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RNC Joins Trump Backing Moore; Roy Moore Accusations; LaVar Ball Pulls Son From UCLA. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired December 5, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:31:51] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: One week from today voters will head to the polls in Alabama. This as the RNC has reinstating funding -- reinstated funding for Roy Moore's campaign despite serious credible allegations of child molestation against him. The move follows President Trump's endorsement of Moore yesterday.

Joining me now is Moore's campaign spokeswoman, Janet Porter.

Janet, it is nice to have you on. Thank you for joining us.

And let me get right to it. Today --

JANET PORTER, SPOKESPERSON, ROY MOORE CAMPAIGN: Thank you. It's great to be with you.

HARLOW: The --

PORTER: And, by the way, congratulations on your -- your unborn child. That's the reason why I came down as a volunteer to speak for Judge Roy Moore, because he'll stand for the rights of babies like yours in the womb, where his opponent will support killing them up until the moment of birth.

HARLOW: Janet, thank you for being with us and I appreciate the congratulations on our son on the way.

Now, let's get right to this.


HARLOW: First of all, the call between the president from Air Force One yesterday and Roy Moore. The two spoke after the president endorsed Roy Moore. What can you tell us about that phone call?

PORTER: Sure. Here's what he had to say. Basically he knows Judge Roy Moore is a fighter. He's denied all the false, baseless allegations. And he fully supports him. In fact, this is why. He said it in his tweet, that we need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, border law, military, pro-life, the VA, judges and the Second Amendment. That's why he says we need Judge Roy Moore. And he's fully behind him.

And now, as you know, not only has the RNC backed him, the governor's backed him, the honorable Congressman Mo Brooks, people -- leaders like Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Ben Carson. We have Governor Sarah Palin. And, most importantly -- by the way, we also had a 500 pro-life and pro-family leaders that have just signed on to this letter of support for Judge Roy Moore.

HARLOW: Janet, let me ask you about the --

PORTER: But mostly importantly, the people of Alabama support him.

HARLOW: Let me ask you about the legislation. For example, the Republican tax bill that just made it through the Senate.


HARLOW: Would, if he were to have been a sitting senator at the time, would Roy Moore have voted for that?

PORTER: Yes, that's my understanding.

HARLOW: He would have supported it? OK.

So let's move on.

PORTER: He's for -- he's for tax cuts. He's for secure borders. He's for our Second Amendment.

But, interesting, his opponent, when was asked, he can't even deny that he wants to take our guns and religious freedoms away. That was a question asked by the Congress (ph) --

HARLOW: So, Janet, I want to get a lot about your -- about your candidate. So let's go through some of the allegations against him.

First, Leigh Corfman.


HARLOW: Whom we have heard from in her own words saying at 14 years old she was a victim of child molestation by Roy Moore. Here she is in her words.


LEIGH CORFMAN, ROY MOORE ACCUSER: He basically laid out some blankets on the floor of his living room and proceed to seduce me, I guess you would say. And during the course of that, he removed by clothing. He left the room and came back in wearing his white underwear. And he touched me over my clothing, what was left of it. And he tried to get me to touch him as well.


HARLOW: Do you believe her?

[08:34:57] PORTER: I don't believe her at all, and I'll tell you why. Not only was she sought after by "The Washington Post," her own mother doesn't believe elements of her story. The element of the phone call that took place in her bedroom. Her mother said there was no phone in her bedroom. The element that she told "The Washington Post" that her life spiraled out of control after this alleged incident. Well, that's not what her mother said. That's not what the court records said. But after -- this -- she was -- let me -- let me respond if I may.

HARLOW: So her mother said that there -- her mother said, Janet, that there was no phone in the bedroom, which is not the crux of the story.

PORTER: And she also said --

HARLOW: And "The Washington Post" journalist, the job of journalists, is to go ask questions and to follow leads.

PORTER: They -- they -- they have an agenda. By the way, one of the -- one of the drug dealer accusers of --

HARLOW: And it might be questionable -- hold on. Hold on one second.


HARLOW: Let me just -- the job of reporters, because I am one, is to follow leads and ask questions. And that is what "The Washington Post" did. Leigh Corfman did not seek out "The Washington Post."

