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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  September 23, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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thanks for being part of my program. i will see you next week. >> hello, everyone and thank you very much for joining us. i'm frederiricka whitfield. the anticipated hearing between brett kavanaugh and his accuser is set for thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern. kavanaugh and christine blasey ford will both have a chance to tell their sides of the story to the senate judiciary committee in an open hearing. both parties just wrapping up a phone call to hash out more details and still a lot of
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questions remain. cnn's justice correspondent joining me now. >> blasey ford's attorney confirming the hearing will happen thursday at 10:00 a.m. and will be open to the public as judge kavanaugh's week long hearing was earlier this month. wr blasey ford's attorneys said despite threats to her safety and her life, it is important for senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her. they are voicing concerns about the particulars of this hearing and say the committee is refusing to subpoena mark judge to testify and judge was the classmate that blasey ford said was in the room when the alleged assault happened. he said he has no recollection of the incident. in addition that, the committee also refused to invite other witnesses to the hearing.
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for now it's just judge kavanaugh and christine blasey ford. kavanaugh issued forceful de denials that this happened. who will ask the question for the republican majority. blasey ford's team called for the senators themselves to question her. there is talk from republican who is said they prefer a female outside couple. a date and a time now set. thursday at 10:00 a.m. we will wait and see what other details emerge. they are pushing for other witnesses and some of them could be a polygraph examiner who administered her polygraph and two trauma experts. now that the hearing appears to be set, mazie hirono has plans on what questions she will be asking. here's what she told jake tapper earlier. >> what do you plan on asking
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brett kavanaugh? >> there are a lot of issues around brett involving what was happening in high school. we want to hear -- i would be wanting to hear what kind of environment it was in high school. there was a lot of drinking and partying going on. this is why we need an investigation. we need an independent investigation that lays all of that out for us. >> senator hirono pushing for an fbi investigation before this hearing goes forward. the hearing is set. a lot of lingering questions including who will testify first. blasey ford's team said it wouldn't make sense to have kavanaugh go first, but they seem to be backing down from that saying while they prefer he goes first, they will accept he goes second and blasey ford testifies first. >> then ford's team has raised concerns about her safety as you mentioned. what about offering her comfort
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or security in transit to d.c. and while there. >> we know christine blasey ford will get security. she received death threats and had her e-mail accounts hacked. "the washington post" reporting she had to move out of her family home in california. her boys staying with friends and her and her husband in a hotel. she will have dedicated security with her and sitting with two attorneys from her team at the table as she gets asked those questions at the hearing which will be interesting to watch. >> indeed. 10:00 on thursday. that's the latest schedule. thank you so much. brett kavanaugh spent hours preparing at the white house going over possible answers to questions about his teenage years and dating life. let's go to white house kor respondent in new york where
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president trump will head to attend this united nations security council. the hearings are scheduled for thursday at 10:00 a.m. what are you hearing from the white house? >> reporter: president trump has been relatively quiet this weekend on twitter in terms of negotiations and the announcement that christine blasey ford would be testifying before the senate judiciary committee. a few days ago he went there and openly asked why it took so long to come forward with the accusations against brett kavanaugh. that did not sit well with senators including mitch mcconnell who called the president to tell him the tweets were not helpful. they were talking about ford's negotiations. they write one week ago christine ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others.
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all four of the individuals provided statements to the senate judiciary committee, denying any knowledge of the incident or having attended such a party. "the washington post" is reporting that judge kavanaugh spent several hoursa the white house and at the eisenhower executive building being asked questions by aides, mocking -- not mocking, but putting on a mock confirmation hearing asking about sexual assault and other things by christine ford. the president is headed here to new york. it is a big week for the white house with not only the testy confirmation hearing on thursday and the united nations general assembly. big key meetings for the president coming up. >> it has been one week since christine blasey ford identified herself as the woman behind the
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allegations against brett kavanaugh. ford met privately with california representative anna eschew. they met for an hour and the matter should be handled delicately. >> it was wrenching for her to tell the story because there is a reexperience when the story is told. she went do many details and i told her i believed her. it was important she tell me if she would need to deal with the information if in fact she chose another path. and she did. she said she wanted me to take it to a different pathway and of course with anonymity and
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privacy. that's paramount in sexual abuse allegations or cases because the individuals are terrified. this is one of the highest unreported crimes in our country. she understood the risks and the consequences. >> this upcoming testimony from ford and kavanaugh is reminiscent of anita hill and her testimony during the clarence thomas confirmation hearings in 1991. hill gave graphic testimony about workplace harass the against an all male committee. it was humiliating for her and for thomas and inspired a number of women to run for office. four women would win senate seats a year later. the first black woman elected to the u.s. senate who served on the senate judiciary committee. a u.s. senator until 1999.
