Return to Transcripts main page
Wildfires Continue in California; More Women Accuse Weinstein of Misconduct; Prosecution Rests in Menendez Case; Trump on Puerto Rican Recovery. Aired 9:30-10:00a ET
Aired October 12, 2017 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:33:55] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Thousands of people across northern California this morning at the mercy of the wind. Gusts up to 50 miles an hour, turning wildfires into fire storms, spreading disaster across wine country. So far 23 people have died because of these fires. Close to 300 are now reported missing.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, thousands of buildings, including homes, are in ruins. Entire towns evacuated.
CNN's Ryan Young in Santa Rosa, where some of the people there have fled the neighborhoods there.
Ryan, this morning, what's the situation?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, still this scary thought about all those people who are missing. We were looking at this, this morning ourselves as a crew trying to show everyone at home what it looks like here, especially since it's about 6:30 in the morning, so it's still dark here.
But you see this. If it's not stone or metal, it didn't last. And a lot of us were also talking about the fact that no one's been able to search through these homes. In fact, people have shown up yesterday and they just wanted to see if their neighbors survived. There's no way to account for everyone who lived in every single one of these houses, make the ID. Also that cell phone coverage here is very spotty at this point. So if you can get a signal, you use it. Internet has been spotty. People have been trying to get on FaceBook to find their neighbors. But when you see scenes like this one stretched out through the area, you understand just how dangerous and tragic this is.
[09:35:11] Let me show you some of this video of everyone who's just been out there dealing with these flames. Firefighters having to deal with the fire on the mountain ranges. And then you talk about the wind that's been spreading the fire left and right. It's been leaping over the mountains, over the highways, and just spreading very quickly. Containment has (INAUDIBLE) but we even noticed the wind gusts this morning have been stronger than they were yesterday. So that could make it more difficult for firefighters. We're talking about the idea, 20,000 people evacuated and 23 people dead. And people believe that that number could rise. You understand how heartbreaking this is for so many people who live in this area. HARLOW: Ryan Young, thank you very much for the reporting, the latest
from northern California. We'll stay on this, of course.
Meantime, the list of women speaking out against Harvey Weinstein, sharing their stories, is growing by the hour. A live report ahead.
[09:40:23] BERMAN: This morning, new accusers, new fallout for Harvey Weinstein. Actress Cara Delevingne, the latest of more than two dozen woman to accuse Weinstein of inappropriate behavior. And that's a euphemism to say the least. Allegations from these women ranging from sexual harassment to rape.
HARLOW: He is now facing an uncertain future on a lot of fronts. Also with the Motion Picture Academy. The board of governors set to holding an emergency meeting to, quote, discuss the allegations and any actions warranted. That's aside from all his legal troubles ahead and what he owes to these women.
All of this coming as Hillary Clinton finally speaks out for the first time on camera about the man she used to call a friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: 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.
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, CNN'S "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Would you have called him a friend?
CLINTON: Yes, I probably would have. And so would so many others. You know, and 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Weinstein bundled about $1.5 million for Hillary Clinton over the years.
Joining us now, Brian Stelter, CNN media correspondent, and Rebecca Sun, senior reporter for "The Hollywood Reporter."
Thank you both for being here.
And, Brian, to you first. There's new reporting from the LAPD on this. What are you learning?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The LAPD is now confirming that police were called to Harvey Weinstein's daughter's home yesterday for a report of a man who was saying he was suicidal. Now, I'm getting a lot of pushback from Weinstein's camp on this saying it was just a family dispute, that he was not suicidal. That is not accurate.
But we do know that later in the day he headed off to rehab. There's pictures of him heading to a rehab facility. So he says he's now getting the help that he needs. He gave an interview to Page Six saying that he's heartbroken that his wife is leaving him, that his family is crumbling around him. But so much for that. We can talk about the sympathy for Harvey Weinstein and what he's going through, but there are women who told stories of abuse from decades ago.
