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NEW DAY SATURDAY
R. Kelly Indicted on 10 Counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse; Top Catholic Cardinal: Potential Proof of Abuse Destroyed; Venezuelan National Guard Fire Tear Gas at Workers; Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Accused of Soliciting Sex; Mueller Filing on Manafort Sentencing Still Not Public; Children Confront Senator Dianne Feinstein Over Green New Deal; Source: Hillary Clinton Met With Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar to Talk 2020; Bernie Sanders Gets Ready for 2020 Presidential Campaign; Sanders Raises $6 Million After Announcing 2020 Bid. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired February 23, 2019 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --sexual misconduct.
STEVE GREENBERG, R. KELLY'S ATTORNEY: I think all the women are lying. Double jeopardy should bar that case. And he won that case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patriots owner Robert Kraft accused of soliciting prostitution.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's proclaimed his innocence totally, but I'm very surprised to see it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The government is supposed to be for the people and by the people and all for the people.
SENATOR DIANE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: You know what's interesting about this group is I've been doing this for 30 years. I know what I'm doing. You come in here, and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don't respond to that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border trying to get this aid across, but concerns, obviously, at the time that this could yet be a more volatile situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is "New Day Weekend" with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good Saturday morning to you. Top stories this hour, a top Catholic official admits documents, potentially proving abuse in the church, were destroyed. He claims files that may have named those responsible were either destroyed or never created.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Also New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft facing charges of soliciting prostitution. Police say he was caught in part of a large-scale sex trafficking crackdown leading to hundreds of arrest warrants.
BLACKWELL: And R&B singer R. Kelly is due in court today. Kelly turned himself in to police last night after being indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
PAUL: We want to start with that. The disturbing charges that are being made against singer R. Kelly, as Victor said, he is now in custody there in Chicago. Turned himself in. You see these pictures as it was happening late at night after police did issue a warrant.
R. Kelly is 51 years old and accused of committing sex crimes on four victims, three under the age of 17.
BLACKWELL: Yes. If convicted he faces up to 70 years in prison. 10 years for each count of sexual abuse. CNN's Nick Watt is with us now. Bond hearing scheduled for this afternoon for Kelly. But Cook County prosecutors they want him to stay in jail as he awaits trial. Is that right?
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They would like to, yes, and we will find out at lunchtime if that is going to happen. Now, yesterday was an extraordinary day. We heard first from the state's attorney from Cook County, Kimberly Foxx. She laid out those charges against Kelly.
Four women, 10 counts, three of those women said to be under the age of 17 at the time these offenses were taking place. And that was between, I think, 1998 and 2010-2011, that is what we're looking at here.
Now Kelly's lawyer had told everybody that he was going to turn himself later -- turn himself in, I'm sorry, later in the evening at a police station in the south of Chicago. He didn't -- he turned himself in earlier. And take a listen to what that lawyer had to say when Sara Sidner through this question at him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you think these women are lying?
STEVE GREENBERG, R. KELLY'S ATTORNEY: Yes.
SIDNER: All of them?
GREENBERG: I think, all the women are lying, yes. Unfortunately, the state's attorney now succumb to public pressure, to pressure from grand standards like Michael Avenatti and Gloria Allred and brought these charges. Mr. Kelly is strong. He's got a lot of support, and he's going to be vindicated on all these charges, one by one if it has to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: That reference to Michael Avenatti, he also gave a press conference yesterday in which he detailed this video that he has provided to authorities here on which he says, R. Kelly is shown having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Now, as you say Victor and Christi, we're going to find out later today whether R. Kelly is going to remain behind bars. And the reaction to this, a lot of people are saying about time and I remember this "Surviving R. Kelly" documentary that aired on Lifetime just earlier this year. Well, the Executive Producer of that documentary had this to say.
She said that it has been -- "R. Kelly's predation has been an open secret for almost two decades. It's time for him to finally pay for the harm he's caused the black girls lives he's ruined".
