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Several Women Accuse Trump of Unwanted Advances; Trump Campaign Calls NYT Article "Fiction"; NY Times: 2 Women Claim Trump Accosted Them; Boehner Voting for Trump Despite "Dynamite" Video. Aired 10- 10:30a ET
Aired October 13, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. Damning new accusations in Donald Trump's presidential campaign is reeling. Several women coming forward, saying Trump was lying when he dismissed his sexually aggressive comments caught on tape as just locker room talk. They say he made unwanted physical advances on them, an attorney for Mr. Trump, denying the claims, demanding retractions and threatening lawsuits. CNN's working to confirm the reports in the "New York Times" and in "People" magazine.
Trump, lashing out on Twitter just in the last hour, saying, "The phony story in the failing "New York Times" is a total fabrication written by same people as last discredited story on women."
OK. So watch this. Here's one accuser in the latest "New York Times" story. She shared her story on video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA LEEDS, ACCUSED DONALD TRUMP OF INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING: I was hired by a newsprint company. I was a sales rep. I was traveling in the Middle West. I was coming back into New York City. And it was on that flight that the stewardess asked me to - would I like to move up to first class. I didn't need to be asked twice. And I sat down next to a young man, blonde, tall and he introduced himself as Donald Trump.
I was not really aware of the real estate world of Trump. We just chatted back and forth, nothing particular. It wasn't until they cleared the meal that somehow or another, the arm rest in the seat disappeared and it was a real shock when all of a sudden, his hands were all over me. He started encroaching on my space and I hesitate to use this expression, but I'm going to, and that is he was like an octopus. It was like he had six arms. He was all over the place. If he had stuck with the upper part of the body, I might not have gotten -- I might not have gotten that upset but it's when he started putting his hand up my skirt and that was it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: All right. That was Jessica Leeds. She and several other women came forward after hearing Trump denying mistreatment of women during Sunday night's debate, in this exchange, with Anderson Cooper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.
COOPER: So for the record, you're saying you never did that?
TRUMP: I said things -- I frankly, you hear these things. They're said. And I was embarrassed by it, but I have tremendous respect for women.
COOPER: Have you ever done those things?
TRUMP: -- And women have respect for me and I will tell you, no, I have not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: OK. So we have a lot to cover this morning. Let's begin though in Florida with Jason Carroll. Good morning.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Carol. As you know, Donald Trump's attorney is denying that report out of the "Times" calling it reckless.
Donald Trump also denying allegations that are being made by "People" magazine writer, her name is Natasha Stoynoff. She says back in 2005, Carol, she was doing a profile piece on Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, and she was at his property at here Mar-a-Lago in Florida, down in south Florida, and she basically said once the two of them got alone, once she got alone with Donald Trump, she alleges the following happened. She said, "We walked into that room alone and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around and within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat. I was stunned."
Donald Trump, Carol, as you know, likes to tweet, tweeted about that just within the past hour or so, saying the following. "Why didn't the writer of the twelve year old article in People Magazine mention the "incident" in her story. Because it did not happen!"
Stoynoff actually did mention the alleged incident to one of her editors at the time and went on to say that the reason why she didn't go public with it in part was because she was worried about and concerned about her career.
Now, Carol, as you know, we have heard Donald Trump criticize what he calls the liberal media. He's done it at many of his rallies. In fact he did it at a rally just yesterday here in Florida. So what we expect at this point going forward, he is expected to have another rally here in Florida later today, expect him once again to go after what he calls the liberal media. That feeds into this whole narrative that he's been painting that the decks are really stacked against him as he says. This really plays well to his base. Does it play beyond that? That pretty much remains to be seen. Carol?
COSTELLO: All right, Jason Carroll reporting live from Florida this morning. The former House Speaker John Boehner, now reacting to that 2005 video where Trump brags about forcing himself on to women. In an interview on Fox News, Boehner describes the video as dynamite but says he's still standing by Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOEHNER, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I was disgusted by it. I thought most Americans would be disgusted by it.
