Return to Transcripts main page


Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford Face in Senate Hearing; Trump Stand Firmly behind Kavanaugh. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 27, 2018 - 03:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: A hard to forget news conference. President Trump stands by his choice defiantly throwing all his support behind Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and revealing everything he wants to tell the world. That's after he promise to get even tougher on Iran unveiling a brand new set of sanctions for Tehran that didn't get much support from most other countries of the United Nations.

And another accusation, this time against China. President Trump says Beijing is trying to meddle in the upcoming elections in retaliation for the tougher trade policies he's imposing.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.

Well, the stage is set for a dramatic showdown over President Trump's pick for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. In just a few hours from now senators will hear from a woman who accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago.

Christine Blasey Ford is one of three women to go public with claims against Kavanaugh. The latest accuser, Julie Swetnick says back in high school Kavanaugh was drunk and sexually aggressive at parties were women were drugged and gang raped.

Kavanaugh denies all the claims including two other anonymous from 1985 and 1998. he calls it a coordinated smear campaign.

President Trump says he believes Kavanaugh although he could change his mind once he sees Thursday's Senate hearing.

Well, we get more now from CNN's Phil Mattingly on Capitol Hill.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The moment the U.S. Senate and the Supreme Court nominee, the president, the accusers, pretty much the entire country has been waiting for is just about upon us.

A hearing to address allegations against Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh will testify. Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh she will testify as well.

Now it will be a little bit different dynamics on what you saw in Brett Kavanaugh's initial hearings, a much smaller more contained hearing of only two witnesses. Senators only getting five minutes apiece with each witness.

Republican senators bringing in outside counsel. A county prosecutor with experience in prosecuting sex crimes and dealing with victims asking most of their questions.

But underscoring all of this and kind of underlying all of this is the reality of this moment. A moment that is huge for the United States Senate. It's enormous for the president. It's obviously enormous for the two individuals that will be testifying. It's really enormous for the entire country.

The moment that the country is in, the moment that this nomination has kind of brought to the floor, that will all be hush out in public in a hearing on television.

Now where does this all go from here? It is a very open question. Republican aides that I've been talking to say one thing is certain, they don't currently have the votes for Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to be moved through the United States Senate.

I think they might be able to get there but it all hinges on this hearing with several senators who aren't on the committee saying they're going to clear their schedules entirely to watch every minute of the hearing.

How this hearing goes will determine the fate of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination, the fate of the Supreme Court, really kind of the new dynamics in the United States Senate, and to be frank, kind of the recognition inside the country of how allegations like this against people like this are treated. There is so much at stake. Overwhelming stakes to some degree, we're going to see it all play out on live television in just a little bit.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, Capitol Hill.

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.


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.

[03:05:00] 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 allegationss 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 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 Present 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.

[03:10:05] 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: And on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly President trump showed off what he calls an extraordinary letter he says North Korea's Kim Jong-un sent him. He also announced the 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.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.


CHURCH: And Alexandra Field joins us now from Hong Kong with more on this. Good to see you again, Alex. So President Trump was thrilled with Kim Jong-un's letter clearly and said the two leaders will probably make a deal. He reminded everyone they had been no rockets, no missiles, no nuclear test for a year.

But what real progress has been made on denuclearization, and of course, a timeline for that.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, North Korea's made no concrete steps toward denuclearization and they haven't committed to taking any concrete steps toward denuclearization since sign that agreement in Singapore to work with the United States toward this purportedly shared goal of denuclearization.

That says, the president is now saying that time is no longer an issue. He had said shortly after that summit that he was confident that North Korea would denuclearize as quickly as mechanically possible.

He went on to say that once the process starts it's essentially over something to that effect, make of that what you will. Not only he's saying it doesn't really matter if it takes two years or three years or five months. He's saying that what's important is the fact that North Korea has not been testing its missiles or launching its rockets or conducting nuclear test.

Now objectively, Rosemary, it is a good thing to see that the tension level on the peninsula has lowered so much that you have seen this kind of engagement, that you have seen talks. But that doesn't mean that the talks had yielded results. And that's really what a lot of people are focusing on right now.

The purported goal of the Trump administration is denuclearization and to that end we have not seen the progress. You know, it was just back in August that President Trump said he was scrapping a trip for Secretary Pompeo to travel to Pyongyang because there had not been enough progress in these talks.

