tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN November 16, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
time now for us to hand things over to a good man with a terrific interview you absolutely want to see. jake tapper now with a special edition of "the lead". welcome to a special prime time edition of "the lead". i'm jake tapper. we begin with a politics lead. an extraordinary day today in washington, with allegations of sexual harassment and abuse surrounding the united states senate. one involves a sitting senator, a democrat, the other a candidate for the office, a republican. we'll speak to one of the women at the center of this in just moments. today the white house said president trump thinks the allegations against republican senate candidate roy moore in alabama are very troubling. eight women have come forward to accuse moore of intimate contact or attempted intimate contact or
assault when they were teenagers, one as young as 14. sarah sanders would not say whether president trump believes the allegations, and she dodged questions about accusations of sexual harassment and assault against president trump himself. on the democratic side, both parties on capitol hill are calling for a full ethics committee investigation. after news anchor, leann tweeden of kabc radio in los angeles, shared her story alleging al franken kissed and groped her without her consent. she says private citizen franken wrote a skit, which involved their characters kissing one another, and he pressured her to rehearse that alone backstage. despite her protests, he forcibly kissed her she says. and then later franken posed in this photo where he can be seen seeming to grope tweeden while she was asleep. he was elected to the u.s. senate two years later. she chose the lead as the place to be her first national television interview. tell us about this rehearsal incident. it's 2006, you're preparing for a uso show.
were you in afghanistan, iraq, where were you? >> actually, the first show was in kuwait. we started in kuwait, so we move on to iraq and end up in afghanistan. the first was in kuwait, we were backstage, sort of the backstage area in kuwait as a makeshift backstage area, which is their gym, which is behind the stage that they built there. and we had a cordoned off area, up against the gym wall, which is a mirrored area, they have that for us, so we can see everybody changes back there and everything, and you can see -- make sure you're dressed and everything. and 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 had heard that part of it. and i'm why do we -- we don't need to rehearse the kiss, i sort of blew him off, no, we really need to rehearse the kiss. come on, al, this is not saturday night live, this is -- we're just going to do it live on stage, it's no big deal.
and he just persisted. he said, again, let's rehearse the scene, and, you know, i was trying to make light of the situation, because i started feeling uncomfortable. i was like, what is he gets at here? and i was trying to 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. 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 act. that's a whole other -- that's a whole other thing people do, that's not what i do. he goes, no we really need to do this. the persistent and making me feel uncomfortable, i finally said, okay, let's rehearse the damn scene. okay. and the whole time in my mind i'm thinking, it's like bob hope, you're going to come in for the kiss, i'm the girl and i'm just going to turn my head
or i would cover his mouth and it would be funny, right? we're doing this to entertain the troops, it's like a schtick. so 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 puts his hand on the back of my neck and comes in so fast, and he just sort of -- it's like that -- there was no finesse to it at all, let's put it that way. he just mashes his mouth to my lips. and, you know, it was wet and he puts his tongue in my mouth, my reaction, it was sort of a -- i pushed his chest away with my hands. 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 -- my hands -- to this day, i talk about it, my hand clinches into a fist, because i think my initial reaction is that i wanted to hit him. that's what i feel. and i still feel that to this day, i think.
and i just looked at him, i said, don't you ever do that to me again, because i won't be so nice about it the next time. and i walked out. and i just walked out, my mind was reeling, and i'm thinking, i have to find a bathroom, i wanted to rinse my mouth out. that's all i can think about, i wanted to rinse my mouth out. i say 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 be like al franken, ladies and gentlemen, and pretend we're the best of friends and do the whole show standing right next to him. >> i know you've said 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 acknowledgement 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 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. you put on a show, and afterwards, the troops can come. you have autograph sheets, they put out long tables and you sit next to each other and sign autographs. and troops can line up where they want and get an autograph. dallas cowboy cheerleaders, very popular. people come and 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 -- sometimes you stand in one line and you only get one autograph for a night. so they pick who they really want to meet.
