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Trump Looks to Deliver as 100-Day Mark Looms; French Election Down to Two Candidates; American Professor Detained in North Korea; Trump Promises Big Tax Cuts in Tax Reform Plan; Trump Attending Rally Instead of Correspondents' Dinner; Alisyn Camerota Admits FOX News CEO Sexually Harassed Her. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 23, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: 100th day in office, giving him less than a week now to deliver on some of his major campaign promises. So far he has followed through on two key promises, pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership and getting his Supreme Court nominee confirmed. Everyone agrees that's a big one, but he has outright failed on three. His travel ban has been blocked, Obamacare is still law of the land and China has not been labeled a currency manipulator.
Now the White House is putting major pressure on Congress to deliver and as we speak lawmakers are making their way back to Washington. In just a few hours Congress will be back in session. But their priorities might not be the same as the President Trump.
CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones is outside the White House with more on that -- Athena.
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Ana. A big week ahead here in Washington, a lot on the agenda and a big deadline looming on Friday. That, of course, is the deadline for Congress to pass a must-pass spending bill in order to avert a government shutdown.
Now the White House, folks here insist that they're not going to allow the government to shut down. But they also point out that they've made their priorities very clear to the folks on Capitol Hill. They've told them what they want to see included in this spending bill. Among those priorities, more money to hire immigration agents. Also money for the border wall.
Now Democrats have already said that is a nonstarter. They do not want to see money for a border wall included in this spending bill. They also don't want to see money for additional immigration agents included in this bill. So the big question is, will the president insist on border wall funding and will he sign a bill that doesn't include it. Several administration officials spoke about the importance of border security and this border wall in recent interviews.
Take a look at what Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Budget director Mick Mulvaney and chief of staff Reince Priebus had to say about this issue. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Will the president go to the mat and insist on funding his border wall as part of the stop- gap government funding measure?
JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Well, Dana, I think it goes without saying that the president has been pretty straightforward about his desire and the need for a border wall. So I would suspect he will do the right thing for sure, but I will suspect he will be insistent on the funding.
MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: We want our priorities funded, and one of the biggest priorities during the campaign was border security, keeping Americans safe, and part of that was a border wall.
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We expect a massive increase in military spending. We expect money for border security in this bill. And it ought to be, because the president won overwhelmingly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So there you heard a lot of talk about the importance of border security, but what's interesting here is that we're getting a little bit of a mixed message depending on which administration official is doing the talking. You heard Secretary Kelly said that he believes the president will insist on that border wall funding, but in their interviews, Mick Mulvaney of -- from the Budget Office and the Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said -- did not say the president would refuse to sign a bill that doesn't include border wall funding.
And the president himself in an interview recently with the Associated Press was asked if he would sign a bill without that funding and simply said, I don't know. So that is a big question mark that's going to be hovering over all of this week -- Ana.
CABRERA: Our thanks to Athena Jones at the White House.
Let's get straight to our panel. With us now, CNN political commentator and former Ohio state senator, Nina Turner, and CNN political commentator and former lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Andre Bauer.
Andre, back in February Republican lawmakers were raising doubts about the president's border wall. Some saying they didn't see how this would work, others saying there's just no way this would pass unless spending is offset. So do you see the spending bill including funding for the border wall?
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I hope it does. I hope that at least it starts the process. And, you know, you do this by charging for wires going back to Mexico. You put a tariff on the wires going back and ultimately Mexico does pay for the wall.
CABRERA: You think it's as simple as that, Nina?
NINA TURNER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely not. And it is ridiculous. I know that the president and his administration wants to make this wall a bargaining chip, but it is a nonstarter with Democrats. It is not first things first.
The president really needs to start to honor his campaign promises, which is to make sure that healthcare was available to all people in this country, to Americans in this country, and to get the economy zooming again, and none of that has happened, Ana. And we have infrastructure needs that we need in this country which will also help the economy, so this wall should not be in his top five things to accomplish.
CABRERA: And yet a couple of polls were released. An ABC News poll, "Washington Post" also part of that poll, showing the president has just 42 percent approval overall, and an NBC News and "Wall Street Journal" poll shows he has just 40 percent. But look at this. Only 2 percent of the Americans who voted for President Trump say they regret it. His voters are still with him.
