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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Roy Moore Denies Meeting the Woman Accusing Him of Sexually Abusing Her; Interview with Alabama State Representative Ed Henry. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 10, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:01] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
We begin tonight with more breaking news about Roy Moore, the Alabama U.S. Senate candidate accused of being a child molester by a woman who says he initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was just 14 years old.
Moore is speaking out today, with the Republican Party split over what to say and do about him. The president has not called on Moore to leave the race. Former presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain have, and two other GOP senators have just pulled their endorsements, conservatives Mike Lee of Utah and Steve Daines of Montana.
However, for the moment, Alabama Republicans are largely standing by Moore, some even using the bible to explain his alleged sexual contact with a 14-year-old.
As we said, Moore is speaking out today. On Sean Hannity's radio show, he called Leigh Corfman's allegations completely false but his recollection of his dating teenage girls is raising some eyebrows. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, THE SEAN HANNITY SHOW: Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?
ROY MOORE (R), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: Not generally, no. If I did, you know, I'm not going to dispute anything, but I don't remember anything like that.
HANNITY: Would it be normal behavior back in those days for you to date a girl that's 17 or 18?
MOORE: No, not normal.
HANNITY: You can say unequivocally you never dated anybody that was in their late teens like that when you were 32?
MOORE: It would have been out of my customary behavior. That's right.
HANNITY: In other words, you don't recall ever dating any girl that young when you were that old?
MOORE: I've said no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Moore also denied knowing the accuser or ever meeting her and said that somebody who abuses a 14-year-old should not be a Senate candidate.
As we said, though, Alabama Republicans are largely defending him. State Representative Ed Henry talking to a local paper, taking aim at some Roy Moore's accusers, saying, quote: If they believe this man is predatory, he said, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years. Someone should prosecute and go after them.
State Representative Henry joins us now.
Thanks so much for being with us. I appreciate it.
You believe Roy Moore clearly. You do not believe these women. I want to read the quote of what you said today in an interview with or maybe late last night with AL.com --
REP. ED HENRY, (R), ALABAMA: Wait hold on a second, Anderson. Wait a hold a second.
HENRY: Do you mind? You just gave the quote, so let me back you up real quick --
COOPER: Let me just give the full quote here.
HENRY: You're not going to give the full quote because you don't know the full quote. You're going to read what was printed, right?
COOPER: Well, from AL.com, let me read what was printed.
HENRY: That's not the --
COOPER: Let me read.
If these women were for 40 years had protected a sexual predator, they should be accomplices to whatever crimes have been committed. If you know somebody murdered somebody 40 years ago and you didn't say anything about it, you should be an accomplice to that crime. You've helped cover it up. You've helped keep it from going.
HENRY: Absolutely. Why -- see, and this -- there's two different things we're talking about, and both of these are in conversations about just the greater world in which we live. And if you are going to basically protect by your silence a crime, then you're part of that. And what the conversation was really around was the things like the
Bill Cosby event where -- or these incidents where he had molested women, paid them to be quiet, went and molested other women, paid them to be quiet, and so on and so forth, and both of these were lengthy conversations --
COOPER: I got to tell you, though, it sounds like --
HENRY: If you're going to protect --
COOPER: It sounds like you're saying victims of sexual assault --
COOPER: So, you're saying victims of sexual assault are accomplices?
HENRY: If you are part of -- if you are part of silencing and keeping silence a crime, then you are culpable. You're part of it --
COOPER: So children who have been raped by a priest and never came forward about it, they should be pursued as accomplices to the rape?
HENRY: That's not what we're talking about. That's not what we're talking about.
COOPER: We're talking about sexual assault of a child.
HENRY: No. What I was talking about were those instances, that specific instance. What you and a lot of the left would like to say is, oh, because he made this statement, it applies to everything that he believes and that's just not true.
COOPER: No. That's what we're having you --
HENRY: If you are a pedophile and you are taking advantage of children and I hear about it, and know about it, trust full well there will be hell to pay.
COOPER: Of course, no doubt about that. But it does seem -- and again that's why we want you on, because -- and I know you wanted to explain your comments because you got a lot of criticism for it. It does seem like you're saying in this particular case, this was allegedly a 14-year-old girl who was -- had a sexual encounter when Mr. Moore when he was 32 years old.
HENRY: Supposedly, right?
COOPER: Yes, supposedly, but you're saying --
HENRY: I mean, that's your -- your comment supposedly, right?
COOPER: But you're saying, yes, allegedly. If this is true, you're saying she is as culpable as him because she didn't come forward for 40 years if it's true? HENRY: No. No. And that's where the disconnect is. We were -- we
were talking more along the lines of just in theory of people worth quiet about things they know are responsible. And, it is disingenuous in my opinion for 50-something-year-old women to come forward four weeks prior to a major senatorial election, you know, just one of the most 100 powerful people in the world that we're going to elect in four weeks.
[20:05:17] And four weeks out, we have these allegations, that no one in Alabama has heard about, it surfaces. It just reeks of politics. And this is what it really does. This is what kind of bothers me the most I think, because it actually detracts from actual victims. People who have been molested, who have been assaulted by --
COOPER: You don't know at this --
HENRY: The way they have --
COOPER: But you don't know what happened.
