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U.S.-U.K. Relationship Strained; British Lawmaker Criticizes Trump; Lauer Issues Apology; Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 30, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:32:20] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: North Korea releasing new video of its powerful new missile they launched this week. Defense officials from South Korea and Japan call this a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile, significantly larger than the one tested in July. U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, urging all nations to cut ties with North Korea and warns that war will lead to the regime's destruction.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Debate on the Senate Republican's tax reform bill is going to get underway later this morning. It's President Trump's last, big chance for a legislative win this year.

Now, all 52 Republicans voted "yes" on the procedural vote to start debate. Six senators have not yet committed on the final bill. The all-important vote is expected late today or tomorrow.

CAMEROTA: A scheduling glitch has left American Airlines with a major pilot shortage for the holiday traveling season. A software error gave too many pilots time off. The airline says it's working to avoid cancelations and offering pilots 150 percent of their hourly play to pick up these open flights. American has about 200,000 flights scheduled for December.

CUOMO: All right, President Trump sparking outrage by retweeting far- right anti-Muslim videos that may have not have even been authentic. We're going to talk to a British lawmaker who says this matters where he is and where you are. He believes that the president is saying things that are --


[08:37:43] CUOMO: British lawmakers expressing outrage because President Trump retweeted three videos from a far right anti-Muslim group from the U.K. Listen to one member of parliament slamming the president this morning.


STEPHEN DOUGHTY, LABOUR MP: This is the president of the United States sharing with millions inflammatory and divisive content deliberately posted to sew hatred and division by his own (INAUDIBLE) a convicted criminal who is facing further charges, who represents a vile, fascist organization seeking to spread hatred and violence in person and online. By sharing it he is either a racist, incompetent or unthinking or all three.


CUOMO: Stephen Doughty joins us now.

Thank you for taking the opportunity, sir.

What moved you to make that statement?

STEPHEN DOUGHTY, LABOUR MP: I think there's been absolute outrage at the president's sharing of this information. And let's not forget, this is not a normal Donald Trump Twitter storm. This is a far right fascist organization with a convicted criminal who's currently facing further charges in the U.K. for inciting religious hatred. He has shared information from her account which has clearly been put out to sew religious hatred and to stir up division in Britain and globally. It's an extraordinary thing for a president of the United States to have done. And he has endured condemnation on all sides today from members of the cabinet, from the prime minister and from across the House of Commons.

CUOMO: The White House says it doesn't matter the source, it doesn't matter even if the videos are authentic because the threat is authentic. And that is what they call Islamic terror. And the response from the president was, you people over there in the U.K. should worry about that more and what he says less. Your response?

DOUGHTY: Well, I think the president needs to worry about what's happening in the United States more than he's worrying about far right organizations in the U.K. and sharing their content. The fact is that I utterly condemn hatred, extremism and violence from wherever it comes, whether it comes from Islamist organizations, whether it comes from the far right or whether it comes from anti-Semitic organizations. I'm, you know, equally -- my condemnation of all of those. But what the president has done here is sharing information from a convicted criminal, someone who is currently facing further charges and from a very extreme organization equivalent I would say to the likes of the KKK in the United States. And its quite extraordinary for him to be doing that. The woman has been on herself online overnight asking the president to effectively get her out of prison. That's an extraordinary situation to be in.

[08:40:23] CUOMO: The call by a member of parliament for the president of the United States to be arrested on U.K. soil for spreading religious hate, too far?

DOUGHTY: I certainly don't support the president coming here for a state visit. I don't know whether he's committed criminal offenses. The home secretary, of course, said that she would, you know, keep under review any comments that have been made by anybody and treat them like she would with any individual making allegations or stirring up hatred and division. But it's very clear that British lawmakers from all parties, all parts of the House, member of the cabinets are deeply unhappy at what the president has done. We would not welcome him for a state visit. We, of course, want to have cooperation and a relationship with the

administration. You know, I love American. I love Americans. My grandfather was an American GI who came over to fight fascism in the Second World War. And I've traveled across 25 of your fantastic states. And President Trump simply doesn't represent the kind, generous, caring Americans that I know.

CUOMO: Well, he was elected president. And in terms of the level of discontent, the prime minister speaking to morning, Theresa May, in response to the president of the United States. Let's play a little bit of what she said.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: But we need to address this issue, the terrorists threat, from whatever source it comes because, yes, we have to deal with the Islamist terrorist attack (ph). We also have to deal with the fact that we have seen attacks in the United Kingdom from the far right as well. So we take seriously (INAUDIBLE) terrorism and extremism from whatever its source.

