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GOP's Jim Jordan Denies Ignoring Alleged Sexual Abuse While He Was a Wrestling Coach; Additional Officers to be Deployed Across Chicago During Fourth of July; Government Document Offers Parents Options. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired July 4, 2018 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:30:00] NED RYAN, CEO, AMERICAN MAJORITY: That is not normal. It is not acceptable and I would disagree. I think there have been plenty of peaceful protests throughout the course of our history in which people are able to get out and, you know, have their First Amendment right --

(CROSSTALK)

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I didn't say peaceful, Ned. I said has there ever been an acceptable form of protest.

RYAN: And have peaceful assembly.

SANDERS: I said --

RYAN: Of course there is.

SANDERS: And give me an example.

RYAN: Of course there's always acceptable. I'm even thinking back, I remember the Tea Party protests in 2009. Those were very peaceful assemblies in which people were coming out and let their voices be heard. It was acceptable.

SANDERS: So I'm going to --

RYAN: And I think there have been protests --

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: Yes, I would like to make a distinction really quickly. Because Ned is talking about peaceful protests. And what I am talking about is acceptable. Any time anyone in this country confront anything or stands up for anything, there's always someone to come about and say they did it the wrong way. I am not talking about peaceful protests. I just said that I believe that when possible, protests should be non-violent, they should be peaceful. But they should not be non-confrontational.

And what I am talking about is the fact that this administration has engaged in some very nefarious dealings when it comes to the family separations at the border, the children --

RYAN: Oh come on.

SANDERS: -- or 2,000 children where we still do not know how they will be reunited with their parents. Scott Pruitt with a walking cesspool of ethics violations, who's doing not just -- you know, we're not even talking about what he's doing at EPA. We're talking about his personal misconduct in the office. And so in these times, Erica, I -- you know, it's not crazy to think that folks want to make their voices heard in many different ways possible.

RYAN: Erica --

SANDERS: So if students are walking out of their classrooms, if folks are confronting folks like Secretary Nielsen or even Stephen Miller when they're eating at Mexican restaurants --

RYAN: Unacceptable.

SANDERS: These are folks that have said that, you know, Mexico is sending their -- you have to have agreed with this administration policy of Mexico sending their worst. They're sending their rapists and murders.

RYAN: Erica.

SANDERS: I mean, I just think it's --

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: Listen, listen, guys, I think we know where you both stand on this. Here's what I would like to do, though. I want to push forward when we're talking about Scott Pruitt because here's what we need some answers on, specifically from the White House. There are, what, at least a dozen investigations about ethics issues involving Scott Pruitt. And we're only just now hearing, Ned, from the White House that, oh, we're reaching, we're moving inching forward toward a tipping point. Why is this not a concern?

RYAN: Well, I think it is a concern. I think that they have to address this situation and decide if Scott Pruitt is actually serving the president to the best of his abilities. I think every Cabinet member needs to understand that they are replaceable. Everyone is expendable, and if Scott Pruitt is not serving the president well, I think he needs to be replaced and I've told people, there are other deregulators that can replace Scott Pruitt as the head of EPA.

So I think that Trump and the White House need to have a really hard look at this and say, is this a distraction now? Do we need to address this? I think they do. And I think that there is a possibility that they're going to address it fairly quickly.

HILL: Well, you know, it's kind of been an issue for a while. So fairly quickly would be good to see. I do want to move on to this, especially because it is the Fourth of July. Right? And now there is a new Gallup poll out, came out earlier this week looking at American patriotism. The headline here, it's down. If we look at the numbers, it's actually a record low. 47 percent of Americans say they're, quote, "extremely proud" to be an American. The driving force behind that lack of pride, we're seeing a dip among Democrats. That number is down. It was 45 percent in 2016. Now it's 32 percent.

Symone, does that bother you?

SANDERS: You know, I just want to be clear that I'm absolutely proud to be American. I wouldn't -- I can't think of another place on earth that I would rather live and be in a story like mine and so many before me is only possible in this here the United States of America. With that being said, I think what we see with these numbers, Erica, is the fact that folks are disappointed in some of the things -- and dismayed and angry, if you will, with some of the things that our government has been engaging in and what's been going on here in our country, but also in our foreign policy abroad. And I think that's something we need to address. But I am not going to police folks' patriotism. Not today.

HILL: All right. We're going to have it to leave it there, we're out of time.

Symone, Ned, appreciate you both joining us. Happy Fourth of July. We can all agree on that.

RYAN: Same to you.

