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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 16, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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that he and president xi agreed that there would be no freeze for freeze proposal regarding north korea. what is your understanding or the president's understanding of what he and xi agreed about that and does the president stand by that statement yesterday? >> yeah, both sides made their position clear. they're different, but we agree that they're going to be different positions and therefore it's not going to move forward. >> thank you, sarah. >> before the president left for his trip to asia, he recalled on the justice department to look into the democrats and that situation and he put it, and days later the attorney general asked special prosecutors to look into the uranium one foundation in the clinton foundation. did the president cross any lines and the attorney general to look into the situation of the democrats? >> look, the president hasn't directed any investigation or the appointment of a special counsel, in fact he said publicly that he hasn't been involved with that, and that's entirely up to the department of
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justice. brian. >> thank you very much. going back to russia. when he said that he spoke with putin and he believed that they meant what he said. in other words, there was no collusion with the government. >> he actually said he believed that putin believed what he said. and that he wasn't going to get into an argument with him over that when they had bigger things like north korea, like the issues in sierra that they needed to deal with and work together on. >> the question being, he always maintained that the democrats precluded that. is he saying the president exonerated the democrats? >> the president believes there was collusion with the democrats during this election process, but again, he's not going to get into the back and forth with a world leader that he needs to work with and wants to work with in order to deal with some of the big and serious things that are facing our country right now. >> sorry, brian, i'm going to move ahead. >> sarah, is president trump concerned that the potential tax increases for hard working new yorkers can no longer deduct
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state and local taxes might cause an exodus from new york losing a spot as the capital? >> we've addressed this a very minimum number of people actually itemize their deductions. i've said it a few times today, i feel kind of like a broken record today, but the president is focussed on the principles he laid out and making sure that we get the most tax cuts possible for the people of the middle class and for most americans and that's what he's been focussed on. one last question. >> thank you, sarah. senator johnson, republican raised questions about the fairness of the tax proposal, particularly disparity between corporate and individuals and the way the big corporations and regional corporations, the way they're treated as well. the question is what con kegs is the white house prepared to make to senator johnson and if you do make concessions to him, are you worried that other republicans will demand their own concess n concessions and you'll have the the revolving door? >> i think that's something for the members of the senate to
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work through, certainly not something the president is getting into the necessarily the back and forth of that conversation at this point in time. again, he spoke with senator johnson, he supports the priorities. he wants to work with members of the senate to bring them together to make sure that we pass historic tax cuts and tax reform. >> did he offer senator johnson anything? >> he did encourage him to get on board. thanks so much guys, we'll be around the rest of the afternoon. >> welcome to the lead, i'm jake tapper. you saw sarah sand tlers at the white house trying to thread the needle there saying that president trump thinks the aelgtss against candidate roy moore are very troubling in her words, but refusing to say whether or not the president believes the charges, believes the allegations as the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and the speaker of the house paul ryan has said. president trump believes the fate of the race should remain in the hands of alabama voters. my political panel is here with me as well as cnn's jeff zelny at the white house.
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jeff, let's starts with you. this is the first briefing since president trump returned from his asia trip. lots to talk about, but a lot of focus on roy moore and the fact that president trump really hasn't said anything about it. >> indeed, jake, and that is one of the reasons so many questions of course for sarah sanders because the president has been silent about this. he of course has been following this very carefully. he's had telephone conversations with mitch mcconnell about this, the senator majority leader that he has not weighed in, but sarah sanders i'm not sure during this briefing, despite how many times she was asked a question, i'm not sure if he resolved this, in fact, certainly leaving, you know, the central question still hanging out there, when is the president going to address this and what does he believe he should do? we do know the president actually endorsed roy moore after that primary campaign with the luther strange, but when asked directly here a few moments ago, if he would reskinned that endorsement, sarah sanders wouldn't say, it's up for the people of alabama. and again and again we're saying
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the actions were inappropriate, but it's up to the people of alabama. now we do know that ivanka trump, of course the president's senior advisor and daughter has spoken out against this very strongly. she said there's a special place in hell for people who do this to children. the president though has simply not said one way or the other just simply it's up to the people of alabama here. so, i thought, you know, that was definitely something that's going to keep this alive. and other matters here, she also said that the white house and the president supports the investigation into al franken's allegations. she believes it's the right thing for the senate to do to look into that. and any other business of news of senators on senator bob mendes, sarah sanders says she does not know what the president thinks of that. she has not yet asked him. so that is the top headlines on matters not of policy, but of personnel, jake. >> that's right. the mendes corruption trial in new jersey ending in a hung jury, a mistrial. we'll talk about that later in the show. let's go to my panel right now and focus for a minute, first of
