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FBI's Kavanaugh Investigation Narrow In Scope; Over 800 Dead In Indonesia Quake And Tsunami; Trump Says FBI Has 'Free Rein' In Kavanaugh Probe; White House: Trump-Rosenstein Meeting May Be Delayed Again; Trump On Kim Jong-Un: "We Fell In Love." Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 30, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:10] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday from Washington D.C. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We're gearing up for another high stakes week on Capitol Hill. The FBI's latest background investigation into U.S. Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is quickly becoming the latest political pressure point dividing this city.
The big question, what is the scope of the investigation into the sexual assault and misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh? Sources tell CNN, White House Counsel Don McGahn is working behind the scenes with Republican leaders to narrow the scope of the investigation as much as possible. But President Trump and his team insist that they are hands off in the process, saying the FBI has free reign.
Let's start first with CNN's Boris Sanchez at the White House and Boris, what's the president saying right now?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Fredie (ph), it appears that line about the FBI having free reign was a bit of hyperbole from President Trump because it is ultimately the White House with input from Senate Republicans that is guiding the parameters of this FBI investigation into allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh the man who nominated to replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. President Trump is weighing in on some outcries, some complaints by Democrats right now on Twitter.
Just a few moments ago, he actually wrote quote, "Wow, just starting to hear the Democrats who are only thinking obstruct and delay are starting to put out word that the time and scope of FBI looking into Judge Kavanaugh and witnesses is not enough. Hello! For them, it will never be enough. Stay tuned and watch."
Now, Fred, as I previously mentioned, there are White House officials who are openly saying that the scope of this investigation is a narrow one. Kellyanne Conway was on State of the Union with Jake Tapper this morning, and she said that they did not want this to become a fishing expedition, a source close to the investigation confirmed to CNN that ultimately the White House with input from Senate Republicans, again, is going to be deciding the handful of interviews that the FBI is going to conduct. We know that they will take those results that they come up with, they will not draw their own conclusions and they will hand over the information to the White House.
Notably, though, according to the source, the FBI is not going to be looking into subjects relevant to the accusations against Kavanaugh, namely his drinking habits in high school, something he was grilled on during his testimony on Thursday. Senator Amy Klobuchar was one of the senators that continuously asked him whether he felt that he drank too much in certain points in his high school career. If there were any instances or moments that he could not recall.
Klobuchar was on State of the Union with Jake Tapper and she was asked about whether she worried that the White House may have too much input in this FBI investigation. Listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: It will be limited in scope. It's meant to the last for a week, I believe beginning last Friday. And it will -- it's not meant to be a fishing expedition. The FBI is not tasked with doing that here. The president very much respects the independence of the FBI and feels as he said last night that they should be looking at anything they think is credible within this limited scope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Now that's obviously not Amy Klobuchar, Fred, but she did say that she was concerned and that it is something she had not seen before at the White House, may try to guide this in a favorable way.
I did want to point out Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was on a Sunday morning talk shows. She says the White House does not want to micromanage the FBI, though she openly said she did not know if White House Counsel Don McGahn had given a list of the FBI dictating who they could and could not interview, Fred.
WHITFIELD: OK, lots of different messages. Thank you so much Boris Sanchez. Joining me right now Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier from California, good to see you. So, what do you interpret from all of these variations of messages about how the FBI probe is going to be under way. Who is giving the directive, whether the White House Counsel Don McGahn is involved or not. Free reign or limited.
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: I think this investigation is turning into nothing more than a fig leaf so that the Republicans can move forward on what they intended to do all along, which is ram this nomination through. I think Senator Flake was very clear about wanting to make sure that these credible allegations were, in fact, investigated.
If one of the principals who has alleged these allegations isn't even being interviewed and that's the news that we are hearing from news reports, then how credible is this investigation? And furthermore, let's go back to why this all happened. This happened because a woman who wanted to remain anonymous got outed and then she came to Washington to have the onslaught of questions and daggers sent her way and all she came with was the truth.
[15:05: 14] She has taken a lie detector test. Has Judge Kavanaugh taken one or agreed to submit to one? No. What we know is that he has a judicial temperament that is very volatile. That's not something we want on the Supreme Court. He also appears to have an inbred bias.
And again that's not something we want on the court. We want impartiality. There are over 20 names that the federal society that list all the conservative jurists in the country has developed. He wasn't even on that list. Go back to the list and pick someone who is going to have the right judicial temperament and will have a level of impartiality so that we can move forward.
