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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Path to Confirmation; Senator Jeff Merkley Read Letters from Sexual Assault Survivors on the Senate Floor; Donald Trump Announces Canada Joining New Multilateral Trade Deal and Unemployment Down at 49-Year Low; First Lady Melania Trump on Last Leg of Her African Tour; President of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, Missing; Mozzeria, A San Francisco Restaurant, Deaf Owned and Operated Pizzeria. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired October 6, 2018 - 08:00   ET

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


[08:00:30] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is on the path to confirmation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could have done (inaudible).

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Believe women.

Believe survivors.

(CROWD CHANTS)

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: And so I say to every American that is hurting tonight, every American that's angry tonight, tomorrow we face a defeat, but we shall not be defeated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is "New Day Weekend," with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CO-HOST, CNN NEW DAY WEEKEND: Well, it is nearly official, all that's left out is the Senate vote today to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

CHRISTI PAUL, CO-HOST, CNN NEW DAY WEEKEND: It doesn't mean Democrats are done here. Want to show you a live look at the Senator floor right now, Democrats pulling an all-nighter as they continue speaking against Kavanaugh's nomination.

BLACKWELL: There's just one Democrat expected to vote in favor of Judge Kavanaugh today, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

PAUL: Manu Raju spoke with Manchin after he announced his plans yesterday; he joins us live now from Capitol Hill with more on the vote today. Good morning to you, Manu. What are you hearing this hour?

MANU RAJU, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, this hour, Democrats have been spent all night railing on this confirmation process, criticizing this nominee and supporting the Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser, who said in her sworn testimony that Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her when they were teenagers.

These were words that were being cited throughout the night, including Senator Jeff Merkley, reading letters from sexual assault survivors on the floor last night. This is not going to change the outcome of today's vote later this afternoon when the Senate is expected to narrowly confirm this nomination, in large part because of the belief by Republican Senators that Judge Kavanaugh was correct, that there was nothing to corroborate those allegations and believing his denial that nothing at all had happened.

Now, one of those Senators is a Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who I spoke with yesterday. And I asked him directly, do you believe Christine Blasey Ford's story, and he said there's nothing to corroborate it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: Do you believe the allegations?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: I believe Dr. Ford, something happened to Dr. Ford. I don't believe that the facts show that it was Brett Kavanaugh, but I believe something happened.

RAJU: You think it was someone else who did it?

MANCHIN: I think something happened to her. There's no way at all that we could see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: Now, Joe Manchin hails from a state in which Donald Trump won overwhelmingly back in 2016. He is up for reelection next month in a very close race. He is the only democrat to defect, and the only Republican to defect and oppose Brett Kavanaugh's nomination is Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who went to the Senate floor last night and raised serious concerns about his Kavanaugh's temperament, saying that public cannot be confident that he may raise above some levels of partisanship.

But nevertheless, she is still a - she's a no vote, but said that she would vote present on the floor today because of one Republican Senator from Montana, Steve Daines who is walking down -- his daughter down the aisle at her wedding and will not be able to return from Montana via vote this afternoon.

So they want to keep the vote margin at two votes and ensure there's not one Senator who is the deciding vote and affect. So it's going to be a 50 to 48 to 1 vote, the one being the President vote, and he'll narrowly confirm later this afternoon, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Manu Raju for us there, on Capitol Hill. Thank you.

PAUL: And a thing that everybody is talking about is the fact that Kavanaugh's expected confirmation could shift the balance of the Supreme Court, moving it in a reliably conservative direction for the first time in decades.

CNN's Supreme Court analyst, Joan Biskupic is with us now to talk about that. Joan, thank you so much for being with us. No confirmation, as we understand it, has been so narrow historically. Let's listen together here to Senators Collins and Senator Murkowski as they explained their decisions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: My fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court, so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions, and so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored.

MURKOWSKI: I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is a good man. But, in my conscience, because that's how I have to vote at the end of the day is with my conscience, I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Joan Collins had said that her hope is that Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions. Do you think he's capable of doing that?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN'S SUPREME COURT ANALYST: Well Christi, we don't know yet how this whole ordeal has affected him, and he might feel the need to do that, just because of what's happened since that first set of hearings against the backdrop of the claims of sexual assaults against him.