Now we understand that Secretary Pompeo will make a trip but we do know that his goal is going to be working to set up another summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump. President Trump clearly sending the message right now that what he feels is important is that he maintains a personal relationship with Kim Jong-un, the author of that letter that clearly impressed, perhaps flatter President Trump.

CHURCH: So, Alex, so what's the regional reaction to where things stand right now as far as progress made with North Korea, also of course the second summit planned between the two leaders?

FIELD: Well, look, given the fact that you have seen communications stagnate, especially with that scuttled trip for Secretary Pompeo, South Korea is certainly supportive of this move. They are the ones who chair any kind of talking, any kind of engagement, and certainly they are the ones who have led the way.

They broker the initial contact between President Trump and Kim Jong- un and they continue to work as an intermediary. President Moon himself very much taking on that role.

He spoke at the U.N. within the last 24 hours. He painted a very optimistic portrait for the possibility of peace on the peninsula and said that the international community really needs to continue to urge North Korea to stay on the right path. He really did sound optimistic notes in the same way that President Trump has sounded some optimistic notes.

[03:14:55] What's interesting as well, though, is that we are hearing from Japan. The U.S.' other closest ally in the region and a key player when it comes to stakeholders in the North Korea conflict and the tensions with North Korea.

We've certainly heard from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the last couple of days about his willingness to meet with Kim Jong-un. That is important because typically Japan has a poor signal hardest line against North Korea. They are the ones who are very much for maximum pressure.

We do also that Japan's foreign minister met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly with his counterpart from North Korea. Another signal that there is some engagement some dialogue going on there very much in the same vein, that we see that happening now with the U.S. and North Korea once again. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Thanks for keeping an eye on all of that. Alexandra Field joining us there from Hong Kong. Many thanks.

Well, another major development at the U.N. General Assembly, Japan and the U.S. have agreed to begin talks on trade.

More on that from correspondent Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Relief among carmakers here, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was able to counter the threat of auto tariffs from the United States. Also some relief here the Japan was able to fend off the U.S. demands for free trade agreement.

Instead, the two leaders agreed to start talks for trade agreement on goods which is not as all-encompassing as a free trade deal. Since the U.S. wrapped up a 69 billion trade deficit with Japan last year, two thirds of it coming from autos. There were fears in the run-up to the meeting that President Trump would start to press Japan as he has been doing with China.

Memories of the trade wars of the 1980s run still pretty vivid here in Japan. But unlike then, most of the Japanese cars sold in America are made in America now. And also, unlike then, though, however, Japanese industry is very different.

If the Japanese auto industry were slapped with high tariffs right now has few alternative industries that could make up for the auto industry.

The biggest surprise then they have been Japan's attitude towards North Korea. The Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe said he was willing to meet with Kim Jong-un, a very different approach to the maximum pressure strategy over the last year.

The foreign minister Taro Kono also met with his North Korean counterpart in New York. A diplomatic not perhaps towards Donald Trump's willingness to engage with North Korea.

That's the latest from Tokyo. I'm Kaori Enjoji.

CHURCH: All right. Let's take a short break now. Still to come, President Trump come from the defense of his Supreme Court nominee. New claims of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh.

Back in a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, more now on the battle over Brett Kavanaugh on his nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is denying two new 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.

Well, Senate investigators have released transcripts of a conference call with Kavanaugh where he pushes back on these latest claims 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."

Well, 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, so she will never forget the night of the sexual assault and says it drastically altered her life.

Ford goes on to say this, "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."

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.


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 Republicans 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 is a bureau in the United States that does that and its called the FBI. And the president of the United States could at any moment pick up the phone and say, you know what, there's 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 timetable here. And so we would like you to ask, for instance, happened in years past different judicial nominee, Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court would like to look in to these allegations.

And so, from a legal perspective I want this to be taken seriously. I wanted to go through legal channels and I want there to be not what we're going to see which is more a political theater in the Senate hearing but I want actual and much as possible being process supported to (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 at 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 minds they will vote for the Supreme Court nominee.

What did that tell you about this whole process and where does it leave the allegations and the accusers who was sort of being left out hanging out to dry apparently.

LEVINSON: Yes. Well, let me be clear. I am under no kind of illusions. I absolutely know that what I want to see happen will not because President Trump and members of the Senate judiciary committee, the Republican members have double down and have said we're not looking into this again, this is entirely politically motivated.

