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Another Accuser Comes Forward Against Alabama Republican Senate Candidate; Menendez Jury Deadlocked. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired November 13, 2017 - 3:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Now this.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BALDWIN: All right. We continue on, top of the hour. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
And we begin with breaking news in the Senator Bob Menendez corruption trial. The federal jury in New Jersey is deadlocked on all 12 counts,so the judge has ordered them to get back in there and keep trying.
Actually, let's listen right now.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: First of all, as I said two- and-a-half years ago, when I first faced these charges, I was innocent.
And, clearly, there are jurors who believe in my innocence. I want to thank them for that. I want to thank all of the jurors for their service, but I believe no juror should be coerced.
It seems to me that we have been -- all of these jurors, save one, has been deliberating since Monday. And I would hope that, at the end of the day, after they finish tomorrow, that those who continue to believe in my innocence will stand strong and that, at the end of the day, no juror will be coerced into a decision. Thank you very much.
BALDWIN: And there he went, the senator on trial Bob Menendez, OK, speaking in Spanish there.
Let's get to our CNN justice reporter, who has been in the weeds on this trial from the very beginning. She is Laura Jarrett there in Newark, New Jersey.
So the judge has said to these jurors, go home, clear your head and get some fresh air and then come back and let's do this tomorrow. Is that correct?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brooke. This case is not over yet. The jury came back this afternoon after lunch and said, look, we're stuck. The judge asked the attorneys what they should do. And Peter Koski, the prosecutor here from the Justice Department, said, look, I think they should keep going.
They had to restart today because they got an alternate in to replace someone who left last week. Defense attorney for Menendez Abbe Lowell said, "I think we should declare a mistrial. They have done all they can do here."
But the judge ultimately agreed with the Justice Department and the prosecutor and so he brought the jury back in and said, look, I know it's been a long trial. Keep going, keep trying. You have been instructed to start over from scratch now, so go take a walk and get a breath of fresh air and come back tomorrow morning and have a fresh start -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: And just quickly, so we heard -- we have seen that that juror who is now out on vacation speaking up as saying she thinks that this will be declared a mistrial, and current jurors know that she has said this, yes?
JARRETT: Yes. There's clearly something going on in this jury room. That dismissed juror, she had a longstanding vacation which the judge said he was going to honor for quite a while.
I talked to her last week and she said, look, there are clear divisions in the jury room. She wanted to acquit across the board. She told me there were others that were with her. And so now we see this playing out. And we see the effects of the hung jury that she predicted last week, Brooke.
BALDWIN: All right, Laura Jarrett, thank you so much in New Jersey.
JARRETT: Thanks, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Now to this.
Two Republican senators are now unequivocally speaking out against the controversial Alabama candidate Roy Moore. Today, you have the Senate Majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and Senator Susan Collins calling for Roy Moore to drop out.
Leader McConnell says he believes the woman accusing Moore of sex abuse nearly 40 years when she was at the age of 14. McConnell is also siding with the three other women who say Moore pursued them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I do. I think he should step aside.
QUESTION: Do you believe these allegations to be true? MCCONNELL: I believe the women, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So, as we just mentioned, Senator Susan Collins from Maine is also tweeting about this.
Let me read this for you. She tweeted: "I have now read Mr. Moore's statement and listened to his radio interview in which he denies the charges. I did not find his denials to be convincing and believe that he should withdraw from the Senate race in Alabama."
But Roy Moore is now in day four of flat-out denying any of his allegations and he is threatening to sue "The Washington Post" for publishing the bombshell report just a month after this Alabama election.
Plus, the governor of his state just gave her thumbs up -- here she was -- on Roy Moore for Senate. So let's go to the ground, to Alabama.
CNN's Jason Carroll is live in Gadsden, Alabama.
And people there have had several days to take this all in. Can you tell, has Roy Moore lost support over any of this?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really tough to tell at this point.
