Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

The Woman Accusing The President's Nominee Here Of Physical And Sexual Assault May, Indeed, Testify Next Week; The Administration Has, Again, Lost Track Of Nearly 1,500 Children Of Alleged Illegal Immigrants; A Southern California Prosecutor Says More Women Are Coming Forward, Accusing A Popular Surgeon And His Girlfriend Of Sexual Assault; 56 People Have Now Been Arrested - 56 - Outside Of The Chairman Of The Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley's Office; President Trump Has Made It One Of His Core Missions To Eradicate The Ms-13 Gang From The United States, Frequently Calling The Gang Members Violent Animals. Aired: 3:30-4:00p ET

Aired September 20, 2018 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE BALDWIN, ANCHOR, CNN: ... who have come forward to care for migrant children. We have those details. The numbers, next.

Getting back to the breaking news here on the Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, the woman accusing the President's nominee here of physical and sexual assault may, indeed, testify next week, may. But an attorney for Christine Blasey Ford says it will not be Monday. That is the day the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing and they said, of course, this is the caveat and that they need to ensure her safety if she does so.

[13:35:03]

BALDWIN: Judge Kavanaugh is set to be there. However, there are many other details that need to be negotiated. So let's go to the White House, to our correspondent there, Kaitlan Collins and you tell me, how is it there in our bureau, you tell me, how is the Trump administration reacting to all of this?

KAITLAN COLLINS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Brooke, this could change things for them because before this letter got sent to them, this e-mail essentially jump starting these negotiations for her to come testify on Capitol Hill, the White House had been feeling pretty confident that she wasn't going to come forward and they thought that if Christine Blasey Ford did not come forward, tell her story, detail what she says happened to her from Judge Brett Kavanaugh that they actually had a pretty good chance of getting him confirmed next week and there was a chance they could vote.

Now that confidence only increased after they heard remarks from people like Senator Susan Collins saying that she didn't think it would be fair to Brett Kavanaugh if Christine Blasey Ford didn't come forward and testify about what she has accused him of doing. So this might shift things a little bit for them because of course, at the beginning of this week, before all of this drama had really changed so much here in Washington, the White House's biggest concern was that she would come forward, that she would testify, and that she would make a very convincing argument and despite Kavanaugh maintaining his innocence, could sway the vote of people like Senator Susan Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski.

So it so will be interesting to see how the White House responds to this. Of course, Brooke, we reported earlier today that President Trump had been boasting about the positive coverage that he'd gotten for taking such a measured response to this accuser, saying that she should come forward and say that she should be heard, while still defending his Supreme Court nominee.

Now, of course, aides in the White House were stunned with the President and actually had been so restrained, but a few that I spoke to said, of course, that could change in a minute's notice or with any kind of development. And you would have to think that a development like this could generate a response from the President.

BALDWIN: Indeed. Indeed, it will, I'm sure. Kaitlan Collins, thank you. And just a quick programming note. Of course, tonight, when you're tuned into "AC 360," the attorney for Christine Blasey Ford will join Anderson for an interview. So that's 8:00 Eastern here on CNN.

We are also following several new developments in the Trump administration's hard-line policy on stopping undocumented immigration. First, we're learning the administration has, again, lost track of nearly 1,500 children. On top of that, CNN has exclusive reporting that many of the adults who were coming forward to care for children in ICE custody have now been arrested themselves.

CNN's Tal Kopan has been on top of this from the very beginning. What have you learned?

TAL KOPAN, POLITICAL REPORTER, CNN: Well, Brooke, so we have brand- new breaking information that confirms the fears of many immigrants and their advocates that ICE has actually arrested dozens of immigrants who came forward to take in these children who are in the custody of the government, who came to the US by themselves.

Now, this is actually related to the fact that once again, over a three-month span, HHS could not locate 1,500 of the children it had released from custody. After that information broke, in the wake of other stories about these children being placed with unsuitable adults, a memorandum of agreement was signed between HHS and ICE to better vet the people that come forward.

Now, immigrants and their advocates feared that would be used to go after undocumented people who come forward. This confirms that, in fact, of 41 people arrested after that agreement was signed, 70% of them were arrested on routine immigration violations, not criminal charges. So, in fact, this seems to confirm those fears that coming forward to take in an undocumented child out of custody, you then turn around and arrest those immigrants who came forward.