(LAUGHTER)

HILL: Who is telling the truth here? GOP Congressman Jim Jordan says he didn't know sexual abuse was happening while he was a wrestling coach at Ohio State. One man, though, says Jim Jordan is lying.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:37:54] HILL: This morning, Ohio Republican congressman Jim Jordan denying explosive accusations that he ignored sexual abuse allegations while he was a wrestling coach in Ohio State. Jordan telling Politico overnight, "I never knew about any type of abuse. If I did, I would have done something about it."

CNN's Jean Casarez spoke with one former wrestler who says what Jordan is saying, though, is a lie, and joins us now with more.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, let's start at the beginning. Ohio State University is in the midst right now of really a massive independent investigation with outside counsel in regard to the team doctor for athletics. He was there for two decades, a team doctor specifically from 1981 to 1995, Dr. Richard Strauss. Whether he in fact abused and molested young male athletes at the university during that time.

Now he is deceased, but the investigation commenced in April. And they are talking to former athletes, coaches, personnel from over 14 different sports at Ohio State University, including wrestling. And that's where Jim Jordan enters because he was an assistant wrestling coach during part of the time that this position was at Ohio State University. I spoke with Michael DiSabato yesterday, he is a former wrestler. He

says that Jim Jordan was the assistant coach while he was there, and he says it was common knowledge that what this doctor was doing to many of the athletes in sports, including the wrestling team. He said they would sit around the locker room and talk about it. He said, quote, "They would joke about when you went to the doctor what was going to happen to you."

Listen what he said to me yesterday, including what this doctor allegedly did to Michael DiSabato.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE DISABATO, FORMER OHIO STATE WRESTLER: I was close to both Jim and Coach Hellickson. We talked openly within our locker room about Strauss in particular, that he was a serial groper. I can tell you right now he's not telling the truth because he did know.

[10:40:04] He has knowledge. He was there. Over eight years. It's impossible to ignore the training environment. It was deviant, chaotic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CASAREZ: So I asked DiSabato what exactly did Congressman Jim Jordan say to you when you told him what was happening to you? He couldn't say anything in particular. It was just there were general conversations and everyone knew.

Now Jim Jordan, the congressman, has spoken out and he has said, through his press office, "Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State. He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice."

And yesterday Ohio State University independent investigators told CNN they had reached out to his office and haven't heard back. He responded directly to CNN last night saying, where is it? Give us the information, the communication, because to our knowledge, our office never received anything from the university but we are ready to help in any way we can.

HILL: I mean, all of these questions or communications outside of the question about what actually happened. There's a lot there.

CASAREZ: Yes.

HILL: Jean, appreciate it. Thank you.

CASAREZ: You're welcome.

HILL: Joining me now is CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Josh Campbell, who's just written an interesting op-ed for CNN on this story. And Josh, you make the point, Jim Jordan, and this is how you put it,

"should get what he denies others, the benefit of the doubt." What do you think is not happening for Jim Jordan here that needs to, and why?

JOSHUA CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, hi, Erica. Great to be with you. Happy Fourth. This is a very serious case. And it's important to say that at the outset, any analyst should state their bias. One bias I have as a student of history, a student of Congress is I am not a fan of Jim Jordan's style. I think he is brash, he's abrasive, I think he's disrespectful to witnesses. It's not the kind of decorum that we expect from, you know, members of Congress.

But I set that aside and look at the specific issue. My issue with him is the hypocrisy. So here we have someone whose, you know, general style is to conduct investigations in the House and, you know, draw conclusions about witnesses and their actions before investigations are even complete. And now what he's asking us is to believe his statement when the investigation is still ongoing. So I find that ironic and very confusing.

My point is, in writing this, is that even though he is brash, even though he is abrasive, I don't want the rest of society and the rest of our country to kind of fall victim to this instability. I mean, we have folks in the White House, folks in Congress who continue to traffic in innuendo and draw conclusions based on the most disparate pieces of information. I'm saying that in order for this investigation to be credible, I think we should let it play out.

Ohio State needs to get down to business and find out what these victims experienced because, of course, you know, if we believe their stories, I want the full picture to be painted so we know exactly what Jim Jordan did.

HILL: So then let me just drill down on that a little bit more because that's what's actually happening, right? So we're hearing from the university one thing -- I mean, well, there are two things are happening here. Number one, we're getting different stories. So we're hearing from some of these wrestlers. Remember, this doctor interacted with athletes across more than a dozen sports, as I understand it. Worked with the wrestling teams for about two decades.

