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White House Plays Down Trump's Differences with Leaders; Death Toll Climbs to 15 as Wildfires Rage in California; Change to Las Vegas Shooting Timeline Raises New Questions; White House Denies Attack on Corker Alienates Republicans; Hillary Clinton 'Appalled' by Weinstein Sex Abuse Allegations. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 10, 2017 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, deadly wildfires. At least 15 people have died and more than 100 are injured as wildfires burn out of control in California. Two thousand homes and businesses have been destroyed, including entire housing subdivisions and two hotels as the fires ravage Northern California's wine country.

[17:00:25] Comparing I.Q. tests. President Trump pushes back against reports that his secretary of state called him a moron. The president says they'll just have to compare I.Q. tests, adding, "I can tell you who's going to win."

Six minutes. The Las Vegas gunman shot a hotel security guard six minutes before he opened fire on concertgoers. The new timeline is raising new questions tonight about why it took police so long to track down the gunman.

And shocked and appalled. Hillary Clinton finally speaks out on the sex abuse allegations reportedly levelled by numerous women against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, a big donor to Democratic campaigns. What took Clinton so long to issue her condemnation?

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Breaking news. More than a dozen wildfires are raging across Northern California, leaving at least 15 people dead and 100 hospitalized. The fires in this state's famous wine country have destroyed entire housing developments, hotels and wineries. In Southern California, a wildfire has cast an orange glow in the skies near Disneyland.

Also breaking now, the White House is playing down President Trump's differences with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The press secretary, Sarah Sanders, says the president was joking when he suggested comparing I.Q. tests with Tillerson, who has reportedly called the president a moron. Sanders says the president has full confidence in Tillerson.

But President Trump is doubling down on his feud with Republican Senator Bob Corker, who he calls "Liddle Bob Corker," spelled for whatever reason, L-I-D-D-L-E. The president says Corker sounded like a fool when he said the president is putting the United States on the path toward World War III. The president says the country is on the right path.

And Hillary Clinton has condemned Hollywood executive and Democratic Party donor Harvey Weinstein five days after report surfaced about alleged predatory behavior. Numerous women have now come forward alleging sexual abuse or intimidation. Clinton says she's shocked and appalled, still no comment from the former president, Barack Obama.

I'll speak with Congressman Eric Swalwell of the Intelligence Committee. And our correspondents, specialists and guests, they are standing by with full coverage.

Let's begin with President Trump, feuding with his own secretary of state and a key Republican senator. Let's go live to our senior White House correspondent, Jeff Zeleny.

Jeff, the White House is clearly trying to play down the differences.


The White House may be trying to play down the differences, but the president is doing anything but. Still going after the secretary of state and the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, questioning one's I.Q. and mocking the other's height.


ZELENY (voice-over): President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson breaking bread today at the White House, a week after their long-simmering feud broke into the open. The president insisted he had confidence in his secretary of state, brushing aside suggestions he tried to undermine him.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I didn't undercut anybody. I don't believe in undercutting people. Thank you very much, everybody.

ZELENY: No cameras were allowed in the private dining room just off the Oval Office where the president, his top diplomat and Defense Secretary James Mattis sat for lunch. The face-to-face meeting didn't answer one of the biggest questions in Washington: How long will Tillerson hang on as secretary of state?

CNN has learned the president was furious after reports surfaced last week Tillerson described him as a moron this summer. In a "Forbes" magazine cover story out today, the president had this to say about the derogatory remark: "I think it's fake news. But if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare I.Q. tests. And I can tell you who is going to win."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the president was only joking.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He wasn't questioning the secretary of state's intelligence. He made -- he made a joke. Maybe you guys should get a sense of humor and try it some time, but he simply made a joke.

ZELENY: It's not the only fight the president is picking with his fellow Republicans.

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I am really disappointed.

ZELENY: He escalated the hostilities today with Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, writing on Twitter, "The failing 'New York Times' set Liddle Bob Corker up by recording his conversation, was made to sound a fool. And that's what I am dealing with."

Corker now joining the ranks of fellow Republicans branded by Trump.

