tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC November 26, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PST
"this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. >> capitol hill, under intense scrutiny. allegations surface against the longest serving member of the house. >> the kind of abuse i suffered was awful. but i won't say it was unique. >> and more women accuse senator al franken of sexual misconduct. >> he pulls me in towards him and then he moves his happened to my butt. >> offenders in congress can't be easily fired. and can use taxpayer money to resolve harassment claims. why is it okay for politicians to play by different rules? we ask a former member of the congressional ethics committee and two of the congresswomen combatting harassment on the hill. and the president's defense of roy moore. >> is an accused child molester better than a democrat? >> well, he denies it.
he denies it. >> what message does that send? we ask republican senator tim scott. plus, who's in charge? >> how did we get here where we are depending on retired generals for the stability of our system? >> a stark warning from this former chair of the joint chiefs of staff about his fellow officers. admiral mike mullen joins us for an exclusive live interview. from the white house, to your house, we take on the moments that matter, "this week." >> announcer: from abc news, it's "this week." here now, co-anchor, martha raddatz. >> good morning. thank you for joining us this holiday weekend. president trump is waking up at mar-a-lago, where he's been spending his working thanksgiving tweeting about his accomplishments in office so far. taking on the nfl and "time" magazine. and taking in a round of golf with tiger woods. starting tomorrow, washington,
like the rest of america, heads back to work. congress facing a daunting to do list. after its holiday break. avoiding a potential shutdown. determining the future of the dreamers and the children's health insurance program. not to mention tax reform, which trump has promised to deliver by christmas. on tuesday, trump will travel to the hill to rally senate republicans. his second visit to the capitol in as many weeks. and he'll be meeting with the big four. mitch mcconnell, chuck schumer, paul ryan, and nancy pelosi. hanging over it all, the steady, perhaps unprecedented outpouring of sexual misconduct allegations. each week, more individuals going public with their stories. each week, more household names stripped of their powerful positions after accusations of misconduct. but as more accusers come forward against those powerful lawmakers on capitol hill, we're
seeing a different reaction. a slower response. senator al franken, and representative john conyers, both now facing multiple accusations and congressional investigations. but both are also still holding on to their positions. representative jackie spier has said she knows of two other members of congress who have engaged in sexual harassment, still unnamed, and as of now, facing no consequences. then there's alabama senate candidate roy moore. accused of sexual misconduct against minors. president donald trump defending him this week. saying that moore denies it. and implying that his denial is enough. but according to a report just out overnight in "the new york times," that defense of moore infuriating trump's republican colleagues on capitol hill who have been trying to distance the party from those misconduct allegations. and i'm joined now by a
republican in congress, senator tim scott. good morning, senator. and senator, let's take a look at what president trump said about roy moore earlier this week. >> we don't need a liberal person in there. a democrat. jones. i've looked at his record. >> is an accused child molester better than a democrat? is an accused -- >> well, he denies it. he denies it. he says it didn't happen. and you know you have to listen to him also. you're talking about, he said, 40 years ago, this did not happen. roy moore denies it. that's all i can say. he denies it. and by the way, he totally denies it. >> and the president tweeting moments ago, doubling down on this. saying the last thing we need in alabama and the u.s. senate is a schumer/pelosi punt who is weak on crime, weak on the border. and saying jones would be a
disaster. so, senator, you have said that it's in the best interests of the country that roy moore find something else to do rather than run for senate. you saw the president's take on moore. you listened to moore. has the alabama republican said anything recently that has made you change your mind? >> no, ma'am. it is pretty clear to me that the best thing that roy moore can do for the country is to move on. the reality of it is, the allegations are strong and credible. the denial is weak. a little stronger. but still weak. in my opinion and many republicans' in the senate, it's time for us to turn the page. it's not about partisan politics. it's not about electing republicans versus democrats. it's about the character of our country. i want to be on the side of right when history writes the story. >> is president trump on the side of wrong? >> well, the president will have to make his own decisions on where he thinks he is and why he's there. partisan politics is very important in washington. it's how your get your job done on either side of the aisle.
