tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC November 16, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST
leave it there. th that is the story. craig melvin will pick it up. we will bring you details on the elephant story tomorrow. a lot of breaking news, melvin, take it away. >> craig melvin in msnbc news headquarters in new york city. a very busy day in washington, d.c., on capitol hill, president trump as you just saw there leaving the capitol a few moments ago. his visit in anticipation of a house vote on tax reform. that vote we're told will likely happen any moment from now. kevin mccathy on the floor on the house right now debating that bill. afterwards, we are expecting public remarks from house speaker paul ryan. so that's happening on left side of the screen. the right side of your screen, again, president trump heading back to the white house. the other big story of the day of course, fallouts of senator al franken. now this woman coming forward, accusing the sitting senator of an unwanted sexual advance. we'll get to that story in just a moment.
we have a new statement from senator franken. let's start with msnbc's garrett haake. at the capitol. hans nichols is at the white house. garrett, let's start there on the hill. what's the mood? are lawmakers excited? this is a dance that they've been to before with the health care vote. it sounds as if they are certainly more optimistic about the chances for passes this time around. >> well, craig, this has turned into a pretty weird day on capitol hill. we've gotten used to some weird days. there's -- on one chamber, everything has been completely rocked on the senate side by these allegations against senator al franken. on the house side, the president was here, essentially pulling a pep rally in the basement of this building, trying to fire up republican lawmakers to get this tax bill across the finish line. yeah, look, it does look like this thing will pass the house. the fight continues in the senate. but republicans here are feeling relieved. they're feeling good. they were taking selfies. they were laughing, having a good time in this meeting.
well, you know, a few hundred yards away on the senate side, a completely different story. craig. >> hans nicoles is standing by for us as well over at the white house. garrett, stand by. i want to come back to you. hans, talk to me a little bit more about the president's visit to the capital. let's also pick up on what andrea left off there, this news that broke earlier about the obama era ban on elephant trophies being reversed. >> well, i'll just follow up on what garrett was talking about, namely that taxes are going well and the president was talking about that. that was a quote. they feel like they have momentum. basically, there's an obama era ban on importing certain trophies from zimbabwe as well as zambia. what the national fish and wildlife service has done is posted a finding. this finding essentially lifts that ban. that means in 2016 it goes back. 2016, 2017, 2018.
you can import parts of elephant trophies, zimbabwe, as well as zambia, i believe. the rationale is they're saying this is pro-conservation. they believe that in this case hunting can lead to better stewardship of the environment and that's their argument in this. but we'll see whether or not -- this has been published in the federal register. it's scheduled to be published i believe on friday. we'll see whether or not this withstands full certainty, craig. >> hans nichols at the white house, hans, thank you. let's bring in lonnie chang, he is the director of domestic policy studies at stanford. he was a policy adviser to the 2012 romneybarrow is an msnbc contributor. again, a live look here at the house floor where lawmakers in the lower chamber are voting or
expected to start voting any moment now. democratic minority leader nancy pelosi there no doubt probably not extolling the virtues of this bill. josh barrow. again, house likely to pass it. what happens in the senate? >> well, think the senate is the tougher chamber for this. first of all republicans have a narrower majority there and the bill that they're work on in the senate looks quite different from the house bill in a number of ways. it would repeal the individual mandate in obamacare. that's a popular idea with a lot of republicans. the mandate is unpopular broadly with the public. but that would cause significant disruption in insurance markets. maine senator collins has said she's very reluctant to do anything to health care as part of the tax bill. some senators saying they want the bill that comes closer to not impacting the deficit. and then you have some provisions about so-called pass-through businesses. people talk about this as a small business deduction but it can even apply to large businesses like donald trump's businesses, a special tax break
for them that's less generous in the senate bill. republican senator ron johnson from whiisconsin has been very critical. saying he might vote no. the thing is, they can only lose two votes. so if there's a question of getting to 50 in the senate and then if the senate bill looks different from the house bill, there's the question of being able to reconcile them. in the house there's some members from upstate new york who have been very important because property taxes are very high there. they've carved out a deduction for property taxes in the house bill that's not in the senate bill so that's one possible area -- >> it's only up to what, 10 grand? >> middle income people, that will cover most or all of their property tax bill. that was specifically designed -- there are people with high incomes who pay a lot of state income tax in new york who will lose a lot of deductions under the bill. that carveout was designed to protect a lot of middle income families. it's one of many provisions that they will need to reconcile. >> we're going to take a look at what this bill will mean for students specifically in a moment here, lonnie.
