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Trump Chairs U.N. Meeting on Weapons of Mass Destruction; Netanyahu: "American-Israeli Alliance has never been Stronger"; Ford Offers Senate Sworn Affidavits from Four People to Corroborate her Kavanaugh Assault Claim. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired September 26, 2018 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we will make a deal. But unfortunately, to ensure this progress continues, we must enforce existing U.N. Security Council resolutions until denuclearization occurs.
However, we have detected that some nations are already violating these U.N. sanctions. This includes illegal ship-to-ship transfers, which must end immediately. The safety of the Korean Peninsula, the region, and the world, depends on full compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. Very, very important.
But most importantly, I believe that Chairman Kim Jong-un, a man I have gotten to know and like, wants peace and prosperity for North Korea. Many things are happening behind the scenes - away from the media, which nobody knows - but they are happening nevertheless and they are happening in a very positive way. So I think you will have some very good news coming from North Korea in the coming months and years.
I also very much appreciate what President Moon of South Korea had to say about me last night in television interviews. Working with President Moon has been my great honor. And likewise, working with President Xi of China and Prime Minister Abe of Japan has been a pleasure and an honor.
Each of us follows in the footsteps of countless world leaders, diplomats, and public servants who came here to the United Nations with the same noble goal, to build a future worthy of the patriots - true, true patriots - who sacrificed their lives for our nation and for our future.
To be successful, we need a commitment of every nation represented in this chamber. Acting together, we can replace the horrors of war with the blessings of safety and the beautiful promise of peace.
Thank you very much.
I now resume my function as president of the Security Council and give the floor to the President of France. JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: You just heard President Trump there completing his remarks at the U.N. Security Council, the topic nonproliferation. The president taking particular aim at Iran and China there including a charge of Chinese interference in the upcoming midterm elections, we're going to have a chance to break this down more after this short break.
[10:37:44] SCIUTTO: As we have been on break we have been listening to the French President Emmanuel Macron who followed President Trump and delivering really a markedly different view of the world. Defending the Iran deal is imperfect but the best way forward, to denuclearize Iran and North Korea saying no one should be fooled by North Korea's steps so far.
Christiane Amanpour, the direct opposite of what the president said. He claims success on North Korea and again, attacked Iran.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Precisely. I think what you are seeing now with President Macron is sort of a unified stance between the Europeans and the other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal. And as Macron says and as everybody knows, even critics in the United States who are not just being political, they believe that of course, there are other issues to talk about with Iran.
All of that stuff, Syria, all of that -- incredibly, President Trump said thank you to Iran and Russia and Syria for not going and massacring hundreds of thousands of people in Idlib on their agenda, on their timetable. So there is a lot of one step forward, two steps backyards.
But on this issue of proliferation, you know the president says one of our biggest responsibilities is to prevent as he calls this rogue regime in Iran from getting the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction. Well that was what the Iran nuclear deal was about. So the Europeans and the other signatories say, well, hang on we've done that. Now you pulled out of it and not only that, you are threatening us, your allies with this, he said grave consequences.
I mean it was a very dark threat to the allies and anybody else who said any individual entity doing business with Iran wants the full set of U.S. sanctions going to this will have very severe consequences.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: We have to think what those consequences could be.
AMANPOUR: There are financial consequences. But he is -- he is threatening the sovereignty of his own allies on this issue. These are U.S. sanctions and they are not U.N. sanctions. The Iran nuclear deal is a U.N. law basically -- U.N. Security Council resolution. So there is a big model now as to how to go forward on trying to you know deal with nonproliferation plus trying to get Iran to talk about those other issues of concern.
HARLOW: Christiane, thank you. Your analysis is so important as always. I know you have to hop to get to your own show and your day job. We appreciate your insight on all of this.
[10:40:03] AMANPOUR: Thank you.
HARLOW: Let's get to the other panelists, as well. Elise Labott, let me just jump to you on something significant, that the president said in this bilateral with this really, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that we did not see because the camera feed cut out. But it was incredibly significant and it is his words that he now believes according to President Trump that a two state solution when it comes to Israel and when it comes to the region in the Middle East, a two state solution -- the president's own words, would work, quote, "best." This is from someone who had abandoned the U.S. commitment to that. What changed?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you remember he said I don't know, could be one state, it could be two states, it could be red states, it could be blue states. I mean whatever the parties really decided. And so you have had Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, the other international peace negotiator for the Middle East traveling the region trying to put this peace plan together. The president we understand is you know forth coming. President Trump put a little bit firmer of a timeline on it and said two to four months.
And our understanding from talking to people familiar with the plan, they've really keeping it very close but that it does call for a two- state solution. That it's going to have, you know, it's going to be very tough on the Palestinians because they feel that you know the situation has changed over the years. But now they say it's also going to ask Israel for compromises. And that involves a two state solution. And I think -
LABOTT: -- Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to be very surprised when he heard that President Trump said that today.
