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tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  November 24, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PST

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hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield. this is "legal view." cabinet members go and cabinet members go. the world takes note when a u.s. defense secretary makes a sudden -- and from all indications -- involuntary exit, less than two years into his tenure. president obama making the announcement with the vietnam vet and former republican senator at his side.
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>> for nearly two years, chuck has been an ex amplary defense secretary. thanks to chuck, our military is on a firmer footing, engaged in these missions and looking ahead to the future. now, last month chuck came to me to discuss the final quarter of my presidency and having gotten the department through this trans sil transition, it's the appropriate time to make this transition. >> it's been the greatest privilege of my life to serve with the men and women of the defense department and support their families. i am immensely proud of what we've accomplished during this time. >> joining me now, barbara
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starr, jim sciutto in vienna and cnn military analyst. barbara, i watched that live moments ago and that did not look like somebody being shoved out. maybe the optics are remarkable but it looked like a lovefest. >> well, it's a message to u.s. troops that departing defense secretary himself a vietnam veteran will be treated with dignity as he exits the door. make no mistake, hagel and the president have been talking about this for weeks. we're now told it was all decided basically several days ago the conversations may have been mutual, the decision may have been mutual but nobody asked chuck hagel to stay and hagel clearly had some reason to believe that things weren't working out too well. you know, look, the national security council had floated a
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lot of chatter around town that they wanted to make changes in the administration after the midterm elections. no way was susan rice going. she's a close friend of the president. secretary of state john kerry, very local, very high-profile, very out there in the middle of those iran talks. chuck hagel may have been the last man standing at this point. so this really now begs the question, if you're getting rid of hagel, dignified departure though it may be, what does this mean for u.s. policy with this new war against isis? hagel had expressed his concerns that not enough attention was being paid to syria. the chairman of the joint chiefs expressed his concerns that a small number of ground troops could be needed in the future. you get rid of hagel, what does it mean for policy? will policy change? will they stick with the same policy they have, which is no ground troops and a very limited operation and, of course, the bottom line question in all of
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this, what does it mean for u.s. troops? what does it mean for the troops and for their families if there is a policy change? so right now today, this is just the beginning of us understanding what may be coming down the road. hagel goes, who will come in after him and what will happen next? >> i'll ask those questions in a moment because those are going to be critical. jim shut jim sciutto, to you. has something palpably changed since 2013? he came in to do the drawdown and to prepare for a new order and to be an implementer but did that not work or was this the wrong choice? >> reporter: well, listen, the world changed, ashleigh. a little less than two years ago, what was the administration's priority at that point? drawing down, completing the drawdown in afghanistan, drawing down in iraq as well and
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transitioning out of that country. in the meantime and at the same time, transitioning your focus to asia for which secretary of defense chuck hagel was a key proponent. that was a focus of his. in that time period, you have a new war in iraq and in fact syria. you have the revelation that, in fact, u.s. troops will not be completely withdrawing from afghanistan. some will remain but they will continue to have a combat role there. you have the u.s. at war on two or three fronts now. secretary hagel brought in with a different agreement, you can say, shrinking the pentagon's presence overseas, also shrinking its budget, et cetera. now you have different priorities going forward. one thing i will say, secretary of state john kerry just commented on this a few minutes ago in vienna. he was asked, one, he's
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disappointed that hagel made this decision. so on point saying that it was hagel's decision and, two, he was asked specifically about the secretary of defense casking if john kerry faced the same micromanaging, and he said, no, he never heard from chuck hagel himself. keep in mind, these were the two busiest arguably members of the obama cabinet, secretary hagel and kerry. both veterans and now one of them gone. >> i want to bring in the colonel if i can on this topic as well. if you can weigh in on the notion that secretary hagel was beloved by the troops, without question. the guy who was the first enlisted combat to leave the defense department. he certainly had the troops behind him. will the next candidate need to have that same accolade or is perhaps civilian leadership more important at this point with a new direction going forward?