HENRY: -- it is going to further quiet anybody that is truly been assaulted and that's the problem. I don't know, nobody knows. You don't know Anderson. You have no idea. You have no idea, right?
COOPER: Nor do you, sir. Nor do you. You're taking a stand based on no information.
HENRY: What I have is -- at least I know one of the individuals, right? Do you know any of them?
COOPER: No, I don't.
HENRY: Do you know any of them? Have you ever sat down and had a personal conversation?
HENRY: I have had a personal conversation, and if I look at what I know of Roy Moore, who is the stalwart in conservative principles, a man who says what he means and means what he says, and is willing to die for his country, and I look at the face of the facts on this, that, all of a sudden, after 40 years supposedly, these women are coming forward four weeks out from a senatorial election, it reeks, it smells horrible to me.
COOPER: I understand your -- OK.
HENRY: And I am making the decision personally that I do not believe them.
COOPER: OK. In another interview though, this wasn't just one interview that you gave. That was with AL.com. With "The Coleman Times", you said: if they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years. I think someone should prosecute and go after them.
That's not hypothetical and you were talking about these --
HENRY: And here's the thing -- here's the thing. So, I had offered to your producer to bring the reporter of "The Coleman Times" on the show with me tonight and let him explain to you the entire conversation, because that's not what we were talking about. That's not -- he didn't portray it the way it is being taken by you and many of the people on the left. I mean, there are -- what amazes me is how many hatemongers there are out there on the left --
COOPER: Well, I'm just reading it, your quote --
HENRY: -- seems to be a flower child, oh we love peace and everybody, until you say something they don't like, and then they're willing to kill you, and that's scary.
COOPER: Are you saying the quote is not correct?
HENRY: And part of it is because of things like this, where because you and others like you are going to try and demagogue.
COOPER: I don't know who others like me are. I don't know what you're indicating. But I'm simply -- I've invited you on, I'm allowing you to speak freely and I'm questioning you about quotes that you yourself have given in multiple interviews.
I understand you're under pressure from this and you're backtracking from this. And that's fine.
HENRY: I'm telling you, the quote is being misconstrued.
COOPER: OK. So, you're not saying any of these women should be prosecuted because they remained silent and you're not saying that they are accomplices.
HENRY: No, no.
COOPER: That if they stayed silent, you're not saying they're accomplishes.
COOPER: OK, fair enough.
HENRY: That was not the context of the conversation.
COOPER: OK. You say that you consider --
HENRY: I realize that and now, the reporter realizes that's the way it was taken. But that's not what was relayed --
COOPER: It was actually two interviews so it's not just one reporter.
You consider though, you said Roy Moore to be a victim, is that correct?
HENRY: Yes, I think in these types of instances, you have -- you have an accuser and an accused. I think probably more often than not, the accuser is the victim. But I do believe occasionally, the accused is the victim. And I believe in this instance that Roy Moore is the victim. I believe he is the victim of a political hack job, and whose behind it, I don't know. I have no idea who paid for all of this and who will be paying for it in weeks to come.
COOPER: So, you think somebody is --
HENRY: But I believe Roy Moore is the victim.
COOPER: "The Washington Post" says that neither Ms. Corfman nor any of the other women actually sought out the paper that they spent a long time in Alabama investigating this. They have a dozen interviews with people and that all these women were initially reluctant to speak out. Ms. Corfman was made it clear to "The Post" that she's actually voted Republican in the past three presidential elections, including for Donald Trump in 2016.
I'm wondering what evidence you have that this was politically motivated or it just was a gut feeling?
HENRY: Anderson, how many weeks until the Senate elections -- senatorial election? Do you know?
COOPER: Yes, it's a couple of weeks. It's four weeks away. So --
HENRY: Less than four weeks.
HENRY: And so, all of a sudden, after 40 years -- and this is not -- Roy Moore is not a guy that's been hiding in the shadows for the last 40 years doing nothing.
[20:10:10] This guy's been on the front lines. Every single leftist group out there hates him. There are people within the right part -- side of the party, the establishment, they hate Roy Moore.
I know for a fact if this had been anywhere out there, if he had anything like this in his past, it would have been come out by now. And here we are, right before a huge election, with national implications between a Republican and a Democrat, all of a sudden, this is front-page news. This is headline news.
COOPER: So, do you think "The Washington Post" --
HENRY: And I'm not buying it. It is political. It is political at every level. COOPER: But are you saying "The Washington Post" reporters are, you
know, they are paying these people? Are you saying this is some sort of liberal plot --
HENRY: I don't know. I think -- I don't know who's behind it. I do not know who's behind it, but it is absolutely political.
COOPER: Can you talk about --
HENRY: There is only --
COOPER: You talk about the difficulty of women coming forward and you're concerned that this would -- you know, any false allegations make it hard for people to make real allegations to come forward.
HENRY: Absolutely, absolutely.
COOPER: Certainly, labeling these women as somehow politically motivated or looking for money or whatever it is, doesn't that also make it --
HENRY: I didn't label them that. They labeled themselves that by being used -- if in fact they are, they labeled themselves that by being used in this political process. That is the only reason this is coming out --
HENRY: -- is to suppress voters on the Republican ticket on December the 12th. It is entirely -- entirely the only, only outcome is to suppress voters. That's all this is. It's voter suppression.
