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PRIMETIME JUSTICE WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
FBI Found Evidence Leading to Solve Mariah Woods Mystery; Matt Lauer`s New Job After Being Ousted. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 30, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[20:00:00] ASHLEY BANFIELD, HOST, CNN: Four days and no sign of their little girl.
ALEX WOODS, MARIAH WOODS FATHER: It`s not looking good at all.
BANFIELD: But finally, items of interest in the search for Mariah Woods.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Items of interest that could help us lead to Mariah.
BANFIELD: Flown in military gear to Quantico for FBI testing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bring her home, please, safe and sound.
BANFIELD: So what did they find? And are they closer to finding her?
The king of morning TV says he has a new job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Repairing the damage will take a lot of time.
BANFIELD: Trying to make good after admitting he messed up at work.
BRIAN STELTER, SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Summoned her to his office, locked the door and sexually assaulted her.
BANFIELD: Fired from his job at Today, but even more stories are stacking up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE There will be more women coming forward.
BANFIELD: When will it end? How will it end?
A stunning teenaged girl goes missing from her bedroom. A dead ringer for Elizabeth Smart who went missing the same way. But do the clues to her
whereabouts lie in an app?
And while Elizabeth was taken away, was Heaven Ray Cox lured away? She`s raising hell in the stadium until cops swoop in to throw her out. She takes
a shot at the cop, and he reacts with this. Was the cop in the right? Or was he wrong? And would anybody care if she were a he?
The hunt is on in Hollywood after a senior citizen is cold cocked.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People walk around this area all the time.
BANFIELD: Who is this suspect without a soul? And can you help police get him off the streets?
And no mercy for the coward who sucker punched a man with cerebral palsy, this after mocking his disability. Stay tuned to find out how the law hit
back. And what the judge said to his face.
Good evening, everyone. I`m Ashleigh Banfield. This is Primetime Justice.
Could it be the breakthrough that everybody is praying for tonight? Something, anything, in the search for 3-year-old Mariah Woods, that
adorable little girl with the walking disability who disappeared from her own bed on Sunday night.
Horses, k-9s, helicopters, military, they have been at it all week searching across the county with additional officers and boats and dive
teams and the search assets are only growing. And on this day four of the search, we finally learned of a discovery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STANLEY MEADOR, AGENT, FBI: Right now experts at the FBI lab in Quantico are testing items of interest that could help lead us to Mariah. Our
partners with the U.S. Marine Corps provided an osprey to transport the items of interest directly to Quantico so testing could begin immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: And you know it is of the utmost emergency when military assets to the tune of a V-22 osprey helicopter ferry so those-called items of
interest straight to the FBI`s main forensic lab in Virginia.
It depends on your outlook just as to how dark or how hopeful this discovery -- these items of discovery could actually be. We don`t know what
the items are. We don`t even know where these items were found because they aren`t telling us, but it is a sign there could be some answers tonight in
the mysterious disappearance of little Mariah.
Merrilee Moore is a reporter for CNN affiliate WCTI, and she joins me from Jacksonville, North Carolina. So what do we know about the items of
MERRILEE MOORE, REPORTER, WCTI: Well, Ashleigh, that is the question of the hour because at this point investigators are not revealing that information
whatsoever. We don`t know where these items were found because as of now there are now two major search areas. We don`t know if it was found near
the house or if it was found near the new search area off of highway 17 that was discovered today.
BANFIELD: So, Merrilee, today as well, we`re being told that a creek was being searched. I supposed that is not unusual given the amount of terrain
that they`re looking for, but that they`ve also brought in more resources. So just qualify for me exactly what the manpower is out there in the search
for this tiny little girl?
MOORE: The manpower is massive. I was at that scene for most of today. FBI was out there, NCIS, a dive team was out there. There were other teams,
rescue fire departments out there searching the woods, they were searching this creek under -- I mean, just a massive effort, massive effort,
[20:05:08] BANFIELD: And about that osprey. You don`t often see samples being raced to Virginia with a helicopter of that magnitude. That had to
mean something very significant was found.
MOORE: And I think that is the beauty of being in a military town because we do have a huge military base right here in Jacksonville. And it`s been
amazing to see the military get in on this search. We`ve seen marines out there for most of this week.
And I actually did see an osprey earlier today and I don`t know if that`s when it went because I`ve seen ospreys fly over. That`s not unusual here in
Jacksonville. But I did see one fly over the area earlier today and one has to wonder if that was the osprey transporting those items of interest.
BANFIELD: I mean, clearly they wanted answers ASAP because they could have gone commercial, they could have gone a cheaper route. That had to cost in
the tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even more in order to get that osprey to Virginia and back.
