tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC November 19, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PST
"this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. explosive allegations. the campaign against sexual harassment has swept from hollywood to capitol hill. >> the forced kiss, he stuck his tongue in my mouth. >> democratic senator al franken the latest target. more women confront roy moore. >> he raced over and began groping me. >> and president trump. >> when you're a star, they let you do it. >> and former president clinton. >> i did not have sexual relations with that woman. >> -- called out for their misconduct. the movement shows no signs of slowing down. is this a watershed moment? what will it mean for politics, culture, and the work place? first step to pass the tax bill, the house. >> the motion is laid upon the stable. >> now a tough fight in the senate. >> this tax cut is not for the middle class. it's for the rich.
>> i resent anyone saying i'm doing this just for the rich. give me a break. >> with just two votes to spare, will the gop hang together? is their hold on congress at stake if they don't? that debate ahead with the senate, the white house, and our powerhouse "roundtable." we'll break down the politics, smoke out the spin. the facts that matter this week. from abc news, it's "this week." here now, chief anchor george stephanopoulos. good morning, the litany of allegations continued to grow this week as more and more women came forward. charging powerful men with sexual misconduct. it's sparked a national conversation from hollywood to capitol hill, in corporate board rooms and kitchen tables all across the country. the question now, will all this talk bring real change? >> he mashes his lips against my face. and he stuck his tongue in my mouth. >> leeann tweeden said that happened on a uso tour back in 2006, before al franken was a senator. just the latest in a series of
disturbing stories. >> i remember the lurch when i went to the desk and i said, mr. weinstein is he on the patio? they said, he's in his room. i was like, ugh. are you kidding me? >> i am a victim of sexual abuse. it's not an easy thing to let yourself believe that. >> in the wake of the wave, the promise of action. >> there's a renewed recognition, rightfully, of this problem, and the need for change of culture that looks the other way because of who the offenders are. whether it's bill cosby, harvey weinstein, bill o'reilly, marc halperin, roger ailes, kevin spacey, or one of our own. it's time to say no more. >> we have heard that before. look at this headline from 1975. >> my name is anita f. hill. >> in 1991, "time" declared a watershed debate on sexual harassment. >> judge thomas and the woman who accuses him of sexual harassment, professor anita hill, have both been
called to testify before the senate judiciary committee. >> 1995, senator bob packwood resigned after charges of sexual misconduct. >> it's time for him to leave. i think it's better for him and the senate. >> 1998, bill clinton impeached. for lying about his sexual relationship with a young intern. >> indeed, i did have a relationship with miss lewinsky that was not appropriate. in fact, it was wrong. >> and just last year, donald trump confronted by a dozen women. after he bragged about groping. >> when you're a star, they'll let you do it. you can do anything. >> whatever you want? >> grab them by the [ bleep ]. you can do anything. >> is this a watershed moment? or will it pass like so many before? let's talk about it with our panel. congresswoman eleanor holmes norton. former congresswoman mary bono. of california. carly fiorina, who was ce of of hewlett-packard, ran for president last year. and ronan farrow, who
article that started this all. let me begin with you, representative norton. this is not just an issue for the rich, famous, powerful. it happens in every work place in america. and most women are afraid to come forward. >> most women are afraid to come forward. and it's even more difficult, interestingly, to come forward in the hallways of the rich and the powerful. because they are so powerful. because they are so powerful. it's one woman against one very powerful man. but what we have seen here may be a watershed moment. because we are seeing many women, for example in the roy moore matter, many women against one man. and that's what we need. this "me too" that has now encompassed not only congress but all through society may encourage more women understanding that there is strength in numbers. >> congresswoman bono, this is something you experienced in congress?
