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FBI Begins Kavanaugh Probe; Trump to Hold Campaign Rally amid Kavanaugh Drama; Nearly 400 Dead after Tsunami Strikes Indonesia. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 29, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:59:46] 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. The same senator cornered in an elevator just hours earlier by emotional protesters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANA MARIA ARCHILA, PROTESTER CONFRONTING FLAKE: I have two children. I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years, they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing -- sir?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: After hours of heartbreaking testimony from his accuser and Kavanaugh vehemently denying the accusations, senators could not ignore the deep divide beginning to swell over Kavanaugh's confirmation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR CHRIS COONS (D-DE), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: We are hearing those folks have come forward with allegations of sexual assault that we are respecting them and investigating. This thing is tearing our country apart.
SENATOR JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Just seeing yesterday and today just, you know, this is ripping the country apart. And calls I have been getting, e-mails, texts -- it's just, you know, it's been rough to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: All right. So where do things go from here? We know that the FBI is now focused on a week-long probe into Kavanaugh and recent accusations. Sources tell CNN three key senators set the terms of the investigation.
A GOP aide says the FBI's findings are expected to be private and available to senators, not to the public. Then senators will move forward toward a yea or nay vote.
Meanwhile President Trump still unwavering in his support for his Supreme Court nominee. We will hear from the President in a few hours when he holds a campaign rally in West Virginia.
Let's check in right now with CNN's Ryan Nobles at the White House. So what message do you think is expected from the President later on?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that visit to West Virginia is key -- Fred because he is heading to support that Republican candidate, Patrick Morrisey who is challenging the incumbent Senator Joe Manchin. And Manchin is one of those red state Democrats who represents a state that President Trump won in 2016 who could be wavering, could potentially join with Republicans to support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. So you should expect the President to emphasize that in that speech tonight.
Meanwhile, the President today is at his golf course in northern Virginia. It is a beautiful day here in the Washington, D.C. area. And he is sticking by his man.
About 14 hours ago, the President tweeting the following. Quote, "Just started tonight our seventh FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He will someday be recognized as a truly great justice of the United States Supreme Court."
And there's a lot to unpack from this tweet. The President pointing out the fact that Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been thoroughly vetted by the FBI on a number of different occasions. So he is saying this seventh go around, will anything new emerge? And also making it clear that he is ready to stick by Kavanaugh, regardless of what happens.
It's important to keep in mind, Fred -- this is a very short time line for the FBI. The Senate wants this all wrapped up by Friday of next week.
The big question is will there be any new revelations or confirmation of these claims against Brett Kavanaugh that could force one of these wayward Republican senators to change their vote. That ultimately will decide if Judge Brett Kavanaugh receives this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Nobles at the White House -- thank you so much.
So all of this as we are learning the scope of the FBI investigation -- that it will include Ford's allegations, and according to "New York Times", the FBI will also look into accusations by former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez who says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when in school.
Joining me right now CNN political commentator and assistant editor for the "Washington Post" David Swerdlick, congressional reporter for the "Washington Post" Karoun Demirjian, and Ariane de Vogue, CNN's Supreme Court reporter. All right. Good to see all of you.
So there is a lot that the FBI now as we understand will be looking into with the latest, you know, allegations. The Senate Judiciary Committee saying or setting the parameters of this limited scope of recent accusations.
So now we know that it could at least involve two, David -- with Christine Blasey Ford's allegations as well as Deborah Ramirez, the former, you know, Yale classmate. But do we believe that that scope could widen?
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So I'm not sure if the scope could widen. But here's the thing. You have a week now where on the one hand, Fred -- the FBI could turn up no new significant details either with Christine Blasey Ford's allegations or with Deborah Ramirez's allegations.
[11:04:57] But they could, the other thing I think that's worth noting is that, you know, Republicans have gotten onto this line about there have already been six FBI investigations. But we don't know if those other six investigations were pointed in the direction of sexual assault or inappropriate sexual behavior.
I would assume that the FBI would be asking questions of whoever they interview about those specific allegations or if other people had seen behavior that was similar or lead to that conclusion. Whether or not that happened we don't know yet.
WHITFIELD: Yes. So Karoun -- we don't know if this is a continuation of the previous background checks perhaps more intensified, or if looking into, you know, Blasey Ford and Ramirez's allegations really means starting it all over again.
