Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Mark Cuban to Donate $10M to Women's Groups Following Probe; Student Pilot Allegedly Jumps Fence and Boards Passenger Jet; FBI: Multiple-Victim Shooting in Maryland. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired September 20, 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]

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: -- our arms around, because the victims are blamed often, and they're not believed, and that's why they're reluctant to come forward. This is an artificial timeline that has been set by Senator Grassley, but it's an indication that the fix has been in on Judge Kavanaugh from the very beginning. It started when they refused to release most of his records. We have only seen 10 percent of what's his background, and that hasn't been made available to the public. So I hope she testifies. I want to hear her story. But I understand her reluctance.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And just to be clear, publicly under oath would be your hope, correct?

SHAHEEN: Well, I think she's been given a number of different options. I think it's important for her to make the decision about what she's comfortable with.

HARLOW: OK.

SHAHEEN: Because as I said, we know this process has been fixed from the beginning.

SHAHEEN: That is your perspective. I wonder if you think, you know, I wonder about what Democrats will do if Republicans, as they say, they will move forward with a vote on this from, you know, the committee and the full Senate, which includes you, next week if she doesn't testify on Monday. If that's the case, what do you and other Democrats do?

SHAHEEN: Well, I think we continue to raise the concerns that we have, and that I think are shared by the public. You know, we know that when Anita Hill accused Justice Thomas of sexual harassment back in 1991, that the White House that was then occupied by George H.W. Bush, immediately asked for an FBI investigation. This White House could have asked immediately once those allegations came forward, for an FBI investigation, but they have refused to do that.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Let me ask you this, because there has been criticism, even from Democrats, of Senator Feinstein -

HARLOW: Right. SCIUTTO: -- not alerting her colleagues or the FBI earlier as to this claim. And I understand the argument that Ford asked for confidentiality here, very understandably. Senator Feinstein said she wanted to protect that. But in your view, could Senator Feinstein have maintained Ford's anonymity here, but at least let the FBI know earlier so that they would have had at least an opportunity to look into it more or let her colleagues know that there was an allegation such as this out there.

SHAHEEN: You know it's a really difficult question. We've had in my office whistleblowers come forward with some very serious allegations, but they weren't willing to let us move forward with those allegations because they wanted to remain anonymous. And we protected their anonymity. We didn't move forward until they were ready to do that. So I understand why Senator Feinstein was so concerned. And as we have seen since Christine Ford's name has become public, what she's been subjected to. So it's easy to understand why she's been reluctant. The death threats, the needing to move out of her house, the people who are blaming her for the situation.

HARLOW: We'd like to get your take also on something we have been posting on a lot on this show and that is the situation in Yemen. You, the humanitarian crisis, the ongoing civil war now, you wrote an op-ed earlier this month about it in "The Washington Post" and the headline is, "The United States has leveraged to end the civil war in Yemen. Use it."

Should the Trump administration suspend U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia right now? And on top of that, what else should the administration do at this point?

SHAHEEN: Well, the legislation that Senator Todd Young, a Republican from Indiana, and I sponsored required certain conditions before the administration would certify that they would continue to support the Saudi and UAE coalition in what they're doing in Yemen. Their certification was really a bogus look at whether the Saudis and the Emiratis have complied with what we had asked them to do in that legislation. I was very disappointed in what the administration gave back to us. It wasn't a real requirement, as the legislation said they needed to do.

So I do think we've got to look at arms. I think we've got to discontinue those if the Saudis continue to bomb civilians. We know that Yemen is one of the worst humanitarian disasters we're facing in the world right now with a cholera outbreak and famine, and we, the United States is the only country that can really put pressure on to change the circumstances there.

SCIUTTO: You know, it was a CNN investigation by one of our colleagues that found that U.S. bomb -- evidence of U.S. bombs were found at the scene of Saudi airstrikes that killed civilians. They found and we've aired this earlier this week -

HARLOW: On the bus.

SCIUTTO: Exactly. [10:35:00] Where children were killed as well with the pieces that show U.S. manufacturers, et cetera. Do you believe that that is the pressure point for Saudi Arabia, for the U.S., for instance, to suspend - suspend those sales, which Secretary Pompeo has just reauthorized, saying that Saudi Arabia - I forget the exact words - that Saudi Arabia is making enough of an effort to minimize civilian casualties?

HARLOW: Right, right.

SHAHEEN: I do think we have an opportunity to put further pressure on the Saudis in a way that will help change their behavior. And the certification that was just done wasn't a real certification. It didn't address the items that were laid out in the legislation, the requirement that we try and get the parties to the table to mediate, the requirement that the bombing take into consideration civilians. So we're not doing what we could be doing there to address the situation.

