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U.S. Is Pulling Out Of A Landmark Arms Treaty With Russia; Saudi Arabia Has Finally Admitted What The World Has Long Suspected, That "Washington Post" Columnist Jamal Khashoggi Died Inside Their Consulate In Turkey; Scenes of Desperation, Chaos At Guatemala Border Gate; Tentative $215M Deal In USC Gynecologist Abuse Scandal; Lioness Kills Father Of Her Three Cubs At Indianapolis Zoo. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 20, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:27] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
Breaking news this hour, President Trump announcing that the U.S. is pulling out of a landmark arms treaty with Russia. Here is the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years. And I don't know why President Obama didn't negotiate or pull out. And we are not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we are not allowed to. We are the ones that have stayed in the agreement and we have honored the agreement. But Russia has not, unfortunately, honored the agreement. So we are going to terminate the agreement. We are going to pull out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: This treaty has been in effect since 1987 when President Reagan signed it alongside soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
CNN's Pentagon reporter Ryan Browne joins us from Washington now.
Ryan, what does this move mean?
RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: Well, Ana, as you said, this treaty dates back to the end days of the cold war. And it eliminated a wide range of medium to short range nuclear capable missiles.
Now the Soviet Union and the United States came to this agreement. Now prior to that there had been a bit of an arms race in Europe. So this agreement helped end that arms race and reduce tensions during the middle of the cold war.
Now as President Trump said, the United States has long accused Russia of being in violation of this treaty, of both developing and fielding a missile that was banned by this treaty. So the United States has long criticized Russia for this and is now announced its intent to leave the treaty.
Now, another item of note here is China. China is not party to this treaty. And senior U.S. military commanders assess that about 90 percent of China's missile arsenal is -- would be in violation of this treaty. So again, with an eye on Russia and an eye on China, the U.S. announcing its decision to leave.
CABRERA: All right. Ryan Browne, thank you for breaking that down.
I want to bring in David Sanger now, national security correspondent for "The New York Times."
David, what is your take on the timing of this decision, why now? We know the U.S. has known for years that Russia was violating this treaty, so why the sudden urgency?
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It's a great question, Ana. And it is interesting because when we broke the story on this yesterday in "the Times," the White House had been saying to me, there has been no decision made. The President yet hasn't been presented with his options. Well, you heard him there in front of the helicopter. He has been presented with his options long ago.
They have signaled that this was coming. And in fact President Obama thought about pulling out of the treaty when the United States first discovered in around 2014 that the Russians were violating it. But the concern was that the Europeans would object to our pulling out of this and would feel a little bit considerably less safe as a result. And that they would rather have negotiated with the Russians. It's been pretty clear now, though, that the Russians have no intention of going back within the treaty's limits.
One thing to add to what Ryan said earlier, it is interesting while it's called the intermediate nuclear forces agreement, in fact it covers some nonnuclear weapons as well. And of course China was never a signatory to it. And it's the Chinese buildup that's got them most concerned.
CABRERA: The President's national security adviser John Bolton we know was in favor of pulling out of this treaty. He leaves today in fact for his trip to Russia to quote "continue discussions that began in Helsinki." What kind of reception is Bolton going to get in Moscow?
SANGER: So he gets to Moscow on Sunday. And he sees his counterpart Monday, and then he sees president Putin on Tuesday. My guess is that the Russians have seen this coming for a long time. They are probably not going to be that upset about it because they are well ahead right now in putting these intermediate weapons out there. And the United States is going to have to play some catch-up.
My guess is that the country that's actually going to be more concerned about it is China, the non-signatory to the treaty, because their effort has been to push the U.S. back to sort of the second island chain in the pacific, and the U.S. effort at this point is I think going to initially be focused in the pacific, really not against the Russians.
CABRERA: And that being said, the President pinning this move on what he claims are repeated Russian violations, Trump versus Russia politics aside. I mean, it sounds like it is fair to ask whether a nuclear treaty reached during the late '80s cold war is still even appropriate for U.S. foreign policy today in the multitude of different enemies including China and what they are now capable of, that maybe didn't exist in a time of two superpowers.
[20:05:13] SANGER: That's right. The Chinese were never involved in the negotiation and at the time didn't have weapons that would have concerned us. You know, it's interesting, this was one of the few arms control treaties that was really greeted by conservatives when it was signed in 1987. First it was signed by Ronald Reagan. It was part of the Reagan/Gorbachev conversations.