from my perspective, i'm not taking it from a republican or democrat perspective. i'm thinking of those folks negatively impacted by the allegations. i'm thinking about the long-term health of the country from a personal perspective that leads me to one conclusion. i've been there. i'm staying there. and i am looking for ways for us to heal this devastating wound in our country. i think peggy noonan said it really well over the weekend. it's time for sunshine to hit this offensive behavior and for us to clean up this act. >> let's go back to president trump. jeff flake said that the president made a big mistake supporting roy moore. do you agree it's a mistake for president trump to do this? >> i really can't say what the president should or should not do. i will tell you that the judge and the jury in this case will be the voters of alabama. and they will weigh in very soon
about two weeks and a couple of days from now, we'll hear the outcome of the voters, who will be the judge and the jury of this case, as it relates to roy moore. >> i want to say with president trump, who certainly sets a tone. in the aftermath of charlottesville and the president's response, you said his moral authority was compromised. is his moral authority compromised because of these comments about roy moore? >> well, there -- i don't think so. i think the reality of it is while i have read through as many stories as i could get my hands on, i think the issue in the case is compelling. i have reached the conclusion, i think there are many americans who disagree with me vehemently. i don't necessarily understand how, but they do. i look forward to addressing and following this issue as long as we can. we'll know more about the outcome of this election on i think it's december 12th.
so, when americans disagree with people, which it's the president or other folks, it doesn't change my opinion. i'm certainly unable to change theirs. >> "the new york times" piece says the president not only doubts roy moore's accusers but has been telling people he now doubts the authenticity of the "access hollywood" tape. here's a quote from "the times." he sees the calls for mr. moore to step aside as a version of a response to the now famous "access hollywood tape, in which he boasted about grabbing a woman's genitalia. he suggested earlier this year it was not authentic and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. your reaction? do you believe the "access hollywood" tape is authentic? >> i'll tell you what i do believe. number one, the voters of this country had the information before the election of 2016. they had a choice between hillary clinton and donald trump. they chose donald trump with all
of the evidence and all of the information before them. number two, i think we have to be very careful not to make this into a partisan issue when those who are liberal want to fight those who are conservative and where those who are conservative want to fight the liberals on the issue. the issue we should focus on is that sexual harassment is an offense so deplorable, so disgusting that has we need to fight against it tooth and nail with everything we have. ultimately, the voters will be the decisionmakers in some of the cases. but we, as a nation, whether you're in politics, media, sports, we have to tackle this issue. we have not done a good job of it so far. >> let's talk about this. the president says he'll wait until this week to decide whether he goes to campaign for roy moore. what signal would that send women if he does? >> well, i think the president will have to make the decision on whether or not he thinks that the risk -- the benefit outweighs the risk in this case.
from my perspective, i have made my decision. you won't find me in alabama. >> i want to move on to the nfl. president trump once again tweeted angrily while at mar-a-lago this thanksgiving week. he began by continuing his criticism of lavar ball, the father of one of the ucla players who was arrested for shoplifting in china and later freed. he said, lavar, you could have spent the next five to ten years during thanksgiving with your son in china. but no nba contract to support you. but remember, lavar, shoplifting is not a little thing. it's a really big deal, especially in china. ungrateful fool. that was followed by this. the nfl is now thinking about a new idea, keeping teams in the locker room during the national anthem next season. that's almost as bad as kneeling. when will the highly paid commissioner finally get tough and smart? the issue is killing your league. and "washington post" opinion
writer greg sragent says the president's tweets are part of a larger twenty. trump's rage tweets about lavar ball are part of a pattern. trump regularly attacks high-profile african-americans to feed his supporters' belief that the system is rigged for minorities. do you think the president has a habit of unnecessarily singling out minorities? >> the president is a good counterpuncher. he doesn't seem to discriminate from my perspective. i think he attacks anyone he believes or perceives is attacking him or the country. right or wrong. i will say as it relates to china and the lavar ball incident, as it relates to china. there's a segment on espn called "c'mon, man." here's my thought. if you're going to steal. and steal in china. and someone gets you out of