PORTER: One of the leads --

HARLOW: She was so hesitant to tell her story, she said that she would not tell it until other women were willing to go on the record. And she said to Savannah Guthrie, on NBC, this has made my life more difficult. I haven't been able to work because of it.

PORTER: One of the jobs of journalist is to not just take an Academy Award performance at face value. You need to dig into the facts. And one of the facts in the case --

HARLOW: Thirty people corroborated her story who knew Roy Moore between 1977 and 1982.

PORTER: Actually -- actually, they did not. The corroboration -- we need to make it clear --

HARLOW: They did according to the reportings from "The Post."

PORTER: Poppy, we need to make it clear that there's a group of non- accusers that have not accused the judge of any sexual misconduct or anything illegal. But when we're talking about Leigh Corfman, even her own mother said that her report to "The Washington Post," that her life spiraled out of -- out of control after this alleged incident. Well, actually, the court records say differently, that she was actually given custody of to her ex -- the mother of Leigh Corfman gave willing, gave custody away to her ex-husband because of the severe behavior problems.

HARLOW: So Leigh --

PORTER: Which got better, not worse, and that was when a year later that custody was returned to her parents.

HARLOW: So Leigh Corfman is one of eight women --

PORTER: So the bottom line is --

HARLOW: Lee Corfman is one of eight women and I want to get --

PORTER: Well, let's look at the women, shall we?

HARLOW: Let's look at the women. So there are four women --

PORTER: Let's look at, for example, Beverly --

HARLOW: Who have accused -- there are four women. I ask the questions here, OK. There are four women --

PORTER: All right.

HARLOW: Who have accused the candidate of sexual assault or abuse. There are four more who have said --

PORTER: Let's --

HARLOW: There are four more who have said that when he was twice their age they dated him. He dated them when they were teenagers ranging from age 16 to age 18. Are you comfortable with all of that and are you saying that all of these women are lying?

PORTER: If people of legal age share a meal together, that's frankly none of my business. I think what matters in this race is, let's look at the accusations. For example, let's look at Beverly Nelson. Everybody knows her yearbook is a forgery, including her attorney, who on your network wouldn't deny that it was a forgery. Every element of her story is false.

HARLOW: That's not what Gloria Allred said in her interview with Alisyn Camerota in this chair on this show. Alisyn Camerota pushed her saying, will you present this to an independent handwriting expert and she said, yes, when Roy Moore goes forward and is willing to go under oath about this.

PORTER: She says when he goes forward before a Judiciary Committee in the Senate. And guess who sits on that committee, the guy by the name of Al Franken. A guy who's guilty of sexual assault is supposed to oversee according to abortion activist Gloria Allred, whether or not this innocent man should serve in the Senate. It's ridiculous.

By the way, let's look at Beverly Nelson for a moment. If you look at her --

HARLOW: So you believe -- just to be clear. Just to be clear, you believe the women who are accusing -- you believe the women who have accused Al Franken of these accusations, correct?

PORTER: No, I believe Al Franken. He admitted guilt himself. He's already admitted guilt himself. HARLOW: But do you believe the women? Did you believe the women before Al Franken said, I did these things and I apologize?

PORTER: I had no opinion until I heard Al Franken say that I actually admit it.

HARLOW: Well, why did you have no opinion about those women but you have quite a clear opinion of the women who have accused Senator Roy Moore?

PORTER: Well, I've taken a look -- I've done what journalist are supposed to do. Here's why. I've done what journalists are supposed to do. I looked at the facts and I see, for example, some of these have motivations. For one of the people who spoke out against Judge Moore, well, it just so happened her drug dealing brother was prosecuted by a guy by the name of Roy Moore.

HARLOW: Who? Who are you talking about? Who -- what woman are you talking about?

PORTER: We're looking at -- I'm talking about Faye Gary, who made an accusation against the judge and then went on MSNBC and said --

HARLOW: That is not one of the eight women --

PORTER: Well, I think it --

HARLOW: That is not one of the eight women that CNN has vetted their claims.

PORTER: Well, let's look at -- let's look at one of the women. Let's look at Tina Johnson.

HARLOW: I'm -- OK, go ahead. What about Tina Johnson?

