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Trump Orders FBI Investigation, Senate Vote Delayed; Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami; Man Missing after Plane Crashes in Micronesian Lagoon; Facebook Security Breach; Israel PM Won't Commit to Trump's Two-State Solution; Ted Cruz Checks Out Opponent's Photo. Aired 3- 3:30a ET
Aired September 29, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANA MARIA ARCHILA, PROTESTER: 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.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): After a dramatic elevator confrontation and emotional testimony an FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh is launched and the Supreme Court nominee's confirmation is now thrown into question.
Dozens are dead, thousands of homes are destroyed, and power is out in an Indonesian city after a series of earthquakes and a powerful tsunami.
And another blow for user trust at Facebook. An attack exposes the accounts of some 50 million people.
We are live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta. I'm Cyril Vanier. It is great to have you with us.
VANIER: So the confirmation process of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been turned on its head once again. Republican senators and the White House have now agreed to delay the final Senate vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh by up to one week so that the FBI can investigate sexual assault allegations against him.
This comes after they spent days ruling out such an investigation and it all came down to this man, Republican Senator Jeff Flake. He is seen as one of three swing votes Republicans need to confirm Kavanaugh and he had a last-minute change of heart.
Friday morning he had let it be known that would he make it -- he made up his mind and that he would vote in favor of Judge Kavanaugh with his fellow Republicans. But it was only a few hours later that he then demanded an FBI investigation.
So what changed?
We do not know for sure. But this may have something to do with it.
(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 are going to let people who do these things into power.
What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit in the Supreme Court. 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?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Those two women say they are survivors of sexual assault and they cornered the senator just as he was on his way to the Senate Judiciary vote. But Flake wouldn't tell reporters whether or not their remarks were ultimately what changed his mind.
However, now he is adamant for the need for an FBI investigation on Kavanaugh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZ.: I can only say that I would be only comfortable moving forward on the floor or move it out of committee. But I will only be comfortable moving on the floor until the FBI has done more investigation than they have already. It may not take them a week. I understand that some of these witnesses may not want to discuss anything further.
But I think we owe them due diligence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: What is Judge Kavanaugh saying?
Well, in a Friday statement, he said he would continue to cooperate with the FBI.
And what is his accuser saying, Christine Blasey Ford?
Her attorney says she welcomes the investigation but it should not be subject to artificial time limits. President Trump says he is willing to do whatever Republican senators
deem necessary to move forward on Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation. CNN senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny reports.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump showing unusual restraint today with Judge Brett Kavanaugh facing a new hurdle in his Supreme Court confirmation battle.
TRUMP: Well, I'm going to let the Senate handle that, they will make their decisions and they have been doing a good job.
ZELENY (voice-over): In the Oval Office, the president taking a rare hands off approach to new demands from senators, this time Republicans, that the FBI reopen its background check on Kavanaugh.
TRUMP: They have to do what they think is right. There is no message whatsoever. They have to do what they think is right. They have to be comfortable with themselves. And I'm sure that's what they are.
ZELENY (voice-over): After accusing Democrats all week of dragging their feet...
TRUMP: They know it is a big, fat con job.
ZELENY (voice-over): -- the president suddenly being deferential with Arizona Republican Jeff Flake leading the charge and holding the cards on Kavanaugh's fate.
For more than a week, the president has repeatedly dismissed the need for a new FBI probe.
TRUMP: They've investigated about six times.
ZELENY (voice-over): But today the president saying he would support an investigation if Senate Republicans asked him to.
TRUMP: I will be totally reliant on what Senator --
TRUMP: -- Grassley and the group decides to do.
ZELENY (voice-over): The president, like millions of Americans, was watching the gripping testimony of Christine Blasey Ford...
CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD, RESEARCH PSYCHOLOGIST: Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from yelling.
ZELENY (voice-over): -- calling the hearing "very compelling."
TRUMP: She looks like a very fine woman to me, very fine woman. It was an incredible moment, I think, in the history of our country. But certainly she was a very credible witness. ZELENY: Now a White House official says that the president will order and authorize the FBI to do a supplemental background check into Judge Kavanaugh lasting no more than a week.
This comes 10 days after the president first said that the FBI does not do these kinds of investigations. But now he is ordering them to do just that -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.
VANIER: CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd weighed on the FBI's investigation of Brett Kavanaugh. Mudd explains how federal agents are going to be investigating the Supreme Court nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Clearly they're going to talk to people who those people have spoken with. For example, schoolmates from back then saying not only did you see this or not see this but what was the environment around these events?
What was the judge's character?