Now no one has answered the question why if this entirely politically motivated. President Trump's previous nominee to the Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch, didn't face any of these accusation.

But to your question as to what I expect, I expect that everybody who respects that the accusers are credible will believe that (AUDIO GAP) and that after those who have been critical of the accusers in support of Brett Kavanaugh will continue to feel that way.

Which means that I think the Republican senators who were saying, I already know how am I going to vote are well, I don't think that that's ideal. I think they're being honest about what a lot of people (Technical difficulty).

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 on the Me Too moment and the senators understand that they have to do something to show that they're taking these allegations seriously.

[03:25:08] But in all of their other words and action they're showing they don't would never set up a hearing where it's just (Technical difficulty) and Judge Kavanaugh and there's very feew questions that we ask of them if you were actually interested to find out what happened.

CHURCH: Right. And some -- some people who vouch for Brett Kavanaugh initially we're seeing them withdraw their support. They're concerned that they supported him without knowing all of the facts.

And we are hearing from his freshman year roommate who said he was aggressive and belligerent when drunk. Others at Yale 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 brought 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 it's coming to light.

LEVINSON: Well, I would say, I think we're already there. I mean, I think that we have far past the threshold of embarrassment and humiliation that this is not being investigated but that we have allowed ahead.

And so, what will happen I think if Judge Kavanaugh just implodes, which is highly unlikely, then there would enormous pressure for him to pull his nomination back.

So I don't think that this is really about whether or not they'll be an investigation. I think the ship has sailed on that. There will not be investigation. The Senators are not really interested in trying to go back in time to see what happened. And frankly, it's very (Technical difficulty).

That I think that the political pressure at this point will just be -- a question of whether, the leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell says to the White House, I do not have the votes, we need to pull this nomination. We need somebody else.

And as to your question about the number of accusation, 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 who ever has that in me. I could never do that. I'm a choir your boy. All I wanted to do was go to school, do well, be on the basketball team. It wasn't in me.

And all of his accusations (Technical difficulty) who is very different from who is Judge Kavanaugh is trying to portray.

CHURCH: Jessica Levinson, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

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's 8.30 in the evening in Hong Kong.

Well, war of words is heating up between U.S. President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Mr. Trump says more sanctions are on the way. Mr. Rouhani he says America is being led by a team of novices. We'll have the details for you, still to come.

Plus, Presidents Trump and Macron met again, but this time it seems the bromance between the U.S. and French leaders is diminishing. We are live in Paris with more on that.

Stay with us.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: A very warm welcome back. I'm

Rosemary Church, let us update you now on the main stories where following this hour. On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump showed of a letter he says North Korea's leader sent him and he called it extraordinary. Mr. Trump says he has a great relationship with Kim Jong-un. He also announced the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo will head to Pyongyang to lay the groundwork for another meeting between the two leaders.

Donald Trump says he will be watching Thursday's Senate hearing, which will include testimony from a woman who was is his Supreme Court nominee a sexual assault. The president says he thinks the allegations are false, but he says he could change his mind. Meanwhile, a third woman now accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

President Trump is accusing China of trying to meddle in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections. He says it's because China wants to hurt him politically due to the trade war. China's top diplomat denies the accusation.

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.


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.


CHURCH: House Republican leaders say Rosenstein should work things out, but the president rather than forcing him to testify before Congress about those reported comments. Well, now more on the U.N. General Assembly meeting, President Trump is urging U.N. Security Council members to work with the U.S. to ensure Iran never gets hold of a nuclear bomb. He says the U.S. plans to impose additional sanctions against Tehran and anyone who fails to comply will face severe consequences. Take a listen.


TRUMP: All U.S. nuclear related sanctions will be in full force by early November. They will be in full force. After that the United States will pursue additional sanctions, tougher than ever before to counter the entire range of Iran's maligned conduct. Any individual or entity who fails to comply with these sanctions will face severe consequences.


CHURCH: CNN's international correspondent Sam Kiley joins us now from Abu Dhabi with more on this. Good to see you, Sam. So, it doesn't appear to be a lot of enthusiasm for President Trump's plan to impose more tougher sanctions against Iran, but that he is threatening severe consequences if they don't comply, where is this all going?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is going -- it is heading right now for a collision between Donald Trump and his -- or at least United dates traditional allies in Europe. The Europeans led by the British and the French are working on some kind of deal that could bypass any kind of American sanctions that may in the end, I rather whimsically being suggested that maybe a barter deal that would allow Iran to continue to trade oil in return for other goods that would circumvent the liquid ability of the United States interfere by that.

