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'I Will Never Forget': Kavanaugh Accuser to Testify As New Allegations Emerge; Trump Voices Support For Two-State Solution; IMF Increases Argentina Loan To $57.4 Billion; Philippine Inventor Launches Flying Sports Car. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired September 27, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A marathon news conference ends a whirlwind day for president Donald Trump as he unleashes everything he wants to tell the world, laying out his defense for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh right before an accuser is expected to take the stand.
And lashing out at China the U.S. president is blasting Beijing, accusing it of meddling in the midterm elections that are crucial for Mr. Trump's Republican Party.
Plus Mr. Trump shows off his success, giving the world a view of the glowing letter he received from North Korea as he encourages more U.S. allies to form closer ties with Kim Jong-un.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
CHURCH: Donald Trump is going all out to try to save his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court but the task seems to be growing more difficult by the day as new allegations against Brett Kavanaugh surface.
A third woman, Julie Swetnick, claims, back in high school, Kavanaugh was drunk and sexually aggressive at parties, where women were drugged and gang raped. A Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from Kavanaugh's first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford in just a few hours from now.
And she has taken a polygraph test to support her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party. Kavanaugh denies all the allegations against him. President Trump says he believes Kavanaugh and blames Democrats for trying to destroy his nominee. We get more now from CNN's Jim Acosta
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CHURCH: Brett Kavanaugh is denying two additional accusations against him where the accusers have not come forward. One was an anonymous complaint sent to Republican Senator Corey Gardner that Kavanaugh assaulted a woman he was dating back in 1998.
A Rhode Island man made another claim via Twitter concerning a rape on a boat in 1985. He has since recanted on Twitter without saying specifically what he was recanting.
Senate investigators have released transcripts of a conference call with Kavanaugh, where he pushes back on all the claims --
CHURCH: -- against him, saying this, "We're dealing with an anonymous letter about an anonymous person and an anonymous friend. It's ridiculous, total twilight zone and, no, I've never done anything like that."
Meanwhile, CNN has obtained a copy of the opening statement Christine Blasey Ford plans to deliver to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh's first accuser to go public says she will never forget the night of the sexual assault and said it drastically altered her life.
Ford goes on to say, "I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school."
CHURCH: So let's get more on all of this with CNN political analyst, Michael Shear. He is a White House correspondent for "The New York Times". Good to have you with us.
MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. Happy to be here.
CHURCH: So President Trump held this rare news conference for more than an hour calling the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh a con job. His stood firmly behind his Supreme Court pick but he did say that he could change his mind.
What did you make of the whole news conference and it covered a range of issues but specifically on this topic. What did you make of it?
SHEAR: You know, it was really remarkable. In some -- on one hand it wasn't very different from the position that he's taken over the last say, 10 days which was to say both lashing out against Democrats and also standing firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh.
But on the other hand, it provided a kind of window into his thinking about this topic particularly.
Look, this has always been a topic that is very peculiar to this president who has himself been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct. And obviously was, you know, a central part of the discussion during the campaign.
And so, to hear from him directly, the admission that he himself views the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh through the lens of his own accusations against himself and that his skepticism about these women is essentially the result of himself, saying that he doesn't believe the accusation against himself. So why should we believe the accusations against other men.
I mean, it was a remarkable moment that would probably never have happened with other president except this one.
CHURCH: Yes. And of course, on Thursday, we have to remember just a matter of hours from now, in fact, we will hear the testimony of the first accuser. There are five now. The first accuser Christine Blasey Ford, but many Republican men have already said publicly that they plan to vote and confirm Brett Kavanaugh. So they've already made up their minds.
So what's the purpose of hearing her testimony, isn't just lip service to being allowed to have her say, what is going on here?
SHEAR: Well, look, I think one of the things that you saw going on President Trump's press conference today was a recognition that on the one hand there is no doubt I think in most people's mind that President Trump has clearly made up his mind about this woman and frankly, about the other women that are bringing forth allegations as well.
But he recognizes as many of the Republicans doing in the party that looking like you're rushing to judgment, looking like you're not taking these women seriously or at least hearing them out is politically dangerous, especially among women voters who are often a key to success in electoral politics in the country.
