Return to Transcripts main page


Judge Kavanaugh and Accuser to Face Each Other on Monday; Carolinas Still Reeling from Florence's Effects; President Moon Jae-in Welcomed by North Koreans. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 18, 2018 - 03:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Public hearing. Brett Kavanaugh will testify to clear his name. His accuser will speak to prove her claim. At stake, a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Carolina towns now islands. The waters and death toll rising. The hurricane maybe over, but the worst of the storm maybe yet to come.

Plus, Moon Jae-in becomes the first South Korean president to visit Pyongyang in more than a decade. On a mission to revive stalled nuclear talks and formally end a decades' long war.

Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.

Well, the woman who claims U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her three decades ago will get a chance to tell her story to the American public. Christine Blasey Ford will testify before a Senate committee on Monday.

Ford says back in high school, Kavanaugh held her down and tried to take off her clothes. Kavanaugh denies the allegation. The conservative judge spent the day at the White House on Monday working on a strategy to save his nomination.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump standing firmly behind Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's an outstanding intellect and outstanding judge. Respected by anybody. Never a little blemish on his record.


ZELENY: He said he would be open to delaying the confirmation vote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I want him to go in the at the absolute highest level. And I think to do that you have to go through this. If it takes a delay. It will take a delay. It shouldn't certainly be very much.


ZELENY: But behind the scenes seen the president is furious and frustrated by what he suspects is an event hour attempt to smear his pick for the Supreme Court. A California professor, Christine Blasey Ford accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while they were teenagers in high school. Kavanaugh calling it a completely false allegation. Yet his confirmation now hangs in the balance. Kellyanne Conway, one of the highest ranking woman in the White House trying to set a tone of civility.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: (Inaudible) the president might have spoken at length about this. She shouldn't be ignored or insulted. She should be heard.


ZELENY: Sending a message to others around the president this moment is a serious one. It came after the president's son Donald Trump, Jr. mocked the accuser in this Instagram post. Citing, "Judge Kavanaugh sexual assault letter found by Dems. Will you be my girlfriend? Yes, no. Love, Brett."

The president has been dismissive of other women who have come forward accusing him and other women of sexual misconduct. Including with Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.


TRUMP: If he says he didn't happen, and you know, you have to listen to him also. You're talking about he said 40 years ago this didn't happen.


ZELENY: But less than two months before the midterm elections where women voters and candidates are playing a critical role the White House is treading lightly. For now at least. Saying both Kavanaugh and his accuser should be heard.

Now Judge Kavanaugh spent nearly nine hours at the White House today. Working behind the scenes with his confirmation team. One official described his as shaken but said he was focused on defending his integrity.

Now he and his accuser will be in a separate public hearing on Monday by the judiciary committee. Certainly raising the stakes on this battle. Something we've not seen in Washington like this for decades.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House. CHURCH: Joining me now from London, Inderjeet Parmar, professor of

international politics at City University. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So after much debate, Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford will now both testify Monday in this public hearing. It will be a case of his word against hers.

But without a thorough investigation, and any evidence to corroborate the accuser story how much closer can senators ever hope to get to the truth of what exactly happened at that high school party.

[03:05:10] PARMAR: Well, you're right. It does require thorough airing of all the evidence. And there are others involved as well. That's going to be the key question. Whether Judge Kavanaugh's denial that he was ever at the particular place where he's alleged to have carried out that assault.

That's going to be the key issue. And I think Mark Judge's friend who is also named in this incident, his testimony or evidence if he comes forward it may well be very, very important as many of those others who may be at the party as well.

CHURCH: And of course the president and his senior aide Kellyanne Conway as we saw have both said that the accuser must have a voice and have her say. That's very different to the way Mr. Trump has dealt with issues like this in the past. So what might this change in tactic signal politically do you think?

