tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN September 22, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
it is 7:00 in new york. 4:00 in the afternoon out west. i am ana cabrera. you're live in the cnn "newsroom." major developments in the process to confirm brett kavanaugh to the united states supreme court. the woman that accuses kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her agreed today to speak before the senate judiciary committee. the committee chairman gave christine blasey ford until this afternoon to decide if she would go under oath and describe what she calls a sexual attack by kavanaugh when they were both teenagers. the agreement is just a start, a
list of issues have to be resolved before she enters the committee chamber. the supreme court reporter is with us now, and also white house reporter sarah westwood with reaction from the administration. we haven't heard from christine blasey ford directly, but these words from her lawyers today. we are disappointed with leaks and bullying that tainted the process. we are hopeful that we can reach agreement on details. what are the variables that have to be addressed between now and any appearance by professor ford? >> you're right. she says agrees but there are still conditions she places on that. sources close to ford told me today she still wants this hearing to be on thursday. remember, senator grassley wants it wednesday. and she still thinks that it is the senators who should be able
or who should ask the questions, not some outside counsel. remember, ana, this committee is made up on the republican side of all men. they reserve the right to have a woman attorney maybe come in and said there should be more witnesses. those are up in the air. she wanted a conference call later this afternoon and the democrats and her supporters came forward to say how brave it was for her to come forward with the allegations in a public way, but the white house and sources working with kavanaugh on this, supporters of kavanaugh thought this was a little troubling, that she again hasn't said she will definitely come and testify on such and such a date. one of them said it was outrageous conduct aimed at destroying a man's reputation by dragging out the process. now it is up to the ball in the court of senator grassley. he is going to come back. he has the sticking points. he wants this hearing to go
quickly. he says that they should be able to if they want to bring in outside counsel. and he says he has no plans to subpoena more witnesses to come before and during the hearing. >> no word yet from chairman grassley. sarah, however, there are people close to the president responding to the latest development. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, the white house is not entirely satisfied with the way christine blasey ford's legal team is responding to the senate judiciary committee today. a white house official says this is not a yes, judge kavanaugh agreed to testify for a week now. president trump arguing ford's request for more time to negotiate is only serving to delay brett kavanaugh's confirmation, and the sense inside the white house according to this official is that the senate judiciary committee has already been accommodating to ford since her lawyers came
forward a week ago and said she would be willing to testify. the same official says at a certain point you have to ask the question when is this process going to be fair to brett kavanaugh. this after ford's team argued that a series of seemingly arbitrary deadlines set by senate republicans has been unfair to ford. and of course, this development in the negotiations comes against the backdrop of president trump's attacks on ford. he slowly evolved taking a more restrained approach, and why she stayed quiet about this sexual assault for 36 years, slamming senate democrats for sitting on the allegation when they first received it in july. while it is unclear what the timing and structure of the hearing will eventually be, it is clear there's unease about how long the process is taking. >> and also today, there's someone new joining ford's legal team? >> we see they added someone named michael brownwich.
former inspector general of department of justice. that signifies they're bringing in a powerhouse, somebody that understands how washington works. he's actually a lawyer representing someone in the russian matter. that's a sense of they're bringing in a team, a team that understands washington and understands where these senators in the hearing might come from. >> all right. thank you both. since christine blasey ford made her accusation against kavanaugh, his confirmation has been compared to the controversy that gripped the country more than 25 years ago when anita hill testified under oath she suffered sexual harassment at the hands of then supreme court nominee clarence thomas. >> he talked about pornographic materials, depicting individuals with large penises or large breasts involved in various sex acts. on several occasions thomas told
me graphically of his own sexual prowess. >> and from my standpoint as a black american, as far as i'm concerned it is a high tech lynching for uppity plaks who in any way dane to think for themselves, to do for themselves. >> short time ago i spoke with emma jordan, she was on the legal team in 1991 that helped prepare anita hill for that historic appearance. >> i think it is a good development. it is important that the country hear what her experience was and it's important that she has lawyers, brownwich was added to the team and that's a good development, her current lawyer, debra katz, all of them are terrific supporters and helping to navigate this terrain because we are working in a situation
that's the same in some ways to the way it was in 1991 and different. some of the similarities are that some of the same senators are on this committee, hatch is on the committee. >> grassley and leahy are the others. >> yes, there are similarities. some of the techniques that are being used to characterize her are similar. senator hatch has said she's mixed up. and for anita hill, he held up a copy of "the exorcist" saying her account of what clarence thomas said was taken from fiction. so this idea of trying to diminish the importance of a woman's experience unfortunately for some on the committee, there's no progress.
