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CIA Clarifies Director's Russian Meddling Claim; Raqqa Liberated from ISIS But Left in Ruins; Trump Rates Government Response to Hurricane 10 Out of 10; New Harvey Weinstein Accuser Tells Her Story; Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired October 20, 2017 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:34:23] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So this morning the CIA is setting the record straight after remarks made by CIA Director Mike Pompeo correcting him, frankly.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Really immediately because at this National Security summit the director of the CIA said that Russian meddling in the 2016 election did not affect the outcome of the election, but a correction immediately released by his own agency.
Shimon Prokupecz is here in New York, with us, who has the details. Significant.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, pretty significant, Poppy. And the reason why they have to issue this correction was because in January when the Intelligence Community issued their report about Russian meddling they did not go there. They did not make any assessment as to whether or not it affected the election, whether it affected the outcome of the election. So it was important for the CIA to issue the correction.
[10:35:09] Now what Pompeo said yesterday was, quote, "The Intelligence Community's assessment is that Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election and that shortly thereafter a spokesperson for the CIA issued this statement saying, quote, "The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling in January stated the Intelligence Community did not make an assessment of the impact of that Russian activities had on the outcome of the election."
So it was important for the CIA to go ahead and correct. You know, and Pompeo has been criticized for somewhat politicizing the CIA in some way with regard to Russian meddling. So it was important for the CIA to go ahead and correct the record.
BERMAN: Yes. I mean, he said the CIA found something, the Intelligence Community found something, which they specifically said they had no findings on.
PROKUPECZ: That's exactly right. And the FBI has said so, the DNI has said so and everyone, and people even through the Obama administration have said so. The only other thing that may be relevant here is that Jeh Johnson,
when he was the head of Homeland Security, did say that they did not find that any of the meddling affected any of the votes. They could not find any of that.
HARLOW: Right. Right.
BERMAN: The vote tallies.
PROKUPECZ: The vote tallies. Exactly.
BERMAN: All right. Shimon Prokupecz, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.
HARLOW: Thank you.
There is if you can believe it dancing and singing in the streets of Raqqa today because ISIS has officially been driven out of what they once declared their self- -- their own capital in Syria. Kurdish forces led, declaring they are now in charge, but getting back to normal, that is going to take a long time.
BERMAN: Yes. People who lived in Raqqa are being warned not to go home until the area is cleared of mines and ISIS holdouts.
CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh was just in Raqqa, he joins us now from Syria.
Nick, what did you see?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Remarkable, though, to speak of the idea of people going back to life in Raqqa, John and Poppy. There's very few buildings there really standing apart. We only saw one, the National Hospital, and that seems to have been left not completely gutted because it's actually where they held human shields for quite a period of time.
While we were there ourselves, though, it's the stadium that had a lot of attention where the celebrations occurred, but beneath it there is an extraordinary series of cells where they held prisoners and torture chambers, too. And in fact in one of those cells strangely enough, it seems to be where ISIS held their people that they suspected of being spies.
We could tell that because on the wall in English there was a very strange series of instructions that basically said you're here because we caught you red handed or maybe you left the GPS locater on, on your Twitter account when you tweeted, or maybe the police just caught you in the street because they found you doing something wrong. Strangely people had written in many different languages their names, often their nom de guerre along with a number of days they've spent inside that jail.
A very eerie place to stand. It gives you also a sense of how international an effort it was. And to that effect, also, too, John and Poppy, we met an American in that basement area, a man called John, a computer engineer actually, from Colorado, who five months ago had obviously had enough of that life and set out here, expected to spend much of his time sat in the desert drinking tea but found himself right on the front line of the fighting against ISIS in Raqqa.
Now he described it is not as intense as he had expected, remarkable given the damage we saw all around there, and he's a man with no military experience, who actually doesn't even intend to go back to the military now, but someone who said he wanted simply to fight ISIS himself.
This is the kind of international efforts here. I should point out just in the last few minutes or so, the coalition, the U.S. backed coalition, CentCom, and the U.S. State Department have come forward to congratulate the SDF, that's that Kurdish force with U.S. backing that kicked ISIS out of Raqqa.
But this is a pretty hollow victory really because Raqqa was never really was a Kurdish town. Never really was the SDF's. They were used to kick ISIS out.
It's been absolutely damaged beyond recognition now. Sadly the issue is, who can rebuild, is there enough American attention and money to make that actually happen? And potentially is there a risk, the Syrian regime, not so far away, may try and take it or could those local populations who had some sympathies with ISIS end up coming back here and allow jihadists there to have some sort of foothold again?
Huge questions but also absolute total devastation for that city. We did not see one civilian in the entire time we were there. Just the SDF fighters who kicked ISIS out -- John, Poppy.
BERMAN: A tragic violent past but a precarious future.
BERMAN: Nick Paton Walsh for us inside Syria. Thanks so much, Nick.
HARLOW: A perfect 10, that is how the president rates himself when it comes to the response to Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico. The mayor of San Juan, she has a different number in mind.
[10:43:57] BERMAN: All right. The president gives himself a 10 when it comes to the hurricane response in Puerto Rico. But just this morning on CNN the mayor of San Juan gave him a different number. It's the first word out of her mouth here. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: One. The administration has been unresponsive. They go back and forth. The president first says Katrina was a real disaster and yesterday says this is worse than Katrina. You know, the response of the USDI has also been very slow. There are still places in Puerto Rico where food has not gotten there. (END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Consider these numbers because they are very important. 82 percent of the Americans living in Puerto Rico are without power. And nearly a third still do not have running water more than a month after Maria struck. 113 people left unaccounted for.
Our Bill Weir has been on the ground. He continues reporting from San Juan. Look at this.