PARMAR: Of course. Politically they want a, they want this judge to go to the Supreme Court because he's an ultra conservative. He has kind of an originalist attitude towards the Constitution. He is for corporate deregulation. And he also has his own record saying he's not sure whether sitting president should ever be investigated for any kind of wrongdoing.

And of course we have the midterm elections coming up. Any sort of derailing of this particular process could have a big effect on the outcome in the midterm. And I think the reason, if you're like, why there's a major shift in addition to that is that large number of white women supporters of the Republican Party, and possibly those who voted for President Trump in 2016. A lot of them have already left the Trump coalition, if you like.

And I think there's a big worry that there will be a meltdown in that regard, possibly in the Senate as well in November.

CHURCH: And of course Mr. Trump hasn't been able to control what his son is saying on the issue, though, has he?

PARMAR: I don't think there's much control. Maybe we look at every memoir of anyone who has anywhere near the White House for the last two years or so or just about two years. There's chaos. There's very little control. There would appear to be a difficulty in messaging. And I think this is a very good example of it.

And I think it has contributed a great deal to a lot of people who voted for Trump even though they may support his economic policy, for example. The economy generally speaking is doing quite well. They are worried that this government is in a status of meltdown. And I think this is just another example of that basic fact about this administration.

CHURCH: Now, whether Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for this lifetime spot on the Supreme Court will ultimately come down to key Republican Senators like Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Bob Corker. They are the ones we need to watch. We don't know how they are going to vote or who they will believe in the end. But what are the numbers look like right now and what all is at stake here?

PARMAR: Well, the numbers are very, very close as you said. And what's at stake here is effectively the coloration the political coloration of the Supreme Court for decades to come. Kavanaugh is only, I think in his mid-50s, 54 or 55. So he is going to be around for a very long time.

And that means that even after the Trump administration or the GOP is out of par, there can be a very large scale sort of political control, if you like, of what the agenda could be going forward in regard to corporation regulation or deregulation.

So I think this is a very important appointment. And I think the Republicans Trump administration would want this done before the midterm in case there's a major meltdown including in the Senate as well. Jeff Flake as we know is stepping down. He has very little to lose. And he's been saying a great deal about the Trump administration.

On the other hand, he's a conservative who has voted with the Trump administration probably about 93 percent of the time. So it's very difficult to know exactly which way he's going to go. But as you said, the Supreme Court is a very, very powerful agency and it has big -- has judges there for life. And if there's such a large majority in maybe of kind of ultra conservativism this is going to impact any administration after the Trump administration as well.

CHURCH: Right. And Brett Kavanaugh we understand is 53 years old. Just put that on the record there. Inderjeet Parmar, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

PARMAR: Thank you very much.

CHURCH: Well, North Korea is blaming the U.S. for the lack of progress on their nuclear talks. According to state media ever since the June meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un the U.S. has been stubbornly insisting on full denuclearization while not holding up its end of the deal to formally end the Korean War.

[03:10:00] Now the man who is trying to bring those two sides together on those issues is now in Pyongyang. You can see those pictures there. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is holding talks this hour with Kim Jong-un.

And Mr. Moon has played the role of mediator for months now. And this could be his biggest challenge yet.

So let's turn to our Paula Hancocks, she has been following President Moon's visit and joins us now live from Seoul in South Korea. So Paula, the images coming out of Pyongyang, you know, we saw it there. This warm relationship between North Korea's Kim Jong-un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in as they start this three-day summit.

But it is going to be a very delicate task for the South Korean leader to work as chief negotiator in this effort to bring the U.S. and North Korea closer together. Particularly now with the North blaming the U.S. for the stalemate. How delicate an operation is this for Moon Jae-in and what are his major challenges right now?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, there's no doubt that there appears to be some kind of rapport between the leaders of North and South Korea. But there's also no doubt that it was an accident that on the same day as President Moon is in Pyongyang there is this vote on Sinmun be, the North Korean state run newspaper article slamming the U.S. saying the U.S. is totally to blame for the stalemate between the U.S. and North Korea.