that, you ought to say thank you. they should say welcome. the reality of it is, for a high-profile athlete to go to china and steal, and then the president of the united states, who obviously has a very -- precarious and provocative relationship with sports completely, to bail you out, i think, deserves a thank you without having to be asked for it. the truth of the matter is -- >> not singling out minorities? you don't think he's singling out minorities? from the ucla players to the nfl player? >> i will tell you, from my perspective, the answer is no. there's no doubt that if he were singling out minorities in the basketball situation, he singled them out in a positive way. the reality of it is, having the president of the united states step in to help you out when you're in china, that is a powerful move that likely brought those fellas home without having to miss thanksgiving with their family. truth is, there could have been really negative consequences to those young folks. >> senator, i want to move on. this holiday week when we're all giving thanks, we think of those
less fortunate, i want to talk about poverty and income inequality. your background. you were raised by a single mother in a low-income home. you say the republican tax bill will help the poor. how? >> a couple of ways. number one, if you look at the -- on the personal income side. there's not $1 trillion of personal income taxes paid in 2014-2015. out of that amount, the folks at the lower end, received about $2.4 billion in refunds. in other words, they did not pay actual tax in the aggregate. our plan increases that refund by about 40%. we also increase the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. we continue to work for areas deb fisher, a senator from nebraska, has led the charge on family leave. providing a tax credit for family leave. included in our legislation. i have included in the tax reform legislation the investing
in opportunity act, which targets 50 million americans living in poverty in distressed communities. bringing back over $2 trillion of capital gains back into those communities, long-term, to solve some of the serious problems that are endemic in some of the communities where i grew up. >> about 45% of americans don't pay income tax. many of those are the working poor. how does it help them? >> well, if you don't pay income taxes and we increase your refund by 40%, that is a direct dollar impact. in other words, you'll have more money to use to keep those ends together, those single mothers like mine who are working paycheck to paycheck. they'll now not get a $9300 deduction, we're doubling that almost to $18,000. for a dual-parent income house hold. from around $12,700 for the standard deduction to around
$24,000. what we focused on is making sure that those folks who are struggling to get ahead in life have more of their own money so that they can take care of the needs of their families and perhaps even have a night out. >> and you see bail passing by christmas? >> well, i do believe in prayer. number one. and i hope that we can get it done by christmas. if not, we'll be here through christmas looking at the end of the year making sure we provide tax relief for those working families like the one i grew up in. >> okay, thank you so much for joining us, senator scott. >> yes, ma'am. have a good day. >> you, too. let's get back to the question we have been asking, are powerful men in politics getting a free pass? and is there a double standard? one democratic congresswoman says there is. >> why are the rules for politicians in washington different than they are for everyone else? and the list is endless. compare what happened to harvey weinstein.
louis c.k. mark halperin. all appropriate consequences. yet, once we get into the realm of politicians, let's get the ethics commission into it. and, you know, let's investigate this. people are sick and tired of the rules in washington for politicians, like me, being different than they are for regular people. >> for more, let's bring in jackie speier, california democrat. one of the co-sponsors of the me too congress act, who has shared her own story of sexual harassment. republican barbara comstock of virginia. and co-sponsor mandating anti-harassment and anti-discrimination hearings. former congresswoman and member of the house ethics committee, donna edwards. and zainab salbi, founder of women for women international. welcome to all of you. i want to start with you, congresswoman speier.
i want to get your reaction to your colleague kathleen rice. she is the first to call for congressman conyers to resign. she said, i've reviewed the allegations against him and they're as credible as they are repulsive. if men who engage in this behavior suffered real repercussio repercussions, more victims would speak up. and maybe other men would decide to act like decent, civilized adults, and not prey on women who work for and trust and admire them. do you believe the accusations against respe against representative conyers and do you think he should step down? >> i think that the allegations are very serious. and that's why the ethics committee needs to move very swiftly. not wait years. but very swiftly. staff up if necessary to determine whether or not those allegations are accurate. if they're accurate, i do believe congressman conyers should step down.
