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First Lady Melania Trump Choosing Apparently To Support The Man Her Husband Is Insulting On Twitter; Woman Who Has Worked For Years At The U.S. Embassy In Moscow Was Caught Red-Handed Passing Information To Russian Intelligence; All Undocumented Immigrants Living In The U.S. Don't Have Health Insurance; President Trump Had His Own Supermarket Slip-Up While Talking About Voter ID; CBS Chairman And Chief Executive Les Moonves Is Staying Silent About The Sexual Harassment Allegation That Is Threatened To End His Career; Clothes At The Center Of The Paul Manafort Trial. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired August 4, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:12] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks to being with us.
Our breaking news this hour, the first lady of the United States, Melania Trump choosing apparently to support the man her husband is insulting on twitter. President Trump badmouthing NBA superstar Lebron James after his interview replayed on CNN. Now, the first lady just released a statement and she is not agreeing with the President. In fact she is supporting Lebron James.
Right to our White House correspondent, Boris Sanchez, who is in Ohio where the President will hold a rally tonight?
And Boris, This is not the first time Melania Trump's message doesn't exactly line up with her husband. Tell us how this is playing out.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. Certainly a surprise. And some of the language she specifically used in the statement is surprising as well.
This all started because of an interview that Lebron James did with Don Lemon on CNN. The President taking exception to certain things that Lebron James apparently said during that interview. To be clear the focus of the interview was on James' philanthropy, the school that he open for underprivileged youth here in Ohio coincidentally. But Lebron was asked about Trump. And he essentially said that he believes that the President uses sports as a platform to divide and distract. That could be why the President was upset and sent out the tweet essentially insulting the former final's MVP's intelligence.
Melania Trump going in a different direction though. Here is her statement from her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.
She writes quote "it looks like Lebron James is working to do good things on behalf of the next generation." As just as she always has the first lady encourages everyone to have of an open dialogue about issues facing children today. As you know Mrs. Trump has travelled the country and world talking to children about their well being, healthy living and the importance of responsible online behavior with her be best initiative. Her platform centers around visiting organizations hospitals and schools. And she would be open to visiting the "I promise school" in Akron. That "I promise school" is the school that Lebron James opened, who in the CNN interview said that he would not sit across from the President.
The other part of the statement I find very notable, Ana, responsible online behavior coming on the heels of a tweet the President of the United States sent out insulting someone -- Ana.
I also want to ask you, Boris, about this familiar face. Someone who used to work in the White House apparently spotted boarding air force one. What can you tell us about Hope Hicks showing up?
SANCHEZ: Yes, that's right, the former director of communications for the White House making a surprise appearance today, not only in New Jersey but also boarding air force one apparently on the way to the President's rally here in in Ohio.
You will recall that earlier this year in February she testified before Congress that she told white lies on behalf of President Trump. One day later she announced her resignation. Within a month she left the White House. It's surprising to see her on the landscape again. But we know that President Trump occasionally even officials that have left his campaign or left the administration he often keeps in contact with them. Corey Lewandowski is another example. We will see if Hope Hicks appears on stage tonight, Ana.
CABRERA: I just find it so interesting because I remember a few weeks ago the President hinted at maybe she wants to come back to the White House. So perhaps more to that story.
Boris Sanchez, thank you, as you continue to cover what is happening in Ohio where the President will be speaking in just a couple of hours with the back drop of this drama around Lebron James and the first lady's public opposition to her husband's tweet coming just hours before that rally in Ohio. Lebron James' home state.
Let's talk about it with CNN -- rather, national political reporter for RealClearPolitics Caitlin Huey-Burns and CNN political commentator and "Washington Post" columnist Catherine Rampell.
Catherine, I will start with you. What do you make of the first lady publicly contradicting her husband, at least appearing to take sides with Lebron James in this spat, even making sure to note her be best campaign.
CATHERINE RAMPELL, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: And that she would in fact be open to visiting Lebron James's philanthropic initiative here. I think it is very interesting. I think it does very much fit into her be best campaign such as it is. It seems to be about encouraging good behavior amongst children and being a good role model. And who the better role model in this situation, right? Is it the person who achieve great success and wealth and then chose to give some of that wealth back to the community to help others or is it the person who also achieved great wealth and decided to use other people's charitable donations to pay off his own legal disputes and buy portraits of himself?
