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tv   Wolf  CNN  November 16, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST

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i'm wolf blitzer in washington. from wherever you are watching, thanks very much for joining us. it's crunch time in the republican push for a massive tax overhaul. the house of representatives set to vote any moment and republicans are very optimistic they have the 1r0e9s to pass their tax plan. we expect to hear from the house speaker paul ryan shortly. we will bring you that live. president trump made the trip to cal toll hill to rally
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republicans ahead of the vote in the house. the president is counting on tax reform as he looks for the first major legislative accomplishment as we await the vote. let's take a look at the highlights from the house version of the legislation. it lowers the corporate tax rate here in the united states from 35% to 20%. reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to four and limits state and local tax deductions. it does not include the repeal of the obamacare individual mandate that is included in the senate bill right now. the average tax cut would be about $1200 next year and drops to $860 by 2027. that according to the tax policy center. it has been three decades since congress passed a major tax overhaul. house republicans are confident that this is indeed the moment. let's go live to capitol hill.
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phil matingly is on the scene for us. i assume the republicans are very optimistic and think they have the votes to pass their version of the tax cuts within the next several minutes. >> according to the aides i have spoken to, locked in is the words you keep hearing. they know they are going to lose members and people who have issues with the state and local tax deduction will vote no, but that won't be enough to take down the bill and they should have a comfortable margin. that's a big, big deal when you look through the legislative failures that happened over the last 10 months. the bill that you read off, what's inside is the 50 step. there are multiple iterations going around and the senate is moving through their version. while it is a big and consequential step that president trump as he walked out of his meeting with the house congress just about 20 minutes ago, things are going very well.
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many, many more steps to come and a lot of hurdles that come with it. >> one version in the house and another in the senate. the focus will shift to the senate. republicans are facing serious challenges. update our viewers. what is the latest state of play with the senate bill? >> the senate bill is in committee and they are moving through and a lot of amendments are moving on. a couple of amendments are bubbling up. you can understand how complicated this is. the house victory is a big deal, there is a lot left to come. you have the first opposition to the bill. ron johnson is coming out last night saying he has an issue with the pass through entity rates. smaller business entities that pay taxes through the individual side. the senator doesn't like where that stands. you have susan collins who has issues with the repeal of the individual mandate and people like bob corker or jeff flake.
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john mccain who helped sink health care over procedural reasons. he wants to make sure it's moving here too. you get into the details of the bill, there is a significant tax cut. by 2021 in large part because of the appeal according to this analysis, those making between 10 and $30,000 a year would see an increase. anyone making under $75,000 a year because of the rate cuts phasing out would see an increase. republicans are pushing back on that analysis. you better believe democrats have seized on that and are pushing that forward. that will create problemsas republicans move through this lengthy process over the next couple of weeks. >> it's not a done deal in the senate. very different version newscast senate. phil matingly is up on capitol
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hill. keeping a close eye where the vote is set to happen any moment. even if it passes as expected, some lawmakers have deep concerns about the current version of the bill. thanks very much for joining us. >> the are you going to vote for the bill? >> i am. i am comfortable with this bill. we have been working on it for the last seven years to give the relief to the american people it will represent. >> one of the major concerns if republicans from high tax states and you are from western new york is the possibility of the state and local deduction. you have a partial elimination in the house. that will increase taxes for a lot of constituents. are you deeply concerned about
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that? >> i'm confident given where the senate's complete elimination will fight against. the senate conference commission as we go forward. >> if the senate version with a complete elimination of the state and local taxes is passed, you will vote against the tax cut final sfrergz it should emerge along those lines? >> if i made my position clear, and at a minimum we have to take the state and local tax
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deductions. >> the new assessment from the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation and you heart him report it, people making between $10,000 a year and $30,000 a year would see tax increases by 2021. how do you justify raising taxes on someone making between 10 and $30,000 a year? >> we will take a look at that analysis. i appreciate the work and any final bill will take that out. that's not the intention of what we are doing here. as a republican and take care of the consequences. >> thanks so much for joining us. breaking news from the corruption trial of new jersey senator robert menendez. the judge just declared a mistri mistrial.