HARLOW: Look, it's notable that it was $100 billion arms sale agreement between the U.S., the UK, and Saudi Arabia. So thank you for keeping a focus on all of this. And for being with us, and we're going to see, of course, focusing very much on what happens in the Senate on the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate with Kavanaugh. Thanks.

SCIUTTO: Thanks so much.

Breaking news, the FBI says it is responding and assisting with an active shooter situation going on right now in Hartford County, Maryland. This is close to Baltimore. Multiple victims reportedly involved in the shooting, police telling people right now to avoid the area, this again, 30 miles northeast of Baltimore.

HARLOW: OK, we'll be right back with that breaking news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:41:12] SCIUTTO: An independent probe revealed decades of workplace misconduct and harassment within the Dallas Mavericks basketball organization. It found there was touching, forced kissing of female employees by a former team president.

HARLOW: So after the findings of this investigation were released, Mark Cuban, who of course, owns the Mavs, announced he's donating $10 million to women's groups within the sports industry, also programs to end domestic violence.

Let's get the low down on all of this. Lindsay Czarniak, our sports reporter, is here with us. Look, this is a big, big deal that this was happening -- for two decades. So walk us through the reporting here.

LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: So it is a huge deal. Frankly, this is a side of Mark Cuban that I have never seen. He got very emotional today. We're going to show you that in a moment. But Cuban, he maintains for a stop, Poppy, that he knew nothing about this culture until "Sports Illustrated" started working on the bombshell story that was released in February. And that's when this investigation was launched.

That story describes based largely on notes provided by women detailing specific incidents where they were harassed, propositions. The list goes on and on. The Mavericks organization was allegedly a culture rife with quote, predatory sexual behavior. So the findings of that investigation released yesterday painted a picture of a work environment that consistently devalued women. It is a report NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has weighed in on. He labeled it disturbing and heartbreaking.

Mark Cuban showed a side of him though as I said that I have never seen. He was very, very emotional. We're used to seeing the stoic, hard-working businessman, right? He was talking to ESPN's Rachel Nichols yesterday. He admitted his own mistake of not recognizing this behavior.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK CUBAN, DALLAS MAVERICKS OWNER: Just never in my wildest dreams did I think that this was happening right underneath me. And I never -- the pain that people went through, the pain that people shared with me as this happened, the tears that I saw. Just -- it hurt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CZARNIAK: So Mark Cuban has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the investigation. He did, however, agree to pay that $10 million. They're going to go to programs that help develop women, work on leadership as well as also fighting domestic violence. He's been taking this, as you just saw in that clip, quite seriously. He's been emotional about it, something you don't always see from him. Poppy?

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Lindsay -- Lindsay Czarniak, thanks very much, powerful story. We're joined now by the person who led this investigation, Anne Milgram, she's a CNN legal analyst, former New Jersey attorney general. Should I say, co-leader of the investigation. But I mean the scale of this investigation impressive, 215 interviews with current and former Mavericks employees. Tell us the scale of what you found.

ANNE MILGRAM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So it took my co-counsel Evan Krutoy and I seven months. We did 215 witness interviews, 1.6 million documents and we went through 20 years of conduct. And it's really impossible to say how long that takes and how detailed and tough that was. What we found was that there was a pervasive culture of sexual harassment within the organization.

SCIUTTO: Beyond the president.

(CROSSTALK)

MILGRAM: We found there were three individuals, the CEO, a senior ticket sales executive, and a mavs.com beat writer who was involved in two domestic violence incidents. But there were repeated incidents of inappropriate touching, of comments in the work place, and you know the salacious details are in the report that we have done, but we found that it wasn't only that.

I think it's really important to just note that it was those three people, but it was also how the institution responded to it. And that the harm went on for so long. And so one of the important things I think to come out of this is this conversation about what do you do when the CEO is one of the people engaged in sexual harassment and what happens in a culture when you have people who are doing really awful things to employees in the workplace that don't get addressed and how devastating that is, not just for the women employees but also for the men.

[10:45:16] HARLOW: Mark Cuban, right, who owns the Mavs, and we saw how emotional he got there in Rachel's interview, also said, quote, "In hindsight, it was staring me right in the face. And I missed it. I had a CEO that I deferred to, and that was a mistake."