let me -- all right, let's go to pete williams here, our justice correspondent i'm told standing by with some breaking news on the robert menendez trial. pete, what do you have? >> well, craig, the judge has now declared a mistrial in the bribery charge of -- the bribery trial of robert menendez and a florida eye doctor who menendez was accused of bribery, accepting thousands of dollars of gifts and favors. the trial has been going on for more than two months. but the jury has reported several times in the last couple of days that it was unable to reach a verdict. the defense had argued to the judge that he should declare a mistrial. the prosecutor said perhaps the jury could still return a guilty verdict on some of the other counts against senator menendez but after polling each member of the jury individually in chambers with just the lawyers present, the judge in the case has concluded there must be a mistrial. he just said in court, my evaluation of this case is i find -- addressing the jury, i
find you're unable to reach a verdict and i have no alternative but to declare a mistrial. so the question now is what happens next. the government will have to decide whether it will try to retry this case. and there are several factors that could be involved in that. one thing will be if the prosecution has any sense of how close it was to a guilty verdict, it might, if it thought there were just a few holdouts, try the case again, if it thought that the jury was dead set against it and there was only, say, one person in favor or two persons in favor of a conviction and the government might decide against it. but a mistrial in the case, in the trial of robert menendez and now we'll find out whether the government intends to try again, craig. >> pete, i know you've been following this case closely than most. does this come as a surprise? >> it doesn't come as a surprise because of the fact that the jury's been telegraphing that it's been unable to reach a verdict for the last couple of days. and the question about what to
do has been hanging over the judge really since monday when the jury first reported that it was having trouble. and this case is so unusual, craig, because the jury began deliberations and then last week one of the jurors was excused because she had a long-standing vacation plan, and the judge said if the verdict -- if the deliberations take that lock or the trial takes that long we'll just put in an alternate jury and that's what they did. the new juror was brought in monday. so the jury in essence had to bring that juror up to speed, in esance sort of starting over. not completely from scratch but getting up to speed. obviously that quickly ran into trouble. the jury has just consistently said we just can't reach a verdict. so in that sense it's not a surprise, no. >> in cases like this, pete, typically prosecutors, will they retry the case? >> typically, i would say yes, but if the prosecutors -- i mean, one thick they have to consider, who knows, they'll do whatever they think is right
here. there's nothing to prevent them from trying the case again. i would say in most of these cases, prosecutors do refile the charges and start all over again, although they have the option of bringing different charges because basically the slate is wiped clean now. it's as though these earlier charges never existed. they're gone. as a legal matter. so the court -- the prosecutors could bring other charges instead of bribery. and one of the problems here, craig, is that since the supreme court ruled a couple years ago in the case of the former virginia governor robert mcdonnell, the supreme court has set a higher bar, made it harder for prosecutors in these federal cases to prove bribery. might they come back with different charges, that's an option. as i say if they get any insight into how the jury was thinking and if they find that the jury was almost unanimous against conviction, then they might think twice about refiling the charges. >> our justice correspondent pete williams there in washington, d.c. breaking the news this afternoon. there has now officially been a
mistrial declared in the case of new jersey senator robert menendez. pete, thank you for that. let's bring in danny cevellos, an msnbc legal analyst. i gather that you heard some of what pete was reporting there. going back to the charge itself, the top charge here if i'm not mistaken, danny, was bribery. how hard is it for a prosecutor to prove bribery of a publicly elected official? >> it's easy because the federal bribery laws are so broadly drafted. but things have changed since mcdonele. how they've changed is this, the classic case of bribery involves a senator given a bag of cash to do some official act but it never really workings os out th easily. this case is a perfect example. senator menendez did some things to benefit a friend. a doctor in florida. the doctor in florida did some things that benefited the senator. that is basically the sum of the evidence against him. and the government asks the jury
to find some quid pro quo there, some corrupt intent and that's not always easy for a jury to conceptualize. because it's hard to understand whether just doing favors for each other is a criminal act. because independently, the things the senator did on their own were legal. the things that dr. melgin did on his own was legal. but when done together, the government says, uh-oh, that's criminal. >> did melgin play ball? i can't recall if he turned state's evidence? >> no, they're both tried together. >> okay. steve kornacki has joined us here msnbc political analyst. typically when we talk about in jersey politics we bring in steve cokornacki because he kno jersey politics. big surprise here? >> i think going into this trial, everybody said if you put a politician in front of a jury and say this politician's accused of bribery, jury's going to find him guilty, so i think there's surprise how it turned
out. raises an immediate political question. bob menendez is up for re-election in 2018. he thought he'd get a full acquittal here. there's two questions. number one, does the government decide to retry him? if there's a second trial, the second trial coincides with his election campaign. he's out there running for re-election in 2018. s he's in the courtroom at the same time fighting these charges. if there's a trial and he decides to run anyway, the democrats stand behind him. they got a primary this spring. they got a general in the fall. but the democrats say yeah, we're on board with this, we think you got a raw deal from the government. look, from a legal standpoint, he can sit there and say i've introduced -- we've introduced plenty of reasonable doubt here to back up our claims this wasn't bribery. he's still got to defend why he went to bat for a guy who pleaded guilty to defrauding medicare. that's at the heart of this. his defense is, hey, look, it wasn't bribery, he didn't give me a bag of cash and i didn't turn around and do it because of that. but this was not for a benign
situation. this is a guy, dr. meglynn, pleaded guilty to defrauding medicare. he has to explain that. even if he's legally off the hook. >> how popular is menendez in new jersey? >> his approval rating is 31%. corey book, the other senator in the state, is about 59%. so has taken a toll. if you're menendez, you're looking at a couple of things. you're looking at the general political bent of new jersey. this is a blue state. this is an anti-trump state. 2018 is typically supposed to be an anti-trump, anti-republican year. is it a situation where the voters of new jersey if they're given a choice between menendez, the guy who they've got questions about, the guy who they have a low opinion about, and a member of donald trump's republican party, they may vote for member nnendez anyway. do they give voters the choice? >> did he from a legal standpoint if he is retried, is the second trial easier for the