So, I mean, you say President Trump kind of doing this strange dance when on the one hand he is condemning the whole thing is fake and false and a con job and on the other hand, saying, but, you know, I'll listen to her and maybe I'll change my mind.
I don't think most observers of the president think that was a serious assertion that he has a fully open mind. Rather, it was recognition of the dangerous politics that they're in at the moment.
CHURCH: You don't think by saying that he's left himself adore to change his mind if there is something that he's decided, you know, maybe there is a possibility here and he needs -- he needs a way out.
SHEAR: Well, look, yes, don't misunderstand. I'm not -- I'm not suggesting a good politician will always try to leave himself or herself a way out. It looks like the politics have turned in the direction that makes it impossible to go in the direction you were going initially.
I just -- I am skeptical knowing President Trump and kind of his history. I am skeptical that he was really trying to convey a sense that he truly has an open mind about what these women are saying, rather, I think as you put it quite well. He's trying to at least give himself some wiggle room if the conclusion inside the White House is that the politics have just --
SHEAR: -- so completely turned against the Republicans by the end of tomorrow's hearing that they have to find a way out.
That's I think the maneuvering that he was trying to do it at the press conference.
CHURCH: And of course, we know that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was not happy about the tweets that President Trump sent out on this very topic. How do you think Republicans would be feeling about President Trump there was a sense that he was rambling through this more than hour-long news conference. So what would they be thinking at this point, how does it help Brett Kavanaugh?
SHEAR: Well, I don't know. I mean, look, I think part of what's been difficult about this whole situation is that there aren't easy simple answers to al of this. There is crosscurrents both political crosscurrents and substantive, you know, things that way on each side of the scale here.
And so I think the Republican leadership has always been trying to say, look, the less -- the less we can complicate an already complicated situation with random tweets, with presidential outbursts, the more chance we have of navigating what, you know, was increasingly a narrow path towards a successful confirmation anyway.
And so, I can only imagine, I have not actually spent much time talking to the leadership on the Hill in the last several hours, but I can only imagine that they are watching the press conference they thought to themselves well, this can't -- this can't possibly help simple findings.
This can only lead to all sorts of more complicating factors. You know, some of which may be in the judge's favor because he went after Democrats, the president did, but also, you know, with a lot of the other commentary it just complicates the whole picture and sets up this really remarkable hearing tomorrow where who knows which directions it's going to go.
CHURCH: Indeed. And just finally, do you think Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed in the end and if he is, how will he serve on the highest court in the land with these allegations hanging over his head.
SHEAR: Well, look, I don't know the answer. It's always hard to predict. I will say that Republicans and the way the American political system is set up when you have the majority in the United States Senate, you have a lot of power. And so I think if I were still to guess that, you know, there is still a chance anyway that he gets confirmed. And to the second question. Look, we have a perfect example to look at in the past. And that Clarence Thomas who had a similar circus-like confirmation process with similar allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct and he has spent the last, I think 27 years on the court -- 20 years on the court.
And, you know, that had dogged him for sure as this will dogged Brett Kavanaugh if he's on the court. But at the end of the day it's a lifetime appointment and he will be on the court. If he gets appointed he will be on the court regardless of the allegations against him.
CHURCH: Michael Shear, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
SHEAR: Sure. Happy to.
CHURCH: To another issue now. President Trump says he would prefer not to fire the man overseeing the Russia investigation. Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein denies reports that he discussed secretly recording the president and having him removed from office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm talking to him. We've had a good talk. He said he never said it. He said he doesn't believe it. He said he has a lot of respect for me and he was very nice and we will see. And he is a member of the Trump administration in that sense it's a Justice Department I would certainly prefer not doing that. And there was no collusion and there was no obstruction, I mean, if you call obstruction the fact that I fight back. I do fight back. I really fight back, I mean if you call that obstruction that's fine, but there is no obstruction, there is no collusion. I am going to meet with him tomorrow. I may call Rod tonight or tomorrow and as for a little bit of a delay to the meeting, because I don't want to do anything that gets in the way of this very important Supreme Court pick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: House Republican leaders say Rosenstein should work things out with the president rather than forcing him to testify before Congress about those reported comments.