What I can tell you, Brooke, is after spending all day yesterday with folks at church and then throughout the city, whatever people thought about Roy Moore before this, after these allegations, those people who supported him before, many of them are still strongly standing by him.
Those folks who were not in support of Roy Moore and then after the allegations came out, many of those people feel even -- have even stronger feelings against him.
The question is, are folks starting to move from one box to the other based on these allegations? And with each passing day, that is something that folks here are going have to deal with.
One point is clear, though, when speaking to a number of folks out here in Alabama, Brooke, is that a lot of people will be relying on their faith -- this is the Bible Belt -- in order to make these decisions.
And a lot of these people at this point, once again, they have already decided where they stand when it comes to Roy Moore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to compare a man of God who has done everything ever since I have known he existed. I didn't know him when he was 32. He's done everything he said he'd do in politics, which nobody else I know has.
And I won't compare him with a girl who had a sordid reputation, even in high school, and I know she can change too. And we forgive, and all that, that notwithstanding. But whose word am I going to take? It's not even a close call.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not planning to vote for him and that's where I will leave it at this time. I'm not planning to.
CARROLL: But it sounds like you're on the fence a bit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really like his opponent. I kind of like the policies a little bit. And I don't know. Roy Moore feels like a little bit more of a show, as opposed to an actual, you know, legitimate, honest, trustworthy candidate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: And, Brooke, you mentioned that Roy Moore is saying that at this point he may sue "The Washington Post." His wife putting out a statement on Facebook saying part of their lawsuit, she says, will sort of settle on what they believe some of those who are coming forward, she says, being paid to come forward.
Well, I spoke to a family member from Leigh Corfman family. Leigh Corfman, again, says -- told "The Washington Post," when she was 14 years old, she was sexually assaulted by Moore.
Again, I spoke to one of Corfman's family members this afternoon, who gave me the following statement, saying, "No money or other inducement has been paid, offered or promised and none is expected" -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Jason, thank you, in Gadsden.
I'm going to talk to a member of the Roy Moore campaign here live in just a second, but, first, just in, a new accuser has come forward with her lawyer, Gloria Allred, and accuses Moore of sexually assaulting her as a 16-year-old. This was back in 1977. She says she was a waitress, where Roy Moore was a regular customer.
Her name is Beverly Young Nelson. And she says he offered to drive her home from work one night, and this happened. Here she was from moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEVERLY YOUNG NELSON, ACCUSER: I got into his car in the passenger seat, and he began driving. I thought he would get on the highway, but instead he drove to the back of the restaurant.
I was not immediately alarmed, as there was an exit from the back of the restaurant to the street, and he could drive there to my house without getting on the highway.
However, instead of driving to the street, he stopped the car. He stopped the car. And he parked his car in between the dumpster and the back of the restaurant, where there were no lights.
The area was dark, and it was deserted. I was alarmed. And I immediately asked him what he was doing. Instead of answering my question, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, him putting his hands on my breasts.
I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over, and he locked it, so I could not get out. I tried fighting him off while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head on to his crotch. I continued to struggle.
I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me.
I was twisting, and I was struggling, and I was begging him to stop. I had tears running down my face. At some point -- at some point, he gave up. And he then looked at me. And he told me -- he said, "You're just a child." And he said, "I am the district attorney of Etowah County. And if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you."
He finally allowed me to open the door, and I either -- I either fell out or he pushed me out. I was on the ground as he pulled out of the parking area behind the restaurant. The passenger door was still open, as he burned rubber, pulling away, leaving me laying there on this cold, concrete in the dark.
I got up. I got up and I tried to pull myself together, as I was making my way to the front of the restaurant, when my boyfriend arrived. It was late. It was dark, and I did not say anything to him as to what had occurred, as he had a very violent temper, and I was afraid that he would do something that would get him into trouble.
When I got home, I went to my room. And the following morning, my neck was black and blue and purple.