prosecution? is it easier for the defense? >> it's hard to say. it's good for the defense because the defense has now seen everything in the prosecutor's arsenal. they will not be surprised at a second trial. but then again given how easy it is to get a conviction under federal bribery law, another shot at conviction just might yield a different result this time around. but ultimately for any juror, the concept of bribery can be really difficult, in this case, a perfect example, it can be a really difficult thing to wrap your mind around. >> what happens to menendez now? >> he waits to see, is there going to be a second trial. i'm sure he will go out and claim vindication. he's been saying he's innocent all along. he's had -- look, the opening day of this trial, cory booker, fellow senator from new jersey, possible presidential candidate in 2020, he chose to come to court and sit with menendez, sit right behind him. democrats have stoond behind menendez. they've had a very selfish interest in doing that because the fear was if menendez gets
found guilty before january, then there could be a move to expel him from the senate. if that happen, christie, the republican governor of new jersey, would pick who replaces him. democrats have been publicly standing behind bob menendez in this, saying they think he's going to be exonerated. this isn't quite exoneration. this is a hung jury. if this is where the government lets it go, this is a muddled situation. some jurors thought guilty. some didn't. we know he went to bat on behalf of melgin and says okay, i'm running for re-election. do democrats say good enough, we're with you, here's some money, our endorsement, we're going to campaign for you? do they say, let's open this process up a little bit. congressman norcross from south jersey, why don't you give this a shot? bob tore tele, former senator, he's been running around the state for a year and a half waiting for a bob menendez connection so he could come back and run for the senate. does he challenge him in the primary now? imagine that. only in new jersey. >> only in jersey.
bob menendez will be back in the upper chamber in time to debate this tax bill that's likely going to be headed to senate or some form of this tax bill perhaps in conference. again, that's what's happening at the bottom of your screen here. that of course california democrat nancy pelosi. she's been on the floor of the house for about ten minutes now. railing against this tax bill that, again, likely to pass the house that is a vote that is expected to happen here at some point in the next 30 minutes we're told. josh barrow here with us to talk about that bill. so let's go back to this tax bill. just a moment. for students, specifically, what are some of the criticisms about this house bill in particular? >> well, there are three big changes that are important for students that are negative. the one that would have the broughtest impact is the student loan interest would no longer be deductible from taxes. you could still be able to deduct mortgage interest but that tax deduction could be taken away. a concern for people repaying
student loans. some tuition waivers would be newly taxable if you're a graduate student in a ph.d. program. typically you don't pay the tuition. this bill would change that and treat that as income which would drastically change the tax situations of a lot of graduate students. now colleges would have some ability to restructure around that change the way that they calculate tuition for graduate students and probably dampen that effect somewhat but that would be a negative change for them. there's currently sort of complicated set of tax credits that are available for middle income people paying for college tuition that would collapse those from three down into one. and in some cases that would result in a less generous tax credit. in general it would be taking away tax preferences available for education. it takes away a lot of tax preferences. what republicans say about this is we're building a simpler tax code. that means lower rates and getting rid of tax preferences. most are for things that people like one reason or another. obviously higher education is one of those things.
>> house speaker ryan talking about the aforementioned house bill. let's listen in. >> and right now, because of this anemic economic recovery, i mean, don't forget, we had the worst recession in our lifetimes in 2008 and ever since this economy has been flat. this economy has been way under its potential. this economy has been growing at a limp 1% to 2%. you know what that means for hard-working taxpayers? for americans? nobody gets a wage increase. living standards are stagnant. economic anxiety is high. 78% of our workers in this country today are living paycheck to paycheck. most americans say that they don't even have $500 in their bank account for an unexpected emergency or an expense. this is the economic anxiety that's for real in this country
today. instead of thinking about getting ahead, families are struggling to get by. think about all the moms and the dads and the hard-working taxpayers going to bed tonight not sleeping worried about what comes next week. this is not how it should be. this is not how it is in this country traditionally. we need to restore growth. we need to restore opportunity. we need to restore this beautiful thing we a next natalie call the american idea. passing this bill is the single biggest thing we can do to grow the economy to restore opportunity and help these middle income families who are struggling. people always ask, well, what's in it for me, how do i benefit from this. well, i'm a chart guy. why is this important. what this shows you under this
plan, the average family at every income level gets a tax cut. a tax cut at every average level. and what this chart shows you, the people here who are struggling, the people here who are in middle income brackets. the people here in low income trying to become middle income, they get the biggest tax cut. this plan is good for people of all walks of life. all across the country. and the biggest relief goes to those who need it most. let's put it into numbers. a typical household of four people. they make $59,000 in this country. that family of four, $1,182 tax cut, first year alone. the median family income, mom, dad, two kids, the median family income in america today is $87,000. that family will get a $1,941
tax cut right away, year one. [ applause ] if you're one of those americans who say you don't have $500 to go to an emergency, this really helps you. let's talk about people who itemize taxes, who live in high-tax states. let's talk about a couple making $115,000. living in a high-tax state. let's say they've got $8,400 in a mortgage interest payment and $6900 for property taxes for the year. they can still write all of those off under this plan and they will still see a tax cut of $1,130. if they've got kids, an even larger tax cut. not only do people get to keep more of their own money in their own pocket, but we dramatically simplify the tax system. we make it more fair. today, 7 out of 10 americans don't itemize their deductions.