[20:05:07] Nina, is that a bad sign for Democrats if they aren't making more inroads and even what you just listed doesn't seem to be impacting them very much.
TURNER: Well, his team -- he can't continue to govern with just the people who voted for him. He is the president of the United States and the president of all people, so that is a snapshot. What this means, though, we shouldn't be playing politics either way with the needs of the American people. They want leadership and they want people to do things that really are in their best interests. So this is not sustainable just because his team, the people on his team support him. He has the worst approval rating in modern history and that is not a good sign.
CABRERA: Andre, President Trump tweeted earlier that he believed that these polls are very good. He notes that one found 53 percent of him as -- see him as a strong leader, but he left out that that really is the only positive trait getting support of the majority of Americans. In fact, more than half of voters don't trust him in a crisis, don't think he has good judgment, don't see him as honest or trustworthy, don't think he has a good temperament and they don't believe he is empathetic. Is this concerning?
BAUER: Well, I would -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
CABRERA: Is this concerning?
BAUER: Well, I hope that he'll continue to govern and not worry again so much about the polls. But I will tell you this, he has got to have juice within these legislative districts if he wants to get something done. Ronald Reagan used to say when you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat. As long as the members of the House, the members of the U.S. Senate are concerned about his popularity within their district, they will have to work with him more. If he loses popularity within those districts, then he can't put as
much pressure to them. So he's got to at least pay attention to the folks that are swing folks, that aren't always going to be with him, and make sure that he actually appeals to those voters so he can put pressure on the members of the U.S. Congress to get things done.
There's no education in the second kick of a mule either. He's got to make sure when he takes bills to the United States Congress that he can actually get them passed. He needs to make sure he does his homework first and not be in such a rush to get a bill passed, but to make sure to get the right bill passed.
CABRERA: Does he have any political capital to have that kind of leverage that you're speaking of, Andre?
BAUER: I think he still has that capital right. Look, people are still excited. I know you can find all these polls that are against him, but we have more people employed than we did before, things are moving in a positive direction. No, he hasn't gotten the legislative accomplishments that he might have wanted to have done, but he's done other things that give him a good overall first almost 100 days. And so I know we keep saying these polls are up, but again his base is still happy with him. Hopefully when he gets a few of the legislative accomplishments, more than just his base will be with him and say he's gotten things done that directly affect a betterment of my life.
CABRERA: Nina, as a Democrat, what would you be OK with your lawmakers compromising on this week?
TURNER: Well, nothing that the president has put forward so far. I mean, the -- we need humane immigration reform, Ana. The Congress should have done that long before Mr. Trump even was sworn into office. It is not OK to build this wall on the backs of the American people after the president said that Mexico was going to build the wall. Forget the dad gum wall, what we really need to do is to shore up Obamacare, not to take healthcare away from millions and millions and millions of Americans in this country, who by the way some are Republicans, some Democrats, some are libertarian, some are Green Party.
When you are talking humanity and being moral, and lifting people the way that President Trump said he wants to make America great again, well, you can't make America great on the backs of the working class in this country. So there's nothing that the president has presented thus far that I believe that Democrats should agree with.
CABRERA: And, Andre, we listed a whole bunch of outstanding issues, some really big issues. Healthcare, taxes, the spending bill. As a Republican, what do you want the president and your GOP lawmakers to focus on most? What should be the priority?
BAUER: Well, I wish they hadn't jumped on Obamacare. Look, the Democrats are going to have to own it. And so if it continues to go bad, more of them are going to want to try to work with the Republicans to fix it. I think they first off should have worked on tax reform. You get that corporate tax rate down, you start creating more dollars
within our country, creating new job opportunities, you repatriate those dollars that aren't on our shores, give them a great flat rate to get them to bring that money back into our country if they invest it, those things will continue to help new people come into the workforce, and that will continue to grow his base.
Taking on healthcare is a much longer, I think, difficult program, but the tax -- right off the bat they should have gone after the tax reform because that affects everybody, if not directly at least indirectly.
CABRERA: All right. Andre Bauer, Nina Turner, our thanks to both of you. We appreciate you. And have a great rest of the weekend.
TURNER: You too.