I mean, one of these two figures seems to fit more squarely into the role model that Melania Trump has been advocating for children.
CABRERA: We know the President likes to pick these kinds of fights with athletes. This is nothing new.
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, REALCLEARPOLITICS: It is nothing new. But really what's interesting is that the President chose to harp on a small section of that interview in which Lebron James was asked about Trump and the President took that slight.
In the grand scheme of the interview, though, it was about what Lebron James is doing for so many kids, underprivileged kids who are going to be benefitting from Lebron James' help. I mean, that was the key part of this whole entire interview.
The President does weigh in on these kinds of things. He does likes to play the culture wars. I mean, does like to do it in campaigns. And I talked to Republican strategists who say in talking about the NFL, for example, that this is the kind of thing that does fire up the base of support and does -- is of interest to his supporters.
But, you know, the President uses the bully pulp it on a number of occasions to bully people and not to unite and bring the country together. And so this is just one example of that. And I don't expect le stop doing it.
[16:06:02] CABRERA: Do you think he is going to be able to let Melania's statement just roll off his back heading into the rally, knowing that he doesn't necessarily let go easily of even the slightest critique.
HUEY-BURNS: We have seen him in contrast with another family member this week, of course, remember Ivanka Trump earlier this week saying that the news -- the media is not the enemy of the people. We have seen Melania have her own voice in this administration. Draw contrast with her husband. So we will see what his reaction is tonight. He is having a rally where he is going to be in campaign mode. And we know what that looks like.
CABRERA: And he is supposed to be there for a Republican candidate, Kathryn, because this is a district Trump won by 11 points. And now look at the latest polls when you look at the Republican versus the Democrat here, the Republican up by one point in the Mammoth University poll. How do we get here?
RAMPELL: I think you have a lot of developments that get to this point. Many of which surround Trump himself, his personal scandals, those within his orbit. Many of them involve actual policies that he has pursued. Think about the divisive and frankly deplorable to use the term of art policies that he has overseen including family separations for example. That doesn't play well with Democrats or Republicans.
So, look, the reason we got where we are is because we have had whatever, 18 months of Trump at this point. We have seen who he is, what he stands for. And while he has very strong support amongst his base, the rest of the country is still very unhappy with where he is taking the country. And what he personally stands for.
CABRERA: This appearance tonight was apparently last minute. And what we are learning and what we are seeing over the course of several special elections is that it has helped in large part the candidates who he backs when he comes out and uses that bully pulp it. Do you think it is going to work there in Ohio?
HUEY-BURNS: The fact that this district, which is a heavily Republican district, a traditionally Republican district is this close, even strategists on both sides are admitting that -- I think it tells you a lot about this environment. Yes, the President certainly does have the potential to rally up his base and to give attention to that candidate. But we have also seen him pay very -- pay more attention to himself during the rallies. We saw that earlier this week in Pennsylvania. This kind of district if Democrats are to win it or even come close I think tells you a lot about what you need to know for November where Democrats are going to be trying to take over leaning -- swing districts and also try to take over Republican incumbent in Hillary Clinton districts but also in some districts where suburban women could play a big role here.
CABRERA: I think of Conor Lamb, of course, in Pennsylvania what we saw happened there. Now, White house aides telling CNN that President Trump is doing more and more of these rallies. I mean, you will recall, this is the third now just this week in three different states. They believe it lifts his mood. They also help provides some kind of distraction from the Russia investigation. Do you think it is true?
RAMPELL: Yes. I think this is absolutely about playing the greatest hits. I think that we should expect is lots of crooked Hillary, fake news media, Trump is besieged and persecuted by the Russia hoax. Black athletes are un-American. I think we should expect all of that because that is what help distracts from frankly very unflattering news that is coming out about Trump himself, about his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. You know, that trial is in the news. I'm sure he doesn't want more attention paid to that or at least if there is attention, you wanted to be in the sense of this is unfair and they are going after me and it's a witch hunt, et cetera.
So these campaign rallies are not so much I think about supporting any particular candidate which is ostensibly the objective here. It's more about letting Trump vent and trying to create shiny objects over here so that we are not paying attention to the actual serious news that is happening. And again some of the very terrible policy developments that Trump is possible for.
