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FBI Begins Investigation into Sexual Abuse Accusations Against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh; President Trump Tweets Support for Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh; Earthquake Triggers Tsunami that Hits Indonesia; Man with Cerebral Palsy to Attempt Ironman Challenge with Brother. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired September 29, 2018 - 10:00   ET


[10:00:00] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: So don't think it's going to be a complete gender lineup as to who we believe. See you next week.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It is Saturday, September 29th. I hope it's treating you well. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Top stories this hour, the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, a friend of a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh of sexual assault plans to fully cooperate with the FBI. She says she is not refuting the allegation but doesn't remember it either.

PAUL: And a devastating tsunami this morning. More than 380 people now have died after an earthquake triggered giant waves that crashed down on beaches in Indonesia.

BLACKWELL: And compromised. Mark Zuckerberg is among 90 million users forcibly logged out of Facebook after a massive security breach leaves users exposed.

You're in the CNN Newsroom.

The FBI now has less than a week to finish a new background check on Brett Kavanaugh after it was ordered by President Trump to shore up support for his Supreme Court nominee.

PAUL: This morning, the attorney for Leland Keyser says his client will cooperate with the FBI in that probe. Keyser is a longtime friend of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford. Ford says Keyser was at the party on the night in question. Keyser's attorney says she does not remember being there but will not refute Dr. Ford's account.

BLACKWELL: The investigation called for by Senator Jeff Flake. He joined several other senators who said they would not vote yes on Kavanaugh without the FBI weighing in. That effectively put Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation on hold just when the GOP was feeling better about getting votes to confirm it.

PAUL: And as he announced the probe, the president said he is still backing his nominee. He is, the president, in fact, going to be in West Virginia later today for a reelection rally. BLACKWELL: But he is starting his morning at the White House. And

that's where we start with CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles, and also in Washington, CNN reporter Kara Scannell. Good morning to you. Let's start with you, Ryan.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, good morning to you. And the president did not expect to be in this position on Saturday morning. He thought after the hearing Thursday that his nominee Brett Kavanaugh had performed well and that would be enough to convince some of those wayward Republican senators that his nomination should be confirmed. But Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona throwing a curveball and delaying this process yet another week. And that does have some at the White House nervous.

Regardless, the president is not backing away from his nominee. He tweeted just recently, quote, "Just started tonight our seventh FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. We will someday be recognizing him as a truly great justice of the United States Supreme Court." You can tell in the president's language there, he is pointing out the fact that Brett Kavanaugh has been thoroughly vetted by the FBI a number of times over the course of his lengthy career on the federal bench, and he is showing that he remains supportive of Kavanaugh.

But how long can the support hold? A lot will be determined by what comes out of this investigation that takes place. But the White House is clearly growing impatient, as is the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. They want this thing wrapped up. They've given a firm deadline of Friday for the FBI to look into any more information about these credible allegations and to provide that information to the Senate. They are hoping that this is something that can move forward by Friday, and they're still hopeful that Brett Kavanaugh will eventually become the next justice on the Supreme Court. Victor and Christi?

PAUL: All right, Ryan, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Kara Scannell is with us now as well. Kara, do we have any indication exactly what the FBI is doing right now?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: We know that the FBI was charged with this investigation as of last night, and it's part of this supplemental background investigation. What they'll do is they'll go and they'll interview people voluntarily who may have been at that party. We have heard of attorneys from the three people that Christine Blasey Ford has alleged was in the house at the time who have said that they would voluntarily talk with the FBI. "The New York Times" is reporting that the FBI has reached out to another individual, Deborah Ramirez, a Yale school classmate of Judge Kavanaugh who said that the FBI did reach out to her. So we know that the investigation is now beginning, it is under way.

But a key thing here to remember is that this is not a criminal investigation. There will be no conclusion or decision by the FBI. What they're going to do is talk to people who were at the party. "The New York Times" is reporting they're expanding that scope a bit to some of the other accusers who have alleged assault by Judge Kavanaugh back when they were in high school and college, and try to understand what they remember, piece together their narrative of the events of the time. And they'll submit these interviews, essentially, to the White House which will ultimately go to the Senate, and it will be up to lawmakers to decide if they believe there is corroboration to Christine Blasey Ford's allegations or if they feel that there's not enough there and that it doesn't harm Judge Kavanaugh's reputation.

