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21 Dead, 500+ Reported Missing as Wildfires Rage in California; More Women Accuse Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Assault; Clinton: I Was Shocked and Appalled by Weinstein News; White House in Chaos. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 11, 2017 - 20:00   ET



A big evening tonight, including new accusers coming forward in the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal, and growing outrage at how widely known his reputation was.

[20:00:07] Also, new reporting tonight on turmoil at the White House.

And our exclusive investigative reporting gets action in the battle over one of the planet's last unspoiled wild salmon fisheries.

Saving lives and properties in another piece of paradise, northern California's wine country. The death toll now stands at 21. Late tonight, a mandatory evacuation order went out to people in the Napa County town of Calistoga. The winds continue to playing firefighters there.

CNN's Dan Simon joins us now from just outside the Kendall Jackson Winery in Sonoma County.

Tell us what you've been seeing on the ground there.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, first of all, this fire, this largest fire in Sonoma County is still zero to little percent contained. I want to show you what we see behind us. You can see the smoke. Obviously, there's fire in the hills.

And the concern is tonight that the winds could kick up and send this fire to more communities, including wineries in the area. It has been obviously a very difficult four days. This is now considered the most destructive wildfire in California history.

Anderson, I spent some time this afternoon on a Black Hawk helicopter and two things really stuck out. First, just the utter devastation that you see obviously from that bird's eye perspective. You really get a full appreciation for all of the burned areas, street after street, home after home. And also just how much active fire there still is. And that's why people are still being evacuated.

Authorities are still going door to door trying to get people out. You just talked about the evacuation order in Calistoga. So by no means are we over this -- Anderson. COOPER: And this fire has the potential, I understand, to be the

deadliest that California -- the deadliest California wildfire on record.

SIMON: That is the fear, Anderson. At this point, 21 people are confirmed dead. The deadliest fire, you have to go back to 1933 when 29 people died. Obviously, you don't like to talk about it, but we're getting close to those kind of numbers.

And at this point, you've got 500 or so people who are reported missing. That does not mean that they are feared dead. It just could mean that there's a communication problem. The cell phone towers have gone down and people may not have reported that their loved ones are safe.

But obviously that is the elephant in the room that that death toll number could go up.

COOPER: Dan, how does it work? I mean, do people get advance notice that the fire is heading in their direction? I mean, are there public warning systems? Do people go around with mega phones saying, you know, you've got to evacuate this area or it just a blanket evacuation of the entire -- I mean, it's such a widespread area.

SIMON: When they have that rapid urgency when it's time to get out, certainly there is door to door. If in fact authorities can get to those homes in time. Of course, they're also alerting people by social media. They've had a number of news conferences and, of course, you've got the traditional news media as well. And they're also alerting people by cell phone.

So, just a number of ways to let people know to get out. And the biggest concern for authorities is that people heed those evacuation orders. That's one thing that human beings can control. They can control when they leave.

One thing, of course, nobody can control is the weather. And every one is hoping that the winds die down, but there is a flag warning tonight, so unfortunately, the winds are going to kick up and we could see more devastation, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Dan Simon, I appreciate it. Thanks.

Another accuser has just come forward with allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein. Actress and model Cara Delevingne posting today on Instagram, recounting first a phone call from Weinstein that disturbed her. Then, a year or two later, an encounter in his hotel room.

In the phone call, she says he asked her whether she slept with any of the women she had been seen out with in the media at the time, which she said troubled her. As for the hotel episode, she writes that there was another woman in the room with him who he asked her to kiss. Quote, I swiftly got up and asked him if he knew that I could sing, she writes, and I began to sing. I thought it would make the situation better, and more professional, like an audition. I was so nervous.

She then said she left as Weinstein tried to kiss her, saying she kept silent afterwards because she didn't want to hurt his family. I felt guilty as if I did something wrong, she writes. I was also terrified that this sort of thing had happened to so many women I know, but no one said anything because of fear -- which, in fact, was exactly what was happening.

More than two dozen women have now leveled allegations against Harvey Weinstein, including one, an Italian actress who says that Weinstein groped her in a New York hotel room in 2015. She went to police who persuaded enough by her story to ask her to see him again and record that encounter. She did the next time.


AMBRA BATTILANA GUTIERREZ: What do we have to do here?

HARVEY WEINSTEIN: Nothing. I'm going to take a shower and you sit there and have a drink.

[20:05:02] GUTIERREZ: I don't drink.

WEINSTEIN: Then have a glass of water.

GUTIERREZ: Can I stay on the bar?


GUTIERREZ: I don't want to be touched.

WEINSTEIN: I won't do a thing, please. I swear, I won't. Just sit with me. Don't embarrass me in the hotel. I'm here all the time.

GUTIERREZ: I'm very uncomfortable right now.

WEINSTEIN: Please come in now. And one minute. And if you want to leave when the guy comes with my jacket, you can go.

GUTIERREZ: Why yesterday you touch my breast?

WEINSTEIN: Oh, please. I'm sorry. Just come on in. I'm used to that.

GUTIERREZ: You're used to that?

WEINSTEIN: Yes, come in.


