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Some Alaskans Pressure GOP's Murkowski to Vote No on Kavanaugh; The Trump Administration Holds Visas to Same-Sex Partners of Diplomats; Trump Pushed to Get Restraining Order against Stormy Daniels; Over 1200 Killed in Indonesia Tsunami as Desperation Grows. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired October 2, 2018 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] AIDAN RYAN, STAFF WRITER, THE HARVARD CRIMSON: But now that since the sexual assault allegations -- assault allegations have arisen against Kavanaugh, the dean has been very quiet and students have been very loud. Last week -- two weeks ago, four students penned an op-ed in the "Harvard Law Record" that calling the school to bar Kavanaugh from teaching. Since then they also had demonstrated -- they've had a walkout and rally. And they had viewing last Thursday during the hearing and a small demonstration out in front of the law school.
So, this has been an issue that has been at the law school for a while. And it kind of culminated last night with an email from Catherine Claypoole who is the associate dean and Dean for academic affairs of the law school. She sent an e-mail on behalf of the law school curriculum committee saying that Judge Kavanaugh has indicated he will not return to teach his course this winter.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: After a decade, as you say, the students have spoken and they have spoken loudly. Aidan Ryan, thank you very.
Meantime, Alaska's Senator, Lisa Murkowski, is one of three key Republican senators who holds the fate of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination in their hands. With just over three days remaining for the FBI to investigate CNN pressed Senator Murkowski earlier today on which way she may be leaning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LISA MURKOSKI (R), ALASKA: I don't know what it is that will come back. I have had a conversation with Mr. McGahn about the extent of what the FBI is doing and what I have been assured is that they are conducting this background investigation as they do all background investigations, allowing for the investigation to take its course.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Should they look into whether he lied about the antics in college? Should the FBI look into that?
MURKOSKI: I think the FBI is doing what we tasked the FBI to do. That's all I can ask for.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: Keep in mind Senator Murkowski is one of few Republican senators who supports abortion rights. And Kavanaugh's stance on abortion has been the focus of much of her interest. But she may have a bigger concern here, Alaska's native population. CNN's Gary Tuchman is live in Anchorage, Alaska. And Gary, you tell me, what are Alaskans saying to you about Kavanaugh?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're telling as you lot and it's all quite interesting. I do want to start by telling you, though, Brooke, that's important to point out, that all across this country there's intense lobbying for and against Brett Kavanaugh and against Brett Kavanaugh. But very notably and very surprisingly the most influential group of people in the Supreme Court saga might be, could be indigenous Alaskans.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Catherine Martin is an indigenous Alaskan, a member of the Mentasta traditional council. And while she and about 100 other natives in this village may be far out in the Alaskan wilderness, they are all in on the debate happening in Washington.
(on camera): How many of you want to see Judge Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed and end up on the Supreme Court. Who doesn't? All of you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): There are tens of thousands of indigenous people who live in Alaska. In past senate elections they have voted overwhelmingly for Lisa Murkowski, whose vote is key in determining if Brett Kavanaugh makes it to the Supreme Court. Everyone we talked to in this village strongly supports Murkowski. Because they say she understands their way of life and challenges.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're experiencing rates of sexual abuse and domestic abuse at higher rates than anywhere in the country. An hour Senator Lisa Murkowski, she knows that.
TUCHMAN: So, there is great city for Christine Blasey Ford among many in the native community and among everyone we talked to in this remote village.
ANITA ANDREWS, ALASKA NATIVE: As a survivor of sexual abuse, I think it takes years for people to come out with this. You know, some victims come out with it immediately but I think that some victims, it takes them a while before they're able to talk about it. And I think this is what happened with this lady.
HARRY JOHN, ALASKA NATIVE: I think he is against women's rights, including native rights.
TUCHMAN: And that's the other huge issue working against Kavanaugh and likely weighing on Senator Murkowski's minds, native rights. In a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kavanaugh questioned whether the constitutional protections given to Native American tribes should also be given to native Hawaiians. People here think that bodes poorly for them. How concerned are you that Alaskan native rights could be taken away if Brett Kavanaugh ends up on the Supreme Court?
ANDREWS: Very concerned. I mean, it's our way of life.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Alaskan natives consider themselves a modest people. But many of them are not particularly modest about the political influence they believe they hold.
[15:35:00] Which they think Senator Lisa Murkowski needs to keep in mind.
Just last week indigenous Alaskans were arrested while protesting outside the Washington DC office of Alaska's other U.S. Senator, Dan Sullivan. Nobody expects Sullivan to vote against Kavanaugh. But the message for Alaska's other Senator is loud and clear.
(on camera): So, if Lisa Murkowski votes ultimately to confirm Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, what will your thoughts be about Lisa Murkowski?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She won't have my support in the future?