But just going into it, Christi, he was not positioned to lessen the divisions, he was positioned to intensify the divisions, because he is far more conservative based on his record than the Justice who he's succeeding.

Anthony Kennedy was very flexible on social policy issues like abortion rights, gay marriage, affirmative action, everything in Brett Kavanaugh's record and everything that this administration has said it wants would indicate that he would be farther to the right, deepening a 5-4 split.

Just so you know, this court already was made up of five conservatives appointed by Republican Presidents and four liberals appointed by Democratic Presidents. But Anthony Kennedy indeed did straddle the middle.

And I heard what Susan Collins said and I think it was much more aspirational than reality based, again given where he was already on his record.

PAUL: There has been such passion on both sides of this leading into it. We know that he's not going to change his ideology by any means, but do you think he will approach his written opinions with a more measured tone perhaps?

BISKUPIC: I think that's what might happen here, Christi, because I've actually known him since the 90s. I've covered him for a long time back to the days when he worked with Ken Starr in the independent counsel investigation against the Clintons, which he actually referred to in that very, very fiery speech a week ago.

And I think what we know of Brett Kavanaugh in the whole sweep of history is that he wants to lower the temperature, even though you are exactly right that it's difficult to see that he moves at all to the left in terms of actual bottom line votes.

I think he's in a position to want to instill confidence in his colleagues, in the American public, and in fellow lawyers. I think that was behind -- that thinking was behind a bit of the op-ed he wrote for The Wall Street Journal just two days ago, where he stressed that he was independent, that he could be neutral, that he could be someone different than that man who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee the previous Thursday.

So, I think he will be trying to send signals of collegiality with other eight justices and also in terms of on the law a more measured approach. But what that will do to the law of the land, will that actually make any real difference from where he would have been before, it's hard to know at this point.

PAUL: And a lot of people are watching very closely Roe v Wade.

BISKUPIC: Yes.

PAUL: Is it vulnerable, do you believe?

BISKUPIC: Very vulnerable. Very vulnerable because Anthony Kennedy was the fifth vote on this court to uphold abortion rights. Donald Trump has vowed to appoint justices who will reverse abortion rights. He wants it left to the states, which as you know Christi would mean that many states would probably try to ban abortion, even though plenty would still allow a woman the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

But it would be a patchwork across America and that's what President Donald Trump has urged is state discretion no matter where the state wants to go. So, I think that is something that Brett Kavanaugh could change in America. He could roll back Roe v Wade. Some people think he would the -- the full court would outright strike it down.

But I think what we're going to see in the near future is much more latitude for states to regulate the abortion rights.

[08:10:30] PAUL: Murkowski -- Senator Murkowski also said it's so critical that we have that public confidence in at least one of our three branches of government, referring of course to the Supreme Court.

Do we know how the current justices are ready to receive Kavanaugh?

BISKUPIC: All of the current justices worry about public confidence in the institution. Chief Justice John Roberts speaks about it all the time. He has said that he fears that any justice who emerges from the kind of polarized political process that we had, even before Brett Kavanaugh, could be seen by the public as being a political justice, a politician on the bench rather than a neutral umpire, which is the phrase that the Chief has often used.

I think not a single one of them, even those who have good friendships with Brett Kavanaugh, like what has happened here. They don't like the spotlight, the very harsh spotlight that it's shown on the Supreme Court and its people. I think though that they will receive him and try to at least put up a good front.

I don't think there'll be any public comment that would admonish their new colleague in any way or cast doubt on him in terms of this whole ordeal involving Christine Blasey Ford and how he responded.

But you're not quite sure until you start to pick up signals, what sorts of tensions will be there, and I know there were -- they've been tensions with other new justices. But bottom line, Christi, they try to close ranks against people like us in the media and against critics.

PAUL: And real quickly--

BISKUPIC: Sure.

PAUL: --who becomes the moderate voice here?

