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Avenatti Claims Video Shows R. Kelly Having Sex with Underaged Girl; Wife of Trump's Comms Chief Goes on Anti-Vaccine Rant; Aides Less Certain Now Trump Will Sign Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown; GOP Lawmakers Wait for Trump Decision Before Passing Bill to Avoid Shutdown. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired February 14, 2019 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And he then confirms on the tape, in his own words, the age of her genitalia. We do not know how old this girl is. We have not been able to corroborate that. What we do know, though, are the details of what is on this tape.
There's also another very disturbing point at which he asks this person who has described her genitalia as 14-year-old to urinate. She does so after questioning him. And then he does the same to her. He urinates on her.
Those details are important, because this mirrors what happened back in 2002 in a videotape the prosecutors used to try and bring charges and did bring charges against R. Kelly at the time. But in a 2008 trial, he was acquitted of those charges, which were 14 charges of child pornography.
Where we are right now, is we have spoken to his attorney who says he is not aware of any new evidence. He is not aware of any of these new details. He has not been contacted nor has his client been contacted by law enforcement at this time. We have also reached out to the Cook County state's attorney's office and they have told us they cannot confirm or deny the existence of anything in any kind of investigation at this point in time.
So that's where we are left at this point. But we have viewed this tape. It is disturbing, no matter how you cut it. And it is very clear video that is quite different from the tape that was being sold back in the '90s and 2000s, that was used in the very first trial -- Ana?
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Sara, obviously, very disturbing information that you're sharing with us.
Please stay with me in this conversation as I bring Joey Jackson into it.
Where does this case go now? How would this proceed, assuming they've turned over this tape to law enforcement officials?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALASYT: So following up on Sara's excellent report, let me say the following. Obviously, in the event that R. Kelly is guilty of any impropriety involving any underaged person, he needs to be held accountable. And I'm sure that the Cook County district attorney's office in conjunction with the police department will do just that.
But I would encourage everyone to pause. Because you're going to talking about and looking at the tape to talk about the authenticity of the tape. We are in a day and age of technology that things can be placed upon tapes that may look one way but can be quite another. I would mention, you look back at the 2002 issue, that's when the tape first surfaced --
CABRERA: A tape.
JACKSON: A tape. Not this tape.
JACKSON: This is a different tape. A tape. I just want to draw the parallels. In that case, they thought they had him dead to rights. Different issue, different tape, different time. But of course, there was the argument made about who was on the tape, was the person underage, was he even R. Kelly? The reason I say that is because I predict the same arguments will be made here. Number one, authenticate this tape. Where did it come from? Where and when did the lawyer get it? How did it surface? Was there a chain of custody? Who had it before that? Where did it originate from? And when you get through all of those questions, who is the woman on the tape? And in the other case in 2002, they brought in a number of people to authenticate who the individual is because that person did not testify. We don't know moving forward whether or not they have this individual, whether she is, indeed, underage, whether others will testify, whether she will testify, but the same arguments will be made as to who is she, is that R. Kelly? If they can establish that, he's in a world of hurt and a world of trouble.
But I would caution before we get there, there were 21 counts initially, Sara said 14, and she's right, because the prosecutors had to drop seven of those. And so where we are now is we're in a place where we need to exercise caution. But if what's on that tape is as alleged and described, it's going to be a very problematic future moving forward for Mr. Kelly.
CABRERA: Joey Jackson, Sara Sidner, thank you both.
Just ahead, as the clock ticks, why hasn't the president committed to signing the spending bill to avoid another shutdown?
[14:34:05] Plus, the wife of the White House communications chief goes on a very public anti-vaccine rant. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be here to debunk her most serious claims.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CABRERA: Apparently, the wife of President Trump's communications chief has been watching coverage of the measles outbreak and she's pushing back with arguments that just aren't based on the facts. Darla Shine is married to Bill Shine, who is the coms chief in the White House and former FOX News executive. She falsely argues that serious diseases like measles can help fight cancer. Her tweets echoing anti-vaccination views that she's published and pushed for years. It came yesterday after CNN reported on a measles outbreak triggering a state of emergency, in fact, in Clark County, Washington, as well as in Oregon. Shine tweeting in part, "The entire baby boom population alive today had the measles as kids. Bring back our childhood diseases. They keep you healthy and fight cancer."
CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is joining us now.
Sanjay, let's to talk about it, but let's just start with the facts on measles and makes sure everybody out there watching knows what's most important here. This is a serious disease, it can lead to encephalitis and even death.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, Ana, it's a serious disease, a highly contagious disease, perhaps one of the most contagious diseases on the planet. And there's a vaccine that's been around since 1963. It was around when Darla Shine was a kid, as well. Let me just give you a sense of what life was like in the United States before the vaccine and after the vaccine. You can take a look at the numbers. Three to four million people infected every year, 48,000 hospitalized, as you mentioned, encephalitis, 4,000 people would have encephalitis and people would die. You compare that to what it's like now. It was effectively eliminated in 2000, but it's come back, largely in unvaccinated populations, and the last death was in 2015. So the numbers drastically, drastically different.