one time -- if i sat next to him, we would be sat next to each other because we were the hosts. i would sort of have my back to him like this. one time i see a picture moving. i see the picture moving. trying not to pay attention to it. you're trying to sign and take pictures with troops. and i look down and i see it kind of move back toward my pile, and there's my picture and al franken has drawn the devil horns on my face and the goatee and the devil tail and the pitchfork. that's what i'm dealing with. he's now drawn me as the devil. it's the little things like that. so when it ends up that i have the picture taken of me when i'm asleep that i don't see until i get home that, it ends up it's like, all of that in totality, right? people who are watching might not have seen your press conference. you didn't see until th until you got home from the tour.
you received a cd of pictures from the photographer, and this was there, this was obviously taken when you were sleeping. what was your reaction? obviously you didn't find it funny. i don't know anybody over the age of 9 that may find it funny, but what did you think? >> i mean, i saw it and -- you know, knowing how i felt about him, i was angry, because in my mind he was doing that to -- now that was like his parting gift. like ha, she's going to see that after we're all gone, and that's like -- that's like, i got you. ha ha, 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, you're the devil, ha ha. >> yes, of course. all those little things that were done to me, you're the devil, ha ha. i mean, it's just -- it's be
belittling, humiliating, is it ever funny? i wasn't his friend. is that funny if it's your daughter, your wife, your mom? he came out with the apology and he's appalled by it now. i thought it was funny, but obviously it's not funny. i mean, it's -- it's -- you know, i've been angry about it, y jake, for ten years. and it's -- you know, i don't know. i've held it inside. my circle of friends and my husband have known how i felt about it for so long. i wanted to come out with it 10 years ago, and it wasn't the right time. and i don't want anything. i didn't come out for it to -- to destroy anybody. i came out because i want -- you know, if he did this to somebody else or somebody else has been sexually assaulted or abused in any way, that maybe somebody else can come out in
real time because they find strength in numbers. people are coming out now. congressman jackie speer came on our radio show, and she told about her story, her chief of staff, when she was a correct me if i'm wrong congressional aide did the same thing. when i heard her talk about that, 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 in a way. >> i said, that's a sign. it triggered me. i said, you know what, that's going to make me talk. maybe if al franken did this to somebody else, or if somebody else has a story and they see me talking about it -- because, look, i was nervous to come out about it. this doesn't make me feel good. everybody goes you're so strong, you're going to feel great talking about it. i still have a knot in my stomach. this isn't like oh, i'm going to do it and feel great about it.
>> it's difficult to do. >> it is hard. of course it is tell me why. i don't doubt you at all, tell me why it's hard. >> it's embarrassing. >> that's why people don't come forward. >> it's -- why do you think there are people that haven't talked -- there are still a lot of people that haven't told their stories. in the case of roy moore, there are people, 40 queers later reluctantly coming out about it. it's embarrassing, it's humiliating. there are still people i've looked on twitter, still blaming me for it. i'm look, you look at the picture, i'm asleep and they're still -- somehow it's my fault. really? okay. al franken has come out and apologized and said, that was in poor taste. i thought it was funny, it's still my fault. that's why women don't come out. >> the only thing i can say to you is don't read twitter for the next week. that's the only thing i'm going to say to you -- >> what did you say? >> don't read twitter for the next week. >> i know. >> because you're going to find
people who are against cancer patients on twitter. >> i know. >> you keep talking about al franken, senator franken's apology. he put out one statement and then a second one. i want to get your reaction the first thing i want to do is apologize to leann, everyone who was a part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me. to everyone i represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. it's what i want to say. if it's the only thing you care to hear, i'm sorry. i respect women, i don't respect men who don't. the fact that my own actions have given people a reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed. but i want to say something else, too, over the last few months, all of us have been forced to take a good hard look at our actions, and think about how those actions have affected women. while i don't remember the rehearsal for the skit as leann does, i understand why we need to listen to and believe women's experiences. i'm asking an ethics investigation be undertaken. 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 need to know i'm their al lally and supporter. i have let them down and am committed to making it up to them that's most of it. what do you think of that, do you accept his apology? >> i do. the one that came out this morning, i accepted that one too. it was very short and brief, my initial reaction was, it sounded like a staffer put that out hasly. you know, which maybe could have been the truth, to get it out quickly. because when it hit, it was -- it went viral and it was everywhere. that one did seem heartfelt. and i believe it. and i believe him. i honestly do believe him. you know, i -- i wasn't waiting for an apology from him, but i gladly accept it, and thank you senator
franken. >> do you want him to call you? >> sure. i mean, look, my husband and i saw him at a uso metro gala and i was very cold to him. he found me in a room and said hello leeann i said hi, al. and i turned and walked away from him. my husband said hi al and turned and walked away from him. he didn't get it then and didn't apologize to me then. so if he didn't get it then and didn't say, i'm sorry for, you know, anything that i did, you know, and it took this for the apology so -- but whatever. i'm glad that he -- that second apology i think maybe he had some time to digest it and think about it. and -- and, you know, i believe him. and i think it is hartfelt. and i think men -- you know, there are men victims that have come out in this whole harvey weinstein era in the last month that have come out.