[16:10:00] CABRERA: I do want to ask about the Russia investigation because there have been a number of developments this weekend because so much has happened in the world it's hard to keep track of everything. I mean the latest reporter is that Mueller now questioned the Manhattan Madame Kristin Davis who is someone who is close to the friend of President Trump's Roger Stone, who is also an adviser during the campaign. We don't know what was discussed. But do you think Trump feels the pressure?
HUEY-BURNS: Well, this investigation guess continues to go on despite, you know, Trump wanting it to come to a close, despite his lawyers repeatedly saying that it is drawing to its end and trying to kind of help him see that.
But what's really interesting about the developments this week is the way in which the President continues to weigh in on this investigation in real-time even though we know that Mueller is looking at tweets and the body of evidence in this investigation.
Just earlier this week he was you know seen as directing his attorney general to end this probe entirely which, you know, speaks volumes about where the President is. He is also trying to win a PR argument, kind of in the court of public opinion on this. Trying to say, you know, look I'll cooperate with Mueller. But we really know how much legal exposure he could be in.
CABRERA: Ladies, good to have you with us. Thank you very much Catherine, Caitlin. Nice to see you.
Now she was hiding in plain sight, a suspected spy who had access to the state department and secret service caught red-handed meeting with Russian intel. How she got away with working inside the U.S. embassy in Moscow for more than a decade. We will discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Caught on tape. Proof of why it's never a good idea to go toe to toe with a bison.
[16:15:54] CABRERA: OK here a story ripped straight from the pages of a summer spy novel.
A senior Trump administration official tells CNN that a woman who has worked for years at the U.S. embassy in Moscow was caught red-handed passing information to Russian intelligence. Here is what we know. She is a Russian national the secret service hired more than a decade ago. She came under suspicion during a routine security review and was fired last summer after officials discovered she was having regular unauthorized meetings with Russian intelligence officials.
CNN law enforcement analyst and former secret service agent Jonathan Wackrow is joining us to discuss. Jonathan, just how big of a deal is this.
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: This is actually a really big deal. The secret service has released a press statement stating that this individual didn't have access to classified or secret information. That's true.
The way that the U.S. embassy and consulates are set up, there is a real bifurcating of information from classified and very sensitive information that can be accessed by foreign service nationals and those that are used by U.S. citizens that are working abroad as part of the diplomatic mission. So I don't think that any classified information was ever leaked.
CABRERA: But she did have access to email, the intranet. So how can they be so sure? Again, we know that Russia is fairly sophisticated right when it comes to cybersecurity.
WACKROW: Exactly. So Russia is playing the long game here of intelligence collection. They are in the targeting one specific piece of information that they wanted from this woman. They wanted over a longer period of time information about the agents, the case work, budgeting. A lot of administrative stuff that may see demonises, you know, to some people but to a very sophisticated Russian intelligence collection gathering operation it's critical. It fits different pieces along their puzzle line to string together their counterintelligence operations against U.S. assets not only in Russia but worldwide.
CABRERA: So she has able to be there for teen years. She may not have information at her finger tips but they are concerned about as you spoke of, no classified information.
CABRERA: That she would have access to. But she could know who is who get a lay of the land and so forth.
WACKROW: This is a classic threat of the insider threat. The person that's a trusted betrayer. Someone that has shone up every day, reporting shows that she was a quiet woman backup she was a mother, married. You know, just went about her business every single day. She did interact with you know law enforcement sources as part of her job where she was the -- remember, U.S. law enforcement has no authority in a foreign country. So they have to rely on the host country to execute on law enforcement mission. She played the bridge between Russian law enforcement and U.S. assets. That was part of her job. And that was disclosed by the secret service.
However, what other information was she giving? What other types of information was it, about upcoming casework, was it about agents that could potentially be you know recruited or targeted? Personal information on those agents. ? Individual married or not? Again, it goes into the larger collection process that the Russians are running around, you know, U.S. diplomatic endeavors worldwide. CABRERA: When you talk about the vulnerability that maybe has always
existed because of that, just the nature of the work and the location of the work. Are there safeguards to avoid this situation?