TRUMP: I call him Little Marco. Little Marco.

Lyin' Ted Cruz, the Bible held high.

ZELENY: The president was literally belittling the 5'7" Corker over his weekend interview with "The New York Times," where he bluntly suggested Mr. Trump was unfit for office.

[17:05:14] CORKER (via phone): Sometimes I feel like he's on a reality show of some kind. He's talking about these big foreign policy issues. We could be heading towards World War III with the kind of comments that he's making.

ZELENY: Meeting in the Oval Office today with former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, the president addressed Corker's criticism the U.S. is headed towards a third world war.

TRUMP: We were on the wrong path before. All you have to do is take a look. If you look over the past 25 years, through numerous administrations, we were on a path to a very big problem, a problem like this world has never seen. We're on the right path right now. Believe me.

ZELENY: The fight comes as the president is trying to jumpstart his stalled legislative agenda.

TRUMP: People want to see tax cuts. They want to see major reductions in their taxes, and they want to see tax reform. And that's what we're doing.

ZELENY: The rising tension in the West Wing is weighing on many officials who worry the drama will make a tax plan even more difficult to pass.

(on camera): How do you think these ongoing fights with Republicans on Capitol Hill help the president's agenda? Tax reform, first and foremost.

SANDERS: The president's very committed to getting tax reform done. Look, he's calling on Congress to get their job done. They're on another vacation right now. I think that we would all be a lot better off if the Senate would stop taking vacations and start staying here until we actually get some real things accomplished. The president is here, and he's committed with working with them to do that.


ZELENY: So, Wolf, the real reason that all of these fights, all of this back-and-forth drama that does often look like it's ripped from the pages of a reality show, the reason is matters is because of that Republican agenda. Tax reform first and foremost.

A White House official told me earlier, Wolf, that they are worried that this fight will actually imperil the agenda. Then this is the reason. They said, "It's obviously not helpful. It will be incredibly difficult. We need every vote." Including Senator Bob Corker's, who is raising questions about the deficit created in this tax plan.

So, Wolf, many people here and on Capitol Hill hoping all of these gentlemen can turn the page -- Wolf.

BLITZER: We shall see. All right, Jeff, thank you. Jeff Zeleny at the White House.

Now embroiled in this feud with President Trump, Senator Bob Corker, he's voicing what other lawmakers are reluctant to say publicly. Let's go to our congressional correspondent, Phil Mattingly.

Phil, what we heard from Senator Corker is clearly extraordinary, but what are you hearing up on Capitol Hill?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They just want him to knock it off. They want the president to knock it off. They want Senator Corker to knock it off.

Look, the reality is what Senator Corker said largely rings true. It's what several aides that I've spoken to over the course of the last 48 hours are willing to acknowledge. There's an uneasiness with the North Korea tweets. There's a lot of frustration with the kind of lack of focus on the legislative agenda. And certainly, lawmakers are unsettled by kind of the diverse political allies of the president seeming to threaten their sitting members.

But the reality also is this: There is an agenda and a very complicated one, as Jeff laid out, when it comes to tax reform, where they need everybody on the same page, everybody unified and everybody reiterating the same exact message. Things like what occurred this weekend between Senator Corker and President Trump only move them away from that. And that is severely problematic, Wolf.

BLITZER: How does the looming legislative battle over the president's proposed tax cuts, tax reform, factor in all of this?

MATTINGLY: Look, it's an open question. Jeff did a really good job of laying out the numbers here. Obviously, they have a very, very slim margin to work with, only 52 seats. If they want to pass this with just Republicans, they're going to need at least 50 of them to vote "yes."

And look, Senator Corker's already made clear his concerns about the tax proposal, the framework, which has already been released. His issues are on deficit grounds.

But the big concern right now is alienating senators on a personal level. While nobody up here thinks that Senator Corker would vote against a tax plan because he's upset with the president, certainly every bit helps. Every personal connection helps. Every effort by the administration to lobby behind the scenes to get lawmakers, to get Republicans on board, that matters. We saw it in health care; we saw health care go down.

