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FBI Begins Investigation into Sexual Abuse Accusations Against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh; President Trump to Hold Reelection Rally in West Virginia; Protestor Discusses her Communication with Senator Jeff Flake on Day of Senate Judiciary Committee Vote on Kavanaugh Nomination; Demonstrations in Maine and Alaska Attempt to Persuade Senators Collins and Murkowski on Kavanaugh Vote; Earthquake Triggers Tsunami that Hits Indonesia; Hackers Compromise 50 Million Facebook Accounts. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired September 29, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:16] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again everyone. Thanks so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Washington, D.C.
So the FBI's background investigation into U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is now underway. The "Washington Post" reporting that the FBI has already started to reach out to people, including Deborah Ramirez, the second woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Now Kavanaugh's confirmation vote is delayed another week as investigators look into several allegations against him. 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 demanding that he listen when women come forward with stories of sexual assault. All of this after a long day of heartbreaking testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh vehemently denying the accusations.
So where do things go from here? We know that the FBI is focused on this week-long probe into the recent accusations. Sources also tell CNN three 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 towards a yea or nay vote.
Meanwhile, President Trump still unwavering in his support for his Supreme Court nominee. We'll hear from the president in a few hours when he holds a campaign rally in West Virginia. Let's check in with CNN's Ryan Nobles at the White House. Still unclear, Ryan, will the president actually talk about Kavanaugh, this entire week, the process, et cetera, when he is stumping?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's definitely something we have to look for tonight, Fred, because the president has been uncharacteristically reserved as it come to the debate over Brett Kavanaugh. He's been very careful not to go out and attack Dr. Blasey Ford, who is the accuser of Brett Kavanaugh. And he has been reserved in his conversation about this investigation. Remember, it was the White House that took the recommendation of the Senate and ordered this investigation. This is what the president said op Twitter last night about this. he
said, quote, "Just started tonight, our seventh investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He will someday be recognized as a truly great justice of the United States Supreme Court." So the president making sure that his supporters know that Brett Kavanaugh's background has been looked into many times by the FBI, but that he still supports him ultimately for this job.
Now, the circumstances tonight will be much different, Fred. This is going to be in front of a raucous crowd of people that passionately support the president and support his pick, and he's also going into territory that is up for grabs in the midterm elections this fall. Patrick Morrisey is the president's pick there. He's running against Joe Manchin who is a Democrat and is among a small group of Democrats up for reelection in states that President Trump won in 2016. So far Manchin has not said when he stands on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination, but he has been at least on the periphery of these negotiations as to how to handle this investigation going forward.
So does the president attack Manchin? Does he defend Kavanaugh, and perhaps does he go after Dr. Ford? Those are some of the big questions going into tonight, because, Fred, keep in mind, at the end of the day this is really about the politics, and over the next few days before this vote is scheduled to take place on Friday, those Republicans were on the margins, deciding whether or not they want to support Judge Kavanaugh or move on to a new candidate. They're trying to decide what their voters think in their home states, and that could decide whether or not Judge Kavanaugh's nomination goes forward.
WHITFIELD: All right, Ryan Nobles, thank you so much.
Let's talk about all of this. Joining me right now is CNN Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue, Jay Newton-Small, contributor for "Time" magazine, and CNN political reporter Rebecca Berg. Good to see you all of you.
So the FBI we know is under way looking into all these allegations. We also know now that Deborah Ramirez, there has been contact, or at least the FBI has reached out to her. And we know the parameters, a week long. But when you hear from the president via tweet who says almost with certainty that Judge Kavanaugh will be a great Supreme Court justice, it sounds as though without this investigation complete, Rebecca, that at least in his mind is still made up. What about these senators?
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Although many senators at the same time on the Republican side of the aisle, Fred, have also made up their minds about Judge Kavanaugh. Many of them, and there are some Democrats, too, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri in that category, for example.
WHITFIELD: Could make a difference?
