tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN September 30, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
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hello again, everyone. thanks for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. the fbi's latest background investigation into brett kavanaugh is quickly becoming the latest political pressure point dividing washington. many questions still remain about what and who the fbi is looking at. we're just learning that kavanaugh's first accuser christine blasey ford has not been contacted yet by the fbi according to two sources. meanwhile sources say senate republicans are working with white house counsel don mcgahn who is trying to narrow the scope of the investigation as much as possible. but president trump and his team insist that they are hands off in the process saying that the fbi has free rein. let's go to boris sanchez at the white house.
so the president is waeighing i. what are you learning? >> reporter: that's right. president trump tweeting in light of some complaints that the white house may have too much influence oefrver the prob. quote, wow, just starting to heart democrats are starting to put out the word that the time and scope of fbi looking in to judge kavanaugh and witnesses is not enough. hello, for them it will never be enough. stay tuned and watch. the root of that is president saying that the fbi will have free rein into this probe and then what we're learning from sources that have indicated that the fbi is being led through this probe by the white house with input from senate republicans. we understand that the fbi is going to conduct only a handful of interviews and that the scone of this investigation will not
include questions about brett kavanaugh's drinking habits while in high school, something that he was drilled on during his testimony on thursday. now, kellyanne conway, an adviser to the president, made clear this morning on "state of the union" that this has to be a narrowly focused investigation in part because this administration wants to avoid a fishing expedition. listen to this. >> it will be limited in scope, it is meant to last one week. i believe beginning last friday. and it will -- it is not meant to be a fishing expedition. the fbi is not tasked with doing that here. the president very much respects the independence of the fbi. and feels as he said last night that they should be looking at anything that they think is credible within this limited scope. >> reporter: now, ultimately the fbi is not going to come to any conclusions with the information that they gather from there probe. they will pass along all of that information to the white house. the question though for some democrats like amy klobuchar who
grilled brett kavanaugh thursday is how much the white house will have. she was on "state of the union" also speaking this morning and saying that she was concerned about that. i do want to point out sarah sanders, press secretary, was also on one of the sunday morning talk shows and she says the white house doesn't want to manage the fbi. but she wouldn't answer whether or not she knew if white house counsel don mcgahn has instructed the fbi on who they could or could not interview. >> all right. thanks so much. former fbi director james comey just wrote an opinion piece for the "new york times" titled james comey the fbi can do this. quoting now from his op-ed, fbi agents are experts at interviewing people and quickly dispatching leads to their colleagues around the world to follow with additional interviews unless limited in some way by the trump administration, they can speak to scores of people in a few days if necessary. end quote. let's talk about all this.
joining me to discuss, shan wu, ryan brownsteen and also katherine rampelt. shan, does this mean that the white house really is in the driver's seat as it pertains to how probings fbi goes? >> let's hope not. a background investigation is actually much broader in scope than the criminal one is. with a criminal investigation, the prosecutor and the agents are very focused, is this really leading to something that we need to put a case and that we can ultimately prove beyond a reasonable doubt. but with a background investigation, you want to get anything that may be relevant to the potential employer. so the idea here that maybe don mcgahn is driving the train here is a terrible situation because he is really the rowe proceprom kavanaugh, so he will vastly
limit what they can look at. >> so limited in scope seems like a misnomer because comey is essentially saying we can cast the net really wide and we can do it fast, but if the white house or senators or whoever started -- saying it is limited in scope, then it sounds like the fbi's abilities are being handcuffed, restricted? fair to say? >> it sounds that way. obviously we're hearing something different from the president and the white house, but other sources say it is being restricted. limited in scope could have meant that we'll only look at the allegations publicly raised which would include drinking and as well as the sexual assaults. >> so ron, time is one thing in terms of what can be accomplished in a week's time. comey addressing that anything really is possible. but the contents or restrictions really are another. >> yeah, first of all, any potential restrictions are still subject to the acceptance of the senators who forced this in the first place. it was not like chuck grassley wanted to do this, it was not