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all, we should just report that the alabama republican party has just put out a statement saying that they are standing by roy moore, not a particular surprise. but amanda, how long do you think the white house can continue to try to thread the need this will way? president trump saying he thinks the allegations are serious, but not saying whether or not he believes them. which is kind of the important part of this. do you believe these, i think it's eight women now have come forward and said he behaved inappropriately one way or the other when they were teenagers, one as young as 14. >> the heart breaking answer is for as long as he wants because people aren't going to hold him accountable. there is a lesson here. there should be no politics when it comes to sex abuse because for every clinton there will be a trump, for every moore, al franken, once you've covered up for one, you've lost the moral credit to believe the other the other to account. so nobody has the moral credibility to hold. this is the mess we're in. and i'm so disappointed in the
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alabama republican party because this isn't a problem that the washington post can solve, this isn't a problem that donald trump can solve. the alabama republican party has to decide if they want to have standards for the people that run in their elections. the governor is a woman. she has the ability, she has a tool kit she could use to delay the election. she will not use them. she says people should vote for him. and we're in the terrible situation where our politics are so polarized that people in alabama would quite forth rightly vote for a man accused multiple times of sexual assault than a democrat because they feel like our politics are such high stakes. >> one of the things that is a problem for president trump, obviously, is if he says he believes the accusers of roy moore, then the question becomes, well, what about this dozen, 220 or other so other accusers who are saying that you behaved inappropriately, whether it's sexual assault or sexual
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harassment of some sort. >> this is a special challenge for this president. he is not a tailor who threads needles. he's a wrecking ball. and i think that's a big part of his brand. part of his appeal. part of the reason that 62 million people voted for him. he says it like it is and he means what he says and he means what he says. that's all gone now. i think for the reasons you state, there's another reason though too. i think he's a little afraid of his base. he's overwhelmingly popular in alabama, but this is a little reminiscent of when he didn't want to criticize nazis. there's some very fine people. no, they're not fine nazis. and i think, i think that he's a little afraid of them. and slightly part with amanda in that i think you're letting the people of alabama off too easily. nobody's hiding this from there. years ago, 1992, bob packton was reelected despite unknown charges that he attacked women. afterwards, ethics committee investigated it, packard resigned. that was a case where the voters didn't have a chance to weigh
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in. so it was really good -- >> and that's my complaint. the alabama republican party for not enforcing standards and giving those people a better choice now that they have the information. >> it seems like we're in a part -- and i want to ask paul about bill clinton, we're getting into this conversation about that coming up. >> i already asked him about that in the green room. >> i want to ask you, are we -- are our politics so broken now that all that matters is the party label next to somebody's name, not the credibility -- i mean, these charges from these women, eight now, including the most recently a woman who says she met roy moore i think at the mall, didn't give him her phone number, he tracked her down and called her and got her called out of class. she was a senior. he says what are you doing i'm roy moore, i'm in trig class. this kind of behaves in his 30s, she was 17 or 18, that it doesn't matter anymore that all that matters is your tribe. >> it is sad. it is heart breaking. it is disappointing, it's disgusting. and you're right, all that
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matters is your tribe. and right now it's not only democrat versus republican. some of these folks in alabama are so blinded by their fight against what they see as the republican establishment that they are willing to look the other way, they are willing to give roy moore the benefit of the doubt and accuse the women and say that they are not credible. >> alabama, wait a minute, eight alabama women. >> some folks haven't read the washington post story. you realize that when you read some of the things that they are saying, they're doing things like bringing in the bible, they're doing things like blaming the victim. it is disgusting what we are seeing. and as far as president trump, precisely because he's got the baggage that he does on this issue, is that at this point, he should behave presidentially and make a difference. because in alabama, he can. in other places, he may not be able to, but with the alabama republican base, he may be able to have an influence. and this is a time for him to make a line in the sand and say, okay, before i was president, i may have behaved a certain way,
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but now that i am president, i am going to be a national leader. i am going to show some morality. i'm going to show that i am a changed person. and i'm going to actually have the courage of my convictions and take a position on this because my silence makes me come police isn't a. >> everyone stick around. we have a lot more to talk about the whole show. coming up next, the woman, the los angeles news anchor who is saying that al franken forcibly kissed her and groped her. it's her first live national television interview since she shared her story. everyone stay with us. quick break, and then we are going to cover that story. s hug. that's right. t-mobile's got your netflix subscription covered... ...when you get a family plan with two or more lines. really? that's incredible. so go ahead and watch however you want. you're messing with me, right? all at no extra charge. this is awesome! another reason why t-mobile is america's best unlimited network. mic drop.
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welcome back. we're again this afternoon being hit by a blizzard of news in new jersey, a mistrial declared in the corruption trial of democratic senator bob mendes fwhb washington. house the representatives passed a tax bill that could have implications on your wallet and on the federal deficit. we're going to have more on those stories in a moment. first the shocking story shared bay news anchor in los angeles this morning.
