tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN September 22, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
show me decorating shows. this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving... simple. easy. awesome. stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. all right, hello again, everyone, thanks for joining me this saturday. i'm fredricka whitfield. we're just hours away from the latest deadline set for christine blasey ford. she's accusing u.s. supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of
sexual and physical assault back when they were in high school. ford and republicans are locked in a tense back and forth as they attempt to hammer out details for a possible hearing next week, where both sides could share their story. if ford's attorneys do not respond by 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, the committee says it will vote monday on kavanaugh's nomination. tensions are high. ford's husband, in a tell all interview to "the washington post," says his wife moved to california to reinvent her life. but it wasn't far enough. and when kavanaugh's name was mentioned for the u.s. supreme court, he recalls, and i'm quoting now, the husband of miss ford, she was, like, i can't deal with this, if he becomes the nominee, then i'm moving to another country. i cannot live in this country if he's in the supreme court. she wanted out. cnn's boris sanchez joins us now from berkeley heights, new jersey, not far from where the president is this weekend. so where do things stand right
now in terms of negotiations from the white house point of view? >> yes, president trump has yet to weigh in on this latest deadline. the third in just a 24-hour time period. we learned about this new deadline from senator grassley on twitter last night. he tweeted out what read like an apology to brett kavanaugh, saying he's usually not this indecisive. as you know, fred, initially, the deadline was 5:00 p.m. yesterday, then 10:00 p.m. now it's 2:30 today. and christine blasey ford's attorneys believe chuck grassley should be apologizing to her. all of these fake deadlines, these arbitrary deadlines are making her life very difficult. here's the exact word from ford's attorney. she writes, the artificial deadline regarding the date and conditions of any hearing has created tremendous stress on dr. ford. your cavalier treatment of a
sexual assault survivor who's been doing her best to cooperate with the committee is completely inappropriate. just goes to show how far these sides are on the issues as far as christine blasey ford's testimony and the conditions for them. just one thing to point out is specifically when any testimony may take place, republicans wanted her to testify as early as monday. her attorneys are saying she can testify no earlier than thursday. the other question is who is going to be asking her questions during her potential testimony. republicans on the judiciary committee have outlined that they would like an outside counsel to direct questions towards her. something her attorneys do not like. sources indicate they would prefer senators themselves ask questions of her. the other big question mark here is who will go first. senate republicans have asked that christine blasey ford testify before brett kavanaugh. her attorneys want it the other way around. they want her client to have the
last word. as for where president trump stands on this, he was at a rally in springfield, missouri, last night, and he made clear what his desired outcome would be. listen to this. >> senator, good guy, said to me the other day, was very interesting, because we were talking about, frankly, judge kavanaugh. and i said, we have to fight for him. not worry about the other side. and by the way, women are for that more than anybody would understand. >> shortly after these allegations from ford came forward, cnn got reporting from inside the white house that aides were worried that president trump may wade into this argument and question her credibility. he put that off for several days until yesterday when he questioned whether she would come forward when these allegations took place some 30 years ago. the president has not weighed in again yet on this 2:30 p.m. deadline today. the clock is ticking.
we'll see what the president says, fred. >> boris sanchez, thank you. joining me right now, cnn supreme court reporter ariane devo. larry sabito. and cnn legal analyst romano mariety. ford and her lawyer says this is bullying. the deadline for today is arbitrary. is this adding more undue pressure and stress to this alleged victim? >> well, i will tell you, in my experience, and i had many, many cases in which i interviewed victims, many times i had to prepare them for trial. at times where victims were crying and had trouble. just getting themselves together to sit with me and fbi agents for an interview. i would never treat somebody this way. i would never be trying to push them. larry can explain better than i can the political implications.