[14:40:09] One point worth making, if you do get measles, it is true, after you get it, you have immunity to it. Your body is now immune to it. If you get the vaccine, you're also immune to it. One leads to illness, possibly lots of complications, the other is a couple of shots when you're a kid. So very different ways of achieving that immunity. And you know, you can see how big a public health triumph a vaccine like this has been, Ana.
CABRERA: And as you point out, it's not just about one person. We're talking about a whole community. It's about putting other people at risk, as well.
GUPTA: Yes, look, when we say this is contagious, it's contagious. If you and I were together and I had the measles and you were not vaccinated and we just spent some time together, there's a 90 percent chance you would get it, OK? That's how contagious it is, it spreads via coughing and sneezing and it stays in the droplets in the air for a couple of hours. If someone came into this room after I left if I had the measles, they could get infected up to a couple of hours later. It's very contagious. For people who are not vaccinated or can't be vaccinated, babies, for example, before they get to their first birthday, if lots of people around that baby are vaccinated, it sort of provides a barrier to try and protect that barrier. That's what's called herd immunity. If you don't have herd immunity, all of a sudden, people like babies or people who can't get the shot because their immune systems aren't working, they become increasingly at risk of getting sick.
CABRERA: And they're already vulnerable to begin with.
Quickly, if you will, her claim that measles helps protect against cancer?
GUPTA: Well, she seems to be basing this on a story that we did at CNN, the CNN health unit a few years ago. There was a study looking at a genetically engineered measles virus that was engineered to basically go and kill a particular type of cancer known as multiple myeloma. That's true. But the virus, in that case, was the vehicle to basically try and kill this cancer. Very different than the measles virus that is -- the wild type measles that is circulating around. It's just totally, totally different things here. Yes, it is the measles virus, but totally different than what we're talking about here.
CABRERA: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you for bringing us the truth of the matter.
GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.
CABRERA: Reaction pouring in after Amazon's decision to pull out of a planned headquarters in New York City? How big was freshman Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's role?
Plus, Bill Cosby is still talking about what a positive experience prison is for him. Can you imagine how his victims must feel? We'll ask one of his accusers what she thinks about Cosby still not showing any remorse.
[14:47:20] CABRERA: Earlier, we were talking about how the president hasn't yet committed to signing that bipartisan spending bill to avoid a shutdown. Well, now we have an update here. Aides are telling CNN they are less certain he will actually sign this.
Let's get back out to Kaitlan Collins at the White House.
Kaitlan, what are you hearing?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, earlier this week, White House aides were privately indicating that they felt sure that the president was going to sign this spending bill and avoid another government shutdown at the end of the week, but now those same White House sources are no longer saying that they are certain that the president is going to sign this bill. They say that the president has been increasingly concerned about what he's looking at in this 1,100-page legislation that came out around midnight last night and now they are no longer convinced that the president is going to sign this. This is going to be big news for those Republicans up on Capitol Hill who have been lobbying the president to sign this spending bill, saying that he's gotten some concessions from Democrats in here and that he's gotten at least over $1 billion for his border wall, but since this text came out last night, the actual final legislation, we've heard a lot of backlash from those conservative figures that are in the president's orbit, including FOX News host, Laura Ingraham, who was tweeting earlier today that she did not think that President Trump should sign this bill. And now we're hearing from people inside the White House, they are no longer certain that the president is going to sign this.
Now, Ana, we should caution, of course, this is President Trump and this is the Trump White House, and nothing is ever final until the president says so. So they have not made a final decision about whether or not he's going to sign it. But right now, aides are not certain in any sense of the way that the president is going to sign this spending bill.
CABRERA: All right. Much more on this story, of course, as we continue here in the NEWSROOM.
Thank you, Kaitlan Collins, for that update.
Standby, we have more on this breaking news. I'm going to speak with a Democratic congressman as well to get his reaction coming up. Don't go anywhere.
[14:53:24] CABRERA: Actor and convicted felon, Bill Cosby, says he has no remorse about what's happened to him. He also says he's a political prisoner, and likens himself to Martin Luther King Jr., to Nelson Mandela, even Gandhi. Cosby made these remarks in a statement he released after his spokesman talked candidly to a local TV station in Philadelphia, station NBC 10, about Cosby's life behind bars.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW WYATT, SPOKESMAN FOR BILL COSBY: It's nothing sad about it. He's not sad. He's not remorseful, because he did nothing wrong.
The sheer volume of people coming forward and making accusations doesn't mean that it's true. And what America has said is that women don't lie, you know, women do lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: In the statement, Bill Cosby also says, "Here's why I, Mr. Cosby, have no remorse and will never have remorse. I was declared not guilty in 2005 by the commonwealth, never charged. However, a low-life district attorney and a corrupt judge needed me guilty now, not for justice, but for their political aspirations. They say, Mr. Cosby, you must attend these classes. Why? One word, entrapment. I stand upright as a political prisoner and I smile. The truth is strong."