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>> this is what the judge has cold the jurors. the judge saying i find that you were unable to reach a verdict and there is no alternative than declare a mistrial. it was about two hours ago that the jurors amid their 15 hours of deliberations. they gave the judge a note saying they were unable to come to a unanimous verdict. the judge has been going to the presence. what's interesting is they got to the foreman and that's an extensive period of time for a jury to be interviewed one on one. one might take from this it was
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perhaps in expressing their views, the judge determined there was no way this juror would change his or her -- it was a female. it was a woman, juror number three. no way she was going to change her mind. the judge after talking with this juror has declared a mistrial saying it would be futile to continue any more deliberations. this was a kribry and corruption case against a sitting senator from new jersey. and the supreme court decided that to convict on these types of bribery charges for a public official, there has to be a
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specific quid pro quo. what was allege side he had a 25-year friendship with a doctor who flew him on a private jet to different locations. paris and florida. in exchange, prosecutors argued senator menendez had meetings with obama administration officials and may have tried to influence different acts that benefitted them. the problem with this case is it was a muddied situation here. there was no specific quid pro quo. he was acting because he believed these issues raised by his friends, they needed to be addressed. in the second circuit involving lawmakers, convictions for this type of charge overturned because of that 2016 supreme court case that refined what it
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would take to define official acts and actually convict on a corruption or bribery charge. to recap for you, this case against senator menendez has been declared a mistrial. it's unclear if government prosecutors will came to go back and try the case again. it may come down to whether or not they want to acquit or convict. will the government attempt to or will they decide to retry the tas and for now, the defense essentially getting a victory in the mistrial. >> what do you think? your analysis and the mistrial declared in the trial. >> the method of the mistrial is fascinating in that the judge
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doesn't inquire of all 12 jurors. they usually come back with it and say we are deadlocked and sent them back out to deliberate. generally that's all that's involved. you have interviewed individual jurors that is somewhat unusual. i think in the long run, i would say prosecutors have new evidence or they become convinced that it was only a hold out against a strong majority. that ruling that came down makes it extraordinarily difficult to convict a politician for bribery unless it's crystal clear that something of value is passed to the politician in exchange for a promise to do something. that was the theory alleged that
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giving a lot of things to menendez over a lengthy period of time had bought his assistance on all matters. that is too vague. you can't convict on that kind of evidence. >> jeffrey is with us as well. do you think there will be a retrial? >> first of all i think people who are not familiar with the legal system are inclired to think of -- [inaudible]. the government wins about 90% of the cases that go to trial. that doesn't end in a conviction is certainly a win for the defense. as for the other trial, some will depend on the split.
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if it was 11-1 for conviction, i think a retrial is likely. if it's 11-1 for acquittal, i think a retrial is unlikely. the supreme court decision that paul was referring to that comes out of the overturned conviction of the former governor of virginia was a unanimous decision by the supreme court. the liberals and conservatives alike limited the prosecutions and it has been awful for prosecutors. the decision has been a disaster for prosecutors who are trying to stop government corruption. i think it may -- he has the prosecutors to throw in the towel because of the cases that have just become so difficult because of the -- >> it suggests there may not be another trial if it's so difficult to convict based on the supreme court decision.