[10:05:16] And frankly, I'm a little surprised that more people aren't disgusted by it.
BRIT HUME, HOST "ON THE RECORD": So your view was this is dynamite?
BOEHNER: I thought it was dynamite. I thought it was real bad. And you know, you can't defend it and frankly, Donald Trump isn't even trying to defend it. Listen, in my view, the election is pretty simple. But the legislative process, the political process in Washington is at a stand-still and will be regardless of who wins.
And the only thing that really matters over the next four years or eight years is who is going to appoint of the next Supreme Court nominees. I just believe that the next president's going to appoint two, three, maybe four justices to the Supreme Court and all throughout the federal court system because more and more issues, because they can't be dealt with legislatively are going to end up in the court system. And so I believe that Donald Trump's view of who these judges should be, much closer to where I am than the judges that Hillary Clinton would appoint.
HUME: So you plan to vote for Trump?
BOEHNER: I am going to vote for him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: All right. So let's talk. With me now, Ryan Lizza, he is CNN political commentator and the Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker," Heidi Przybyla is the senior politics reporter for "USA Today" and CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Laura Coates is here, a full disclosure about you Laura. Laura used to be an associate for a law firm that represents Mr. Trump. However, she did not personally litigate any matters at all related to Trump. So, just full disclosure here because we are into transparency here at CNN.
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST AND FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Thank you. COSTELLO: So welcome to all of you. Heidi, you heard what former Speaker Boehner said. He said the Trump controversy is dynamite, it's indefensible but he says Trump is still fit for office. Thoughts?
HEIDI PRZYBYLA, SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER "USA TODAY": Well, I think this is the only rationalization that Republicans have left in terms of supporting this man considering how hard they went after Bill Clinton for offenses that seem pretty much very, very similar which is that it comes down to the courts. I just don't think that's going to be enough for a lot of Republicans.
And I think it's not going to be just limited to women at this point. I think it's going to be men as well, men with daughters, men with wives and I think the really damaging counter -- punch to all of this is that he's no longer just going after the media in his response. We are now seeing widespread victim blaming both by Donald Trump but also his surrogates, Katrina Pierson, was on earlier saying that these women are seeking 15 minutes of fame.
Well, Carol, the next wave of news is going to have experts on sexual assault who will testify to the well-known phenomenon of women not reporting this, how underreported this is in our society, these types of sexual assault, and that is just not going to go over well with a lot of women and men voters, frankly.
COSTELLO: Yes. Ryan, how does Trump marry that? Because if he's attacking these women, isn't that the very thing he's accusing Hillary Clinton of doing to the women who supposedly had sexual contact with Bill Clinton. And some of them did. I don't want to make it sound like none of them did.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT FOR "THE NEW YORKER": Yes. Not to just get into the crass politics of this because obviously the allegations are very serious. But if you are going to base the final month of your campaign on Bill Clinton's sex life and the fact that Bill Clinton and allegedly, according to the Trump folks, Hillary Clinton attacked the accusers. You probably want to sit down with your advisors and make sure that those same allegations can't be credibly thrown back at you.
So, I mean, that is sort of the astonishing part of this, is that the last month, they decided they are going to go all in on the allegations against Clinton and seem not to have known or been prepared for - you know, it's been 24 hours since the Anderson Cooper got Trump to say that he never assaulted anyone, and that is what opened the flood gates of these accusations. And you know, we are getting close to - you know, we have what, half a dozen accusers already in that short period of time.
So, I think that to me is what was so shocking from, you know, why did they go down this road when they must have known or at the very least, Donald Trump must have known that he was opening himself up to lots of investigative journalism, lots of people stepping forward if indeed he's had this history. And I don't think we have seen -- it's only been one day. I don't think we have seen the last word on this at all. COSTELLO: No. Because Lara Trump is now threatening a lawsuit against the "New York Times," saying they fabricated the story and what these women are saying are not true. CBS had one of those reporters who wrote that "New York Times" story on this morning. This is how she said she went after the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BARBARO, "NEW YORK TIMES" NATIONAL REPORTER: We talked to these two women who went on the record and used their names. We talked to the people around them who went on the record and used their names. There are no anonymous quotations in the story. These are
[10:10:16] people who are putting their names and their reputations by the claims that were described in these stories. I think that's important.