So it's just laying out how difficult it is going to be for the South Korean president to try and bring these two sides closer together. Especially now he's been asked by both sides to be the chief negotiator until there's a more active dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.

So we have been seeing plenty of pomp and ceremony this morning. It was a warm welcome. We saw some remarkable images of a motorcade driving to the streets of Pyongyang with both leaders standing out of the sunroof and waving to thousands of residents which were lining that route.

But the fact is the hard work starts behind closed doors. And that is happening right now. We know that about half an hour ago it was planned that the two leaders would meet at the headquarters of the central committee of the Workers Party of Korea. Now this is the first time that an inter-Korean summit has been held at this headquarters to the Blue House so that in itself it's significant.

But it will be a tough sell for the South Korean president. The U.S. does want total denuclearization before it considers concessions before it thinks about the declaration of the end of the war, the lifting of sanctions. This is what we have heard publicly from U.S. officials.

But North Korea believes that it has already made concessions. It believes that it has taken confidence building steps and wants to see the same from the United States. So for Moon Jae-in now he has to try and bring those two very separate positions closer together. Rosemary?

CHURCH: A three day summit. We'll see what happens. We will of course be following it very closely as well our Paula Hancocks, joining us there live from Seoul in South Korea, where it's 4.12 in the afternoon. Many thanks.

Well, the flooding disaster in North and South Carolina could still get worse. What's left of hurricane Florence has moved out of the Carolinas but rivers are still rising to very dangerous levels. And if devastating flooding and endless rain wasn't enough, Florence is also bringing tornados as it moves north. We'll have more on that when we come back.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, what is heft of hurricane Florence is now moving north but it's still posing new threats. The storm brought several tornados to Virginia where at least one person was killed.

And the disaster in the Carolinas could get worse as rivers rise to dangerous levels. This new video shows one of the communities now completely under water. Thirty two people are now confirmed dead and the historic and catastrophic flooding is expected to continue for days.

Our Polo Sandoval has more now from North Carolina.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Deadly and deep flood waters are rushing to the Carolinas as days of rainfall break a 140-year records in some places. Deaths continuing to mount, including one year-old Kaiden Lee whose body was found this morning. Police say the baby was swept out of his mother's arms as she tried to pass through fast moving waters Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was a stranger to this community driving through this road. She didn't know the water forced her off the road and across an open field.


SANDOVAL: There are ongoing rescue efforts across the region as water levels continue to rise. The Lumber River outside of Wilmington invaded many neighborhoods. Still not recovered after hurricane Matthew two years ago. Images shot by CNN showed the devastation at ground level. Dozens who thought they have survived the worse of hurricane Florence now suddenly relying on rescue workers as they leave their homes behind.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people they've been praying for a shile. Come people are crying and some people are just like thanking the lord.


SANDOVAL: Team searching for survivors in submerged trucks and hovering above flooded homes to air lift citizens to safety. This woman was stranded in her house for days without medication. One Myrtle Beach official tells CNN, quote, "we are slowly becoming an

island" as some citizens try to make their way through flooded roadways by car and even canoe.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's some 500-year flood levels. This is not of matter of hours and days. This is a matter of weeks and months and maybe years to fully recover from the storm.


SANDOVAL: Flood watches and warnings have now expanded to include 10 states and nearly 30 million people are looking at the Carolinas for signs of what maybe be coming next.


GOV. ROY COOPER (D) NORTH CAROLINA: Some areas have not seen the worst flooding yet. So this is a monumental disaster for our state.


SANDOVAL: Both mandatory and voluntary evacuations still remain in place throughout various cities both in North and South Carolina. Though Mother Nature is responsible for all of this the weather is certainly allowing rescuers to get the upper hand with finally a break in the clouds for the first time in several days.

[03:20:07] Polo Sandoval, CNN, Lumberton, North Carolina.