SCIUTTO: The question is whether that is a realistic plan considering there are many Palestinians who have given up on the two state solution --
HARLOW: Who won't come back to the table right now --
SCIUTTO: To Tony Blinken, on the president's comments there, as you listen to him and you listen to him again at odds with his closest allies on these two key nuclear challenges, right? Iran and North Korea from the president and from Macron, the French president, you heard two diametrically opposed views of those issues.
TONY BLINKEN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It really is "Alice in Wonderland." First of all, it is kind of ironic, the president was chairing a session on nonproliferation and there was nary a word on really on nonproliferation. There was no agenda on nonproliferation, there was no policy, he didn't tell us what the United States plan was. It pivoted within about 30 seconds to what he was really trying to do, which is attack Iran.
And then the world is upside down because as Christiane said very appropriately, the one place we actually have an agreement with Iran that dealt with this problem was the nuclear deal that president up. Meanwhile, he is wanting the merits of the progress made with North Korea. The fact is, North Korea has not taken a single concrete irreversible step in terms of curbing its nuclear and missile program. If he gets to the point with North Korea where there really is something on the table, is he actually going to be able to meet the standard of the Iran deal, the deal that he's so derided?
The Iranians dismantled virtually all of their program up front. They allowed the most intrusive inspections regime in the history of arms control. Let's see if President Trump can meet that same standard with North Korea.
Meanwhile, the bottom line is this. The president is right. Iran shouldn't get a nuclear weapon. That is exactly what the nuclear deal worked to prevent. It was the best way we had on getting there.
Final thing I will say is this, Jim. What is really unfortunate is the president had an opportunity some months ago to get the Europeans and others to do more in the areas that we really care about, Iran's support for terrorism, the missile program, its malign activities in the region, the Europeans were ready to sign up to do more. They just asked that the president stick with the nuclear deal. But when he tore that up, he lost the possibility of bringing Europeans along.
HARLOW: Tony, that's a great point.
I mean, David, finally, just you to button it up. What do you think the president's effort was today with those words at the Security Council. Is he making any effort to get the Europeans on board? Because as Jim said, he could not be more diametrically opposed when it comes to Iran and the policy and the U.S. pulling out of the agreement. Does the president know this is going to remain a go it alone strategy on the part of the United States or does he expect that his words will somehow bring our closest allies in Europe on board?
DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know it is always hard to tell because the president likes to talk about all of these challenges. It is really easy to solve now that he is in charge. I think Secretary of State Pompeo and John Bolton both have an understanding of how challenging these issues are. I think that is why Bolton has tried to temper the president when it comes to North Korea policy. And one of the reasons he is talking so tough about Iran is I think he understands how hard it's going to be to bring Iran to heal if your point of view is that the Iran deal slowed the country's march toward a nuclear weapon but didn't necessarily cut it off and that the only way to deal with all of the extraneous issues of terrorism and their designs on the region was to put it all together. I think the president wants to show other countries that he is being tough. I think he wants to show his domestic audience that he is being tough. And now it is on him to deliver.
[10:45:00] SCIUTTO: When they talk to North Korea he doesn't talk about a comprehensive -
DRUCKER: Which is a big contradiction and that he treats North Korea in a way that he doesn't treat Iran which with Iran he is going to traditional route. And with North Korea, a complete role reversal that if a Democratic president was doing it, probably Donald Trump as a citizen and every other Republican would be attacking left and right.
HARLOW: Thank you, David. Good to have you all.
SCIUTTO: Elise, Tony, as well, thanks so much. We're going to be right back.
[10:49:00] SCIUTTO: Welcome back. The other major story we're following today. CNN has obtained sworn declarations that were submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee last night in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. This comes as we are learning more about what tomorrow's hearing is going to look like. We have lots of new information to comb through.
CNN's Ariane de Vogue in Washington, also CNN's Manu Raju on Capitol Hill.
First, Ariane, if we can start with you, you have these - both these affidavits in support of Ford, but also you have a calendar released by the Supreme Court nominee calendar from some 35 years ago, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Ariane de Vogue: Right, Poppy and Jim. So this isn't a trial, right? It's a hearing. But both sides are still going to produce evidence, right? And so for Christine Blasey Ford, her biggest problem here is that she has no real-time corroboration. She didn't tell anybody at the time. But she has produced these affidavits from her friends where she told them much later but she did tell them the details.
[10:50:00] For instance, one, Adela Gildo-Mazzon, she knew her in 2013. They had dinner at a restaurant and she said that Ford said she was almost raped by some someone who is now a federal judge. Another one, Keith Koegler, he said not only did she tell him in the summer of 2016, but interestingly after Justice Kennedy stepped down. She also brought it up. Another friend Rebecca White said it in 2017. And perhaps most impactful Ford's own husband has sent in an affidavit and he says that they talked about it in 2012 during marital counseling. And she actually brings up Kavanaugh's name, right?
So that is Ford's evidence. And on the other side you have judge Kavanaugh. And he is trying to reconstruct almost 30 years ago. He has produced these documents that are his calendar. They don't show the party, but they show everything else he was doing at the time, some doodling, something like go to Grease 3, a movie. He wants to show how busy he was. And that is what both sides have now produced here. And that is what we discuss tomorrow.
