Return to Transcripts main page


Trump: Allegations Against Kavanaugh "False To Me"; Trump May Delay Meeting With Deputy Attorney General; Trump Accuses China of Trying to Meddle in Midterms; Trump: Kavanaugh Allegations A Big Fat Con Job; No Timeframe for North Korean Denuclearization. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 27, 2018 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, angry, confused and jump from topic to topic, U.S. president held his second solo news conference, defending his Supreme Court nominee and judge with sexual assault but he may have done more harm than good.

Also at the U.N. President Trump accused China of interfering in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.

And the proof, a full-page editorial taken out by the "China Daily" in the "Des Moines Register."

And back for an encore. We go inside the legendary Cherokee Studios here in Hollywood where so many iconic records have been cut, my interview with the industry icon, Henry Roland and David Lynch. (INAUDIBLE).

Welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause. Great to have you with us. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.


VAUSE: We've waited 587 days for Donald Trump to hold a solo news conference and on Wednesday during 81 bizarre minutes the president took questions from reporters and screamed with fragmented, scattered sentences. He jumped from one topic to the next. It was hard to follow and just plain difficult to understand at times.

Many questions focused on allegations of sexual assault, swirling around his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, already facing accusations from two women. On Wednesday another woman came forward. Julie Swetnick who claims in high school Kavanaugh was drunk and sexually aggressive at parties where women were drugged and gang- raped.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from Kavanaugh's first accuser. Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday. She's taken a polygraph test to support her claim that Kavanaugh held her down and tried to take off her clothes while they were at a high school party.

Kavanaugh denies all the allegations against him, including two others made anonymously. President Trump says he believes Kavanaugh and he's blaming Democrats for trying to destroy the character of his nominee.


TRUMP: Directly con artists because they know how quality this man is and they've destroyed a man's reputation and they want to destroy it even more. And I think people are going to see that in the midterms. What they've done to this family, what they've done to these children, these beautiful children of his, and what they've done to his wife.

And I know it's a big, fat con job and they go into Rome and I guarantee you they laugh like hell at what they pulled off when you and on the public they laugh like hell.


VAUSE: It a was a big day. So joining me now in Los Angeles, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Dave Jacobson; Republican strategist and media consultant, Luis Alvarado; and for U.S. deputy attorney general and criminal defense attorney, David Katz.

Thank you all for coming in.

Let's start with you with the question on timing. Obviously we've had a lot of time for those 81 really weird minutes. So was this all about trying to defend Kavanaugh, take the attention away?

How do you see it?

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN COMMENTATOR: What we've heard at least from news reports is that that the president was increasingly growing frustrated with Kavanaugh's legal defense, with this FOX News interview yesterday.

The president is all about trumping Trump and digging his heels in. And any thought taking this strategy right out of his playbook would perhaps be the best defense that could get Kavanaugh some momentum, I would assume, from the Trump perspective going into tomorrow's hearing.

The challenge with that is with Trump being Trump, he lied after -- he (INAUDIBLE) one lie after the next and then he sort of drew this parallel with himself and, well, I've been accused of four of five when the reality was he was accused by 12 women --


VAUSE: At least 12.

JACOBSON: -- at least 12 -- and then the reality is, above that, Michael Cohen went on the record and said that he was actually directed to pay a former porn star because of the -- so the reality is, Donald Trump has -- if you know his wife has slept with some of these women, there are court documents that serve as evidence of that.

So he is not really the best advocate for tomorrow's hearing.

VAUSE: At one point the defense that Cohen was putting up and Trump was putting up about the payments was that he'd slept with so many women he couldn't keep track of them, which is why Cohen took care of everything.

But Luis, if this was a strategy to try and help Brett Kavanaugh, how did it work out?

LUIS ALVARADO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We'll find out on Friday because at the end of day, the overall perspective of things, I think everybody knows that the votes are there for Kavanaugh. I think it's just a matter of the fear that we're going through to try to determine what kind of damage or wayward going to use for the campaigns coming up (INAUDIBLE).

At the end of the day, elections have consequences and the consequences of Republicans being in office is they get to choose who the next Supreme Court nominee is going to be.


ALVARADO: And Democrats are probably a little bit upset that when they have a chance to put their nominee, thinking that the next president is going to be Hillary Clinton, they didn't fight as hard as the Republicans are fighting for their candidate.