CUOMO: The prime minister there seemed to be giving a nod to what you were speaking to, that this woman and her group that the president gave an audience to, you see as much of a threat as Islamic terror in the U.K.?

DOUGHTY: Absolutely, and let's not forget that one of my colleagues in parliament last year, Jo Cox, who many of your viewers will have seen the reports of, was murdered by a far right neo-Nazi individual who, in fact, shouted references to the organization that President Trump has been seemingly endorsing. And obviously that cuts very, very close. It's extraordinarily irresponsible of him to have done so, let alone the fact that we have ongoing criminal proceedings involving this individual, for President Trump to be sharing her information without verification, without thought to the organization or the consequence of doing that is the height of irresponsibility.

CUOMO: Now, there is a reason that the president -- there are probably several reasons that the president is saying and doing what he does where -- when it comes to extreme Islamism and terror. And that is that there are many Americans that are afraid of Muslims. And you have been dealing with as much and more in terms of homegrown and brought in terror from that.

Do you sense among your own population that there is a growing resistance to saying it's not all Islam, it's only a little bit, that that is being dismissed as political correctness because that's a battle going on here in the United States?

DOUGHTY: Well, I've utterly condemned Islamist organizations and those spreading fear and hate, purporting to be Muslims. They're not Muslims in my view. Nor are they the few of my Muslim constituents in my district in South Wales. I have a very, very diverse district that I represent. And we have had problems with far right and Islamist extremism and terrorism. But the way to fight that is to -- by standing united against it and not seeking to divide and further incite fear and hatred, and by supporting and appearing to endorse an organization like Britain First that has nothing but an agenda to demonize all Muslims, all peace-loving and abiding -- law-abiding Muslims as somehow a cancer as the deputy leader of our organization has said is extraordinary.

CUOMO: Stephen Doughty, thank you for taking the opportunity to come on NEW DAY. We will see what happens next. Be well.


CAMEROTA: Matt Lauer, breaking his silence, apologizing this morning after more accusers come forward. What's next?


[08:48:32] CAMEROTA: Fired "Today" show host Matt Lauer making his silence, apologizing in a statement this morning after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

Joining us now to talk about all of this are Nancy Erika Smith, attorney to Gretchen Carlson when she took on Roger Ailes, Michaela Angela Davis, a cultural writer and critic, and Areva Martin, CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney.

Great to see all of you.

The flood gates continue to pour open. I mean we've been here before. It feels like we will continue to be here to have this conversation.

So, Areva, let me start with you.

There were rumors, there were sometimes whispers about Matt Lauer, about like extramarital philandering. This is in a different stratosphere. But you say that the rumors should have been a red flag. What does that mean?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think we've been so focused on the courageous women that have come forward to tell their stories, and we don't ever want to lose sight of the victims, but we also have to stay focused on employers. In the workplace, employers have an affirmative obligation to investigate sexual harassment. And it doesn't have to just be those claims that come forward from victims. So if an employer has knowledge or has reasonable suspicion that sexual harassment or some kind of sexual abuse is happening in the workplace, they have to do something.

CAMEROTA: But maybe -- wait a second. Wait a minute. But if they have -- but, hold on. If they have -- let me bring in Nancy. You're a lawyer too.

If you have -- if an employer has a rumor that there's an extramarital affair happening, are they supposed to do something?

NANCY ERIKA SMITH, ATTORNEY, SMITH MULLIN, REPRESENTS GRETCHEN CARLSON: No, but clearly the institutions are not working here, clearly. These were more rumors than extramarital affairs. Some women -- in fact last night Ashleigh Banfield said that she complained about sexual harassment when she was at NBC, not by Matt Lauer, but she complained and the executive threw her out of the office. That's an institution that is not taking sexual harassment seriously. It's a place where women don't feel safe coming forward. So I think Areva is absolutely right, employers, the institutions in our country, they all have to change now.

[08:50:32] CAMEROTA: Michaela, what did you think when you heard about Matt Lauer yesterday?

MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CULTURAL CRITIC/WRITER: It blew my mind. We weren't surprised, but this was the highest you could get, I think. I mean the -- morning television has changed. Morning news has changed.

But, you know, it -- unless HR departments, the culture of them, and the boards that have more women on them, this is what -- this change has to begin more than just people losing their jobs. We have to keep going because if the culture doesn't change, then things won't change.

