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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  November 29, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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e show. and with just a single word, find all the answers you're looking for. because getting what you need should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. good evening. breaking news tonight in the russia investigation involving the president's son-in-law jared kushner. we've just learned he has spoken with robert mueller's team. gloria borger has the scoop and is joining us now. what have you heard that mueller's team wanted to know? >> well, my colleagues pamela brown and evan perez and i have reporting that the special counsel's team really wanted to meet with jared kushner to talk about michael flynn. it seems to us, very clearly, that the noose is tightening around the former national security adviser, that perhaps they are negotiating some kind of a deal and that they wanted
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to meet with jared kushner because, of course, he interacted with flynn so frequently both during the transition and once the president took office. >> what's kushner's lawyer saying about all of this and what does it mean for michael flynn? >> well, abbe lowell is saying, "mr. kushner has cooperated with all relevant inquiries and will continue to do so" so he's basically confirming what we are reporting and i think what this means for flynn is that the special counsel's office is trying to cross every "t" and dot every "i" before they move on flynn in whatever way they now deem appropriate. by the way, anderson, this doesn't mean that jared kushner won't be called back before the special counsel at some other time, but it seems to us that this is what they're focusing on right now, which is flynn. >> but it doesn't mean that -- some questions have been raised
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if jared kushner's business dealings or his meetings with russians might come up or be of interest to the special counsel. >> and it may well but that is not, we are told by sources, what this session was predominantly about. >> gloria borger, appreciate that. an action from the president of the united states which until recently seemed unthinkable. he embraced the message of racist, bigoted bullies by retweeting three violent videos seeming to show radical islamists in egypt beating and killing people and another showed someone attacking the statue of the virgin mary and a third showing a migrant assaulting a disabled youth in the netherlands. the president retweeted this from the deputy leader called britain first. last year, the leader of that group was arrested for verbally
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abusing a muslim woman wearing a jihab. it might seem normal but it is not. it is easy to become numb to this sort of behavior but we must not. presidents of the united states are not supposed to stoke fear and hatred of muslims. that's what these videos, some of which appear real, are designed to do. that's what this group, britain first, tries to do, spreading that message, tens of thousands of twitter followers and today the president of the united states thought it a good idea to forward that message three times to his tens of millions of twitter followers. retweeting hate propaganda from a far right extremist group based in another country. white supremacist david duke was thrilled. thank god for trump, he tweeted. theresa may through a spokesperson says the president was wrong, "britain first seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions. they cause anxiety to law-abiding people. british people overwhelmingly
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reject the prejudice rhetoric of the far right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents." by the way, the video shows a migrant beating up a dutch boy on crutches. he's not a migrant. he's a dutch citizen. do they matter to the white house spokesperson sarah sanders? well, here's what she said. >> whether it's a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about. that's what the president is focused on, is dealing with those real threats. and those are real no matter how you look at it. >> whether it's real or not, doesn't really matter. the president just tweeted again at britain's prime minister, tweeting, theresa may, don't focus on me. focus on radical islamic terrorism that is taking place within the united kingdom. we are doing just fine." he initially tweeted at the wrong theresa may, got the wrong twitter account and then retweeted to the correct one. bottom line, though, extremism of any sort is a threat. radical islamists are a threat. the radical right are a threat as well.
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last year, jo cox, a member of british parliament and outspoken member of immigration was murdered by a man purportedly shouting "britain first" before he stabbed her. mr. cox, first off, i just wondered what went through your mind when you read this retweet from president trump this this morning? >> i think we probably got used to a degree of absurdity, of outrageous retweets and tweets from the president but i think this felt like it was a different order. here he was retweeting a felon, somebody who was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment of an organization that is a hate-driven organization on the extreme fringes of the far, far right of british politics. this is like the president retweeting the ku klux klan.
