tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 6, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
"outfront" any time anywhere on cnn go. you always have to find humor in something. enjoy the evening. "ac 360" with anderson begins right now. good evening, we begin tonight with breaking news on the russia investigation and the president's son. donald trump jr. testified before house investigators today but refused to tell the committee what he and his father, the president, discussed when the story over the meeting with russians in trump tower first broke. multiple sources also tell cnn that trump junior testified that he spoke with white house aide hope hicks about how to respond when the story broke. hicks was on air force one with the president at the time. if you remember, trump junior's story about the meeting changed multiple times. the statement in question which the president took part in crafting read in part, quote, we primarily discussed a program about the adoption of russian children that was active and popular with american families years ago and was since ended by the russian government but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow-up. that statement was proven to be false just a day later when
apparently knowing "the new york times" was ready to publish the truth about the meeting, trump junior was forced to admit that it was actually about getting russian dirt on hillary clinton. again, that meeting was in june of twepgt 2016. a few days later he acted like it was nothing more than a conspiracy cooked up by the democrats. >> it just goes to show you their exact moral compass. they'll say anything to win this. this is time and time again, lie after lie. he hear his house cat at home once said this is what's happening with the russians. it's disgusting. it's so phony. >> once the truth came out about the nature of the meeting, which again was about getting dirt on hillary clinton, here's what he said on sean hannity's show. >> like i said, in retrospect, i probably would have done things a little differently. again, this is before the russia mania. this is before they were build it up in the press. for me this is opposition research. >> trump junior has repeatedly said his father never knew about
that opposition research but in testimony today he refused to tell a house committee what he and his father discussed when the story broke. tonight there's other breaking news in the russia investigation dating back to the inauguration day. as the president was giving his inaugural address, michael flynn was texting a former business colleague that one of the first things the administration would do would be to rip up sanctions against russia. that's according to a whistleblower who is not being blamed. elijah cummings released a summary of the whistleblower's account today. the account also suggests flynn had a personal stake in the russia sanctions being lifted, having worked with companies to make a deal with russia to build nuclear reactors in the middle east. a lawyer for one of those companies is denying the whistleblower's account of the text messages. joining me now is pamela brown. about this donald trump jr. testimony, i understand he invoked attorney/client pri when asked about conversations with his father. >> that actually had some legal analysts scratching their heads. donald trump jr. refusing to
tell house investigators what he and his father discussed after those reports surfaced about that june 2016 trump tower meeting he had, citing attorney/client privilege. we've learned president trump and don jr. had a conversation after trump junior tweeted out the e-mails about his involvement in that meeting. that's according to democratic congressman adam schiff, a california democrat who attended the session. schiff said he invoked attorney/client privilege because of the presence of attorneys during the exchange with his father. some legal analysts have questioned today. it's certainly caused debate. it certainly raises questions about what they talked about, what president trump and his son, don jr., talked about in the wake of the e-mails he released. also don jr. once again today denied he told his dad about the trump tower meeting when it happened in the summer of 2016, anderson.
>> what more can you tell us about donald trump jr. saying he communicated with hope hicks, not his father, about that trump tower meeting response? >> yeah, so he acknowledged today that he spoke with senior white house aide, now white house communications director hope hicks, not his father, which first confronted with news reports about his meeting with the russians, even though i just pointed out he wouldn't disclose what he discussed with his father. he said he went to hicks first about how to respond to the reports of the meeting this past summer. he said -- he also said according to the sources speaking to my colleague, manu raju, that his dad was debating between a longer or shorter statement while trump and hicks were aboard air force one. the initial statement in july 2017, as you'll recall, anderson, gave a misleading impression of the meeting which later turned out was billed to trump junior as a way to get dirt on the clintons and some legal experts say the white house's involvement could be problematic since there was an
ongoing criminal probe into russian meddling. >> one of the lawmakers at the hearing today, congressman eric swalwell. what do you make of donald trump jr. citing attorney/client privilege and refusing to disclose the conversation he had with his father. can you do that because attorneys were in the room? >> good evening, anderson. this calls in line with others who have casually exerted privileges. jeff sessions cites a long-standing department of justice privilege, which is not found in the law, that he couldn't tell us what he says to donald trump and roger stone cited a privilege on behalf of a journalist when we asked him who he was talking to at wikileaks. this is not a privilege in the law. if he's talking to his father and they're trying to get their stories straight, that's not recognized as a privilege. if it was, essentially every defendant in america could call into their attorney's office, an alibi witness, and talk to them directly to get their stories straight and a prosecutor would never be able to penetrate that. that's not how it works. we hope that the republicans will call him back under subpoena and actually compel