Lili Bernard is one of Cosby's accusers and is here with us now. Lili, what's your reaction to his statement that he has no remorse and
LILI BERNARD, ACCUSER OF BILL COSBY: Wow. Well, that's just another brilliant display of Bill Cosby's malignant, narcissistic, psychopathological babble, where he continues to parallel himself with real heroes and victims of the civil rights movement. He audaciously does this with people who are no longer here to be able to call him out on his depravity. And on this Valentine's Day, on this spirit of love, I want to call on the spirit of Elly Bezel (ph), who said the opposite of love is indifference and neutrality only helps the oppressor and never the victim. It's important we speak out against these ridiculous comments and against these crimes.
[14:55:27] CABRERA: The fact that he compared himself to these legendary activists, how do you feel about that?
BERNARD: He's sullying their memories, you know, he's spitting on their graves. It just shows the profundity of his depravity. The court system and society know that, when convicted serial rapists such as Bill Cosby vocalize that they will never feel any remorse, that they remain a danger to society, they remain a danger to women. And Bill Cosby is a highly intelligent convicted serial rapist. So I assume that in his saying this, that he is trying to ensure that he will actually remain in prison for the duration of the maximum ten- year sentence, because maybe he feels safer in prison than on the outside.
CABRERA: Cosby's spokesman said Cosby actually said he's having an amazing experience behind bars. Why do you think he wants that narrative out there?
BERNARD: I think, again, it's just, you know, narcissistic, malignant, narcissistic, psychopathic babble. He's trying to keep himself relevant. He loves attention. It's been a while since his name was mentioned in the media. And it's nothing to pay any attention to. It's just a bunch of psychobabble depravity, you know?
CABRERA: I thought it was really important that your voice gets out there and is heard as we're talking about this conversation that he's wanting out there and that the narrative that he's putting out there.
Lili Bernard, thank you very much for joining us and sharing your thoughts.
BERNARD: My pleasure.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CABRERA: Hello, again. I'm Ana Cabrera, as we head into hour two. I'm in for Brooke Baldwin today. I appreciate you being with me.
We have more now on our breaking news out of Washington, with just a day to avoid a government shutdown, aides to President Trump now say they are less certain he will sign the bipartisan spending bill.
Let's get right back to CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the White House.
Kaitlan, fill us in.
COLLINS: These are the same aides that were earlier saying this week after Monday night when those negotiators first reached this deal, they thought privately that the president was likely to sign this bill. And that's what they've been telling reporters all week. But now that the final text of this legislation came out late last night, all 1,100 pages of it, that the White House has been reviewing, those same aides are now saying they are less certain that the president is likely to sign this bill. They say the president is increasingly concerned about what's in it, what the restrictions would be, and they're still going through it, and we should note, no final decision has been made as of yet, we are told, but right now they're no longer as certain as they were earlier this week that the president is going to sign this and avoid another government shutdown.
Now, part of that has to be, as we reported earlier today, that the White House officials have been calling some of the president's allies in the media, including on FOX News, trying to tell them that this was a win for the president and framing things that they believe are positive aspects of this bill for President Trump, including the over $1 billion for fencing on the southern border. But we've seen some of those conservative figures with a lot of backlash against this bill, saying that the president should not sign this and they do not think that it's a good idea. And those White House aides have been worried that the president will be listening to that media coverage and he will respond to that. And that's why they're no longer going as far as to say, behind the scenes, that they believe the president will sign this bill.
Of course, nothing is final until the White House says so. But as our Hill team have been noting, the Senate and the House were getting ready to vote on this today. Now some of those Republicans who have been lobbying the president intensely to sign this spending bill are going to be waiting to see exactly what it is that the president is going to say. So right now they're waiting for the president to give a final determination on this. But right now, inside the White House, aides are not confident that the president is going to sign this spending bill.
Thank you, Kaitlan Collins.
Manu Raju is there on Capitol Hill for us, our senior congressional correspondent.
We just heard the reporting from Kaitlan, Manu, that Republicans are having a little bit of cold feet. Are they waiting for the president's decision or are they moving forward without him?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, they are waiting. That's one of the reasons why there has not been a vote yet. Republicans are eager, Democrats, too, to have a vote this afternoon. They're going to leave town for a recess that's supposed to begin next week. The House is supposed to vote tonight to pass this bill and everyone was expecting the president to sign. This is a bit of deja vu, of course, from what happened in December, in which the Senate Republicans and the Democrats voted by voice vote for a short-term measure to keep the government open. They thought the president was going to sign it, and Vice President Mike Pence made those assurances on Capitol Hill at that time. And suddenly, the president reversed course that he wouldn't do that anymore. And that left everybody wondering what to do and that led to the 35-day government shutdown. Republicans don't want to be caught in the same position this time.
That's why a number of Republican Senators are saying very clearly, they want to hear exactly if the president will support it. I actually caught up with Ron Johnson, who's a Wisconsin Republican Senator.