JACOBSON: If I could just jump in very quickly, the reality is the Republicans don't have the votes. You've got Susan Collins from Maine, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska. You've got Jeff Flake who called for this Thursday hearing from Arizona and you've got Bob Corker who is a Trump hater.


JACOBSON: -- Mike Pence could possibly be the tiebreaker but votes, you actually need two but those are up in the air.

VAUSE: You mentioned about how Donald Trump made this all about him. It was the me, me, me press conference. He talked about his own past experience and how it is impacting his judgment when it comes to allegations of sexual assault against his nominee.

Here's a sound bite from the president. Listen to this.


TRUMP: Well, this does impact my opinion. You know why? Because I've had a lot of false charges made against me. I'm a very famous person, unfortunately. I've been a famous person for a long time. But I've had a lot of false charges made against me, really false charges. I know friends that have had false charges. People want fame, they want money, they want whatever.

So when I see it, I view it differently than somebody sitting at home watching television.


VAUSE: So, David, just from a legal point of view, if Donald Trump was hanging on a jury, if he was a judge in a court, would he be recused from a case like this because of his own past experience?

And is he essentially saying that all the women are liars when they come forward, when they allege sexual abuse or sexual harassment?

DAVID KATZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think it's kind of rich that the president says that this was -- he has beautiful children, Judge Kavanaugh. The accusers were beautiful children at the time that these acts were allegedly perpetrated upon them by Judge Kavanaugh, when Judge Kavanaugh was a teenager.

And in one of the allegations, the one by Mr. Avenatti, it's very rich for him to say, well, don't consider the allegation, consider the person's lawyer. If you consider the person's lawyer, Trump had Michael Cohen as his lawyer for over 10 years.

So these things really don't wash. This is more part of a scattergun defense, which you never see in a court of law. But I tend to agree with the view that they are not ultimately going to have the votes. I don't think that -- that Friday is anything more than a bluff because it would take Senator Jeff Flake to agree with the other 10 Republicans to vote it out of committee on Friday.

And I think going to screech to a halt before the actual vote happens that's -- it is planned for Friday but I don't think that's going to happen after the hearing, which is going to be epic tomorrow.

VAUSE: And (INAUDIBLE) allegations which have come forward, raise the point (INAUDIBLE) to this 20 and that seems to be what's happening with Kavanaugh. These allegations come from Julie Swetnick about Kavanaugh's time at Georgetown Prep, including allegations he tried to get girls inebriated or drunk so that they would be less -- or more willing to do what he wanted them to do.

She goes on to write in an affidavit, "I also witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be "gang raped" in a side room or bedroom by a "train" of numerous boys.

"I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties, waiting for their turn with a girl inside the room. These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh."

And (INAUDIBLE) only response we got from the president on those allegations was essentially to trash Michael Avenatti, the lawyer, as a lowlife.

JACOBSON: The president's hypocrisy here is boundless. Let's not forget, John, during the last and final debate during the 2016 presidential campaign, it was Donald Trump who gathered all of these accusers of President Bill Clinton at the time and brought them to the debate stage, of course, to embarrass the Clintons.

But at the time he believed the accusers. Now, of course, you flip 180, of course, Judge Kavanaugh can do no wrong, right. So his hypocrisy is just extraordinarily egregious here.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) to the control room. I want to play Avenatti's response to Trump's accusation and slur. (INAUDIBLE) on CNN just a few hours earlier.


MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: I'll put her credibility against Donald Trump's or Brett Kavanaugh's any day of the week. I mean, all of these women cannot be lying.

How many women are we up to now that are accusing Brett Kavanaugh of inappropriate conduct?

There's plenty of judges and attorneys in America that don't have allegations like this in their background who would be more than qualified to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court for life.


VAUSE: So Luis, Avenatti makes a good point. There's a lot of white conservative judges out there who would happily do the bidding of Mitch McConnell and the U.S. president.

Why not go with somebody else?

ALVARADO: Well, because you're committed. You committed to Kavanaugh. He's the guy you put forward. Everybody has to stand -- this is a moment of unity for the --


ALVARADO: -- Republican Party, which the Democrats couldn't do when they had their nominee for the Supreme Court. And the end of day, this is still political theater. This is still something that we're going through because, at the end of the day, there is no facts. There is allegations and allegations sufficiently by themselves should not be able to derail any human being from any process because we still have due process unless you have been convicted in a court of law. Then you should pay for the cost --


VAUSE: -- FBI investigation.

