level of detail in background checks. Not that background checks are going to solve all of this. Awareness, I think, is going to solve a lot of this. People cannot believe that Uber is just expo facto the safe ride home. But Uber, according to state regulators, according to federal officials we've talked to, can do a better job of background checking its individual drivers.
CAMEROTA: Drew, thank you for bringing all of this to us and for all of that investigative reporting. Really important.
I mean, David, people think that when you get into an Uber car you're safe.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN ANCHOR: Right.
CAMEROTA: And they've done all the vetting necessary. Now we know there are big holes in that.
GREGORY: There are big holes. And it's the kind of thing -- you know especially you think about more and more parents relying on Uber for their kids. This is the kind of steps that -- that the company has to take.
GREGORY: We're going to turn overseas when we come back. Dozens killed in these Gaza clashes. Fears of another day of protests will bring more deaths. What does it all mean for the prospect of any durable peace between Israelis and Palestinians? George Mitchell, former Middle East envoy, will be here next to discuss it.
[06:38:37] GREGORY: More than 50 Palestinians were killed in the deadliest day of clashes between Israelis and Palestinians since 2014. The violence in Gaza is creating this split screen with the celebration that has happened just miles away in Jerusalem as the U.S. embassy officially has been relocated there. The White House placed the blame for the violence squarely on the terror group Hamas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJ SHAH, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas. Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response. And as the secretary of state said, Israel has the right to defend itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREGORY: Joining me now is former Senator George Mitchell, who served in so many capacities, including special enjoy to the Middle East from 2009 to 2011. He's written about the conflict. He's been immersed in the conflict.
Senator Mitchell, always good to see you.
GEORGE MITCHELL, FORMER U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY TO THE MIDDLE EAST: Thanks, David. Good to be here.
GREGORY: So I -- you know, I find myself increasingly concerned, frankly, with media coverage of this story because it is so easily and Hamas is a terror group and the Palestinians exploit this, where there's far less coverage of the knife attacks against Israelis crossing the border or of shelling of Israeli towns. But when there's a big border demonstration like this, trying to breach the wall, this gets a lot of attention and, of course, it's just horrible violence and horrible deaths of Palestinians.
So given your experience, how do you assess the violence that we've seen? If you were immersed in any kind of peace process, how do you assess how both sides have -- well, the responsibility both bear at this point?
[06:40:10] MITCHELL: Well, Hamas certainly bears a lot of the responsibility. They have a long record of using civilians for military purposes. In the prior conflicts with Israel, they placed rockets and missiles in or close to schools and hospitals to protect them. And urging thousands of unarmed civilians to try to breach the border obviously created a circumstance in which there would be large numbers of casualties. So that's one factor.
Israel has a right to defend itself, of course, but it is in Israel's interests, I believe, to exercise as much restraint as possible in the circumstances since it possesses an overwhelming military advantage. Nobody doubts that.
GREGORY: Right. And they use -- you know, if you follow the coverage, they use drones to shoot tear gas, to disperse the crowd. And when that doesn't happen, they use live ammunition.
GREGORY: I don't know why that's done. I mean they have rules of engagement that they say weren't adhered to. That's never going to be a good result.
MITCHELL: Well, I think it's in -- I think it should be stated, it's in Israel's self-interest to exercise restraint --
MITCHELL: For the following two reasons. First off, the press coverage around the world is largely very negative toward Israel as a result of the lopsided nature of the injuries and deaths and conflict.
MITCHELL: But, secondly, we think in the -- we talk of the Palestinians, but there are really three distinct groups, those who are within Israel, those who are in Gaza, which is far distant, it's 100 miles but it's desert and easy to contain and one of the problems is, of course, that the Gazans have been contained by both Israel and Egypt. And then the third group in the West Bank, which is the largest group run by the Palestinian Authority.
The Palestinian Authority has a very active national police force, which aggressively suppresses Hamas and any efforts to harm Israel. Israeli military and defense officials repeatedly praised the cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, which ironically continues to this day. Were -- what is happening in Gaza, to spread the Palestinians in the West Bank, Israel would face a much more dangerous and difficult circumstance --
MITCHELL: With a much larger group who are well armed and close to the heart of Israel. And one of the problems President Abbas has is that he is increasingly seen by the Palestinian people as an enforcer of the Israeli occupation, as opposed to a leader seeking independence. So it's very much in Israel's interest to show as much restraint as possible --
GREGORY: Yes. MITCHELL: To prevent this from spreading to all of the Palestinians.
