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Democrats Unsatisfied with FBI Report; Indonesians Asks for More Help; Russians Deny Cyber Attacks Despite Evidence; India and Russia Strengthening Relationship. Aired 3-4 ET

Aired October 5, 2018 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNA COREN, CNN HOST: U.S. President Donald Trump makes a final push for his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh as the judge makes his own appeal by writing a newspaper column.

U.S. Vice President Mike Spence gave scathing speech against China and Beijing response with its own strongly worded reaction.

Plus, the 2018 Nobel Prize announcement is just hours away. Who is on your short list for the prize?

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. This is CNN Newsroom.

The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court is going right down to the wire. And Donald Trump is heaping on some last minute praise. He spoke to supporters at a rally in Minnesota and blasted Democrats for their treatment of his nominee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Democrats have been trying to destroy Judge Brett Kavanaugh since--

(CROWD BOOING)

TRUMP: -- the very first second he was announced and he was announced for one simple reason. He is an incredible intellect. An incredible person and an incredible talent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: Well, Kavanaugh is trying to help his own cause with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. He admits he may have been too emotional during his testimony last week but says he is an independent and impartial judge.

Well, thousands of protesters disagree. More than 300 people arrested in Washington on Thursday.

U.S. senators have had a full day to read the updated FBI background check on Judge Kavanaugh.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty has this reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole thing is a sham.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With tensions on Capitol Hill temperatures boiling over as Brett Kavanaugh's fate hangs in the balance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Why n't dunk him this the water and see if he floats?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: Significant new reactions coming from two key senators after viewing that FBI report today. Senator Susan Collins telling CNN it appears to be a very thorough investigation, adding, "I've not yet finished going through all the materials."

Senator Jeff Flake saying the report showed no additional corroborating information. Neither senator revealing how they would vote, but their words boosting the confidence among Republicans today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: There's absolutely zero corroboration. Zero corroboration to any of these allegations. I think probably it makes people feel really good coming out of there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: Collins and Flake are two of the four senators who hold Kavanaugh's future in their hands. After Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a key red states Democrat told CNN affiliate WDAY.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HEIDI HEITKAMP, (D) NORTH DAKOTA: I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: Adding to the drama of the moment. A highly choreographed viewing of the tightly guarded FBI report. With senator shuffling in and out of this secure location to view the sole copy of the FBI's findings privately.

Emerging afterwards in taking partisan sides. The Republicans saying the report shows no corroboration of the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY, MAJORITY LEADER: On the next page an uncorroborated mud washes away, what's left is the distinguished nominee who stand before us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: And Democrats taking issue with the investigation itself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: This is wholly unacceptable. It is a truncated and curtailed and it is not a halfway effort to interview the relevant people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: It is not extensive enough, especially without interviewing Kavanaugh and the first accuser, Professor Christine Blasey Ford.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) CALIFORNIA: The most notable part of this report is what's not in it. It looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation that was limited, perhaps by the White House, I don't know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: Senators have the day on Capitol Hill to finish reading the report. But then it's decision time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, (R) LOUISIANA: It's time for women to woman up and men to man up and mostly senators. And let's start voting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: And tomorrow will be the crucial day for Brett Kavanaugh. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set a cloture vote, that is where all senators have to vote for or against Brett Kavanaugh. If he advances, that means final confirmation likely on Saturday.

Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, Capitol Hill.

COREN: Well, let's bring in Scott Lucas, he is a professor of international politics at University of Birmingham in England. He is also the founder and editor of E.A. World View. Scott, great to have you with us.

[00:05:05] Let's start with the Wall Street Journal op-ed. Obviously a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch who owns Fox, the TV station who Kavanaugh did that interview with. Why write this opinion piece and who is he trying to appeal to?

SCOTT LUCAS, POLITICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well, you write the opinion piece because it's probably the sales effort in combination with supposed investigation. It is choreograph show by the White House ahead of this vote on Saturday.

The Wall Street Journal is not a nonpartisan outlet. It's very, very conservative, which is fair enough, but by writing the op-ed in this page, by trying to talk about his family, by saying maybe I was too emotional but not talking at all about say Christine Blasey Ford or Deborah Ramirez or Julie Swetnick, Judge Kavanaugh is effectively saying, I'm partisan, I want to get this.

He doesn't care if he appears to be partisan. Equally important the White House doesn't care if this is now partisan. They don't want a nonpartisan court. When you have Donald Trump who insulted judges in the past, whether it's about Trump university or immigration or the Muslim ban, the idea that we used to have at the Supreme Court above politics at least in this decision, not only the White House but the judge that it wants tout on the bench, they have given out that. There's absolutely no appearance of even trying to be neutral at any point now.