COOPER: There have been some people that said that if Moore did this with a 14-year-old girl, that it was a long time ago, and that they would still vote for him. And just to be clear, if Roy Moore did these things and I know you categorically do not believe he did, do you think he should resign? He said to Sean Hannity today, anybody who did that to a 14-year-old --
HENRY: Anderson --
COOPER: -- should not serve in the Senate.
HENRY: I think that anybody that tries to answer the question, if something, is a fool.
COOPER: I don't understand.
HENRY: Your question should be -- look, if anything happened, my grandfather used to have a nice quip about a frog and if he had wings. But here's the thing, frog doesn't have wings and so, for you to comment on it is -- makes you as foolish as the question.
COOPER: Well, I guess Roy Moore is foolish because he commented on it today on Sean Hannity asking that same question.
HENRY: The real question is do you believe Roy Moore or do you believe the women? And you believe the women, I get that.
COOPER: No, I'm not saying, it's not my job to judge whose telling the truth or not.
HENRY: I believe Roy Moore.
COOPER: There's just numbers of people on the record in interviews with "The Washington Post". So, I'm not taking a position on this I'm just asking you questions and I don't think it's a crazy question to ask -
HENRY: I would say --
COOPER: -- if somebody did this, do you believe they should serve in the United States Senate? I assume you would say no?
HENRY: I would say this, anyone who molest a child, male or female needs to be prosecuted. Period.
COOPER: Do you think -- you're a good reader of politics in the situation, do you think -- if this is applied by liberals or whomever you think it is, do you think it's going to have the desired impact? Do you think it's, in fact, you know, it's very possible this is going to rally more people around Judge Moore because they feel this is to your point?
HENRY: It will do a little of both. You're right on that. It will do a little both. I think you'll probably see a greater suppression of the vote than a rally of the base.
I think you'll see it will -- there will be enough people out there that once that feather goes out of -- you know misconduct, whatever it'd be, there'd be enough people that would just hear enough of the news because they don't -- they're not attuned to it like you or myself. And they will stay home, they won't just go vote.
COOPER: Just lastly --
HENRY: That's really all this is, is about voter suppression.
COOPER: Just lastly -- the two senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Steve Daines of Montana, who withdrew their endorsements of Moore tonight, what would you say to them and others who may be thinking or trying to figure out what they should do?
HENRY: You know, it's -- it's sad that we have that many cowards in Washington, D.C. They are going to allow -- and maybe they just don't know Roy Moore well enough, and if that's the case, they shouldn't have ever endorsed him to begin with, or being consider to endorse him.
But, if you really believe that this is a good plan and you're going to allow simply the allegation -- no evidence, no corroboration, then -- and you're going to withdraw your support and you're an elected official, then I feel you're a coward.
[20:15:18] COOPER: There were a number of people -- I mean, according to "The Washington Post" reporting, there were a number of people who these women talked to around the time of this. So, it's not if nobody was ever informed, they just -- they didn't go public.
HENRY: What did they say, Anderson? Can you --
COOPER: The mother of the 14-year-old girl remembers Roy Moore coming up to her. She said things to friends at the time, that she was seeing an older man, I believe. You know, that there were other people who were told, other people who were interviewed. Does that -- it doesn't raise any questions for you?
HENRY: The things that the other lady said were -- I mean, they were just extremely vague. And while they would love to say something there just isn't there to say.
COOPER: Yes. I've been really focusing on the 14 years old --
HENRY: I don't buy it, Anderson. I do not buy it.
COOPER: OK. I've been focusing more on the 14-year-old girl because the statute of, you know, the age of consent is 16. These other -- these other women were -- they were teenagers but they were above the age of consent. So, for me, you know, I think the main gist of that article was focusing on the 14-year-old.
HENRY: Right, right. That's really where the article has completely gotten most of its fete, because without the 14-year-old, no one would have run the story. And so, you get this. And it -- the funny thing is it's really not talking about a 14-year-old, we're talking about a -- what, 50, 40, 50-year-old person today telling a story 40 years ago.
COOPER: Well, one of the other women does say that --
HENRY: -- and you've got people that are older than that trying to tell a story as how they recall an interaction that happened 40 years ago.
COOPER: I should also point out --
HENRY: Forty years ago, I was 7 years old, I remember a little bit, but not a lot of the details.
COOPER: One of the other women I should point out did say that Roy Moore approached her when she was 14 years old, when she was a Santa's helper in the mall. It wasn't until she was 16 that he actually asked her out on a date and they went for several months. Actually --
HENRY: That is the statement to "The Washington Post". I do not discount, that's her statement.
COOPER: Yes. Well, Representative Henry --
HENRY: I don't believe it.
COOPER: Oh, I appreciate you being on tonight. I hope you felt we gave you a chance to say what you really wanted to say.
HENRY: Thank you very much, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Thank you very much.
Much more on this next, including attempts to justify any such behavior using scripture, as someone else did in Alabama, including Mary and Joseph's relationship.