like mitch mcconnell wanted to do this, or that donald trump wanted to do this. they did even this investigation only because lisa murkowski and jeff flake said that they would not vote to confirm kavanaugh on the floor without it. and thus they still have that leverage. if there are indications that this is not on the level, then they are -- it is certainly reasonable to ask them whether they will accept a process that is unfairly constricted. and part of the problem here is their respective at this point, and at this point now regardless of the allegations, there is a whole separate question about kavanaugh's fitness for the court based on the unprecedented partisan attacks that he leveled as a judge that i think will -- >> he made reference to the 2016 race. >> yeah, and said this was driven by those who could not accept trump's victory, attacked democrats by name, sparred with them. and if you have a process -- so that already i think is creating
a cloud whether he can be seen by americans as a neutral umpire as he called himself in november. but if you have a process that is short-circuited an designed to produce a result, i think it only deepens that infection and the question of whether the court's legitimacy will be further eroded. i think that is a risk if this process is not seen on the level. >> so comey also wrote in this op-ed saying yes the alleged incident occurred 36 years ago goer but fbi agents know time has very little do with memory. every married person remembers the wedding on their wedding day. significance drives memory. and they also know that little lies point to bigger lies. they know obvious lies by the nominee about the meaning of words in a year book are a flashing signal to dig deeper. so katherine, you know, he is underscoring his great
confidence in the fbi really getting to the bottom of these allegations. how significant is this coming from the former fbi director at this juncture? >> well, lots of people on both sides are very conflicting opinions of comey himself. so the significance of him speaking out on this i'm not sure will really sway anyone's opinion one way or the other. but i think that he is right that what this is about is about the nominee's credibility, about whether he is willing to lie under oath about seemingly very small matters, including the definition of various slang terms that are widely understood by people who are his contemporaries to be sexual terms that he is claiming otherwise. including whether he actually drank too excess when he was a teenager, which he claims generally that he did not. those who were quite close to him have said otherwise. friends, fellow republicans have said otherwise. and again the point is not
should we rule out anyone who drank to excess as a teenager, of course not. there are plenty of people who drank excessively in high school, college and have managed to pull their lives together and lead productive successful lives as he seems to have done. what we don't want on the court is not so much someone who drank in high school, but someone who is lying about whether he drank in high school. someone who is lying about whether these gasoliagain seemi minor comments in his high school year book meant what they were widely understood to have meant. if he is lying about that, if we can't trust him on the mine or matters, why should we trust him when he characterizes his injuries prudence as one based on partiality, where he will take at merits and not always rule in fafrp of tvor of the pa put him in his seat.partiality, at merits and not always rule in favor of the party that put him in his seat. these are are the things that americans should care about. >> and so shan, truth,
credibility, temperament, aren't these still criteria that should be measured as senators consider the next supreme court justice? >> absolutely. and that is why you have a background investigation, you want to look at the fitness of their candidate. >> is that on the back burner, is there an inference that it doesn't seem to be important? >> there does seem to be that inference right now. i think the strategy on the part of the republicans and mcgahn is to say that wasn't so long ago xwoerks it doesn't matter. and people may disagree with comey, but no one will disagree that he is a good investigator. it is clear he is seeing flashing red lights. >> all right. good to see you all. thank you so much. straight ahead in the "newsroom," a passionate plea on capitol hill, two women confronting senator jeff flake in app an elevator.
