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Ex-Trump Bodyguard Testifies; Allegations against Moore; Flynn Offered Money; Menendez Juror Replaced. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired November 10, 2017 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He waited outside Trump's hotel room for several minutes and then he left and he didn't know what happened the rest of the night.
Now, the reason why this is important is, as I mentioned, a lot of questions about his activities there, but also a lot of questions about whether or not the Russians had any compromising information about Trump as part -- as -- particularly as they were trying to move and meddle in the elections. So investigators were probing this.
Schiller, of course, has been by Trump's side for years. Has -- is one of his closest confidants. Recently left the White House. And, John, you'll remember, he delivered that letter to the FBI to -- informing Comey -- the FBI of James Comey's firing earlier this year.
And when he was asked about that on Capitol Hill, I am told he really didn't offer a whole lot, saying he was there for security reasons. He just delivered the letter. He didn't know much. And he actually didn't answer a lot of questions in general because he didn't know a whole lot, leaving some lawmakers frustrated.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, interesting testimony nonetheless.
Manu Raju, thank you so much for that report.
Roy Moore, Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, says he will never give up the fight in that Alabama Senate race, but will voters give up on him? We're going live to Alabama, next.
[09:35:21] BERMAN: This morning, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl, touching her over her bra and underpants. Now, Moore denies it. The question now, what will Alabama do about it?
Here to help us answer that is Bill Britt. He is the editor in chief of the "Alabama Political Reporter."
Bill, great to see you again.
Back in September, you commented on Roy Moore, someone you have covered for a long, long time. This is what you said. Years of observation has given me some measure of insight in how to discern good and evil by a person's actions. Moore is many things. He is not a crook and he is a good person.
That was back in September. Given the news that broke overnight, what's your assessment this morning?
BILL BRITT, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER": Well, John, thanks for having me on.
It's always wonderful to have my own words come back at me. I get to eat them often.
But one of the things about this allegation that anything like this is troubling. We don't want to think about anyone taking advantage of a young girl or young boy in any situation. So these are serious allegations.
However, I have never heard this before. There were some whispers we now hear around Etowah County about Judge Moore dating young women. But having been an investigative reporter in this state, having good investigators work with me, this is all new news to us. And I'm quite shocked that we didn't know it.
My wife is from Etowah County and we actually have a home in Etowah County and she knew one of the -- one of the women that came forward. And she said very, very upstanding person. Great, great individual. Great home life. Now, she didn't accuse Judge Moore of doing anything wrong other than she was 18 at the time and had her mother's permission.
But these are troubling allegations.
BRITT: And on the ground here in Alabama, there's a great divide.
BERMAN: Yes, and, Bill, and I do not want to make this about you. This isn't about you. This is about the political scene in Alabama right now, which you are assessing for us. I will just note that often time accusations like this don't come out for years. There's a reason why women don't come forward with this type of information. And we're seeing that reason play out today because these women on the record are saying these things, particularly the 14-year-old girl, Leigh Corfman, and now people are calling her a liar. That is an aside.
Let's talk about how Alabama is responding to it this morning. What do you think is going to happen?
BRITT: Well, I -- well, there's a couple of things. You know, if you like Roy Moore, this hardens your position. They think that it's the Washington establishment going after him. You know, Mitch McConnell, that whole thing. The people that don't like Moore, this gives them an -- yet another reason to suspect his character.
Now, in the middle is where this is generally decided. So that's what we're looking at here. Will people sit home? Will they vote for Moore? Will they switch to Jones? I think both positions are hardened. We don't exactly have enough time yet to assess what happens in the middle.
BERMAN: Right. You have John Ziegler, the state auditor, saying there's nothing to see here. And he goes on to say that even if it's true, Judge Roy Moore never attempted intercourse. Again, what "The Washington Post" reports is that he sexually molested a 14-year-old girl. And then "The Toronto Star's" Daniel Dale (ph) is saying that there are Republican county chairman who say even if they had evidence that this took place, they would still vote for Moore because they would rather do that than vote for a Democrat. Is that a sentiment you're seeing?
BRITT: Well, that is, and it's absurd to say something like that. I mean, listen, we wear jerseys down here like Alabama and Auburn. But to say that if allegations like that were proven true that you'd still vote for someone, I find that just absurd. I know Jim Zeigler well and he says some of the most outrageous things you ever want to hear and the dumbest. But he's a colorful character and we just trot him out on TV down here in Alabama.
BERMAN: Doug Jones have any chance, the Democratic candidate?
BRITT: Well, I think his chances just got a lot better. You know, he's been down by about 11 points, eight, nine points. It's going to be a much more interesting race. I would think that the DNC has an opening here.
Again, the Republican establishment spent $30 million trying to defeat Moore and it didn't work. But if I were, you know, advising the Democrats, I'd say, put some money behind Jones, because this gives him some running space.
[09:40:00] And there also is a special election, a senate special election, the house senate special election in Montgomery.
BRITT: And so that's going to bring out much more the minority vote here in Montgomery.
BERMAN: We will see.
BRITT: So that could actually tip the balance.
BERMAN: Bill Britt from Alabama, thanks so much for being with us. It is always a pleasure to speak to you, sir.
BRITT: John, thank you so much.
BERMAN: All right, a new report about an alleged plot that involved former national security advisor Michael Flynn and a potential $15 million payday. What does this mean for the special counsel's investigation? That's next.
BERMAN: New developments all over the place this morning concerning Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. We have new stories about Michael Flynn and his son, about whether or not they were offered money to get someone out of the country. New stories about the president's former bodyguard and new stories about Steven Miller, a senior White House policy advisor, who has, CNN has learned, now testified or answered questions before the special counsel.