GREGORY: Right, which creates a bigger threat and you have Hamas saying that this is -- this march of return is the beginning of the end of the existence of Israel, which when your -- when your enemy says he wants to destroy you, Israelis tend to take very seriously.
Let's get to the question --
MITCHELL: Yes, but just keep in mind, that's Hamas' position.
MITCHELL: That's not the position of the Palestinian Authority.
MITCHELL: Which recognizes Israel, opposes the use of violence against Israel and has agreed to abide by all previous treaties.
GREGORY: So let's talk about the embassy move because all of the arguments against this, the idea that symbolically it's provocative, that it's kind of a dead letter, you know, for moving a peace process.
You know, there is a counter argument, which is, previous administrations have promised it. They've just -- they've declined to actually do it. And you know, maybe -- it's not going to take Jerusalem off the table, because that's always going to be a final status negotiation. But maybe it pushes everybody involved to say, you know, if you want to get serious, take it up on your own. The United States is not going to midwife this thing again because that hasn't worked.
Why -- you know, Chuck Schumer is the Democratic leader, has supported it. Why do we necessarily believe that this is a nonstarter for any kind of peace process for this administration?
MITCHELL: Because there's no doubt that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
MITCHELL: Has been, is, will be. Everybody knows that, including the Arabs in the Middle East.
The only question is whether there will ever be a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem of a Palestinian state, living side by side, non- militarized, in peace with Israel. And this has cast doubt on that. And you just said Jerusalem's not off the table. But President Trump said Jerusalem is off the table.
MITCHELL: He said exactly the opposite of what you said when it was moved. And so that's what resonated throughout the Middle East with the Palestinians in the Arab world. Israel is the capital -- Israel's capital is Jerusalem and it's off the table in the negotiations.
[06:45:12] I believe a lot of this could be mitigated if the president said Jerusalem is not off the table --
MITCHELL: And will be the subject of negotiations between the parties --
MITCHELL: As soon as we can get there.
GREGORY: It's -- and it's got to be in any negotiation but he's not saying that at the moment, which is the point. Yes.
MITCHELL: Well, no, it's not that he's not saying it. He's said just the opposite.
GREGORY: I know. I understand. He's saying the opposite of not acknowledging it.
MITCHELL: That's the point.
MITCHELL: And so what we have to do is to try to re-engage. I respectfully don't share your view that because America's involvement hasn't produced a result so far --
MITCHELL: That we should withdraw. I think it's just the opposite.
GREGORY: And we always have to see --
MITCHELL: We have to do it because there's no other entity that can.
George Mitchell, always good to see you. Thank you so much.
MITCHELL: Thank you, David.
GREGORY: Appreciate it.
CAMEROTA: OK, David, a landmark Supreme Court decision could change the way we see sports in America. Details in the "Bleacher Report," next.
[06:50:14] GREGORY: The NBA's two best teams squaring off in game one of the Western Conference finals. Lindsay Czarniak has this morning's "Bleacher Report."
Lindsay, it's great to see you.
As my friend Coach Fitz (ph) at Episcopal High School in Alexandria said --
LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
GREGORY: A lot of one on one ball, not necessarily great team play, but, wow, that was some great action.
CZARNIAK: And, you know what, the Warriors are the team that I think can maximize team play. But you knew, David, that this one was going to be good, right? You've got Houston with the best record of any team in the regular season. Golden State, winner of two of the last three NBA titles. But last night the difference, a 7 footer named Kevin Durant. Both teams came out swinging, literally. Look at this, the Warriors Draymond Green and James Harden mixing it up early. Green with a technical foul barely a minute into the series opener. Houston grabbed a quick lead. They went up by nine. But as Warriors Coach Steve Kerr says, Gold State's one luxury is Kevin Durant, who made things miserable for the rockets, putting up 37 points as his Warriors win on the road, 119-106.
Those who like to gamble on sports got a big win yesterday. Betting on sports getting the green light from the Supreme Court. Justices struck down a federal law yesterday that kept states from allowing gambling on the outcome of sporting events. Since 1992, it's only been allowed in Nevada due to a loophole. The American Gaming Association estimates at least $150 billion a year is gambled on sports with 97 percent of that bet illegally. So the major sports leagues all released statements after the ruling saying the integrity of the game is their top priority, guys.