TUCHMAN: How do you feel about that?
ANDREWS: She won't have my full support either?
TUCHMAN: What about you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would not write her name or put a check mark by her name.
TUCHMAN: Would any of you still vote for Lisa Murkowski?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
TUCHMAN: So, you're counting on her to vote no on Kavanaugh?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: And would you be surprised if she did vote yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very.
TUCHMAN: Last week Senator Murkowski said she could not support Kavanaugh if there was no FBI investigation. Well, now there is an investigation. As you said, Brooke, before you came to me, she is not showing her cards. But I think there's something important to think about. Last week this didn't get a lot of attention, but last week the Senator in Washington talked to a local reporter with Alaska public media. That reporter asked the Senator about the me-too moment and asked the Senator, have you ever had a me-too moment? And Senator Murkowski said yes but did not elaborate. And that could prove to be significant -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Sounds like it according to the people you just talk to in Alaska. Gary Tuchman, thank you for that.
Despite the President saying he had no idea of the payoff to Stormy Daniels. And a report alleges he personally directed his fixer and one of his sons to keep her story from ever going public. We have those details with the reporter who broke it next.
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Still ahead, a stunning report from CNN reporters on the ground in Indonesia. More than 1,200 people killed so far from that quake and tsunami. People are being buried in mass graves before their loved ones even have a chance to identify them. Stay here. We're going to continue.
Much breaking news constantly coming out of the White House it is easy to miss some small but important developments like this one. Monday right after last week's United Nations gathering, the Trump administration began denying visas to unmarried same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and U.N. employees. All couples must now be married. This demand comes in spite of the fact that only 25 countries allow same-sex marriage. So, let's go to CNN's Alex Marquardt who has more on this and just the impact. Diplomats, staff at the U.N., the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, to name a few, so talk me through what it is this administration is demanding or asking.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, this is a new regulation that went into effect this week. Essentially what the Trump administration is saying is they want the same regulation as foreign diplomats and international staffers as for American diplomats and staffers who go overseas.
Now since same-sex marriage is the law of the land here in the United States, since the Supreme Court ruling. The regulations states for American diplomats if you're moving overseas in a couple, whether your opposite sex or same-sex, you have to be married. And so, the Trump administration is saying the same has to go for the foreigners who are coming into this country.
Now the State Department briefed reporters this afternoon. They said it affects right now around 105 foreign families who are on foreign soil. But they say that it won't have much of an impact because most of those families are from countries where same-sex marriage is legal. So, they can either go home and get married or they can get married here in the United States.
Now, Brooke, this is who it is going to impact. Imagine you are a young, successful foreign diplomat and you've just been assigned to the United Nations and you have a same-sex partner. If you're in an illegal country, you can either abandon that partnership. You can stay or you can go to a third-party country, let's say in Europe, and try to get married. That of course, has its own complications and it could have its own dangers. Because you're essentially exposing yourself to people back home in a country where it's not just not tolerated but of course, it could be highly illegal.
This new regulation from the State Department from the Trump administration has been roundly criticized from different corners, including from Ambassador Samantha Power, who was President Obama's last U.N. ambassador. She tweeted calling this needlessly cruel and bigoted, State Department will no longer let same-sex domestic partners of U.N. employees get visas unless they are married. But only 12 percent of U.N. member states allow same-sex marriage, 12 percent, Brooke. So, the vast majority of U.N. countries do not allow same-sex marriage. And so, for them, if they have a partner, it has just become a lot harder to work here in the United States -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Yes, it has. Thank you, Alex Marquardt. A new report meantime shows further proof the president was not telling the truth about what he knew about Stormy Daniels. What he did as president in February to try to silence her involving his son.
[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: New reporting today indicates President Trump was personally involved in efforts to hush porn actress Stormy Daniels. "The Wall Street Journal" broke this story this morning and CNN has since confirmed that the President in February enlisted his son, Eric, and his former fixer Michael Cohen in the effort to keep Daniels from publicly describing her alleged sexual encounter with him. So, Michael Rothfield who is one of those "Wall Street Journal" reporters who are broke the story wide open this morning. So, Michael, nice to have you on. Welcome.
MICHAEL ROTHFIELD, REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Thank you.
BALDWIN: My goodness, what a scoop. You tell me because it's significant in that this is the first direct connection that we've heard about between Trump trying to essentially put the kibosh on Stormy Daniels ever saying anything publicly about what she says they did?
[15:50:00] ROTHFIELD: That's right. And this was after we reported this in January that this agreement ever happened before the election, which was when they first tried to silence her. And then again after the deal became public, the White House and the Trump organization and President Trump kind of tried to distance him from all of this and say it was all Michael Cohen his lawyer. But in fact, we know from now a few weeks after this first became public, President Trump was personally directing the show here and saying, go into this confidential arbitration proceeding and get an order --
BALDWIN: A restraining order.