BAUER: Thank you.
CABRERA: Now a political shocker overseas. Election day for 47 million registered voters in France.
[20:10:03] It's is an election that could have an impact on all of us around the world. Now this was just round one in their choice for president today and when all the ballots were counted, two candidates were left standing. Surprisingly neither of them were from the political establishment. A former banker and relative unknown named Emmanuel Macron has a slight lead right now over the far-right political veteran Marine Le Pen. One of them will eventually be the next French president.
Reaction here on the streets of Paris. People unhappy with the first round results, clashing with French police who fired tear gas to break up the crowds there.
CNN senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann is in northern France tonight where supporters of Marine Le Pen are celebrating -- Jim.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ana, I'm not sure that the word got out to Le Pen supporters up here in (INAUDIBLE), France, up in the northeast part of the country, that in fact their candidate came in second. They're acting like it was a big victory, and I guess it's probably warranted in the sense that there was some feeling that perhaps support for her was weakening at the end of the campaign and she might not make it to the second round. Obviously she has and now these folks feel that they have a chance to bring the campaign around to the French people and get her beyond the 50 percent mark when it comes to voting for president in just two weeks time.
Now she's going to have an uphill battle because there are -- if you do the math with the other parties, she's got a lot of numbers working against her. She will have to bring around a number of voters from the mainstream parties, and it is unlikely that they will do that but we don't know that for sure. And she's going to center this campaign, if her foreign policy advisor is right, on issues like globalization, like Europe, and like immigration and unemployment. And all of those issues have a great deal of appeal up here in this part of France where unemployment is running 17 percent or 18 percent.
Ana, back to you.
CABRERA: We'll keep watching. Thank you, Jim Bittermann reporting from France.
Right now North Korea is detaining an American professor named Tony Kim. In response the Pentagon just issued a harsh new warning to the rogue nation. Coming up next, I'll ask a former ambassador how the Pentagon's tough talk might go over with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. We're back in a moment.
[20:16:26] CABRERA: Right now, an American professor is being held in North Korea. We are told Tony Kim has just finished teaching for several weeks at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Now the school says his detention is not related to his work with the university. But we know he was stopped just this weekend before he attempted to fly out of the country.
President Trump is set to talk with Japan's prime minister and China's president tonight and the topic of North Korea will likely be a big focus.
Let's talk it over with former ambassador to China and former Washington state governor, Gary Locke.
Ambassador Locke, thanks for being with us. Right now North Korea is holding at least two other U.S. citizens. Why do you think they detained a third? Again, we don't know why -- what their reasoning is for his detention, but do you think they're trying to send a message?
AMB. GARY LOCKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: I think they're looking for as many bargaining chips as possible in any type of upcoming talks between China, the United States, North Korea and some of its allies regarding North Korea's nuclear program. So they're really trying to get as many bargaining chips as possible to make it more difficult for the United States.
CABRERA: Now, Ambassador, President Trump just this week was reportedly involved in pushing Egypt to release that Egyptian American aid worker. Do you think that could have sent some kind of an unintentional message perhaps to North Korea?
LOCKE: Well, I think that's totally unrelated because the United States is trying to develop stronger, closer relations with Egypt and the two presidents met and they discussed this case, so it's really a gesture of goodwill by the Egyptians towards President Trump. There is no goodwill between North Korea and the United States. If anything this is only going to inflame the situation make it more difficult for us to resolve the overarching issue of getting North Korea to stop developing a nuclear weapon.
CABRERA: So if you were to advise the president, how should he approach this, in particular with the detained Americans?
LOCKE: I think we're just going to have to set that aside. I mean, we're going to be doing everything we can, using our other channels to seek his release, to make sure that he is treated well, along with the other two Americans that are being held. But in the meantime, we've really got to figure out a way in which we can get North Korea to the bargaining table to talk about its nuclear program. And really, it's going to involve many other countries, China, South Korea, Japan as well, and maybe even Russia.
They've had talks before but they've broken down. And the problem is that North Korea is -- and China have really been insisting on talks first before they stop their efforts on developing a nuclear weapon. The United States for the past many years has been saying, you stop developing your nuclear weapon first then we'll talk. Well, that approach has not gotten us anywhere. And in fact, North Korea is almost looking at Libya and saying, look what Muammar Gadhafi did, he gave up his nuclear weapons and what happened? The West ousted him.