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it's a factor that the federal prosecutor will have to consider. >> absolutely. and also this is a democratic senator who is being prosecuted no now. the case was brought in the obama administration. it's the political stakes that reduced substantially because new jersey will shortly have a democratic governor. even if menendez is convicted in the second trial, the new governor, governor murphy will presumably appoint a democrat. the fact that murphy is replacing chris christie, a republican, lowered the political temperature around this case considerably. >> another important point as well. dana, you have been watching the political fallout from this. bob menendez is a united states
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senator and will remain a senator. >> definitely for the short-term. these are charges that and for his allies on capitol hill and his whole team. at the end of the day, this was another on pure politics, this
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was another sort of wrinkle, a big wrinkle that democrats were concerned they would have to deal with if he was convicted. what would they have done? what would happen? would he have resigned or would he have to be expelled and until january, there is a republican governor, new jersey chris christie. it would be a short lived republican in the seat, but that's all moot now. >> i'm sure he will make a statement saying in our country, you are innocent until proven guilty in this particular case, he has not been proven guilty, at least not yet. paul ryan, the speaker of the house is speaking on the house floor in advance of this important vote on tax cuts and the legislation before the house of representatives. he is addressing his colleagues. >> we are in a generational defining moment for our country. what we are doing here, what we are doing is not just
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determining the tax code we are going to have. what we are doing is determining the kind of koiptry we are going to have. right now because of this e team innic economic recovery, don't forget we had the worst recession of our lifetimes in 2008. ever since then this economy has been flat. this economy has been way under its potential. this economy has been growing at a limp 1 percents are to 2%. you know what that means for americans? nobody gets a wage increase. living standards are stagnant. economic anxiety is high. 78% of our workers are living paycheck to paycheck. most americans say they don't have $500 in their bank account for an unexpected emergency or
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expense. this is the anxiety for real in this country today. instead of thinking about getting ahead, families are struggling to get by. think about all the moms and the dads and the hardworking taxpayers going to bet tonight, not sleeping worrying about what comes next week. this is not how it should be. this is not how it is in this country traditionally. we need to restore growth. we need to restore opportunity. we need to restore this affectionately call the american idea. passing this bill is the single biggest thing we can do to grow the economy and restore opportunity and help these middle income families who are struggling. people always ask what's in it for me. how do i benefit from this? well, i'm a chart guy.
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why is this important? what this shows you under this plan is the average family at every income level gets a tax cut. a tax cut in every average level. what this chart shows you, the people here are struggling and in middle income brackets and low income trying to become middle income get the biggest tax cut. this plan is good for people of all walks of life. all across the country and the bigger relief goes to those who need it most. let's put it into numbers. a typical household of four people. they make $59,000 this this country. that family of four, $1182 tax cut the first year alone. the median family income, mom, dad, two kids, the median family income in america is $87,000.
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that 23578ly will get a $1,941 tax cut right away, year one. if you are in the 57% of americans who said they don't have $500 to go to an emergency, this really helps. people who itemize their tacks and live in high tax states. let's talk about a couple making $115,000 living in a high tax state. let's say they have $8400 in a mortgage income payment and $6900 for the taxes for the year. they will still see a tax cut of $1,130. if they have kid, an even larger tax cut. not only do people get to keep more of their own money in their own pocket, but we dramatically simple 2350i the system and make it more fair. today, seven out of 10 americans
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don't itemize deductions. 70% of americans take what we call the standard deduction. it's just that. standard. straight forward. you are not taxed on that income. over the years, washington has piled on special interest loophole after special interest loophole after special interest loophole. these loopholes are skewed to people who are wealthy and well connect and can afford the tax lawyers and all the accounts to navigate so they can get a good deal. if you are not in that group, if you don't have lawyers and accountants and are scraping away in the middle income, you don't get those deals. what we top the do is take the loopholes away and make it fair for everyone and lower tax rates and make it easy. here's how easy this gets. we will make it so easy, that by doubling the standard deduction,
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90% of americans, nine oust 10 americans could fill out their taxes on a form the size of a postcard. what this means is for a single person, you don't pay taxes on the first $12,000 of income. for a married couple, you don't pay taxes on the first $24,000 of income. here's the brask philosophy. instead of jumping through all the hoops that the irs puts in front of you and instead of doing what the special interest groups say you need to do to get some of your money back, we basically say keep your money in the first place. it's your money. do what you want with it. all of this is about tax relief. it's about fairness. it's about simplicity. it's about easying the stress and anxiety in this country. what we really need to do is we
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need better jobs. more jobs. faster economic growth. higher wages. this is brings us toed the way we tax our businesses. what do we do to make america the most competitive place in the world? here is the real problem we have when it comes to the way we tax our businesses. we are the worst in the world at it. we right now tax our businesses at the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. what does that do? let me give you an example. in wisconsin, the example is johnson controls. it's a company with a history dating back to the 1880s. it was the biggest company we had headquartered in wisconsin. not anymore. johnson control is an irish company and their irish tax rate is 12.5%. this is happening all over the