On the international front President Trump went on the offensive against China, chairing his first U.N. Security Council meeting. He leveled a new accusation in the United States, escalating trade war with Beijing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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 --
TRUMP: -- China on trade. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Now Mr. Trump offered little evidence to back that claim, but he tweeted that China is putting out fake news in the "Des Moines Register" and other newspapers and he also had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: China is going and attacking the (inaudible). They are attacking our industrial with ads and with statements. They don't look like ads, it looks like they are editorials and they are not. They are made up by China, because they don't want me to like it, because this has never happened to them. Their markets are down 32 percent in the last four months and our markets are up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: The Iowa paper says the president is referring to an advertising supplement that's clearly marked as sponsored by the "China Daily" newspaper. And China immediately denied it's involved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): China has all along follow the principle of noninterference 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 affairs. We refuse is such any unwarranted accusation against China. And we call upon other countries to also observe the policies of the U.N. and not to interfere in other countries internal affairs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Trump later told reporters he would not allow Russian meddling in the midterms, either. For more on all of this, CNN's Steven Jiang joins us now live from Beijing.
Good to see you, Steven. So President Trump accused China of interfering in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections in retaliation, he said, for the trade war he's waging on China.
What's the evidence of that and what else does China have to say about all of this?
We heard there a denial.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: The key difference between the allegation against China versus Russia when it comes to election interference is the lack of specifics so far.
And Mr. Trump and his officials so far have been using very broad and vague terms and pointing to long-standing Chinese practices, like the one you mentioned, publishing editorials in the Iowa newspaper.
But donny (ph) change Mr. Trump promised to reveal more evidence, including a speech by vice president Pence next week. For its part, Beijing has denied it with a very strong denial; you heard the country's top diplomat Wang Yi said so in New York. One interesting thing here, Rosemary, is that you may notice Mr. Wang's reaction when he heard Mr. Trump's voice. He apparently rolled his eyes and shrugged.
And that has been made into an animated GIF image that's been making the rounds here on the Internet. I think, at least for now, publicly, that's a pretty good summary of Chinese reaction and attitude.
CHURCH: Yes, it certainly it didn't go by unnoticed by the world, it seems. And of course Mr. Trump also indicated that President Xi Jinping may no longer be the friend he thought he was.
Any reaction to that and is there any sign that this relationship can be saved in the midst of this ongoing trade war?
JIANG: That friendship has always been on a pretty shaky ground. Now this latest accusation about election interference along with the ongoing trade war and Trump tariffs and other recent moves by the White House such as punishing the Chinese military for buying weapons from Russia.
All these moves I think are going to make the leadership here under President Xi Jinping more convinced that the one thing, that is that the U.S. is about to get China, the U.S. is trying hard to contain the rise of China on the global stage.
So it is really going to make this bilateral relationship into more uncertainty and that is likely to become much worse before it gets a chance to get better -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: It seems that way. Steven Jiang, bringing us that live report from Beijing what is nearly 2:20 in the afternoon, many thanks.
President Trump boasts about his relationship with North Korea's Kim Jong-un and says the leader sent him an extraordinary letter. We will have the details for you next.
CHURCH: On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump showed off a, quote, "extraordinary letter" he says North Korea's Kim Jong-un sent him. He also announced that secretary of state Mike Pompeo is to head to Pyongyang to lay the groundwork for another meeting between the two leaders.
And Mr. Trump is taking credit for preventing a war with North Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If I wasn't elected you would've had a war. President Obama thought you had to go to war. You know, how close he was to pressing the trigger for war? Millions of people. We have a very good relationship. He likes me. I like him. We get along.
He wrote me two of the most beautiful letters. When I showed one of the letters, just one, to Prime Minister Abe, he said this is actually a groundbreaking letter. This is an incredible. This is a historic letter and it is a historic letter. It's a beautiful; it's a beautiful piece of art. And I think we're going to make a deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Alexandra Field joins us now from Hong Kong with regional reaction to all of this.
Good to see you, Alexandra. So President Trump loved the letter clearly from Kim Jong-un and said that the two leaders will probably make a deal, highlighted progress made so far, specifically no rockets and no missiles, no nuclear tests for a year.