WHITFIED: So if it's your view that there might be some senators who are willing to overlook this political bias. Do you need a drink of water? Are you OK?
SPEIER: I do. Thank you.
WHITFIELD: OK. So I'll make it a long question so you can drink. If there's some senators are willing to overlook the political bias, you know, or even this, you know, temperament, do you believe some of the same senators are willing to overlook an FBI probe or the findings that don't move the ball on these allegations, if this probe is in your view, that fig leaf that you mentioned that you are worried it might result in.
SPEIER: The only way that this nomination will be stopped is if there is at least one U.S. senator who stands up against a great deal of pressure, political pressure, and wants to make sure that this is an independent investigation and that credible allegations are being pursued. I don't think that's what we're hearing from the White House. If one person, the President says free reign and then you have a narrowing of it by both the general counsel, the White House and Senate Republicans, this is not intended to be what we all thought it was going to be.
WHITFIELD: And this is what your colleague Jerry Nadler had to say this morning on ABC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER, (D) NEW YORK: I would hope that Senator Flakes and others would not vote -- would make clear that their votes cannot be -- will not be for the nominee unless they have -- there's a free hand for proper investigation of these very serious allegations of sexual assaults. We cannot have a justice on the Supreme Court for the next several decades who will deciding questions of liberty and life and deaths and all kinds of things for the entire American people who has been credibly accused of sexual assaults, who has been credibly accused of various other things and wrong things including perjury.
This is got to be thoroughly investigated. I hope the Senate will do so if he is on the Supreme Court and the Senate hasn't been investigated. Then the house will have to. (END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So here we are, you know, congresswoman, in the midst of this Me Too Movement which has elevated so many women to speak about their experiences and, you know, demand real justice. So , it -- your view that senators are being mindful of these women, of this electorate and how their confirmation will be sending a very strong message to women during this me too movement.
SPEIER: Well, I would say that the Me Too Movement is stalled right now and I'm very concerned about it, particularly in the U.S. Senate where the House passed a very strong Me Too Congress Act bill to protect victims who served in Congress of the United States and the Senate is dragging its feet on it. So, you coupled that with their lack of interest and even pursuing this allegation by Dr. Blasey Ford who even the President of the United States said is credible. And last time I thought about the word credible, it sort of it indicates that that -- they're being truthful. So if she's credible that means she's truthful then someone is lying and it appears it's not her.
WHITFIELD: And this is close to home to you as a sexual assault survivor, you have led the charge to clean up sexual harassment in Congress. So what kind of message is being sent to Congress, being sent from the Senate during this confirmation process?
SPEIER: Eighty percent of the Senate is made up of male members and if you look at the vitriol that came from the Republicans in particular during that Senate hearing and if you look at how Rachel Mitchell who was supposed to be the questioner was shut down very quickly. It suggests that their respect for women is quite limited.
[15:10:13] WHITFIELD: Meaning she did not conduct the interview, the questions to the nominee, but she was used instrumentally in interviewing Dr. Ford.
SPEIER: That's right. She was -- I think Lindsey Graham basically took it away from her.
WHITFIELD: And what was your interpretation when Lindsey Graham talked about this scam not long after hearing the testimony from Dr. Ford? You mentioned the whole issue of credibility and people believe that she's credible. Are you saying she's not credible when you use the word scam?
SPEIER: So, I think that Lindsey Graham underscored what's wrong in the U.S. Senate today and what we should all be fearful of. The Senate is on trial as far as I'm concern I think democracy is on trial because what's happening is our institutions are devolving. The Senate has always been a collegial, deliberative, consensus-building institution.
When you require at least 60 votes to confirm a Supreme Court justice, you found compromise, you found members coming together. When you only need 50 plus the Vice President of the United States, then you are no longer looking for consensus. So, I personally think even if the Democrats were to regain power in the Senate, we should return to a 60-vote requirement. The Supreme Court should not be another political football.
WHITFIELD: Congresswoman Jackie Speier thanks so much for being with us this Sunday.
SPEIER: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Still so many questions about how this latest FBI probe into Kavanaugh's path is being handled and why it's taken so long for these allegations to come to light. Our panel breaks it all down. Coming up.
