tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN November 21, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PST
t buwhat patients are looking for in a product. ♪ good morning, everyone. i am john berman. >> i am poppy harlow. this morning, charlie rose is suspended after eight women say the veteran newsman made unwanted sexual advances towards them. >> and so his co-hosts had a respond to the reports. it was emotional and difficult and remarkable. >> i also want to say this, that this is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women.
let me be very clear there's no excuse for this alleged behavior. it's systematic and pervasive and i have been doing a lot of listening and i will continue to do that. this i know is true, women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility. i am really proud to work at cbs news. there are so many incredible people here, especially on this show. all of you here. this will be investigated. this has to end. this behavior is wrong, period. >> i certainly echo that. i have to say, norah, i really am still reeling. i got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night and my son and daughter called me and oprah called me and i am not okay. the article was painful to read.
and the women that spoke up and those who have not spoke up because they are afraid i hope they will speak out too, and this becomes a moment of truth. i have enjoyed a friendship and partnership with charlie for the past five years. i have held him in such high regard and i am really struggling because how do you -- what do you say when somebody that you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible? how do you wrap your brain around that? i am really grappling with that. that said, charlie does not get a pass here or a pass from anybody in this room and we are all deeply effected and rocked by this. >> and joining us is brian stelter. that was something, these two journalists working through this process. you heard gayle king say charlie rose does not get a pass. any chance he has a job at cbs
after this? >> i don't see him coming back to cbs this morning or "60 minutes." he's only suspended while they review the matter. it's just impossible to imagine him back at the table. it's also very hard to imagine him returning to his nightly iconic talk show where he interviewed news makers for decades. charlie rose has a lot of questions to answer, but in the wake of the "washington post" story, more women have come forward speaking to other news outlets of other allegations. it's reminiscent of what we have seen, once a first news story comes out and then there's a flood of other allegations that follows. >> "the new york times" has spoken to additional women and there are more. i was speaking to somebody about this last night and they said to me, how could this go on for so long? how could this continue to happen? i said, well, if you are a new parent, for example, you have little kids at home and you are
thinking about this job and all the opportunities that lies ahead and how you are going to pay for them. you think, do i speak up against this man in such a position of power? that's at the core, isn't it, of this being able to go on for so long as he worked for three different networks. >> power is the word. harvey weinstein came out, and i try to call not to -- i try not call it that anymore. it's a reckoning of the power dynamics and why people who maybe were starting on their jobs and careers feel they can't report inappropriate behavior. >> in one case they did report inappropriate behavior. >> yeah. >> what happened there? >> according to "the posts," a
woman came forward and soon after this woman lost her job. we have heard from the executive producer of rose's show, and she said she was deeply sorry this went on. according to cbs there were no reports of improper behavior, that was as of yesterday, and we will see if anybody comes forward now in the wake of this story. whether it's harvey weinstein or roy moore, all the different cases there are people that looked the other way for too long. it's incredible how quickly that is changing now. >> i will just say his executive producer, this woman who has been by his side working with him for years, did seem apologetic in her statement for not doing more. >> "the posts" reporters who have been pursuing this and investigating charlie rose, they say they have other accounts they are also trying to
corroborate. we have seen a pattern, and charlie rose will not be the last prominent man to be identified as a sexual harasser. >> we have other news to report on this. new this morning, a accusation against a sitting congressman. >> settled a wrongful dismissal complaint two years ago after a former employee says she was fired because she would not, quote, saw come to his advances. >> cnn has not confirmed these allegations, but according to buzzfeed who obtained a series of dock maniuments, they have f affidavits signed by former staff members from his office
alleging pretty egregious things. advances to female staff, and contacting and transporting other women that they believed conyers were alleging. we have reached out to his and it can't be overstate, the most senior member in congress. this certainly will send additional shock waves already going on around capitol hill. >> some of this payout, how did it work exactly? >> this is one of the most eyebrow raising parts of this specific allegation, the fact that as buzzfeed reports, the
payment came out of congressman conyers' office for the settlement. we have been reporting for weeks this process on capitol hill, the settlements, in and if they are reached, that comes out of a fund set up by the u.s. treasury. the fact here that the money was coming straight from conyers office, the fact that he could pay from the budget and not report it from the settlement fund out of the treasury, that calls into question how little we know about the sexual harassment cases, and how many settlements are being paid out, and the numbers they are being paid out, so there are many more questions we are asking today. >> thanks so much. let's discuss this. let's go to bob cusack and molly