COREN: Now there are three Republicans supposedly sitting on the fence undecided. How do you think they will vote?

LUCAS: You are going to have asking them. I mean, people will try to read the signals and it was said I think yesterday that even before seeing the report, or at least the full report that Susan Collins of Maine said it appeared to be a thorough investigation when quite clearly it has not done.

That Jeff Flake leaned in support of Collins comments and says well, it appears to be a thorough investigation when it is not been. So I think if their acts are going to go along with this pretense that this is a full consideration of the claims of three women and multiple witnesses who claim to corroborate there, if they go along with that, they'll probably going to go along with the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh on Saturday.

But I want to take this beyond the wider point. Whichever way that Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Flake, and Susan Collins go or Joe Manchin on the Democratic side, we're now on the wider story beyond Brett Kavanaugh.

And the wider story which is going to define a generation of politics, is when women come forward and say listen to me, I've got a story that needs to be heard, do you actually come back and listen to them or as in this case in my opinion, do they not only say we don't believe you?

They say we're not going to give you a good faith effort to listen because quite frankly, you're not -- you're not the high point on our listed priorities.

COREN: Yes. It really is quite shocking. It leads me to my next point which is about is this backlash from women. I mean, obviously we've seen the protests in Washington and around the country and generally assume that that's going to continue in the coming days. What is this going to mean for the midterms? And surely Republicans must be worried about then. LUCAS: Well, anybody can try to pin this down and say this is -- this

is what's going to happen on November 6th, well, really they are far smarter or far more foolish person than I am.

Look, I think a lot of women, at least a lot of women with whom I spoke and are agitated by this. They're frustrated, their anger they are going to be mobilized to say that Me Too is not just a slogan but they need to be honest. There are other women including some of my relatives who don't believe the accusers who do believe that this is a witch-hunt against a good man.

And so you can't predict how all women or all men are going to react to this. I think there's generational splits here. I think there are younger women in particular who are being moved by what they heard. I think there are older women who are more likely to defend Kavanaugh.

But the big question on November 6th is who goes out and votes and then beyond that, and I keep going beyond that, in the next year, or two years or five years, do we see of a stain movement that says this isn't about one man.

This isn't even just about the Supreme Court, this is about a just and decent American society for all people. Not just men and whether or not they're victims, not just women and whether or not they're victims but for all people. A society which is beyond partisanship basically saying that some of us don't deserve to be heard.

COREN: A society that is just so deeply divided. Professor Scott Lucas, great to see you. Thank you for your analysis.

We're turning not to China, which is accusing U.S. Vice President Mike Pence of making baseless allegations that come out of the thin air. Beijing says Pence just gave a speech filled with slander and unwarranted accusations. Pence launched his attack Thursday accusing China of predatory economic practices, military aggression, and with interfering in America's political system.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[03:10:02] MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As we speak, Beijing is employing a whole of government approach using political, economic, and military tools as well as propaganda to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States.

China is also applying this power in more proactive ways than ever before to exert influence and interfere in the domestic policy and politics of this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: Well, our Will Ripley joins us now with analysis on this issue. Will, I mean, the trade war, yes. The dispute in South China Sea, of course. But interfering in U.S. domestic politics, where does it come from?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Trump brought it up at the United Nations Security Council and it raised a lot of eyebrows, although now, you know, President Trump initially made this allegation and now the claims are being echoed and amplified by Vice President Mike Pence.

But on the very same day that Vice President Pence gave this blistering speech in Washington, President Trump was at a campaign rally in Minnesota talking about the fact that you know, the U.S. needs to get more from China so they could pay for insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

There is really no other mention of this, you know, very detailed case that the vice president made based on not -- you know, he said U.S. intelligence and public, you know, open sourced information that China is trying to meddle in the midterms, and to put it bluntly, try to eventually get Donald Trump out of office.

You know, but Trump has claimed all along that he's friends with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice President Pence also talked about that in the speech which to me, indicated that this might, you know, be an attempt by the U.S. to, you know, thrown down the gauntlet, if you will, but also leave the door open for negotiations perhaps at the top level with Trump and Xi ala North Korea with Trump and Kim.

But you know, from the Chinese viewpoint it's is more complicated than that. You know, Pence said some things that really pushed their buttons talking about democracy in Taiwan is one example, of course China use Taiwan as a renegade province they could take back at any time.

