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AT THIS HOUR
Death Toll Rises To 17 With No Relief In Sight; Fire Crews "Just Trying To Keep People Alive"; No Rain In Forecast For Next Seven Days; Weinstein Scandal Snowballs More Accusers Come Forward; Trump Claims NFL Ordered Players To Stand For Anthem; South Korea: North Korean Hackers Stole Military Plans; U.S. Conducts Drills, Flies Bombers Over Korean Peninsula. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired October 11, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. In Northern California, the death toll is rising and jaw-dropping new video takes you inside the hellish landscape of the state's wine country. This is dash cam video from a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy, capturing the terrifying speed and scenes of the advancing flames.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF ROB GIORDANO, SONOMO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: There is even one deputy that was stuck on -- in the open field with 40 people who kept coming to the patrol car, but they couldn't get out, and they watched the fire burn around them. They were just very fortunate to make it through that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Others were not so lucky. Seventeen people are confirmed dead. Authorities warn that the death toll could rise. More than 180 people are reported missing. Communications problems is a big part of this. Many survivors saying that they escaped just steps ahead of the flames.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Went out and they were screaming fire, fire, fire. Get out, get out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sad. My house is OK. All of my neighbors aren't. I just don't know where to go from here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Fire crews say that given the massive challenge of battling more than a dozen wildfires, their focus right now is simply just trying to keep people alive. One captain with the highway patrol saying that he thinks this will be one of the worst disasters in California's history.
Some 2,000 homes and businesses have already been destroyed and this is what that looks like. Before and after, of just one building and with it, lives shattered in an instant.
Let's begin in the heart of California's wine country right now. CNN's Ryan Young is joining me now from Santa Rosa, California. Ryan, the scene around you, it's hard to look at.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It is definitely hard to look at it. And when you think about the choices that people had to make to get out of here, it's just amazing. We've been looking at this house for quite some time. You see a treadmill that was probably somewhere in the middle of this house.
But when you look around me, you see the utter devastation here, 8,000 people lived in this neighborhood -- around this morning -- things left. It's like scene after scene, just like this one, where everything has just been leveled. You can't even make out anything on the interior of these homes.
And then you hear the stories of people who just had to get out of here, who faced that wall of fire, who wanted to escape it. You realize how terrifying this must have been. All of that with 20,000 people had to evacuate, you throw on top of that that 183 people are still missing at this hour.
And a lot of that is because of communication issues. The idea that it's very hard to communicate in this area, because cell phone towers have also been knocked out because of this intense, fast-moving fire. We've had problems communicating, as well.
But then when you look back and see what people have lost here, the homes and the memories that they've lost. And then the death toll, 17 people have died. One of the things that stuck out to all of us is the couple that had been married for 75 years.
The man was 101 years old, the woman was 98 years old. They did not make it out of their home. You can understand when that evacuation order is given, you must pay attention to it because at this point, the fires are moving so quickly.
We even heard that they're at zero-point containment right now with these fires because not only are they still moving around, their worried about the winds. Right now, the winds have been pretty good, but just look back this direction and think about all the families that have lost something here.
And the throw on top of all of that, there have been looters. Looters showing up and picking through people's stuff and trying to take it. So, this is going to be a long day. It's going to be interesting to see what happens.
The police officers have told us to be careful here. We are on our own right now, because they have been patrolling and trying to make sure no one steals anything else. BOLDUAN: Oh, my god! It looks like a bomb went off where you are, when you show that wide image of that area. I mean, homes just incinerated and reduced to ash one after another after another.
YOUNG: It's unbelievable.
BOLDUAN: Amazing. Ryan, thank you so much. Ryan is there. Fire officials have said the wildfires erupted from a perfect storm, if you will. High temperatures, strong winds, and tinder-dry vegetation. Is there any help on the way?
CNN meteorologist, Chad Myers. He's taking a look at this from the CNN Weather Center. Chad, what are you seeing right now?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, the weather is good right now, but later tonight, it won't be as good. We'll have winds 25 to 30 miles per hour, especially near Yuba City, where there is also -- we've been focusing on Santa Rosa, because we can get a live shot out of there and there's so much devastation, but it is so widespread.
There are 35 wildfires going on right now with that critical weather all day long. There are thousands of hot spots to try to put out. Now, here we go. This is Yuba City. This is the Santa Rosa area. We are going to see 10 to 20-mile-per-hour winds today. That's OK.
[11:05:03] But tonight, the wind blows all night long at over 25. At times, I've seen 29 pop-up on this map. These are the forecast wind speeds over the next couple of days. So, what happened? Well, it rained over the winter.