KATZ: Yes, I'm a criminal defense attorney and I was a federal prosecutor here in Los Angeles. He has no right to be on the Supreme Court. He has no right not to have his nomination withdrawn and to have a better candidate, who would still be a conservative jurist, put forward by the president..

And, yes, they're in control so they have a right to put their person in there. They held back Merrick Garland from ever having a hearing. People say it wasn't fair, it wasn't square but they did it.

Now they have the power to put their own person in there. But this is not a legal proceeding and, therefore, they can use any standard that the political polity thinks is appropriate.

And I think right now the people of this country do not want this nominee. They want somebody else to be put in there. I think that's just the reality speaking legally, not politically.

I think women won't put up with it. I think the Democratic senators certainly won't put up but I think Republican senators --


ALVARADO: -- you've made the argument for why this is a political maneuver with the ultimate goal is to bring up the effervescency of Democrats for November election because what Democrats need to do for their blue wave to be effective is to make sure Democrats feel what they couldn't find in 2016 and have the urge to go to the polls and vote --

JACOBSON: Can I just say, guys, there is new, fresh data they came out today, political and morning consult put out a poll, 37 percent of Americans oppose this nomination, 34 percent support it.

You want to know why we've seen such a tremendous dip?

Because only 49 percent of Republican women support moving forward with Kavanaugh; 15 percent don't. That is an extraordinarily low number of Republican women.

KATZ: But a pyrrhic victory if they alienate all of those voters and lose the House and the Senate for the Republicans --


VAUSE: -- and McConnell's (INAUDIBLE).

Let's move on because Kavanaugh issued a statement denying (INAUDIBLE) allegations. That is false. I've never participated in a gang rape. I've never particular in sexual activity with more than one woman present and me. In other words, I've never had a threesome or more than a threesome.

So the other day he was (INAUDIBLE) when he lost it now. We're talking about a threesome. But David, legally, he said/she said, that's one thing. He said/she said/she said/she said, that seems to be another thing altogether.

KATZ: Well, you know, people resent when you compare this to the Cosby, the Bill Cosby situation. But the learning of that case, if it's correct on appeal, is that you can call multiple victims to try to show a pattern. They're trying to call multiple alleged victims to show a pattern regarding Judge Kavanaugh.

Why is it appropriate in the Bill Cosby case in order to show a pattern of behavior but it is not appropriate here?

The difference is that the Democrats don't have the power to subpoena Mark Judge or subpoena these witnesses so that they can show that very pattern that any self-respecting prosecutor would call them and show that pattern if the court allowed.

VAUSE: And this also isn't a court of law. But very quickly, the president was asked about the message he was sending by raising questions about Kavanaugh's accusers.

David, his answer was basically he won the majority of women voters back in 2016.

Which he didn't; he actually took 41 percent of the vote among women; 52 percent white women. So what the other minorities, the African American female vote doesn't count, I guess.

So this just seems to be kind of a bubble that Donald Trump lives in.

JACOBSON: He's divorced from reality. He creates his own facts. That's why Kellyanne Conway, soon after he was sworn into office, created this narrative of "alternative facts," because he thinks if he says a lie over and over again, eventually people will believe it.

The challenge is his support base is starting to erode. When you have Republican women no longer overwhelmingly a majority supporting your Supreme Court nomination, much of which was the coalition that helped propel you to the White House in 2016, that is a real challenge for the president.

And I think it underscores the fact that he's increasingly losing oxygen and his base is starting to crumble.

VAUSE: OK, for a president struggling with women voters, this probably wasn't the best moment.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: If you don't mind, after I'm finished, if Halley or Vivian or one of our female colleagues could go after me, that would be great.

Mr. President, just to follow up on these allegations against --


TRUMP: What does he mean by that?


What is -- what does that mean?

ACOSTA: I think it would be great if a female --

TRUMP: What does it mean?

No, what does it mean?

ACOSTA: -- it would be great if a female reporter would ask you a question about this issue.

So if you don't mind --

TRUMP: I wouldn't mind that at all, no. I wouldn't mind it at all.

ACOSTA: All right, well, let me --

TRUMP: Wouldn't make any difference to me.