him, which they have the power to do. >> let me ask you about that. you talk about the republicans calling him back. obviously they're in control of your committee. is that what it takes? can they force him to answer the question? >> yeah, and that's what ranking member schiff asked for. we believe we're on solid legal standing here that if he is there under subpoena, he would have to be -- he would be ordered to answer the question. now, most witnesses come in voluntarily and normally that works, but as we've seen, a number of them have refused to answer our questions and they cite that they're there voluntarily and we can't force them. so i believe the republicans should start putting these witnesses under subpoena and then when they assert bogus privilege its, compel them to testify and i think we'll get to the truth. >> i don't know if you can say, but did anybody challenge this idea when he invoked attorney/client privilege? did anybody say, wait a minute, this is ludicrous? >> oh, yes, it was challenged, pretty vigorously challenged and they stuck to their position that they were not going to
share any conversations that donald trump jr. had with his father about the june 9th meeting. >> can you say how the republicans on the committee reacted? >> well, you know, they had -- they had the power to tell him that he'll have to come back under subpoena if he refuses to answer. sometimes that will just put the witness in a position of not wanting to go through all that and just answering, but they didn't do that. i hope that they recognize the seriousness of this, because this june 9th meeting is a cornerstone piece of our investigation and what the president knew, what donald trump as a candidate knew at the time is critically important for us. >> also, if you can say just to be clear, do you believe conversations between donald trump jr. and hope hicks were essentially conversations between donald trump jr. and his father? because hope hicks is, you know, his right-hand person. >> yeah, anderson. so i can't go into what was discussed other than this objection over the privilege, but we do know she was the communications director and if
there were conversations between hope hicks and donald trump jr. and she was an intermediary, that's not privileged either. so i think the best thing to do is take this investigation as serious as it should be and bring these witnesses under a subpoena and we'll get the answers. >> congressman, stay with us. i want to bring in michael zelden and gloria gorger. michael, do you believe there's any legal claim to the claim of attorney/client privilege? >> none whatsoever. if there were any type of privilege between him and his lawyer as they spoke to one another it would probably be waived because there were third parties presenting. i don't think there's a colorable claim of attorney/client privilege, which is don jr. and his lawyer talking through hope hicks to the president and her serving as intermediary in those conversations. there's nothing that's attorney/client privilege protectable in that chain. >> gloria, how problematic is it
for the president to have his son invoke if you listen to michael, jeff to obin, this -- >> it's not great because why is he refusing to answer the question about what he said to his father. i notice that the congressman was talking about getting your story straight, i think as he put it. well, if that was the case, i think either the special counsel or the congressional committees are going to want to know what story? what were you -- what were you discussing here? i think my not answering the question, you only raise more questions. >> can i just add one more thing. remember when this whole thing broke, the attorney for the president, jay sekulow, went on "meet the press" and he said categorically the president had nothing to do with the drafting of this statement. >> right. he was it was donald trump jr.'s lawyers. >> right. that was untruthful. so maybe the assertion of
attorney/client privilege here is to buy time to get their story straight, which is in and of itself very problematic and i don't think mueller will find that availing. >> congressman, if there was nothing inappropriate wouldn't it bhoehoove the president to g it out there? >> actually donald trump jr. can waive the privilege if he was forthcoming and wanted to clear the air. anderson, just to put this in perspective, june 3rd the meeting is set up. that's when they offered dirt on hillary clinton. june 7th, donald trump the candidate, cryptically says he's going to reveal new information about hillary clinton. june 9th is when the meeting occurs and june 12th is when wikileaks first announces that they have dirt and e-mails on hillary clinton. so this is a pivotal point in our investigation. you know, to hide behind a made-up privilege sets us back in what we need to tell the american people. >> may i add one thing to that
timeline of congressman swalwell's, which i agree with. when the president said on june the 9th that there would be forthcoming, then the meeting occurs on the 9th, when the meeting is sort of a bust, if you will, from the dirt on hillary stuff, nothing is ever forthcoming. so when you have a timeline like that where june 3 is the initial e-mail, the president says dirt is coming, the meeting is a bust and then nothing is forthcoming, it just implies that they're talking to one another during that whole chain of events. it's not plausible otherwise. >> michael, do you believe robert mueller would permit trump junior to claim attorney/client privilege with conversations with his father and if not, what mechanisms could he use to force trump junior? >> mueller was the authority to seek contempt hearing before a judge as well for failure to answer. i don't believe that mueller will find that assertion of attorney/client privilege to be
availing. i think if he continues to refuse it this way, it's going to be tantamount to disaster for his team because it will be viewed as obstruction by mueller and be added to the obstruction of justice mosaic that they're both building for one another. >> gloria, i know you've got a question for the congressman. >> congressman, i just want to know what you think about bringing in hope hicks now before your committee. doesn't she become more of a central figure because she was the conduit between donald trump jr. and his father, sickparticuy on air force one? >> certainly relevant because of prior reports as well with her role in the firing of james comey, but we want to interview anyone who was involved in the june 9th meeting or who was involved in the statement about the june 9th meeting. and so, you know, i'll leave it to our ranking member and chairman to hopefully sort that out. but i don't see how an