But we do know that a lot of it was precipitated by that moment -- that pivotal moment involving Jeff Flake in the elevator being really cornered, you know, by at least two women. And this was the moment.
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
WHITFIELD: Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARCHILA: Look at me when I'm talking to you. You're telling me that my assault doesn't matter. That what happened to me doesn't matter. And that you're going to let people that do these things into power. That's what you're telling me when you vote for him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So he was visibly shaken by that for, you know, many moments thereafter. Do we believe that the scope of this investigation could be a turning point for a number of other senators who seem like their minds were made up prior to that moment?
DEMIRJIAN: No, not a number of other senators. I think we're talking about a very small number of senators. I think we're talking about Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins.
The others have come out and declared how they're going to vote. Maybe if you find something truly damning or can corroborate something truly damning, it would turn somebody like Bob Corker who seemed like he was on the fence for a while. But that's going to be difficult given the number of decades that have passed since this event allegedly took place.
I think what is going to be interesting to see though is as you dig into these allegations and to see if there's anybody who corroborate if the not the specific event and some of the details it may hurt him like a very credible witness.
And also the question of his alcohol use and other things on the stand; I mean he talked about never having blacked out. If there are people who can prove otherwise and that can prove that he lied in his testimony, that --
WHITFIELD: In fact a room mate of Ramirez was on air last night talking to Chris Cuomo saying I can't forget that while she was with him she said many times, you know, drinking beer. She didn't understand why it was that he wouldn't be honest about that facet of his life.
WHITFIELD: And her point of view was if you're not telling the truth about that and I was there, then what else are you not potentially telling the truth about?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: I think one of the problems here -- I really think the scope is a problem because I think these three said we want credible witnesses and then they went to the White House. So then the White House had to pass it on to the FBI.
And we're not talking about a full fledged FBI investigation here. It's just a background investigation. But still it seems to me they are in the position where other doors could be opened; for instance, the timing right.
She said during her testimony that she would really like to know when Ford -- when Judge worked at the Safeway because then they could narrow it down to a time.
I think this idea of who is a credible witness is going to get things tangled up because for instance Michael Avenatti will say well, my person is a credible witness and I do think that that's going to -- WHITFIELD: And although there's language of limited scope, there's no
way an FBI investigator, any investigator, is not going through a door when a new door has been presented. They're going to keep following it and see if they can get a fuller picture. So shouldn't that be the expectation here?
SWERDLICK: I think that's the expectation. Fred -- if I could just go back and make a point about the classmates, the Yale classmates who've been Chris Cuomo's air the last two nights.
WHITFIELD: In fact we have that so let's listen to it real quick --
SWERDLICK: Ok -- sure.
WHITFIELD: -- and then make your point.
LIZ SWISHER, KAVANAUGH'S FORMER YALE CLASSMATE: There's no problem with drinking beer in college. The problem is lying about it. He drank heavily. He was a partier. He liked to do beer bongs. He played drinking games. He was a sloppy drunk.
He was more interested in impressing the boys than he was in impressing the girls. I never saw him be sexually aggressive. But he definitely was sloppy drunk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Why does that matter?
SWERDLICK: So, a couple of things. In comparison to the alleged events that Dr. Ford described with the people who are alleged to have been there, P.J. and Squee (ph) and all these other folks, the two women who appeared on CNN on Thursday and Friday night went on camera. They were named. They gave similar statements saying we don't know anything about inappropriate sexual behavior but we did drink in college with Brett Kavanaugh.
WHITFIELD: A lot. And then they talked about the sloppy drunk.
SWERLICK: In contrast to the way he presented himself in last week's Fox News interview and in some of his testimony. And so one more quick point, so I think remember this is not a trial with a beyond a reasonable doubt standard. Any senator who thinks he's been not credible about that is certainly entitled to vote no on his confirmation based on what they feel is untrustworthiness.
[11:10:02] DEMIRJIAN: Yes. He is absolutely right. It is no longer about the credibility of the accuser so much as it is about Kavanaugh's credibility.
DEMIRJIAN: And if people feel like he would be willing to lie not just on his TV interview but when he is being judged -- when he's under oath that might be actually what breaks people in the end.
WHITFIELD: And then what are the other justices thinking about this as they're watching this unfold? There have been so many comparisons being made to, you know, Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas -- that this is almost like a repeat, but of course circumstances are very different. All eyes are on it.
But of those eight justices, how are they looking at this? And if he is confirmed, you know, passed this FBI investigation, how are they accepting him knowing that there was this cloud over his nomination?