BALDWIN: You get punished. As you're reporting out that, tell me, Tal, what can you - the plan to divert $260 million to cover the cost of housing undocumented kids. What's the story there? KOPAN: Yes, that's right. This is also related. So as it becomes

harder for these children to leave custody, in part because of this enhanced vetting, the numbers in custody are skyrocketing. And we've learned that HHS has actually requested to divert more than $260 million from other funds within the agency to cover care. Now, this is something that tends to happen every year, but certainly raises questions about costs being diverted from cancer research, from broader health research, from HIV/AIDS treatment programs. These are all being diverted at the end of the fiscal year to go cover now the increased cost of keeping more of these undocumented children in detention for long periods of time.

BALDWIN: Tal Kopan with the exclusive reporting, thank you ...

KOPAN: Thank you.

BALDWIN: ... so much for sharing that. Coming up next, prosecutors say at least six more victims have come forward in that rape case against a California surgeon. Remember, he was once on a reality TV show. We will share the chilling story from one woman who says she may have narrowly avoided an attack by him.

[15:35:04]

BALDWIN: A southern California prosecutor says more women are coming forward, accusing a popular surgeon and his girlfriend of sexual assault. Grant Robicheaux and Cerissa Riley have already been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting at least two women. Investigators are now reviewing videos and photos found on the surgeon's phone that say could lead to even more victims.

One woman who says she dated Robicheaux told CNN affiliate KTLA that he once tried to attack her, but she never reported it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAUREN HAYDEN, VICTIM: He took me to his Jacuzzi, where he kept trying to rip off my top, and I kept trying just to put it back on. I kept trying to like escape and he kept pulling at my clothing. It didn't hit me until last night, when I saw the news article and I just started ...

[15:45:13]

HAYDEN: ... bawling and I just felt like, "What an idiot? Like, how could I fall for that?" He's disgusting, he's deplorable. He's like - he's a monster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Monster. Sara Sidner is with us, our CNN national correspondent, digging on this. And you tell me, how many women have come forward?

SARA SIDNER, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: So far, the number has jumped. It started with two, that is how they ended up making the charges. Now we're at eight. Six more women in just the last 24 hours have come forward to say that they, too, are victims of the surgeon and his girlfriend, Dr. Robicheaux and Cerissa Riley. I do want to mention something. I did get a chance to talk to that young lady that we just heard from who had a run-in in with him where she says he attacked her.

And she says she has now gone to the police. She was inspired to do so after hearing these women coming forward and also having seen the story suddenly, it just made it very clear to her that she had been attacked and she would be believed. And she wants to make sure this never happens to another single woman. But here is the really disturbing part of this story.

Beyond some of the details of what happened here, that they used drugs like GHB, which is the date rape drug, to render these women helpless, unconscious in some cases, police say they also, once they arrested this couple, they found a thousand videos on Dr. Robicheaux's phone.

And they say those videos show explicit scenes and that some of the women are either unconscious or semi-conscious and could not have given consent, according to investigators. So that is a very important note that police are sharing with the public, that they actually have evidence in this case, which you rarely hear about. But because of that, they are asking people to come forward, that they will be believed, that they have a lot of people on these videos and they think there are potentially not just dozens, but hundreds of potential victims out there. Brooke?

BALDWIN: Wow. Wow. I just can't imagine being one of these women who has yet to come forward and hearing that there are all of these videos on this phone. And do you know, was this all happening in one specific area? Where these alleged crimes were being committed, or was it broader?

SIDNER: So he is in Newport Beach. And initially, a lot of people thought that it was localized, that he was dating people, but it turns out, a lot of this was on Tinder. The young woman we talked to says she met him on Tinder and police have put out a map showing the different places where he has gone including Nevada, that he - Arizona, and they've pinpointed some cities where he has been.

He went to Burning Man with his girlfriend, so they are looking in other states, not just other parts of California, to see if there are multiple victims there as well. Brooke?

BALDWIN: A thousand videos on the phone.

SIDNER: Yes.

BALDWIN: Sara Sidner, stay on it for us. Thank you so much, from California. This afternoon, just into CNN, 56 people have now been arrested - 56 - outside of the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley's office, as they are protesting the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

This is, as we have learned just in the last hour, that Christine Blasey Ford through her lawyer is saying that she is prepared to testify, provided that they ensure her safety. A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee speaks to CNN live minutes from now.

But first, let's take a moment for our segment we call "Mighty Millennials." It highlights a new generation of political candidates and in New Hampshire, a 27-year-old woman could make history as the first refugee ever elected to public office in that state. Safiya Wazir's family fled the Taliban in Afghanistan when she was six years of age and immigrated to the US when she was 16.

Wazir went on to become a US citizen and received a business degree. She is now a mother of two with a third baby on the way in January. and something that Wazir's opponent in the Democratic primary tried to use against her saying, quote, "How are you going to be in the statehouse with two kids and one on the way?" That opponent, who also expressed anti-immigrant sentiments, says he is now planning to support her Republican opponent in November, Dennis Soucy. We'll be right back.