CHURCH: Adam Emrick is the city administrator in Conway, South Carolina. He joins me now with the very latest on the situation there. And I understand your biggest concern right now clearly is the flooding. But more specifically is this makeshift dam. And the concern that this water will flood in to the neighboring area. Talk to us about how likely it is that will happen and what your biggest concerns are.

ADAM EMRICK, CITY ADMINISTRATOR, CONWAY, SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, certainly. We had a major concern that we think has been a little bit alleviated. The Department of Transportation here for South Carolina has acted swiftly to begin erecting a barricade along one of the major roads that comes from the city of Conway and goes toward Myrtle Beach. The antenna that barricade is to block water from overcoming the road and overcoming the bridge.

As that will be the last bridge and last road that gets people from Myrtle Beach and out and people in the Myrtle Beach, and that includes our food our gas, everything. That is the lifeline as what they're calling it.

Our concern from the city of Conway whether that barricade might also block water that is flooding and trying to get out of our Waccamaw River and back into the ocean. So we know we asked some pointed questions yesterday and we're not given answers very quickly. And that necessitated the city council here in Conway to begin

pursuing an action against the state to be able to explain to us and explain to our citizens that we were doing everything we could to protect them from flood waters that might be caused by a manmade barrier instead of nature.

Today we were fortunate to have the highest level of transportation person from the state, Secretary Christy Hall fly in from Columbia. She spent a number of hours with us and dedicated a lot of her staff time as well as herself to us. And the engineers explained to us exactly what is going on and what they are doing. They gave us a tour.

And I think the fears that we had and the concerns that we had have been alleviated almost completely. I think we can say with a straight face to our citizens that everything that can be done to protect them has been done. We've done our due diligence to protect them from flooding and from manmade barriers. And it's not the greater good that we're looking at here, it's everybody's good.

CHURCH: Well, that is a relief that you've come to the point because flooding is really big. That has been the major problem for most people across the number of states this has affected.

So what are the other challenges for the people, people have lost their homes, they don't have anywhere to go back to, where they are sheltering. What's happening and likely to happen to those people in the next few days, weeks and months? Because it's going to take a very long time to get back to normal, isn't it?

EMRICK: That's right. Those were all very good questions. The storm has been a lot different than most storms. Most storms last about between, you know, between 8 to 12 hours. They cause immediate flash flood that we have to respond to and swift water rescue and things like that.

And then those waters will subside slightly for a couple of days and then the rivers will rise. And the rivers will cause sustained flooding. It happened in 2015 after hurricane Joaquin. It happened in 2016 after hurricane Matthew. And it's happening again with hurricane Florence in 2018.

But Florence is different because the rain -- the rain event lasted days. It lasted three and a half days with heavy rains coming over and over and over again. And what that caused is the immediate flash flooding of those other events that happened in the first 12 hours did not occur until today after the rain subsided.

So we had areas of the city flooding today after our residents thought that they were out of the woods, and areas that are flooded so far today with that -- with that -- with hurricane Florence are flooding at a much greater rate than anything we've seen ever before. With houses that aren't even in floodplains that are flooding. And it's an event that we're still preparing for.

When these waters recede, the rivers will start flooding. And then with river rain flooding it will get to a level that's even higher. We're expecting three feet higher than hurricane Matthew which was all-time record. So our river level at Matthew was 17. It's going to get over 20 with what we're expecting from this -- from Florence.

And that's something that's going to be hard to even fathom what we're expecting. We hope to be going door to door in some areas that we think might flood in the next couple of days. And make sure that people know not only to protect their items and their homes but to protect themselves to make sure that they're not in harm's way.

It's going to be a difficult journey for us. And those waters don't just come up and subside. They come up and they'll stay for, you know, two, three, or four weeks. You know, we looked at hurricane Matthew we had sustained flood levels or over 30 days.