So I want to play, if I can for one moment, Stanley made a -- I think it`s Maedor or Meador. Maybe you can help me with the pronunciation there. Was
MOORE: Yes, ma`am.
BANFIELD: OK. And I want to play it because he talks a little bit about the assets that they`re deploying in the search to try to find this little girl
and exactly where they`re going, which is very telling when you`re looking for a little girl like this. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEADOR: Today, we had folks to search southwest creek that included K9`s. We need to make sure we are covering every part of the surrounding area. We
also have horses out today and a helicopter has been up as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: So there`s the FBI talking about its assets and its plans. And then I want to play also the sheriff, Hans Miller, in terms of what the
forward look is for the search. Because every day it`s more dire and every day it tweaks just slightly. So here`s what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANS MILLER, SHERIFF, ONSLOW COUNTY: So tomorrow we will hold a volunteer search. Volunteers will be searching in terrain that is rough and contains
vines and thorn bushes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Merrilee, that stood out today because a lot of the public has been very angry that they haven`t been asked to be involved in the search.
They were desperate to help, but they were being rebuffed. And now it`s all hands on deck, get the public in. Get your rough terrain boots in gear. We
need everybody. What changed overnight?
MOORE: Ashleigh, this is a massive development. Up until now this is the first search that civilians get to be a part of. We don`t know what changed
between today and the days leading up to this, but up until now civilians have been asking and asking, please let us do something, absolutely
desperate for it.
And now breaking news today civilians will be able to take part in that search tomorrow morning.
BANFIELD: All right. So I want to bring in retired FBI special agent Bobby Chacon, he is live in Los Angeles. Merrilee, don`t go anywhere because I
still have other questions for you as well.
Bobby, about the search, when I heard yesterday that the authorities were rebuffing the efforts of the public to join in hand to hand -- they go
like, you know, only a few feet apart when they comb all that terrain.
It made me wonder if the reason they didn`t want nonprofessionals out there was because they didn`t want them trampling on a case they had to bring to
court. Is that what it sounded like to you?
BOBBY CHACON, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Yes, it could be. It could definitely be that. That`s what I thought as well yesterday when I saw
that. And I`ve been involved in numerous of these sources. I ran the FBI`s dive team that was out on many, far too many of these cases.
But, yes. I mean, there`s that and there`s this concern that you don`t want anybody getting hurt. So you really want to narrow where you want them to
look. And so sometimes it takes a day or two or three to find out a focus from the investigation on where you want to deploy these massive resources
when the public starts getting involved.
You want to make sure you have the right people searching for the right reasons in the right area. And so, you want to make sure this is not an
endeavor that people should just go running out and doing unorganized, disorganized. You want to make sure it`s organized and you want to make you
have an infrastructure to support them while they`re doing this search. If somebody gets hurt, if somebody finds something.
BANFIELD: It goes without saying, honestly, Bobby, a child is missing, and so that`s number one. You want to find the child. You`re not looking to
preserve evidence. But when the authorities know something else and they want to preserve evidence or they don`t want forensics destroyed, that can
also be sort of a potential modus operandi.
And there`s a real blueprint for this because every time a child goes missing we see the same thing happen. And one of the blueprints for sure is
that that child`s parents, they clamor for the microphone. They are desperate to have their message go as far and wide as possible, as many
eyeballs as possible to help them find their babies.
From Daniel Van Damme to Adam Walsh to Amber Hagerman to Erin Runnion who looked for her baby and Mark Klaas who looked for Polly and Ed Smart who
look for Elizabeth and Mark Lunsford who look for Jessica.
[20:10:06] This is what it looks like in the press when their children went missing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN RUNNION, SAMANTHA RUNNION`S MOTHER: Baby, I love you. You are such a good girl. You are so clever. Please ask your captor to let you go. We love
you. She`s little Linda. Please let her go. She`s such a sweet child. We don`t want vengeance. We just want our baby back.
MARC KLAAS, POLLY KLAAS` FATHER: There`s Polly in my arms again. That`s the mindset for me. And we`re not giving up until we find Polly. And honey,
hang on, we`re coming to get you. And don`t you worry about it.
ED SMART, ELIZABETH SMART`S FATHER: I would just appreciate it if you have got her, to please let her go. Please! I mean, she doesn`t do anything to
anyone, and there`s no reason that you should have her. Please let her go. Please.
MARK LUNSFORD, SAMANTHA LUNSFORD`S FATHER: I really need as much help as I can get right now. I just want my daughter home. If there`s anything that
anybody knows, there`s a lot of numbers that you can call. I just ask you to please help me find my daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: So the difference in this story is that Kristy Woods, this child`s mother, has appeared once very tearfully, very believable, her
live-in boyfriend has not. And it is very difficult to get them on camera right now.