and misconduct allegations against brett kavanaugh. well, it happened after two women who say they are sexual assault survivors, they challenged him. they confronted him in an elevator and no one can forget what happened. >> this is not tolerable. you have children in your family. think about them. i have two children. i cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the supreme court who has been accused of violating a young girl. what are you doing, sir? >> nobody believes me. i didn't tell anyone and you are telling all women that they don't matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them, you will ignore them. that's what happened to me and that is what you are telling all women in america. that they should just keep to themselves because if they told
the truth, they will just help that man to power anyway. that is what you're telling all of these women. that's what you're telling me right now. look at me when i'm talking to you. you're telling me that my assault didn't matter. that what happened to me didnoet matter and you will let people who do these things into power. that is what you're telling me when you vote for him. don't look away from me, look at me and tell me that it didn't matter what happened to me. >> what a moment and no one can forget how it unfolded on live television and there is visceral feeling. suzanne malveaux and her crew are largely responsible for showing us that moment at that elevator. timing was everything. she is joining me right now. no one could have anticipated this to unfold. you did have an opportunity to talk to these women, get to know their story, but you didn't know this was soon going to follow. how is it that this confluence
of events happened? >> it was really extraordinary because you look at that and you hear these are two women who really demanded to be seen and heard. it was early in the morning, 7:30 in the morning, myself, photographer and producer all there to get a head's up on what the vote was going to be. and i met both young woman, one annamaria from new york said that she is an activist, shared her story about being shaultdex assaulted as a 5-year-old and had gone to flake's earlier in the office on monday to tell him her story. he wasn't there, so she shared that with the staffers that she was hoping to get that message to him. and then the other one from virginia, maria gallagher, who had never shared her story publicly ever. a recent graduate. and she told me that she had no intention of doing that, she brought a little sign that she showed, she was going to hold up her sign in the back. so it was very raw and very
visceral. and it essentially happened at the time we all were getting a message on our cellphones right before the senate judiciary committee was going to meet that he was a yes vote. and the gasp from these two ladies who had joined us outside his office was audible. they were very emotional when they found out. >> and so that was stunning. and you're informing the people who have gathered there hoping that they -- they were hoping to somehow influence senator floak. you and your crew see him leaving in a fast dash to the elevator. and what is it about that moment that compelled you to follow these women going after him? >> well, they felt flake was their ally. they had never met before. they just met that morning. and so they decided to join us and when they all -- when we all got the announcement at the same time, we weren't sure that flake
was in his office. saw him headed toward the elevator. everyone was in hot pursuit and he was just at the elevator, he was inside, and it was annamaria who literally and figure arrively put her foot down and the doors opened. and the confrontation began. we initially wanted to ask him to explain himself, but it was very clear that what was unfolding before our eyes was so much more impactful to have these two survivors of sexual assault confronting him and having him be in that small crowded space filled with unbrilgtsed emotion to explain himself and to answer to these two women. >> and as a journalist, your instinct would be that you want to ask questions, you want to help compel him to answer or give some sort of explanation about what he was thinking and feeling. but he of you also had an sting
-hf -- instinct to say let's let play out. >> part of our job is to listen and pay attention and i knew that there was nothing that i could possibly say or ask that was more important or impactful than what we were actually seeing. and this was an opportunity for these women to be heard. we had seen and heard from so many people who felt like if this was a yes vote, if they had gone forward, that their stories would not be recognized. and that is really what unfolded. and one of the things after that moment, because it was really very intense, so intense and those doors closed, we didn't realize that we were actually live on television as it unfolded in real time. and that was rather -- that was surprising as well. >> so people saw it as you did. >> absolutely. and the 23-year-old was crying in the hallway with her friend afterwards. she was overcome with emotion. and she told me that her mother
called her and told her that she saw her on television telling her story publicly for the first time and was so proud of her courage. >> and she also got to see how that so moved senator flake that clearly he was almost frozen in the elevator as are were the two aides who were serving an interesting role here. they were almost there to -- it almost seemed as though they were not just witnesses, but they too were helping to protect or, you know, secure him. he had to get on his way at the same time they seemed a little unnerved, but then to see his face later while he was with the committee. he was moved. >> and he was forced to confront that anger, that courage, that passion. >> and we know of course how so much was changed as a result of that very pivotal moment. thanks to you yu you and your c