it seems to me the election's 45 days off. you can wait a day or two or three for this lady. give her the time to get herself together. and prepare. and have her statement ready to go. i don't understand why they're trying to push things along in this manner. it's the sort of thing that would get me fired when i was a prosecutor. >> ariane, senator grassley is saying two different things. he's saying let's move on and then, you know, i want to listen to her. he's also threatening to hold, you know, kavanaugh's confirmation vote on monday if ford doesn't respond to today's deadline. so, you know, what's the message that's being sent here? >> well, fred, the exchanges between ford's lawyers and the committee are really very angry. and grassley feels like he's being accommodating. he feels like ford has already told her story once to "the washington post." and he feels like he's being accommodating. whereas ford's lawyers are
saying, you know, we're not asking for that much. they said earlier in the week that the monday deadline was a deal breaker. they came up with conditions and they wanted kavanaugh to go first. they recognize that there's one interesting issue here, fred, and that is the republican side of that committee has no women, but they want to say, look, no outside counsel. grassley came back and said i will be a comb dating. i will move this to wednesday. kavanaugh has a right to respond. so that won't go. and they said we have a right to call a female lawyer. so really we've seen -- it's getting increasingly bitter back and forth. and the clock is ticking. this is coming up soon. we're talking about next week. >> so larry, ariane underscored that, there are no women on the republican side in the senate judiciary committee. there are four democratic women. then, you know, you talk about the potential outcome that this might have on republicans as a whole in the midterm elections in terms of how this is being
handled. not just during testimony, if it even happens, but right now, people are watching, you know, to see, you know, how compassionate or lack thereof, you know, this process is. >> yes, this is an explosive subject for the midterms, fred, whichever way it goes, but i think the dangers are much greater for republicans. the elections are only about six weeks away, 45, 46 days away, which is a very short period of time. this is clearly going to continue for at least a little while and maybe longer. if dr. ford is not heard from at all, i think that will have a very serious impact on the republicans. they need to try and accommodate here in ways in which she's comfortable and which also gives the public a reasonable way to evaluate what she's saying. everybody knows, and we've seen fred, this is very important, it's women who are powering the democratic party in an election where they have a good chance to
take back at least the house of representatives. what do you think will happen if dr. ford gets no opportunity to testify and judge kavanaugh is confirmed? i think that the anger level will go up. anger equals a kind of enthusiasm which equals heavier voting. >> one also has to wonder, you know, say kavanaugh is confirmed, regardless of whether we hear from ford, you know, or not. what is the reception likely to be on the bench among other supreme court justices who have just watched this play out, who have either heard both sides or potentially they will not have heard from both sides during the confirmation process? >> well, the court has dealt with difficult challenges before. obviously many of us remember the bush versus gore decision. for example. and the court tried to come together. judge kavanaugh's very much in i would say an insider in terms of
the legal elite and where they're concerned he's somebody who's very well known to the legal community. what i would say is this could continue to drag on. if she's not heard, should could potentially go to montgomery, maryland, and press charges, so this could go on for some time. i really hope for the good of the country and the good of the supreme court that this is taken care of and it gets cleared one way or the the other. and she gets heard. and her testimony aired out in an appropriate manner before judge kavanaugh has an up and down vote. i think it would be bad for country to have this continue to linger on and him get confirmed in a way that does not answer these questions. >> and then, ariane, senator whitehouse telling cnn that if democrats do win back the house or even the senate, they will investigate the sexual assault
allegation, regardless of the outcome of the testimony or not. keeping with what he was saying, what it be montgomery county police that would pursue this? if that is to happen, if there is an ensuing investigation, how significant, how potentially disruptive would it be if he is indeed on the bench, would it be for this u.s. supreme court? >> that's right, fred. that's what the senator is signaling. he's saying the cloud will continue. on the one hand, we're talking about a lifetime appointment, no age limit, subject to impeachment. there's only been really one but no conviction. so on the one hand, there's that. on the other hand, what he's saying is this will continue. on the side, though, of kavanaugh, he has said from the beginning that he wants to come forward and tell his story. so he really wants to get out from under the cloud. he wants to be able to say, look, ask me questions. he's been very open about that. >> did he miss that opportunity, however? didn't he have that opportunity?
>> well, my sources told me that when she first came forward, his first inclination was to say let's have a hearing. and then on the hill, they said, well, let's -- let us deal with this a little bit. and in part because yes, she has to be heard. and so they came to agree. all a long, kavanaugh's position here was i'd like to answer questions. and don't forget, fred, he has already talked under oath with the senate committee, the senate side. but that's not the democrats. so it's only the republicans. >> right. >> saying it absolutely did not happen. that was his point of view, his testimony. all right, thanks so much. coming up, the president saying that there is a, quote, stench inside his own justice department, particularly the fbi, and vows to get rid of it after reports the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein considered recording conversations with the president and even talked about having the
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all right, president trump signaling an overhaul of the justice department, following reports that his deputy attorney general discussed removing him from the oval office. rod rosenstein is denying "the new york times" report that in the days after james comey was fired as fbi director, he talked about secretly recording president trump. rosenstein also reportedly talked about recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment. here's what the president said about the fbi in a rally in missouri hours after the report. >> we have great people in the department of justice. we have great people. these are people i really believe you take a poll, i got to be at 95%.