COOPER: Well, despite that, the Manhattan D.A. declined to bring charges. He defended the decision today and is taking considerable heat for it, given everything we now know, but also crucially, given all the plenty people knew back then for years before that. Harvey Weinstein's alleged behavior was apparently an open secret, open to the point of a cheesy emcee snarking about it at the Oscar nominations.

For the women involved, though, this was no inside joke.

With us now is Ronan Farrow, who is reporting in "The New Yorker", including the audio you just heard. He has brought so of this to light. The stories of 13 women who claimed to have been sexually harassed or assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.

Ronan, thanks for being with us.


COOPER: So, in your piece, three women detail how Harvey Weinstein raped them and several more talked about how he sexually assaulted them. For some, it's been years after these alleged assaults took place.

Why do you think they decided to speak now?

FARROW: Every single woman in this story, 13 of them, talked again and again about a culture of fear, a culture of silence and a vast machine really designed to shut down these allegations. You know, they faced off against PR operatives who planted smear items. That was true in Ms. Gutierrez's case the young woman in the recording you just heard. There were a number of items that began to appear about her past.

They faced off against lawyers. And we talk at length in this story about the kinds of restricted none disclosure agreements these women were asked to sign.

COOPER: What's -- one of the things in your article, and I urge everybody to read it in "The New Yorker", because, I mean, it's extraordinarily detailed and it's just really stunning level of detail. Weinstein definitely seemed to have a systematic way of basically trapping these women and then trying to cajole them or force them to have sex with him.

FARROW: I mean, there is a number of patterns that show up in these accounts. You know, false pretexts that seem like professional meetings and then are moved into hotel rooms, bath robes, massages -- I mean, really ugly details of these stories that are shared over and over again.

And look, they also describe over and over again a feeling of guilt, that they felt ashamed of these allegations. And I want to particular point to Asia Argento is an Italian actress who alleges rape in this story. And she did a very difficult thing here, Anderson. She talked about the fact that she we want back to her alleged attacker and that was a common theme in a number of these stories and is one of the things that kept these women silent. You know, that is a facet of some sexual assault allegations, that people do go back.

COOPER: The people within the company, though -- I mean, you talked to multiple people who worked at Harvey Weinstein's company, that he used as honey pots, I think was the term you used in the story, to help lure women into his office or into a hotel room basically with the idea that, well, it wasn't just going to be him, you know, that there was actually going to be a legitimate meeting.

How would that actually work?

FARROW: So we stalked to 16 former and current executives, assistants, and again and again, they talked about this pattern of meetings that were ostensibly professional general meetings to discuss career prospects with aspiring actresses, aspiring models that would take place sometimes several times a week on Mr. Weinstein's schedule, and, you know, for those meetings, as you said, female employees would be asked to join for the beginning and to leave them behind in a room, sometimes a hotel room.

And a lot of those executives and assistants said they were disturbed by their role in that, that they carried guilt about that for many years and that they're only speaking out now despite sometimes restrictive legal agreements not to talk about this from their employment, because they think that they have to, to, you know, prevent other people from being harmed.

COOPER: Was there -- I mean, was there an HR department within the company, though, that any of these employees could have gone to? Because the board seems to be saying that they are, you know, shocked by what they're hearing.

FARROW: Look, over and over again, those employees talked about how ineffectual they viewed the HR department at the Weinstein Company as being. One of the common complaints was that everything told to the HR department would be immediately funneled back to Mr. Weinstein. Now, that is not uncommon in small companies, but they felt that broadly speaking, there was a culture of fear and a culture of retaliation in this company.

COOPER: Is it -- I mean, you probably can't say based on your reporting, because it would have been in the article, but is it possible that, you know, Harvey Weinstein's brother, that the people on the board did not know what was going on?

FARROW: Like you said, Anderson, you know, anything that's not in this very, very meticulously reported article that went through a "New Yorker" fact-checking process, I'm not going to speculate about. But I will say broadly speaking, again and again, the sources in this story talked about a culture of silence and of awareness of this.

[20:10:00] COOPER: What about the case the police were pursuing against Weinstein back in 2015? Because from your sources that were close to the investigation, was there enough evidence to actually bring charges and why do you think that the Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance ended up dropping the case?

FARROW: Multiple sources talked about how angered officers on the force were by this decision, by the D.A.'s office. And, you know, one we quote actually as saying, this made me as angry as anything in a long career, involved in these kinds of investigations. So, there was significant dissent about this decision. COOPER: That recording, that bit of the recording that we played,

though, that was the model was asked to do that by authorities?

FARROW: This was a sting operation conducted in cooperation with officers, and she was shadowed by undercover officers during that operation.

COOPER: And it was to the district attorney once listening to that tape whether or not they felt there was enough evidence to actually move forward.

FARROW: The officers involved from the NYPD Special Victims Division worked for some time on this. You know, as I said, multiple sources close to this investigation said they felt they had the evidence and then it went to the D.A.'s office, yes.

COOPER: Obviously, the story has a lot of threads, one of which is Harvey Weinstein being protected by industry insiders, by the media. NBC declined to go with your story. You ended up publishing it in "The New Yorker".