[15:16:17] WHITFIELD: All right, back now with more details about the FBI investigation into sexual assault and misconduct allegation against U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. The focus has moved to how the probe is being handled. Sources tell CNN Republicans are working with the White House to limit the scope and that has Democrats concerned about getting to the facts.
Here's what Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar told Jake Tapper earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHOR, (D) MINNESOTA: First of all, I want to make clear this isn't a criminal trial, and that again, Kellyanne and I agree on that. This wasn't a criminal trial, this is a job interview. And so many of us have already decided because of this nominee's expansive view of presidential power that he doesn't belong on this court to be hand picked by a President who has continually undermined the FBI, said he wants to fire the -- everyone from the attorney general to the deputy attorney general. We have issues with putting someone on the bench with those views and a number of us said who voted said we're going to vote against him.
What this was about? This is the dignity of the court, the dignity of the Senate that we get to the bottom of fact. So, I have not looked at the evidence in that way because I haven't been able to interview the witnesses that are there. But what I did find was that she seemed very compelling, she answered the questions with grace and dignity. And all we want to do, and this is why Senator Flake made what I considered a courageous move in standing up and saying, "I can't stomach this anymore."
This is beneath the dignity of this country. This is dividing the country. Let's at least have an impartial fact finder, and they better be impartial. And I believe they can be. The FBI follow the evidence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, lot to discuss here. With me right now is Senior White House Correspondent for Bloomberg News, Margaret Talev, CNN Political Commentator, Matt Lewis, and CNN Legal Analyst, Paul Callan. All right, good to see all of you. So, already a tweet coming from the President today, just moments ago in fact saying this, "Wow, just starting to hear the Democrats who are only thinking obstruct and delay are starting to put out the word that the time and scope of FBI looking into Judge Kavanaugh and witnesses is not enough. Hello for them, it will never be enough".
All right. So, Margaret, does this kind of underscore that politics, you know, and its influence have come together in this FBI investigation or can this investigation, the FBI probe, be unbiased, impartial?
MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, the FBI is going to do what it's going to do and hopefully that will shed some more light on all of this. The FBI certainly considers the work that it does impartial, but by design, this is something that because they are doing a background check at the White House's request, the White House has a fair amount of say over the scope.
Senate Republicans have been involved in helping draw the boundaries of that background check along with the White House, Senate Democrats not so much. And both sides have looked to politicize this even as they sought to get to the bottom of the matter.
WHITFIELD: So, Matt, you got the Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway saying earlier today, "No, the White House does not have its hand in it." Then reportedly, White House Counsel Don McGahn is, you know, offering some guidance and giving some instruction to the FBI, who would be interview, what the limitations are, et cetera. So, what is the expectation on how involved the White House should -- would be?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I mean, I just have to get the operator under the assumption that they're going to have some involvement in setting the scope. And if you go back and watch the tape, Senator Jeff Flake said that he supported this investigation where the scope and the amount of time was limited. So that was actually the assumption from day one that the scope and the amount of time would be limited.
[15:20:00] I feel like in this case, Democrats have actually been moving the bar to go back to a few days ago. I mean all we want to see, though, all we want to see an investigation. It only took three days for Clarence Thomas invest -- is that asking too much? That's, you know, it's not -- that's not ridiculous to just ask for one week. How can you deny us that?
And as soon as Republicans agree to do the -- it's limited scope, we start hearing, it's not enough. It's never going to be enough.
And I think Donald Trump as critical as I've been, I've been over the years. I think Donald Trump, is actually sort of right. There's never going to be enough. You can do it for a three-week investigation, it wouldn't be enough.
This is a really difficult situation and I agree with, you know, Senator Klobuchar that it is tearing the country apart. WHITFIELD: OK. So, Paul, you know, when you hear limited in scope, what does that entail to you because we're also hearing Ariane de Vogue and Jim Acosta also reporting, they learned from sources that Christine Blasey Ford, people say she has not been contacted by the FBI. So, what does limited in scope mean to you with the more obvious, you know, characters be part of the investigation like Blasey Ford?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the FBI has been instructed to do a one-week investigation. So limited in scope means how many important witnesses can we speak to in a week. And as the agents are looking at this, they know what Kavanaugh's position is on. And they also heard Blasey Ford's testimony under oath as to what happened. They haven't spoken to Mark Judge. So Judge is a critical witness.