And later, breaking news in a story straight out of a suspense novel, a report that the man who was about to become the president's national security adviser was offered millions of dollars by a foreign country to kidnap a resident of this country and send him overseas. Michael Flynn's attorneys addressing the allegations strongly tonight.
[20:21:42] COOPER: Before the break, you heard an Alabama state representative say he simply does not buy the allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
We want to know how else this is playing out on the ground in Alabama. We have more now from our Martin Savidge, who joins us tonight from Gadsden, Alabama.
So what's the latest, Martin?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, as you pointed out, that Roy Moore felt so much that he had to get his message out again today. He went on conservative talk radio. One thing is very clear, here, in Gadsden, which is his hometown and then the state of Alabama and beyond, this issue, the accusations that have been made have shaken not just the community, not just the state, but shaken his campaign.
And what looked like a campaign that was on the way to winning, now has a lot of dark clouds hanging over it. Now, those who know Roy Moore know that he's not going to back down, he's not going to back out, and they don't expect that the State Republican Party in any way is going to interfere in all of this.
But it's clear that Roy Moore is also shaken by all of this. And that's kind of a strange thing because Roy Moore is no stranger to controversy in his 40 years of being in political life. He stood up for a lot of causes that many people don't agree with, religious, moral and otherwise.
But this time, what's different, it's personal. It's about him. It's about something he is alleged to have done in the past, and that clearly has struck a nerve and struck at the core. And that's what this town and Alabama is buzzing about and still trying to come to grips with, Anderson.
COOPER: You spoke to some of his supporters. I'm wondering what they have to say.
SAVIDGE: Well, you know, it varies. Not everybody is first and foremost a Roy Moore fan, even conservatives. There's a great divide in the Republican Party here. And on those who vote Republican.
But for the most part, the big thing that's been brought up before by your guests is timing. People look at this and say why now? Why does this come just weeks before this critical vote?
It's a common conversation you have, and here is just an example.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALPHONSO BRADFORD, ROY MOORE SUPPORTER: He played baseball back in mid 2000s and he would come down and help the community real good. But I don't think he's done that right there. You know, why didn't it come up seven, eight weeks ago, when he was running? All of a sudden, two weeks from now, all of this stuff come up, you know?
I believe it's a lot of B.S. I really do. I think he's a nice guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Yes, a lot of people are mulling that over, why is it now?
Now, Leigh Corfman, of course, she is the woman that has come forward and said at 14 that she was sexually abused here. She says the reason she had not come forward, she had considered several times in the past, but the problem was she always feared the avalanche of just reaction that would come, the backlash and the anger and what do you know. She came forward and it appears everything she feared is coming true.
Now, again, the allegations have not been proven, but they are certainly having an impact -- Anderson.
COOPER: Martin Savidge, appreciate that.
We alerted earlier to the attempt to justify any contact between Roy Moore and his accuser using Scripture. Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler telling "The Washington Examiner" and I quote: Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance, Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist.
He added: Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There's just nothing immoral or illegal here, maybe just a little bit unusual.
[20:25:04] As you might imagine, that remark has stirred up a storm. Our repeated attempts over two days to reach Mr. Ziegler went unanswered.
However, Kati Weis of local station WALA in Mobile did manage to speak with him. She joins us now.
Kati, thanks for being with us.
So, you were able to reach Jim Ziegler regarding the comments he made to "The Washington Examiner". What did he have to say?
KATI WEIS, REPORTER, WALA: That's right, Anderson.
Well, over the last few years of being an investigative reporter here in Alabama, I have established somewhat of a rapport with Ziegler, so I gave him a call about his defense for Roy Moore and on the phone with me, he shied away from making those biblical reference that you just mentioned, but instead, he gave me more a vague response, saying there are several examples over the years of older men marrying younger woman, including Moore himself, who married someone 14 years younger than him.
And from the get-go really, Ziegler has been one of Moore's strongest supporters. So, he did have a few other things to say about these allegations.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JIM ZIEGLER, ALABAMA STATE AUDITOR: First of all, Roy Moore denies the allegation.
Secondly, the allegations happened 37 years ago. Why is this just now coming out? Of course, the answer is because he's about to be elected as a United States senator.
Thirdly, the "Washington Post" report did not say that Roy Moore had sexual intercourse with a single person or even attempted. They're simply trying to paint a negative picture.
WEIS: And if it were true, what are your thoughts if these allegations are correct?
ZIEGLER: They've not alleged anything except a single 30, 31-year-old man dating younger girls. That's even if the worst case scenario.
WEIS: There were some allegations that he asked one of the younger girls to touch him inappropriately, things like that.
ZIEGLER: Listen, he denies all of that.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: It's pretty stunning. I've got to say, to hear what he's saying. I mean, first of all, he's saying there were no intercourse. Again, we are talking about a 14-year-old girl. The allegation is that, you know, he stripped down, she stripped down, and wearing her underwear and he made her touch him and he touched her over her underwear.
COOPER: And the idea that there was nothing wrong with him just dating a younger girl. Again, the allegation is she was 14 at the time. Do you hear that a lot?