[14:05:00] BERG: It could. The senators who are on the fence with these Republican senators who wanted an FBI investigation, who wanted that extra level of comfort, if the FBI uncovers something that was not laid out by either Judge Kavanaugh or Dr. Ford in these hearings, that could swing Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski. But as for Republicans, they do believe that Judge Kavanaugh for the most part will be a qualified jurist. They don't believe that these allegations have anything to do with that.
WHITFIELD: A lot at stake if confirmed and if not.
JAY NEWTON-SMALL, CONTRIBUTOR, "TIME" MAGAZINE: I think politically you can understand why Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, was desperate to end this and sort of nip it in the bud as soon as possible, because every single day that we're out there talking about these accusations, talking about Republicans dragging their feet, not wanting to look into the accusations, talking how these women potentially aren't being listened to, is another day they're losing women voters, that they're really turning off those voters ahead of an incredibly crucial election for Republicans come November.
And really, they were one of the biggest key demographics for Donald Trump was non-college educated white women. He won that demographic by a huge, whopping 28 percentage points, the largest in history. That's eight points better than Mitt Romney did with that demographic. And that's a demographic they've really been banking on showing up come November. And that's a demographic that is incredibly concerned by these accusations and affected by them. So you can see why Republicans really want to move on as quickly as possible here. And dragging this out another week I think for them, is politically perilous.
BERG: And it isn't just the Senate. If you look at the House map as well, many of those battles are being fought in the suburbs where you have higher proportions of these college educated women who could swing those races for Democrats potentially if this is having an impact on those voters. And so it's not just Republicans in the Senate. Mitch McConnell, his decision making in the next week or so could also have a major impact on the fight of the House.
WHITFIELD: And it's not just Congress looking at this very closely, Ariane, but of course the jurists who are already on the bench, they are looking at this closely. What are likely their concerns?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: They have two sets of concerns. First of all, the confirmation process itself even before this confirmation hearing that we had last week, several of the justices were so concerned about the politicization of this, how they're very afraid that the average person will look at these hearing and they'll see these justices and think they're politicians, and they'll think that the court is a political branch, and it's not.
WHITFIELD: And the nominee actually made a very -- expressed a very strong sentiment about the outcome of the last election.
De VOGUE: He did. And it's interesting because in the first set of hearings before the allegations came forward he was very judicial and didn't talk about politics. Remember, he kept saying, I'm not touching that. I'm three zip codes way from any political thing. But then these allegations came, and he really felt like he had to defend himself not only for the Supreme Court seat but his current job and his own reputation, and he thought he to go out. He wrote that on his own, without the White House's approval, and he did. You're absolutely right. He brought up politics. So that is tough for the Supreme Court. They don't like to see that.
WHITFIELD: So he wrote it on his own, but did seem to be channeling the president. It was very clear he was using similar language, from con job, to talking about it being a farce. So, is there -- is there any real great separation made between Brett Kavanaugh, this candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court, and the White House, the president, who said I'm still standing by this guy?
NEWTON-SMALL: I think you have to be aware of Brett Kavanaugh's audiences here, right? So clearly he has to -- he has the audience of the president, who he has to win over and convince. By all reports the president wasn't that impressed with his FOX News interview where he got a little bit teary eyed and got teary eyed again during that testimony. But he wanted to see him coming out swinging a lot more. He wanted to see him fighting. And so that's what Brett Kavanaugh did.
And this is a guy who, if he pulls his nomination, it really destroys his career. So he has to make sure the president first and foremost still supports him, and then everybody else after that.
BERG: And as we know, the president relates personally to the situation that Judge Kavanaugh finds himself in facing these very serious allegations of sexual misconduct. The president during his remarks at the UNGA suggested that he sees himself in a way in what Brett Kavanaugh's facing. And of course, the president when faced with allegations of this kind in the past has been very much a street fighter, and so that's why in part he expects the same of Brett Kavanaugh.
WHITFIELD: And there have been so many tense moments, whether it be right there in the committee. There were tense moments, and, of course, the elevator moment, which seemed to change so much particularly for Senator Jeff Flake. Might this be as a whole a real turning point in this confirmation process?
NEWTON-SMALL: Look, I've covered five Supreme Court confirmations in my time. I thought it couldn't get worse than Harriet Miers who George W. Bush withdrew after about a week.