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this is not a mainstream organization. for the president of the united states, our greatest ally of our country and to be retweeting and be a microphone for those voices, i think everybody, no matter what your political persuasion is in the uk has been shocked by that. >> not providing just a microphone but amplified those voices. the woman he retweeted has some 40,000 followers on twitter and the president has 40 million, or whatever the exact number is. >> exactly. and the reason this matters is that these words, these narratives have impact. you know, we live in a society where people decide what they do based on what they think is socially acceptable and when you make hatred like this against a minority, whether it is jews or muslims or whatever else, when you make hatred like this normalized, when you retweet and endorse an organization like this, what that does is it
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changes people's views of what is acceptable. it means that people are more open about hatred. it means they are more likely to act on their hatred to, you know -- one of the things we often talk about in the aftermath of islamists-inspired terror attack is who are the hate preachers? who are the people feeding this cancer of hatred in our society and we should ask those same requests on the far right and these people are the people who are inciting attacks against minorities and the president has just been providing them a microphone. >> this group, britain first, which many people in the united states have not heard about, the man who murdered your wife shouted "britain first" as he shot and stabbed her. >> it's also true that the child -- forthcoming child in drk -- forthcoming trial in the uk of a suspected terrorist who
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mowed down a child using a van, a group of muslims outside a mosque was also a follower of theirs. so this organization is one that has very strong connections to violence. it's an organization on the far extremes of politics and, you know, for a country -- for a president to be legitimatizing these voices, it has real impact. this isn't a hypothetical. this isn't something which is just a tweet here or a tweet there. it's something that the president has had impact on and therefore changed the public discourse in our country for the worst. >> when the white house press secretary sarah sanders defends the president's retweet that he did it to, quote, start a conversation about border security and immigration, does that make any sense to you? >> no. i think it is an absurd justification. i'm sure she has the hardest job of anybody in the world but i think even in the list of desperate attempts to defend something that was indefensible, this was a pathetic attempt to do so. >> can you just tell us about jo? she stood up against this kind of hatred and was killed for it.
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>> yeah, jo was somebody who spent her life in humanitarian work around the world, aide worker for humanitarian aide organizations. she worked in sudan and in the aftermath of the tsunami and in earthquakes and she decided that her calling took her into politics and it was that humanitarian calling, she spent a lot of her time working on the conflict in syria, working on loneliness in her own constituency. she was as worried as anyone about the impact of our communities falling apart and she would have been, if she was still here, as outraged, i think, as anybody that the president with whom we should have incredibly a close relationship is actively undermining our cohesion as a country, is actively supporting the group, this extremist group i think she'd be horrified by it. >> is there anything else you want to tell the people in the united states? >> i think, you know, the relationship between the uk and
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the u.s. is incredibly important. and this president is undermining it and, frankly, the statue with which the u.s. has seen, for all of us who cares about this, it goes on every single day and eats away at the relationship and prestige with which the presidency and to an extent to which the u.s. is held. i think our relationship will outlast this president but in the meantime we're left with somebody who is not just doing this by accident. these tweets are not a mistake. they are a strategy. and he's done it with anti-semitic means and he's done it following the charlottesville neo-nazi marches and he has done it in the campaign against mexicans and muslims and migrants and that hatred has no place in our society.
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of course, we can disagree about the role of islam in society. we can disagree about immigration. we should be able to disagree about all of these things and still say hatred has no part in our society. this president has become a purveyor of hate and it's time we all said enough is enough and we won't tolerate that no matter what our political disagreements. >> mr. cox, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. new reporting from cnn's jim acosta and it touches on the inflammatory belief that citizen trump and then candidate trump that president obama was not born in this country and president trump appears to be picking it up again. maggie haberman is joining us about how this parent about-face is being perceived and jim acosta with a revelation of his own. the president is still questioning whether or not president obama was born in the u.s.? is it 2011 all over again? >> reporter: yeah, anderson. when cnn does a special on this,
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decade, it's going to be very confusing because president trump, as you know, was the king of the birthers. and in september of last year before the election, he reversed himself and finally acknowledged what everybody knows, which is barack obama was born in the united states. but anderson, i'm told by a source close to the white house that shortly after he made that announcement and ever since, president trump has questioned the politics of reversing himself on that issue. he believes he would have done even better in the election had he just stood his ground and continued to say that barack obama was not born in the united states. it is a very curious position to take and it also raises the question about the president's mental state. that's obviously been something that's been talked about in recent days. people have said maybe this means he's losing it if he now believes that barack obama was not born in the united states but i think it also goes to the tactical aspect of president trump and his advisers, that they do believe that there's a political benefit to trafficking in this kind of racially tinged politics. >> what you're saying from your reporting, based on the source, it's not clear if he actually believes that or if he felt from
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a political standpoint to appeal to some element of his base, that would have been a better thing to do to stick to that bogus notion. >> reporter: that's right. it raises the question of whose votes does the president really want. does he want the votes of people who are dealing rationally with the real world who believe that barack obama was born in hawaii >> he wanted a base of people who are white see prem cysts and does he feel that is what fuels his am bish es back until september of, it took him to finally spit out those words. i'm told of since then he has questioned the poll six of that decision, believing it would
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have been better had he just stood his ground and would not say. >> on the president as doubts about the "access hollywood" tapes. and later reports that more women accuse matt lauer of sexual harassment and some of the actual details are beyond kiss tushing. right now when you get an unlimited family plan, netflix is included. ho ho ho! t-mobile covers your netflix subscription... best christmas gift ever! you can binge watch all year long. now you're thinking christmas! and now when you buy any of this season's hot new samsung galaxy phones, you get a second one free to gift. that's samsung for you. and one to give. t-mobile. holiday twogether.