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>> you know, i think when all is said and done, we're going to find out that this is -- this change is not being made for policy reasons. i think what president obama wanted after two very strong secretaries of defense, both of whom then went out and wrote memoirs, critical of his administration, he wanted a loyal team player who was also a strong secretary of defense. and i think what he got was a loyal team player whose skill sets as a senator never fully translated into being the secretary of defense. and i think both sides came to that conclusion. the midterms was the right time to make a change in that regard. and if you look at the three candidates who are being vetted to replace chuck hagel, they are all experienced national security hands. you have ashton carter, senator
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jack red, ashton carter and then michele flournoy and all three of them would be outstanding choices. look, the troops are going to fall in behind whoever is nominated to be secretary of defense and they will continue with their mission. >> colonel, thanks to you. thanks to jim sciutto as well. i'm joined in los angeles by the republican chair of the house armed services committee, congress mack buck mckeon. are you surprised by the news today being in the position that you are in? >> i was very surprised. being in the cabinet is a really tough job. this is a man who has been a strong patriot, a successful
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businessman, a senator, secretary, been a leader wherever he's been. but when you're in the cabinet, you have to salute the commander in chief and he has never said one negative thing to me. we've had a lot of conversations. he's a great man. i think the troops will miss him. but i think he's -- it's a little hard asking somebody to carry out things that i think are not in our best interests and i wish him all the best and we will miss him. >> let me ask you, congressman, you look at a guy like chuck hagel who is really well-liked, a long career, friends on both sides of the aisle, a guy liked by the troops, it looks like a guy that would be a shoe-in and wouldn't have a tough time with the confirmation. it was blistering.
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the vote was 58-41. if a guy like chuck hagel has that much trouble two years ago, who on earth could actually weather this storm and get a confirmation in the upcoming new term? >> well, he called me this morning and told me about this and i was flabbergasted. i said we'll really miss him but he'll probably be there a while. the way the president has started out since the election and what he's doing, he's digging himself a hole on capitol hill. i think he's kind of in your face to conversation. i think he's going to have a very tough time getting any nomination through. we may have secretary hagel there for a while. >> and you say this is going to be highly political and ugly and it won't be an easy process to get a new sec def in place? >> i'm just saying that it looks
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to me, the way he started out in dealing with congress, what he's done with his illegal immigration problem -- >> and should that carry over to a senate confirmation hearing when the country needs one? >> should it? i don't know. but will it? probably. that's the way it happens. i think he was warned not to do what he's doing he's come out full bore against congress when they haven't even been seated yet. i think they are asking for problems. >> let's hope we don't cut our noses off. >> i agree with you on that but i think that is the direction he's headed. >> congress mack buck mckeon, appreciate your perspective on this. >> thank you. i want to move on to ferguson, missouri, where the
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grand jury is deciding whether to indict officer darren wilson or not. there is a commission that is put in place to dig into it and fix these problems or at least get us close to a fix. coming up next, you're going to meet one of those members. find out why he put up his hand and how he was chosen and what he's already doing with his fellow commissioners. un-leash the holidays at t-mobile with a tablet on us!
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. ferguson, missouri, and communities around the nation waiting on 12 people. 7 men, 5 women, who have to decide on whether to indict officer darren wilson for
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shooting and killing michael brown. the grand jury is reconvening today even though they can't read or talk about the case, they have to know that there is impact on their community. they live there every day. the firestorm of controversy, the protests, the pressure, the headlines in newspapers is everywhere. officials say if an announcement comes down today, an official announcement could come soon after. it could be less than the 48 hours as planned. protesters were marching peacefully and it was relatively calm except for this. >> i'm just trying to go home. >> but you're going to be here for a minute. >> l.a. times reporter matt pierce was hit in the head by a small object and had to be taken to the hospital. >> i didn't see anybody throw anything, i didn't see what it was. it just felt like a conk on the
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head. >> we don't know what to expect if there's no indictment but police are getting ready. outside the courthouse, police have put up barricades to brace for backlash. here's a sign of what may be coming to them. written at a park in graffiti, "if we burn, you burn with us." so what's being done to diffuse this potentially explosive situation? there's a commission in place. they were hand picked and they are working to right any wrongs in ferguson and to find some real, long lasting solutions to the problems behind so much of the anger and distrust in this community. and one of the people on that commission is joining me now live. reverend wilson is the pastor of st. john's church in st. louis. reverend, thank you so much for being with me. can you give me a feel for this commission, who you all are and how you were picked and what kind of demographic you
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represent. >> thank you for having me on today. the ferguson commission represents people from all throughout the st. louis community. there are 16 commissioners. it is diverse racially and diverse by age and socioeconomic status. folks on there represent all sides of these issues, from folks who lead some of our nonprofit service providers for children to those who care for health care in our region and even police commissioners. it's a diverse group that's come together for long-term solutions for the myriad of solutions that we've seen in the august shooting and in the 100-plus days since then. >> have you had a chance to get together, even to meet your fellow commissioners and have you had any informal discussions ahead of what will be the formal discussions? i believe they start in