[14:10:00] And, wow, I have to say one thing Kavanaugh said in that hearing that I think is absolutely true is that this changes things forever. I think the entire process is irrevocably changed. I think we're going see a lot more attention to potential allegations of Me Too, and a lot more also questions about the gravitas and the bearing of a justice when they're -- and the politics of a justice in this kind of situation.
DE VOGUE: You see the president actually brought that up, and he said, look, I may get more seats. He's always talking about how many seats he'll get on the Supreme Court. And he said, it's going to make it harder for people to come forward now after this. And that will be an interesting thing to watch. That was a real argument point. He said, he's already been through seven background checks. It's going to be harder to get people to come forward. So that's a theme that the president was really pushing here.
BERG: And I don't think we've seen that the Senate is prepared to respond to allegations of this type. And maybe we would be in a different situation if the allegations had been presented at an earlier point in the process. However, the Senate has been figuring this out as they go, and many Americans watching this process have felt that it's not fair.
DE VOGUE: They're fighting, too.
WHITFIELD: Doesn't it seem as though even though this week-long investigation, now this is also giving cover to senators who are saying it gives me more time to be thoughtful here. While at first everyone seemed to have made up their mind when they did that vote, before voting for an FBI investigation. Does this also allow them to really take into consideration what their constituents are saying?
NEWTON-SMALL: I think being thoughtful for them I think potentially also means being really responsive to constituents ahead of a very tough vote, especially certain members of the Senate, with the Senate's fate hanging in the balance here. Both the House and the Senate are right on the edge. Most observers say the House is probably going to flip. A lot of people are saying increasingly the likelihood is the Senate could flip as well. And so going home, facing constituents, hearing from them, seeing which ways the winds are blowing I think is always a moment where you see lawmakers come back and they tend to flip after they've heard, as you saw with Jeff Flake, a lot of angry people saying, what are you doing, what's going on? How come you're supporting this broken process?
DE VOUGE: Just one more thought is we've talked about this week, because we think it is going to be a week because Flake and the others said we want to do it in one week. But this isn't a full scale FBI investigation, right. It's just a background check. But what if it takes more time, and what if this drags on? And the president was asked.
WHITFIELD: And that will be another test, how they respond to that. If the FBI says we've got a little bit of this but we still need a little bit more. Who's going to respond to that?
BERG: That's difficult.
NEWTON-SMALL: That's exactly what Mitch McConnell doesn't want, because the longer this drags out, the more we spend time talking how defensive they are in this process, how broken the process is, how women are not comfortable coming forward.
WHITFIELD: But one would think what outweighs out on all of that is you want to know who is going to end up on that job for the rest of their life. And character is paramount.
DE VOGUE: And one other thing is if -- so Brett Kavanaugh obviously didn't want this delay, but now the FBI is looking into this. And if they give back a clean bill of health, Brett Kavanaugh, then he goes on to the court without this cloud over his head. So in a way it might not be the worst thing.
WHITFIELD: We'll leave it right there. Ladies, thanks so much, Jay, Ariane, Rebecca, appreciate it.
Still ahead, key witnesses in the Kavanaugh investigation now say they will cooperate with the FBI. So how will all of this play out? And can the investigation really be done, more of that, in just a week?
[14:17:36] WHITFIELD: Now that President Trump has ordered a supplemental background investigation into Brett Kavanaugh, the FBI has less than a week now to get to the bottom of explosive allegations of sexual assault accusations from three decades ago. The Senate will now wait for the results before voting on Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
With me now, Shan Wu, a CNN legal analyst and a former federal prosecutor, and CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano, a retired FBI supervisory special agent. Mouthful. Hello to both of you. How are you? I'm good thank you. So James, you first. Walk us through what these FBI agents are tasked with. Is it a matter of knocking on doors, making phone calls? How do they go about this?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think the "Washington Post" is just reporting now that Ms. Ramirez has now been contacted, and I anticipated --
WHITFIELD: Deborah Ramirez.