[10:05:06] But this is the process. The FBI will go and talk to these individuals. They have one week to do it. And then it will go to the White House and ultimately the Senate to decide what they think that they've learned out of this one-week investigation about Judge Kavanaugh's character and these allegations leveled by several women. And of course, Judge Kavanaugh has denied all of these allegations quite vehemently. Christi, Victor.

PAUL: All right, Ryan Nobles and Kara Scannell, we appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Joining me, CNN Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue, and CNN legal analyst Areva Martin, attorney and legal affairs commentator. Welcome back to the Newsroom, both of you. And Ariane, let me start with you and this new reporting that Leland Keyser through her attorney now says that she will cooperate with this investigation. She is not refuting the claims made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, but she doesn't altogether remember that party or that night. The significance of her announcing that she will be cooperative with the FBI investigation?

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN Supreme Court REPORTER: Right, Victor. Yesterday at this time Brett Kavanaugh was a lot closer to a Supreme Court vote. All of that has now come to a screeching halt as this FBI investigation is launched. And it's true. This isn't a full out criminal investigation, but they are going to be contacting some of the accusers and people related to it. One of the main accusers there is Christine Blasey Ford, and she said that there were three people that she could place at the party. All three of those said they have no recollection.

But one of the people is this Leland Keyser. She's a friend of Ford. And late last night she released a statement to the committee saying she still has no recollection of the party, but she wants to make sure that the Senate knows that that doesn't mean that she is refuting her friend's allegation. She says simply she doesn't remember it. And also, in that statement, Victor, she said and her lawyer said that they would be happy to cooperate with the FBI. So that's where we are. That's a significant first step here as this thing unfurls.

BLACKWELL: So Areva, "The New York Times" is reporting that in addition to those allegations made by Dr. Ford, the allegation made by Deborah Ramirez will also be investigated. And as we talk about the witnesses potentially who will be participating and cooperative, Mark Judge is also one of them. Dr. Ford named him as one of the others in the room, but he's also named as a potential witness in the allegations made by Julie Swetnick. So is it possible or plausible to think the FBI would question Mark Judge about one accusation but not question him about the other, the Swetnick allegation as well?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think so, Victor. And that's what is important to note. Although this is not a criminal investigation, once the FBI starts to ask questions, they are going to follow the leads in terms of what the answers to those questions provide. So Mark Judge we know is a very central character in both the allegations of Dr. Ford and Julie Swetnick. Dr. Ford puts him in the room as she says Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her and unintentionally perhaps even kill her as she testified so powerfully during the Senate confirmation hearing this week.

So Mark Judge has always been raised as someone that needed to be talked to, and although he's issued some statements via his lawyer, there's nothing like the FBI sitting down with a witness, looking at them, judging his or her demeanor and really making some determination about what it is, the totality of information that he may have. We know the Democrats and survivors all over this country have been calling for an FBI investigation. And although this investigation has a lot of limitations, it is a critical first step in ensuring that this process has some legitimacy.

BLACKWELL: Critical first step. Let me stay with you, Areva, for this. Debra Katz, an attorney for Dr. Ford, wrote in a statement overall praising the decision to now start this FBI investigation, but ended with this, "No artificial limits as to time or scope should be imposed on this investigation." Is this something that typically would just go on as long as necessary, follow the leads that come? Do you think this is just an arbitrary deadline as suggested, this artificial limit?

MARTIN: I think it is completely arbitrary, Victor. There is no reason why the FBI should not be allowed to conduct a full and thorough investigation. There were so many issues raised by the testimony of Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh, things like his calendar. There are lots of issues with respect to that calendar he used to try to exonerate himself. We know that date, July 1st, has become a critical date in this entire process. What did the notes on that calendar mean as it relates to July 1st.

[10:10:01] What about the yearbook? We know there are lots of references in the yearbook and there are some disputes about what those references mean. This whole issue that has arisen with respect to his drinking, how much did he drink, did he drink to the point of having memory loss, of blacking out. We know he has made several statements about his drinking. On FOX News he appeared to be a choir boy. He didn't drink a whole lot. But then he softened that statement and suggested that he maybe did drink more than originally he had stated. So there are lots of questions.