investigation would be complete without her. >> can i ask one more thing. why do you think don junior was reluctant today? why do you think he didn't want to answer that question about his conversation with his father? >> i can't speak to his motives, i can just tell you as a former prosecutor, it's usually when you're seeking to protect somebody when you don't answer a direct question when you demonstrate that you have information on it. >> congressman, gloria, michael, thank you very much. coming up, the president, the rnc and stoeve bannon all i roy moore's corner now. i'll speak with moore's campaign spokeswoman next. also ahead, the latest on raging wildfires in southern california. the images unbelievable. the evacuations, a freeway shut down at one point. we'll have the latest. wa abbit! (train whistle blowing) hey, thomas. that's not how you get a rabbit. if you want a rabbit, you ask for a pony and then let them work you back down. mm-hmm. you're up! what if aunt joy wants the new iphone? you make this your final offer: ask for it on verizon.
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the race for u.s. senate in alabama is now less that a week ago. the president and the rnc are supporting roy moore fully now. four women have come forward alleging some form of sexual contact or sexual assault. leigh corfman said when she was 14 moore took her to his house and took off her clothes. beverly nelson said when she was 16 moore sexually assaulted her in his car, trying to force her head onto his crotch. she said she was pushed or fell out of the car. roy moore says he does not know these women and never engaged in any sexual misconduct with anyone. joining me now is roy moore's campaign spokeswoman, janet porter. thanks for being with us, i appreciate it. >> thank you, i appreciate you having me on. >> you believe these women are all lying but roy moore has been
removed twice as chief justice in the supreme court. the second time he had his hahn industry challenged by the alabama court of the judiciary. they said he had not been credible and his use of case law had been incomplete and manipulative. so you don't believe any of these women but you believe roy moore who was removed from office after found to be uncredible and misleading. >> maybe some lacrosse players at duke university, ask them if they believe every woman who makes an accusation. if we did a lynch mob media against innocent people as we did with lacrosse, there would be some lacrosse players in jail right now. let's look at what the judge kid. he stood for the ten command meants. he said i have the freedom of religion -- >> actually what he did was he violated state and federal regulations and he was removed from the supreme court for that. and then four years later he misled the -- he misled the judges by saying he didn't order
probate judges not to marry same-sex couples. they said he was essentially lying. >> here's what really happened. having been down here in alabama, i'm learning a whole lot about what's going on. and one of the things that i learned is that what the rule of law really means is that you follow the constitution. not activist judges that are acting outside the constitution. and that's one of the reasons why the people of alabama love him so much. pardon me? >> you're telling me the judges, all of whom voted against him and took him off the court, they're all activist judges? >> well, judge roy moore was sworn to uphold the constitution of the state of alabama. the constitution of the united states of america. that's what he was following. >> but they actually convicted him of violating state law. >> may i finish? >> i'm telling you what you're saying is incorrect. >> well, i'm telling you what judge moore says is what i believe and it's the culture war that's going on down here. there are people who believe that government is god and there
are those who believe what our declaration of independence says, that we are endowed by our creator with the inalienable right to life and liberty. he was exercising his religious liberty and following the sworn oath of upholding the constitution of the state and the nation and that's why we want to send him to the senate because he doesn't care about his job more than he cares about the principles or the constitution of the united states and frankly that's why, anderson -- >> he took an oath to mislead and manipulate? he took an oath that endangered probate judges? >> no, don't put words into this formula. >> you said he took an oath. i'm tell you what the judges found him guilty of. >> sometimes rulings aren't necessarily accurate. i mean there's all kinds of things that can be said about someone, but what he did is quite different. >> let me tell you what roy moore said about those judges. he at the time said that those judges were radical homosexuals and transgendered activists. do you really believe that the judges on the alabama court of
the judiciary are radical homosexuals and transgender people? >> i really don't know about the judges and what their orientation happens to be. >> i thought you would have looked to see if they were homosexuals or transgender people running the court. >> it matters not to me. what matters is we have someone willing to defend our religious liberty, defend marriage as a constitution as he's sworn to uphold the constitution of the state and the nation. but let me tell you what's at stake here. >> you're accusing these women are lying when he's the guy who has been told unanimously by judges he's been removed twice from his job and judges said he was manipulative -- >> because he stood for marriage and that's why the people of alabama are going to send him to the senate. you can repeat allegations over and over again but it doesn't make them true. >> they're not allegations. they're what the court actually found. >> well, let me tell you what really took place. you've got a guy willing to stand on principle and even if it costs him his job and his lucrative retirement.