Now R. Kelly has been in court on charges similar to this before. That was back in 2008. He was acquitted largely because the jury said that they couldn't, without -- they couldn't beyond a reasonable doubt identify him in another similar video. So this time, from what we've heard from the lawyer, it seems like the defense is going to be all of these women were lying. Guys back to you.
PAUL: All right. Nick Watt, thank you so much for laying that all out for us.
BLACKWELL: Now the docu-series "Surviving R. Kelly", which aired last month reignited, as Nick alluded to there, the interest in these accusations against R. Kelly.
PAUL: Yes, and earlier this morning, we spoke with the Executive Producer and one of Kelly's alleged victims -- really alleged survivors. Here is their reaction to what's been happening in the last 12 hours.
[08:05:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA VAN ALLEN, ALLEGED R. KELLY VICTIM: I'm really not surprised. I guess I am surprised at how quickly Cook County acted on -- with the evidence they had, so I commend them for that. But I'm not surprised that they were able to find charges on him.
PAUL: What is your reaction to the attorney there saying all of these girls are lying.
VAN ALLEN: I can't speak out for everyone else, but I know I'm not lying. So for him to say everyone's lying is a lie.
BLACKWELL: Tamra why now? Because and you were here just last week after the discovery of the tape -- the latest tape. These allegations have been around for decades -- literally. Why do you think the documentary got such a huge audience that now they are these new charges that the Mute R. Kelly movement is viable? Why now?
TAMRA SIMMONS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "SURVIVING R. KELLY": I just think that now with society and putting it out there in the public you can't ignore it. But before, they could turn their blind eye, but now they can't, because it's too much in your face. And I think that they're going back now saying do we miss something then that occurred and we could see in the documentary how there are so many facts laid out from the early 90s up until now. And it's like that happened 30 years ago, it's still happening now.
Are we as a society going to continue to allow this to happen for 30 more years and have even more allegations come out later and then talk to the victims at that time, but we could have stopped it at this time in 2019?
PAUL: Yes. Lisa, you said that you had come out about this in 2008 and that nobody heard you. You said you'd always been told you don't talk about that, you don't tell our business. Who was giving you that directive?
VAN ALLEN: I mean, no one specifically, but -- and the minority community -- the black community, we just -- you just always kind of knew was like a unspoken code that you don't really tell on each other, you stick together.
BLACKWELL: You've met R. Kelly you say when you were 17 years old?
VAN ALLEN: Yes.
BLACKWELL: And this was a video shoot?
VAN ALLEN: Yes, here in Atlanta.
BLACKWELL: Music video shoot here in Atlanta. And from what you described in the documentary, there was grooming early on, explain that, if you would.
VAN ALLEN: He pretty much right away tells you what he's into, what he likes, what he doesn't like. He also during sexual acts -- the whole time, he's telling you exactly what to do, what not to do, what he likes, what he doesn't like, so, yes.
PAUL: It was interesting, because at that time you said, "I didn't assume that he liked younger girls at that moment, I thought he just liked me."
VAN ALLEN: Yes.
PAUL: At what point did you realize something was very off here?
VAN ALLEN: There wasn't just one time, it would be reoccurring things where I was getting older. I'm 19. The girls are still 18-19, I'm turning 20. They are still 18-19. You get what I mean, like?
And then I -- it's just -- it was like -- eventually it was like, OK, he likes young girls. It's not just me, it's not just the rumor about Aaliyah, which isn't a rumor. But you know what I mean?
BLACKWELL: Tamra, obviously, we're going to have to wait for the evidence to come out in his case, in these 10 counts. But does this time feel different as it compares to the 2002 charges, the 2008 trial? Does this feel different?
SIMMONS: I mean, to me it does. I didn't follow the 2002 trial, like in-depth. But I will be following now, because I'm -- have Lisa.
VAN ALLEN: Yes.
SIMMONS: And thank for being so brave and the other survivors and families that are still fighting to get their daughters back. But I think that now there's so much in the -- like I was saying in the public's face, you can't turn a blind eye to it. So I do believe that they're going to do their due diligence and make sure that this doesn't continue to happen.