But secondly, at the time, the Russians had to give up a lot more than the U.S. did and it made the Europeans feel a lot more secure. What's happened since is that the Russians in the past few years have really broken out because nuclear weapons are an inexpensive way to flex their muscles, that and cyber, of course. And so, here we are in a situation where the U.S. had to choose between staying inside a treaty that didn't mean much anymore or being constrained by it.
CABRERA: All right. David Sanger, thank you for helping to explain it all to us.
Let's get into the politics of the U.S. now pulling out of this arms control treaty with Russia. And joining us to discuss that, CNN political analyst Karoun Demirjian of "the Washington Post" and Ryan Lizza of "Esquire."
So Karoun, how is this going to go down with Republicans in Congress specifically because on one hand, I can see Republicans back in the U.S., getting tough on Russia. On the other hand, I can see NATO supporters like, say, Senator Bob Corker worried that once again we are breaking down U.S. ties with Europe.
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, there have been many fights about this in the annual defense bills for the last few years where you see proposals of, OK, you know, if Trump doesn't certify that this is going to be in force, then we are going to consider it not in force. But Congress has never done anything to break the rules of the treaty. By saying we don't consider it intact, that's the U.S. basically stepping back from it officially, formally, before Russia does, even if we have been saying that Russia is breaking - been, you know, practically doing it. And a lot of members of Congress who believe in the international order do not like to see that happen.
They say, OK, we can renegotiate the treaty. You are right that, you know, the Chinese threat is a real one and has to be, you know, responding to modern day threats, which are not just about Russia. But to completely scrap it and say we are not doing this anymore is not setting an example of, we should have some sort of international order that actually regulates the proliferation of these types of weapons which can be, you know, which we decided during the cold war years we did not want to leave unregulated. And people are worried that if there is nothing in place as new terms are being sought out with other countries that that could be problematic.
CABRERA: And that was one of the reasons that the Obama administration didn't pull out of the treaty. It was concerned about the arms race that could happen.
Ryan, at the same time here, though, the President making this move, is he now defanging his critics who say he is too cozy with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin?
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, the politics of this are a little bit more scrambled than they used to be, right? Because so many Democrats have become essentially hawks on Russia, and critical of a Republican president for not being tough enough on Russia.
And previously, for instance, if this had happened under President Bush, I think you would have had a lot of Democrats, you know, outraged and critical of the move as they were when Bush pushed a more go-it-alone strategy, and was skeptical of some previous arms control agreements.
But I think a lot -- some Democrats are going to be inclined to say, OK, this is a sort of tough-on-Russia proposal and we like it. Other Democrats are going to say, no, this is a Republican president ignoring allies, ignoring the wishes of our European allies and going it alone. And I think you will see a little bit of the same debate in the Republican Party. So it cuts across party lines. And you know, politically, if we talk about it in terms of what does it do, how does the electorate respond to this, I doubt it has a huge impact on, say, the mid-terms coming up.
CABRERA: OK. So let's talk more about what might have an impact, moving beyond the treaty. Today, the President was in Nevada, campaigning for the Midterms election, now 17 days away. And take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The unemployment rate just fell to the lowest level in more than 50 years. More Americans are working today than at any time in our history. How do you lose an election with that stat, right?
Here in Nevada, personal incomes have reached an all-time high. What the radical Democrats did to justice Kavanaugh and his beautiful family is a national disgrace. It is. The Democrat Party has become an angry, ruthless, unhinged mob, determined to get power by any means necessary. The Democrat Party has become too extreme and too dangerous to be trusted with the power that they want.
I need everyone here today to cast your vote, ideally today. How about raising your right hand. Do you promise you will leave this site, go out and cast your vote right now? This November, vote for jobs, not mobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP) [20:10:35] CABRERA: Karoun, we heard the President play to a number of central themes in this sprint toward the midterms. He was talking middle class tax cuts today. He is getting tough on Russia by pulling out of this decades little treaty. He is tying Democrats directly to this wave of humanity heading towards the U.S. border, this migrant caravan. I mean, this is the marketer turned campaigner art form. It all fits a simple bullet point agenda. You can recite it back after listening to him. Two years after he took down Hillary Clinton. Who on the left can answer him effectively?