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country. companies just to stay competitive are foreign companies and when the headquarters of that company leaves your hometown or state and goes to another country, there goes the united way campaign. there goes the white collar jobs and the manufacturing and there goes the research and development. there goes america's competitiveness. what's worse is all these foreign companies are buying u.s. companies because it's cheaper because of taxes. here's what we do. instead of being the worst in the pack, we leapfrog ourselves by bringing it is tax rate down to 20%. guess what. when you tax your businesses at much, much higher tax rates than the foreign competitors, they win and we lose. we have to stop losing. we have to start winning. that's what this does. what's more impressive is it lowers taxes for the small mom
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and pop businesses even more. we have to make sure that our businesses, the job createors of america have every incentivive to stay here and build here and have incentive to hire here. what's more, we are finding that by doing this, we are going to get faster economic growth and more jobs. we are going to get higher wages. better take home pay. let me break it down in simple numbers. tax foundation. they ran the numbers. nonpartisan tax foundation said with this bill, we will get faster growth at 3.5% faster. 890,000 new jobs. they estimate in new york state alone, 57,000 new jobs. california, 101,422,000 new jobs. texas, 74,037 new jobs.
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you get the new jobs when you grow the e cob me. you pass the bill, you grow the economy. so why do we do all of this? it's about giving people more take home pay. it's about raising wages. it's about helping families who are struggling to get ahead. it's about getting washington out of the business of picking winners and losers. giving the american people the kind of economy they deserve. the kind of economy we can have. this shows you that across every income scale, across the board wages will go up. because we will grow the econ y economy. most goes to the people who need it most. people in the middle. people who are struggling. that is why we are here. my colleagues right now we are in the middle of a long day where people are working tooth and nail in their jobs. we are right here in the middle of a day where america's workers
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are trying to figure out how to make ends meet and how to keep up. those people, the hardworking taxpayers of this country who represents, that is why we are here. this is why we are doing this. they are the foundation of this country. we are here today for them. the special interests are trying to protect their piece of the pie. all the negativity you see out there, there is probably a special interest group back there trying to keep their special niche in the tax code. it is fine time. it is high time we root that out and we don't settle for the status quo and we give people the kind of tax code they need and deserve. it has been 31 years since we last did this. it is finally time we get the general interest of this country to prevail over the special interest in washington. so we know this brings more
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fairness. this increases take home pay and bigger paychecks and grows the economy and creates more opportunities. faster economic growth is not going to fix every problem america has. but faster economic growth is going to help us solve every problem america has. my colleagues, i ask you to raise your gauge and do something bold. to see the forest through the trees and think about the people we are actually here to represent and the people who are struggling and go to bed and probably not sleep because they are worried about what's going to happen tomorrow. that's what this is. this is one of the most historic and biggest things that we will ever do. the reason is because this is one of the biggest things we can do to improve people's lives. revitalize the american idea. to spread liberty and freedom and refresh our confidence in ourselves and confidence in each
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other. enough settling. enough giving in. let's start to reclaim our future right here in this moment, in this claim ber, in in moment. let's pass this bill. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. >> you have been listening to the house speaker on the floor with the house plan expected to pass. the vote is about to begin and should last for about 20 minutes or so. the mystery though is not in the house of representatives. it's in the senate. a different version. the race to find republicans in the senate to make sure their version of the bill passes. that will take place over the next several days as well. the house vote now under way. stand by for that. but there is more breaking news from capitol hill involving this time democratic senator al franken of minnesota. he is apologizing publicly after
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being accused of groping and kissing a colleague without consent a decade or so ago. he is calling for an ethics investigation into his actions. his accuser, leanne tweeden is speaking right now. listen to this. >> he had the first show where we were. we had a back stage area and they had it cordoned off. we were back stage alone because he was like we are going to get ready and they introduce us as we come through a back stage door and we open up into the crowd on the stage. the back stage area was part of the gym because that's sort of how these makeshift places are. this gym, we had this one corner like this with these curtains and they cordoned off the area. it was back stage. he had his little props for the rest of his little skits by
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himself. he's like we need to prothe kissing scene. i was like yeah, okay, whatever. i blew him off because we don't need to practice the kissing scene. he persist and said we need to practice the kissing scene. okay, al. you turn your head right and you turn head right and we got this. he was persisting. i said this is not snl. we are not really going to kiss. we don't have to practice. he kept persisting and it reminded me of the harvey weinstein tape that reminded me of the girl who was persistent and badgering and relentless. you know? i was like okay, fine so he would shut up and he came at me and we did the line and he came at me and before you know t you get close and he just put his hand on the back of my head and mashed his face against me.