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leeann twooeden told reporters that al franken kissed her against her wishes and posed for this groping photograph when she was asleep and the lengthy written apology, the photograph was a bad idea. he remembers the kissing allegation differently, but the accusation sent shock waves throughout capitol hill with mitch mcconnell calling for an investigation. call that franken himself echoed. he was elected to the u.s. senate in 2008 two years after the incident. he's been seening a a rising star, headlining democratic fundraisers and talking as a presidential candidate. but today his democrat colleagues are discussing whether or not he could be expelled from the senate. we're going to join -- we're going to interview his accuser leeann in one second, but right now, let's talk more to our panel. and paul, let's talk about the re-examination that's going on right now of bill clinton because there are a lot of people writing op-eds in the "new york times" and talking about it on television about how given today's 2017 more raies,
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back in the '90s, bill clinton, maybe, should not have been able to get away with what he got away with. and maybe the media and the feminist community and others should have been more condemning of his behavior. >> that conversation did occur 20 years ago, a lot of people weren't around when it did. you for example retweeted a scathing piece tearing into feminists who defended clinton at the time. that conversation did happen at the time. and he didn't get away with anything. he was investigated, he was litigated, he was impeached, he had finally, after lying about the affair, admitted it, apologized, multiple times, in a very heartfelt away way, privately as well as publicly, and the country fraif him. >> but that's one of the many allegations against -- >> paula jones. flowers, there's kathleen, there's a bunch. >> all of which were investigated, litigated, adjudicated, we gave ken starr $70 million and 78 fbi agents in
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two years, president clinton is the most investigated nern american history. and people arrived where they arrived. and it was not a close call by the overwhelming majority they thought he was a good man who did a bad thing and should remain as our president because he was doing a great job. he left office after all of that, most popular president in the history of polling. doesn't mean people approved of that. they condemned it rightfully. but it's because they decided he was a good person doing a good job who did a bad thing and asked for forgiveness. he apologized, he admitted, he confessed, and he begged for forgiveness. >> all right, more on that in one second. joining it seems to me leeann tweeden. thank you for joining us. i appreciate it. tell us about this rehearsal incident, it's 2006, your preparing for a uso show, were you in afghanistan, were you in iraq, where were you? >> actually, the first show was in kuwait, we started in kuwait and move on to iraq and end up in afghanistan. so the first one was in kuwait. we were backstage, sort of the backstage area in kuwait as a
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makeshift backstage area which is actually their gym which is behind the stage that they built there and we just sort of had a cordoned off area up against the gym wall which is a mirrored area. so they have that for us so we can see, you know, when everybody changes back there and everything and you can see, you know, make sure you're dressed and everything. and, you know, al just wanted to rehearse. and he's like let's go over our lines and let's do -- we really should rehearse the kiss and that was the first time i'd heard that part of it. and i'm like -- we don't need to rehearse the kiss. i sort of blew him off. and then he's like no, we really need to rehearse the kiss, like come on al, this isn't "saturday night live," we're doing it live on stage, it's no big deal. and he persisted and said again, let's rehearse the scene. and, you know, i was trying to make light of the situation because i started feeling uncomfortable because i was like okay, what is he getting at here? and, you know, i was trying to
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be funny, i said okay al, you lean right, i'll lean right and we'll be fine, you know. and he's like, you know, actors really need to -- they need to rehearse. and i'm thinking, i'm not an actress, al, i'm a host, i'm a tv host. this is what i do. i don't, i don't act. that's a whole other, that's a whole other thing people do and that's not what i do. and he goes no, we really need to do this. persistence and just making me feel uncomfortable, i finally said okay. let's rehearse the damn scene, okay. and you know, the whole time in my mind, i'm thinking, it's like bob hope, you know, you're going to come in for the kiss, i'm the girl, and i'm going to just turn my head or i would cover his mouth. and it would be funny, right, because we're doing this to entertain the troops. it's like a shh tick, right? and he comes in and it all happened so fast. he comes in, and you know, at the last second we're coming in, and he just -- he puts his hand
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on the back of my neck and he comes in so fast and he just sort of, you know, it's like that, you know, there was no finesse to it at all. let's put it that way and he just mashes his mouth to my lips and wet and if you wants his or her tongue in my mouth. my reaction was just sort of a -- i push his chest away with my hands and i'm like if you ever do that to me again. i was so angry. i was in disbelief, really. and i just sort of, you know, my -- hand -- to this day i talk about it and my hand clenches into a fist because i think my initial reaction was that i wanted to hit him. that's what i feel. and i still feel that to this day i think. and, you know, i just looked at him and said don't you ever do that to me again, i won't be so nice about it again the next time. and i just walked out. and i just walked out. my mind was reeling. and i'm thinking, you know, i've got to find a bathroom, i wanted to rinse my mouth out.
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that's all i could think about. and i'm not an actress, let me tell you, in five minutes they're introducing us to go on stage to do our very first show and i think i was the best actress in the world because i had to go out and feel like al franken, ladies and gentlemen, and pretend like we were the best of friends. and do the whole show and standing right next to him. >> now i know you've said that you spent much of the rest of the tour being as professional as possible on stage, acting the part while also avoiding him as much as possible backstage. was there ever any acknowledgment by him that this had happened? any sort of attempt to talk about it or apologize or anything? >> no. absolutely not. no. and i'll tell you this, there were like little petty things that went on, you know, little comments here and there. just like sort of passive aggressiveness. we would do autograph sessions after the show because that's what you would do.