Pence said that democracy is the best path for the people living there. Well, China's foreign ministry fire back saying that the best path for Chinese people is socialism with Chinese characteristics. And they talked about that in great detail.

And they also said they frankly have no desire to meddle in U.S. elections. Let me read you a portion of what the spokesperson at the ministry of foreign fairs said. "The international community has already known fully well who want the fringes upon others sovereignty, interferes in others internal affairs and undermines others interest. Any malicious slander on China is futile."

But it seems like what the U.S. is trying to do here is to push the reset button on the U.S.-China relationship and they're getting tough when a lot of previous administrations had not been willing to do that.

But are these claims of election meddling really credible, especially coming from the Trump administration which has disregarded talk of election meddling by the Russians all along? I mean, that is certainly one question that's being asked not just in Washington but around the world frankly as people listen to the speech laid out by the vice president.

And then you have to wonder China is going to do especially given the fact that this is was just this confrontation in the South China Sea over the weekend near the disputed Spratly Islands when the USS Decatur was conducting one of those freedom of navigation operations and a Chinese destroyer tried to slue it away coming within 41 meters.

Now the Pentagon saying there might be a more intensified operation with lots of patrols like that. I mean, could there be a potential for a collision or worse? What's going to happen? Where is this headed? That's the big question right now, Anna.

COREN: Yes, scary question indeed. As always, we appreciate your reporting, Will Ripley. Many thanks.

Well, it's been a week since an earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of Indonesia. And hope is fading that more survivors will be found. And officials with Indonesia's search and rescue team says there is just a 5 percent chance that anyone trapped under the rubble is still alive.

Indonesia has a seven-day rescue, search and rescue rule, but there's been no decision on when they will stop looking for survivors. And as our Matt River reports the families certainly have not given up.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a particular agony waiting for news you need to know but dread getting.

Two or so people all strangers' man this vigil outside the Mercure hotel on Palu's ruined coast line. Their common causes lie in rubble. Each had someone they loved buried when the hotel collapsed.

"We just really want my daughter to be found" says Martin (Inaudible). "My hope is find her as fast as we can." Hamily (Ph) got to the hotel just after it went down. He was determined to get to 20-year-old Mary Ann who worked inside.

"We entered the hotel again and again, shouting Mary Ann, Mary Ann, where are you? It's us."

[22:14:59] So, despite aftershocks threatening to crumble what was left he kept going in with his son Fres (Ph). And they found six people pulled each one out and saved each life but no Mary Ann.

"I'm so sad," he says, "because when we got here me and my dad were able to save a couple of people. Why couldn't we help my little sister?"

That's up to the professionals now including a French team we watched take special sound detecting equipment inside. It's nearly a week since the collapse since families like these are facing hard truths and that hard truth is that Mary Ann is probably dead.

"It's probably impossible she's still alive but we never stop hoping," he says, "and at least we can get her body and if God grants our hope she's still alive."

But that's just one family story. When the tsunami rolled in and destroyed entire communities like the one that was here, it created tragedy on a massive scale. And a full six days after that event, many people still don't have basic services like electricity, food and water or shelter.

And that breeds desperation. At the Palu airport tear stained evacuees gather at the tarmac gate. Freedom from an unlivable place lies just beyond. There's only so many seats on the plane. Some make it through, some don't.

This family got separated. The grandmother made sure the soldiers knew. Eventually they're together again. And it's a rush to the plane to make sure it stays that way. All around there's anger and frustration and everyone is just exhausted.

The military says it's flying as many flights as it can. These people will wait for the next one.

Far from the airport sailors brought aid to remote places on the island where help hasn't reach yet. Villagers meet them on the water, they're loud and demanding and feeling the pain and frustration of going a week without a real meal.

The ship then heads back to port where 250 evacuees are about to sail 500 miles south to another town. The destination matters little as long as it's anywhere but here.

By ship or plane though, they can leave because nothing holds them here. Back along the coastline at the hotel, that's not an option. The families here know the likely hard truth. They're not naive. They know the odds. But giving up, no. No way.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Palu, Indonesia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: We had a sad to Matt Rivers' report. Mary Ann, the young woman whose family was holding a vigil for her in Palu has been found. Her elder sister tell CNN rescue workers recovered Mary Ann's body from the collapsed hotel where they were waiting for news. One family's tragedy is now part of an entire nation's grief.