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it happened so fast. he mashed his lips against my face and stuck his tongue in my mouth so fast. all i can remember is that his lips were really wet and slimy and in my mind i called him fish lips the rest of the trip. that's what it reminded me of. he stick his tongue down my mouth and remember i pushed him off with my hands and i remember i almost punched him because every time i see him now my hands clinch into fists and i said if you ever do that to me again, i won't be so nice about it the second time. i walked out away from him and i wanted to find a bathroom and rinse my mouth out. i was disgusted. it was one of those -- i don't know. i was violated and felt like he betrayed my trust. obviously that is not what i wanted.
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i felt like he wrote that just to get that piece in. he knew he was not going to get it on stage. that was why he was badgering me to do it alone. that's what he wanted. you know, five minutes later we had to go on stage. i have never been an actress. people think when you are in hollywood, i was a model and a television host. people say you are an actress. that's a whole different set of talent and i don't act. i had to be an actress and go on stage with this guy who just did this to me five minutes before and act like he's my best friend and al franken, ladies and gentlemen and this is the greatest thing ever and do our lines and trust me, he didn't get close to my face when we had to come in for the kissing scene. it's funny because when this harvey weinstein came out when i
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was deciding is this a time i tell my story, i was just looking online and trying to find videos and recalling everything that happened in my mind from this time 10 or 11 years ago. i found a blog of a soldier who was at one of our shows in afghanistan or iraq. he talks about his experience at the show. it says a guy in the audience. he said al franken and leanne franken were great coe echl sees and al goes in for a kiss or more from leanne and fails. i just thought, that's what happens. he failed every time. that's what happens on stage every time. i thought the joke would have been to me, the funny part is it would have been like al in my
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mind, al would come in for a kiss or i put my hand on his mouth. that would be the funny part. this guy coming in from the kiss to the hot girl and it would have been to the troops and it would have been funny because it was comedy. it turned out completely different. i had to act my way through the rest of the shows for the next 10 days or two weeks. i just made sure i was never alone with him again. i didn't tell the sergeant of the army what happened or i didn't tell the uso. who was i going to do? be the trouble maker and like i'm going to emcee every part of the show for the hour except the 10 minutes on stage with al? i'm a sportscaster and deal with guys every day. i'm going to fake it and act like an actress and do this part with him and not talk to him for the rest of the tour. it was a big tour with a lot of people. i didn't socialize with him and talk to him for the rest of the
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tour. i was never alone with him again. we were in tight quarters. i made sure i was never alone with him again. i didn't have to deal with him other than when we were on stage. just snide comments. we would do autograph sessions after the shows and they there would be sometimes thousa,000s events. the dallas cowboys cheerleaders were very popular, by the way. instead of trying to have a single file line to get everyone's autograph, they would open it up to where if you wanted somebody's autograph and there was only time to wait in line, people could just stand in
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the line they want instead of filing it through like this. sometimes there would be honest to god, nobody in al franken's line. the girls would have long lines and some of the country music artists would have long lines. i would be sat next to al because that's how they set it up. i would have my back to him and whatever and would be sitting next to the other people and have lines and sign autographs and it was hours of signing and taking pictures with troops. one time he didn't have people in his line and i would see things out of the corner of my eye or i would see a hand go like this. i would look over one time and one time i would see a picture would come back and be my face with devil horns and the devil tail and the pitch fork and the goatee. these are the things i'm dealing with.