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december. >> yeah. it happens in december but we got together just for the announcement last tuesday, had an opportunity for everyone to make connections, to put faces with names. some commissioners were meeting one another for the first time. but one of the great things that i'm encouraged by is because of the level of activity and engeajmeengea engagement at different levels, they have a sense of passion and care because this is not a disconnected group of people. they are folks working in volunteer roles and they are works in volunteer roles in the community and folks are working on equity and education. we've had an opportunity to connect. rich mccore and i, the co-chairs, have had more of an opportunity to work together to set some of the staffing and structure in place, to think about the strategy and to be thoughtful about how we'll hear the many voices that are
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speaking now in different corners of the community in order to develop a collective image going forward. >> this is probably putting the cart way ahead of the horse. you've got until september of next year to put together some kind of a report. i assume a written report. do you have any idea at this early stage how you're going to get there and what it might look like? >> so a couple of things we should note. first and foremost, we're very clear in our engagements with the governor that as the independent commission we'll be thoughtful and intentional about providing a report by 2015. we're also very clear that we're not waiting until that point to make recommendations that make sense. so we understand that community relations with law enforcement is at the core of this. we understand that our municipal courts as we have seen and how we have them structure as we
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have seen over the course of different studies over the last 100 days, we know that racial and ethnic disparities at our region are at the core of this. all of these things will be within the scope of things we assess and we won't wait until the end to make a final recommendation. rather when we have issues that are appropriately vetted and we have policies to recommend, we will review those in the interim term, including as early as this legislative session which begins in january for the state of missouri. we'll be working and looking towards the long term and make sure we have comprehensive study and an assessment. when we have issues that are ready and recommendations that are ready to go, we're going to make them so we can take advantage of what we hear now. >> that's great. >> for people who want change. >> i wish you and your fellow councilmembers so much luck. you and 15. it's on you. we have so much work and i'm sure a lot of places around the country are going to be watching to see what you do and i hope
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you'll come back to us and talk to us about it. >> i'd be glad to. just like we said at the announcement, we appreciate your look and invite the nation and community to pray for us as we go about this work. >> thank you, reverend. for the community, first order of business, the decision from the grand jury. we'll get the legal view on what could happen, next. i have a cold
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we were expecting a decision from the ferguson, grand jury
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mid-december. truth be told, they have until january 7th to make their decision. some people believe the fact that there's a grand jury in this case is an indication that an indictment against officer wilson is lost. i want to bring in sunny hostin and mark o'mara and danny cevallos. does the grand jury run the show, meaning, can they just keep this going as long as they want and keep asking to see and reread the evidence and -- >> the answer is yes. if they want more time to think, they get it. in most grand juries, it's the prosecutor that runs the show
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because he or she tells them what they want, customizes the presentation to get what they want. >> sunny hostin, from the streets in ferguson, do you get the sense that it doesn't really matter at this point. unless there's an indictment, there just won't be a feeling of comfort or understanding on the streets of ferguson regardless of whether the evidence comes out or not? >> reporter: you know, i think that's right. since i got here, ashleigh, last night, this is all anyone is talking about. i'm talking about the person that represented tnted the car everyone at the hotel, everyone at the local stores. this is all everyone is talking about. i was in sanford, jacksonville, covering different cases. this definitely feels different. it's very tense. it's surprising to me how many people are keyed into this, clued in and know about it and really seem to care about it. and remember, this is -- we're
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just waiting for a grand jury decision. we're not waiting for a verdict in a trial. so there certainly does seem to feel -- there seems to be a lot of unrest waiting for this decision. >> and what's so interesting, danny, is that oftentimes the cases that a prosecutor with a tone of voice, with the direction that he or she presents the evidence to the grand jury can kind of -- can really shepherd the decision his or her way. this is backwards because effectively what people think is that this prosecutor does not want an indictment for the police officer. >> that's what a lot of people are saying. remember, a grand jury is the prosecution's show and, you're absolutely right, over time the prosecutor will even develop a relationship with these people. he's seeing them over a prolonged period and even though it's not on the record with the inflection and the voice and the way they present the evidence, they can get over that
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indictment and over that very low standard. you're right. isn't it interesting that with more attention, because of all of this attention, the prosecution is likely showing all of the evidence to the grand jury instead of just choosing a greatest hits to secure an indictment and because of this attention and all of this evidence, the grand jury may end up sifting through and deciding this is a no true bill situation whereas if this had been a low-profile case, the prosecutor could have cherry-picked and gotten that indictment. >> speaking of cherry picking, i don't know if it's standard procedure but can a prosecutor hold a piece of evidence back? >> yes. >> in case there's a no true bill and then convene with new evidence? >> the quick answer is they can do it because they customize their evidence on how to present. if you want an indictment, you're not going to help the defense's case. can they hold back a piece of evidence because if they know they can have it for later, that falls on its own weight.