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good to see you, senator. >> thank you very much. delighted to be here. >> before i ask you about comparisons between 1991 and now, what is your reaction to the conditions about this ford-kavanaugh testimony scheduled for this week on thursday, 10:00 a.m., no other witnesses as far as we know will be called. that's still on the table. will there be outside counsel or u.s. senators only who ask the questions. your thoughts to all that? >> the senate has charged by the constitution to search for truth in this situation. my mentor, the late senator paul simon said the confirmation process requires examination of the head and the heart of the nominee. this is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land, a court that will shape the direction our country will take for generations.
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in that examination, you have to look for not only credentials, but character as well. that's why this is so important. it does go to the character of judge kavanaugh and how he has comported himself in his life. how he treats other people and how he sees the issue of women and the receive they will receive from men. we just buried aretha franklin and she sang r-e-s-p-e-c-t. this comes down to respect for women. without having prejudged the situation, the senate will have to look into, what were the facts and the circumstances here and how will this man comport himself as the member of the highest court in the land? >> senator lindsey graham said these 11 male politicians are out of practice in the courtroom and a neutral counsel instead to
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be best advisable. what's your response to him saying that those on the committee would be better served by having an outside counsel ask the questions. >> my first reaction is of course it's the senate's job. that's what the constitution calls for. the senators have a responsibility. if they don't have the optics they want, i encourage my colleagues doing a better job to run for the senate in their party. they would have female members on the committee to help with the questioning. when i got to the senate, joe biden asked me to serve on the judiciary me is because the democrats had gone through the same thing on the anita hill, clarence thomas hearing. that's how you wound up with as many women at the time on the democratic side on the
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committee. you still have that on that committee now. the gender balance is important, but you can't fudge gender balance by hiring somebody's stand in for the fact that you don't have women on your panel. >> take me back to when you watched anita hill and clarence thomas's testimony in 1991. try to draw comparisons, if you could, to the tenor and tone of what we're seeing on the ford-kavanaugh hearing. i was a reporter in washington, d.c. and i remember reporting on how people were both appalled and also they were riveted by what they were seeing. transistor radios at the time at ears of everyone at a bus stop or walking down the street. what are your recollections of what you saw in 1991 and how you would draw comparisons today? >> we have seen progress. the fact that people recognize
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this today is an out come of what happened almost 20 years ago now. that's the good news. the bad news is we still have to have these conversations at all. women are still being victimized in many environments and circumstances. the difference is again, the changing times. i hope this is a watershed moment for women and that men in power will recognize they can't treat women like property any longer and continue to act badly mow matter what their age. i think that hopefully will be the outcome of this iteration of the conversation about women and women in the workplace. >> you mentioned that the gop needs to try to inspire more women to be in the senate judiciary committee and there by that will help out with the d disproportionate numbers of men
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to women. in 1991, there were no women on the senate judiciary committee. now this is what it looks like. no gop women, but there are four democratic women. do you believe that will in any way impact the tone of this kind of hearing? >> i hope it will. i hope it will. i hope the republican leadership will understand that they need to have gender balance in the u.s. senate as well as the me s committees. it's important to have women participate. i served on the senate finance committee and they proposed a tax on mammograms. i said fellahs, you may not have to get that as a result of the proposal.
