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President Trump Getting His Feet Dirty In The Middle Of The California Wildfire Disaster; President Trump Getting A Briefing On The Jamal Khashoggi Case Today; President Trump Is Slamming A "New York Times" Report That Claims He Has Been Privately And Repeatedly Questioning Aids About Vice President Mike Pence's Loyalty; Federal Lawsuit Alleges Three Former Dartmouth College Professors Turned The Psychology Department Into A 21st Century Animal House. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired November 17, 2018 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:0] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being with us on this Saturday. And we are following breaking news right now.

President Trump getting his feet dirty in the middle of the California wildfire disaster.


CABRERA: The President walking through the burned out foundations of homes in Paradise, California. This is a town that was completely, I mean completely destroyed by the fast moving wildfire.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Families where they have lost everything, a lot of people have been lost. I guess, Jerry you don't really know the final count. We won't know that for a while. There are areas you can't even get to them yet. But we have incredible people doing the job. So we'll get that done better than anybody else can do it.


CABRERA: Let's go live to Chico, California. That's where we have CNN Keylee Hartung. The President is also in this region right now.

Kaylee, what did the President say to people who had to flee their homes, many of whom have now nothing?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- Walmart, where the people, the community of Paradise are known to shop, really able to put a lot of things into perspective. The people here wishing that the President would come here to talk to those people specifically who have been impacted. But this whiteboard puts some in perspective, the list of the missing that people are trying to track down.

I wanted to introduce you to Rob and Guido, two men here who at the other end of the parking lot have helped organized donations that have been coming in to help the hundreds of people who have come here with hence (INAUDIBLE) to find to place to lay their heads down at night.

Rob, how did this organization all come together?

ROB BUSICK, DONATION CENTER VOLUNTEER: Just a lot of grassroots organization from volunteers that are local that came here on day one that wanted to help the people that needed it most. It was always a short term solution. There is a shelters that buildup real fast. So we wanted to provide their basic needs, you know, give them blankets, a little bit of shelter, food, keep them warm.

A lot of people didn't have anything as they came down here. So our immediate need was to care and show compassion for these people. And here we are day 10 or 11, and we are still in this chaos. Unhealthy, the air quality is horrible. Getting into 30 degree temperatures and there is rain coming. More shelters are opening up you but we just need additional help to be able to talk to them and encourage them to get into the next phase of shelter.

I know losing that losing what they have lost and then also transitioning into a parking lot and then going again is a difficult conversation. But the health and safety of them has been number one since day one. And so we just really want to encourage them to look at the next phase of this. And we need the resources to be able to do that.

HARTUNG: Guido, with President Trump in the area right now, what is the message specifically to him that you would like to share?

GUIDO BARBERO, DONATION CENTER VOLUNTEER: Well, this is ground zero of a homeless situation. Beau County already had 10 percent homeless. And I heard this morning it could jump up to 62 percent for the whole county. And this is a crisis, local crisis. This is actually a national crisis too. And there is no discussion about it at any level. We just had an election and I never heard this topic breached at all. And I think it's kind of a shame and maybe this cob a new starting point. Today could be a new opening.

We have grassroots level people that are willing to make it happen from the bottom up. Maybe the people that are coming to town today could start helping the problem from the top down. We have to just stop talking about one side, Democrats, Republicans, we have to all come together and work together. And we have to start coming up with solutions outside of the box because everything we've tried in the past hasn't worked. And doing the same thing over and over, you know what the definition of that is.

HARTUNG: Rob, you mention this is a short-term solution. People in tents in a parking lot. What do you think the future looks like for so many of these people displaced?

BUSICK: This is a long term problem. This is a national disaster of great magnitude. I mean, there is the sheer number of people that has been displaced by the tragedy is overwhelming. But you have a lot of people in the community that are willing to help, obviously. So this is just phase one but we needs leaders to step up, right. In the true time of need, that what true leaders step up. And so, I think locally that's happened. But now we need the

additional resources. We need the city, we need county, and we need the national government and really show us the way and lead us and help these people. There is enough funding and there is enough support around the U.S. and the world that could really help these people, but we need to make sure the funding goes to the right hands and we need to make sure that we take care of people from the bottom up. And we have the ability to do that.