ball, and -- i hope i said that correctly. molly, let me start with you. john conyers, he's a big fish in the house and these are serious allegations against him. >> yeah, it was said earlier that women were afraid to come forward. what i see again and again in these cases, is women were not afraid to come forward. women did come forward and complain, and then the powerful men were surrounded by enablers and systems set up to protect them and keep these women from getting any kind of justice or public action against these men, and that's what enabled them to go on. in the buzzfeed article it alleges years and years of this behavior, an open secret in the office of representative conyers, and it was known he was like this but he was surrounded
by people whose job it was to protect him. we see that in congress and hollywood and in the media, these powerful men are insulated by their power, and that's what we are seeing a crack in with all these revelations. >> people around him, protecting him, and also the system protecting these harassers, right? the office of compliance right now is the rule -- as it works on capitol hill, the settlements when they happen, there have been $17 million since the '90s paid out, and it's not clear what happened. the name of the perpetrator is not made public. it's a very difficult and cumbersome process for victims to come forward and whistle blowers to come forward, and now there's legislation put forward
to change that, but how could that have gone on so long? >> the process has to be changed and congress will act and it has taken all the allegations to put the spotlight on it. clearly skewed against the accuser. i would watch pelosi, and i think she will act on this whether it's getting conyers to step aside. this can't stand. >> there's a lot going on right now, obviously. we are all watching the alabama senate race right now, and roy moore accused of molesting a 14-year-old, which is in and of itself one thing down there, but when we get one accusation after another about sexual misconduct, does that give him cover to keep in the race down there?
>> i think it sort of leads to the situation where congress knows they have a problem on their hands, and they have been dealing with the roy moore situation and the al franken situation and now they have john conyers and it appears it's a problem, and leaders in congress know this is a problem and need to address. if you look at the pace in which they are addressing the sexual harassment issue and you compare it to the tax bill that is going like a freight train through congress, you can make a distinction of the priority. leaders in congress will have that reckoning that norah o'donnell talked about, where they will have to make a decision about how strict they want to be and how much of a movement they want to make about combating sexual harassment. if roy moore wins later this year, that will drive that point home next month that congress needs to step up and take action, otherwise they will lose
a lot of the credibility they have to lead on issues like sexual harassment. >> molly, there are things above politics and this is clearly one of them, however the president chose not to treat it that way by the way he went after senator al franken and still will not answer questions about roy moore. we will see if he weighs in on the accusations against john conyers, at what point -- or does the american public, even though supporters of the president say you have to speak up about what is right and what is wrong? >> i think that ship already sailed. i think we know about trump, he's incapable of seeing any potential flaws in people he feels are supportive of him or on his side or himself, and he's abundantly capable of what he calls out the deficiencies of people opposed to him. this has been going on for a long time. it's basically his m.o., and i
think the cries of he's not being consistent or he's being hypocritical, i think we have seen many times in recent years he's not interested, and that criticism he bats away, so i wouldn't be surprised if he continues to point to one side and not the other. i have to say about whether this muddies the waters, roy moore is saying this is a conspiracy against him and the establishment fabricated this elaborate series of fabrications to make him look bad. this is not a partisan phenomenon, and there are people being accused of this on both sides of the aisle and that makes it harder for roy moore to say that. >> does john conyers survive this, does al franken survive
this? >> it's going to require difficult conversations, and the types of conversations we have not been able to have in the public square about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior. there are different rates of what can be tolerated. is it grounds for removal from office if you pose for a picture with a woman and you touch her on her backside, is that something that meets the bar for removal of office? that's a very difficult conversation that a number of members of congress are going to have to have. as we see more and more allegations come forward, they will have to set the bar and it could lead to a snowball affect where a number of members of congress are guilty of the same types of things. john conyers, it's going to be
difficult for him, and he's the longest member of congress serving, and i don't if any will come to his defense if the allegations are true. the woman was fired, and that's the height of an abuse of power. all of this behavior is pretty disturbing, and all of these congressmen appear to be in for a reckoning and for some type of punishment, even if it's not removal from office. >> it's not a moment of reckoning in congress if there are no consequences. harvey weinstein faced consequences in the business world, and charlie rose, we will see, and -- >> congress has to -- they can't exempt themselves. as you mentioned, other