But we're not seeing any timetable.
Why is that?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think he was fairly taken by that letter and that was a lot of his focus, this strong relationship being President Trump and Kim Jong-un were now planning on a second summit.
But you did also hear President Trump back off of something that we heard him say before. He's now saying that there's really no timeline for denuclearization. It doesn't matter if it's two years or three years or five months, that he's not going to play the time game here, really just trying to underscore the fact that tensions had been eased on the peninsula, that you haven't seen these missiles, haven't seen the rocket tests, that you haven't seen any nuclear tests.
But that doesn't mean that you are actually any closer to that same goal of denuclearization. That is of course what was agreed to at the Singapore summit, that both sides would work toward denuclearization. Haven't seen any tangible steps from North Korea to that end and you haven't seen North Korea agreeing to take any tangible steps.
You have heard the secretary of state Mike Pompeo say that North Korea continues to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. And we know that North Korea has not yet turned over a list of inventory detailing their nuclear arsenal.
And yet the president is saying that this timeline is not important. He seems to be placing all of his emphasis this continued policy of engagement with North Korea -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Right, and, Alex, overall, what's been the regional reaction to where things stand right now as far as progress made with North Korea?
Also this second summit that is being planned between President Trump and Kim Jong-un?
FIELD: You've got to look at the two closest allies, of course, when it comes to dealing with North Korea. Certainly it would be South Korea and Japan; in this case, it seems like South Korea leads a lot of these engagement efforts.
And we're now seeing that Japan is following. Typically Japan has taken the hardest line against North Korea. They been committed to the policy of maximum pressure against North Korea but certainly recently you have heard the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, talking about the possibility of wanting to meet with Kim Jong-un.
There was also a sideline meeting between the Japanese --
FIELD: -- foreign minister and his North Korean counterpart at the United Nations this week, that showing some engagement between Japan and North Korea.
But really most notably you certainly heard the South Korean president speaking in New York City just within the last day in really glowing terms about his hope and optimism for the future of North Korea, for the possibility of peace on the peninsula.
And highlighting all the progress that he feels is being made in the last year. So to that extent, he struck a number of notes quite similar to what President Trump had to say, frankly.
CHURCH: Interesting. Alexandra Field, joining us there from Hong Kong with some regional reaction. It is 2:30 in the afternoon. Thanks so much.
All right. Time for a very short break. When we come back, students at Brett Kavanaugh's alma mater talk about his legacy on campus and the sexual misconduct allegations against him. We'll have that for you when we come back.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. Want to update you now on the main stories we're following this hour.
CHURCH: We are just a few hours away from what's sure to be a dramatic hearing on Capitol Hill. U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman accusing him of sexual assault more than three decades ago will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Christine Blasey Ford has taken a lie detector test to back up her
allegations. Two other women have gone public with claims against Kavanaugh. He denies all the accusations, including two new anonymous claims of assault.
Kavanaugh calls it a smear campaign against him. Most of the allegations date back to Brett Kavanaugh's college days. And now his time at Yale has become a hot topic on the Connecticut campus.
[02:30:00] CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At Yale University, a partially remembered alleged incident, 35 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
MARQUEZ: Now, front and center in the high-powered fight over a crucial pick for the highest court in the land.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes or no?
BRETT KAVANAUGH, NOMINEE TO SERVE AS AN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: Is there a person you're talking about?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm asking you a very direct question. Yes or no?
MARQUEZ: The claim at an alcohol fuelled party in 1983 or '84, Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself in a very aggressive way to Debbie Ramirez when both were freshmen and both were drunk.
KAVANAUGH: I never did any such thing. I never did any such thing. The other people alleged to be there don't recall any such thing. If such a thing had happened, it would have been the talk of campus.
MARQUEZ: The claim has added a layer of worry, angst, and protest for many on the political left over a nominee and his nominating process.
AKHIL REED AMAR, PROFESSOR, YALE LAW: Brett Kavanaugh is the best candidate on the horizon.
MARQUEZ: Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar, a self-described liberal Democrat testified on Kavanaugh's behalf and wrote an editorial in the New York Times supporting his appointment based on the legal strength of Judge Kavanaugh's written decisions.
