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Catalan President: We've Earned Right To Independence; Harvey Weinstein Audiotaped By NYPD; Theresa May Interviewed By CNN Talk Panelist; May Repeatedly Questioned On Brexit Progress; Trump Escalates Feud With Republican Senator; NFL Stars Stand Up For Sex Trafficking Survivors; At Least 15 People Killed In Raging Wildfires In California; Syria Comes Centimeters From World Cup Playoff; Iceland Smallest Country Ever To Qualify For World Cup. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired October 10, 2017 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We have earned the right to be independent, that single sentence is challenging 300 years of Spanish


Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. And this is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

The past couple of hours, the president of Catalonia spoke those words defending the results of the region's controversial vote on independence,

but and this is crucial, he stopped short of declaring a split saying there needs to be more time for dialogues.

So, on the one hand, he said yes, the will of the people is independence. On the other, he said, let's suspend that notion and call for dialogue.

For the very latest, let's head to Barcelona and join our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson. So concretely, what happens now, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, concretely, the ball is in the court of the Spanish government. Prime Minister Rajoy

really has to deal with this. It was not what he was expecting. There really been a lead up to this where those in anticipation that independence

would be called and that hasn't happened here.

What Puigdemont's party believes is that they are showing now that (inaudible) the international community, listening to the advice that don't

rush into something, don't make the situation worse.

They've heard that advice. They've heard from Donald Tusk today and others in the European Union and they want them now to intervene and help put

pressure on the Spanish government to talk.

He raised the issue. He said what about the referendum in Scotland. Why cannot we have a referendum like that? But what he did say was the result

of the referendum here was legitimate and that it indicated that the people here have the right to be an independent state.

He is given it this (inaudible). These were his words.


CARLES PUIGDEMONT, CATALAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I defend the mandate of the people of Catalonia of becoming an independent republic. We

suggest that the parliament suspends the effects of this Declaration of Independence so that the following week we have a dialogue.


ROBERTSON: The reason that they think (inaudible) his party believes and he believes he's got tone of this speech right is because the extremes they

say on both sides are criticizing it. The (inaudible) Party who is on the left wing, the most (inaudible) pushing policy within his governing

coalition, they complained this isn't what they were expecting.

The Socialist Party have said. On the other side, of the opposition have said you have divided the Catalan people. You are responsible for creating

these divisions. So, he feels it is keeping in the position of the majority of the people here that is avoiding getting into -- into, you

know, an unknown territory of getting the parliament here suspended.

The economy overturned by Madrid. It very much (inaudible) back in the court Prime Minister Rajoy -- Hala.

GORANI: Thanks very much, Nic Robertson in Barcelona.

So, what is the next move for the government? David Alandete is the managing editor of (inaudible). He joins me from Madrid via Skype. Were

you surprised to hear from the head of the Catalonian region that he's saying the will of the people is independence, but let's suspend this right

now. Let us call for a dialogue. What did you make of that?

DAVID ALANDETE, MANAGING EDITOR, EL PAIS: Well, you cannot suspend one doesn't exist. So, yes, they pushed them on, the premier of Catalonia

declared independence and there was independence until he suspended its effect asking for a dialogue.

So, you have to understand here that he actually went ahead to pleasing his bases, but at the same time, he knows that it is impossible. It is not

feasible right now to have independence, but the declaration is there and that's far as we know right now getting sources from the Spanish

government. They are going to take measures.

GORANI: What measures?

ALANDETE: Well, the main measure that is on the table, it's Article 155 in the Constitution. This means suspending some degree (inaudible) towards

and the independent movement action is that Catalonia will have less autonomy after they declare independence in the parliament now.

[15:05:02] We will see what the government of Spain is going to do in the coming hours, but I can assure you that they are going to take measures

because their interpretation is that (inaudible) declare independence effectively.

GORANI: Will they suspend the assembly there? Will they essentially invoke Article 155 that would allow them to suspend even the autonomous

nature of the region? Do you think that they go that far?

ALANDETE: Article 155 is very ambiguous. They need wording in the Constitution. It actually copied the same provision in the German

Constitution and he can actually, Mr. Rajoy, the prime minister, can actually apply some degree of suspension.

So, we could see in the coming hours, notice given to the Catalan premier and he could be arrested and that they must extend that the law would allow

the Spanish government to go with the, as you said, suspending the autonomy, suspending the (inaudible), but I think that is not likely to


GORANI: Do you think they'll arrest Puigdemont? Do you think they'll arrest him for what he did? Is that the expectation?

ALANDETE: They could, yes, that is on the table right now. He could be put on notice you have to understand. These are very serious matter here

in Spain and the interpretation in the government right now is that he declared independence so that is very much unstable. It has been for the

past week.