>> you can't say at this moment whether you believe them? >> i don't think we know. i think that's why the ethics committee needs to be brought in. we are presumed innocent until proven guilty. and while this is not a court of law, it's the court of public opinion. i do think that they're very serious. >> okay. and representative edwards, you sat on the house ethics committee. the settlement payment came from his office account. not the $17 million from the office of compliance. how difficult will it be to determine the scope and cost of those settlements? >> i think it's incredibly difficult. and keep in mind that the compliance office is not part of the ethics process. and i'm not really sure the ethics process, as it exists right now, is appropriate to deal with these issues. because -- i think that there has to, at least for this time period be some process set up where staff and members can come forward. it will help to get to the bottom of this in congress. it will help to set up a process by which these things don't happen again.
>> congresswoman comstock, you began as an intern, a staffer, now you're a congresswoman. you have talked about some of the harassment you have heard about on the hill. but does the scope of this surprise you? >> well, the truth is, we don't know what the entire scope of it is. i will -- i do agree with kathleen rice in that there needs to be one standard for members. that's why this week, we're going to pass a resolution that you mentioned that i introduced with my colleagues. it will mandate training for all members and staff. but that is just a small beginning. we're then going to have more hearings on best practices. have in-person training. so it's much more interactive. so our youngest staffers, interns like i was, are going to know what their rights are. know maybe some of the dangers that are out there. we're going to say no more secret payments. no taxpayer payments for any of this. we need to know a lot more about that. that's what we have now asked for. more details on.
what type of harassment is going on? we don't know at this point. we're hearing anecdotes. people are coming to us. one of the things in congresswoman speier's bill is a survey. >> staff. so you know what the ongoing issues are. we know when you have strong training, zero tolerance, and you start enforcing it. look, the media and corporate america has been firing people. charlie rose. here at abc, mark halperin. roger ailes at fox. we have to have the same kind of standards. when credible people come forward. the peggy noonan piece. that tim scott talked about. this was detailed reporting. predators do things over and over. when you do that detailed type of reporting and these stories come forward, yes, i believe them. because they are details. there are patterns. this is what predators do. we need to understand, as do the staffers, who the predators are. >> i want to talk a little bit
with you congresswoman speier about the process they now go through. which is quite extraordinary. if a victim would like to report sexual harassment, they have 180 days to do so with the office op compliance. once that claim is processed, victims are required to undergo 30 days of counseling. then 15 days to decide if they would like to pursue mediation. that is another 30-day process that is confidential and will result in a settlement or yet another 30-day period. you get the idea. at a minimum, you're looking at a two-month process once the claim is processed. how did this happen? how did this convoluted system happen? and what do you do next? >> i would agree. it's convoluted. but more than that, i think it was a system set up in 1995 to protect the harasser. this is not a victim-friendly process. and, one victim who i spoke with said, you know, the process was almost worse than the
harassment. so, this is an absolutely -- a priority that we must focus on in terms of fixing the system. doing the sexual harassment prevention training is one step. it's a good step. but it's a small step. the whole system needs to have a comprehensive shift. that's why my legislation would, first of all, have it also apply to interns and fellows. which, right now, they have nowhere to go. you would not have a mandatory mediation. if you don't want to pursue it. you'll not be subject to a mandatory nondisclosure agreement. beyond that, we would have a climate survey to make sure we know moving forward what the climate is much like we do in the military now. to determine whether or not sexual harassment and sexual assault continues to be a serious issue. we say zero tolerance. i don't believe that we put our money where our mouths are. >> and i want to followup with you, zainab.
congresswoman comstock mentioned this. charlie rose fired from pbs, cbs. what is really at the root of this? we talk about power. is it power? or is it more than that? >> it is power. but i think it is a culture at large that has been complacent in the discrimination against women. the way i see it, one american woman still getting paid 78 cents to every dollar, it's related to men feeling that they're allowed to touch women, date women, or do whatever with women in inappropriate ways. we have to look at the larger culture issues. otherwise, what i'm hearing right now, we're addressing the head of the issues. we're cutting the heads off. it's important. deterrent and fear is important enough to stop men from doing. but we need to look at the body. and the body includes women who are in lower-ranking positions. could be the waitresses. the body allows for the sexualization of women and the discrimination.