DEMIRJIAN: Well, there are various people trying right now. There is kind of a not a free for all, but there is everybody who has ideas of aspirations for 2020 is out of the campaign trail too, trying to lend their weight to getting a congressional majority in at least one House of Congress as Democrats and also trying to get their face out there to see if they can, you know, build any momentum behind their aspirations of trying to make a run at the White House.
But right now, there is nobody who has emerged as the clear leader of the Democratic Party, the charismatic figure, like it or hate it, as much as President Trump is. And so, he is kind of able to set the tone for a lot of this. I mean, he is good at coming up (INAUDIBLE). He is coming up with phrases that you remember that stick in your ear.
It remains to be seen how this will play out. I mean, look. He was giving that speech in a place, like Elko, Nevada, which is in a rural area of the state where he has a really sympathetic audience but it is probably not going to play that well down in a place like Las Vegas which control the population of that state. And it is, right now, it's district by district, state by state, to battle these congressional majorities out. And the President is received differently in different areas of the country.
CABRERA: Yes. I want you to listen to some suburban women voters I spoke to in Minnesota, a blue state. They are also in a swing district, however. And here is what they think about Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they are inept. I think they are ineffective. And I think their hearts may be in the right place. They may have -- they may even have good ideas. I think their messaging is poor. When the leadership of the Republican Party goes this way, oftentimes they have no answer. They have no rebuttal and we need leadership.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Ryan, I quote, "their messaging is poor." Democrats have had at least two years to get this right. Why are they still struggling with messaging?
LIZZA: Yes, it's a good question. I think that a lot of the candidates are caught between the messaging of just running against Trump, because a lot of Democrats think that that's pretty much all you need right now. He is very unpopular with their voters. He is very unpopular with independents. He is very unpopular with the kind of suburban voters that are very important in, you know, say, 20 to 30 swing House districts.
And so that's been the mainstay of the Democratic message for the last two years. It just run against this very unpopular, controversial president who is alienating a lot of the groups that the Democrats need.
At the same time, a lot of Democrats in these local races and in these statewide raises have tried to make the campaign about bread and butter Democratic issues like health care and Social Security and the role of government.
CABRERA: But can't they come up with some happy campaign slogan that has to do with that?
LIZZA: Some of the voters you were interviewing clearly weren't hearing that, and that's interesting. And you know, sometimes their message just seems like it's not getting through.
LIZZA: But when you go - you know, when I have been out on the campaign trail this year, I have been surprised at how much the debate is about local issues, bread and butter issues, and not what we talk about in Washington every day which is Trump, Trump, Trump.
CABRERA: Such a good point.
Ryan, Karoun, good to have you both with us. Thank you so much.
LIZZA: Good to see you.
DEMIRJIAN: Thank you.
CABRERA: They have claimed for 19 days that they had no idea what happened to journalist Jamal khashoggi. And now the Saudis admit he is dead. And President Trump is now weighing in on that possible audio recording of his alleged murder the Turks claim to have it.
That's next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:18:59] CABRERA: After weeks of denial, Saudi Arabia has finally admitted what the world has long suspected, that "Washington Post" columnist Jamal Khashoggi died inside their consulate in Turkey.
Now "the Washington Post," however, not buying the Saudis' explanation at this hour. Instead they are accusing the monarchy of quote "a cover-up."
Now, here is exactly what the Saudis claim. They say that the nearly 60-year-old khashoggi arrives at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd. That he got into discussions inside that led to a brawl and then died in a fistfight. A source says it was a chokehold, to be exact.
Now, if this sounds familiar, you may recall that earlier this week CNN reported that the Saudis were working on a report that would claimed khashoggi would say killed in an interrogation gone wrong. And that is exactly what the Saudis appear to have released.
Now last night, President Trump said he found the Saudis' explanation credible. But this afternoon, he appeared to hedge when asked if he was satisfied that the Saudis had already begun firing people involved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:20:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you satisfied that some of them have been fired?
TRUMP: No. I'm not satisfied until we find the answer, but it was a big first step. It was a good first step. But I want to get to the answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Just a short time ago, President Trump told reporters he plans to talk to the crown prince soon, possibly today.
