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McConnell Says Kavanaugh This Week & Trump Says Unacceptable if Kavanaugh Lied in Testimony; Kavanaugh Questioned by Police After 1985 Bar Fight; Roger Stone's "Dirty Trickster" Image Leaves Path for Mueller; Trump Puts Off Meeting with Rod Rosenstein; 4 White Supremacists Arrested for Riots in Charlottesville Last Summer; Melania Trump Heads to Africa. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired October 2, 2018 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[14:30:20] SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: And we'll be voting this week. So the FBI report will be finished and we'll be voting this week on the Kavanaugh nomination.
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BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The Senate majority leader again saying this is the week -- Friday will be one week -- that FBI investigation should be wrapped and they want to vote as to whether or not Brett Kavanaugh will be the next Supreme Court justice.
President Trump speaking from the White House lawn saying lying would be unacceptable.
What areas of Kavanaugh's testimony might the FBI looking at in the next few days?
Chris Cillizza is on that. He's the author of "The Point."
Chris Cillizza with me now.
Tell me, what areas.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Interesting. We don't know if Trump meant lying about the sexual assaults or lying generally. This is from Kavanaugh's temperature last Thursday, Brooke.
Let's start up here. He repeatedly said that everyone who Christine Blasey Ford cited as a witness refuted that testimony. That's not accurate. There were four people. One of them is Brett Kavanaugh. He did refute it. But the others, Mark Judge, as well Leland Keyser, said they remember it differently. That's very different than saying it did not happen.
Number two, the year book references. Brett Kavanaugh rolled his eyes a lot when they talked about the devil's triangle. He said a quick Internet search might such what was reaction rat.
Last one, his drinking past. This is the one that probably in truth maybe matters the most. Kavanaugh repeated under questions from Amy Klobuchar and independent counsel, Rachel Mitchell, and said, yes, I drank before. I don't really know what too many beers necessarily is. You tell me what the definition. No, I have never blacked out, passed out or woke up somewhere different than where I started. There are a lot of people who he went to high school and college with who suggest this is not accurate.
And then we found out about this incident in a bar after a UB-40 concert, in which Chris Dudley, Yale student, friend of Kavanaugh's, are went on to are a center in the NBA, he was arrested for this fight. Kavanaugh allegedly threw ice but wouldn't explain why he threw ice. So this all goes to temperament. Does Brett Kavanaugh have the temperament? Is any of this stuff a big enough deal if you can show -- and I don't know if it was shown beyond a reasonable doubt, if you can show that he didn't tell the truth here ,and especially I think here, is that enough?
And remember, not whether he's guilty or not guilty. Is it enough for Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski to vote yes or no. That's all that matters. Throw in Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp on the Democratic side and you basically have a jury of five.
BOLDUAN: Watching for that vote later this week.
Chris Cillizza, thank you very much on what is disputable.
Coming up next, it was the high-stakes meeting that never happened. Why hasn't the president met with his deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, yet? New details on that.
And breaking news coming into CNN. Prosecutors say four white supremacists have been arrested in connection with the rally in Charlottesville. Stay with me.
[14:38:30] BOLDUAN: New CNN reporting now. If there was one thing Roger Stone has wanted America to know about him from his recent role as Donald Trump's adviser, back to his days as a young gun in the Nixon White House it is this, that he's a trickster, a dirty one at that. And now Stone's carefully cultivated image may be leaving a trail of bread crumbs for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
CNN's Sara Murray has been reporting.
Sara, what have you learned?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, we know the special council was looking into Roger Stone, looking into communications he had with the hacker, Gucifer 2.0, and all those times during the campaign where it looked like Roger Stone might know what WikiLeaks was going to do before they released it. We're learning from sources familiar with the matter that prosecutors are combing through the image Roger Stone has created about himself, this notion he's willing to do anything to win. He's written about it in books. There's a whole Netflix documentary called "Get Me Roger Stone" that's based on that persona. They're combing through his past political work. Essentially, what they're trying to do with witnesses before the grand jury is to show the grand jury that this is a guy that has a history of toeing or even crossing the line. It also brings up the possibility that Roger Stone could at some point face charges that have nothing to do with Russian hacking. This is something Stone has said publicly, that he believes it's possible that Mueller's team could bring charges against him to convince him to somehow make him flip and cooperate against the president.
For his part, Stone denied he had anything to do with collusion with the Russians. He provided CNN one of his colorful statements in which he said, "I've always acknowledged playing hardcore politics but I've always said, in my book and in the Netflix documentary, that my campaign tactics do not include breaking the law." He said the special counsel is willfully misleading the grand jury. As for the special counsel's office, they are not commenting -- Brooke?
[14:40:22] BOLDUAN: Sara Murray, thank you.
Sara Murray with the scope on Roger Stone.