Do you believe NBC was somehow complicit in that cover-up or why did they decline to move forward with this?

FARROW: Look, I think it's really important, Anderson, to keep it focused on a very brave, very important thing these women have done, sometimes after struggling for many years. They really tore their guts out telling these stories and, you know, endured a lot of fear. So I want to keep the focus on them.

You know, I'll say broadly speaking, look, we talk in the story about the many years of media organizations not reporting on this and some of the reasons why that happens. And, you know, in general I think it's pretty clear in each of these women's stories that one reason this doesn't come out sometimes for decades is because media organizations don't act when they have significant evidence about this.

COOPER: Do you have any doubt there are more women out there that haven't come forward?

FARROW: Again, I'm not going to speculate, but I will say, you know, this is a story involving a lot of women, Anderson.

COOPER: And this goes back. I mean, he's been in business for a long, long time.

FARROW: He's been in business for a long time, but I'd also stress, this goes to the very recent past, too. The reason I was given over and over again when these women told me why they decided to talk, which is all downside for them. They don't get anything out of this. They said we thought this maybe could protect the next woman who came along and that they realized there was a previous woman before them who remained silent and maybe if that hadn't happened, they could have been safe.

COOPER: Yes. Ronan Farrow, a great job of reporting.

FARROW: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Thanks so much.

Much more ahead on this, including Hillary Clinton now speaking out on camera for the first time on CNN about Harvey Weinstein.

And later, what President Trump said on the road today and the reportedly chaotic White House he briefly left behind.


[20:15:55] COOPER: Harvey Weinstein's wife left him. He's supposed to be heading to Europe by now for some kind of rehab center. And tonight, TMZ is reporting that his daughter called 911 when he showed up at her house this morning. She said he was suicidal and depressed. According to TMZ, when they arrived, the police, she told them, no, it was just a family dispute.

With all due respect, though, this is not really the alleged serial victimizer and about how he is feeling. It's about his alleged offenses, his alleged crimes, and what so many people failed to do even when some may have known about them.

It's also about those who courted his endorsement and his financial largess for their political benefit and what they did when this all became known or what they didn't do. Today, one big beneficiary, Hillary Clinton, spoke to CNN's Fareed Zakaria about the scandal.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: What was your reaction when you heard the news about Harvey Weinstein?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was -- I was just sick. I was shocked. I was appalled. It was something that was just intolerable in every way.

And, you know, like so many people who have come forward and spoken out, this was a different side of a person who I and many others had known in the past.

ZAKARIA: Would you have called him a friend?

CLINTON: Yes, I probably would have and so with so many others. You know, people in Democratic politics for a couple of decades appreciated his help and support.

And I think these stories coming to light now and people who never spoke out before, having the courage to speak out just clearly demonstrates that this behavior that he engaged in cannot be tolerated and cannot be overlooked. And I'm hoping that the --

ZAKARIA: Do you think it was tolerated because he was powerful? CLINTON: I don't know.

ZAKARIA: A lot of people say people knew.

CLINTON: Well, I certainly didn't and I don't know who did. But I can only speak for myself and I think speak for many others who knew him primarily through politics.

But the courage of these women coming forward now is really important because it can't just end with one person's disgraceful behavior and the consequence that he is now facing. This has to be a wake-up call and shine a bright spotlight on anything like this behavior anywhere at any time.

We've had a series of revelations about companies in Silicon Valley, you know, just sexual harassment and sexual assault being kind of accepted. That's the cutting edge of our economy. That's where a lot of young people have their first or most significant jobs.

This can't be tolerated anywhere, whether it's entertainment or tech or anywhere.

ZAKARIA: Senator Blumenthal says that people should give back the money that he donated to them. He donated money to you directly and indirectly. Would you give the money back?

CLINTON: Well, there's no one to give it back to. What other people are saying, what my former colleagues are saying is they're going to donate it to charity. And, of course, I do that. I give 10 percent of my income to charity every year. This will be part of that. There's no doubt about it.


COOPER: Well, the full interview airs this weekend on "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS".

Joining us now, CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger, and "USA Today" Washington bureau chief, Susan Page.

Gloria, I mean, this is the first time that we're hearing Secretary Clinton speak about this. What do you make of it, because obviously she came under criticism because it wasn't until I think yesterday, she actually released a statement, and there were several days in which there was silence?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think she was late. I think President Obama was late and I think one of the reasons for that is they're trying to figure out what to do because this is somebody who has been very generous to them personally in their campaigns and, you know, I think Hillary Clinton's outrage at this was evident.

[20:20:01] But it was also interesting to me that she made the case in a way that the political class didn't know. And everything we're hearing is that it was an open secret in Hollywood, and if it's an open secret in Hollywood, you know, these things get around. So, the question is, how did the political class not know?

And I don't -- I just don't know the answer to that. If you consider someone a friend and you have a lot of friends in Hollywood and Democrats do, then how come this never sort of became front and center while they were taking contributions? I think that, you know, is still a question that needs to be answered.