In fact, it is impossible to find out where they are. The police won`t tell us. They won`t tell us. And they haven`t been seen for a couple of days,
which is odd. I do want to say this.
And Bobby, you need to answer this for me. The investigators say they want to speak to everybody. Every single neighbor. They`re not just saying
anybody who might know something. Every single neighbor. Because they say they need a time line that matches what these parents, this live-in
boyfriend and this mom, have reported as to their last movements. What does this tell you when these parents aren`t begging for the microphone to have
the public help them?
CHACON: Well, you know, the experts that have been involved in many of these cases like myself say that you always want to keep the child in the
news and shows like this sometimes are the keys and vital to the resolutions of these cases.
And so the parents are the ones that should be out front keeping this in the public eye, keeping the public engaged. The parents are the ones that -
- you know, those pictures showed, it`s palpable. Their agony is palpable. It comes across the screen, it comes right out of the TV at you.
And so the public really gets engaged by the parents being out-front. When the parents are not out front, when they disappear, the case naturally goes
somewhat colder in the public`s eye because you don`t -- you know, you can have all the spokespeople you want out there telling you about the case,
but it`s the parents` emotions that are so palpable and visceral you can feel it.
BANFIELD: So let me ask -- you know what, defense attorney Randy Zelin about this. He joins me live now as well. Randy, would you ever -- let`s
just say they`ve lawyered up, because I would. If I were a parent, I would. They`re looking at me. No matter what, they`re looking at the parents
first. Would you, as a lawyer, say to them stay away from the cameras?
RANDY ZELIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it`s a fact sensitive thing. And I will be the Grinch here. Because you`re absolutely right. In fact, studies
tell us parents are, unfortunately, suspect one and two, mom...
BANFIELD: The ground zero.
ZELIN: Mom and dad.
ZELIN: And things can be misinterpreted. Sometimes you do things that maybe could look really bad. So from a lawyering standpoint to protect the
client, you can only talk yourself into trouble.
So there are other ways, there are other ways to get the word out. But unfortunately in our society, the presumption of innocence means nothing.
And yes, if you don`t get in front of the microphone crying, somehow that makes you guilty. How many times have we seen guilty parents out there
leading the charge?
BANFIELD: Susan Smith, that`s first one that comes to mind. And the most prolific one in my nightmares, I will say that.
One last question for you. Our producer who was on the ground today saw something very unusual that I haven`t seen before. She saw these white orbs
being deployed all the way around the home where this child disappeared. And when she asked, NCIS said these were 360 cameras recording images. And
when she went back, they were gone. What are they looking for images outside the home for?
ZELIN: They`re looking for movement. Maybe they`re looking to see if the child is somewhere around. Maybe they`re looking to see what the people in
the home might be doing thinking maybe no one is watching them. I can`t even conjure up the words when a child goes missing. I once lost my
daughter for maybe 30 seconds on the beach. It was like three years.
[20:15:05] BANFIELD: Yes.
ZELIN: So everything goes out the book, everything goes out the window, the book goes out the window to try to find this child.
BANFIELD: And I want to be super clear, the police have not said for a moment that Kristy Woods or her live-in boyfriend, who we are not naming,
he is not a suspect, neither of them has been pegged as a suspect in this case.
The police are saying that they have been cooperative, and that when they need them, they can find them. I just think it`s odd when they don`t beg
for our help, when all they want is to find that little girl. And most of them would say, I don`t care if you lock me up. I will say anything to get
someone out there looking for my baby.
We`re going to continue watching this story. Our thanks to Merrilee Moore and Bobby Chacon on this. Randy, I want you to ask you to stick around if
you can. The other big story, Matt Lauer finally saying something. Because he talks for a living, and he was silent all day. Today he wasn`t.
This, after the bombshell news of his firing and vows that he wants to repair the damage that he`s done. So how did that damage look today? How
much bigger might it get? Is there anything Matt can actually do?
[20:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, FORMER HOST, NBC NEWS: What a great job we have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized.
LAUER: You were accused of sexual harassment. A long and difficult process to get these actresses to be identified and go on the record with their
allegations. But you don`t let your number one guy go unless you have information that you think makes him...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.
LAUER: Anne Hathaway, good morning. Nice to see you.
ANNE HATHAWAY, ACTRESS: Good morning, Matt.
LAUER: Seeing a lot of you lately.
HATHAWAY: Sorry about that.
LAUER: Let`s just get it the other way. A wardrobe malfunction the other night. What`s the lesson learned from something like that?
MEREDITH VIEIRA, CO-HOST, NBC NEWS: I went into your office once. Do you remember this?