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when you go entertain the troops, you put on a show and then afterwards, the troops can come and you sign autographs, you have little autograph sheets, right. well they put out long tables and people, you sit next to each other and sign autographs and troops did line up where they want and get an autograph. dallas cowboy cheerleaders, very popular and people line up. well, sometimes, i'll be honest with you, there would be nobody in al franken's line because there's only a limited amount of time, and people would line up who they want to spend -- sometimes you can stand in one line and you only get one autograph for a night, you know, so they pick whoever line they really want to meet. and one time, you know, and i always -- if i sat next to him, which it happened a lot because we're the hosts so we sat next to each other and i would have my back to him like this. and one time i could see a picture moving, and i'm like, you know, i see the picture moving, i'm trying not to pay attention to it. you're trying to sign and take pictures with troops, and i look
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down, and i see it kind of move back towards my pile, and there's my picture and al franken has drawn the devil's horns on my face and the goatee and the devil tail and the pitch fork. that's what i'm dealing with. so he's drawing me as the devil. it's the little things like that -- so when it ends up that i have the picture taken of me that while i'm asleep that i don't see until i get home, it's like all of that in totality, right? like -- >> and let's talk about that because people -- because who are watching may not have seen your press conference. this photograph we're showing you right now. you didn't see this until you got home from the tour. you received a cd of pictures from the photographer, and this was there. this was orvel taken when you were sleeping and what was your reaction? obviously you didn't find it funny. i don't know anybody over the age of nine that might find it funny, but what did you think? >> i mean, i saw it and, you know, knowing how i felt about
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him, i was angry because in my mind, he was doing that to -- that was like his parting gift, like right, ha, she's going to see that after we're all gone and that's like, i gotcha. that's going to be the last thing she sees and i got the last laugh. >> directly related to the kiss in a way? >> oh yeah, of course. i mean, all of those little things that was done to me. like oh, you're the devil, you know, ha-ha, you know. i mean, it's just, you know, it's belittling, it's humiliating. i mean, is that funny? is that ever funny? i mean, i wasn't his friend. that's not -- i mean, is that funny if that's your wife or your daughter or your mom? i mean, you know -- i mean, he came out with the, you know, apology and he's appalled by it now and i thought it was funny, obviously it's not funny.
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i mean, it's, you know, i've been angry about it, jake, for over ten years, and it's a -- you know, my circle of friends and my husband have known how i felt about it for so long and, you know, i wanted to come out with it ten years ago, and, you know, it wasn't the right time and, you know, i don't want anything. i didn't come out for it to destroy anybody. i came out because i want, you know, if he did this to somebody else or if somebody else has been sexual assaulted or if they've been, you know, abused in any way, that may be somebody else can come out and realtime because they have strength in numbers. people are coming out now. congresswoman jackie spear told about her story when her chief of staff when she was a congressional aid, when she was in her 20s did the same thing. and when i heard her talk about that on our radio show right here on knbc in los angeles and
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she said, he pinned me up against the wall, put his hands on my face, kissed me and stuck his tongue in my mouth, i went -- that was al franken. he did that to me. >> you were triggered. >> that's a sign. it triggered me. i said that's going to make me talk. and mb if al franken did this to somebody else, or if somebody else has a story and they need to talk about it because look, i was nervous to come out about it. this doesn't make me feel good. everybody goes oh, you're so strong, you're going to feel so great talking about it. i still have a knot in my stomach. this isn't like some yeah, i'm going to do it and feel great about it. >> it's difficult. >> it is hard. >> tell me why -- i don't doubt you at all, tell me why it's hard. i think it's just important for people to -- >> it's embarrassing. >> that's why people don't come forward. >> right. why do you think there are people that haven't -- there are still a lot of people that haven't told their stories. and, you know, in the case of roy moore, there are people that
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40 years later that are reluctantly coming out about it. i mean, it's embarrassing. it's humiliating. there are still people i've looked on twitter that are still blaming me for it. i'm like, you look at the picture, i'm asleep and there's still somehow it's my fault. >> right. >> really? okay. al franken has come out and apologized and said, you know what, that was in poor taste, i thought it was funny, and it's still my fault. that's why women don't come out. >> the only thing i'm going to say to you is don't read twitter for the next week. that's the only thing -- >> what'd you say? >> don't read twitter for the next week. >> right, i know. >> you're going to find people who are against cancer patients on twitter. when you keep talk about senator franken's apology and i want to read you -- he put out one statement, then he put out a second one. and i want to read it to you because i want to get your reaction. and this is what he said, quote, the first thing i want to do is apologize to leeann, everyone else who was part of that tour, everyone to who has worked for
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me. to everyone i represent. and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. there's more i want to say, the first and most important thing and it's the only thing you care to hear, i'm sorry. i respect women. the fact that my own actions have given people a reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed. over the last few months, all of us, including and especially men who respect women have been forced to take a good hard look and think, perhaps shamefully for the first time about how those actions have affected women. while i don't remember the rehearsal for the skit as leeann does, we need to believe women's experiences. i'm asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken and i'll cooperate and the truth is what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. they deserve to be heard and believed. they deserve to know i'm their ally and supporter. i have let them down and am committed to making it up to them. there was a section about the photograph too, but that's most of it.