ACOSTA: All right.

TRUMP: Go ahead.


VAUSE: Luis, Trump also interrupted (INAUDIBLE) women --


VAUSE: -- who were asking questions during that news conference. He also became (INAUDIBLE) flirting with the reporter from Trump sky news.

(INAUDIBLE) to me he really believes that this behavior that he has carried on for a very long time now is perfectly acceptable.

ALVARADO: Well, like you mentioned, it was incredibly bizarre. And regardless if you're a Republican or a Democrat, I think you can come to the conclusion that this is not a standard or an expectation for a president to communicate about his positions on their nominees.

Donald Trump has certainly competed to push the bar with regards to how he communicates or how he perceives the public to believe what he stands for and it's very disheartening to see as a Republican. And I'm certain that there are many other Republicans that are wondering how they're going to response to that question themselves when they go back to their districts.

And it is very difficult for any, not just Republicans, Americans, when you listen to the speech he gave at the U.N., certainly how do we talk to our fellow -- other countries. Mexico was about to enter into a new government and it's our next door neighbor.

VAUSE: It's very anti-U.S., in fact.


ALVARADO: -- speaking about there has -- that has to be --


ALVARADO: -- because that's the neighbor next door and there has to be communication. And that this is what we're expecting. Certainly there has to be some mechanisms put in place to protect the interests of the American people.

VAUSE: We're out of time but I'm curious, if you're part of the communications staff and you were at that news conference, why wouldn't you pull a fire alarm and make all the sprinklers go off?

ALVARADO: I was wondering -- has anybody checked General Kelly? Is he OK?


VAUSE: OK. We'll leave it there but Dave, Luis and David, (INAUDIBLE). There's a lot more to get to. We really appreciate it. Thank you.

So what exactly will happen on Thursday?

The Senate Judiciary Committee with that hearing with the Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford?

Well, it will start with an opening statement from Chairman Chuck Grassley, followed by an opening statement from the top Democrat on the committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein. Then Christine Blasey Ford will be sworn in and give her opening statement.

Each senator will have five minutes to ask her questions. Republicans are going to yield their questions to prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. Ford will then leave the committee room and Kavanaugh will enter.

He'll be sworn in, given an opening statement and he'll be questioned in the same format and you can see all of it right here on CNN. We'll have extensive live coverage of the U.S. Senate hearing starting Thursday 1:30 in the afternoon in London. That's 8:30 in the evening if you are in Hong Kong.

For now, we'll take a short break. During his first time chairing the U.N. Security Council, Donald Trump's surprisingly strayed off topic, accusing China of interfering in the upcoming November midterms, trading his own fake news in the U.S. We'll have a reaction from Beijing in a moment.

Also the U.S. president has made no secret of his newfound affection for North Korea's Kim Jong-un. And now Trump is boasting of extraordinary communication with the North Korean leader.

What is it?

Details in a moment.





VAUSE: The U.S. president spent a lot of time on Wednesday defending his Supreme Court nominee of allegations of sexual assault. He also had time for some serious unfounded allegations against China and he also expressed his admiration for his new bestie, Kim Jong-un.

At one point he showed off to reporters his latest letter from the North Korean leader, which Trump called "extraordinary." Then the U.S. president and Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, agreed to start new trade talks.

And at a U.N. Security Council meeting where the subject was meant to be nuclear non-proliferation, Donald Trump leveled an accusation at China about them trying to interfere in the upcoming midterm elections.

And China fired back.


TRUMP: Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election. They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): China has all along followed the principle of non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs. This is a tradition of Chinese foreign policy. We do not and will not interfere in any country's domestic events. We refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations against China and we call upon other countries to also observe the purposes of the U.N. Charter and not interfere in other countries' internal affairs.


VAUSE: The U.S. president made no mention of Russia but later told reporters he would not allow Russia to meddle in the election (INAUDIBLE).

For more on this, we're joined by CNN's Steven Jiang, standing by live in Beijing. Alexandra Field is in Hong Kong. Also correspondent Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo.