and not treating women equally. >> when you talk about the sexualization of women. i have heard you say this rather provocatively. that women are responsible for the culture, as well. the way they dress. that -- >> no, not at all. >> that sounds like victim shaming. >> not at all. not at all. not at all. i'm talking about the systems. when you're talking about the fashion industry, for example. or the modeling industry. or the hollywood industry, yes, women have played a role. we played a role in our silence. first of all. in seeing some of the things that are wrong behaviors and staying silent about it. and seeing it happen to others. and sometimes, sometimes, in how we co-created a culture that is sexualizing ourselves. >> congresswoman edwards, i want to get your take. >> look, i think that, when i look at -- where we have had these allegations.
we focus on them in the public and white collar industries and the politics. i worry about the woman on the manufacturing floor. the waitress in a restaurant. if we don't deal with this straightforward in congress and politics, then they will feel powerless. even more powerless than they are right now. >> i want you to have the last word. quickly here. does president trump's defense of roy moore hurt this? >> well, i think we have a lot of -- there's so much support, bipartisan support. that's going to be a political issue. i have said i think roy moore should step aside, the way tim scott did. but it's important for us to focus on the victims. i wanted to mention, the whole process you talked about with jackie speier, there's a broad consensus to get rid of a lot of it so it's much more victim-friendly. the first woman who brought a brute -- suit, doreena bertuzzi,
recommended we have an ombudsman. or a victim's council. the focus is on the victim. not all on the men, though it's largely male offenders. let's focus on the women. these recent stories have come forward in torrents. 35 victims of bill cosby. dozens of all these people. when this comes forward, we need to respect it and we need to protect the woman and make sure it doesn't happen anymore and there are consequences. >> okay, thanks. thanks to all of you. up next, that deadly crash. navy plane in the sea of japan. it's the sixth major incident involving the seventh fleet this oesn'tho h appen again? we'll ask retired navy admiral mike mullen, the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. coming up, back to business for congress. from the fate of the dreamers to the future of the tax overhaul. they're facing a daunting to-do list. federal funding set to run out
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how did we get here? to a point where we are depending on retired generals for the stability of our system? and what happens if that bulwark breaks? first of all. i have been in too many countries globally, where the generals, if the you will, gave great comfort to their citizens. that is not the united states of america. >> that is former joint chiefs chair admiral mike mullen. he joins us now. good morning. >> good morning, martha. >> what do you mean by that? what are your concerns? >> i have spoken to people across the country since president trump came in, that actually take great comfort in the fact that three generals -- general kelly, general mcmaster,
and general mattis all serve this president. in what has been a pretty chaotic first year, they're dependent on those three individuals for stability. calmness. reasoned views for the future. and, the worry that i have is they're also really, for the first time in their lives, inside the white house and inside the political environment. which, i certainly grew to understand over four years as chairman. it's a very difficult environment. it's a foreign environment. to all of them. and so they're trying to get their job done while operating in an environment, a political environment that they're adjusting to. i have concerns with respect to how that outcome, how good outcomes come out of it. >> and this civilian military tide. i know, few people realize this that general mcmaster is still
active duty. you to think he should be supporting policy publicly? >> i think the role of a national security adviser is to present options. almost be neutral in that regard. i think general mcmaster got out a little early on policy. in recent weeks and months, he's been much more subdued in that regard. his main job is to tee up options for the national security apparatus and the president to make decisions. >> john kelly is retired. he seems to be all-in, supporting policy. does that bother you? >> i think that's -- that's true. i mean, certainly, what happened very sadly a few weeksing a when he was in a position to both defend the president in terms of what happened with the gold star family and -- >> in niger. >> -- then he ends up -- john ends up politicizing the the death of his own son in the
wars. it's indicative of the fact that he clearly is very supportive of the president, no matter what. and that, that was really a sad moment for me. >> and, of course, mike flynn. also, retired general. and didn't last very long. is the mike flynn you're seeing now under investigation the same mike flynn you knew as an intelligence officer? >> i don't know the mike flynn i have seen since he made a decision to endorse very strongly and publicly president trump. i was very concerned about him speaking at the republican convention, as i was with john allen speaking at the democratic convention. i think it sends the wrong message to the american people. in terms of politicizing the military. and undermining the institutions they care so much about. >> so do you think they shouldn't be in the white house right now? do you think that's not a good move for them? >> they're great americans. >> for the country? >> they're great americans. great citizens. i know each of them are serving trying to do the best for their country. when the president asks you to serve, the response is the vast majority of times, you do that.