Contrition from him, my sources within the NBA and the league this morning tell me that the fact that you heard that from Mark Cuban and that he took ownership of this and said I was wrong was a game changer, right? Because Adam Silver has the authority as the commissioner to fine, I think it is $2.5 million. This $10 million is four times that's. What's your take on Mark Cuban on this overall?

MILGRAM: So I think there are a couple of things we're saying. First of all, from the moment we met him, which was literally like the day after this broke, he was contrite and acknowledged he was the owner of the team. He took responsibility. And so there was never a moment where he didn't sort of step up and say here is my -- I'm taking responsibility. It is important to note that we found no personal misconduct on his behalf, and we found that he didn't know about Ussery. He had a handful of pieces of disciplinary matters which were critically important come to him on the other two people, and there's a lot in the report about that, but as to the CEO, there was never a single HR complaint filed.

HARLOW: Wow.

MILGRAM: And you know it happens in America all the time that people don't file complaints. There were big issues here with the fact that Ussery was the CEO, but for Cuban personally, I think, you know, what we saw in him was just this, you know, he wasn't there. He was physically located at the basketball office, not in the business office -

HARLOW: Right.

MILGRAM: -- and he just wasn't around the culture and for him to sense that he wouldn't have known that was devastating.

SCIUTTO: And listen, credit where credit is due because we had many cases like this, a number of different kinds of organizations, and really, the demand from women has been ownership, right? They want to see people take ownership, responsibility and seek amends, so credit here. I'm curious, though for the folks who were responsible. You're saying Mark Cuban not responsible. He is paying the fine here. Are there going to be repercussions for the men involved? Former president, the other executives you mentioned?

MILGRAM: I want to make sure that we're clear on this. We did find that Mark Cuban made significant errors in judgment when he made specific decisions on those two other individuals. He did not know the vast majority of things that were happening. But when Ussery, the team president brought some things to him, he didn't give Mark Cuban full information, but Cuban got involved. He allowed himself to be engaged in disciplinary matters without the full story.

HARLOW: Which Ussery denies to you guys, by the way.

MILGRAM: He denied and also, you know, some of these things, the second domestic violence incident on its face you would think --

HARLOW: We're out of time. I would know - look, they have a new CEO. They brought in a woman. Part of your recommendation was get more women in management in these positions. And they're going to have to pay - I mean they're going to have to file quarterly reports to the NBA. There's this money, there's a lot of things, more workplace training, things that have to change and they will change. Thank you. It's fascinating and really important to bring to light.

MILGRAM: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: You did fantastic work here.

HARLOW: Thanks, Anne.

SCIUTTO: The Senate makes a move to fight the deadly opioid crisis in America. But is that move enough? We're going to have a deep conversation on this coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:52:11] SCIUTTO: Developing at this hour, security scare, severe one at an airport in Florida. Officials tell us that a student pilot allegedly jumped a security fence and boarded that passenger jet you see there at Orlando Melbourne Airport.

HARLOW: That's a big American airlines jet. Our correspondent, Jean Casarez, all over the story, she's back with us. We've learned more since you were with us last hour. What do you know?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've got more information. And actually, two maintenance workers were onboard that jet liner that you're seeing at 2:00 a.m. this morning. They were doing routine maintenance work and all of a sudden, one of them saw a shadow over his shoulder and could tell it was a human being. They turned around and they said who are you? And where is your badge because this is an extremely secure area. What we are understanding, from the airport officials is that this person didn't say a word but turned and went for the cockpit. They then went and detained him while they were restraining him, they called police. The police were on that plane in two minutes.

Now, here's what we understand. This young man, 22 years old, a student pilot being held right now at the Brevard County Jail. He's not been charged with anything. The FBI is currently involved working with local authorities. He is from Trinidad, coming to the United States through Canada. He did have a Florida driver's license, they're saying. We do not yet know his name, but also, while all of this is going on, they're searching his vehicle. They're using a robot to go in and search. And at this point, though, the airport is open, but for that searching of the vehicle.

HARLOW: Those maintenance workers to detain him like that.

SCIUTTO: No question. We don't know his motives but in the worst case scenario, could be an enormous disaster diverted there and very narrowly. Jean Cazares, thank you very much.

HARLOW: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Well, now the war on opioids. The Senate just passed a bill to fight the epidemic. The legislation would increase punishment for fentanyl distribution and trafficking, give the FDA authority on packaging, push for research on non-addictive pain killers and provide better access to treatment. Last year, 72,000 Americans -- I'm reading that right -- 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, many involving opioids, this according to the CDC.

Joining us now is Beth Macy. She's the author of what is a really powerful book, "Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America." I read this book. It was riveting, and daunting, and a little depressing, frankly, about the scope of the crisis. Beth, thanks so much for taking the time to join us today.