Steven, to you first. It seems the only proof the U.S. president could offer to this allegation was a four-page advertorial the Chinese government bought in the "Des Moines Register," which would seem to be a source of much merriment in Beijing if these allegations weren't so serious.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: That's right, John. Here's the key difference between the allegation against China versus Russia when it comes to election interference so far: that is the lack of specifics when it comes to China. Now Mr. Trump and his officials so far have been talking in broad and

vague terms pointing to long-standing Chinese practices like the newspaper advertorial you mentioned. But that may change because Mr. Trump has promised to reveal more evidence including a speech by Vice President Pence next week.

But you've also heard the strong denial from Beijing in the words of the country's top diplomat in New York. Now interesting anecdote I think here is that there is an animated image, a GIF image of Mr. Wong rolling his eyes and shrugging it off when he heard Mr. Trump make these accusations in New York. And that image has been making the rounds here.

At least publicly, that seems to be the Chinese reaction and attitude. But this latest accusation, along with the trade war, the terrorists and other moves by the White House recently, are only going to make the Chinese leadership, including President Xi Jinping more convinced of the one thing, that is that U.S. is out to get China, that U.S. is aimed -- is very much trying to contain the rise of China.

So that means this relationship is headed into more uncertainty that's likely to become much worse before it has a chance to get better job.

VAUSE: Steven, thank you from Beijing. We'll go to Hong Kong for more on this letter that the North Korean leader wrote to the U.S. president, which he said was extraordinary.

So, Alex, I guess being best friends, it means not having to stick to a timetable to give up your nukes. Trump says he didn't want to get into the timetable with North Korea. But when it comes to denuclearization, the timetable is crucial.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the administration once felt it was exactly that, John. You'll remember just three months ago in Singapore, President Trump touting the successes of the summit with Kim Jong-un saying that denuclearization would happen as fast as mechanically possible, saying that once the process starts, it's essentially done, whatever that means, despite the fact that experts have said that it would take years, possibly even a decade, for the full denuclearization of North Korea.

Fast forward three months to where we are today, North Korea is taking no concrete steps toward denuclearization. It made no agreement to take any concrete steps toward denuclearization. You've got the U.S. secretary of state who is said to continue to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons and leveraging that continues to resist calls from the United States to give an inventory of its arsenal of nuclear weapons and facilities.

And yet President Trump now saying that the timeline doesn't matter. It could be two years, it could be three years, it could be five months. He says the important matter here is that North Korea has stopped testing its missiles and it's stopped --

[00:00:00] FIELD: -- conducting its nuclear tests. Certainly this is a vastly different position from the one that the administration had previously taken. Don't forget, this is a president who had warned that there would be fire and fury for North Korea.

Now he's focusing on the fact that tensions at least have cooled, even if that does not signify progress toward denuclearization, instead shining attention on his warm relationship with Kim Jong-un and also pointing out the fact that his administration is preparing for a second summit with the North Korean leader -- John.

VAUSE: But that letter was so nice. Alex, thank you.

Let's go to Kaori in Tokyo.

So this could be a win for the U.S. president, trade talks set to begin between Tokyo and Washington. (INAUDIBLE) has resisted that for some time but it seems that there are U.S. tariffs forced him reconsider.

So what are the details here?

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: John, this is really a diplomatic coup, I think, for the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe because, on the surface, it gives the U.S. president a chance to go to his voters and say I got Japan to discuss some more trade deals with the United States.

But when you actually drill down into the details, this is one of the goals that will Japan, one of the goals that they wanted is to avert discussing a free trade agreement. They got just and instead of an FTA, they're deciding to open discussions on a trade agreement on goods, which is much more item specific and not as all-encompassing as an FTA.

So this is I think the best that Japan could have hoped for under the circumstances. At the same time, they agreed to a couple other things; one, as long as these discussions are ongoing the U.S. will not slap tariffs on autos and auto parts from Japan.

Now this is a huge win for Japan because 25 percent tariffs on Japanese auto products would've been detrimental to Japanese companies because even though they make most of the cars that they sell in the U.S., in the United States, 69 billion trade surplus with the United States, two thirds of that is coming from cars.

And mind you, these tariffs that are being slapped on China has affected Japanese companies operating in China as well. So on those two fronts I think this is probably the best deal that Japan could hope for at this stage.

Kaori, thank you so much, live for us in Tokyo.

Alexandra Field in Hong Kong and Steven Jiang in Beijing, thanks to you all. We'll take a short break. "Big, fat con job." That's how Donald Trump explains the sexual misconduct allegations against his Supreme Court nominee in that rambling and disjointed news conference. He said it repeatedly.