being there at the right time, having the instinct to know what do with that moment and allow to play out so that all could see it. >> took a lot of courage on their part. >> all right. thanks so much. earlier, i spoke with california democratic representative jackie speer about the fbi investigation as a whole into brett kavanaugh and the role of everyone in this "me too" movement. so here we are, congresswoman, in the midst of this "me too" movement which has elevated so many women to speak about their experiences and, you know, demand real justice. so is it your view on you that senators are being mindful of these women of this electorate and how their confirmation will be sending a very strong message
to women during this "me too" movement? >> i would say that the "me too" movement is stalled right now. and i'm very concerned about it. particularly in the u.s. senate where the house passed a strong bill to protect victims who serve in the congress of the united states and the senate is dragging its feet on it. so couple that with their lack of interest in even purchase you suing this allegation by dr. blasey ford who even the president of the united states said was credible. and last time i thought about the word credible, it indicates that they're being truthful. so she is credible, that means that she is truthful, and then someone is lying and it appears that it is not her. >>a and as a sexual assault survivor, you have led to charge to clean up sexual harassment in congress. so what kind of message is being sent to congress, being sent
from the senate during this confirmation process? >> 80% of the senate is made up of male members. and if you look at the advicvit that came from republicans in particular during that senate hearing and if you look at how rachelmitchell who was spoked to be the questioner -- supposed to be the questioner was shut down, it shows that their respect for women is quite limited. >> meaning she did not conduct the questions to the nominee, but she was used trumt alley in interviewing dr. ford. >> that's right. she was -- i think lindsey graham basically took it away from her. and this just in, a source tells cnn the fbi has spoken to supreme court nominee brett
kavanaugh's second accuser today, deborah ramirez accusing him of exposing himself to her at a party at yale. kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegation. the source on says ramirez supplied fbi of the names of eyewitnesses. still ahead, why president trump says he and kim jung-un fell in love. >> you know what the interesting thing, when i did it, and i was really being tough, and so was he, we'd go back and forth and then we fell in love. okay? really. he wrote me beautiful letters. they are great letters. we fell in love. -trash can, turn on the tv. -my pleasure. -ice dispenser, find me a dog sitter. -okay. -and make ice. -pizza delivered.
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bloating? pain? you may have ibs. ask your doctor about nonprescription ibgard for the daily dietary management of ibs. ibgard - daily gut-health gard president trump raising a few eyebrows with comments me about north korea during a rally in west virginia last night. >> you know the interesting thing, when i did it, and i was really being tough, and so was he, we would go back and forth. and then we fell in love. okay? no, really. he wrote me beautiful letters. and they are great letters. we fell in love. >> so one of the biggest sticking points in negotiations
continues to be over what it means for north korea to denuclearize. joining me right now is garrett gra graph, author of the threat matrix. so what do you see in that whole fell in love comment? >> yeah, this is part of a really remarkable turn of events this year that has seen remember a year ago this was the north korea's calling donald trump a dotard and donald trump calling kim rocket man. and this has been a much warmer relationship this year especially after that singapore summit. but you one that has actually seen very little progress on the main issue which as you said is whether north korea will begin to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. in many ways north korea has been able to trade compliments
this year with donald trump while progressing just as quickly as it ever did on its nuclear program. >> but then of course the president will dispute that with you saying that he has made a lot of head way, hostages were released, there haven't been any missile testing coming from north korea in quite a while now. and perhaps the stage is set for yet another summit between him and kim jung-un. >> absolutely. and that is part of what has made north korea's change in strategy so interesting this year is that as you said north korea for many years has been sort of rubbing our noses in its nuclear program, you know, launching those missiles, testing its ballistic missiles and trying to rattle its nuclear saber as much as possible. this year though we have seen those tests stop. and in many ways they are