that's why this is -- you want to know why all this is going on? let me tell you what's at stake here. this is ground zero for religious liberty. this is ground zero for life. and the winner of this senate race is winner take all. it will be the deciding vote on the united states supreme court. who will sit on the court for the next 30 or 40 years. because we know senators mikulski and collins will side with the democrats. even when they took betsy devos, it took vice president pence to break the tie. so what good is that promise if you can't confirm them and that's what's at stake. that's why you see these baseless allegations just on the eve of an allegation. >> somebody who a court has found was misleading and manipulative but we'll leave that up to voters. >> they know the truth. they know he stood for marriage and stood for life. the voters know that. that's what we know. not only does the voter know that, the voters of alabama, but the president has stood with judge roy moore as has now the
republican party come onboard. the governor is now on board and has been onboard as we see people like dr. james dobson, pro family leader, dr. ben carson. we see governor sarah palin. let me tell you who's working against judge moore. the democrat establishment, the far left media, the ones from the abortion lobby, the felons that george soros is spending money to make sure they're registered to vote. by the way, i want to -- there are some people who judge moore sent to jail that do have an ax to grind against the man. >> your campaign has blamed an awful lot of people for the accusations being made by women against roy moore. i've heard moore or his supporters blame doug jones, george soros, the dnc, mitch mcconnell, main street republicans, homosexuals, transgender people and criminals. can you just explain to me how all these people got together and came up with this plot
against roy moore? because that's a pretty huge group and i don't know if there's a conference call that mitch mcconnell and like radical homosexuals are on? but it would be fascinating to hear that. >> may i respond? >> go right ahead. >> when you have false allegations that are generated by "the washington post" there tends to be a pile-on. that's how a lynch mob works. so what we're looking at is a guy that -- >> do you have evidence that all these people are involved, the dnc, the rnc -- >> can i tell you, anderson, this is where i come to this campaign. may i share something with you? >> sure. >> i've been trying to get a pro life bill in the state of ohio for the last six years and the senate was blocking me. so i recruited candidates to run and i filed to run myself and when i was polling even with the establishment, they spent a million dollars telling everyone that i was the pro abort, telling everyone that i was a liar. and my niece was listening to the radio one day and she said they just don't know aunt janet. the same is true, what the establishment does is make false
allegations. the post cards look almost identical to the ones they sent out against me minus the sexual allegations. >> so you're from ohio, right? >> here's what happening. let me finish. yeah. the people that know judge moore the most and the people of alabama do are the ones standing with him now. >> so why is it okay for you to come in from ohio and tell the people of alabama how to vote when you go after george soros and anyone else who's not from alabama claiming thaer outsiders? are you just as much of an outsider as "the washington post"? >> the reason i came to alabama because this is ground zero in the fight for our freedom. what i would tell people that aren't from the state of alabama is to do what i did. go to roymoore.org and make the most generous donation you possibly can if you care about the future, if you care about the right to bear arms. this is the only guy that's going to stand for it. by the way, when the -- >> judge moore has talked a lot -- no, judge moore has talked a lot about abortion and the right to bear arms. these are issues which are obviously incredibly important, i understand that.