[03:24:59] EMRICK: So there will be people who cannot get to their homes for extended periods of time.

CHURCH: That certainly puts it in perspective. People think because the hurricane is gone that it's all over, it isn't. It's all about, isn't it? It's about flooding and as you mention--


EMRICK: The worst isn't got here yet.

CHURCH: Yes, absolutely. I mean, this is really, this could be another month, it could be another couple of months as far as you say, right?

EMRICK: That's right.

CHURCH: Right.

EMRICK: We expect the waters to continue to rise through next week and then be here for an extended period of time.

CHURCH: All right. Adam Emrick, thank you so much for joining us. We wish you the best and hope that things get back to normal soon or rather than later. Many thanks.

EMRICK: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

CHURCH: So let's turn to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri who joins us with more on this. And of course, Pedram, as we've been discussing, I mean, the hurricane is gone but it's the flooding that is causing all the heartache.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Unfortunately. You know, as slow as the storm system was the recession of the water here is going to be far slower and that's the biggest concern right here. A widespread rising levels across rivers in this region.

Of course, tremendous heat still during the months of September. So, a lot of concern for disease spreading. And of course, wildlife being displaced and essentially impacting people as well.

And you take a look much of the State of North Carolina and parts of South Carolina underneath flood warnings across this region. So meaning flooding is imminent or occurring. And of course, widespread food occurring is what we know is taking place here.

And the river gauges in fact have seen an increase in moderate to major flood stage. Over 40 now reporting flooding across this region in the past 24 or so hours.

The concern remains what happened upstream because we know the sun is going to break out over the next couple of days as the system pushes away. But what we do have here is water that's rushing back down towards the Atlantic Ocean, and of course, you look at the water ways the rivers across this region, hundreds of them and the tributaries f the river as well.

All the water wants to recede right back down towards where it started from into the Atlantic Ocean. So that's where you see the continuing rise in the levels over the next the couple of days.

Here's what's left of it. Not much. Basically just some gusty winds, some moisture left in place across the northeast could see some thunderstorm. About 35 million people actually up towards the northeast dealing with flood watches and warnings as well.

So, New York City and Philly will see one last push of the storm system this afternoon, Rosemary. And the it will push off into the Atlantic Ocean. And at least the weather aspect will be done with across this region.

CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much, Pedram. I appreciate it. You're keeping a very close eye on that for everyone.


CHURCH: Well, the controversy around Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick reminds some of another contentious battle from decades ago. The parallels with Justice Clarence Thomas. That's when we come back.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Welcome back, everyone. To CNN "Newsroom." I'm Rosemary Church, time to update you now on the main stories we have been following. The remnants of hurricane Florence are hitting up the U.S. East Coast, but in north and South Carolina flooding may get even more dangerous as rivers are rising to record level. The death toll is now up to 32. Including one person in Virginia. Who was killed when Florence spawned several tornados?

Donald Trump is ordering the declassification of documents and text messages in the Russia investigation. They include parts of a warrant application to surveil former campaign aid, Carter Page. Republicans have been asking for the documents for months. But a top Democrat calls the release an abuse of power. The woman who says President Trump Supreme Court pick assaulted her

more than 30 years ago will get a public hearing. Lacey Ford will appear before a Senate committee on Monday. Judge Brett Kavanaugh who denies the allegations will also testify.

The drama surrounding Brett Kavanaugh's nomination is drawing comparison to a controversy that gripped the country more than 25 years ago. Anita Hill testified under oath that she suffered sexual harassment by then nominee and now Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas. Tom Foreman has that report.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two federal Judges conservative nominees for the Supreme Court. Two women, reluctant witnesses from the men's past accusing them of sexual misconduct. What else is similar? Plenty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This conversations were very vivid.

FOREMAN: In 1991, law professor Anita Hill said her boss Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her in the 80s. She offered details of routine advances and lewd comments.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He talked about pornographic material. Depicting individuals with large penises or large breasts involved in various sex acts. On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a circus. It is a national disgrace.