ROTHFIELD: -- to keep her quiet and which they did.
BALDWIN: Which didn't work. She talked anyway --
ROTHFIELD: Did not. Yes.
BALDWIN: -- on "60 minutes". And in reading your piece, one significant part was that they used not only his son Eric involved, but they used a Trump org attorney. Why is that an important detail?
ROTHFIELD: Well because the President took a leave of absence from his company. He said he wasn't going to be involved. Eric Trump, his son, but he's also an executive who is one of the people running that company in the President's absence. So, it's an orchestrated effort of essentially the apparatus of Donald Trump trying to keep her silent.
BALDWIN: We here at CNN have since confirmed what you found. And it's M.J. Lee who got this quote. So apparently during those initial conversations, the source said, Trump said to Michael Cohen, quote, don't worry. I'll pay for everything.
ROTHFIELD: Right. I'll take care of everything. I'll pay for everything.
BALDWIN: I'm take care of everything. What does that say to you?
ROTHFIELD: Well essentially, that the President was taking responsibility for this whole matter and saying, you know, hey, I'm going to pay for it. This is my deal, and it's not just Michael Cohen out there on a limb.
BALDWIN: Anything from the Trump organization, or his attorney?
ROTHFIELD: No. They've declined to comment.
BALDWIN: OK. Michael, thank you so much.
ROTHFIELD: Thank you.
BALDWIN: "The Wall Street journal." appreciate it.
We are just now getting word from the "New York Times" involving a report -- involving the President and questions of his role in tax schemes. In the '90s. Stand by.
[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Desperation in Indonesia is growing and survivors of Friday's massive 7.5 earthquake and 10-foot-high tsunami struggled to stay alive. More than 1,200 people are dead and that number is expected to rise as officials bury bodies in these mass graves. There is a great need for basic supplies like food and clean drinking water and fuel is so scarce people are resorting to looting underground gas tank. CNN's Matt Rivers is in Palu, Indonesia with more on the government's response. And we should warn you, some of the images you're about to see are disturbing. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four soldiers to a bag. They drag the person inside to a crude resting place. Feels coarse and undeserved. This is a hastily dug mass grave on a Palu hillside. A direct result of an earthquake and tsunami no one was prepared for.
(on camera): There's 194 people buried here. Some of whom are still unidentified that didn't deserve this. These are brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, grandparents, friends and they all just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
(voice-over): Authorities had laid hundreds of bodies in streets for days after the morgues ran out of room. We saw them for ourselves. Officials say the bodies could spread disease. The World Health Organization says that's not completely true, but the burials go on. The unidentified bodies had their pictures taken so hopefully they can be ID'd later.
A short drive away those lucky enough to be alive gathered in a place where life is hard. A makeshift camp designed to help the newly homeless is widely unable to meet people's needs. Baby Mohammed is sick. Even if they had formula, which they don't, water here is scarce.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Drinking water, we are really short of drinkable water.
RIVER: For others, the indignity of living outside is exasperated by having no clean way to use the bathroom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We need public toilets. None are provided to us. There are some here, but they are all broken and can't be used.
RIVER (on camera): Five days on in camps like these, there's a lack of electricity, of food, of water, of health care, of hygiene. It's no wonder people are getting frustrated and they are increasingly blaming the government for what has pretty obviously been a slow response.
(voice-over): Fuel has been scarce, too. A few stations are open. If you follow the rules and line up, you could trade a day just for a few liters.
(on camera): So, the way you join the line is by taking your gas container and running this rope through the handle. Basically, the rope snakes all the way around and ends at the only gas pump open right now. So, you hook up. You move up the line. And you wait.
(voice-over): These people wouldn't wait. We watched them loot fuel tank underneath the ground. Bamboo poles dipped in, coming up full. Armed soldiers merely watched. They told us they didn't want to spark a riot. They just run their bikes through generators, another said. It's not like there's anywhere else they can get it fast. Dozens of people though, have been arrested for looting city-wide.
The government says there have been challenges in their aid mission, but that overall, they're making the best of a bad situation. And, yes, help is slowly increasing. Aid shifts are in route. Aid flights are picking up but not fast enough. Looting, thirsty babies, hungry kids, filthy camps and mass burials do not equal And Effective Disaster Response. Matt Rivers, CNN, Palu, Indonesia.
BALDWIN: Matt, thank you. And if you would like to help the people affected there go to CNN.com/impact for a list of vetted organizations. You can help.
I'm Brooke Baldwin, thank you for being with me. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts now.