LOCKE: So they're saying -- their weapons, they have an ace card to keep South Korea, the United States from invading North Korea.
CABRERA: So also this weekend there was another new development. North Korea threatened to take out a U.S. aircraft carrier conducting drills with Japanese destroyers near the Philippines. The Pentagon responded tonight to that with a harsh new warning and I quote, "We call on North Korea to refrain from provocative, destabilizing actions and rhetoric, and to make the strategic choice to fulfill its international obligations and commitments and return to serious talks," end quote.
So, Ambassador, how much weight do Pentagon warning like this carry with North Korea's leader?
[20:20:02] LOCKE: Well, I think both sides are firing, you know, diplomatic bluster and military gestures and tough talk at each other. Look, the reality is that, for instance, North Korea says that they'll wipe out the United States. They don't have a nuclear weapon yet that's capable of being launched and sent to the United States. They don't have the ability --
CABRERA: You don't think so?
LOCKE: Well, they don't have that capability yet, but that's the problem. We don't want them to get to that point. That's why it's so important and urgent that we help -- that we stop their development of a nuclear weapon before it gets to the point where we really have fewer options. And so that's why there's going to have to be some sort of grand bargain involving the entire security of North Korea, the amount of American troops in South Korea, protection of North Korea by China, and everything else. So North Korea is going to have to see a lot from the United States
and its allies if it is going to stop developing a nuclear weapon because they're afraid that if they get rid of their nuclear weapons or the development of a nuclear weapon, what's to stop America or South Korea from immediately invading North Korea? They saw what happened to Muammar Gadhafi when he gave up his nuclear weapons. He's gone and the West took him out. And so they're afraid that that could happen to them.
CABRERA: Sadly I don't think this is going to be the last conversation we have about North Korea, but we'd love to have you back as we continue to follow developments there.
CABRERA: Ambassador Gary Locke, thank you for joining us.
President Trump says he is ready to announce his tax reform plan this week. Millions who have filled out those IRS forms looking for a big refund hope it will soon mean more money in their pockets. We will ask Ben Stein what he'd like to see in the president's plan here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:26:00] CABRERA: President Trump says we're going to get some details on Wednesday about his tax reform plan. The president says individuals and businesses will receive a massive tax cut. Of course, that depends on Congress passing this tax plan. So let's talk taxes with Ben Stein. He is a renowned economist, actor and comedian.
Ben, the current tax code is very complicated as you know. What is the number one thing that needs to be changed or tackled first?
BEN STEIN, ECONOMIST: I would say raise taxes on the rich and also eliminate the corporate income tax. There's no reason to have the corporate income tax. They should get rid of that.
CABRERA: Raise taxes on the rich. Republicans are going to say no, we can't raise taxes. What should you tell them?
STEIN: I mean, really rich. I mean on the really rich, not on medium rich. I mean on people earning 10 million or 20 million a year. Like the people who live in my neighborhood. They deserve to have higher taxes.
CABRERA: So what would you say is a fair compromise then for those who believe that if you give that money back to people or lower taxes, in fact, on the rich is what President Trump's tax plan is proposing in order to pump more money into the economy?
STEIN: There's already plenty of money in the economy. We're running something like a $500 billion deficit, to have a reserve still, even though they say they've ended easy money, they haven't. So we have tons of money in the economy. There's a tremendous surplus of capital in the economy. This idea that you can give money away through tax cuts and somehow get more money into the income tax revenue stream is a fantasy, very much beloved by supply siders and by my fellow Republicans, and -- but I'm afraid it just does not work. It would be wonderful if it did work. It would be wonderful if by cutting taxes you could actually get more income tax revenue, but I'm afraid it just doesn't work.
CABRERA: Why do you think the president is introducing this now, given there's this big spending bill showdown that's expected at the end of the week? Is this the right time to introduce this reform?
STEIN: Well, think he's doing it because he's promised he would do it and he's trying to keep his promises. He made a certain number of fairly big promises, he is trying to keep as many of them as he can. I think this one was a mistake to promise, but as part of the Republican articles of faith that you promise a big tax cut.