>> that's right. i did. there is a whole gradient scale on sexual harassment up to inappropriate comments. in my case, i was just on the receiving end of inappropriate comments on the floor of the house of representatives. i needed to say to my colleague, that's not cool. knock it off. it took awhile to find my voice in order say that. >> and you were a member of congress. >> i was a member of congress. in my case, this was a peer. even peers, in that case, it wasn't sexualizing me, necessarily. it was more about taking me down a notch in the eyes of my colleagues. so, um, again, sexual harassment takes many, many forms. >> carly fiorina, i see you nodding your head to that. you had a powerful facebook post this morning. said you started out as a secretary almost 40 years ago. travelled the corporate ladder from the bottom to the top. i know this stuff has happened, because it happened, still happens to me. >> yes, and think to answer your original question, will this be a watershed moment?
it will only be a watershed moment if men decide to step forward. women have been stepping forward. as you point out, for a really long time. what needs to happen now is the guys need to man up. the guys who know this is happening. look, most men are good, decent, respectful men. but enough men are not. and all the other men around them know they are not. the truth is about every single one of these stories, whether it's harvey weinstein or roger ailes, it doesn't matter who it is. everybody knew. the women knew. and especially the men knew. and so i think it's men's turn now to say, you know what? we're not going to respect someone who disrespects women. and when that starts to happen, if that starts to happen, then we will have reached a watershed moment. when it's not just about the -- amazing and scandalous headlines. but when actually, the men who choose to abuse or disrespect women are confronted by another
man who chooses not to let it go. >> and ronan farrow, you have written the stories for "the new yorker." and more are coming as well. one of the first things you see is the men not only deny in the face of these questions, they do everything they can to quash the story. >> everything they can. and there's a system around those men, george, that enables them to quash the stories. this is at the heart of the question, is it a watershed moment? not just are people brave enough to come forward? but as a society, are we brave enough to confront the reforms of the system? jackie speier said congress has paid tens of millions of dollars in settlements over the last several decades. now, what we need to see in terms of reform is exactly what legislators are putting on the table. limitations on the use of secret settlements, for instance, that silence the allegations. are we going to be able to change that? it's an open question. >> i think that surprised a lot of people. we're not sure how many of those settlements are about sexual harassment.
but millions paid out over the last 20 years in secret. >> all settlements are secret. that's typical of the system. there wasn't the kind of training, training is the wrong word for it, exposure to what sexual harassment is that is required in the private sector. and the federal sector. there's a 30-minute video that explains what sexual harassment is. i sent a letter and asked members to join me saying we don't have to wait for congress to say, everybody, every member of congress and every staff member has to look at this video because, george, i am convinced that many women even may not understand what some unwelcome advances are. and that they don't have to welcome them. or they can turn them away. or they can say, you know, you're not supposed to do this. that might stop some men. but, at the very least, congress has to be put on the same footing as the other branches of
government and as the private sector. >> that seems to make a lot of sense. congresswoman bono, you said you knew how to handle it as a peer. there are a lot of young staffers on capitol hill. >> there are a lot of young staffers on capitol hill. to piggyback on what carly is saying. it's not just about the men. we knew it was the culture of capitol hill. we know it's the culture of hollywood, women, too. i think we gave up the fight. i think we started saying, you know, as long as i'm okay, i'm not going to worry about everybody else. seriously? it's a cultural very deeply rooted problem. and the women, too, both, we have to learn how to empower our younger staffers on the hill. empower people in hollywood. but, women, too, have to step up. because i actually realized that my silence was part of the problem, too, on the hill. it's not just the men. we all have to step in and change this now. and truly make it a watershed moment. >> carly fiorina, perhaps step up at the ballot box, too. you have roy moore on the ballot.
in the face of the seven new allegations. what the white house said this week about president trump is that the election answered the allegations about the accusations against him? >> democrats would say president clinton's popularity answered his questions. i think the problem is, we politicize this always. it gets to be a question of our team versus their team. look, again, for every republican who has behaved badly, and roy moore certainly has. and i clearly believe these women. and i think he should step aside. and he won't. for every republican who has behaved badly, there's a democrat that's behaved badly. for every famous man who has behaved badly, there is someone we have never heard of who is behaving badly right now. it cuts across every industry and every walk of life. it's in the athletics. in coaches. in the churches. it's everywhere. again, most men are good and decent and respectful men. but enough men are not. so we just have to decide. women, and men, that this truly
is not to be enabled. not to be excused. and in particular, that a man does not deserve respect from other men if he is disrespectful to women. >> powerful point you're making. ronan, you get the last word. women came forward after years to tell you and "the new york times" and other news outlets. where does it go next? >> we'll see multiple law enforcement agencies trying to pick up where a lot of people feel the ball was dropped in the case of harvey weinstein. as carly fiorina said this is much bigger than just politics. than just hollywood. this is about the abuse of power. i spent a year of women telling me they felt there was a power imbalance that kept their allegations silent. >> thank you all. important conversation. want to continue with republican senator susan collins of maine. senator collins, thank you for joining us this morning. you heard our panel there. weigh in, please.