they take what we call the standard deduction for their taxes. it's just that, it's standard, it's straight forward. you're not taxed on that income. but over the years, washington has piled on special interest loophole after special interest loophole after special interest loophole. these are skewed to the people who are wealthy, well connected, who can afford all the tax lawyers and all the accountants to navigate the tax code so they can get a good deal. if you're not in that group, if you don't have lawyers and accountants and you're just scraping away and you're middle income, you don't get those deals. so what we want to do is take those loopholes away, make it fair for everybody, lower tax rates and make it easier. here's how easy this gets. we're going to make it so easy. 90% of americans will be able to
fill out their taxes on a form of a postcard. for the single person, you don't pay taxes on your first $12,000 of income. for a married couple, you don't pay taxes on your first $24,000 of income. here's the basic philosophy. instead of jumping through all the hoops, instead of doing what the special interest groups say you need to do in order to get some of your money back, we basically say keep your money in the first place. it's your money. do what you want with it. >> from house speaker paul ryan to leann tweed on the right hand side of the screen. she is the woman who has accused senator al franken of groping her and kissing her back in 2006. l let's listen in. >> -- obviously that is not what
i wanted and i felt like he wrote that just to get that piece in, because he knew he wasn't going to get it on stage and that was why he was badgering me to do it then when we were a lone because that's what he wanted. and then, you know, five minutes later, we had to go out on stage. i always joke, i've always been -- i've never been an actress so people always thing when you're in hollywood -- i was a model and then i was a television host. and people are like, oh, you're an actress. i've never been an actress. that's a whole different set of talent and i don't act. i had to be an actress. i had to go out on stage with this guy who just did this to me five minutes before. and act like he's my best friend and al franken, ladies and gentlemen, and this is the greatest thing ever and do our lines and trust me, he didn't even get close to my face when we had to come in for the kissing scene. it's funny because when this whole harvey weinstein thing
came out in the last, like, two weeks, when i was deciding, is this the time i tell my story, and i was just looking online and trying to find videos and, you know, recalling everything that happened in my mind from this time ten years ago, 11 years ago, and i found a blog of a soldier who was at one of our shows in afghanistan or iraq, and he just talks about his experience at the show. just says a guy in the audience. and he says al franken and lyon tweeden were great co-emcees and al goes in for a kiss or more from leann and fails. and i just thought yeah, that's exactly what happens. and he failed every time. because that's what happens on stage. and, you know, i thought it would be -- the joke would always have been to me -- the funny part was -- it would have been like al, you know, in my mind, al would have just come in
for a kiss and i would have turned my face or put my hand on his mouth and that would have been the funny part, right, that would have been like this old guy coming in for the kiss from the hot girl or whatever the skit would have been to these young troops and it would have been funny because it was comedy, right. obviously turned out completely different. so i had to act my way through rest of the shows for the next two week, ten days, two weeks. and i just made sure i was never a lone with him again. i never told -- i didn't tell the sergeant major of the army what happened. i didn't tell our uso rep. because what was i going to do. be the troublemaker? be, like, other i'm going to emcee every part of the show for the hour except the ten minutes i'm on stage with al, you know. i just sucked it up. i'm a strong girl. i'm a sportscaster. i deal with guys every day. i'm just going to fake it and act like an actress and do this part with him and then not talk to him for rest of the tour. i mean, it's a -- it was a big tour, there was a lot of people. i just didn't -- i didn't
socialize with him. i didn't talk to him for rest of the tour. i made sure i was never alone with him again. i mean, we're in tight quarters but there were a lot of people around so i just made sure i was never alone with him again and -- so i didn't have to deal with him in that respect, again, other than when we were on stage. and then, you know, little petty things that i had to deal with. just snide comments. we would do autograph sessions after the shows. of course they would set up tables and because there would be sometimes thousands of troops at an event and we would only have so much time so there would be long tables for all the, you know, country music artists and the dallas cowboy cheerleaders who were very popular by the way, and then instead of, like, trying to have a single file line of a thousand guys trying to come down and get everybody's autograph, they would open it up to where everybody if you wanted somebody's certain autograph and there was only time for people
to wait in one line, they would just open it up to people stand in line in the line they want instead of filing through like this. sometimes there would be honest to god nobody in al franken's line. the girls would have long lines. some of country music artists would have long lines. so i would always be sat next to al because that's just how they always set it up. i would always sort of have my back to him and whatever and i'd be sitting next to the other people. and we'd have lines. we would sign autographs. it was just hours of signing and taking pictures with troops. one time he didn't have people in his line and i would see things out of the corner of my eye and i'd see, like a hand and a picture, one of my autograph pictures go like this and, you know, i would look over one time and, you know, one time i would just see a picture would come back, it would be, you know, my face with devil horns and the devil tail and the pitchfork and the goat tee and, you know,
these are things i'm dealing with, right, he draw mes me as dev devil. childish, belittling. two weeks of this is what i'm getting at, sorry. and so whatever. so i make it through the two weeks of that. and then we're on our way home. and we leave -- pretty sure it's bob romero base. we're leeaving out of afghanistan. every time you take off from a base when you're in the middle of combat you always wear a kevlar helmet and a flak vest. because when you leave from a -- in the middle of a war zone, you do wear your gear because small arms fire or even an rpg like a rocket propelled grenade can pierce the armor or piece the skin of an airplane and so a lot of times you either sit on kevlar or you wear it because you can be shot at through a plane. so you're wearing it as you take off until you get high enough
altitude where you're out of that reach and then you can take it off. so i'm wearing it. i fall asleep because i can fall asleep usually before the plane even takes off. so i'm sleeping up against the side of the plane. and in the photo, if you see the photo, beside me is mark wills, a country singer, he's also asleep. so i'm sleeping. which anybody that knows me, i sleep anywhere, any time, so i'm asleep. and there were photographs on the trip. i'm pretty sure it was the photographer of the tour that took the picture. but they give you cds as you leave that have, you know, behind the scenes photos of you -- well, on the entire tour that they give you when you leave. and i get this and i open it up when i get home. i probably opened it the next day. and it was a photo of al doing his, you know, this on my breasts like looking at the camera just kind of smirking and smiling like, haey, look at me.