There's a second issue that I think we're missing, though, and that's the issue of credibility.
When that investigation starts, the judge has portrayed himself, especially early on in this process, as very clean. That investigation over the next week is going to get deeply into who was he in high school?
Was he possibly so drunk at various points that he can't remember what happened?
If there's a stark contrast between what he said over the past week or two and what investigators find about his life 35 years ago, that's a story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: That was Phil Mudd speaking to us earlier.
Now let's bring in CNN legal analyst Areva Martin and political analyst Michael Genovese. They both join me from Los Angeles.
Areva, is this FBI investigation limited in time and scope as the Republicans want it to be, no more than a week, max one week, is this a good way to get to the truth?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's not a good way to get to the truth in terms of the limitations that have been placed on the investigation. But we have to applaud Senator Flake for taking a courageous step because, hours before, he indicated that he would not move this vote on the Senate floor without the investigation.
It appeared to be that there was not going to be any investigation. So although it is not everything that the survivors of sexual assault and, particularly, Dr. Ford wanted as it relates to an investigation. But it is an important first step at getting at the truth.
VANIER: Michael, this is exactly what the Republicans have said they wanted to avoid for what is it, a week, more than a week now?
They said they did not want this FBI investigation. I want you listen to Donald Trump and his past statements over the last few days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, the FBI told us they've investigated Judge Kavanaugh six times, five times, many times over the years. They know him very well. But here there was nothing to investigate, from at least one standpoint. They didn't know the location. They didn't know the time. They didn't know the year. They didn't know anything.
And it's like where do you go?
Well, it would seem that the FBI really does not do that.
I don't think the FBI really should be involved because they do not want to be involved. If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that. But as you know, they say this is not really their thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: OK. And now the White House is actually requesting an FBI authorization after they spent days saying it is not the FBI's thing, there is nothing for the FBI here to do.
What say you?
MICHAEL GENOVESE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the circumstances on the ground have been altered dramatically. They've been altered by both the testimony of both witnesses.
Dr. Ford was credible. And there are questions about Kavanaugh. And so, because the arithmetic on the ground has been altered, someone like a Senator Flake, who might have been one of those people you'd expect who might turn, I think it is the dual effect of the confrontation at the elevators and also his great friendship with Senator Coons, who was speaking right afterwards and gave him a kind of out, as though the White House, their hands were tied. They had no choice but to go along with this.
And so they tried to go along with it, making it look like they like this. The votes were in jeopardy. And that is why they did it.
VANIER: I am glad you brought up the elevator moment, we put it at the very top of the show because we think that was an absolutely crucial part of what happened today, in a rebound, like you had talked about.
It seemed to me -- I saw it live. And it seemed to me like it was one of those rare moments, where you have a one-on-one confrontation. This one was captured live, where one person is giving voice to a whole train of thought, a whole feeling that is permeating through this country.
And it was these women, telling the senator, a man in power, you have to --
VANIER: -- listen to us.
What did you think?
MARTIN: Yes, it could not have been better timed if it were scripted. He was on his way to that Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. And I do not know how they managed to be in that elevator with him at the same time. I do not know how the CNN camera crew happened to be there at the same time.
But it was a perfect moment for women, to those two women to give voice to sexual assault survivors all over this country. And they told their very powerful stories. And you could hear one of the women, at one time, saying to Senator Flake, look at me, look at me, demanding that he give her eye contact so that she would know that he was not just, you know, playing lip service but he was actually listening to her.
She wanted to make that --
VANIER: And he wasn't, by the way. He wasn't looking at her. He was looking down at his feet.
MARTIN: He was trying his best not to look at her because I think he knew that if he looked at her, it would be impossible to ignore her. It would be impossible not to be persuaded by the powerful nature of the statement that she was giving and then he goes into that Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.
There was also a very powerful moment where Senator Coons is talking about the need for an investigation. And you could see Senator Flake, just sitting there, being so reflective, not saying a word but seemingly listening very attentively to what Senator Coons had to say.
And then he got up, walked over across the aisle. They walked outside. And then this very dramatic moment happened that, in some ways, I was saying, changed the course of this entire nomination process and, in many ways, changed the course of history as it relates to women's sexual assault, women being listened to and believed.
VANIER: And you know, we know from our reporting what Senator Flake said to Senator Coons. He went up to him and he said, I feel we are dividing the country.
I want to put up a number -- Catherine (ph), let's show up the sexual assault hotline numbers and both of you may be familiar with this by now. But during the hearing of Dr. Blasey Ford yesterday, during and after, the sexual assault hotline in the U.S. increased -- got a 201 percent increase in calls on Thursday, many of whom were people who were revealing, sharing their stories of sexual assault for the first time.
