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Trump Rallies Crowds; Collins Comments on Trump's Ford Attack; New Jersey Senate Race; Death Toll Rises in Indonesia; Hackers Access Third-Party Sites. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired October 3, 2018 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Uproarious applause for the president there.

Let's discuss the odds with Harry Enten, our forecaster. I don't think that's your exact title but, you know.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Astrologist? Soothsayer? What do we call you?

HARLOW: That too.

Well, what does Alice get? Alice, too, we've got to give you a title as well, our political commentator and Republican strategist.

Nice to have you both here.

And, Harry, let me to go to your first. I mean listening to the president last night, he wants people to think they're out there voting for him. As long as they're voting for whatever Republican is on the ballot in their state.


HARLOW: Is that a winning message 34 days out?

ENTEN: I think, for the Senate side, it is, because look at where those key races are. Missouri, where the president's approval rating and our poll is above his disapproval rating, Tennessee, similar situation, North Dakota, similar situation. If people vote in key Senate races about how they feel about the president, that Republicans will hold control of the Senate. The House is a different ballgame all together, right?


ENTEN: Because that's a much more blue leaning side there. So, in the House races, if they vote about -- how they feel about Donald Trump, no, Republicans will not hold the House.

SCIUTTO: Alice Stewart, I want to ask you a question we've asked a number of folks this week. With the Kavanaugh hearings at fever pitch now, who does that favor more? I mean clearly an energizing, mobilizing issue it appears for women, but also you have said for Republican voters. ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. If he is confirmed,

which I expect him to be probably by Saturday, that will be a huge shot in the arm for Republicans. It will be wind in the sail. It will be the energy that they need to galvanize voters and get out there because, as we've seen since the hearings have ended and the overwhelming push to attack Brett Kavanaugh by those on the left, it's having a reverse impact. It's a -- it's a net loss for Democrats because the vitriol and the level of attacks on dumpster diving into what he did in high school and college, Republicans --

HARLOW: Well --

STEWART: Republicans -- Republicans are mad about that. Republicans take this as a character assassination.

HARLOW: Alice, I just have to jump in there because --


HARLOW: You heard the president last night, right? He chose to go there last night against Professor Ford. Hold that thought because I want to jump to Manu on that.

Manu, walk us through what you just asked key Republican swing vote senator on -- on Kavanaugh, Susan Collins, and what she said.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, asking her directly about the president mocking Christine Blasey Ford. I asked her, are you comfortable with the president mocking Christine Blasey Ford. She kind of made a -- she made a concerted effort to respond to that question. Here's what she said.


RAJU: Are you comfortable with the -- are you comfortable with the president attacking Christine Blasey Ford? Are you (INAUDIBLE) of the president's attacks on Christine Blasey Ford.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: The president's comments were just plain wrong.

RAJU: Is it going to affect your vote, senator?


RAJU: So what's notable there is that she could have easily ignored the question. She could have walked into the hearing room right behind me, a hearing that she's chairing, not answer questions about exactly her thinking about the Kavanaugh nomination. She has been reticent about going into detail about her thinking over the last several days and she certainly could have avoided that question if she wanted to. But she made a point to try to respond to what she believes. The president just crossing a line that she did not want to see crossed.

Now, the ultimate question is that last question that I tried to ask, will that affect her vote. Of course, she did not answer that and went into the hearing room.


RAJU: But we believe more likely what's going to affect her vote are the results of that FBI report, if and when that comes, today, maybe tomorrow. We'll see.


RAJU: But, nevertheless, clearly these comments from the president not going over well with those three key senators --

HARLOW: Right.

RAJU: Who are going to be -- you know, determine whether or not Kavanaugh gets that seat, guys.


SCIUTTO: Manu Raju, thanks very much.

So let me throw it back to you if I can, Alice.

You have Republicans there -- set aside -- I mean you said that it's Democrats that are dumpster diving, et cetera, here. But the fact is, it's a Republican president who took a very personal shot at a woman who has alleged sexual assault her and Republican senators who are key swing votes are not pulling their punches. Flake calls it appalling. She says it's just plain wrong. What effect does that have on the Kavanaugh confirmation vote?