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if you want an indictment, you're not going to hold anything back. >> sunny, the prosecutor in this case has said several times, whatever happens, you know, they are going to work towards making all of this evidence public, whether it's a redaction version of the evidence. but that's a big, big deal in secret grand jury proceedings but a judge has to okay that. is there any talk there that that might be the sticking point, a judge won't okay releasing all of that evidence? >> reporter: oh, there's no question about it. people are definitely talking about that. and i've said that from the very beginning, ashleigh. it's so unusual to release grand jury transcripts. they are supposed to be secret under the law. so the only way that we will find out what happened in front of this grand jury is if there is no bill and if a judge allows us to see it. let's remember, the federal government is conducting an investigation. a paralegal investigation. i suspect that the federal
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government will not want the grand jury transcripts to be released prior to the end of its investigation. so i don't think we're going to be seeing grand jury transcripts any time soon. >> interesting. that will be a source of consternation, more than likely as well. sunny hostin, mark o'mara and danny cevallos, since you're turning 40, i'm going to ask you to stick around and do double duty. >> happy birthday to you. if you're a parent, you absolutely need to know about this. there's a community grieving the death of a young boy because police say he was waving around a gun. what the police did not realize, it's one of those toy air soft guns. so many kids have them and want them and this led to a 12-year-old being killed. we'll have that story, next. y i. okay. uh, and i know-uh-i know what blood type i have. oh, wow! uh huh, yeah. i don't know my credit score.
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open enrollment ends december 7th. so don't wait another day. if you're medicare eligible, call now... and talk to unitedhealthcare about our plans, like aarp medicarecomplete. let's get you on the right path. call unitedhealthcare today. there is outrage in cleveland this morning. a 12-year-old boy is dead after being shot by a police officer for brandishing what turned out to be a toy air gun. as you can he sue, the air gun looks like a real handgun. the 911 caller told the operator that a juvenile was pointing a gun at people and the gun seemed like, quote, it was fake. but it's not clear if that was passed on to the police officer who was sent to the scene. listen to your 911 call
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yourself. >> there is a guy holding a pistol and it looks fake one but he's pointing it at everybody. >> where are you at, sir? >> i'm sitting in the park at west cudell. it's probably fake. but you know what, he's scaring the [ bleep ] out of people. >> joining me now is poppy harlow who has been following this story and danny cevallos. >> we know the name of the boy, and there is surveillance video. we don't know where it's from, if it's dash cam video. but the family has not viewed it. the authorities have said at some point this will become -- all of the public will be able to see it. they are going to call a grand jury. the officer, including the officer who shot this young boy, are on paid leave at this point
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in time. let's pull up the gun again so we can talk about what is really part of the core issue here, is the fact that this is a toy gun but that orange cap was removed from the front of it which signifies that it is fake or a bb gun. so it looks just leak a real gun. we also know from the police chief that the young boy did not point the weapon at the officers and he did not threaten them but when they did yell at him for him to put his hands up, authorities say that he reached down into his waistband where this toy bb gun was being held at this point in time. the attorney for the family talking about this. obviously the family distraught right now. this was a young african-american 12-year-old boy. this is not a black and white issue, the family saying, this is a right and wrong each. interestingly, the mayor of cleveland was just asked in this press conference about this and the context of what is happening in ferguson, missouri, right now and he says, this is not about ferguson at all. this is about the fact that a
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young boy was shot and killed in cleveland. >> did that video -- did they say anything about the proximity of the police to the victim? >> they did. they said that the victim and the officer were within 10 feet of one another. we know that the victim was shot twice. went in for surgery and later died at the hospital. >> so perhaps just a little farther away from me to you, danny. i'm not sure that this is -- maybe it's too early to ask the legal questions here. but if they knew that information from the dispatch, if they knew that caller said probably fake, not sure, does it make a difference when you tell someone, hands up and they go for what looks like a weapon, does it matter? >> let's start at the beginning and talk about reasonable suspicion. when you hear that caller basically saying man with a gun, the interesting thing and this may come up in a second amendment context, cleveland police have recently recognized open carry laws. the fact that someone has a