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jim acosta reporting before the break about the president's reborn birther beliefs and the "access hollywood" tape. they suggest that he is to put it bluntly, losing his grip in some way or abandoning his grip on facts that he once himself acknowledged citing advisers, in recent months they say mr. trump has used closed door conversations to question the authenticity of president barack obama's birth certificate. he gave up on this bogus conspiracy theory over a year ago. >> hillary clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. i finished it. you know what i mean. president barack obama was born in the united states, period.
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>> so he disavowed that and now he's back at it and continuing to cast doubt on whether it's his voice on the "access hollywood" tape, the very tape that he already apologized for. quoting again from maggie and jonathan's latest story on this. "in recent days, he's continued to see seed doubt about his appearance on the 'access hollywood' tape stunning his advisers." here's what he said about it the day it came out. >> i never said i'm a perfect person nor pretend to be someone i am not. i've said and done things i regret and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who i am. i said it, i was wrong and i apologize. >> i said it. so what he acknowledged and apologized for, he's now not sure is even his voice and his advisers, according to "the times" are stunned. joining me is maggie haberman.
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this is the thing that's hard to wrap my mind around. i co-moderated the second debate where we questioned him about it. he acknowledged what he said. he said it was locker room talk or whatever. right in that video he acknowledged it. how is it possible he's now saying to other people, three people, according to your sources, it may not have been him? >> i think that you have to think with this presidency that we keep looking for a bottom where there's just a limit that he's not going to go any further in terms of either his conduct or something and there is no bottom. it's not surprising and, however, very hard to wrap your mind around because it's one of the few times we heard him apologize and acknowledged it was him and there is no kernel of truth that he can point to, which is often what he does.
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but what he's been doing his entire career, you know this very well, is try to wield certain facts as he wants them to be into existence. he said it was very embarrassing and a very striking moment because he almost never says something like that. this was one of the rare times that you can think of him experiencing public humiliation. he did not consider his divorces to be humiliation. "the new york post" front page headline about his head life with marla maples, he loved that story. his bankruptcy was not considered to be a personal loss. this was very, very embarrassing to him and i think he has tried, by virtue of the fact that he has won, to recast reality but for other people who are not in that reality bubble, it's very
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disturbing. >> he hasn't said this publicly in a speech but the fact that he has said this to other people, he's the president of the united states. things are going to get out. >> right. >> it's just sort of stunning. >> well, also, the thing that we know about donald trump, he never says something to just one person. these conversations that he has are always with multiple people. >> he's trying it out with them. >> correct. he tests things. he sees how people react. he says it sometimes to make himself feel better. what we don't know and we are not qualified to analyze because that would require a psychiatric degree and somebody treating him, we don't know whether this is, you know, he's lost his grip on reality or he's just trying to sell people on a version of reality that he knows very well what happened. the fact that he has not said it publicly suggests to me that he knows pretty well that that is his voice on that tape. >> again, i can't believe we're going back to the obama birth certificate story. is it -- you know, what jim
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acosta was saying is that he, according to a source, the president had suggested that, you know, it was maybe a mistake for him to acknowledge the birth certificate, that the president was actually born in the united states. do we know if he actually does believe the president was born in the united states or if it was just he feels regret that he politically that it was not a smart move? >> i think he's said different things to different people on this topic. i spoke to one white house adviser who was adamant that they had never heard him do this. that's very possible but doesn't mean that other people haven't heard him say this. he tries things out. i do think that he thinks apologizing was a mistake and because he can never admit that he was wrong, even in the apology about the birth certificate wasn't really an apology. it's very hard for him to say that he just got it wrong and so he tries to sort of reverse engineer this stuff so that actually he was right in the first place and tries to convince other people of it. >> i want to point out, the