STEWART: Well, let me just go on record, it is vile. It's wrong. It's disturbing and it's disgusting and it's uncalled for. And, to be honest, I think Dr. Ford was credible. I think she was compelling. And I think the president was right right out of the gate when he did say that from the beginning. Why he decided to go this other route and attack her I think is completely wrong.

The problem is, and the point I was trying to make is, we have gotten so far away from Dr. Ford and her testimony --


STEWART: Which I think she suffered a traumatic incident back when she was in high school. I do not think it was at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh. That's my view. But we've gotten so far away from that. And, you know, talking about dumpster diving, the letters that were -- putting out there and the yearbook entries and a lot of the information we have about Brett Kavanaugh is to attack his character. It has nothing to do with Dr. Ford. So I think we need to get back on track and get on the key issue here because I think smearing a good man's character is not the way we need to go.

[09:35:06] SCIUTTO: Can I just test you on that? That's become a talking point for Republican supporters of Kavanaugh, that you believe she suffered something, but not at the hands of Ford. As a woman, hearing the details that she described, the laughter, et cetera, how would you find that credible that she could remember those details, it could be a searing memory for her, something that's affected her for years in her life, and yet she would -- she would not know who it was who had committed that assault?

STEWART: Jim, it's a difficult situation. And her -- and her testimony was compelling.

That being said, there were some holes in what she had to say with regard to exactly where it was and how she got home. And so I think she clearly suffered a traumatic situation, but I do believe when Brett Kavanaugh says emphatically and categorically that he didn't do it, I believe him. And the fact there are no corroborating witnesses to back up her claims, that also goes a long way. And I think it's important not to let our emotions get ahead of how we decide on this. We have to look into all things that play into this, and that is what we're hearing from both of them and the evidence and corroborating information we have to back it up.

HARLOW: OK, Alice.

Harry, to you on a different question but tied to the importance of the Senate and who holds the power in the Senate because if Judge Kavanaugh does not get confirmed, it will be a new Senate that will decide who the Supreme Court's next justice will be. New Jersey. I am fascinating by the blue, blue, blue state of New Jersey, where the president has only 33 percent approval, and now Senator Menendez could potentially lose his seat if you look at the latest polling, in a state that hasn't gone blue in terms of a senator since 1972. What's going on?

ENTEN: Well, yes, you've got that right. A state that is overwhelmingly blue in 1972, long before I was born. So this would be a whole new beginning for me.

Look, Bob Menendez, obviously, had a corruption trial. He was found not guilty. It was a hung jury. Apparently the voters feel a little bit differently. They feel that maybe something was, in fact, going on there. Bob Menendez's favorable ratings are quite low in the state, but as you point out, so are President Trump's. And there have been a lot of ads against Bob Menendez that have really dragged him down. It's going to be interesting to see if the Democrats really go on the air, the television airwaves, and really have a lot of airwaves -- a lot of ads behind it.

HARLOW: Well, the money they might have -- they look like they're going to have to pour into New Jersey to save it.

ENTEN: They -- exactly. Exactly. And New Jersey's a very expensive media market because you have both Philadelphia and New York. You have to air ads in both.

But the other thing that I would point out is, back in 2006, Bob Menendez was at a similar point in the polls against Tom Kaine Junior. He was kind of neck and neck. And that was a very blue year. And then, at the last minute, he kind of pulled away. That's where I generally think this probably ends up.

HARLOW: All right. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Harry Enten, Alice Stewart, thanks very much to both of you.

Fourteen hundred lives lost. The death toll spiking now in Indonesia after that devastating earthquake and tsunami. And, this morning, another threat, if you can believe it, a volcano erupting.

HARLOW: Wow. Yes.


[09:42:06] SCIUTTO: This morning, the Indonesian island devastated by an earthquake and tsunami facing yet another threat, a volcanic eruption. Authorities warning of ash clouds and lava flows, ordering evacuations for miles around it.

HARLOW: But just look at that. This as we're getting new pictures also of rivers of liquid soil, that's what you're seeing here, that are sweeping away entire neighborhoods. This is in the hours after the initial tsunami and earthquake. Experts say the earthquake and the water pressure weakened the land so much that it actually liquefied.