HARTUNG: And Rob, Guido, you all are doing that to help so many people in need. So thank you for what you are doing.

[16:05:01] BUSICK: Thank you.


CABRERA: All right, Kaylee Hartung, thank you.

Thanks to those volunteers. What dear souls they are. We send them and the entire community there our best. Thank, Kaylee.

I want to now show you some report and after images from Paradise, California. Again, that's in northern California, a house where the only recognizable things are two trees in the front yard. This is one of the many churches in Paradise, California. The stone walls and the chimney are now all that is left. And here is a do-it-yourself car wash now destroyed.

Cal-fire posted these pictures of the destruction. We matched them up with the Google street view images. Again that's the scene right now in northern California.

But in southern California, the Woolsey fire has also scorched thousands of acres there.

CNN's Kyung Lah is joining us from thousand Oaks.

Kyung, what is the destruction? What is the situation where you are?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a fire that firefighters are still trying to put out completely. Still working on that 100 percent containment of the Woolsey fire here in southern California.

The President is making two stops in California. The first is where he is right now in Paradise. The second we don't have an exact location for, but press secretary Sarah Sanders said it would involve the people impacted by the borderline shooting in Thousand Oaks.

Thousand Oaks is where I am. Ten days ago is when that mass shooting happened where 12 people were killed. And then the next day, overnight, on the ninth day, nine days ago is when the Woolsey fire began. Some thousands of acres and houses that were destroyed. This community has taken a one-two punch. It has been extraordinarily difficult for the people who have been living here. So between these two fires, a fire that Kaylee is at and fire damage I

am at, there is still 1,000 people missing. Seventy-four people have been killed here in the California fires. So the President in the state to play consoler in-chief. Sometimes an uncomfortable role for him. But he has also been a questioner of climate change. And the President at his very first stop in Paradise said this.


TRUMP: Hopefully this is going to be the last of these. Because this was a really, really bad one. And I know Gavin is committed. We are all committed. I'm committed to make sure that we get all of this cleaned out and protected. We have to take care of the floors, you know, the floors of the forest, very important. You look at other countries where they do it differently. And it's a whole different story.

I was with the President of Finland, and he said we have a much different thing. We are a forest nation. He called it a forest nation. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don't have any problem.


LAH: We should point out that Finland is a completely different governmental structure. It is a much smaller country than the United States. It's about half the size of Texas. So those comparisons certainly a little challenging in this situation as the President made that first stop in Paradise.

The governor of California, who has been quite vocal on the issue of climate change, said at the next media availability at the command center, here is what the governor said.


GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: I think if we can really look at the facts through a very open point of view, there are a lot of elements to be considered. And the President came, he saw, and I'm looking forward over the next months, and even beyond, to really understand this threat of fire, the whole matter of drought and all of rest of it. It's not one thing, it's a lot of things, and I think we just open our minds and look at things we will get more stuff done.


LAH: And that opened their minds comment, Ana. They are certainly directed at one person, standing next to the governor -- Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you from Thousand Oaks, California.

I want to talk more about the wildfires there and the President's visit this afternoon. Joining us now is Democrat congressman from California, Eric Swalwell.

Good to see you as always, congressman.


CABRERA: I want to just layout some of the numbers. At least a thousand people are missing, 74 people are dead, and President Trump says other countries spend lots of time on quote "raking and cleaning, and doing things and they don't have any problem." Congressman, what say you?

SWALWELL: Well, Ana, I just landed in San Francisco, and on approach you couldn't see the entire bay area. And that is the choking, you know, air from this fire that's 200 miles away, to give people an idea what is going on in northern California. So first thank you to the firefighters who are helping folks and the first responders.

But there are a number of things at play here. One historic drought in California. Two, the inability to address climate change. Also, development and high risk fire areas and utility lines that are close to trees and high winds, debris from trees hit those utility lines and set the area a blaze.

Those all have to be addressed. But that's something that has to be done thoughtfully with presidential leadership and local leadership and not assigning blame or trying to insult the victims.

CABRERA: Well, look, the governor of California and the President, they have put on a united front during this visit. Very cordial. That hasn't always been the case. Do you see this as a sign of a new day, perhaps a sign the President is ready to have an open mind and to work with Democrats, including former foes?