There are a lot of people to talk to here as the university is continuing this investigation of a man who took his life, by the way. I believe it was in 2005. So we're looking at all of this. We're not getting straight answers. So is asking the questions about why are we not getting straight answers to Jim Jordan, is that still giving him the benefit of the doubt?

CAMPBELL: Well, I think it's a fair point. We need those answers. I guess my point is that any investigation -- I know this from the law enforcement side, obviously this is a law enforcement investigation, this is the one that the university is conducting. But investigator who want to know more than the public realized that's going on, we need to let that process I think play out and then get the full picture. Now let's be honest, I mean, these are very serious allegations and

things don't look good for Jim Jordan. And one thing that's interesting is that he is one of the most omnipresent members of Congress. You can't turn on a television without seeing him, but it's crickets over there. We're hearing him through statements. So I think that's telling, you know, possibly in it of itself.

I think we need to hear from him. I think the investigators need to hear from him, we need to hear those victims' stories so again, so that we know the full picture of what happened.

HILL: And we are hearing some of that. There has been a very important push, I would argue, in the last -- at least the last year or so to give alleged victims the benefit of the doubt, to listen to their story, to not immediately resort to victim shaming and blaming, which has happened in the past.

CAMPBELL: Absolutely.

HILL: He is not being looked at here as someone who was committing any alleged abuse. But the question surrounding his conduct are whether or not he turned a blind eye. We've seen the repercussions that that can have on people at Michigan State, for example.

CAMPBELL: Yes.

HILL: How have things changed in terms of people who are looked at as either enablers or who remained silent? Are they being treated you think more harshly now in the court of public opinion?

[10:45:03] CAMPBELL: I think they are and I think that's a good thing. I think that - -you know, people, that, you know, whether it's in sports, whether it's in universities, I mean, any type of setting where you have an adult who's in the position of authority who can intervene to stop the abuse of whether it's a child or whether it's a -- you know, a student in college who is of adult age, I mean, if they don't take that responsibility seriously, if they allow assault, molestation, even these accusations to continue and turn a blind eye, I think one of the things one of the victims said is that, you know, allegedly, reportedly, Jim Jordan saying, well, I don't want to be a part of this.

I mean, that is abdicating the responsibility of a person that's in a position of authority, which, again, if you allow that to happen, if you failed to intervene in a position of authority, I would argue that you are just as culpable as the person responsible because those people were victimized by your inaction here.

HILL: Josh Campbell, appreciate it. Happy Fourth.

CAMPBELL: Thanks, Erica. You as well.

HILL: Authorities ramping up security across the country ahead of today's Fourth of July celebrations. Just ahead a live update from one of the nation's largest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HILL: More than 100 people were shot over the July 4th weekend in Chicago last year. This year, officials trying to stem that violence. What are they specifically planning to do?

CNN National Correspondent, Ryan Young joins us now live with more.

Ryan, good morning.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Happy Fourth, Erica. When you think about that number, you say it out loud, over 100 people shot last year during the Fourth, you know how serious they take this. And of course what they're trying to do is make sure everyone is safe during the holiday weekend.

Now look, Chicago has a great Fourth of July display of fireworks on the lakefront. That is usually very safe. But it's throughout the city where they deal with the issues. And of course even just this weekend, several kids were shot in a drive-by shooting that of course they had nothing do with it.

But there was gun violence all over the city. Now the city is talking about the idea of making sure they partner with their federal partners and their state partners to go after some of the gang-infested areas, to kind of pull some of those gang members off the street during this holiday weekend.

[10:50:11] We know they are putting 1500 extra additional forces on the street to make sure they attack that violence. They're trying to make sure they get the guns off the street, in fact as quickly as possible.

This is one of the things they've been talking about for years, just trying to get the violence down. The summer can be a very painful moment for those who live in Chicago because of all the violence. And that's something they are trying to address bit by bit, especially on the Fourth of July weekend.

HILL: Ryan Young, with the very latest for us. Ryan, thank you.

Hundreds of undocumented parents have still not been reunited with their children after being separated at the border. CNN has now obtained a government document that offers some parents who are set to be deported the option, they can go with or without their children.

CNN Correspondent, Nick Valencia joins us now from McAllen, Texas, with more details.

So listen, on one hand, Nick, it's good that people are being asked if you're -- if you're being deported, are you going to take your children with you, are you going to leave them here? The issue is more with when some people were reportedly given this form, correct?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And it was first made aware to us, first brought to our attention by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And they claim, Erica, that at least two of their clients who have not been put before the judge just yet have been pressured to sign this document.