WEIS: Right. It's -- well, I think honestly really, it's just a mixed bag of reaction from voters here in the area. I think a lot of people really are shocked, just as you are, both about the allegations against Moore and, of course, the way that Ziegler is defending him. But, of course, really just many of the Republicans here in Alabama just really resonate with Moore's religious anti-establishment form of politics.
And that's what this is really all about. Many of those voters here locally have said they feel the "Washington Post" report is false, just as you heard Ed Henry talk about. So, I think this really won't phase too many of the voters here in the state who have already just made up their minds to vote for Moore and hearing what Ziegler had to say, while it may be shocking to some people, I think they just see it as a further defense for Moore's case.
COOPER: Kati Weis, I appreciate you being with us. Thanks very much.
One note on the scripture that Mr. Ziegler cited, Father James Martin weighed in on it, tweeting: For the biblically challenge, number one, despite artistic representations, we have no idea about the exact ages of either the Virgin Mary or St. Joseph at the time of their betrothal or marriage. Number two, comparing the allegations against Roy Moore in any way to Joseph and Mary is disgusting. His words.
Let's bring in the panel: Jack Kingston, Amanda Carpenter, Maria Cardona, and Montgomery, Alabama, Bill Britt, who's editor-in-chief of the news site, Alabama Political Reporter.
Maria, let me start off with you. How do you see this?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, this to me is something that the Republican Party really is going to have to deal with because the more that these kinds of allegations come up and the more that people are supporting Roy Moore, the more to me you're going to see the erosion of the Republican Party as you see corrosive and cowardly and selective use of conservative values to support a candidate, their beloved candidate, no matter how morally and hypocritical they are. Morally corrupt and hypocritical they seem to be.
And it's also going to, I think, give people, remind people that almost exactly one year ago, this also happened with their Republican Party presidential candidate when 16 women came out allegations against President Trump and many Republicans looked the other way. I think after this week's Democratic sweeps in the elections, things are starting to change. And I think Roy Moore could be in real trouble in Alabama.
COOPER: Amanda, you heard Roy Moore's interview earlier today, I'm wondering what your takeaway from what he said. Do you think it helps his case at all?
AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SEN. TED CRUZ: No. My opinion is if "The Washington Post" story doesn't do him in, his response and responses from other Republicans in Alabama are going to. He was extremely defensive. He claimed persecution from the Democrats and the media when he was pressed.
I mean Hannity was leading him to answer the question, essentially saying like, well, don't you think this is wrong. He didn't go into the interview saying this is absolutely wrong, I can't believe this happen and here's I'm trying to clear it up. I'm reaching out to these women. There was not an ounce of compassion in his voice.
And at one point in the interview, which I found really disturbing, which does merit a follow-up question which Hannity did not give is that he said, well, I never dated young women without getting their mother's permission. I mean what? That needs some follow-up question.
And now that I see that Roy Moore is refusing to debate the Democratic candidate allegedly because of his extreme position on transgender issues, I feel like he's imploding. If that was a legitimate reason disagreement, they had you debate. The whole point of a campaign is to draw distinctions, but he is running and hiding and only speaking in the safest of places to Sean Hannity.
COOPER: Jack, do you think Roy Moore should stay in the race?
JACK KINGSTON, (R) FORMER GEORGIA CONGRESSMAN: I think that right now, he probably has to because of the ballot. You can't swap his name out. He may want to make some commitment that if these allegations are true, I will bail out and then Republican Governor Key Ivey will replace me with another Republican. But right now, do we really want to send another vote to Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer?
And I think that that's one of the things that our parties have boiled down to in today's environment is that you just say, OK, I'm going to overlook a whole lot of questions, a whole lot of allegations because I don't want to give one more vote to the other side. I'm not saying that's the good thing, I'm just saying that's the practical side of it. But I think he should really go out as much as possible publicly with his wife, with his children, with his grandchildren, and maybe members of the Evangelical community and he needs to show contrition that these allegations are out there. But he should be very forthcoming in these things did not happen. But I do want to say this, as a southerner and as a Republican, there is a great suspicion of "The Washington Post" and the Washington establishment. Remember, he ran against Mitch McConnell and the Republicans. He's never been an establishment guy. So he's run 40 years in public office as an outsider. This is not real unusual territory for him. And I think he can actually -- I'm just speaking as a, you know, politically -- pragmatically how would I advise Roy Moore, and that's what I would say to him.
COOPER: So, Bill, I mean how do you see this playing out on the ground in Alabama?
BILL BRITT, EDITOR IN CHIEF, ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, first off, Anderson, thank you for having me on. And having lived in New York City and having lived in Alabama, this is home, I see the filter of how it's being portrayed in the bigger cities. I also see how it's being played out here on the ground. And being here as an investigative reporter, we're seeing both sides. We're seeing the people that do not like Roy Moore. This gives him another reason to find him reprehensible. The side that likes Roy Moore, this is giving them a reason to say this -- our guy is being picked on once again.
And the selection will mostly be decided in the middle. And in the middle folks, so far we're staying home. They didn't vote for Luther Strange, they didn't vote for Doug Jones. So it's what happens in the middle. Will they stay home or will they go out and vote?
And so, down here, it's not as fraud with anxiety as its being portrayed out in the national media. And I don't say that that's wrong because any allegation of sexual impropriety with any child --
BRITT: -- is serious business.