SWALWELL: Ana, honestly, I was conflicted about the President coming here too because we saw after what happened in Pittsburgh, you know, he really made the situation worse. He has tended to do that. But I also, this is about not our political views or beliefs of who the President is, it's the fire victims. And if he can deliver aid and work with Governor Brown and incoming governor Newsome, then that's the best thing for the state.

So as long as he doesn't make it worse and does no harm, you know, we welcome his leadership on this issue.

CABRERA: Let me ask you about another leader. President Trump saying this morning he will back Nancy Pelosi for House speak. Listen.


TRUMP: I will help Nancy Pelosi. She need some votes. She may need some votes. I will perform a wonderful service for her. I like her. Can you believe it? I like Nancy Pelosi. I mean, she is tough and she is smart. But she deserves to be speaker. And now they are playing games with her.


CABRERA: I know you agree with the President. But what do you make of his comments? In this case is he trying to hand pick his own opponent?

SWALWELL: Who is this guy? Yesterday he is tweeting that Stacey Abrams is this great competitor after all the ways he tried to savage her candidacy. And Gillum today. And now he is Nancy Pelosi biggest supporter in Washington.

I don't know what's happening to President Trump. I will just say, we are not counting on his support to get her across the finish line. She is going to be the next speaker because she was the architect of the affordable health care act. Health care was on the line this election. And if we are going to protect what President Trump, Republicans and Congress have taken away from patients and health care we need her the at the helm.

CABRERA: You mentioned the tweets about Andrew Gillum, about Stacey Abrams. And remember this is a President who previously called Andrew Gillum a thief. Now he is really complementing Andrew Gillum. Do you think he is being genuine? Or is there some kind of strategy behind it?

SWALWELL: You know, Ana, maybe he has found religion and it's a new Donald Trump. And we should just embrace this and see where it takes us. Now, I come from the school of thought that most leopards don't change their spot, but you know, we will welcome his support.

And to be, you know, serious, Ana, he has said that he wants to do infrastructure, the dream act, background checks and reduce the cost of prescription drugs. We can collaborate with him on those issues and he can expect that we are going to send those, you know, to hi desk, at the senate desk as well. And we would like to work with him to uplift the lives of the American people.

CABRERA: OK. I want you to listen to what the President said about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.


TRUMP: I imagine it's ending now. From what I hear it's ending. And I'm sure it will be just fine. And you know why it's going to be just fine? Because there was no collusion.


CABRERA: Congressman, I'm wondering what you take-a-way from that? How would he know that the Mueller investigation is wrapping up? He says he hears it is ending.

SWALWELL: Well, I actually believe that he controls the journey of this investigation more than anyone besides Mueller. Because he has been given the questions for the last six months that they want him to answer and he has just not answered them. I actually think he can expedite the end of this investigation if he were to sit down with special counsel or turn in what they have given him.

So I think most Americans would love to see it come to a close, but when witnesses tamper with the evidence, when they lie to investigators or obstruct justice and people have been charged with that and pled guilty to that or found guilty by a jury of that, it takes longer. And so best thing we can do is follow the evidence, Democrats will be putting forward, protect Mueller legislation to ensure that he is not fired. But I think we would all like to move on, but that's in the President's hands.

CABRERA: All right Congressman Eric Swalwell, good to have you with you.

SWALWELL: Yes. Me too. Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: We are sending your state's strength and quick recovery.

Again, we appreciate you joining us.

Now President Trump getting a briefing on the Jamal Khashoggi case today as senior officials tell CNN the CIA believes the Saudi's crown prince personally ordered the assassination of this "Washington Post" columnist.

So will the President hold this Saudi prince accountable?


[16:19:12] CABRERA: Welcome back.

New this afternoon the state department says the U.S. government has not reached a final conclusion yet on who is responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi saying there are still many unanswered questions.

Now this follows reports that the CIA has determined that the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered Khashoggi's death. President Trump was briefed today by both the secretary of state and CIA director. And here's what he said just before getting that update.


TRUMP: You know, we also have a great ally in Saudi Arabia. They give us a lot of jobs. They give us a lot of business, a lot of economic development. They have been a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development. And I also take that -- you know, I'm President, I have to take a lot of things into consideration.


