tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN October 1, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
agent, i'm not an investigator, i don't have facts or access to the testimony. and none of us do. that's what we should be advocating for. >> follow me on facebook and twitter at jake tapper. our coverage on cnn continues right now. thanks for watching. . happening now, breaking news. comprehensive probe. president trump calls for a thorough but swift investigation into sexual assault allegations against the supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh. and now we're learning new details on what the white house is telling the fbi about how the probe should be conducted. to tell the truth. the president says he was surprised by kavanaugh's comments about his drinking, and statements from some of the judge's former classmates are boosting democratic charges that kavanaugh lied. could it his own testimony wind up derailing his nomination? new deal. president trump announces a new trade deal with canada and
mexico, replacing nafta, and he touts his negotiating tactics as key to the agreement. but will congress approve him? and trump's love affair. mr. trump says he and north korea's kim jong-un, quote, fell in love at their singapore summit and kim has sent him, quote, beautiful letters. why is the american president so enamored with one of the world's most brutal dictators? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we're following breaking news. new details of the fbi investigation into allegations of past sexual assault by the supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh. a source tells cnn that the white house has made it clear to the fbi that agents are not limited in their expanded background search, and that the trump team is fully open to further calls. and we've just learned that the
fbi has already spoken to two of the people, christine blasey ford says were at the high school party where she claims kavanaugh attacked her, as well as a college classmate, who says kavanaugh exposed himself to her. i'll talk about that and more with senator ben cardin, and our correspondents, analysts and specialists are standing by with full coverage of the day's top stories. first, let's get straight to our chief white house correspondent, jim acosta. he's at johnson city, tennessee, where president trump will be holding a rally later tonight. jim, there's new information emerging right now about the kavanaugh investigation. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. the white house is making it clear to the fbi that it can talk to anybody in its probe of judge brett kavanaugh's background. these new marching orders come from the president as he is acknowledging there may be so somishsome issues with brett kavanaugh's past. president trump is ordering the fbi to conduct a thorough background check of his embattled supreme court nominee.
but the president adds, just make it snappy. >> i want them to do that. i want it to be comprehensive. i actually think it's a good thing for judge kavanaugh. i think it's actually a good thing. not a bad thing. i think it's a good thing. now, with that being said, i'd like it to go quickly. the one thing i want is speed. >> reporter: unlike another investigation, like the russia probe, that the president could do without. >> we don't want to go on a witch hunt. >> i do. >> reporter: mr. trump appeared to concede, kavanaugh has not always been judicious in his consumption of alcohol. >> i drank beer with my friends. almost everyone did. sometimes i had too many beers. sometimes others did. i liked beer. i still like beer. but i did not drink beer to the point of blacking out. >> reporter: taking note of the judge's comments of his beer drinking habits that even former classmates insist weren't exactly truthful. >> do you think that bars him from being your supreme court nominee? >> well, i watched him.
i was surprised at how vocal he was about the fact that he likes beer. and he's had a little bit of difficulty. i've never had alcohol. i've just -- you know, for whatever reason. can you imagine if i had? what a mess i'd be? would i be the -- i'd be the world's worst. >> reporter: then, out of nowhere, the president went on to make an unsubstantiated claim, he knows of a democratic lawmaker who drinks too much. >> i tell you what. i happen to know some united states senators, one who is on the other side, who is pretty aggressive. i've seen that person in very bad situations. okay? i've seen that person in very, very bad situations. somewhat compromising. >> reporter: the white house is pushing back on accusations that aides to the president have tried to limit the fbi's probe of kavanaugh's background. an investigation mr. trump could have authorized at least a week ago. >> the white house is not micromanaging this process. this is the -- the senate is dictating the terms.