Actually, if you see what Mr. Rajoy, the Prime Minister, has done, he's actually let things evolve, go and there was a lot of pressure in his

party, the Conservative Popular Party for him to take a stronger stance against the independencies. He hasn't done it, but our sources in the

government here say that this is the moment in which he will take action so that is on the table.

GORANI: What does Catalan or Puigdemont or Catalonia needs to do to avoid this, the worst-case scenario as far as they are concerned?

ALANDETE: Well, I would advise everybody that hears the word dialogue and negotiation right now to be cautious because the strategy of the

independent right now is to actually call for international mediation.

And that is tricky because if you accept international mediation names like Tony Blair have been circulated. That means that you are actually allowing

the Catalan government to behave as an equal (inaudible) to the Spanish government.


ALANDETE: So, that's not going to happen. There is not going to be dialogue because the current assumption here in Madrid and the government

announcing the opposition parties is that Puigdemont and the Catalan government have broken the law.

They have broken the law. They cannot declare independence. That is not actually something that you can do according to the Constitution. That was

approved in 1978 and this is as I said a very serious matter and yet there are those options are on the table.

There is no negotiation going on. The only thing that Puigdemont could do is actually canceling the call for independence and going back to the

constitutional system.

GORANI: All right. Well, we'll keep on following obviously this story with potentially very serious consequences there to what Carles Puigdemont

announced today. David Alandete, the managing editor of El Pais joining us from Madrid. Thanks so much for your time this evening. We will, as I

mentioned there, keep our eye on what's going on in Barcelona and beyond.

Now to this story, though, and one that has been making waves around the world, an explosive new report out against the Hollywood producer, Harvey

Weinstein. According to the "New Yorker" magazine, three women accused the movie mogul of raping them.

The story which was 10 months in the making also included the allegations of harassment and other improper behavior. It comes two days after

Weinstein was fired from his own company following a "New York Times" story detailing numerous incidents of sexual misconduct.

Now some major A-list stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie are saying Weinstein harassed them as well when they were in their 20s.

And there is also audio from the "New Yorker" report of Weinstein's seemingly admitting to groping an actress.

It was secretly recorded by the New York Police Department and includes one woman who complained about the way Harvey Weinstein treated her. Listen to

this exchange.



GORANI: Well, through a spokeswoman, Weinstein is denying that he raped anyone and says, quote, "all of these relationships were consensual."

Let's bring in our senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, from New York to talk about all of this. So now we have this tape that is on a "New

Yorker" -- part of the "New Yorker" report by Ronin Farrow.

We have a list stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie both confirming this. I mean, this is becoming bigger and bigger and we are getting really a

sense of the scope of this story surrounding Weinstein.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes and why the Board of Directors of his own company fired him on Sunday. The board of the

Weinstein Company knew about some of this and decided to terminate him on Sunday. That was three days after the "New York Times" investigation, but

by then they knew the "New Yorker" story was coming out.

And there are a lot of unanswered questions, Hala, about who else knew what and when they knew it. We hear from Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie

describing incidents of harassment from 20 years ago.

We have heard from three women via the "New Yorker" who say they were raped by Weinstein in the past. Weinstein denying the rape accusations, but he

is not denying the rest of what has come out today.

And regarding that tape from 2015, that's an NYPD sting operation because that woman had been groped by Weinstein the day before she said. She

called up the police, she said, I was just groped by Weinstein.

They asked her to go and see him again the next day, and wear a wire, you can imagine the courage that took for her to go and confront him. You hear

him practically begging her to go up to his hotel room.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office did not prosecute the case. They said they just did not have enough evidence. They say that tape, although,

it is horrific, was not enough to prosecute. But right now, there is a lot of scrutiny on that decision from two years ago.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Brian Stelter in New York. We'll have a lot more on this story.

As well as Hillary Clinton finally breaking her silence on this. She tweeted that she was shocked and appalled and also be -- and this is a

statement from Hillary Clinton on Harvey Weinstein.

"I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward to not be tolerated their

courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior."

You remember that over the last several days, some conservative pundits and commentators have criticized Hillary Clinton for not coming out quickly.

But we are seeing more and more actresses as well.

The big A-list ones and the not so A-list ones coming out and sharing their stories and it is something we've seen a lot when there is one or two of

reports confirming or alleging misconduct by a very powerful man.

We saw it in the case of Bill Cosby. We are seeing it here with Harvey Weinstein. Others on the conservative end of the spectrum at Fox News, for

instance, and then you'll see more and more women coming out.

I will be speaking to the director of a documentary on campus sexual assault, which ironically was picked up and promoted by the Weinstein

Company and I'll be speaking with the female producer of that documentary and ask her for her thoughts on the latest pretty shocking developments.

A lot more to come this evening, talking to the public, Theresa May takes to the airwaves to take questions after a very difficult week. She was

speaking to CNN Talk's Ian Dale. What she had to say on this radio call-in show coming up.