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childish and belittling and whatever. two weeks of this is what i'm getting at. sorry. so whatever. i make it through the two weeks of that and we are on the way home. we leave the base out of afghanistan. every time you take off from the base, you wear a kevlar helmet and a flag vest. when you leave from a war zone, you do wear your gear because small arms fire or even an rocket-propelled grenade can pierce the skin of an airplane. a lot of times you sit on kevlar and you wear it because you can be shot at through a plane. you are wearing it as you get high enough where you are out of that reach and you can take it
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off. i'm wearing it and i feel asleep because i can fall asleep before they take off. i'm sleeping against the side of the plane and in the photo where he is there and i'm sleeping. anyone who knows me knows i sleep anywhere, any time. i'm asleep and there were photographers on the trip and probably the photographer of the tour that took the picture. they give you cds as you leave that have behind the scenes photos of you that they give you when you leave. i opened it up probably the next day and there was a photo of al doing this on my breasts on the camera smirking and smiling like look at me. i took that as the final i got
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the last laugh. he knew i wouldn't see it until i got home and i was away from everybody else. to know it in the context of the desire trip and what happened in the entire two weeks is telling to me. just the fact that he thought he could get ta i with it and it was okay and funny and i knew all of these years later that i thought it was going to be funny. the comedian. i thought it was a joke. it was in bad taste and i guess it wasn't funny. poor taste or whatever.
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nothing like that is ever funny. is it funny if it's your daughter or wife? in context of assaulting me back stage and the petty things he was doing to belittle me and how he treated me and in succession and ended with that and how i was left to feel without being able to say whatever i needed to say to his face that that's how i felt. great. while i was sleeping do you that to me and i can't say anything to him. that's just how it all happened. >> when he said in a statement -- >> strong words from leanne tweeden. she is an anchor in los angeles making the allegations saying that the senator from minnesota, al franken, kiss and groped her without consent a decade or so ago in a uso tour in the
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mideast. he has formally apologized and acknowledged that all of what she is saying he has acknowledged doing. i want to go to mj on capitol hill where we get a lot of reaction where we get the allegations now. the bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation. mj, hold on for a second. you see an attorney representing bob menendez speaking and expect to hear from senator menendez. a mistrial in that case in newark, new jersey. let's listen in to abby lowe. >> the people were interviewed in the united states and other countries. with more than two or three dozen grand jury witnesses. with more than a half million documents that have been obtained by the government. with over 50 witnesses at a nine-week trial. with all the rulings that occurred in this court for the
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last nine weeks. this jury could not, would not. and did not return a verdict that validated any of the government's charges. at the end of the day, the fundamental reason for that is that this is what happens when you put a real 25-year friendship on trial. >> well, first and above all, i want to thank god because it is by his grace that i was delivered from an unjust prosecution. i want to thank my children, alicia who was with me every day in court and my lovely grand
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durt new jersey so i could remember what i had to fight on for. my son, rob, who testified on my behalf and then joined his sister in court. who kept me company and even let me beat him in a round of golf. i'm so blessed to have two great children. i love you so much, i can't -- i can't truly thank you. i want to thank my sister and her husband. their presence in the bible passage as my sister would send me were an incredible strength for me. the mel jen family for their friendship and faith in our innocence and i wish my dear
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friend, sal, success in his continuing search for justice. i want to thank my defense team as well as the doctor's attorneys. the nation's premier defense attorney who methodicallier to apart the government's case. the former prosecutor and ray brown whose insights were invaluable. his associates who gave their total commitment to the cause. they are saying they have invaluable roles. i want to thank the jury. 12 new jersey ans who saw through the government's false claims and used their common sense to reject it. i appreciate their service. i appreciate their sacrifice and