There's a lot of concern right now about a lack of focus, about issues that are being raised that don't need to be and about the very real possibility that, if they fail on tax reform, as well, they get to the 2018 election with no real legislative achievement. And as several Republicans have said blatantly on the record, "If we get to 2018 with no legislative achievements, we know voters are not going to be happy," Wolf.

BLITZER: You're absolutely right. All right. Thanks very much, Phil Mattingly, up on Capitol Hill.

Joining us now, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California. He's a member of the Intelligence Committee.

Congressman, do you share Senator Corker's concern about President Trump pushing the United States, potentially, toward World War III?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: I do. Very much so, Wolf. And it doesn't have to be that way. And we're not helpless here on Capitol Hill.

And so if Senator Corker is, indeed, correct that other senators have expressed this concern, if you have seen something, it's time to say something. He shouldn't be the only one. We need other patriots to come forward, because the stakes are too great if we don't stop this president from taking us to a nuclear war.

[17:10:19] BLITZER: Have you had conversations with Republicans? I know you're a Democrat. But have you had conversations with Republicans who privately share Corker's views but fear saying so in public?

SWALWELL: Yes, and Wolf, I'm a Democrat who's the son of two Republicans, but also my Republican friends across the aisle, they are very concerned. I've seen escalating concern just over the past few weeks as the president continues to alienate himself from Republicans who expressed that he's just, you know, shown an unwillingness to work with them on other issues.

But I'm afraid that, when backed into a corner, he's going to believe that, you know, military action rather than diplomacy or sanctions or working with China is the way to go. And we need the members of Congress to exercise our co-equal branch of government status and keep him from doing that.

BLITZER: Do you believe the president is undermining, undercutting the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson's, ability to do his job, which is diplomacy?

SWALWELL: Yes. And Rex Tillerson has also undermined the State Department's ability to do its job by not filling out key posts like having an ambassador to South Korea.

And, Wolf, one other issue that is looming in Washington right now is the Iran nuclear deal. If we walk away from that deal that denuclearized Iran, there's no way we could in earnest, try and strike a deal with North Korea. They'd think we're crazy, and it would be in no interest of theirs to strike a deal, having just walked away from the one we struck with Iran.

BLITZER: The president is going to make his announcement on -- on Iran and the nuclear deal on Thursday, but in general, how do you see America's adversaries, watching what's going on right now here in Washington? How do you see them reacting?

SWALWELL: They see chaos. And in that chaos, we are weak, and you see, you know, other adversaries like China, they're in an elevated position right now, because they have a much greater role to play, because they're not seeing American leadership.

Now, the president has an opportunity, when he goes to Asia later this month, to sit down with the Chinese, and I hope he brings in the Koreans and the Japanese and shows the world that we are unified, at least on the issue of not allowing North Korea to have a nuclear weapon.

It's those images that we've seen over the course of history where American leadership has always led the way, bringing allies and non- allies together to take on the greatest crises we've faced. And he needs to do that now. I'm rooting for him to do that now, and, you know, world order relies on that.

BLITZER: Well, I just want to be precise. When you say you fear that the president's actions, his statements could lead not only to a World War III, but to a nuclear war. When you say nuclear war, what do you mean?

SWALWELL: Well, the president just recently tweeted that, you know, we've -- diplomacy is essentially over. Only one thing could work. And, you know, he didn't say it explicitly, but we know what that one thing is. That would be, you know, a military strike against North Korea.

And anyone that would talk to the president would tell him that, if you strike North Korea and don't completely take them out, you have 30,000-plus U.S. troops just across the border with their families in Seoul; millions of Koreans. And so that really leaves only a nuclear strike, unless you want to, you know, puts thousands of lives, if not millions of lives in the way. We don't have to get there yet. We should exhaust every option before

it comes to that point. And it seems that he keeps leaping to that point.

BLITZER: We're getting some new information here in THE SITUATION ROOM, even as we speak, Congressman. CNN has just learned that the chairman of your committee, the House Intelligence Committee, Devon Nunes, has issued subpoenas to the partners who ran what's called Fusion GPS, the research firm that produced the dossier of memos on alleged Russian efforts to aid the Trump campaign. According to sources briefed on the matter, that's what they're saying.

