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FBI Has Ordered To Have An Investigation Of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh; Global Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo Now Facing An Allegation Of Rape; Aired 6-7p ET

Aired September 30, 2018 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[18:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CN HOST: West publicly supported the President wearing a quote "Maga" hat on stage last night as you saw there.

6:00 eastern. 3:00 in the afternoon out west. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm glad you could spend part of your weekend with us.

We have a few major developments right now. Some of them emerging in the past few minutes about this newly ordered FBI investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Remember, this is the probe in which, according to President Trump, the FBI has free rein.

Well, now we are learning about the list of witnesses suggested by Senate Republicans. And apparently neither judge Kavanaugh nor Christine Blasey Ford are on that list. Excuse me. They are not expecting to be interviewed despite Dr. Ford's attorneys telling reporters that they have reached out several times and that they want Dr. Ford to talk to the FBI.

However, just a short time ago confirmation that investigators did speak today with this woman, Deborah Ramirez, another woman who accuses judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct but who didn't give testimony on Capitol Hill. A source close to the FBI investigation says Ramirez today gave agents the names of other witnesses. Brett Kavanaugh strongly denies the accusations from both Ramirez and Ford.

Now as for whether the FBI will have quote "free rein," at least two sources close to the investigation are doubting that. CNN was told today that the White House is working closely with Senate Republicans to steer the FBI investigation and keep its scope as narrow as possible.

White house correspondent Boris Sanchez is here with us now.

And Boris, what makes those sources believe so strongly that the FBI is actually working under some restriction.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Ana.

Yes. Well, those sources are indicating that the way this process is playing out, the White House, which was essentially compelled to launch this investigation by Arizona senator Jeff Flake, is sort of guiding the process. And according to these sources, the White House with input from some Senate Republicans is maintaining that the focus should exclude certain subjects that Judge Brett Kavanaugh was grilled on during his Thursday testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Those sources are indicating only a handful of interviews are going to take place. That questions about Brett Kavanaugh's drinking habits in high school will be avoided, something that Democrats again pressed him on during his testimony.

Once the FBI concludes their investigation, their interviews with these subjects, they will then pass along the information to the White House. They don't come up with any conclusions themselves. Ultimately, what we are hearing from sources is that typically that's the way this procedure is carried out but some Democrats are raising red flags, notably senator Amy Klobuchar who definitely pressed judge Kavanaugh during the confirmation process. She is concerned the White House may be having too much input in exactly what the FBI is going to be asking.

Now press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about this on one of the Sunday morning talk shows. She says that the White House doesn't want to micromanage the FBI, but she didn't answer whether she knew if White House council Don McGahn had specifically indicated to the FBI that they should interview certain people or not or if they could ask certain questions or not. She said she didn't know, Ana.

CABRERA: And what is the word from President Trump about these developments? Is he saying anything about this investigation?

SANCHEZ: Yes, President Trump went in on twitter yet again today already launching attacks at Democrats suggesting that they won't be happy regardless of what the results of this investigation shows.

He wrote quote "wow, just starting to hear that the Democrats who are only thinking about object 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."

That, again, coming from President Trump just a few hours ago. We are waiting and watching to see if he weighs in any further. We want to point though, he said a couple of days ago, the FBI would have a free rein over this investigation.

Earlier today, an adviser to the President, Kellyanne Conway, made it clear on "STATE OF THE UNION" that this was an investigation with a narrow focus designed to not become what she called a fishing expedition, Ana.

CABRERA: Boris Sanchez at the White House. Boris, thank you.

After Friday's remarkable turn of events, good friends from opposite sides of the aisle in the U.S. Senate, Republican Jeff Flake and Democrat Chris Coons, will sit down side by side for an interview on "60 Minutes." Both senators were instrumental in delaying a floor vote on Kavanaugh's nomination and confirmation. Both say they were troubled by the partisanship.

Now their long standing friendship was on display as they left that hearing room on Friday during some of the most tense moments that led up to the decision to give the FBI a week to investigate.

And here's a clip of their interview with CBS' Scott Pelley.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[18:05:25] SEN. CHRIS COONS (D), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I was really struck that I thought his anger got the best of him and he made a partisan argue that would have been best left to be made for his advocates and defender on the committee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Made you wonder about his suitability?