Did he commit perjury? Did he make statements during that confirmation hearing that are not true? The FBI should be given an opportunity to investigate all those leads, potentially leading to criminal referrals. We don't know. But we shouldn't place these arbitrary limits on them when we're talking about an appointment to the highest court in the nation. BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the court and the calendar. The

president, Congressional Republicans wanted Judge Kavanaugh on the court by the start of the term. That's Monday, October 1st. That obviously is not going to happen now. Is that problematic for the cases that will be argued for the rest of the justices? What does that mean that if he is confirmed, it won't be the start of the term?

DE VOGUE: You're absolutely right. This delay is not what Kavanaugh wanted. It is not what McConnell wanted. It's not what the president wanted, and it is a setback. And remember, Kavanaugh in that confirmation hearing, he said how much the delay, how painful this has been to his family. But nevertheless, the court is going to sit on Monday, and we're back now to an eight-member court. That's something that the Supreme Court justices themselves don't like because on those hot button issues, not every issue, but on hot button issues and emergency petitions that might come up to the Supreme Court, if they are split four-four, that means that they can't issue precedent setting opinion there.

So what they tend to do when they're in this situation is maybe push off some of the bigger issues or get together and look at more narrow ways to rule. So as things stand they're going to start this term. There will only be the eight. And Kavanaugh, who is seeking the seat of Justice Anthony Kennedy, Kennedy, who played such a central role on this court, is going to so far be on the sidelines, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Ariane, Areva, thank you both.

MARTIN: Thanks, Victor.

PAUL: There are a lot of questions about what changed Republican Senator Jeff Flake's mind. He went from saying that he was going to vote for Kavanaugh. That happened about 9:30 yesterday morning, and then hours later demanded an FBI investigation before that final vote. This confrontation in an elevator is what some people think had to do with it. Anderson Cooper spoke with one of the protesters, in fact, who confronted Flake in that elevator. Here is what she said was going through her mind at the time.


ANA MARIA ARCHILA, PROTESTOR: And I wanted of him to really stay there and be present and think of the people he loves, think of his children. And I wanted him to be a hero.


PAUL: So McKay Coppins of "The Atlantic" just tweeted that he spoke with Jeff Flake last night. Here's what he says Flake told him about those protesters. He said "you feel for them, it was poignant. I mean, keep in mind, their agenda may be different than mine. I think some of their concern was how Kavanaugh would rule on the court. They may have been there prior to allegations against him because of his position on some issues. But it certainly struck a chord." That a quote from Senator Jeff Flake. And in a CNN exclusive interview, I spoke with Linda Sarsour, the co-

founder of the women's march. And we talked about the debate around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and that it is galvanizing women and survivors of sexual assault. Here's part of the conversation.


LINDA SARSOUR, CO-CHAIR, WOMEN'S MARCH: We're coming back out and we're announcing today to the American people to join us around the country and in Washington, D.C. on January 19, 2019. We are outraged that we are talking about and putting victims on trial and talking about Dr. Ford in the way in which she was treated at that hearing. Brett Kavanaugh was disqualified before Christine Ford came out with her allegations, and we still think he is disqualified, and we're going to do everything we can to keep him off the Supreme Court.


PAUL: You heard her put that date out there, January 19, 2019. She said women across the globe will march again.

BLACKWELL: Rescues are happening right now in Indonesia after a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami. Massive destruction there, nearly 400 people dead, hundreds injured, even more still missing.

PAUL: And dozens of airline passengers left swimming to safety after their plane crashed in the south Pacific. The search now for one missing passenger.


[10:19:04] BLACKWELL: Rescues are happening right now in Indonesia after a powerful earthquake hit and triggered a tsunami. Buildings and villages devastated, debris scattered everywhere.

PAUL: Look what people are dealing with, and this is why. Can you imagine being there as the tsunami slammed the coast and just swept through that neighborhood? Nearly 400 people have been killed already. That number is expected to climb, by the way. There are hundreds injured and rescuers are scrambling to reach survivors. CNN's Alexandra Field is with us now. Alexandra, what do you know about survivors that they may have found?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, the bleak reality here is that we actually know very little about the kind of devastation that this earthquake and tsunami have done right now. They are furiously working to find survivors. They're well into the evening hours now in Indonesia. This effort will continue, though, for days and it could really be days before we know about the kind of destruction that that tsunami did.

[10:20:00] It was about 10 feet tall, triggered by that 7.5 magnitude earthquake. The issues in terms of getting help to people, though, that's what rescue workers are really up against now. We know in one city that has a population of about 300,000 people, they have already found that hundreds are dead. There is another city also in this affected area, Donggala, that has another couple hundred thousand people in it. But officials have no clear picture at all of how much damage has been done there, and that's because that city is cut off almost entirely in terms of communication. We know that power is out throughout the area, that there are major damages to infrastructure across this area, making the challenge of doing the search and recovery work incredibly difficult.