I'm an old guy. You said I was renowned guy and it was very kind of you but I'm mostly an old guy. And I can remember when Republican president said we're going to balance the budget and not leave a huge deficit for our children and grandchildren. And I still think that makes a lot of sense. I have a very beloved 5-year-old granddaughter. I don't want to leave her a huge deficit.
CABRERA: Well, a White House official, Ben, discussing this tax plan tell us, I want to quote it for you, says, "We will outline our broad principles and priorities. We are moving forward on comprehensive tax reform that cuts tax rates for individuals, simplifies our overly complicated system and creates jobs by making American businesses competitive."
That sounds great. Who doesn't want what's in that statement?
STEIN: Yes. Sure does.
CABRERA: But if it were that easy, it would have been done already, right?
STEIN: Well, there's a line and a very famous Ernest Hemingway novel which ends with, "Wouldn't it be pretty to think so?" It would be very pretty to think that he can get this done and it would accomplish all the things he says.
Look, we already have a very, very prosperous economy. The economy is not really in terrible shape at all, not in the slightest. What we need is to have a society which is kinder and fairer, especially to the homeless and to the very poor and to those deprived of a decent education.
We do not need a society which allows the rich to be even richer. And by the way, I have nothing against the rich. I love them all. Almost all of my friends are rich, I love them all, but I don't see any reason to have any kind of special incentives for them. And the poor or the lower middle class are already paying almost no tax, so I think, as I say, cutting the corporate income tax, that's a great idea. We shouldn't have had that in the first place, but cutting tax on the very rich or even on the medium rich, I just don't see the point.
CABRERA: But you talked about the deficit. And if you cut the corporate income tax, what does that do to the deficit?
STEIN: Well, but my idea would be the income that would be taxed at the corporate level would be taxed to the owners of the corporation.
[20:30:03] I mean, all corporations, contrary to what Elizabeth Warren says, corporations are not owned by soulless aliens from outer space. They're owned by individual human beings, especially pension funds and individual people saving for their retirement, and they would have to pay taxes on that income and they should pay taxes on it. There's no reason to have that intermediate step. That intermediate step was put in during World War II to raise more revenue. They should have taken it out right after World War II.
CABRERA: So that could be one way to simplify the tax code. I'm still wondering because it seems there's so many different pieces, could this legislation be done in more of a step-by-step process?
CABRERA: A little bit at a time?
STEIN: Yes. Yes. And I think Mr. Trump -- he is a great guy and I'm one of those people who voted for him and would vote for him again, but I think it is an enormously more complicated than he realizes and it's got to be done step-by-step. And there's no reason he has to race to get anything done in 100 days. There's no special magic about getting things done in 100 days just because FDR did a lot in 100 days. And awful lot of that was later ruled to be unconstitutional. Let's do it right, not do it in a hurry.
CABRERA: All right. Ben Stein, thank you.
STEIN: Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, President Trump instead of attending next weekend's White House Correspondents' Dinner, plans to hold a rally in Pennsylvania on the same night. Is this the president sending a message to the media? We'll discuss next. You're live here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:35:31] CABRERA: President Donald Trump will hold his own counter programming, so to speak, instead of spending his 100th day in office at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The president tweeted, "Next Saturday night I'll be holding a big rally in Pennsylvania. Look forward to it."
This is first time in nearly four decades a sitting president has chosen to not attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Let's discuss.
CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCE" Brian Stelter is joining us now.
So, Brian, this may be the first time in a long time that president does not go to the White House Correspondents' Dinner but this is not the first time for President Trump to hold some kind of counter- programming.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. This is straight out of his reality TV playbook. Perhaps clever, perhaps too clever by half. You know, you mentioned the precedent of the dinner, not since 1981 has a sitting president skipped the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Even if they don't want to show up, well, they usually do. 1981 the year Reagan was recovering from the assassination attempt. So he had a good reason not to be there. He actually called them because he couldn't be there in person.
But President Trump doing things differently this year. He announced a couple of months ago he wasn't going to show up. But now news this weekend, we learned he was going to hold that rally in Pennsylvania to mark his first 100 days.