It rained a lot and snowed a lot and things grew. And all of a sudden, the rain stopped and because the rain stopped, the plants died, essentially. And now the wind blows through those fires and those fires are pretty much unstoppable -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: They sure look like it. I mean, I really cannot believe the images that are coming out of California right now. It is unbelievable. Chad, thank you so much. He's keeping a close eye on that and we're all crossing our fingers that the weather helps in their efforts because they are up against a lot right now.
So, from one major story, we turn to this -- disgraced, dumped by his company, and now headed to divorce. Could defendant be added to the list of ways to describe Harvey Weinstein right now very soon?
Well, the allegations against Weinstein keep piling up and the details, more and more disturbing. More than 20 women, including some of the most famous actresses, the biggest names in Hollywood, have now come forward to tell their stories about their encounters with the now former movie mogul. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, three women accusing Weinstein of rape.
CNN national correspondent, Brynn Gingras is here with the very latest. Brynn, what are these women saying today?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point, people are coming forward and making allegations, but what I'm being told by the police department is come forward to the police. You have to make a case in order for us to open a case, they have to have knowledge about it.
At this point, I'm being told by multiple law enforcement sources that there are no open investigations into Harvey Weinstein right now. And no new allegations have been made against him, again, to police, at least here in New York City.
Over two dozen women have come forward, though, with strikingly similar and disturbing accounts of their interactions with Weinstein over the course of decades.
GINGRAS (voice-over): The board of the Weinstein Company insisting Tuesday that they had no knowledge of the explosive allegations against co-founder, Harvey Weinstein, calling the claims, quote, "an utter surprise."
This despite widespread rumors that Weinstein's alleged abuse was the worst-kept secret in Hollywood. Comedian Seth McFarlane even knocked Weinstein's bad reputation while hosting the Oscars in 2013.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.
GINGRAS: At least 25 women, including some of Hollywood's most prominent actresses are now come forward, accusing Weinstein of acts ranging from harassment to rape. Gwyneth Paltrow telling "The New York Times" that when she was 22, a meeting with Weinstein, quote, "ended with him placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages. I was petrified," Paltrow said.
Ashley Judd alleges that two decades ago, Weinstein had her sent up to his hotel room and then greeted her in his bathrobe, asking if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower.
Angelina Jolie also telling "The Times" that Weinstein made unwanted advances on her in a hotel room in the late 1990s.
KATHERINE KENDALL, ACCUSED HARVEY WEINSTEIN OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: He went to the bathroom, came back out of the bathroom, in a robe, and asked me to give him a massage. I said, no, I didn't feel comfortable. He said, everybody does it.
GINGRAS: Two other women recounting similar stories on CNN last night.
KENDALL: And said, well, at least if you won't, you know, give me a massage, then, can I see your breasts?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told me he would give me three picture deal and he could get my movie made and, you know, I -- I don't doubt that he could, but he said, you know, you have to watch me -- but you've got to stay and watch me masturbate. GINGRAS: "The New Yorker" publishing disturbing audio from a 2015 police sting involving Weinstein and model, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez. Weinstein attempts to lure her into his hotel room before admitting to groping her the day before.
GINGRAS: The Manhattan District Attorney's Office says in a statement, quote, "While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law."
Weinstein's reps declined to comment on the tape, but said in a statement Tuesday, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein." Weinstein is a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton and a major donor to the Democratic Party, raising more than $1 million for Democrats since the '90s.
After days of silence, Clinton condemned Weinstein on Tuesday, saying, quote, "The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated." The Obamas also denouncing Weinstein, saying, "Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status."
[11:10:04] GINGRAS: And at this point, more people are beginning to distance themselves from Weinstein, including his wife, fashion designer, Georgina Chapman. The couple have two children together. And the film company he co-founded, that may change its name as early as this week -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Brynn, thank you so much for laying that out for us. Really appreciate it. It's amazing because it's almost hard to keep all the stories straight. There are so many women coming out with such similar stories now.
Joining me now to discuss, editorial director of "The Hollywood Reporter," Matthew Belloni, former correspondent for "Inside Edition" and "BET News," April Woodard, and criminal defense attorney, Caroline Polisi. Thank you so much for being here.
Matthew, first to you. I mean, a lot of folks, they are seeing all this playout and are asking how did this go on for so long? The worst-kept secret in Hollywood, I've heard a bunch of folks say. Did everyone really know?
MATTHEW BELLONI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": You know, I've been asked that a lot and I think the answer is yes and no. Did everyone know that Harvey Weinstein was a bully? Yes. Did everyone know he was abusive? That he, you know, made comments about women? I think, yes.