>> reporter: democrats point to constraints on last week's hearing, where the senate judiciary committee listened to the testimony of kavanaugh's accuser, christine blasey ford, but didn't hear from mark judge. that's the man who ford claims was in the room when she was assaulted by kavanaugh. >> you don't let that person disappear to the beach, with their clothes stacked in a car and hide from the process. you have to talk to everybody. >> reporter: the battle over kavanaugh is overshadowing the president's attempts to focus on his agenda, like today's news conference that was supposed to be about a new trade deal with mexico and canada. mr. trump seemed to delight in taking on his gop critics who have blasted his policy at imposing tariffs on u.s. allies. >> just for those babies out there that keep talking about tariffs, that includes congress. oh, please, don't charge tariffs. without tariffs, you wouldn't be -- we wouldn't be standing here. >> reporter: now, in a strange way, the battle over brett kavanaugh may actually help the president in the upcoming midterm elections. that's because nothing fires up
the gop base like the fight over who controls the supreme court. wolf, i talked to one source close to the white house earlier this afternoon who said this may be waking up a sleeping giant, but, of course, that may hinge on just how this investigation of judge brett kavanaugh comes to an end. wolf? >> jim, thank you. jim acosta in tennessee for us. let's get some more on the investigation. joining us right now, justice correspondent, jessica schneider. jessica, we now know that the fbi has already spoken to several potentially very key witnesses. >> that's right, wolf. we know that the fbi at this point has spoken to at least three people. deborah ramirez, who made her own sexual misconduct allegation against brett kavanaugh, plus two people that christine blasey ford say were in the party -- i'm sorry, at the party, where she was assaulted in 1982. so the question now, where do fbi agents go from here, and whether or not a key witness is talking yet. >> man, the old gem. here at georgetown prep. >> reporter: tonight, the lawyer
for mark judge, a potential key witness to christine blasey ford's alleged assault, will not say if judge has been interviewed by the fbi. >> this is part of my past, and these videos are part of my history. >> reporter: judge, seen in this video, was a high school friend of brett kavanaugh, and was in the room, according to ford, when kavanaugh allegedly pinned her to the bed, groped her and covered her mouth. judge told the senate judiciary committee in a letter, he had no knowledge of the incident, but says he is willing to cooperate with the fbi. on sunday, investigators spoke to deborah ramirez, who accused kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party, when both were students at yale. kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegation, but a source tells cnn ramirez provided the fbi with names of potential witnesses to the incident. other people the fbi has spoken with, leland kaiser and pj smith, both were identified by christine blasey ford as being at the party where her assault allegedly occurred. they told the senate judiciary committee they don't recall the party or the incident, but are
willing to cooperate with the fbi. >> i drank beer with my friends. almost everyone did. >> reporter: after kavanaugh's extensive testimony thursday, down playing the extent of his drinking in high school and college -- >> so you're saying there's never been a case where you drank so much that you didn't remember what happened the night before or part of what happened. >> that's -- you're asking about -- yeah, blackout. i don't know, have you? >> could you answer the question, judge? i just -- to -- you -- that's not happened. is that your answer? >> yeah. and i'm curious if you have. >> reporter: a few of his former classmates are raising red flags. >> there's no problem with drinking beer in college. the problem is, lying about it. he drank heavily. he was a partier. he liked to do beer bongs. he played drinking games. he was a sloppy drunk. >> reporter: chad ludington says he wants to talk to the fbi, saying in this statement, i can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking,
and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, brett has not told the truth. nine democrats on the judiciary committee want the fbi to expand its scope. in this letter to the white house counsel, they list two dozen official witnesses they want interviewed, including the latest woman to make accusations against kavanaugh in high school, julie swetnick. >> we've got to do a full investigation. >> reporter: jeff flake says the fbi investigation needs to be comprehensive, and indicated if kavanaugh has lied, it would be a red line. >> if judge kavanaugh is shown to have lied to the committee, nomination is over? >> oh, yes. >> i would think so. >> reporter: but prosecutor rachel mitchell wrote this letter to the senate judiciary committee, warning that any definitive answers may be hard to find. a he said/she said case is incredibly difficult to prove. but this case is even weaker than that. i do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case
based on the evidence before the committee. and we know at this point, christine blasey ford has not been contacted by the fbi. and it's unclear if she would be interviewed by the fbi. it's also unclear if brett kavanaugh would be interviewed. of course, president trump said today that he wouldn't be opposed to that. now, in the meantime tonight, two friends of kavanaugh's from yale, including another roommate of his, they're releasing statements saying they never knew kavanaugh to black out or become belligerent. and, of course, wolf, they're releasing these statements now to defend his character, which has come under attack. >> jessica schneider with that report, thank you very much for all that information. let's get some more on all of this. democratic senator, ben carden of maryland, is joining us. a member of the foreign relations committee. senator, thank you so much for joining us. >> wolf, good to be with you. thank you. >> do you trust the fbi to do a thorough job this week? >> well, i trust the fbi. i hope they have the latitude, the time, in order to get the job done right. they need to interview all witnesses that know anything about what happened in regards