What do you make of Nunes -- Nunes' decision to do this after he said earlier this year he was stepping aside as being involved in this overall Russia investigation and delegating that to others?

SWALWELL: I'm headed to an Intelligence Committee hearing as soon as we wrap up, Wolf, and I'm going to seek to verify that, but Chairman Nunes told Congress that he had recused himself from the investigation. This would violate that recusal if this is, indeed, what he has done. And it's also a way to go it alone, not work with Democrats. And it looks like he's trying to, again, undermine the investigation.

That said, Wolf, we do want to hear from Christopher Steele. So far, a lot of what he has alleged in the dossier has been proven, like Donald Trump trying to negotiate a Trump Tower deal in Moscow. We read the Michael Cohen, Felix Sater e-mails. Like Carter Page traveling over to Moscow during the campaign with the permission of Paul Manafort. That actually, we now know, has happened.

But for Devon Nunes to just go it alone, not work with Democrats, that is working on the side of the White House and being their lawyer and their counsel and not working collaboratively in an investigation that's very important for the future of our democracy.

[17:15:09] BLITZER: We're told that Devon Nunes personally signed that subpoena for Fusion GPS Partners to appear before your committee. So you want them to appear in addition to Christopher Steele, the former British spy who prepared that memo?

SWALWELL: Of course. But this isn't the way to do it. A recused chairman acting without working with Democrats would not be the way to do it. In our unity, we can protect our country against a future attack, but in disunity, all we do is allow the Russians to sharpen their swords and come at us again.

BLITZER: All right, Congressman, there's much more we need to discuss. Stick around. We're going to take a quick break, resume our conversation right after this.


[17:20:14] BLITZER: Breaking news. The wildfires raging across Northern California's wine country have now claimed 15 lives and destroyed up to 2,000 buildings. Look at these before and after images from the hard-hit city of Santa Rosa. An entire neighborhood of homes wiped out and a fire station reduced to rubble.

Let's get an update from CNN's Dan Simon. He's in Santa Rosa for us with the very latest.

Dan, what is the latest?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we just learned that, incredibly, authorities are still trying to evacuate people from the approaching flames. There are still people in danger.

Meantime, we are in Santa Rosa. This is the Coffey Park neighborhood. Literally, Wolf, there is not a home still standing. Take a look at this. Just devastation as far as the eye can see.

We know that more than 20,000 people have been evacuated. We were actually at a couple of shelters. And the need is great. They need clothes. They need toys for children. So many people impacted.


SIMON (voice-over): From Northern to Southern California, more than a dozen wildfires still burning out of control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trying to get out of here. We saw it. Now it's getting across the road. It's all bad.

SIMON: Fifty miles northwest of San Francisco in wine country, flames tore through parts of Santa Rosa, California, turning cars and subdivisions into ash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were screaming, "Fire, fire, fire, get out, get out."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just happened so fast. You just had time just to run away with nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have cars and Harleys and boats and all kinds of stuff all gone.

SIMON: Fast food restaurants, hotels and homes all destroyed. Hospitals in the area evacuated. More than 115,000 acres have burned. Much of it in California's wine country, Napa and Sonoma counties. These flames destroyed wine storage buildings at one historic vineyard.

Farther south near Los Angeles, fires in Anaheim have lit up skies over Walt Disneyland. Hurricane-force winds pushed the flames so fast firefighters couldn't keep up.

SGT. DARON WYATT, ANAHEIM FIRE & RESCUE SPOKESMAN: On the eastern flank last night, we tried to go direct in a couple of places, and we got outrun by the fires.

SIMON: Mill Valley, California, Fire Chief Tom Welch's own home near Santa Rosa burned.

CHIEF BARRY BIERMANN, NAPA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: The fires are still out there. They are still actively growing.

SIMON: And the firefighters are exhausted.

BIERMANN: Resources still continue to be limited. We have folks on the fire lines starting their third shift right now that have been not been relieved, because there's -- there's folks not available to come in with so many fires in the area.