And later, the U.S. president challenges his own secretary of state to compare I.Q. scores. Why he did it and what he said about it today? We'll

be right back.



GORANI: What will you do if you are a world leader trying to get over horrible past seven days? If you're Britain's Theresa May, you go on

national radio and take questions directly from the public. She was speaking to Ian Dale, a panelist on our very own CNN talk show.

Here is some of what she had to say. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I'm particularly just worried about this new deal scenario. I know that you really want to try to get a good deal, but what

would happen in the case and you release the white paper on this yesterday. What is your backup plan for E.U. citizens in case of a no deal?

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Yes. Well, as I said, we are looking at -- we wanted to say perhaps the basic message, we want to ensure that

you can stay in the U.K. Obviously, the reason we are having these discussions with the E.U. is because once we leave the E.U. if we have got

an agreement with them, then it is about how that reciprocity of treatment. But we want you to be able to say and we want you to be able to contribute

to our society.

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: Can you guarantee that Nina and all the millions of people like her under no ideal situation would be able to stay with the

same rights that they enjoy at the moment?

MAY: Well, we will device a (inaudible) to people staying when we got a deal with the European Union and that is what we are working out.

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: We know that, but we are talking about a no deal here.

MAY: Now you are talking about no deal and that is why -- what I'm going to say to Nina is that we will look at the arrangements that we would put

in place in relation to no deal. We are doing work on that at the moment.

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: If there was a Brexit vote now, would you vote Brexit because you guys had remain in the referendum. Have you changed

your mind?

MAY: Well -- I don't answer hypothetical questions, but what I have --

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: It's an easy answer. I would be able to answer that. I know I would vote in exactly the same way.

MAY: Well, I voted remain. I voted remain for good reasons at the time but circumstances move on. I think the important thing now is that I think

we should all be focused on delivering Brexit.


MAY: And delivering the best deal -- what you're asking me to say how would I vote in a vote now against a different background, different

national background, different economic background --

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: You tell me that you would vote to leave now? Jeremy (inaudible) conference, he said he voted remain in the referendum

(inaudible) because of remain. He said now he would vote for Brexit because he says George Osborn's economic predictions did not come true and

he said that he was fed up with the (inaudible) of the European Commission.

Now if he says he could change his mind, I don't quite understand why you can't since you are prime minister leading us into Brexit.

MAY: Yes. And I'm prime minister showing I'm going to deliver Brexit for the British people --

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: You can't tell me that you would now vote leave in the referendum?

MAY: Because I think -- and when you come-- I could sit here and I could say I'd still vote remain or I vote leave just to give you an answer to

that question. I'm being open and honest with you.

What I did last time on was I looked at everything and came to a judgment and I do exactly the same this time around. But we are not having another

referendum and that's absolutely crucial.


GORANI: I'm joined now by the man you saw in that clip, Iain Dale, he was interviewing the prime minister and also here with me is Ayesha Hazarika, a

fellow CNN Talk panelist. They both join me now.

Iain, what did you make of this interview was a bit cringe making in parts, wasn't it? I mean, she was asked quite clearly, would you still vote

remain, yes or no. I don't how many times you asked it five or six times, she wouldn't give an answer.

IAIN DALE, CNN TALK PANELIST: You showed 2 minutes, though. It was actually 40-minute phone in. She did well on quite a few other questions,

but on Brexit, you would expect the prime minister to be really fluent to answer question very clearly.

But, as you saw there that did not really happen. I think a lot of people will wonder why somebody who is leading Britain through these Brexit

negotiations she can't actually say yes, well, of course, if there was referendum now, I would vote Brexit.

[15:20:10] GORANI: Is it a tricky position? If she says yes, I'd vote remain again then people would be wondering why on earth are you leading

negotiations to leave. If she answers no I'd vote leave now, they say you are flip-flopping, wouldn't they?

DALE: Well, the health secretary as I said in the interview, Jeremy Hunt (ph), he told me last week in an interview, which is kind why I asked the

question that he had changed his mind for very logical reasons.

Now she must know what she would do. She says, well, I don't answer hypothetical questions. Always get out tools for any politicians as you

well know when (inaudible). That did not come over very well.

GORANI: What did you make of her demeanor?

DALE: She was -- when she started, we talked about her conference call, when she made that conference speech last week, she has somebody rush the

stage and then she could not really get her words out because she's coughing for half of the speech and she was very good on that.

And she's quite lighthearted and she answered questions. We've had so- called racial disparity order today, which has made very uncomfortable (inaudible) in this country about how the minorities feel disadvantaged.

It was her initiative and that was the original reason for the phone-in so she could come on to talk about that. We spent about 30 minutes talking

about it and she was fine on that and she clearly cares about a great deal.