BISKUPIC: OK, on paper, the man -- the justice who is in the center, just in terms of being the median justice ideologically, would now be Chief Justice John Roberts, who's already in a very powerful position as Chief.

But that's only because he's not a really super hard right justice the way many of his colleagues on the right are. But he's no Anthony Kennedy, his vote will not be in play for Senior Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg the way Anthony Kennedy's had been.

But I do think Christi that John Roberts is so invested in this court appearing neutral that you might see him inch a little bit to the left, just to have a little bit more consensus on what is a deeply, deeply divided bench.

PAUL: Yes, no doubt. Joan Biskupic, always appreciate your insight, thank you for being here.

BISKUPIC: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: President Trump has stayed silent so far about the pending confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, but what will he say to his supporters in Kansas today, now that his second Supreme Court justice is hours away from confirmation. Also, it was Christine Blasey Ford's accusations of sexual assault that threw Kavanaugh's Congress -- confirmation into doubt. So does she regret coming forward? Her lawyers are speaking with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: See, we said we are going to take this live because it's so beautiful and remember what happened.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: So then we've got a little (inaudible) here. Look at this, this is beautiful, this is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I've always wanted to go to this, every October. Today's the first day.

PAUL: So in other words, next year he won't be sitting in this chair next to me--

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: --for this weekend.

BLACKWELL: I won't be for this weekend - for this weekend.

PAUL: But it is a sight to see and we just thought you might like to see something pretty and glowing and--

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: --and happy.

BLACKWELL: Yes. This is Dawn Patrol, I understand, this is the start -- the launch of the several day festival, starting today, where they will launch to synchronize music there, and then this starts the opening ceremonies that go on for several days there in Albuquerque, New Mexico this morning. Absolutely beautiful.

PAUL: All right. (inaudible).

So President Trump is likely going to be in Kansas when his second nominee to the nation's highest court is confirmed. When we look at the itinerary for the day, he does plan a campaign rally in Topeka where his highly unusual silence on the events of the past day and night are expected to be shattered.

CNN's Joe Johns is at the White House. Joe, good to see you this morning. What are you learning about what is to come today?

JOE JOHNS, SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, what we know obviously is that there will be that final vote today on the nomination, which is very big deal here at the White House.

As you said, the President has been relatively silent. We haven't heard a lot on Twitter, except for congratulations to the Senate for deciding to move to this final vote. And we also know that the President has not always helped himself, when talking publicly about this nomination.

For example, he was widely slammed for mocking Dr. Ford in a speech. So, all of those reasons taken into consideration, what we do know is the President is paying close attention. Just yesterday, he was in the Oval Office with members of the House and Senate, preparing to sign the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration's Reauthorization Bill.

And he asked those members of Congress if they wanted to sit and watch that very pivotal speech by the Senator from Maine, Susan Collins, as she took to the floor to announce her reasons for deciding that she would vote for the nomination effectively and all indications are putting Republicans over the top.

The President has been described as a good mood -- in a good mood, of course, as we move forward. And it's not just that, it's also some of the other things that have been going on. The President is said to be very gratified by the fact that we're seeing some of the lowest jobless numbers in something like 49 years.

[08:20:30] He's made some headway on his promise to change NAFTA, that of course a very big deal, but the thing for many of his supporters is getting another conservative jurist on the Supreme Court, it looks like we're moving much closer to that.

It's also important to say that there's been a lot of activity and energy put into the other side, the liberals, the progressives who have concentrated on this nomination and protested against it here. We expect more of that today, all of this in anticipation moving down to the midterm elections in November, and that is of course where it all counts.

PAUL: All right. Joe Johns, we appreciate it so much, thank you.

BLACKWELL: And let's pick up right there with Amie Parnes, Senior Political Correspondent for The Hill. Amie, welcome back.

And how much of this -- the President has a lot to brag about tonight. He's going to get Brett Kavanaugh. At the start of the week, he announced Canada joining this new multilateral trade deal, unemployment down at a 49-year low, how much of that do Republicans expect will transfer to them in about 31, 32 days?