i want to ask you where the judge stands on a number of issues that he's spoken about in the past but not adds much recently. does judge moore still believe that homosexual conduct should be illegal and homosexuality is still the same thing at beastiality? >> i can't answer that question. >> you don't know that? because that's what he said in the past. >> i don't know what he does believe regarding that issue. if you want to talk about making sure we don't have sexual predators -- >> no, i'm not talking about sexual predators, i'm talking about homosexual and gay and lesbian people. >> you've got to let me answer, cooper -- anderson, mr. cooper. >> you're talking about sexual predators. >> let me just say he wants to put out a welcome mat in front of these young girls. if you are a junior high school girl or a high school girl, what abortion jones is saying we're putting out a welcome mat to any boy who's feeling like a girl that day, he's free to walk into the bathroom, the locker room and shower with your daughter. >> i've heard you say that
numerous times. >> they're not going to take the radical position that says -- >> can you get back to us on whether -- >> he said i won't take your religious liberty away. that's where abortion jones stands. >> can you get back to me on whether or not he believes homosexuality should be illegal? >> i believe that he believes the bible and what the bible has to say and something his poebt wants to criminalize. >> if you don't want to answer, that's fine. but can you get back to us? >> what we need is public positions. >> i'm asking you is public positions. does he still believe 911 may have happened because, quote, we distanced ourselves from god? that's what he said in the past. does he still believe that? >> you know, this is the thing. a lot of people talk about god and how they're christians. in fact if you look at the commercials of roy moore's opponent, he's telling everybody what a great christian he is and how he defends -- >> you don't know the answer about 911 either? >> i don't know the answer, no. >> third question. does he still believe -- does he still believe -- >> you've got to let me respond,
anderson. >> okay. go ahead and respond. >> what i want to respond is what the people of alabama know, their state motto. >> which you're not from. >> we dare defend our rights. and our rights are rights to life. our right to liberty. our right to bear arms. our right to a strong military. our right to secure borders. if you want to talk about protecting women, we need to run from roy moore's opponent who says the kate steinle family, who cares if he's a seven-time felon, we're not going to build the wall to keep him out because that's too expensive. i think the lives of americans being lost are too expensive and that's what's at stake in this race and the people of alabama won't be fooled, they won't be bought or bullied. >> two more questions. does he still believe an american citizen who's a muslim should not serve in congress? >> i think that what he's getting at there is we believe in the rule of law by the constitution, not sharia law. i think that's really the bottom line. >> he said that keith ellison -- >> he said i am sworn to uphold
the constitution and he'll lose his job if he has to to stand for that constitution. >> so you don't know the answer of that either? >> i believe his position has to do with whether we follow the constitution or the ridiculously oppressive to women sharia law. >> does he still think keith ellison -- >> if you want a guy for women's rights, anderson -- >> i get you don't want to answer these questions and that's cool but i'd rather you just say i'd rather not answer them rather than ignore them. >> i'm answering them. he picks the constitution over sharia law and the people of alabama agree. >> does he still believe there's sharia law that exist that communities in the u.s. are being ruled by sharia law? >> i think he sees there is a movement toward that. >> that's not what he said. he said there were actually communities being run by sharia law. does he still believe that? >> well, there are communities overseas that are being run -- >> no, in the united states. >> i'm not sure if there are any here in america but there's a movement toward that and he stands for the constitution. that's what you know. >> if you can get back to us on
that, that would be great too. >> he's going to fight -- he's going to fight -- i've already -- i've told you what i know and that is the constitution should be trump any other rule -- >> but you don't know what his position is. as his spokesperson, i'd love to hear his position. does he still believe barack obama wasn't born in the united states? >> that is his position. i can tell you with confidence that this is the guy that stood with the constitution even when it cost him everything. you don't have to question that. we already know that. he's been through the fire and he's come out gold. that's what the people of alabama know and they're not going to be bullied. they're not going to be told what to do by the lynch mob media or by a pro abortion democrats. that's what we're going to see six days from now on the twechlt 12th of december. >> does he still believe barack obama wasn't born in the united states? he didn't believe that in the past. >> you know what, that issue has kind of come and gone so that's an shall you -- >> because he commented about it in the past recently. >> i don't know. i just know when i have to rent the library book or do anything else, i show my driver' license.