ja yeah, people need to take a long, hard look at the culture that's been happening since men and women have walked the earth many and i hope it's changing, and i hope it will change, it's going to take all of us. not only what happens behind closed doors, a lot of this abuse and harassment happens in front of other people. 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. so i'm glad he did speak up, and i appreciate that. >> was anybody there when -- >> no. it was just us two backstage behind a little cordoned off area. >> what do you think of the fact that everyone in the senate is calling for an senate ethics investigation. franken himself called for it. when it came off 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 be in charge of investigating itself? can we really -- i don't know if you saw any coverage of it when jackie spear did her hearing in the house, but they put up a chart of what women or men need to do to lodge a complaint of sexual harassment, and it's a rube goldberg design that only could have been assigned by somebody who was trying to dislodge women from making the complaints. forgetting senator al franken for a moment, is it enough for senators or should there be something else? >> i think there should be, if anybody is going to be investigated, i'm not talking about this case in particular it should always be an independent investigation. you can't expect -- i'm not going to say swamp, but 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 $15 million payoff -- that's like having these mdas -- that's how you protect. happens how women stay silent, or men. when you can pay off, and say, i'm going to pay you for your silence, maybe i abused you, sexually harassed you, raped you, if i'm going to pay you the money and you stay silent, they can continue the type of behavior. >> they do. that's the whole point. >> and if they can do that in congress, and congress, they're paying them off with taxpayer money. i'm sure that $15 million didn't come out of their personal pocket, right? how do we fot know names? how do we not know what happened? names need to be named. the money needs to come out of their own personal checkbooks.
this is wrong, when names start being named i think there was call yesterday on capitol hill, if we start knowing naples and people start being called out, maybe this behavior will start change. >> are you willing to testify before the senate ethics committee? >> i would be, sure. yes. okay. if they ask 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. 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. >> in your heart, do you have any feeling? it sounds like you've nursed this understandably with a lot of resentment, again, completely understandably for 11 years. do you want him punished? what is the -- or do you just want to be acknowledged as a
humaning 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 i think that second statement he came out with. and the acknowledge of saying it was wrong. and the heartfelt gathering his staff and saying, it was wrong, i think everybody needs to take a good hard look. and i think he really came from a place of honesty there. i think that's 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 who don't realize they're doing the abusing, because it's so a part of the culture. and it's been so a part 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 think you can get away with it, and it's funny, that's what's wrong with the
culture. so if we can have the people doing the abusing change, that's where -- that's when the change is going to occur. >> we've all been watching the changes in the society when it comes to this issue of sexual assault and harassment in the last year, i guess -- i mean, slowly and now quickly, bill cosby, roger ailes, bill o'reilly, mark halpern, harvey weinstein, james tobac, brett radnor. on and on and on and on. are there any of the women who came forward 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, are there any women who came before you who inspired you to come forward today? >> i don't think specifically. i think it's more of a -- as a whole -- i think, you know, just for me, i say congresswoman jackie spears when she came on our show a few weeks
ago and she told the story, and it was almost verbatim what happened to me, and she happens to be a congresswoman and it's political and al franken is now a senator. it just sounded like my words you know what i mean i think that's why it was a trigger point for me and it inspired me to come forward. all of those women, we're just standing on the backs of those women, you know? it just is -- 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, before i came to do your show, i was sitting in the car, there was a moment this morning all of a sudden i tried to go out and go to the bathroom, 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 a sudden the hallway was flocked. i was like, i need to go to the bathroom, right at that moment, my husband texted me, how are you holding up. i locked myself in the bathroom for a minute and i wanted to start crying. it was just sort of an overwhelming emotion. i even had lauren, one of the girls that came out about harvey weinstein, who's a friend of ours, and i've known her for a long time. she texted me last night, she knew i was going to talk about it this morning, 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 have that knot in my stomach. i don't feel like yea! it feels great coming out and talking about it. i still feel kind of sick about it. it's not a feel good thing, i feel embarrassed about it, you know, it's -- >> you don't need me to say this, but you did nothing to be embarrassed about. i know you know that