GAGLIANO: Yes. I anticipated that was going to happen. Before the president made the decision that, hey, the FBI should get involved, before Senator Flake made his dramatic position know yesterday and kind of shook up things on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I can tell you Director Wray and his senior executives were already putting in place how they were going to handle this.
This is going to be handled as a special inquiry investigation, which means the consequence of this investigation, because it pertains to a Supreme Court justice and a suitability or fitness for the position investigation, is going to be exhaustive. Now, FBI agents are going to knock on doors. They're going to take things that came out during the hearings. They're going to look at the calendar Judge Kavanaugh provided, and they're going to do all due diligence to get to the bottom of whether or not these allegations are true.
WHITFIELD: OK. So they're going to follow-up as well on people that Christine Blasey Ford testified to, she talked about and painted the picture about people that she thought may be there. They'll be following up and reaching out to some of those people. And then Deborah Ramirez, just for folks who are trying to get familiar with everybody, she went to school with Kavanaugh in Yale and she is alleging that he exposed himself to her. And so Shan, you also co- wrote an opinion piece in "The Hill," and you were also writing that it really would be a shame for investigators to rush this. It would entail also bringing in some experts as it pertains to sexual assault allegations. What do you mean?
[14:20:06] SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We felt it would be very helpful for the testimony if they would first hear from trauma experts. There's a lot of understandable misunderstandings as to why anybody would delay for such a long time. And actually the fact is it's well documented that survivors often delay, particularly survivors who were as young as Dr. Ford was. She was only 15, as you know, Fred. And it would be very helpful if the committee would first hear from those experts to give them some context so could ask informed questions. Perhaps that would have obviated the need for them to bring in the prosecutor Mitchell to ask the questions.
WHITFIELD: And then, James, so there have already been six background checks on Kavanaugh. The president tweeting today this would now be the seventh one. How might this differ from a hat typically is a background check that goes back to, say, age 18, but now we're talking about allegations when he was 17-years-old?
GAGLIANO: So let's break this down. So FBI agents are going to put together 302s, which are testimonial documents. They're going to interview all the folks that we all know are attached to Ms. Ford's claims as well now as Ms. Ramirez' claims.
Now, I understand why people argue this has to be limited in scope, because what could possibly happened, not that this would ever happen in America, but political motivations, people coming out of the woodwork. We can't turn this into -- Fred, I think we're going to hear the term "moving the goalposts" frequently through next week. So I think the FBI is going to be hyper-focused on Mrs. Ford's testimony and also on Ms. Ramirez. They're going to uncover and turn over every stone.
But remember, FBI agents will not be able to be able to determine veracity or truth. They're simply going to write down exactly what was related to them.
And another hurdle here is, people that they go seek to interview can tell them, thanks, but no thanks. And the only thing that could compel those people to testify would be a subpoena from Congress, or if the state, meaning Montgomery County, Maryland, decided if a charge was actually filed there, they could possibly use a grand jury subpoena. But this is going to be difficult. If people don't want to cooperate, the FBI cannot compel them to do so.
WHITFIELD: And Shan, do you have a lot of confidence that this investigation is going to bring any more solidified detail to assist these senators in their decision-making?
WU: It should. Most of these allegations have already been made public, but as James is pointing out, this is going to make it a formal part of the record. People have already spoken, can be interviewed, and their statements will be put into the record in a formal way rather than just reading about it in the newspapers. And also to the point about Montgomery County, that does speak to a
potential legal jeopardy on the part of the judge. Certainly Mark Judge, the person who is alleged to have been in the room, may take the Fifth Amendment because from the allegations he could be considered an aider or abettor, even someone who took part in the assault. So there is definitely legal jeopardy for Judge Kavanaugh. I don't think he is going to take the Fifth. He is completely all-in on this and he's just going to go for it and try and get through.
WHITFIELD: Shan Wu, James Gagliano, thanks so much to both of you. Appreciate it.
GAGLIANO: Thanks, Fred.
WU: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Tensions are high as the confirmation and vetting process for Brett Kavanaugh continues on. Coming up, how constituents for some key swing votes in the Senate may have turned the tide.