The second critical witness would be, I think, who drove her from the party home. If it was a close friend, wouldn't she have said something to the close friend about this assault, if it did occurred? So if I were an FBI agent investigating this I'd be all over that. Where is this witness and why hasn't that witness been named?
As far as I can tell, the witnesses who were downstairs probably were not in a position to see or know anything. So I think the critical witness is Mark Judge and whoever drove her home. And let's see what the FBI comes up on -- with -- in those two regards.
WHITFIELD: OK. And, you know, Matt, already so many opinions about where this investigation is going. What it could possibly result or perhaps that it wouldn't be impactful enough. And there are senators who've already made up their minds.
WHITFIELD: There's Senator Lindsey Graham earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I've got a call for an investigation of what happened in this committee who betrayed Dr. Ford's trust, who in Feinstein's office recommended Katz as a lawyer, why did Ms. Ford not know that committee was willing to go to California, who released the anonymous letter given to the committee by Cory Gardner. We're going to do a wholesale, full-scale investigation of what I think was a despicable process to deter it from happening again.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Do you accept Dianne Feinstein's denial when she says --
GRAHAM: Yes, I do. To her, but only to her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. So his focus is who revealed the name and how is it the identity of Blasey Ford even came to be as opposed to the focus being the allegations getting to the bottom of this. So does that already send a message that these allegations are going to be dismissed, mind made up?
LEWIS: Well, I hope that's not the message. I don't think that's what Lindsey Graham wants to do. I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time.
We can investigate what happened 36 years ago with Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. And we can also investigate why is it that we had an entire hearing two or three weeks ago and this never came up and then all of a sudden after the hearing was over, some might say they politically opportune time for Democrats, this allegation start to come forward. Somebody leaked the name.
And some -- and so, so I think that there are legitimate questions that asked, but it shouldn't overshadow the actual question of what happened 36 years ago.
WHITFIELD: Well, is it overshadowing, Margaret?
TALEV: Well, one seems like an after action report and the other statement is like kind of the heart of the matter for this week. And the question fundamentally right now for the actual FBI investigation is whether or not Judge Kavanaugh's drinking during high school and college behavior is relevant and is going to be looked at as a matter of course. And the reporting thus far suggests it is not part of the mandate for that investigation which only increases pressure --
TALEV: -- for the course of the next week on everyone else who knew him in college. And that's what it calls (ph) for it.
WHITFIELD: All right. And so Paul, last word on that, the relevancy of his alcohol consumption, why would that not be part of this investigation?
CALLAN: Well, I think traditionally when you do a background check on somebody for a Judiciary Committee hearing, you're not asking about what their drinking habits in high school.
Now, you know, maybe the goal post has been move, maybe we'll have to look at middle school or elementary school eventually. I don't know. But certainly this is a novel idea that you have to go back and look at somebody's drinking history.
[15: 25:02] I think they will start at looking at the incident itself and the witnesses who were there and only if his level of intoxication if he was there that night is relevant, I think will they go beyond that scope. But, you know, looking at his college career or this high school career to see if he drank too much would really be quite an invasion of privacy I think for somebody who just, you know, seeks an appointment.
WHITFIELD: But wouldn't an investigator believe that's potentially a link between causation when it pertains to accusations like this?
CALLAN: Well, it's a big leap to say that anybody who has a history of drinking too much is a potential rapist. Yes, you can -- somebody who blacks out, yes, they could commit an armed robbery, I supposed, beat somebody else up or rape somebody, but lots of people drink too much on a particular occasion and aren't rapists. So, I think to say and to link the two so directly is making quite a leap.
WHITFIELD: All right, Paul --
LEWIS: This is drunk shaming is what I would call it.
CALLAN: True, drunk shaming. Yes, that's for sure.
LEWIS: Drunk shame.
CALLAN: Well, it's true.
CALLAN: Yes. OK.
WHITFIELD: All right. Paul, Matt, Margaret, thanks so much.
All right, still ahead, a deadly disaster unfolding in part of Indonesia. Over 800 people dead after an earthquake and tsunami. Details on recovery efforts coming up.
[15:30:53] WHITFIELD: So far more than 830 people have died after an earthquake and tsunami struck parts of Indonesia. At least 500 others are hurt, many buildings have been crumbled to the ground there, and dozens of people may still be trapped in the rubble of a hotel.