FOREMAN: Thomas forcefully denied it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And from my stand point, as a black American, as far as I'm concerned, it is a high tact lynching for uppity blacks. Who in anyway dame to think for themselves. To do for themselves. To have different ideas.

FOREMAN: Brett Kavanaugh accuser professor Kristine Lacey Ford is also laying out details. Saying a high school party, Kavanaugh pushed me into a bedroom. Climbed on top of her and tried to disrobe me. And Kavanaugh just like Thomas is saying this is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The day began with the Roy Moore revelation by Kellyanne Conway and ends with Charlie Rose accused of unwanted sexual advances toward women.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Accusations of sexual harassment against powerful movie producer, Harvey Weinstein.

FOREMAN: So, what's different? The times above all else. On the roaring tide of Me-Too movement, many powerful men are being held accountable for alleged and in some cases admitted sexual wrongs. In ABC News, "Washington Post" poll earlier this year found 72 percent of Americans feel sexual harassment is a big problem. Compared to 17 percent just before Anita Hill made her case. So, Hill is saying Kavanaugh's accuser can't be taken lightly. This time even some in the Judges corner agree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She shouldn't be ignored.

FOREMAN: The real question of course is what comes next for all of the uproar in a very close vote. Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. And remains to be seen if Kavanaugh can also weather the storm. And come out on top. Tome Foreman, CNN, Washington.


[03:35:00] CHURCH: I'm joined now by Joan Biskupik, she is a CNN Supreme Court analyst. So good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, Joan, as a journalist, author and lawyer. You have covered the Supreme Court since 1989. Including the confirmation Clarence Thomas back in 1991. When Anita Hill testified. And now of course the parallels are being drawn between those events and the nomination hearing of Brett Kavanaugh. But there are a number of differences too. And of course this all comes in the midst of the metoo era. How likely it is the outcome will be any different?

BISKUPIK: I think we just don't quite know. We'll know much more once his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford has a chance to testify. And we get a chance to see what kind of witness is she. How does she present these allegations of his sexual attack that she is alleged from a time when they were teenagers in Suburban Maryland? And then how does he counter it?

You mention 1991, and I have to say that Anita Hill was quite a compelling witness. But so is Clarence Thomas and the Senators just couldn't break the difference there. And he got on the Supreme Court. By a vote of 52-48. Which for our country was the closest Supreme Court confirmation in more than a century. By I should say that he had a lot of Democratic support at the time. Eleven Democrats switched over to help him. A Republican appointee.

Right now, one key difference is that we're so polarized in a partisan way that it will be very hard I think for any Democrat to switch over. Although as I caution we don't know yet how things will unfold on Monday.

CHURCH: No, we don't. Of course, you know, as you point out that confirmation vote for Brett Kavanaugh had been set for Thursday. It has now been delayed. And now instead we are looking at this this public hearing Monday. Where we will hear testimony from both Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. How will that be enough though and how will it be enough time to make a fair judgment on who is telling the truth?

BISKUPIK: That is an excellent question. And I should tell you that Senator Dianne Feinstein who is the senior Democrat on the committee has raised exactly those concerns. And said there won't be enough time. That there should be an investigation by the FBI. There should be more questioning. Beyond just these two witnesses. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Chuck Grassley, has scheduled only two witnesses. Christine Ford and Brett Kavanaugh.

And there are a lot of other questions swirling around this. And we'll have to see as I said how they present themselves. The kinds of questions that Senators themselves ask. And what kind of firm answers they give. There's so much to be determined. We only know both of them essentially through their public statements through others. The interview in the "Washington Post" that was just nearly 24 hours ago. That we first learned her name. And what her claim was.