In the days following, I covered the bruising on my neck with makeup. I did not tell anyone about what had happened. I was scared. I thought that, if I told anyone, that Mr. Moore would do something to me or my family. And I decided to keep what happened to myself.
The day after Mr. Moore assaulted me, I called the restaurant, and I quit my job. I never went back there again. About two years later, I told my younger sister what Mr. Moore did to me.
About four years ago, I told my mother, finally, what happened. Before I married my husband, John (ph), I told him what Mr. Moore had done to me.
My husband and I supported Donald Trump for president. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans or the Democrats. It has everything to do with Mr. Moore's sexual assault when I was a teenager.
I thought that I was Mr. Moore's only victim. I would probably have taken what Mr. Moore did to me to my grave, had it not been for the courage of four other women that were willing to speak out about their experiences with Mr. Moore.
Their courage has inspired me to overcome my fear. Mr. Moore attacked me when I was a child. I did nothing to deserve this sexual attack. I was frightened by his position and his power. And I am coming forward today to let Mr. -- I want Mr. Moore to know that he no longer has any power over me, and I no longer live in fear of him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And there you have just the latest accuser here in this Roy Moore story out of Alabama here.
Brynn Gingras just sat down. She has got a new statement in from Roy Moore.
What is he saying?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that statement actually came in as this was going on.
GINGRAS: So, it seems that they were somewhat prepared for this to happen.
GINGRAS: But let me read it to you in full, what the statement says.
It says: "Gloria Allred is a sensationalist leading a witch-hunt and she's only around to create a spectacle. Allred was the attorney who claims credit for giving us Roe vs. Wade, which has resulted in the murder of tens of millions of unborn babies. We've said this before and will say it again.
"Judge Moore is an innocent man and has never had sexual misconduct with anyone. This is a witch-hunt against a man who has had an impeccable a career for over 30 years and has always been known as a man of high character. Let it be understood the truth will come forward, we will pursue all legal options."
And let me finish that on the screen there: "Against these false claims. And Judge Moore will be vindicated."
Sorry. I lost my e-mail there that said the entire statement. But it's a very lengthy statement and, as I said, came out as this was going on. So, it seems that they were somewhat prepared.
But you just played for your viewers the entire statement by her. She had to take a pause every once in a while to get through it, incredibly emotional, as Gloria Allred was by her side.
Gloria Allred did take time during that press conference to basically say, like, listen, this isn't about politics. And she backed up who she's fought against in the political arena, and she says this is just another one, and she stands by it.
BALDWIN: What was the bit about the yearbook, or yearbook signing?
GINGRAS: So that was just basically to kind of give an idea of how she knew Roy Moore, this woman Beverly Young Nelson.
She says she first met Mr. Moore when he was coming into her restaurant where she worked. She was just a waitress there or worked there. And then, at one point, he said, "I wanted to sign your yearbook," and she was like, OK. And she felt honored.
GINGRAS: And she brought that to the press conference.
And it side: "To a sweeter, more beautiful girl I could not say merry Christmas, 1977, Christmas, 1977, love Roy Moore, district attorney."
Brynn, thank you so much for that side of it.
Let's continue on.
Steve Guede is the campaign coordinator for Calhoun County, Alabama.
STEVE GUEDE, ROY MOORE COUNTY CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR: Good afternoon.
So, let me just start with your reaction to what we just heard.
GUEDE: I don't really have a reaction on that. I don't know this woman.
I live in the neighboring county right next door. And all politics is local, if you guys don't know that.
BALDWIN: We're aware.
GUEDE: And it is very -- it is very curious that I haven't heard any stories like this until this year.
I have worked for Roy Moore campaigns for the last three campaigns. And they have been really brutal campaigns from the left and from the opposition in the Republican Party, have been -- have brutalized Roy Moore in many, many different ways.
And I don't have any -- I'm not trying to any aspersions on anyone because I don't know any of these women, even though I live in the neighboring country, and I have never heard of any of these kind of accusations.