i think that's a perfectly reasonable thing to do. or birth certificate. >> so you don't really know any of the -- >> you can try to make the guy look as bad as you can, but the people of alabama know him. >> i'm not trying to make him look bad, he's made public statements, i'm trying to find out if he still believes these public statements. the last one i'll ask you, does he still believe -- >> that one was irrelevant. >> let's try this one on for size. does he still believe that president reagan's description of the soviet union as the focus of evil in the modern world could be applied to america today? because he said that. he said it could be applied to america today because, quote, we promote a lot of bad things like same-sex marriage. does he still believe that the u.s. could be the focus of evil in the modern world? >> i've heard him speak at many rallies and what he has is great hope for america. he knows that god gave us mercy and he has great hope. in fact i think he would go along with the ronald reagan quote that says it's hard to remember when you're up to your arm pits in alligators that you game to drain the swamp and
that's what roy moore is going to do, drain the swamp. that's why they're not real fond of him in washington. >> does he still believe that the u.s. has become the focus of evil in the world because the u.s. promotes things in his words like same-sex marriage? >> you know, you can ridicule biblical beliefs if you're not. >> i'm not, i'm asking you -- giving you quotes of what your candidate has said. you're the spokesperson and you seem a, unwillinunwilling, i kne not from alabama but you seem not to know what his positions are. >> it's very public knowledge that he stood for marriage between one man and one woman as it has been for 200 years in the united states. that's not a secret. >> i'm just wondering does he still believe the u.s. is the focus of evil in the modern world. >> he has stood -- he has stood for the constitution and that's really what it's all about. it comes down to who do you want to represent the people of
alabama. in fact the judge said recently that -- he said they don't want alabama values in washington and he said i can't wait. and the people of alabama are going to send him to washington to drain the swamp and to defend life, liberty, our second amendment, he's going to build a strong military and perhaps most importantly he's going to be the deciding vote to make sure we confirm the judges that president trump puts on the supreme court and that's what matters. the people of alabama as their motto says, they dare to defend their rights. they're going to defend their right to vote and defend their constitutional rights as well. >> i appreciate your time, thank you very much. coming up, more breaking news out of washington. senator al franken under fire as a majority of senate democrats say he must resign. tonight the president groped her -- or said that -- that the president groped her on a plane decades ago. we'll also talk to a woman who said the president groped her on a plane de.
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he still has not decided whether or not he's going to resign. an announcement from the senator is scheduled for tomorrow. the chorus of voices calling for him to step down has grown to 32 democratic senators. many of the allegations against senator franken surfaced weeks ago. why did the senators call for his resignation just today? >> the sevens allegation turned into the straw that broke the camel's back talking to many senators today. the sense that i kept getting from them was, look, this was essentially just the tipping point. many democrats telling me that they had just been watching these allegations pile up and pile up and accumulate over the last three weeks against senator franken. and this essentially became one allegation too many. one congressional source that i was talking to said that one thing that was most concerning, the fact that there was a pattern to these allegations, that it potentially is a pattern of misconduct by senator franken, not an isolated
incident. i'll told that played heavily into the decision by the group of female democratic senators to come out today in a coordinated fashion and call for him to design. here's kirsten gillibrand earlier today. >> obviously there were new allegations today and enough is enough. we need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is okay, none of it is acceptable, and we as elected leaders should absolutely be held t a higher standard, not a lower standard. i do not feel that he should continue to serve. >> and the chorus of female democratic senators calling for their colleague to resign really unleashed an avalanche to cave in essentially around franken today on capitol hill. over 30 of his colleagues here in the senate have called for his resignation including a late in the day call from senate minority leader chuck schumer, although we have been told he was lobbying behind the scenes calling for him to resign and telling him directly to do so. >> what do we know about this announcement tomorrow from franken? >> we don't know much. we don't know if he will resign
or not. we know it will happen at some point tomorrow and happen here in washington, d.c. his office says that late in the day it would be premature to say he's made his decision. he is right now seeking counsel from his family, but at this stage, anderson, i think it's safe to say it would be a long stretch to consider him staying here in congress now that he has the leadership against him and many of his colleagues convention hagainst him, the writing is on the wall. >> jessica leeds thinks this moment is a long time coming. she was one of the first people to come forward and say donald trump sexually assaulted her. she said it happened decades ago when they were seated next to each other on an airplane. he lifted up the arm rest, grabbed her breast, kissed her and tried to put his hand up her skirt. the attempted groping lasted about 15 minutes. years later she ran into trump at a dpala and he recognized her as greeting her as the woman
from the airplane using a derogatory word. i spoke to her earlier this afternoon. >> al franken is going to be making an announcement tomorrow. i'm wondering what you think of his situation? >> well, i of course am disappointed because i've enjoyed him when he was on as a comedian, i enjoyed him when he was on the radio and i was impressed that he became a senator and i thought he was a very serious senator, and i was impressed with what he was doing and how he was doing it. am i surprised? no. i'm sort of the opinion right now that any man over the age of 55 who holds any position of importance or power or wealth has got to be waking up at 4:00 in the morning in a cold sweat wondering whether another shoe is going to drop. >> because they come from that generation -- >> yes. >> and they come from -- >> yes. and what i think the next
explosion is going to be is in business. because it's there. especially in the wall street area. >> did you think you coming forward, the other women who came forward speaking about then candidate trump now president trump, did you think it would have had more of an exact? >> no. >> you didn't think it would? >> i really didn't. i was just so furious after the debate that i just had to get it off my chest. and so i did. and i really -- >> that was that second debate. >> yes. >> which motivated you? >> when you asked him point blank and he wanted to talk about syria and you wouldn't let him and i was just like on my feet screaming at the tv, which i don't do. and didn't sleep that night. so the next morning i shot off a letter to the editor, to the "times" just to get it off my chest. and i thought that would be as far as it went. i really did.