PORTER: Tina Johnson has an axe to grind against -- she has an axe to grind against the judge because he represented the party, her mother, that said that she was an unfit mother, that she was -- she had a violent nature, that she was an absentee mother. And so he represented the party that took away custody of her 12-year-old son. These are people who are seeking revenge. Much like criminals who are seeking revenge, like the drug dealer that Judge Moore sent to jail just happens to have a brother who's an editor on "The Washington Post."

HARLOW: These, as you know, you're --

PORTER: If we had real journalism, we'd be asking questions on both sides.

HARLOW: We do. That's exactly what we do every morning here. And I'm glad you're here to answer them.

Let's listen to one of your colleagues on this team. The chief strategist of Roy Moore came on this network last night. His name is Dean Young. Here's what he said about the accounts of Roy Moore dating teenage girls. Listen. [08:40:12} (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN YOUNG, CHIEF POLITICAL STRATEGIST FOR ROY MOORE: If he did date a teenager, he didn't know about it. So I can't tell you how many times I've been on a date and didn't ask a girl how old she was, especially after I asked her mama if I could date them.


HARLOW: OK, generally important if you have a question about age to know whether someone's underage. But let's put that aside for a moment.

That argument does not hold water, Janet, and here's why. Debbie Wesson Gibson, 17 at the time, detailed to "The Washington Post" in a new piece just yesterday the date she went on with Roy Moore when he was 34. The fact that they kissed. She shows and there are photographs of the card he gave her for her graduation, what he wrote her when she was graduating from high school. And now your colleague says, well, he didn't know he was dating any teenagers. And you said the same thing to my colleague Erin Burnett, that he didn't know he was dating any teenagers.

PORTER: Well, let's -- let's look at the -- can we look at the facts? Can we look at --

HARLOW: My question is, factually, just, yes or no, he Roy Moore date Debbie Wesson Gibson and kiss her when he was 34 and she was 17?

PORTER: I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that what Debbie Gibson said when she wasn't campaigning for Judge Roy Moore's opponent, and posing with pictures she's proud of, of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, what she said is that Judge Roy Moore gave a gift to her fiance with a congratulatory note. Let me tell you what passes the straight face test. I'm telling you, when I got engaged, no ex- boyfriend gave my husband a gift of any kind. But we did get many gifts from family friends. And so --

HARLOW: You seem to be saying that all of these women are basically Democratic operatives, that they all want Doug Jones to win. But Leigh Corfman -- Leith Corfman --

PORTER: Well, this particular women, she scrubbed her FaceBook page like her -- like her -- Hillary, her hero, scrubbed her e-mails.

HARLOW: Leigh Corfman voted -- OK, Leigh Corfman, who says she was molested as a child at 14 by Roy Moore, voted for --

PORTER: Whose mother disputes her arguments and her case.

HARLOW: Voted for President Trump and the past -- in the past three presidential elections voted for a Republican.

PORTER: What we need to do --

HARLOW: So is your argument here just that these are people with a political vendetta against Roy Moore?

PORTER: Well, when you've got somebody campaigning for Judge Moore and the most they can come up with is that he's a really nice guy and he gave my fiance a gift and our families exchanged Christmas cards, that says to me they're a family friend.

HARLOW: But you're not answering my question. My question was just about -- my question was just about Leigh Corfman, going back to her, going back to the first allegation of these women against Judge Roy Moore. This is a woman who's repeatedly voted for Republican candidates.

PORTER: Well, the first allegation has been disputed. She -- maybe she has. Maybe she hasn't. What's lacking in all of this is a cross- examination, is oath taking, is the evidence examination.

HARLOW: I just asked you --

PORTER: What I want to point to is --

HARLOW: I just asked you if Roy Moore would go under oath and testify before Congress on this, and instead of answering that with yes or no, you said I don't think Franken that leads the committee.

PORTER: I don't think he (INAUDIBLE). I don't think he needs to bow to the demands of Gloria Allred. I don't think he needs to bow to the demands of Gloria Allred and Senator Al Franken in the Senate committee.

HARLOW: I'm asking you that question as an American citizen. I'm asking you just as an American citizen, would he go under oath and answer these questions that the American people deserve answers to?

PORTER: Well, again, what are the questions? The questions, did he -- looking at the non-accusers, I think that those questions are completely irrelevant. Whether two people share a meal is --

HARLOW: Is he guilty of pedophilia and child molestation?