Add to that the fact that this was all caused by an earthquake and that means that there's the risk of continued aftershocks. It's why people are sleeping outside and it's why rescue workers are carefully having to go through debris to try and find survivors who could still be trapped inside.

PAUL: What are the difficulties? Help us understand what they're going through, trying to reach the area, especially now that it is night. Have they put things on hold or are they still out there?

FIELD: No, this is an effort that's going to have to continue because time is, of course, of the essence. But you do have an airport in Palu that's been shut down now, of course, because of the disaster there. The next closest airport is about a 10 to 12 hour drive. We don't have a completely accurate picture of what the roads look like, but we know there is damage, we know there are downed bridges, we know that are landslides that are also in the way. The military has been deployed. And we're hearing from officials there that a lot of supplies are still needed. They're trying to get food to the water, they're trying to get medicine to the area. They also need to get in tents and blankets for people who are out of their homes. Thousands of homes at the very least already said to be damaged or entirely destroyed right now.

PAUL: All right, Alexandra Field, thank you for bringing us the latest. Appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: The search crews right now are looking for the single passenger missing after a jet crashed Friday into a lagoon, this was in the Pacific Island nation of Micronesia.

PAUL: Initial reports said all 47 people on board had been accounted for. New Guinea says now that it is working with local authorities to locate that missing passenger. The airline said the plane came in short of the runway, hit the sea instead, as you can see there. Water filled the plane. Fishermen scrambled to save passengers who had climbed onto the wing.

BLACKWELL: The U.S. military's most expensive fighter jet, the F-35b, an aircraft like this one you're about to see, that one there, crashed. This is the first crash for this aircraft. It was in South Carolina near the Marine Corps air station in Beaufort. This was on Friday. In a statement the Marines say the pilot ejected safely. He is being evaluated. There were no civilian injuries. They don't know what caused it, so that is under investigation.

PAUL: A new report this hour that the FBI will be investigating more than Dr. Ford's claim against Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh. According to "New York Times," the FBI will also be looking into allegations by Deborah Ramirez, Kavanaugh's former classmate. That's next.


[10:27:30] BLACKWELL: "The New York Times" is now reporting that the FBI will investigate the claims made by Judge Kavanaugh's former classmate Deborah Ramirez in addition to those of Christine Blasey Ford. Ramirez told "The New Yorker" that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dormitory party when they were students at Yale University.

PAUL: Judge Kavanaugh denied the allegations. The report comes as Kavanaugh's nomination in Senator Jeff Flake's words is, quote, ripping the country apart. Tharon Johnson, former south regional director for Obama 2012, and Brian Robinson, former assistant chief of staff for communications for Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is with us now. Gentlemen, thank you for being with us. So heading into this FBI investigation, if there is nothing definitive at the end of it, is anybody happy?

BRIAN ROBINSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think the Republicans have been saying all week like Joe Biden said in 1991 when this came up during the Clarence Thomas hearings, these FBI reports don't issue anything conclusory. They don't make conclusions.

PAUL: But they could give some ammunition to Democrats if they find people who say some things about Kavanaugh that he's denied.

ROBINSON: I think what we are going to find is that we have already thoroughly vetted Brett Kavanaugh. I don't think there's going to be a whole lot of new information that comes out of that, and that's going to be a victory for the Republican point of view, because they will be vindicated. They said we vetted him. He's had six background checks.

PAUL: Listen, I do need to say, Asha Rangappa, former FBI special agent, said background checks are not cumulative. They don't start from scratch every time. So in other words, what she's saying is the first background check may have gone all the way back. The second one started where the first one ended. So we don't know how far back these six checks have actually gone.

ROBINSON: And we do know that these stories would not have been in background checks because they had never been made public by anyone. Obviously none of these people were interviewed for those background checks.

But I think that Republicans have proven once again they are willing to bend over backwards to make sure that all of these allegations are fairly vetted, that everything is thoroughly looked at.

BLACKWELL: Brian, they didn't call Deborah Ramirez or Julie Swetnick, so the bending over backward argument is undermined by having two witnesses on Thursday.