from that standpoint, i'm very strongly for them in terms of their service and what they can bring. i do worry, though, that, one, they have limitlimits, based onr backgrounds. they'll be learning. and two, from the standpoint of what it represents in terms of the civilian control of the military and the possible politicization of the military is a big worry for me. >> explain what you mean by that. that it damages the military in some way itself? >> my view, assuming you're not pitched in as a politician is that we never take the uniform off. it's very difficult to move away from our background and who we are in that regard. it's made that much more difficult. that doesn't mean generals and admirals can't serve. they certainly have in the past. but it's particularly difficult right now because of the politics of the time. there's nothing that seemingly is not able to be politicized in
the current environment. >> i want to talk about something else. the president has done in terms of the rules of engagement and terms of conflicts around the world. he has given the authority to commanders on the ground that didn't exist before. do you think this has made a difference in the fight? or are there risks there? >> i think most commanders on the ground would support that delegation. if you will. i think we have to be very careful with it. we're living in a time right now where i think the interaction between those on the ground and certainly our leaders in our country has to be almost continuous. so it's clearly different from the previous administration in that regard. i think it's too soon to tell how much difference it's really made. >> we had you on the show about one year ago to the day, you said at the time that north korea, more likely than any place else in the world, could potentially create an explosive outcome. what's your assessment of how
president trump has handled that since? >> i still worry about the peninsula and the potential outcome there. i worry that there is more uncertainty than there was a year ago, in principle, because of the rhetoric that is there. i know that the trump administration has addressed this issue from day one. they're very serious about creating options and have created options. it's still a very difficult place to know what's actually going on. i think kim jong-un is going to -- is -- really working hard to achieve the nuclear capability. i think he'll get there short of some deterrence. >> do you think it's possible we'll see the use of nuclear weapons in the future? >> i don't know. i think it's more probable than it used to be. it scares me to death, quite frankly. they're the most dangerous weapons in the world. if we have someone in north korea with a lethal legacy, is very unpredictable, and sees
this as a way to solidify his future, that he could well not just attain them but potentially use them. >> there's been a lot of talk on the hill this week about president trump and a preemptive strike, and comments saying they wouldn't follow an illegal order. did you talk about that possibility when you were in the white house? >> i think any senior military officer follows from the standpoint of, we're not going to follow an illegal order. that said, the president is in a position to give a legal order to use those weapons. the likelihood given that order would be carried out, is high. >> and just, very quickly if you will. the navy, the sixth accident. do you have concerns about the navy's readiness? >> broad, broad concerns with respect to what's happened. certainly with the accidents. and the sailors that we've lost. i think this accident last week this is an incredibly safe airplane historically. goes back to 1973 since the last accident. i do have a concern.
about the readiness of the navy and the readiness of our armed forces to -- that are -- they're pressed very hard to do an awful lot right now. we need to stay focused. >> thank you so much for joining us. great to see you. >> thank you. and up next, can a man accused of sexual misconduct against minors really be elected to the u.s. senate? analysis from the powerhouse "roundtable" right after the break. for singing definitely dry mouth has been a problem for me. i'm also on a lot of medications that dry my mouth. i just drank tons of water all the time. it was never enough. i wasn't sure i was going to be able to continue singing. i saw my dentist. he suggested biotene. it feels refreshing. my mouth felt more lubricated. i use biotene rinse twice a day and then i use the spray throughout the day. it actually saved my career in a way. biotene really did make a difference.