[03:35:05] I mean, international banking system, because in the view of Europe and the Russians and the Chinese, this the JCPOA. The deal struck in 2015 to allow Iran to reduce the amount will have no sanctions imposed upon in return for giving up its nuclear weapons program is the only way to achieve just that result.

Now the United States led by Donald Trump is now firmly not of the opinion and he is threatening even greater problems for anybody doing business with Iran. This is being exploited though by the Iranians, perhaps on Rouhani, again the U.N. General Assembly, the leader, the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran said the United States was isolated. This is how we score this point, Rosemary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): The United States of America. In taking this action has become alone and isolated in their withdrawal of the United States of America from the JCPOA has not met the approval of any -- of many countries around the world and most countries are analyzing it and describing it as a political mistake.


KILEY: Now it may be seen by Iran as a political mistake, well it is not unpopular indeed, it is wildly popular. Is this part of the well- run speaking to you from the United Arab Emirates that is just across the Persian or the Arabian Gulf, depending on which side of it you sit, a stretch of water. This thinnest point just have a 25 miles wide. This nation is vulnerable to attack by Iran, Saudi Arabia has been attacked by an Iranian fact Houthi rebels in Yemen. And of course Iran is deeply involved in propping up the Damascus regime and in supporting Hezbollah in south Lebanon, which means the Israelis, the Saudis, the UAE, along the Gulf States are very much on board with Donald Trump.

I think the real question here is, notwithstanding Donald Trump support for those governments in this region. Quite why Iran is now top of the world's boogeyman as far as the United States concern given that Iran has no real ambitions to attack of the United States is very difficult to explain, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Thanks so much for that, Sam Kiley, reporting from Abu Dhabi, I appreciate that.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also met with the president of Venezuela another country targeted by U.S. sanctions and they met shortly after Venezuela's Nicholas Maduro arrived in New York, this as six of the nations are asking the international criminal court to investigate possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela 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.


NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (TRANSLATOR): He say, from this very rostrum despite the enormous historic differences. Despite the enormous ideological difference. Despite the enormous social differences. I am a worker. I am a driver, a man of the people. I'm not a magnet, I'm not a multimillionaire. Despite all of the difference. The president of Venezuelan Nicholas Maduro would be willing, I am willing to reach out my hand to the president of the United States Donald Trump and discussed these matters bilaterally. These matters involving our region.


CHURCH: Well, U.S. officials say Mr. Trump has no plans to meet with Mr. Maduro. Well, the U.S. president did meet with his French counterpart on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly early this week, however a senior diplomatic source says Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron don't have the same rapport they used to have. The source says Mr. Trump ranted and vented to Mr. Macron about the European Union's trade policies.

So, let us turn now to CNN's Melissa Bell, she joins us live from Paris. Good to see you. Melissa, is the bromance over?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think, definitely Rosemary. That is what we are looking at. This strategy of Emmanuel Macron which had been if you remember, ever since his election to reach out to the American president despite their considerable differences on so many issues and fundamentally they are two very different worldviews. Well, that strategy now definitely appears to have failed with the source telling CNN of this ranting on the part of the American president. Now, it is no surprise that it should come on the issue of trade.

[03:40:00] Rosemary, remember that back in April when that bromance is still continuing, when Emmanuel Macron was still referred to as the Trump (inaudible), remember in the White House, even if he received him Donald Trump on camera has not hesitated to lay in to enforce the European union's trade policies what Donald Trump regarded as its protectionism, particularly when it comes to agriculture. So, this has really been the big division between the two men and it once the American imposition of tariffs on the E.U. after that meeting wasn't enabled really was the nail in the coffin of Emmanuel Macron strategy of reaching out.

You sense the French president himself sort of retreat to his own position and he did it in front of the U.N. General assembly, just a day after that meeting with the American president laying in to the American position both directly and implicitly on so many different issues, Rosemary.

CHURCH: So, where does this leave you with U.S.-French relations and in the end, does President Macron care that no relationship with President Trump.