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time away from their family and professions. i want to thank my colleague, cory booker who has been supportive from day one and traveled the state and spread the word on the first day of trial and testified and was in my mind a profile in courage. i know that many who were close to him urged him not to testify, but it's the measure of an incredible man who is willing not only to use his certainly reputation, but take a risk in order to see justice done. he is a public serve and of unlimited potential who could easily serve our country in the highest office of all of the land. i will never forget it, cory and you have my gratitude and respect forever. i also want to thank senator lindsey graham. my friend and colleague for once again crossing the aisle and coming to testify as to my character and truthfulness and
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honesty. while i know he came as a friend, i appreciate the political capital he used as a republican to testify on behalf of the democratic colleague. that's rare indeed in today's politics. i want to thank the clergy of all denominations who stood with me and strengthened me and prayed with me. i'm thankful for your comfort and support. i want to thank a leader in the autistic community. my dear friend all for being character witnesses. i want to thank the hundreds of new jersey ans who i encountered along the last 10 weeks who overwhelmingly expressed support and prayers. i want to thank my staff in d.c. and new jersey for loyalty and the dedication of the people of new jersey. especially my chief of staff. my political director and mike
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orte ortega, the special assistant. the way this case started was wrong. the way it was investigated was wrong. the way it was prosecuted was wrong. and the way it was tried was wrong as well. certain elements of the fbi and of our state cannot understand or even worse, accept that the latino kid from union city and hudson county can grow up to be a united states senator and be honest. i can't even begin to tell you how many people have come to tell me that the fbi went to them and asked them what can you give us on menendez? that is not what the fbi and the department of justice is supposed to be doing. they were not supposed to be
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leaking to the press in the early stages of their investigation. it violated my rights to a fair process. i made my share of mistakes. my mistakes were never a crime. americans feel that justice is ee l not. but for supporters who now who i am and what i stand for, i could never have afforded the millions of dollars this case has cost. so my gratitude to all those new jersey and americans from across the country who believed in me and help me mount my legal defense against the millions of dollars spent by the overwhelming wage of the federal government. i've also learned about the incredible weight and power of the federal government and how it can crush you, if it wants
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to. it gives me an even greater resolve to make sure that there is a check to that awesome power. cause where do i go? what office of the federal government gives me back the past two and a half years of my life? where do i go to have the damage they sought to incur to my reputation, where is it, what department is it that replaces it? so let me share some final thoughts. to those who left me, who abandoned me in my darkest moment, i forgive you. to those who embraced me in my darkest moment, i love you. to those new jersey who gave me the benefit of the doubt, thank you. to those who have a doubt i'll work harder so there is no
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doubt. to those in the press who did it and with professional and those who are kind, where is dominic, i don't see him. dominic? i believe you showed us what professional press is all about. and why that freedom is so important to our society. to those who were digging my political graves so they could jump into my seat, i know who you are and i won't forget you. finally, let me answer the question that i could not answer before the trial was over. why didn't i testify? there is nothing more that i wanted to do but to tell my story. >> i am proud of the thousands of people i've helped in new jersey and across the country who i have helped with their visas, reuniting families, and very often bringing people they were denied so they could save the life of a loved one. i'm proud to have my work 100% port scanning something that i
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have been a champion of and that i believe is in the national security of united states and stop the flow of drugs. my fight to save medicare hundreds of millions of dollars. i believe we can't afford to throw out good medicine when we can carefully administer it to patients. but a trial is not a debate. it's not a public forum. it's a legal proceeding. my testimony on direct and cross examination would have likely taken days. that means we would have put at risk losing one of the jurors who was told she would be excused to go on a preplanned vacation. and we collectively felt by the way she reacted to different parts of the prosecution and defense's presentations, that she believed in our innocence. and we didn't want to lose her. boy, were we right on that. we still lost her. secondly, the prosecution would have used me to redo their
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entire meritless case in chief all over again, including having me read emails and other materials that were not mine, but would have put my voice and my name for their purpose, in essence, giving them an additional summation before their final summation. so that was just a small window into my thinking. anyone who knows me, knows that i never seek a fight. but they also know that i never shy away from one. this wasn't a fair fight. >> all right. so there you have senator bob menendez. he is obviously totally relieved that there has been a mistrial. we are now told by the way of the 12 jurors, 10 of them favored acquittal, two of them did not favor acquittal. 10-2 in favor of him. you have to be u nananimous in