continuing to manufacture nuclear weapons at least according to the u.s. intelligence community as they ever did, but without any of the public provocations that had upset the u.s. in the past. in many ways this is the model that countries like pakistan and israel have pursued with their nuclear programs which is sort of like you can be a nuclear power as long as you don't rub it in anyone's face. >> so if there is a second summit, what would need to come from to show that some progress has been made, that president trump has been influential? >> well, one of the challenges here is agreeing even to the nomenclature, the terms of an agreement. you know, when donald trump hears kim jung-un say we want to denuclearize the korean peninsula, what north korea is actually saying is that they
think america to pull its nuclear weapons out of south korea as well. so donald trump gets very excited by the idea of north korea denuclearizing without realizing that they are in fact asking for the u.s. to do the same. >> garrett graph, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. facebook could get hit with a $1.6 billion fine over a data breach that exposed the information of 50 million of its users according to the "wall street journal." the fine would be for violating european union's privacy laws. the social media company revealed friday that breach also gave hackers access to accounts on other sites that used facebook as its login. a community in mourning after the death of a 6-year-old autistic boy in north carolina. the boy had been missing for a week and now the question, what
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a search for answers following the tragic death of a young boy with autism in north carolina. 6-year-old maddox ritch was found dead in a creek in gastonia on thursday. and now his loved ones mourn the loss, people hoping to retrace maddox's steps to determine how he died. jean casarez is live with more. this is tragic. >> reporter: it is terribly tragic. and a woman has stepped forward and we spoke with her this afternoon, her name brooke
arrested. a -- shepard and she said that she was at the park and she and her mother saw little maddox. she said he was jumping around so lively, just as a little 6-year-old would do and her mother even asked him are you getting tired? they saw him run towards the park office and that was the last they saw of him. the fooib fbi has said that they believe the family's story and maybe this is why because she has spoken to the fbi. but law enforcement is saying they really want to know the facts. >> god bless the families -- >> reporter: the people of gastonia, north carolina are mourning the loss of one of their own. maddox ritch. a 6-year-old with autism. his body found thursday in a creek near town. people want to know what happened. >> the investigation is not over. you should not take away anything from that except to understand that in law
enforcement we will not take anything for granted. >> people are assuming things. and unfortunately, social media becomes an outlet where people can voice opinions that have no fact to it yet. and we argue free speech, but it didn't change the fact that sometimes free speech wounds people foolishly. and to assume guilt in something like this is just foolish. and it is incredibly damaging. >> reporter: this is the park where maddox and his father were. his father said he and his son were walking around the lake having a great time and suddenly maddox ran ahead. he normally could do that, bruh this time he kept running. his father said he couldn't keep up with him and suddenly he was gone. ian ritch spoke with abc news. >> i could see him until a certain point. he got out of my view. and that is whenever i never seen him again. everybody looks at you as a monster. and i've dreaded that since the
moment it's happened. >> reporter: after searching for almost an hour, his father had a park volunteer call 911. >> we have a missing kid, he's been missing probably the last 30, 40 minutes. >> reporter: almost immediately police and public safety tried to find maddox. six days later, they found his body about one foot from the shore in water 2 to 3 feet deep, an area that previously had been searched several times. law enforcement says little maddox may have walked along a type of trail next to the creek, but as you can see, it becomes very marshy, very desolate, difficult for anyone to walk mo, and if he fell into the creek, it would have had to have carried him more than a mile. and it is so shallow here, law enforcement says that they want to try to retrace what could have been maddox's steps to find out exactly where he could have entered the creek.
what they are really trying to find out is was this a tragic incident or is it a homicide. >> the chief and i saw maddox and it is absolutely amazing that he was found. it was extremely difficult to see him even when we were standing right next to him. >> reporter: authorities won't say if there as trauma to his body. key in helping to determine his cause of death and manner of death. >> we have a dad that is hurting and we have a mother that is hurting. and just pray for them. i can't say anything other than that, just pray for these people because they need us now more than ever. >> reporter: little maddox's obituary came out today in the local paper. his funeral has been set for friday. and this park right here that had so many people and does all the time, it is still closed. authorities are still not allowing people to come and enjoy themselves here in
gastonia, north carolina. >> so sad. all right. our prayers go out to the family. appreciate it. from the inner cities to rule america, meth is a persistent and dangerous problem plaguing communities across the country. lisa ling joining me next to talk about the issue surrounding the meth epidemic and the people it is affecting daily. chloe fall in love with iphone xs on t-mobile, and right now, save $300 dollars.