AMAR: As a constitutional scholar, read what Judge Kavanaugh as a judge has written. And I thought that this was overall work-product placed him at the very top of all sitting federal Republican judges.
MARQUEZ: He now has second thoughts. I have second thoughts because a second issue has arisen and it's an issue about which frankly I don't have the facts. I don't think any American yet has the facts.
MARQUEZ: Amar wants to hear what Judge Kavanaugh's accusers have to say and judge for himself if he thinks the claims are credible and should bar Kavanaugh from sitting on the Supreme Court. In a statement, James Roche, Kavanaugh's freshman roommate remembers him as a normally reserve but a notably heavy drinker. Roche, a close friend of Debbie Ramirez says he has no knowledge of the incident she describes but that Kavanaugh could become aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk.
HAILEY FUCHS, YALE DAILY NEWS: When he was at Yale as an undergrad, he joined a fraternity known as Delta Kappa Epsilon.
MARQUEZ: Hailey Fuchs and Britt O'Daly reported deeply on Judge Kavanaugh's time at Yale.
BRITT O'DALY, YALE DAILY NEWS: This is a fraternity that heavily, heavily drew from the athlete theme at Yale, right, so Brett Kavanaugh is a guy who like to play a little bit of basketball beside (INAUDIBLE) was a big fan of that crowd.
MARQUEZ: One picture appearing in the Yale Daily News during those years of DKE members but not Kavanaugh raising a flag made from female student undergarments. It indicates that sort of fraternal high jinx some say misogynistic activities carried out by members of DKE during Judge Kavanaugh's time in the fraternity.
FUCHS: It was sort of a lot of high jinx and a lot of kind of like (INAUDIBLE) and like rowdiness that was very (INAUDIBLE)
MARQUEZ: CNN contacted dozens of Judge Kavanaugh's classmates. Of those that did respond, many described DKE as a hard partying fraternity. Most had positive memories of Kavanaugh, but not all. One woman called him an aggressive obnoxious drunk saying his fraternity was misogynistic. One classmate who was in the same secret society truth and courage as Kavanaugh say they drank but never saw him in a state where he wasn't in control. A female classmate who knew Kavanaugh well found the allegations shocking saying she remembers Kavanaugh as an extremely intelligent and extremely nice and sensitive man.
KAVANAUGH: I'm just asking for a fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity and defend my family's integrity.
MARQUEZ: Miguel Marquez, CNN, New Haven, Connecticut.
CHURCH: So let's take a closer look at all of this with Jessica Levinson. She is a professor at the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and she joins us now. Good to see you.
JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: Good to see you.
CHURCH: So a total of five accusers have now come forward with allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, but the confirmation vote is still set for Friday. The Republican say this is a politically motivated smear campaign the Democrats want an investigation. As a lawyer, watching this play out, what do you think needs to happen next?
LEVINSON: Well, what I would love to happen is to have an actual investigation and there's a bureau in the United States that does that, and it's called the FBI. And the President of the United States could at any moment pick up the phone and say, you know what, there are five accusers now. There are credible allegations. It's well worth looking into. There's really no reason not to endeavor to find out what happened. There's no real-time table here.
[02:35:08] And so we would like you to as for instance happened in years past with a different judicial nominee, Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. We'd like you to look into these legations. And so, from a legal perspective, I want this to be taken seriously. I want it to go through legal channels. And I want there to be not what we're going to see which is more of political theater in the Senate hearing, but I want actual and as much as possible due process (INAUDIBLE)
CHURCH: And it appears certainly as we speak now and things may change. We never know. But it appears that's not going to happen. We heard from the president Wednesday his very lengthy news conference calling this all a con job and he stands firmly behind Brett Kavanaugh as do numerous male Republicans who have stated publicly that they have already made up their mind. They will vote for the Supreme Court nominee.
What does that tell you about whole process and where does it leave the allegations and the accusers who are sort of being left our hanging out to dry apparently?