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white house has pushed back on some of your reporting saying that on "the new york times" story, there are a number of inaccuracies. the president for quite some time now has addressed. nothing has changed on his views. when pressed for what the inaccuracies were, they wouldn't elaborate. >> that's not an answer so i don't know what they are pushing back on. it reminds me of a little bit when sean spicer was -- and really he was tasked with an unenviable job there but he was widely condemning the report by glenn thrush and me that the president had been wearing a bath robe in the residence which the president took exception to and sean said the president doesn't even own a bath robe. and that is not true. their language is pretty careful and they are not saying exactly what they are referring to. they are just saying that his statement from last year stands. >> the three videos that he tweeted out from this far right british group, i mean, i guess it shouldn't surprise anybody but based on comments he made just in the past year but do you know the process by which this stuff even gets in front of him? i mean, i think i read ann coulter had tweeted one of the
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videos, he saw it there and looked at the deputy leaders because he was retweeting ann coulter. >> his tweets have evolved and now as an adviser told me, it's both input and output. there's a lot of scrolling through his feed and he'll look at what people have liked or retweeted or tweeted at him. in the old days it was various member -- in the old days of some members of the white house team would put suggestive tweets in front of him. often dan scavino, the social media director would be responsible for those kinds of things but my understanding from two advisers in the west wing is that this was not a dan scavino move. >> maggie haberman, thank you. matt lauer out at nbc after reports of sexual harassment
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breaking news, yet another prominent media figure facing a firestorm of consequences amid sexual misconduct allegations. nbc has fired matt lauer after a colleague complained about inappropriate sexual behavior. there are new reports in the allegations against him. our randi kaye has more. >> this is "today" with matt lauer and savannah guthrie. >> reporter: it's what you didn't see on television that got matt lauer suddenly fired by nbc. late today, the disturbing allegations spilling out in the
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kbrrks -- press. cnn is not independently confirming them but "variety" magazine is reporting that multiple women accused lauer of sexual harassment. be the magazine sathe magazine n reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act. two women told "variety" that lauer had a button under his desk to lock his door which would allow him to be
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inappropriate without anyone walking in on him, according to the magazine. >> hoda is with me this morning because this is a sad morning here at "today" and nbc news. we are devastated and still processing all of this. >> reporter: lauer's co-host of five years, savannah guthrie, delivered the news of lauer's firing this morning after reportedly being told herself just minutes before air. >> i'm heartbroken for matt. he's my dear, dear friend and my partner and beloved by many people here and i'm heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story. >> reporter: the first woman to come forward, the one that led t to lauer's firing, complained to nbc's human resources that lauer had sexually harassed her. a source with knowledge of the process told cnn the woman alleged that the inappropriate behavior began while lauer was
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in russia covering the winter olympics in 2014. then, late wednesday, "the times" broke the news that after lauer's firing, nbc received two more complaints about him. the paper says one former employee complained that lauer summoned her to his office in 2001 and then had sex with her. she told "the times" that she felt helpless because she didn't want to lose her job. the paper said she did not report the incident because she felt ashamed. lauer has not commented publicly. >> latest now on another scandal getting a lot of attention. >> reporter: this comes one week after cbs fired charlie rose for sexually harassing women. at nbc, mark halperin was recently fired for alleged inappropriate behavior during his days at abc news and bill o'reilly was fired from fox news following claims of sexual harassment. lauer interviewed o'reilly in september and made this prophetic statement. >> think about those five women and what they did. they came forward and filed complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. think how intimidating that must have been, how nerve racking that must have been. doesn't that tell you how strongly they felt about you. >> reporter: two months later, lauer could be asking himself the same thing. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> a spokesperson said we can
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say unequivocally, prior to monday night, current nbc management was never made aware of any complaints about matt lauer's conduct. joining me now is elizabeth, senior entertainment reporter for "variety" and the new york bureau chief of "variety." they exposed lauer and also cnn media analyst bill carter. there had been rumors about harvey weinstein for a long time. were there about matt lauer. >> there were rumors. we don't report rumors. we started investigating two months ago. and the real hero of this story, like the heroes of all the other stories that have run are the women that have come forward and shared their stories and taken a stand and said this is the kind of behavior that doesn't belong in the workplace and we're going to share what happened to us so other women don't have to go through it. >> elizabeth, i read your story. just the first couple of paragraphs of the story, stunning details.