COONS: In my case yes. It made me wonder about his suitability to serve by the bench.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Senator Flake, you identified with it? You understood?

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: Well, the parts when he talks about -- mention of the Clintons and what not I didn't like, that either. It seemed partisan but boy I had to put myself in that spot. I think you give a little leeway there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: I want to bring in CNN's senior political analyst David Gergen, the adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.

David, senators Flake and Coons showing some rare bipartisanship there. But realistically, do you think we will ever see a Supreme Court nominee with bipartisan support again?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I do. I think we will get through this eventually, Ana, but it may take longer than we wanted. And I must say how this plays out in the next few days. It remains extremely important.

Last week was important. This week is equally important. Because now we have these deeply alarming reports that the White House stepped in and just put far bigger limits, more severe limits on the scope of the investigation.

President Trump promised us it was so to the country the FBI would have free rein, free rein, that was his phrase. And that's what we thought Friday when this all came together that we would get to the bottom of this. And now we hear that, no, there is significant limits. And in particular the reports are that there are only four witnesses on the list. That the FBI would have to come back to the White House to get permission to go beyond those four witnesses and notably absent from that list, of course, four, all the classmates at Yale and at high school. But Yale classmate just come forward today, Chad Luddington, saying that the way that Kavanaugh presented himself was a blatant mischaracterization of his drinking. That he had serious drinking issues in college.

CABRERA: We heard that from other classmates.

GERGEN: Heard that from other classmates. And why they would not be included as witnesses is just beyond belief. Because two things. One, it bears on the whole question of whether judge Kavanaugh might have gotten drunk and might have blacked out in effect or does simply doesn't remember because he was too drunk to remember what may have happened with Mrs. Ford, we don't know. And that he is - you know, honestly, he doesn't believe it because he can't remember it. That is important to know.

But the other thing that's really important, of course, is what he has told the committee and what he has told the American people. Who he is presented himself. He has presented himself. No, I had some issues with beer but I never blacked out, I was never a staggering drunk. All those accounts are false. But we now have people coming up saying that's not true. He has in effect misled the committee. That is vital to understanding whether about his temperament and his suitability to be on the court.

CABRERA: Let's talk about the White House's approach to this investigation.

GERGEN: Yes.

CABRERA: You mentioned some of what we have learned about how it's limited, but the bottom line is we don't really know, they won't say exactly who or how many witnesses there are. You mentioned four names that have come up, but we don't know if that list is all inclusive.

GERGEN: Yes.

CABRERA: We are told though that they are not looking into Kavanaugh's overall drinking history. And you point out why that could be a problem. We don't even know really the totality of allegations being investigated. We have heard they have talked with Debbie Ramirez, but what about Julie Swetnick who has signed, you know, a document saying she has witnessed some of this behavior that could, you know, corroborate to some extent the allegations of Ford. Are you confident that the FBI is going to get to the bottom of this? That we will have any more clarity when this investigation is complete?

GERGEN: No. Ana, the only way that judge Kavanaugh is going to go on the court without a serious cloud over his head and that without the Supreme Court being in some degree compromised, is if the White House and Senate Republicans and whoever else, Flake out to be in on this, tell the American people exactly how this investigation is being conducted and make it transparent. So at the end of the day, people are convinced that they have got on the bottom it. And right now, the suspension is growing very rapidly among those who have questions about Kavanaugh that this is a fixed job and horribly. and I hope this is not the case that Senator Flake, Senator Collins and others have in effect signed on to a deal they know is not going to go anywhere but it gives them cover when they vote. And you know, I have such high regard, I just trust that is not the

case but there are deep suspicions out there. And may I also say, I don't think this just applies to what the scope is with regard to judge Kavanaugh. I think it also applies to the scope, for example of Mrs. Ford.

Conservatives are saying we ought to see the therapist note s. Well, I actually think that's a reasonable request. If you are going to have a full and fair and complete investigation of Kavanaugh and what he said and trying to see whether anything impugns his testimony that it's only fair to look at her testimony as well in that light.

[18:10:47] CABRERA: Yes. This, we have to remember, is all happening while the U.N. general assembly was going on this week here in New York.

GERGEN: Yes.