PORTER: Child molestation is something that needs to be handled in --

I think no matter what your political persuasion is, those are important questions to be asked. So, again, I will ask you --

PORTER: May I respond?

HARLOW: I again I will ask you, will Roy Moore, will he be willing to go under oath and testify?

PORTER: The place to testify under oath -- and, of course, anybody who's being brought under trial would do so. The place to testify under oath is in a court of law, is in trial. If we try people -- can I respond?

HARLOW: But as you know -- as you well know, this -- these are allegations from the '70s. PORTER: If we try people in the court of public opinion, there would

be some lacrosse players in jail right now.

HARLOW: There will be no trial. There will be no trial. There will be no trial because legally that's not possible.

PORTER: Let me tell you about what --

HARLOW: I mean you know that.

PORTER: Here's a question that should be asked. If you care about child abuse, you should be talking about the fact that Judge Roy Moore stands for protection, not only of our Second Amendment rights so we can protect ourselves against predators, for the rights of babies like your eight month baby that you're carrying now. Doug Jones says you can take the life of that baby and we should pay for it, even fund Planned Parenthood, who wants to sell the organs.

HARLOW: Let's leave my child out of this. Let's leave my child out of this.

PORTER: Well, it's really the children of Alabama that we're talking about. And the Alabamans understand that if we're talking about what's at stake here, we're talking about fake allegations, concocted stories about an innocent man versus real threat of child abuse, not only in the womb, but also in the locker room.

HARLOW: But all of these women. Janet -- Janet, I have respect for you for coming on this show, for taking the time, but I want to make it very clear so everybody understands, you believe that all eight of these women, whom CNN has vetted their stories, are lying. That these are in your words fake allegations, women that do not know one another, where dozens of people have corroborated their accounts, yes or no?

PORTER: There are only merely three -- there are only three accused -- may I respond?

[08:45:02] HARLOW: Yes or no, do you believe any of them.

PORTER: What I believe -- eight of the people are non-accusers, that did not accuse Judge Moore of any sexual misconduct. The other three that have --

HARLOW: Do you believe these women? Would you like me to name them? All right I'm going to name them, OK. Leigh Corfman --

PORTER: Well, I'll name them. Beverly Nelson, who's yearbook -- she's the yearbook fraud. She's the yearbook forger lady. Then you've got Tina Johnson. She's the one that plead guilty to felony fraud and was arrested for theft by deception, which, by the way, is what's happening in Alabama.

HARLOW: So -- so you know what --

PORTER: They're trying to steal this election by deception. That's what's happening. And so we -- we believe that the people of Alabama are going to stand --

HARLOW: Hold on, Janet. Hold on, Janet. We have them on the screen and we have very strict vetting policies of people that we will even put on that screen here at CNN. These are the women.

PORTER: How about a motive --

HARLOW: You just -- you just labeled Beverly Nelson as a -- the only label you gave her is yearbook, that she's lying about a signature in her yearbook. Here's the description --

PORTER: Well, no, she lied about more than that.

HARLOW: Here's the description that we give her --

PORTER: Let me just -- can I respond because you've got to give me a chance to speak, Poppy.

HARLOW: A woman who at 16-years-old says she was sexually assaulted in Roy Moore's car behind the restaurant where she worked.

PORTER: All right. And you know what else she said. She said she started working there when she was 15. Turns out you've got to be 16. She said that the dumpsters were behind the restaurant. It turns out they weren't. She said it was dark. No, it was well lit. She said it close --

HARLOW: So that means she's a liar? Does that mean she's a liar?

PORTER: The waitresses who worked at the Old Hickory Inn says that she is. And so they should know. They worked there and they said every point of her story was false. Every one.

HARLOW: But you believe them? You believe those waitresses over her?

PORTER: Well, we've got not just the waitresses --

HARLOW: Please answer the first question that I asked, which is, do you believe any of these women, any of these eight women, do you believe any of them, yes or no.

PORTER: I believe that Beverly Nelson's own attorney doesn't believe in her, that's why she won't release the yearbook for independent (INAUDIBLE).

HARLOW: We have had Gloria Allred on. And we've asked her those questions.