SIMON: The fierce winds, which have been spreading uncontrollably, died down Tuesday, the flames with it. But a forecast of dry weather and no rainfall for the week, still a concern.


SIMON: A hundred and eighty-three people are said to be missing. That doesn't mean that they are presumed dead. That just could mean that there's a problem with communication. At this point, the death toll officially stands at 15.

And authorities now are beginning to identify the victims. Two of them, Wolf, include an elderly couple, the husband, 100 years old, the wife, 98 years old. They died in the middle of the night, trying to flee those flames.

BLITZER: My heart goes out to their family and to everyone else. Dan Simon in Santa Rosa for us. We'll get back to you.

Coming up, Hillary Clinton, she finally speaks out on the sex abuse allegations levelled by numerous women against the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, a big donor to Democratic campaigns.

And the Las Vegas gunman shot a hotel security guard six minutes before he opened fire on 22,000 concertgoers. That new timeline raises lots of new questions about the police response.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


[17:28:35] BLITZER: We're following the breaking news: the new White House denials of deep divisions within the Trump administration. This afternoon, the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, insisted President Trump was only joking when he told an interviewer from "Forbes" magazine that, if he compared I.Q. tests with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, quote, "I can tell you who is going to win."

The interview happened after widespread reports that Tillerson had called the president of the United States a moron.

Let's bring in our political specialists. And Gloria Borger, on camera today, he said yes when he was asked if he has confidence in the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. But in an interview -- this interview with "Forbes" magazine, he said this, and I'll put it up on the screen: "I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare I.Q. tests, and I can tell you who is going to win."

Later, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, says the president was only joking. Do you believe he was?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I think I believe that it's Donald Trump's way of punching back, and we heard it all during the campaign. He did it about his Republican opponents. He said, "I have a higher I.Q. than my Republican opponents." He picked out Rick Perry in particular, who I might point out also now works for him, saying that he had a higher I.Q. than Rick Perry.

You know, this is a president who just is childish, and he has to kind of punch back. And he always has to believe that he ends every conversation on top.

And so what he doesn't understand is that he might feel a personal slight from -- from Rex Tillerson, who apparently called him a moron, and anyone would feel that, but this isn't about his personal slight. This is about the secretary of state of this country, and why would he be demeaning the person who is negotiating for this country on all kinds of issues? It's -- it's -- he doesn't understand, this isn't the Trump Organization; this is the United States.

[17:30:32] BLITZER: And he wants to drag on his feud with Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He tweeted this, the president tweeted this this morning: "The failing 'New York Times' set Liddle Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool. And that's what I am dealing with."

I just want to point out both "The New York Times" and Corker say they both wanted to record that conversation. They knew that conversation was being recorded.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. And this -- we had known from the White House saying that he was going to somehow punch back on Bob Corker. He did it today, recycling a nickname. "Liddle Bob Corker" is a nickname that he also had for Marco Rubio. In some ways he needs to step up his name calling game, I think, because it's not very creative.

But this is also just part of a larger fight that he wants to have with the GOP establishment more generally, right? And you've seen different people in this position of having fights with the president, whether it's John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, people like that. And you've done terrific reporting on this. This is sort of a setup for 2018, right? There is going to be this battle between the GOP establishment and the Trumpites, the sort of Bannonites. So we'll see that play out.

I think the question for somebody like Bob Corker, who's voted with this president almost 90 percent of the time, is he still going to be that loyal in terms of this president on things like tax reform? He's, in some ways, a point person for this president in terms of the Iran deal and what Congress is going to do with that.

But I think this is going to be an ongoing thing.

You also heard Sarah Huckabee Sanders today talk about Congress and essentially say they're on vacation too much. They're not getting their, you know, kind of their jobs done. So this is part of this larger fight that I think we're going to see.

BLITZER: Bob Corker is only 5'7".

HENDERSON: Which is a perfectly fine height.

BLITZER: And that apparently, according to a lot of reports, why the president didn't want him to be secretary of state. He's too short. You've got to be tall to make an impression.