But I'm afraid all headlines in tomorrow's newspapers are going to concentrate on one thing and it's not that.

GORANI: All right. Ayesha, what did you make of it?

AYESHA HAZARIKA, CNN TALK PANELIST: Well, I think it confirms to everybody that she's in a very, very weak position. I mean, I think Iain was quite

naughty enough given that question because it's an impossible question for her to answer.

But she should have been prepared for it. She looked very sort of caught under with and the answer that disturb me the most, she was asked by a call

if there is no deal, will E.U. citizens be allowed to stay in the U.K. and she could not give a definite answer.

I think that is a terrible headline to come out tomorrow. Iain even pushed her on that. Now Iain is, you know, he's a proud Brexiter and he almost I

think was fishing her to give an answer of reassurance. She could not give the answer there on my --

GORANI: (Inaudible) hard Brexit is not an unlikely possibility. It seems like the idea and the notion of a hard Brexit is floating around more. The

German Federation -- Industry Federation even said not preparing for a hard Brexit is, quote, "naive."

DALE: Well, I think they are all preparing for that. They are actually preparing for no deal, but I don't think those preparations have got very

far yet, because it's only in recent days that Theresa May and David Davis, the Brexit secretary, have been talking about this. I'm not sure I take a

(inaudible) of the German business organization because --

GORANI: But the whole point of Brexiters, they've been saying over and over again, the Germans (inaudible) --


GORANI: So, the German Industry Federation says -- it's not inconsequential.

DALE: It's a (inaudible) organization, a confederation versus industry in this country. What you have to do is to talk to the individual businesses,

they are the ones that are putting pressure on the German government not necessarily through their trader association.

HAZARIKA: What this does show is that the government is so sieved on the Brexit plans. I mean, I got the impression from that tortured clip when

you said to her, would you change your mind. Clearly the answer was no. She said I voted remain for good reasons.

I think she sees the (inaudible) is looming ahead of her. She can see this cliff edge and that's why her body language looked as (inaudible).

GORANI: Does the Labour Party have a better idea of what to do, how to leave these negotiations and more effectively? What is their proposal?

HAZARIKA: The Labour Party -- the Torys moved into the position of the Labour Party. The Labour Party said we should have a two-year transitional

period or as long as it takes with customs union and the single market and then Asian said the conservatives adopted that position.

But the Labour Party are not (inaudible). What is interesting is that there are briefings coming out seen actually the E.U. is starting to talk

to the British Labour Party. They all seen as -- Jeremy Corbyn made a joke beforehand.

They are having discussions with that the Brexit secretary, (inaudible), the shadow Brexit secretary and Jeremy Corbyn because they think British

politics is in such disarray. Who know what will happen?

DALE: What they are doing is just trying to stir the pot and annoy the conservatives. That's what they are doing.

HAZARIKA: Well, they don't need to stir the pot that much more because clearly Brexit is in disarray.

GORANI: I mean, I guess, from the outside looking in, a lot people asked me -- now here is the prime minister who called an election which she

didn't have to, lost her majority and is now saying as if there is no debate about it whatsoever. There will never be a second referendum even

on the terms of the deal. How is that acceptable to Britain?


GORANI: This is the question I get most often.

HAZARIKA: Remember, this is the prime minister said, I will not call an early election. I will not call an election, and she did. So, I would not

have any story, in her words, saying that there will be a second referendum.

DALE: Well, they won't be a second referendum and the reason it won't --

HAZARIKA: We don't know that.

DALE: I do know that because if there is --

GORANI: On the terms of a deal not on the --

DALE: It's taking the British people for fools. It was 52-48. Yes, that was close --

[15:25:03] GORANI: But nobody saying a referendum on whether or not to Brexit, but a referendum on the terms of the deals.

DALE: That's what I mean, though, because if you don't accept the terms of a deal, you have to stay in --

GORANI: You come up with another deal, couldn't you?

DALE: Well, should we make best of three?

GORANI: Why not?

HAZARIKA: A seasoned political commentator with all (inaudible) can't make any predictions on this. There could be a second referendum.

DALE: Well, my prediction is that there won't be.

GORANI: OK. So, let's look a little bit forward because time is of the essence here, we are a year and a half away from 2019. What's going to

happen? Just every few weeks the two negotiators on one side David Davis and the E.U. on the other will say two very different things at the same

(inaudible) and then we'll get to the next round of talks?

ou feel you have to stay with another neocon's

DALE: If you read the book by Yanis (inaudible), the former great finance minister, he shows exactly how the European Commission appraised in

negotiations. Now we are not Greece. I'm not saying we are, but they are following the blueprint of what happened to Greece in 2013.

They will take this right up until the 59th minute of the final hour and they will rely on the fact that we will just cave in and give up

everything. Well, we are not going to do that I don't think nor should we do that because it shows a sign of weakness. We are not a weak country.