industries, big figures across media, and entertainment, they are going to pay a price. that's why congress has to pay a price. i do agree, there are different gradations here where some of these allegations are extremely unsettling, and others are also unsettling but there are different gradations, and that's the line that the ethics committees are truthless and don't do much, protect members, and nobody likes to serve on the ethics committees because then they are going after their own colleagues. they have to be forceful and not toothless. >> thank you all very much. we appreciate it. president putin making a call to president trump this morning. they are set to discuss syria, but will election meddling come up between the two leaders? plus, you are sued. the justice department wants to block the at&t and time warner merger, but is something bigger going on here. and then the company ceo
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new this morning, holding on line one a call with major global implications. you will remember the last time putin and trump spoke, he said russia did not meddle in the american elections. >> it's unclear whether election phelgti phel meddling will be the topic of the conversation when the two share a conversation. it is expected to focus on syria, and bashar al assad said
huge successes have been achieved. soon we will hear how the treasury department will punish north korea. a new set of sanctions set to be announced soon. >> last night state media blasted away at donald trump. barbara, what are the north koreans saying now? >> well, the north korean leader was touring a vehicle factory, perhaps trying to send a signal to the world there may be sanctions but he still has industrial capacity in his country, if you will. the sanctions are going to be aimed at trying to curb outside countries outside people helping him with any financing any capability for that sort of thing. the north korean state media had blunt words for the united
states and the president of the united states. let me just read to you the statement that they issued, saying, quote, the hidden crisis committed by the lunatic president of the u.s. are a blatant challenge to the dignity of the supreme leadership of the dprk, a violation of its sovereignty and the vicious insult of the genuine life of the korean people, the kind of language we have come to expect from kim jong-un's regime, and as long as it's nasty language, perhaps not all that troubling. with the new sanctions, the question will be will kim respond with new provocations. that's what everybody will be watching for. will there be additional test launches of their ballistic missiles? >> north korea, barbara starr, has been off the list since
2008. can we talk about effectively what will change and how much power there is to move north korea's hand by putting them back to the list? >> that's the critical question. yesterday secretary of state, rex tillerson, when he came on the white house podium was pretty candid that the sanctions against north korea already are very significant, and this might not move that ball forward so much. what is left to sanction? you can sanction additional persons that do business with north korea, and you could sanction chinese banks, and that's north korea's gateway into financial markets and transactions. the president mentioning the death of the american student, auto warmbier, and those were listed as factors, and how much
you could really achieve still remains to be seen. the real question is any of this really going to work as deterrents. will additional sanctions provide additional deterrents to the nuclear weapons program. he has fuel shortages in the country, and already has tough problems with food and other industrial supplies. will these sanctions have enough impact that suddenly things would become so dire, more dire in north korea, that he would react by saying i will give up my weapons programs? i think there's a lot of doubt. >> it would take a lot if history proves itself for him to do anything of the sort. the ranking member of the foreign relations committee. let's begin on north korea. the president placing north korea back on the state
sponsored terrorism list. something president obama chose not to do, and should president trump have done this? >> the way to change the equation in north korea is to get china to work with us on sanctions. china can change the equation in north korea. quite frankly, we imposed sanctions against north korea, and congress authorized additional sanctions. i am not sure the designation will mean much from the point of view from additional sanctions, unless we had the support of china. >> you don't think president obama should have done it? >> president trump, no, i think clearly north korea is a sponsor of terrorism. i don't think the designation is something that would change much, but it fits the
characterization of supporting terrorism. >> do you think this phone call between putin and trump should take place? >> i think we have to have communications between the president and russia and the united states, so that's fine. i don't mind the conversation. i think the president has to be very -- president trump has to be very clear that russia meddled in our elections and will pay a heavy price for doing that and they need to change their behavior as it relates to attacks on our country and we need to know about that. i hope it's a candid discussion. my guess is this conversation will deal more with syria than it will deal with the u.s. and meddling. >> overnight the white house has made the decision to remove next summer some 60,000 haitians from this country that were here
under protected status. maryland has the sixth highest number of members, a lot of them from el salvador. i assume you disagree with the white house's move given the legislation you put forth, but this is temporary. the first word is temporary protected status. what do you think this morning? >> the president, whether they are haitian or from el salvador, he's doing the same thing for the d.r.e.a.m.ers, so we have a time limit on many people who have been here for lock pering of time, and they don't know their native country any longer, and these are people who have been fully integrated into america, whether they are haitians or d.r.e.a.m.ers, the president is putting uncertainty in their lives that is unnecessary. i hope congress takes advantage