[09:45:17] Let's discuss all of this with CNN national security analyst Steve Hall, retired CIA chief of operations for Russia.
Steve, I want to start with "The Wall Street Journal" report that deals with this meeting that Michael Flynn, the general who was then already tapped to be national security advisor, that he had with these Turkish officials or Turkish, you know, operators who maybe allegedly offered him money to get this Turkish cleric out of the country. This seems odd, unusual, and striking at many levels. How do you read it?
STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, that's just -- those are just some of the descriptors that I think we could begin to use with this. I mean I would go -- I would go easily so far as ludicrous. And if former director of the CIA, Jim Woolsey, was in the room, which apparently he was, I mean that pretty much speaks to the veracity that this actually happened.
Look, I've served overseas, you know, for CIA for 30 years in some -- I think we would refer to them as developing countries. And this is something that you see in a very young democracy, you know, where you sit down with some senior political leader or some senior intelligence service person who says, yes, I have this great plan. We need to keep it under wraps. Let me introduce you to my son or my brother-in-law or to somebody that I know who can make this happen.
This is not America. The thing is, we have rule of law here. You can't just, you know -- well, you can extradite people. That's a legal thing to do. But you can't just kidnap people and send them overseas, you know, without a legal process. So the whole thing to me is just -- it just smacks of amateurishness and it's just completely ludicrous.
BERMAN: And the special counsel is apparently investigating this or asking questions about it, according to "The Wall Street Journal."
Let's go one by one down the list here. Keith Schiller, who was the bodyguard, head of security for Donald Trump, followed him to the White House. He has since left. He testified before a congressional committee and our Manu Raju reports that he shed some light on some of the more salacious items inside the so-called dossier. The dossier reported that women were sent up to a room that Donald Trump stayed in back in 2013. Keith Schiller says that he was offered women but turned it down. Again, your read on this?
HALL: There's a couple of things. A couple of important points to note here. First of all, this is before Donald Trump, you know, was a candidate for the presidency. But, nevertheless, the internal intelligence service of the Russians, the FSB, would have done this in a second because, through the Russian lens, how they look at things, they would have seen Donald Trump as essentially an American oligarch, somebody with a lot of money, potential influence. You never know where a guy like that's going to end up and when you're going to need him. So they absolutely would have collected whatever compromising information or materials that they could have, to including try to set him up to create that type of information.
I think one of the questions we probably need to ask ourselves is, for a guy who said, look, I can go down to Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and it's not going to affect my ratings, you know, what really constitutes blackmailable information on Donald Trump? For me it's, I think, probably less, you know, women visiting him in his hotel room and probably more something like financial type of information, which the Russians very may well have collected.
But, importantly, with regard to the dossier itself, the Steele dossier, you can discount portions of that dossier and yet take -- you know, believe or actually have reason to believe other parts of it. It's a series of free-standing, raw intelligence reports. It's not a whole tone that is to be either taken, you know, completely or dispatched completely. It's -- there are pieces of it that actually have turned out to be pretty accurate and others that have not yet been proven. So we'll just have to see where all that ends up. It's perfectly consistent for the Russians to do something like what was described by Mr. Schiller.
BERMAN: All right, Steve Hall, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.
BERMAN: All right, Senator Bob Menendez, the Democrat from New Jersey, he is not guilty, so says juror number eight, or the formerly juror number eight on his corruption trial. That's not all she says. This is a really interesting development. Stay with us.
[09:53:37] BERMAN: All right, a fascinating development in the trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez. The government is corrupted, not Menendez. Those are the words of the former juror number eight in this corruption trial. She also believes the case will end up with a hung jury. Senator Menendez is charged with taking bribes from a wealthy benefactor.
CNN's justice reporter Laura Jarrett following this story for us.
And this has to do with a woman no longer on the jury who's spilling.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, John, this was a rare and extraordinary peek behind the curtain of jury deliberations. The former juror tells us and other reporters that not only does she think Senator Menendez is being railroaded by the prosecution, that's her word, but she also calls the experience stressful because she felt like other jurors were trying to get her to change her mind. Take a listen to what she said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVELYN ARROYO-MAULTSBY, JUROR: I told them they weren't going to change mine, so there was no reason for them -- for them to try to change my mind. I already was in the courtroom for nine weeks and those nine weeks they presented everything they had to present. I didn't fall asleep, I paid attention and I wrote my notes. So what I saw in the courtroom was that he was not guilty of all counts, and so was Dr. Melgen. They are friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JARRETT: So now, of course, the central question is, what does this mean for deliberations going forward? On Monday an alternate juror, who heard the entire trial as well, will officially sub in and then the judge is going to tell them all to start deliberations from scratch, John.
[09:55:07] BERMAN: It will be very interesting to see. And she also believes that the jury will end up, you know, will end up as a hung jury and there will ultimately be a mistrial.
Will Menendez have any grounds for appeal if he was convicted because this juror would have prevented him from having a guilty verdict?
JARRETT: That's a great question. It's sort of interesting to see how Menendez's defense team plays this in court on Monday. He hasn't said anything yet. But I think they are going to tread carefully here because what she's saying is that there are actually other holdouts in the room. And so we're going to have to see exactly what happens when we all get back there on Monday.
BERMAN: This is fascinating. I've never seen anything quite like this. Laura Jarrett, thank you very, very much.
BERMAN: Deeply disturbing. Just one of the comments we are hearing from Republican lawmakers as they weigh in on Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. He is accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl.
Stay with us.