i think it is crucial that the country see our elected representatives interact with this witness. the idea of hiring outside counsel, a woman, to question her, this is not the kind of leadership we expect. >> again, that was emma jordan who advised anita hill during her testimony in the confirmation of justice clarence thomas. curt, let me talk to you about the situation as we look back at history repeating itself, anita hill's hearing in 1991, i know you read the transcript from that hearing. do you see parallels between then and now? >> oh, absolutely. i think you're seeing in the immediate aftermath of accusations coming forward
against judge kavanaugh, republicans reacted. chuck grassley saying maybe she had the story mixed up, this rush to politicize everything. put out a statement saying the timing of the accusations are suspicious. again, it is not about the content of the accusations, they're trying to make it about the politics of it. and this is why they're so desperate to avoid being people that have to question her, why they want outside counsel, somebody that isn't a u.s. senator sitting there on national television, having repeat of 1991. they know the politics and optics of it would be disastrous for them. >> you say having read your op-ed this week that even the structure of this type of congressional hearing is effectively rigged against ford. explain your reasoning. >> so when i worked the oversight committee, we choreographed hearings, and members get to ask question after question after question. the witness doesn't get to really respond to contextual
arguments they make. they'll introduce conspiracy theories and questions. when they don't like where the questioning is going when the witness responds, all of a sudden, please just answer yes or no. i am running short on time. the way the hearings and rules are set up, it is not like a court of law where you get an actual cross examination, where there isn't a real back and forth and isn't a clock running to limit how the witness can respond. congressional hearings are very different than that. they can be disadvantageous for the witness sitting there. >> compared to 1991, the times are different. we are living in the me too era. do you think senators will be more sensitive, more aware in how they go about their questioning? >> they are frightfully aware of the public optics. part of the negotiating strategy is they want somebody else ask the questions, not them. that being said, we have seen members like charles grassley and orrin hatch say things that
are still out of tune, out of touch with where we are in contemporary society with me too and times up. the optics of having an all male senate judiciary committee ask question after question of a sexual assault victim are terrible optics and if this happens that way, i think they know that's a losing hand for them. >> if you believe ford testifying would be against her best interest, what do you think should happen? >> i do think she should tell her story. interesting to even do any kind of tv interview. i think she needs to come forward tell her story her way, but i think she needs to do so where she's protected, isn't just sitting there taking questions from an unelected person who is paid to come in there at the last minute like a hired gun to grill her on national television, that's a terrible scenario for her, no one should be subjected to that,
especially someone a victim of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault. she's going to have to tell her story. she came this far, put herself, her family, her reputation in jeopardy. it can't be for nothing. there has to be a mechanism for her to tell her story and i think she will at the end of the day. >> listen to what mitch mcconnell said yesterday. >> you watched the fight. you've watched the tactics. but here's what i want to tell you, in the very near future, judge kavanaugh will be on the united states supreme court. >> what would have to happen for kavanaugh not to be confirmed? >> if the hearing happens and she's presented as an articulate, compelling witness, i think that does a lot of damage to judge kavanaugh, no matter what he says after that, no matter what republicans do.
the danger for republicans is overreaching and looking like they're bullying a victim of sexual assault. the hearing is a wildcard. at the end of the day, no one knows how that's going to play out, how she will be able to perform under that pressure and scrutiny. certainly a scenario and environment she is not accustomed to being in front of. that's why it is a high stakes, there's so much back and forth over what the hearing will look like and how it will be choreographed. it comes down to how that will play out if it happens. >> good to have your perspective. thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. after "new york times" dropped news that rod rosenstein discussed invoking the 25th amendment, is another saturday night massacre on the way? former nixon white house counsel john dean gives us his take next. and this programming note. tomorrow on fareed zakaria, an interview with former new york city mayor michael bloomberg.
