Return to Transcripts main page
Weinstein Turns Himself In; CNN Hero Stan Hays; HBO Documentary on John McCain. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET
Aired May 25, 2018 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] LAUREN SWAN, HOST, "ABUSE OF POWER": For all of his victims who have waited a very, very long time to see this man face justice.
This has been going on for decades. There is up to 90 women who have accused this man of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct. And he's gotten away with it until now. And I want to give my utter gratitude and respect to Lucia Evans, who came forward with these charges because, as Areva Martin can tell you, it is not an easy thing for a victim to do. And so we all owe her our gratitude.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And so, Areva, was that the tipping point, the fact that this woman was willing to share her horrifying story from 2004, and that's what opened the flood gates?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, absolutely, Alisyn. What we have seen in this whole Me Too/Time's Up movement is that when one woman comes forward, that gives power. That gives courage and encouragement for other women to tell their stories.
And I think what's so shocking to me about this is that this is only eight months after the barrage of allegations started to happen. So I know for a lot of the victims it seems like this has taken a really long time, but in the context of the criminal justice system and how the criminal justice system works, this is a pretty quick amount of time. This happened pretty quickly when you think about, you know, just eight months ago we started to hear these courageous women come forward and tell their story. And now not just these charges filed in New York, but to think that there are investigations happening in Los Angeles, in London and even federal investigations that are occurring, which could lead to additional charges. So I think this is an incredible day for victims and for all the women, like Lauren, that have come forward and have told their stories. And hopefully this is the beginning of a new era for women hopefully creating safer workplaces for all women.
CAMEROTA: And, I mean, Lauren, you were one of the first people to come forward, be willing to talk about these, you know, truly sort of horrifying -- just a horrifying personal experience on national TV. And I'm just wondering, if back then when we first spoke and when you did this, if you ever thought this day would come? Did you think justice would ever be in the cards for Harvey Weinstein?
SWAN: No. But back then, when we spoke, I did not realize how many other victims there were. I spoke right after the first few came out in "The New York Times" and "The New Yorker," Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, and I really came out to validate their stories because I knew they were telling the truth based on what happened to me. And Harvey, at the time, was calling them liars. And so that's why I came forward.
Never in a million years, though, did I think that there would be this avalanche of people accusing him of very similar types of behavior. And never, in a million years did I think that we were all going to be believed eventually because that's really something to step back and realize that all of a sudden sexual assault, sexual misconduct victims are being listened to.
CAMEROTA: The tables have turned. Something has changed.
SWAN: The tables have turned.
CAMEROTA: I mean, the Me Too movement, this is it, front and center. You see it in full Technicolor here with his arrest today. Women are being believed.
And, Areva, on that point, I want to ask you about what we always heard was the big stumbling block, the statute of limitations, nothing can ever happen because this -- these are old cases. And, you know, there's -- it's he said/she said. There's no evidence.
So how was it possible that police from 2004 were able to listen to Lucia's story and believe her and file charges?
MARTIN: And that's a great point, Alisyn, and that's what we always hear from the abusers is they get out in front of the story and talk about how, quote/unquote, all the allegations are hoping that it will deter, I think, prosecutors from attempting to bring charges. But I think what happened in Bill Cosby's case is important to note here. The prosecutors in Pennsylvania that were willing to file those charges almost at the last moment as the statute of limitations was running, not just try the case once but try it twice, had those fact pattern witnesses testify and get a conviction. I'm sure that had to encourage prosecutors all over the country to say, no longer will we accept that these cases can't be brought, and no longer will we accept that powerful men, like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, cannot be prosecuted.
As the climate has changed, I think there's now this willingness for jurors to listen to these women and to look at these cases very differently. And I know, as a civil rights attorney that has been involved with these cases for more than two decades, this is really, really a catastrophic change. I can remember representing women who were so terrified to come forward because it meant repercussions for them, losing their jobs, losing their reputations, being slut shamed. And now these women are being revered. They're being applauded. They're being recognized in a way that never would have happened, even ten years ago.