GORANI: What Yanis (inaudible), we interviewed him here. I think it was one of the most interesting interviews on Brexit that we -- that we

actually conducted. Because what he said is Britain is going to spend two years negotiating about who to negotiate with, how to negotiate, it is

going to be going -- it's going to go on and on and on and it is going to be crazy making for them. They think they have a negotiating partner, but

they don't.

HAZARIKA: I mean, I used to be a British civil servant, we used to go in and do quite a lot of work with the bureaucrats at the European Union. All

of this is just fluff. All of this wheels within wheels. This is all the (inaudible) before the main deal will be struck, which will be in the 11th


And the truth is Iain despite what you say there is the might of E.U. against Britain. They will have the upper hand. That's why a lot of

people -- and I don't think Brexit is going to get a brilliant deal. We will have to take what --

GORANI: Will you able to say (inaudible).

DALE: (Inaudible). What kind of language is that?

HAZARIKA: That's the reality of negotiating.

GORANI: Iain Dale, Ayesha Hazarika, thanks so much for joining us. We really appreciate it on this day and it was great listening to your

interview, your calling program with the Prime Minister today on LBC.

Still ahead, Donald Trump takes another dig at a Republican senator who blasted his leadership. We are live in Washington with the latest.


GORANI: Let's return to our top story on a day of much anticipation and worry. Catalonia's president laid out his vision for the region after its

referendum on independence.

Now, Carles Puigdemont said Catalonia has earned the right to break away from Spain, but he wasn't going to declare independence just yet, saying

the focus first should be on dialogue.

Catalonia has been part of Spain for three centuries. So, even talking about independence feels momentous and angers the central government.

Stephen Jacobson is a historian at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and joins us via Skype. So, let's talk a little bit about what

the potential reaction could be from Madrid.

We spoke with the managing editor of "El Pais" earlier in the hour, saying they could very well suspend the powers of the assembly, that they could

take serious measures. Do you think that will happen?

STEPHEN JACOBSON, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN MODERN HISTORY, UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA: Good evening. My feeling right now is this is all very fresh. I

don't think that that will happen.

I mean, it is possible that they could interpret what Puigdemont said as a declaration or a semi-declaration of independence. It was very ambivalent.

There was a call for dialogue.

I would personally be very surprised right now if they invoked Article 155 and suspended autonomy or used any of the other tools that the state might


GORANI: Arrest him, for instance. That's another possibility, we were told, by the managing editor of "El Pais".

JACOBSON: It's certainly a possibility. It would surprise me if that occurred after what occurred tonight. What Carles Puigdemont did tonight

was an important step down. It disappointed not only his most radical electorate, but his rank-and-file electorate.

It was a demonstration of responsibility perhaps to stay in in the rest of the world. It was a call for dialogue. I think it would surprise me very

much if Madrid responded with a hard-line. I think Madrid obviously would have responded - will respond or would have responded with a hard-line if

he had made a unilateral declaration of independence based on the results of the so-called referendum of October 1.

GORANI: OK. So, what's the most likely path forward then because the central government of Spain and Catalonia and those who want independence

in Catalonia have two very radically different ideas of how the future should unfold? What do you think is going to happen?

JACOBSON: I have no idea right now. I mean, I think that right now people will try to calm down. That will probably be signs from both sides of

proposed dialogue. Perhaps, they will start some sort of dialogue.

But you are correct, in that there doesn't seem to be an easy solution to this problem. It seems what has happened today is people have calmed their

nerves. This calmed the nerve perhaps of financial markets, calmed the nerve of Catalan businessmen, Catalan families.

GORANI: But dialogue to discuss what exactly? To achieve what results?

JACOBSON: Well, what Puigdemont will propose is dialogue to work towards an independent Catalonia, which Madrid will not do. But I think for a

couple of weeks, there will be discussions of what terms that dialogue could take place.

It would be very difficult to see the government of Mariano Rajoy entering into dialogue. But at least there will be other intermediate forces in

state, political parties such as the Socialist Party, but perhaps more important, the party called Podemos (INAUDIBLE) will be proposing dialogue

and that would be a lot of movement in the Spanish political scene.

Right now, I guess that's what will happen.

GORANI: My question is, why would the Spanish government engage in any kind of dialogue and putting on an equal footing the leadership of

Catalonia? Is there somehow there a sustained level of negotiation? They consider them an integral part of Spain. Why talk at all?

JACOBSON: You're correct. They're not going to engage in roundtable negotiations to discuss the results of the referendum and work towards an

independent Catalonia.

The only reason they might dialogue is that there is a looming economic crisis. There is a current political crisis. And there might be some

words of reconciliation based upon the fact that Puigdemont did do a very large step down today and has appealed people to dialogue.