WHITFIELD: The actions of one Republican senator are the reason why the FBI is investigating Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that U.S. 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 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, 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 Flake's stance changed, but before asking for delay, two courageous women confronted the Arizona lawmaker in an elevator on Capitol Hill. The women in tears told their stories of sexual assault, their voices strong and their experiences and emotion heartbreaking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 believed me. I didn't tell anyone, and you're telling all women that they don't matter, that they should stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them, you're going to ignore them. That's what happened to me, and that's what you're telling all women in America, that they don't matter. They should 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 all of these women. That's what you're telling me right now. [14:30:03] 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 you're going to let people who do 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 that it doesn't matter what happened to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And last night one of those women, Ana Maria Archila, joined Anderson Cooper to talk about the intense confrontation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm wondering when you made the decision to confront Senator Flake, and at that point were you aware of his intention to confirm Judge Kavanaugh?
ANA MARIA ARCHILA, CONFRONTED SEN. FLAKE IN ELEVATOR BEFORE VOTE: I'd been coming to the Capitol for the last several weeks to protest the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh because I believe he's 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 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 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 of the emotions that we had been holding for the last several weeks came out pouring. My demand of him to think of his children and think of my children, her demands of him to listen to her story and tell her whether her story matters and whether he's 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'm wondering what you saw of the reaction from Senator Flake? It's one thing for us to see it on television. You're looking at him, trying to look at him in the eye?
ARCHILA: Honestly, I had literally just read the headlines of his statement. And we saw him running to the elevator and we ran behind him. It was a very intense moment of really wanting to talk to him. And 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 we -- I just felt a great sense of urgency, and I think I saw in his face that he could not escape the emotion. COOPER: You felt like he was listening to you. Do you feel like he
would, wanted to kind of hope the elevator doors closed, do you think he wanted to stay longer? What was your impression?
ARCHILA: 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)
WHITFIELD: All right, let's talk more about all of this. CNN's Dan Simon is with me now. You're in Arizona. You've been talking to Senator Flake's constituents. So what are they saying?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. As you can imagine, the reaction here is mixed. The most visible reaction has been here at Flake's office in phoenix. We saw a number of protesters yesterday. We saw women dressed as handmaids, and we saw the full range of reactions. Obviously the mood lightened a bit when we saw Jeff Flake force that seven-day delay. And then today we've also seen some Republicans out here, some Trump supporters also voicing disapproval of Jeff Flake. As one longtime Republican political analyst put it, Jeff Flake's not going to gain any more supporters as result of what's happened. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: Jeff Flake's move, calling for this delay, how is that sitting with his constituents in Arizona?
STAN BARNES, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: I think Jeff's having a bad day back home. I don't think he can show his face in the local grocery store right now. I think it's a fresh wound. I think he's out of step with his own hometown constituency that think, rightly or wrongly, that Kavanaugh is being smeared by the Democrats unfairly. And Jeff, Senator Flake, is enabling this smear by going with the one- week delay. So back home I think he's out of step with his constituency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:35:05] SIMON: We don't know how Jeff Flake is spending the weekend, if he's returned here to his home state of Arizona. I can tell you that he has been a polarizing figure in the state largely because of the criticism that he has directed towards President Trump. It's against that backdrop, Fred, that Jeff Flake decided not to run for reelection, fearing that he would lose a primary. But as some people noted now with Jeff Flake being a lame duck senator, he's acting much like his former colleague, the late Senator John McCain, acting very much like a maverick. Fred?
WHITFIELD: Dan Simon, thanks so much.
There's no question all eyes will be on two female Republican senators, and whether they will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are both under intense pressure from their voters back home. CNN's Kaylee Hartung is Portland, Maine. So this is Senator Susan Collins district. What are people saying?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, this is not unfamiliar territory for Susan Collins. She has been a key vote on so many issues through the course of her more than 20 years in the Senate. And yet one voter here in Maine told me he believes this could be the biggest decision of her career.
Now, she and her fellow undecideds bought themselves some time with the help of this FBI investigation that will be forthcoming as well as the cooperation of Mark Judge, the former high school friend and classmate of Brett Kavanaugh, hoping that that will help bear nor information to help they are make their decisions.