COOPER: Susan, I mean, Secretary Clinton, as I said, put out a statement yesterday five days after the initial "New York Times" reporting on this. There are a lot of people that say should have said something at the very least publicly sooner or to Gloria's point, you know, is it possible that this wasn't known by a lot of the people he gave money to?

SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, USA TODAY: Well, I don't know whether she really knew about it or not. I guess I think we need to take her at her word on that.

But I do think -- I do think as Gloria said that she was slow to come out on a subject on she's been very outspoken in the past. Remember how outspoken she was with accusations was brought against Donald Trump with that "Access Hollywood" tape. She didn't wait five days then to criticize him.

And I do think Democrats have a special obligation here to stand up --

BORGER: Right.

PAGE: -- because they've courted Harvey Weinstein. They've benefited from the money that he's given and that he's raised. And so, it means the bar is pretty high for Democrats to show that they think this is unacceptable.

You know, that said, I think it puts Republicans on a little bit of a -- I don't think it's all good news for Republicans because it is a reminder once again of some of the allegations against Donald Trump and against other men in power. This is a -- this is a subject that clearly is getting a head of steam in America.

COOPER: Gloria, also, Harvey Weinstein in his initial statement or one of his initial statements seemed to be kind of trying to play to those, you know, to liberals, to Democrats --

BORGER: Right.

COOPER: -- by saying, you know, he was going to take a step back and he was going to focus his anger on the NRA, as if that might sort of quiet the liberals from speaking out against him.

BORGER: It's ridiculous. It was -- you know, it was completely ludicrous as if anybody given the extent of what he did would listen -- would listen to that. You know, I'm one of you, guys, I'm going to focus on the NRA. That's where I'm going to put my efforts.

I mean, that was -- you know, that was just -- I mean, it's silly. It's absolutely silly. I think the question now the Democrats have is, how do you unravel all of these donations, Anderson? You know, you're limited as to what you can give individuals to a certain amount. So, Harvey Weinstein was limited to that.

But he's bundled, you know, way over a million dollars or more. We have no idea. He's bundled all this money for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. And how do they unspool that to decide what they do with the money that he gave to them.

I think it's -- I think they have to figure it out.


Gloria Borger, Susan Page, thank you very much.

Coming up next, we'll revisit that sting tape from 2015 and talk more about why the Manhattan D.A. decided not to pursue a case against Weinstein. What kind of charges Weinstein could still face. Our legal panel weighs in next.


[20:26:02] COOPER; The focus tonight is on what Harvey Weinstein allegedly did to women and to intimidate them after the fact, as new accusers come forward and new details come to light. Even a fraction are true, they paint a portrait of a predator who wielded power over women, power over their livelihood, and power allegedly to make the legal consequences of any wrongdoing go away.

We'll talk about all of it with our panel shortly, especially that one incident that Ronan Farrow brought to light, the one a Manhattan district attorney might have prosecuted Weinstein for but instead chose not to.

More of that from our Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Harvey Weinstein didn't know it, but this model was wearing a hidden microphone given to her by New York City Police to capture an encounter between the two that began in a hotel hallway.

WEINSTEIN: I'm telling you right now, get in here.

GUTIERREZ: What do we have to do here?

WEINSTEIN: Nothing. I'm going to take a shower. You sit there and have a drink.

TUCHMAN: According to "The New Yorker" magazine, Filipina Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez told police a day earlier that Weinstein had touched her breasts while he was going over her modeling portfolio and attempted to put his hand up her skirt.

Police wired her up and encouraged her to meet with Weinstein again. If she could get him to admit to sexually assaulting her, they'd have it on tape.

Gutierrez agreed and went to the New York hotel where he was staying.

WEINSTEIN: I'm not doing anything with you, I promise. Now you're embarrassing me.

GUTIERREZ: I know, I don't want to. I'm sorry. I cannot.

WEINSTEIN: No, come in here.

GUTIERREZ: Yesterday was kind of aggressive for me.

WEINSTEIN: I know --

GUTIERREZ: I need to know a person to be touched.

WEINSTEIN: I won't do a thing, please. I swear I won't. Just sit with me.

Don't embarrass me in the hotel. I'm here all the time. Sit with me, I promise --

GUTIERREZ: I know, but I don't want to.

WEINSTEIN: Please sit there. Please. One minute, I ask you.

TUCHMAN: Weinstein then asked her to go to the bathroom. Gutierrez said she wanted to leave to go downstairs. And then came this key exchange.

WEINSTEIN: Honey, don't have a fight with me in the hallway.

GUTIERREZ: It's not nothing. It's --

WEINSTEIN: Please. I'm not going to do anything. I swear on my children. Please come in. On everything. I'm a famous guy.

GUTIERREZ: I'm feeling very uncomfortable right now.

WEINSTEIN: Please come in now, and one minute. And if you want to leave when the guy comes with my jacket, you can go.

GUTIERREZ: Why yesterday you touch my breast?

WEINSTEIN: Please, I'm sorry, just come on in. I'm used to that.

GUTIERREZ: You're used to that?

WEINSTEIN: Yes, come in.

GUTIERREZ: No, but I'm not used to that.