Well, the Netherlands says its caught Russian spies red-handed. And Moscow is facing a global backlash over cyber attacks. CNN's Fred Pleitgen with a live report from Moscow is next.

And meanwhile, Russia's president doesn't seem fazed by the controversy. His big arms deal with India. Coming up.

[22:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: The United States and its allies are launching a global crackdown on Russian cyber attacks. Australia, New Zealand and Canada joined the U.K. in condemning Moscow.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department handed down charges against seven Russian intelligence officers. Just as Dutch authorities announced their own spy bus.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has the latest on that case.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It begins here, April 10th, Schiphol Airport on what follows is how the Dutch intelligence tell it as brazen as it is, frankly clumsy. Four men, all Russian GRU intelligence operatives all arrive on Russian diplomatic passports according to an extremely rare and detailed Dutch briefing.

Picked up by a Russian embassy staffer, they rented a Citroen C3 who went taking pictures. Their target, the OPCW, the international chemical weapons monitoring organization. At that time, investigating the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal.

Testing the rare Russian-made Novichok nerve agent that nearly killed him in Salisbury. But also testing the substances used for the Syrian regime forces and suspected chemical attacks in 2017.

They stayed at the Marriott nearby, a huge battery on April the 11th, and the next day parked their car here meters away from the OPCW. In the back of the car was a huge antenna smuggled in and designed to hack into the Wi-Fi of the OPCW nearby. It was then the Dutch intelligence pounced before the hack could work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANK BIJLEVELD, DUTCH DEFENCE MINISTER (through translator): The MIVD stopped a cyber operation and full involved Russian intelligence officers at same day were expelled from our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: The four leaving behind stunningly clumsy evidence. First, a cell phone, one they tried to destroy when caught that had been activated in Moscow near the Russian GRU building just three days earlier.

There was even a taxi receipt from that GRU building to a Moscow airport and a long, long list of Wi-Fi connections and a laptop showing global travel from Malaysia near the government buildings investigating the downing of flight MH17 allegedly by Russian-backed separatists and to sites near Olympic and sports drug testing facilities in Switzerland.

And Moscow immediately denied it.

"We know that among western countries," she said, "that it has become common courtesy to systematically accuse Russia in all possible crimes especially in the field of cyber security."

Hours later, the U.S. indicted seven GRU officers for hacking, among others, Olympic sports agencies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our indictment today charges some of the same Russian operatives caught in The Hague along with colleagues in Moscow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: A day, however, when global karma about Russian hacking was joined by granular compelling evidence.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.

COREN: For more on Russia's reaction, CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us from Moscow. And Fred, how do you the Russians talk their way out of this one?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It seems to be very difficult and it's something, Anna, that partly it became more difficult yesterday as the day went on.

Because this was, in many ways, a triple whammy of accusations starting with the Brits coming out and accusing the GRU of several cyber operations including of course the DNC hack in 2016. Saying with high confidence that they believe that the GRU was behind that and some other operations, as well.

Then the Dutch came out with what we just saw in Nick Paton Walsh's report with all of the things that they also prevented. The photographic evidence that we're seeing right now, the arrest -- the taxi receipts, the laptops and all of those things.

And then of course you got the Department of Justice indicting several Russians including those four individuals that were apprehended by the Dutch and then sent back to Russia and hand also three people who had also already been indicted in connection with the DNC hack in 2016.

[03:25:05] So, the Russians reacted it started out with look, the west isn't presenting any evidence. The rest is simply saying with high confidence they believe the GRU is behind this. Then it became a little more muted as the day went on.

And finally the latest statement that we got, so it was from the foreign ministry and this is around -- I would say around nine or 10 p.m. late last night, Russian time. And it says, quote, "we arrive at the conclusion about another orchestrated act of propaganda with regard to our country."

So the Russians are essentially saying that western nations are ganging up on them and making these indications here without showing any evidence.

Once again, the Russians are saying even of course in the face with a lot of the things that we have been seeing, they believe this is a coordinated or they say they believe this is a coordinated campaign against the Russian federation to make it look bad and possibly set the stage for additional sanctions that might be coming in the future as well, Anna.

COREN: Fred Pleitgen joining us from Moscow, many thanks.

Well, his country faces accusations from the west, Russian President Vladimir Putin is in India. He's to close a deal with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But India could face U.S. sanctions if it goes ahead with that $5 billion weapons deal with Russia.

For more with CNN;s Nikhil Kumar joins us from New Delhi. Nikhil, what details do we have about this arms deal?