In the meantime, Susan Collins is back home in Maine after that wild week in Washington, and here her constituents are actively trying to share their concern for the decision she'll make.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are several people in the hallway. So some wouldn't mind kind of trading places.
HARTUNG: Tensions so high in Senator Susan Collins' Portland office today, cops were called to keep the peace.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's quite full at the moment.
HARTUNG: In Maine, and Alaska, home of senator Lisa Murkowski.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kavanaugh has got to go, hey, hey, ho, ho.
HARTUNG: Tears and bullhorns. Part of the public campaign to convince the two undecided Republican senators to oppose Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
HILLARY SHENDE, MAINE RESIDENT: It's huge in some ways, because it all comes down to the senators from Maine and Alaska, and yet on the other hand, she just needs to do the right thing. This shouldn't actually be a discussion. It shouldn't even be -- it shouldn't even be a difficult decision.
JOAN WILSON, ALASKA RESIDENT: I'm a Democrat and I voted for her. I was one of the people who signed in her name when she said she was going to stand up for women. I would never vote for her again.
HARTUNG: The effort to persuade Collins and Murkowski also playing out on television in their home states.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Susan Collins, it's your party that's mistaken.
HARTUNG: In Portland, April Humphrey organized a sit-in she hoped would draw 15 to 20 people.
CROWD: Call Susan Collins.
HARTUNG: Instead, hundreds showed up.
CROWD: In November, we will remember.
APRIL HUMPHREY, PROTEST ORGANIZER: To have so many come out on short notice, it just was organic. This was not some sort concerted effort to mobilize people and get people out. People want to come out and they want their voices be heard, and they feel like their voices aren't being heard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we want?
HARTUNG: Protesters gathered in the plaza outside the office and soon packed inside the senator's office.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold on. Sarah, I'm right here. I'm right here. It's OK.
HARTUNG: One staffer inundated, patiently taking notes trying to keep order.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm happy, again to pass on comments to Senator Collins.
KRISTEN SMITH, MAINE RESIDENT: I have called her office 17 times a day. I was traveling overseas and even tried to call through my Skype account, and her voicemailboxes have been full. But I wanted my face seen and my voice to be heard.
HARTUNG: Once the cops showed up yesterday they will largely able to keep the peace and control the crowds that showed up here. But as Senator Collins staff tried to close her office doors at 5:00 p.m., there were two people who wouldn't leave, and they were arrested.
But Fred, we've spent time speaking to people here in Portland who aren't here to protest. The people who simply live here and work here and vote here. And while we found mixed opinions among them about Brett Kavanaugh, we've also generally found a similar sentiment among them for their senator Susan Collins, that of respect for this woman who served the state more than 20 years. One voter saying he can't tell her how to vote one way or the other, but he says that's why he voted her into office, because he trusts her to make the right decision.
WHITFIELD: Kaylee Hartung in Portland, Maine, thanks for that.
We'll be right back.
[14:44:15] WHITFIELD: Dramatic video of the moment a tsunami comes ashore in Indonesia. The tsunami devastated -- or followed a devastating 7.5 earthquake that hit parts of the country.
At least 384 people are dead and hundreds more have been injured, and there's a frantic search going on for survivors. Before and after shots of this bridge in Palu show the level of destruction there. CNN international correspondent Alexandra Field joining me right now. So Alexandra, give me an idea, how are they going to assess the damage and get to people who need help?
[14:45:05] ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is not going to be an easy job, and it really could take days. You saw those terrifying images. That wall of water that rushed in following that earthquake, that means this is difficult work for these rescue crews to do. They're dealing not just with water but also with the debris. They are looking desperately and frantically for survivors, but even reaching the affected areas is difficult. The images you seeing are from blue, but this is just one of the affected areas. It's a city of about 300,000 people. There is another city of about 300,000, Donggala. And officials in Indonesia say the lines of communication are down. They simply don't even know what they'll find when they reach Donggala. That means that they can say with some certainty this death toll will be rising in the coming days.