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randi referenced a sex toy he gave somebody on the staff and describing what he wanted to do with it. he had a button under his desk? is >> yes. so we have multiple sources who have told us he had some sort of button under his desk that enabled him to push it so the door would shut so he did not have to stand up so if we were with a woman in his office, he could have privacy. >> and lock the door automatically? >> yes, close the door. >> and the women went know that the door was locked so they wouldn't expect that this was a private situation so they would be caught off guard if he did anything. >> and elizabeth, did any of the women you spoke to, had they reported it either to current management or to prior management? the nbc statement very carefully says, you know, current nbc management. >> right.
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the women we spoke to, they told us that they did complain about what happened to executives there. we don't know if that means they went to hr. of course, nbc's statement says they only received one complaint monday night. all we know is in our two months of complaining, we got many complaints to us. >> bill, what do you make of this? >> this is major, major story because this is a giant story at nbc. he's o'reilly as was at fox news. it's going to have enormous impact. >> crucial to that morning show. >> the morning show is the most important show for the entire news division. >> the evening newscast and now it's the morning show. >> they make the bulk of the money. and this is the biggest scandal they've ever had to deal with. i think they are going to feel a
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rolling impact from this that nobody can measure it yet. you know, the "today" show had a period where they fell behind abc and they have been strong, making the most money and announcing itself as the leading show and now they have to deal with not just the fact that he is out of the show but the fact that he was a guy that the audience sort of trusted and turned to and it's more than just a scandal. it's like a betrayal. >> and grilling bill o'reilly on something which, according to the accusers, he was engaged in. >> the irony of that is extraordinary. >> irony is one word.
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>> yeah. i guess. >> when we were writing our story, ramin brought up that story and we rewatched it and said the same thing to each other. we couldn't believe what we were hearing from him and then, of course, the sexual harassment scandal has been unfolding with many men in hollywood in the industry, we've been watching the "today" show as we've been doing our reporting and talking to each other and saying, how can he sit there and talk about this knowing what he's done? >> it seems like in your article that, you know, matt lauer is married and she filed for divorce at one point in 2006 and then decided not to go ahead with that but they've been living separate lives. what kind of an atmosphere was he creating on the staff? >> it was a very difficult atmosphere for the women. they were torn. they were worried if they didn't pay attention back, they would be sidelined. stories of women who disappear
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from the staff or leave under mysterious circumstances so there was a lot of fear because they were not sure how to react if he pursued them. >> i want to point out, one difference with matt is if you look at -- obviously he had a big conflict with ann curry but the other women co-hosts that he had, katie couric and savannah, they are very close do him and very fond of him. they've always been friends with him. there was an element of comfort with him, at least at the top there that was unusual. i mean, you didn't get a sense, at least i never got a sense, that this was that kind of guy that women would be afraid of. >> uh-huh. we have spoken to some sources who did tell us kind of exactly what you were just talking about, bill, that one year he maybe perhaps would not interact with you that way but when you're a p.a. or somebody who like matt lauer said to bill o'reilly, when you're talking to a woman who is very far superior to you, you know you have
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control. >> very inferior. >> yes. >> i want to set the record straight that the idea that the other women who worked with him and he got along with every other co-host at the "today" show and they were not aware, that is not true. according to reporting, like savannah and those people were aware of it? >> i don't want to name names but other women and other anchors, according to reporting and according to the staff of "today" were aware that he was engaging in this kinds of behavior. >> i don't want to misquote anything in your article. it seems to indicate that some of the relationships, at least maybe he thought were consensual but even if they were technically consensual, there was a power dynamic that, you know, if they were on his staff, there is obviously an inappropriate relationship. >> that's absolutely correct. and that's what we've heard from -- that was the overarching theme that we heard. that even if some of these relationships started an consensual, it was a woman that felt like she was being twisted into something with a man who had all the power in the world there. they didn't know what to do and
