tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN November 17, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PST
homeless, too, you know, and i believe that i did the right thing, you know. >> so roberta not only wrote him a thank you check but invited him to attend her real estate school for free. it's wonderful. doing the right thing is a we regard in and of itself but it's nice to be rewarded. time for "newsroom" with erica hill filling in. good morning. i am erica hill in today for poppy harlow and john berman. the president going after just one of the accused, slamming democratic senator al franken amid accusations he groped and forcibly kissed a woman in 2006. the woman releasing this photo taken during a uso tour, and she
later described that kiss to cnn. >> he just mashes his mouth to my lips and, you know, it was like, wet, and he puts his tongue in my mouth. my reaction, it was just sort of a -- you know, i push his chest away with my hands. i am like, if you ever do that to me again -- i was so angry. >> and let's get to joe johns to what the president is and isn't saying? >> reporter: the president's tweets weighing into the controversy over democratic senator, al franken. his tweet last night giving him the characteristic trump nickname, this time it's al frankenstein, although franken stein is spelled incorrectly. and there's a photo of the
senator groping. he says it speaks appear thousand words. then there's a second tweet. and to think that just last week, he, being franken was lecturing anybody that would listen. franken was quoted, joking about rain. the message has been clear, and they are getting onboard with democrats and republicans calling for an ethics investigation. a lot of this, of course, predictable from at least one standpoint, but also important to mention the president simply has not weighed in on the issue of roy moore, the republican candidate for the senate in the
state of alabama. a lot of reasons for that. the president has not tweeted or talked about it. part of his problem is because the alabama senate race has been a headache for the president for weeks, if not months. he picked the losing candidate in the primaries, all part of the reason why this white house has said they need to let alabama voters choose the alabama senator. back to you, erica. >> joe, thank you. mj, as for the democrats, what are we hearing from them? it was a swift response yesterday, at least? >> reporter: well, sources i have been talking to on the hill, this news came as a shock to many democrats and it's not the kind of news democrats expected yesterday, and there's largely agreement among democrats and republicans on what needs to happen next with regards to senator tprafranken.
senator franken himself has said this investigation is necessary and he will fully cooperated. i want to toss to sound as two senators reacting to the news as it broke yesterday. >> i am very disappointed. i support an ethics investigation, and this kind of conduct should not be tolerated by any public official. >> he said he would be cooperating with theet ethics committee. >> reporter: the fallout is really only just beginning. a lot of democrats facing pressure to distance themselves from senator franken as an example of what actions some will take, the senator will give
that money to a group that combats sexual assault in the military. >> where do we stand now in terms of congress actually addressing the issue? >> reporter: with so many stories starting to flood in on capitol hill, there's growing legislation introduced this week and part of what the legislation proposes to do is make sexual harassment training mandatory for all members, staff, as well as interns and bring more transparency to the office of compliance. this is the office that actually handled all of the workplace disputes that take place on capitol hill and a big question that has come out of all of this is why have taxpayers been, you
know, footing the settlement payouts that have been made over the years, what we have learned and we have done expensive research on this, reporting on this over the last couple of days is some $17 million have been paid out in these kinds of settlements, but the reality right now, erica s. even lawmakers are in the dark when it comes to the details of the $17 million in settlement cases that have been made. >> amazing that even they are in the dark and don't know where all that money has gone and what specifically it was for in each case. we appreciate it. thank you. this morning republican senate candidate, roy moore, standing firm, denying allegations he sexually assault or harassed teens. the state party standing behind him as his numbers slip in a new poll. we are live in alabama. you have witnessed this firsthand, roy moore not backing
down? >> reporter: absolutely not backing down, and getting to what you just said, erica, he's basically saying until he's dead he's not going to give up any sort of ground. he fully intends on continuing to campaign around the state. we are seeing him again out and about today trying to get his wife out there to defend him, and other women to defend him as well. what we have seen so far from more, he held a recent news conference. christian conservatives, all flanking him saying they support moore if there's a theme to what we are hearing so far from the campaign, it is it's us versus them. >> as you know the "washington post" has brought some false charges -- not charges, allegations, which i have emphatically denied time and
time again, and they are not only untrue but they have no evidence to support them. two of the speakers said words i caught, one said unsubstantiated and another said unproven, and another said they were fake. all of that is true. the "washington post" is certainly not evidence. >> reporter: some of the biggest applause he got during the news conference is when he invoked mitch mcconnell's name saying alabama would not be bullied by d.c. how is this impacting the vote here? erica, i want you to take a look at the fox news poll. it was taken between november 13th and 15th after all the publication of the accusations started to bubble to the surface. jones is ahead by eight points, and 9% say they remain undecided. we have been everywhere across the state, from rural alabama
and across the spectrum, and people who say they support moore are still in his camp and it's the people that voted for luther strange will stay home but will not vote for the democrat. thank you. joining me now to discuss this, my guests. good to have you with us this morning. as we look at the developments, especially overnight, the president very quick to condemn al franken on twitter. i want to play the accounts of two different women. one woman accusing the president of sexual assault and the other accusing al franken. >> he was grabbing my breast and trying to turn me towards him and kissing me. >> he just mashes his mouth to my lips. you know, it was, like, wet, and he puts his tongue in my mouth.