And now we know police are starting to look at those again. The NYPD reopening an investigation into a 2004 allegation against Weinstein. So there's new development on the criminal front, as well as on the business front. What happens to the company Weinstein co-founded? There is severe scrutiny around who at that company knew what about this.
HARLOW: And when.
BERMAN: Yes. Ronan Farrow out today saying he spoke to 16 current or former assistants.
BERMAN: All have said they had some knowledge of things that were going on.
BERMAN: Rebecca, there's a new "Time" magazine cover. I think we have the new cover from "Time" magazine, which I'd love to show people right now. It calls Weinstein producer, predator, pariah.
And this comes as the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences meets this weekend to discuss the allegations, making some kind of statement, I imagine, trying to disassociate itself with Weinstein. Was it -- is it that simple, you know, a statement from The Academy, a cover that says he's a pariah? Can they completely separate themselves from what went on here?
REBECCA SUN, SENIOR REPORTER, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": I mean, you know, one question is whether or not The Academy will do anything about his membership the way that BAFTA did yesterday, announcing that they were suspending his BAFTA membership. You know, that's one of the things that surely will be discussed this weekend during the meeting.
But it's difficult. If they do anything about Harvey Weinstein, what do they do about Bill Cosby, who's an Academy member, Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson are Academy -- you know, do you then go back and how do you make that moral judgment, you know, about their members. And so -- so that's one of the things that they're looking at.
And, you know, I mean, I don't think it will rise to the level of rescinding Academy Awards or anything like that because, again, it just -- that opens up a huge can of worms.
BERMAN: Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, I mean each won. What do you do with their awards.
HARLOW: So, Brian, you saw Cy Vance, the New York district attorney, yesterday facing those questions. Glad he took those questions. But he said essentially there wasn't enough there to prosecute Harvey Weinstein, even in that 2015 tape. I operate in the court of law, not the court of public opinion. It is important to note, though, his camp took a $10,000 donation from David Boise in 2015, the same year that his team did not pursue charges against -- or did not pursue charges against Harvey Weinstein and that David -- David was --
[09:45:12] STELTER: David Boise, the attorney for Weinstein.
HARLOW: Exactly. David -- right.
STELTER: David Boise, I talked to him a few days ago. He actually did the contract for Weinstein in 2015, the new employment contract. And there were questions at that time about Weinstein's conduct because this NYPD sting was in the news, this groping allegation. So the company decided to keep him anyway, renew his contract anyway, and at the same time that donation from David Boise to Cy Vance's office, it doesn't -- if nothing else, it doesn't look good. Even if it was innocent, it sure doesn't look good.
BERMAN: So, Rebecca, Ronan Farrow, who wrote the story for "The New Yorker," he was on "NEW DAY" a short time ago and he talked about sort of the impact that this has had on some of the women. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONAN FARROW, REPORTER WHO WROTE " NEW YORKER" PIECE ABOUT WEINSTEIN: They were terrified. Terrified is exactly the word. Over and over again. And, you know, look, to the (INAUDIBLE) with, this was hard because they -- I had to work with them as they relived this trauma over and over again with nothing to gain. They got nothing out of this except the truth. And, you know, I say the truth because each of these claims went through a very rigorous fact check process. They finally spoke out because they had realized from other women often that this was a pattern and they thought that they could speak out and maybe end this and protect the next woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, Rebecca, the question is, is this a watershed moment? Not just protect the next woman from Harvey Weinstein --
BERMAN: But protect the next woman in this industry from similar types of behavior? Do you see something changing now in the industry? SUN: I think this certainly helps a lot, you know, in the same way that -- with the Bill Cosby case. You know, the first few accusers really helped open the door for other women to say, this happened to me as well. With Harvey Weinstein, because of the high visibility of a lot of the women who are coming forward, these are, you know, famous actresses that people look up to.
