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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Bill Cosby Under Oath; Hillary Clinton Speaks Out; Clinton Gives First National Interview to CNN. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired July 7, 2015 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:08] JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Today,Hillary Clinton facing some serious, sustained questions right here on CNN.
I'm Jake Tapper, and this is THE LEAD.
The politics lead, Hillary Clinton sitting down right now giving her first national TV interview as a candidate to CNN. We will have the highlights coming up.
The national lead, Bill Cosby under oath. The man who was once America's favorite dad in his own words now backing up some of what more than two dozen accusers have charged. We will have reaction from two of the survivors of his alleged attacks.
The sports lead, women's basketball players accusing coaches of segregating practices. A CNN investigation that forced one of the top college programs in the country to take a second look at allegations of racially motivated bullying by the coaches.
Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to THE LEAD.
We will have clips from that Hillary Clinton interview in just a minute, but first a stunning admission from Bill Cosby leading to more fallout from the numerous rape allegations against.
Bounce TV just announced it will no air reruns of the TV series called "Cosby," this because of the newly released deposition from 2005, released because a lawsuit by the Associated Press. Now, if the 77- year-old comedian is not yet regretting his answers in that sexual assault lawsuit 10 years ago, he is today likely regretting his much- talked-about pound cake speech from a year earlier.
That speech was when Bill Cosby started blasting bad parenting in black America. We will explain the significance in a second.
But, first, take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BILL COSBY, COMEDIAN: I'm talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18? And how come you don't know he had a pistol? These are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola, people getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
TAPPER: Now, why would Bill Cosby be regretting this speech today?
Well, because the judge who unsealed the documents yesterday, the documents in which Cosby admits his intention to give quaaludes to young women with whom he wanted to have sex with, that judge referenced the pound cake speech and other speeches like it, saying that he made his decision because Cosby had put himself out there as a moral authority.
Including the woman suing Cosby in 2005, more than 25 women have come forward with stories of sexual misconduct. That list included supermodel Beverly Johnson, who claims Cosby drugged her cup of cappuccino and tried to come on to her, supermodel Janice Dickinson, who says Cosby put drugs in her glass of red wine. She said she woke up to find Cosby on top of her.
And way back in 1967, Carla Ferrigno, who is married now to "The Incredible Hulk" star Lou Ferrigno, she said Cosby forcibly kissed her at his home.
Now, CNN's Jean Casarez joining me now.
Jean, this deposition released really just hours ago, it's changing opinions of people who supported Cosby or doubted these women.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Jake, the defense fought so hard in this, because Bill Cosby said that this was a violation of his privacy rights, that the public did not have a right to know this, that it was part of a settlement agreement, confidentiality, that all sides agreed to it.
But the district court judge disagreed and his alleged victims are now feeling vindicated.
CASAREZ (voice-over): One by one, they came forward.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I woke up or came to very groggily with him removing my underwear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The room started to spin. My speech slurred. I remember him calling me over towards him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was lying down. Cosby was on top of me, kissing me forcefully.
CASAREZ: More than 25 accusers over the past 40 years. But some people had doubts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And one of the things that getting accused of a lot of stuff when you're famous does is, it opens the door for everybody to come out and say, and me too, boss. CASAREZ: Some out-and-out disbelieved. Singer Jill Scott supported
Cosby, tweeting in December, "I'm respecting a man who has done more for the image of brown people than almost anyone ever."
Now admitting she was wrong, Scott tweeted after hearing Cosby's admission: "Sadly, his own testimony offers proof of terrible deeds, which is all I have ever required to believe the accusations."
That testimony is from a deposition given by Cosby under oath in 2005 as part of a civil case filed that same year in Pennsylvania by Andrea Constand, an employee of Temple University, where Cosby was on the board of trustees. Constand alleged she was sexually assaulted by Cosby in 2004.
"When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?"
"Did you ever give any of these young women the quaaludes without their knowledge?"
Cosby describes an encounter in Las Vegas in the '70s. "She meets me backstage. I give her quaaludes. We then have sex."
According to ABC News, Cosby's camp said in a statement, "The only reason Mr. Cosby settled was because it would have been embarrassing in those days to put all those women on the stand and his family had no clue. That would have been very hurtful."
Cosby's lawyer, Marty Singer, tells CNN, "We have no knowledge who issued the statement to ABC. It was not an authorized statement from any Cosby representative."