intellectually. but there's nothing you did you should be embarrassed about. how are you holding up? you have a loving husband, a support network there, are you doing okay? >> i just want to go home -- i have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old and i just want to hug my babies and my husband, that's all. 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 can tell, i feel like my teeth are sticking to my gums, i'm okay, i'm holding up it's just been nonstop, that's all. i'm okay. thank you. i'm all right. >> the world you're making for your children, for your 2-year-old and 4-year-old, you realize you are making it better for them. i don't know the genders of your children, but it actually doesn't even matter. >> i have a boy and a girl. >> 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 know, you talk about trying to leave the world a better place for your kids, you know -- sorry. >> nothing to be sorry about. >> i didn't think i was going to do that. but 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. i've had so many of my girlfriends text me, my phone died twice already today because people have been texting and calling, they're like, stay strong, you're doing something that is going to make the world better for your daughter. 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. of course you are. but it's not just for your daughter. you're doing it for your son too. right? >> right. >> because you don't want him to grow up and 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 and -- i know you don't feel it, but a 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 didn't know it was going to be such a huge story of interest to so many people. why? >> i knew it would be a story because it deals with senator franken. i didn't know know it would be like this.
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 different in perspective, but i just it's been a whirlwind, it's been nonstop. i think the flood of phone calls and e-mails and messages and text messages, and the interest the stories and trending and the -- it's overwhelming, you know. just, you know, haven't had a couple minutes to myself. and like i said, i just -- you know, i haven't had a chance to see my kids. i've been able to talk to my husband like twice, just for a minute. it's just -- it's -- you know, it's overwhelming, really, that's all. >> 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. 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, where you turn your seats around and you just hear a voice, you don't see a face, you
don't know the person, you don't know where that voice is coming from, you just hear 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 then you hear the accusers or the stories that have come out, and you didn't know anything about the person or their affiliation, if they're a liberal or if they're republican, what side they're affiliated with politically. and you made your decision based on what you hear or facts or the allegations or what have you, it would be a very different story. and it's so sad to me that 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 an r in front of your name. that should have nothing to do
with it. i mean, that's the thing when -- when congresswoman spear came on the show, she has teamed up with other republican females in congress to talk about, this is not a partisan issue. when you're sexually assaulted it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter if you're a republican or a democrat. the guy doesn't go, hey, are you republican or are you democrat, because when i'm raping you, i want to make sure i know which one you are. the affiliation doesn't matter. 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 being accused because he's a democrat. like that's disgusting to me. like this is not -- 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 let's -- that's the issue here,
let's not -- lelet'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 these cases, including yours today, that the behavior will change and more women will come forward and fewer men will feel like they can try this nonsense, assault women and get away with it? >> you know, i'm a realist 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 -- we're not going to live in this perfect society where everybody's going to get along
and we're going to have no crime and no rape and 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, i think you see in hollywood now, where these allegations come, look at the fall from grace of harvey weinstein. >> yeah. >> we're talking about a guy who ran hollywood. who -- i mean, he could win an oscar just by putting money into -- you know, it was just amazing how much control he had over the oscar nominations and the movies that were put out and how much control he had over the movies that were 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 louie c.k.