VIEIRA: So being -- and you have a huge bag of sex toys and you do remember this?
LAUER: Wait a minute. We had a guest on the show who was a -- what was she? A sex therapist. She gave each of us a shopping bag of stuff.
VIEIRA: I didn`t get...
LAUER: So when you look you realize all the things we get to do. And it has flown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Matt Lauer, and Matt Lauer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s your version.
LAUER: I guess when I play at home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: They said it could never happen. A morning show icon dethroned over allegations of sexual misconduct, but it did happen. Actually, it
happened twice. In a week. First Charlie Rose, and then Matt Lauer. And today Matt Lauer did the mea culpa of shame owning up to the same kind of
sexual misconduct that he had often covered himself on the today show.
So, tonight, there are at least three women who have come forward with stories about things Matt Lauer reportedly did to them or around them at
the office like giving a colleague a sex toy and telling her what he would want to do with it. Or dropping his pants in front of another and getting
angry when she reportedly didn`t engage.
Variety reporting both of those stories, while the New York Times reports that a woman claims Matt Lauer sexually assaulted her in his office until
she passed out. Not to mention the inappropriate sexual behavior at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Today was Matt Lauer`s second day off the job, and he was spotted in the Hamptons where his wife and children live still wearing his wedding ring.
And he formally issued a statement just in time for the Today show this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In fact, we just moments ago received a statement from Matt. And let me read it to you.
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by my words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am
As I`m writing this I realize the depth of the damage and the disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being
said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.
I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I`m
committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job.
The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It`s been humbling. I`m blessed to be surrounded by people
I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: God help me, I`ve not had to do that in my career, apologize to the people I work with.
Joining me now, CNN senior media correspondent and host of Reliable Sources, Brian Stelter. Also attorney Benedict Morelli, he represented one
of the women who sued Bill O`Reilly for sexual harassment. And defense attorney Randy Zelin is still with me.
So, Brian, you have been on the lead for reporting for CNN and HLN on really the seismic, you know, reality that everybody is kind of...
BANFIELD: ... trying to digest still today. Still doesn`t feel right.
STELTER: Yes. I think a lot of his fans are still devastated by this.
STELTER: To find out this was happening in his office behind the scenes and it was kept a secret for a long time. I think it`s notable, NBC now says
there were three complaints filed this week, one before he was fired, two others after he was fired.
On top of those three complaints there been these other suggestions of inappropriate behavior as well. We don`t know if any new complaints filed
today, Ashleigh. But the three complaints from earlier in the week are certainly very disturbing.
BANFIELD: So there`s something else that`s happening. Amidst all the devastation, the frustration, the understandable anger that I think a lot
of people have in this movement, I`m one of them.
BANFIELD: I have dealt for 30 years with this garbage. So I`m happy to see sort of the lancing of the boil.
[20:25:00] STELTER: Yes.
BANFIELD: But I hate to see people I like go through this suffering that they go through, both the accusers and those, like Matt Lauer, who I worked
with and I liked as well.
BANFIELD: I`m on there with Savannah saying he was good to me, he never did anything like that.
STELTER: Right, right.
BANFIELD: But then there`s the piling on that I feel is happening as well. And I want to play something in particular because everybody with a
microscope is looking at every single thing that Matt Lauer has ever done and then ascribing this behavior to it and I`m not sure it`s fair.
So I want you to look at this Meredith Vieira clip with me. Savannah and Matt were on the show talking about, you know, all the fun things that
morning show hosts do. And Meredith ask him a question about sex toys. Let`s watch and I`m going to ask for your assessment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VIEIRA: I have to say, I went into your office once. Do you remember this?
VIEIRA: Snooping. And you had a huge bag of sex toys. And do you remember this?
LAUER: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
VIEIRA: Yes, you did. In your -- in your closet, Matt. You did. You had a big...
LAUER: OK. Can I explain what happened?
LAUER: Because you were there. We had a guest on the show who was a -- what was she? A sex therapist. And so when she left, I think you did the
VIEIRA: I didn`t. I didn`t.
LAUER: And when she left she gave each of us a shopping bag of stuff.
VIEIRA: I didn`t get a bag of stuff.
LAUER: True story, I didn`t know what to do. I put it in my closet, my dressing room. The next day we had Laura Bush on the show. The secret
service came with the dogs to sweep our dressing rooms and I watched -- I said, no, I`ll get out. Go ahead. You can stay. We just need to bring the
dog in. They open up the thing and I see the guy pick up the bag. I`m like, My god. It`s true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: I mean, hilarious, right?