And while we wait for that call, we have CNN international correspondent Ben Wedeman live in Istanbul and CNN national security correspondent and Washington investigative correspondent for "the New York Times" Mark Mazzetti joining us live at the our nation's capital.
Ben, I will start with you. Does this explanation from the Saudis' hold water?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. In fact it's leaking water all over the place, Ana. I mean, you have the fact that the Saudis for more than two weeks were insisting that Mr. Khashoggi walked out the back door of the consulate, and then they suddenly changed their story.
There's also the fact that -- and this is fairly well-documented, that on the morning of the 2nd of October, two Saudi executive jets, charter jets arrived in Istanbul with 15 people on board. One of them was the Mohammad al-Otaibi who was the head of the forensics unit at the interior ministry. They went to the consulate, spent the whole day there, and left in the evening.
Now, we also know, for instance, that the Turkish employees at the consulate were either told simply don't come in on that day or leave early. So there's a lot of suspicious activity going on at the consulate. The Saudis simply have not explained it.
And then there is the ultimate question is, where is the body? Now the Saudis have told our colleague Clarissa Ward, who has been following this story that they gave the body to what they are calling a local collaborator to dispose of. They didn't call the police. They didn't call for an ambulance. But the Saudis don't know where that is. So this story really is Swiss cheese, and there's -- it doesn't hold water.
CABRERA: There are so many holes in this mystery that we don't have answers to yet.
Mark, is this explanation going to satisfy other world leaders or big businesses who have already started cutting ties with the Saudis?
MARK MAZZETTI, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I mean, what is clear from the beginning is that the Saudi regime is going to protect the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at all costs.
As Ben said, the story has been evolving. And now, it's that they had people very close to the crown prince carry out this operation. And yet they are saying the crown prince did not order the killing.
This has already been greeted with great skepticism in Europe by some Republicans and Democrats in Congress. President Trump is the big question, about whether he is going to continue to press for answers. It doesn't appear, at least in the last 24 hours, that he is going to hold the crown prince's feet to the fire in terms of finding out the truth. And so -- but we certainly haven't heard the end of this. Because Ben has raised all the questions that still need to be answered.
CABRERA: Ben, Turkish officials claim to have an audio recording of cur khashoggi being tortured, murdered, dismembered. Now President Trump was asked earlier today if he or secretary of state Pompeo had heard it. And here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have heard all about it. We are hearing about it just like you are hearing about it, probably from the same people. We haven't seen it yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So Ben, why hasn't the U.S. administration heard or seen this yet? Is there proof the audio or video exists?
WEDEMAN: Honestly, Ana, there is no proof that the audio recording exists. We have heard from Turkish officials. We have heard from other sources that it's there. But until it's somehow played, it's all secondhand, is the problem. It's people who have been pre-briefed by people who have heard it. But nobody speaking to the media has directly heard it.
It probably does exist. Now, it's a difficult question, what are the Turks doing, bugging foreign embassies. But it's clear that that was probably taking place. But until it's actually made public, it really is sort of out there in the ether and nobody can get their hands on it.
CABRERA: I mean, it seems like a key piece of evidence in terms of finding what the facts are. Mark, let me ask you about your reporting, this new reporting on
attacks khashoggi was apparently facing online before his death. And you write, he would see the work of an army of twitter trolls, ordered to attack him and other influential Saudis who had criticized the kingdom's leaders. He sometimes took the attacks personally so friends made a point of calling frequently to check on his mental state.
So Mark, tell us more about this sophisticated online operation by the Saudis to try effort to smother dissenters or quell critics.
[20:25:18] MAZZETTI: Yes, that's exactly what it was, a very sophisticated campaign to target and attack online influential dissenting voices in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Khashoggi was one of them. And we reported about how there is a so-called troll farm around Riyadh where Saudis are paid to basically systematically attack those who question the policies of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Very interestingly as well, we report about how there was a high level twitter employee who for some time was believed by western intelligence agencies to have been groomed by the Saudi regime and went into twitter in order to spy on the twitter feeds of these activists. He was eventually fired by twitter and is now working, we believe, working for the Saudi government.
So this was a very sophisticated campaign and it sort of shows how, while twitter and social media was hailed as this great democratizing force, there is a downside and a dark side that some of these authoritarian regimes can utilize quite effectively.
CABRERA: And can manipulate.