WEINSTEIN: I won't do it again. Come on. Sit here. Sit here for a minute, please?

GUTIERREZ: No, I don't want to. TUCHMAN: Weinstein saying he wouldn't do it again and that he was

used to it. Part of an exchange that seemed to back up Gutierrez's allegations.

WEINSTEIN: Please, you're making a big scene here.

GUTIERREZ: No, but I want to leave.

WEINSTEIN: OK, bye. Thank you.

TUCHMAN: Despite those words caught on tape, the Manhattan district attorney's office decided not to prosecute. The D.A.'s office saying while the recording is, quote, horrifying, it wasn't enough to prove a crime had occurred.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: I want to get the panel's take on all of this. CNN political analyst, Kirsten Powers joins me, along with CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Laura Coates, and CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos, criminal defense attorney.

So, Mark, I mean, did -- what do you make of this audio recording? Did the district attorney have enough evidence to perhaps bring charges?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No. And, you know, and, Anderson, you know, I'm never afraid to second guess a prosecutor. In this case, I think they were right. The tape is horrifying to most people when they think about it as a layperson. But as a practical matter for hitting all the elements, they didn't have enough.

I think their explanations today may -- rang true to me is the police should have gone to them, should have them tell them this is what we need. This tape, actually to my mind is more devastating if you have a separate case with somebody else and this is what they call 1101 or 401B or light crime's type evidence.

This is a good case to force him to plead to something but it was not a good case to bring if you're a prosecutor.

COOPER: Laura, could Harvey Weinstein still face charges based on the allegations against him now by the number of women who have come forward?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. And not just the women you're actually talking about from that 2015 incident.


But you have the idea of two different levels of liability, you've got criminal and you've civil. And so on the civil side you may have charges against not only Harvey Weinstein in terms of lawsuits but also about the Weinstein Company. You also have the issue of criminal liability if some of the alleged conduct did occur within the statutory period of limitations. Remember most attest do with New York and California neither of which no any longer have a statute of limitations period that was as long as before.

So if these were recent allegations that can be brought within that statute, then absolutely you will have the ability to say he has a lot of liability and explaining to do. But I actually I agree with Mark on the issue of the 2015 case. What you're there missing from the audio alone, and of course then NYPD says they had far more in the background. But from that audio alone what you are missing is the idea of the criminal, the actual mens rea and if there was consent that was given. Or rejected or not even the day before which you forehead (ph) operation.

COOPER: Kirsten, I mean its incredible listening to that recording, just sickening, just the way he's trying to get this woman to do what he wants. Everything from ordering her, to basically begging her, bringing in his children, you know, swearing on his children. It just to hear it is -- I mean its one thing to read it, it's nothing to actually hear it.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean it is incredible. And it kind of, you know, it makes you think that this must have worked for him in the past, right. And then usually people don't do thing unless they get the kind of results they want. So that somehow this bullying and just wearing trying to wear down a woman whose clearly resisting is something he's not only comfortable with probably actually really enjoys. And, you know, I think as a layperson here, you know, he'll listening to lawyers talking about it, it just -- it seems to me inconceivable right that this couldn't be used to prosecute somebody.

And so, you know, that's -- I think its just so hard for women because you just sort of wonder what does it take if this isn't enough to prove, you know -- he admits to it on tape is essentially having done this the day before.

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, Anderson that's a real good point. I mean it's a spectacular point. When you listen to it visually, you say to yourself how could this not be a crime? But -- and that's what the disconnect is, because the prosecutor -- and mind you, these -- the woman whose head of the sex crimes here in New York, this is not a shrinking violent, she's somebody who prosecutes cases. And I know there's the whole Dominique Strauss-Kahn, (INAUDIBLE) and everything else.

But the fact is that to hit the elements, they must -- I mean I'm thinking if I'm the prosecutor in this case I'm going crazy. Why didn't the police come to me, why didn't they tell me or let me give input into what she should have been asking, because obviously, this woman -- what was she 19-year-old, she was troubled, she didn't want to do this, that is a great fact if you're a prosecutor, she's not trying to sue, she's not trying to do anything else. And they probably are frustrated beyond all get out as to why they weren't brought into the loop.

COATES: But if they can --

COOPER: Laura, you know --

COATES: Go ahead.

COOPER: Sorry, go ahead.

COATES: But I can, as somebody who's prosecuted a lot of sexual offenses as well as delayed reporting. One of the biggest frustrations in the hurdles if it's not simply whether there was a strategical alliance between the police department and the attorney's office. It's also with about societal viewpoint about people who are delayed in their reporting and as moment there hurdles you must say. So in this case that it's almost an instantaneous report that has not been satisfactorily for the prosecutors and satisfying the elements.

But as Mark eluded to earlier, this a lot -- is has lot of parallels to other very famous cases we've heard about, whether there's multiple women who has made these allegations and those can go towards getting the case together about this MO of the person. This apparently is his MO as Kirsten is eluding today. It's been successful in the past to try to, you know, brow (ph) beat somebody into submission into the statutory planetary behavior.