CNN international correspondent Matt Rivers is in Palu, where the death toll now is over 1,400.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the aid operation finally appears to be growing here on Sulawesi Island days and days after this earthquake happened. The government response does appear to be increasing. More planes are landing. Those planes have aid. And then they're taking people who need to be evacuated out.

Ships have arrived bringing aid. They're also going to take people out. More rescue equipment has been brought to this part of Indonesia to help with operations like behind me here where people could still be trapped even alive five days on after this earthquake happened.

However, there still remains a ton of frustration with the Indonesian government. You talk to people in these camps that have been set up for people homeless after this event and they will tell you that they are frustrated by a lack of drinking water, electricity, food, hygiene, health care, the list goes on.

As for the death toll, it continues to go up. And the reason for that is that they keep finding bodies in places where it's been difficult to look. We saw that first-hand today in a village that was the victim of what's called liquefactions. So during this earthquake, the ground underneath 744 homes that were subsumed by the earth, basically the ground became like liquefied, it had qualities of a liquid, which means everything on top sunk below. So these homes were essentially buried in the mud. We saw that today. And it just becomes all the more worse when you think about people are still buries in there and authorities are still trying to reach them.

So, yes, the aid is increasing. Rescue operations continue. But do expect that death toll to continue to rise -- it will continue to rise as authorities continue to just understand the full scope of this problem.

I'm Matt Rivers in Palu, Indonesia.


SCIUTTO: Just the suffering of so many people there, and it's ongoing.

Matt Rivers, thanks very much.

Right now the FBI is examining three suspicious letters sent to the White House and to the Pentagon that may have been laced with the deadly compound ricin. The envelopes were addressed to President Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and the chief of naval operations, Admiral John Richardson. They were intercepted Monday. They never reached the White House or the Pentagon. The FBI still not sure yet if the substance in the letters is, in fact, ricin. Officials continue to do more tests.

HARLOW: Also a headline we want to make you aware of, and that is that we now know that the United States is admitting the lowest number of refugees this past year than in 40 years prior. The State Department says less than 23,000 refugees were admitted into the U.S. in the last 12 months. That number is half the number admitted the year before and about a quarter of the amount of people allowed in during the final year of the Obama administration. Fewer than 500 total refugees were taken from those six nations that are now on the list restricted by the president's travel ban version 3.0, if you will.

[09:45:29] SCIUTTO: And it's at a time where the world has record levels of refugees.

HARLOW: Right. Right. Exactly.

SCIUTTO: Mostly in conflicts.

HARLOW: The crisis in Syria, et cetera.

FaceBook says there is no evidence -- this is a new development overnight -- no evidence that hackers used that huge data breach to get into other sites attached to those 50 million accounts. The threat by no means over. We're going to talk to a former NSA hacker about what you can do to protect yourself.


[09:50:18] HARLOW: All right, new developments overnight in that FaceBook hack that is the biggest in the company's history. The company does say that so far it has not found any evidence that hackers accessed third party sites through their FaceBook log ins.

SCIUTTO: Maybe they just don't know. Last week FaceBook said other apps that use a FaceBook log in, like AirBNB, Tender, Spotify, may have been compromised in the attack.

Joining me now, former NSA hacker and cyber security consultant David Kennedy.

David, thank you for coming on. I mean I think a lot of our viewers probably use FaceBook. I do.



SCIUTTO: How much personal information, private information about FaceBook users, 50 million FaceBook users, has been compromised here, or do we just not know yet?

KENNEDY: Unfortunately, we don't know yet. The 50 million is an interesting number because they reset 50 million, but they also did an additional 40 million as a precautionary measure because of what we call this view ask feature. And what they did is they didn't have access to your password. So you don't have to change your password or anything like that. But what they did is they had access to what was called an access token, which gave full access over all those accounts, which would mean, you know, your FaceBook Messenger apps, everything that you post on there, date of births, where you live, phone numbers. All of those are things that could have been accessed by attackers. And FaceBook really hasn't been clear on who they were, the types of attacks that occurred, where they came from and the type of data that the hackers accessed. This is really just a precautionary measure. They reset all of those tokens so that you had to re- authenticate or relog in to your account, which is -- which is pretty alarming.