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(vo) ask your healthcare provider if ozempic® is right for you. how much heat is rod rosenstein facing this weekend. consider the fact that he had to issue a second statement last night denying that he wanted to secretly tape president trump or try to remove him from office through the 25th amendment. that jaw dropping story broke in "new york times," and cnn sources are confirming much of that reporting. the president may have been sending rosenstein a not so secret message at his rally in missouri. >> we have great people in the department of justice. we have great people. these are people i really believe, you take a poll, i have to be at 95%. but some real bad ones, you see what happened at the fbi. they're all gone. they're all gone. they're all gone.
but there's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that too. >> for his part, rosenstein says, quote, i never pursued or authorized recording the president and any suggestion that i have ever advocated for removal of the president is absolutely false. earlier i spoke with former nixon white house counsel and cnn contributor john dean. could this report be the basis for trump's own saturday night massacre? >> let's leap over the fact there is conflicting reporting on this. it has not been clear, "the washington post" is different from "new york times," and that in turn is different from nbc reporting, so we're not exactly sure what happened. there were two meetings involved being reported on. we don't know what happened in two meetings, one meeting, so on. let's take the worst case and say that he did recommend
wearing a wire and raised the 25th amendment. it is a clear pretext for trump to act on, whether he acts appropriately or not, i don't know. you've got to remember the deputy attorney general does a lot more than merely oversee the russia investigation. this is the guy who really runs the department of justice. he is the one that makes it possible for sessions to travel around the country and give speeches. sessions would be having in essence both his hands cut off and a couple of feet cut off if this happens. >> rosenstein is in charge of overseeing the russian investigation because sessions recused himself. let's focus on that specifically. what would happen if he were gone? what would that mean for the mueller investigation? >> there's some confusion as to the succession in the department of justice. trump has issued two different
executive orders on succession. the normal statutory provision is when the attorney general can't take it and is recused, it is the deputy attorney general. if the deputy attorney general is not there, it is the next appointed and confirmed associate attorney general. that post is now filled by an acting. there's nobody really that holds that post with confirmation. the next confirmed person in the hierarchy is the solicitor general who was selected by trump. that's where it could go. he is a pretty straight shooter. >> according to "the washington post" president trump asked advisers yesterday whether he should fire rosenstein. they talked him out of it. meantime, he is getting mixed advice from his favorite network, fox news. let's listen. >> the president tonight should seriously consider whether rod rosenstein should remain on the job. we just cannot have this
plotting at the highest levels of the justice department against the chief executive of the executive branch. >> i have a message for the president tonight, under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody. they are hoping and praying that the president does just that. they're hoping he gets mad, that he gets sick and tired of it, and that they can turn this politically into their equivalent of a friday night massacre. the president needs to know it is all a setup. >> john, if you were advising the president, what would you tell him? >> i would say sean got it wrong, it was saturday night massacre, not friday night, so wait for a weekend. this is interesting that fox is on two sides of this. i think that sean thinks it is a setup, and he might know who leaked it and that making it more of a setup. they may have pedalled this to
other places. what i would tell the president to do is try to get all of the facts. when the story first broke, ana, what i did is tweeted i assumed that the deputy attorney general had called mcgahn at the white house to tell him exactly what had happened. i suspect from later activities they had talked because they came back and asked for a stronger statement from the justice department which was issued. >> john dean, one last question for you. if all of this is true and cnn has also corroborated and confirmed much of the reporting from "new york times," including that there was this conversation about wearing a wire, the fact that this is all getting out there now, what do you make of it? >> well, you know, the timing is interesting because it is preelection. we're just a matter of days from
the midterms. it is no telling how people could read this. i think it would be read as an effort to shutdown the investigation because that's the kind of noise he's made. for that reason, i think trump is probably smart enough to not do anything until after the election. >> john dean, thank you for the time. think your thanksgiving is going to be awkward? wait until you hear about the gosar family. their brother is running for re-election in congress, and they're endorsing his opponent. his sister joins us live next in the cnn "newsroom." this is an insurance commercial.
