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Trump's Position on Ford Not Reporting Assault Creates Debate; Senator Collins Criticizes Trump; CNN Hero Helping Girls Fill the Gender Gap in Kenya; Anthony Bourdain Last Season Begins. Aired 3:30- 4p ET

Aired September 21, 2018 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] EMMA JORDAN, MEMBER OF ANITA HILL'S LEGAL TEAM: Sexual assaults are vastly underreported and more importantly 15-year-old girls have a lot of shame associated with having been the victim of such an attack. So, the effort to manipulate the framework that surrounds the witness that is very similar. In fact, Senator Hatch -- Senator Simpson asked -- Professor Hill, asked her, why didn't you report it? Did he touch you? And questions that at that time bee lied a sense of understanding of what this experience consists of so we are in a moment where we can continue to make progress slowly to understand what this kind of experience includes. There are a couple of things that are different and one of them concerns me. It is different for the members of the committee to identify a lawyer, and I've heard that they are looking for a woman litigator, to question Dr. Ford. I'm concerned about that because that presents the framework that this is a trial. It isn't a trial. This is not Judge Judy where we bring people in and there's this back and forth. This is a serious commitment that our elected officials have been elected to give their best judgment and to represent us in that role. So, I'm concerned about that.

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: In that vein let me pick up on that point. Some Republicans have floated the idea that we could hire outside counsel, bring outside counsel in. That is not something as we heard from Ford's attorneys that they want. There's also been the point raised that if Senators are going to do the questioning, Senators should do the questioning.

JORDAN: Yes, I think they should. Because there is political public accountability in that questioning. In the 27 years since Professor Hill testified, Professor Ford is going to be making her testimony in a nation that has learned a lot about sexual assaults. We have religious circumstances, religious situations, where young people have been sexually abused and we know it takes a long time. So, we know a lot more now than we did then.

HILL: In terms of that, how would you help to prepare Christine Blasey Ford for this moment that is coming at her, especially in light of what we have heard from different folks, including Kellyanne Conway who suggested that maybe she didn't remember the details or had maybe mixed up perhaps who the 17-year-old boy was involved. That's one of the few times we have heard a direct statement from her saying there's zero chance she mixed up the identity. There are questions being brought up about her age, about how intoxicated people were. How do you prepare someone for those questions that you know are coming?

JORDAN: Well, what you do is to make them review the truth and to help them anchor their testimony in the truth and not be pushed into stretching or making claims or representations that are not consistent with their recollection. And I think she is an outstanding academic, she has 50 publications to her credit in her field. So, she's used to speaking, that shouldn't be a problem, but this kind of hot cauldron with death threats being issued against her and her family, having to move, that -- who can prepare someone for that? I think her family will be important, her husband will be important and her own self- confidence from her years of investment in her career will be important anchors to help her weather this storm. I --

HILL: Emma Jordan, appreciate you taking the time today an appreciate your insight. You certainly have a unique perspective on all of this. Thank you again.

JORDAN: Thank you.

HILL: We're back in a moment.


HILL: The sexual assault accusation against Brett Kavanaugh is dividing Washington and voters. CNN's Randi Kaye sat down with some Republican female voters to talk more about it.


RANDI KAYE, CNN HOST: A show of hands, how many of you believe judge Kavanaugh when he says this didn't happen?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe him I do, too.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can we believe the word of a woman of something that happened 36 years ago when this guy has an impeccable reputation. Nobody has spoken ill will about him, everyone who speaks about him this guy is an alter boy, a scout, you know, because one woman made an allegation, sorry, I don't buy it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But in the grand scheme of things, my goodness, there was no intercourse. There was maybe a touch. Can we -- really? 36 years later? She's still stuck on that had it happened.


[14:10:20] HILL: Joining me now to discuss CNN political commentators Tara Setmayer and Margaret Hoover. Tara, let's get to your reaction to what you just heard.