But the specific allegations that have been made in "The New York Times" and in "The New Yorker," I don't think most people knew about the severity of those claims. But it still is a shameful event for Hollywood. The fact that this behavior went on for 20, 25 years, allegedly, and people did not come forward and it was not written about.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Caroline, now, we're told -- the reporting is that Weinstein is headed to in-patient therapy in Europe somewhere. And a lot of these -- as Matthew said, 25 years ago, 30 years that this has been going on. A lot of the allegations are from years ago. Is he in legal trouble now? Should he be?
CAROLINE POLISI, FEDERAL AND WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, we just heard from Psy (ph) Vance, from Manhattan district attorney, who is really coming under fire for sort of dropping the ball on this Ambra Gutierrez case. Of course, we heard the audio from that case there. She worked with the NYPD actually to conduct this undercover sting operation.
The result of which was this tape. The D.A.'s office coming out saying that they weren't consulted prior to the implementation of the sting operation.
BOLDUAN: Why is that important?
POLISI: Well, it's important because they're saying, had they been consulted, they may have been able to work with Miss Gutierrez to obtain the type of evidence that they needed to move forward with the criminal prosecution.
Now I will say that as it pertains to these new "New Yorker" allegations of actual rape, the statute of limitations in New York is no longer. In the wake of the Bill Cosby scandal, many states have done away with sexual assault statute of limitations.
So the Bill Cosbies of the world, the Roger Ailes of the world, and the Harvey Weinsteins of the world are being put on notice that society will not tolerate this kind of behavior.
BOLDUAN: On notice things are changing, but, Caroline, what would it take for him to get indicted now?
POLISI: Well, it would take some really hard evidence and what I'm going to say is that, it's interesting, many of these women have entered into nondisclosure agreements with Mr. Weinstein saying that they're not going to talk to investigators or tell their story.
Miss Gutierrez actually signed an affidavit to the effect of, the statement of Harvey Weinstein admitted to happening in that tape didn't happen at all. That's a huge obstacle to any prosecution.
BOLDUAN: And if they would break that nondisclosure?
POLISI: If they broke the nondisclosure certainly they could work with investigators, but the longer and longer, the farther back in time that these allegations reach, the more difficult it is to make a prosecution.
BOLDUAN: But the fact that their stories are so similar, does that give more to a D.A.?
POLISI: It does and it doesn't. I mean, there's -- D.A.s take things on a case-by-case basis. In any instance, they would have to prove that particular specific instant occurred. They can't bring a totality of the circumstances in to say that this guy is a bad guy. So certainly, they would need to mount a robust case and get as much evidence as they could.
BOLDUAN: April, Caroline said, putting men like this on notice. Do you see this as a tipping point? Is this a watershed moment within the industry?
APRIL WOODARD, POP CULTURE ANALYST, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Yes, I mean, it can be, in some respects, but I also think that it's just a cultural issue. It has been an issue for a long time. A lot of people have looked the other way.
I have an incident that happened to me when I was 20 years old, where a very powerful career-making man, you know, decided to feel on my legs and say some inappropriate things to me. And as a young woman, I was afraid to come forward.
But the thing is, if someone else knew about that, who had more courage than I did at that time, and came forward and said something about it, things would begin to change. The problem is, when you have a culture where executives or reality tv people or, you know, movie film people are able to just, you know, get a pass and be OK with it, and not have any repercussions as a result of their actions, then everybody is willing to look the other way.
I think we're just beginning now to look at this and say, hey, no more. We're not going to tolerate this. We're not going to be silent, but you really have to make people accountable for their actions.
And you have to remember, it affects all of us. No man is an island. What happens to me happens to you, what happens to the world happens to everyone. And you have to get back to that basic of saying, you know, this is not going to be tolerated in our culture. So, it really has to be a cultural change.
[11:15:02] BOLDUAN: And that is never easy. Matthew, a couple -- there's a lot of important stuff coming out, but one of these, I want to get you on is, is what his brother -- I don't want to say part of this, but his brother is a co-chairman of the company. And his brother put out a statement, Bob Weinstein, after this, telling TMZ, he said that he has proven himself to be a world-class liar, is what he said.
And he also goes on to say that his remorse and his apologies to the victims of his abuse are hollow. But of course, again, everyone is wondering, how did bob not know? What did he know about this beforehand, right?
BELLONI: Yes, that is a big question. And I think the future of the Weinstein company or whatever they end up calling it will depend on that question because if it is true and Bob did not know what was going on over 25, 30 years, and this is not only his business partner, but his brother, then, you know, perhaps they can keep this company going.
But you've got to ask, how do you not know? How do you not know over years that this allegedly was going on? The number of actresses, the business settings that then turned into hotel room settings. All of that points to, you know, how do you not know.