to the three allegations that have been made. to be able to give a thorough report to the president and to the congress. so i trust the fbi's professionalism, but i'm worried that they may not have the time or they may be under certain restrictions that would not allow them to do a thorough job. >> the majority leader, mitch mcconnell, says the senate will vote this week, final vote on confirmation. your reaction. >> i think senator mcconnell has handled this issue wrong from the beginning. the process that he's used. the fact that we had a vote in the judiciary committee before the investigation was done by the fbi. the fact that he's already told us we're going to be voting this week when we don't have the fbi report back. we don't know what that's going to entail and what we might need to follow up on that. it's clear to me that senator mcconnell has decided he's going to jam this nomination through. and i think that's unfortunate. >> do you expect the supplemental investigation by the fbi to turn up new
information? >> i don't know that. i do know that dr. ford was very credible. she was very powerful in her statements. these are very serious allegations. i know that judge kavanaugh and the way that he responded to the committee showed a partisan streak that really concerns me. so i really want to make sure we get as much facts available from the fbi as possible in regard to these episodes. >> do you think the fbi has been given enough time to do a thorough supplemental background check? >> i don't think they should have put a seven-day deadline when doing their work. they should have as much time as they need. we have plenty of time before the deadline of this congress. we have months. so there's plenty of time in order to consider this nomination. as we know, senator mcconnell said that ten months was not long enough for president obama to make a nomination to the supreme court. and yet senator mcconnell seems to be saying that the deadline
is this week to vote on judge kavanaugh. >> well, it was jeff flake, the republican senator from arizona, who came up with this one-week time frame. was he wrong? >> i think that senator flake recognized that he had a limited amount of opportunity here. we appreciate the fact that we have got this sort of break, and we had the ability for the fbi to do an investigation. so we're certainly appreciative of that, that the fbi is now doing that investigation. my point is this. if the fbi needs more time, they should be able to get it. >> nine of your democratic colleagues on the judiciary committee, they have released a letter detailing a list of some 24 specific people, other entities, they would like to see the fbi talk to. not the four that were on the original list. do you support those demands by your democratic colleagues? >> i think proper vetting is that you interview all witnesses that may have relevant information. that's how a thorough investigation is done.
i'm not familiar with the exact list that was on that letter. but i am certain that many of those people absolutely should be investigated by the fbi. they should be able to investigate any person that could have relevant information here, and yes, let's do it in a timely way. this is not going to take months. they can get it done within a relatively short period of time. but if it takes longer than a week, let them have the time. >> senator schumer, the might want leader in the senate, he wants the fbi to formally brief the senate, all the members, before there's a final vote on the senate floor. do you support that, or would a document, a written report from the fbi, based on all their questions and answers, all their background check information, would that be adequate? >> wolf, the normal procedure would have been for all of this could have been done, including having the fbi report completed, before the initial hearing, before the senate judiciary committee. well, that's not being done. in fact, the judiciary committee has already voted this out.
i think senator schumer is absolutely right to say that the relevant body now is the united states senate itself, and they should be fully briefed on the fbi report. >> there would have been a formal investigation if the ranking democrat on the judiciary committee, dianne feinstein, would have alerted the fbi in confidence about this problem, but she kept it quiet. >> well, as you know, there was a very short time period involved. she was operating under the confidentiality of the source. and i can understand that. the bottom line, this is not about any one of us. it's about judge kavanaugh. and for judge kavanaugh to get a fair vetting, we should not short-circuit the process. and that process requires the fbi to have adequate time and for the members of the senate to understand that report before they're asked to vote. >> the president was questioned about kavanaugh's drinking at a news conference earlier today at the rose garden. and the process of responding. and he also leveled a very serious accusation at an unnamed democratic senator who he
claimed had been seen in what he described as very bad, somewhat compromising situations. what's your response to that accusation for president trump? >> well, that's president trump's playbook. he always tries -- when he feels he's being attacked, to attack someone else. we have seen that over and over again. we have seen how he's attacked senator flake at times. the late senator mccain at times. senator corker at times. so we know what he does in an effort to try to distract from the substance of disagreements he has. >> senator cardin, thanks as usual for joining us. >> thank you. breaking news continues next. our three key republican senators responsible for the white house telling the fbi to conduct a thorough investigation. how comprehensive could it be in just one week? i'll ask a former fbi supervisor, special agent. ometh? because when you want to create an entirely new feeling, the difference between excellence and mastery,
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breaking news. the white house pushing back against charges it's limiting the fbi probe into the sexual assault allegation, threatening to derail brett kavanaugh's supreme court nomination. white house official tells cnn the president's team has made it clear to the fbi that it's not limited in the investigation, and that the white house is fine if agents make further calls. let's bring in our law enforcement analyst, former fbi supervisory special agent, josh campbell is with us, along with cnn senior congressional correspondent, manu raju. manu, are the key republican senators, flake, collins, murkowski, responsible for the white house telling the fbi to conduct a thorough investigation? >> reporter: no question about it. those senators are the ones who will ultimately have to be satisfied in order for this process to move forward.