do you think this is a moment where we're going to see real change? >> i do. but i thought that there was one aspect that hasn't been discussed. and that is that the women who bring fourth these allegations are often trashed. they're attacked. their credibility is undermined. we saw that with some of president clinton's accusers. we know the elaborate attempts that harvey weinstein went to in order to discredit his accusers. and that has to stop, as well. >> and we see, we saw just recently, we're seeing it right now. you mentioned president clinton. it certainly did happen then. we see roy moore calling his accusers liar. president trump, more than a dozen women came forward in the campaign, he says every single one of them are lying. >> he did say that. and, president trump was not my choice for the republican
nominee for president. and, i did not support him in part because of the way that all of these reports about how he was treating women. he is president now. and, i am working with him. on some issues. but those allegations remain very disturbing. >> can you work with roy moore? if he gets elected? should he be investigated? will you vote to expel? >> well, first of all, my hope is that we won't get to that point. and that the voters of alabama will not elect roy moore. i read his denials. i listened to his radio interview. and i did not find him to be credible. as more and more allegations come forward, that adds to the
weight of evidence against him. i believe, based on my reading of the constitution, that if he is elected, that we have no choice but to seat him. then, however, the ethics committee could have an investigation. and since i essentially would be a juror, if that happens, i'm not going to comment on what could happen as a result of that investigation. but, i hope that the good voters of alabama decide not to send him to the united states senate. >> senator al franken is going to be subject to an ethics investigation. you can't comment on that either? >> well, first, let me say that i believe the allegations and al franken has essentially admitted to them. i'm talking about what the outcome would be if the ethics committee proceeds with an investigation. which i believe they're going to do so. but i did find the allegations against him to be both credible, disgusting, and appalling. and degrading to women. >> let's move on to the tax bill. passed the senate finance
committee. and a separate tax bill passed the house as well. you're already facing ads back in your home state by a group called not one penny. let's take a look. >> it's hard enough for mainers to find our way. in this economy. but the trump republican tax plan would leave us lost in the wilderness, just to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy. thankfully, senator susan collins told us she would say no the tax breaks for the wealthiest. >> can you vote for the bill that passed the senate finance committee? >> i want to see changes in that bill. and i think there will be changes. there are some provisions of the house bill that i like better. for example, the house retains the top rate of 39.6%. for people who make $1 million or more a year. that's a change that i would like to see be made in the senate bill. so, that we can skew more of the relief to middle income taxpayers.
so some very good provisions in the senate bill. such adds the doubling of the child tax credit and making it refundable for people of low incomes. there's a doubling of the standard deduction. which means that a family making $24,000 would not pay any income tax. so, there are provisions of both bills that i like. but i think the bill needs work. >> you can't vote for it as written? >> i haven't reached that conclusion yet, because i think there are going to be further changes. but the biggest mistake was putting a provision from the affordable care act into the senate bill that is not in the house bill. and i hope that will be dropped or, that bills have been introduced by senator alexander and murray and bill nelson and myself will be adopted to mitt fwat the impact of those
provisions. >> that was put in at the insistence of the president. he was tweeting about it last week. he seems to think it's the best way to save money and get some of the partial repeal of obamacare. so if it stays in the bill, are you against the bill? >> it's a problem for me if it is not mitigated. but there is a way to mitigate the impact that it would have on insurance premiums. i do want to point out, that that provision, all it says is that a person who chooses not to get insurance cannot be fined for that decision. that's very different from what we were faced with this past summer and fall when insurance was being taken away from people who wanted to be insured. the fact is that those fines are paid by overwhelmingly by people who make less than $50,000 a year. 80%. of the people who pay the fines fall in that category.