i took that as the, you know, final ha, ha, i got the last laugh, you know. i mean, he knew i wouldn't see it until i got home and, you know, was away from everybody else and, you know, like i said, the -- to know it in the context of the entire trip and what happened in the entire two weeks is -- is telling to me and just the fact that he just thought he could get away with it and that it was okay and that it was funny and, you know, i knew -- i knew all these years later that -- oh, well, i thought it was going to be funny, you know, i thought, you know, oh the comedian, i thought it was a joke, it was in bad taste or i thought it was going to be funny and i guess it wasn't or, you
know, it was poor taste or whatever. i mean, nothing like that is ever funny. i mean, is it funny if he does that to your sister or your daughter or your wife? i mean, that's just -- all of those things. but like i said, in context of already assaulting me backstage and all the little petty things he was doing to belittle me and -- and, and how he treated me and sort of, you know, in succession and then it ended with that and then how i was lef left to feel like being without able to say whatever i wanted to say to his face. owe, great, while i was sleeping you do that to me and then i can't even say anything to him. so that's just sort of how it all happened and how it finished. >> when he says in a statement, he's issued two statements, he says, one, i apologize, two i rye expect women, three, i doesn't remember -- >> hold on, can you read the -- >> he says, i respect women. i don't respect men who don't. the fact that my own actions
have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed. he's also asked for, as mitch mcconnell, an investigation. so, one, do you accept his apology? and two, what do you think should happen after an investigation? >> i mean, yes, there's no reason why i shouldn't accept his apology. you know, i mean, if that's -- sure. um, i would -- i wasn't -- i didn't come out to -- i wasn't looking for anything, you know what i mean, and people are like, what are you expecting from him? if he wanted to apologize, great. i mean, look, this has happened. this has been going on for -- this happened 11 years ago. i saw him a couple years after that with my husband at a uso gala. and he walked up to me and found me in a room and said hello to me and i was very cold to him and i turned -- he found me and, you know, with my back to him
and said hello and i was like, hi, al. and i turned around and walked away from him. my husband even said to me last night, as i recall, leann, you left me standing there with al because you said hello and turned your back on him and walked away. i said, yeah, because i wasn't going to talk to him. so my husband said hello, al. no, he had a chance to apologize to me then. because he knew -- he knew exactly what he did to me then and that picture was out there. so he had a chance to apologize to me. so i wasn't holding my breath. i'd have been long dead by then. so the apology, sure, i accept it, yes. i mean, people make mistakes. and of course he knew he made a mistake. so yes, i do accept that apology. the ethics investigation, if that's what mitch mcconnell wants to do, that's on them. i'm not calling for that, if that's what he wants to do. okay, that's up to them. i'm not demanding that. i'm not demanding any of that.
i just don't want this -- to me, it's more about -- you know, this is happening in hollywood. i think we live in a bubble. i live in a bubble. i've worked in the entertainment business, sports, radio, television, commercials, movies, for over 20 years. and i think because all of this is happening here. i mean, this -- with al now in the senate, so this is kind of hollywood and kind of politics but it's sort of the same sort of stage. you know, it's just sort of parallel. this is happening in middle america. this is happening, you know, for women that work at chili's. this is happening for women who work in an office building somewhere in iowa and kansas and florida. this is happening to women who have, you know, no power and no say to speak up. you know what i mean? and this is -- i think the tide is turning and you know what about all the women who don't have microphones and have a voice and can say something and then it's everywhere on the
news. you know, what about the women who get assaulted every day and are afraid to speak out. i mean, look, i was afraid to speak out 11 years ago. i wanted to say something. and there were people around me who said, oh, my god, you will get annihilated and you will never work in this town again, and i was afraid of that. i really was afraid of that. you know, i was working at "the best damn sports show" at fox sports and i had a good career and i said, you know what, if i come out and speak out there, i probably would get fired or just phased out and i was afraid of that. i'm not afraid of that anymore. could is it still happen? sure, possibly. but, you know, i'm a lot more secure and, you know, myself, my career, at this age now. and i really do think the tide has turned. and really i'm doing it now because it's different. there's strength in numbers. congresswoman jackie spear has come out and she's talking about it now and when she said she had
that experience when she was in her 20s as a congressional aide and came out and said her chief of staff stop heard in an office and grabbed her face and kissed her and stuck his tongue in her mouth. we had her on our air and she said that to us while we were interviewing her on "mcintyre in the morning" the show i'm the news angchor on. i went, i looked at doug and kind of mouthed. that was al franken to me. that was my catalyst to go, you know, if i'm going to tell my story, now is the time. 2017 is now 2006, you know, it's just a different time. and maybe -- maybe i can be somebody's jackie spear and they can tell their story in real time and not wait. and not wait. i mean, why do you think so many people are coming out now that have stories that are decades old. you know, people make mistakes. i mean, i'm not -- i'm not calling for him to step down.