The records were made public Monday after the Associated Press went to court to compel their release. In rendering his decision, the judge stated, "The stark contrast between Bill Cosby the public moralist and Bill Cosby the subject of serious allegations concerning improper and perhaps criminal conduct is a matter as to which the AP and by extension the public has a significant interest."
CASAREZ: And it's interesting to note in 2005, when Andrea Constand came forward, she filed a civil suit, criminal charges were not filed.
The district attorney, Bruce Castor, saying that because she had waited a year, he wouldn't be able to do toxicology testing. He wouldn't have the results, he wouldn't have the evidence. And last night on CNN, Jake, he admitted he never knew what was inside this deposition, what it actually said. TAPPER: Wow. Jean Casarez, thank you so much.
Joining me now, two women who accused Cosby of sexual assault, Beth Ferrier and Barbara Bowman. Barbara is now an ambassador to the nonprofit called PAVE, which stands for Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment.
Thanks to both of you for being with me.
I know this is not necessarily an easy thing to do to talk about this sort of thing.
Let me just start with you, Barbara. What was your first reaction when you heard about what Cosby had admitted to in this deposition that was released yesterday?
BARBARA BOWMAN, COSBY ACCUSER: It was relief and elation. But it was not a shock. I had been fighting for 10 years to tell my story and be believed. But I never gave up hope.
I knew that some day, some way, something would break, and we would be able to take this to the next level. Even in my darkest days, when I felt like I wanted to give up, I just knew that if I hung in there and I stayed steady and kept at it, and just kept getting out there, and empowering those women, we would see it.
TAPPER: And, Beth, what was your reaction? .
BETH FERRIER, COSBY ACCUSER: Finally. I, like Barbara, came forward in 2005 to support Andrea Constand.
And so it's been a dark and lonely journey from 2005 until today, being here, getting to be side by side with Barbara to speak with you, to tell the world and to tell Mr. Cosby that we're not going away, none of us are going away. There's over 49 of us now, so, you know, elation, I guess.
FERRIER: Forty-nine public at this point. You're right. That's right, Barbara.
I want the rest of the Jane Does, I'm encouraging those other Jane Does who have yet to come forward, it's time. It's a safe place.
TAPPER: Barbara, let me ask you. I want to ask you. And, then, Beth, I want to get your reaction as well.
There's kind of an irony in the fact that the judge unsealed this deposition, referencing the fact that Cosby had been out there taking this moral stance, lecturing black America, saying things that were controversial. Some people liked it, some people didn't. As a victim or survivor, how did you feel hearing him giving lectures on parenting?
BOWMAN: Well, for one thing, Cosby was always surrounded by a very strong inner circle of confederates, and every move he made was protected. Every decision that he made was carefully calculated and masterminded.
So when those soapbox speeches were happening, I believe that he was counting on that image to just be another part of his circle of protection to divert the attention away from his predatory behaviors. There were times in around 2005 and '6 when the media was picking up a little bit on it, and a couple news outlets had done a couple stories.
And immediately they were pushed under the rug and he went out on these morality tours. I believe that this man is -- has been predatory since the beginning of time and that he has very carefully calculated ways in which that he could build levels of trust and diversions. It was difficult to watch.
TAPPER: Beth, let me ask you. He is still out there on tour and still drawing big crowds. And there are still people who don't believe. What is your message to them?
FERRIER: Well, Jake, it's actually -- it's time.
I'm not a liar. Barbara's not a liar. None of us are liars. I passed a lie-detector test. "National Enquirer" ran -- flipped my story for Bill Cosby's story. Why is Bill not mentioning my name and calling me a liar? Because he's scared to death. In the deposition, he mentions my name, Beth Ferrier, that if I -- in fact, my story runs -- this was back in 2005 -- that if my story ran -- and this is found in the deposition that was released this week -- Beth Ferrier's story, if it's released, that the world will believe Andrea Constand at that time.
So, we're here, we are proud, we are survivors. We're here to support victims of sexual molestation and rape.
BOWMAN: That's right.
Beth Ferrier and Barbara Bowman, I want to thank you so much for your strength. I know it's not easy to do, and we really appreciate your strength and sharing your stories. Thanks so much for being with us.
BOWMAN: It's easier than it was in November, so thank you for the opportunity. Appreciate it very much.
FERRIER: Yes. Thank you.
TAPPER: Well, that's good to hear.
And don't miss a CNN special report, "No Laughing Matter: Inside the Cosby Allegations." That's tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN. Much more on that story. Coming up in our sports lead, a special LEAD investigation, outrage and now a lawsuit after parents say their daughters were subjected to racist insults at the hands of their college coaches -- that story coming up.