i'm worried about the impact on premiums. we're going to need to pass legislation. i would like to see that done before we go to the tax bill. >> unlikely the democrats will support doing that before the tax bill. one other feature of the senate tax bill is that the corporate tax cuts are permanent. but the individual tax cuts are temporary. >> again, that's not a provision that i like. the house made both of them permanent. i think that is a far better way to go. i also think the reduction in the business tax rate is too steep. and that we could go to 22%. and then use that money, which is about $200 billion, to restore the tax deduction for state and local property taxes. that would really help middle income taxpayers. >> sounds like you still have a lot of questions about the bill. one other feature pointed out by
the congressional budget off this week is that if the bill passes, there will be at least $25 billion in medicare cuts next year. >> i have talked to my colleagues about that. because that's obviously something that i cannot support. i do believe that's going to be dealt with as part of the budget negotiations that are ongoing right now. there are ways to reform our entitlement programs. but that is not one of them. the whole idea of across-the-board cuts or sequestration, is not something i can support. >> nor senator collins, listening to you today, it sounds like that bill will have to change an awful lot before it can get your support. thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you, george. white house weighs in next. we'll be right back.
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was donald trump. put their hand up my skirt. >> he was like an octopus. it was like he had six arms. he was all over the place. >> someone grabs you, you want to hit him. i did push him away. >> he grabbed my shoulder. began kissing me aggressively. and placed his hand on my breast. >> some of the accusers president trump has promised to sue. we're going to talk now to his point man on capitol hill, marc short. thank you for joining us this morning. i want to get to the immediate question facing the president and the republican party. that is, alabama senate candidate roy moore. the president has said that the allegations against moore are disqualifying if true. seven different women have now come forward with corroborating witnesses. does the president believe them? >> george, thank you for having me. i think the president is clear on this. when the allegations broke, he was halfway around the globe, 6,000 miles away. he quickly released a statement saying if the allegations are
true, it would be disqualifying. the president went down and campaigned against roy moore in the primary in support of luther strange. we're uncomfortable with the explanations roy moore has given to date. so at this point, we think what is best for the people of alabama, all the information is in front of help, for them to make the decision. >> i'm asking the position of the president. the president also said he would back roy moore if he won the primary -- won the runoff against strange. and roy moore, did, indeed, win that. and it's now been two weeks. since the allegations first broke. now seven women have come forward. here's what the leaders you work with in congress are saying about that right now. >> these allegations are credible. if he cares about the values and the people he claims to care about, then he should step aside. >> i believe the women, yes. >> i am -- um -- have no reason to doubt these young women. >> that's the president's attorney general. right there. does the president have any reason to doubt these young women who are making the allegations? >> george, i think that the vice
president spoke out as well. when the allegations came forth. the president has expressed concern about this. as you noted, the president has not gone down to alabama to campaign for roy moore since the primary concluded. we have serious concerns about the allegations that have been made. all of this information is out there for the people of alabama. roy moore has been a public servant for decades in alabama. he's run multiple times. the people of alabama know best what to do and the right decision to make here. >> they may. i'm asking you a direct question on behalf of the president. you work for the president. does the president believe the women or not? >> obviously, george, if the president didn't believe the women's accusations were credible, he would be down campaigning for roy moore. he has not done that. he has concerns about the accusatio accusations. he's also concerned that the accusations are 38 years old. roy moore has been in public service for decades. the accusations did not arise
until a month before election. we have concerned about several aspects of the story. at this point, as i have said, we think it's best for the people of alabama to make the decision for them. >> you're not willing to make a yes or no judgment on if the president believes the women? >> i think i have answered your questions three times now. >> no. i think what you have said is, you have questions and concerns. >> we do. we do have questions. we have serious questions about the allegations. and the president has raised those. that's why the president has not campaigned for roy moore. >> he promised after the primary to back roy moore. is he still backing roy moore? >> i don't think you have seen him go down there and campaign for him. i don't think you have seen him issue an endorsement. you've not seen him issue robocalls. i think he thinks at this point, it's best for the people of alabama to make the decision for their state? >> so he no longer backs roy moore? >> i think he thinks it is best for the people of alabama to make the decision. >> so does that mean if roy moore wins, he should serve the term? that the senate should not move to investigate and expel him?