CABRERA: I want you to listen to the President's comments about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at his rally last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know the interesting thing? 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 are great letters. We fell in love.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: David, what's your reaction?

GERGEN: I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Look. I think a lot of Americans will say oh that's just Donald Trump, you know. That's who he is. He frequently says things like that and one doesn't know what the hell to think about him. But I think overseas it's more serious matter because them they began to wonder how this is going to distort his approach to negotiating with the North Koreans and it's a serious undertaking.

I mean, clearly to fall in love with one of the world's worst human rights violators as you pointed out just a few minutes ago on the air would be a lapse of judgment the likes of which we haven't seen. But again, it's fodder for "Saturday Night Live" for next week. But I'm not sure we could take it too seriously now. We have to watch what he does.

CABRERA: I have to also think about the parents of Otto Warmbier who, of course, went into a coma in the custody of North Korea and eventually died. \

GERGEN: Absolutely.

CABRERA: I'm sure they are not laughing at those comments. David Gergen, thank you so much.

GERGEN: Thank you, Ana. Good to talk to you again.

CABRERA: Good to have you with us as always.

We have some news just into CNN. Global soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo now facing an allegation of rape. Details in just minutes.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:16:45] CABRERA: This just in to CNN. A Las Vegas woman has now filed a civil lawsuit alleging that soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo raped her in 2009. The lawsuit claims that she and a friend went up to Ronaldo's penthouse suite, the woman says that while she changed in the bathroom, Ronaldo exposed himself and asked her for oral sex, she says she refused, she says then Ronaldo pulled her into a bedroom and raped her as she screamed no.

The soccer star appears to deny the claim. During an Instagram live post on Friday saying what they said today, fake, fake news. It's not clear, however, from this post whether Ronaldo was responding directly to this specific claim.

New this evening, sources telling CNN Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are not on the initial list given to the FBI suggesting who they should interview. This list apparently created by Senate Republicans and turned over to the White House which then passed it on to the FBI.

Let's discuss with Democrat Bakari Sellers, former South Carolina House meme and Republican Jack Kingston, former Georgia congressman.

Jack, I spoke to a former FBI agent last hour. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Now some people have said well they testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and that should be enough. And the reason that it's not enough, Ana, is that as you saw from that hearing, not only did each side have particular directed questions, they were cut off after five minutes so there weren't always follow-up questions, the judge in particular did not often answer responsibly or, you know, thoroughly, the questions. So in an interview, what an FBI agent would do would be to go back overall of that, ask those follow up questions, try to hone in to get an answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Jack, does Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent, have a point?

JACK KINGSTON, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER RO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Not really. Because any member of the Senate can ask questions outside of a hearing. So what she is saying is narrow. And based on the hearing, there is so much more information than a senator is going to expose or use during the five minute time period in which they are allotted.

But I want to say some very, very important. I know Jeff Flake very well, I know Susan Collins well. These are people of integrity. They are not going have a sham investigation take place. They realize the importance of these accusations are too important. They know that their own vote is too important. And they are not going to have some kind of make believe investigations that superficial.

So, I just think this is part of the Democrat narrative of moving the goalpost and complaining one more time about process even though they were the ones who sat on Dr. Ford's letter for over a month.

CABRERA: Democrats aren't necessarily the ones complaining, though. I mean, this is information that we are learning as journalists. I'm not saying it because Democrats are saying this is what is happening. This is what we are learning about the investigative process right now.

Bakari, Democrats did want the investigation, that part is true, now they have it. Are you satisfied?

[18:20:00] BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Are we satisfied? I'm not sure we will be satisfied until the truth rains down from above. I mean, I think that we have to go through this process. It has to be a full and complete investigation.

I love hearing Jack Kingston and many of my Republican colleagues talk about process. Dare I even utter the name Merrick Garland because we know that the process has already been abused, has been perverted when someone is qualified as Merrick Garland doesn't even get a hearing. I digress.

What I hope though is that we are able to flesh out all of these accusations. If Mr. Kavanaugh, judge Kavanaugh is innocent of this, let it happen, so be it. If there's any impropriety there we need to know that as well.

