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Williams Fined for Code Violations; Dallas Officer Charged in Shooting; Trump to Declassify Documents; Prosecutors Admit Mistake in Butina Case. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired September 10, 2018 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Grand slam title. After the match, Serena claimed a double standard. She said a male player would never have been treated this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERENA WILLIAMS, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff. And for me to say thief and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. I mean like how -- he's never took a game from a man because they said thief. For me, it blows my mind. But I'm going to continue to fight for women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: All right, Christine Brennan, our sports analyst, is with me.
Christine, fascinating opinion piece this morning in the paper. Let me read part of it for our viewers.
Was Serena Williams treated differently than a man would have been treated for doing exactly what she did and saying exactly what she said? And, if so, why? Is it solely sexism? The easiest and most logical answer, or is it more than that?
So, Christine, is it? Is it more?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Well, I think it is sexism. But the one person on earth, Poppy, who's not talking about this --
BRENNAN: Is, of course, is the chair umpire. And one thing that should change is that pool reporters should be able to interview the chair ump just as people interview NFL referees and the head ref and whatever in all kinds -- the umpire in World Series games. So that's missing.
Serena is a very outspoken person. She is a champion for many. She is bigger than the game. And so there are a lot of reasons why someone might target Serena or look at her differently. Clearly she's an African-American woman. But we are seeing, as you've alluded to, over and over again now in
the last, what, 36 hours since this happened, men in tennis, women in tennis, the greatest names in the sport, all of them coming down on the side of Serena being correct about a double standard.
BRENNAN: Every single one.
HARLOW: I mean --
BRENNAN: And I think that's a significant part of the conversation.
HARLOW: Right, from Billie Jean King, the famous Billie Jean King, saying, when a woman's emotional, she's hysterical, she's penalized for it. You had Andy Roddick saying the worst refereeing I've ever seen. The worst. James Blake, another male tennis star, says that, I will admit, I have said worse and not gotten penalized. And then Novak Djokovic, a champion last night, maybe the chair umpire should not have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in a grand slam.
How big is it to have all of those men, Billie Jean King aside, all of those male tennis stars speaking out in her sport?
BRENNAN: Poppy, I know there are people watching us right now saying, yes, but what an outburst and it looks bad. We are not saying it wasn't. You can have these two conflicting thoughts that it was terrible and yet this is an overwhelming statement in evidence out there that there is a double standard in tennis. And I think, once again, Serena is in the middle of something really big and really important. Obviously she didn't want to be there. We didn't expect she would be there, but here we are. And Serena is leading the way with her lieutenants and her, you know, wonderful colleagues and cohorts, including people like Billie Jean King and Chris Everett and Patrick McEnroe and James Blake --
BRENNAN: All saying the exact same thing. And hopefully there will be change because of it.
HARLOW: I mean really big picture here, right? There's this. There is Serena being told what she can and can't wear, you know, at the French Open. There is, at the U.S. Open, the French player, Alize Cornet, taking off her shirt, quickly turning it around and being told she can't do that, you know, versus a man having his shirt off for minutes on end.
BRENNAN: Right. We are --
HARLOW: Is this sport still sexist?
BRENNAN: Well, and, if it is, then it's really troubling because tennis is by far the sport that has come the farthest on equality for women. The U.S. Open started paying equal prize money in 1973. The other three grand slam tournaments, Poppy, didn't start paying equal prize money until this century. So what an incredible thing for the U.S. Open and for women's sports and women's tennis in the United States. And yet if we're seeing this kind of thing -- these things going on, it really gives a window into how pervasive sexism could be or is. If it's happening at the U.S. Open, we know it's happening everywhere. And if it's happening in tennis, which has had equality at the top of the charts for years, then it's happening in every sport for women and girls. And that was the national conversation that was triggered by that outburst on Saturday night.
HARLOW: So I don't know if you read Rebecca Traster's (ph) piece in "The Cut," but I found it really interesting, especially as it deals with race. Let me read you part of it. Talking about the rules of tennis.
There are rules written for a sport that until Williams and her sister came along was dominated by white players. A sport in which white men have violated the rules in frequently spectacular fashion and rarely faced the kind of repercussions that Williams and Osaka did on Saturday night.
Is race part of the story here?
BRENNAN: Oh, I think so. And it has been with the Williams sisters bursting onto the scene from the streets of Compton, California, in the 1990s, and, of course, taking over the sport in a fantastic and wonderful way.
You know, national conversations, we have them. Sports takes us to places that we otherwise wouldn't go. And the Williams sisters have been doing that for 20 years. And here we are again doing it.
[09:35:03] But I think the good news is here, the Women's Tennis Association, USTA, all of these governing bodies are listening. They're saying, no, no, Serena has a point.
I don't think we ever would have seen that even ten years ago. There's the positive here. The conversation moving forward to make sure there's a uniform standard for umpires. Because you can find it. I put it on Twitter. The number of times men berated this exact same chair umpire, Poppy --
HARLOW: This -- this ump? This guy?