CARPENTER: Can I just raise one point on the local angle.
CARPENTER: I mean you got to remember we're only 48 hours into this "Washington Post" story. There is going to be follow-up reporting on the ground, from local reporters like the one you had on earlier in your show. This isn't anywhere near over. And so I'm very curious to see where we are in a week or so. Because what those sources reveal on the ground for the people who do have personal relationships with those people, because right now we're just seeing surrogates on Roy Moore's behalf, that will reveal a lot more.
KINGSTON: But, remember --
COOPER: Go ahead.
[20:34:59] KINGTSON: -- if he can successfully shift this to politics and away from the moral ground, I think he has a road to a strong come back and a path of victory. If he's unable to do that and it stays in this moral argument, I think that he is not -- CARDONA: He won't be able to do that, Jack, given the environment that we're in and when you're talking about sexual assault and so many of the other industries and people that have been accused, women are starting to be believed. And this -- "The Washington Post" as Anderson pointed out earlier, these were not anonymous women. These were not women who were not willing to tell their stories.
KINGSTON: Well, OK, Maria, the woman Gibson work for Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Pat Murphy, if --
CARDONA: She was an interpreter.
KINGSTON: You know, but if I was -- no, she's got pictures on her web page. What I'm saying --
CARDONA: I'm just saying she's not some Democratic --
COOPER: According to "The Washington Post", she actually created a company which provided services for the hearing impaired, that's a ---
KINGSTON: Yes, and all I'm saying though is but he can build on that to say this is here -- this is politics. I'm just saying this on a practical political matter --
COOPER: Amanda, one of the things about this that -- I mean, whether -- I mean whether it's you -- whoever you believe with -- first of all, because it happened so long ago, it probably will end up -- unless there is some sort of evidence or people at the time remembering coming forward, it can very well end up being their word against his word and the this allows people to just, again, it's into the tribalism of our society right now, people retreat to their corners, they see it through the lens of politics and that's how its interpreted.
CARDONA: Yes, completely. This --
CARPENTER: Yes, this will probably be (INAUDIBLE) because the only way these things really get settled now is if there is video or audio where the person is caught red handed. That probably is not going to happen in this case which is why I think we need to be paying very carefully paying attention to Roy Moore's response.
JACKSON: And I'm not be in parsing when I say that until -- but say this, but until a blue dress is found in the closet that was worn by a 24-year-old intern, I don't think there's enough right now. However, what Amanda said is true, if there are more stories and more witnesses that come out then that's going to be a huge problem.
COOPER: We got to leave it there. Appreciate you all being with us, Bill as well. Thank you so much. Just ahead, "The Wall Street Journal's" reporting that Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged plan to pay former national security adviser Mike Flynn and his son millions of dollars to make a Muslim cleric leave the United States. The latest on that, next.
[21:40:22] COOPER: The lawyers for former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn are denying reports that he's being investigated in a bizarre plot of kidnapping Muslim cleric in the U.S. and spared him from this country. "The Wall Street Journal" broke the story about an alleged plan involving both Flynn him and his son. Pamela Brown has details.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN has learned Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Flynn's role in the alleged plot that forcibly remove Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, a legal permanent resident of the United States.
"The Wall Street Journal" reports the FBI has already questioned several people regarding a meeting between the Flynns and Turkish government representatives in mid-December at a 21 Club in Manhattan. At the time, Flynn was just weeks away from starting his new role as Donald Trump's national security adviser.
MICHAEL FLYNN, WHITE HOUSE FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The next president of the United States right here.
BROWN: In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria conducted before "The Wall Street Journal" story broke and aired in Sunday, the Turkish prime minister denied any deals were ever made with Flynn. But hoped Flynn's previous work with the Turkish government would help win an extradition.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Had Michael Flynn provided you with any assurance that it would happen?
BINALI YILDIRIM, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER: No, no, no, no, no one is.
BROWN: At this point, it's not known if a deal was reached or whether money was exchange for his proposed plan of force extradition. The December meeting follows revelations of related discussions months before. Former CIA Director James Woolsey was part of a meeting in September with Flynn and Turkish officials about potential ways to get Gulen back to Turkey to face charges.
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: There was at least some strong suggestions by the -- one or more the Americans present at the meeting to the Turks that we would be able, the United States would be able through them to get hold of Gulen.
BROWN: At the time, a spokesman for Flynn denied there were any talks about physically removing Gulen. Erdogan has blame the failed military coup attempt in July last year and Gulen was the living in exile at this compound in Pennsylvania.
PRES. RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN (through translator): Extradite this man in Pennsylvania to Turkey. If we are strategic partners or model partners, do what is necessary.
COOPER: And Pam joins us now. What is the latest on this? Any reaction from Michael Flynn and his attorneys?
BROWN: Well, actually Flynn's attorney Robert Kelner, released a rare statement tonight, Anderson, saying, "Today's news cycle has brought allegations about Genera Flynn ranging from kidnapping to bribery that are so outrageous and prejudicial that we are making an exceptions to our usual rule, they are false." So he normally does not release statement as pointed out there. So this is unusual.