[16:16:50] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
We have some breaking news right now in our politics lead. She is the candidate to beat in the Democratic field. Former Secretary of State Hillary has led every single poll pitting her against other Democrats, and the ultimate frontrunner status has allowed her to for three months bob and weave around, and generally avoid reporter's questions.
But now, Clinton is finally stepping out from behind the ropes and sitting down with our Brianna Keilar for her first national TV interview.
Brianna, you're in Iowa City, Iowa, you just finished talking to Secretary Clinton. What did she have to say?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: One of the things she had to say, Jake, was about the reason that she's here in Iowa, which, of course, we're in Iowa city, a liberal enclave. Part of the reason she's here is to tout the organization of her campaign. And this comes, even though she's the front-runner in Iowa, we see Senator Bernie Sanders surging, his poll numbers have more than doubled in the last month or so.
So, she's needing to address that excitement that Bernie Sanders is creating with these crowds of thousands of people. She stood by the smaller events that she's doing for a few months here, saying they've been necessary for her to learn about what she should talk about, what's of concern to voters. But she also said that the lesson she learned from her last presidential campaign was that she didn't organize well in Iowa and it was all about organization. So she was here highlighting that.
But this was really interesting, we also talked to her about the Republican field. Here's what she said.
KEILAR: Let's talk now about Republicans. There are so many. But right now, the front-runner --
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a big crew.
KEILAR: It is a big crew. Right now, the front-runner is Jeb Bush. Can you believe that a quarter century after your husband was elected, there could be another Bush-Clinton race?
CLINTON: Well, we'll see. That's up to, first, the Republicans on his side, the Democrats on my side. What's great about America is anybody can run for president. That is literally true, and you have do go out and you have to do what everybody else does -- you have to make your case, you have to have your agenda, you have to raise the money, you have to work really hard, so whoever is nominated by their respective parties will be the nominee and then we'll see who's on the other side.
KEILAR: Donald Trump is also creating quite a lot of commotion on the other side. He's a friend of yours, has been over the years. He donated to your Senate campaign, to the Clinton Foundation.
What's your reaction to his recent comments that some Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals?
CLINTON: I'm very disappointed in those comments. And I feel very bad and very disappointed with him and with the Republican Party for not responding immediately and saying enough, stop it.
But they are all in the same general area on immigration. You know, they don't want to provide a path to citizenship. They range across a spectrum of being either grudgingly welcome or hostile toward immigrant.
And I'm going to talk about comprehensive immigration reform.
[16:20:02] I'm going to talk about all of the good law abiding, productive members of the immigrant community that I personally know, that I've over the course of my life that I would like to see have a path to citizenship.
KEILAR: What about Jeb Bush's approach to that? It's different certainly than Donald Trump.
CLINTON: He doesn't believe in a path to citizenship. If he did at one time, he no longer does. And so, pretty much they're -- as I said, they're on a spectrum of, you know, hostility which I think is regrettable in a nation of immigrants like ours, all the way to kind of grudging acceptance, but refusal to go with a pathway to citizenship.
I think that's a mistake. I think that -- we know we're not going to deport 11 million or 12 million people. We shouldn't be breaking up families. We shouldn't be stopping people from having the opportunity to be fully integrated legally within our country.
It's good for us. It's good economically. It's good for the taxes that will be legally collected. It's good for the children, so that they can go as far as their hard work and talent will take them.
So, I am 100 percent behind comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.
KEILAR: So, Jake, we're seeing Hillary Clinton here really drawing the fault lines in the general election when it comes to immigration reform, that being the pathway to citizenship. Jeb Bush is more pro- comprehensive immigration reform than other Republicans in the field, but you see Hillary Clinton painting all Republicans with a broad brush here as she positions herself as the candidate for comprehensive immigration reform.
And this is important, because she is really trying to target that Barack Obama coalition, which includes, of course, Hispanic-Americans, and you see her taking this position here and it sort of reflects that desire to appeal to this group.
I'll also tell you, Jake, we talked about a big vulnerability of hers right now, in our recent, almost six in 10 Americans said they don't think she's honest and trustworthy. I talked to her about that. I asked if she bears any responsibility for that. We'll show you what she said coming up next hour on THE SITUATION ROOM -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Brianna. Don't go anywhere.
I want to bring in two other panelists to discuss this interview. CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson and CNN national political reporter Maeve Reston.
Maeve, let me start with you. I was a little surprised if I got the Clinton quote. She was describing the Republicans as being on a spectrum of ranging from hostility to immigrants to grudging acceptance.