NORAH O'DONNELL, CO-ANCHOR "CBS THIS MORNING": At the time that they alleged these assaults they had told close friends and family who recall similar stories.
BARBARO: In the case of Rachel Crooks that's absolutely correct. In the case of Jessica Leeds, she began about a year and a half ago, she said, to tell a widening circle of people including her son, her nephew and more than two friends. But we talked to two friends as well as the nephew and son who recall the details of what she told them which lined up with what she told us.
GAYLE KING, CO-ANCHOR "CBS THIS MORNING": Megan, you talked to Donald Trump, you said?
MEGAN TWOHEY, "NEW YORK TIMES" REPORTER: Right, absolutely. So, we would never just go ahead and publish these accounts without talking to the presidential candidate himself and so on Tuesday night, he got on the phone with me and I spelled out the allegations and you know, gave him a chance to respond.
KING: What did he say? Don't leave that hanging.
TWOHEY: So, you know, he insisted that all of the allegations were a fabrication and that the "New York Times" was making them up and he got increasingly agitated as I continued my questions, and you know, started to yell at me and told me that I was a disgusting human being.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: OK. So, two reporters wrote that story. Those were the two reporters responsible for the story in the "New York Times," Laura. So, Mr. Trump says he's now going to file a lawsuit. Because he said everything in that article is untrue. Does he have a prayer?
COATES: Well, you know, in the court of public opinion that will weigh very heavily in the election perhaps, but the legal ramifications are very different. And the reason these reporters came on air to talk about their investigative journalistic practices is because the court wants to know whether you really had actual malice towards your publication of this actual article. An actual malice is not what you think of in a semantic world of do I like Donald Trump. No. It's about whether or not you took caution, the necessary caution to figure out was the story true. Were there any loops that are black holes in the story you need to actually fill in in some way. Did you have to go back and actually check different sources?
And that's why the language of the attorneys who are writing on behalf of Donald Trump were very careful to talk about whether it was reckless, whether they actually have done all of their investigative journalistic duties in this case. So, -- if it turns out that the court finds -- if he does file a lawsuit and the court finds that the practices followed by those particular journalists are not on par with what they normally would do, or that it's so blatantly obvious based on the credibility of the witnesses or the credibility of the accusers or their trustworthiness, there may be a chance for a civil lawsuit that may be successful, but right now, we don't know that. All we have is the beginning of what looks like an iceberg of accusations that may take place and what we need to find out is whether or not there were other things the journalists could have done or should have done to show this story was false or that it was overwhelmingly true.
COSTELLO: So, Heidi, perhaps one of the things that Donald Trump is trying to accomplish is he's trying to scare other reporters off from writing similar stories.
PRZYBYLA: I think that might be part of it. But "USA Today" actually did some good investigating this morning and found that Mr. Trump has threatened many journalists over the years and has actually not followed through on a lot of those. Of course, the stakes this time are much higher for him.
And so it's possible that this could be a warning shot to other journalists. But I don't think that is going to stop this dam from breaking, Carol. We know that there's a lot of other information out there, specifically these "apprentice" tapes where there seems to be a bit of a tussle now to make those public, that there is information on that, that is much more damning than the stuff that's come forward in terms of that videotape on the bus.
And it just paints a broader narrative. It's not about any one of these single incidents alone. It's about the totality of all of this information that is now coming out about the comments on the 10-year- olds, the things that just look unsavory and distasteful.
COSTELLO: So Ryan, can Mr. Trump recover?