LEVINSON: Yes. Well, first, let me be clear. I'm under no kind of illusions. I absolutely know that what I want since it happened will not happen because President Trump and the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Republican members have doubled down and have said, we're not looking into this again. This is entirely politically motivated. No one has answered the question why if this is highly politically motivated.
President Trump's previous nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, didn't face any of these accusations. But to your question as to what I expect, I expect that everybody who respects that the accusers are credible will believe that the accusers thought and that after those who have been critical of the accusers and support of Bret t Kavanaugh will continue to feel that way which means that I think the Republican Senators who are saying I already know how I'm going to vote.
Our -- well, I don't think that that's ideal. I think they're being honest about what a lot of people call and think. But the fact that the Republican senators are saying, I already know how I'm going to vote shows in fact what political theater this is and that this is really a circus and this is really because we're in the Me Too moment and the senators understand that they have to do something to show that they're taking these allegations seriously. But in all of their other words and actions, they're showing they
don't. You would never set up a hearing where it's just (INAUDIBLE) and Judge Kavanaugh and there's very few questions that we asked of them if you are actually interested in finding out what happened.
CHURCH: Right. And some people who vouch to -- for Brett Kavanaugh are initially wishing them withdraw their support. They're concerned that they supported him without knowing all of the facts. And we're hearing from his freshman year roommate who said he was aggressive and belligerent when drunk. Others at Yale say his fraternity was known for its hard drinking. Does this change the picture of Brett Kavanaugh enough to necessitate an investigation and in the end would there be enough pressure broad to bear of course, you know, Thursday is upon us and Friday for the vote?
But will it get to the point where it will just be politically embarrassing for the Republicans not to investigate all of this that's coming to light?
LEVINSON: Well, I would say I think we're already there. I mean I think that we have far passed the threshold of embarrassment and humiliation that this is not being investigated. But that we have plowed ahead. And so what will happen I think if Judge Kavanaugh just implodes which is highly unlikely really about whether or not there will be an investigation. I think the ship has sailed on that. There will not be investigation.
The senators are not fully interested in trying to go back in time and figure out what happened. And frankly, it's very difficult of that. I think that the political pressure at this point will just be what a question of whether the leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell says to the White House, I do not have the vote. You need to call this nomination. We need somebody else. And as to your question about the number of accusations, I think that they are damaging because they go to the heart of Judge Kavanaugh's defense.
His defense is I'm not the person whoever has that in me. I could never do that. I'm a choir boy. All I wanted to do is go to school, do well, be on the basketball team. It wasn't in me and all these accusations (INAUDIBLE) very difficult from who Judge Kavanaugh is trying to picture.
[02:40:02] CHURCH: Jessica Levinson, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
LEVINSON: Thank you.
CHURCH: And while this all plays out, it is hard to find someone who doesn't have an opinion about Kavanaugh and his accusers. The explosive issue dates back to his school years. And now stdents in the U.S. are debating the consequences of the sometimes rowdy lifestyle in high schools and in colleges. CNN's Lynda Kinkade reports.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: (INAUDIBLE) outside the Georgia State University where many of the people I'm speaking to say the accusation against Brett Kavanaugh is all too familiar. They say they heard scenarios like this play out at drunken parties. So I put it to them, if they do something as a teenager, should they be held accountable decades later?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like he should be held accountable because if I was in that position, I want someone to pay for their consequences.
KINKADE: Do you think teenagers understand consequences?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes, maybe we all think of it, but everyone -- this is a no-brainer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should be held accountable but it's like, how are you -- like if it was something he really did then, why wait until he is finally getting in the Supreme Court nomination to finally say something. It just make to seem like it's more of politically motivated hit job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess now a full investigation would be needed since it's been so long.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) in a case like that if she suffered from PTS (INAUDIBLE) where friends, family, and co-workers, absolutely.
KINKADE: Kavanaugh denies the accusations against him. But some of his supports say even if it did happened, teenagers are immature. They don't know. They don't understand consequences. What do you make of that argument?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's an excuse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's just an excuse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to be held accountable whether it happened when you're a teenager or not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We get bad judgment for wearing short skirts or showing cleavage if your skirt is too short, you are asking for it. So if you want to make a statement like boys will be boys, you're just excusing that person's actions.