And we want to point out too that Flynn Jr.'s attorney did not provide a comment for us. We should also mention, Anderson, Flynn is also in hot water for not disclosing his lobbying work for the Turkish government during the presidential campaign, where he took around $500,000. He has retroactively registered as a foreign agent. Anderson.
COOPER: Pam Brown, appreciate it.
With me now, someone who knows Flynn, CNN military analyst General Mark Hertling, also CNN legal analyst and former Watergate Task Force chief, Richard Ben-Veniste.
Richard, I mean if this is true, what -- is this illegal and what charges would there be?
RICHARD BEN-VENISTE, FORMER CHIEF, WATERGATE TASK FORCE: You used the word bizarre and I couldn't improve on that. Here is a "Wall Street Journal" investigate report that says it's an allegation and we have to await the facts. But if true, talking about kidnapping an American who's living here in the United States, a person who has all the protections of our Constitution, and this being a general, a retired general of the United States who's about to become national security adviser to the president of the United States.
COOPER: Who's also being paid by -- getting money from the Turks.
BEN-VENISTE: Yes. And not filling out the proper forms and lying to the FBI about contacts with the Russians, we are told. So he's in a world of hurt, as far as this goes. And this is certainly the icing on the cake to be even in the room. Woolsey talked about dismissing his involvement after he attended the first meeting, but now staying in the room, not -- apparently not reporting this, a discussion of kidnapping a federal crime of the highest order, it's incredible.
[20:45:10] And even if it was a discussion of using his authority once Trump became president of the United States to assist in an extradition in return for payment, and they're talking about $15 million, that is astonishing. COOPER: Yes. General Hertling, I mean you now Michael Flynn for years. Does this boggle your mind? I mean does this sound like something -- I mean he did incredible things from my understanding within Crystal and Afghanistan. I mean given his track record that he would he end up doing this?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Yes. Anderson, what I'd say if this is true it is jaw dropingly illegal, immoral and unethical for any citizen to do this but for a retired general also to do this, it's even more damaging, primarily because -- I mean you give me the honorarium of calling me General Hertling, you know, we keep that as we retire, which means we can stay connected to the oath of office and the oath of allegiance to defend the constitution.
This is a guy who is alleged to have been doing something against the government of the United States to collect money from a foreign government, it's just to me is bizarre. And truthfully, for this to happen on the eve of veterans' day makes it even more distasteful and it's just amazing to me.
Mike Flynn was a tremendous intelligence staff officer. He had several assignments with Special Operations Command but he was not a special operator. And I think perhaps, you know, maybe some of this impinged on his good judgment thinking he could take -- if this is true, he could take someone who's been given amnesty by our country and export them to the government of Turkey for money, just seems to me to be bizarre. I hope it's not true.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, frankly, Richard, it's the kind of thing you hear from like mercenaries back in the '60s who wanted to, you know, do stuff --
HERTLING: This is something we used to see --
COOPER: Go ahead, General.
HERTLING: This is something I saw in foreign governments at time with officers, general officers that would do things in the old Eastern European countries and some Middle Eastern countries. But this would not happen in the United States where we vow and take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
COOPER: And I mean -- again, the timing of this, you know, he's about to become the national security adviser. He's -- it's not as if he's some guy on the outside. I mean he's, you know, he's as powerful as you can get in the new administration or would have.
BEN-VENISTE: It's absolutely dumbfounding that he would even stand for a meeting, if this is true, and we have to await further evidence to corroborate this to make the assumptions. But the question is, if it were true, you know, we are in a whole different world here in dealing with this man, and he is totally vulnerable. The question I would ask is, why President Trump continues to support General Flynn, why he did at such an early stage even the allegations that after he lied to the FBI, and talk about amnesty in the form of presidential partner.
Now in Watergate, the offer of clemency secretly made to hunt a other burglars by President Nixon was one of the overt acts and furtherance of the conspiracy to obstruct justice. Here, it's right out there blaring in bright lights.
COOPER: Richard Ben-Veniste, good to have you on, General Hertling as well.
Up next, a remarkable "360" follow-up, our Gary Tuchman goes back on the streets of Boston to see how two heroin addicts are doing. He first brought us their story two weeks ago. After that first report, we discover that their families and friends had no idea they were even alive. Because of the report they do now. We'll show you what's happened since.
[20:51:48] COOPER: Tonight, "360" following the fight against the opioid crisis in America. You may remember two weeks ago, our Gary Tuchman had a really remarkable and heartbreaking story of two young people, Billy and Meghan who were addicted to heroin, living on the streets of Boston. We thought their story was important, speaks volumes about this epidemic. You quickly realize it's not just the addicts who are impacted, though, so with their families, their friends, the ones who loved them dearly.
Tonight, you'll see that for yourself. After Gary's first report was filed, we discover that Billy and Meghan's families didn't know where they were or even if they were alive. We sent Gary back on the streets to see how Billy and Meghan are doing and what we found was frankly stunning. We do want to warn you, we want to give you heads up, some of what you're going to see may be tough to watch. Here's Gary's new report.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Last time we saw Billy Donovan, he was trying to find a vein for his needle.
BILLY DONOVAN, OPIOID ADDICT: I'm a junkie. I've been shooting heroin for 16 years. I'm homeless. I live on the sidewalk. And this is my life.