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having women involved makes better policy. i would encourage my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to do what they can do to get forward and get them recruited into their caucus and they can be more gender-balanced on the committees and they won't have to go about finding a female to do their work for them. >> what a pleasure. thank you. >> thank you. >> still ahead, senator lindsey graham suggesting lawyers should be asking questions at next week's hearings. >> we have 11 politicians who haven't done a trial in about 20 years. >> u.s. ambassador to the un, nikki haley insists the u.s. is not interested in regime change despite the president own lawyer saying it could cause a successful revolution. we will get the former
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christine blasey ford, the woman accusing brett kavanaugh of sexual assault in high school accepted a request to speak to the committee on thursday. negotiations are under way on how this high stakes hearing will play out. the big issues are, should the fbi investigate the allegations and who will do the questioning. legal and political commentator and contributor and former director of the office of government ethics. good to see you both.
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lindsey graham said he wants a special litigator brought in to question dr. ford and take a listen as to why. >> we have 11 politicians who haven't done a trial in about 20 years. i thought it would be smart to ask the question and know what the hell they are doing and be respectful. i don't know what doctor ford expected us to do with an anonymous letter. those who betrayed her need to apologize and she will be treated respectfully and challenged just like judge kavanaugh. i may ask questions if i need to, but it would be smart to have a litigator do this. give dr. ford a chance to be heard and judge kavanaugh a chance to be heard. compare what she said with everything in the record and i'll make a decision. >> so, ken, the gop members have no question questioning kavanaugh before on an array of topics and had no problem
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questioning the most recent supreme court justice, neal gorsuch. suddenly they are not qualified to question dr. ford or kavanaugh? >> i don't think it's a question of being qualified. i have long believed what senator graham just mentioned makes the most sense in far more situations than just the one we're talking about. here we are talking about a particular incident. this is a fact finding undertaking for the senators. if you watch the americans, most don't watch these sorts of hearings. you will hear incredible repetition when a situation like this arises. you laying out the justification for an fbi investigation or the hearing? >> yes. what i'm laying out is a single questioner in a situation like
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this. i agree with senator graham. these folks don't have experience, certainly not rencet experience. it has been a while. it shortens the time and for the witness, it actually makes it easier in my view because you don't have to be there for three hours to get through one hour's worth of information by way of example. it's much more effective at getting to the truth. >> walter, isn't this under the article two definition of the duties of the u.s. senate to be able to conduct the questions and answers and if there is a special litigator, are we talking about something that amounts to a trial? >> yeah. there doesn't seem to be any aspect of trying to get to the truth. they are limiting the number of witnesses and amount of time they have resisted having the fbi expand the background check
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and it is a real inconsistency in saying they are not qualified to conduct this hearing or it would be more convenient or faster. i sat in the hot seat and had members of congress grill me. getting done quickly has never been part of their game. if this is about the truth, they need to send the fbi in to fulfill its jofb expanding the background check or call in additional witnesses. if the real concern is that they don't like the optics of a bunch of male members of congress grilling her, then maybe they should think about the fact that they only have all men on that committee from one of the two sides. >> let's switch gears and talk about the "new york times" report. rod rosen stein suggesting he were to wear a wire and record the president about the 25th
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amendment to remove him from office. rosen stein denied the accusations not once, but twice. lindsey graham still called it a bureaucratic coup. which is it? >> one of the difficulties about this story and a lot of stories we see is that when you are being asked to evaluate competing accounts from different anonymous witnesses or you have a few witnesses who come forward who have their own issues because they have been terminated, it becomes very hard to evaluate it. when you step back and look at the circumstances, it's hard to believe, partly for the objective reason that he didn't do it. in any case, in terms of the 25th amendment, i'm not sure how that's supposed to work but for the leadership to get together and talk about it. that might be a bit of a red