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: So, Anna, as you said, President Putin is here in New Delhi. He's been meeting with Prime Minister Modi. This is an annual summit that takes place between India and Russia, their leaders. Two countries that in the past have been very, very close partners.

And as you say on the agenda this time is the signing of this defense deal that's been in the works for several years now. Specifically, the s400 missile system which India wants to buy. They've been talking about it for some time.

But as you say, under a recent U.S. law, this deal could attract American sanctions as the U.S. seeks to discourage other countries from doing such deals with Moscow. There hasn't been word whether or not India will get an exemption. The feeling among analysts is that the U.S. will grant a waiver to India under this act.

But China was sanctioned just last month under that American law after it bought some Russian military equipment. But China is of course very different when it comes to U.S. foreign policy and different position than India.

China, their geopolitical rival, India is a country that the U.S. has been cultivating as a strategic partner for several years now. The defense partnership between the two countries has been growing under successive administrations under the Obama administration.

There were numerous strides last month. We had the secretary of state and the defense secretary here visiting their Indian counterparts and other sign while strengthening relations between the two countries.

So this deal is sort of very different when it comes to India, analysts say, than when it comes to China or other countries. It is nonetheless, of course, it underlines this tension between India's position, between its previous relationship with Russia which continues during the Cold War. They were very close. India bought lots of equipments from Russia.

And in recent years this warming relationship with the U.S. it puts India in the middle. And this particular deal that we expect the two leaders to sign on the summit this underlines that tension. Anna?

COREN: Yes. And we saw from that footage that the hug between Putin and Modi. The relationship between India and Russia, it's not new. How would you describe it? KUMAR: It isn't new. You know, as I said, during the Cold War years

they were quite close, they have been close ever since. They've been trading for numerous years, they've had numerous defense deal over the years.

And for the longest time, India and the U.S. were two countries one that close. That's something that began to change as India's economy opened up, as the Indian market opened up and as India looked towards the U.S. for investment as it starts to grow its economy, a closer political partnership was formed.

And as I say, in recent years, the closer defense partnership, particularly as the U.S. seeks to cultivate a foil to China. You know, when we talk about this part of the world, the U.S. is of course been concerned about China and its designs in the Indo-Pacific region.

India is quite important when it comes to U.S. Calculations about containing that, about making sure that it has a foil, that it has a counter to that.

So India is quite important. It has been quite important for successive U.S. administrations. And that's why as I say, this deal, this deal that India has been talking about with Russia for a number of years, this deal raises this very, very tricky question.

Any other country the U.S. would perhaps sanction China, as I said, has been sanctioned, the feeling is that with India that won't happen. There is a provision under the law for a waiver, people expect that to be granted to India. Anna?

COREN: Nikhil Kumar, joining us from New Delhi, many thanks.

[03:30:06] Well, Donald Trump on the campaign trail and on the offensive. His closing argument for his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, just ahead. Plus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're neighbors and we never would have thought our neighborhood would be as liberal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is interesting. A lot of you came out of the closet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes we did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COREN: Election as U.S. President shock and scared of female voters in the U.S. state of Virginia. Well, now they are angry and organized. More on their grass roots efforts, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COREN: Welcome back. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. Our top stories, U.S. Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh is defending himself in a column in the "Wall Street Journal" he said he might have been too emotional during his testimony before the Senate judiciary committee last week. Kavanaugh insists he is an independent and impartial Judge.

Beijing is condemning U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's blistering speech about the Chinese government saying is filled with slander, a warranted accusations. Pence launched to draw attack on Thursday accusing China of predatory economic practices, military aggression and trying to interfere in America's political system.

It's been a week since a devastating earthquake and tsunami rips through Sulawesi Indonesia. Officials say there are just a 5 percent chance of anyone trapped in the rubble could still be alive. There has been no decision on when to stop looking for survivors.

We're now just hours away from the first Senate vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. And if Republican have the numbers, it could be confirm, by Sunday. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump making the closing argument for his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh during a rally in Minnesota, counting of intellect, talking about what great Supreme Court justice he would make and blaming the Democrats for the drama surrounding his nomination for the last two weeks with those sexual assault allegations made against him. Trump essentially saying that the Democrats have been against Kavanaugh since the second that he nominated him.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What they're putting him through and his family. His family is incredible, they are putting them through. Democrats have been trying to destroy Judge Brett Kavanaugh since the very first second he was announced and he was announced for one simple reason. He is an incredible intellect and an incredible person. And incredible talent.