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then if it even started consensual, then it kind of spiralled out into something that they didn't feel comfortable with but like ramin said, you can't stand up to him or complain because he's matt lauer and the face of the "today" show and they feel like they can't speak out. >> not all of the situations were consensual. there may have been some but not all were and that is the heart of sexual harassment. >> one of the other things that's characterized in this is that this is the dynamic we hear in each of these cases, that the guy in authority takes advantage of the people who are, you know, beholden to him for their jobs and that gives leverage over their behavior and i think that's the pattern that really sounds -- there's a pathology to this. matt lauer doesn't, you would think, need to exercise that kind of sexual predatory behavior. why does he need that? why did bill cosby need that? there's something pathological going on there. >> and probably more to come. bill, ramin, elizabeth, fascinating reporting and urge everybody to read it on "variety". matt lauer was fired in less
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matt lauer was fired in less than two days after the allegations came to light. that's not been the case for lawmakers. we speak to kathleen rice who is trying to fix that. today she walked out of a meeting with her own party because she said they weren't taking sexual harassment seriously. we'll ask her about that next. again, our breaking news tonight, matt lauer out at nbc after sexual misconduct allegations against him. his on the ouster happened extremely fast. less than two days after the complaint was made. we've seen a double standard when it comes to politicians. congressman john conyers and al franken are still in office as are two unnamed lawmakers who made settlements paid with taxpayers' money. kathleen rice has called on congressman franken and conyers to resign. today she walked out of a meeting before it was over saying they weren't taking sexual harassment seriously. >> we spoke very briefly about things that members are doing which are all great efforts but let's talk about the big elephant in the room and that's why i was done with the meeting. i don't have time for conversations that are not real. i for one am not going to stay silent even with pressure from the leadership to. >> you said you walked out of the meeting because they weren't taking it seriously. how so? >> this is probably the biggest issue that we're talking about
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here, not just in washington, d.c., but across the country and i felt that the morning that we returned back to washington, it was a relevant issue to address. we had -- it's a caucus meeting that we have in the morning where most of the members and democratic caucus come and i thought that that was a perfect setting to have a real conversation about what we're going to do as a party to address this what is now becoming an epidemic across the country and i didn't feel that the conversation that we had was sufficient. >> the chairman of the black caucus were confronted in the halls of congress and i wanted to play that exchange. >> other men in other industries have faced similar accusations and have gotten out of the way, resigned, stepped down, far faster than he has, right?
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>> you would have to give me some examples. >> harvey weinstein, charlie rose, matt lauer. >> who elected them? >> who elected them. is that an appropriate response? >> i don't think so. i actually think that we, all of us here as representatives and senators are sent here because of the public trust. we put our name on a ballot. we ask the public to trust us and do their work for them in washington and we should honor that trust. i can't speak for the reaction of those -- my two colleagues there but it's that kind of response that leads every day americans to say what is going on in washington? why is everyone in the private sector held accountable and yet when the same kind of behavior is exposed in washington, d.c., they circle the wagons and protect their own and i for one am not going to be in that position. >> why do you think there's a discrepancy between how they are dealt with in the corporate
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world finally and how they are being dealt with the political sphere? >> i think washington, d.c., is probably the greatest example of the last old boys club and everything in washington, as the public well knows, is done in secret pretty much. you come down here and you're in a bubble, and there's a reason why congress has a 6% approval rating in this country. and i think it's due in large part to the fact that people see that we come down here, supposed to be getting things done and we don't and when things happen like this, we don't respond the way we should respond. what about giving these women, hearing these women and finding most of these allegations, i haven't heard one person prove that any of these allegations were not credible. and if you speak to someone of these women, as i have in my career, they'll tell you that, look, i thought that there were, you know -- i took the steps that i did because i was afraid
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of the professional consequences to me if i spoke out or i didn't settle a case. where are the professional consequences for the abusers? we in congress, right here, right now at this moment in this country's history have the opportunity to say, we are going to lead on this issue and we are not going to allow this kind of abuse of environment to exist anymore. >> congressman rice, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. up next, more on our breaking news from the top of the hour the president's son-in-law jared kushner has met with special counsel investigators. what we know about that when we come back. just look at those two. happy. in love. and saving so much money on their car insurance by switching to geico... well, just look at this setting. do you have the ring? oh, helzberg diamonds. another beautiful setting. i'm not crying.
