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CNN NEWSROOM

Felicity Huffman Issues Apology; Interview with Andy Smith; Doris Day Dies at 97. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired May 13, 2019 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This case and she admits, as you said, to paying $15,000 to the sham nonprofit started by Rick Singer to help get her daughter's SAT scores boosted. She even considered, according to evidence that the prosecution laid out, that she was going to do it for her younger daughter. And then she never went forward with that plan.

But she even released a big statement, really taking ownership of all of this. And in it -- I want to read part of it -- she said, "I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community.

"I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly."

And this was a pretty big statement because -- right? -- it admits -- it's apologetic tone to it, and that could all be factored in with the judge when we eventually get to the sentencing.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Yes.

GINGRAS: Again, the prosecution, going to recommend four to 10 months. She was facing up to 20 years. Unfortunately, we won't know what the final sentencing will be until the sentencing date, which we'll learn at the hearing today.

SCIUTTO: You know, I'm glad she mentioned her daughter first there. Because the ultimate disservice done to the kids involved here, and what message you send to them. Brynn Gingras, thanks very much.

GINGRAS: Exactly.

SCIUTTO: Joining me now with some analysis, criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson.

So, tell me about Felicity Huffman. First of all, she's taking ownership there. Got to respect that --

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's important.

SCIUTTO: -- but also, she wants to reduce the sentence. JACKSON: Yes. Of course. But I think this is a significant step

because initially, we heard that she made that great statement, right? I mean, this is abhorrent in so many ways. It's abhorrent as it relates to privilege. It's abhorrent as it relates to the message it sends, as you and I have spoken about. To other kids, who are working very hard and certainly want parents to guide them and to support them and to love them, but not in this way.

But in terms of today, I think it's important because the judge -- there's really a few things at stake. The first thing is, is that as -- the criminal justice system as a whole values people who are contrite. It values people who own up. It values people who accept responsibility.

And certainly, when you have the prosecution on your team -- and as Brynn Gingras just reported with her excellent (ph) report regarding what they're facing, the prosecution's recommending four to 10 months. That's big.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

JACKSON: And when you have that measure of support behind you --

SCIUTTO: Yes.

JACKSON: -- based upon you 'fessing up early, it allows the judge to make an informed decision while weighing in.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

JACKSON: Remember, it's the person who wears the black robe who ultimately determines whether she goes in or goes out. But you know what? It's significant that she said that, "You know what, I'm responsible. I'll take ownership for it. Do with me what (ph) you will."

SCIUTTO: And if you have your prosecution on the side with the recommendation well below the -- you know, the --

JACKSON: Sentencing guidelines.

SCIUTTO: -- high end of the guidelines --

JACKSON: Right. Yes.

SCIUTTO: -- that's got to be an advantage. But you think she will face jail time for this?

JACKSON: You know, it's certainly possible. So there's a couple things that are going to happen when she walks within that courtroom. And everyone should know that pleading guilty, Jim, has the same effect as being found guilty after trial. And a judge will, when they ask you questions, ask you. "You're pleading guilty because you are guilty, correct?"

SCIUTTO: Right. TEXT: Felicity Huffman Sentencing -- College Admissions Scandal: To

plead guilty to charge of conspiracy to commit fraud; Possible Sentence four to 10 months in jail, $20,000 fine, 12 months of supervised release

JACKSON: "You know that a plea of guilty is the same as --

SCIUTTO: Yes.

JACKSON: -- "if you went to trial."

SCIUTTO: They're not giving you, like, enormous credit for that?

JACKSON: Right.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

JACKSON: So they'll tell you, "Hey, the deal is, is that your plea, same difference." And then, of course, she'll be allocuted. And that means, in English, "What did you do?"

SCIUTTO: Right.

JACKSON: "Is it fair to say that you paid the $15,000" so that they could correct --

SCIUTTO: So she's got to 'fess up --

JACKSON: She's got to 'fess up.