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's a shame that tribalism has become so intense that even women are eating their own in this case. I mean, we as women go through unique experiences all the time and I'm sure almost all of us know someone that has a story about a man who did something inappropriate with them or know someone that did. My own family my mother was sexual assaulted by a primary care doctor when she was in her 20s and she never reported that. Why? I asked her why didn't you ever report that, mom? She ended up shoving the guy against the wall and taking out of the office and never said a word. She said he was embarrassed. I didn't think anyone would believe me. My mom is representative of millions of women who have experienced these kinds of traumatic events that never say anything and so for these women to continue to just blank this out and all of a sudden just -- not all of a sudden, but blame Christine Ford is that she has nothing else better to do than to just make up an allegation like this, I think is unfortunate. We need to take a look at ourselves not only as a society but as a party. Why is it that these executions are continuing to be made for these men who maybe he is innocent but don't victimize the accuser again because you have a political agenda. That's where we're going with this. The way the party is handling it I think is not a good thing.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: To be fair it's not the entire party. Susan Collins came out and bashed the President not moments ago.

SETMAYER: Thankfully today.

HOOVER: There are, and Tara, I don't know if you are still a Republican, I think you are and I think there are plenty of Republican women who I think are sympathetic to the position that Susan Collins articulated.

SETMAYER: They haven't been vocal enough.

HOOVER: I appreciate that there is, and I think what you put your finger on, Tara, is a conversation happening in this country and moments like this are inflection points and fault lines in the debates and in this national conversation where we raise awareness and have a conversation about what is acceptable behavior and what's not and why women don't come forward, right? They don't come forward for the reasons you articulated. There's fear, there's shame and there's frankly -- they're scared they're not going to be believed and they are going to be victimized as liars. I mean, that's just the beginning of the iceberg. The EEOC, the employment opportunity commission says that they got 12,000 reports last year of victimization in the workplace. Which is different than this. This is adolescents and alcohol and assault, but they think that 12,000 complaints -- 83 percent of which were women, and they think that's just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot baked into this and raising awareness, all of these times up, me too have raised awareness of these issues, but there is a long way to go.

HILL: There is a long way to go.

SETMAYER: The President of the United States tweeted this morning insulting all of the women and others, men even, who have been victimized by sexual assault and who have been afraid to come forward or who come forward years later. I have someone very close to me who was sexually molested as a child that didn't even recollect this until he was in therapy at 60 years old. There is study after study about this. Longitudinal studies about why sexual assault victims do not feel they can come forward. 63 percent do not report sexual assault. The chief of police in Houston responded to the President's tweet this morning saying unequivocally that sexual assault and rape and domestic violence are the most underreported crimes. This is undisputable yet we have the President of the United States and other members of congress making light of this as if this is a joke and it's not. This is going to haunt the Republican party with women voters moving forward. This is a grave mistake.

HILL: Tara and Margaret, there's certainly an opportunity for a better broader conversation and I will leave you with this from a former assistant DA, moving forward our societal response to accusations must take as given that sexual misconduct is wrong, wrong decades ago and wrong now. It remains to be seen whether the Senate will accept this as a starting point. If you want to see part of the conversation look right now at the #whyididn'treport. It will give you a lot to think about. Appreciate you both joining us as always.

We do want to stay on our breaking news, this bombshell report in the "New York Times" the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed the 25th amendment, suggested secretly recording President Trump in the spring of 2017.

[14:15:00] How Rosenstein is responding to that report ahead.


[14:20:00] HILL: His unique voice and perspective changed the way millions of people around the globe view food, travel and each other. This Sunday, you can join in for one more ride around the world as CNN brings you the final season of "Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown." here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Together, together, together!

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: Nairobi means cool water. It's the capital of Kenya, with 6.5 million people living in the metro area. He grew up around a British railroad depot, halfway between other British interests in Uganda and Mombasa.

I will admit, there were unlovely scents of been here, done that. It's not good look for me, I know. But there is curiosity that's dying to see how he handles that I will admit, there were unlovely scents of been here, done that. It's not good look for me, I know. But there is curiosity that's dying to see how he handles the heat, the spice, the crowds, the overwhelming rush of a whole new world, because that's what it is first time. This ain't Berkeley.


HILL: And joining me now, Kamau Bell, host of CNN's "United Shades of America." This was actually your first trip to America, the first time you worked with Tony.


HILL: Those are two big first times in one.

BELL: Yes.

HILL: What was it like for you?