[03:35:12] COLLINS: Now while President Trump was making those remarks, the "Wall Street Journal" published an op-ed written by Brett Kavanaugh essentially apologizing for his aggressive demeanor during that testimony on Capitol Hill last Thursday. That was that testimony where he became aggressive during the questioning by Democratic Senators asking the Senator Amy Klobuchar if she ever blacked out from drinking alcohol. Something he later apologizes for.

In his op-ed, he said that is not his usual temperament. That he grew emotional because of the nature of the allegations made against him, because his family was seated there in the room as he testified. But it is certainly there to try to ease those fierce of those Senators whose key vote are going to determine whether or not he makes it on the Supreme Court. And Senator Susan Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski, they are so weighing their vote. Certainly this op-ed was an attempt to help to get then to a yes. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, traveling with the president in Minnesota.

(END VIDEO)

COREN: Well, Time magazine is spotlighting the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process by putting the woman accusing him of sexual assault on its cover. The illustration of Christine Blasey Ford is made up of words she used during her testimony to the Senate when she detailed the alleged sexual assault. Quotes about Ford's memory were placed on her forehead and quote, about her wanting to help where placed on her hand. Phrases used include, I'm terrified, agonized daily and traumatic experience.

In the Senate Virginia a group of women are fired up, using their anger to help Democrats get elected. Bill Weir has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, how are you?

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Heads up Virginia lovers, if you get a knock in the next few weeks before the midterm election, there is bigger chance you will meet the liberal women of Chesterfield County and beyond.

How many of you were politically active before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nope, I don't even like politics.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When is this going to end?

WEIR: Probably branding yourself liberal is a bold move, but among name found that you tend to get bold when you get mad.

Tell me the origin story of the liberal women of Chesterfield.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drunk and angry.

WEIR: So many great ideas start that way.

A few way into Donald Trump's Presidency, supports someone, open Facebook and called out to other women, angry frightened and saddened by the election. She expect to meet a few, but they would come out by the thousands, aid for sisterhood which spread across this county and beyond.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are neighbors and we never would have thought our, neighborhood would be liberal as it is.

WEIR: It is interesting, a lot of you came out of the closet, because of anger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we did.

TRUMP: How did you get home? I don't remember, how did you get there? I don't remember.

WEIR: their bonfire of anger is fueled by the words indeed of Donald Trump.

A renewable resource.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to say to my kids, be, like the president. Look up to the president. Follow the steps the president took. Call of like a president. A role model. And with Trump I can't say that to my kids.

WEIR: Do you think Kavanaugh will get confirmed?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm terrified of it, but I think there's a high likelihood.

WEIR: But in almost two years, they say they organized their anger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The main thing is to hit as many doors as you can --

WEIR: -- into dozens of chapters, teaching each other to become civics ninja.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: College kids can vote absentee.

WEIR: They hope make a doctor name Ralph Northam, Governor, the first Democrat to win Chesterfield in a generation. Now they want to help a former CIA officer named Abigail Spanberger. Be the man. That it won't leave him alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Came in a tea Party wave, Dave Brats, who famously said these women are in my grill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was us.

WEIR: That was you? You are the woman in his grill?

Which one is yours?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He might score.

WEIR: He might score. Are you kidding?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I used to feel like it was somebody else's job. And it was really a wake-up call. That, you know, this is a government that is based on the citizens.

WEIR: We the people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. And if you lose that, then you know, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

WEIR: But life does not pause for politics and just as her group was exploding, Kim's daughter was hospitalize. And she discovered she has breast cancer.

I remember a few cycles ago, the soccer mom was this political symbol.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am a Soccer mom.

WEIR: Soccer mom, going through chemotherapy which takes it to a different level.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. I'm going to cry.

WEIR: That is OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, when you get ill, you think about what is really important to you.

[03:40:02] You take stock, you know. And I could have very easily said, well politics don't matter, but the fact is they do matter.

WEIR: So each day she puts on the wig and converts fear and anger into action. She takes her wiz, one knock at a time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought I was the only Democrat in my neighborhood, for real, think about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I don't think about it.

WEIR: Bill Weir, CNN, Chesterfield County, Virginia.

(END VIDEO)

COREN: Kim Jong-un has been called a murderous dictator, a madman, and a maniac. Despite that some people think, he might have a new title later today, Nobel peace prizewinner. We'll explain.