but you got some real bad ones. you've seen what happens at the fbi. they're all grown. they're all gone. they're all gone. but there's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that too. >> cnn justice reporter laura jarrett is in washington. so laura, there are reports that the president has thought about firing rosenstein, has talked about it even. but has hesitated. >> that's right, fred, according to "the washington post," the president consulted with his aide. they're trying to put him off. but he was mulling it over. but the staggering news of these memos detailing rosenstein secretly talking about putting a wire on to record the president and invoking the 25th amendment to remove him from office, just simply rocked the department yesterday, as officials tried to figure out what they could do to contain the damage.
rosenstein forced to issue a second statement late last night, saying, in part, the following. i never pursued or authorized recording the president and any suggestion i have ever advocated for the removal of the president is absolutely false. now, in addition to rosenstein's denials, one person who was actually in the room for the wiretap comment said, you know what, he was being sarcastic. there was no situation where this would ever be carried out. "the new york times" is reporting other officials thought he was serious. in any event, we know these proposals did not come to fruition but these revelations could still further jeopardize rosenstein's delicate standing in the president's eyes as this russia investigation loomed so very large for this administration, fred. >> all right, laura jarrett, still more to potentially come. >> for sure. >> thanks so much. >> thanks. all right, senator ted cruz's race against challenger o'rourke, it is heating up, but can democrats actually flip a seat in deep red texas?
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in the deep red state of texas, the battle is raging over senator ted cruz's seat. last night in a fiery debate, democratic challenger o'rourke traded barbs with cruz over trump, immigration and who was the most texan. here's cnn's ed lavandera. >> i'm not going to repeat the slander. >> you're not going to say what you did say? >> a texas senate debate isn't the kind of political moment
that generates a great deal of intrigue. republican ted cruz and democrat o'rourke wasted no time scraping it out over who was more texan. >> within months of being sworn to be your senator, ted cruz was not in texas, he was in iowa. >> congressman o'rourke doesn't seem to understand that representing texas is not doing a photo op in each county with reporters in tow but it's standing up and fighting for the people of texas. >> reporter: el paso congressman o'rourke has the political world wondering if he can topple the republican senator ted cruz. o'rourke has embraced a progressive agenda. universal health care, education reform, granting so-called dreamers citizenship status, as well as criminal justice reform and legalizing marijuana.
>> god bless texas. >> reporter: cruz is on a mission to paint o'rourke as a dangerous leftist. >> ready, one, two, three. >> reporter: and is fully embracing president trump, a strong economy and increased border security. even in this debate, escaping the shadow of trump was impossible. cruz was asked if he had lost his dignity by praising the president after trump insults his father and wife. >> i've got a responsibility which is to fight for every person here and every person in this state. and so i have worked hand-in-hand with the president on substance, and we have delivered remarkable victories. listen, if the president attacks you personally, your wife, your father, how you respond is your business. but when the president attacks our institutions, this country allows a foreign power to invade our democracy, that is our business. we need a u.s. senator who will stand up to this president. >> reporter: some polls showed o'rourke within striking distance of cruz. the latest poll from quinnipiac
shows cruz with a nine-point lead. on the campaign trail, cruz has been sounding the alarm that this race is, indeed, closer than most would expect in this red state. the first debate ended with a hint of perhaps what's to come in the final weeks of the campaign. >> bernie sanders believes in what he's fighting for. he believes in socialism. i think what he's fighting for doesn't work but i think you are absolutely sincere, like bernie, that you believe in expanding government and higher taxes. i commend you for fighting for what you believe -- >> true to form. >> reporter: the question is, will the texas senate race play out true to form, where the history of democrats trying to unseat a republican in texas have ended in unceremonious ways. ed lavandera, cnn, texas. ben ferguson and democratic strategist mustafa tamiz and larry sabato back with us, director for the center of
politics at the university of virginia. hello, everyone. larry, the polls have been all over the place. a few of the recent polls show a very tight race. texas is a republican stronghold. do you think o'rourke really has a pretty good chance of perhaps pulling this off? you know, a real upset on the horizon? >> is it competitive, yes. is it probable that o'rourke will win? no. i look at the polling averages. don't look at any individual poll. the polling averages have cruise up five or six points. but, fred, what's significant here is this is actually a competitive race between a democrat and republican in texas. you know when the last one was? almost 50 years ago in 1970. between george h.w. bush, the future president, and lloyd benz, the future treasury secretary. benson beat bush. that's the last time. all the other senate races in texas have been incredibly predictable until this one. >> some polls show just a point, you know, between the two here.