>> i think that's a decision for the senate to make. i think several instances have happened in the past where senators have been removed from office. those are, senator packwood, as you showed earlier, he had abuses in office. i'm not familiar with the senate making the decision that all the public information that is out there, and the people made an election, and then the senate decides to overturn the wisdom of the people of the state. having said that, we think that the people of alabama will have a lot of wisdom in making the right decision come december 12th. >> that, again. and the right decision is? >> i think that -- the right decision will be what the people of alabama decide. >> that's not -- and i know you think you have answered the question. i understand that you're in a difficult position right here. but it's just -- it's a simple yes or no. does the president believe that roy moore should be the next senator from the state of alabama? >> the president, i think, george, has made his perspective very clear on multiple occasions. he's expressed concerns about the allegations. at this point, he's going to let the people of alabama decide. >> he's willing to speak out on races all across the country.
endorse members of congress, endorse senate candidates. is he doing that here? >> you can -- you should be able to infer by the fact that he's not gone down to support roy moore, his discomfort in doing so. >> so he doesn't support roy moore? >> george, i think that the president has spoken on this. the white house has spoken on this. i think, at this point, we think he's been a public figure in alabama for decades. the people of alabama will make the decision. not the president. not the leader of the senate. not members in congress. the people of alabama. >> and the president will work with him if, indeed, he's elected? >> the president works with all members of the congress. that's his role. >> he's comfortable with roy moore being in the united states senate? >> george -- the president has concerns if these allegations prove true about anybody of that nature serving in the united states senate. you have heard us make concerns in particular about allegations
that come from teenage girls. and we have said on other networks, other stations, the reality that we think those are the most offensive and that there is a special place in hell for people who are child molesters. having said that, we also believe that these allegations are arising 38 years after the date. and roy moore has an opportunity to tell the people of alabama his innocence. to date, we're uncomfortable that he has done that. >> you're uncomfortable. again, if dating a 14-year-old, and you have used the word pedophilia in the past, is disqualifying. it comes down to a matter of whether or not you believe the women who made the allegations or not. >> and right here, sitting here 40 years after the fact, i cannot have any more information to tell you one way or the other. there are two people who know that. roy moore and the accuser. >> okay, we're going to have to move on. think that's the answer we're going to get here. let's talk about the tax bill. you heard senator collins lay out the litany of concerns on the tax bill.
can her concerns be met, including the issue of the repeal of the obamacare mandate in the senate tax bill? >> i think as you heard senator collins make the case. the individual mandate affects those earning $50,000 or less. 80% of the people paying that tax are making $50,000 or less. we always said we wanted the tax plan to focus on lower and middle income families. keep in mind, when obamacare went before the supreme court, it was the obama administration that argued that the individual mandate is a tax. we don't think we're mixing health care into the tax debate. it was determined by the supreme court this is a tax. and those families that are choosing instead to pay a tax opposing to getting crummy insurance on the obamacare exchanges are the ones most impacted. we feel it's important to provide them with relief. >> your colleague, mick mulvaney just told cnn that he's open to taking that out of the senate bill. is that the white house's position? >> the white house is very comfortable with the house bill.
because the house bill focuses on our three parts. simplyfullying the tax code. and focusing on middle income families. it does not have the individual mandate in it. we believe the individual mandate is a tax. it's harming middle income families the most. so we like the fact that the senate has included it in its bill. >> and how about that issue that i also raised with senator collins. she expressed a concern. that the corporate tax cuts are permanent and the individual are temporary in the senate bill. is that fair? >> it's a good question. the reality is that many of the arcane senate rules, as you're familiar with, are byrd resolutions that are difficult to make permanent. many criticisms of the bush tax plan. 15, 16 years ago, they said the individual rates would not be permanent. in reality, all rates under $400,000 in income, those cuts are permanent.