[15:50:00]

BALDWIN: All right, just in. ABC News has just confirmed that former President Trump's attorney Michael Cohen has participated in multiple interview sessions with investigators from special counsel Robert Mueller's team. The interviews apparently lasted four hours, so we will have much more on the Cohen developments in mere moments.

But let's get to this, President Trump has made it one of his core missions to eradicate the MS-13 gang from the United States, frequently calling the gang members violent animals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're restoring immigration enforcement at levels that our country has never seen before and taking the fight to the criminal gangs like MS-13 where we're decimating those animals. They are animals. What they do is horrible, horrible. And we're making the immigration system work for Americans, but we're cleaning out towns of those MS-13 gangsters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:5:16]

BALDWIN: It has become a political talking point, but what is it really like inside the fight against MS-13? Lisa Ling found out as part of her new season "This Is Life With Lisa Ling" which premieres Sunday night, it is always such a pleasure to see you. I'm such a fan of your show. You embedded with law enforcement to see what it's like from the inside. What was that like?

LISA LING, HOST, THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING: Look, I think the Trump administration wants us to believe that MS-13 is this transatlantic criminal organization, but the reality is, even though there are large numbers of them, they are a pretty disorganized street gang. The reason why they make headlines is because the killings that they perpetrate are - they are absolutely savage, but they - their victims are mostly people in the community, and over the last couple of years, it's really been young kids, primarily unaccompanied minors who have showed up on the US-Mexico border from Central America.

BALDWIN: Here's a clip. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LING: These weapons were confiscated from MS-13 members.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yeah.

LING: These machetes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's kind of the tools of the trade for MS.

LING: Are there other gangs who use machetes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just based on my experience, it is a characteristic for MS-13. We see this a lot down in El Salvador.

LING: I feel chills because I watched the video of the Damaris killing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes.

LING: You know, when you shoot someone, it's immediate, but with these knives ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a torture.

LING: Brutal killing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of times you can literally have one machete, one knife, and then you're just passing it around. They do that just because they are involved with the murder which then makes them to a higher level within the gang.

LING: In Central America, machetes like these were adopted by MS-13 as part of their brand. Weapons that not only spread terror, but also leave psychological wounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we look at these young kids, they are coming from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala. At an early age, these kids are seeing killings. These kids are seeing bodies in the street, so when they bring that up here, you're not dealing with a 12-year-old or a 13-year-old. You're dealing with an adult who has seen tragedy upon tragedy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So law enforcement, who did you talk to, and did you get a sense that they are winning this war against MS-13?

LING: Yes, we talked to social workers. We talked to a man who has become a pastor actually. He left MS-13 and became a pastor, and you know, the issue of MS-13 is really complex which is why I hope people will watch the show on Sunday and read the piece that I just wrote on cnn.com because the US actually has had a role in this monstrous evolution of MS-13 and ...

BALDWIN: And what's next?

LING: The US funded corrupt governments throughout the Civil Wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, and then deported hundreds - tens of thousands of gangsters back to their home countries throughout the 1990s, countries that didn't have a gang problem, but were still reeling from brutal Civil War.

But if you want to get a sense of things that seemed to be working, certainly - certainly, communities need to increase law enforcement because, again, this gang is a savage one, but I think that community outreach is really important, and people can't feel scared to report to authorities. They can't be afraid of getting deported, and when I mention the man who became a member of the clergy, so when you join MS-13it's blood in, blood out. You come in, and the understanding is you will die with this gang.

You'll either end up in the hospital, in prison or dead, but there is one way that you can leave the gang alive, and that is if you have a religious conversion.

BALDWIN: No kidding.

LING: If you become a Christian, and hundreds of MS-13 members in El Salvador have made this religious conversion. Members here in the United States, but the gang will be watching you, and if your conversion is not authentic, they will kill you.

BALDWIN: Tune in on Sunday night.

LING: I hope people do.

BALDWIN: "This Is Life," 10:00 airs right after "Parts Unknown." Read here piece on cnn.com and just quickly, quickly give me 15- second preview of anything else coming up.

LING: We cover an amazing episode about gender fluidity, people who don't feel entirely male or female. We cover the scourge of methamphetamine throughout states like Oklahoma, and we do a really, real interesting piece about people who call themselves furies. It's actually really compelling and sweet.

BALDWIN: We'll tune in. Lisa, thank you so much.

LING: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: And thanks for being with me. I'm Brooke Baldwin, "The Lead" starts right now.

[16:00:12]