I support Roy Moore because he's been exactly the opposite of what these folks are saying about him. He's been a good man of high character, a man of God. He's been a man who, when he stands up and says, you know what, I want to fight for you, and if you put in my office, I'm going to do A, B, C, and D for you, and when he gets into office, he actually does A, B, C and D for the people.
And the political class doesn't like that. They don't like folks who aren't beholden to them and don't go with whatever the status quo is putting out. There's not just a swamp in Washington, D.C. There's a swamp here in Alabama in our capital, too.
GUEDE: And he was a victim of swamp politics when he was here twice as the Supreme Court justice.
So, that's what I can tell you. I can tell you why I support Roy Moore, and I can tell you that since these allegations have come out--
BALDWIN: Let me jump in and just ask you a couple questions, Steve.
GUEDE: No, go ahead.
BALDWIN: And, yes, of course all politics is local, but obviously this has national implications.
And I wanted to talk to you today because I was reading one of the papers in Alabama saying -- where you were quoted essentially saying these allegations are actually helping your candidate. And I wanted to ask you why.
GUEDE: Well, I didn't -- I didn't -- I did not say that. I said since these accusations have come out, that I have had more phone calls about volunteership for the Roy Moore campaign in my county. And that's true.
BALDWIN: In the end, helping your cause, right? These are volunteers who want to help Roy Moore.
GUEDE: These are folks who stand up and say, I don't believe this about Roy Moore. I want to help. Can I get a yard sign? Can I help you in any way? Please, let me help.
And I -- and, of course, being his coordinator, I say OK.
BALDWIN: Of course. Of course.
I have also read that Democrats are seeing a boost in volunteers for your opponent, Doug Jones, because of all these stories that are swirling. Are you at all concerned about that?
GUEDE: No. If you want to support Doug Jones and you're a Democrat, please go
ahead. I'm for civic duty. And I'm for getting out and supporting the candidate that you think is best.
I think Roy Moore is the best candidate for the race because he's a veteran who has served Alabama with pride and distinction. And so that's why I support him. If he wasn't, if I thought for a minute that any of those things were true, I couldn't possibly support him.
But I do think he's a man of distinction, and he's proven that to me over and over again. And I have met several members of his family. I know his wife. They have been stalwarts in the Republican community in Alabama since I have been involved in the Republican Party, which is quite some time.
BALDWIN: The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has now officially said he believes the woman who was 14 at the time, and he believes the stories of these other women, and he believes Roy Moore should step aside.
Do you think that, with the Senate majority leader speaking out so strongly against your candidate today, how might that affect his chances?
GUEDE: I think that Mitch McConnell is not very well liked in the state of Alabama at all.
I think that Mitch McConnell promises a lot and delivers a little and has worked years against conservative Republicans, not just Roy Moore, but about every conservative Republican who has ever tried to run for Senate, Mitch McConnell, has worked against them, including during the primary.
His organization labeled -- lobbied vicious attacks against Roy Moore that nobody expected to come from a fellow Republican, because, generally, in the Republican Party, we try to treat each other with respect and dignity.
But Mitch McConnell doesn't seem to, I don't know, adhere to those principles at all as a Republican. And he not's well-liked in Alabama at all. And I have heard -- actually had folks to say to me, the fact that Mitch McConnell doesn't like him makes me want to vote for him.
BALDWIN: So the more Mitch McConnell says, the more you say it helps you?
GUEDE: It does in Republican circles in the state of Alabama, because, again, Mitch McConnell is not a popular man in the state of Alabama.
BALDWIN: What about Senator Susan Collins?
GUEDE: But, again, Roy Moore has served with distinction for over 30 years, and he is a popular man here in Alabama. BALDWIN: No, I can tell.
But then you have this other senator, Susan Collins, saying that she didn't find his details with regard to his denials to be convincing. She listened to a radio interview of his.
And, so, Steve, what's your response to Senator Collins? And would you advise your candidate to go point by point, accuser by accuser and explain to the public why these women's stories are false?
