Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) defends her early call for former Sen. Al Franken to resign over sexual harassment allegations in an interview with Sharyn Alfonsi for this Sunday’s 60 MINUTES. The decision made by the New York senator was criticized by some fellow Democrats for being hasty and disloyal. The interview with Gillibrand will be broadcast Sunday, Feb. 11 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Gillibrand was the first senator to publicly call for Franken – a friend – to step down last December after eight women accused him of sexual misconduct, including inappropriate touching. Franken was hoping a congressional investigation would allow him to keep his seat. He resigned not long after Gillibrand and others demanded that he do so.
“We just heard allegation after allegation. They were credible allegations. I believed the women,” says Gillibrand.
Pressed as to why she didn’t wait for all the facts to come out in an investigation, Gillibrand was firm. “Where’s my moral compass if I can’t speak out just because I like someone? Just because they’re my friend? It’s okay to be a harasser as long as you’re my friend? That is not okay,” she tells Alfonsi.
“He's entitled to as much due process as he wants. He doesn’t ever have to resign. That’s his choice. And my choice is to speak out,” says Gillibrand, who has emerged as the political face of the #MeToo movement.
Amid the Franken allegations in November and before she called for his resignation, Gillibrand said publicly that Bill Clinton should have resigned from his presidency 20 years ago for his affair with then-intern Monica Lewinsky. Both Hillary and Bill Clinton had campaigned for Gillibrand. Why make that call now? Gillibrand points out that times have changed with the election of President Donald Trump. “All of us. I think I’m not alone here…how many of us were having this conversation even a year ago?”
Asked if she has spoken with the still politically potent Clintons, Gillibrand says, “Well, I don’t want to talk about that, but I can tell you one thing… Hillary Clinton is still my greatest role model in politics.”
Grigory Rodchenkov, the mastermind of the Russian doping scandal that got the country’s Olympic team barred from this year’s Winter Games, now fears for his life for talking about cheating that the Russians continue to deny. Rodchenkov is in disguise when he tells Scott Pelley his story on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Feb. 11 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
“[The disguise] was done for security reasons. There is information that my life is in jeopardy, and we took all necessary steps,” he tells Pelley. “Kremlin wants me to stop talking.”
Asked by Pelley whether it is Vladimir Putin who wants him silenced and if people who cross the Russian president often die mysteriously, Rodchenkov replies. “Yes, yes. Even on U.S. soil.”
Rodchenkov’s American lawyer, Jim Walden, says there is no question his client’s life is in danger. He says U.S. law enforcement officials warned him the day after the International Olympic Committee announced the Russian ban. “Protocols needed to be changed immediately, because we had to assume that there was a team of Russians here looking for him.”
Walden says his client can be “a powerful tool for anti-doping authorities” going forward.
Rodchenkov says that even now countries are cheating. When asked how many, he tells Pelley, “Twenty-plus. For sure.”
Rodchenkov came to the U.S. in 2015 with the files of Russia’s doping program from the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. He revealed their contents in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Icarus” and to the World Anti-Doping Agency, which corroborated his account.
As a result, the Russians were stripped of several medals, and Russia was banned from this year’s games in Pyeonchang, South Korea. Some Russian athletes are being allowed to compete at Pyeonchang under the Olympic banner rather than the Russian flag.
Earlier this month, an international court overturned lifetime bans on a number of Russian athletes for doping at Sochi, saying there was insufficient evidence against the athletes themselves.
The Russians response to Rodchenkov has been to accuse him of being mentally ill and a criminal who sold performance-enhancing drugs. They have issued two arrest warrants for him.
SHOWDOWN – The House haspassed a bill that would allow Americans licensed to carry concealed firearms in their own states to bring those weapons legally into other states. Steve Kroft takes a look at the pros and cons of the controversial bill that the U.S. Senate could vote into law. Michael Karzis and VanessaFica are the producers.
OLYMPIC DOPING – Grigory Rodchenkov, the mastermind behind the Russian doping scandal that got the country’s Olympic team barred from this year’s Winter Games, now fears for his life, as he talks about cheating the Russians continue to deny. Scott Pelley reports. Henry Schuster and Rachael Morehouse are the producers.
SENATOR GILLIBRAND – New York’s junior U.S. senator has emerged among Democrats as a leading political face of the “#MeToo” movement, fighting sexual assault and harassment. Sharyn Alfonsi interviews Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who some regard as a future presidential contender. Howard L. Rosenberg and Julie Holstein are the producers.
The House haspassed a bill that would allow Americans licensed to carry concealed firearms in their own states to bring those weapons legally into other states. The president also supports the bill, called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Steve Kroft takes a look at the pros and cons of the controversial bill that the U.S. Senate could make law. His report will be broadcast on the next edition of 60 MINUTES Sunday, Feb. 11 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Advocates for the bill point to Shaneen Allen as a perfect example of why the new law is needed. The single mother and mugging victim, licensed to carry a concealed pistol in Pennsylvania, was jailed in neighboring New Jersey after police found the gun in her purse during a traffic stop. “So you can easily go from being a responsibly armed citizen, who’s 100 percent legal, to being a criminal just by crossing state lines,” says Tim Schmidt, president and founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. He says the bill is a way to prevent the arrests of responsible citizens, like Allen, from running afoul of inconsistent state guns laws.
Populous states like New Jersey and New York are among several states where concealed carry permits are difficult to obtain. Such states often require training, background checks and a documented need to carry. Other states’ requirements are not as stringent; some states, typically rural ones, have no requirements at all. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is against the law. “You bring that kind of fire power, even with well-intentioned people, it’s going to be extremely dangerous,” he tells Kroft. “I wouldn’t presume to tell the residents of West Virginia what their gun laws should be…but I don’t think they or Congress should be having West Virginia laws put on New York City.”
Vance and New York City’s police commissioner, James O’Neill, who is also interviewed, have established a coalition of big-city prosecutors and police chiefs from across the country to oppose the law. The U.S. Concealed Carry Association, and other guns rights groups like the powerful National Rifle Association, are lobbying heavily for it. The NRA’s stance is clear, stating on its website, in part: “The individual right to carry a firearm in defense of our lives and our families does not and should not end at any state line.”
Kroft also interviews the author of the bill, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), and Robyn Thomas of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.