people just cut and ran. we're talking about accusations, when multiple people come out, none of these were proven, they just started hearing them, multiple people came out and they're like, we pulled all of it, we're replacing him in a movie, we're cut our deal. they just cut and ran at the first sight of it, so it's been incredib incredible. i think times have changed, people don't want to know. there's been a silent departure of -- people don't hear this, in a lot of agencies in hollywood, a lot of talent companies in hollywood, there have been a lot of people that silently cleaned out their desks and sort of just walked away that have been privy too, maybe part of that sort of culture. that the hammer's either coming down or they know it's coming down the pipeline and have just gone, you know what, we're going to take our leave now, before the shoe drops on them. so it's really -- it's happening there, and maybe it's going to happen in more places like
capitol. maybe it'll take longer to happen in middle america because the spotlight is not shining at bright as the local chilli's or kinko's or wherever people are working where you don't have a list actresses and big movie moguls that people know their names. it might be a little bit different, but it's definitely -- the tide is turn, people are not as afraid to speak up. people are going to call it out as it happens, 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? >> you know, you definitely got
to find your strength with your loved ones, and, you know, just know if -- the truth is on your side, if you have the truth on your side, you know, you can't go wrong, you definitely got to -- you got to -- your heart's got to be in it to know 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 challenge your credibility, and as you said, don't look at twitter for a while. they're going to -- people are going to want to challenge you, it's not going to be easy. but if the truth is on your side, you have that going for you and it's -- if you want to make change, change is never easy, change is tough. if you want to be on the right side of history, and you want to make change, you are going to have to do some walking and
believe in that and do it. >> you're making change. thank you so much. we're honored you told your story to us. >> thank you, jake. my panel is with me now to react to that emotional interview. amanda, let me start with you. what struck out to you when listening to lee ann, tweeden describe her experience? it was very emotional obviously. >> she says, you know what, i'll take it, she went on camera and said i don't feel strong, but she is acknowledging the strength it takes when she says -- you brought up her children, and she said, i'll take it, because there's an onslaug onslaught, people are going to go through her history, question why she's doing it. it was clear she had no agenda, she said that congresswoman speer came on her show and talked about how she was assault
she decided to tell her story. the thing that was just awful about this is that for this to be better, these women have to relive it. they have to tell the world about the worst part of their day. she's doing that on camera, and it's good because people can see the pain it's caused. that pain has to be seen and recognized and acknowledged. and that is why it's so commendable what she did in talking to you today. >> >> people out there including roy moore are talking about his accusers, why would they wait 40 years to come out to describe this. when you hear leeann talk about why she waited 11 years -- she's a professional broadcaster, and even then she said it took a lot of courage and she almost didn't do it today. it's not that difficult to see why people don't come forward. >> no, not at all.
>> it's incredibly painful. >> it's painful. you have folks who are willing to tear you down. people question your credibility and character. and you are also reliving what is a really terrible and horrible experience, i can't see how anyone could watch that interview or any interviews, unfortunately, the handful of interviews -- >> there are a lot of them, yeah. >> and think this is some type of liberal orchestrated corporate media takedown of these powerful men, because it's not. these are women who are being so courageous coming forward and telling their stories. someone who has a me too story, someone who knows other folks that have stories for more egregious than mine, it takes a lot of courage to share your truth with the world. i commend her for doing that. >> i have to the say, when the whole "me too" thing started, the hashtag for women to say,
i've been assaulted, too, i've been harassed too, i'm not naive, i didn't think i was, i could not believe all of my women friends on facebook. all of my women friends on twitter, all of them have a story. it's stunning. when i asked leeann if al franken's apology was enough, she was very forgiving. and showed tremendous class and grace. >> which proves to me she has no agenda. other than i think wanting to get this off her chest and saying i went through this, this man is in a position of power. i went on with the show, i don't -- she went on with the show because she didn't want to ruin that, she didn't want to have a bad image for her career either. so it's just very difficult for women to make the decision. but you bring up the me too campaign and why we're seeing such an avalanche of people coming out because it's liberating for people to come out and tell their stories.