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trial. he's very pleased. with a 10-2 raises questions whether there will be a retrial. >> of course he sounds like he's found not guilty or exonerated him. this is a political statement. lindsey graham who came to his defense, and also raising this issue of feeling like he's been on the other end of the weight of the government and justice system, and walking away from that with a new appreciation for that. >> he remains the united states senator. he's not going anywhere. >> he's not going anywhere. and he's making that abundantly clear. i also thought that the political comments that he made about people who were against him lan didn't believe him, he said i forgive you, but then later said the people who were trying to dig my political grave so they could take my senate seat, i know who you r as a jersey girl i know what that
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means. >> more breaking news, house of representatives as expected has passed the tax cut bill. the legislation is very different than what the senate is now considering. it's very much in up in the air, senate version in the u.s. senate, there are u.s. republican senators raising serious questions. so it passes the house. different version in the senate. at some point assuming it does pass, in the senate, that's by no means a done deal, they'll get together and try to work out some compromise. >> right. so it sailed through the house, i don't think it's going to be that easy in the senate. and paul ryan started off with those charts, and count me a fan of the charts, i love charts. but there were some missing numbers. those numbers were $666 billion deficit. $20 trillion debt. tax bill that adds 1.5 trillion on top of the debt.
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so a whole lot of things that fiscal conservatives, a lot of people in the house said they ran on it as issue of the detective, but not an issue right now for them. johnson the other day said he was concerned about their not being enough tax breaks. now you have this new piece of the individual mandate repeal, people like sue collins twor he'd, so much tighter discussion and debate in the senate. could be like a sweater. or if you pull on the thread the whole thing pulls a part. so tricker i from here. >> stand by. because senator of hawaii is joining us, democratic senate of the judiciary committee. lots to discuss. we have limited amount of time. but i want to quickly get your reaction to the senatorial franken scandal erupted today. this woman leeann tweeden written this long article, and making acquisitions he kissed
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and gro and groped her years ago on a tour of the middle east. what's your take? >> i'm glad he did. it's very distressing. i'm glad he apologized and called for an ethics committee investigation. that is what should be happening. you know, there should be an institutional response to these kinds of allegations that there should be a way that we can prevent and prosecute, if necessary, take appropriate action. at the same time, with so many of these kinds of examples coming to the floor, i would hope that there it would be a cultural change in how people, especially men, think about women, not as toys or objects. and not someone because they are in a power position they can exploit. so i'm looking for that kind of cultural change to also occur. it's long overdo. >> you heard some other lawmakers, congressman jackie sphere, comstock say they know
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of other members of congress in the house, maybe in the senate, who have engaged in improper sexual activities as far as aides and others are concerned. do you know of any other incidents like this? >> i do not have firsthand knowledge of these kinds of incidents. but i would say that every women that i know, myself included, have seen or experienced these kinds of instances over time. so we know that this behavior is rampant. that is why it is going to be ha require not only institutional change, but there needs to be a cultural change. because all of these kinds of acts occur in a culture where it's deemed acceptable for this kind of exploitation to occur. that needs to stop. >> do you think senator franken should remain in the u.s. senate? >> well, this is why it's called for an ethics investigation, and i think that's the appropriate course at this point. as i said, it's not just
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institutional changes that we should be looking at, but the cultural changes. which means that we have to start here to make sure that, especially boys, start young, and people in power know this is totally unacceptable. it's been going on for way too long. so i look forward to that kind of change occurring. . i'm hopeful. >> senator, hangs so much for joining us. a lot of breaking news we are following today on cnn. and our special breaking news coverage continues right now with brooke baldwin. this is cnn breaking news. got the breaking news at the top of the hour. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. thanks for being with me today. where to begin? we are following breaking news on several major stories. first up here you have em battled senate leader ray moore he's expected to