i thought i'd be lucky to get a letter published. and then it sort of -- >> so the white house continues to say none of this happened. not only what you said didn't happen but none of these women who have come forward with allegations about donald trump are telling the truth. >> i don't really know how to answer that. as i said when i told my story, everybody has got a perfect right not to believe me because it happened so long ago. but i'm not bothered by being called a liar. but what i find interesting is the stories of those other, what, 14, 15 women, they're all the same. and none of them have colluded with each other. so this is -- this is an m.o. of this man. just because they stand up there and say that we're lying, i
don't think changes the situation at all. >> i want to play something he said after you came out publicly and made the allegations that you did. this was what he said about that. >> people that are willing to say, oh, i was with donald trump in 1980. i was sitting with him on an airplane. and he went after me on the plane. yeah, i'm going to go after them. believe me, she would not be my first choice, that i can tell you. >> i find that just ludicrous because he didn't pick me. i was there. i was available and he was bored. >> that's all it was? >> that's all it was. the other women who are beautiful and beauty pageant types and most of them have long blonde hair, which is something he seems to like, he picked
them. but i was just there. >> do you regret coming forward and making yourself public? with something so personal, something very -- which some people are going to believe, some people are not going to believe. >> this issue is poimportant iso me, it really is. having experience, having a daughter, having a granddaughter, i wish that we could somehow or another get through to some of these men or perpetrators that the damage that they're doing is so complete that the person that they have afflicted themselves on suffers for the rest of their life. the women i've talked to can remember when it happened, they can remember who it happened with, they can remember where it was, they can remember the time
of day, they can remember what they had on and they can remember what they did, how to get out of it and most of them would say they went home and threw away their clothes and didn't tell anybody. and as far as i can tell, most men just -- it was like scratching an itch. it didn't mean anything. didn't mean anything at all. but it means something to those people who suffered that attack. >> jessica leeds, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> woe asked the white house for a response but never heard back from them. when she first told her story to "the new york times," the trump campaign called it completely false and threatened to sue "the times." they never did. still to come, the president recognized jerusalem as the capital of israel and the white house admits it hurts the peace process. also mandatory evacuations, schools closed, one of the nation's busiest freeways closed at one point, the fire so close. fast-moving flames in and around
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this breaking news tonight out of washington. senior white house officials tell cnn they are aware that the president's decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel has derailed the middle east peace process. this comes as palestinian factions are calling for three days of rage and demonstrations outside embassies and in city streets in the region. jim acosta joins us now with more. so the announcement from the white house, talk about it. what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, first, anderson, the president declared -- recognized that jerusalem is the capital of israel. that means that the process has begun to move the u.s. embassy in israel from tel aviv to jerusalem. that process will take three or four years so the president signed a waiver today keeping the embassy in tel aviv. but the practical process that has been laid in place now is
really in jeopardy because essentially middle east peace was really hinging on this issue of jerusalem. it wasn't the only issue but it was certainly an important issue. the israelis see jerusalem as their capital but the palestinians see east jerusalem as their capital. as you heard from jeremy diamond and elise labott they believe here that this derailed the middle east peace process. i talked to another official this evening who said there's going to be some short-term pain in the near future. anderson, it's hard to remember a white house putting out -- an administration putting out a policy and later on that evening acknowledging that they have derailed something as important as middle east peace. it just goes to show you when you have almost every u.s. ally in europe and in the middle east really condemning and criticizing this decision, they are fully aware here at the white house that there's going to be some pain in the near