BELL: Well, he had believe, I think very sincerely that in order for a world stability to be ensure. It was essential that old alliances be kept up. These after the alliances had (inaudible) the architecture and the stability of the world ever since the end of World War II. But I think more importantly perhaps, it isn't so much now about his relationship with the American president. As I say, he seems to have digested the facts that that reaching out, that out stretch hand was not going to leave a terribly much.

More importantly, perhaps, I think he's speaking in his opposition to Donald Trump to the European electorate. Remember that next year, Europeans go to the polls and Emmanuel Macron will explain that he believes that this will be a battle for Europe. The battle between the populist nationalist on one hand. No doubt encouraged by Donald Trump by the example of his electoral success in the United States. And the old guard represented by Emmanuel Macron who want the E.U. to stick to the sort of liberal or fashion view of the world, multilateral in its approach that has prevailed for so long. And because of that moving electoral battle, he is speaking all the more forcefully I believe against everything that Donald Trump represents, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to Melissa Bell, joining us live from Paris.

Well, the U.S. trade war with China takes a turn after the U.N. Security Council President Trump accuses waging and meddling in the midterm elections, we have China's response.

And take a look at typhoon Trami from the international space station. It is as dangerous as it looks, and we would tell you more when we come back.


CHURCH: Well, on the international front, President Trump went on the offensive against China chairing his first U.N. Security Council meeting. He leveled the new accusation in the United States escalating trade war with Beijing. Listen.


TRUMP: Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 28 Dean Election. They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade.


CHURCH: Now Mr. Trump often little evidence to back that claim, but he tweeted that China is putting out fake news in the Des Moines register and other newspapers.


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.


CHURCH: The Iowa papers says the president is referring to an advertising supplement that clearly marked as sponsored by the China daily newspaper. China immediately denied its involvement. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (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.


CHURCH: And Mr. Trump later told reporters he would not allow Russian meddling in the midterm's heat up.

Steven Jiang reports, this is not a new accusation from Mr. Trump but it signals relations between the two countries are not expected to improve anytime soon.


STEVEN JIANG, CNN PRODUCER: It was not the first time President Trump has accused China of trying to interfere in U.S. elections. He has recently tweeted about it, saying the Chinese tariffs in the ongoing trade war are targeting American farmers, ranchers and blue-collar workers. People who had voted for him in 2016. But the key difference between the allegations against China versus Russia when it comes to the lush interference is the lack of specific so far. Mr. Trump and its officials had been using very broad and vague terms when the accused China of interviewing in U.S. elections and appointing two long-standing Chinese practices such as placing advertorials in U.S. newspapers.

But that may change. Mr. Trump has promised to reveal more evidence, including in a speech by Vice President Pence next week. For its part, China has strongly denied all such allegations calling them groundless. Now one interesting anecdote is Wang Yi, the country's top diplomat who is in New York right now when he heard Mr. Trump's accusation at the U.N. She apparently rolled his eyes and shrugged it off and that image -- that image has been making around here online at least publicly, that seems to be the Chinese reaction and attitude.

But this latest accusation along with the ongoing trade war tariffs and other recent moves by the White House, such as sanctioning the Chinese military for buying weapons from Russia will only make the Chinese leadership under President Xi Jing-ping more convinced that one thing that is the U.S. is out to get China. The U.S. is trying hard to contain the rise of China.

So that would mean this relationship is headed into more uncertainty. It's likely to get much worse before you get a chance to get better. Steven Jiang, CNN, Beijing.


CHURCH: To the weather now. Typhoon Trami is taking aim at Okinawa and southern Japan bringing strong winds and heavy rains. Let us turn to our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri, joins us live from the CNN weather center. How bad is this, Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is a category two right now. Strong category two equivalent Rosemary in it sitting there and moving at a snail phase. A remarkable to see this, because in fact, in the last few hours it has gone from two kilometer per hour to four kilometers per hour, still essentially walking phase of the system event for the last several days and will take his time as it meanders up toward the north you think maybe that's good news that will cause it to weaken and in some ways it does, but, you know, it was a tremendous amount of moisture that is still string right off of this and pushing up towards the southern Japan.

[03:50:00] So even when it sits away from where it's going eventually impact we think it is still producing tremendous rainfall in the process and that's the concerning aspect of this very slow-moving system.