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if you think your holidays with family are going to be awkward, be happy you're not part of the gosar family. congressman paul gosar served arizona since 2011. his siblings have a message for voters this november. don't cast a ballot for our brother. watch this. >> paul gosar, the congressman, isn't doing anything to help rural america. >> paul is absolutely not working for his district. he is not listening to you. doesn't have your interests at heart. my name is tim gosar. >> david gosar. >> grace gosar. >> gas ton gosar. >> paul gosar is my brother. >> my brother. >> i endorse dr. brill. >> dr. brill wholeheartedly. endorse dr. david brill for congress. >> paul gosar's sister jennifer is here with us now. jennifer, how did this come about and why did you decide to
participate? >> well thanks for having me on your program, ana. it is helpful to be able to speak to a wider audience and i appreciate the opportunity. to answer your question, how did it come about, paul's political rhetoric in the last probably year and a half has gone from to me conservative into a place of hate and divisiveness. my siblings and i, a number of us, wrote a letter in response to his comments on vice news alleging that george soros and the charlottesville neo-nazi demonstrations were somehow connected to the left and accused mr. soros of collaborating with the nazis which is false.
that is cruel and we didn't feel that was at all in the realm of fair or appropriate, so we all, those of us that felt inclined signed a letter. it was then published in some arizona newspapers, it got a little bit of national attention. and since then, paul's rhetoric has continued to be further divisive, to use false information, and to be hateful. >> have you ever confronted him about it? >> in different occasions we've had conversations. i would admit heated. but they were years ago. and in more recent years paul has been for me very consumed by his political career and his work. i can imagine it is a very consuming job. there's a lot to consider, a lot to do, a lot of people and
obligations that one would have. >> right. >> so i haven't talked to him in the recent past about it. >> i understand you haven't heard from your brother since this new ad aired. but cnn reached out. here is part of the statement he gave us. let me read it to you. those of my siblings that chose to film ads against me are all liberal democrats who hate president trump. these disgruntled hillary supporters are related by blood to me, but like leftists everywhere, they put political ideology before family. lenon, mao, and kim jong-un would be proud. not one of my siblings lives in arizona and my opponent's policies are out of sink with what arizona wants and the country needs. i hope they find peace in their hearts and let go all of the hate. to six angry democrat gosars, see you at mom and dad's house!
what's your response to that? >> it's a small statement. i read it regrettably. voiced in public. honestly, what we talked about doesn't relate to party. there was no reference to democrat or republican, conservative or liberal. what i think my siblings and i really want to speak to is a level of integrity and decency. the dialogue of screaming and yelling insults from across the air waves does not help the people that need help and if i do anything with this appearance, if i do anything with these ads, i hope that we can focus our attention on people that need it. community members are struggling. people are hurting. there are people at the border that are refugees.