STELTER: It`s a pretty funny anecdote. But you know, a lot of web sites only picked up on the first sentence, that he had a bag of sex toys in his
BANFIELD: Because that`s the way since the reporting.
STELTER: I think there are things being taken out of context. Right. And look, there could be very disturbing things that he was doing. The
allegations are chilling, but I think in some ways cherry picking jokes that were said on the air five or ten years ago actually might dilute the
real allegations against him.
BANFIELD: Thank you for saying that, because I worry about the jump the shark. I worry about all the women who want to come forward and now are
going to be looked at as opportunists because you get good coverage for it.
Look at this next clip specifically, it`s a short one, it`s one of those in-between takes. So cameras were rolling but they weren`t on the air as
Meredith I think was getting ready to go outside.
BANFIELD: Gathering her stuff off the table near the couch where Matt was seated. And Matt made a comment about the sweater she was wearing and the
position that she was in. Have a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAUER: I`ll meet you outside. Bye.
LAUER: Pretty sweater. Keep bending over like that. It`s a nice view.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Keeping bending over like that. It`s a nice shot. Now I could see that. I can see you saying that to someone who is your great friend. And
I`m not so sure that there`s a power dynamic between Meredith and Matt. Neither one can fire the other. Is that an unfair example or given in the
context of what we know now, all`s fair?
STELTER: Yes. I think it`s an embarrassing clip. And I`d like to know more about it. I thought the frustration with Lauer`s statement today is that
some of the things out there being mischaracterized but he`s not giving any details.
I said to his P.R. person say, if he said parts of these allegations are untrue, tell us which ones. And he`s not doing that. Instead he`s saying
enough of the claims are true that he`s very sorry and ashamed.
So he`s leaving a lot left open to interpretation but I do think a lot of these clips might being taken out of context. Lauer, he had an incredible
career. He was beloved by millions of viewers, people chose to start their day with him. We can`t throw that away. But at the same time if we spend
too much time focusing on his accomplishments that takes away from the stories of these accusers. It`s a very delicate situation.
BANFIELD: yes. I don`t -- I don`t want anything to think for a minute that I`m an apologist for this kind of behavior or for Matt Lauer for Charlie
Rose or anybody else that does this crazy brutal business of hitting on your employees.
BANFIELD: It`s a power structure, period.
BANFIELD: Step up your game. Someone at MSNBC, Stephanie Ruhle said, step up your god damn game.
STELTER: That`s the great way to put it.
BANFIELD: Step up your game if you`re the boss. Period.
BANFIELD: I don`t care if he thinks he`s the prettiest thing on earth or he`s the hottest guy on the planet, you can`t.
BANFIELD: Period. So I want to bring in, if I can, another kind of dynamic that`s going on here. Benedict Morelli. You represented Andrea Mackris.
BENEDICT MORELLI, FORMER PLAINTIFF FOR BILL O`REILLY: I did.
BANFIELD: She was one of the first accusers of Bill O`Reilly.
MORELLI: She was the first.
BANFIELD: More than 10, somewhere around at least a decade.
MORELLI: Ten or eleven years ago, yes.
BANFIELD: It`s a long time ago. And people might not remember but people might remember the branding of this story as having involved a loofah.
BANFIELD: And what Bill O`Reilly on tape wanted to do with the loofah regarding Andrea Mackris. Mackris, did she ever work again?
MORELLI: She never worked again.
BANFIELD: She never work again. Repeat that. How much did she after being fired or being let go from?
[20:30:03] MORELLI: Well, there were -- it`s now been reported that four women -- she was the first, and three others got 13 million altogether. I
could only tell you that she got the most of that 13 million. It was very interesting because at one point, she was so upset. She said, I want to
take him down. And I said, well, Andrea, you didn`t retain me for that. I don`t do causes, I do cases.
BANFIELD: OK. So, I want to ask -- specifically want to get to this --
MORELLI: And -- and because you may never work again, you need the money.
BANFIELD: Honestly, Benedict, I think a lot of people are watching saying these women are just looking for payouts. And I think they forget, you need
a payout when you`re not working. When was the last time Gretchen Carlson was on the air paid?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That`s a very good point. She was paid $20 million by Fox, but one of the reasons is because was she
was making a lot of money before she lost her job.
BANFIELD: How many years?
STELTER: And it`s unclear if she`ll be back on TV.
BANFIELD: Is it two? Is it three? Two or three years since she`s not been on the air?
STELTER: It`s been well over a year. And you know, there is --
MORELLI: Over a year.
STELTER: -- there is speculation about whether she has been trying to get a job on TV or not. Whether networks are willing to hire her or not. I
certainly hope networks are willing to hire her. But these are open questions when we see people lose their jobs.