Also (INAUDIBLE) back for an encore. We'll speak to one of the founders (INAUDIBLE) Bruce Robb as well as the other legends and icons (INAUDIBLE).


[00:30:00] VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

The U.S. President said he will actually be watching the Thursday's Senate hearing which will have testimony from one woman accusing his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault. Donald Trump says he believes the allegations are false, but maybe he could change his mind.

Meanwhile, a third woman now, accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

And Donald Trump says he may delay his meeting on Thursday with Rod Rosenstein, to avoid competing with the Kavanaugh hearing. The President said he would prefer not to fire the deputy attorney general who oversees the Russia investigation. Rosenstein denies he suggested wearing a wire to record the President.

And at the U.N. Security Council, Donald Trump has accused China of trying to meddle in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections. He said it was because China wants to hurt him, politically, over the trade war. China's Senior Diplomat, though, has denied the allegation.

We saw a news conference on Wednesday, was only the second Donald Trump has held since becoming president. And as much as it was confusing, disjointed and rambling, it was also revealing on a number of fronts. We have more now from CNN's Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta.


ACOSTA: The White House is pushing back on allegations against Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, saying the judge has denied these accusations, still at a press conference involving President Trump, here in New York, after he met with leaders at the U.N.

The President said that he almost feels sympathy for Judge Kavanaugh because of some of the past allegations made against him, as to Mr. Trump that he says are false. I asked the President why he seems to always stand with the accused and not the accusers in these sorts of cases. And here's what he had to say.

Why is it Mr. President that you always seem to side with the accused and not the accuser? You have three women here, who are all making allegations. They're all asking that their stories be heard. And, you know, if you look at the case of Roy Moore, if you look at

the case of one of your staffers, you seem to, time and again, side with the accused and not the accuser. Is that because of the many allegations that you've had -- made against you over the years?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, first of all, I wasn't happy with Roy Moore, let's get that straight. But Roy Moore was a Republican candidate and I would've rather had a Republican candidate win. I was very happy with Luther Strange.

He was a terrific man from Alabama, but Luther Strange had a lot of things going against him. As far as women, whether it's a man or a woman, these are -- you know, it can happen, the other way. Allegations can go the other way, also. You understand that.

And whether it was a man or a woman, 30 years ago, 36 years ago, in fact, they don't even know how many years ago, because nobody knows what the time is. That's a long time. And I could pick, as an example, hopefully I won't have to do it as a replacement, because hopefully, this is going to go very well on Thursday.

It's going to go very well on Monday, or Saturday, or Sunday or whenever they vote, but I could pick a woman, and she could have charges made from many years ago also.

ACOSTA: But don't you ---

TRUMP: And I would look at the character -- no, what I have to do.

ACOSTA: The President went on to say he'll be watching the hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee, featuring Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. The President went as far as to say he may change his mind on his own Supreme Court nominee, depending on what Christine Blasey Ford says.

The President says he wants to watch this hearing so much. He's willing to postpone his meeting with his Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein.

Jim Acosta, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: After a break here, a decade after closing the doors of legendary recording studio, Cherokee, is back, the place where legends were born and classics were made, about to have an encore.


[00:35:00] VAUSE: Remember the time before music was streamed and downloaded, when wireless was a radio? And from that radio, came the sound of hearts and souls laid bare. Now, it seems it's more about the performance, than the music. Art and passion have taken a backseat to the technical and bankable.

Well, there's still plenty of good music performed by talented artists, sharing stories and touching lives. These days, their road to fame and fortune seems harder than ever. But maybe, that journey is about to get a little easier.

Ten years after closing, the legendary recording studio, Cherokee, is back for an encore, for 35 years, renowned as a creative safe space for some of the biggest and would-be biggest names in the industry, recorded their unforgettable hits.

A studio with a sound of mood and atmosphere like no other, and its owner and founder, Bruce Robb, told me that's exactly how they plan to do it again.

BRUCE ROBB, OWNER AND FOUNDER, CHEROKEE: When you begin the rock and roll and most studios were owned by either record labels, and there were very few private studios back then. And we couldn't get into their studios. And so, we thought we'll build our own studio in a barn.

VAUSE: That's a pretty big understatement, a bit like Steve Jobs, saying he decided to build a computer in his garage. Bruce Robb and his brothers are the biggest names in the music industry, you've probably never heard of.