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sometthat's when he needs the way ovicks vaporub.'s sleep. proven cough medicine. with 8 hours of vapors. so he can sleep. vicks vaporub. goodnight coughs. okay. let's bring in "the roundtable." our political director rick klein. senior political writer for fivethirtyeight. perry bacon. anna palmer, senior correspondent for politico and co-author of the the politico playbook. and abc's cokie roberts. president trump tweeting, i endorsed luther strange in the alabama primary. he shot way up in the polls but it wasn't enough. can't let schumer/pelosi win this race. liberal jones would be bad. rick, it sounds like he may be going to alabama. >> it's going to have a siren
call down there. i talked to a white house official this morning who said there's still no plans to go to alabama. >> that was before the tweet. >> that's still they're not ruling it out. the idea that he was burned once in alabama. and the possibility over the last two weeks he could deliver a senate seat. maybe deliver the critical vote for tax reform, it might be too much for him to avoid. he's listening to the base that says they don't believe or care about what roy moore's accuser say. he might be there. >> he doesn't mention roy moore by name in either of the two tweets. >> i know. it's just doug jones and pelosi and schumer. but, he -- is clearly -- >> he doesn't have to. >> he doesn't have to go to alabama. he's done plenty for roy moore. moore can put it in his ads, which he's doing. he's clearly got the endorsement of president trump. without the endorsement of president trump, he won the primary. i think with the endorsement of president trump, it will be hard to defeat him. in the general election. >> and anna, you think this
could make a real difference? >> yeah. clearly trump is on an island. the rest of the republican party is somewhere else. he's looking to where he needs a conservative in his back pocket. he believes roy moore will be that person for him. >> and, perry, we have seen the ad that doug jones is running. looking at all the accusers. one after another. is that the tack he should be taking? >> i think so. the polls have shown, and my colleague, harry, wrote about in this week. moore's lost about nine points amid the scandal. i think that's the right argument for him. jones, make the race about sexual harassment. if you're moore, i think moore and trump are smart making it about this is a republican, republican, republican, liberal versus republican. alabama is a very conservative state. so the more this is about this is an r-d race, the better off this is for moore.
>> is the support softening? >> yes. moore lost nine points. the polling average is about 45-45. moore had a lead. he's lost. the key thing to note, what happens the next two weeks as moore, the story sinks in with the voters. the voters, does this become a race where the voters go further from him or does moore stabilize? has moore already lost all he can lose, or can he lose more? >> in the base. even women are suspicious about the sexual harassment claims. and part of the reason for that is that women who are not in fancy white collar jobs often have really awful things happen to them on the job. they are assaulted. they are raped. they have horrible things happen to them. and so when they hear women say, he talked dirty to me. or he came on to me, they think, big deal. that's not what happened to me. what happened to me is so much worse. and so, there's not that same sense of affinity. >> but, it -- it's teenagers. >> i get it.
trust me. i have 14-year-old grandchildren. i mean, i'm horrified by that. >> what goes through their heads with that? that doesn't seem to work as an analysis in this particular case? >> i think they decide that the kids are telling a lie. >> and it's remarkable that the president is standing alone. we have this cultural moment. a societal moment. and he's making it into a partisan political moment. it's making his colleagues in the republican party uncomfortable. i think that's a total game-changer here. if this is remembered as a broader moment, we'll look back and see where people lined up. >> and anna, if roy moore is elected. mitch mcconnell said there would be an ethics investigation. is that what republicans need right now? how does that -- with all the other things they have to go -- >> this is exactly the opposite of what republicans want to be talking about right now. they want to be talking about tax reform.