>> rebecca, these are very similar statements and it's tough to miss the hypocrisy when he look at the response from the president to al franken and himself. >> it makes sense that he would have stayed away from the roy moore allegations, not want to go publicly defend moore or cast any sort of judgment in that case because he has dealt with his own sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations during his presidential campaign. for some people that seems like ancient history now, but the videos are out there, as you just played, and now because he raised the issue again will have to answer the questions again. the white house was asked about this recently in a press conference, and sarah sanders was at the podium and asked whether or not the white house was suggesting as their official line and statement that all of
the women that accused president trump were liars, and sarah sanders said, yes, that is the white house position, all of the women were lying that accused trump. it's hypocrisy they would totally discount those accusations but immediately make this into a political issue for franken and the democrats. >> we're talking about a dozen women that came forward, and just to remind people, this is what the president said on the trail. >> every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. total fabrication. >> in many ways it just begged to question, and perhaps it's over simplifying it. is it just these allegations were of a partisan nature, and sexual harassment is not sexual
harassment, it depends which side of the aisle it's in. >> going to your point about president trump reopening this with his tweets, it's maybe because we need psychologists here instead of journalist to talk about this, when somebody says something didn't happen they think they can go forward and criticize, and we are looking for consistency in the reaction to president trump, and obviously what he opened up and going after franken, not only is it about himself but his silence on moore is even more telling. you are dealing again with a president that thinks he is impervious to the accusations, doesn't care or thinks it's more
important to stick it to al franken than to perhaps shield himself tp himself from charges of hypocrisy. >> so much of what we heard from republicans when we talk about sexual assault, we get what about, what about bill clinton. is this forcing republicans to actually address the real issue as well and not push it off on, oh, look what happened over there? >> yeah, i think that's right. i think gop leadership, speaker ryan and mitch mcconnell have had to react very quickly to sort of manage the fallout from all of these allegations. they have instituted new rules mandating training for all lawmakers and staff on capitol hill. democrats are saying this is
simply not enough. jackie speier of california and gillibrand of new york rolled out legislation that would make it easier for staff members to come forward and other people who work on capitol hill to come forward and report sexual harassment allegations, and this is a moment for leadership that believe they have acted, but i think there's a demand on capitol hill as this continues to dominate the news cycle as to whether or not they have to take up legislation now and put real teeth behind it. >> i think you could also argue this is a moment of reckoning for the democratic party, specifically when we hear what jill gillibrand told "the new
york times." >> i would say -- yes, i think that is the appropriate response. i think in light of this conversation we should have a very different conversation about trump and a different conversation about allegations against him. >> what do you make about that? how is that going to land with other democrats? she already got pushback? >> she got pushback from ar hillary clinton loyalist. up until now president bill clinton kind of served as the benchmark of how you get a second act in politics. hey, i was around the day that the monica lewinsky scandal broke and i remember talking to an editor at the "sun times," saying i think we should talk
about getting ready for clinton's resignation, and that didn't happen. this is a different climate. in the post harvey weinstein era, things have to be looked at in a tougher and less forgiving way just maybe to get a little bit of this behind us now. >> is there a sense that more democrats will come forward and side with jigillibrand and say it's time? >> looking specifically at the al franken allegations that came forward yesterday is does this open the flood indicates on capitol hill to more of the allegations. we have not really seen this sort of watershed moment yet of sexual assault and harassment
allegations here in d.c. you hear about people talk about it all the time and have seen lawmakers come forward this week and sort of confirm that this goes on but not name any names. i do wonder if this is the moment when you start to see a flood of allegations targeting our politicians here in washington, d.c. >> it does absolutely make you wonder. thank you. it got ugly. >> we do -- >> order! order! regular order! >> over and over again, how many times do we do this before -- >> a shouting match erupts as senators debate the republican tax plan. we will dig into that bill and how it impacts you. two major developments in the russia investigation. in focus, the trump campaign and the president's son-in-law. we have the latest there. the iraqi forces score a major win on isis, and we're on that. crohn's, you've tried to own us.