CHURCH: This has moved very quickly. I mean, it was only just a matter of hours ago that they were going ahead with the votes. This is moving and galloping along very quickly. How likely could it be that the other witnesses who were at the high school party will be questioned? At some point for corroboration. Surely that needs to be done. Isn't that the only way to get to the truth of the matter? The guy Mark Judge who was there in the room with him. Apparently, he has said that he has no memory of this taking place. But there were other young people who were there in the other part of the house. There so much more that we need to learn about this. To get to the truth of the matter. Surely the Senators feel that is a requirement here.

BISKUPIK: One would think. The Democrats definitely feel that way. The Republicans just want to move it along, try to instill some confidence and key swing votes. That they will need for his confirmation. If they can get it. So they have more of a speed mentality here. Whereas the Democrats are trying to slow this. One thing we have not address, I do want to mention, because it gives the context to your -- he is nominated to a very crucial seat. To succeed Anthony Kennedy who has been a swing vote on our Supreme Court and has been the justice who has kept affirmative action and has kept abortion rights and very critical. He wrote the ruling in the same sex marriage case, back in 2015.

[03:40:08] So, a lot is riding on this lifetime seat. So Republicans want it to happen and they want it to happen quickly. They're not getting it on Thursday. But now they're trying to schedule this hearing for Monday and hopefully from their mind have a vote pretty quickly thereafter.

But I think the Democrats feel like right now time is on their side. And even if those individuals you referred to, Mark Judge and others who might have been at the party in question. Aren't put questioned under oath, they might come forward in other news stories. There are several days until next Monday. And I think we might see further allegations.

CHURCH: Right. And it's exactly that reason when you say, you know, lifetime seat there. On the Supreme Court. It is important that the right person is in that position. That is why they do need to take the time to get to the truth of the matter. We will be watching this very closely, of course. Joan Biskupik, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it. BISKUPIK: Thank you.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. Still to come another shot is fired in the U.S.-China trade battle. President Trump latest tariff plans for Chinese imports. We'll have a live report.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, China says it's going to have to adopt a counter measure to the U.S. President latest escalation in their trade battle. President Trump announced a new 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports Monday. That will go into effect next week and jump to 25 percent in January. Mr. Trump is exempting smart watches. Health and safety devices and children's playpens from the trade penalty. So we'll get more about all of this from our Matt Rivers.

[03:45:00] He joins us now live from Beijing. Good to see you again, Matt. So, Beijing has previously warned the U.S. that if it went ahead and imposed these new tariffs on Chinese imports it would cut off all trade talks with the U.S. So, where does this leave the two nations? Is it too premature to call this a trade war right now?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, I think it is very safe to say that we are in the midst of an escalating trade war. Now only are we in it, but things are likely going to get worse, Rosemary. We did just get the first official response within the last half an hour so from China ministry of commerce, here in Beijing.

They responded specifically to President Trump's announcement of these new $200 billion in tariff. They weren't super-specific. But said in order to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests and global free trade order, China will have to adopt counter measures at the same time.

So what we can look into and read is that China is going to retaliate against these U.S. tariffs as soon as they go into effect. They are going to follow that path. That is what we saw during the first round of tariffs that were put in effect by both sides. A $50 billion worth on either side. And it is likely going to be exactly how we see that play out next week on September 24. When the U.S. puts it new round of tariffs into effect.

Now, exactly what China is going to do they haven't spelled it out completely yet. But previously they did said they plan on putting about $60 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on American imports here to China. So that is the rough figure. It hasn't been finalized by the Chinese government yet. There's other things they can do in addition to that. Quantitatively speaking $60 billion in tariffs is the number that we're likely looking at. The Chinese is going to respond next week. So, this tit-for-tat trade war goes on, Rosemary. The Chinese saying they will retaliate. When the U.S. tariffs go into effect next week.