TUCHMAN: We met Meghan Digiacomo in the same neighborhood just south of downtown Boston. She's also a heroin addict.
MEGHAN, DIGIACOMO, OPIOID ADDICT: I lost the love of my life. We both overdosed and when I woke up he was dead.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Are you afraid you're going to die from this?
DONOVAN: I know I'm going to die from this.
TUCHMAN: Are you afraid you're going to die from this?
M. DIGIACOMO: Not really afraid. Honestly sometimes it just does seem easier.
JULIE CHANDLER, MEGHAN'S MOTHER: I'm never giving up on Meghan. She won't die. She can't.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): This is Julie Chandler, Meghan's mother. Until she saw our story she didn't know where her daughter was, a daughter who she said was always a happy-go-lucky little girl. She didn't even know for sure if Meghan was alive.
Remarkably, the same goes for Billy. Until his mother also saw our story, she didn't know for sure where her son was, the little boy she says who was always kind and friendly and she too feared the worst.
KRISTINA BARBOZA, BILLY'S MOTHER: If my son were to die, I mean, I just don't know how I would go on.
TUCHMAN: Both Meghan and Billy have gone through treatment many times, but they have always relapsed.
(on camera): Meghan?
(voice-over): Two weeks after we first met, I went back to find Meghan.
(on camera): It is nice to see you again.
M. DIGIACOMO: You too.
TUCHMAN: How are you doing?
M. DIGIACOMO: I'm good.
TUCHMAN: And I found her dad too. Paul Digiacomo, Meghan's father saw our story, located his daughter and is now living in the streets with her refusing to leave until she gets helped. He brought Meghan's dog along too.
M. DIGIACOMO: I was like literally sleeping here and I woke up to my dog licking my face and I looked at him and dad's like, all right, we're all moved in. I'm like, what are you doing here? He's like I'm not leaving until you go get help or go to the hospital.
PAUL DIGIACOMO, MEGHAN'S FATHER: My kids are everything to me. They really are.
TUCHMAN: But is she breaking your heart?
P. DIGIACOMO: Of course, she is. Of course, she is.
DIGIACOMO: And for me like I feel all right with myself living on the streets. I like check on him 100 times during the night and seeing him --
TUCHMAN: Isn't that the irony? You're checking on him but you're the one who really needs help --
M. DIGIACOMO: I know. But that's how I am. I always take care of other people before I take care of myself.
P. DIGIACOMO: You know, she wants to help others before she help herself.
[20:55:00] TUCHMAN (voice-over): As Paul tries to convince his daughter to leave the streets and seek treatment, Billy's mother walks out of her house with some of her son's personal and sentimental belonging for a special delivery. Billy has decided to get treatment. Some of Billy's friends who saw our original story found Billy and convinced him to go to this detox center in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Kristina Barboza is making a delivery to her son at the facility in hopes that this time treatment for Billy works. She had talked to him on the phone for the first time in many months the night before.
TUCHMAN (on camera): What did you say to Billy when he called?
BARBOZA: I told him that I loved him, and he said I know. And he said I love you too.
TUCHMAN: How did that make you feel?
BARBOZA: Like I was dancing on top of the moon.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Meanwhile, Meghan remained on the street among the dozens of other heroin addicts in this neighborhood. She loves her father and wants him not to worry anymore, but --
(on camera): Can you go in for treatment?
DIGIACOMO: Yes, I want to, you know.
TUCHMAN: So why don't you go?
DIGIACOMO: No, I don't know. Like one moment like I really want it and then the next, you know, I'm like, all right, I'll go later. I'm a procrastinator.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): We say goodbye to Meghan and she, her father, and her dog prepare to spend another night outdoors sleeping in plastic bags in the mud.
COOPER: Gary joins me now. I mean this is so incredible. I know you shot this story earlier in the week. Do you have any update on Meghan and Billy how they're doing?
TUCHMAN: Well, Meghan's father, Paul, Anderson, has now been up in the streets with her for one week, including, as we speak, right now. Tonight is supposed to be the coldest night of the week, the wind chill is supposed to 10 degrees in Boston tonight. And Meghan still hasn't committed to go in for treatment. The back story is this, people who are addicted to heroin seriously addicted, often when they stop using it, even for a short time, they get violently ill. Sometimes it's easier and it's certainly pitiful, but it's easier just to keep using the drug. Paul hopes that it gets very, very cold tonight and she realizes tomorrow she needs treatment.
I should tell you, the dog you saw in the video, that particular dog had been taken by a family friend who has brought the dog to his house to keep the dog warm.
Regarding Billy, Anderson, Billy is still in the treatment center. His mom says it's great news because he's been in treatment centers for many times, often leaves in the middle of treatment but so far the treatment is going good.
What I want to make clear, Anderson, and I hope that our viewers realized all these parents love these children. These children who are not children, they're always will be, these parent's children, they've want to quit desperately. And the fact is, this can happen in any family. Anderson?
COOPER: The love of these parents, you know, go through this time and time again, it's just so awful. Gary, incredible reporting. Thank you.
Up next, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaking out about allegations of a sexual abuse, denying he had a relationship or sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s.