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senate republicans are a step closer on a full vote on their tax bill, and another markup session, but this session got pretty ugly when democratic senator brown accused republicans are only trying to cut taxes for the rich. republican senator, orrin hatch, at that point, had enough. >> i come from the poor people. i have been here working my whole stinkin' career for people who don't have a chance and i really resent anybody that says i am just doing this for the rich. give me a break. i think you guys over play that all the time and it gets old.
frankly, you ought to quit it. >> mr. chairman, the public believes it. >> just a second. i'm not through. i get sick and tired of it, and it's a good political play but it's not true -- >> regular order! order! >> we do -- >> order! >> we do it over and over -- >> order! order! >> listen, i have honored you by allowing you to spout off here and what you said is not right. that's all i am saying. i come from the lower class originally. we didn't have anything. so don't spew that stuff on me. i get a little tired of that crap. let me just say something, if we worked together we could pull this country out of every mess it's in, and we could do a lot of things you are talking about, too. i think i have a representation
of having worked together with democrats. >> let's start with chip. >> not starting with chip. i have done it for years -- >> start with chip today. >> i have more bills that passed than this whole committee put together. all i can say is i like you personally very much, but i am telling you this bull crap that you throws out here gets old, and to do it at the end of this was just not right. i just -- it takes a lot to get me worked up like this. >> joining me now, cnn money correspondent, christine romans. wow. >> that's why tax reform is so hard. it's true. when you look at the senate plan what you are hearing senate brown and some of the economists, quite frankly, the tax relief for rich people and the tax relief for companies is
permanent but the middle class is not. it's tax relief for companies and rich people. the premise from the white house and republicans on the hill is if you can really get the economy growing strongly with tax cuts for companies, then that is going to benefit everybody. that's their operating assumption. but the joint community of taxation looked at the tax changes under the senate bill and found by the year 2027 the lowest earning americans will see their taxes rising the most. so in the beginning it's tax cuts for everybody and then that starts to peter out. if you look at the rich chart going over to rich people, they still have their tax cuts. that's at the core you are hearing from senator brown and others, it's not a vehicle to help income equality, it's a vehicle to help companies. >> that, of course, is in the senate. if you are looking at the house bill you are learning more after
yesterday's vote, specifically how it could impact home prices? >> it's fascinating. you look at the house bill, and then the senate bill will have to be reconciled. the senate bill has seven house brackets. and the house has a child deduction of 1600, but there are some that plan their budgets about how they can deduct their expenses. there are student debtors who would be heard. it eliminates the state and local income tax deduction. that's why 13 senators did not vote for it. if you live in new york, new jersey, wisconsin, iowa, california, that affects you. it caps the mortgage interest at 5,000 for new mortgages. that's what will hurt home
prices and it will be bad for any homeowner. those are the lobbies you will see working strongly in the next few days as the senate and house have to go into reconciliation. >> to your point, that's why we have not seen a lot of this done in a long time. major developments on two fronts on the russia investigation. wanting to know more about jared kushner and wikileaks while the mueller investigation targets the trump campaign. 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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robert muell robert mueller and his investigation, all of this coming as senators zero in on trump's son-in-law. they say jared kushner got e-mails from wikileaks and failed to turn those over to the judicial committee. cnn is following these investigations. let's start first with mueller's subpoena. what do investigators want at this point from the campaign team? >> this subpoena we are told -- or subpoenas were issued last month and went to top officials at the trump campaign and it appears they were asking for more documents and e-mails and information regarding the russia investigation, which, as you mentioned, robert mueller, the special counsel has been look into. we don't know exactly what is being asked for or what the
special counsel requested and people close to the campaign said they were cooperating with the investigation. it's not clear why a subpoena -- what happened that now the special counsel has decided to issue subpoenas. it's a pretty aggressive step, you know. some people close to the campaign and close to the president said this was a book-keepibook bookkeeping matter and it's not normally something done in a bookkeeping matter to send subpoenas. we just don't know enough, but it's an aggressive step by the special counsel. >> as we continue to follow that, there are also missing jared kushner documents needed by a judiciary committee. talk about that. >> two leaders of committee are asking for more information. they are conducting their own