you know, that's not my place to say that, you know. i mean, if there are other people that come out and say he's done this, i mean, i don't know. i mean, i -- if i'm the only one that's come out and said senator franken's done something to me but if there are other women that have come out, i, you know, i haven't returned a phone call. i've gotten a phone call from a woman that has -- i've only gotten a woman and that said that -- something similar has happened to her and i haven't returned it yet. so i'll -- that's to be determined. that's not my call. i'm not saying that. >> leann's been here since 3:30 this morning. we still need a fast one on one. we can do it standing up there. if we can kind of move it along. i think this is more than anyone thought.
unbelievable what he's done. >> thanks. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. so if we need to do it, let's do it and again done. >> pleasure. >> thank you for talking -- >> all right, we have been watching and listening to leann tweeden. leann tweeden is a radio host there at kabc and she went in to a bit more detail about precisely what happened back in 2006 when senator al franken globed her and tried to stick his tongue down her threat while on a uso tour. it was also very interesting to hear her name-check jackie spear, the congresswoman who has been at the forefront of changing how sexual harassment is treated in the halls of congress, on the floor of congress as well. said that she interviewed jackie
spear and as a result of that interview in part she found the strength to come forward with these allegations. we're calling them allegations but it should be noted that senator franken for his part has not denied all of this. kacie hunt join us with that part of the story. ca kacie, what is the senator saying about all of this? >> you heard the long list of descriptions of what has prompted leann tweeden to come forward in this and senator franken has essentially acknowledged -- he put out two separate statements today. the first was very short, acknowledged that he remembered things differently, apologized to her. but his office clearly felt like they needed to expand on the statement. we do have a new statement from the senator from minnesota. and he says -- and of course
nationally, the second i go to read it to you, i manage to pop it off of my screen. so hopefully our viewers are taking a look at it. it says, quote, the first thing i want to do is apologize to leann, to everyone else who was a part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone i represent and to everyone who counts on me to be an ali and supporter and champion of women. there's more i want to say but the first and most important thing, and if it's the only thing you care to hear, that's fine, is i'm sorry. for instance, that picture, he goes on to write, i don't know what was in my head when i took that picture and it doesn't matter. there's no excuse. i look at it now and i feel disgusted with myself. it isn't funny. it's completely inappropriate. it's obviously leann would feel violated by that picture. then he goes on to say, while i don't remember the rehearsal for the skit as leann does, i understand why we need to listen to and believe women's experiences. i am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken and i will gladly cooperate. so senator al franken coming out
and saying himself that there should be an ethics investigation based on these new allegations. that of course was what mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader called for earlier in the day. he called on the democratic leader chuck schumer to join him in that. it looks as though senator franken has done that quite very directly. i want to underscore one piece of this statement for you, craig where he writes about women who expect him to be an ali for him in this fight. i have to tell you, i've been doing a lot of reporting over last few days. i've talked to a lot of women, all anonymously, none of them were willing or interested in having me use their name. and i of course have been very careful to abide by that. but i've talked to women who have worked for both parties. they have campaigned -- worked on campaigns in both parties. they have worked in some cases for members in both parties. and one thing that you hear universally over and over again is that this is not something that's limited to one party or the other. and part of the reason why there's so much silence on
capitol hill is because if you come forward with something like this, you are essentially batting against the home team. and you are damaging your colleagues. you are damaging the enterprise with which you have kind of devoteded your life, your energy, to trying to get this party, a member of this party elected, and that that is really causing people to be even more fearful and to keep that kind of blanket of silence even heavier on women who have experienced something like this. and so i think as we cover these stories obviously we have been talking quite a bit about roy moore who is a republican and that has been something, you know, that has stood to benefit democrats politically. obviously al franken, a democrat, and some of the women that i talked to who have worked for democrats say they feel particularly hurt by this because, you know, they feel like their party is supposed to be the progressive party and they feel very betrayed, and, you know, sometimes you'll hear from republicans that they also feel that way because they feel like the person in question was a family man and that's what they were saying in public. so people have different reasons for feeling betrayed in
situations like this. but it is not something that is specific to one party or the other as we are of course learning today as we cover stories from both sides of the aisle but with similar threads running through them. >> kacie hunt as you were giving us that report and much needed perspective as well by the way, we did get a statement in from minnesota's senior senator of course al franken, the junior senator from the land of lakes there. amy klobuch ra putting out a statement. she says, quote, this should not have happened to leann tweeden. i strongly condemn this behavior and the senate ethics committee must open an investigation. this is robert menendez now. the embattled senator from new jersey. a judge just declaring a mistrial. let's listen in to senator menendez. >> i want to thank my children, alicea, who is here every day with me in court and who brought my lovely granddaughter, evangeline that, to new jersey,
said i could remember what i had to fight on for. my son rob who testified on my behalf. and then joined his sister in court. who kept me company. even let me beat him in a round of golf. i'm so blessed to have two great children. and i love you so much, i can't -- >> dad -- >> i can't truly take you. i want to thank my sister and her husband pete. their presence and the bible passages my sister would send me every morning were an incredible strength to me. i want to thank the family. for their constant friendship and their faith in our innocence. and i wish my dear friend sal success in his continuing search
for justice. i want to thank my defense team as well as dr. melgin's attorneys. abby law, the nation's premier defense attorney, who methodically tore apart the government's case. his partner, denny cramer, former prosecutor turned at vacate for justice, ray brown whose insights were invaluable, and his associations greg hillster and justin clobenshall who gave total commitment to our cause. and to the doctor's defense team. for their invaluable roles. i want to thank the jury. 12 new jerseyians who saw through the government's false claims and used their jersey common sense to reject it. i appreciate their service. i appreciate their sacrifice. and their time a way from their family and their professions.