LIZZA: I mean, I don't want to drain the drama from this election given we have almost a month to go. But you know, a candidate polling where he's polling and struggling with the groups and in the states where he's struggling has never come back this late in the game. It would take an extraordinary collapse by Hillary Clinton for Donald Trump to win at this point. So never say never. Lot of people counted this guy out in the primaries. But you are very happy just from a strict political sense if you are Hillary Clinton right now.
COSTELLO: All right. I have to end it there. Thanks to Ryan, Heidi and Laura for joining me this morning.
Still to come in the "Newsroom," Trump brags about peeking into pageant dressing rooms. As a beauty queen says his behavior made her uncomfortable. We'll hear from her, next.
[10:19:00] COSTELLO: The "New York Times" bombshell report sparked fury online. Trump fans on Twitter calling the story a hoax, even launching a hash tag next fake Trump victim.
One user writing, "Less than a month until the election and women suddenly start claiming sexual assault. Democrats will do anything."
Other users took those tweets as a call to arms, launching their own hash tag, "Women stop Trump party."
One person tweeting, "Mark my words, this hash tag existing means November is going to be at best a GOP bloodbath."
So let's talk about all of this. I'm joined by former Philadelphia mayor and Hillary Clinton supporter Michael Nutter along with Donald Trump surrogate Rep. Brian Babin of Texas. Welcome to both of you.
MICHAEL NUTTER, (D) FORMER PHILADELPHIA MAYOR AND HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Thank you.
COSTELLO: You know, I just want to step back because both of you have run for office. -
REP. BRIAN BABIN, (R) TEXAS AND DONALD TRUMP SURROGATE: Good to be here.
COSTELLO: Nice to have you here. Thank you so much. Again, I want to step back because both of you have run for office. Michael, what would it be like to be in the middle of this kind of election?
NUTTER: Oh, it's
[10:20:16] just -- it's a firestorm. I mean, we saw when the first tape came out, the bus, and all of that disgusting talk, you know, Donald Trump apparently was, you know, held up in his Trump Tower, you know, as if they were in a bunker somewhere scrambling around, trying to figure out, you know, what to say, what to do, kind of a half- baked, half-hearted statement.
Then, you know, the hostage-like video. I mean they are scrambling. I mean, they are not focused now on the presidential election. It is impossible under these circumstances to fight so many battles in so many places on so many fronts all at the same time. And the last thing they're doing right now is focused on the presidential election. We are filing lawsuits. We're making denials. They're doing all kinds of things that have nothing to do with trying to become President of the United States of America. And we are now within the 30-day window. It should be all campaign all the time. And he can't do that. COSTELLO: Congressman, is that what it's like in the Trump campaign?
BABIN: I disagree 100 percent. You know, we're just seeing a lot of tabloid journalism that's going on. The video has been disavowed by Mr. Trump himself. He said he apologized for it. I can't defend it.
But the big issue here is that simply there's so much coming out on Mrs. Clinton that is not being scrutinized by the national media. The WikiLeaks, the information, the disparaging of Catholics, of Evangelicals, of her coming out and saying she has two positions on each issue, a public and a private one. And when asked about that, she invoked Abraham Lincoln's name in the debate the other night. And I have read a little bit about honest Abe and Hillary is no honest Abe, I can assure you of that. - What people are really trying to do --
COSTELLO: Well, Congressman, don't you think, don't you think that Donald Trump is partly to blame for that, because he's not tweeting those things this morning. He's tweeting things about the women who were quoted in the "New York Times" and calling the reporters' reports politically motivated.
BABIN: You know, again, this is he said/she said, some of it 30 years old. You know, I'm not going to get into tabloid journalism. --
COSTELLO: But you did. You got into the Clinton --
BABIN: And hypothetically, what we need to do --
NUTTER: With every respect --
BABIN: Carol, let me say one thing. The people of this country, 70 percent of them believe this country is going in the wrong direction. And there's only one agent of change here and that is Donald Trump. Mrs. Clinton has doubled down on what Mr. Obama has done for the last eight years. What the American people want is a - national security plan, securing our southern border, wants answers on the Clinton Foundation, and why she illegally deleted 33,000 e-mails, mishandling her classified information, and the Clinton Foundation collusion. --
COSTELLO: Michael, I hear you. But - I hear you Congressman, I do. But again --
NUTTER: Carol, a couple things.