Mark Mazzetti, your reporting is really fascinating. I highly recommend people go online and read it on "The New York Times" website. Thank you for being with us.
MAZZETTI: Thank you.
CABRERA: Also, Ben Wedeman, thank you so much for staying up late. I know it's after 3:00 in the morning where you are. An important story that we are staying on top of.
Thank you both.
A desperate situation unfolding on the Guatemala-Mexican border as a caravan of migrants try to enter Mexico with hopes of making it into the United States. We will take you inside their incredible struggle just to make it that far.
Live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:30:17] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: More tonight of a death on that migrant caravan of thousands heading to the U.S. border from Central America. The president of Honduras says a Honduran national fell off one of the trucks. And there is stunning new video showing how desperate those migrants are. Take a look at this.
Two hijacked trucks plowed through a fence at the Honduran/Guatemalan border. Police of Honduras say they are connected to that caravan. And now, two men from El Salvador will be charged with attempted murder.
Tonight, much of the caravan is slowing moving along the Guatemalan/Mexican border. You can see hundreds of Central American migrants here. They're trying to cross the Tapachula River into Mexico. Thousands more are packed on to a bridge linking the two nations.
I mean, look at all of these people. Thousands of people. Yesterday, some in this caravan at the very front tried to push past border gates and they ran directly into riot gear and police with tear gas.
Now, children were caught in this chaos. Several migrants even leaped into the river below the bridge, perhaps to escape the crush, perhaps to try to swim to the Mexican side or turn back.
CNN's Bill Weir was right in the middle of all the drama.
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At high noon, the bridge over the border was empty. But then for some reason, Guatemalan police throw open the gates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're Hondurans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are Hondurans.
WEIR: No, it's closed. It's closed.
The first tried to form an orderly line but it lasts only seconds as thousands more pour across, all with a mixture of exuberance, frustration, and determination.
The surge of the crowd has managed to shove those padlocked gates open.
But waiting on the other side are hundreds of Mexican Federales in riot gear. They managed to hold back the human tide with a help of a single tear gas canister.
After a half hour of chaos, the crowd calms itself, even turning on the few troublemakers in the crowd, convincing them to climb back down off the fence. But some can't take the heat and the crowd, so they jump into the river.
ORLEAN HERRERA, HONDURAN MIGRANT: Our message is, we're not criminals. We're coming over here because we want to work. We need a job. We need better -- you know, a better life. That's why we're here. WEIR: Do you understand that President Trump is going to use the pictures of thousands of people surging to the gates against you, he's going to point that to people and say, this is scary?
HERRERA: It's his politics, you know. We respect -- you know, he's the president. He's the president of the United States. And with all due respect, we don't -- we are not criminals.
WEIR: Donald Trump is the anti-Christ, this man says. "If he doesn't repent, he's going to hell. We are not criminals. We are workers and fighters."
Eventually, Mexico opens to the caravan. But only a trickle are let through. Women and children first, including Marta Torres who tells me her husband was murdered by Honduran drug gangs. After walking for a week, her three other kids are still across the river.
Do you want to go to the United States? Have you heard, though, that President Trump doesn't want more people coming and he's even separated families who try to come? "What should we do now then," she says, breaking down.
[20:35:05] There's no way you can go back home? "I don't want my kids in the middle of crime. I don't want to have the lives of my children further destroyed."
Mexico has taken the rare step of calling on the United Nations to help sort this crisis. But this standoff makes clear that for most of these folks, there is no turning back.
Bill Weir, CNN, Tapachula, Mexico.
CABRERA: And there's no end in sight at this point for those people.
Still ahead, a major American university is ready to pay nearly a quarter billion dollars to settle sex abuse allegations against one of its long time doctors. There could be thousands of victims. But one of their lawyers calls this deal a slap in the face. That's next.
[20:40:11] CABRERA: Welcome back. A deal appears to be in the works in a massive sex abuse scandal at the University of Southern California. The school is offering to settle a $215 million class action lawsuit. If approved by the judge, the money will go to former and current students who say they were sexually assaulted by this man, a former campus gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.
Now, USC announced this settlement offer just one day after 93 more women came forward accusing Tyndall of sexual misconduct. But CNN's Sara Sidner shows us how some accusers could be left out of the deal. And just a warning here, some of you -- some what you might hear about the alleged abuse is graphic.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As a law student at University of Southern California nearly 30 years ago, Audry Nafziger says she went to the campus clinic to get birth control pills and was confronted with a choice by USC gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.