And so those all can come together even if they're outside of that period to betres (ph) the claims of somebody who is a standing plaintiff in the case. We saw that in the Bill Cosby case. Dozens of women came forward and only one was able --


COATES: -- to be criminally prosecuting in that.

COOPER: You know, Kristen though, I mean you read (INAUDIBLE) account and the number of people in Harvey Weinstein's office who seem to be kind of in on this strategy of, you know women who were -- you know, to sit in on meetings early on so that the potential target would feel comfortable. And then they would leave and maybe the meeting was in a hotel room and it seemed legit at first. And all of a sudden everyone else leaves the room and it's just Harvey Weinstein and the person he, you know, apparently wants to assault.

[20:35:08] POWERS: Right. I mean the thing is it's not just Harvey Weinstein that's the problem. Then we focus on this people whether it's Roger Ailes or Harvey Weinstein who come along. There's a whole system around this people that supports what they're doing. And that's something that has to be look out. And I think every person has to sure look at themselves as well and say, you know, how do I participate in the system.

We talk about institutional racism there's also institutional sexism and misogyny. And how am I participating in this. Because this people couldn't do what their doing without be enabling of the people around them. And that's something that you see over and over. You know, we talked last night about how similar this was to Fox News. I mean all the same factors are there to the same type of people enabling this behavior.

GERAGOS: And, you want to know something, Anderson? Part of the calculus of the prosecutors in this case with this young woman is precisely derivative of what she just said. They -- you know, they floated out today. This woman had testified in the Italian Prime Minister bunga bunga case. And they have kind of posttraumatic prosecution syndrome from Dominique Strauss-Khan case. So, there is something that filters into that, it's built into the system. It's not just film, it's Hollywood, music, it's, you know, movies, it's, you know, its fame. I mean that's a real problem.

COOPER: Yes. Mark Geragos, Laura Coast and Kirsten Powers thank you very much. More on this ahead.

Also the president tweets and levels a new threat reaction from Van Jones among others, Next.


COOPER: The president just lashed out yet again at the press, not only attacking the messenger but threatening to essentially destroy the messenger, he tweets, Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenge and if appropriate revoke. Not fair to public.

Here to talk about is Van Jones, author of the new book "Beyond the Messy Truth", Jason Miller, former senior communications adviser for the Trump campaign and CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter.

So Brian you see this tweet from the president now. I mean is there any way to interpret it other than a threat against freedom of the press?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: You could say he's just venting. He increasingly angry at the honest, accurate coverage of his presidency and White House in crisis.

[20:40:02] But we should take his word seriously. He is suggesting that networks, specifically local stations. So that their licenses revoke and presumably given to pro-Trump owners. That is against the First Amendment and un-American. It is the talk of an autocrat, not the talk of a western Democratic leader and it's a shame Anderson when the U.S. State Department is speaking out for journalist who are detained in prison in Turkey trying to uphold First Amendment values. That the president of his United States is actually contradicting its own State Department and trying to tear down those values.

COOPER: Jason, do you think that's appropriate?

JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR Well, this is one of the one times where I have to disagree with the president, I would be barking up the tree on this one, although, Brian I do have to say I think we might have to get you an oxygen tank, sounds like you're running out of breath bringing in Turkey and all this different things about local licenses.

STELTER: But it's Rex Tillerson, State Department said today.

MILLER: Brian trying to bring in all that into the president, and what clearly he's frustrated about some things in the media. But I disagree if on this I think freedom of the press is very important. And there I think too is quite frankly if I was still working with the president and has with him right now, I'd probably say Mr. President, the press corp is focused on two thing, one Harvey Weinstein and two the fact that the nationals just won a huge game and Michael Taylor hit a grand slam, no need to go and poke the bear tonight. Let's talk about your tax rally that you just had in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. No need to get into there one, but I do disagree on the issue.

COOPER: Van I mean it is interesting for president, you know, who join the campaign, we talked about Second Amendment and talk about how, you know, he loves the constitution. It seems -- I don't know if he's oblivious or doesn't understand, or just, you know, because he's annoyed, things oh this part of the constitution not so important.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's remarkable that we are -- this is happening in the United States of America. This is the kind of stuff that will happen in Latin American countries, African countries. The United States would be rushing to the microphone saying it is not acceptable --

STELTER: That's right.

JONES: -- for a leader of a county to silence people, to use and abuse executive authority, to essentially handcuff and blindfold the public that we used to fight for freedom of press around the world, because there was secure. I mean it was absolutely securing. The idea that a sitting president would threaten local news outlets, broadcast networks, I'm going to snatch your license, that would have been -- I mean even a novel with that in it would not have been published, I mean so ludicrous but here we are.

STELTER: And to be clear it's almost impossible. I think just to share with our viewers real quick. Licenses are given out every eight years, they're almost always renewed. It's a process through the federal government. But the chilling effects of the worst, the veiled threat even if it's empty threat, a toothless threat, it still has an impact, because --


STELTER: -- after all FCC staffers are going to read the president's message, there's -- those are the people that are in charge in the (INAUDIBLE) what happens with licenses.

JONES: Again, can I just say one more thing about this?