trying to figure out government funding. looking toward the midterm election and having something to win on. >> he's making a big mistake there, too. >> well, potentially. but if you look at what happened in 2010 with senate republicans, they lost when they were talking about some of the similar issues on women's reproductive rights and other things. this is not what they want to be talking about. an expulsion and ethics hearing will take weeks if not months to actually get done. >> but they probably will be talking about it. what about conyers and franken? nothing's happened since. what happens to them? >> it's not clear that any democrat so far said they should resign. we saw kathleen rice. other than that, not a lot of them. i'm curious. my question is saying they should go to the ethics committee a real thing? or is it a stalling tactic? they've set up a process. does the process matter? is it going to lead -- >> hard to see the conyers thing. >> he's going to rehab. >> we know what happened. does that lead to a resignation or a stalling process? >> can they weather the storm,
right? one of these happens, another one happens. if it just becomes noise, maybe they can hang on. >> and you know, they -- they are so used to it. the culture of capitol hill for so many decades was men being bad. and -- >> we talk about that. we have talked about it weeks and weeks. but does anything really change? >> no. >> we ask that question. it's -- this seems unprecedented, how many. do you think people are talking about it as if things will change? >> i don't think that the culture has -- we haven't seen a major shift yet, right? i would point out members policing themselves, a very bad track record of it. whether about these scandals. how they use their finances. there is -- nobody is saying that they're going to change the whole process by which this is done. they're going to throw out members with sexual harassment cases. this is a big problem for them. >> the fact that people are willing to be public can change things. we all talked about for years. >> a little bit at a time. >> well, you know, don't get in the elevator with him.
and we're back again with "the roundtable." let's talk more about congress. cokie, their to-do list is really pretty incredible. avert shutdown. finish tax overhaul. fund children's health insurance. determine dreermss' fate. reauthorize warrantless surveillance. a little bit of what they want to get done. can they get it done? >> they get a lot done with christmas coming. it's remarkable. i have been in the chambers on christmas eve when they're doing one bill after another because christmas is coming. it's possible. it will be very, very hard. >> yeah. i think that -- >> always so optimistic.
that cokie. always so optimistic. >> i think the x factor is what does president trump want to do? what does he want to get done? he cut a deal with democrats in september. does he go back to the table with them? they're going to meet on tuesday. i think we're closely heading to a government shutdown. >> and then the pace of the russia investigation. >> wait, wait. very close to a government shutdown. >> they'll be right up against the brink. often said in washington, bigger deals are easier than smaller deals. i don't think that is the case in the trump era. he cuts side deals along the way. you try to pack everything in. it's hard to see how it lands. you have the russia investigation. roy moore's election in two weeks. this widening sexual harassment scandal in congress. that's a lot, even for the trump era. >> he's going to the hill on tuesday. what do they need to hear from him? he's been up there before. >> i'll be honest. i don't think he matters much. i would watch bob corker, jeff flake, john mccain.
the republicans don't need trump to move the tax bill. this is a bill between their members. right now, by my count, nine members are wary of the tax bill. they have to get to it two to pass. >> they need to be wary of it. it is a tax bill that will come back and bite them if they pass it. they have to calculate that as they go into the christmas season. >> what do you think they need? president trump's irrelevant at this point? >> yeah, i think so. >> does he need to go up there? >> he wants to go up there and take credit for it. it's a deal to be worked out on the hill. but, as i say, it's a deal they better be careful about. >> and what do you think the odds are that there will be a shutdown? >> uh -- 20%. i'm not sure. i don't think there will be a shutdown. >> you can see this clearly worries me. and i want to quickly, and with you, rick klein here, on the russia investigation. michael flynn's lawyers are not speaking to donald trump's lawyers anymore. and people have surmised that that's because he's cooperating.
any sense of that? >> yeah, this is a very bad sign for the white house. michael flynn can take you from the inner circle of the campaign to the inner circle of the white house. if you're looking for cause and effect, he could be your guy. the pressure he could put on other members of the inner circle, like the trump family, that could be considerable. i think the fact that you have additional interviews coming up. with inner circle members. it points to mueller getting very serious very fast. >> thank you all for coming in. on this holiday weekend. we hope you had a great holiday. that's all for us today. thank you for sharing part of on your sunday with us. check out "world news" tonight. and have a great day.