But this is going to be a thorough process. I have faith and confidence in the FBI to do what they need to do. And this is going to sound somewhat strange. And I know my twitter feed is probably going to blow up. But I actually want to applaud Jeff Flake for having the fortitude to say that we need to put the brakes on this, even if it's not exactly what we want.

Jeff flake is actually having something that is very valuable which is his vote. And he says we have to have a thorough process. I'm not one to fall for everything that Jeff Flake does, but I do want to applaud him. I don't say he is a hero but last week he actually did made a difference, I do believe.

CABRERA: Let's listen to Kellyanne Conway on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: It will be limited in scope. It's meant to last one week, I believe beginning last Friday. And it's not many meant to be a fishing expedition. 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: So Trump says FBI has free rein, Conway says the probe is limited. She also says it's not meant to be a fishing expedition.

Jack, how can the Trump White House have it both ways?

KINGSTON: Well, I think what she means is if Michael Avenatti and all the other characters that seem to be part of the resistance are going to come up with specious allegations from people they are not going to go there. They are going to stick with Dr. Ford. They are going to talk to the Ramirez witness.

But I have to point out something extremely important. Remember, we don't know the time. We don't know the place. There does not appear to be a blue dress, there will not be any forensics. Jim Davis, who is an FBI veteran who has done over 50 background investigations said this is a two to three day process to get to the people we need. And I'm with Bakari, let's put everybody out there who has something to say, but we have to divide subjectivity with objectivity.

CABRERA: And we don't know how long the investigation should take because we don't know where their investigation will take them. I, too, have spoken with FBI agents and former FBI agents who done a myriad of investigations who said it could take longer should they start finding something that points them in another direction. So I hope you are right we get to the bottom of this.

Bakari, what is your take on being a limited investigation versus free rein? Should there be at least some kind of deadline, some kind of constriction on this investigation?

SELLERS: I mean, I think that's political speak. I think that Jack serving in the United States Congress, myself serving in the state legislature, we understand when people put out artificial deadlines. If the FBI comes across something on Thursday afternoon or Wednesday afternoon that needs to be investigated more, this investigation won't be other Friday. You are not going to have someone who has a serious set of improprieties on the United States Supreme Court because of some artificial deadline. That simply would not occur.

But I think that the danger for this. And this is something that not many people are talking about. The dangers that we know that judge Kavanaugh has not been the most forthright in his testimony. We know he hasn't been the most honest individual. And these allegations are very, very serious allegations. However, I think that there are many of us who are more concerned with

his temperament now more so than anything else. Watching the way that he reacted in that committee meeting, watching his outburst, watching the partisanship, we know judge Kavanaugh is not -- does not have the temperament to be a United States Supreme Court justice and so we will watch this process play out.

KINGSTON: Bakari, you know, as somebody who practices law on a day to day basis, you know judges aren't perfect. If you were accused of the things that he had been accused of, attempted rape, blackout drunkenness, abusing women, not being able to coach basketball anymore because he is a risk, being called pure evil by a member of the Senate committee, I think he has a right to be passionate in his defense and to me it showed sincerity.

SELLERS: The flip side is that though, Jack - the flip side of that though, Jack, is that you know as someone who wants to go and practice before this individual when you are talking about Clinton conspiracies and Democratic conspiracies and you do believe that you will not get a fair shake from this individual.

Look. Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours in front of the House committee and she didn't break. He testified for a few moments and was crying and was flailing and was fidgeting and everything else. I mean, the fact is his temperament is something that is of concern. But even more importantly, we have to make sure that we flesh out these allegations, wherever the investigation leads us, Democrats and Republicans have to be able to do something because Kavanaugh is ripping this country apart.

[18:25:32] CABRERA: Bakari Sellers, Jack Kingston, thank you both for being with us.

Jack, we will give you another word another time because I'm up against the clock here. Guys, I really appreciate it. Got to go.

KINGSTON: Thank you.

As a North Carolina town coming to grips now with the death of this lovely six-year-old boy. What a cutie-pie. Police are promising answers. What a woman who saw Maddox Rich at the park where he went missing just told CNN. We are live at the scene up next.

But first, this week's before the bell. Here's CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans - Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana.

Tomorrow marks the first day of October trading. It's a month with a spooky reputation on Wall Street because so many major selloffs have happened. The crashes of 1929 and 1987, for example.