SCIUTTO: -- under oath -- yes.

JACKSON: -- completely.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

JACKSON: And then of course they'll do what's called the PSI. In English, a Pre-Sentence Investigation. Who is she, what's her background, what good has she done for the community, what offense did she engage in --

SCIUTTO: Right.

JACKSON: -- how many victims were there.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

JACKSON: I'd say we're all victims of it. And then they'll issue a report. And the judge usually takes about 90 days. I think we'll expect her to be back in August or September --

SCIUTTO: With the final answer?

JACKSON: -- and that's when the official sentence submission will be.

SCIUTTO: OK. So let's talk about other -- other parents involved, including one of the most notable, Lori Loughlin, famous actress. She's fighting. No talk of a guilty plea from there.

Now, she's on the hook --

JACKSON: Right.

SCIUTTO: -- presumably for more, right? Because they spent a lot more money --

JACKSON: Yes.

SCIUTTO: -- more aggressive activity here.

JACKSON: That's right.

SCIUTTO: What's the strategy legally for them?

JACKSON: So here's the deal. Now, obviously, Jim, we know that there's a presumption of innocence, right? You don't have to go and you don't have to plead. Everyone has a right in our court system -- which is a very advanced system -- you have an opening statement, a closing statement. You pick your jury. You have witnesses testify. But there's always exposure, right?

That fact is, is that if you plead guilty and you are guilty, you want to get in early. So that, as Felicity Huffman will see, I think the penalty will be significantly less. If you go to trial and you hold the government to their proof, and in fact you were deemed to be guilty --

SCIUTTO: Yes.

JACKSON: -- your exposure is significantly more. Now, to you point --

SCIUTTO: Yes. The prosecutors aren't going to come on your side if you (ph) --

JACKSON: Oh, they're not at all.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

JACKSON: And to your point, initially, as we know, based upon the half of a million dollars that was spent -- not the $15,000, but the half a million dollars -- "You know what? We're going to let her in. Both daughters. We're going to say they do crew. We're going to submit, you know, headshots about" --

SCIUTTO: It was a gross manufacturing of a record to get the kids into school.

JACKSON: Precisely. So you're looking at that, and then you -- now you're going to hold the government to their proof, there'll be a trial. In the event that the evidence is compelling -- which it reads on paper, but we'll see in a court of law when it's challenged. Lawyers will cross-examine and really challenge the evidence.

But if the -- if Ms. Loughlin and her husband are found guilty, I think it's -- they're in a world of hurt.

[10:35:00] SCIUTTO: Wow. It'd be remarkable to see them go to jail, and possibly for a lengthy time.

JACKSON: Remarkable.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Joey Jackson, thanks very much.

JACKSON: Thank you, Jim.

SCIUTTO: This morning, the CDC is reporting that there have been at least now 839 cases of measles in the U.S. just this year. That number, up by 75 cases in one week, 66 of those cases here in New York.

Right now, this epidemic, inching closer to historic numbers not seen in more than 25 years. But the CDC says no new states reported cases in the past week. This was a disease that was effectively eradicated, now it is back.

As Joe Biden takes a swing through New Hampshire, growing signs the president may be the most worried about him, about the former vice president, in 2020.

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[10:41:16] SCIUTTO: In a crowded field of nearly two dozen Democrats, President Trump seems to have zeroed in on one who he thinks could face him in 2020, Joe Biden.

He told "Politico" (ph) Biden's dominance in polls so far reminds him of his own campaign. And he is going on the offensive now against Biden, saying that China is dreaming of a Biden victory.

This morning, Biden is starting the week with his first trip to New Hampshire as a 2020 candidate. Imagine that. Guy who wants to be in the White House, going to New Hampshire. Joining me now, Andy Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

Andy, good to have you on. You know your state's politics here.

ANDY SMITH, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE SURVEY CENTER: Jim.