This is of course not only logical for the president. It creates a split screen image, the president with voters, what he would say are real, ordinary Americans, and then you've got a bunch of people in black ties, myself included, next weekend all dressed up at this dinner, all about White House correspondents celebrating journalism, so two split screen moments.
CABRERA: Do you think it's a popularity contest for him in some ways?
STELTER: I think a lot of things with President Trump are about popularity. About ratings. There's a great "Washington Post" story out today about his continued focus on television coverage of his presidency. He commented to someone about Sean Spicer. Why would I fire Sean Spicer? He gets great rating. So I'm sure the president would be curious to see how his rally rates next weekend. But it really is counter programming. This is a classic counter programming move to hold a primetime rally, normally on Saturday nights the president is at one of his hotels having dinner or at Mar-a-Lago or at home very quietly at the White House, not even tweeting usually on Saturday nights.
So this time he's choosing to have a counter programming move. But there is one sort of historical example of this. Remember last January when the president was campaigning, he was about to be in the Iowa caucus, or the New Hampshire primary, was early on in the primary season and he skipped that FOX debate. Instead he did this. He held a fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, right across the street from the debate site and he very publicly had a counter programming event because he didn't attend the debate. It is kind of similar this Saturday night.
CABRERA: So do you think he chose Pennsylvania in particular for a specific reason?
STELTER: I think it makes sense for him to go to a state where he was -- where he won on November 8th, a state that some people were surprised he was able to win. He continued to the extent that he does visit states outside Washington or Florida he is going to places where he's won, where he's been successful in the election.
CABRERA: And trying to keep this on perspective, I mean, this will be his 100th day in office when he is going to go do this. How does this stack up or compare to past presidents on their 100th day?
STELTER: Right. We do see presidents in the past want to mark this occasion, mostly an artificial deadline but one that everybody takes very seriously with various events. And we've seen the president's schedule for this week, jam packed with events, with meetings and perhaps with announcements, maybe even more executive orders, all in an attempt to create this sense of momentum and success heading into next weekend.
That might be, as we're showing earlier, you were showing that scoreboard, certainly a work in progress for the president. He's not going to be able to escape these critical headlines about what he hasn't been able to accomplish yet, but he is going to try to create a sense of momentum this week.
CABRERA: I'm just curious. Is the 100th day in office typically when they hold the White House Correspondents' Dinner or did it just end up being this way?
STELTER: Usually around that time.
STELTER: Sometime in April is the dinner. The president, you know, usually is there. They usually get made fun of from the podium by some comedian, some folks speculated the president -- President Trump didn't want to be in the room for that kind can of ribbing so he decided to have a different event.
CABRERA: I do want to pivot just to the former president, President Obama, for a moment because he's coming out and having his first public event this week in Chicago tomorrow morning. What do you know about this?
STELTER: This is so intriguing that he has decided to have this first event on the same week everyone is talking about Trump's first 100 days. His aides will probably say it's a coincidence. Our colleague Athena Jones is reporting that this is not meant to be a Trump bashing session by former President Obama, but it might come up at various points, perhaps some comparisons between Obama's presidency and the Trump presidency.
[20:40:07] He's going to be with students. There will be some chances for some probably gentle questioning from students. So it puts him in a room with people he enjoyed being with during his presidency, what he thought of as the next generation. He would always speak to young students. The students and the young people about not being cynical.
I would expect to hear that from him tomorrow. But this is going to get a lot of coverage tomorrow. Seeing former President Obama. He's mostly just been seen in paparazzi pictures, on vacation.
STELTER: In various places. Living his best life .
CABRERA: Picture of him and his wife on the yacht last week.
STELTER: Absolutely. I mean, it looked dreamy. Obviously a lot of former presidents want to get away. Now in the social media age we see it. It is in our social feeds all the time. So we've seen these vacation pictures. When he's not on camera he's been working on his book, on his memoir, which is being paid tens of millions of dollars for. So this reemergence on Monday well, I know President Trump will be watching. That's for sure.
CABRERA: All right . Brian Stelter, stand by.
CABRERA: You're going to be back.