the question is, what are current and credible allegations that the senate judiciary committee asked the fbi to investigate? the judiciary committee chairman, chuck grassley, just spoke to reporters, wolf, and he would not say exactly what those allegations were, saying he would leave it up to the fbi to determine. and senator john cornyn, majority whip, who sits on the senate judiciary committee, just told me moments ago he thinks the senator should stay out of the process, let the fbi determine what is credible or not. even though he believes that one allegation involving julie swetnick, the third individual to come forward, he does not believe that's credible. but he said he would leave that to the fbi to determine. now, jeff flake, of course, responsible for this fbi investigation taking place, said in boston earlier today, that this investigation needs to go on and make sure it's not looking like they're trying to cover up anything. >> in the next couple of days, be -- having dialogue with the white house counsel's office, making sure that it is up to standard.
it does no good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover, for example. we actually need to find out what we can find out. >> reporter: and susan collins of maine, one of the three key senators, also released a statement through her spokeswoman, earlier saying she had been consulted about this expanded fbi background check. she does expect that to be finished within a week. but, wolf, what exactly does that mean? does that report ultimately satisfy those senators, and who are they actually going to interview as part of this investigation? all key questions, not yet answered at this point, wolf. >> mitch mcconnell, majority leader said today, there will be a final senate vote on confirmation this week. we'll see if that happens. manu raju, thank you very much. let's get some more on all the breaking news. joining us, cnn law enforcement analyst, former fbi supervisor, special agent josh campbell. josh, can the fbi do a really comprehensive investigation in only a week?
>> wolf, that is a very difficult question to answer in the abstract. we haven't seen the specific parameters that have been placed on the fbi. that is important. if they come and say, you are only allowed to look at four things, then, yeah, i think that can be done in a week. but, again, we don't know what that is. there has been reporting, obviously, in the last few hours that the white house is saying, no, the fbi can investigate anything. i tend to look at that very scencally, because i think that that's a little bit of spin there. some of this reporting suggests the fbi still has to go back to the white house for permission in order to expand, or to go after specific topics. so i'll believe it when i see it. i've been highly critical, wolf, of this one-week arbitrary time frame. the reason is, it comes down to two things. first of all, impact and then scope. first impact. this is a lifetime appointment to the united states supreme court. the average life expectancy for a male in the united states is about 76 years old. mr. kavanaugh is 53. he is likely to serve over two decades in a very powerful position. so to come to the fbi and say, you've got a week to look into this person's background, again, lots of potential and impact. the second thing, quickly, is the actual scope.
again, if the white house is serious about letting the fbi conduct a serious investigation, there will be leads generated during the course of interviews, during the course of the investigation, that need to be followed up. things they need to do in order to follow up. so to impose an arbitrary deadline i think doesn't really provide for a full senate investigation. >> josh, thank you. josh campbell reporting. there's more breaking news ahead. including what the judge said about his drinking and questions about whether he was truthful during his testimony before congress. we're going to be hearing more from some of his former classmates. and what could it mean for his nomination if he wasn't telling the truth? president trump's remarks today may not necessarily have helped judge kavanaugh's case. red lo. with all the shrimp you want, any way you want them. there's new sesame-ginger grilled shrimp with savory soy-ginger sauce and sprinkled with asian seasoning. and favorites like garlic shrimp scampi! but endless shrimp won't last endlessly, so hurry in.
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to low-cost, high-speed internet at home. i'm trying to do some homework here. so they're ready for anything. breaking news in the judge brett kavanaugh investigation. a white house official now telling cnn, it's been made clear to the fbi that its agents are not limited in their expanded background search of judge kavanaugh. earlier today, president trump intended to be a triumphant announcement of a trade deal between the united states, mexico and canada, veered into a rather wild question and answer session about the judge. and it raises plenty of questions for our political and legal analysts. and let's start with laura jarrett. you cover the justice department for us. the white house says they're not placing any restrictions, any limits on this background check during the course of this week. so what does that mean, bottom line, for the investigation?