of the opportunity and pay the immigration reform that protect the d.r.e.a.m.ers and those on temporarily status. >> if you look at some of the actions the president and the white house have taken or tried to take for the last 306 days, whether it's the travel ban or sanctuary cities, and the nicaragu nicaraguans, and now the haitians, do you think the president is trying to change the face of america? >> absolutely. one of my concerns about the trump administration is it fails to recognize the strength of america and our values, it's the fact that we face diversity and are a nation of immigrants and are open to protecting human rights openly, and now we see the president withdrawing from the paris climate talks and his talk on refugees and what he has done to the d.r.e.a.m.ers and
the temporary status, and the wall, that hurts the basic values of america, which is our strength. >> and john conyers, a second allegation from al franken, should these two men continue to serve in congress? >> i just heard about congressman conyers, and these allegations are serious and must be dealt with in a serious manner. i supported the senator ethics committee, and i think that's the appropriate place for the review to take place and recommendations to the full senate as to what actions we should take. i would hope in the house they would use a similar process to evaluate. it's important there be transparency here. clearly we have seen how positions of power have been used to control women in a way that is unacceptable in america. >> what is too much, though?
what is too much to serve in congress? >> well, i think the representation of congress is critically important. we all have a responsibility, those that have been given public trust to act in a way that represents that trust. when you use that power to try to take advantage of a woman, that's unacceptable and it must be very clear that's unacceptable. >> clear in they should be removed from congress? >> as you pointed out earlier, there's gradations here, and i think it's up to the ethics committee to have standards that are clear. >> sadly you are right. i think there will be others in every aspect of society going forward. thank you for being with us. appreciate it. coming up, the legal battle over at&t's $85 billion merger
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when you look at the man that leads the department of justice antitrust division, he was asked last fall about whether this seems problematic, this merger, and here's how he put it then. >> it shouldn't be. just the shear size of it and the fact that it's media i think will get a lot of attention, however, i don't see this as a major antitrust problem. >> i don't see this as a major antitrust problem. a vertical merger like this has not been challenged by the department of justice in decades. what changed? >> what changed is that he came into this position and he said a lot about behavioral remedies. and they said you can merge but we will look at what you are doing. he said even in the past that these don't work. if it's an antitrust violation
you need to sue in court, something more serious than the behavioral remedies. >> one of the questions, and we have seen it in the paper and we wonder about it in this building, is the decision politically motivated, because president trump had a lot to say about cnn, which is owned by turner which is owned by time warner. >> if you look at the antitrust complaint, it stands on its own two feet. price could go up hundreds of millions according to the department of justice, and innovators could pay too much money and be pushed out of the market so i think it's a legitimate antitrust case. >> it's not just president trump
that criticized this merger, actually some liberals as well, bernie sanders around the same time last fall wrote a letter on the department of justice, and some on the left and some on the right, but the question is is this completely in your opinion independent of politics to challenge something like this for the first time in decades nsa i thi nsa. >> i think it is independent of politics. it almost never makes it to court. sure, a vertical merger case was last in court decades ago, but in the meantime in the last decade there was a vertical merger that the agencies cost against comcast and nbc universal and it led to behavioral remedies, and so even if these cases don't make it to
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statement just released, he said people who work in the house deserve and are entitled to work without harassment and discrimination. he believes the house is undergoing a thorough review in which sexual harassment complaints are made and filed and house settlements are paid out, and just two weeks ago there was a hearing and that hearing, speaker ryan, notes in the statement led to some changes so far, mandating sexual harassment training for members of congress and their staffs up on the house side. but clearly there are more changes to come, and that is something that speaker ryan in this statement eludes to. there's house legislation and senate legislation proposing a series of changes on capitol
hill. how complaints are made and how settlements are made, and who knows about them, most importantly, clear in this reporting done by buzzfeed and it opens new questions about how the settlements are paid out once they are reached. and this reporting coming from buzzfeed opens up a new area, a fact that that $27,000 worth of settlements reached with conyers office was paid out of his office's budget and not the u.s. treasury, and that opens up many more questions. we have reached out to conyers office and pelosi's office and have not heard back. >> thank you. puerto rico's power problem has become much worse. the company that was supposed to help is threatening to leave. we'll tell you why.