BRENNAN: This ump. Right. Apples to apples. And he gave them no penalties. It's astounding when you see it. It's on my Twitter feed. It's all over the Internet now for the win from "USA Today" put it up there. And so you cannot make an argument against what Serena is saying. You just can't. You can dislike the behavior potentially that you saw, although we also need to say that Serena did a great job of defusing the situation in the ceremony afterwards saying no more boo'ing, putting her arm around Naomi --
BRENNAN: And really tried to turn the page. But I think, without a doubt, Serena's got a great point on this one. HARLOW: Yes. I thought so as well because she put her arm around her
and said, like, let's celebrate this champion as well, right?
HARLOW: This is bigger than this tournament. This is bigger than this match.
Finally, you end your column with a challenge to the sport, right, to everyone, and you say, tennis, it's your serve.
So what happens next?
BRENNAN: Again, I hope that these governing bodies are serious about what they're talking about. There are some women in charge of these governing bodies and these organizations. So that's a positive development. Not that men can't also affect change. But they have to do it because this is such a black eye for the sport at this great crowning achievement, this momentous time in the history of the sport and then you've got it mired in this. So get out of that, take this as a positive and move forward.
And I think actually the game of tennis may well do that, led by Serena, Billie Jean King and so many others who are speaking out in such a forceful way.
HARLOW: All right, Christine Brennan, thank you so much. And for anyone who has not read your column, I would recommend they do. It's fascinating. We'll keep talking about it.
BRENNAN: Thank you.
BRENNAN: Thank you.
HARLOW: Ahead for us, the Dallas police officer walks into an apartment that she thought was hers, sees a man, kills him. Well, it was his apartment. Now she is facing manslaughter charges. We'll have more on what his family is calling for, next.
[09:41:16] HARLOW: A Dallas police officer who shot and killed a man in that man's own apartment after mistaking that apartment for her own is out of jail this morning but has been charged with manslaughter. The officer's name is Amber Guyger and she turned herself in to authorities last night, three days after she shot Botham Shem Jean. She was released a short time later after posting $300,000 bond. This morning, the mayor of Dallas issued a statement thanking Texas rangers for, quote, thoroughly investigating the tragic case. Also asking the public to pray for Jean's family.
Let's go to my colleague, Ed Lavandera. He joins us from Dallas.
I mean this is stunning. How -- how did this happen? Because the family now of the man who was killed say they don't just want prayers, they want justice.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And the -- really the question is exactly how all of this happened. Many details of exactly how these moments where the shooting took place haven't been released yet. This happened Thursday night. By Friday morning -- what is interesting to point out in all of this is that originally Dallas Police were treating this as an officer-involved shooting, which has its own system of protocols in places and issues about how the officers are treated in the aftermath of that shooting and what they're required to do or not to do.
By Friday morning, Dallas Police say that they had changed their approach to this story, that it would be just any kind of a shooting investigation, not an officer-involved shooting.
And Friday afternoon, Dallas Police were saying that they expected to file manslaughter charges. It almost sounded like it was going to happen that day. But they also announced that the Texas Rangers were going to be investigating this case on this parallel kind of investigation.
All of that got slowed down over the weekend, resulting in that manslaughter charge finally being issued last night. Amber Guyger, the officer, was taken into custody. She very quickly posted bond. But none of this really answers the question as to, Poppy, how all of this happened. And attorneys are wondering whether or not race had something to do with it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, CO-COUNSEL FOR JEAN FAMILY: We're still dealing in America where black people are being killed in some of the most arbitrary ways. Driving while black, walking while black, and now we have to add living while black.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: You know, so the question here is, from what we understand Amber Guyger had worked a long shift on that Thursday and came back to that apartment complex, which ironically enough is just a block away from the Dallas Police Department headquarters, just south of downtown Dallas. But what exactly transpired in those moments, how quickly it all unfolded, those details we still just don't know yet, Poppy.
HARLOW: All right. Ed, keep us posted as we do get more of those details. And the family obviously wants a lot of answers here. Thank you.
Ahead for us, a new report says the president could declassify documents that his allies argue will undercut the Mueller probe. Next, we're going to sort through the facts and the hype.
[09:48:51] HARLOW: All right, so this morning we're learning that the president may declassify documents which, according to his allies, would undercut the Mueller probe. Axios reports that the documents cover the government's surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and they also could show the involvement of a current senior Justice Department lawyer, Bruce Ohr, in the investigation. The president's backers claim these documents will reveal what they say is an anti-Trump bias at the Department of Justice.
Let's break through the spin and get to the facts. Shan Wu, our legal analyst and former federal prosecutor is with us.
What could these documents show if the president choses to declassify them as Axios is reporting could happen, you know, as soon as this week?
SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hi, Poppy.
You know, they're only going to show that there was a factual predicate for opening the investigation. I mean it's a really bad idea to declassify these documents. I mean it could damage any ongoing investigation. It's a chilling effect for future investigations because the efforts to declassify them is really a political strategy on the president's part. He doesn't really care about protecting the integrity of this or any future investigation.