this is a safe topic now. it was not a safe topic two months ago, now it's safe. women are getting it out, other women feel free. they know these things may have happened to them, but it wasn't because of them. that's a distinction women struggle with in their private thoughts. >> this is not a partisan issue, democrats are doing this to women, republicans are doing this to women. >> independents have done it as well. green party folks. people that don't believe in the political system. this is about overall culture and system. we have -- it has far exceeded a problem. they had a really great piece in "box" a couple weeks ago, specifically about sexual culture, and talking about the fact that this is from the hills, to hollywood, to the boardroom, we have to examine what is it about our sexual culture that seems to support this. we talk about rape culture, but rape should not have to be the bar that is met for us to have a
conversation about this, to do something. it's not rape, it's the cat calling on the street, it's the someone pushing up on you in an office in a professional setting. none of these things are okay, but we are only now liliberated to have these conversations between women have been correa jous coming forward. this is bigger than al franken. to be frank, if people think what al franken did was egregious, i bet my bottom dollar, there are far more egregious stories of al franken of men currently sitting in positions of power on capitol. folks haven't come forward. we have to have a larger conversation about the system do these women know. it does us or the women any good if they tell their stories and nothing changes. we have to be committed to changing something. >> is the system, is the senate ethics committee a good enough system? you heard my skepticism in the interview.
is that a good enough system to hear these complaints? >> in my experience, it's where complaints go to die. it will take a couple years to investigate by the time they come to a conclusion, the senator resigns in shame or there's been enough time for rehab, and they get through the next election. if he's sorry, he needs to do interviews -- he needs to talk to this woman, rather than issue a press release. if the u.s. senate does want to take action, i think we don't need to vote on this issue. they need to take a stand on this issue. for that matter, donald trump or anyone else they see fit. >> i guess it troubles me because it seems like everyone else in this moment has had to account for what they've done and what they've been accused of. except for the president of the united states. i'm concerned about what message that sends to young people, not just girls, but young boys sitting at home watching this. >> young men have been hurt on
capitol hill. >> absolutely. what does this say? does this say when you've obtained a certain level of power, the rules no longer apply to you? i don't think so. >> stick around, we have lots more to talk about including, the white house not saying that senate candidate roy moore should leave the race. stay with us. we'll be right back. work keeps me busy. so i've asked chase sapphire reserve cardmembers to find my next vacation. rome, show me something. i'm having breakfast at the pantheon. what an amazing view... of your finger. ♪ ♪ look at this view. your finger! isn't that incredible. your finger! and check this one out! oh it's so amazing! move your finger! three times points on travel and restaurants on every continent. sapphire reserve, from chase. make more of what's yours.
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a new fox news poll shows that democrat doug jones, in this poll, is beating more by 8 percentage points in the state of alabama. a state where democrats tend not to do that well statewide. we learned tonight the governor of alabama will not delay the special election to be held in december many and the party chair says his committee will stand firmly behind the nominee. today, senator majority leader -- moore saying that mitch mcconnell is trying to steal the election from him. we also see new allegations from alabama women who say moore made sexual advances toward them when they were in high school. president trump did not answer questions reporters shouted at him today about roy moore and his press secretary, sarah sanders, did not have a firm answer when asked whether the president believes roy moore's many accusers. one of the women who held a news conference supporting moore today would not take those questions for roy moore either.