ROBINSON: The Swetnick allegations are ridiculous. There are way over -- the idea there was a gang rapist group going around marauding in a privileged community and no one did anything, that's ridiculous.

[10:30:05] THARON JOHNSON, FORMER SOUTH REGIONAL DIRECTOR, OBAMA 2012: What's really happening here is we were on this exact show last week, Brian said that if there is a pattern of behavior, then it will probably have a difference in outcome. What we have seen since last Saturday, there has been a pattern of behavior from Kavanaugh. You've had now three people come forward with allegations that he sexually assaulted them or he participated in some sexual assault.

So here's the problem. Is it a win for Democrats? Absolutely. To get this further investigation, to really look at the new witnesses with these new claims, that's the one thing Brian is leaving out, is that we have had new people come to the forefront with new information. Now, the fact of the matter is that Democrats can't get too calm and too happy because there's still a win for Republicans because he goes forward. So while we only have a week to interview the new claims, and then we still don't even know what they consider credible witnesses or credible cases, I do think that the American people deserve for this FBI investigation to be as independent and as fair as it possibly can to look at these new claims.

BLACKWELL: So Tharon, listen to, this is Senator Coons on Thursday talking about this investigation, what he'd like to see. This was before Jeff Flake said he wanted it. Let's watch.


SEN. CHRIS COONS, (D) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Why not agree to a one week pause to allow the FBI to investigate all these investigations and allow you an opportunity a week from now to have the folks present in front of us for us to assess their credibility and for us to either clear your name or resolve these allegations by moving to a different nominee.


BLACKWELL: So the vote on calling Mark Judge failed in the committee. You've now got the week. Are Democrats then going to move the ball after the week and say, oh, well, we need this, we need another week, and then push it beyond the election?

JOHNSON: That's the question. And the one thing that we know the Democrats' posture has been is that, listen, this helps Democrats going into midterm election because you have a Republican president who has put up a nominee for the Supreme Court that clearly has come forward and has had some trouble trying to get confirmed.

But the dual effect of this is to your point, Victor. If nothing comes back after this seventh investigation by the FBI, I think Democrats now are strategizing what will be the next step. Because no matter what happens from this point on --

BLACKWELL: So then it isn't about getting to the truth. It is about getting another week.

JOHNSON: No, no, no. It is about getting to the truth. BLACKWELL: If right now before interviews are completed Democrats are

strategizing for what is next after this week, it is not about the answers. It is about getting another week.

JOHNSON: What it is about is politics, Victor. You know this.

BLACKWELL: I get that. I'm just saying don't try to convince people like Coons did, why not give a week of investigation, you get the week, and then you want another week.

JOHNSON: Let me go back to my original point. When we sat here a week ago I was as fair as I could possibly be. I actually got criticized by some of my Democratic friends for being fair. But what you have is a credible testimony. The president, Senator Grassley, everyone came back and said Dr. Ford's testimony was very credible. She should be commended. I want to say that.

So with this new evidence, and then you've got two other alleged accusers out there, then Democrats have got to make sure they do their due diligence. They have a fiduciary responsibility on the Judiciary Committee.

And I want to shout out Senator Feinstein and all of the Senate Democrats, because we are making Jeff Flake into this wonderful hero. What he did was very admirable, it was the right thing to do, because he is a conservative with a conscience. But I think that we're not playing politics here, it is not about prolonging the process, it is about making sure we have the right people that are actually going to serve on the Supreme Court and that they're actually going to be neutral jurist, because that's really the responsibility of a Supreme Court nominee.

BLACKWELL: The talking point on day one of the investigation to say that we are strategizing for what happens at the end of the week, why not wait for the information to come back and see if there's something to investigate further?

JOHNSON: But you have got to have a plan. That's what I'm saying.

BLACKWELL: So the plan is to move to get more time.

PAUL: So I want to ask about a plan, because when we watched Ford, everybody watched Ford's testimony, it was triggering to women. And 201 percent increase in calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline. You had women standing outside offices of Murkowski, of Collins, of Corker, yesterday. This is not going away. What are Republicans going to do about that?

ROBINSON: I think we've been caught in two different movements. One, the polarization of American politics. Whether or not you believe Dr. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh has to do with how you vote. I saw it on my Twitter feed and everyone did, too. And then on the other track, the Me Too movement, where these attacks, how women have been treated through the years are coming out into the open and people are feeling free to finally talk about it. So you have two things happening at once. One thing that I really

feel for Judge Kavanaugh, and I know the Republicans that I've heard talk this week feel the same, we feel so much sadness for him and for Dr. Ford for having to go through this, if these aren't true. I thought he was very compelling.