To point out the obvious, Jeb Bush is married to a Mexican immigrant. I doubt he would describe his relationship with his wife as ranging from hostility to grudging acceptance. It's possible that this play she's making for Latino voters can work, absolutely, but she should certainly not overplay her hand, I think.
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Certainly, and she also ought to check the facts on where all the various candidates are on a path to citizenship. I was talking to Lindsey Graham, for example, earlier today, and he said, with all due respect, I've been for a path to citizenship for a long time.
So, while Brianna, as Brianna said, she's trying to paint all the candidates, you know, under the Donald Trump brush, we'll see them start to talk a little more about how they're different than Donald Trump, even though they've been pretty slow to do that.
But you also have that, you know, Clinton has a lot of work to do with Hispanics as well. There are a lot of people in this country, Latino voters, who feel that Democrats have not done enough for them, and who are disappointed in President Obama. That does not mean certainly that they're going to go rushing to the Republicans, but it is something that she's really going to have to work on in the coming months.
TAPPER: Nia-Malika, what is your reaction to the Clinton interview? Certainly, we embrace as members of the media her sitting down and agreeing to do an interview.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. Finally.
TAPPER: But what was your reaction to the clip we heard?
HENDERSON: No, I -- (a), I think Brianna did a fantastic job in this interview. I think it was a long time and coming certainly. I was thinking this morning, giving -- you know, sort of excited about this interview because it's been so long, three months that she's been out there. It's time for her to do that.
They talked all along about the different faces of their campaign, and they're going to run a campaign that's different than Bernie Sanders campaign, that almost have a series of different rollouts and it looks like this is probably rollout number three at this point. They wanted to do smaller events, maybe at some point they'll do bigger events, but we're certainly glad that she's talking.
She gave a series of interviews, a series of questions before the Brianna interview, various issues came up. I think they're mindful not only of Sanders sort of looking over their shoulder. But what it means is they have to be out there critiquing this president in real time, knowing that they still got to try to keep that Obama coalition together going-forward if they're to win this primary and then going- forward in the general election.
[16:25:07] TAPPER: And she is banking on trying to win the Obama coalition.
Brianna, I want to ask you, the site of the event today, this public library, it was a caucus site in 2008, Hillary Clinton coming in third in the Iowa caucuses. She got no delegates at the site I'm told. You heard how she framed the battle for Iowa. What was your take?
KEILAR: Well, the way she framed it was that she didn't organize very well. Not necessarily that people weren't buying what she was selling at the time, but that she didn't understand. Not didn't understand, but that they didn't -- her campaign didn't execute the way you need to in the Iowa caucuses, which are this sort of unusual beast.
Before she spoke, Jake, it was interesting, because you heard volunteers up there, and they were sort of going through support and making sure there were representatives from different areas. Making sure they've done the groundwork she didn't do in 2007 and 2008.
TAPPER: Maeve, let me ask you, you've been on the trail talking to lots of voters. We saw Bernie Sanders turn out 10,000 people in Madison, Wisconsin, 7,500 people turning out last night to see the self-described socialist senator in Portland, Maine. Hillary Clinton saying she's keeping her events smaller on purpose. Do you buy that? Or do you think she's keeping them smaller so as not to get into expectations and crowd battle with Bernie Sanders whose certainly exciting a lot of progressives.
RESTON: Well, I don't think Hillary Clinton is going to have any trouble on the crowd battle. But as you and I both know, I mean, all of these events on the trail are about crowd building and how many people you dial up in advance to get them to your events. I think the bigger problem for her, more at that point size of her
events is the fact that you are hearing about an enthusiasm gap out there from voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. I was really startled by it when I was in both of those states over the last couple weeks.
There's just a desire for something fresh. And she's not offering yet, in the campaign, and I think that's a really big challenge for her going-forward, because Bernie is less known and so he's new and people like listening to what he has to say, and like a Democratic strategist said to me, it's really hard to put white thing back in the bottle, it's going to be hard to see how Hillary does that right now.
TAPPER: All right. Brianna, Nia, Maeve, thanks to all of you.
Make sure to stay with us throughout the hour so when 5:00 rolls around, you can catch Brianna's entire sit-down with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, which will be airing on THE SITUATION ROOM and airs in "Cooper 360", that's 5:00 Eastern and 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
Thanks to all of you.
Coming up, a group of combat veterans break their silence on the Israeli government's version of the Gaza war.
And a CNN special investigation which forced a college to face allegations of racial bias and bullying, that's coming up.