CAMEROTA: Lauren, you've been --
SWAN: Just -- just to add on to what Areva said, I think the Cosby case is a perfect example of a turn, you know, prosecutorially, not just within the culture, because I don't think the defense realized that when they did ended up slut shaming some of the victims in that case, that it would backfire on them. I don't think a jury wanted to hear that anymore. I don't think that's going to fly anymore in these cases.
[08:35:16] CAMEROTA: We just have a new statement that is just in from the New York Police Department. It says today at the NYPD's first precinct, Harvey Weinstein was arrested, processed and charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women. The NYPD thanks these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice. The arrest and ensuing charges are the result of a joint investigation between the NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney's Office. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
Lauren, what's it like to hear those words?
SWAN: Oh, it's wonderful. It's wonderful to hear because I can tell you this, there were many victims that did not want to come out until Harvey Weinstein was in jail. They were still scared of this man. And so they can get a sense of relief and a sense of safety now for all the victims that came forward and really, truly feared this man, and, by the way, for good reason.
CAMEROTA: Sometimes it takes a very long time, but, in general, justice does come around.
Areva Martin, thank you very much.
Lauren Swan, thank you so much for sharing all of your personal experience.
DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, if you have an Amazon Echo in your home, you'll want to hear this. One couple says their Alexa recorded a private conversation without their knowledge.
CAMEROTA: Oh, boy.
BRIGGS: What went wrong, next.
[08:40:36] CAMEROTA: Dave, I cannot believe this next story. It is so spooky. First you'll recall the creepy laugh.
BRIGGS: I remember it.
CAMEROTA: From Alexa. OK. Now this. A woman in Portland says her Amazon Echo recorded a conversation she had with her husband without their knowledge. It then sent the audio file to one of his employees in Seattle. That employee then called them to say that she had received a strange recording -- voice recording of them. Fortunately, the couple was not talking trash or doing something else.
BRIGGS: Or -- thank you. CAMEROTA: They were just speaking about hardwood floors. Amazon
confirmed the error and apologized, saying the Alexa misheard a series of words.
I don't think that cuts it.
BRIGGS: Hardwood floors? That could really get awkward.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my God.
BRIGGS: Listen, the joke's on them. Put the Alexa in your kid's room, like I do, so they get to listen to all the mundane, ridiculous conversations of our children.
CAMEROTA: That's good, but I don't --
BRIGGS: I've taken mine out of the kitchen and given it to the kids.
CAMEROTA: Good. I like where you're going, but I don't understand how Alexa can record a conversation without us knowing and then send it to one of our employers or employees. This is truly big brother. I mean this is getting spooky. It's beyond Orwellian.
BRIGGS: I think we've got to unplug Alexa.
CAMEROTA: Thank you. That's the answer.
CAMEROTA: Let's unplug.
BRIGGS: Keep it clean if you have Alexa. If not, it might be time to unplug.
This Sunday at 9:00 p.m., the premiere of the new CNN original miniseries event "1968." It looks at all the momentous events of that year, from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy to major battles of the Vietnam War.
Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The engines are on. Three, two, one. We have liftoff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As 1967 faded into 1968, the visions in the country were widening. Then race riots, opposition to the war was building to a crescendo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the war in Vietnam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think anyone could have imagined that 1968 would turn out to be one of the most dramatic and consequential years in our whole history.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's stampeding people. They just ran someone down back there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In '68, young people had a sense that they had no power. They were being drafted and ordered to fight in a war that they did not believe in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they sensed the people who sent them there did not believe in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it's worth it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I -- I don't know. They say we're fighting for something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that couldn't stand forever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The political pigs, your days are numbered.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what the cop did.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: We've got some difficulties days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody can really say why this happened. It's just pent-up anger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think in '68 everything felt a lot more on the edge. It felt like the country could turn into just a sea of turmoil.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, I don't mind speaking here, but when you start throwing rocks that size -- who threw it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nix on Nixon, that's what it's got to be.