DE VOGUE: Well, there's two parts to that, right.
DE VOGUE: First of all it's the entire confirmation process and how political that was. I mean that hearing was the most political confirmation process we've ever seen and the justices don't like that. They do not like the Supreme Court to look political -- Chief Justice John Roberts has said it, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. So already --
WHITFIELD: And his testimony became political.
DE VOGUE: The time when he mentioned revenge for Clinton and he really did glared at some of the Democratic congressmen.
The other thing is, of course, the court is coming into session on Monday now and this is a setback for Kavanaugh, McConnell, the Republicans. They all wanted him on the bench the first Monday. And now they're going back in without Kavanaugh and they'll have to move ahead more gingerly, right. Because when a court has only eight members, they have always the possibility of splitting four-four.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And now you've got the President and who knows what else if anything he will say today, but we saw a very different demeanor from the President actually saying that, you know, Blasey Ford -- her testimony was compelling.
And I wonder if that in any way is a sign posting for we're looking again at that short list or perhaps we're compiling another list. In fact, this was the President yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think of Dr. Ford's testimony when you heard that?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thought her testimony was very compelling. And she looks like a very fine woman to me -- a very fine woman. And I thought that Brett's testimony likewise was really something that I haven't seen before. It was incredible. It was an incredible moment I think in the history of our country. But certainly she was a very credible witness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So Karoun, huge contrast from the "if it was that bad, you know, then why wasn't it reported, what about her loving parents, et cetera". What is the White House thinking? Or what does that tell us about what the President is thinking at this point?
DEMIRJIAN: Well, it is difficult to know whether this is the President talking in a more muted tone because somebody told him you have to sound sensitive about this, no more, you know, bluster. Kavanaugh did enough of the fighting. You're not going to help by going the same way.
Or if he really is having a moment or the White House is having a moment of next time we better do a little bit more homework and figure this stuff out before we go trotting somebody out there because, oh my goodness, we're barely going to make it through this if we make it through at all.
So I mean there is -- I think the President in subsequent tweets have made it clear he's not backing down his support from Kavanaugh which means we could still see the vitriolic -- the words that he is used to using when he calls things a con job.
But for right now, you couldn't see Blasey Ford testify and not feel for her. He's got to know that or people around him have got to know that.
DE VOGUE: The thing is that now there's a delay. There's an entire week. And what we just played happened right after, you know, as he was hearing it. He is not known sort of for his discipline on that message. And I think that supporters of Kavanaugh might be worried if he goes out against her.
WHITFIELD: And we're told that there is a -- this is a one week investigation. But again, back to the FBI, if they find something, if there are other doors and they say listen we need a little bit more time, who is giving consent to that? Is it the Senate? Is it, you know, the President?
SWERDLICK: Or if another news outlet comes out with another story or if Deborah Ramirez gives an interview to Fredricka Whitfield. You know, anything could happen during this next week.
DEMIRJIAN: So the thing that matters the most is that the FBI and everything else is playing to an audience of three -- it's Jeff Flake, it's Susan Collins, its' Lisa Murkowski.
If after a week, they don't feel satisfied, they can make more demands because you put that on the floor, you don't have 50 votes. So it's a week for right now and yes, they can keep seeing procedural moves on the Senate floor ad infinitum but they can keep making demands ad infinitum if they're not satisfied.
DE VOGUE: And President Trump has no choice. It's not like he -- he doesn't have a choice. He had to refer this to the FBI because otherwise he knew he didn't have enough votes. So it's a numbers game.
WHITFIELD: Yes. It wouldn't look good.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much to all of you -- David, Karoun, Ariane. See you soon.
All right. Still ahead, key players in the Kavanaugh case have come forward to say they will cooperate with this new FBI investigation. The major questions now -- what will this new investigation look like? And can it really be completed in just a week's time?
[11:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.
The FBI's latest investigation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is under way. President Trump ordering the last minute probe saying it must be limited in scope and completed in less than a week.
That time line now delaying a vote by the entire Senate on Brett Kavanaugh and now the clock is ticking for FBI agents to get to the bottom of allegations from more than 30 years ago.
Joining me right now James Gagliano, CNN law enforcement analyst and a retired FBI supervisory special agent, and CNN's Kara Scannell.
All right. Thanks to both of you.
So James -- let's begin with you. The time line -- can this limited scope investigation be wrapped up in a week's time?