The issue with that is CNN has been unable to verify those claims. We can't even ask ICE if it's happened because they couldn't give us the details of those two clients. But that's their broader concern. The broader issue here is that this could create confusion for adult detainees currently in detention, that they may not understand the legalese. And it is worth noting, a lot of those that are currently detained don't even speak Spanish.

They speak indigenous languages so it brings the question, you know, how are they supposed to understand this document, which gives two very clear option. As you mentioned, either be deported with your children or be deported without your child in hopes that they can navigate the system here on their own and pursue their own relief claims.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says it was given to them by somebody in an ICE field office who wanted to make them aware so they could advise their clients. They say that this is very troubling and very concerning. ICE, however, they countered that and say that this form is official. They verified that to us. But they say it is only for those that are in final removal proceedings.

They say that this is a document that is being circulated right now but it is being used officially and not for those that are currently not before a judge just yet -- Erica.

HILL: Nick Valencia with the latest for there from McAllen, Texas. Nick, thank you.

From the east to the west, a deadly heat wave hitting parts of the nation. And they've been struggling with this for more than a week now. Nearly 100 million under heat advisories or warning this morning. Temperatures across the southwest are expected to be 7 to 14 degrees above normal this week in some areas. It could be far hotter. The northeast, we can tell you, should feel a little relief by tomorrow.

Meantime, though, there are several large wildfires burning in California, Nevada and Utah. The County Fire in California has now scorched more than 70,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.

Still to come, a Fourth of July tradition unlike any other. It is the Nathan's hot dog eating contest. Who will be crowned top dog? We've got a preview in the "Bleacher Report" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:56:46] HILL: The soccer drama continues in Russia, another World Cup nail biter.

Andy Scholes has more on England's thrilling win over Colombia in this morning's "Bleacher Report," although I have to say I was watching it with two proud Colombians yesterday. They were a little sad.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm sure they were pretty beat down after that. The result there, Erica. And it's kind of ironic that 242 years after signing the Declaration of Independence, here we are today talking England soccer. But it was a great ending. England ending their penalty kick curse yesterday against Colombia.

Now England was 0-3 in their history when going to penalty kicks in the World Cup. Their goalie, Jordan Pickford, coming through right here with just a great save. He was pumped up about it. Then the hopes and dreams of the entire nation riding on Eric Dier's right foot. And he buried it to send England through. The curse of penalty kick finally over for the nation. And fans back home, well, they were going crazy when the team won. They partied in the streets all night.

Check out this guy's answer to how he felt after the win.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you think I feel? We won a penalty shoot- out in a World Cup. Come on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: You see all the fans there singing the song "Three Lions," it was first released in the '90s. A song about how England invented football and is trying to win their first World Cup since 1966. Prince William, he's probably singing along, too, last night. He tweeted, "I couldn't be prouder of England, their victory in a penalty shoot-out. You have well and truly earned your place in the final eight of the World Cup, and you should know the whole country is right behind you for Saturday. Come on, England."

All right. There was no singing in downtown Cleveland yesterday. And if there was there's definitely some sad songs. The iconic LeBron James Nike banner was removed from the Sherwin Williams Building. Over the last four years it had become downtown Cleveland's top landmark. Some fans coming down yesterday to take a one last picture with it. Who knows, maybe Nike will put one of those up somewhere in Los Angeles.

All right. Finally, it's a July Fourth tradition. The 102nd Nathan's hotdog eating contest takes center stage in just about an hour. Your defending champ, Joey Chestnut, weighing in yesterday. Not really sure why he weighed in. Chestnut, he's won 10 of the last 11 titles. He downed a record 72 hotdogs last year beating his previous record of 70. And like I said, the action gets started at about noon Eastern.

Erica, you know, I love the Nathan's hotdog eating contest. I just have a hard time watching the entire thing. It looks painful.

HILL: Yes -- no, I can't watch it. Every year -- no. I can't do it. I can't. Sorry. I know I get hate mail when I say that. But -- yes.

SCHOLES: It's the buns and the water that get me. I just --

HILL: It's gross. It really is. And just the thought of what comes after. Maybe we should leave it there, Andy Scholes.

SCHOLES: Yes, probably.

HILL: Have a very Happy Fourth, my friend.

SCHOLES: You too.

HILL: Thanks to all of you for joining us today. I hope you enjoy your holiday as well. I'm Erica Hill. "AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan and thank you for joining us for a special July Fourth edition of AT THIS HOUR.