WACKROW: Absolutely. There are. Again, you have to -- it is how you deal with an insider threat. You have to have access control to information. You have to have it very segmented and siloed especially in a foreign localities.
Again, classified information is off to the side. But again, complacency kills in this time, right. She has been there more than ten years. She has been there most of -- more than any other agents that rotated (ph). They rotated in and out. She was the constant. So just that little bit, the drip, drip, drip of information that she was able to collect and potentially give over to intelligence services in Russia, it's damaging. It's damaging to overall national security picture.
[16:20:06] CABRERA: Thank you so much, Jonathan Wackrow.
WACKROW: Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.
CABRERA: Good to have you with us.
Almost all undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. don't have health insurance. And that has some of them now waiting until they are on the brink of death to get emergency treatment.
CNN's Sanjay Gupta takes us in-depth look at this crisis next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So literally pushing them themselves to the brink of death to get treatment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are.
GUPTA: Am I overstating that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Not at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[16:24:59] CABRERA: We devoted a lot of coverage lately to the well- being of undocumented immigrants coming into this country and the conditions they face when crossing the border. But those who have been in the United States for years face their own serious health concerns.
And our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has one mother's story.
[16:25:20] GUPTA (voice-over): In order to really understand what's going on here you are going to need to suspend disbelief.
Lucia is dying. Her lungs drowning in fluid. Her electrolytes are fluctuating wildly and her heart precariously close to shutting done. This 51-year-old mother and undocumented immigrant has end stage renal decease. Full on kidney failure.
DR. LILIA CERVANTES, DENVER HEALTH: The function of the kidney is to filter blood of excess toxins and excess fluid. When both kidneys stop working, people on average will live anywhere from 10 to 14 days. And so to continue living, you need a process to filter blood, which is a dialysis machine.
GUPTA: For most people that treats the problem. But here is the thing, Lucia is allowed treatment only when she essentially arrives at death's door. The emergency medical treatment act of 1986 says hospitals in the United States must care for anyone with a medical emergency, regardless of the citizenship or ability to pay. But they are not obligated to prevent that emergency from happening in the first place.
What is happening inside the body?
CERVANTES: For these patients, because they only come in once a week instead of the three times per week excess fluid stays in their body and it goes into their lungs, goes into their legs. Separate from that the toxins build up. One of the most important toxins being potassium which at high levels can makes the heart stop.
GUPTA: This is no way to live. About as close to death as you can get. And what's more, research shows that treating patients with emergency dialysis versus standard dialysis is nearly four times more expensive because these patients like Lucia are so much sicker when they come for treatment.
They are literally pushing themselves to the brink of death.
CERVANTES: They are.
GUPTA: To get this treatment. Am I overstating that?
CERVANTES: No. Not at all.
GUPTA: There is no question it works.
Just look at Lucia now. After dialysis removed ten liters of fluid from her body.
How are you feeling?
LUCIA, DIALYSIS PATIENT (through translator): Right now I feel good.
GUPTA: Still, Lucia is always worried. Mostly about her family, especially her son, Alex. He watches his mother steadily decline every single week. This is their life. How hard has this been on you -- on your family?
LUCIA (through translator): It's been really hard. It's been really hard for my family. The worst is for my son. He worries about me.
GUPTA: Because just a few days from now, like clockworks Lucia will once again go to precipice of death just so that she can live.
I'll tell you it's unclear how long Lucia can carry on like this. Week after week going to this precipice of death. A kidney transplant would be something that would not only improve her life but also cut down on health care costs. She is not eligible for that. She is, however, eligible to donate her other organs whenever she passes. That is the reality of the situation for people like Lucia.
CABRERA: Dr. Gupta, thank you for that reporting.
It became an iconic political blooper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just cross this -- this open place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: More than 25 years after President Bush seemed to marvel as a grocery store scanner President Trump may have had his supermarket slip-up. We will explain next in the CNN NEWSROOM.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[16:33:42] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just cross this this open place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to go where the code is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually it's got a band.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: That was President George H. W. Bush, of course, in what became known as his infamous grocery store scanner moment which is apparent amazed in just a technology came became a symbol for politicians seeming out of touch. And now more than 25 years later President Trump had his own supermarket slip-up while talking about voter ID. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We believe that only American citizens should vote in American elections. Which is why the time has come for voter id. Like everything else. You know if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. You need ID. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The internet went wild on the idea of needing ID for groceries. Inspiring mock ups of shopping identification cards. And this Instagram post from the late show we card under 18 no groceries.