[11:19:58] JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Now Fred -- you know that I don't normally hedge my bets but I'm going to hedge one here. Can it be done? Yes. Will it for certain be done in one week, that is -- that's really difficult to say right now. And here's why.
If you look back on the Anita Hill and the Clarence Thomas hearings from 1991, the FBI only had to go back eight years back to 1982, 1983.
Now they're going back 36 years. And unfortunately we didn't have the evolving police sciences that are available to us today. We didn't have methodology for digital footprints, and digital exhaust (ph) that could be tracked to either corroborate or either to show that somebody was being deceptive. So this is going to be a daunting task going forward.
WHITFIELD: In that case it spanned three days -- that FBI investigation, you know, prior to Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas testifying. But now we're also talking about not just Christine Blasey Ford but the "New York Times" also reporting that Deborah Ramirez who was a classmate at Yale -- her allegations are also part of the scope.
So we're talking about geographically different locations as well, James, and how, you know, much of difference does that make. We're talking about the Montgomery County, Maryland area and then we're also talking about New Haven, Connecticut.
GAGLIANO: Sure. So Fred -- there's 36,000 FBI employees; 12,000 FBI agents. I guarantee you and I can assure your viewers this is going to be an all hands on deck enterprise and operation. I am imagining this will probably be worked out of headquarters as a special inquiry. But then the offices of origin would be the Baltimore Field office that you reference for the Montgomery County piece of this. And then and the other cases will be investigated out of those offices.
Any resources that are needed, FBI Director Christopher Wray is going to make them available. So when you say can you do it in a week? If this is parsed out and spread out, yes, absolutely.
WHITFIELD: And of course, people move. We're talking about a 30-year span.
So Kara -- the President also saying the investigation will be limited in scope. The President is the one who gave the green light to this. But if FBI investigators feel like they need more time, you know, they have more movement, you know, that they have to cover over a week span. Is it the President who would also say yes, let's extend it or here are more resources?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: I mean ultimately the President is the one who could direct that this investigation take place in the first place. So he certainly could extend it if he's given enough reason to believe that it should be extended.
You know -- I mean right now, the parameters of it we know that they want it limited in time and in scope. We understand at least from the "New York Times" reporting that this investigation is also going to include the allegations of Deborah Ramirez which was a student in his class -- Kavanaugh's at Yale, you know. But this --
WHITFIELD: Claims that he exposed himself to her.
SCANNELL: That's right -- at another party where they were drinking.
And it's really now up to the FBI, as James was explaining, you know, to run down these people, to run down these various allegations. That could take some time.
And so that's where I think we'll see as far as scope goes, you know, how does it go beyond just that one party that Christine Blasey Ford alleged her attack had occurred? You know, or does it grow into, you know, some of these other traits -- do they go deeper into his drinking since that is an issue that came up on the Hill and the various people, you know, some former classmates came out and said he wasn't truthful, he wasn't honest.
So do they probe that area? That remains to be seen.
WHITFIELD: And James, its limitation of scope also includes recent allegations. But what if new allegations, you know, rise to the surface say, you know, in the next two or three days that splinter off these two accusers that we know of.
GAGLIANO: So Fred -- here is how I see this happening. The FBI conducted I think either five or six different background investigations on Judge Kavanaugh. They typically only go back to the age of 18. The allegations that Miss Ford brings forth, Kavanaugh was 17, she was 15.
Now, because this is such a high profile case, it's a special inquiry, they will go back and do due diligence in this.
And here's what they're looking for. They're looking at someone's character, their associations, their reputation, their loyalties, their abilities, their finances, their biases, and most importantly in this case it appears, their alcohol and drug use. They will go back and ask all the relevant questions.
WHITFIELD: Right. So prior to this new investigation, the FBI, you know, scope is looking into Kavanaugh, going as far back as 18. Now he has supplied this calendar which looks into that year of 1982, the summer of, and his notations.
How will now investigators look at that as they open up probing his high school, perhaps even earlier than that -- middle school years because that was not part of the original profile?
GAGLIANO: Ok. So two-part answer here.
First of all, we're going to go and stipulate as the Judiciary Committee apparently has that this is a legitimate document from 1982, 1983 -- that time frame. So they'll do handwriting analysis on it. I know that handwriting changes from when you're adolescent to when you're an adult. But they've got folks that will do that. They'll check, make sure that the ink is from 36 years ago and not from last week.