i want to thank my colleague, senator cory booker who has been supportive from day one, traveled the state and spread the good word. was here on the first day of trial. who was a profile in courage. i know many close to him urged him not to testify. but it's the measure of an incredible man who is willing not only to use his personal reputation but take a risk in order to see justice done. he is a public servant of unlimited potential. who could just easily serve our country in the highest office of all the cory, and you have my gratitude. i also want to thank senator lindsey graham, my friend and colleague, for once again crossing the aisle and testifying to my character, my truthfulness and my honesty.
while i know he came as a friend, i appreciate the political capital he used as a republican tore testify. i want to thank the clergy who strengthened me and prayed with me. so thankful to your spiritual support. i want to thank the leader in the autistic community. my dear friend and cypriot leader all for being character witnesses. i want to thank the hundreds of new jersians who i encountered who overwhelmingly expressed their support and more importantly their prayers. i want to thank my staff both in d.c. and new jersey for their loyalty and above all their dedication to the people of new jersey. especially fred turner my chief of staff, mike vul vsullivan, m
political director. now, let me say a few things. the way this case started was wrong. the way it was investigated was wrong. the way it was prosecuted was wrong. and the way it was tried was wrong as well. certain elements of the fbi and of our state cannot understand, even worse, accept that the latino kid from union city and hudson county can grow up to be a united states senator and be honest. i can't even begin to tell you how many people have come to tell me that the fbi went to them and asked them what can you goodive us on menendez. that is not what the fbi and the department of justice is supposed to be doing. and they are not supposed to be
leaking to the press during the early stages of their investigation which violated my rights to a fair process. i've made my share of mistakes. but my mistakes were never a crime. i've process a lot about our system of justice. it is truly a system of justice you can afford. i understand why so many americans feel that justice is elusive, but for supporters from across the country who believed in me, who knew who i am and what i stand for, i could never have afforded the millions of dollars this case has cost. so my gratitude to all those nj new jerseyans and americans across the country -- >> senator robert menendez outside the courthouse, thanking his family and attorneys, thanking senator corey booker and it appeared as if towards the end of that particular thank
you he endorsed the junior senator for a presidential run and thanked lindsey graham as well. at this point it is not clear whether prosecutors will retry menendez, but again this is a trial that spanned more than two months. he had been charged with eight counts of bribery among other things. 63 years old, planning to run for re-election. while all of that was happening on the right side of your screen, on the left side of your screen that republican tax bill, that tax reform bill, as expected, has passed the house. we heard from speaker paul ryan a short time ago. that is a bill that will now head to the senate. the senate has crafted its own bill. they will begin debating that, we're told, in the next few days. garrett haake has been watching all of this play out on the hill. was the vote as close as expected? >> yeah, craig. the republican leadership saw the writing on the wall on this. they knew it would be relatively close but they would have the votes. the last unofficial tally i saw was republicans lost 13 of their
members who voted no on this. they could afford about 22. they got no democratic support, which again, is not a surprise. this thing came down to a party-line vote. republicans have known for quite a while it's possible their majorities in both houses of congress will depend on them passing this. so they very much rallied the troops and got it done. i can tell you i'm standing, i don't know, 25 feet from the house floor and when they got across that threshold the republicans knew they had enough votes to pass this, we could hear a cheer in the hallway. there's a huge sense, i'm watching some of the members come out here, a huge sense of relief from these folks they were able to get this across what will be the first of potentially two finish lines in the house. at some point the senate will have to pass something and then the house will have to vote again either on the senate bill or on a conference committee bill which we're probably at least a few weeks off from, and craig, that could be be a whole other kettle of fish. the senate bill is very different from the house bill in some key ways right now.