Well, joining us now CNN Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.
And Doug, when you heard that from the president this week, did it also bring back the memories of Bush and supermarket or are those comparison overblown.
[16:35:10] DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Instantly. Immediately, I thought about George Herbert Walker Bush, he paid very dearly for that. You know, Bush was trying to say that he eat pork loin and I play horse shoes and I am just a regular guy. I mean, he was actually from a very, very wealthy family. So it makes him seem incredibly detached from everyday life when Bush 41 did that.
Trump says even worse. I mean, it is not about being quizzed on the price of bread or milk. It's just thinking that you need an ID to buy groceries in America. That is somebody that doesn't understand the American way, that every moment right now everybody is buying groceries without IDs. But it's the thing President Trump refuses retract or say, God, I'm out of touch or make a joke about it. And instead, he blames the critics.
CABRERA: I mean he could have also made a clarification. Maybe he was talking of buying alcohol at the grocery store. I don't know. But it does seems kind of silly, but historically these little political slip-ups do have staying power as you point out. But just look at the other ones. You think of Gerald Ford biting in the tamale without removing a husk. There was john Kerry getting flat (ph) eating a Philly cheese steak with Swiss cheese instead cheese whizz or even that moment of former vice president Dan Quail spelling potato with an e. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Add a little bit to the end. Spell that again. Add one little bit on the end. Potato. How is it spelled? You are right phonetically but what else -- there you go. All right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: That kid was writing in cursive. I mean what is it about the moments though that stay in the public psyche, Doug?
BRINKLEY: It stays in the public psyche because Bush 41 was a one- termer and Dan Quail was a one-term vice President. People don't like that. All of us misspell words but if you are going to go and give a lesson to school kids and then you misspell it lives eternally. Wherever Dan Quail goes today people will mention on daily basis. Potato. Hey, potato man, you know. It sticks to you.
So I think Trump will get away with this. But there was a more menacing kind of comment that Trump made which is about voter registration and his desire to kind of stop disenfranchise voters, people from registering trying to make this more of an ID America. That doesn't go well with libertarians and also those people that he has to court. And so, it was a very muddled moment of a very difficult week for President Trump.
CABRERA: There is one President that he loves to compare himself to. And that would be Abraham Lincoln. Here he is this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I could be more Presidential than any President in history except for possibly Abe Lincoln with the big hat. I don't know. Abe. Abe looked pretty Presidential, right. What do you think? He is tough. I admit it Abe Lincoln is tough. But we love Abe Lincoln.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Do you think he holds Lincoln out as a goal post of sorts?
BRINKLEY: I know he has never read a book about Abraham Lincoln. I actually asked President Trump when he got elected about Presidents. And he said he never read a book or biography of any president. He knows nothing about Lincoln. He just knows the cut-out characteristic of Lincoln with the beard and with the hot. And that's what he reflects on.
But I think he is being funny. It is a bit of humor. He knows Donald Trump that the big criticism of him is that he doesn't seem serious main. He blew it in Helsinki. He doesn't seem to be up to speed on understanding how history is a tool to guide him through his White House years. Hence, he made the Lincoln group. And it's so self- aggrandizing, only Lincoln maybe is better than me. But truth is if you look at Presidential polls, Donald Trump right now is ranking around Warren Harden and James Buchanan.
CABRERA: I mean, hold that thought for a second. Because he did talk about polls and Abe Lincoln also this week in a tweet writing, wow, highest poll numbers in the history of the Republican Party and that includes Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. There must be something wrong. Please recheck that poll.
Again, Lincoln died more than 70-plus years before modern polls were taken. But that aside, I mean, it seems clear he is obsessed with that. And he wants that number one ranking.
BRINKLEY: He wants the number one ranking. And Lincoln is everybody's number one. The problem was when Lincoln won in 1860, there was seven states not even on the ballot would Lincoln won and his popularity was limited in to the northern zone of our country. And there were no polling. We were fighting a civil war. People weren't going in and taking those kind of scientific or quasi scientific polling of a President. So again, he is just trying to have his name. Trump and Lincoln
aren't they similar. You know, the interesting thing is all presidents though try to claim Lincoln. Remember Barack Obama launched his Presidential campaign from Springfield. And George W. Bush even now says his favorite president is Lincoln. The recent director of the Bush library in Dallas is now the director of the Lincoln library.