You know, Bianna, there's at least eight Republican senators. We'll put some pictures of them up -- there they are right there on the screen -- that the president has gone after over the past year or so. How does this impact the Republican Party? There's a big issue that's coming up right now, namely major tax reform.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, YAHOO! NEWS: Yes, and if you look at, from the president's perspective, it doesn't really make sense why he's acting out the way he is. A Republican insider has said we've been watching slowly the Republican Party sort of implode and fight amongst itself. It seems as though the president's actions, or by his actions, he's speeding up that implosion.

Look, if he's catering to his base, if he's speaking to a rally of supporters, this language works for him. If he's trying to act legislatively, it doesn't. And he's picking on some of the most powerful Republicans, most respected Republicans within the party. And, yes, Senator Corker you can call him a lame duck, but he's still got a few months, legislatively, ahead of him that could make or break this president's agenda.

So from a Steve Bannon perspective, you know, the president is doing what he should be doing. But from an administrative perspective, I don't know what the president plans on accomplishing if he doesn't get more Republicans in line and move on.

We haven't heard anything legislatively, by the way, or more details about this tax plan that they're going to be voting on next week. So time has been taken away from substance and been focusing more on tweets and belittling.

And to Gloria's point, and your question about, you know, this president saying, "Oh, I was joking," what have you, there's a difference between joking at your own expense or someone else's. If the president was more self-deprecating, like we've seen with past presidents, I think this could be accepted as this president just being, you know, funny and we don't have a sense of humor and accepting that. What we're seeing is the president laugh at everyone else's expense.


GOLODRYGA: I think that's a big difference.

BLITZER: All right. Stand by. Everybody, stand by. There's a lot more we need to discuss. Lots of political developments unfolding even right now. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.


[17:39:04] BLITZER: We're back with our political specialists. I want to talk about a deepening Hollywood sex scandal that's crossing over into national politics.

Both "The New Yorker" magazine and "The New York Times" today published new allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the movie executive Harvey Weinstein, who's also a very prominent donor to Democratic candidates. "The New Yorker" article includes part of a secret recording by the New York Police Department. In it, Weinstein admits to groping a woman as he tries to talk her into joining him in his hotel room.


HARVEY WEINSTEIN, MOVIE PRODUCER: I'm telling you right now, get in here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we have to do here?

WEINSTEIN: Nothing. I'm going to take a shower. You sit there and have a drink. Water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't drink. Can I stay at the bar?

WEINSTEIN: No, you must come here now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I know. I don't want to. I'm sorry. I cannot.

WEINSTEIN: Now you're embarrassing me now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, yesterday was kind of aggressive for me.

WEINSTEIN: I know. Go to the bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, I don't want to do something I don't want to.

WEINSTEIN: Go to the bath -- hey, come here. Listen to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go downstairs. I don't feel comfortable.

WEINSTEIN: Honey, don't have a fight with me in the hallway. Please, I'm not going to do anything. I swear on my children. Please come in. On everything. I'm a famous guy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm feeling very uncomfortable right now.

WEINSTEIN: Please come in now. And one minute. And if you want to leave, when the guy comes with my jacket, you can go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why yesterday you touch my breast? WEINSTEIN: Oh, please. I'm sorry. Just come on in. I'm used to

that. Come on. Please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're used to that?

WEINSTEIN: Yes, come in. I will never do another thing to you. Five minutes. Don't ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.


BLITZER: "The New Yorker" article also includes additional women coming forward with their own stories, including allegations of rape.

Gloria, when you hear that audiotape, what goes through your mind?

BORGER: It's disgusting. It's -- it's, you know, a very powerful man and a woman who was clearly intimidated and frightened, and a man swearing on the lives of his children -- I say that as a mother -- that he was not about to do anything wrong.

So it's about using and abusing your power against a woman in this way. And now we know that these stories, you know, one after another after another are coming out. And I -- it's no surprise that the board fired him, and they didn't work out a settlement. Can you imagine if they had settled with this man?

But, unfortunately, as we've seen with Roger Ailes and others, you know, this is -- this is not something that happens just once.