AUDRY NAFZIGER, FORMER USC PATIENT: He told me I had contracted a sexually transmitted disease, which I didn't know anything about, and he told me he could treat me. And I have to come back multiple times. And -- or he could treat me aggressively then. But it would hurt a lot.
SIDNER: Nafziger opted for the aggressive treatment on her genitalia.
NAFZIGER: He burned me without any topical anesthetic and it hurt for weeks. For weeks on in.
SIDNER: All these years, she couldn't shake the shame of being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, only to find out nearly three decades later, she never actually had one.
SIDNER: So your whole life this idea has been hanging over your head that wasn't actually true?
NAFZIGER: It was all a lie to get his hands on me. Like he did to so many other women.
SIDNER: Hundreds of women have come forward with stories of sexual assault or misconduct by Tyndall spanning nearly 30 years. Several lawsuits have been filed against the former USC doctor and the university. The doctor has denied the allegations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He took pictures of me while I was completely naked. There was no chaperone present.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was barely more than a child, unaware that this immensely shame-inducing experience was not actually legitimate medical treatment but sexual abuse.
SIDNER: Then Friday, USC suddenly sent out a statement in the case saying they had reached agreement in principle on a $215 million class action settlement that provides all members of the class, former patients who received women's health services from Tyndall would get compensation of $2,500.
Patients who are willing to provide further details about their experience could be eligible for an additional compensation up to $250,000.
The announcement came as a shock to Nafziger and her attorneys who were representing some 180 women in the case.
JOHN MANLY, USC ACCUSERS' ATTORNEY: It's good for the sexual predator, Dr. George Tyndall, and it's good for USC. It's horrible for the victims. SIDNER: USC disagrees. But it turns out the settlement has not been finalized. A judge still has to approve it. It is an agreement that applies only to those who joined the federal class action lawsuit.
MANLY: What they're really trying to do is force women who haven't come forward yet into a settlement that's grossly unfair and is secret.
SIDNER: Hundreds of victims like Nafziger have filed lawsuits in state court and have not settled. Nafziger used her USC law degree to become a district attorney who has worked on sex crime cases. She says she also expects criminal charges to be filed against Dr. Tyndall and maybe others.
NAFZIGER: We need to know who knew what, when, where, how, what they did, what they didn't do, who covered it up.
SIDNER: Dr. Tyndall has not responded to our request for comment after the settlement. He has previously denied all the allegations against him. His attorney says he continues to cooperate with the investigation and he has not been charged with a crime.
The Los Angeles district attorney's office has said they are reviewing 64 cases they currently have related to Dr. Tyndall.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Los Angeles.
CABRERA: Joining us now to discuss, defense attorney and CNN legal analyst, Mark Geragos. My first reaction, how has he not been charged with a crime?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think because of the lapse of time. A lot of these cases and a lot of the incidents took place over a sustained period of time. And I think they want to do a good investigation. They don't want to be caught kind of flat-footed.
I think this is really somewhat of a ruse. I mean, it's a valiant attempt by the university to try to cap their liability but it's not going to really work. I mean, even if they get Judge Wilson to approve the settlement, most of the people will opt out, because there is a cap.
[20:45:07] You saw $2,500, and I think there's a $250,000 cap. Some of these cases, if proved true in a civil lawsuit, could be exponentially larger than that.
CABRERA: So, do you agree with the assessment from the plaintiff's attorney that this is, quote, horrible for the victims?
GERAGOS: Yes, I don't even understand what -- I would -- I would love to see exactly why they think -- and when I say "they," there's a couple of law firms involved -- that this would be good. It might be good for everybody who visited him who was never there. But remember, a civil case is a much lower standard than the criminal case. So the D.A. is looking, can I prove this beyond reasonable doubt? The civil case is a more probable than not or is clear and convincing, depending on what they're aiming for.
CABRERA: We understand that some of the potential victims are left out of this settlement. So, do you think there will be additional lawsuits?
GERAGOS: Absolutely. In fact, this is basically the federal class action. There's a whole series and slew of lawsuits in the state court that still do not get swept up in this. And people can still opt out if they want to go federal.