HARLOW: Everyone wants to know whether the government can actually do anything about this, right, David? I mean if regulation can actually stop this. And I thought the comments from Tim Cook overnight on "Vice News" were really telling. I mean he's like, I'm not a big regulation guy, but you have to see and acknowledge when the free market is not protecting people enough and do something about it.


HARLOW: I mean would government regulation stop something like this?

KENNEDY: We do see companies that don't spend a significant amount of money or resources on protecting their customer data. And that's an interesting dilemma because you have people's information that isn't yours but you're still housing it and you still are holding it. I mean Equifax, a number of other --


KENNEDY: Large scale breaches that had large amounts of personal information, that's not their information to keep. Credit card data is another good example of that. So I do think that there should be specific regulations put in place to hold companies to a certain level of security.

But the problem is, is that security is a moving target. Attackers are coming up with new techniques all the time that rip through even the most sophisticated security systems. So there has to be a balance of --

HARLOW: Right.

KENNEDY: Is a company doing enough to doing the bare minimum? Regulation really has a tough time dealing with that and it's a problem we face in the security industry all the time, even with just credit card data and trying to protect credit cards.

HARLOW: Right.


A very quick question for you before we go. Simplest thing folks at home can do to protect themselves here.

KENNEDY: Yes, in this specific case, they had the access token, which gave you access to Spotify and other third party apps. Consider using what we call a password vault. There's Dashlane, there's KeePass, there's 1Pass, where these are apps that you can log into that store your passwords on your computer and on your phone and sync automatically that log you into these sites where you don't have to remember your own password. So I'd recommend using different passwords for gmail, for FaceBook, but use these password vaults to keep it simple so that you can secure yourself online and ensure that hackers don't have access to it if one of these sites becomes compromised and doesn't impact your financial information, doesn't impact your gmail, all those different ones out there.


SCIUTTO: Good advice.

HARLOW: David, thanks for the expertise. Appreciate it.

KENNEDY: Thanks for having me.

HARLOW: Breaking -- of course.

Breaking news. We now have two key Republican senators in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing slamming the president's attack on his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. We're following all the developments, next.


[09:58:20] HARLOW: All right, just 34 days until the midterms and we want to know what is driving you to the polls.

SCIUTTO: And we're asking a variety of people every day -- we're excited about this -- why are you voting? Here's what you're telling us in our "Why I'm Voting" segment for today.


STEVE MCDANIEL, REPUBLICAN VOTER: I've had a business in West Virginia all my life. And what Donald Trump has done for this state and for the country as far as the economy is concerned is -- it's unlike anything I've seen since Ronald Reagan.

EDDIE LEE HOSKINS, REPUBLICAN VOTER: I want border security. I want jobs for my children. My children don't live in West Virginia. They had to go down to North Carolina, there's no work here. They shut the coal mines down.

EMMA GRANT, DEMOCRATIC VOTER: Well, I think it's time for young people to get up and step up and take out of control the Republicans. Everybody (INAUDIBLE) the House. You know, it's our time to vote. We need to have a voice. We're the future of politics in America.

GURLEE SINGH, DEMOCRATIC VOTER: One of the biggest issues for me is education, especially in Pennsylvania. Money that goes to these school districts is very, very (INAUDIBLE). My school district in particular, (INAUDIBLE) School District, doesn't get as much money as it should compared to some of the neighboring school districts.


HARLOW: All right, those are their issues. What are your issues? Also, if you're going to be voting for the first time in November, we also want to hear from you. Post a video on Instagram. Tell us why you're voting and use the hash tag #whyivotecnn.

All right, top of the hour. Good morning, everyone, I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto.

This morning, two of the Republican senators whose votes will decide the fate of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh are blasting the latest comments from President Trump. Jeff Flake says it was, quote, appalling for the president to openly mock the California professor who says that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers in the 1980s.

[10:00:07] And just moments ago, live here on CNN, Susan Collins told our colleague, Manu Raju, that the president's remarks were just plain wrong.