Luckily for the bulls September didn't live up to its reputation. Historically, it is the worst month for stock, but not this year. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 rallied. They hit record highs. Now this week, the labor department will release the September jobs

report. Job growth of the previous month was strong. Employers added 201,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate stayed at a very low 3.9 percent.

And average hourly earnings grew 2.9 percent, that's the best rate since 2009. We will see if that continues and wages continue to rise in September.

Another thing to watch for, whether hurricane Florence shows up in the jobs report. Storms have temporarily (INAUDIBLE) those numbers in the past.

In New York, I'm Christine Romans.

[18:31:42] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. We are now hearing from a woman in North Carolina who says she saw six-year-old Maddox Ritch at the park the day he went missing. The little boy had autism and his body was found in a creek by searchers five days after he was last seen.

CNN's Jean Casarez is joining us now.

Jean, what more did this woman have to say?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, her name is Brooke Sheppard, and she told us this afternoon that she and her mother were, indeed, at this park a week ago yesterday and they saw Maddox.

That he was jumping up and down, he was running here and there and here and there, and her mother even asked him, aren't you getting tired? And then they saw the little boy run toward the park office and that was the last time they saw him.

You know, law enforcement is asking anyone who was at this park a week ago yesterday -- and there were many, many people -- to please come forward. And yesterday, the FBI Charlotte issued a tweet and the tweet said, we are committed. But the people of Gastonia, they just want answers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless the families.

CASAREZ (voice-over): The people of Gastonia, North Carolina are mourning the loss of one of their own, Maddox Ritch, a six-year-old with autism. His body found Thursday in a creek near town. People want to know what happened.

JASON KAPLAN, SPECIAL AGENT, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: The investigation is not over. And you should not take away anything from that except to understand that, in law enforcement, we will not take anything for granted.

AUSTIN RAMMELL, PASTOR, VENTURE CHURCH: People are assuming things. And unfortunately, social media becomes an outlet where people can voice opinions that have no fact to it yet.

And we argue free speech but it doesn't change the fact that sometimes free speech wounds people foolishly. And to assume guilt in something like this is just foolish and it's credibly damaging.

CASAREZ (on camera): This is the park where Maddox and his father were. His father said he and his son were walking around the lake having a great time, and suddenly, Maddox ran ahead. He normally could do that, but this time he kept running. His father said he couldn't keep up with him, and suddenly, he was gone.

Ian Ritch spoke with ABC News.

IAN RITCH, FATHER OF MADDOX RITCH: I could see him until a certain point and he got out of my view. And that's whenever -- I never said anything and everybody looks at you as a monster. And I regretted that since the moment it's happened.

CASAREZ (voice-over): After searching for almost an hour, his father had a park volunteer call 911.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a missing kid. He's been missing probably the last 30, 40 minutes.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Almost immediately, police and public safety tried to find Maddox.

Six days later, they found his body about one foot from the shore in water, two to three feet deep. An area that previously had been searched several times.

CASAREZ (on camera): Law enforcement says little Maddox may have walked along a type of trail next to the creek. But as you can see, it becomes very marshy, very desolate. Difficult for anyone to walk, more less a six-year-old autistic boy. And if he fell into the creek, it would have had to have carried him more than a mile.

[18:35:00] And it's so shallow here. Law enforcement says that they want to try to retrace what could have been Maddox's steps to find out exactly where he could have entered the creek.

What they're really trying to find out is -- was this a tragic accident or is it a homicide?

KAPLAN: The chief and I saw Maddox, and it is absolutely amazing that he was found. It was extremely difficult to see him even when we were standing right next to him.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Authorities won't say if there was trauma to his body, key in helping to determine his cause of death and manner of death.

LACIE HALL, VIGIL ORGANIZER FOR THE RITCH FAMILY: We have a dad that is hurting and we have a mother that is hurting. And just pray for them. I can't say anything other than that, is just pray for these people because they need us now more than ever. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CASAREZ: One big question unanswered at this point -- what does any autopsy show? We do know that Maddox's funeral is set for this next Friday. And, Ana, today for the first time, his obituary came out in the local paper. And it was -- I've got the local paper.

And it's so small. It's a couple of paragraphs. And there were other obituaries that talk about their lives and the people that passed on and everything they accomplished. It just showed, Ana, it's a life that's gone far too soon.