CAMEROTA: Areva, I want to ask you a legal question and this next part is graphic, so I just want to warn everybody who may have kids in the room, this next part is graphic because I want to detail what one of the woman said that Matt Lauer did to her.

So, in 2001, one of his subordinates, I mean a junior person to him, was called into his office to, she thought, go over a story, how they were going to produce a story. That's what she was told. She sat down on the sofa, he asked her to unbutton her blouse. She did so. He then remotely shut the door, which he could do from a button on his desk. He then pulled down her pants and had sex with her. Presumably this was so traumatic for her, during it, she passed out and his assistant had to take her to the NBC nurse.

What happens legal -- what are we -- what realm are we in legally with these details as you hear them?

MARTIN: Yes, we are way beyond an employer being able to say that they had no knowledge. So let's start with that assistant. She's called into an office and a woman is passed out on the floor. She takes that woman to the nurse. Red flag. Big red flag. What happens after that? Who's talked to? Who's interviewed? What statement does this woman, who just had intercourse, forced intercourse presumably, or at least non-consensual, that she passes out and the assistant now is involved. So now we not just have the victim, but we have a witness, at least a witness to what happened after this intercourse.


MARTIN: So I'm really puzzled by the statement that was issued by NBC that the current management had no knowledge. That's a loaded phrase for a lawyer. And I know Nancy would agree with me. We want to talk about, what do you mean by current management?


SMITH: I couldn't agree more. And this is another trick that has happened in HR departments and in all of our institutions. It's this -- this -- putting in categories that don't really have any responsibility up to the board, like you're saying. Every board should have a committee that monitors HR from now and forever.

CAMEROTA: But hold on one second because I believe that in "The New York Times" reporting she says she didn't tell -- she was -- the woman, the accuser --

MARTIN: Right.

CAMEROTA: Was humiliated, traumatized. She did not tell management. So how can they know what happened?

SMITH: Well, the nurse knew. The assistant new.

CAMEROTA: The nurse didn't know that there had been sex. The nurse knew something strange.

SMITH: Right.

CAMEROTA: She passed out. Blood sugar. I mean the nurse doesn't know the details.

SMITH: Definitely. Assuming that she was dressed again by Matt Lauer before he called somebody that he had an unconscious woman on the floor of his office.

DAVIS: Wait a minute. Can we just --

CAMEROTA: Yes, go ahead.

DAVIS: Hold up for a second that there's an unconscious woman on the floor that was -- could have been raped?


DAVIS: This is criminal. This is insane that this -- like, is there an inability to have power and proximity to women in these spaces? And you used the right word, trauma. So these women are traumatized. They are -- their self-worth, their ability to move -- they have to go into a hostile or war zone every day? Like, that's -- that's what we're looking at.

CAMEROTA: Right, not (ph) everybody who worked there does (ph).

SMITH: They don't feel safe.

DAVIS: Every day they don't --

SMITH: And they don't feel safe coming forward.


SMITH: That's why they don't come -- women don't want to tolerate this behavior and live with it. The institution did not make her feel safe.

CAMEROTA: Go ahead, Areva.

MARTIN: And, Alisyn, I think this is important to note. Even though that victim at that moment may not have made a formal statement to HR or to management, somebody in that organization knew that something was going on with Matt Lauer. We see that in the "Variety" article. So it would be naive of any of us to sit here and suggest that no one in executive management or leadership had any -- you know, any knowledge about these incidents.

Let's talk about the reality here. $25 million salary and a $500 million cash cow that that show is for the network. That's what's driving the decisions not to investigate and not to take action sooner until this blew up on them.

[08:55:03] DAVIS: Someone installed the button to lock the door. I mean what --

CAMEROTA: Right. And we now know that there --

DAVIS: You know, I mean --

CAMEROTA: That it was apparently customary for executives to have a remote switch that shut their door. They had big offices and to shut their door when a conversation became private. So it wasn't just Matt Lauer, OK.

But, still, what you're saying is that it's important for all -- this is a teachable moment for every single person, women included --

DAVIS: That's right.

CAMEROTA: Which is that obviously you have to say something. And you are entitled to scream. If something is happening in a locked office or a -- your -- you now, today, you can scream. You can yell for help. You can do whatever it takes. I mean we're just learning how bad these things were that women kept secret.

DAVIS: Right.

CAMEROTA: Ladies, thank you very much for the conversation. Always great to talk to all of you. We will speak again.

SMITH: Thanks.

DAVIS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: CNN "NEWSROOM" with John Berman picks up after this very quick break.


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