BANFIELD: I say that two or three, because she was marginalized off the morning show where the big money --
STELTER: That`s a very good point, yes, that`s correct.
MORELLI: I would like to say one point that you have to differentiate her from my client, because my client`s an unknown person, one of the
producers, not an online personality.
STELTER: And she was even more vulnerable.
MORELLI: So much more vulnerable.
BANFIELD: I`m with you.
MORELLI: And needed the job. And I said to her, you need to collect this money. And we also have to understand that many of the women who are now
coming forward against many of these other men, the statute of limitations is gone.
BANFIELD: Right. I just want to --
MORELLI: So they can`t get a payday.
BANFIELD: -- do this quick math, so that when someone hears oh, $20 million, you know, for Gretchen Carlson, boo hoo, you know what Gretchen
Carlson could have made in one year? $25 million! Because that`s what Matt Lauer was making. And Gretchen Carlson as a morning show host could have
risen to the very top. She could have been the next CBS morning news anchor or the next NBC News anchor.
STELTER: (INAUDIBLE) yes, correct.
BANFIELD: If she hadn`t gone through the marginalization and then out the door, sweetheart. So $20 million is a drop in the bucket. I wanted to ask
you this, Randy, because this is sort of going --
MORELLI: (INAUDIBLE) Roger Ailes more than that.
BANFIELD: And guess who else is looking for more than that. Matt Lauer is reportedly looking for a $30 million contract payout. The reporting is that
his contract was either up in 2018 or shortly thereafter. Therefore, he wants the balance.
I`m sure his agents would want the balance. They get a good chunk of that. Explain how this works, Randy Zelin. If you`re out the door for cause, can
you get that money?
RANDY ZELIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good luck.
ZELIN: And there is something that I`ve been waiting to say for 27 years having been a criminal defense attorney, what judges love to say to my
clients at sentencing. Are you sorry or are you sorry that you got caught?
BANFIELD: I mean, that`s really what it`s going to come down to for the morals on it, but for the contract payout, I don`t think it`s going to
ZELIN: I don`t know what rhymes with termination with cause, but I know that what probably doesn`t rhyme but it doesn`t matter is, you ain`t going
to get your money --
ZELIN: -- if you are terminated with cause.
BANFIELD: And especially if you cop to it. Last question, and i think this is what a lot of people who like the "Today" show, liked Matt Lauer, are
upset about the whole basket of deplorable behavior that went on, what`s next?
Who gets the job? What happens in the landscape of morning TV? Who is going to go broke? Who is going to lose their jobs over this? If advertising goes
down, do 50 producers get cut next quarter? What`s next? What happens?
STELTER: Whenever someone falls, someone rises. And this is one of the situations where either some younger man at NBC or maybe a woman is going
to take that job. You know, there`s been some talk about maybe there should be an all-female lineup at CBS or NBC, given this moment in American
history and society.
It`s unclear how NBC is going replace Lauer. It is going to be very difficult. And you`re right. If the show does lose audience share, if
rivals benefit because of this scandal, then there`s going to be an advertising revenue impact and there are going to be troubles behind the
It would be a shame to see other people suffer as a result of Lauer`s alleged behavior. But, you know, we saw that with Charlie Rose last week. A
number of producers at Charlie Rose`s show who are going to lose their jobs at the end of December. They`re going to be without pay after Christmas
because of Charlie Rose`s show being canceled.
BANFIELD: It`s not just the guy.
STELTER: That`s right.
MORELLI: It seems to me that Matt Lauer -- because I`ve been on both shows. I`ve been on with Matt Lauer a few times. I was on the Charlie Rose two
months ago. Matt Lauer was more of a focus on that show. You know what I`m saying? I`m not saying that Charlie Rose --
BANFIELD: Oh, I know what you`re saying, 25 million reasons why he was the main focus.
MORELLI: Not that Charlie Rose wasn`t an icon, because I was shocked when I heard that.
BANFIELD: But he didn`t have 20 years in the chair.
MORELLI: But it was different.
[20:35:00] Five years with them. And he was 20 plus years. He`s a different focus. I`m asking the same question. Is it going to be another woman or is
it going to be a guy? I mean, I`m thinking about who I think it is going to be.
BANFIELD: You know what I want to know? I`ll be honest. I don`t think anybody is really asking this question. I know I got to get to break. But
can you answer this quickly?
BANFIELD: Is Matt Lauer ever going to work on TV again?
STELTER: I know America loves a comeback story, but I would be shocked to see him back in a big job.
ZELIN: He should disappear for a while.
BANFIELD: Yes, so some rehab for all of this? There`s a rehab for everything. I got to go. I`m so sorry. I wish we could do the entire hour
on this. Brian, as always, great reporting today. Keep it up. Benedict Morelli, good to have you on. Thank you, Randy.