the environment is in a really difficult place. w i was reading about north carolina, how many marginalized people of color are living next to toxic waste sites, not something just in north carolina. >> so you feel strongly about some of the positions that your brother holds and believe -- but let me ask you this question, jennifer, because your brother has claimed that white nationalists in that rally in charlottesville was some kind of plot by leftists. he called for dreamers to be addressed at the state of the union speech, once referred to native americans as wards of the federal government. where did these ideas come from? >> i don't know. i don't know. i wish there was some way to reach paul. this was the only way i could think of to do it. but the people that you just mentioned, there are many people in those groups i know and have been very kind to me, they have
supported me when i needed help, and i couldn't disagree more strongly with that kind of language. i find it to be uninformed. >> you have a big family. i understand you're one of ten children. >> yes. >> six siblings are featured in the ad we showed at the beginning. does that mean you have siblings that support your brother's campaign? >> you know, i wouldn't speak for my siblings that didn't choose to be part of the ads. they have their reasons and i respect them. i don't want to put them in a place they didn't ask to be. if they donwant to speak out fo themselves, that's their right to do so. i would rather not comment about them. i want to respect their decisions. >> what do your parents think? >> i don't know. i have been honestly kind of -- this is quite surreal. i have been -- had a huge
response on twitter, mostly very supportive. i have been contacted by different newspapers and i'm trying very hard to think clearly because what i want to present to you and to my community members in this american republic and in arizona is something that gives honor to the people that are struggling, to their stories, and to the best part of us that we can dialogue with, because that's where i hope we go with this. >> real fast, are you a democrat yourself and he also your brother points out that you don't live in arizona. >> well, paul doesn't really live in prescott, so you know, if we're going to talk details, he needs to be careful. his residence, primary residence is in flagstaff, and i would suggest to you an apartment in prescott does not mean residence. so in that way the very false
things that people claim are the very things they're guilty of, and that's why i think we need to dialogue about what's real, what helps people, what makes our communities better, what takes care of our environment, and if good ideas come from democrats, if they come from republicans, they come from liberals, progressives, conservatives, green party, i don't care. i'm interested in what moves us forward together. >> jennifer gosar, thank you very much for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you, ana. i appreciate the chance to speak with you. as we await details on christine blasey ford's possible appearance in front of congress, a topic likely to come up. how reliable is one's memory when alcohol is involved. dr. sanjay gupta breaks it down next. you're live in the cnn "newsroom." his son's creation to life. there were 14 emails to determine
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back to new developments in the supreme court nomination battle. christine blasey ford says she's willing to speak with the judiciary committee about her accusations of sexual assault against supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. a topic likely to come up, how reliable is someone's memory when alcohol is involved? dr. sanjay gupta breaks it down. >> ana, i think there are a lot of assumptions when it comes to memory and alcohol. often times those assumptions are wrong. let me start by telling you this. a lot of research comes from witnesses to crimes. they took people that were intoxicated witnesses to crimes and sober witnesses to crimes and basically found in the short term if people were questioned after a crime occurred, there
was not a lot of difference in terms of recalling details between someone mild to moderately intoxicated and someone sober. that was in the short term. that surprised a lot of people. there is something known as blackout drunk which is not the same as passed out drunk. blackout drunk is when you can be talking, walking, interacting with people, but essentially you're totally going to have no memory of it. results of gray out, islands of memory, but basically you're still not really remembering things. there's also the component of time. how much time has passed since the event. this is really important here. i think when you look at how memory is actually encoded, you realize that alcohol can have a real impact on a certain aspect of memory. when we remember things, we look, we see, we hear, we feel, and those sensory inputs are
immediately transferred into short term memory that happens pretty quickly. that's why people that are intoxicated can remember things well. but it is the next phase from short term to long term where alcohol acts like a sledgehammer. that's why people can remember things vividly one day, a few days later have no recollection of it at all because the memories were never in the long term stores. that's a little bit of an idea how alcohol does impact memory both in the short term and in the long term. ana? >> interesting, thank you, dr. sanjay gupta. a natural disaster still effecting the southeast. flood waters forcing people to evacuate their homes. we'll go live to the carolinas in minutes. ughhh, i can't stream music out here. well, joy can, she's got the new iphone on verizon. yep, just got it. nice. ♪ great, problem solved. i have the acoustic version of this. ♪