[16:20:02] CABRERA: Joining me now CNN intelligence and security analyst Bob Baer. He is a former CIA operative.

Bob, good to have you with us. The state department just this afternoon saying in a statement recent reports indicating that the U.S. government has made a final conclusion on Khashoggi's death are inaccurate and that there are still a number of questions that need to be answered. She goes on to say that those involved will be held fully accountable.

What's your reaction? Does that statement contradict the CIA's conclusion?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: It does contradict the CIA's conclusion. It is actually the CIA who is going to determine who ordered this. They are the ones with the intelligence, not the state department. You know, you can interpret this differently possibly, but when the central intelligence agency has intercepts, has tapes, has pictures of the assassins, knows the way Saudi Arabia works, and it says that Mohammed bin Salman did it, ordered it, I believe the CIA.

CABRERA: And given you have worked for the CIA you know what goes on behind the scenes. I'm wondering if you can elaborate on what you just said about what goes in to an assessment like this. What is the process like?

BAER: Well, for a start, the CIA understands how Saudi Arabia works. There is one man in control of the country, it is Mohammed bin Salman. Number two is Saudi officials do not carry out rogue operations. It's just totally improbable.

And then you have this intelligence, you have the Saudi ambassador to Washington apparently complicit in Khashoggi's murder, they were apparently reading what's up apps messages, arranging the visit to the consulate and the rest of it. And when you get intercepts like this, the intelligence doesn't get any better. And I probably say it's a sort of proof that you can take to court.

And the CIA does not like to go out on the limb, especially when it counters the White House, and this is what they did, but the CIA is sticking with the facts as it should. And I would say that Mohammed bin Salman is guilty as charged.

CABRERA: Given that you just said that they must have the proof, so much so it could be brought to court, so to speak, I want to have you listen to this, what the aides and advisers are telling "the Washington Post." The President has quote "looked for ways to avoid pinning the blame on Mohammed and has continually thought about scenarios where Mohammed would not have known what his underlings were doing. Can you see any scenario where the president would be right and the CIA wrong?

BAER: No. It is akin to saying that Japan was responsible for the leadership attacking Pearl Harbor, you know, conceivably. But in real world, reality, no, it just does not work. I have spent years looking at intelligence in these statements coming up from the CIA. The problem with the President he is in a corner. He put all of his chips on Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman for countering Iran, for moving the embassy to Jerusalem and the rest of it. And it has turned out to be another failure.

Now, if we let Mohammed bin Salman to go un-sanction or in any way blamed for this, we are condoning murder, the murder of journalists. And you can't go down that route as civilized country. CABRERA: Do you feel this is another case as the President once again

contradicting or questioning his own intelligence agencies?

BAER: Well, we know President Trump isn't comfortable with facts and he's not in this case. And you know, I don't like to be so definitive about something, but everything I have seen, especially the Turkish intelligence and the tapes and the calls and Mohammed bin Salman's - you know, the context of arresting ahead of state, the Lebanese head of state and roughing him up, the man is off the reservation. And it's perfectly within his understanding of the world to kill "Washington Post" columnist.

And so no, we have a real problem in Saudi Arabia. You know, leaving this guy to run that country indefinitely, ultimately will come back and we will pay for this in terms of Saudi stability.

CABRERA: Bob Baer, good to have you with us. Thank you.

BAER: Thank you.

CABRERA: President Trump pushing back on the report that he has been questioning the loyalty of one member of his administration who everyone says is loyal. So what's going on here?

Plus, be sure to keep it locked on CNN tonight at 7:00, it's "the AXE FILES" with special guest at 8:00 CNN Special Report Ted Turner, the Maverick Man at 9:00 , It is CNN Films, We Will Rise. And then at 10:00, it is another CNN Film, the end inside the last days of the Obama White House. So you don't want to miss our Saturday night lineup. It all begins tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern.


[16:29:22] CABRERA: President Trump is slamming a "New York Times" report that claims he has been privately and repeatedly questioning aids about vice president Mike Pence's loyalty. Here is what the President told reporters just this morning.


TRUMP: I don't question his loyalty at all. He is 100 percent loyal. It was a phony story. Mike Pence is 100 percent. Not even a doubt about it in my mind. He has been a trooper. He has been with me from, as soon as I won the primaries. I mean, he was the one I chose and I could not be happier.