In the 60s, the Robbs toured the country as a supporting act to the Beach Boys., Jerry Lee Lewis, Buffalo Springfield and more, even performing on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

Their fame and fortune though, would not be made on stage, but in the studio. Somehow, they managed to bring out the best in the greats.

What is the, sort of, the secret sauce that makes Cherokee different into so many other places?

HENRY ROLLINS, MUSICIAN: First off, that room was magic.

DAVID LYNCH, FILMMAKER: Just a great vibe, a great vibe and a great sound, a killer sound, fat, beautiful, smooth, great stuff.

ROLLINS: You know the room and you know how to mic something. Good mics, you got a good record. And that's what these guys have.

LYNCH: When you feel good in a place and you're getting a great sound, you go -- you know you go to Cherokee, you see Bruce.

VAUSE: A sound and a place, so unique, so special, Beatle's producer, George Martin, once called Cherokee, the best studio in America. And for three decades, it was like the do-drop-in for icons and legends.

ROBB: One night, Little Richard pulls up, well of course, he does. He (INAUDIBLE) studio and wants to make country record, and I am thinking that' a great idea.

A friend of ours, Don Hill, brought Steely Dan up, we did Pretzel Logic, and that, kind of, exploded. That was our first huge record. Cherokee became a giant, became a monster. VAUSE: There's been no shortage of awards, hundreds of gold and platinum records over the years, but far more important it seems, the stories and memories of working with the biggest of the big names.

ROBB: You get a call and said David Bowie is up front. And you know, we're a band, we go, oh, wow. So, David walks into the room (INAUDIBLE) great.

VAUSE: Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand, George Clinton, the list goes on, even the notoriously difficult O Blue Eyes himself.

ROBB: Sinatra walks in and he opens the door and he says, so this is Cherokee, I thought I have heard that. He says so, you're family. I said, yes. They're like families. Joe, my brother, just (INAUDIBLE) in a bar cart. And he looks at it and he's the only person I have ever seen who could really smile with his eyes.

But, so, we make him a drink and he sits down in the control room with (INAUDIBLE) there for an hour, told us road stories.

[00:40:00] VAUSE: If those walls could talk, you know, what would they be saying?

ROLLINS: I got one. In the vocal booth, in the big room, on the ceiling, there is a -- someone took a spray can and drew an image display, not family friendly. And you come in and, like, well, there's something on the ceiling, oh, that's Rod Stewart.

He puts one of those everywhere he works. And I spent so many times all through the 80s and 90s looking up at that ceiling, going, Rod Stewart has been here.

ROBB: We take it off, and he'd do it again. So we thought, leave it.

VAUSE: Over the years, Cherokee has done more than just record music. They've been midwives to entire new genres. Cutting the first ever disco song with Bob Crewe, some of raps deepest roots are here, punk music, as well.

When a young Henry Rollins had something to say, Cherokee helped him stand.

ROLLINS: Punk rock allows -- you don't have to be able to hit the note. It's more of what you're saying and how you're saying it. And so, I had something to say. And so, suddenly, I come from Washington, D.C. I find myself in Los Angeles, singing for the notorious Black Flag.

The Robbs would just leave the doors open, just go like, get weird you all. I'd spent nights in there. And you'd come out and you'd be something like, want something to eat? I'm like, you're still here? Like, because you're still here, man.

And so, you need maniacs around you. You know, you need other fanatics around you to really make it happen, and that's why Cherokee lasted, and that's why people kept coming back. VAUSE: In 2008, Cherokee held its last supper. David Lynch, Henry Rollins, and Bruce Robb were all there, as the studio went dark. Ten years later, they're together again for the first time, for this interview.

And there's reason to celebrate, Cherokee is back in business, again, recording the soundtrack of a generation, but in a way, back to the future, using the same equipment from the studio, famous for its signature sound. There's a Trident analogue sound border, 1961 Hammond B3 keyboard and Neumann microphones from the 1940s and '50s.

What do you want people to say, years from now, when they talk about Cherokee?

LYNCH: Those guys made a lot of great records.

VAUSE: And Steve Jobs made a lot of good computers, as well. And many thanks to Bruce Robb, Henry Rollins and David Lynch, all of them legends, and thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles, stay with us, I'm John Vause. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.


[00:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)