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what do you think of that? is that -- do you accept his apology? >> i do. i do. and the one that came out this morning, i accepted that one too. it was very short and very brief. my initial reaction was, it sounded like a staffer put that out hastily. you know can be which maybe could have been the truth, you know to get out quickly because when it hit, it was -- it went viral and it was everywhere. but that one did seem heartfelt. and i believe it. and i believe him. you know, and i, i honestly do believe him. and you know, i wasn't -- i wasn't waiting for an apology from him, but i gladly accept it and thank you senator franken. yeah. >> do you want him to call you? >> sure. i mean, you know, look, my husband and i saw him at a uso metro gala a couple years after and i was very cold to him. he found me in a room and said hello, leeann, and i said hi al and i turned and walked away
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from him and my husband turned and said hi al, he didn't apologize to me then. if he didn't get it then and say i'm sorry for, you know, anything that i did, you know, and it took this for the apology, so, but whatever. you know, i'm glad that he -- that second apology, i think maybe he had some time to digest it and think about it and, you know, i believe him. and i think it is heartfelt. and i think men and, you know, there are men victims that have come out and, you know, this whole harvey weinstein era in the last month that have come out, yeah. people need to take a long, hard look at the culture that has been happening since, you know, men and women have walked the earth. >> right. >> and i hope it's changing, and i hope it will change because it's going to take all of us. and not only what happens behind closed doors, a lot of this
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abuse and harassment happens in front of other people. and when other people let it happen and don't speak up to say something and say look, that's not okay, it's going to continue. >> well, was anybody there -- >> no. >> it was just you too two. >> yeah, backstage behind the cordoned off curtain area. >> what do you think about the senate is calling for an ethics committee investigation, franken himself called for it, but just a day ago, when it came out that more than $15 million had been paid off in settlements to women for sexual harassment and other charges by congress. there was a lot of question about should congress really be in charge of investigating itself? can we really? i mean, i don't know if you saw in the coverage when jackie spear did her hearing in the house a couple days ago, but they put up a chart of what women or men need to do to lodge a complaint of sexual
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harassment. and it's this process, it's like a goldberg design that only could have been designed by somebody who actually was a sexual harasser who was trying to dissuade women from lodging these complaints. i guess the question is the senate of ethics committee, forgetting al franken for a second, is it enough for senators or should there be something else? >> i think there should be -- if anybody is going to be investigated, i mean, i'm not talking about this case in particular, but it should always be an independent investigation. because you can't expect the -- i'm not going to say swamp, you can't expect people within their own group to investigate themselves. that's never going to be a fair investigation because they're always going to protect themselves. so i would think an outside investigation or an outside party that's unbiassed and not part of that affiliation is always going to be called for because they're always going to protect themselves. and that's $15 million payout, you -- i mean that's like having these nbas, that's how you
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protect, that's how harvey weinstein was able to protect because that's how women stay silent, or men, right. when you can pay off and say, i'm going to pay you for your silence. okay, maybe i abused you, maybe i sexually harassed you, but if i pay you money, but you're going to stay silent. they can continue that type of behavior. >> they do. that's the whole point. >> and they do that in congress, and congress they're paying them off with our money. they're paying them off with tax payer money. i'm sure that $15 million didn't come out of their personal pocket. right? so how do we not know names? how do we not know what happened? names need to be named and the money needs to come out of their own personal checkbooks. okay. this is wrong. when names start being named, right, and i think there was a call yesterday on capitol hill that if we start knowing names and people start being called out, maybe this behavior will start changing. >> do you -- are you willing to testify before the senate ethics committee? >> i would be, sure. i mean, yes.
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okay. if they asked me to. >> do you think that senator franken should step down from his job or if he fails to be expelled from the senate by his colleagues? >> i'm not asking for that. i mean, that's not why i came out with my story. i'm not asking for him to step down as senator, that's not my -- if somebody else calls for that, but that's not what i'm asking. >> but in your heart, i mean, do you have any feeling? i mean, it sounds like you've nursed this understandably with a lot of resentment, again, completely understandably for 11 years. do you want him punished? i mean, what -- or do you just want to be acknowledged as a human being and apologized to? >> yeah. i think that's it. the latter. i think i just wanted him to apologize to me for that. and say he was sorry. and i think that second statement that he came out with and the acknowledgment of saying that it was wrong and that heartfelt and, you know, gathering his staff and saying,
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you know, what, it was wrong, and i think everybody needs to take a good, hard look. and i think he came from a place of honesty there. and i think that's really where change is going to be driven from. not from the victims coming out and talking about it, i think it's going to come from the people who maybe do the abusing that don't even realize they're doing the abusing because it's so a part of the culture and it's been so apart of when you can do this and look at a camera and laugh and think that that's okay and you can get away with it and you know you're being photographed and you know you're doing it to a woman and you think that that's okay and you can do it with impunity and you think you can just get away with it and it's ha-ha funny, that's what's wrong with the culture. you know, so if we can have the people doing the abusing change, that's where, that's when the change is going to occur. >> you've been -- we've all been watching the changes in the society when it comes to this issue of sexual assault and
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harassment in the last year, i guess, i mean, slowly and now quickly. bill cosby, roger ales, bill o'reilly, harvey weinstein, james toeback, brett ratner, are there any of the women who came for in any of those cases who inspired you? because i think right now you're probably inspiring a lot of people. and i'm wondering if are there any women who came before you who inspired you to come forward today? >> i mean been i don't think specifically, i think it's more of -- as a whole. i think, you know, just for me, i say congresswoman jackie spear just because when she came on our show a couple weeks ago and she told the story and it was just almost verbatim what happened to me, and she happens to be, you know, a congresswoman and it's political and, you know, al franken is now a senator. and it just sounded like my words you know what i mean?