PORTER: By the way --

HARLOW: My question to you is -- please answer my question. Do you believe the allegations of any of these eight women, Leigh Corfman, Tina Johnson, Gina Richardson, Beverly Young Nelson, Wendy Miller, Gloria Thacker Deason, Kelly Thorp, Debbie Wesson Gibson? Do you believe any of them, yes or no? PORTER: Your premise is wrong, Poppy. I've got to call you on it.

Debbie Gibson, who is an -- who is a supporter of his opponent, did not accuse him of any sexual wrongdoing.

HARLOW: So that's a no.

PORTER: And the others have no evidence whatsoever.

HARLOW: Just to be clear, that's a -- that's a no. That's a no, correct, you don't believe any of them?

PORTER: Those who you claim have evidence, the three that have -- allegations have no evidence. In fact, quite to the contrary, they've all been discredited. But what matters is, the people of Alabama believe the judge who has stood for life, for liberty, for honesty, for integrity, impeccable character for 40 years.

HARLOW: Do you believe any of these women? Do you believe any of these women?

PORTER: I believe in the man that I know and trust for the last 20 years that served in public office for 40 years.

HARLOW: OK. So you're not going to answer our question.

PORTER: And you know want to know what all this is about? I'll tell you what this is about. It's all about the Supreme Court of the United States. You realize that this is a winner take all race. That the one who wins this race is the one who will decide the Supreme Court for the next 30 or 40 years.

HARLOW: OK, you -- you know, I think there are a lot of really important issues at play here, right? And American people will decide, the voters of Alabama will decide. Among those important issues --

PORTER: And if we let the lynch mob media decide, there would be some lacrosse players in jail right now.

HARLOW: Among those important issues are accusations of pedophilia and child molestation and I'm asking for an answer.

Final question to you, Roy Moore has not been on CNN to answer these questions for himself since February of 2015 --

PORTER: I can see why.

HARLOW: When he did an interview with Chris Cuomo, who's sitting right next to me. Why won't he come on and talk to us?

PORTER: Well, you're not exactly -- there's a reason why people have the phrase fake news, because you're not investigate the false accusations, the credibility problems that are screaming from the forged yearbook to every single thing that's been disputed.

And so what I think -- I think that he has a right to stand with the people of Alabama and not be subjected to more and more harassment against people who are out to get him because there's a Senate seat in play that has the Supreme Court in the balance.

So I side, instead of with the lynch mob media, instead of the Democrat liberals, instead of the convicted felons that George Soros is now -- is now registering to vote, I side with the man who stood for the Ten Commandments, who stood for God, who stood for his principles, has an impeccable character, that even Debbie Gibson says is the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet, who never did anything beyond -- any sexual misconduct or anything illegal in any way.

HARLOW: Janet, I appreciate you taking the time this morning, answering the questions, being with us. We welcome Roy Moore, the candidate, to join us at any time.

PORTER: My pleasure.

HARLOW: Thank you very much.

PORTER: Thank you.

HARLOW: Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Now that was a good interview, Poppy.

HARLOW: Oh, well, you talked to Roy Moore two years ago.


HARLOW: I wish he'd come on and talk to you.

CUOMO: Yes. And there's a lot of misstated propositions and there's a lot of baggage for Roy Moore for the voters of Alabama that have nothing to do with these accusations. But you asked the right questions and the right way that was very helpful to the audience.

HARLOW: That's our job.

CUOMO: Well, you did it very well.

HARLOW: Thank you, my friend.

CUOMO: We're going to take a quick break here. I need a rest after that.

LaVar Ball has been listening to the whole thing. He's got a fire behind him. He looks comfortable. Stay awake, LaVar, out there on the West Coast. We're going to get after it right after this break.

Big Ball.


[08:52:06] CUOMO: Basketball dad, LaVar Ball, no stranger to controversy, often courts it and announcing now that he is pulling his son, LiAngelo, out of the UCLA basketball team. This comes one month after his son was arrested for shoplifting in China. He was released, as you'll all remember. President Trump says he spoke to the Chinese president and helped get him out. Ball didn't buy it and is now unhappy with how the university handled the fallout.

LaVar Ball, out in the West Coast of California, woke up just to be on NEW DAY this morning.