AMIE PARNES, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE HILL: I think they think this is very helpful. The timing is just right. This was a gamble the President took, there were a lot of people who were saying what is he doing, why is he making fun of Dr. Ford, he's really hurting us.

But this comes, Victor, at the right moment for them, a lot of early voting is happening right now, they think that this will translate into a lot of votes.

If he abandoned Brett Kavanaugh, if he kind of moved away from him, I think a lot of Republicans felt like that would come at a great cost for the Republican Party a month right before the midterms. And so I think he's feeling really good about that, this coupled with the fact that he got two justices in, coupled with the fact that the economy is going well, this is something that Republicans can work with and campaign on in the days ahead.

BLACKWELL: So does this loss then hurt Democrats?

PARNES: I think that a lot of Democrats that I've spoken to this week say, "OK, we may have lost the battle, but won the war." They are essentially taking their anger and all the consternation from the last couple of weeks and they are applying it to November, and they're saying they're touting high fundraising, they're saying that the energy right now is behind them, that a lot of people kind of learned their lesson from 2016 and staying home, and that every vote matters.

And so I think a lot of this is going to help them and they think that it's going lead to the blue wave that we've heard so much about.

BLACKWELL: OK, so they still have some -- this confidence in the blue wave. Let me ask you about the process, the confirmation process. Are there any indications that the campaigning for the Court? We saw Judge Kavanaugh do this unprecedented television interview.

We saw him just yesterday with the op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, trying to clean up some of the things he said on September 27, when he testified, that this is the new playbook and that Senators are resigned to that.

PARNES: I think there is a case for that. I think a lot of people are kind of saying that there are campaign ads that are going to be made over I think the Flake moment in the elevator. But I think what I heard from a lot of people this week was that this -- what this investigation did was it helped give Republicans and even Joe Manchin cover.

A lot of people said -- a lot of Democrats that I've spoken to have said we kind of got played, we got rolled in all this. Because, what we should have done is actually gone for a vote last week when tensions were really high, when the vote was uncertain, we could have called Mitch McConnell on his bluff.

What the investigation did was kind of allow for Susan Collins and Joe Manchin to say, OK we did have this investigation and we could go forward. So I think there's a lot of anguish right now going on within the Democratic Party as well to figure out what happened and why they didn't have a strong enough message going in, in the first place, but how they got to this exact moment.

BLACKWELL: Live pictures on your screen there, Democrats have held the floor overnight; several Senators coming and delivering speeches. We saw Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. We saw Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota a few moments ago, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and we're expecting them as this 30 hours of debate continues until the vote later today.

And we heard from Senator Collins, Amie, and her remarks yesterday. She just blasted the process. We heard the same thing from Senator Graham and several others on either side of the aisle. What are they going to do about it? Is there any change that's coming, are they going to return to this 60-vote threshold so that they don't get this just straight party-line vote on nominees to the court?

PARNES: I don't think there's really much change coming. I think one of the most, the biggest moments I think of the last week was on 60 Minutes when you heard Senator Flake talk about how rooted the parties are and how there is no movement and that he probably wouldn't have agreed to this investigation anyway, if he wasn't up for -- he was up for re-election.

And so I think this is a problem and I heard from a lot of people kind of saying this is why we should have term limits for lawmakers, because it does give them a chance to vote their conscience and not just vote along party lines.

And so I think this is kind of it's a divided nation, it's now a divided Congress, it'll be a divided Court, but this is sort of a very pivotal moment and kind of is reflective of where we are right now, I think, in the political system.

BLACKWELL: All right, Amie Parnes, good to have you.

PARNES: Thank you.

PAUL: All right. Still to come, the First Lady rounds out her first major solo trip abroad. We have some details for you.

[08:30:30] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: 30 minutes past the hour. You are up early on a Saturday and we appreciate it. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning. First Lady Melania Trump is on the last leg of her African tour. She's now in Egypt, where she'll meet with her Egyptian counterpart and tour the ancient pyramids.

Now, this four-day trip is part of the First Lady's Be Best campaign, focuses on children's health care.