Meantime, just in, the Senate majority leader just revealed whether the report on Brett Kavanaugh will be made public. This, as several Democrats say it should be kept confidential. Why?
Plus, what happened during that infamous fight in college involving Brett Kavanaugh, the police, and NBA player, and a UB-40?
We'll be right back.
[14:44:53] BOLDUAN: The fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may be in limbo longer than expected. Moments ago, the president has said he will wait. A White House official says it's not clear if a meeting with Rosenstein will happen this week. Remember, it was just a week ago, the number-two man at the Justice Department was expecting to be fired after an explosive report cited sources saying that Rosenstein suggested secretly taping the president and invoking the 25th Amendment to oust him from office.
So let's go to Laura Jarrett, our justice correspondent.
Laura, the meeting didn't happen. Is the meeting ever going to happen? And what's the deal with Rod Rosenstein?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, what a difference a week makes in this administration. We've gone from the deputy attorney general, in charge of the Russia investigation, from thinking he's about to be fired to the White House saying the two men are going to sit down in the West Wing, to now they can't even get a date on the calendar. Our White House producer there reporting earlier today that this issue of the Rosenstein meeting was not weighing heavily on the presidency or the White House given everything surrounding the embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Listen to what Trump said earlier and how this really appears to be the furthest thing of his mind.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to talk later. I don't want to do anything to interrupt what's happening, this process. That's fine. But I don't want to do anything to interrupt the process.
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JARRETT: Now, in the meantime, even if this meeting never happens at all, Rosenstein is still facing pressure from those on Capitol Hill. And they expect he'll have a closed-door meeting with the House Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks -- Brooke?
BOLDUAN: And you have news on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017 and arrests from that.
JARRETT: We're learning that four individuals have been arrested and charged with rioting and conspiracy associated with those violent protests and counter protests in Charlottesville last summer. We're just getting their names in from an unsealed complaint. It's Cole Evan White, Benjamin Drake Daley, Thomas Walter Gillen and Michael Paul Miselis. According to the federal complaint that's just been unsealed there, these individuals were among the most violent individuals in Charlottesville and they were seen on video punching, kicking, head butting people. And the U.S. attorney credited the media for piecing together this case, credited "ProPublica" specifically for being able to piece together what happens. I should mention that this is separate from the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed when the car drove through counter protests. That man was charged separately. This is unrelated. The U.S. attorney there said that the investigation does continue --Brooke?
BOLDUAN: Laura Jarrett, thank you very much.
Coming up, Melania Trump is in Africa for her first solo international trip as first lady. We'll tell you why she selected Ghana as her first location, and where else she's heading in Africa.
And as the president has defended Kavanaugh, he has touted that he has never had a drop of alcohol. So we dug up some interesting sound from Trump's past in the archives about what he really thinks about drinking.
[14:53:00] BOLDUAN: Melania Trump has officially embarked on her first solo foreign trip as first lady. Her tour includes four African nations. The first is Ghana, followed by Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. And she plans to promote her Be Best campaign while abroad.
It's Melania Trumps first trip to Africa ever. As she stepped off Air Force One, the first lady was walking beside the first lady there of Ghana. Later, she toured a local hospital, an infant clinic where she passed out teddy bears and blankets and said hello and squeezed some precious little children.
With me, Kate Anderson Brower, CNN contributor and author of "First Women, The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies."
And, Kate, before we get to -- my goodness, what a time for her to hop a plane to get out of Washington. Let me first ask you about why Africa, do you think?
KATE ANDERSON BROWER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's a really popular destination for first ladies. Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton have all visited several times. Pat Nixon was the first first lady to ever visit the continent alone. It's a popular destination. It's a place where first ladies can go and exhibit soft power. They can talk about the U.S. government's outrage and what they've done with AIDS research and funding in Ghana. That program was actually sponsored by the U.S. And so it's a way to focus in a positive way on how the U.S. can help countries around the world.
BOLDUAN: What do you make of the timing of her trip?
ANDERSON BROWER: Well, I mean, there's just so much going on, it's interesting to see if it gets much attention in the press because there's so much happening. You know, during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary Clinton was out of the country for more than a month. I think most first ladies don't want to be in the White House in the spotlight. I do think she can do a lot to detoxify her husband's image abroad. I think that's why it's important that she do this. And she kind of does her own thing. And it's clearly at odds with what he said about Africa and also with the threats of cutting funding to Africa.
[14:55:18] BOLDUAN: I hear she's going to my favorite elephant sanctuary in Kenya. I look forward to seeing that as well.
But these pictures of these children, it's a beautiful thing.
Kate, thank you very much.
ANDERSON BROWER: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Kate Anderson Brower.
The new report that further proves the president wasn't telling the truth about Stormy Daniels. We'll have that for you.
And we'll explain why a bar fight in the 80s is haunting Brett Kavanaugh and raising questions about his honesty, temperament, veracity.
We'll be back.