CABRERA: No doubt about it, 6 years old. Jean Casarez, thank you for that update.

It is a race against time as rescue teams look for survivors on a devastated Indonesian island. The earthquake and tsunami already claiming the lives of more than 800 people. The latest just ahead, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:41:17] CABRERA: President Trump calling this week's event, surrounded by his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a very powerful cultural moment for America and a learning moment, especially for young men.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the message that you may be sending to young men? You're a father. What does this moment that we're in, the cultural moment --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a very big cultural moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. So what message does it send --

TRUMP: It's very big. It's also --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- to the young men of America?

TRUMP: You're right. I think it's a great question. This is a very big moment for our country because you have a man who is very outstanding, but he's got very strong charges against him. Probably charges that nobody is going to be able to be -- to prove.

So I could have you chosen for a position. I could have you or you or you, anybody, and somebody could say -- and it's happened to me, many times, where false statements are made and honestly, nobody knows who to believe.

I could pick another Supreme Court judge -- justice. I could pick another one, another one, another one. This could go on forever.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: I want to bring in Jennifer Newsom. She directed a documentary called "The Mask You Live In." A powerful film. It's about boys and young men in this country and how this generation grows into men and defines masculinity.

Jennifer, I'm so glad to have you with us. What is your take away from what we just heard from the President when he was asked what his message is to young men?

JENNIFER NEWSOM, DIRECTOR, "THE MASK YOU LIVE IN": So thank you so much for having me here. Look, honestly, what we just heard is a man who is ignorant of his own privilege and who is protecting his own privilege.

We live in a patriarchal society. We live a culture that values power, dominance, control, and aggression regardless of the cost to society. And it's harming our boys and men.

And President Trump embodies this masculine society and, unfortunately, is in a position where he is a role model to young men and his actions are role -- are models to young men. And it's a very scary time because of that.

CABRERA: What should he have said? I know you have a couple of sons. What should the message be to young men and boys?

NEWSOM: So, really, the message should be that we need to raise and socialize our boys to believe in everyone's equality. To value women as equals. To see minorities and value minorities as equals. To value women's stories and women's experiences.

Unfortunately, we live a culture where women are invisible in some and in many instances. Where women aren't the protagonist of their own stories. Where women aren't the central piece of the news.

And so when a woman comes forward and shares her story, her experience, her experience needs to be heard. It needs to be realized. She needs to be seen.

And in fact, by putting it back on "these poor boys, they're being accused, unrightfully so," he's basically devaluing women's stories and women's experiences.

CABRERA: We all listened to the testimony this week on Thursday, Brett Kavanaugh's Senate testimony this week. A lot of people were noting how emotional he became.

Alyssa Milano told me yesterday that if Kavanaugh was a woman, he would have been called unhinged.

[18:44:49] We heard from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. She had a similar opinion, saying a woman with that response would have been called hysterical, referring to his sort of angry outbreaks, his interruption of Democrats when they were asking him questions, turning questions back on them like with Senator Klobuchar who admitted that her father was an alcoholic, asking her if she's ever drank until she blacked out.

Is there a double standard?

NEWSOM: There is a double standard. And again, that's because we've been privileging men's experiences and men's stories because men hold the reins of power in this country, in business, in government, across all major industries.

And so until we have more women in leadership, until more women's stories are told, we're not going to have a recognition on -- by those in power that women's stories and women's voices matter. And that's really what's this -- what's going on here. That's what this is all about.

CABRERA: The President praised Brett Kavanaugh's performance. Again, had that been a woman, do you think he would have stood by his nominee?

NEWSOM: No. No, had that been a woman -- maybe had it been a conservative woman. But had that been a woman, no, I don't think he would have praised and -- her in that way.

You know, look, I just think that he is embodying this toxic masculinity. Really, he's a reflection of our cultural values. And in some way, he is this mirror that's reflecting back to us what's wrong with our country.

Historically, having privileged, you know, the few at the expense of the many, having privileged this power, dominance, aggression narrative at the expense of empathy, care, and collaboration, it's really, I think, espousing what's wrong with our country and what's wrong with leadership.