PAUL: Joining us now, CNN White House reporter Kate Bennett. Kate, thank you so much. Help us understand what's happening there today.

KATE BENNETT, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, CNN: Sure. It's actually four countries in 6 days and we just touched down in Cairo, Egypt this morning. The First Lady has already met with the First Lady of Egypt, as well as the President of Egypt.

She spent some time at the palace. Then she moved on to the U.S. embassy here, where she did a meet and greet with US embassy staff. There are about 350 or so Americans working at the embassy here, 2,000 staff total.

But certainly we had an interesting few days. Yesterday, we were in Kenya. The day before that, Malawi. The day before that, Ghana. So, it's been a bit of a whirlwind. She did -- the First Lady did take a safari yesterday in Kenya, and I guess there was some controversy brewing about her outfit.

She wore a white pith top, so -- safari helmet which looks very chic, in my opinion, but apparently with some people on Africa offend to it, because it harkens back to the time of colonization in Africa that doesn't necessarily a good memory for African people.

Some people are calling it a misstep. But besides that, she had a morning filled with laughter and smiles feeding baby elephants at a wildlife preserve. This was certainly the most relaxed and enjoyable moment for the First Lady in terms of just having some fun.

One of the elephant sort of bumped into her at one point. Even other babies, they are still elephants, and she had sort of steadied herself and there was a lot of laughter. And it seemed like a very up moment for the First Lady on this trip.

BLACKWELL: So, Kate, do we know why the First Lady chose Africa for her first solo tour?

BENNETT: Well, it's an interesting question. Her staff told me that she long ago, around inauguration, decided that when she did make her first international solo trip, that it would be for Africa.

Considering what the President's reported comments were about some of the countries here, and he referred to them in a derogatory manner allegedly reportedly, it is an interesting choice. She's working with USAID with this trip. There was a book donation, a number of countries are assisted by USAID.

It is also an entity of the government that received a bunch of cuts, significant ones from the Trump administration. So again, it's sort of an interesting partnership. But she's also talking about Be Best, and she's focusing on children during her visit. We went to a number of schools, children's hospitals, orphanage yesterday.

So, certainly, she is thinking about the well-being of children here in Africa somewhat similar to the activities she heads back in the United States.

PAUL: So, Kate, real quickly, has she been asked about any of her husband's policies on this trip?

BENNETT: Well, that's a great question, she hasn't really been asked about anything because we have not had a real chance to have a press conference on the record. There were some brief remarks that she made in Ghana at Cape Coast Castle, the very solemn former slaves castle, where slaves would be set off with a ship, and she did answer a couple of our questions.

But other than that, we have not really had a chance to talk to her about (inaudible), the Supreme Court, the Me Too movement, and a number of other things. So, we are sort of TBD in that fund (ph) and I think was hopeful (inaudible) to the embassy, to the country and she spoke at a school, talking about how grateful she is to be there, very much related to just her job role, not what's happening back home in Washington.

BLACKWELL: All right, Kate Bennett, thank you Kate.

PAUL: Thanks Kate.

BENNETT: Thank you.

PAUL: Well, you've been watching this from the get-go, I'm sure. She's been mocked by the President, her testimony has been ridiculed, but Christine Blasey Ford's lawyers say she has no regrets about coming forward with her assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. More of what they are saying now, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:40:30] BLACKWELL: All right, I think we've got some live pictures here. We can show you from the Senate floor, yes, this is where later today Judge Brett Kavanaugh is expected to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Senators Collins, Flake, Manchin are planning to back Kavanaugh.

PAUL: Senator Lisa Murkowski, although she opposes Judge Kavanaugh's nomination, will vote present. She's doing so, so Senator Steve Daines doesn't have to leave his daughter's wedding.

BLACKWELL: Of course it's been a wild couple of weeks on Capitol Hill--

PAUL: Yes, it has.

BLACKWELL: --with the FBI investigations of those sexual assault allegations. But he will be confirmed later today.