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, Poppy, it is hard to put an Olympic-style judge's score on a recovery like this.
[10:45:02] I can tell you this is my tenth hurricane. I did the Haiti quake and the tsunami in Indonesia. And it's by far the most lacking response personally that I've seen. There's 2.5 million, 2.6 million people still without power, over a million people still without water. You put those in terms maybe Donald Trump could understand, as a real estate guy, imagine if he had an apartment building where 20 percent of the apartments had power and half had water and the roof still leaked.
I don't know if you'd give that an A plus. I'm not sure you'd give that a 10. But the people here are really not paying attention because they can't watch television. Some here in the city of San Juan do have generators and can check social media and self-charge the phone so they hear this discussion. But living down here, as sort of a stepchild status of American citizenship, where they experience taxation without representation, they have for a century, so there's not a lot of visible outrage.
People are pragmatic, they're gracious, they'll take the help that they can get whether it's from charities or from FEMA, and I mean, I was trying to rack my brain for the last time you saw a natural disaster where they sent 4500 National Guardsmen in a month after the event. And that is the case.
All of those guardsmen we saw yesterday on the west side of the island, some from Tennessee and Kentucky, told me they have been saying good-bye to their children every day for two weeks just knowing that they'd be deployed at any second but would go home every night saying I don't know what's happening. So there's something gumming up the works.
It seems like this crisis was so misunderstood back in Washington for so long and now you've got all these agencies trying to flood the zone and are sort of banging into each other. But it is another day and another day brings fresh hope on this island as Puerto Ricans really try to take care of each other -- John and Poppy.
HARLOW: Bill Weir, thank you so much.
We, of course, will continue reporting from the ground in Puerto Rico.
Ahead for us, though, another A-list actress coming forward, recounting her story with Harvey Weinstein. Also, a big name Hollywood director apologizing today for not speaking up for these women. That's next.
[10:51:41] HARLOW: Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o is now the latest woman to come forward describing her encounter with movie mogul and sexual harasser and alleged assaulter Harvey Weinstein. She writes this in "The New York Times," in an opinion piece, this morning.
"I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recess of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years."
BERMAN: And her narratives honestly horrifying.
Also, director Quentin Tarantino who worked with Harvey Weinstein all the time apologizing for staying silent about Weinstein's alleged abuse, saying that he knew that some of this was going on over the last 20 years.
So much to discuss, joined now by CNN senior media correspondent, host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter and on top of all of this.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
BERMAN: Maybe the most significant development the LAPD now investigating.
STELTER: Right. The third city that we now know there's an active police investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by Weinstein. 15 days ago "The New York Times" story comes out, then "The New Yorker." We know the NYPD opened an investigation. We know London police have spoken with three women making allegations against Weinstein. And now for the first the LAPD also investigating.
This is a claim from 2013, an anonymous model has come forward saying that she was assaulted in 2013. So police looking into that. It just increases the possibility that Weinstein will be criminally charged in the future.
HARLOW: So Quentin Tarantino is among a number of men now who are speaking up saying, I should have done more, I wish I had done more.
HARLOW: That is very important to hear these voices of power and men in this discussion.
STELTER: You can hear his regret coming through in these quotes from the "New York Times." Here's part of what Tarantino said to reporter Jody Cantor. He said, "I knew enough to do more than I did. I knew enough to do more than I did. There was more to it than just the usual rumors, the usual gossip. It wasn't secondhand. I knew that he did a couple of these things."
So Tarantino, of course, his career was built partly thanks to Harvey Weinstein, the two men kind of grew in Hollywood together. Tarantino is now saying he wish he had done more, he wished he had spoken up. We've heard this from others in powerful positions in Hollywood as well, that they had not the full puzzle but they had pieces of the puzzle that they saw and wished they had acted but didn't.
BERMAN: His apology is remarkable. And I don't know what to make of it, frankly. Just to say, I screwed up here, I'm really, really sorry, nothing I can take and make it better, I knew I was wrong over all this time. And everyone is --
STELTER: Better than nothing, but it's not -- yes.
BERMAN: Yes. Everyone is going to have to make their own judgment on that.
STELTER: Look at Lupita and her statement, this op-ed in "The New York Times" today. It really is remarkable. You put part of it on screen I think. Really is remarkable and it's worth reading at NYTimes.com. She said that repeatedly Weinstein propositioned her at one point giving her a massage and instead she gave him the massage. She said, I didn't quite know how to process the massage incident. I reasoned that it had been inappropriate and uncalled for but not overtly sexual."
So she was rationalizing it in her mind, saying, "Though the incident with Harvey made me uncomfortable, I was able to explain it and justify it to myself. Shelf it away as an awkward moment."
That's what we've heard from a lot of women saying they were able to somehow rationalize this terrible behavior by Weinstein.
HARLOW: This is also when she was very young. She's still young. Very young in school.
HARLOW: And she's told by people Harvey is incredibly powerful, make sure you're in good with him.
HARLOW: And then after that, she talks about inviting him to one of her performances to show him that she's legitimate, that she has talent.
[10:55:03] STELTER: Yes. And she describes different sides of him. That he could be, you know, at a dinner party with men and women, charming and completely respectful, but then in private, more predatory.
We continue to hear every single day new stories like this. BERMAN: Look, his kids were in the other room, too.
STELTER: That's right.
BERMAN: Allegedly during this massage incident. So, you know, remarkable, sickening, call it what you want.
Brian Stelter, great to have you with us.
HARLOW: Thank you.
BERMAN: Thanks so much.
Defense Secretary James Mattis set to appear in just a few minutes. Will he jump into this now growing controversy over the deaths of four soldiers in Niger? Stay with us.