CNN International Correspondent Matt Rivers is live for us now in Indonesia where the search for survivors is ongoing. What's the latest?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Fred, we're about 500 miles south of where this earthquake happened not because we're not trying to get to that area. In fact we've been trying to get to that area for well over 12 hours now. We've been forced to overnight here because access to this earthquake stricken zone where the tsunami hit is really difficult.
We've been try to fly there, we've try to drive, haven't been able to do it and if we are having trouble getting there then you know the people who are more important than us, really. The charity workers, the rescue workers, the people who can bring the kind of aid to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. They're having trouble getting into. And that's really the biggest challenge facing authority to this point is getting the right equipment, the right food, the right water, the medicines that everybody needs there getting it physically into a location. That's the big problem right now.
Hopefully it gets a little bit easier as the sun rises they can continue to clear away some of the landslides that were triggered as a resulted to that earthquake, open up some of these roads and hopefully the airport there will taking flights. That's how we're going to try and getting in there within the next 12 hours or so. But really that's the task for rescuers outside.
Inside that area though the limited people that are there like you said, they're trying to get people out from underneath that rubble, they're trying to provide urgent medical care for the hundreds of people that are injured. And as they get more access to those, Fred, unfortunately we are expecting the death toll and a number of injured to rise. This is an ongoing situation, but by the looks of it, things are only going to get worse.
WHITFIELD: Matt Rivers thank you so much.
All right. The clock is ticking now on the FBI investigation and the three women accusing Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct are coming forward to tell their stories. More from them, coming up.
[15:37:39] WHITFIELD: President Trump says the FBI has free reign during its investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh. But sources tell CNN Senate Republicans are working with White House counsel Don McGahn who is trying to make the scope of the provost "narrow as possible." So far three women have openly made sexual misconduct allegations against the Supreme Court nominee. But whether the FBI will talk to all of them is still up in the air.
CNN National Correspondent Sara Sidner joining us now with more on the accusers and their claims and where we are in all of this.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Frederick, you know, a lot of them and their attorneys are talking about this limited scope and what it means, especially if the White House is indeed involved as their sources say they are, trying to limit the scope and giving that information to the FBI through the Senate. According to our sources certainly that is not exactly how President Trump put it when he was asked how large, how limited the scope might be.
SIDNER (voice-over): The newly ordered FBI background investigation has begun into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. After questions over it's scope, the President responding with this.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With the FBI I believe is doing a really great job. They have been all over. They have free rein. They got to do whatever they have to do, whatever it is they do. They'll be doing things that we never even thought of.
SIDNER: So far it appears FBI agents are focusing on the accusations of two women Deborah Ramirez who said she met Kavanaugh while the two attended Yale and Christine Blasey Ford who says she met Kavanaugh in high school. The Senate judiciary committee and the country has already heard the emotion filled sworn testimony from Dr. Blasey Ford who says as a teen, Kavanaugh held her down and she thought he was going to rape her, all he and his friends Mark Judge were drunk.
CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD, KAVANAUGH ACCUSER: Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, a laugh -- the uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense.
SIDNER: Brett Kavanaugh at times tearfully and often angrily denied the accusations against him.
BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations.
SIDNER: But neither the committee nor the country has heard a full accounting from Kavanaugh's two other accusers.
[15:40:01] Deborah Ramirez told the New Yorker the details are fuzzy, but she remembers playing a drinking game with Kavanaugh and his friends in a Yale dorm room where she quickly became inebriated. She says after carefully assessing her memories she remembers this.
"Brett was laughing," she told the New Yorker. "I can still see his face and his hips coming forward like when you pull up your pants. Somebody yelled down the hall, Brett Kavanaugh just put is penis in Debbie's face." According to her attorney she will have a chance to tell her story to the FBI. So far, Julie Swetnick, the third woman to come forward with accusations against Kavanaugh has heard nothing from investigators.
JULIE SWETNICK, KAVANAUGH ACCUSER: If he's going to have that seat legitimately, all of these things should be investigated. Because from what I experienced firsthand, I don't think he belongs on the Supreme Court.
SIDNER: She is the only one of the three to have initially sent a sworn declaration under penalty of perjury to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In it, she claims, she witnessed Kavanaugh being abusive towards girls at parties and attempting to remove or shift their clothes to expose private body parts. She says at party she witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to caused girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be gang raped.