>> has roy moore categorically denied he dated high school girls -- teenage high school girls when he was in his 30s? >> you read his letter and it addresses that clearly. >> can he speak for himself, please? >> let him speak, please. >> i paid for the microphone, i'm sorry. do you have a question about an issue? >> that's the issue right now. let's bring back my panel. simone, sanders, i have to say, i don't know if i believe this poll. >> i do not believe this poll. it's like what we saw in the general election. in the general election, we saw all this polling where people didn't want to identify as trump supporters, we know that now, because donald trump is the president. i think what we're seeing is folks in these polls do not want to identify as moore supporters, there is -- alabama is a really special place. and in order for doug jones -- i hope doug jones wins. i'll do everything i can to help
doug jones win. in order for him to come out victorious, the numbers have to line up. some of the numbers -- the african-american turnout has to ratchet up to about 28% in a special election. you need a high percentage of moderate republicans who probably feel badly and don't like that an alleged ped file is on the ballot, and all these things have to come together on a tuesday in december. >> i hope republicans believe it is real. >> why? >> i want the republican governor of alabama to take action to give alabama republican voters a better choice. >> you want her to cancel it so they can put a new republican as a nominee? >> yes, i want the republican party to have standards. and yes, i do understand it is a radical action, but part of politics is using the tools you have available to you. >> wait. >> the republican party of alabama does have the tools to do this. i would strongly encourage them to do this. otherwise, what are they going to do if he wins. vote for roy moore so we can
expel him? >> vote for doug jones. i said vote for doug jones. he has a better record and no one has accused him of sexual assault today. >> i am sick about the fact that senators just passed new sexual harassment training for members and staff on the hill. and the fact that roy moore may be the first person to go through that is sort of revolting. >> i don't think one training is going to help roy moore. >> what's the point if you're going to elect this man and tell your people to vote for him. >> the voters in alabama in their primary for this special, they made -- which was a mess. they made a decision about roy moore. i do not agree with that decision, which is why i'm supporting doug jones. >> they did not have the information available to them at the time. which is why, governor ivy, get on it. >> it is dangerous to talk about just changing and moving an election. the republican party has a penchant to sometimes -- if they don't like things, to just change what's going on. >> i remember -- >> we are -- >> i was encouraging the
delegates to vote for someone else other than donald trump. i stood on a panel with van jones. he said you cannot aboard your candidate at this point in time. it was the right thing to do, and look what happened, donald trump became president. >> i want to play sound from white house press secretary sarah sanders. >> does the and he thinks that the people of alabama should make the decision on who their next senator should be. >> so that's a no, he thinks roy moore should stay in? >> look, the president said in his statement earlier this week that if the allegations are true then that roy moore should step aside. >> so again, we're hearing -- this story's so fast moving i hate to say it, but that answer is so last week because now we have senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and house speaker paul ryan saying i believe the women, i believe the allegations. can the white house continue to
say he finds the allegations troubling, if they're true he needs to resign or do they need to say if the president believes them? >> donald trump and by extension sarah huckabee sanders, they are gagged by donald trump's past. he cannot all of a sudden say i believe these women because nearly a dozen women have accused hmm, among them a former "apprentice" contestant. among them a former beauty pageant contestant. so how on earth could he follow the correct moral line without saying yeah, these women who have accused me should also be believed? >> yeah, sarah huckabee sanders stood, called the accusers of donald trump liars. so people that live in glass houses have a tendency not to want to try to throw stones. that's what we're seeing here. the president, his hands are essentially tied. if he thinks roy moore should step down, i'm wondering if he is going to tender his resignation as president of the united states of america. >> i am hearing a lot of people today saying al franken needs to step down but they're not saying the same thing about president trump. >> we have to address across the board. so if we are going to really
attack this issue, if we're going to change the system, we have to have a certain set of standards by which we engage in this work of combating sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual microaggressions. we can't have one standard for somebody and another standard for someone else. >> unwith standard for everybody. thanks a lot. really appreciate it. a lot going on including the house just passing the republican tax plan. but will it get through the senate? stick around. (♪) it all starts with a wish. the lincoln wish list event is here. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down and a complementary first months payment. this is not a cloud. this is a tomato tracked from farm to table on a blockchain, helping keep shoppers safe.