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herring. that's a constitutionally established mechanism. >> so ken, how might that report dictate the next actions for the white house or will this go away? >> i don't think there should be next actions from the white house. it does bring the attention back to rosenstein. given the continued discussion by the special counsel of the notion of obstruction, he is a witness for that anyway. i have long felt that he should have long ago recused himself from managing this investigation, which is his role in the absence of the attorney general, and it should be passed on to the next person down the line. as i said, this brings the attention back to the deputy attorney general, who by the way, didn't identify an
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underlying crime on may 17th of 2017 when he appointed the special counsel. it's one more problem with the investigation. it doesn't help the deputy attorney general not only do his job, but have the appearance of impropriety of doing his job. >> we will leave it right there. appreciate it. coming up days before president trump heads to the united nations to chair a critical meeting on nuclear weapons, nikki haley is doubling down. her message and the potential strategy, next. bill cosby is about to be sentenced for his sexual assault convictions. we will take a look at what can be expected from that court and judge. making my dreams a reality takes more than just investment advice. from insurance to savings to retirement, it takes someone with experience and knowledge who can help me build a complete plan. brian, my certified financial planner™ professional,
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attack anywhere. he needs to look at his own home base. he's got the iranian people protesting and every ounce of monthat goes to iran goes into his military. he oppressed his people and need to figure out where that is coming from. >> the former ambassador and the negotiator with north korea. haley insists that the u.s. is not looking for a regime change in iran. this after trump's personal attorney indeed that is the goal. who do you believe? >> well, i believe secretary of state pompeo and the national security adviser and nikki haley. i think they are concerned about governor giuliani's entrance into some of these issues. what i'm thinking is that the policy is to squeeze iran and to
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get the europeans to push for sanctions and not invest and change iran's behavior. to stop them from proceeding with terrorism in yemen and i specially syria where the situation is serious. i would have stayed in the iran deal because they were compli t compliant. now that we are out of the deal, it's best that we continue pressuring them as much as we can at the un to change their behavior. >> that's what i wanted to ask in terms of the u.s. pulling out of the deal. have they lost the ability to be that influence for iran? >> we in a sense lost our leverage with iran and our allies have leverage and they trade enormously with iran. russia has leverage, but they don't want to help.
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we are not in a strong position. i think what ambassador haley said is true. iran is having series domestic problems. their economy is in shatters. there is a lot of opposition to their foreign policy. they are saying pay toengz to uu us, not the foreign policy. you have seen the quality of living going down. they are having serious, serious financial and democracy problems. >> i want to turn to north korea who accused the u.s. of being gangster-like and talks seem to be going nowhere. mike pompeo proposed meetings with his north korean counterpart this week. might it be beneficial? >> the north koreans have done nothing to denuclearize.
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nothing on detonations or nuclear weapons. they have 60 nuclear weapons. they have basically been paying lip service to the singapore summit. there has been some progress. north and south korea have lessened. they are not shooting missiles, but there are three problems. china and russia are loosening sanctions because president trump said things are so much better with kim jong un. secondly, i think kim jong un is basically extending the negotiations, playing a long-term game. not taking serious steps. i think we have to find ways to get them and squeeze them harder. lastly, i hope the administration doesn't guy to a summit very soon with north korea. let them do more and put an inventory of the nuclear materials out there before we make any more concessions.
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>> let me ask you about the boundaries of diplomacy. mike pompeo chastised john kerry, accusing him of going too far as a former diplomat by continuing to reach out to other countries and carry out forms of diplomacy. is there a sense of overreach? has he gone too far as a secretary of state. do you end diplomacy once you leave that job? >> no. i talked to the iranians about getting political prisoners out. i'm not in government. secretary kerry said he did this while the united states was still having the nuclear agreement. the president had not pulled out. this is politics. i think secretary pompeo is doing a commendable job on the north korea issue and they are sensitive on the iran issue. this will blow over. i don't think it's a case of the
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logan act. hurricane florence may be long gone, but the devastating effects are still being felt in the carolinas. the storm left 44 dead and floodwaters are in some areas continuing to rise. a live report is straight ahead.