GUEDE: No. I wouldn't advise him to do that. That's not my bailiwick.
BALDWIN: Why not?
GUEDE: I'm just a county coordinator who tries to help with the campaign as I can.
I don't pretend to advise on a high-level Senate campaign. I'm just trying to help the candidate that I most believe in. And, again, we have another one of those Republicans that seems to always sides against conservatives, like Susan Collins.
And the other one that really surprised me was Senator Lee. And that really shocked me that he came out so quick to condemn Roy Moore. But the rest of them are really kind of what I like to call lightweight Republicans who don't stand on principle at all.
BALDWIN: Well, what about Cory Gardner? We are just getting this statement in from Senator Cory Gardner, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
And he says that if Roy Moore refuses to withdraw and wins the race, that the Senate should vote to expel him. That's a direct quote.
GUEDE: Well, and I say to Cory Gardner--
BALDWIN: Is he a lightweight Republican, too?
GUEDE: You're telling the voters of Alabama, if you choose your senator, that we are going to try to nullify your vote. Therefore, you don't have a constitutional right to vote in Alabama, because we are going to work our best to nullify your vote if you vote for Roy Moore.
That's the message I get from that. I don't know how you perceive that. But to say if the voters of Alabama vote for Roy Moore, you're all wrong, and I know more than you do, us Republican senators know more than you do, and we're going to nullify your vote through some kind of mechanism in the rules of the Senate.
BALDWIN: That's what we have from Senator Cory Gardner. GUEDE: That's kind of a breach of the Constitution that I don't think
folks in Alabama will rest well with.
BALDWIN: That's why I was asking. That's why I was asking. This is what Cory Gardner is saying.
What about the president of the United States, Steve? What if President Trump calls on Moore to drop out, once he comes back from Asia and sees what's at stake, and sees the number of Republicans are piling in saying that he should drop out? What would you say to the president?
GUEDE: I would say to the president that, like Senator Bob Mendez (sic), who is on trial right now, people are innocent until proven guilty, and we're being tried in the -- Roy Moore is being tried in the court of public opinion right now.
And there is not actual charges brought against him at all. And, again, I don't mean to besmirch any of these women. I don't know them from Adam. I don't know who they are. I don't know their relatives. I don't know any of them. So, I'm not going to cast an aspersion on any of them.
What I'm saying is, is that if I was being accused of something and I was not guilty, I would surely like to be able to prove my innocence, rather than have every news -- or most of the news agencies in the United States piling on to me saying I'm guilty of something that hasn't been proven, because that's how our legal system is set up, which, by the way, Roy Moore is a constitutional scholar and does understand these things.
BALDWIN: I think the thing is, Steve--
GUEDE: That's probably why he is considering lobbying a lawsuit against "The Washington Post."
BALDWIN: I think the thing is, how can -- how can he prove he didn't do it? I agree with you. He is innocent until proven guilty.
But I think the thing is, no one may ever know. These are -- it's just a, you know, she said/he said. This will obviously never see the inside of a courtroom. So, really, it's up on Alabamans, pure and simple.
GUEDE: It is absolutely up to Alabama. It is up to Alabama.
BALDWIN: All right.
Steve Guede, thank you. Good luck.
GUEDE: Thank you very much for having me. You have a great day.
BALDWIN: Thank you. You, too, sir. Coming up next here on this breaking news: Republicans holding a slim
majority in the Senate now facing a real predicament. Support Roy Moore? Do they support a write-in candidate? We will take you live to Capitol Hill for their reaction next.
BALDWIN: Staying on this breaking news here.
Another woman has come forward accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual abuse when she was 16 years of age. Several Republicans up on Capitol Hill have called for Roy Moore to drop out of the race, but he denies these allegations and says he's not going anywhere.
Moments ago, a remarkable statement from the head of the Senate Campaign Committee. Republican Senator Cory Gardner says, if Moore wins this race, that the Senate should vote to expel him.