>> yes, they do. in fact, center for politics working with reuters and ipsos polling had a poll out this week that actually had o'rourke up two points. that's why i tell people look at the polling averages. everything's in the margin of error. the average has cruz up. >> ben, a texan, you know, president trump, you know, is planning to come to your state to hold a rally, you know, for cruz, come october. how is this going to look and how will it be received? because, you know, they were fierce competitors on the campaign trail vying for the president and now they're chummy? >> they've buried the hatchet. i endorsed cruz during the primary. but they have buried the hatchet. i have a good relationship with the president as well. it doesn't mean we didn't have our differences on certain issues. this is normal politics. people who fight it out in a primary. after, they get along. the president has a good working relationship with cruz.
cruz said he wanted the president to come down to texas and would love for him to campaign with him, which is going to happen. and, look, ted cruz is a guy that is willing to take a lot of heat from people politically and move on and work together. that's one of the reasons why he's dynamic. it's why a lot of the people in the state like him. i'll give full credit to the democrats in texas. they're very inspired. robert francis is a smart guy. he decided to change his name to beto so people would think he was somehow fighting on different issues. it's impressive how he's been a chameleon and changed himself from a guy whose name we didn't even know. it's robert francis. people in texas know him as robert francis. they don't know him as beto. there's a lot of people going, who's beto? and it's worked out well for him. >> it's worked out good. is it as simple as, you know, burying the hatchet and, you know, now trump and cruz can perhaps cruise right on back into the u.s. senate? or is there something really going on here that beto is now, you know, a fierce competitor and really stands a potential
chance? >> well, look, i'll start with what o'rourke said last night, true to form, beto o'rourke has had his name beto since childhood and there's pictures of him wearing t-shirts calling him beto so to say he changed his name is not true. cruz, ben's right, like traditional politic, you say all sorts of things about each other and then come back together. senator cruz is a true leader who can really lead the state and inspire not just the people of texas but around the country to get involved. look at his fund-raising. he has raised more money than any other senator running for the senate seat. online -- >> and what about out of state? >> no pac money. >> a lot of it out of state. >> o'rourke is the future of texas and the future of this country. >> larry, you know, is cruz's defeat on the presidential campaign trail, you know, largely explaining why this is such a tight race? >> that's one reason, fred. we've actually seen this over the years, a number of cases.
when senators run for president and lose, they've in a way flown too close to the sun. and the wax melts and they head down to earth and they're not as impressive as they once were. so i think that's one reason why cruz is weak. but cruz has lots of enemies. that's true in the u.s. senate. it's true out of the u.s. senate. >> ben. >> i think ted cruz, one of the main things about him, he's been very smart to stay close to home and talk to his constituents. he understands that jobs is the number one thing taxens were concerned about. and border security. those are two issue he's close to the president on. that's one of the reasons why trump is very popular in texas. at the end of the day, you have ted cruz, who's in a race with democrats who went all in. again, i give them a lot of credit. they've done a very good job in this campaign of getting out the vote. i think it's a midterm election
year. there's a lot of democrats that don't like this president. it's a battle. but at the end of the day, ted cruz is loved by many, many people in texas. that's the reason why i think he's going to win this five, six, seven points up, eight points maybe. texas is just not california. and beto is a guy who wants to turn into california. or i should say robert francis, the guy who wants to turn this into california. this is a guy who is anti-gun for goodness sakes in texas. i don't know how you think you can win a statewide seat being anti-gun and anti-border security. but i was shocked that he came out that hard core on those issues but he did. >> okay, so mustafa, as a democratic strategist, let's stick to beto o'rourke. that name is going to confuse a lot of people. even if he loses, do you see -- and if it's a close, you know, loss, do you see this as a real big gain, nonetheless? >> look, texas is not a red state, it's not a blue state, it's a nonvoting state.