[11:25:05] Now stipulate that that's an accurate piece of evidence that the Judge put forth. The next thing they're going to do is they're going to try to go through and do a link analysis.
This is critical because the Democrats particularly Sheldon Whitehouse has raised the issue of this July 1st date and who apparently attended this gathering. Now the victim, Dr. Ford, says there were only a few people there. Judge Kavanaugh's calendar indicates that there were more people there. Every one of those entries, every one of those persons needs to be tracked down and interviewed. Now, do they have to cooperate with the FBI? No. This is not a criminal case. Unless she files charges with the state in Montgomery County, they cannot compel her or anybody to testify.
But Congress has a role here, they could subpoena somebody, say Mark Judge. If he comes in and decides not to cooperate or says I'm not going to do it, they can hold him in contempt of Congress. So there are ways to get people compel to testify.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And Kara -- apparently now Mark Judge is going to cooperate to a certain extent. We're not really sure -- is it going to be a private interview? Or will it be one that's you know, playing out in public as pertains to the FBI investigation or the results of that, that too will be private?
SCANNELL: That's right. These 302s, that's the report that the FBI will compose from their interviews with Mark Judge. And we also heard that two other people who are alleged to have been in the house at the time, their lawyers have said that they're open and willing to give an interview with the FBI. So those documents will all be compiled.
Those reports will be submitted to the White House and passed on to the Senate. Now, they won't be made public, but it is very possible with the senators explaining their votes once we come to that point next week, they might reveal what convinced them that, you know, Christine Blasey Ford's allegations have some merit or what convinced them that they believe that Judge Kavanaugh's version of events is the one that they want to follow. So we won't see them being made public, but we simply might learn pieces of it that comes out as the senators justify their votes.
WHITFIELD: There could potentially be a motion to make those public, would there not? Because wouldn't that also speak to the transparency that would be demanded of people to better explain what is making them vote yea or nay.
SCANNELL: That's right. I mean we could have one of the senators ask for them to be introduced into the record and see if they would be made public. I mean they're not, you know, a transcript of a Q and A of an interview. It's the FBI agent's notes of what they learned, their impressions of the person, and what that person says.
So it is not going to be a full transcript, but we could see motions, by some senators to say let's make this whole process transparent. Let's see what these other witnesses had to say.
WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it there for now. Kara -- thanks so much. James -- appreciate it. >
All right. Still ahead nearly 400 people are dead --
GAGLIANO: Got it -- guys. Thank you.
WHITFIELD: -- after a tsunami ripped (ph) through parts of Indonesia sweeping away homes, rescuers now in a frantic hunt for survivors. The very latest next.
[11:27:58] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: All right. There's a desperate search under way for survivors after an earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of Indonesia. At least 384 people are dead and hundreds more have been injured. Before and after shots of a bridge in Palue, which is not far from the epicenter, shows the level of destruction from the 7.5 magnitude quake.
CNN international correspondent Alexandra Field joining me right now. So Alexandra have police and rescuers been able to get to the majority of the affected areas?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. And frankly, Fredricka, that could take days. It will be some time before we know the full scale of this tragedy.
You have seen the pictures of the devastation, that earthquake and then the tsunami that followed. We know in the immediate aftermath that hundreds are dead in Palue -- that's one city that has a population of 200,000 people.
But not far from there, there's another city, Dongala, with another 200,000 to 300,000 people. Authorities say they have little idea of what kind of damage has been done there. That's because they know the electricity is out but also lines of communication are down. Infrastructure has been so badly compromised that it is difficult to reach these places that had been the most badly hit.
Of course, in Palue the airport has been shut down, the next closest airport about a 10 to 12-hour drive. That means it's taking rescue workers some time to get to these devastated areas.
Those waves smashed into houses, people have been found trapped under debris. There is, of course, the concern of aftershocks, that's why people are sleeping outside and being treated outside of hospitals on the ground. Rescue workers doing their best to work quickly to get to those who may be trapped.
But again, Fredricka, we're talking about an area with 500,000 or 600,000 people and certainly we do expect it could be days before we know more about how many have been injured and how many may have been killed.
WHITFIELD: Devastating. All right.
Alexandra Field, thank you so much. Keep us posted.
All right. Still ahead -- did this tense elevator confrontation make all the difference in Senator Jeff Flake's decision to call for a delay on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination? One of those women now speaking out about why she felt compelled to talk directly to Flake, next.