I noticed that over the next couple of days, 24 hours barely moves any distance there. It just essentially makes it way about a 100 km north of where it is and work its way farther towards Okinawa. We think some time Friday and to Saturday. The system finally takes up a little bit of steam pushes off toward the West of Okinawa and then going Saturday night into Sunday, landfall somewhere the southern prefectures of Japan as a category three, maybe even a category four equivalent storm. So there will be weakening involved as it pushes up towards the north and picks up some steam as well.

So we will watch this here carefully and again on the process here, a lot of tropical moisture towards southern Japan. As you know very well if you watch CNN international you know, that Japan has been really hit hard with tropical systems. It is even upwards are now seven, I believe in the last four weeks had impacted this region and the rainfall amounts really going to be staggering with the system because it is already produced a tremendous amount and will continue to do so as it pushes up towards the north.

Tokyo is much as 55 millimeter further towards the south, we are talking upwards of 300 millimeters possible. Another story I want to talk about and what has been happening here across the Mediterranean, some of an unusual weather patterns shaping up here is where getting the system aligning here with the jet stream taking a nosedive was northern Africa. We do have a low pressure center trying to form there in the central Met and the model suggests the system can actually strengthen rather rapidly for the next couple of days and became a threat for areas around (inaudible), and eventually the Eastern Mediterranean. And the reason is rare is the environmental conditions setting this up and resemble what essentially looks like a tropical system in the Mediterranean very dry environment somewhat warmer waters as you pushed farther to the East. You put this together will have some tremendous wind associated with in fact, the wind advisors already in place for much of Greece, in particular the southern tier of the country 110 kilometer per hour wind. This systems often called Medikings or Mediterranean hurricanes because of the similarities to getting those are tropical system wind gusts associated with them.

This will be a storm that will impact this region potentially later this week. Into this weekend, t is the only story to follow, Rosemary, as we go Friday into Saturday across the Eastern Mediterranean.

CHURCH: And we know you will follow it for us. Thanks so much, Pedram, we appreciate it.

And coming up, a calendar is raising eyebrows not because it's supremely old, but because who are and such. We have more on that when we comeback.


CHURCH: When the Duchess Sussex, Prince Harry's wife Megan Markle closed a car door all by herself. It's is incredible stop Horace her move shut down somewhere protocol which requires that someone else do that job. Apparently, for security reasons some people on social media congratulated the Duchess of humility, while one person see it would cost someone at job as the Queen while we do not know whether her Majesty was amused over me.

So, who keeps a decades-old calendar with the day-to-day accounting of the week at the beach and all-knowing duties? The embattle Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, that is who. And it is revealing more about him than he might like. Here is CNN's Jeanne Moos. (BEGIN VIDEO)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was the summer of 1982. The summer of Rocky III.

[03:55:06] We know that because Brett Kavanaugh calendar notes going to it. Who saves a 36-year-old calendar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How weird is that we got calendars from when he was in high school.

MOOS: Mark with Monday activities like haircut on May 22nd, grounded three times in May.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did not cut the grass on the third.

MOOS: But there is one notation in June too big to miss.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doing beach week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Doing quote and quote beach week.

MOOS: Beach week, began a trend on Twitter. Duke sure was excited about the beach week. Beach week in Ocean City Maryland for partying teenagers. It's described as nothing but sin, the unofficial town motto, come on vacation leave on probation, but Kavanaugh's calendars is not the only thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That talks about beach week.

MOOS: So does the declaration of the third accuser. She describes John Kavanaugh grinding against girls without their consent, attempting to remove clothing being a mean drunk all of which he denies. And it specifically mentions witnessing such conduct during beach week. Red one tweet to celebrate beach week, the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee plan to bury their heads in the sand. Kavanaugh's calendars is a time capsule in the span of two weeks he saw Rocky III, Greece Two, and Poltergeist.

Greece two, that alone should disqualify him for a Supreme Court seat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I am in love.

MOOS: Those movies from 1982 could describe the Supreme Court circuit of 2018.

Our current guys is a special (inaudible) poltergeist. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: He certainly live a good life, didn't he? A surprising moment for a kayaker in New Zealand recently, sales was swimming all around and want to push the kayak with part of its lunch. There it is a set the kayaker in the face with the octopus it was chewing. There was nothing else of course for the kayakers to do, but laugh. Sushi anyone?

Thanks for your company everyone, I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @rosemarycnn. And the news continues next with Max Foster in London. You are watching CNN. Have yourself a good day.