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and i am a senior public safety my namspecialist for pg&e. my job is to help educate our first responders on how to deal with natural gas and electric emergencies. everyday when we go to work we want everyone to work safely and come home safely. i live right here in auburn, i absolutely love this community. once i moved here i didn't want to live anywhere else. i love that people in this community are willing to come together to make a difference for other people's lives. together, we're building a better california. back to our breaking news from the top of the hour, president trump's son-in-law, jared kushner meeting with special investigators earlier.
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they specifically asked him about michael flynn. pam, what did mueller's team discuss with jared kushner, according to sources? >> we're told the interview primarily focussed on former national security advisor michael flynn, that he was the dominant part of the conversation. it was a conversation and interview that lasted less than 90 minutes in this case. and this was something that happened earlier this month, this sitdown between jared kushner and members of special counsel robert mueller's team. so even though this was a situation, a discussion that focussed primarily on michael flynn, it's worth noting that jared kushner could be called back. he could be called back in front of special counsel to answer questions about other topics. we know michael flynn is the subject of the russia probe and there are reportings that he could reach a plea deal, so it
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would make sense that the team would speak to kushner about flynn. but again, he could be called back. we know that mueller's team has been asking other witnesses about kushner and his role in the firing of james comey. so we'll see what happens. >> this reporting we learned about today but it didn't take place today, it took place weeks ago? >> that's right. it was earlier this month. >> why would kushner be important to the investigation if it's focussing on michael flynn. >> they were close in the transition and early on before michael flynn was fired. if you recall they met with the russian ambassador during the transition at trump tower and kushner and flynn's paths crossed a lot. he worked closely with the then national security advisor michael flynn, so it does make
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sense that mueller's team would want to talk to kushner about some of the details, some of the things they're focussing on in terms of the michael flynn investigation they're focussed on. >> what does this tell you about where the investigation might be? >> certainly flynn is a big part of the investigation right now, and flynn's lawyers have cut off conversation with trump's lawyers, which suggests some deal may be in the works. but kushner is a crucial witness in every part of the investigation. contacts with russia, he was with the meeting with the russian lawyer in trump tower. >> and the russian banker. >> yes. and he's also important in connection with the firing of james comey. so an hour and a half of michael flynn would only scratch the surface of what the mueller team wants with jared kushner. they'll want more time with him. >> you think he'll be back?
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>> absolutely. if he hasn't been back already. that doesn't suggest he's done anything wrong. he's a witness. but he is certainly critical to every part of what mull zero looking at. >> how does this play into what we learned last week, which is flynn stopped sharing information with the white house counsel? >> it seems that flynn is the target, kushner is the witness. some sense of the reporting is good news for kushner because if he wasn't a witness he wouldn't be brought in to offer this type of testimony with respect to flynn. so in some sense, good news for kushner, bad news for flynn. what they are trying to do is solidify all the evidence they can gather with respect to flynn, sos if f there is a flooe plea deal ongoing, they know the strength of their case and they can play for the hardest deal they can get-to-in order to get
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cooperation from flynn if they feel he has cooperation to zblif what is the time line if this meeting took place weeks ago? >> it would depend on how it progresses. normally the lawyers come in and say we'd like to talk to you about a deal. then mueller is going to say we want a proffer. what is your client can tell us? what is he willing to plead guilty to? what is he looking for with respect to third parties, particularly his son? so these things take a while, then they have to take flynn's testimony and determine whether they credit it. so this is a multi-week process, normally speaking. >> since the contact was cut off with the trump folks right before thanksgiving, we're right after thanksgiving, this doesn't necessarily mean if there's a deal it's going to be tomorrow or next week. >> coming up next, two top former presidential advisors weigh in on the president's current connection with facts and reality. we'll be right back.
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