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Take off the gloves and sock it to 'em.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are watching this on the evening news and they're saying, oh, my gosh, things are out of control. We have to do something.
CROWD (chanting): The whole world is watching. The whole world is watching.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this what you want to do, destroy the country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll destroy a whole bunch of y'all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Kennedy has been shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Kennedy has been shot. Is that possible?
(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: Don't miss this special two-night CNN original series event, "1968," starting Sunday at 9:00 Eastern Time.
CAMEROTA: OK, meanwhile, many families around the country will be grilling, of course, this Memorial Day weekend. But this week's CNN Hero, Stan Hays, uses his barbecue year round to cook meals for our nation's heroes. Take a look.
STAN HAYS, CNN HERO: We're here with the Gary Sinise Foundation at the Invincible Spirit Festival.
[08:45:01] How you guys doing?
Do you want a pulled pork sandwich?
We're cooking for 6,500 to 7,000 people.
Being here where these men and women have given so much while protecting and serving our country, it's pretty special.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this is an awesome event, the barbecue is stellar.
HAYS: Barbecues are really about bringing people together. And, for us, this is the biggest thank you we can give those men and women that have served.
CAMEROTA: To find out more about Stan's nonprofit, you can head to cnnheroes.com. And while you're there, you can nominate someone you think should be a CNN hero.
BRIGGS: All right, HBO about to premiere a new documentary about an American hero in the fight of his life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I know that this is a very vicious disease. I greet every day with gratitude.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: The filmmakers behind "John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls," join us live, next.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CAMEROTA: We do have breaking news for you right now.
Harvey Weinstein being walked out of the New York City Police Department in handcuffs. This happened just moments ago. This is the moment that so many women, so many accusers who have come forward waited to see and never thought they would see. You know, these pictures, this is him walking in originally this morning to turn himself in. And the idea that he is now being treated as a common criminal is quite satisfying to the women who were so scared, they say, for so many years to come forward against this media mogul.
[08:50:30] The NYPD tells us Weinstein will face charges now that he raped one woman and forced another to perform a criminal sex act on him. He is also expected in court later today. We will have much more on this breaking news for you.
BRIGGS: It's just a stunning image.
But now, on Memorial Day, HBO will air a documentary about a prominent veteran in the fight of his life, Republican Senator John McCain, who is currently home in Arizona battling an aggressive form of brain cancer. The documentary is a profile of McCain's life. Here's a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I was always looking at the next step down the road.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: McCain was always willing to break the mold he was in if it was clearly the right thing to do. And that's an invaluable commodity.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I thought I was going to whip him. Of course he thought he was going to whip me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McCain has an authentic inner voice. Even when he compromises for political reasons, he knows he's compromising some piece of himself.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: For John to say we're all Americans, we're all on the same team, I thought was an indication of who John fundamentally was.
MCCAIN: We need to give the American people what they deserve, and right now they're not getting it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: Joining us now, the producer and directors of "John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls," Peter and Teddy Kunhardt.
Good to see both of you.
All right, Peter, if you look through John McCain's life, a pilot, a prisoner of war who refused early release, a congressman, a senator, a presidential candidate, is service the common thread throughout his life?
PETER KUNHARDT, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER,/CO-DIRECTOR, "JOHN MCCAIN: FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS": Service and country above party and courage. He's always had the courage to stand up to whatever the -- whatever the issue is or the person is who he's against. So he's -- he's -- one of the things we found most interesting is the consistency of his message. You know, what he's saying today to kind of bring the Senate together resonates today because of all the turmoil in Washington, but he's been saying it for decades. And if you go back in his career, he's been very consistent.
CAMEROTA: Teddy, what did he say when you told him that you wanted to do this documentary on him and focus on his life?