JONES: Is that the president is apart of the Republican Party which is a party that is allegedly conservator. And so the idea of the government intruding it to the private market even further and imposing its will on private broadcaster should have Republicans marching out the streets. Can you imagine if Barack Obama had said that he was going to start snatching licenses? I mean this would have been declared a constitutional crisis at the minute the tweet hit the internet.

So the idea that you have Republicans who say they love the constitution, they say they respect the free market, who don't want government overreach has said literally nothing about one of the most shocking statements from a shocking president is telling it of itself. You do not have a conservative party, what you have is an anti-liberal party. In other words, anything is fair game as long you're attacking liberals. And there's no other principle that we can explain the complicity of the Republicans in this kind of behavior.

COOPER: Jason, I want to ask you of this the new Vanity Fair reporting that says Steve Bannon essentially believe there's an end time on the president's first term. Only 30% chance of making it full term with a 25th amendment looming in the background. Do you share any of that concern? Do you -- you know, the portrait of that is painted in Vanity Fair piece of what's going on in the White House, again it continues this idea of chaos in the White House it just seems even worse.

MILLER: So Anderson, I feel like back on the campaign trail where we'd be traveling around with the president, we've finish up this great day. We flying on Trump Force One heading back to either Trump Tower or the next state that we're going to and some story that would pop up saying the campaign was in disarray or something, crazy was happening, completely disconnected from reality that things were actually going pretty well.

I think there are couple things in the story that really jumped out at me is red flags that it really seemed disconnected from reality.

[20:45:02] Number one that it said that people around the president were trying to control him. Which first of all if you're working for President Trump and you're surrounding him that's not the type of language that use nor --

COOPER: But that is what Senator Bob Corker also said based on what he said is his own knowledge.

MILLER: Well, and again I think the point that I was building up to here was this is the kind of thing that somebody who's not a part of the team, who's not a part of the inner circle says to try to throw shade on the president. And even the point you brought up about Steve Bannon this wasn't a quote from Steve Bannon, I mean Steve Bannon is out there trying to recruit candidates who will support the president's agenda. So which one is it? Is he recruiting candidates to support the president or is he saying --


MILLER: -- that he doesn't think that he's going to do well? Seems like the story doesn't really match up with what the actions that were seeing in realtime. COOPER: So you're -- but you're saying General Kelly wasn't brought in to try to kind of restore order and control access to the president, control, you know, the information the president got?

MILLER: I think General Kelly was brought in partially to go and put in real structure which the White House definitely need it. But there's a difference between instilling structure and helping to run government which we obviously need. I mean there are thousands and thousands of people who ultimately report to the folks in the White House. There's a difference between that and trying to control President Trump. I mean that's just -- that silly and nobody around the president talks like that. And when the important -- I mean that's part of the reason why he won this fall because he isn't some politician that has to go and have 22 people read all of his tweets, or it has to go and have --

COOPER: Right.

MILLER: -- you know --

COOPER: And I'm not sure I understand --

MILLER: -- everything has to be poll tested.

COOPER: I'm not sure I understand the difference between imposing a structure on the president and controlling him. I'm not sure there's much of a difference. But what about President Trump's close friend Tom Barrack who ran the president's inauguration telling the "Washington Post" he has been quote shocked and stunned by some of the president's rhetoric and that quote, "he's been better than this?" I mean that is a close friend to the president publicly saying that.

MILLER: Well, Tom Barrack is a good friend of the president's and ideologically he doesn't match up on handful issues and look, you know, it's free country, his to free to go and express his opinions. But, you know, I think on a couple of issues recently, I think particularly on the NFL and the -- the national anthem issue that we've seen over the last couple of weeks, that's one where President Trump has really won on that one, and I think that's been proven pretty clearly.

And, you know, look if, you know, Tom disagrees but again, that's his right but, you know, no two friends are going to agree 100% of the time. but I'm sure if Tom went on longer in that interview you'll probably see some other things where he thinks the president's doing a really good job, pushing the tax plan and whole host of other issues.

COOPER: Van last word.

JONES: But I mean, so we're supposed to be comforted by the fact that maybe the president beat up on some football players successfully, meanwhile you got Corker saying he might start World War III, you got his best friend saying he's melting down. You got him publicly challenging the freedom of press in our county, but all is well because maybe the NFL might go along with him. This is where we are now. People have tried to adapt to absurdity. And part of the reason I wrote the book that I wrote is because we got to have a crew said against the crazy. This is crazy, it's got to stop. We got apologize so its going stop, it's wrong for the president of United States to attack the free press in our country which is stand what Republican --


MILLER: Van, the markets doing great. The GDP numbers are moving great. I mean the economy, the rest of the country see a much different teaching of America that your seeing right now, sorry to tell you --

JONES: In the Argentina, when they have a dictatorship, they had a good economy too but that America. Thank you very much.


COOPER: Van Jones, Jason Miller, Brian Stelter, thanks very much.

Up next an update to an exclusive, CNN investigation. Last night we told how the Environmental Protection Agency chief how pave the way for a mine that critic say will be toxic to one of the last great salmon fisheries on earth. That was right after he met with a mining executive. Law makers want answers, we'll talk to one of them in a moment.