GREGORY: Pretty important.
CAMEROTA: Lindsay, thank you.
CZARNIAK: Thank you.
GREGORY: Good to see you.
CAMEROTA: OK, so the president promising to protect Chinese jobs. Why is he focused on saving a Chinese tech giant? Congressman Eric Swalwell joins us with new information, next.
[06:56:05] CAMEROTA: President Trump making a surprising policy switch, saying he has told his Commerce Department to get a tech company back in business, but it's a Chinese one, to safe Chinese jobs. ZTE is the company. It has been called out by U.S. lawmakers for concerns over national security and other things.
Joining us now to discuss that is Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California.
Congressman, great to have you here in studio.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Good morning.
CAMEROTA: So, on Sunday the president tweeted this, President Xi of China and I are working together to give massive Chinese phone company ZTE a way to get back into business fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done.
That surprised many people, including President Trump's supporters, and it surprised you. You tweeted this, after sleeping on it, I still cannot comprehend why Donald Trump is tweeting his support for a Chinese business. There's only one reason he'd put Chinese workers above you, it helps him.
OK, as of this morning, there's new reporting on this. Do you know how it helps, how it helps the president?
SWALWELL: Well, I suspected it was a corrupting influence or either a childish impulse. Those are the two, you know, first places I think you go with Donald Trump when he makes a big decision like this. And now it's really a follow the money situation.
Now, this company, you know, they were punished with a $1.89 billion fine because they were doing business with our enemies, with Iran primarily.
CAMEROTA: Against U.S. sanctions?
SWALWELL: That's right.
CAMEROTA: They broke U.S. sanctions to deal with Iran and North Korea. This is a bad actor.
SWALWELL: Yes, that's right. So -- and they were supposed to punish their most senior officials. They never did it. And so we imposed a seven-year ban on U.S. companies working with them and it looks like it was starting to hurt them. They were shuttering their factories. And now we see money pouring into Indonesia by the Chinese that would benefit Mr. Trump and his companies. And so, there, follow the money.
CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that.
So this morning "The Huffington Post" has this new reporting about following the money, which they did, and here's an explanation. This is their first -- this is their lead. A mere 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put a half a billion dollars into an Indonesian project that will personally enrich Donald Trump, the president ordered a bailout for the Chinese government-owned cellphone maker.
Can it truly be that naked of a quid pro quo?
SWALWELL: We've seen that before with this president. I think the reason that he drew himself so closely to the Russians were -- was that the Russians liked him and they invested in him. And he has made decisions that seem to favor them more than what would be our national security interests. With China, I think it's the same thing. Turkey, he has projects over there. When you ask, why does he like President Erdogan so much, well, there's a Trump Tower over in Turkey. So it does seem like the simplest explanation is the correct one, it's money.
CAMEROTA: So the Chinese government is putting a half a billion dollars into this Indonesian project that President Trump is invested in, was invested in before he was president. Doesn't this violate the Emoluments clause of not personally becoming enriched by your position as president?
SWALWELL: Yes. And we're not helpless, Alisyn. In Congress, you know, we have oversight capabilities to make sure that no president is cashing in on his office and benefiting his family because --
CAMEROTA: Yes. So what do you do?
SWALWELL: Well, my Republican colleagues, I hope that Chairman Trey Gowdy on the Oversight Committee really moves into action and starts to find out how this decision was made, how it's benefitting the president. The best thing the president can do now almost two years into his presidency is completely divest. Too many issues have been raised over these two years. Divest. Show us that the presidency's more important than your businesses.
CAMEROTA: Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you very much for being here to talk about this. Obviously it should get some attention in the Congress. We will follow up. Great to have you here.
SWALWELL: Alisyn, my pleasure.
CAMEROTA: Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.
And I wasn't kidding.
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.
Chris is off. David Gregory joins me.
Great to have you here. Happy Tuesday.
GREGORY: Thank you. Good to be here.
[06:59:58] CAMEROTA: OK, so the first lady is recovering at this hour after undergoing a procedure for a benign kidney condition, we're told. But there are still more questions than answers. The White House has offered very few details about exactly what is wrong and it is not clear why Mrs. Trump would need to remain --