>> bottom line, this investigation has a shelf life. because no matter what, it all has to be wrapped up in a week. so whether they interview four people or 24, we're going to find out how this all gets resolved. it seems like, at least, right now, by the end of the week. but it's still interesting to watch, just how the scope has morphed over the last few days. since friday. thanks to dano's reporting and others, we know it starts as any credible allegations. then we find out, no, it's really just four people. and that mcconnell has worked this out in conjunction with a couple senators and the white house. and so we'll see whether the democrats get their way. and there will be some more people who are interviewed. but, again, this is -- and everybody is going to be unhappy at the end of the day. because of how this originated. >> and the morphing comes from the same place that this whole investigation started. which is those three key republican senators who hold all of the cards here. they individually i'm told called the white house over the
last 24, 48 hours, because of the confusion about the scope of the investigation. and made clear, we believe that the fbi should take the investigation where it leads, it should not be limited, and that is why the white house called the fbi to make that clear. the other thing that i think is noteworthy is that i'm told that these three senators who you just had up on the screen, they're in contact many, many, many times a day, by phone, by text, by e-mail. you name it. and that at least up to this point, they are determined to act as a trio. and what does that mean? that means that if they're not pleased, then brett kavanaugh is not going to be confirmed. because the republican leadership in the white house can only afford to lose one vote. and if they act as a trio, they have so much enormous power. >> it looks, susan, like the fbi is making pretty fast progress on at least the four initial
people they wanted to interview. we just got a statement from mark judge's lawyer, saying this. mr. judge has been interviewed by the fbi, but his interview has not been completed. we request your patience as the fbi completes its investigation. earlier, we were told that pj smith, leland kaiser, deborah ramirez, they have also been interviewed by the fbi. so they're moving along. and it's only monday. >> yeah. so there is some confusion about the actual scope, but what's going to happen here is standard operating procedure, they're going to do interviews and each of those interviews will develop a new set of leads and just peel back the layers of the onion. now, i do think it's really unlikely they come up with something definitive, some kind of answer that is really going to convince people. you know, that said, they are probably going to develop information about, for example, judge kavanaugh's drinking. and now the gop is sort of trying to cast that as well outside the scope, but it's not. it's actually central to the allegations, not only because it would mean judge kavanaugh lied under oath, but also because if he was actually a heavy drinker as many of his classmates have
testified he was, if it's likely that he blacked out, it suddenly becomes more likely that his is the faulty memory and not dr. ford's. and if our witness lies about one thing, that's often an indication they're lying about other things. >> i was going to say, i assume in the lawyer statement for mark judge when they say he has been interviewed by the fbi, but his interview has not been completed, they want to do another round of questioning. >> absolutely. and i think the thing to remember, it's hard, too, because we use so much legal parlance to understand this. it's in the trial. this is -- we should repeat what dan has said over and over again. this is not about convincing the american public or susan is right, the chances of findings being definitive, i would say is very unlikely. it's only about what do jeff flake, susan murkowski and collins make of whatever the fbi produces? that's it. i know we're a nation of 300 million people, but those three people will control -- it doesn't matter, is the case
proven, not proven. it's do those three people believe what is found as either disqualifying or not disqualifying? and that's essentially it, particularly if mitch mcconnell says there is a vote on friday. it will be the fbi report sometime between now and then, then the vote. >> because they need 50 votes in order to confirm him. 100 senators, 51 republicans, 49 democrats. if it's 50/50 tie, mike pence, the president of the senate, will break the tie. that's why these three senators, these three republican senators, are so critical right now. they hold an enormous amount of influence. >> right. and the fact that they -- at least until now, have seemed to be working together, particularly to get the information that they each think they need to make the right decision is really key. mitch mcconnell was on the senate floor today, talking about the goalposts moving. and that was what we are told he said in private to these republican senators. you know, you're going to -- last friday.