Obviously, one strategy of Puigdemont is that the state does not dialogue or it activates the statute - the constitutional statute 155, if that's the

case, then, in many respects, this game of cat and mouse, as they say, would then go back to the state and back to Catalonia and perhaps will

continue on this.

But you're right, there's no formal roundtable dialogue that's possible in the near future. What that is is perhaps some changing of position, some

words of reconciliation, perhaps trying to bring down the boil on the pot a little bit.

GORANI: Stephen Jacobson, thanks so much for joining us from Barcelona. We appreciate it.

Let's return to another top story this hour, the explosive new report against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. According to "The New Yorker"

magazine, three women accused the movie mogul of raping them. He's denying it.

[15:35:04] But one producer whose film was distributed by Weinstein says she's not surprised about the allegations of sexual assault against him.

Amy Ziering produced "The Hunting Ground," a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. And she joins me now from Los Angeles.

Thanks for being with us.

When you say you're not surprised, why is that?

AMY ZIERING, FILM PRODUCER: Well, about a year after our film came out or premiered at Sundance, some women started coming up to me and telling me

their stories. So, I was familiar with these allegations before they came out in public.

GORANI: So, what did they tell you?

ZIERING: Pretty much what you've now read and seen in the press. I mean, this is classic predator behavior.

As I like to say and as we learned in our film, these rapes are committed more often by very few men. It's a small percentage of men that commit

these crimes, but they commit them over and over again with impunity because the culture gives them cover. It's a serial predator problem.

And the stories that I heard absolutely were the same as what we're hearing now. He had a clear modus operandi, set these women up for to have these

things happen and then took advantage of his position of power over them.

GORANI: Do you think it's more prevalent in the entertainment industry and Hollywood where you have young defenseless young women who want to make it

in that industry and you have these powerful men, like Harvey Weinstein, is it more prevalent there than other industries, do you think?

ZIERING: Look, sexual assault and rape are a problem in our culture at large, but they do take place in higher percentages in different


As we saw in the military, as we saw in college campuses, and, yes, I would imagine, as we've seen now in Hollywood, in any place that predators can

embed, then in cultures that give them protection, they're more likely to be able to commit these crimes over and over again with impunity, which is

why you see these epidemic numbers.

So, I know that we saw that in the military. I know that we saw that in college campuses around the country. And, yes, it seems like this is what

Weinstein was able to exploit his position as well.

GORANI: We mentioned your documentary there and you're talking of college campuses. And one film you produced called "The Hunting Ground" was

actually picked up eventually and given publicity by the Weinstein Company.

And I want to show our viewers a clip, so they can get a sense of the documentary.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's fair to say that they cover these crimes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a lot of victim blaming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He lectured us about how we shouldn't go out in short skirts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a national problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was getting threatened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was working in their favor to violence me. I was terrified.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They thought if I told them, they would take action, but the only action they took was against me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've got a lot further to go.


GORANI: Amy, there is some irony that this was picked up by the Weinstein Company and it is literally a documentary about sexual assault being swept

under the rug.

ZIERING: Yes. The film was produced and picked up my Radius, which is a subsidiary of the Weinstein Company, with its independent brand. So, we

didn't actually have any interactions with Harvey himself.

But, again, as I like to say, serial predators are capable of doing things that are conflicting and things that give them cover, obviously, right, and

things that throw people off or make them less suspect that they're actually doing these crimes. So, it's, again, not surprising.

GORANI: What would you say to people because we hear it a lot, sometimes from men, but frankly sometimes from women as well. Well, if the women

were so shocked by this man's behavior, if they were so traumatized by it, why didn't they say anything, why did they continue to work with the

person, why do they continue to interact with the person. How do you respond to someone who asks that question?

ZIERING: That's part of kind of rape culture and rape mythology, is to blame the victim. It's absolutely -92 to 98 percent of the time, when

women report these crimes, they're telling the truth. It's not a misunderstanding. It's not a miscommunication. It's actually a

premeditated crime by a predator. That's actually why we called our film "The Hunting Ground."

And, in fact, I was reading Ronan Farrow's expose in "The New Yorker" today. And one of the women said, more than one of the women I felt like

prey, I felt hunted, which I thought was interesting and kind of uncanny and very resonant in all the stories I heard over and over again.

This is a targeted premeditated crime. And I think the culture needs to change and shift and stop saying women are asking for it, women want it.

It's absolutely not true. Statistics don't show that and studies don't show that.

The small percentage of men that commit these crimes and the culture gives them cover because (INAUDIBLE) that think, oh, it's just a

miscommunication, it's just he said, she said.

I ask you what crimes aren't he said, she said, right? I mean, what criminal is ever going to say I did it. But this is the only crime that we

come forward and we start challenging women and saying, well, maybe your meant to -

[15:40:09] GORANI: Or how were you dressed? I mean, we heard from Donna Karan as well that those comments got a lot of negative attention today.