BETH MACY, AUTHOR, "DOPESICK": Thanks for having me.

SCIUTTO: Before I get to how you wrote this book, how you tell the story of really this addiction crisis in the country, I want to ask you for your review in effect of this legislation that's been passed, based on what you see in there, will that make a difference?

[10:55:02] MACY: It's just not enough. I'm sorry to say. It's like sticking a finger in the dike when the wall of water is rushing over you. Experts believe it's going to take 10s of billions over the next decade. It's going to tax, more importantly, a real system in place so that our medical care system treats this opioid use disorder as the disease we all give lip service to and say that it is. So that when you overdose and go to the hospital, you are then immediately taken into treatment, just as you would be if you had a heart attack and showed up at the E.R. There are just so many things we're not doing.

SCIUTTO: One thing that struck me from the book is how many people, organizations, businesses, share some responsibility for this. Incentivizing doctors to overprescribe, the enormous profit motive from the companies who make these kinds of opioids over prescription, et cetera. It just strikes me that you need truly a comprehensive response to address all of those issues to truly make a difference. I mean this is tens of thousands of Americans dying every year.

[10:55:00] MACY: Right. And we have been in this crisis since the mid to late '90s when pain as a fifth vital sign was being pushed, and in our country, with the FDA's approval, you know, Purdue Pharma launched this new drug and send an army of reps out to tell doctors that it wasn't addictive. The FDA allowed them to make this squishy claim that it was only addictive in less than 1 percent of cases.

HARLOW: Right.

MACY: And that is really what's led us to this moment, how they flipped the narrative that we knew for 100 years that opioids were addictive because we had a crisis after the civil war. We flipped the narrative in the late '90s and allowed industry to tell us this was no longer the case, and billions of dollars were created. That's what it's going to take literally to get us out of this, billions of dollars for treatment.

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: Yes, and how many lives lost. I mean, Jim and I both feel incredibly passionate about keeping a spotlight on this. You know we have been in the field reporting on this. When I was in Ohio doing extensive reporting on this, I spent a lot of time with a cheerleader, a high school cheerleader, who had been addicted to heroin because she started on pills and then it became heroin, since she was 15 years old, family who lost their son, this amazing baseball player. I mean, this hits every single type of family, every single type of neighborhood. No one is immune. And people are talking about, Beth, a lost generation, right?

I mean I wonder if you say this legislation doesn't go far enough, and we'll see if it passes the House and is signed into law. What is the number one thing from all your reporting on the ground that can be done now that the lawmakers we pay to protect us in this country and to pass legislation that's needed, what can they do, number one thing?

MACY: Well, we have 2.6 million people addicted, and no matter if you go ahead and stop the prescribing, which they're doing things like that and working on the interdiction of fentanyl, which is a good thing. We still have all these people out there who are basically resigning to death. We know based on the new statistics that you just cited from the CDC that a few New England states that have put these measures such as M.A.T., Medication Assisted Treatment, if you go to the E.R., then you're immediately referred to treatment. You're not waiting three weeks as you are in the city where I live in Virginia.

HARLOW: Right.

MACY: We know that harm reduction measures like syringe exchange programs that not only allow to get the dirty needles off the streets where our kids are walking pass them on the way to school but also referring to Hepatitis C, testing and treatment, and eventually because so many of these addictive people are living homeless and they don't have relationships with health care institutions, eventually creating relationships at these low barrier places and getting them into treatment. That's what it's going to take.

HARLOW: Beth, I'm sorry to interrupt. Thank you for what you're doing. We will have you back.

But I do need to hop to some very important breaking news right now. The FBI is assisting with an active shooter situation in -- Hartford County, Maryland. Joe Johns has more. Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, we know very little right now, but what we do know is that there are reports coming in out of Aberdeen, Maryland, of a shooting involving multiple victims. This is, we're told, at a Rite-Aid distribution support facility there. We're also told that early indications are law enforcement has secured the scene. Not precise what that means right now.

The initial reports we have at this stage, and of course, in breaking news things can change at any time, is that five individuals are reported shot. Three reported dead. These are very early reports, of course. That is essentially what we know. It's a distribution facility for Rite-Aid. Five shot, three dead. About 1,000 people work there. We're told it's secured, secured by police. Back to you.

HARLOW: Joe, thank you for the reporting. Of course, we'll stay all over this. Thanks for being with us today. I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: I'm Jim Sciutto. "At This Hour" with Kate Bolduan -