Mr. Ball, thank you for taking the opportunity.

LAVAR BALL, PULLED SON OUT OF UCLA: Cuomo, thank you. What's going on?

CUOMO: Admit you missed me, first.

BALL: You know -- you know I miss you, man. Come on. Cuomo, you are a wild guy, man. I like your style, though.

CUOMO: Listen, I like that you don't even have a shot at saying my name the right way. I want you to know that. I've learned to embrace it and I'm OK with it now. It took me a while, but you can now call me whatever you want.

BALL: Cuomo, you the best. Man, come on, man.

CUOMO: There it is. Thank you for getting it straight. It matters to my mother.

All right, now, the fallout from the last interview, Mr. Ball, when you had to deal with taking on the president of the United States, what happened after it? After the interview you did on CNN, it was viral. It was all over the place. There were all of these opinions. What do you think it meant for you, for your business, for your family?

BALL: Well, it was just an opinion. And like I said, man, 50 percent of the people don't like it and 50 percent is going to be like, man, that dude's ungrateful. But it's OK because it's not going to stop me from doing what I do.

CUOMO: Did you learn anything since then about what the president did to help get your son out of trouble?

BALL: I haven't learned anything. It was just a conversation we had. And that was it. I even sent him a pair of the ZO2s. Come on now.

CUOMO: You sent the president a pair of sneakers?

BALL: Red, white and blue, show you that we -- I sent him three pairs, red, white and blue, show that we're patriotic.

CUOMO: Three pairs?

BALL: Yes.

CUOMO: Did you get a thank you?

BALL: The ZO2s, ease him up a little bit. Hey, and didn't get a thank you. But I ain't going to stress it out. CUOMO: You don't seem that happy.

BALL: 1600 Pennsylvania. The shoes are there.

CUOMO: What was the address? Did you get the right? You didn't say 1500, did you? 1600.

BALL: 1600 Pennsylvania. They should have had them shoes by now.

CUOMO: Did you send them --

BALL: You know what, somebody -- they're a hot item.

CUOMO: Did you send them return receipt requested?


CUOMO: That was your mistake. Because we don't know if the president got the shoes, so we don't know whether he refused to say thank you.

BALL: That was my mistake. Oh, man.

He knows he got them shoes. He know he got them shoes. And I'll tell you what, behind closed doors, I think he got them on his feet, just dancing.

CUOMO: Are they --

[08:55:02] BALL: You know what song he's singing?

CUOMO: What song?

BALL: Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you.

CUOMO: That is not a real song.

BALL: That's what song he's singing.

CUOMO: That is not a song.

BALL: I just made one. Just made one.

CUOMO: You made that up and it is not a real song.

BALL: Hey, he got a new song, it's just for him.

CUOMO: So you're saying there was no blowback afterwards. It didn't hurt business. You don't think it change peoples' perceptions of you?

BALL: No. No. I don't think it changed -- people already got their perception of me.

CUOMO: Do they have it right or they have it wrong?

BALL: And it's either good or bad. Well, some people got it right and some people got it wrong. The ones who got it wrong, I don't worry about. But the ones who got it right, they're rolling with the big baller brand, hey, we good.

CUOMO: LiAngelo is a talented young man. He's got a lot of assets on the court.

BALL: Most definitely.

CUOMO: Why would you pull him off the UCLA basketball team?

BALL: Because we've got the NCAA holding back when they're waiting two and three months to tell him if he can play or not. That's one of the main reasons he went to UCLA is to play basketball. That's his passion. And for them to prolong this and go on and on, it's ridiculous to me. And then over in China --

CUOMO: Are they holding him -- are they holding him to a different standard than the other players?

BALL: They're holding --

CUOMO: My understanding is that this is what they're doing with all the players, not justly LiAngelo.

BALL: This is what they're doing with all the players. But, look, the -- what happened to him, it's been long enough punishment.

CUOMO: Says who?

BALL: I mean we've got a whole -- look at these. These coaches is making a grip of money. We've got to be mindful now that they -- they could be under this, too, on the fact that they got to hold a little accountability.

CUOMO: Well, that's fine. I mean, look, they're there --

BALL: I'm just saying, we (ph) made some bad mistakes, but --

CUOMO: They're there to oversee these kids, as big as they are, as strong as they are.