They're trying to move crews in as quickly as possible, but there are damages to infrastructure that are widespread. We're talking about roads and bridges, also issues with landslides. And people have to contend with the possibility of aftershocks while they try and do this recovery work. That means it isn't safe for people to be inside most of these buildings. Many are being advised to sleep outside. We've even seen the hospitals are treating patients outside of those buildings for safety. We know that thousands of buildings have been damaged or destroyed, Fred, but certainly the focus right now is on getting help to people as quickly as possible and finding survivors.
WHITFIELD: Alexandra Field, thank you so much.
And 50 million Facebook accounts have been hacked, and another black eye for the company helping to connect the world. Coming up, what may have been compromised and what Facebook is doing to prevent another breach.
[14:51:20] WHITFIELD: -- a shark bit him in his torso area causing traumatic injuries. This happened at a beach in Encinitas 30 minutes outside of San Diego. Three bystanders came to his aid, and here's how one of them described the rescue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAD HAMMEL, RESCUED TEEN AFTER SHARK ATTACK: We're not in the water for over 30 minutes, and I hear screaming. I thought it was somebody who caught some big bugs and was enthusiastic. Good for you. And he kept going. Then I realized he was yelling, I got bit. Help, help, help! And he's not even swimming towards shore. He's just swimming towards our group. I went to get him on the kayak and we could really see what happened,
and his whole clavicle was ripped open. You could see ball and socket joint, everything. And so we threw him up on there, telling him he's going to be OK, he's going to be all right. We got help. Yelling at everyone to get out of the water, shark in the water. Tell everyone on the beach, screaming at them to get on the cell phone. So someone ran up here and calmed paramedics and police and they responded from the beach. Then we had the sheriff and everyone down here. And, yes, lucky we got him out of the water because once we threw him up on the kayak and started heading in, that's when I looked back, and a shark was behind the kayak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Wow. That's some close calls there. Amazingly the good Samaritans include an off-duty lifeguard and off-duty police officer. Officials say the teen was talking when he was airlifted to the hospital. His condition right now unknown. We are wishing him the best. Wow, what a close call.
Nearly 50 million Facebook users have become the target of a hack. The attack potentially allowed those hackers to take over accounts as well as other sites and apps that users log into via Facebook like Instagram and Spotify. CNN reporter Donie O'Sullivan joining us right now from New York. So Donie, how extensive is this attack in terms of what was exposed?
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: Fred, this is the biggest breach in Facebook's history. What happened was hackers got their hands on basically digital keys that would have given them access to 50 million Facebook users' accounts. It would have left them logged in as if they were the users themselves.
What Facebook is now trying to figure out now is if the hackers used these keys, if they did actually go ahead and access the accounts. And it's not just Facebook that's affected. Many websites allow you to log in using your Facebook credentials. So you can log into many dating apps, money transfer apps. Those apps could also now be affected.
Facebook has just started their investigation. They just announced the breach yesterday. So for the next seven days we're surely to learn a lot more about this.
WHITFIELD: All right, Donie O'Sullivan, I know a lot of folks on edge. Thank you so much.
Media mogul and CNN founder Ted Turner revealed in an interview set to air on CBS tomorrow that he is battling a brain disease known at Lewy Body Dementia. Although the disease is not like Alzheimer's, Turner says it still leaves him feeling, I'm quoting now, tired, exhausted, and mainly forgetful, end quote. He also says that he doesn't watch news often anymore but still checks in to those of us here at CNN. Turner led Turner Broadcasting System before launching CNN in 1980. And of course we are wishing him the very best. Thanks so much for joining me today, this Saturday. I'm Fredricka
Whitfield. Coming up, actress and activist Alyssa Milano joining us. She is a leading voice in the Me Too movement and was in the Senate hearing room when Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford testified.
[14:55:10] She says she believes Ford. What does she think about the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh? My colleague Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage in New York right after this.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It's 3:00 eastern, noon out west. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You are live in the CNN Newsroom. Great to have you with us.
The already long and winding road that might take Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court is now longer and even more complicated given the FBI's new marching orders.