we're hopeful that the individual and corporate will be permanent. >> that means you'll blow through the deficit caps. >> it's $1.5 trillion in deficit allowance. for all those preaching concerns about the deficit. who took the deficits we have created from george washington to president obama, president obama doubled to make it $20 trillion in debt that we have. now there's a lot of people preaching concern about the debts. the reality is if we don't grow our economy, we're never going to pay for the things that we need to do, such as to rebuild our military. if we have the gdp growth we suffered under the obama years, we will never be able to afford the things we need to do to make our border secure and make our world secure, and be able to provide the defense we need to make america secure. we need to do those things with the tax plan to get the economy growing again. >> final question. we also talked to senator collins about the possible medicare cuts. $25 billion. the president was very, very firm during the campaign, no medicare cuts at all. >> the president's been consistent on that. you're right. he's not interested in
entitlement cuts. it's a promise he made to the american people. we believe that that provision could be waived. >> how? do you have the 60 votes to waive it? >> i think in the end, it is a provision that will get waived. >> marc short, thank you for your time. >> thanks for having me on. "the roundtable" standing by to weigh in on another big week. we'll be right back. if you're anything like me, your to-do list just keeps growing. (laughs desperately) it never stops. which is why the online financing application at carmax.com is so convenient. get some of that finance stuff out of the way from wherever you are, at the doctor's office, karate practice or my favorite... back at the doctor's office. knowing before you go means more quality time sewing a costume for the school play that is not going to look anything like a frog. just a little heads-up, mrs. davis... ha ha ha, yay kids! we cut the price of trades to give investors even more value.
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president. he'll tell me what to do. if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? >> you say no. >> i'm going to say, mr. president, it's illegal. guess what he's going to do? he'll say what would be legal? we'll come up with options. to respond to whatever the situation is. that's the way it works. it's not that complicated. >> america's top nuclear commander, john hyden this weekend, in the wake of the first hearing in four decades on the president's authority over nuclear weapons. we're going the try to get to that later. our chief political analyst, matthew dowd. stephanie cutter. lanhee chen. the romney-ryan 2010 campaign policy director. megan murphy. editor of bloomberg business week. and our white house senior correspondent cecilia vega. we should try to keep it out of politics. impossible right now. >> it's completely impossible.
i don't it should be out of politics. politics is infused in this. one of the questions you asked multiple people is, is this a watershed moment? an honest answer is, i don't know. there have been watershed moments that i thought in american history turned out not to be. we thought electing barack obama would be a watershed moment for civil rights and race in america. there was a pushback. we thought a watershed moment was when women got the right to vote in the early 1900s. there was a big pushback on that. i think we're in a situation where, until the power structure of america and the world changes, because this is all about power, it won't change until that power structure changes. until more women, more nonwhites, more nonchristians, are involved in power in the country, this will not change. >> a lot of power in the hands of the voters. you saw the interview with marc short. one of the white house answers to the president's problems was the people spoke last year. >> you sounded like me going after him on, does the president
believe roy moore's accusers? we were asking that day in and day out all week long. that is a question that has not yet been answered by this white house. it's one, i'm sorry, that has to be answered. and we have to hear from the president himself. we're talking about a watershed moment. not only is the white house not saying definitively whether that endorsement for moore still stands. we have not heard the white house speak out in message to women yet. i don't think the questions end until we hear that from them and from him. >> and part of the reasons the questions keep coming. the president wasn't shy about sending out the tweet about al franken this week. >> he sent out a tweet about al franken. but we saw marc short trying to really slip the question here. saying they're not going the campaign for roy moore. saying they have questions about his own conduct. but pointing out these allegations are 38 years later. cecilia is exactly right. these questions are not going to go away. not only because of what we have seen. but how this is gripping the national consciousness.
and the president's own behavior and what he's done and his real refusal to come forward and take responsibility for what he did. i believe we are in a watershed moment. i know so many women, and women around this table who have women saying, i'm not going to stand for this conduct. i'm going to tell my story. i'm not going the be silent anymore. so many women i work with that have had the same experiences. that's the real difference i see. that's what we're not going to see, being able to the put that back in the closet. women will continue to come forward against people like roy moore. the people in the media. the people in hollywood. the people in politics. >> 1992 was called the year of women. in the wake of the anita hill story, democratic women elected to the senate. there's an open question on what happens on the ballot this year. >> there is an open question. part of it was answered when we saw the election in virginia. and state elections all across the country. more women are running. and more women are winning. there's a reason for it. we're skirting around whether donald trump will take responsibility for his own actions.