BALL: Exactly. They should oversee -- yes.

CUOMO: They're still kids. But, you know, they stole something.

BALL: Exactly.

CUOMO: They stole several things.

BALL: Yes, but I don't --

CUOMO: That's a crime.

BALL: I don't think it should be that -- that deadly to them where, OK, over there in China they dropped the charges.

CUOMO: Lucky for you. BALL: OK, I think the boys have learned their lesson. Yes, they

learned their lesson. I'm always lucky, so that's OK. But they learned their lesson and now it's the harsher treatment over here.

CUOMO: But when we look at what the NCAA comes down on and what schools come down on --

BALL: That's what I'm saying is -- OK, don't act like everybody is perfect.

CUOMO: But hold on, LaVar, when we look at what the NCAA takes action on --

BALL: Yes.

CUOMO: What UCLA has taken action on --

BALL: Right.

CUOMO: These kinds of charges, they get taken very seriously. Kids get thrown off teams for less.

BALL: They take it very seriously. Yes. But, look, China already forgave the boys and they've returned it. I mean why else are we still manhandling them as far as keeping them from playing sports, taking their meal passes, taking their stuff where they can't practice in the facility? I mean, come on.

CUOMO: Because they broke the law and you've got to send a message that the university stands for certain values.

BALL: They made a mistake. I don't think you should -- OK, you already sent the message. They already apologized. They already did all of that. So what are we holding on to? To make a point for what? They've already been forgiven over there. So what's the big deal?

So what I'm saying is, let's get back over here and start their lives back. I think they had enough. But to just prolong it, I'll tell you what, big baller brand, we ain't sitting back and letting them determine if my boy going to play basketball. We'll just go a different route and we got some other opportunities we're going to invest in.

CUOMO: You worried about compromising his future? UCLA is a great ticket for him. It's a great education.

BALL: No. We're going forward with his future. I was a great education of what? Now, if my boy wanted to be the smartest guy in the room, yes. We've got -- in UCLA we got to wait (ph) back and say, wow. But to be the world's greatest basketball player, man, it's not rocket scientist. Either you got the talent or you don't.

CUOMO: Oh, but this is a tough call. I mean what message are you sending --

BALL: So he's going to go forward. But we're not going to sit back. CUOMO: What message are you sending to LiAngelo about what matters in

his life? What about his education?

BALL: What message am I sending? I'm sending -- you know what I'm telling him? I'm saying this. If a person is going to sit back and hold you back, don't sit back and just do nothing. Go full steam ahead (INAUDIBLE) preparing (ph) for your future.

CUOMO: Well, what about -- but you've got to take -- you've got to pay the price. You've got to pay the price when you make a mistake in life.

BALL: Yes. We already paid the price. We already paid the price. We paid our price. You pay your price. You guys ain't going to sit back and let the whole season go by and don't let them play anyway. So I'm not going to sit back and wait for a person to say, you know what, I think we're going to let you guys play now because you've did a pretty good job of we making a point to make these three guys sit back. You guys are the people that we're going to make this an example so everybody eels can say wow.

CUOMO: Well, you're not helping him by going at the university. You said UCLA is worse than jail in China.

BALL: No, I'm not (INAUDIBLE). I'll tell you what, (INAUDIBLE) -- UCLA is not going to bring my boy down. And, guess what? They're not going to go and say UCLA made (INAUDIBLE)'s future. No. We're going to go a different route.

CUOMO: But what I'm saying is this --

BALL: Like I said, these coaches make a lot of money.

CUOMO: I know they make a lot of money, but that's not the point.

BALL: And there's no -- there's no accountability to them. There's no accountability to them. You know, people make mistakes. They've got guidance.

CUOMO: They didn't steal -- they didn't steal the stuff.

[08:59:47] BALL: They got guidance. Why you let them out? Chaperon. Shoot, don't tell me. You take them over there and just let them loose? Shoot, no, ain't nobody going out. Keep everybody in their room. Then what? Nothing. But you ain't got nobody being accountable for that. So when something happens, guess what, let's stand up to bat and say, you know what, you're the coach, you're the staff, they did enough, let's go, let them play and we good on a fact that it shows that they're genuinely apologizing, admitted that they had made a mistake.