[10:35:08] And what's happening, what happened with Jeff Flake yesterday being attacked, how can you vote for him, I was sexual assaulted -- those are two separate things. We don't minimize your pain, we don't minimize your trauma. And we as society need to fix that. But if he is innocent of the charges, it's irrelevant here on this particular vote. He needs to be voted on the merits of his ability and his experience and what he can bring to the court.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about another element here, and this is about partisan politics. I want you to listen first to Judge Kavanaugh. This is on the fourth during his first hearing, his opening statement, and then his opening statement on the 27th, this Thursday. Let's watch that.


JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: The Supreme Court must never, never be viewed as a partisan institution. The justices on the Supreme Court do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle. They do not caucus in separate rooms. If confirmed to the Supreme Court, I would be part of a team of nine, committed to deciding cases according to the constitution and laws of the United States.

The behavior of several of the Democratic members of this committee at my hearing a few weeks ago was an embarrassment. This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside leftwing opposition groups.


BLACKWELL: CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic, who is a biographer of the court, wrote that the result of his rhetoric and the overall tenor of his nomination means he could forever be marked as a politician on the bench rather than a neutral jurist. What happened to there are no aisles in the Supreme Court? And then he comes back Thursday and says this is revenge for the Clintons and a leftwing conspiracy, and calling out Democrats specifically. Did he go too far?

ROBINSON: No. I think you've got to look at what the Democrats actually said. He did a pretty good job making that case. Minutes after the nomination was announced, Chuck Schumer said I'm going to do everything I can to stop this. Don't tell me that Chuck Schumer had thoroughly vetted Brett Kavanaugh within 30 minutes of the announcement. That's not true. This is a partisan attack on him.

BLACKWELL: But that would suggest that the allegations are part of a partisan attack. Do you believe that? ROBINSON: Look, this is not only a judge, he is not a robot, he is a

person, and he has been called evil and despicable and a gang rapist. Of course, you're going to respond emotionally. We can argue about whether or not it was a good strategy to look that angry, but I can tell you, Victor, we would all be the same if we were accused of something we didn't do that's so serious and awful.

BLACKWELL: But our conversation is not about the anger. I think there are people that understand the anger because he says he didn't do it.


BLACKWELL: And he is passionately defending himself. He wrote that. That wasn't a spur of the moment response to a question. He wrote it the night before, had time to think about it, the next day came in and went on this diatribe about Democrats and the Clintons and revenge for the 2016 election. So this isn't someone that's just passionately defending himself. He is talking partisan politics, and he planned to do it. Does he cast himself as a partisan on the court?

ROBINSON: I don't think there's anybody in America who's ever heard of the Supreme Court who can't go those are the Democrats and those are the Republicans. What he is saying is the way the constitution set it up, it is supposed to be nonpartisan, it is supposed to be a panel of jurists who are experienced and knowledgeable of the law and wise. And today what we have, and it reflects everything else in American politics, these dividing lines, left and right.

BLACKWELL: And 23 days between the two statements. I'll let you finish it up, because we've got to go.

JOHNSON: The difference here is, Victor, is what we saw in early September was a person very calm and very direct. I think that his testimony in response to Dr. Ford's testimony is what created a lot of this uproar. I think that the senators watching him basically attack them and basically injecting the political rhetoric himself into the process is what made Senator Flake and others say, hey, we need to basically further investigate this.

But one thing I want to say is this. If Dr. Ford had come in with that same tone and tenor, we would be saying nasty things about her as a woman. It is a double standard in this country that men, and particular white men, can get away with saying certain things in a certain way that a woman cannot. We would be calling her -- we would say that she was angry, that she's radical.

[10:40:00] We would probably even have some very choice words against her. So I think that Judge Kavanaugh should come out and apologize to the American people for his tone in which he attacked the U.S. senators who were doing their fiduciary responsibility to make sure that they asked the right questions for the American people.

PAUL: All right, Tharon, Brian, always appreciate you being here.

JOHNSON: Thank you. ROBINSON: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you so much for your perspective.

Up next, a lifelong dream for two brothers becomes a reality.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kyle needs my physical strength, but I need every bit of his energy to tackle the day.