you want this fbi investigation, but there is nothing that is going to satisfy you, basically, because it's going to be hard to get the answers. some of these things from his perspective are unknowable. but when you talk about moving the goalposts, he's aiming that at the democrats, but, again, the democrats are irrelevant here. because most of them have already said they're going to vote no. these fellow republicans of mitch mcconnell make all the difference. >> and to be clear, mitch mcconnell didn't decide to ask the white house for the fbi to reopen its background investigation out of the goodness of its heart. >> he was forced. >> he did so because, to dana's point, the three senators we have been talking about said we won't vote for him. which means he would fail. mitch mcconnell doesn't think this is any better an idea today than he did a week ago when he said this is ridiculous. so we shouldn't be surprised by what he said. but in a way, dana is right, the democrats don't make a big difference. in a way, everybody not named collins, murkowski and flake,
and that includes mitch mcconnell, don't make a huge difference here. because what they decide, particularly if they decide in unison, is all that matters. >> yeah. i would add, joe manchin, maybe to that equation, as well. everyone stand by. i want to ask about a new poll and whether it has an impact on whether voters want judge kavanaugh confirmed. and president trump goes out of his way to praise the north korean leader, kim jong-un. but is the young dictator really changing his ways? hield. with safelite's exclusive resin, you get a strong repair that you can trust. plus, with most insurance a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace.
we're back with our political and legal experts. dana, as you know, brett kavanaugh got the "saturday night live" treatment saturday night. watch this. >> i'm going to start at an 11! [ laughter ] i'm going to take it to about a 15 real quick! >> would you agree to an independent fbi investigation into the allegations. >> asked and answered! i wanted a hearing the next day! the next day! >> okay. that in no way answers my question. [ laughter ] would you agree to an fbi investigation? >> you want a real investigation? then just look at my calendars. [ laughter ] and you're going to see that every night, i was lifting weights with pj and sqee. look -- [ laughter ] i like beer. okay? i like beer.
boys like beer. girls like beer. i like beer. i like beer! >> okay. so i asked if you drank in high school, and you said, "i like beer" ten times. that leads me to the next question. did you ever drink too many beers? >> you mean, was i cool? yeah. [ laughter ] >> all right. all right, then. tell me this, judge. did you ever drink so much that you blacked out? >> i don't know, did you? [ laughter ] huh? huh? am i angry, you're damn right. but if you think i'm angry now, you just wait until i get on that supreme court. because then you're all going to pay. give me a can of water. [ laughter ] >> yeah. clearly very funny. but, you know, dana, it has a tendency, sometimes, the way a politician is portrayed -- tina fey, the way she did sarah palin, it has a lingering
effect. and that's what presumably he might have to worry about. >> it's true. although when tina fey did sarah palin, it wasn't -- i mean, it wasn't an event. this was an event that the world stopped and watched. and i think what's so funny about that is how dead-on matt damon was. i mean, everything from the way he looked to the way he talked to the sniffles that he gave. i think matt damon might have a future in this business. >> and their quotes. he's not just making the whole thing up. they're actual quotes. >> which is how -- >> how absurd it is. >> which is, to your point, how the sarah palin thing became so unbelievable, because the one skit that they did with sarah palin and katie couric, they used direct quotes. >> yeah. >> it was -- there's a new poll, chris, just out of quinnipiac university poll, should the u.s. senate confirm kavanaugh. 42% say yes. 48% say no. >> which, by the way, is probably pretty similar to if you asked that same group of people, do you think donald
trump is doing a good job or not. you would get -- you would get 42% saying no. and 48% -- sorry, 48% saying no. 42% saying yes. there's a lot of overlap in between those two communities. this is now seen, if it wasn't before -- this is now seen as almost exclusively a vote on your view of donald trump. republicans overwhelmingly supportive with notable exceptions like jeff flake. democrats, base voters, overwhelmingly oppose. >> given those numbers, if he is confirmed, becomes an associate justice of the supreme court, what does that do to the supreme court as an institution? >> look, i really don't think it's an exaggeration to say this could have a devastating long-term effect on the legitimacy of the supreme court. what we're talking about here is brett kavanaugh may be eking out those 51 votes. the problem is, after that kind of confirmation, a substantial question is going to remain in the minds of a lot of americans, not just about whether or not he committed this assault and lied about it, but also whether or not he is a fair and impartial justice. you know, as we saw sort of