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COREN: A beautiful afternoon here in Hong Kong. Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. (Inaudible) has summoned the Saudi Arabia's ambassador hoping to get some answers in the disappearance of a journalist in Istanbul. Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since walking in to the Saudi Consulate on Tuesday to pick up some marriage documents. CNN's Jomanah Karadsheh reports on the deepening mystery.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

JOMANAH KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Many of Jamal friends, his colleagues and his fiance are so concerned about his well-being, about his safety. Some of the friends that we have spoken to are saying that they are outside the consulate and they're going to remain outside the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul. Because they are demanding answers. They want to know where Jamal Khashoggi is.

The Turkish government senior officials here are saying information they have indicates that Jamal Khashoggi is inside the Saudi consulate and that he did not leave after entering the consulate at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia in an official statement saying that the consulate is following up on the report of Khashoggi disappearance, but they insist that he left the building after he applied for that official paperwork that he was trying to obtain. This is an issue that could have broader implications here. We heard from the Turkish foreign ministry on Thursday saying that they have summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador to discuss the matter of Jamal Khashoggi with him. With Saudi authorities insisting that Khashoggi did leave the consulate on Tuesday, some are wondering if he did indeed leave and why doesn't Saudi Arabia just release surveillance video from around the consulate showing him leaving. Jomanah Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.

[03:45:16] COREN: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, two names that might not ordinarily be associated with the noble peace prize. These are not ordinary times. The award would be announced in the next few hours and the two leaders are among this year's favorites. CNN's Nina Dos Santos joined us live from London. Tell me this is a bad joke.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is impossible to know at this point of time, because the Nobel peace prize is notoriously secretive and it is decided in secret by a committee of five people nominated by Norwegian politicians. That in term service critic say it means that it isn't politicalized and used to foster western values, but the case, there isn't an official nomination list that published at least not for 50 years, because nominees are sworn to secrecy for 50 years, it is again, as always a bit of a guessing game. Here's a look at some of those writers for this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They will be met with fire and fewer like the world has never seen.

DOS SANTOS: Donald Trump may be more famous for his fighting words than his diplomacy. But the president's efforts to secure peace on the Korea peninsula makes him among the bookies top contenders for this year's Nobel peace prize alongside the leaders of north and South Korea, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in.

TRUMP: They said there was two alternatives. Let them have what they have or go to war. And now we have a much better alternative than anybody thought even possible.

DOS SANTOS: 2018 may not be the most harmonious of years. For the 331 candidates being considered, the Norwegian committee which awards the prizes during from its second largest pool ever. The pool which is likely to include celebrities, the usual plot of politicians and even the Pope. As always, the shortest remain a secret. Leaving room for the odd surprise. The 2012 decision to award the E.U. with the title of prosperity and internal divisions through consternation. Even former U.S. President Barack Obama appeared taken aback when he received the accolade in 2009 just 10 months into his term.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who had been honored by this prize. Men and women who inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

DOS SANTOS: Mindful of the political weight it carries, the prize has been granted to obscure recipients like the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons in 2017. In some years it wasn't granted at all. The Laurette's legacy afterward can have a lasting impact. Aung San Suu Kyi, struggle for Democracy was recognize in 1991. But has failure to denounce the persecution of Myanmar Rohingya population has drawn fears criticism since.

The Nobel Foundation has refused to strip Suu Kyi of the merit and now some have suggested that the prize shouldn't be awarded until after an honoree's death. It is a noble peace prize is still the ultimate mark of international prestige and can be a powerful force for change. Candidates cannot nominate themselves though.

(END VIDEO)

DOS SANTOS: So Anna, as usual, it is a question of grass roots organization is going up against well-known international global leaders for journalists like myself will have to react to this in a couple of hours' time when the prize is handed out. We're just hoping whoever wins it this year is somebody who has enough of a digital footprint that we can actually know who they are, and the impact on the world so far.

COREN: Absolutely. Nina, we know obviously individuals and organizations and men and women. They all received the award. But what is the breakdown?

DOS SANTOS: Well actually it is interesting you mention that, because as I was pointing out, before some obscure bodies got it in the past, that's more difficult side of the story to cover. Because in some cases the Nobel Prize has left the international community a little bit wrong-footed, because they awarded it to somebody who is actually, internationally hasn't been very well known. If you look at the statistical breakdown, it is about two-thirds individuals who win and become Laurette's and one-third organizations. If you look at the male female breakdown since the prize was awarded back in 1901, that is quite interesting, because on the one-year anniversary, of the metoo movement, today the Nobel peace prize will be awarded and actually you're five times more likely based on history to get it if you're a man versus a woman.