She does not say she saw Kavanaugh actually taking part in a rape. Her attorney said, she said stopped going to the parties after she herself was gang raped one of those parties. Kavanaugh was asked about her allegations.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) RANKING MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: What you're saying if I understand it, is that the allegations by Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick are wrong.
KAVANAUGH: Yes. That is emphatically what I'm saying.
SIDNER: Swetnick's attorney, Michael Avenatti, says, she has not been contacted by the FBI and the clock is ticking.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SIDNER: And Michael Avenatti also talking to me and going on Twitter saying, it would be outrageous if she is not contacted and if the White House as he put it is meddling in this investigation by the FBI. We should also note that Dr. Ford has not yet been contacted by the FBI, but we do know that we saw her sworn testimony and there was a lot to go on for the FBI there. Fred,
WHITFIELD: All right, Sara Sidner, thank you so much for that.
All right, let's talk about this FBI investigation now into the Kavanaugh allegations. With me now is CNN Legal Analyst Michael Zeldin. He is also a former federal prosecutor and Robert Mueller's former special assistant at the Department of Justice. All right. Good to see you.
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.
All right. So let's talk about the sequence of events, how this goes. So the White House gives the green light to the FBI probe. Is it now the White House who gives the direction to how the probe goes? How extensive the FBI will search or how limited in scope it will be?
ZELDIN: It seems to be coordinated between the Senate Judiciary Committee and the White House Counsel's Office. The President has said free rein, but the reporting is that Don McGahn, White House Counsel working in coordination with the Senate Judiciary Committee are trying to set parameters for the investigation. That's not necessarily bad if the parameters are broad enough to allow the investigation to proceed from step one to step two. He can't know what the outset where the investigation is going to take you. You have to have the authority to follow leads as they evolve. And so, we'll see where they really have free rein or whether its circum scribe and therefore not legitimate.
WHITFIELD: So, Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway said earlier today that it will unbiased. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: The White House is not getting involved in the FBI investigation in that way. The President very much respects the independence of the FBI and feels as he said last night that they should be looking at anything that they think is credible within this limited scope.
JAKE TAPPER, "STATE OF THE UNION" HOST: What was does that mean the limited scope?
CONWAY: Well, that's up to the FBI. In other words, I'm not involved in those specific conversations.
TAPPER: But Don McGhan say, you can interview these witnesses that don't interview these witnesses?
CONWAY: I don't think Don McGahn would do that. But I've not talked to him about it, let me make clear. But he would not -- we're not trying to interfere, it's the president who is saying, go ahead. And by the way, it's also the Republican senators as you saw including Senator Flake and others who have said please go forward with this FBI investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, so she says there will be no interference from the White House. And if the case were there as testimony like say from Dr. Ford or there was a written statement, you know, from one of the other accusers, does that mean that the FBI doesn't necessarily need to go back and revisit and talk to those accusers and instead they'll take some other path, talk to other people.
ZELDIN: So you have a complaint, Dr. Ford, Ramirez, and Swetnick. Those are the complainants. You start with that as your central piece of evidence. And then you move out as to how can we corroborate this?
Remember the word credible means in one definition convincing where you need nothing further. A sin him in for is capable of being proved, plausible.
[15:45:00] And so, I think they are doing the plausible route here. Is this capable of being confirmed? And they'll start with the core, move out. And the question becomes do they have the authority to continue to move out when witnesses say, you know what? You really ought to talk to this person they may know something too. Do you have the authority? Do they have to go back and say, witness one told us to speak to witness two, do we have authority to speak to with? Because in the normal background investigation they always end the inquiry by saying, is there anybody else do you think we should talk to who has relevant knowledge?
As long as they have that prerogative and the reins to investigate whatever leads may arrived arise from the beginning, I think it will be OK. If not, it's not really legitimate, it's lip service and they'll be political problems for that.
WHITFIELD: All right. There's a weak in which this investigation is to end. We'll find out. Michael Zendin, good to see you.
ZELDIN: See you soon.
WHITFEILD: Thank you so much. Appreciate it. All right, developing right now of the White House says it could be a while before we learn if Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein will keep his job. A meeting with President Trump may be delayed for second time (INAUDIBLE) appeared to be on his way out after report surface that he might have discussed wearing a wire to record President Trump and then also recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment to remove the president from office.