PAUL: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has accused Judge Kavanaugh of course of assaulting while they were in high school. While Kavanaugh denies that accusation vehemently--

BLACKWELL: Yes. Ford's sister-in-law says that Ford's testimony at the Senate hearing and President Trump's reaction to it at a rally has caused Dr. Ford more pain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBORAH FORD PETERS, CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD'S SISTER-IN-LAW: I think when her sexual trauma involved being laughed at and being helpless, and both of those things have happened.

She's been laughed at by the President of the United States, with people applauding and laughing. So I can only imagine from what I know about trauma that she is probably feeling a whole host of intolerable terrible feelings right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: Dr. Ford's lawyers say, you know what, she has no regrets about testifying. They are blasting Senators for false claims about the FBI investigation into the allegations. Here's CNN's Dana Bash who spoke to them earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA BASH, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Have you heard any regrets from her about coming out the way she did?

LISA BANKS, CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD'S ATTORNEY: I don't think she has any regrets. I think she feels like she did the right thing and this was what she wanted to do, which was provide this information to the committee so they could make the best decision possible. And I think she still feels that that was the right thing to do, so I don't think she has any regrets.

BASH: If you were to do it all over again, knowing what you know now, could this have been done in a different way with regard to Senator Feinstein, the fact that she didn't tell anybody. She says it was because she was abiding by the wishes of Professor Ford, Congresswoman Eshoo and so forth.

I mean in retrospect, knowing what you know now, couldn't -- should it have been done differently?

DEBRA KATZ, CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD'S ATTORNEY: I can't speak to the process. What I can speak to is when victims of sexual assault and violence go to their Congress people, when they go to their Senators and they ask for their information to be kept confidential, I think that that's a request that needs to be respected. Victims get to control when and how and where their allegations get made public.

Now, if we want to look at all the things that went wrong in this process, there are many. There are many process issues that need to be addressed. But I think Senator Feinstein respected the wishes of her constituent, and that was the right thing to do.

BASH: And does Professor Ford feel that way as well?

KATZ: Absolutely. President Trump, I'm sure you saw, mocked our client's testimony at a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night. The crowd, who are obviously big Trump supporters, applauded.

BASH: Did you speak to Professor Ford, did she see that, and what was her reaction?

BANKS: She did. She was upset by it, it was very hurtful as it would be to any woman, any survivor who had the courage to come forward only to be mocked and belittled by anyone, really, but certainly by the President of the United States.

It was very upsetting, it was very hurtful.

BASH: So one of the things that has gotten Republicans really enraged is the fact that, during her testimony, Professor Ford told the committee that she wasn't clear that there was an offer to you, her legal team, from the committee to have the committee fly out to California and have a private conversation with her, interview with her, as opposed to flying her for a public hearing.

Is that true?

BANKS: No, we as her counsel informed her all options made available to us by the committee. We showed her all of the correspondence. And what they were offering was to send staffers to California to interview her.

Dr. Ford wanted to speak to the committee members themselves. And I think what you saw in the hearing was that Dr. Ford got a little confused and thought that Senator Grassley was suggesting that he himself would have come to California, which was not what he had offered at all.

BASH: The allegation they're making very blatantly is that she has lawyers, you two, who are Democrats, who wanted to have a public spectacle.

KATZ: Dana, that is such ludicrous accusation, we've been listening to it, and we have not wanted to respond to it because it's such a distraction and deflection. Our client was advised of every single option given to her by the committee. She saw every single communication. She's a smart woman, she wanted to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, not speak to members of his staff.

BASH: If Judge Kavanaugh becomes Justice Kavanaugh, or even if he stays on the federal bench he's on now, would Professor Ford like impeachment proceedings to begin?

KATZ: Professor Ford has not asked for anything of the sort. What she did was to come forward and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and agree to cooperate with any investigation by the FBI, and that's what she sought to do here.

BASH: So, no, she's not going there on impeachment?

KATZ: No.

BASH: She does not want him to be impeached?

KATZ: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: All right. Thanks to Dana Bash for that report.

PAUL: Yes, and still ahead, the Chief of Interpol is missing this morning. In fact, he hasn't been heard from in almost two weeks and now reports that his wife is getting threats.