investigation, and they say jared kushner is withholding documents they know exist. the letter they sent to jared kushner's lawyer is specific. they want an e-mail about a dinner invite, and as we know kushner previously admitted there was talk with the russian ambassador about setting up a line of communications with moscow through the russian embassy through the u.s. which some said was a backdoor channel. the senators say kushner has been cooperating with them but they still want more details about his security clearance forms, phone records and contacts, his foreign contacts and information regarding the national security adviser, general michael flynn. >> thank you.
and with us now, a special assistant to robert mueller in the department of justice. it's not clear what they are after. people close to the white house say it's more about bookkeeping but that's not typically how this is done. what do you really see playing out here? >> what we don't know is have there been previous subpoenas that this current round of subpoenas is just additive of. for example, if an earlier subpoena where it said give me all the information about your contacts with russia and now you realize your subpoena should have said give me contacts with russia, agents of russia, and affiliates of russia, you would send another subpoena to make sure the document production is complete. if this was just an informal
request for documentation, and they reviewed that and realized the information was incomplete and they are going to issue a subpoena to make sure there's no doubt about the obligations of the parties to return the information that they seek, so we just have to figure out what is going on. >> you are saying it could be a cleanup. >> or it could be a believe by the prosecutors that the volunteer disclosures were in sufficient and now they are going to make it formal with a subpoena. >> senators are looking for crucial information and talking about e-mail from wikileaks and the russian backdoor dinner invite, and how problematic is it that the committee knew about the e-mails but were left out of the documents that were turned over? >> it depends on what they asked
for. one might reasonably conclude as a lawyer it did not include information with wikileaks because they asked for communication with russia. one might say everybody knows wikileaks is known to be associated with russia, so i will not contribute it to kushner and his legal team and bad purpose, and we will see what was asked for what was delivered. i believe kushner has been endeavoring to cooperate with the committee, so i can't get my arms around the notion this is a purposeful withholding of information. >> papadopoulos was a coffee boy. carter page was not that involved. you can't distance yourself that much from your son-in-law as it seems ton closing in on the white house. what do you see the president
doing? >> the president has got more jeopardy as not the son-in-law but the son. don jr., they were direct communications with wikileaks. don jr. is the one communicating with wikileaks starting in september 2016 to july of 2017, where it looks like they are cooperating with one another about the distribution of material that has been stolen, given to wikileaks, and now being distributed by wikileaks and being facilitated in the distribution by don jr. in his tweets. that is way more problematic for the president and his family than the kushner forwarding of e-mails and perhaps clerically not getting that to the committee as they might have hoped. >> thank you. the trump administration
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irresponsible, ludicrous, absurd. we started talking by asking about the republican plan to repeal the mandate. >> it's madness to spend $300 billion taking health insurance away from more than 10 million americans in order to finance tax cuts for the top 1% of americans. what values are served by doing that? moreover, who's going to pay for the health care when people show up in emergency rooms. >> it says they will give middle class americans a tax break, they say, and the corporate tax break will stir investment. you say about this plan? >> i think this plan will bloat our deficit, favor the most affluent and mortgage our
future. it's a serious policy error. >> the trump administration is still saying it could give middle americans a salary increase of $4,000 to $9,000? >> it's a nonsense claim. yes, there may be steuimulants d it may have an impact, but no serious expert that has access to the discussion has or will support the $4,000 to $9,000 claim. >> in a word you think the claim is? >> ludicrous. absurd. not going to happen. >> bottom line, is there anything good about this tax plan? >> there are some very limited efforts to contain some abuse involving tax havens, which, if substantially extended and expanded could be quite
valuable. there's the idea of extending the child credit, and that's a valuable idea but in its totality, i think the plan is a serious error. >> you have taken on treasury secretary mnuchin recently. you said the administration's claims about the tax plan were, quote, dishonest and incompetent and absurd. did you go too far? has it gotten too personal? >> no, no. i said that with respect to his specific claim that the tax plan would pay for itself. when he made the claim he referenced a published treasury study. there is no published treasury study. there is no serious economists nor any reading of the experience to support his claim that the tax bill will pay for itself.