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breaking news just into cnn. lawyers for christine blasey ford and republican and democratic staff of the senate judiciary committee have tentatively agreed to a thursday hearing featuring supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh and professor ford. the deal coming together during a call this evening, according to a person briefed on the call and source familiar with it. we are told the call was pretty short but productive, lasting 15 to 20 minutes. both sources say the parties will talk more tomorrow about the hearing. sounds like more details yet to be ironed out. again, a thursday hearing now tentatively set with ford and kavanaugh. the trip of a lifetime in the final episodes of "parts
unknown" starting tomorrow night at 9:00. >> the other thing i am aware of on this trip is still that thing about not wanting come home, you know? there is a sense that there is this diasporic connection even though i did not come from kenya. even throw the frame of that connection was colonialism. it's the good part of colonialism. it brings people together. >> this should be compulsory viewing. if you ever run for president, this should be compulsory viewing. >> at the very least. i think a lot of perspectives will be opened up. a lot of minds will be changed. this is on a very personal note. the idea that i'm sitting here with you doing this now, knowing
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duke energy officials are saying they're doing everything they can to prevent a coal ash spill in eastern north carolina. the rising floodwaters caused a dam to breach at a duke energy plant in wilmington. that plant is meant to contain coal ash, which is toxic industrial waste that includes arsenic and lead. environmentalists now fear coal ash is seeping into the cape
fear river. kaylee hartung has more. >> reporter: ana, they've taken samples from the river and expect results to come back late tonight and early tomorrow morning to give them data to back up what now is confidence that they do not believe coal ash has made its way into the river. they've been doing ground and aerial inspections. they say there's no visible sign of coal ash in the waters. earlier today i spoke with a representative from duke energy who got a birds eye view for herself. >> i had an opportunity today to go up into one of the aerial inspections by helicopter. we can tell by that kind of birds eye view that the ash basin dams here remain well protected. they are stable. and they are containing the coal
ash. >> reporter: while duke energy doesn't believe this industrial waste has gotten into the water, what has environmentalists particularly concerned is that duke energy does say another byproduct of coal combustion has. that's what they call cinespheres tiny bead-like metal particles not easily distinguished from sand. biologists say if these get into the water, they believe coal ash could too. that power plant, ana, on the banks of the cape fear river, the place where raw water is taken in to be turned into drinking water for this area, that plant is 20 miles upstream from the power plant. so the cape fear river utility authority is saying that no matter what happens, at that power plant the drinking water is safe and will be safe for the people in the wilmington ton area. >> a bit of good news.
kaylee hartung, thank you for that reporting. iran's rouhani is saying trump will fail in the economic and psychological war against iran just as hussein failed in his eight-year war against the islamic republican. rouhani refuted the idea that iran interferes in the affairs of other countries in the reason. rouhani's message followed president trump's own comments on iran last night at his rally in missouri. >> you know, 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 along 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. >> so this now sets the scene
heading into next week's united nations security council meeting on iran which president trump will chair. an historic moment in saudi arabia. this woman is breaking through societal norms, becoming the first female to anchor the main newscast on state-owned saudi tv. this is in a country known for its strict rules for women. so it is a truly groundbreaking moment. just this summer, another sign of progress for women, finally able to legally drive. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. you're live in the cnn newsroom. i'm ana cabrera in new york. thank you for being with me. our breaking news on cnn, in the past few minutes, we have confirmation now on a tentative date agreed upon for a woman to
appear before a senate committee and describe what she calls a sexual assault against her by president trump's supreme court nominee. christine blasey ford accuses brett kavanaugh of attacking her when they were both teenagers. today, on a deadline, she agreed to speak before the senate judiciary committee. we just learned that her day will tentatively be thursday. our supreme court reporter, ariane de vogue, is with us. also with us, white house reporter sarah westwood with brand-new reaction from the trump administration. ariane, fill us in first. >> ana, this has been going back and forth all day but we just learned there is a tentative agreement to have the hearing on thursday. sources for ford still have some questions, and there's going to be another conference call tomorrow. their questions are, they believe that the senators should be the ones asking the questions at this hearing. and as you recall, there is only males on the republican side of