Coming up our colleague Alisyn Camerota speaks out about the culture at FOX News saying she was sexually harassed by Roger Ailes and was even asked to meet him at a hotel. You'll hear her story next here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:45:21] CABRERA: Just days after Bill O'Reilly was fired from FOX News over sexual harassment allegations, my colleague and CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota is now speaking out for the first time about her experience at FOX News where she worked from 1998 to 2014, and earlier on CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES" she sat down with Brian Stelter and told him that former FOX CEO Roger Ailes sexually harassed her.
Here is why she is coming forward now.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": It felt like there was a tipping point this week. You know, when Roger Ailes was ousted in July there was a lot of talk about what the culture was there, and now with Bill O'Reilly having been fired it feels as though, if I take the Murdochs at their word, they really want to know what was wrong there and what the culture was like. And I don't know how you get that from silence. So it feels like this might be the right time to just have this conversation and let some daylight in.
STELTER: And you said on the air Bill O'Reilly never harassed you, but you didn't say that about Roger Ailes. Did Roger Ailes ever sexually harass you?
CAMEROTA: Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me. Let me be clear. Roger Ailes was, could be charming, he could be quite charismatic, he could be uproariously funny. He could also be a bit of a bully and mean, and he also was often kind of grossly inappropriate with things that he would say. And I think that many of us experienced that. He would talk about body parts. He would say, give me a spin. He would want to be greeted with a hug, but the time that I remember most was when I was first starting out at FOX and I was single and I remember Roger -- being in Roger's office and I was saying that I wanted more opportunity, and he said, well, I would have to work with you.
STELTER: Work with you?
CAMEROTA: I would have to work with you on that case. I would have to work with you really closely. And it may require us getting to know each other better, and that might have to happen away from here, and it might have to happen at a hotel. Do you know what I'm saying? And I said, yes, I think I do know what you're saying. And I just want to say that I knew in my head at that moment, I'm never going to that hotel under any circumstances, but I didn't know what that meant for me and for my career.
And I remember vividly that I had sort of an out-of-body experience hovering over us in the office and thinking, is this it? Is this the end of my time here? Will I be fired if I don't to this? And I just want everybody to understand that when it happens, there is a visceral reaction that you have where you recognize, my career and everything that I've worked for is under threat and I don't know what is going to happen next.
STELTER: And you end up then doing what?
CAMEROTA: Well, I just went home and I didn't tell anybody at the time because I was embarrassed and it is sort of humiliating.
CAMEROTA: It is embarrassing when -- you know, when this man that you've gone to tell about your strengths and to sort of see if he thinks that you're doing a good job at work, you know, makes that sort of proposition, it is demeaning and it is humiliating. And so I was sort of embarrassed to tell people, and I -- I decided personally, and everybody deals with it differently, I'm going to ignore that. I'm going to pretend that never happened.
He then changed his MO, and when I say that there was -- that I experienced harassment there, it was different. For me it was no longer sexual harassment, it was harassment of a different variety.
STELTER: What do you mean?
CAMEROTA: It was sort of emotional harassment. Roger Ailes ruled with an iron fist, and he wanted us all to fall in line and have his world view and say the things that he wanted us to say on FOX News, and he targeted me because he sort of figured out early on that I didn't share his world view.
Roger was the king and obviously everything trickled down from him. So when he said grossly inappropriate things about women's bodies, there was a feeling there that then that's more appropriate and you're not going to get in trouble for that. So on that level he certainly had an impact in terms of the culture and the feeling there.
[20:50:03] I mean I think that there was a lot of suffering in silence and people who felt humiliated, and people who felt scared, and people who felt intimidated, but let's talk about it and let's talk about what's unacceptable and how bad it feels to be on the receiving end of it. And I don't know. I mean I do think that this is a turning point. And so if that's -- if everything that's happened at FOX is valuable in that way, then I hope that people are more free to speak there and everywhere now.
CABRERA: Roger Ailes denies Alisyn's account and his lawyer released a statement, saying, quote, "These are unsubstantiated and false allegations. Mr. Ailes never engaged in the inappropriate conversations she now claims occurred and he vigorously denies this fictional account of her interactions with him and on FOX News editorial policy."
Want to bring back now host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter.
So, Brian, Alisyn talked about being sexually harassed by Roger Ailes, but she also talked about emotional harassment. What did she say?