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and ask how to get a $200 prepaid card when you buy any new samsung device with xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. click, call or visit today. welcome back. it's the future of your bottom line and step one is now done. house republicans passed their version of a tax bill this afternoon. now it's up to senate republicans to pass their version. cnn congressional correspondent phil mattingly joins me live in studio. the white house said today that president trump thinks senate republicans will come around and pass something but at this point it's still kind of up in the air. >> no question. they've got a long way to go. it's what speaker paul ryan said at their celebratory press
conference today. they understand there's a lot of hurdles left. let's try to break them down. you already have somebody who is opposed to the bill. senator ron johnson. not because of the repeal of the individual mandate. not because of his concern about tax cuts on the individual side. because of something called pass-throughs. essentially, these are smaller business entities that pass through their income and are taxed on the individual side of things. he wants that to change. they have the individual mandate. that's an issue for senator susan collins. >> part of obamacare. >> exactly. which has now been put in play in part to finance what they're trying to do on taxes. you've got people like senator jeff flake, bob corker, deficit hawks, concerned about how the $1.5 trillion plan will add to the deficit in the future. you have senator onmccain, who i talked to a lot of republican aides, who legitimately just don't know where he is. after what happened on health care, obviously he thinks a lot about his legacy. voted against the bush tax cuts in 2001, 2003. is he going to come around? senators rand paul, ted cruz, want the tax cuts to be deeper. will they come around? they can only afford to lose two. now, they feel good about where they are. i've had several aides tell me compared to health care we are in a great place right now, they feel like there's things they can do to bring these numbers on
board eventually but right now you're looking at a case of whack a moel. if you give something to ron johnson on pass-throughs that costs money. and they're pretty constrained on what they're trying to do on budget rules. the big question right now is will the political imperative end up winning out? >> pass something, pass something. >> regardless of the policy. by the end of the year give ourselves an achievement going into the election year, give president trump an achievement going into 2018 in the mid-terms. will that win out over individual policy concerns, individual provision concerns? it won out in the house. will it in the senate? it's a different body, it's a different animal. but leaders are at least hopeful right now. >> a non-partisan study was released today showing the tax cut helps rich people much, much more than people with lower incomes. >> yeah, look. to start with kind of the top line of what republicans are actually doing here. individuals who make the most money will benefit the most from this plan. however, if you look at the study from the joint committee on taxation, in 2019 there's no question across the scale of incomes everybody gets a tax cut. if you look a little bit further
it's very problematic for republicans. in 2021 individuals -- or families making between 10,000 sxds $30,000 will see a significant tax increase. why? because of the individual mandate. they're basically calculating that people who fall off insurance will no longer get subsidies. therefore, they won't have help on the tax side. republicans dispute that saying we're not keeping people from buying insurance. they can choose to do so, choose to still get the subsidies, but there's another major issue too if you really dig into these findings here. republicans, because of those budget constraints, because they can only spend x amount of dollars, 1.5 trillion to be exact, are phasing out every single individual tax cut at the end of 2025. >> they're sunsetting them. >> they're sunsetting. >> it's a gimmick. >> no question about it. every single republican you talk to says no one is ever going to vote for massive across-the-board tax increases in 2025. however, because of the deficit constraints they're doing that. and because of that by 2027 people making under $75,000, major tax increases. you know democrats have seized on that issue. they're going to continue to attack on the issue. the big question now is can republicans overcome that and
probably more important can they convince people economic growth, wage growth is actually going to happen with this proposal. >> and it also makes the deficit numbers just a joke because it's not serious because obviously there's going to be a bigger deficit. those taxes are not going -- tax cuts are not going to go away. thanks phil mattingly. with the lead i'm jake tapper. handing it to don lemon. >> this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. the list gets longer and longer. more and more powerful people accused of sexual harassment and misconduct. a hall of shame including a senator, a senate candidate, a congressional staffer, even a former president. and this is what we're getting from the white house. >> does his endorsement of moore still stand? >> look, as i've said, the president believes this is a decision for the people of alabama to make. not one for him to make. >> on roy moore, would the president campaign with roy moore? >> not that i'm aware of. >> we've heard from you and we've heard from ivanka on this.