This is clearly resonating with so many people across the United States.
And my question to you, Michael, was going to be, it is dovetailing into the politics of the moment.
GENOVESE: It is and a moment like this gives voice to a movement that was really not at the center of our attention. It forces us to confront these things. And I think the Flake example is just a microcosm of what the country is going through.
C-SPAN, the public affairs television station, had a call-in program where women over -- story after story after story of, this is what happened to me, this is my story. So it gives validation to people who are victims, who weren't her, who felt that their position, which was powerless, was now given voice and given some sense of justice so that people would take it seriously, when in fact, in the past, it has not been taken very seriously.
And men in power dominate that discussion and it's when men in power do that, it silences the voices of victims.
VANIER: That's where things stand on Friday night Eastern time here in the U.S. I know it is cliche to say it but the clock is really ticking because the FBI now has a maximum of one week to investigate, provide some kind of report and then the senators will make a conclusion and vote on the -- on the floor of the Senate.
We will see what happens, maximum one week before we get some kind of conclusion, unless there is another twist or turn to the story. Michael Genovese, Areva Martin, thank you so much.
GENOVESE: Thank you.
MARTIN: Thank you, Cyril.
VANIER: Searching for survivors of a powerful earthquake in Indonesia. The challenge rescue workers face -- when we come back.
Plus how Facebook is dealing with a security breach that has affected millions upon millions of users. Stay with us.
VANIER: In Indonesia at least 48 people were killed, hundreds injured when a series of earthquakes struck Sulawesi Island in the city of Palu. Thousands of buildings were swept away by a tsunami triggered by 7.5 magnitude quake.
Rescue workers are scrambling to find survivors. But it is tough work. Its power and communication lines knocked out. Indonesia's disaster management says thousands of buildings have been destroyed and they warned that the death toll is, sadly, expected to rise.
VANIER: One man is unaccounted for after a passenger jet crashed Friday into a lagoon in the Pacific island nation of Micronesia. Initial --
VANIER: -- reports said all 47 people on board have been accounted for. Now Air New Guinea says it is working with local authorities to locate the missing passenger. Airlines said the plane came short of the runway in Chook state but hit the sea instead. As water filled the plane, fishermen scrambled to save passengers who climbed on the wings.
Reports say the weather deteriorated as the Boeing 737 approached. The scene was similar to the so-called Miracle on the Hudson River in New York in 2009, when the pilot safely ditched his plane and saved his passengers after birds struck his jet.
Facebook says it took the unusual move to forcibly log out more than 90 million -- that's right -- 90 million users from their accounts because of a security breach. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and executive Sheryl Sandberg were among the 90 million.
Facebook says attackers gained access to millions of accounts at other sites that were logged in through Facebook. CNN's Alison Kosik explains.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Another security issue for Facebook users. An attack has potentially exposed the information of nearly 50 million accounts. The company says its engineers spotted the attack on Tuesday, but the social network didn't alert users until Friday.
Facebook says the attackers exploited a feature known as "view as" that allows users to see what their profile looks like to someone else. They saw what are known as access tokens, which keep a person logged into their Facebook account for over long periods of time so they don't have to keep logging in. So the hackers could take over accounts and use them as if they were the account holders.
More than 90 million users were forced to log out of their accounts Friday for security reasons. The company says it doesn't know if the affected accounts were misused or if any information was accessed.
The company says it has fixed the issue and contacted law enforcement. Facebook also temporarily turned off the "view as" feature while it investigates. This is just the latest major hurdle for the social media giant which has struggled with security breaches and privacy issues in recent years -- Alison Kosik, CNN, New York.
VANIER: The U.S. says it is pulling nonessential personnel from its Basra consulate. It comes after reports of indirect fire from Iran- linked militia. An Iraqi news agency has posted these images. It says is the aftermath of rocket strikes near Basra International Airport on Friday.
Now CNN cannot confirm that these are authentic but the U.S. consulate is near the airport, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo says Iran will be held responsible if it or its proxies attack U.S. interests.
And as the U.S. works together to put together its Middle East peace plan, President Donald Trump has voiced support for a two-state solution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
However, Israel's prime minister is not ready to commit to that outcome. Benjamin Netanyahu explained why when he sat down with CNN's global affairs correspondent Elise Labott.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Let's talk about a little bit about the peace process and president -- you're meeting with President Trump, kind of public you a little bit on the spot the other day when he said that he thinks a two-state solution, quote, "would work best."