[16:30:00] CABRERA: We all know loyalty is important to this president. And one thing Mike Pence has done publicly and often has been to make sure the president can never question his own loyalty.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our president is a man with broad shoulders and a big heart. President Donald Trump stands without apology as leader of the free


President Trump has been making history since the first day of this administration.

Because of your leadership, Mr. President, and because of the strong support of leadership in the Congress of the United States, you are delivering on that middle-class miracle.


CABRERA: With us now is CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for the "New York Times," Michael Sheer.

Michael, I'm sure you stand by your papers reporting but why would the president be questioning Mike Pence loyalty considering everything we have seen and heard from Pence publicly?

MICHAEL SHEER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, Ana. I think that's true, the clips you say, publicly, Vice President Pence has been loyal. I think privately as well. But in addition to loyalty being important to this president, we also know something else about him, that he intends to be very paranoid. He tends to be very hot and cold on people. Always worried about what people are doing behind the scenes. So what my colleagues reported in the story that he trashed was not so much that he was planning on dumping Vice President Pence from the ticket or anything like that. But rather that he was asking people behind the scenes, you know. And one of the reasons that was cited as a potential reason for doing that is because President Trump is considering making Nick Ayers, who is currently the vice president's chief of staff, of bringing him into the West Wing and making him president chief of staff if he ever gets rid of John Kelly. So part of this might have been was a little bit to figure out just to make sure, is the vice president and the people around the vice president, are they really loyal to the president's agenda, and is that something he would want to do.

CABRERA: All right. Michael stay with me.

I also want to bring in CNN legal analyst, Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor.

And I talk to you both about the Mueller investigation. Because before leaving for California today, the president revealed he has finished writing all of his answers to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's written questions and that he plans to submit them next week. And here's what the president said today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I imagine it's ending now. From what I hear, it's ending. And I'm sure it will be just fine. And you know why it's going to be just fine? Because there was no collusion.


CABRERA: Michael, does President Trump know something about the time frame?

SHEER: I don't know. I mean, it's possible that his attorneys have been in frequent contact with Mueller's office. It's possible they know or have some sense that perhaps the rest of us don't. But I think more likely, this is what the president wants to be the case. He wants this investigation, which has dogged him for so much of his presidency and which he's so frustrated about, he wants it desperately to be over, and he hopes that by answering these questions in writing, handing them over to the special counsel, that will be the end of it. I think those of us following the investigation know that the likelihood is that that's not going to be the end of it. It's just going to be the next step. And whether it is further questioning from the special counsel in person, or more written questions, or a fight over all of that in court, we are probably not right at the end here.

CABRERA: Elie, how much information would the president be able to glean from the questions about where Mueller's investigation may be headed and where he may be along sort of the time frame question?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think he can glean quite a bit of information from looking at the questions. It gives you a certain insight into what the prosecutor is thinking, what he's interested in, and where he sees potential vulnerability. I think the president and their team are sweating the questions a little more than they are letting on. Yesterday, the president said, they are easy, I answered them all by myself, but Rudy Giuliani, who is usually full of bluster, said, we are having a hard time with some of them and he may not answer them all. So I think there's some real nerves there. Because now they have to commit. They have to put their answers in black and waffle and can't waffle and can't prevaricate. So I think there are some nerves going on in the Trump team.

CABRERA: Who do you think has the upper hand? Because Mueller's team, they can't ask follow-up questions. They are left with what the questions are that they submitted to the team that Trump is now working with to fine tune their answers.

HONIG: Yes, I think Mueller has the upper hand. The truth is the nice advantage to have, I think. Mueller knows an awful lot. Everyone has been saying it over and over. And the president is wondering, does he know this or that. Take the question about the Tower Trump meeting in 2016, June, I would bet one of the questions is, did you, President Trump, know about that in advance? He's in a tough spot there. If he says yes, that's a disaster. But if he says no, he's looking at potential perjury and putting all sorts of people in potential jeopardy. So I think nerve-wracking situation for Trump.