Everybody likes Lincoln because whenever you get beat up no matter how bad you think you have it, Lincoln had it worse. Yes, he ends up being number one.
[16:40:09] CABRERA: Doug Brinkley, always fascinating conversation when you are on. Thank you so much.
BRINKLEY: Thank you.
CABRERA: One of the most powerful men in television staying silent amid sexual harassment allegations. The growing controversy surrounding CBS CEO Les Moonves next.
[16:45:31] CABRERA: Welcome back. We have pictures just moments ago. President Trump leaving New Jersey, bound for a rally in Ohio tonight. This after publicly slamming NBA superstar Lebron James. Of course, Ohio is his home state. And this feud that has broken open today now has the first lady weighing in, seeming to take sides with Lebron James.
Also there has been a sighting of former communications director Hope Hicks apparently traveling with the President today. It's not clear why she is travelling with the President after she resigned her post as communications director in February. But we are going to stay on top of all of this.
Again he is going to Ohio to campaign in a very close race it appears going into Tuesday's special election. In a district that has for a very, very long time gone Republican, a deep red district. It has gone red in 88 of the past 98 years, if you can believe it. And the latest polls show this race between the Republican and Democrat neck and neck. So he is going to campaign for the Republican Trey Balderson. We are staying on top of all of that as the evening continues.
Meantime, CBS chairman and chief executive Les Moonves is staying silent about the sexual harassment allegation that is threatened to end his career. Now this week, the network's board agreed to hire two law firms to conduct a full scale investigation after a report by the New Yorker Ronan Farrow that six women have accused the executive of making unwanted sexual advances over the years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONAN FARROW, WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: In many facets of the company and we are careful not to overgeneralize but we do say that there are a string of examples manifested in litigation and complaints inside the company where people said this happened to me too. This wasn't just Les Moonves. This was a culture of protecting powerful people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Many of the charges are decades old and pre-date Moonves' arrival at CBS. But this week "The L.A. Times" reported CBS board members learned that several months ago Los Angeles police investigated Moonves for an alleged sexual assault.
Joining us now Rachel Sklar. She is the founder of two women advocacy sites, The List and Change The Ratio.
So Rachel, I'm glad to have your voice on the show this afternoon. We have seen a number of other high profile people quickly lose their jobs over allegations of sexual harassment. I'm thinking Charlie Rose at CBS. Why do you think CBS is handling this situation involving Moonves differently, kind of holding back before taking action?
RACHEL SKLAR, FOUNDER/CEO, THE LIST: Well, I think there are a few reasons. I think probably one of the top reasons is the way the stock performed following these revelations from "The New Yorker." It tanked. And who likes when a stock tanks. And CBS is a very big company.
But also Les Moonves is very powerful. We are talking about the consolidation of power over years. The head of a network, someone extremely powerful. And these, you know, and the instinct of these companies is to button down the hatches. Go to the mattresses any other metaphor you might want and fight it and protest. No, no, no, we did never did anything appropriate. Our culture is great.
But if you read "The New Yorker" piece, there were pretty harrowing allegations of Les Moonves not only making unwanted sexual advances but enacting vengeance essentially against women who rejected him. And (INAUDIBLE) company, there were economic and professional repercussions as a result that derailed many careers. So this is serious. And it wasn't just Moonves.
SKLAR: The larger question is the permissive atmosphere at CBS for men who misbehave. And you know, the tenure of Jeff Bigger from "60 Minutes" is also been called into question with the reports. And I will add that this is not the first time. So this may be the first time these reports are officially coming out. But it's hardly not the first time -- it's hardly the first time that, you know, reporters have been investigating.
CABRERA: Right. And involving CBS specifically, I mentioned Charlie Rose there just a moment ago. But the President of CBS films, Terrie Press, a woman put out a statement regarding the Moonves situation. Here is what she says.