COSTELLO: Go ahead, Michael.
NUTTER: Couple of things here. First of all, with every respect to the Congressman, I hate to disagree with you but Mr. Trump did not disavow the video from last week. He half-heartedly apologized. He has not disputed that it is him, his voice, his image. He was the only person coming off of that bus. He did not disavow that video. He did not disavow his statements about Nancy O'Dell for whom he has never apologized to her or her husband. He did not disavow what Ms. Tasha Dixon said last night on Don Lemon, that he walked into the dressing room of the beauty contestants who were in many instances naked, half-dressed, virtually unannounced and was creepy. He's like a backstage peeping Tom. These are all actions and words by him. This is not tabloid journalism. These are his words and his actions coming back to bite him. And he --
COSTELLO: And to that point, Congressman, we have videotape that bears truth and everything Michael just said. Let's play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'll go backstage before a show, and everyone's getting dressed and ready and everything else. And you know no men are anywhere. And I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant, and therefore I'm inspecting it. You know, I'm inspecting. I want to make sure that everything is good.
HOWARD STERN, HOST "THE HOWARD STERN SHOW": You're like a doctor.
TRUMP: Yes, the dresses. Is everyone OK? You know, they're standing there with no clothes. Is everybody OK? And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.
TASHA DIXON, FORMER MISS ARIZONA: All 50 contestants are in one room and
[10:25:16] you know, there are chaperones helping us change and whatnot, and it was announced Donald Trump was going to come in and before you could put a robe or kind of dress yourself, he walked in and you know, some women were half naked, others were in the process of changing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: So congressman --
NUTTER: I mean that's just disgusting.
COSTELLO: Congressman, your thoughts?
BABIN: Can I get a word in here, Carol, if you don't mind. This is the kind of stuff that is a distraction from what the importance, the significance of a historic election and it is he said/she said. The man is claimed --
COSTELLO: This is not a distraction Congressman, I will have to interrupt you right there. This is not a distraction. -- This points to the character of a man running for President of the United States. So when you hear things that Donald Trump said and then you hear from beauty pageant --
BABIN: How about Mr. Clinton a few years ago. You know, this -- Mr. Clinton was doing far worse. He had deeds, not words back in the '90s. I have to be around during that time.
COSTELLO: Why aren't you as upset at Mr. Trump as you are at Mr. Clinton? Who, by the way is not running for president. --
NUTTER: He's not running for president. He's already been president.
BABIN: No, he's not. He's not running for president. But his wife certainly is. And she went after --
NUTTER: What's that got to do with it?
BABIN: -- this so-called bimbo eruptions right and left. But this is not what America's interested in. America is interested -- we are on the precipice of a possible war, conflicts, an open border, we have illegal criminal aliens that are not being deported. We've got a $20 trillion national debt. And the very things that people are worried about, their jobs, the economy. Our economy's in the ditch right now and this is what we need to be talking about.
Mr. Trump has said he's a changed man. He's not perfect. You know, none of us have been. You know, as far as that video that he had, that's locker room talk. I've heard it before in my life. -- I can't defend that kind of stuff. And he doesn't need to -
BABIN: Well we need to get on with the election and the issues. Mrs. Clinton has got so much baggage. She's going to have a trained circus elephants to have to carry all of her baggage. And what you're doing is completely scrutinizing one side, one candidate in this campaign rather than both of them. It needs to be an equal playing field here. It's just too important. --
COSTELLO: I'm going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much, Congressman Brian Babin, Michael Nutter, thanks to both of you.
Coming up in the "Newsroom," the last time Utah went for a Democrat for president, Lyndon Johnson that was 1964. Could it happen again this year? Why some red states are on the verge of turning blue?