ZELIN: You`re welcome.
BANFIELD: You can`t go anywhere.
ZELIN: I won`t.
BANFIELD: I`ve got breaking news tonight in a desperate search that`s on for a missing Texas teenager who is believed to have been lured away by a
much older man that she met on Snapchat. And if you think that she has an incredible resemblance to Elizabeth Smart, you`re not wrong.
It was sort of a jaw-dropping moment when this crossed our wires. Guess what? Both 15, both missing from their bedrooms. We have quite a
development in this, next.
[20:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BANFIELD: An older man taking a pretty minor on the road for an unplanned journey is a pretty uncomfortable story, but we have heard this one before.
In fact, just a couple of months ago. A story that police say a teacher from Tennessee was discovered in the cabin across the country where it`s
believed he was sleeping with his 15-year-old student. Tad Cummins is in some big trouble.
And now it seems this week another teenaged girl was lured away from home. Fifteen-year-old Heaven Ray Cox, seen on the right here, teenager bearing
just an unbelievable resemblance to Elizabeth Smart, who herself at 15, went missing from her bedroom back in 2002.
When Heaven`s pictures came across our wires, it just took our breath away, because of that resemblance. And according to her mom, this new missing
child was a victim of a stranger on Snapchat. That is a big difference from 2002 in Elizabeth Smart who was taken physically from her bed.
So the mom of this new child, Tammy Cox, says that her daughter, Heaven, was talking to a much older man on that app, Snapchat. And that she may
have headed west with him. According to that mother, she left a note behind.
Mom says she was off her meds and that her passport was missing, too. Her mother was simply terrified that she was being manipulated into what a
predator wanted instead of what she thought was a pal.
Breaking news tonight, police say that Heaven has been found. We don`t know where yet. Because this is just coming into us now. But her mom is posting
on Facebook saying that Heaven tonight is safe, and that is great news. Just like the Elizabeth Smart story resulted in great news. Took nine
months, but they found Elizabeth, too.
Tonight there is another teenaged girl to report on as well. A charming 17- year-old soccer star named Caitlyn Frisina. She disappeared from her Florida home this weekend. But police have been able to track her in a very
unusual way because she popped up on a video at an ATM in Georgia, and at a pawnshop in North Carolina.
And new surveillance images show who she may have been traveling with for quite some time now. At a gas station in South Carolina, she appeared to be
with a soccer coach and family friend 10 years her senior. You can see how she certainly doesn`t look much like her long haired self in these
pictures, wearing instead a hat to disguise her hair, a bulky sweater. Police say it`s her, though.
With me is Roger Henderson. He is the news director at WBOB Radio in Jacksonville, Florida. Roger, what`s the latest on this story of Caitlyn
Frisina? Where she is? Where they think she might be? And what they can do about this?
ROGER HENDERSON, NEWS DIRECTOR, WBOB RADIO (via telephone): Good evening, Ashleigh. The latest is that the authorities believe that they are together
traveling north somewhere around I-95 possibly heading into the New York City area or possibly even Canada. They aren`t sure.
But I`m just thinking how can this gentleman think that it`s a good idea, first of all, to remove her from her family who loves her dearly, and then
thinking that he is going to be able to get away with it and they`ll live happily ever after with today`s technology.
It seems everywhere they stop to get gas, go to the ATM machine, they leave an electronic paper trail and is allowing people to find out at least where
they were last. Just a matter of time before they`re caught.
BANFIELD: So, Roger, one of the things that was really sort of disheartening I think you can say is that Caitlyn`s mother said that she
left her phone behind in her bedroom. Now that would be great news because you would think you would be able to look through it and find out what she
had been doing and saying, but apparently it had been been factory reset.
If you`ve never done that to your phone, it`s the most scary thing you can do because it wipes everything out. Could they do anything about that?
Could they find that information any other way?
HENDERSON (via telephone): As I understand it, the FBI has technology that can restore much of the data that is lost when an electronic device
[20:45:00] has been wiped clean like that. They`ve probably been able to find out what was on that phone. I was raised, Ashleigh to believe that
it`s the man`s job to protect the woman he loves, but it seems like this situation it`s the reverse. It seems like the 17-year-old girl is trying to
protect her 27-year-old romantic interest. I think that`s probably safe to say.
BANFIELD: Well, as we saw, that doesn`t often last in many different ways and certainly when the FBI gets on the case, your days are kind of
numbered. I think you can just ask Tad Cummins all about that.