SCIUTTO: The president seems to be worried about Joe Biden because he's talking about him all the time, right? Is that fear well-placed in terms of the kind of challenge Biden would put against Trump?

SMITH: I think it's relatively well-placed. I think it's really early now, to see who the actual nominee's going to be. But Biden certainly has more money -- or as much money as other candidates. He has more name recognition, and he's currently kind of the flavor of the month right now in the -- with media coverage.

So I think it's probably a smart thing for Trump to try to pre- emptively, knock Biden down a bit and bring up some of the things in his past, which other Democrats so far have been hesitant to do. SCIUTTO: It's interesting because Democrats, you know, he's got a

long record. This is the trouble of running for office when you have a long legislative record because there are going to be legislative decisions that, you know, folks don't like and you've already seen that, for instance with Elizabeth Warren going after his support for the banking industry. You certainly have the Anita Hill issue.

So do we see a Biden here getting hit from both sides, in effect, soon? From his Democratic rivals, but also from the sitting president.

SMITH: He absolutely will. And I think that's one of the advantages that a sitting president has, is that he can selectively pick out the people on the opposing party who he wants to create negative images about by just raising those to the press. And then the other party's candidates are going to pick up those same messages. They're going to be asked about them. So it is kind of a difficult spot to be in if you're the frontrunner.

You want to be the frontrunner at the end of this thing, not at the beginning because that just means you've got a target on your back.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Interesting comments from former defense secretary who served both under Bush and President Obama, Bob Gates, questioning the age of a number of top candidates in the race. And his comment, a little bit rough here.

"I think that you don't have the kind of energy that I think is required to be president. I'm not sure you have the intellectual acuity that you might have had in your sixties."

TEXT: Gates on Age in 2020: "I think that you don't have the kind of energy that I think is required to be president. I'm not sure you have the intellectual acuity that you might have had in your sixties." CBS' "Face the Nation," Sunday

SCIUTTO: Of course, that would apply, if Mr. Gates is correct, to not only Donald Trump but also Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders. Is that likely to be an issue in this race?

SMITH: I think it is. I think it's already been an undertone in the Democratic nomination contest, where there are many young candidates pointing out to voters, or making it clear to voters, that they are younger and more vigorous.

You see Beto O'Rourke jumping up on counters everywhere he goes, and Pete Buttigieg --

SCIUTTO: Yes.

SMITH: -- looking not only like he's 37, but maybe like he's 27. So I think there's a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle reminders that the other, the top candidates are older.

SCIUTTO: True. Although voters seem to be prioritizing just an ability to beat Trump, as opposed to age or even identity. Let me ask you something specific to Biden. Because at his opening

stop at Hampton, he's going to take questions from the audience for the first time in the campaign. Listen, in the old days, the worry was he might have a gaffe that could damage his campaign. I don't know if Trump has upended that standard, right? You know, he's gaffe- proof it seems.

But -- but tell us (ph), you know Biden has had a tendency to sometimes speak out of turn. Is that a danger for him as he begins to go to these audiences?

[10:45:03] SMITH: That's always one of the biggest problems you have when you're campaigning for president. Particularly early on, where you haven't really got your message honed well.

And in New Hampshire and in other states like Iowa, voters don't have any problem of asking you difficult questions. And he's going to get some softball questions from people in the audience, but he's going to get some tough ones and he has to be ready for those.

SCIUTTO: That's the trouble with New Hampshire voters, right? They know their stuff. So you've got to know your stuff when you go there. Andy Smith knows his stuff too. Thanks very much.

SMITH: Thanks, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Box office queen and singing star. Hollywood legend Doris Day has died. We're going to take a look back at the life of this Hollywood icon.

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[10:50:37] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DORIS DAY, ACTRESS: Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future's not --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: Impossible to forget that song. Breaking news now out of Hollywood, the actress and singer Doris Day has died at the age of 97. The Hollywood legend and animal welfare activist died early this morning at her home in California. Stephanie Elam joins me now.