BELL: I felt super fortunate we were documenting it and I was going with the world's greatest traveler. A lot of people were going to Africa for the first time, talking about how do you sort of process information. But I was with a guy whose job was to process information. And really made space for, like he was really clear. I'm here to watch you.

HILL: Right.

BELL: I've done a lot of this travel, as he said in that clip. And when I watched him, I realized how much he framed my experience there.

HILL: Yes, and so in watching it, did you learn even more about that experience? I mean, because you're seeing it now through -- in some ways, through his eyes.

BELL: But in some ways, I'm seeing it through my eyes, because I couldn't see myself, you know what I mean?

HILL: Right.

BELL: So, in that scene where they showed we were walking the streets, I didn't know I had that look on my face. I thought I was looking cool like tony was, you know what I mean? And I was clearly overwhelmed by everything I was taking in. Because as he said, it's a big city, a technicolor city, a mix of urban and rural on top of each other. And so, I didn't realize how much it was sort of like making my system shut down, you know. Or how much I was having to process it until I saw my face.

HILL: So many people when we learned of his death, whether they knew him or not, were really profoundly affected. They felt a connection to Anthony Bourdain. And even now, these promos run and I even stop for a second. You almost feel tears coming into your eyes because he had such an impact on people.

BELL: Yes.

HILL: So, for you to be able to take that journey with him, did it feel like you were with a friend? Did it feel like you were with this sort of larger than life figure? What was it like?

BELL: You know, he could have made it more like a tv show job than it was. He could have, like, really said, all right, kid. I know you're on the end of the show that follows me. We're going to shoot the thing, don't talk to me. The first day, he was eating breakfast and waved me over to sit down. So, it was about where two colleagues worked for the same company making the similar style of show, and we sort of -- and he and the crew said we're collaborating here. This is not about you being on our show. Do what you do on your show on our show.

HILL: Isn't that also who he was?

BELL: Yes.

HILL: Very inclusive, we're here, doing this thing together.

BELL: Yes. He made space at the table, but he didn't have to do that behind the scenes. He didn't have to do that when the cameras weren't rolling and really always made space at the table, and that was who he was. That's why he made that show.

HILL: How much of -- how much of what you saw and what you did together was what you said to him, hey, I want to try this or see this and how much was him really orchestrating the journey and saying, OK, this is your first trip, this is where I think you should go?

BELL: The interesting thing, I didn't talk to tony. We met at a couple CNN events. But we didn't talk in preproduction. I talked to the producer, mo. And so, I really blessed and released it and said, hey, I've never seen anything. I want to be on your show. The thing that told me, there's a segment where you talk about the LGBTQ community of Nairobi and was like, you address these issues on your show so I thought it was natural to put this on our show. They, of course, do that on Bourdain's show, too, but that was his way of thinking about how he sees my show.

HILL: What do you think his legacy is? His greatest impact?

BELL: Be a good guest. Pass the microphone. That's it. Don't be a bad tourist. Sit down at the table, don't always sit at the head of the table if it's not your table and let other people talk, learn how to listen.

HILL: That's a lot of what you do on your show.

BELL: I'm walking in the footsteps of one of the greats. And I respect that legacy and I'm still learning from him every day.

HILL: I can't wait to see the full episode. Great to have you here.

BELL: Thank you.

HILL: And congratulations as well on your wins, your Emmy wins.

BELL: Thank you.

HILL: Very nice.

The final episodes of "Parts Unknown" start this Sunday, 9:00 p.m., right here on CNN.

Up next, Republican Senator Susan Collins just reacting to President Trump saying she was appalled by his tweet on Brett Kavanaugh's accuser. You'll hear it, ahead.


HILL: The city of Lagos is known as Nigeria's Silicon Valley. It's a sector dominated by men, and that's something one successful computer programmer is determined to change. Helping her country's most disadvantaged girls fill that gender gap. Meet this week's CNN hero.


ABISOYE AJAYI-AKINFOLARIN, CNN HERO: When I went for the first time, I was surprised to see the living conditions. Most are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. Many of them are not thinking education. They plan for the future. What you can see, you can aspire to. They need to be shown another life.


HILL: For more, including how one 17-year-old girl is using technology to solve a problem in her community, just log on to

"THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper is next.