CABRERA: As you point out, on one hand, the president says the questions were easy to answer and the investigation will come to an end soon. But on the other hand, Mr. Trump went on Twitter on a tear calling the special counsel conflicted, thugs, saying they were going absolutely nuts. And he was asked about this yesterday. Listen, Michael. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[16:35:18] TRUMP: No. It's a hoax. The whole thing was a hoax. There was no collusion.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did anything happen to get the tweets going?

TRUMP: No, not at all. No. I'm very happy. I'm very happy with the White House. I'm extremely happy with our country.


CABRERA: Michael, you are in and out of the White House. Do you believe the president really isn't worried?

SHEER: No, of course not. All presidents do this. They try to put on a happy face when they are in a mess, a political mess, and a legal mess, and that is what he is in. I agree that I think they are very much worried about these questions and worried about what the impact is. And I think that that has a ripple effect, not only on how the president is going to deal with Mueller and his team, but it has a ripple effect on how the president deals across the board with the White House staff and what he's going to do with the White House staff in reshaping that. And also how he deals with the rest of the world, diplomatically. And he was on in a very bad mood on the trip to Paris. And I think all of it kind of, in this White House, especially combined into a real stew, that effects the president's mood. And I don't believe for a second that he's as happy as he suggests he is.

CABRERA: Maybe he's relieved if he's done answering all the questions. Like a weight off his shoulders. I don't know.

But, Elie, he is supposed to submit these answers next week to Mueller's team. So what happens next?

HONIG: I'm in the camp of, we have a ways to go. I agree with Michael, I think the president statement that "I'm told they're wrapping up" is wishful thinking. I've been in this situation. This is incredibly complex prosecution investigation. He's got a long way to go. He has Paul Manafort who is still in the middle of cooperation and just requests for Paul Manafort, for Rick Gates. They're still working on --

CABRERA: They postponed his sentencing hearing.

HONIG: And they said they're still working with him on multiple investigations. Michael Cohen by all indications is on the brink of cooperating.

CABRERA: And he was in D.C. And we saw him at prosecutor's office, at Mueller's office.

HONIG: And that's the debriefing process. That's the prosecutors sitting with all these cooperators for hours and hours at a time and downloading reams of information. Those have to be turned into charges or, if appropriate, not charges but actionable material. So there's a whole second stage or third stage ahead here, I think.

CABRERA: But what about the idea that Mueller is writing a final report, according to CNN reporting. That was from a couple of weeks ago. Could Mueller be doing this in kind of two parts, right, like he has the investigation into collusion, then there's still the questions about obstruction, which the president wasn't even asked about, apparently, in the answers that he had to respond to or the questions he had to respond to.

HONIG: That absolutely could be it. Any good prosecutor is working on their final products, whether it's a jury address, a prosecution memo. You build it piece by piece. And I would guess the prosecutor's in Mueller's office has a document opened on Word Perfect and are adding to it as they get pieces of information. Even when the report comes out, there could still be charges that could well out last the report as well.

CABRERA: Elie Honig, Michael Sheer, good to have both of you gentlemen with us. Thank you so much. And early Happy Thanksgiving if I don't see you before then.

SHEER: You, too.

CABRERA: "A 21tst century 'Animal House,'" that is how a federal lawsuit describe the culture created by three Dartmouth professors accused of harassing and sexually assaulting and even raping their female students.


[16:43:10] CABRERA: A federal lawsuit alleges three former Dartmouth college professors turned the Psychology Department into an "21st century Animal House." In the complaint, seven former and current students say the professors plied them with alcohol, then subjected them to sexual harassment and, in some cases, rape.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is joining us now.

Polo, this is truly a shocking lawsuit. What exactly are they alleging?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You read that complaint, all 72 pages, it certainly lays out a disturbing story. It claims that three tenured professors treated women at Dartmouth as sex objects and seeking now $70 million in damages. Women alleging here they were coerced into drinking and also into being made to feel as if their success depended on their willingness to go along with so-called alcohol-saturated culture. They claimed that professors mentioned in the lawsuit forced them to have sex multiple times during their time at the university. Those professors identified in the lawsuit as William Kelley, Paul Whelan and Todd Heatherton. In a statement through his lawyer, Heatherton denied any kind of role in this toxic environment in the university and went on to state that none of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, seven in all, were his students. The other two men have not responded to CNN's request for comment.