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welcome back. crystal meth is destroying so many lives across the country. and on this week's this is life with lisa ling, lisa travels to oklahoma, a state at the center of the crystal meth crisis. she talks with law enforcement, users and recovery addicts about the drug that is tearing their communities apart. here is a preview. >> finally we reach a bedroom with the surveillance equipment. >> they have cameras on the front of the house. there is the front yard. backyard. and a view of the side. there is meth residue in both of those plastic containers. >> so does it looks like there are more than users here? >> yeah, with all the baggies and everything, more than likely they are also selling. >> you have the suspect's son in custody. how often are you seeing families being involved in drug
activity? >> it happens quite often. once the kids get older, obviously past the teenage years go if theyl living at home, they will start doing it. >> i'm pretty sure the young man is in the back of the squad car. >> yes, just sad to see that potential waste on dope. >> lisa ling is joining us right now. so this episode really gives a comprehensive heartbreaking look at the devastating impact of crystal meth. but not just in oklahoma, but really around the country. is there is a way to singularly focus on what is it about this drug that makes it so devastating, is such an impact? >> well, we've been hearing pretty relentlessly about the opoid and heroin epidemic that has overtaken our country. and the reason we hear so much
about it is because so many people are dying from heroin or opoid overdoses. methamphetamines have been here. it has been having a resurgence of late because gone are the days of the walter white laboratories of the early 2000s. law enforcement pretty much has gotten rid or combatted most of those laboratories. and so to fill the void, mexican cartels have been sending methamphetamines straight up through texas into oklahoma where it intersects with a major highway that heads east and west. and this meth is deadlier than it has ever been. it is a lot cheaper and a lot stronger. and it has been having a devastating impact on states throughout this country including oklahoma which is where this episode is set. >> and in fact you were along with law enforcement while in oklahoma. and you even got a chance to talk to users, dealers.
what do they tell you? >> well, we were with law enforcement both in the city and in the rural parts of oklahoma. and i'm telling you, it was just nonstop. they were working around the clock. and it just really hit this community really hard. and in fact in the rural parts of oklahoma, users are resorting to desperate measures to get their fix. and you will be able to see that tonight on the episode. cattle theft is on the rides and for t -- rise and for the most part cattle is being stolen to support people's meth use. >> in what way? i saw that promo and i couldn't wait to find out -- huh? what is the correlation? >> yeah, it sounds pretty impossible. the idea of stealing cows. but it is actually really, really easy to do so. because cows ares do sti docile
will go to just about anyone. and these users can have cows sent out of the state in a matter of days. i mean the cows that are stolen can be out of the state by the end of the day because cows are not required to be branded in the state. they send them straight through the auctions. and they can have several thousand dollars in their pockets by the end of the day. >> so bizarre. we'll be watching. an all new episode of this is life tonight 10:00 eastern and pacific only on cnn. and now to this week's cnn hero. meet susan muncie, a woman offering safety to victims of sex trafficking. >> nobody wakes up and just decides one day i'm going to go sell my body and give the money away. traffickers or puimps know exactly what they are doing. they are going to dating
websites, gaming, they are looking for young vulnerable women anywhere where young women might hang out. my vision was to have a home where women could come and find safety. and find themselves. >> to hear more, go to cnnheroes.com. thanks so much for being with me. news continues right now with ana cabrera right after this.
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you're in the cnn newsroom. thanks for being with us. president trump insists the fbi has no restrictions, no constraints to use his words, free rein in this new investigation of supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. and now this is just into cnn, we're learning that christine blasey ford and judge k kavanaugh's names are not on the list of suggested witnesses to interview. but we do have confirmation that fbi agents spoke today with deborah ramirez, the woman who claims kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a college age party, a claim that kavanaugh strongly