In any case, Amy Ziering, we really want to thank you for joining us on CNN. We appreciate your time. And thanks for you (INAUDIBLE) -

ZIERING: Thank you for having me.

GORANI: - on this.

Back to President Trump, he is using a campaign trail tactic to try to undercut a Republican senator, who has criticized his leadership. He is

giving Bob Corker a disparaging nickname after the senator told "The New York Times" that Mr. Trump is leading America on the path to war.

Mr. Trump wrote, " The Failing @nytimes set Liddle' Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that's what I am

dealing with!" The transcript clearly shows Corker knew he was on the record, though.

Mr. Trump also making headlines today for challenging Rex Tillerson to compare IQ scores after reports that his secretary of state called him a

moron. The White House says it was a joke.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) secretary of state with the IQ comments?

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. I didn't undercut anybody. I don't believe in undercutting people. Thank you very much,

everybody. Thank you.


GORANI: Let's bring in CNN White House correspondent Stephen Collinson live in Washington.

All right, let's talk a little bit about the Corker nickname and what Donald Trump is up to now in terms of how he's responding to the attacks

from the senator.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hala, sometimes you sort of have to pinch yourself that we're talking about a president of the

United States in the context of these sort of schoolyard remarks, but this is a trait, as you said, that Donald Trump has displayed throughout his

political career.

Right in the campaign, he adopted nicknames for his enemies. Little Marco Rubio, low-energy Jeb Bush, lying Hillary Clinton. I mean, it's what he

does -

GORANI: Lyin' Ted.

COLLINSON: That's right.


COLLINSON: It's how he encapsulates an attack on an enemy. And we know that Donald Trump seeks out enemies. That's part of his method of


But this is all coming in a week when we're looking at the president potentially decertifying the Iran deal, we've had the rising tensions over

North Korea in recent weeks. And it does beg the question really of what exactly is happening to US leadership in the world when you have a

president, who is taunting a member of Congress for criticizing his global leadership and insulting his own secretary of state. It's remarkable.

GORANI: And speaking of his secretary of state, we've heard again from the press secretary today, a reaffirmation of the president's support for Rex

Tillerson, his secretary of state, even though he jokingly, according to her, challenged him to an IQ test.

What's going on there? Because, on the one hand, we have reports from many sources around the president and inside the White House that there's a lot

of tension between the two men, but then publicly both are reaffirming their commitment to the other.

COLLINSON: Right. I don't think there is anybody in Washington that believes that Rex Tillerson is going to be in this job long in the long


There's, I think, an acceptance that he's probably perhaps going to leave perhaps early next year, sometime after that. The president has a big trip

to Asia coming up next month. It would not be a good time to lose a secretary of state.

But you have to again ask what kind of credibility Rex Tillerson has on the global stage when he meets somebody. Is he going to be seen as having the

authority of the president, especially since he's not denied reports when he was in his press conference last week that he thinks Trump is a moron.

And it's clear that Trump doesn't have that much regard for Rex Tillerson because anybody that criticizes him, anybody that gets on his wrong side

and makes it look like they don't respect him doesn't last very long in Donald Trump's orbit.

So, this is a very troubled relationship. Whatever they are saying for public consumption, and I think it sort of reflects the tensions inside the

administration and this sort of roller coaster way that Trump governs.

GORANI: All right, Stephen Collinson, thanks very much for joining us.

Still ahead, President Trump declares a major disaster in California. Deadly wildfires sweep across the state. We are alive with an update from

where entire neighborhoods have burned to the ground.

And the darker side of the Dominican Republic. We'll meet the NFL players who've made it their mission to fight child exploitation there.


[15:47:10] GORANI: Well, it may be a beautiful tourist destination, but there's also a dark side to the Dominican Republic. It's a center for

human trafficking.

And now a group of NFL, American football, players is stepping off the field and making it their mission to stand up for victims of child

prostitution. Here's Don Riddell.


DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Benjamin Watson is back in action with the Ravens this season. The tight-end is focused on the task

in hand, winning a Super Bowl for Baltimore. But he does have other things on his mind.

During the off-season, Watson took a trip to Dominican Republic, a country where human trafficking and, in particular, the sexual exploitation of

children is a major problem.

BENJAMIN WATSON, TIGHT END, BALTIMORE RAVENS: It was an easy decision. We just wanted to come and learn. These criminals prey on the poor. They

prey on the vulnerable. They prey on the voiceless.

RIDDELL: Watson, along with his wife Kirsten and five other NFL players and their families, arrived in Santa Domingo to partner up with

International Justice Mission, an NGO dedicated to fighting the problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, we are IJM. We work with children (INAUDIBLE) around the world.

RIDDELL: This included a day of activities and fun for some of the children IJM has helped free and it was billed as a day of joy.