CHURCH: It is making people very nervous. Our Matt Rivers, bringing us all the updates on that from Beijing. Many thanks. Well, the Trump administration will slash the number of refugee

admissions to record low next year. This year's cap of 45,000 will be lowered to 30,000 in 2019. Our senior diplomatic correspondent, Michelle Kosinski has more.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: The admission of refugees to the U.S. have already been at record low. In a four decades that this program existed. The current fiscal year cap was set at 45,000 refugees' admissions. Now the Secretary of State announces this administration is dropping that to 30,000. So you clearly see this stance of the administration. The direction it's moving in. Especially when you consider even with the current 45,000 cap. If you look at how many refugees have actually been admitted so far? In 2018, it's only around 20,000. So now the lower cap doesn't mean that even 30,000 will eventually be admitted. You have to compare that to the prior administration.

Under Obama, that administration wanted to see given the current humanitarian crisis around the world. 110,000 refugees admitted per year. This is a stark contrast to that. And we know that some within the White House including the President himself and his adviser Steven Miller wanted to see the cap set even lower.

Others within the administration wanted to see it capped at 45,000. You see the compromise was reached there. But still it is a record low. Secretary of State wanted to emphasize that the U.S. and his words is the most generous nation in the world. Gives a lot of money to humanitarian causes. He also said that in the next fiscal year, 280,000 asylum applications will be processed. That is a huge number. But keep in mind that doesn't mean that is how many people will be granted asylum. The last several years the number of people given asylum and admitted into the U.S. that way has hovered pretty steadily around 25,000 a year.

So they are processing a lot of applications. We'll see how many are actually admitted. This is already drawing some harsh criticism from groups like refugee international. Who call the new lower cap for refugee appalling? Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the State Department.


CHURCH: And Straight ahead here on CNN Newsroom. People stick together during tough times and as it turns out, so do ants. We will show you the interesting way they are surviving the floods of hurricane Florence.


CHURCH: One lesson we learned from hurricane Florence and every other natural disaster. Everybody needs to stick together to survive. Taking that message literally. Ants. Our Jeanne Moss, explains.

(BEGIN VIDEO) JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Floating in the flood waters. It

looks like non discreet vegetation until you notice it's moving. Yuck, yikes, ant islands. Reporters covering the storm are tweeting images of islands of red ants. The kind that sting. And expert Adrian Smith, lets them sting him. After they first probe for a promising spot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look right here between the (inaudible), you can see her extend her mouth. Her tongue basically and actually lick my finger.

MOOS: Before inserting her stinger with its drop of venom. Fantasy island in ain't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the water level rises the ants cling to each other. Forming a living raft.

MOOS: Their bodies are waxy. Water resistant. They take turns being tops and bottoms. Look how tough the raft is. Tweeted one admirer, it is strangely heartwarming to see a species that sticks together in hard times. But not everyone's heart was warmed.

Thank you for a week of nightmares.

OK, it could be worse.

[03:55:00] These maybe smaller than them, but they are way more of them. Imagine these ants in your pants. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: Inspiring little creatures aren't they? So it was a marvelous night at the 70th annual Emmy Awards as the stars came out to honor television's best, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel led the field winner with five Emmys, including best comedy series. While HBO's series Game of thrones won best drama and best supporting actor for Peter Dinklage. And it was actually Director Glen Weiss who stole the show. When he took the stage to accept his award and used the moment to propose to his girlfriend, Jan Spencer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom always believed in finding the sunshine in things and she adored my girlfriend, Jan. Jan, you are the sunshine in my life. And mom was right, don't ever let go of your sunshine. You wonder why I don't like to call you my girlfriend, because I want to call you my wife. Jan, I want to put this ring that my mom wore on her finger. In front of all of these people and in front of my mom and your parents watching from above. Will you marry me?


CHURCH: Very sweet. I guess he figured out, she did actually say yes. Thanks for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter at rosemarycnn. Love to hear from you. Early Start is next. For our viewers here in the U.S. and for everyone else, stay tuned for more news with our Max Foster in London. Have yourselves a great day.