BLITZER: The woman was wearing a police wire.

BORGER: Yes, she was.

BLITZER: Because she said she had been groped by him the night before.

A representative, Nia, from Weinstein issued a statement. I'll read it. "Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there was never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can't speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance."

HENDERSON: You know, we'll see. I mean, unlikely. I mean, given what's happened over the last couple of days, the big-name people who have come out and said that similar incidents happened to them. Angelina Jolie, as well as Gwyneth Paltrow said that, you know, he tried to essentially make sexual advances on them.

You wonder about the women who are in not only Hollywood, in different industries, as well, who might be going through similar things now. I mean, it's one thing for Angelina Jolie to feel like she can come out at this point. She's incredibly powerful. She's Hollywood royalty at this point. So is Gwyneth Paltrow. But what about those woman, young women, 22, 25, and that's how old these women were when a lot of these things happened. Do you they feel empowered, and do they feel like they can come out without getting the kind of scrutiny these young women feared initially, which is why they didn't come out.

But yes, I mean, this is a real blow, obviously, to Hollywood. They've got some soul searching to do. Because clearly, there were people who knew about this. This was an open secret. It apparently had been going on for many years.

BLITZER: Let me get Bianna to weigh in, as well. What was your reaction, Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: Well, you know, hearing that audiotape and, you know, you compare it, as many have, to the Trump audiotape from the "Access Hollywood" tape with Billy Bush. Obviously, this happened about a year ago to the day.

So you hear how scared this woman was, how vulnerable she felt.

You know, something that stood out to me in reading Jodi Kantor's latest piece in "The New York Times" is that not only was his M.O. consistent with these victims, they were all, as Nia said, about 22, 24 years old, the first person, nine out of ten them of reached out to and told what happened was their parent. Which just goes to show how young they were, how vulnerable they were to this kind of, you know, aggression.

And -- and these acts are not only illegal, I think that, to the larger issue that you raised, you know, it's a question of culpability and were there people who were enabling this? It appears that there were from the articles that we've read thus far. And I think you see similarities, too, in the sense that here, whether it's the president in his tape from last year or Harvey Weinstein now, you're dealing with privately held companies that do have boards, but Weinstein's was run by all men. Their name is attached to the company. And I think if this had been happening at a publicly traded company, you would see investors, and I believe you would see more outrage. I can't imagine this happening over the span of years that this was taking place.

BLITZER: You know, Gloria, it took five days, but Hillary Clinton, who was a major recipient of Weinstein's political contributions, finally issued a statement condemning Weinstein's behavior. She and the DNC have accepted lots and lots of money from Weinstein for political fundraisers.

[17:45:02] BORGER: Right. And Weinstein was a big bundler for Hillary Clinton, well over a million dollars. Maybe almost a million and a half.

So you have to wonder how they unravel all of that, and you have to wonder how politicians unravel these contributions that were given years ago. I mean, that's going to be the next conversation that's going to happen. I also wonder about the complicity of the board here, quite honestly.

These weren't just rumors. These -- were these things that they covered up and they knew about it?


BORGER: I mean, women were paid off here.


BLITZER: You know, and, Nia, this --

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And where did that money come from?

BORGER: Exactly.

HENDERSON: Right, right.

BLITZER: We still haven't heard --


BLITZER: We still haven't heard from President Obama, who also was the recipient of Weinstein money, and we also know that his daughter was an intern for the Weinstein company not that long ago.

HENDERSON: And we'll see if we do end up hearing from him. As you said about Hillary Clinton, it took her five days.

But in some ways, I don't know if average folks are necessarily looking for the Obamas to come out on this. I think we know where Obama stands on this. We know where Michelle Obama stands on this.

It is up to, I think, men in Hollywood and other industries who might have information about this to have conversations and to come forward about this. I'm not sure that it's solely on the Obamas or the Democratic Party.

GOLODRYGA: Sure, but --

HENDERSON: I think it's a shared responsibility.

BLITZER: Go ahead.

GOLODRYGA: But I would also argue, if there was one area where we could put politics aside, it would be something like this --


HENDERSON: Right, yes.