parodied in that clip, he was openly partisan during his statement. he himself in his first hearing, brett kavanaugh said, the supreme court must never be viewed as a partisan institution. and i do think you have to ask yourself, would a reasonable person believe that he can now fairly rule on the constitutionality of legislation passed by the very democratic legislators that he's actually screaming about? you know, for that reason, i think it is incredibly surprising that he hasn't withdrawn, that he's vowed to never withdraw. that clearly is the right choice for the country, and it's the right choice for the courts. stick around. more news we're following. the president now saying he and kim jong-un, quote, fell in love. but is north korea's brutal dictator fooling anyone into thinking he's actually changed his ways? the all-new lexus es... ...is stolen. we confess. we stole everything we could. from everything we've ever mastered. and put it here. the all-new lexus es. a product of mastery. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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at this hour, president trump is in tennessee for a political rally later this evening. during a rally over the weekend in west virginia, he made some eye-opening comments about his developing relationship with the north korean leader kim jong-un. let's bring in cnn's brian todd. brian, what is the president saying now? it is a dramatic change from what he said only a little while ago. >> it is a huge change, wolf. you know, about a year ago the two men were exchanging personal insults, calling each other rocket man and dotard. now president trump says he loves kim jong-un and experts
are saying that sends the wrong message. since their unprecedented and at times unusual meeting in singapore, president trump has bragged about his close personal relationship with kim jong-un. now, he's taking it a step further, into a full-fledged bromance. >> and i was really being tough, and so was he. we would go back and forth, and then we fell in love. okay. >> tonight analysts say it is time for a reality check on the man donald trump is now in love with. >> he is somebody who killed his half-brother with weapons of mass destruction in an international airport. he killed his uncle. he's blown people up with anti-aircraft guns. he is cruel. he is vindictive. he is blood-thirsty. for donald trump to say that he's in love with him, ignoring who this person is, is shocking and callous and just horrific. >> rocket man -- >> it was less than a year ago that trump was calling kim rocket man and kim called trump
a dotard. >> they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> human rights monitors tell cnn while trump has changed his opinion of kim, the north korean regime's record of oppressing its people has not changed one bit. >> 30% of north korea's children are malnourished. 120,000 men, women and children are held as political prisoners in north korea's political prison camps. many others are held at other detention facilities. for example, reeducation through forced labor camps. >> he wrote me beautiful letters. >> on the very same day trump talked about falling in love with kim, the dictator's foreign minister said the u.s. and north korea were deadlocked over denuclearization because of u.s. sanctions on north korea. >> translator: the reason behind the recent deadlock is because the u.s. relies on coercive methods which are lethal to trust-building.
>> experts now say trump's gushing over this bromance could actually hurt prospects to seal a deal with kim to get rid of his nuclear weapons. >> when they hear an american president saying right at the outset that he admires them, that he respects them, that he trusts them and believes them, i think the first instinct of the north koreans is to take maximum advantage of what they probably believe is a naive american president. >> analysts say trump's comments must be especially stinging to the family of otto warmbier, the american student who fell into a comb coma in north korean study and died shortly after being returned to america on a stretcher. at the time, trump touted it as an important release. >> what it says to otto warmbier's parent and other victims of the north korean regime is that donald trump didn't mean it. >> cnn has reached out to otto warmbier's parents who will not comment on president trump's remarks about kim jong-un. analysts say president trump's gushing over kim isn't just dangerous regarding america's
dealings with north korea, they say it sends the wrong message to people like vladimir putin and other dictators, that they can simply kill and repress as many people as they want to and still do business with donald trump as long as they stroke his ego. wolf. >> brian todd reporting for us. brian, thank you. there's breaking news next. critical developments emerging right now in the fbi investigation of the sexual assault claim of brett kavanaugh. we're getting new information right now. nothing says fall like a homecoming football game, so let's promote our fall travel deal on choicehotels.com like this. touchdown. earn a free night when you stay just twice this fall. or, badda book. badda boom. book now at choicehotels.com the nation's largest senior-living referral service.
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probe of frrk, suggestibrett ka. we're learning more about brett kavanaugh as agents started questioning a key witness, mark judge viciously and violently. that's how mr. trump is portraying the democrat's treat of brett kavanaugh, saying the judge suffered trauma without mentioning what his accusers went through. crossing a new line implying he has compromising information about a member of the opposition party. sparring with the press, in an off-the-rail news conference, the president refused to talk about kavanaugh then unloaded. did he do his nominee more harm than good in his newest attempt to defend him. putin's pin-up pictures. the russian president is a star of a new calendar aimed at showing his tough and sensitive sides. how are the kremlin's