And so, you know, the good news is women are stepping up and stepping in. They're running for higher office. As a society, there are enough people that really recognize the value of having women seats at the tables of power, having diverse communities with seats at the tables of power.

And so I think the tide is turning and that's a great thing. That's a good thing and that gives me hope. But, really, we have to look at how we socialize our boys to becoming men. And I mean, there are simple things that we can do -- and I don't know if I can share them with you but I think it's important --

CABRERA: Quickly, if you will.

NEWSOM: Really quickly. You know, some of the teachable moments. So we have to have conversations with our sons, regardless of their age, about what it means to be a good man, what it means to be a whole human being.

CABRERA: Yes.

NEWSOM: We need to tell our boys that the lead or the center of a story isn't always boys. It isn't always men. We need to buy books that support and celebrate female protagonists and female characters.

I, when I'm reading to my kids, tend to change the male protagonist into a female so my boys realize that girls and women can be the central part of a story.

CABRERA: Yes.

NEWSOM: We need to teach our boys that care is a human trait. And they need to -- whether you give them dolls at a young age, you give them stuffed animals, or you give them pet animals, you want to teach boys that care shouldn't just be reserved for the female gender but that care is a human trait --

CABRERA: Yes.

NEWSOM: -- and that we all need to be caregivers.

CABRERA: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, good information, good insight. Thank you so much for the thoughtful discussion.

NEWSOM: Thanks for having me.

CABRERA: Despair, bewilderment, hope, a mix of emotions for immigrant mothers in detention facilities across the U.S. even after being reunited with their children.

Up next, some heartbreaking letters from a group of moms trapped in legal limbo right now. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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[18:52:49] CABRERA: A collection of letters has surfaced that I think you need to know about. They were written by mothers who were separated from their children at the border then reunited and are now being detained at one of the few immigrant detention centers in the U.S. where families are now being held together.

Now, here's a sample of the letters. This is from Elena.

She writes, my children were far from me and I didn't know if they were OK, if they were eating or sleeping. I have suffered a lot. ICE harmed us a lot psychologically. We can't sleep well because my little girl thinks they're going to separate us again. I wouldn't want this to happen to anyone.

I want to bring in CNN's politics reporter Tal Kopan.

And, Tal, I know you have seen these letters as well. What do you know about them?

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, that's right, Ana. So these letters were collected at Dilley Detention Center in Texas. You know, in the evenings, the mothers gather in what's known as a visitation trailer and they are visited by attorneys from the Dilley Pro Bono Project. And through that effort to give immigrants legal representation, these

letters were collected because the mothers would tell their lawyers that they wanted to communicate to the outside world somehow.

And it's important to remember, these are just these mothers' experiences. This is what they were going through, what they feel like.

And these mothers, they're in detention probably because most of them have deportation orders. But the judge overseeing these reunifications has paused all deportations to ensure that every immigrant actually gets an opportunity to make a legal case to stay in the U.S.

So they're in this limbo, sort of waiting in detention, not sure if they're going to stay or be deported. And these are the letters they wrote about that experience.

CABRERA: And share more of what they reveal.

KOPAN: Yes. So we actually have some of these letters, excerpts, for people. And there are more online, of course.

But there's a mother named Sandra who wrote, for me, these months were so desperate. I didn't even eat or sleep. I felt traumatized. And the worst was when I looked at them and asked for my child, the first thing they said was that he had been given up for adoption. I just cried and cried.

A mother named Maria also wrote, we left our country to protect our children and to offer them a better future, not so that they would separate us from them and not for them to treat us like criminals.

[18:55:00] And she continued, the mark left an each of these mothers and children, having lived this torment, is one of the saddest things in our lives.

So, you know, we -- these are not specific allegations.

CABRERA: Yes.

KOPAN: We should be very clear. We are not able to verify specific details, whether these mothers were told their children would be given up for adoption or, you know, perhaps there was a misunderstanding.

We do have a statement from the government in response to the general accusations, which, of course, you know, are not specific. But they say, we treat those in our custody with dignity and respect and take all allegations seriously, and we investigate all formal complaints.

But, you know, the reason that these words are so important is it speaks to the psychology of every single human being who experienced that this summer.

CABRERA: Tal Kopan, thank you for sharing that with us. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:00:02] CABRERA: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for rolling with me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.