So I think it's a kind of a Hail Mary on behalf of the university. I mean they lost -- the president had to resign. They've got a new person in there who's trying to clean house. But there is a rather sordid history for USC in Los Angeles with doctors who worked there.
CABRERA: Well, this Dr. Tyndall, he was fired in 2017, the school reached a settlement with him but they did not report him to law enforcement. They did not report him to the state medical authorities at the time. The school says they weren't legally obligated to do so. But do you feel like they're open to some kind of liability here?
GERAGOS: There absolutely is. And that's one of the reasons I think that they're trying to do something quick and effective. But I don't think it's going to work, because they have a real problem here. They're taking the position they never should have reported it. There's people who are going to say absolutely you should have reported this. And the fact that you didn't, and there's a whole theory that I won't bore your listeners with.
But the plaintiffs' lawyers would show that, and if they could show that, there's some -- there's a potential for punitive damages.
CABRERA: We'll see where this goes. Thank you so much, Mark Geragos. Good to have you.
GERAGOS: Thank you.
CABRERA: Nice to see you.
All right. Listen to this. Beloved 10-year-old lion dead at the Indianapolis Zoo. The killer might surprise and scare you. Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin joins us next.
[20:50:56] CABRERA: This shocking animal attack story is getting a lot of attention on cnn.com right now. Listen to this the Indianapolis Zoo announces a lioness suddenly kills the father of her three cubs. It happened this week. No one seems to know why.
Zoo workers heard an unusual amount of roaring coming from the outdoor lion pen. Staffers rushed over and saw a lioness, named Zuri, they're on the left, holding a male lion by the name of Nyack by the neck.
Now, employees tried to intervene without success. Here is the Indianapolis Zoo chief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID HAGAN, CURATOR, INDIANAPOLIS ZOO: We know it's a rare occurrence, but it can occur in the wild and in human care. We're not sure what provoked it on this given day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The two lions had been housed together for eight years, no previous signs of aggression.
I want to bring in wildlife expert, Jeff Corwin. He is the host of ABC's "Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin." Jeff, thanks for taking the time tonight. How uncommon is this type of lion attack?
JEFF CORWIN, WILDLIFE EXPERT: Well it's -- particularly, it's a rare event, but it does occur. People don't realize that lions can be very combative, they can be very territorial. And females can be very, very protective of themselves and their offsprings.
During their reproductive window of the female lion when it should become what we call season, oftentimes, she will find herself being at the bad end of being aggressively pursued by a male lion. It's also captivity at the Franklin Park Zoo, over a decade ago. They lost a male lion to a lioness.
And so really, this adult male lion, he was in his prime, he was 10 years old. But there's a number of ways to explain it.
CABRERA: So, is it more common for the female lion to be more aggressive than the male?
CORWIN: Well, in lion society, in a pride environment that you find, for example, in the wilds of Africa. Female lions do most of the work. They do most of the hunting, they do most of the defending of the pride and they defend themselves and their offspring. They're the ones that are the sentinels with the cubs.
And, Ana, the great question is, who are they defending themselves against? Oftentimes, it is other lions. For example, when a male lion, a new rogue lion comes into a pride and let's say he outcompetes that residential male lion, the first thing he does is he kills all the female's cubs.
By doing that, the females become in season and are able to reproduce. It's kind of a nasty battle of passing on the most powerful genetics to the next generation. It's like "Game of Thrones" amongst lions.
CABRERA: Realistically, is there anything the zoo can do to prevent a future lion attack like this?
CORWIN: Well, these are rare events. And I think their mission is to provide a natural environment for these animals so they can behave naturally, as they would do in Africa. But they are not in the wild. They are in human care. I think they did the very best they could to manage the situation.
[20:55:10] This is very rare in captivity. I know of only one other example. But these are powerful creatures. They are territorial creatures, and both males and females in the wrong situation where they feel threatened can emit the most powerful offense to protect themselves in a defensive environment.
CABRERA: They are powerful, they are majestic animals. It's just a fascinating story. I'm really glad you were able to shine some light and give us the more context to it. Thank you.
Jeff Corwin, good to have you with us.
And that does it for me. Thank you for being here. I'm Ana Cabrera. I'll be back tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.
Up next here on CNN, "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN," the final episodes. Good night.