BOLDUAN: Yes. And I would suggest everyone look at some of your reporting out there that you have on Jeffrey Katzenberg, a long-time friend of Harvey Weinstein's and the e-mail that he released, that he sent to Harvey in the aftermath of this. It's actually very telling and an important thing to read.
Thank you all so much. I don't think this is going anywhere, hopefully, it's not going anywhere anytime soon, because we will stay on this. Appreciate it. Thanks, guys.
Just into CNN, this is coming up, the NFL fact checking the president of the United States right now. The league shooting down an early morning tweet from the president about players kneeling during the national anthem. What they said, what the NFL is going to do, that's coming up.
Plus, a disturbing new report coming out of South Korea. North Korea hacking into a military database, stealing joint U.S./South Korean war plans. What does this mean? What did they get? That's next.
BOLDUAN: President Trump's focus this morning, well, at least his focus on Twitter is the NFL and the national anthem, again. Here it is. "It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players stand for our great national anthem. Respect our country."
But according to the NFL, that's not the case. The league just moments ago responding that that's simply not true.
CNN White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins is live at the White House with much more on this. Kaitlan, who knew that we would be discussing the NFL so much and also fact checking the NFL. Is the White House responding to this morning?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. It's not typical of the NFL to issue a statement, pushing back on seemingly something the president said about them on twitter, but they're doing just that. They're disputing the president's tweet this morning, where he said that the league's commissioner was siding with him on this whole argument.
The NFL spokesman put out a statement just a short while ago saying that, "Commentary this morning about the commissioner's position on the anthem is not accurate. As we said yesterday, there will be a discussion of these issues at the owner's meeting next week and the NFL is doing the hard work of trying to move from protest to progress, working to bring people together."
Now, Trump's tweet this morning came after the league's commissioner, Roger Goodell, put out this statement yesterday, saying that these players protesting during the national anthem is going to be at the top of an agenda -- at the top of the agenda in a meeting between the -- between the commissioner and owners next week.
But they're saying that they are not requiring these players to stand during the national anthem and they're certainly not saying that. But it's clear the president is not going to be backing off of this argument -- or this feud with the NFL anytime soon.
BOLDUAN: No, it seems very clear that he does not want this conversation to move off of it, at all. No matter what the league comes up with. Let's see what they do. Kaitlan, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
There's also this, a new hack by North Korea. The target this time, war plans. According to a member of South Korea's Defense Committee, North Korea broke into his country's military digital database and stole war plans. Plans that included a joint U.S./South Korean operation to wipe out the North Korean leadership.
The news is coming as the U.S. military flew bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force. Joining me now to discuss this, CNN Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr. All right, this is some scary stuff. What is the Pentagon saying about this alleged hack?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, the Pentagon, actually, Kate, isn't saying very much. Yesterday, one of the spokesman said that, yes, they were aware of these reports out of South Korea about this hack, but not saying anything much more than that, and that they are confident that the U.S. military is confident of the security of U.S. military war plans, regarding South Korea.
It's important to remember that these are really joint war plans, essentially. That whatever's in South Korean computer databases, if you will, is something that would also involve the U.S. military.
So, this is, you know, joint risk for both countries, if they did get hacked into, and it is something that would be so sensitive that it would be very closely held. So not a surprise. They are saying that they are aware of it. They're sure of the security of U.S. war plans, but not saying more than that -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: And there's a lot going on the North Korean front right now. In addition to that, we have the president, who we have learned is being updated on the military options, to be put beforehand, with regard to North Korea. But also, this show of force on the Korean Peninsula. What's behind it?
STARR: Well, we saw, again, yesterday, U.S. B-1 bombers fly off Korea in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan, the east sea. This is something that they've done before. Working with both Japanese military and South Korean military, according to the South Koreans, staging some mock missile firing drills.
[11:25:08] When we say, "show of force," that's exactly what you're really talking about. Putting the airplanes out there, knowing that the North Koreans will see this very same video that we're seeing, and trying to send the message that the U.S. is ready if there is a North Korean provocation.
BOLDUAN: Barbara, thank you so much. Appreciate it, always.
Coming up for us, new subpoenas in the Russia investigation, but, it's how they were put together that's creating the controversy right now. A key member of a key Congressional committee will be here to discuss, that's next.
BOLDUAN: The man who is not supposed to be involved in the Russia investigation is now facing new accusations of doing just that. Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, despite recusing himself months ago, is issuing new subpoenas for information from the company behind the Trump dossier.
So, is Nunes back in charge? What does this mean and are they likely to get the information that they are looking for now? CNN senior congressional correspondent, Manu Raju is live on the Hill with much --