I think it actually -- it does really move the needle a lot, not only for people within the industry, but also just possibly for other men and women who have been victimized sort of just to say, like, wow, you know, they experience the same fears, they experience the same burden of stigma, and it kind of opens the door for them a little bit.
BERMAN: All right, Brian Stelter, Rebecca Sun, great to have you with us.
HARLOW: Thank you, guys.
BERMAN: Albeit for a subject we wish -- we wish were not going on in Hollywood.
All right, thanks so much, guys.
The trial of a serious, important Democratic senator. A big moment in that trial as the defense prepares to make its case.
[09:52:04] HARLOW: A political career hangs in the balance this morning. Government prosecutors have rested their bribery case against Senator Bob Menendez. The New Jersey Democrat is accused of accepting expensive gifts from a wealthy eye doctor. In exchange prosecutors say Menendez used his office to pressure the government to take actions favorable to that doctor, who was fighting the feds over millions of dollars. If Menendez is found guilty, he would be the first sitting senator to be convicted of briary in nearly four decades.
BERMAN: Today the judge in the case is considering a defense motion to dismiss this, as the defense prepares to present its case.
CNN justice reporter Laura Jarrett has been covering this story from the very beginning.
Laura, this is a big moment. The prosecution is done. The defense is about to begin. That is, if the judge says the trial will go on.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes. That's exactly right, guys. And on Monday the defense lawyers are finally going to get their chance at trying to convince these 12 jurors in Newark that the New Jersey senator and his friend did nothing wrong here.
Now, for weeks, prosecutors have shown the jury stacks of evidence to highlight all of the political donations and free plane rides and other gifts that Menendez received. But when it came to showing what the senator actually did in return, the testimony at trial was more of a mixed bag. I have to tell you, there was no smoking gun e-mail or explosive witness for the prosecution.
And so now the defense team gets its shot at persuading the jury that even if Menendez took all of these gifts, it wasn't for a corrupt purpose because these two men were longtime friends for over 25 years. So there was no intent here to commit a crime.
Meanwhile, there's still this looming question, as you said, of whether the judge could toss this whole case out before the jury even has a chance to deliberate. As he's shown some serious skepticism about the prosecutor's legal theory and whether it still works now that the Supreme Court has essentially raised the bar on what's required to get a politician on the hook in a federal bribery case.
HARLOW: Laura Jarrett, thank you. You've been in court the whole time. We know you'll be back on Monday. Keeps us posted. We appreciate it.
HARLOW: Reports of President Trump unraveling, throwing fits, lashing out. These are from people close to the president. What's going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
[09:58:34] HARLOW: Top of the hour. Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.
BERMAN: And I'm John Berman.
So apparently the paper towels were not enough. The president is tossing new barbs at the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. This is what he wrote this morning, we cannot keep FEMA, the military and the first responders, who have been amazing under the most difficult circumstances, in Puerto Rico forever.
HARLOW: All right, here are the facts. Forty-five people have died in Puerto Rico as a result of the storm, 113 people are still missing, 83 percent of the island is still without power. And just this morning, the EPA issued a statement. It reads in part, there were reports of residents obtaining or trying to obtain drinking water from wells at hazardous waste super-fund (ph) sites in Puerto Rico.
All of this is quite a reversal from what the president and his number two, Vice President Mike Pence, said earlier this month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We now have more than 15,000 federal personnel on the island, 15,000. We will not rest until that job is done. Puerto Rico has a long road of recovery ahead. A very long road. MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our message here
today is the same as President Trump's message earlier this week, that we're here for the long haul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Let's get straight to Kaitlan Collins. She joins us from the White House.
What prompted this? Three tweets on Puerto Rico. Something you just -- you can't imagine him saying about the victims in Florida or Texas from those hurricanes.
[09:59:57] KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, he has not issued statements like that about Texas or Florida, but he seems this morning to be effectively putting Puerto Rico on notice. He's threatening to abandon the recovery efforts there and pull back on the number of relief workers who are on the island. And the president -- this is just while they're in the middle of this --