I do not believe it is my place to question the accounts put forth by the women, but I do find myself asking that if we are examining the industry as it existed decades before through the lens of 2018 should we also discuss a path to learning, reconciliation and forgiveness? Outrage is a valuable commodity but its usefulness can be diminished by overuse and understanding and learning from the past is the way towards a future that reflects real change.
Again, as far as we know the allegations involving Moonves are all from decades ago before the current Me Too movement which she seems to be, you know, referencing here. Should Moonves be given a second chance? Is it possible he has now learned from lessons that have you know emerged after the Me Too movement or during this most recent me too movement.
[16:50:45] SKLAR: I don't understand -- I don't understand why these predators and these perpetrators of not just bad behavior but of, you know, of an overarching culture that was damaging to women. These are just the ones who are willing to speak up On the Record. Why are we giving him the benefit of the doubt?
So far I haven't seen any evidence that he deserves the benefit of the doubt. So -- apologies for that. See if I can get rid of that. Sorry. Anyway, I think that, you know, in this case, anything from a CBS executive should probably be questioned because the -- I mean they have a vested interest in the result of this investigation not disrupting their corporate environment.
But to say that outrage has its place but not always has its place, I mean that's very disingenuous. There is a lot to be outraged about in the reports of Moonves' behaviour. And there were 30 sources at CBS who came forward and attested to this, according to "The New Yorker." And they are -- they are well-known for the fact checking department.
CABRERA: Indeed. Rachel Sklar, thanks so much.
SKLAR: Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, call it the trial of style, the ostrich coat, a python blaze even a little plaid mixed on. Jeannie Moos reports on the clothes at the center of the Paul Manafort trial next.
[16:56:48] CABRERA: Live pictures now from Louis center, Ohio. You see this room filling up. This is at a high school there where the President will host a rally tonight, what he is calling a make America great again rally, in part trying to avert a special election loss there. He is campaigns for Troy Balderson, who is the Republican state senator in a tough fight appears to represent Ohio's 12th congressional district. And this includes the affluent suburbs of Columbus as well as (INAUDIBLE) of central Ohio. This is a deep red district. It's gone Republican for many, many, many decades. And yet the polling show this is race now neck and neck. We are staying on top of this.
Meantime, we are also staying on top of the latest in the Paul Manafort trial, one that includes ostrich, python and plaid. Oh, my. Jeanie Moos reports on Paul Manafort's now infamous fashion choices. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JEANNIE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The price of the ostrich jacket doesn't really bite until you see it on the invoice, $15,000. And you are probably imaging this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I would imagine like feathers on it somewhere.
MOOS: We had one tweet Manafort's $15,000 ostrich jacket probably looked like a, but I'm going to imagine b, anyway. Even Kimmel fell for the feathers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That should be what he has to wear in jail. Just sitting in a cell dressed up like big bird waiting for the trial.
MOOS: But the jacket is actually leather not feather. You know it's ostrich from the bumps that were follicles (ph) with where the feathers used to be. Manafort also bought the ostrich vest for $9500 something Mr. Burns on the Simpsons didn't possessed.
Ostriches get no respect. And neither does an ostrich jacket. It's something you need in order to work for Trump that allows to you stick your head in the sand. But the leather is considered luxury. It ends up in $35,000 Birken bags by Hermes.
Who know who else flaunts the ostrich as a status symbol?
JLO in her latest music video about money. But ostrich wasn't even Manafort's most expensive exotic skin. That would be the $18500 python jacket. Then there was the (INAUDIBLE) plaid, so similar to one worn by Trump ex-lawyer Michael Cohen that someone tweeted did Manafort loan Cohen his jacket. Still it's the ostrich jacket that has everyone craning their necks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. He had a coat made from an ostrich which explains the state's first witness.
MOOS: We haven't even Manafort in it. Yet someone noted this looks better wearing it. In the eyes of the ostrich, Manafort is already guilty.
Jeanie Moos. CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that make him guilty?
MOOS: New York.
CABRERA: Finally, a bizarre story out of yellow stone national park and some video you just have to see. Police arresting a man for taunting a wild bison. And this was caught on tape. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't you try it oh, God, no, no, no, oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, God. Oh, God, no with no, I can't watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:00:09] CABRERA: That bison was taking no BS for that guy. (INAUDIBLE) officials warning visitors to stay at least 25 yards away --.