We have heard from some of the survivors, including Ann Maria Brown (sic). This is what she told CNN last night.


VESHKI CHATHAM (ph), DARTMOUTH COLLEGE STUDENT: And what happens is sort of building a culture of sexual harassment was sort of an approach that was boiling the fog. It happened in small degrees. Not leaps and bounds. And that's important for people to understand. When people have a hard time sort of putting together why we wouldn't have said something right away, it wasn't extreme right away. These men were very good at what they did, which was establishing sort of a culture in which we felt bound to them, and then slowly incrementally increasing the steps of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.


[16:45:13] SANDOVAL: School officials did launch an investigation that ultimately resulted in the resignations of both Whelan and Kelley in June. Heatherton eventually retired in June as well.

The plaintiffs claiming that Dartmouth knew about the professors' behavior for more than 16 years and did nothing. The university has responded in essence saying that, "Sexual misconduct has no place in their university." They say, as you read here, "They respectfully but strongly disagree with the characterizations of Dartmouth actions in the complaint."

So this certainly is still going to be playing out in a courtroom. And they do expect the plaintiff lists to grow.

CABRERA: Disturbing.

Polo Sandoval, thank you for that reporting.


CABRERA: We'll be right back.


[16:50:18] CABRERA: President Trump showing a rare moment of remorse saying he regrets not visiting Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day. But in his almost two years in office, the president has not visited any troops in combat.

Here's CNN Victor Blackwell.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thursday is Thanksgiving and it's a that president have sometimes used as an opportunity to visit with and thank American troops fighting overseas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's see if we have any one more senior here that can read the president's speech. Is there anyone back there more senior than us?


BLACKWELL: That was President George W. Bush making a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Iraq in 2003.

President Bill Clinton traveled to Kosovo for a pre-Thanksgiving Day dinner in 1999.

President George H.W. Bush went to have Thanksgiving dinner with troops in Saudi Arabia. That was in 1990.

Again, these visits are often a surprise, so it's not out of the ordinary that the White House has not publicly announced whether President Donald Trump will make one of the unexpected visits to thank U.S. troops in a war zone.

However, some veterans and former defense officials are frankly disappointed that President Trump has not yet visited American servicemembers in a combat zone, not just on a holiday, but at all.

Consider this, he's been in office 666 days now. Let's go back to President Obama's administration. President Obama first visited Camp Victory in Baghdad 77 days into his administration Afghanistan on day 432.

President George W. Bush visited Iraq 252 days after the start of the war. He didn't go to Afghanistan until 2006.

Now, security is a consideration when planning these troops. But Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to troops in Afghanistan just before Christmas last year. Jared Kushner went to Iraq 2017.

Now when President Trump asked was asked by the Associated Press a few weeks ago why he had not visited the troops in combat zone, the president reportedly said this, quote, "Well, I'll do that at some point but I don't think it's overly necessary. I've been very busy with everything that's taking place here."

Now the president has visited troops at Camp Humphries in South Korea and elsewhere last year. But over the last nearly two years, President Trump did not visit U.S. combat troops even when he was nearby.

Let's look at first official trip. It was to Saudi Arabia. There are more than 5,000 active-duty U.S. troops in Iraq, 10,000 in Afghanistan, thousands more in Qatar at the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East. President Trump didn't visit any of them. The president then went on to Israel. There were 1700 or so U.S. troops next door in Jordan, many of them fighting in Syria. He didn't visit them either.

Listen, every president is busy. There's always work to do at the White House. But former defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, says these visits are necessary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHUCK HAGEL, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think it's bigger than just a misstep. I think it's a failure of an obligation, of a basic obligation of a commander-in-chief. He's commander-in-chief of our forces. And not to go to war zone where we have men and women dying, that's just wrong.


BLACKWELL: Maybe the president will surprise troops overseas this week by thanking them in person. But if this Thanksgiving is like the last one, he'll thank the troops but he'll do it from Mar-a-Lago.

TRUMP: We are being talked about again as an armed forces. We are really winning. We know how to win. But we have to let you win. They weren't letting you win before. They were letting you play even. We are letting you win.


CABRERA: All right. Our thanks to Victor Blackwell.

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