i don't think we should hold our breath for that. but one silver lining is, it has empowered women to stand up for themselves. the entire "me too" movement is, in part, inspired by donald trump's election. >> inspired by it. but we have this election december 12th in alabama. what happens? >> you know, i -- i don't know what happens. polls have doug jones ahead. i think what ultimately happens is it's a lose-lose for the president and republicans. >> that's what i wanted to bring to lanhee. >> if you're the republicans, you prefer the certainty of a smaller majority to this hanging over your head for the next six months. so roy moore wins -- >> even if it comes before the tax bill? >> i think so. you can deal with 51. you can say, we know the horse trading we have to do to get to the votes we need. if you have roy moore, you're answering questions about roy moore for the next six months. if he doesn't win, you're not answering those questions. you can move on to what do we
need to do to get the tax bill done. what do we need to do to get the inf infrastructure done? as opposed to, do you believe roy moore's accusers? do you believe the testimony? you're going to have ethics investigations. you don't want to get into that. >> i think lanhee is right. it's more than six months. the worst possible outcome of the alabama election for the republicans is if the republican wins. because they have to deal with it in the immediate aftermath. deal with it throughout the 2018 midterms. and then in a presidential election in 2020. it hangs over them through the course of this. they would be much better off with the democrat. i think in this whole conversation, and that's all this -- i think there's part of the problem here that there's this entire conflating of the whole thing. we put al franken together with roy moore with donald trump. with harvey weinstein. i think we have to have the ability, all have done bad things. all of them. but all of them have not done equally bad things. some of them's response to it has been to blame themselves, al franken blamed himself, took accountability.
even though he -- obviously, he had to in the midst of it. others have blamed the women and continued to call them liars. to me, the first step in the process of how do we get through this is we have to believe the women. until we stop calling them liars, we're not getting through it. >> yet, that's what we see. one of the lessons you have to take away, again this is the white house answer, tough it out. don't admit anything. >> yeah, except this is a worst case scenario for this white house right now. this is literally the very last thing they want to be talking about. it sounds like the campaign all over again. i'm in the briefing room this week. i'm asking sarah sanders, if it's okay to investigation al franken, sit okay to investigate the president of the united states and the more than 12 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct? they want to be talking tax reform. here we are, this entire show so much of it dedicated to sexual misconduct and president trump is right in the middle of that. >> let's be clear. this is not difficult. these are sensitive issues. these are very torturous issues for the women involved. for people to come out, republicans and democrats alike,
to condemn this behavior is not difficult. they should speak with a unified voice. this is not a democratic issue. not a partisan issue. this is not a political issue. we're now in a situation where the president of the united states has not come out and forcefully defend man accused of serial sexual predation against children. that's where we stand right now. it cannot stand. he'll have to come out and say something. this is not the country we live in. it's not the values we live in. and i think these voters know that. >> a lot of rethinking for democrats too. kirsten gillibrand saying we should rethink the clinton situation. >> just to be clear. is it your view that the president -- president clinton should have stepped down at that time, given the allegations? >> i will -- yes. i think that is the appropriate response. but, i think things have changed today. and i think under those circumstances, there should be a very different reaction.
>> senator gillibrand drew some fire from the clinton camp. but she's not alone. >> she's not. it's a tough question. it's something i struggled with. i worked for bill clinton for eight years. my formative years in my 20s. and i think -- i think, number one, everybody would agree that bill clinton paid a price for what he did. he was impeached by one house. he was tried by another. but his presidency was tarnished. and i think for a lot of us in that time, especially those that were working for him, we rationalized this because we were doing -- we thought we were doing so much good in that white house. transforming the economy. adding jobs. expanding access to health care. those were incredibly important things. looking back, what would have happened if he had resigned? would we have a different conversation right now? probably. >> i think part of it, george, you know, stephanie, you know, i have been critical of bill clinton from the beginning.