So, Stephanie, Day, you know, one of the biggest box office draws of the '50s and '60s, but also accomplished singer.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And when you talk about a superstar of Hollywood proportions, just a blockbuster in and unto herself, it is Doris Day.

She was born Mary Ann von Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio. She began her singing career at just 15. But then she went on to just steal hearts across the world.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAY: Shaking the blues away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Away, away.

DAY: Unhappy news away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Away, away.

ELAM (voice-over): Over the span of two decades, Doris Day was one of Hollywood's most popular leading ladies. The consummate girl next door, Day's vivacious on-screen charisma and sweet vocals won over fans around the globe.

DAY: I'm gonna ring the bell tonight. I'm gonna ring the bell tonight. That's what I'm gonna do.

ELAM (voice-over): Day's career began as a teen growing up in the Midwest. A singer, she shared the stage with big band giants Bob Crosby and Les Brown.

DAY: Gonna take a sentimental journey.

ELAM (voice-over): Her first recording hit, "Sentimental Journey," was especially popular with American troops coming back from World War II. A gig in Hollywood led to her first movie role, the 1948 musical, "Romance on the High Seas."

DAY: I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love.

ELAM (voice-over): In the '50s and '60s, she costarred with Hollywood legends like Rock Hudson, Cary Grant and James Stewart. Her films consistently topped the box office, many featuring Day's wide vocal range, like her rendition of "Que Sera Sera."

DAY: Que sera, sera.

ELAM (voice-over): And Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much." Whatever will be, will be became Day's anthem and won an Oscar for best song.

But it was romantic comedies like "Calamity Jane" --

DAY: Twenty-three miles we've covered today --

ELAM (voice-over): -- "That Touch of Mink" --

DAY: Hello?

ROCK HUDSON, ACTOR: Morning, Miss Morrow.

ELAM (voice-over): -- and the blockbuster "Pillow Talk," which endeared her to fans as America's sweetheart.

Off-screen, Day bristled at her innocent depiction on-screen, telling host Johnny Carson she wanted to set the record straight. DAY: The image has been so boring. You know, the virgin and the

goodie two-shoes and all the nonsense, which is -- you know, it's not human.

ELAM (voice-over): But that same wholesome image helped her win a total of five Golden Globes. In 1969, she was nominated as Best Actress for her TV sitcom, "The Doris Day Show." And 20 years later, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

DAY: This business has been a great joy in my life. I've loved every minute of it.

ELAM (voice-over): In 2004, President George W. Bush presented Day with the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor.

After Hollywood, Day dedicated herself to the care of animals through a foundation that bears her name.

DAY: Go to your city shelter today and adopt a pet."

ELAM (voice-over): Late in life, Day was rarely seen in public but she still had plenty of admirers. Once a year, in her final act, she emerged to celebrate her birthday, serenaded by a chorus of devoted fans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ELAM: And that's a tradition that lives on. Her birthday's April 3rd, so that just happened. But just to give you perspective here, Jim, she was in 39 films and she sang more than 600 songs.

SCIUTTO: Wow. That's incredible. I mean, a true legend. So Hollywood, legend. Big plans for a Hollywood ceremony for Doris?

ELAM: You know, believe it or not, her wishes are not to have a big ceremony, not to even have a headstone, not to have any sort of marker. I think really, when you look at Doris Day and her legacy, obviously, you've got this catalogue of music and of movies. But she also has that animal foundation that will live on, fighting animal testing.

[10:55:11] She also had Spay Day, which is "Go out and spay your cats and dogs," and that's happening throughout the country. Worldwide, really. And also just the idea of supporting these rescue organizations, that really was her passion later in life, and that will be how many people will remember her, Jim.

SCIUTTO: That is a great way to live on. Stephanie Elam, thanks very much.

China defying President Trump and an already costly trade war getting even costlier, including for you. Investors are paying the price as we speak. Stay with CNN. There's the market, down more than 550 points. We're going to stay on top of this story.

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