And that's what he wanted to see. And I was wondering if you are ready to commit once again, reaffirm your commitment to a two-state solution.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Well, you know, I've discovered that if you use labels, you aren't going to get very far because different people mean different things when they say states.
What I'd like to see is that the Palestinians will have all the powers to govern themselves but none of the powers to threaten us. What that means is that in the tiny area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, it's all about 50 kilometer wide.
That's where the Palestinians live and the Israelis live. And that area, under any peace agreement or without a peace agreement, Israel have to have the dominant power military power overriding security power because, otherwise, we will not be able to --
LABOTT: But that's always been discussed, right?
I mean, we're talking about --
NETANYAHU: -- otherwise --
LABOTT: -- date for the Palestinians side by side with this.
NETANYAHU: Does that state have its own military?
Who controls the security?
LABOTT: I don't think said that they're willing to have a demilitarized state.
NETANYAHU: Demilitarized by whom?
In fact, that's my point. And I've been very clear about that and I've been -- you know, just ramrod straight on this. Israel has to have the override in security, not the U.N., not Canadian Mounties, not, I don't know, Austrian or Australian forces.
Israeli forces have to have the security control; otherwise, that place will be taken over by Islamist terrorists, either daish, ISIS, or Hamas or Iran or all the above. And that is my --
NETANYAHU: -- condition.
Now people say, was that commensurate with the state?
I don't know, you decide. You know, it basically boils down to what are we talking about?
Is the other state next to Israel, is it Costa Rica or is it Iran?
Is it demilitarized by us or do we have just promises in the air?
I wanted -- I want the Palestinians to govern themselves but that threaten us.
LABOTT: The president said the other day that because he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moved the embassy, took the biggest chip off the table -- and I quote him -- "Israel will have to do something that is good for the other side."
NETANYAHU: Look, I do not know what he will put forward. I'm going to look at it very seriously. When they do, when the U.S. does, they're working on it. He's got APEC team. I think --
LABOTT: Have you seen it?
NETANYAHU: -- serious about it --
LABOTT: Well, President Trump, you've said yourself, the relationship has never been better than under President Trump. He is kind of making the situation quite favorable for Israel.
Are you going to be able to say no to him?
NETANYAHU: Well, I'm certainly going to look at it and look at it with a keen and open mind because I know it's a great friendship to Israel -- and you're right. The alliance between Israel and the United States has always been strong and it's never been stronger as under his leadership.
VANIER: This next story all starts with a picture of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz gazing at his cellphone. Nothing out of the ordinary. But it is who he is looking at that has the Internet buzzing. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator Ted Cruz likes to schmooze about being tech savvy.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: So I pulled out my phone and I sent a tweet.
MOOS: But when he pulled out his phone aboard a flight to D.C., he got nabbed, gazing at his Senate race rival, Beto O'Rourke.
Politico posted the photos, inspiring mockery like this diary entry.
"I wonder if he thinks about me."
Someone else called it humanizing.
"Who among us has not stared at a picture of Beto O'Rourke and gently caressed the picture with our thumb?"
Added another, "Just like Senator Cruz seemed to do."
MOOS: Come on, get a grip. Cruz is probably just reading a news article about the race, featuring his opponent's face. It's not Tinder.
MOOS (voice-over): But there were plenty of Tinder jokes.
"Swipe left, swipe right. Hmm."
Beto O'Rourke supporters look upon him as having the charisma of a Bobby Kennedy, playing air drums to The Who as he drives through a Whataburger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, too.
MOOS (voice-over): While Ted Cruz suffers the slings and arrows of late night comedians.
JIMMY KIMMEL, ABC HOST: I noticed that he looked like a blobfish. MOOS (voice-over): The same day the inflight photos were snapped, protesters at a D.C. restaurant hounded Cruz and his wife.
CROWD: We believe survivors!
MOOS (voice-over): Chanting about the Supreme Court controversy but adding insult to injury with this reference to his opponent's hotness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beto is way hotter than you, dude.
MOOS (voice-over): Not everyone found the phone photos funny.
"I have a problem with looking over someone's shoulder and reporting what documents and articles they are reading."
But Texas Democrats used the pictures to recruit volunteers. Even Ted Cruz is signing up to volunteer for @BetoORourke.
No, Cruz was not really cruising his rival. It just looks like O'Rourke is the wind beneath his wings -- Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
VANIER: Ted Cruz has responded to this incident, the spokesperson for the senator said hey, breaking news. The airline passenger paparazzi captured the senator reading news clips about his campaign.
Tear it up.
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. I've got the headlines for you in just a moment. That's in two minutes. Stay tuned. We'll be right back.