[11:34:47] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: Welcome back from D.C.
The actions of one Republican senator are the reason why the FBI is investigating Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school.
Following Thursday's powerful testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh and displays of bitter partisanship on the Senate Judiciary Committee, we learned on Friday that a key vote on that committee, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake would vote in support of sending Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate.
[11:39:57] But then, hours later, Senator Flake had a change of heart requesting a delay in the floor vote for an FBI investigation on the allegations against Kavanaugh.
We may not be able to pinpoint the exact moment that Flake's stance changed but before asking for the delay two courageous women confronted the Arizona lawmaker in an elevator on Capitol Hill. The women in tears, telling of their stories of sexual assault; their voices very strong and their experiences and emotion simply heartbreaking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARCHILA: This is not tolerable. You have children in your family. Think about them. I have two children. I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was sexually assaulted and nobody believes me. I didn't tell anyone and you're telling all women that they don't matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them, you're going to ignore them.
That's what happened to me. That's what you're telling all women in America -- that they don't matter. They should just keep it to themselves because if they had told the truth, they're just going to help that man to power anyway.
That's what you're telling all of these women. That's what you're telling me right now. Look at me when I'm talking to you. You're telling me that my assault doesn't matter, that what happened to me doesn't matter, and that you're going to let people who these things into power. That's what you're telling me when you vote for him. Don't look away from me, look at me and tell me it doesn't matter what happened to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: At the moment all Flake could say is "thank you". We know later he said much more.
And last night one of those women, she joined Anderson Cooper to talk about the intense confrontation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: I'm wondering when you made the decision to confront Senator Flake. At that point were you aware of his intention to confirm Judge Kavanaugh?
ARCHILA: I have been coming to the capitol the last several weeks to protest the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh because I believe he is dangerous for our country. He's dangerous for the rights of women to choose what we do with our bodies, dangerous to our health care.
And a few days ago I stood in front of his office and told for the first time my own story of sexual violence, when I was a child as a five-year-old, and then it was an incredibly painful moment. I did it because I felt like the country needs to hear these stories. I did it in solidarity with Dr. Ford. And I did it to protect my children.
And today I went back to his office, you know, around 8:30 in the morning with Maria who I had just met, in the hopes that maybe we could talk to him.
Right before we saw him, we saw the announcement from his office that he was getting ready to vote for Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. So both of us were just enraged and all the emotions that we have been holding the last several weeks came out pouring. My demand of him to think of his children and think my children, her demand of him to listen to her story and tell her whether her story matters and whether he is ok putting someone that has violated women in the Supreme Court.
COOPER: When you were in that moment, did you know what you wanted to say? Had you thought about it beforehand?
I am wondering what you saw of the reaction from Senator Flake. It is one thing for us to see it on television. You're looking at him, trying to look at him in the eye.
ARCHILA: I mean honestly, I had literally just read the headlines of his statement. We saw him running to the elevator and we ran behind him. It was a very kind of intense moment of really wanting to talk to him.
I was not really prepared, even for my own emotions, but I felt like he really needed to hear. Like he needed to understand that women feel incredibly enraged about the thought of our stories, of our experiences of surviving sexual violence being dismissed, laughed at, disbelieved.
And I think I just felt a great sense of urgency.
COOPER: Did you feel he was listening.
ARCHILA: And I think I saw in his face that he could not escape the emotion. COOPER: Did -- you felt like he was listening to you. Did you feel
like he wanted to kind hope the elevator doors close? Did you think he wanted to stay longer? What was your impression?
ARCHILA: Oh, no, no, no. He wanted those elevator doors to close and that conversation to end. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:45:01] WHITFIELD: Wow. That was a pivotal point, largely because of Ana Maria Archila.
All right. Still ahead, Mark Judge-- the man Christine Blasey Ford says was at that party when she was allegedly assaulted says he will cooperate with the FBI investigation. This after Democratic senators spent the week questioning why he was not invited to testify. What his involvement could mean for this week long probe.
[11:50:00] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Washington.
It's going to be a tense week here in the city as the Senate waits for the FBI to complete its investigation into the sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
This investigation will include cooperation from the other person who was allegedly in the room with Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford when they were in high school -- that person, Mark Judge. So what impact could Judge's account have?
For more, we turn to Adam Serwer, senior editor of "The Atlantic". Good to see you -- Adam.