in 2014 election, only 28% of taxens actually voted. if o'rourke, if he's inspiring people across the state to come out, not just in the suburbs of dallas and houston but across the state in smaller markets where he's visited all the counties of 254 counties of texas. if those democrats, those independent voters come out and send a message to the president of the united states and everyone else that our country's too important to stay, you know, just saying things about your opponent that aren't true. even if this conversation, we've had multiple times that things have been said that are not true. >> give me one. >> truth matters. >> give me one. >> -- inspiring young people, inspiring women across the state of texas -- >> no, no, no, time-out if you're going to say something i said wasn't true, give me one thing i said that wasn't true. give me one policy thing. is he anti-gun? yes. is he in favor of having open borders? yes. is he against i.c.e. agents? yes. so give me an example of what i
said that was not true in this conversation about ted cruz and beto. you don't have one. >> mustapha, are you there? >> i'm done. >> all right, we're going to leave it there. good to see you'll of you. coming up, rosenstein is denying he recruited cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment. the report raising questions about how the 25th amendment would be invoked. we'll explain next. (music throughout)
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welcome back. president trump is vowing to eradicate a lingeri ining stenc the justice department. his promise coming just hours after we learned deputy attorney rosenstein in the days after comey's 2017 firing discussed wearing a wire to record conversations with the president. cnn sources also say rosenstein talked about recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment to remove trump from office. rosenstein has denied the reports. for more on the 25th amendment and how it work, we turn to cnn politics digital director zachary wolf in washington. good to see you. >> good to see you. well, you know, i guess the first thing we need to say is this is supremely unlikely because it would require a republican president's entire hand picked cabinet and then most of the republican congress to essentially turn against him. the 25th amendment was put in
place in the wake of the kennedy assassination and mostly has to do with presidential succession. if a president died, if he becomes incapacitated, that's really what it's supposed to be about. there are other ways to get rid of presidents that people don't like. they're called elections first and then in extreme cases, for wrongdoing, there's impeachment. this really wasn't meant to get rid of a president, that people disagree with. and that's why it's kind of a complicated process to actually go through. like i said, the entire cabinet or a majority of the cabinet and the vice president have to certify essentially they think the president is unfit to be in office. they have to, then, tell congress about it. the president can disagree with them. and then they have to do it again within four days. and then congress has 21 days to vote. let's think about this. it keeps coming up for some reason. steve bannon we know was obsessed with it for a time. according to some reports. and then in that anonymous
op-ed, they discussed how the 25th amendment was discussed by some cabinet officials and now rozenstein. we have to keep coming back to it. just the mountain you'd have to climb for this to happen if you can imagine, pence, who's never said a bad thing about trump, essentially saying he was unfit to be in office, and then sending that to the entire congress. where a super majority, 67, more than a filibuster proof majority, would have to agree and essentially kick trump out in order for pence to take hold. so it keeps coming back but it just seems so unlikely. >> underscores a collective body not necessarily in private. all right, zachary wolf, thanks so much. all right, coming up, we're following developments from washington where the clock is ticking towards the deadline set by senate republicans for brett kavanaugh's accuser to respond to their counteroffer on her potential testimony. as tensions escalate between the u.s. and iran, secretary of state mike pompeo lashing out
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iranian president rouhani is going on the attack against president trump, comparing him to former iraqi dictator saddam hussein. iran state television quotes rouhani as saying, quote, trump will fail in the economic and psychological war, end quote, against iran, just as hussein failed in his eight-year war against the islamic republic. rouhani also refuted the idea that iran interferes in the
affairs of other countries in the region. rouhani's message followed president trump's own comments on iran last night at his rally in missouri. >> when i took over and before i took over, everybody said iran will take over the entire middle east. now iran wants to survive, okay. but you know what, i hope we get a long with them great. but it's not easy for them. and, frankly, it's not easy for others until we get treated with the respect that we deserve. >> all this comes ahead of next week's united nations security council meeting on iran which trump will chair. as the president prepares to head to the u.n., secretary of state pompeo is issuing a stark warning that iran will be held directly responsible for attacks on u.s. interests, even if the attacks come from iran's proxies. global affairs correspondent elise labbot sat down with
pompeo for a one-on-one interview. how hard-line was his message? >> really, among the hardest i've heard him. this follows the attack on two u.s. facilities in iraq. just this month, by iranianbacked militias. there's a real concern by the administration that the iranians are opening up a new front in iraq not only to attack the u.s. but attack it's really, bringing in sophisticated weaponry. so he spoke about that and he also had a very stark warning for secretary of state -- former secretary of state john kerry, who he said is advising with meetings with the iranians the u.s. arch enemy how to undermine the current administration. take a listen. >> ron has been confronting the world as the world's largest state sponsor of terror for quite some time. they have armed militias. the lebanese has. the militias in iraq.