future on this. >> it was vice president mike pence standing behind the president today, not jared kushner, who's been working toward middle east peace. do we know if that held any kind of significance? >> reporter: well, it was a pretty surprising statement from the president today because one thing that you heard from the president is that there hasn't been much progress in middle east peace talks. he said even though he's been signing these waivers keeping the embassy in tel aviv all these years, that there hasn't been much progress in terms of middle east peace. he has put his own son-in-law in charge of that process, so it's kind of incredible to hear the president say that about something that he's put his son-in-law in charge of. but it is true that both sides haven't made much progress during this administration. but when you have the palestinians and they said this earlier this evening, anderson, that because of this decision they don't want the united states to be involved in brokering middle east peace talks, that's pretty stunning given that that is something -- that is a role the united states has played for decades, going
back to the clinton administration. you remember the middle east peace talks that happened during his administration and all the way back to jimmy carter. and so this is really a representative of decades of u.s. foreign policy that the trump administration is putting behind them and saying we're going to try something new here. the policy is that this new policy could very well inflame that region at a critical time. >> jim acosta, thanks very much. a dire situation in southern california. several fires burning, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate, including in los angeles where several homes have burned. video has just been extraordinary from the 405 freeway earlier today. take a look at how close it is to the freeway. a fire burning dangerously close to the freeway. authorities were forced to close parts of the freeway for several hours. also nearby flames threatened the famed getty museum. it will get worse before it gets better with winds picking up. tonight paul joins us with the
latest. what are conditions like where you are, paul? >> reporter: fortunately right now, anderson, the winds are not whipping through here. if they were, you would see even greater flames over both of my shoulders. fire is burning in these foothills right now as far as the eye can see. there are no significant population centers near here. there are some homes, by the way, on the other side of what is a major freeway, the 101 from this fire. they're very expensive beachfront homes. one of the concerns is these fires can throw up all sorts of burning embers. you can almost see them in the lens. if they drop on a roof or so, it can touch off other fires. what they're going to do is they can't send firefighters up into those canyons, that's extremely dangerous, but they'll have to wait for the fire to come down and make a stand right here. to recap, though, the winds right now are calm and that is good news. but you've seen and heard over the last few days, anderson, those santa ana winds have just
been menacing and caused so many problems, in december no less, in southern california. >> yeah, and what's expected in the days ahead in terms of the wind? >> reporter: they are expecting the winds to kick up again. what happens is very close to the pacific as i told you, they come from inland and blow toward the ocean. so that's why firefighters and residents alike are saying their prayers and crossing their fingers and hoping that these winds don't whip up again. after all this fire that i'm on right now has burned 65,000 acres. it is a monster, and i'm sure those numbers are going to change. i'll try to update you later on that when they have a major news conference. but they are eyeballing those winds and they do expect them to kick up again. after all, they often call them sundowner winds and the sun has finally set out west, so they have got to keep a close eye on them. >> and the images in the los angeles area, what can you tell us about the other fires threatening other parts of the
state? electo >> reporter: there's so many of them in ventura and los angeles county. it's a little easier in a suburban environment. this fire here started in the rural part of ventura county. the problem is there's so many fires and they have so many firefighters on the line here, they have to make sure they don't compromise los angeles because there are three fires burning there. off the top of my head, it seems like there might be 100,000 acres that have burned, so they're under the tricky little proposition of making sure that they're evenly deployed throughout southern california, because if you put too many resources in one place, you could jeopardize another, anderson. >> i just can't imagine driving through that in the morning on your way to work. unbelievable on the 405. stay safe. coming up, donald trump jr. answered questions on capitol hill today but refused to answer some of them about his father, the president. his testimony about the now infamous trump tower meeting with russians before the election. the breaking news is next. fargo?
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new details are emerging from donald trump jr.'s testimony on capitol hill about that june 2016 trump tower meeting where he was promised dirt on hillary clinton. his story about that meeting changed multiple times after the news broke. he said in a statement that it was about russian adoption, a statement that the president had a hand in putting together and a statement that was proven to be misleading and incomplete