ADAM SERWER, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": Thank you for having me.
WHITFIELD: So Mark Judge has said he will cooperate with this investigation after an earlier statement by way of his attorney he said he didn't recall. So he'll have to be more specific now when tasked with answering questions, you know, right in front of his face.
How do we understand this Q&A, this probe will unfold with him?
SERWER: Well, I think that the absence of Mark Judge from the hearing was one of the most suspicious things about it. This is a witness who could conceivably exonerate Brett Kavanaugh and yet Kavanaugh wasn't screaming bloody murder for the Republicans to bring him before the panel and declare that he was innocent.
And Republicans themselves were not eager to bring Mark Judge. He was holed up at a beach house in Delaware. I think what's interesting about his denial is that while Kavanaugh has said, you know, it never happened. Judge has said he doesn't remember it happening. And I think, you know, that's a very carefully legally-parsed statement because it's very difficult to charge someone with perjury. Someone has to knowingly lie. And if they said they simply didn't recall something then if it actually happened they can't really be charged with perjury.
WHITFIELD: So now he won't be able to escape that when asked by -- whether it be by FBI investigators or whether it is certain members, you know, of the Senate Judiciary Committee. So how potentially might this make a big difference or no difference at all?
SERWER: I think, you know, if they talked to him and he says exactly what he said in the letter which is that I don't remember anything, it's going to be inconclusive. Republicans will say we did our due diligence now let's confirm Brett Kavanaugh.
But if he, you know, tells a different story to the FBI or if he contradicts something that Kavanaugh said or described about the incident in question or anything else about his childhood years, I think that might prove a problem.
WHITFIELD: Ok. And in your article, you know, in "The Atlantic", you write that this really is not just, you know, about this Supreme Court nominee but it may be a microcosm of something much larger. And you write "Ultimately the sanction that Kavanaugh faces is not death, imprisonment or even removal from the bench but simply not being elevated to the nation's highest court. Imagine how different the country would be if Kavanaugh's defenders would extend their empathy for him to the average American who comes into contact with the criminal justice system."
So further explain, you know, this real discrepancy.
SERWER: Well, I mean, you look at Brett Kavanaugh, and he's not facing some kind of criminal punishment. He's not facing prosecution. But everybody's talking -- his defenders are talking about due process and how this shouldn't harm his life prospects.
But what we've seen for the past two years are policies of deliberate cruelty from the Trump administration. We saw a child separation policy that is essentially a policy of systemic child abuse that was implemented in order to dissuade people from trying to immigrate to the United States.
We saw the President himself urging police officers to abuse suspects. You know, we've seen the President encourage the NFL to fire black football players who protest unjustified killings, police killings of black people.
So there's a very, you know, there's a very strong selective empathy here where the average person who comes in contact with the criminal justice system could lose their life or lose years of their life and there's almost no concern -- or even with immigration authorities could be separated from their family. Their family be destroyed forever. And Republicans in the Senate have basically ignored the way that the Trump administration has affected thousands and thousands of people's lives.
But here with Brett Kavanaugh with this one person, who essentially is trying to get a promotion, they have suddenly rediscovered the virtues of due process, of innocent before proven guilty and things like that.
WHITFIELD: Yes, so you're saying the message here is that, you know -- a glaring message that may come of this is some lives are more valued than others. And remember, you know, the two ladies that confronted Senator Flake -- one of the women saying just that, talking about you making a decision about this sends a strong message that perhaps my life or many women's lives are really not that important. Pretty powerful write (ph) that you have there.
[11:55:03] SERWER: Yes, I mean, look, you saw Republican senators, like, almost moved to tears by Brett Kavanaugh's testimony. These Republican senators have ignored the suffering of thousands of people who were killed in Puerto Rico and the thousands more who were displaced. They've ignored the way that the Muslim ban affected those families who are trapped in American airports because they weren't allowed into the country. They've ignored the suffering of all these families, children who were separated from their families.
But they were moved to tears by Brett Kavanaugh I think because they have more empathy for him than all of the people who have been directly -- whose lives have been directly affected and shattered by Trump administration policies. And I think that's really a theme of this era of American politics is this kind of selective empathy for people who the Trump administration considers, you know, good people and people who are different, they don't get that kind of empathy.
WHITFIELD: Fascinating observations -- Adam. Adam Serwer -- thank you so much, of "The Atlantic". Appreciate it.
SERWER: Thank you for having me.
WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.
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