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weapon in public is not the problem. but he appears to be waving it at people and pointing it at people. someone is threatening harm. once you're on the scene, i imagine people are going to ask the question, why not use a taser, pepper spray. i think police training manuals will generally support the idea that you do not need to meet a firearm with a taser or pepper spray. you meet a firearm with lethal force. police officers are trained to shoot and assess. they've made an assessment and that assessment is to use deadly force to stop the threat. >> what we don't know yet, ashleigh, whether or not everything conveyed on that 911 call was conveyed to the responding officers. >> i've got 30 seconds left and i'm not sure even how to ask this question or if it even matters. we've got a 12-year-old kid here. there are 12-year-olds and there
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are 12-year-olds. does it make a difference to the size of who you're responding to? >> we've had a number of cases in the last year where you have people who are being shot and killed by police and there's a recurring characteristic and it's that they are 6'5" and 300 pounds. i've offered the idea that maybe there is a form of discrimination in america, maybe it's size discrimination because if it was someone's aunt edna, do they respond with a different force? it's an interesting question. >> do we know the stature of the 12-year-old? >> we don't. his family is reeling at this point. >> just awful. parents, please, tell your children, be so cautious with these things. they look so realistic and police have their training. it's a terrifying and tragic story. poppy harlow and danny cevallos, appreciate it. another woman has come out
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again, allegations against bill cosby. she says, and here it comes again, he invited her to a party and what happens next was absolutely shocking and she tells her story, next. you do a lot of things great.
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the numbers may be growing but the stories are pretty much staying the same. a private encounter, a drink or a pill or numerous drinks or pills, incapacitation and then sexual assault. none of it ever proven, none of it even formally alleged beyond one civil lawsuit settled out of court a decade ago. but the stories just keep coming. including the one you're about to hear that predates all of the others. the accuser spoke to our alison camerato. >> reporter:
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>> i'm a woman that is secure financially. i'm really happy. i have everything. i don't want his money or anyone else's. >> so why are you coming forward? >> two reasons. one, i don't like to see these other women who had similar experiences called liars and trashed in the media when i know that i can speak for them. and the second reason, it was that it might enkournl others. well, these are all new. i didn't know about. and there may be dozens or hundreds of other victims. >> reporter: 71-year-old kristina ruehli says that her encounter took place in 1965 when she was 22 years old,
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maki making hers the earliest alleged case. she was invited to a party at his house. you get to the party -- >> uh-huh. >> reporter: to the beginning of what you think will be a party and he prepares a cocktail for you? >> yes. a bourbon and 7. that was sort of the standard thing for me to drink at that time. >> reporter: you had two drinks? >> i had two drinks that i'm clear about. >> reporter: and then what happened? >> i don't remember a thing. it went blank. when you're in that kind of a foggy state, you don't think of anything but that you had drunk too much. so i must have passed out again because when i awakened again, i found myself on a bed. >> reporter: and then what happened? >> he was there. he had his shirt off and i believe he had his pants off. it's pretty groggy. and he had his hand on the back
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of my head. >> reporter: she says he then tried to force her to perform oral sex. >> and so i lifted my head away. i think it surprised him. i lifted my head away and pulled myself away immediately. and i went into the bathroom and i threw up and i know i threw up a couple of times. when i finished, i came out and he was gone. >> reporter: kristina believes it could have been worse, that cosby could have raped her. a few months later she told her boyfriend at the time what happened. did you tell anyone else other than your boyfriend? >> i might have. i might have. but it's something that sort of how you would tell your boyfriend but not girl friends. things were different. you talked about different things. you didn't talk about date rape with a girlfriend. >> reporter: did it ever occur to you to go to the police? >> no. he had not injured me. what had he done?