Thanks so much, Roger. We are going to continue to call you up and find out if there is development in the search for Caitlyn Frisina. We hope that she
comes back safe and unharmed. Mentally we can`t get any guarantees there. That`s for sure.
Los Angeles police are asking for help in identifying a guy who, again, I`ll use the phrase, will take your breath away. You see him walking here
towards the camera. What looks like a bag or a backpack in his right hand. He looks like he`s trying to scare that old man walking by him who just
keeps on walking by.
But then look what happens next. He just clocks him. Unbelievable. Out of nowhere. And there`s the image. That man lying on the concrete behind him
was seriously injured. And there was some reporting that there may have been rocks in that backpack, but whatever hit that older man, it was
It was fierce. It sent him flying. It sent his glasses flying. And it doesn`t appear he knows this guy who he had just crossed paths with. It is
a strange encounter and a dangerous one. If you think you know this man or anything about it, contact the LAPD, because if he`s still out there, no
Shocking video to tell you about a female football fan getting clocked by an officer, but she had slapped him first. He`s declared of wrongdoing, but
why should he have been investigated in the first place? And would he have been if that lady up there were no lady but instead a guy? Weigh in in a
moment on this one because I know, I know your blood is boiling.
[20:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BANFIELD: Out of control fans absolutely nothing new to security teams at football stadiums especially when those fans have been drinking a whole
bunch. But the way an officer handled one fan in Miami while removing her from the game has the internet broken, shocked, struggling. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD (voice-over): Thirty-year-old Bridget Freitas sporting two shiners. She`s the woman that you saw clocked in the face by that officer
after she twice laid into him trying to slap his head. She had been charged with felony battery.
The officer who did this is getting support from his department. Miami-Dade Police Department director reportedly saying after inquiry that the
officers do not distinguish between men and women when they have to punch out a troublemaker.
So the question for everybody who is freaking out on the inter-webs, are you freaking out because this lady had long hair and tried to slap at a
guy? And would you be freaking out if she was no lady but guy? And Randy Zelin, I think it`s the question that needs to be answered.
ZELIN: Yes and no.
ZELIN: There is a simple reality here. Even though the law of justification is gender neutral and a police officer has the right to defend himself and
to defend others, the fact that she was a girl, that`s reality.
And we just -- you don`t react the same way when a girl gets laid out. If a guy got laid out, you`d be like, thank you.
ZELIN: Because he`s wrecking it for the rest of the fans.
BANFIELD: I`m sorry.
ZELIN: But when it happens to a girl, you cringe.
BANFIELD: No, not me. I thought she was despicable. I was cheering for that officer.
ZELIN: I cringed just watching it.
BANFIELD: That girl -- get her out of here.
ZELIN: You get her out, you don`t lay her out.
BANFIELD: I`m going (INAUDIBLE) on her, yes.
ZELIN: You don`t lay her out.
BANFIELD: OK. Hold on a second, because after cyber Monday, did you do it? I did it. I did cyber Monday. But I didn`t know that the police tell you
all about package theft Tuesday and package theft Wednesday and package theft Thursday and Friday. But here is the big question. Which states do
you think are the most at risk for this kind of shady business going on? We`ve got one more thing, next.
[20:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BANFIELD: Voting is now underway for the CNN hero of the year and we`ve got one of this year`s top CNN heroes. Meet Aaron Valencia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AARON VALENCIA, CNN HERO: Custom cars set me and my life in a whole different direction. I started smoking meth at about 14 or 15, the first
time I ever shot heroin. Robbing and stealing. The judge commended me to a year of drug treatment. I walked out of rehab and never looked back. My
life completely changed. I opened up a small shop.
You came here to work? That`s what I like to hear.
Kids were kind of gravitating to the shop to see what`s going on. So I`m here and they can actually learn a trade, learn a lesson. Learn something
to better their life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like to put the wheels on it. He inspired me because I always wanted to be a mechanic.
VALENCIA (voice-over): We cater to foster at-risk and low-income youth in the community.
We`re not looking for perfection. We`re just looking for better than yesterday.
Just trying to be someone who sees where they`re at right now and what they`re going through and offer a bit of stability.
You guys ever thought that maybe you`re out there in this world alone and nobody`s got your back, there`s a lot of people who got your back right
They`re learning there`s somewhere positive. It was a win for all of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Vote for him at CNNheroes.com. OK. Cyber Monday. It is huge for shoppers, but it`s also huge for bad guys, because according to the video
surveillance company blink, people in rural states fall victim to porch pirates the most. North Dakota tops the list
[21:00:00] with Vermont, Alaska, New Mexico, and Nebraska rounding out the top five. So watch your front door, if you`ve got packages coming.
Thanks so much, everyone, for coming. Randy, thanks for being here.