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it's a tale of two states this afternoon in the wake of hurricane florence. in north carolina floodwaters are starting to receipt, but it's leaving a bizarre sight from the flooding. in south carolina, the river is at historic levels and not expected to crest for a couple of days to come. cnn correspondent nikock valenc is in the air and getting a view of the flooding there. what are you witness something. >> fredricka, it's remarkable to see a community here more than a week after hurricane florence made landfall still dealing with major flooding at that. we are high above one of the
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subdivisions that is one of the hardest hit in south carolina. it is worth noting that this water is about 8 to 10 feet deep and most of it is shallow water and starting to creep into the areas. some areas didn't expect any water at all. the river is cause all of thisro feet per day. at last check it's gone up about a foot, but 20 feet high and not expected to crest until monday or tuesday morning. the bad news is what you are seeing right now above conway is expected to hit georgetown sometime next week. this water is flowing downriver and all of this water is causing the waccamaw river is making its way to conway.
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the good news is there have been no injuries reported or water rescues. just water assists. we have gotten a perspective of how widespread it is up in the air. >> it's a powerful view of what people are up against. a judge in pennsylvania about to decide bill cosby's fate. he is being sentenced on three counts of assault, next. we sto. 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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the sentencing hearing for
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bill cosby begins tomorrow. the 81-year-old entertainer facings up to 30 years for three counts of aggravated indecent assault. he was convicted of drugging and assaulting. polo, cosby's sentencing could take days. what's the expectation? >> possibly extended to tuesday. we wanted to break it down. it's anything from probation to possibly up to 10 or 30 years. we prepare for what will likely be a highly watched punishment phase. we wanted to pause to take a look at the cosby case and look ahead. >> bill cosby has been under house arrest since being convicted in april. prosecutors accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting
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a woman. they are set to begin the suspectsing phase and could be sent to prison for up to 30 years. convictions could be merged because they arise from a single incident. in that case maximum sentencing would be 10 years. >> he used his network of supporters to help him conceal his crimes. >> this next chapter is likely to bring you challenges. the defense team will argue their client should receive a short sentence if any at all, pointing to his failing health and history of charitable giving and pointing that this was his first conviction. they may call other cosby accusers to the witness stand once again to give victim impact statements. the defense team would have the chance to cross examine all of the witnesses and made an 11th hour attempt to have judge
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steven o'neal recuse himself in the case citing bias against their client. the same judge will register as a sex offender when police arrested his wife, a man once known as america's dad can be forced to assume the title of sexual predator. clearly a host of questions that we hope will be answered in the coming days. what will he be sentenced to and will he have to register as a sex offender. could we hear from bill cosby himself. he did not testify, however there is always a possibility or always has the option of identifying on his own behalf and something we often or at least have seen before where convicts have a chance to ask for leniency directly from the judge. >> polo sandoval, thank you very much. we have the ongoing negotiations between republicans and lawyers for brett kavanaugh's accuser. when she will testify and if
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first time on this continent? >> yes. unbelievable. >> i always wanted to do it. >> new york in your mind is where the writers's life was? >> the final episodes start tonight at 9:00 on cnn. >> and so many books and so little time. president trump's first 20 months in office spun off two dozen books as well as this week's state of the cartoonian.
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>> who knew that donald trump, hardly a bookworm, would make america read again. he inspired enough books to fill a presidential library. many start with f. there is fire and fury. bob woodward's fear. >> this book say total fraud. >> and stormy daniels's new book, full disclosure. >> the feel good books is judge janine's liars, leakers and liberals. >> not any kind of reference to any collusion. >> there is no collusion. no phone calls. i had no phone calls and no meetings or nothing. >> here may be responsible for a 4% bump in nonfiction book sales. >> if it has a in front of it, happy. >> go ahead and curl up with a good book. before you do it, a quick
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warning to readers. >> i'm going to write everything and include it. >> some of these books are not safe for work and maybe not even for the bedroom. >> hello again and thank you so much for joining me. we start with the latest in the u.s. supreme court confirmation battle. the highly anticipated hearing involving nominee brett kavanaugh and his accuser now officially set for thursday morning at 10:00 eastern time. kavanaugh and dr. christine blasey ford, the woman accusing him of sexual assault in high school will both have a chance to tell their story in an open hearing. both parties just wrapping up phone calls to hash out more details, but still a lot of questions remain. cnn's justice correspondent. what are you learning? >> after days of negotiations and the hearing time

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