[09:49:58] The aspect of this inquiry that does have legs is initially what we heard about was that Ohr just may have known Steele over the years and was, you know, having some lunches with him. But even at that time, I and other folks thought it didn't make any sense that after these social occasions he'd be debriefed by the FBI.
WU: That usually doesn't happen to me if I have lunch with my friends.
So, obviously, he was authorized. And that's all this is going to reveal is that it was part of an actual authorized effort or investigation, counterespionage, for him to be having these meetings and to work on it. And the danger of it, of course, is revealing what sort of sensitive predicates there were for opening the investigation.
It does seem possible that maybe there's some impropriety if Ohr didn't disclose something on his forms with regard to his wife. I mean we'd have to know exactly what it is the question was asking for because it doesn't necessarily seem to be a conflict of interest with her work but --
HARLOW: Well, because she was working at Fusion GPS --
HARLOW: Obviously the firm where -- you know, tied to the dossier, which Christopher Steele was doing all the digging on the dossier for. I mean if the president doesn't -- I mean if -- why would he then, Shan, declassify them? You're saying this is a political maneuver if it happens. If it doesn't look good for him, then why would he do it?
WU: Well, I think he has his own notion of what looks good for him. I think he wants to -- he's been saying publicly that he's going to do the big reveal. This is going to show the department's bias. And I'm sure that whatever it does show, he'll be able to spin it somehow and some of his supporters will take it as, oh, yes, they did have it out for him or there was a lack of basis. But I don't think he really understands that at best it's going to look innocuous and show they had reasons. And at worst, the reasons might look bad for him. But, I mean, he's so anxious to get something out there that they can start talking about, and also the whole suspense of saying there's this big secret that's being hidden.
So we'll have to see what actually revealed, but it's a very poor idea for a president to go willy-nilly declassifying materials just for political reasons. It's really dangerous.
HARLOW: All right, let me ask you about something else that's happening today. The accused Russian spy, Maria Butina, will be in court. She has a hearing today in federal court. And prosecutors have alleged in their argument against her is that, look, she sent text messages that proved that she had offered to trade sex in exchange for political access. But now prosecutors are admitting that they made some mistakes and misunderstood at least some of these text messages.
What does it mean to the credibility of the investigation against her to have this admission from the prosecutor ahead of this hearing in federal court today?
WU: Well, I think ultimately the prosecution hopes that it adds to the credibility that they're willing to confess to error, and prosecutors do have to do that. They have this ethical obligation, when I was a prosecutor it was very important to us to know it's not just about winning the case at all costs. You have another obligation, which is to guard the truth. So if you make a mistake, you have to own up to that. And it sounds like they did make a mistake. Frankly, it seems a little bit of a sexist mistake. They were eager to jump to this sort of stereotypical Motahari kind of situation. And so I think in the context of what they've learned, I think it's very important that they do fess up to that. And, frankly, they owe that defendant, Miss Butina, an apology for that. And they need to have integrity going forward with it.
HARLOW: OK, we'll be watching that hearing a little bit later today.
WU: Good to see you, Poppy.
HARLOW: Good to see you too.
Still to come, the president says the White House is morning, his words, is running like a smooth machine. This as the entire administration is bracing for Bob Woodward's new book, which hits store shelves tomorrow morning. And the White House continues to search for the person who wrote that scathing anonymous "New York Times" op-ed. We are on top of all the developments. Stay with me.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [09:58:15] HARLOW: With the midterms just 57 days away, Pew research projects millennials will surpass baby boomers next year as the nation's largest voting bloc. They represent nearly a third of all eligible voters. "The Skimm" targets millennial readers and now has more than 6 million subscribers, an audience primarily of women age 22 to 34. I sat down with the co-founders, Danielle Weisberg and Carley Zakin for the latest episode of our podcast, "Boss Files." They launched a no excuses campaign during the 2016 election, helped register more than 100,000 people to vote. Their goal for the midterms this year, do it all over again. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIELLE WEISBERG, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-CEO, "THE SKIMM": One consistent theme that we heard is that for a big part of our audience, we are one thing that they read or one source that they get their news from. But also, for a sizable part of their audience, we are their primary source of news. And for those people, if they felt like we were being partisan on either side, then they were unsubscribing. And we heard again and again from people that were unsubscribing that they were turning to FaceBook to get their news.
CARLY ZAKIN, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-CEO, "THE SKIMM": We realized I think one of the biggest misconceptions about millennials as a whole was that they all vote the same way and they all think the same way.
ZAKIN: And they obviously don't. And we were reading all the polls out there that said that the election was going to go a different way. But we were doing our own studies that actually predicted how the election did turn out.
HARLOW: You did?
ZAKIN: And we did (ph) have the confidence to say, hey, this is actually like how it's going to turn out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Fascinating to hear from them. You can hear the entire interview on the podcast. It drops this morning. "The Skimm" co- founders. You can subscribe on iTunes to "Boss Files."
[10:00:00] All right, good morning, everyone. Top of the hour. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.
Right now, Hurricane Florence is rapidly strengthening and targeting the East Coast. North and South Carolina are on track to take a direct hit from what could be a category three or four storm and