i didn't vote for him in '92. i didn't vote for him in '96. to a large degree because of this. his behavior. >> this came out after -- >> but there were a series of things that happened in the campaign that reflected on his value system. i think until we take off our jersey and say, some things are not about our jersey. some things are not about the tribe we're in. in '91, the republicans gave up their values to get thomas on the court. they called anita hill a nut and a liar. in order to get justice thomas on the court. they empowered bill clinton. in order to get the things stephanie said, in order to get those things, they decided the ends justify the means. a tainted person was better to get what they wanted. donald trump voters did the -- many did the same thing. the gop did the same thing. a tainted person. we'll get him in. we'll get what we want in there. until we take off our jerseys and say, enough is enough, there are some things we have to stand for. >> that's on the front pages of the newspapers in alabama this morning. this is a referendum. on whether we'll accept this kind of behavior from our leaders and voters in alabama are going to decide that right
now. >> at some point, there has to be a breaking moment. where we stop rationalizing. stop taking sides. bad behavior is bad behavior. >> so easy to say that, but we're sitting here talking about not one but two presidents who faced allegations like that. if that's not a breaking moment, what is? >> i think it has to come from the top. we talk about changing the culture in politics. we've been involved with things have been accepted that should not have been. how does that change? it changes when the culture changes from the top. it's got to be people like the president, like the speaker of the house. people in leadership positions. men in leadership positions stepping up. i'm for trainings and sensitization. that's not going to cut it. it's just not going to cut it. >> this is a moral question. and we also have to have our moral leaders. the idea that many evangelical leaders supported donald trump and now support roy moore because they have an "r" by their name. or because they're part of their tribe and have given up on the
morality and basically have given up the message of the gospels in the new and old testament, they have basically done that, totally diminishes their moral voice in the country. and we need it. >> how can the white house address it? it's a lose-lose. he's facing allegations from 12 women. you're saying, you have not answered these questions. on the other side, what can he say? >> he has no moral voice. the president has no moral voice to speak on this at all because he has -- he has caught this virus. and he has this virus. the only way to get through it is to stand up and take full accountability for it. and admit what happened. >> he may not be able to escape this entirely, though. he promised to sue the women who made the allegations. >> still waiting for it to be field. >> yet he's being sued for defamation by at least one of them. if that case is not dismissed, he'll have to testify. >> and that's the one suit that has been filed, we should point out. and look. we say time and time again, the president has lost moral credibility. that doesn't give us enough credit. we still have moral voice and authority.
we can show it in the ballot box. or we can show it in how women have come forward on this. supported each other. this is our moment, not his, in this respect. we need to regain the moral force to go forward. we need to educate. mentor, try to change. this is to the just politics. i wish it was. it's every industry. it's mine, it's yours, it's hollywood. it's hotel workers. maids. restaurant workers. change has to come from the top. but it also has to come from the bottom. empowering women and men at every rung of the social ladder when they see bad behavior to be able to speak out. it's not just between men and women. it's in the lgbt community as well. this will be the watershed moment. if people feel this abuse, bullying, harassment will no longer be tolerated at every rung of our society. every sector. >> the only way it will work is if men lock arms with women. >> it will take men at every single level. do you feel it in the workplace? >> in terms of working as a journalist? >> yes. >> um, in some ways, yes. you do.
perhaps not as explicit as an al franken photo. i think in the way people speak to you. in the way people, the tone people use with you. when you notice a different tone that they use with our male colleagues. perhaps in -- in some cases in terms of job opportunity. you certainly see it. >> i see you nodding your head. >> i agree. i think, you know -- over the course of your career, as you become more comfortable in your own skin and competence, you can take it on more. and i certainly have done that throughout my career. i feel differently now taking that on. you look at young women starting out their careers, they have lots of questions. how do i handle this? do i speak up? am i penalized if i do? do i make myself a problem if i raise this? we have to answer them with a unified voice, no, you're not going to be penalized. we'll make sure of it. men lock arms with women.
to make sure these women are not penalized. it's incredibly important. >> i can't believe how many times in the last several weeks, i have heard people saying, yeah, something may have happened. i just didn't want to come forward. >> you look at your career as women that you just tolerate it, frankly. you look the other way. you just thought this is one person. i can -- put my head down. i want to advance just as much as that man. just as much as my women colleagues. that has to stop. we have a responsibility to tep forward and to provide the guidance to women coming up behind us. i wish it hadn't happened. i wish there were so many times i had spoken out instead of putting my head down and going forward. >> just the beginning of the conversation. thank you all very much. we'll be right back.