PAUL: They are taking on the most grueling one day endurance race, and they're spreading their message of inclusion while they do it.

And later tonight, discover the inspiring life and career of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. "RBG," a CNN film, airs tonight, 9:00 p.m., only here on CNN.


[10:45:26] BLACKWELL: Crossing the finish line is not the only goal for a pair of brothers competing in this year's Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

PAUL: Vince Cellini is here with more. This is an inspiring story in Hawaii. Too bad you couldn't have gone.

VINCE CELLINI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Exactly. But this is the best story that I will do all day. It's not even close. Kyle and Brent Pease are proving you don't have to be at the peak of physical ability to take part in the 140.6-mile triathlon. This Difference Makers brought to you by Ford, going further so you can.


BRENT PEASE: When the casual observer asks and you say Ironman, they automatically go to Kona, the hardest one day endurance challenge on the planet.

KYLE PEASE: I have Cerebral Palsy. My specific disability is called spastic quadriplegia with Cerebral Palsy, so it affects all four of my limbs.

BRENT PEASE: I saw in my first race what Kyle has dealt with his entire life.

KYLE: PEASE: We sat down. And I started asking him a lot of questions. And the last question I asked was, can people in wheelchairs do Ironman? And Brent was like yes. And little did I know that's why the journey was going to begin.

BRENT PEASE: There are things that happen that are easy to deal with and they're fine and you roll right through it, and there's things that are hard and challenging. And Ironman condenses that into one day. I said after our first Ironman that Kyle borrowed my legs and I borrowed his spirit.

KYLE PEASE: I just got to show people that if you believe in something and you want to do it, go after it. Don't let anything stop you from achieving what you want to be in life.

BRENT PEASE: He's being treated just like everybody else. And that was really what we were trying to tap into.

KYLE PEASE: I just hope that it will show people that anything is truly possible.


CELLINI: The brothers will attempt to be one of the second wheelchair assisted duos to complete the race October 13th. They're also helping some people they've inspired along the way, creating a foundation to support other athletes with disabilities.

PAUL: All right, that was a good one. Vince, thank you.

So Facebook hacked. We're talking about the potential compromise of nearly 50 million users' private information.


[10:52:43] PAUL: If you're on Facebook, listen up. Nearly 50 million Facebook accounts have been compromised. That allowed hackers to take over user's accounts in this attack along with other sites and apps that they log into using Facebook. We're talking about Instagram and Tinder and Spotify. So even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was among victims. The company ensures users no credit card information was accessed, they say. But here's some advice on how you can protect yourself if you think you have been hacked.


ANDREW HUNT, PRIVACY AND TECHNOLOGY EXPERT: You want to log into Facebook, and there's a setting in privacy area where you can log out everywhere. So you want to go in first and click that, and that will log you out of all devices you use Facebook to log you in through. So you'll do that first.

And then second, if you use this Facebook log in feature, you'll want to go through each different app that you utilize that feature for and log out of that as well. And to be extra safe, you might want to disconnect that entirely and just use the native log in feature for each of those different apps so you're no longer connected through Facebook.


PAUL: So it is still not clear who is responsible for the attack, but Facebook says they have already fixed the issue. They've informed the FBI and other law enforcement agencies as well.

BLACKWELL: In the United States, minors are abused and sold into sex trafficking every day. This week's CNN Hero was once one of the victims, trafficked at the age of 16. She's now offering safety to other female survivors. Meet Susan Munsey.


SUSAN MUNSEY, CNN HERO: Nobody wakes up and just decides one day I'm going to go sell my body and give the money away. Traffickers or pimps know exactly what they're doing. Much of it is on the Internet now. They're going on dating websites, they're gaming. They're looking for young, vulnerable women anywhere where young women might hang out.

My vision was to have a home where women could come and find safety and find themselves.


BLACKWELL: To hear more of the stories of courageous women who have survived sex trafficking, go to

[10:55:01] PAUL: We always appreciate the fact that you are through that screen with us here on weekend mornings. Thank you for being here. We hope you make good memories today.

BLACKWELL: We turn it over to our colleague, Fredricka Whitfield after a quick break.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and thank you so much for joining me in Washington, D.C. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Today the FBI begins its latest investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. His confirmation vote now delayed another week as investigators look into sexual assault allegations against him by multiple women. The investigation was sparked by a last-minute change of heart from key Republican senator Jeff Flake.