GOLODRYGA: -- where it doesn't matter whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, this is flat-out wrong. It's illegal.

And, yes, men, along with women, should be speaking out and not concerned about offending people who, a, gave them money or aligned with them politically. This goes well beyond that.

BLITZER: All right.


BLITZER: All right. There is more breaking news we're following. Let's take a quick break. We'll be right back.


[17:51:28] BLITZER: There's breaking news in the Las Vegas mass shooting investigation. Two law enforcement sources now tell CNN that the gunman, Stephen Paddock, fired special incendiary bullets at a fuel tank in an attempt to cause a major explosion. Let's bring in CNN's Brian Todd.

What else are investigators saying, Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, investigators are also giving us a new timeline, and it is raising serious new questions.

We now know the gunman fired on the security guard at 9:59 p.m. on that Sunday, six minutes before he unleashed his barrage of bullets on the concertgoers. And we've been pressing police on exactly what happened in that gap of time.


TODD (voice-over): A shocking new timeline raises new questions about the speed of the police response and what police and the gunman were doing minutes before the carnage began in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Sheriff now says security guard Jesus Campos, who was shot by gunman Stephen Paddock near his hotel door, was not wounded during or just after the shooting as authorities had previously said.

SHERIFF JOE LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: What we have learned is Mr. Campos was encountered by the suspect prior to his shooting to the outside world.

TODD (voice-over): Specifically, police say, Campos was shot at 9:59 p.m., a full six minutes before Paddock started firing from his room onto the crowd.

How much does this change everything?

RON HOSKO, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: I think it changes it substantially in this way. Before, we were starting to look to the guard's appearance outside his door as perhaps being the beginning of the end of the event. And now, it looks like it may be more the beginning of the event.

TODD (voice-over): Key questions tonight, what was the shooter doing during those six minutes and what were the police doing? HOSKO: There's a gap of time. Was he planning on waiting another 30

minutes? Was he going about his preparations that were incomplete, and now he was in a scramble for five minutes to break out the window and to begin fire?

TODD (voice-over): As for what the wounded security guard was doing?

LOMBARDO: He, immediately upon being injured, notified security of his situation.


TODD (voice-over): Police say Paddock started shooting at 10:05 p.m. and stopped 10 minutes later. The first police officers arrived on Paddock's floor two minutes after that, and the SWAT team blew open his door more than an hour later.

But there's another crucial question tonight about those six minutes between Paddock shooting the guard and his first salvo of shots on the concertgoers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the suspect's engagement of Mr. Campos maybe sped up the timeline of the shooter?

LOMBARDO: I would not make that assumption. I don't -- I'm not privy to that.

TODD (on camera): Do you believe that confrontation accelerated his plans to shoot?

HOSKO: My supposition would be that that was the triggering event and that started his plan into motion. He knew there would be a police response. And if he came here intending on pouring fire on this innocent crowd, that would was a triggering event.

TODD (on camera): Is there anything about this new timeline that tells you the police should have done something differently?

HOSKO: I think a six-minute offset in -- when rounds were shot at the guard that triggered this before the calls and the arrival of police changes very little. We don't expect our police to engage in a suicide mission, with the sound of automatic gunfire one floor above where they arrived, with the lack of equipment.

TODD (voice-over): Police say they still don't know what caused Stephen Paddock to stop shooting. They say he had personal protection equipment in his room, which leads them to believe he may have had a plan to escape.


[17:55:04] TODD: Now, we've pressed the Las Vegas police today in what they believe the police and the shooter were doing during those crucial six minutes after he shot the guard and before he fired on the crowd. The police have not responded to our calls and e-mails, but they may give a more detailed timeline later this week. We also pressed the Mandalay Bay Hotel on how its security staff

responded after they guard reported that he had been shot. They have also not responded to us, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Brian. Thanks very much for that report. Brian Todd here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Coming up, President Trump goes into name-calling mode in his feud with a Republican senator.

And stung by reports that his own Secretary of State called him a moron, the President says they'll just have to compare I.Q. tests, adding, I could tell you who's going to win.