by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become? i'm tom steyer, and like you, i'm a citizen who knows it's up to us to do something. it's why i'm funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment. a republican congress once impeached a president for far less. yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons. and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it.
. this morning, half of puerto rico is still without power, but two months after hurricane maria struck the montana company contracted to turn the lights back on, whitefish energy, says it is stopping work to repair the power grid. >> the company's ceo tells cnn whitefish is owed $83 million by the power authority after the island canceled the $300 million with white finish back in late october after a number of concerns were raised. the white fish contract is up december 1st. to leyla santiago in san juan with the whitefish ceo.
>> let me clarify the numbers you were talking about. when we say half the island has power, that is based on generation, not distribution. so really the government still has no idea or claims to have no idea of how many people on this island have power. and now the ceo of whitefish is telling me in an interview we had with him that now that progress could be delayed because he is stopping all efforts on the island because he says the government of puerto rico owes him $83 million. i want you to watch my exchange with him. >> we stopped because of the financial situation and lack of payment with pre pa has gotten beyond its maximum threshold of what we can sustain as a business. >> how much do they owe you? >> $83 million. we came here because -- how could you not? if you come here and you have a skillset that can immediately help the people of puerto rico,
like we do, it is more of a moral obligation from that point forward. it may not have been the best business decision coming to work for a bankrupt island, i don't regret doing what we've done and seeing people in great gratitude for the positive work that we've done. we've made a huge impact. >> would you do this again? >> um, i would. i would do a lot of things different. >> among some of the things he said he would do differently, he would ask for more money up front. now we reached out to prepa, the power authority here on the island. they tell us because this contract is under investigation they really don't want to go into too much details but they did admit they have stopped
payments to whitefish after a complaint came in from a subcontractor for failure to get the payment that they're owed under whitefish. >> leyla, thank you for that. and there's much more of that interview with the ceo on-line. before you go, you're doing something incredible. you've been on the ground reporting since before maria struck. i don't think our viewers know your personal connection and you're doing everything in your your power to raise money for the people who need it most. tell us about it. >> people here still need help. i mean power is just one of the big issues. i was born on this island, i was married on this island, i spent my summers on this island as a child, and as an adult, and so for weeks since we've been here covering hurricane maria i have really -- my heart has ached as i have watched people devastated and in need of help as people this week count their blessings and are thankful for things for
the holiday this week, people here on the island here many still can't be thankful for power because they don't have that. that means they are in the dark at home. that means their businesses don't have power, so i'm taking a gofundme and established an account there and i'm raising $50,000 to help part of the interior of the island, the worst hit area, get what they still need today more than two months after hurricane maria battered the island. >> people can see it on the screen but just list nng your car go fund me.com/dearcorozal. leyla, good for you, thank you. >> up next for us, at least eight women accuse veteran anchor charlie rose of various forms of sexual misconduct. one calls him a predator. this morning he is suspended. his co-anchors went on television in a remarkable moment. you'll want to see it next. this i can do, easily. i try hard to get a great shape. benefiber® healthy shape is