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i think that's why -- it was a trigger point for me. and it inspired know come forward, but all of those women were just standing on the backs of those women. you know, i just -- it takes courage and strength and i only pulled strength from them. look, this morning, right before i talked about it on our radio show, i was terrified. you know. i told my husband right before i came to do your show, i'm sitting in the car and i'm like, there was a moment this morning, all of the sudden i tried to go out and go to the bathroom and there were all kinds of tv cameras in the hallway, i had no idea, jake, honestly, i had no idea what it was going to turn into. i thought maybe a camera was going to show up and then all of the sudden, the hallway was blocked. and i kind of like -- i need to go to the buckinghathroom and m husband texted me, how are you holding up and i locked myself in the bathroom for a minute. i wanted to start crying. it was just an sort of overwhelming emotion, you know, and i even had lauren, one of
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the girls that came out about harvey weinstein, who is a friend of ours and i've known her for a long time and she texted me last night she knew i was going to talk about it this morning, and she said you're going to feel better. once it comes out, you're going to feel better. i haven't gotten to that point yet, i'll be honest, i still sort of have that knot in my stomach. i don't feel like yay, it feels great coming out and talking about it. i mean i still feel kind of sick about it. it's not a feel-good thing. i still feel sort of embarrassed about it. you know. >> you don't need me to say that this, but you did nothing to be embarrassed about. i know you know that intellectually, there's nothing you did that you should be embarrassed about. how are you holding up? you have a loving husband, you have a support network there. are you doing okay? >> i just want to go home and -- i have a two-year-old and a four-year-old, and i just want to hug my babies and my husband.
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that's all. you know, i've been up since 2:00 in the morning, california time, i haven't eaten anything. i have like cotton mouth. i don't know if you could tell. i feel like my teeth are sticking to my gums, you know, i'm okay, i'm holding up. you know, i just -- it's been nonstop. that's all. i'm okay. thank you. i'm all right. >> the world that you're making for your children, for your two-year-old and four-year-old you realize that you are making it better for them. i don't know the genders of your children, but it doesn't matter. >> after i boy and a girl. >> but both of them need to be impacted by this, right? not just the girl. >> you know, you always -- i don't want to be cliche, but you talk about leaving the world a better place for your kids, you know -- sorry. >> nothing to be sorry about. >> i didn't think i was going to
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do that, but you know, you do. you want to leave, you know -- you try to set examples for your children, right? you want to leave the world a better place. you try to -- you want to set examples and you want the world to be better for your kids. you want to leave it better than what you had it. and it's like you know, i've had so many of my girlfriends text me. i mean my phone died already twice today because people have been texting and calling and they're like, you know, stay strong because you're doing something that is going to make the world better for your daughter. you know. and maybe i am. you know. i didn't look at it that way. but maybe i am. and if i am, okay. i'll take it. >> you are. but of course you are. but it's not just for your daughter. you're doing it for your son too. right? >> right. >> because he doesn't -- you don't want him to grow up and
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either misbehave or, you know, have women friends or family members who are affected that way. because obviously what you're doing is making the world a better place because you're bringing awareness in a very public -- i know you don't feel it, but very brave way. you said something earlier that surprised me. you didn't know how much this was going to -- how big a deal this was going to be. you thought there might be one camera. you didn't know it was going to be such a huge story of interest to so many people. why? >> well, i mean, i knew it would be a story because it deals with senator franken. i didn't know that it would be like this. you know. i mean -- i guess, i mean, i guess it's like trying to describe the grand canyon to somebody and then seeing it with your own eyes, i guess maybe it's just a little bit dmimpbt perspective, you know, but i just -- it's been a whirlwind. it's been nonstop. i think the flood of phone calls
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and e-mails and messages and text messages and the interest and the stories and the trending and -- it's overwhelming. you know. just, you know, haven't had a couple minutes to myself. and like i said, you know, i just -- you know, i haven't had a chance to see my kids. and, you know, i've been able to talk to my husband like twice and just for a minute and, you know, it's just -- it's, you know -- it's just overwhelming. really. >> one of the -- i know you're not doing this in any partisan way at all. these stories inevitably become partisan, not because of you. not because of how the media necessarily covers it, but because partisans seize upon it. and we saw that with the allegations against donald trump last year.
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we see this with allegations against roy moore. what do you think about that? about people taking credible allegations of sexual misconduct and using them for partisan purposes, one way or the other? >> disgusting. i mean, when is -- how can you take sides when there's right and when there's wrong? i mean, it's, i tried to describe it yesterday we were talking about it on the radio show, and i said if you listen to stories like we watch the voice for example, right, where you turn your seats around and you hear a voice and you don't see the face, you don't see the person, you don't know where that voice is coming from. you just hear the beautiful melody and you just hear the talent, right? if you just heard the stories of what some of these people do and you've heard the accusations and
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then you hear the accusers or the stories that have come out and you didn't know anything about the person or their affiliation or what -- if they're a liberal or if they're a republican or you know what side they're affiliated with politically. and you made your decision based on what you hear are facts or the allegations or what have you, it would be a very different story. and it's so sad to me that, you know, if you are sexually assaulted or abused or raped or whatever it is that has happened to you, you're a victim or you're an abuser or whatever, it doesn't matter if you have a d or r in front of your name, that should have nothing to do with it. that's the thing when congresswoman spear came on the show, you know, she has, you know, teamed up with other republican females in congress to talk about like this is not a partisan issue.