[08:50:30] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: The international police agency Interpol has a mystery on its hands right now. Its own President is missing. We're talking about Meng Hongwei of China. He holds the top security position in the Chinese government, but neither Interpol nor China will say whether Meng was there when he vanished.

CNN's Sam Kiley's in Hong Kong. Sam, I got the Beijing really isn't happy obviously with any talk of this story, but what are you learning.

SAM KILEY, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well just in the last few moments, we've heard from the French Interior Ministry, which is saying that Mr. Meng's wife who is still in France has been subjected to threats, both over the telephone and over social media.

No news as to where those threats have come from. But the French authorities are saying they are providing extra security to her now. She says her husband was last seen at the end of September. The South China Morning Post here in Hong Kong says that he was taken away according to their sources in the Chinese government, when he arrived somewhere in China and is now being subjected to an administrative interrogation or investigation by the Chinese Communist Party.

But there is no official confirmation from Chinese officials on this at all. Indeed, broadcasting the news of his disappearance is very much something that the Chinese central government does not want to see. And quite literally we've got video of our own broadcast being blacked out when his name and photograph came up during my colleague Stevens broadcast earlier on today.

That's it, going off. And as a consequence of this, there is a great mystery surrounding his whereabouts. But he is a Vice Minister of Public Security and possibly has been brought back for consultations, but there's absolutely no kind of confirmation at all from the Chinese authorities as to where he has gone or why he has disappeared.

There is speculation that he may be being subjected to some kind of interrogation similar to the one that followed the disappearance of Fan Bingbing, the famous actress big in Hollywood and in China, who disappeared for three months and we now know is being released but only on payment of $130 million worth of alleged back-tax.

But that is pure speculation. There is absolutely no official line from the Chinese government here at all.

PAUL: All right. Sam Kiley, glad that you are on air to help us understand what's happening there, thank you.

BLACKWELL: The Secretary of State is in Japan this morning. Mike Pompeo is making a quick stop on a swing through East Asia to meet with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. After that, Secretary Pompeo will head to Pyongyang, where he'll meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The two are likely to discuss denuclearization, as well as a possible second summit between Kim and President Trump.

It's been a long night on Capitol Hill for Senators giving speeches during the final hours of debate ahead of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation vote. We will follow all the developments; we'll get to the latest from Washington.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: This week Start Small Think Big features a San Francisco restaurant that offers a different kind of dining experience. It's a deaf owned and operated pizzeria, where the hostess only greets you with a smile.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSS STEIN, FOUNDER, MOZZERIA (VOICE OF TRANSLATOR): I love mozzarella cheese; that is why we named Mozzeria. I'm from New York. New York is full of pizzerias and that's where ERIA comes from.

MELODY STEIN, FOUNDER, MOZZERIA (VOICE OF TRANSLATOR): When we decided to open Mozzeria, we wanted to set a brick-and-mortar restaurant because we knew that was the hardest part. And once we had success with that, we look into a food truck.

Many hearing customers are puzzled when they find out how do you accept orders if you're a deaf owned and operated business. VRS, video relay service, is one way a hearing person can call for a reservation or an order. And there's a sign language interpreter in call centers that help relay that call.

Then in the restaurant, you look at the menu, you point and we also provide pen and paper on every table.

Now at the food truck, there we have menus with hand shapes that correlate with the menu item.

A lot of people are rooting for us. But once people started sharing the story, they would think more about the story than the food. We want people to come here for our food and then realize, well this is fully deaf owned and operated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Well he's the most world-famous anonymous lead artist, known for his subversive work that appears really overnight. Now, Banksy has pulled off his most audacious prank yet.

BLACKWELL: So listen to this. One of his most, his more iconic works, known as girl with balloons sold for about $1.4 million at an auction house in London. OK, great.

The moment the gavel hit, a surprise, the piece self-destructed shredded out of the frame.

It's not clear now if it's worth more or less than $1.4 million.

PAUL: Very good point.

BLACKWELL: All right, more news straight ahead. Smerconish is next; we're going to see you back here in an hour.