Well, here's what White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said about the timing of the meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm not going to get ahead of the president's conversation with the deputy attorney general. A date for that hasn't been set. It could be this week. I could see it pushing back another week given all of the other things that are going on with the Supreme Court. But we'll see and certainly always like I keep the press updated on those.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Rosenstein who will receive the Robert Mueller investigation has denied the reports about wearing a wire and those discussions about the invoking the 25th amendment. And Rosenstein has agreed to speak with House Republicans about the reports.
All right, straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, the interesting, when I did it and I was really being tough and so was he. And we were going back and forth, and then we fell in love. OK? No really. He wrote me beautiful letters. And they're great letters. We fell in love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: We'll talk about what the President means by all of that as nuclear tensions remain on the Korean Peninsula.
[15:52:05] WHITFIELD: All right. President Trump raising a few eyebrows with comments he made about North Korea during a rally in West Virginia last night. Here's what the President said about taking a hard line in his first meeting with Kim Jung-un.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know what is interesting? When I did it and I was really being tough and so was he. We go back and forth and then we fell in love, OK? No, really, he wrote me beautiful letters, and they're great letters. We fell in love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Both countries still appear to be at odds over what it means for North Korea to denuclearize. CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem joining me right now.
So what's your interpretation of when the President says, you know, we fell in love?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: And so, you know, maybe it was a joke. The President sense of humor doesn't translate because I've happen to heard some of his supporters say it was just a joke. But and regardless, it's just proof again that for Donald Trump there is only Trump interests, family interests, money interests. There is no United States interest.
So, you know, I don't care if Kim is sending him, you know, flowers every day, you know, serenading him with like Luther Vandross songs, I don't know, but it's irrelevant. There is a United States interest. North Korea knows that. I mean North Korea has their interests. They haven't strayed from their interests.
WHITFIELD: Might it be that the tactic of negotiations for this President where he has said in the past, you know, he can look at somebody in the first 15 minutes essentially read them and maybe this is his way of flattering his nemesis if you will, so as to get an advantage when if potentially they meet again?
KAYYEM: Well, it's not working. I mean, maybe I grant you that. I mean, Donald Trump has been President for almost two years, so this whole trying new things, I think we can start to judge these various tactics. So the first is North Korea, you know, North Korea has said, said this weekend that there is no way that they are denuclearizing unless the Unites States gives similar concessions, right? So, we've lost to that sort of, you know, flirtation, right? They are as strong as in this account.
The second is, you know, it's not just North Korea there's other nations, there's other totalitarian, there's others who want to be autocrats who are running for office in various countries who look to what Donald Trump is saying about North Korea and think, you know, I'm going to have an ally, I can do whatever I want once I get in. So, it's not just about North Korea but, you know. I mean, North Korea is winning this negotiation. They have a firm line. Whatever flirtation Trump is doing, you know, they're not buying it. They're not receptive to it.
WHITFIELD: So the President is still disputing that, he addressed that criticism that the U.S. has given up more than the North Koreans have in negotiations so far. This is what he had to say.
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TRUMP: I got the hostages back for nothing. Obama paid $1.8 billion, you know.
[15:55:04] I got them back for nothing, right? We got the remains of our great heroes back for many, many years. You don't have anymore nuclear testing. In fact they are closing up a lot of the sites. You don't have rockets going up. You don't have missiles going up. And you have people. I like him, he likes me. I guess that's OK. Am I allowed to say that? Am I allowed to say this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Juliette, does he have a point?
KAYYEM: So some of those aren't factually correct in terms of denuclearization. And a few experts including our own intelligence community question that fact. I think what's more important, I think that it's really interesting and we can get into the psychology of Donald Trump is we did give something. I mean maybe President Obama gave a couple million dollars. We gave our presidency for the concessions.
We met with Kim -- the Donald Trump met with Kim. He had a one-on-one with the biggest, you know, the most horrible human being on earth conceivably. That is something. And to give that away for -- and I don't mean to denigrate it, but for a few hostages and for the remains, that was a concession. So maybe Obama was better to give money, but not us, right? You know, not the presidency. Donald Trump gave away the sanctity of the presidency for these concessions. So it's weird that Donald Trump doesn't see that, doesn't see his own role as a concession.
WHITFIELD: OK, Juliette Kayyem thanks you so much.
More straight ahead the news here right after this.