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when you're sexual assaulted, it doesn't matter. when you're sexual assaulted, it doesn't matter if you're a republican or a democrat. the guy doesn't know hey are you a republican or democrat? when i'm raping you i want to know which one you are. the affiliation doesn't matter, right? so i don't see how people can go, oh, i'm so happy that she was assaulted because she's a republican or i'm so happy that he's been accused because he's a democrat. like disgusting to me. like -- that's not the point here. let's get back to the problem of what happened here and what is he being accused of? regardless of what his affiliation is because -- that's the issue here. let's not -- let's talk about the problem and the victim. >> do you think it's going to get better? do you think that there is becoming more awareness because of all of these cases including yours today that the behavior will change and more women will
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come forward and fewer men will feel like they can try this nonsense, try -- assault women and get away with it? >> you know, i'm a realist, so i hope it's going to get better and i think it will. yes, i think, i think more women are going to feel, and men too, i think people are going to feel more empowered to speak up when it happens. is sexual assault and rape and all of these things still going to happen? yes, it's going to happen because it's human nature and people are still going to be assaulted and things are, you know, we're not going to live in this perfect society where everybody's going to get along and, you know, we're going to have no crime and no rape and, you know, everything's going to be perfect and we're going to live in harmony. let's be realistic. that's never going to happen, but, i do think times are changing. and i think you see in hollywood now where these allegations come, look at the fall from
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grace of harvey weinstein and it has -- we're talking about a guy who ran hollywood. i mean, he could win an oscar just by putting money into, you know -- it was just amazing how much control he had over, you know, the oscar nominations and the movies that were put out and how much control he had over the movie tharps put out and made and distributed and all of that. and his fall from grace was just unbelievable. and then you look at kevin spacey and how people just cut and ran. you look at louis ck and people just cut and ran. and we're talking about accusations and when multiple people come out. i mean, none of these were proven quote/unquote. they started hearing them and people are like, you know what, we've pulled all of it, we're cutting the movie, replacing him in a movie. we've cut our deals and they just cut and ran. just at the first sight of it. so it's really been incredible.
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so i think times have changed. people don't even want to know. and there's been a silence depabture -- i mean, people don't hear this, but in a lot of, you know, agencies in hollywood, a lot of talent companies in hollywood, there've been a lot of people that have silently cleaned out their desks and sort of just walked away that have either been privied to that have maybe part of that sort of culture. that the hammers either coming down or they know it's coming down the pipeline and just gone, you know what, we're going to take our leave now before maybe the shoe drops on them. so it's, it's really -- it's happening there and maybe it's going to happen in more palaces like capitol hill or, you know, maybe it'll take a little bit longer to happen in middle america because the spotlight is not shining as bright, you know, at the local chilies or kinko's or wherever people are working and you don't have a-list actresses and movie moguls that
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people know their names because they see them on tv all the time. it might be different, but it's definitely, you know, i think the change, the tide is turning. and i think it's definitely -- people are more aware now and not as afraid to speak up because people are going to call it out as it happens and i think this younger generation and i think it's happening. i definitely do. >> one last question for you, and that is any woman or man watching right now who has experienced the kind of thing that you have experienced, what's your message to them as you go through the end of this very, very difficult day? definitely got to find your strength with your loved ones and, you know, just know that the truth is on your side. if you have the truth on your side, you know, you can't go wrong. you've definitely got to -- your heart's got to be in it to know
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that it's going to be definitely a difficult struggle. you know, it's going to be people are going to want to tear you down and people are going to want to, you know, challenge your credibility and going to to want say nasty things about you and like you said, don't look at twitter for a while. if you want to make change. change is never easy. change is tough, but if you want to be on the right side of history and you want to make change you're going to have to do some walking and believe, believe in that and do it. you know. >> you're making change, leeann, thank you so much. we're honored you told your story to us. >> thank you, jake. >> talk to you soon. my panel is back with me. your reaction. >> i mean, i cried a little bit during that. and the point where i started to
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tear up where i think she did is when she talking about the humiliation factor. for her to come forward and tell people this happened, she had to relive probably one of the most humiliating days of her life. and not only relive it, but show people a photo of it. we've all seen that photo and that's nothing on her, she did nothing wrong. but to know that that happened to her and the only way away would believe it is if we circulated it. that's the terrible predicament that women are in. i think senator franken needs to do a lot more than issue a public apology via press release. she has a lot of class. she said she believed his apology, i think he needs to try to make it in person. she may not to want see him. he needs to make a much bigger gesture than a press release because she has gone through a lot over the last ten years. and we can talk about what'll happen in the senate, i'm happy to do that, but for him as a person to just fire off a public press release and think that's enough to undo the damage she's undergone for the last ten years, no.