[03:50:18] Only 16 women won since the turn of the last century Anna. But you know, the Nobel peace prize has always been something of a contradiction, I should point out. Because it is awarded with the legacy left from a famous Scandinavian chemist who was famous for inventing dynamite.

COREN: A very good point. Let's just hope whoever wins, it is somebody we can all look up to. Nina Dos Santos, great to see you, many thanks.

U.S. first lady, Melania Trump is on a goodwill tour of Africa, when we return highlights form visit to Malawi which included a big educational donation.

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COREN: U.S. first lady Melania Trump is in Kenya, her solo visit is kind of a fourth country good will tour of Africa this week. Our Farai Sevenzo, joins us now from Nairobi with more. Farai, how is her visit so far being received in Africa?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, she has been to Malawi and been to Ghana and now she is in Kenya and she arrived last night, at around 9:00 local time and that she was looking statuesque very elegant as she came down the plane stairs. She was handed over a bouquet of flowers by a young African girl. And she met her counterpart in Kenya, Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta. Now the two say they have lots in common in terms of mother and child healthcare, in terms of their aims for maternal healthcare and indeed the education of young children. Mrs. Trump remember at her initiative called out the best and Mrs. Kenyatta has her initiative too which goes to the very center of -- I beg your pardon, which goes to the very center of looking after young children, beyond zero campaign. Now, this is a well-trodden part for the first ladies of the United States of America. Being right back to President Carter, remember Laura Bush was also in this part of the world with her two daughters, Michelle Obama is the same. And Hillary Clinton traveled with Chelsea Clinton as a young girl, all the way to Senegal, to everywhere.

It is the kind of thing that are for the first lady of the United States. The kind of photo opportunity that says compassion, whether she is hugging baby elephants that are orphaned or hugging baby humans that are orphaned. But to the very disparity of what Mrs. Trump's offensive has been is why is this regarded, they dig under the surface. Let us say, how does her husband feel about the continent? Does he feel the way about the disparaging remarks he gave us in the year? And of course, the real issue of African politics have not been tackled very well by this administration.

But remember, the DRC one of the biggest boiling points of African politics still lacks a United States ambassador and remember also the very issue of child protection and child rights in education the United Nations introduced standards for the protection of -- of -- of the young child in the world. And the United States is still the only country that has not been gratified that treaty. This child (inaudible) is welcome, but people are kind of underwhelmed by it given the history of Mr. Trump's administration on this continent, Anna.

COREN: All right. Farai Sevenzo, great to see you. Many thanks for that.

His probably happened to most of us by now. The cell phone in our pocket going off at the worst possible time. In a meeting at the movies, or is it, our Jeanne Moos shows us on live television.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

[03:55:10] JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We interrupt the endless breaking news for a ring tone that broke into a speech by Senator Mitch McConnell.

SEN MITCH MCCONNEL, (R) MAJORITY LEADER: On the D.C. circuit. Now Senators will have the evidence collected.

MOOS: Not missing a beat, the Senator ever so casually reached to silence the phone in his pocket.

MCCONNEL: Members have the opportunity.

MOOS: When that didn't work, it disembodied hand in reached out to relieve the Senator of his pesky the phone. A similar fate befell one of Judge Kavanaugh's classmates.

CHAD LUDINGTON, YALE CLASSMATE OF BRETT KAVANAUGH: I was pulling.

MOOS: Chad Ludington tossed his phone like a live grenade.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would that be me?

MOOS: --in a town where transfer of information rules.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because -- maybe that is somebody calling me to tell me that.

MOOS: An intrusive ring, it happened three times in a single White House briefing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For law enforcement. Give me the phone.

MOOS: The reporter handed it over. Less than a minute later. This time the reporter answered and left talking. Senator Lindsey Graham probably had lots of unwanted call back when then rival Donald Trump gave out his phone number.

TRUMP: Let's try it, 202".

MOOS: In response Graham made a cell phone destroying video.

When it comes to dealing with an incessant cell phone nobody does it better than Oprah. When an audience member's phone rang. This is not a good time that you called me.

MOOS: Oprah personally scolded the caller.

OPRAH WINFREY, OPRAH SHOW HOST: Elaine, this is Oprah Winfrey and you called your friend while she is sitting in a middle of an Oprah Winfrey show.

MOOS: remember to take it out in the caller, phone.

Jeanne Moos, CNN.

WINFREY: Where are you, Elaine?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm at home.

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEO)

COREN: My phone is on silent. Well, thanks so much for joining us. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. The news continues with Max Foster, in London, you are watching CNN.

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