KINKADE: Do feel that men and women have changed their behavior in this era, in this Me Too era?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think everyone is very fearful to be honest because one wrong step for males and it can ruin the rest of your life and the rest of your career.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think that males are becoming more educated on consent and what that means exactly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because a woman is dressed the way that she is, don't touch her. It doesn't give you any right to judge her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at e-mails on campus about sexual assault victims and like the person has been arrested and all of that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If more people are to report -- to report it then more people would be likely to report it.
KINKADE: A recent survey by the Harvard Graduate School of Education interviewing those 18 to 25-year-olds found that 87 percent of female respondents had been the victim of at least one form of sexual harassment. Most don't go to police. Lynda Kinkade, CNN.
CHURCH: And stay with CNN for extensive live coverage of the U.S. Senate hearing with Supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. It starts Thursday at 1:30 in the afternoon in London. That is 8:30 in the evening in Hong Kong. Ahead on President Trump's agenda, Middle East peace. He says his plan is just months away. What he has to say about a two-state solution. We'll take a look at that on the other side of the break. Stay with us.
[02:46:06] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. While at the United Nations, Wednesday, President Donald Trump voiced support for a two- state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu beside him, Mr. Trump said, he thinks the two-state solution is what works best. He did say Israel would have to do something that's good for the other side calling the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the first big chip off the table.
A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would outline his position in his speech, Thursday. Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem, joins us now with more on all of this. So, Oren, what's been the reaction? The president Trump, vowing to release his middle-east peace plan within four months and favoring a two-state solution.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's the first open endorsement clear. Black and white endorsement we've seen from the Trump administration of a two-state solution. And to some extent, it's not a surprise what we've seen. It is worth noting that Netanyahu -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that is sitting just a few feet away from Trump during this exchange where Trump endorsed a two-state solution was notably silent during this entire exchange.
Well, now this morning the right-wing leader of the Jewish home party said, Trump, is a true friend of Israel but flatly rejected the possibility of a two-state solution. Saying his party would leave Netanyahu's coalition if a two-state solution were advanced and if that became a real possibility. And that has been Netanyahu's problem all along. But he doesn't have the coalition, he doesn't have the government to pursue a two-state solution. So, that problem within his coalition that challenge became glaringly obvious after Trump's endorsement.
Trump said, 100 percent, the Palestinians would come back to the table for negotiations. But, that statement, that confidence that the Palestinians would come back and negotiate with the Americans and the Israelis not shared by the Palestinian foreign minister who spoke a bit later in the day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIYAD AL-MALIKI, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER OF THE PALESTINIAN NATIONAL AUTHORITY (through translator): Who are we to threaten or challenge the American administration? We are a nation under occupation. President Trump does not decide international law nor the United Nations resolutions when he takes unilateral steps that have no legal basis. And therefore, it is not binding on this basis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: Trump reiterated his calls for a two-state solution, saying that's the position he endorses at a press conference later in the day. Though he did hedge a bit saying look if the Palestinians want a one-state, that's fine, two so long as there's a deal.
But clearly, Rosemary, the first endorsement -- the first very open and clear endorsement we've seen from the Trump administration and the president himself of a two-state solution which is the international consensus on the future of the region here.
CHURCH: Yes, and of course, the Trump administration has been working on this middle-east plan secretly for 20 months. What more are you learning about its content? Of course, as we mentioned too, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will respond in his speech in a few hours. What are we likely to hear from him?
LIEBERMANN: Well, I think we'll hear more of the messaging he's put out over the past few months ever since the Trump administration moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
We're not going to see Abbas suddenly decide that now is the time to work with the Americans. He'll continue his rhetoric saying that the Palestinians favor negotiations, that they favor a two-state solution. But they will not be held hostage by the American administration, and they will not succumb to economic blackmail.
Let's not forget the Americans have cut something like $550 million in aid to the Palestinians. The American administration believes this will bring the Palestinians closer to negotiating and closer to saying yes to a deal. But, in fact, they have entrenched themselves as rejecting anything the Americans put on the table.
A few speakers after Abbas will be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, himself. His message as it has the last few years will focus on Iran. That's very much what we expect there.