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>> ana. >> i am emotionally exhausted after that interview. i think she said so many things that are so important in such an eloquent and compelling way to help us understand the psyche. you know, so many people when it comes to roy moore have questioned the credibility of the victims because they said what took them so long. they waited 40 years. well, leeann just explained for us and such eloquence and with such grace what took them so long. she explained the embarrassment, the humiliation, she explained having to deal with it and carrying this inside of her for the last 10, 11 years, for those folks that think this is political. this is not political. this is about women who need to tell their stories. she talked about getting strength from this. she's not doing this to destroy al franken. she's doing this to help other women and she's doing this for
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herself and for her children. she wants to be a change agent. three things, number one, thank you, leeann, as a woman, as a human being, as an american, thank you, leeann for everything you're doing. number two, al franken needs to do more. you asked her if she wanted to get a call, she said she would be open to that. he should be making that call before this show is over. and he should be very remorseful, and number three, she talked about, and you brought up, the $15 million that we have paid out as american tax payers to settle sexual harassment lawsuits in congress. you know what, we need to know who the hell those men are. we need to know who the hell they are. that's our money, it's tax payer money, the constituents need to know, the people who voted for them need to know. their colleagues need to know. their staffers, the 18, 20-year-old staffers that are coming out of college and applying to work for those congress people need to know who they are. they owe it to the american
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people to tell us who they are. it's our money. it's our vote, it's our congress, it's our institution, it's our democracy. and any man who's out there who's done something akin to al franken or roy moore, you know what you should do today, pick up the phone and call the women and apologize now. apologize today. there may be a lot of people thinking this is going to go away. maybe i'm safe. maybe the woman i did it to is not going to speak up. be afraid. be very, very afraid because women are empowered and they're not going to take it anymore. >> wouldn't that be amazing if the balance of power, the balance of terror switched? no, that's what i mean. so that -- and believe me i'm sure all over capitol hill, all over hollywood and one day, as miss tweeden say, i hope that middle america -- there are a lot of women being assaulted in the file room who don't have access to the attention that miss tweeden has gotten. and she's doing this for them. i found her completely credible. and i think this is good advice
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and i think senator frank -- she's a friend of mine, i donated to his campaign, i campaigned for him in minnesota, i have a bias toward al franken and i found her interview with you completely believable. wholly credible. this point about sunlight. yesterday, congresswoman spears said there were two current members of the house who have harassed women -- >> democrat and a republican. >> and did not name them. what if they were committing embezzlement? right? even for a reformer, there is this culture of silence that we can't, you know, we do need to know. >> for all i know, she was told by a lawyer -- she might be legally liable. >> legal reasons. we need to disclose this. >> reports this week in the press here in washington, the political press that there was a congressperson from california and a congressperson from texas who are on this creep list from staffers. well, people need to talk because there's going to be future staffers applying for jobs for these people. and the voters have the right to
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know. >> there should be a stand alone piece of legislation yesterday barring any expulsion of tax payer money to settle sexual harassment claims. period. the end. end that practice yesterday. >> something that was interesting today was leeann tweeden came forward with her allegations, and there was, as far as i could tell, almost unanimous condemnation. i mean, i didn't hear, even from a week ago when the roy moore allegations came forward, and it was told, well if true, this is disturb, blah, blah, blah, we just heard this was wrong, this was inappropriate, this needs to go before the senate ethics committee -- >> with no witnesses, but some of this is because al franken did the right thing and confessed. he admitted it -- >> he didn't admit the kiss part. he said he remembers it differently. >> he apologized and he says he's going to turn it over to the ethics committee. >> how could you rebuke the photos. >> he didn't, he didn't. look at his statement, it's a statement of remorse.
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opposed to roy moore -- >> but he doesn't remember the assault. >> he remembered it differently. >> okay, right. >> i think he's really trying to apologize and show contrition, remorse, and be accountable. what a contrast for roy moore who was attacking the washington post for telling the truth, attacking these women for telling the truth and somehow now it's a conspiracy between -- >> somewhat of a copout, ethics committee is where complaint goes to die. only have to pass by a majority vote and do it for every other man -- >> that's true, it's a joke. >> a few things, i was incredibly bothered when i read today that nancy pelosi and paul ryan did not know that $15 million had been paid out to settle sexual harassment suits. that is outrageous. >> all the suits -- all workplace discrimination, all the suits, not just sexual harassment. doesn't make it better.
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>> they can set the example and they can look at republicans and say, this is not politics, do not politicize this. this is about doing right and wrong and this is about basic decency and morality. so i think democrats who until now i have not seen be protective of al franken, i have not seen try to make this less than what it is are setting an example that republicans, i hope, learn from and follow. because what's happening with roy moore, what's happening with the alabama gop and roy moore, is so disgusting and shameful. particularly after you just heard the last 40 minutes of this interview. it's disturbing -- either you believe accusers that are launching credible accusations or you don't. >> well, adds i was saying a little bit before, i think the picture makes it impossible. and the only way that women win this argument is if there's
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audio or video evidence, otherwise, it's he said she said, they'll do it. >> but on the roy moor case, you know, this creep signed a young girl's yearbook. >> got to go. thanks, that's it for the lead, jake tapper, turning over to wolf blitzer. happening now, breaking news, franken accused. democrating senator al franken apologizes after being accused of groping and forcibly kissing a woman a decade ago. now democratic and republican senators are calling for an ethics investigation. could he lose his job? moore denials. roy moore calls allegations against him of sexual assault untrue, unsubstantiated, and an effort to steal the election from the people of alabama. republican calls for moore to step aside are growing. will president trump add his voice? taxing