this thing is not over yet, despite the relief that's coming off the house floor right now. >> all right. garrett haake, there for us on the hill where, again, the house has passed that gop tax bill as expected along party lines, thank you. josh barrow has stuck around with us for the hour. he has sat through five or six breaking news stories over the past 52 minutes. and with we are back essentially to where we started with this tax bill. >> yeah. >> the uncertainty of its future in the senate, dare i say that's a gross understatement? >> yeah. i think it is very uncertain in the senate although i'm interested that they pass this with as much room to spare as they did. another vote a few weeks ago set up the budget resolution that built the framework they're using to pass the bill through and that vote was closer 216-212. a number of republicans voted no on that who have come around and voted yes on the tack bill and they may need that room. if they get something through the senate, the hardest part of the process, may be different, might go to a conference
committee, might come back to the house and they will be asked to vote on the different bill that came through the senate and you will have house members who were satisfied with this bill but might have objections to what the senate does, in particular the property tax deduction important to certain members with states with high property taxes included in the house bill not included in the senate bill as written. given they only lost 13 members and could afford to lose several more that will give them wiggle room to play with, members from california, new york, new jersey, that have objections to the bill that comes back from the senate. house republicans can afford to lose a few votes and squeak the thing through the house next time. >> during paul ryan's presentation there on the floor we were talking about -- about some of the numbers that the speaker was using, and i looked over at one point and you seemed to be nodding in disbelief, as you occasionally do here. >> never. >> what issues did you have with some of the numbers that speaker ryan was using. >> what they're showing there is showing effects in the first year under the bill. saying tax cuts on average and
all the groups. that's true. but the problem is that parts of the tax cuts that are primarily aimed at middle class families are temporary. they're only allowed $1.5 trillion to the deficit. they've prioritized business tax cuts. a big corporate tax cuts. wasn't enough money left to do the family tax cuts for all years of the budget. only a few years. we'll come back and extend the tax cuts but sometimes temporary tax cuts do prove temporary. if they do that it will cost more than the $1.5 trillion they said. also some stealth tax increases that compound over time. the picture looks a lot worse for families if you look out to 2021 or 2027 than in 2017. not really seeing the whole picture on those charts. >> to be clear the corporate tax cuts they're talking about, those cuts would be permanent? >> they would be permanent. there's going to be an issue because of complicated senate rules things about whether they can be permanent through the senate. the senate has come up with a way to do that, but it's complicated and involves other things that will be
uncomfortable for some people. their intention is to do a permanent corporate tax cut. we will see if that survives. >> house gop leadership all smiles. kevin mccarthy flanked by house speaker paul ryan there. again this was an expected victory for the lower chamber. we are expecting that the speaker is going to take to the microphone, take to the podium there in just a few moments. probably won't just be paul ryan. we will probably hear from a few other members of leadership as well. but again, josh, as you were indicating, the real fight now moves from the house to the senate. why is that going to be a steeper hill to climb? >> first of all it's just the narrow majority in the senate. republicans hold only 52 seats andcon only lose two votes. the majority gives them more space to lose members in the house. you have -- senators are independent minded. they don't follow leadership as easily as members of the house
typically do and a number of senators who have been raising objections that range from mild to loud about things in the senate bill and some of the demands they're making are in conflict with each other. this whole process is driven by the restrictions around it. only allowed to grow the deficit $1.5 trillion over the next five years, can't grow it after then. if someones says i want a new tax break for this group or that group, you have to take away somebody else's tax break. senator ron johnson from wisconsin wants a tax break for certain kinds of businesses. give him that to get his vote you take away somebody else's tax break. does that lose you another vote. the complication in the senate they're trying to repeal the individual mandate to carry health insurance part of obamacare. if you do that will have affects on health insurance markets. two republican members, collins and murkowski, seem uncomfortable with the idea of doing that. but if you take that out that creates math problems for the bill. they actually -- if you repeal that mandate for a set of
complex reasons it reduces the federal deficit. more room to give out tax cuts. if they can't touch the individual mandate they have to take tax cuts out of the bill. it's like a jen ga tower. if there's a block that has to be moved to get senator's vote you cap kan pull that block out but will you knock the tower over. >> you saw steve scalise come in as well to a round of applause. let's listen to house gop members celebrate their win. >> and today's a big day for so many in this country, especially for those who have been struggling to get ahead, who have read about the economic recovery for years but have never experienced it. today is a great day for them. [ speaking foreign language ]
[ speaking foreign language ] >> the house of representatives has passed the gop tax bill. here they are taking a victory lap right now. joining us is capitol hill reporter garrett haake. garrett, are you there? >> hey, katie, i'm here, can you hear me? >> give us a rundown of what happens next? >> hey, katie, next up, the senate, which has been the spoiler for all of these republican priorities, that they're trying to get through the chamber this year. right now, though, there's a celebration. i think you can probably hear how loud it is around me right now. republicans are thrilled that they've been able to get this bill this far. they lost 13 votes on the floor.
that's a little bit more than we expected but not enough to really ever put this thing in peril. republicans from california, new york, new jersey, all voting no on this. that's one good sign for the prospects in the senate. there are no republicans from those states in the united states senate. right now, republicans on the house have finished their work and really, there's not a lot they can do except for wait for the senate to work through the complex personal dynamics this bill faces on that side where you have senators like ron johnson, not happy about the business part of the tax plan, to folks like susan collins, lisa murkowski, and, of course, john mccain, who at any point could be wild cards about the inclusion of health care in this bill or about the process or about anything else, all of those republican senators want to get their piece of this in the senate and, you know, that's going to be the tricky part of this process. just like with health care. >> yeah. got to keep an eye on murkowski,