STELTER: Right. About intimidation, bullying from Roger Ailes, who she said ruled with an iron fist. That's something many FOX employees have said. Some in positive ways, others in negative ways. That Ailes ran the network like a dictator in many ways. Ailes, she says, would lecture her and assault her, kind of get her to tell more of a conservative line, as opposed to being neutral and covering things with both liberal and conservative perspectives, and including all sides.
So she was talking about that. What I was so struck by in her comments deciding for the first time to share this account of sexual harassment is that it lines up very consistently with what other women said happened inside Roger Ailes' office. By the end, Alisyn Camerota said she wouldn't go to Ailes' office alone because she didn't want to be bullied or intimidated in any sort of way, whether sexually or otherwise.
I think the story it has repercussions not just for women who work in television, of course, but for people in all sorts of workplaces who can relate to the idea that when they're younger, they are treated a certain way by a certain boss. They don't have the ability to speak up, they feel. Now FOX says there's a hot line. They've instituted new training.
STELTER: They're trying to clean up the workplace. Ailes has left, Bill O'Reilly has left. And I think the testimony about Roger Ailes and his behavior speaks about why perhaps Bill O'Reilly was there for so long. He was of course the highest rated star on the network for a very long time. Now all of a sudden he's out of a job. So is the man who was employing him, Roger Ailes. It is a very dramatic sweeping change of FOX News both on camera and off camera.
CABRERA: So are you hearing that there is a cultural shift happening right now inside FOX News?
STELTER: That's what the company is trying to say. But they still have more problems. There are still other pending lawsuits and most importantly a federal investigation. The U.S. Justice Department looking into FOX's practices, looking into the settlement payments, and other matters involving FOX News. Now whether the Trump administration's Justice Department wants to follow through on that investigation remains to be seen. But there has been a grand jury empanelled looking into some of the sort of behavior inside the network. What Alisyn Camerota is describing is what many other American network have also described.
CABRERA: All right. Brian Stelter, thank you.
CABRERA: Some sad news now to report this evening. Kate O'Beirne has passed away with the battle -- after a battle with cancel. O'Beirne was Washington editor for "National Review." And she joined the magazine back in 1995. She's been a part of the CNN family as a member of the long-running political discussion program, "The CNN Capital Gain" and a frequent guest on "Crossfire." She was known for her strong conservative positions and her biting wit.
Colleagues admired her as a great journalist and writing about her in "National Review" one remembrance described O'Beirne as brilliant and hilarious, generous and good. She will be missed.
We'll be right back.
[20:58:00] CABRERA: After September 11th, music took on a whole new meaning and heightened meaning. "SOUNDTRACKS: MUSIC THAT DEFINED HISTORY" airs Thursday night at 10:00 Eastern, and here's a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DWAYNE JOHNSON, HOST: The music and the artists post-9/11 they are reflective of the many emotions we feel.
BILLY JOEL, MUSICIAN: We ain't going anywhere. We played for an audience of police and firemen, and emergency rescue workers. And they needed a boost. I put a fireman's helmet on the piano just to help me concentrate because if I didn't have that I might have just lost it. It is kind of an anthem for New York City. I didn't think of that when I wrote it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The events that transpired defined a music and made it bigger than it was intended to be.
JOHNSON: The music will always remind us that it is possible.
RANDY JACKSON, MUSICIAN/PRODUCER: Somebody has got to put these into words and emotions. That is what anthems are made of.
ANNOUNCER: SOUNDTRACKS. "Songs That Defined History." Thursday at 10:00 on CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Music, it means so much, doesn't it? Well, on an all-new season of "PARTS UNKNOWN", Anthony Bourdain eats and drinks his way through eight new destinations all around the world. He kicks off his tour with L.A.'s Latino community and he takes us all the way to the most active volcano in the South Pole. He talks about it with me.
Season nine of "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN" is going to debut next Sunday at 9:00. You don't want to miss it. Only on CNN.
If you don't want to wait until next with for your "BOURDAIN" fix, you're in luck because tonight it's a "PARTS UNKNOWN" marathon travel to Hanoi, Hawaii, Korea town, Miami, but first starting right now, a new edition of "PRIME CUTS" featuring season eight highlights and a taste of season nine.
I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks as always for spending part of your weekend with us. Good night and have a great week.