SEAN WEATHERSPOON, LINEBACKER, NFL: Definitely, looking forward to spending my time learning into some, bring us more awareness about this

whole mission and bring them back to the stage, spread it to my buddies. I think that's my job.

DON DAVIS, FORMER NFL LINEBACKER: To be able to look into the eyes of a child and not to inspire them, but just to say somebody loves you, you're

valuable, your life has value.

WATSON: My hope is that people here, survivors here know that people a world away care and understand and know about what they're going through.

RIDDELL: And IJM says it's not just girls who end up exploited. They have encountered an alarming number of young boys who are forced into

pornography and prostitution often by their families just to make ends meet.

TREY BURTON, TIGHT END, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: I have three kids, three young kids in my own. And I just couldn't fathom that ever happening to my

children. And I believe there needs to be justice to these men and these women. They are forcing these children to do these horrible acts.

RIDDELL: Daisy Nunez, who is on the ground in the country, as part of IJM's efforts knows what this means to the children.

DAISY NUNEZ, DIRECTOR OF AFTERCARE, IJM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: So, when these people come and they know their names and they bring gifts and they want to

play games with them or have a snack with them, it's really meaningful. That means to them I am valuable.

RIDDELL (on-camera): It's clear that these players have been profoundly moved by this experience. At times, I've seen them lost in thought or on

the verge of tears, but it's also been inspiring and uplifting.

[15:50:11] WATSON: Any time you go into a situation like this, you think that there's going to be a sense of despair and helplessness, but on the

contrary, there is always a glimmer of hope, interacting with some of these boys. They're smiling. They've been through so much.

DAVIS: To be able to bring someone some relief who is suffering, there is no better feeling than that, right? And it seems so cliche to say, but

playing football and winning championships is so minor when you think about helping the world, bringing relief to the world, doing good to those who

don't even know your name.

RIDDELL (voice-over): These children might never know their names, but it's quite possible they'll never forget the men who came to show them

kindness. And by taking this story back home with them to the United States, they will continue to help from afar.

Don Riddell, CNN, Dominican Republic.


GORANI: Well, Don is bringing us a new chapter in the CNN Freedom Project this week, all this week and we have much more on the program. Stay with



GORANI: The American President Donald Trump has cleared the way for emergency funding and firefighting resources for California, declaring a

disaster there as deadly wildfires continue to sweep through the state.

Now, there are more than a dozen fires burning for a third straight day, fueled by powerful winds. At least 15 people have been killed. Hundreds

of homes and businesses have been destroyed. You see the pictures there on your screen.

And the danger is far from over. The biggest fires are raging across California's world-famous wine country. The focus right now, though, is

helping people make it out alive. Many of those killed lived in the city of Santa Rosa.

Miguel Marquez joins me now from there with the very latest. So, Miguel, I see you have the mask on. It's very smoky still and so much damage behind

you. What's the expectation in the next few hours and days?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think today, fortunately, the good news is that the winds have died down, the humidity

is up a little, the temperature is down, although now the sun is finally starting to come out. Temperatures going up a little bit and the winds may

come back overnight and into tomorrow. So, that will create problems for them here.

To give you a very good example of sort of how fast this thing moved and how destructive the force was, it was essentially blowtorch that came

through here.

This 24 hours ago, a little over, was a hotel, was a nice wine country hotel. That, if you can make it out through the smoke down there, that is

a neighborhood that has been completely destroyed.

And it appeared that the wind came from sort of that direction through that neighborhood and then up this hill and right into this hotel here, which

just created literally a blowtorch-like situation.

The trees down here, you can see, green - anything that had a little bit of water to it actually survived. But look at this. Despite the damage here,

these thistles sort of survived and even the grasses here, they even survived because it had just enough water in them. So, that's just how dry

it was in this area.

[15:55:05] And it's not just this area of California. Seventeen fires erupted over the last 24 hours. South of here, in Anaheim, Disneyland

country, big fire there yesterday. It's now expanded to about 6,000 acres, several thousand homes are now at risk of being destroyed there.

And the winds, those famous Santa Ana winds that you get in Southern California where they blow in not from the ocean, but the other direction,

from the desert toward the ocean, very heavy winds, very hot winds, very dry winds, those can drive fires and that may be where firefighters really

have a problem today. Hala?

GORANI: All right. Miguel Marquez, thanks very much in Santa Rosa, California.

And finally, this evening, it literally came down to centimeters between Syria completing one of the most remarkable football stories of all time or

devastating failure.

Well, the war-torn country was a massive underdog against Australia. In the last minute, they had one freekick to send them through, but it hit the

post and it sent them out.

It was very different for Iceland. The tiny island has become the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup. Its population just 334,000.

This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks for watching. I am Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "Quest Means Business" is up next.