HARLOW: Right. And as we hear, let's bring Manu into the conversation. You know, we're going to hear the Democrats with their questions for Judge Kavanagh and for Dr. Ford. We are not going to hear the 11 Republicans on the Judiciary Committee. They have turned over their time for questioning to a sex crimes prosecutor. It's an extraordinary decision. It is being criticized by Ford's attorneys and by some of the Democrats. Why did they make the decision and what do they hope plays out as a result?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The person that they named Rachel Mitchell, she is a long-time prosecutor, actually she has been since 1993. She actually is from Arizona, worked in the Maricopa County office, deputy county attorney's office. She was a deputy county attorney, I should say, until she took leave. Also, she is in charge of the special crimes victims unit where she was involved with child - with sex crimes prosecution for some time.
Now Republicans are concerned, of course, about looking insensitive and their very sharp line of questioning. They say they want to take the politics out of it so are giving it over their time to outside council whom they have hired. Of course, Democrats are going to do their own questioning and say, the Republican senators did ask questions themselves because they are the ones who are ultimately going to vote. They may decide to chime in, but for the most part expect Ms. Mitchell to do most of the questioning on the Republican side.
HARLOW: It's interesting.
SCIUTTO: It is going to be a remarkable, remarkable moment. Ariane, Manu, thank you very much.
HARLOW: Thank you,
SCIUTTO: We are joined now by CNN legal analyst Paul Callan and our chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
But Paul, as a lawyer, I ask you to assess this new evidence really, that's been presented by both sides here. First of all, does the fact that Ford shared her story with friends several years ago - and they are now attesting to that. If these were a trial and it's going to look like a trial to some degree, the prosecutor asking questions. If this were a trial, would that be meaningful evidence?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well I think to ordinary people it looks very meaningful that she repeated the story at a time when Kavanaugh was not in controversy. But I will tell you, that if we were in a court of law it would not be admissible in evidence. There's a doctrine in law that's called the doctrine of fresh complaint. If a woman complains to somebody else around the time of the assault, that is admissible. But these complaints occurred 20 years later and would not fit into that doctrine. I will raise one other thing for consideration. The federal rules of evidence say even that if a defendant in a case was convicted of a crime, if the crime was more than 10 years old presumptively it is not admissible because they think it's too prejudicial and it shouldn't fell before the jury.
SCIUTTO: Just quickly. So now Kavanaugh has submitted his calendars from many years ago which do not list this party during that period. But of course you might not have written on that party. I'm just curious how would a court look at that? Would they look at that as relevant or influential at all?
CALLAN: I think that would be looked at as relevant. But whether it's going to help them or hurt them, I mean how weird is that that we have got calendars from when he was in high school which raises I think the final question that nobody is really talking about and that is this functions on two levels. One, did it happen? But the other is if it happened in high school and he had too much to drink, should we be looking at something that somebody did in high school. How far back do we reach? I can't remember any other Senate hearing where we went back to the high school record of somebody when being considered for a position. It's unusual. So I think those are the two things that people should be conscious of when they look at the hearing.
HARLOW: Go ahead.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Of course, the difference is that this is directly in the middle of this massive cultural movement, MeToo, that is affecting men and women across the board and it's time appointment to the --
HARLOW: And there are lessons learned perhaps from 1991 and Anita Hill and hearing the full story or witnesses, et cetera. Or maybe not lessons learned because we are only hearing from two witnesses tomorrow.
[10:55:06] Dana, on the president's strategy, he called it a con game by Democrats yesterday. He said that this second accuser Deborah Ramirez from Yale was all messed up. And this morning we just heard live on our show, he said that the Republicans are being nicer than he would be by delaying these two weeks. This is in the face of a key Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski saying this woman was a victim at some point in her life and needs to be heard. What is the White House strategy on this?
BASH: I'm not so sure that this is an actual strategy. I think it is more of a President Trump going to default position and going to where his comfort zone is on these issues. And that is to fight and to fight hard. The other thing that is going on is the last part that you said that was new this morning when the president said that the Republicans on the committee are being nicer than I would, that is a growing sort of siren call from the conservative base and from sort of people in and around the Judiciary Committee and the president saying, OK, enough. You are being too nice which obviously is ironic because on the other side you have the Democrats saying where is the FBI investigation? We are moving too fast.
So there is no question that the unfortunate state of our absolutely split open politics - partisan politics is allowing this process to be done and forcing this process to be done in a way that is not helpful to anybody. It's unfortunate.
SCIUTTO: And painful.
BASH: Very painful.
SCIUTTO: Dana Bash, Paul Callan, thanks very much.
HARLOW: Again, this all kicks off tomorrow morning 10:00 a.m. Eastern. We will see it all live right here, special coverage tomorrow morning. Thanks for being with us today. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.
SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto. "At This Hour" with Kate Bolduan starts right after a quick break.