[20:51:42] COOPER: Time for a follow-up to a Keeping Them Honest report. Last night on the program, we had an exclusive investigative story. We told you how the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, moved to withdraw environmental restrictions for this area, Alaska's Bristol Bay, which is a pristine spot, it's home to one of the largest salmon fisheries. The restrictions for the area were put in place by the Obama administration after years of scientific study showed that mining the area would cause irreversible damage.

But last May, Mr. Pruitt quietly moved to drop those restrictions after meeting a mining company CEO who wants to dig a massive mine there. What's more, the lifting of the restrictions was done with no discussion with EPA scientists or experts of the region. In fact, about an hour after that meeting, EPA staffers were surprised to receive an e-mail, which CNN exclusively obtained, telling them to start removing restrictions.

Now, if it goes forward, the protection would be scrapped, wiped away. Today the first of two public hearings on the move took place in Alaska, for the CEO of Pebble Limited Partnership, it was a huge win. And when he talked to CNN's Drew Griffin, he had no apologies. Take a look.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CHIEF INVESTIGATOR CORRESPONDENT: And do you think it was not wrong that Mr. Pruitt did not even look at what the work had been done?

TOM COLLIER, CEO, PEBBLE LIMITED PARTNERSHIP: Not a science decision. It's a process decision.

GRIFFIN: You know, the optics on this look.

COLLIER: The optics on this are right. They don't look bad a bit.

GRIFFIN: It look bad, it is this looks like the head of a gold mine went into the new administrator and got him to reverse what an entire department had worked on for years.

COLLIER: Then put your glasses back on, because you're not seeing the right optics.


COOPER: Lawmakers didn't even know about the details of the decision or the e-mail directing the withdraw of the restrictions until Drew's report. They do now. Some want answers, including the Democratic senator from Washington, Maria Cantwell. She joins me now.

Thanks so much for being with us, Senator. I wonder what your reaction was when you first found out about this and how you found out.

SEN. MARIA CANTWELL, (D) WASHINGTON: I'm amazed. I found out from your story that they actually had an agreement, the minute he walked out of his office. Look, the taxpayers of America demand that we have somebody in the federal agency that is supposed to protect the environment, to be a fair process. And doing a sweetheart deal for a mining executive, five minutes after he leaves your office, is not the due process that taxpayers want.

COOPER: Were you surprised how quickly this whole thing seemed to go down? It was just a little more than an hour between when Secretary Pruitt met with this mining company CEO and when he issued the order to lift the restrictions.

CANTWELL: Well, it's appalling. And I can tell you that there are fisherman all up and down the west coast, from Alaska all the way to California, who count on these fisheries for their jobs. And to think that you would make a decision about mixing toxins from a mine with the head waters of the largest salmon estuary in the world is just ridiculous. That somebody would even think that the science existed.

So, we went through a process over the last several years, eight hearings, lots of scientific input, that reached this decision. And to have him have a mining executive walk out of his office and minutes later, that's the only information he has and he makes this decision, it's just appalling.

COOPER: The mining company, Pebble Limited Partnership, argues that they're just looking for a fair shake at submitting a proposal for their mine and what lifting the restrictions does is gives them a shot at the approval process. I guess the argument is, why not allow them to move forward, given there's still a chance the mine proposal may be struck down.

[20:55:07] CANTWELL: Because this was a process. So Mr. Pruitt is wasting taxpayer dollars. He's wasting money that a process took place, eight hearings, lots of scientific review, that basically said, why I consider something that you know is too dangerous. So the issue is that the scientists determine that it was too risky. So we need to base our decisions on that science and quit wasting money from the taxpayers. And ultimately, ruining a fishery that so many jobs and so many family wages depend on.

COOPER: CNN did some analysis on Secretary Pruitt's meetings between April and September, they found that Pruitt held 100 meetings with representatives of the fossil fuel industry during the time, only five with environmentalists or scientists. Does that concern you?

CANTWELL: Yes. Absolutely. This is not what we expect the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to do. We expect them to try to protect the environment. It is the resource of all people. It is not a special interest for sale sign that should be in the lobby of the EPA.

COOPER: So what's next? I mean what would you like to see happen now?

CANTWELL: Well, we're sending a letter from many of my colleagues, asking for hearings on this. By that, I mean, both around the region that's impacted, as well as an accounting of this very issue. And an investigation.

COOPER: Well Senator Cantwell, I appreciate your time. We'll continue to follow this. Thank you.

CANTWELL: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next, new reporting that suggests the White House is in major chaos. Plus, more of the president's threat against the free press.


COOPER: A big hour ahead, including new reporting that takes everything we have already learned a about dysfunction at the White House, anything Bob Corker has said about adult day care and turns it up to 11. Also, the president levels a new threat against the press and this time it's not a veiled threat. He spent the evening pitching his tax plan to truckers and CEOs in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He struck mostly to the teleprompter.

He was also low key. Earlier today, when asked about his differences with Secretary of State Tillerson and others on handling North Korea, here's what he said.