i have been doing this for a lot of years and i never said anything like that about any public official before, but when claims become untoward any possible reality, i think it's important to call that out. the specific claim that the treasury secretary has made repeatedly, that the tax bill will pay for itself by spurring economic growth, i respect the office enormously, so it pains me to say it, is nonsense. >> it's nonsense? >> nonsense. >> why do you think he's saying it? >> you will have to ask him why he's saying it. i imagine that it's not easy to have donald trump has a boss. i have been surprised and disturbed there have not been principled resignations from the trump administration. personally i would resign from an administration that has gone
as far with fake fakes on the economic side, or in terms of embracing racists in its political rhetoric. i am surprised and disappointed. i don't know how some of these people face their children? >> you would have resigned? >> i would have resigned, absolutely. >> as a professor, an overall grade you would give him? >> everybody at the end of their first year gets an incomplete. >> generous, considering everything else he said. >> who does he think should have resigned? >> he would not say names, and he said not the national security people, and he thinks they should have stayed in because, it's an important job. i think he's thinking about steve mnuchin, and carry cohen, the two men standing at trump tower next to donald trump after charlottesville. >> great interview. thank you.
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rather insignificant town of normal times and population less than 20,000, but as you mentioned this is the last major population center in iraq to be retaken from isis. now the town was taken on the 21st of june, 2014, during what was isis' blitz across iraq when they took mosul and other iraqi cities. at one point, isis was ruling over more than 10 million people in iraq and syria, but their fortunes have changed radically and now they basically control small villages and great places of desert, essentially, rule over camels, sheep, goats, and lizards out there. this is a major reversal of their fortunes and we did hear, for instance, from brett mckirk, the special u.s. envoy for the coalition to defeat isis saying
that the days of isis' phony caliphate are coming to an end. now, there are still iraqi forces and syrian forces fighting isis in that border area between the two countries, but it does seem that their days are numbered. however, it is worth pointing out that isis still controls territory in parts of north africa, the egyptian sinai. they do seem to be expanding their area of influence in afghanistan and as we've seen, they're also active in parts of the philippines. so they're down, definitely, in iraq and syria but they're not out. erica? >> an important clarification. ben wedeman, appreciate it. thank you. capitol hill rocked by allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior, the president going after democratic senator al franken but keeping his distance from roy moore. (♪)
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good morning. i'm erica hill in for john and poppy this morning. the president taking on democratic senator al franken over allegations of sex assault and still silent on republican senate candidate roy moore who's facing mounting accusations himself. this picture from 2006 of democratic senator al franken sparking outrage. the woman in that picture, leeann tweeden, says franken groped and forcibly kissed her during a uso tour and she described that kiss to cnn. >> he just mashes his mouth to my lips and, you know, it was like wet and he puts his tongue in my mouth and, you know, my reaction, it was just sort of a -- you know, i push his chest away with my hands and i'm like, if you ever do that