VAN ALLEN: Yes, and I would like to just put out there that, I mean, he's always kind of been in your face about it anyway. I mean, he calls us off the Pied Piper. And the Pied Piper takes, if you know anything about the book, the Pied Piper lures children away from their families. He's known for doing that. My book is "Surviving the Pied Piper" just gets more in-depth about that.
BLACKWELL: And there were descriptions that we had from Sara Sidner who we'll get back to in just a moment, that really kind of mirror what you described in the documentary of having to call him daddy and not speaking to other people.
VAN ALLEN: Yes.
BLACKWELL: Tell us about -- you said that you were involved with R. Kelly and another girl who was 14, but you didn't know she was 14 at the time?
VAN ALLEN: No. I was 17. He told me she was 16.
BLACKWELL: OK. But you expected he knew how old she was?
VAN ALLEN: I mean, for you too, yes, I do know, honestly because it was a family -- it was supposed to have been his family member. But I didn't know at that time. He told me it was his neighbor who was 16 and I was 17. So he said what he needed to say to get me to agree to do the threesome.
[08:10:00] (END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Some breaking news this hour. According to a top Catholic Cardinal in Munich, files that may have contained a proof of abuse in the Catholic Church may have been intentionally destroyed.
BLACKWELL: Yes, let's get to Rosa Flores who is in Rome. Rosa what have learned, what can you tell us?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, this is really a bombshell revelation because we have heard from survivors for decades about the destruction of records on behalf of the church. They -- we've been talking about the secret archives.
And today we heard from a Cardinal on day three of this historic summit that some of those documents were destroyed. Now let me give you the background here, because today is all about transparency.
And so Cardinal Marx, he is the Archbishop of Munich, was talking about transparency, how it doesn't damage the church, it's the abuse that damages the church, is the lack of transparency and the cover-up that damages the church. And that there needs to be traceability, there needs to be a paper trail and that's where we get this revelation.
Survivors have been telling us for decades that these documents have been destroyed and today we heard it from a cardinal. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARDINAL REINHARD MARX, ARCHBISHOP OF MUNICH, GERMANY: Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed or not even created. The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution of offences were deliberately not complied with, but instead canceled or overridden.
PETER ISLEY, SURVIVOR: What are they going to do about it? Is the Pope going to order them -- I would think, Pope Francis, if I had heard that, would have jumped out of his chair, outraged, and he would have said right now not one of you destroy another single document in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES: I'm very curious to learn if civil authorities from around the world are listening at what's going on at the Vatican right now, because we know of civil investigations, not just in the U.S. and Chile, but in other countries around the world, but specifically about the U.S.
We know about local investigations, we know about at least a dozen state investigations from talking to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office, they tell CNN that at least 46 attorneys general from across the country have contacted his office in the fallout of the grand jury report, to ask him about how they handle their own investigations in those given states.
We also know with two federal probes, one in Pennsylvania and another one in New York, and of course survivors, what they're looking for at this moment, is for the force of the United States Department of Justice so that there can be a full probe at the federal level to take a look at all of the documents, the ones that were preserved, and to see if there can be some accountability at the church level.
And Victor and Christi, I've talked to survivors here in Rome and they told me that that's what they're pushing for. As a matter of fact they met with a U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Callista Gingrich yesterday to ask her that specifically, so that she could be a bridge between these survivors and the U.S. Department of Justice, so that they can get finally this probe at the federal level with the full force of the U.S. Department of Justice.
BLACKWELL: Yes, a lot behind that fascinating admission today. Rosa Flores for us there in Rome. Rosa, thank you.
New images out of Venezuela this morning. Look at this. Political crisis prevents humanitarian aid from coming into the country and Venezuelan workers from getting out. The clash there at the border, we're live there next.
[08:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLACKWELL: This is a critical point in the crisis there in Venezuela. We've got pictures for you from this morning.
A few moments ago protestors -- you see them burning tires, throwing rocks here. Police firing tear gas at a large crowd of workers who managed to cross to Venezuela border in to Colombia to work.