TEDDY KUNHARDT, PRODUCER,/CO-DIRECTOR, "JOHN MCCAIN: FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS": You know, he -- it was an immediate yes. It was, let's get you guys down here and let's film this immediately. So as soon as HBO said yes, we were down there within three weeks.
CAMEROTA: Because time is of the essence.
T. KUNHARDT: Time is of the essence and we wanted to get the story done while he was still doing well.
CAMEROTA: And how did he strike you? What is he like physically now?
T. KUNHARDT: Well, I saw him about three weeks ago. I took the film down to him and played it for him. He's weaker now than he was when we first filmed him, but he's still -- he's still doing well. He's completely cognizant and enjoyed the film.
BRIGGS: Perhaps Memorial Day will give people a little perspective on what he's all about. I mentioned that service throughout his entire life, but he, Peter, has become probably the most divisive figure in politics, and I don't mean Democratic politics, I mean among Republicans, because of one thing, this thumbs down vote on health care. The president has perpetuated this, that John McCain is in a sense almost a traitor to the Republican Party. What does he make of that, being so -- a divisive figure as he fights for his life?
P. KUNHARDT: You know, I think what he makes of it -- and the thumbs down is kind of the culmination of the film. What he makes of it is, it's noise, and he's trying to filter out the noise. When we first went to Sedona to interview him, Trump was down there for a rally and there were a lot of calls -- cat calls against McCain. He's saddened by it. He's put off by it. But he doesn't want to address them point by point. He thinks when something comes out that's highly outrageous, he'll -- or wrong, he'll address it.
And we, as filmmakers, knew that if we didn't kind of keep our blinders on and look at his narrative story without getting caught up in the political noise of the day, we would never kind of focus in on the true McCain.
CAMEROTA: It sounds like he's assessing his life, of course, and he is, I guess, being honest about some of the things he wishes he had done differently and his regrets. Your film has already made news for the fact that he admitted that he feels he made the wrong pick for his presidential ticket. What did he tell you?
T. KUNHARDT: I think it's a misunderstanding. You know, he -- he regrets that he didn't choose Joe Lieberman. He does not regret that he chose Sarah Palin.
CAMEROTA: OK, that's good to know. So he just -- kind of what is he -- what's the difference? What does he think that he -- he thinks he could have won with Joe Lieberman?
T. KUNHARDT: I don't know if he thinks he could have won, but, you know, the whole message of bipartisanship has been engrained in John McCain since day one. And by choosing a Democrat who was his friend, who would balance him out was something he really wanted to do.
[08:55:10] BRIGGS: He embraced his flaws to a failed marriage, a scandal involving savings and loan, but the bipartisan message that he has stood for, will it die with John McCain?
P. KUNHARDT: You know, it appears to be, but it -- but McCain is doing his best to revive it. And he told Teddy he was in the midst of his last battle. We thought it was against cancer. It was really focused on the message of pulling the Senate back together.
So he is doing his best to make it clear that a change has to happen. And we screened for 50 senators at the Capitol last week and he's very strong at the end. He says, get your act together, work together, cross the party lines, be friends, stop calling each other names.
CAMEROTA: What was their reaction?
P. KUNHARDT: They had to run out for a vote.
Well, Teddy and Peter Kunhardt, thank you very much for sharing it with us.
T. KUNHARDT: Thanks.
CAMEROTA: And for sharing all of your personal experience as well.
BRIGGS: Look forward to seeing it on Monday.
P. KUNHARDT: Thanks.
BRIGGS: All right, be sure to watch "John McCain, For Whom the Bell Tolls," on HBO Monday at 8:00 Eastern Time.
CAMEROTA: OK, that's going to do it for us. Great working with you. Have a great weekend.
BRIGGS: I'm back Monday, my friend. Have a good weekend.
CAMEROTA: I'll see you Monday as well. CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow picks up after this quick break.
Have a great weekend.