Rosemary, as for the peace plan itself, it remains one of the best- kept secrets in Washington. Perhaps, one of the only kept secrets in Washington. Its contents remain a mystery to most of those people it will affect including here in Israelis and Palestinians. There occasionally are some details that leaked but those are quickly quashed and rejected by the Trump administration.
So, as for the contents of the plan itself, though the American administration has said it is near finalizing, its contents are still a mystery. So, we'll see very much what comes out of it when it really is put on the table as Trump predicted in three to four months.
[02:50:34] CHURCH: Yes, we shall have to wait unless as you point out something has leaked to us. Oren Liebermann, bringing us the very latest from Jerusalem. Many thanks to you.
Well, Venezuela's president says he is at the United Nations General Assembly to defend the truth. Nicolas Maduro met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, shortly after arriving in New York on Wednesday. This as six other nations are asking the International Criminal Court to investigate possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela.
While speaking at the U.N. Mr. Maduro said his country's humanitarian crisis is a fabrication by the U.S. and its Latin American allies. But he added he would still be open to meeting with President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): Let me say from this very rostrum, despite the enormous historic differences, despite the enormous ideological differences, despite the enormous social differences, I am a worker, I drive for a man of the people. I'm not a magnate, I am not a multi-millionaire.
Despite all of the differences the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro would be willing -- I am willing to reach out my hand to the President of the United States Donald Trump and discuss matters bilaterally. These matters involving our region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCH: U.S. officials say, Mr. Trump has no plans to meet with Mr. Maduro. Well, Argentina is getting the biggest loan package ever from the International Monetary Fund. $57.4 billion. It was announced by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Argentina's finance minister.
It will be dispersed over the next three years to shore up the country's dismal finances. Argentina's currency has dropped 50 percent in value this year as a drought battered its agricultural exports and helped tip the economy into recession. The IMF board must still approve the bailout.
On traffic, one of the world's biggest problems. So, how's this for solution, flying sports cars. And this invention isn't coming out of Silicon Valley, we'll have more on this when we come back.
CHURCH: Flying cars, it's no longer a matter of if but when. One inventor in the Philippines tired of sitting in traffic may have found a way to make them not just fast but affordable and easy to use. Here's Amara Walker.
[02:55:03] AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It's an ambitious title, the Koncepto Milenya. This Philippine inventor has used multicopter technology usually seen on smaller drones to create what he calls his flying sports car.
KYXZ MENDIOLA, INVENTOR OF KONCEPTO MILENYA: Basically, you have 16 motors that has 16 computers. So, if one motor fails, you can still fly. With two, you can still land, which is -- you know, unheard of before. And with that, we can easily just make flying very safe.
WALKER: A flying car can reach a height of just over six meters and speeds of about 60 kilometers. The power comes from six lithium-ion batteries.
MENDIOLA: This will be a very good option for short to medium-range transportation. We're talking about when we travel, usually, when we have to go somewhere about an hour drive, this can take you there in like five minutes.
WALKER: That said, this first flight lasted just 10 minutes. So, it could be a while before we're all taking to the skies with their own personal drone. It's been a financial struggle to get the project this far. But now, an Australian firm is coming on board with plans to market and improved version internationally.
That means, going up against some of the best minds in Silicon Valley.
JACOB MAIMON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STAR 8: We don't think about Google, Uber, all the top companies -- Facebook. So, whatever he achieved by himself with the little budget he have, that's already very nice. So, here though, there are people in the house at the moment but we will get there very fast now.
WALKER: So, for the moment, at least, it seems to be a case of up, up, and away for the Koncepto Milenya. Amara Walker, CNN.
CHURCH: Ingenuity and some Lego blocks are helping an injured turtle get around. A veterinary team in the U.S. state of Maryland put a turtle shell back together after it was likely hit by a car. But the creature still needed a way to move while being kept off the ground. So, they used the popular children's toys to build a turtle wheelchair.
Look at that. Seems to be working well. The turtles should be released back into the wild within a year or so. Thanks to a shell of an idea. Yes, I said it.
Thanks for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @rosemarycnn, loved to hear from you and I'll be back with another hour of news, next. You're watching CNN, stick around.