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he had exposed himself to me. but this was the '60s. and it never occurred to me to go to the police. i just went on with my life. >> reporter: people are skeptical. >> i know. >> reporter: that bill cosby did this to you and to the other women. bill cosby was a likable, beloved celebrity. >> he was likable. >> reporter: back in the '60s and '70s. so why did he have to resort to drugging women? >> i don't think he's very attractive or sexy. i guess that's just my viewpoint. maybe he is inadequate inside. but i heard this was a routine of his all the time. rape is about power, not sex. rape is about anger, not sex. and until he had his series "i
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spy," which was a series he had then, he was just a comedian and the power that he had in his hands, he abused. >> reporter: in 2005, 40 years later, kristina read about now alleged victim, andrea constand. she became one of the 13 jane does in the case which was settled for an undisclosed amount. >> reporter: so you did not stand to gain financially? >> reporter: oh, no. and i didn't need it and i did not need the aggravation. but i thought, what's the worse thing that could happen to me? that somebody calls me a liar. >> i want to read you a statement from bill cosby's attorney. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: "lawsuits are filed against people in the public eye every day. there has never been a shortage of lawyers willing to represent people with claims against powerful men. so it makes no sense that one of
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these new women that have come forward for the first time never came forward during the time that they were sexually assaulted". >> well, lawyers can be hired by rich, powerful men to speak for them when they are silent. that's my answer. >> reporter: cosby's attorneys did not provide cnn with a response specific to kristina's claims. >> what do you think is going to happen next? do you think there's such a din now being created by a dozen women, including yourself, that he must respond? >> i think more will come forward. whatever you follow here, it doesn't end with me. >> reporter: do you think it's time for bill cosby to come forward and say something? >> i do. i wish he had the courage. i wish he had the balls. who would want 15 minutes of
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this kind of not fame, shame. so i'm here not that i think i'm this great, courageous character, person, but to say to the others who have come forward and who i hope will come forward, it takes courage. so bill cosby himself spoke with a florida newspaper over the weekend and i've got a quote. i'm going to read it to you. he said, "i know people are tired of me not saying anything but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendoes. people should fact check. people shouldn't have to go through that and shouldn't answer to innuendoes." we'll be right back. hello... i'm an idaho potato farmer and our big idaho potato truck is still missing. so my buddy here is going to help me find it. here we go. woo who, woah, woah, woah.
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it's out there somewhere spreading the word about americas favorite potatoes: heart healthy idaho potatoes and the american heart association's go red for women campaign. if you see it i hope you'll let us know. always look for the grown in idaho seal. uright now when you get a new tdata plan th a tablet on us! you can also get our most popular 7 inch tablet. but only for a limited time.
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some pretty shocking allegations of rape and sexual misconduct at the university of virginia following this scathing article in the "rolling stone" magazine. in the article, one student claims she was gang raped by seven fraternity members. this morning, a third-year history and prelaw student to uva told cnn's "new day" that the article did not surprise
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her. >> for me, reading the article wasn't surprising but i was shocked by how many of my peers and those outside of the campus were shocked. and to kind of not let it fizzle out just after its two minutes of fame. >> uva released a statement saying "the wrongs described in "rolling stone" are appalling and have caused all of us to re-examine our responsibility to this community." thanks for watching, everyone. my wolf colleague, wolf blitzer, starts right after this break. i have a cold. i took nyquil but i'm still stuffed up. nyquil cold and flu liquid gels don't unstuff your nose. really? alka-seltzer plus night rushes relief to eight symptoms of a full blown cold
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including your stuffy nose. (breath of relief) oh, what a relief it is. thanks. anytime.
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hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. many in washington, 9:00 p.m. in tehran. we begin with stunning news from the white house. chuck hagel is out. the secretary of defense's decision on his own timetable, cnn sources say he is, in fact, being forced out. hagel, the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as secretary and the only republican in the cabinet will stay on until the president names


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