they're arming the huthys in yemen. launching missiles into the gulf states. applying diplomatic pressure to prevent them from doing this. that's our mission. it is true, elise, we have told the islamic republic of iran that using a proxy force to attack an american interest will not prevent us from responding against the prime actor. that is, we will not let iran get away with using a proxy force to attack an american interest. iran will be held accountable for those incidents. >> even militarily? >> they're going to be held accountable. if they're responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we're going to go to the source. >> you criticized secretary of state john kerry, former secretary kerry, for his meetings with iran, saying he needs to get off the stage. but can you tell me how is this jeopardizing your efforts now? >> no american, and in particular, no former secretary of state should be actively seeking to undermine the foreign
policy of the united states of america. you know, frankly, this was secretary kerry's problem, he always refused to treat our enemies like enemies. here he is today as the former secretary of state telling our adversaries, the world's largest state sponsor of terror, people who are conducting assassination attempts in european, just wait out this administration. giving foreign policy advice directly contrary to what president trump is trying to achieve on behalf of america. >> is it working? >> every american, especially former secretary of states, should be advocating for america's foreign policy. it's that straight forward. >> well, former secretary kerry was talking to the iranians about staying in the iran deal and waiting out the truck administration because we know president trump pulled out. but basically the trump administration now, fred, is trying to deal with iran not just on the nuclear front but really making a push to get iran everywhere, around the world, not only economically but this
week secretary of state pompeo will be meeting with the iranian diaspra. him, national security adviser john bolton will be making major speeches, as you said. president trump will be chairing that meeting. it will be about north korea as well. but primarily iran. this is all part of an administration push to rally the world to counter iran everywhere it is, fred. >> all right, elise, thanks. coming up, the clock is ticking closer to the deadline for brett kavanaugh's accuser christine blasey ford to decide whether she'll testify to lawmakers. will the president's attacks against her hurt republican resolve? we'll discuss. the city of hlagos is known as nigeria's sig clicon valley. dominated by men. something one successful computer programmer is determined to change by helping her country's most disadvantaged girls fill that gender gap. meet this week's cnn hero.
>> when i went there for the first time, i was surprised to see the living condition of human beings. most girls are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. many of them are not thinking education. they plan for future. i believe girls should be given opportunities. what you can't see, you can't aspire to. they need to be shown another life. >> for more, including how one 17-year-old girl is using technology to solve a problem in her community, go to cnnheroes.com. does this map show the peninsula trail? you won't find that on a map. i'll take you there.
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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! cnn's w. kamel bell had the trip of a lifetime with anthony bourdain in kenya. here's a preview of "parts unknown." >> nairobi means cool water. it's the capital of kenya with 6.5 million people living in the metro area. it grew up around a british railroad depot during the colonial area. halfway between uganda and the
coastal port. i will admit food here has frankly scents of been there, done that. it's not a good look for me. but i'm dying to see how kamul handles the crowds, the overwhelming rush of a whole new world because that's what it is first time. this ain't berkeley. >> wow, what a magical place and how bittersweet on this journey. the final episodes of "parts unknown" airing tomorrow, 9:00 p.m. eastern, right here on cnn. all right, hello again, everyone, thank you for joining me. we begin with breaking news. we're learning about a shake-up on the senate judiciary staff. a communications adviser has
resigned amid reports that he was fired from a previous job in part for a sexual harassment allegation against him as nbc first reported. ventry denies that allegation against him. however, stepped down so as not to be a distraction. cnn's sara westwood joining us now from berkeley heights, new jersey. all of this taking place while these confirmation hearings are going on involving a nominee who is now facing sexual abuse allegations himself. >> that's right, fred, that's part of why this is so significant. garrett ventry was a visible member of the communications team as they tried to negotiate a potential hearing with christine blasey ford, brett kavanaugh's accuser. ventry has been accused of sexually harassing a female employee when he worked at the north carolina state legislature. those are allegations that were first reported by nbc news. cnn has not independently verified them. but ventry