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Senate Confirms Kavanaugh After Contentious Fight; Pompeo Meets Kim Jong-un, Conveys Trump's "Regards"; Confirmation Battle Likely to Continue Into Midterms; "SNL" Skewers GOP Senators with Locker Room Party Sketch; Tropical Threat for Gulf Coast. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 7, 2018 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Dems lost another one. Yes, that's what we do now. Look, we thought this time would be better than the Anita Hill hearing because Dr. Ford was white but it turned out Brett Kavanaugh was white too. And, you know, we were completely blindsided by that.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The ayes are 50, the nays are 48.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in. Brett Kavanaugh is now a justice in the Supreme Court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are the very doors of Supreme Court. There are hundreds of protesters have now come up on to the stairs.

TRUMP: You don't hand matches to an arsonist and you don't give power to an angry left wing mob.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: I will never let him pull me so low as to hate him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was awesome! Whee!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How amazing is this, huh? We made a lot of women real worried today

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we are going to party like it's 2020 when Susan Rice takes my seat.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for waking up early for us here, 7:01 is the time.

And from Judge Brett Kavanaugh to Justice Brett Kavanaugh this morning.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the newest member of the Supreme Court has been sworn in, shifting balance of the court, the power to conservatives.

PAUL: Protesters were shouting on the Supreme Court steps and Republicans now are taking a victory lap led, of course, by President Trump at a rally in Kansas last night. Look at this.


TRUMP: I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation, our people, and our beloved Constitution. Just a few hours ago, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.


PAUL: Now both parties are taking this fight straight to the midterms. That's, of course, less than a month from now.

Here is CNN congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed. Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in. Brett Kavanaugh is now a justice in the Supreme Court. It's what's lying in the wake of this confirmation battle, one of the most bitter I've ever seen, maybe about the nomination ever and what happens next? What happens next in the Senate and what happens next in the Supreme Court? What happens next politically?

You get gauge of that in just about a month with the midterm elections. And the big question is, what kind of impact will this have? There's no question it's rallied the bases of both sides. Will it help one side or the other?

Well, it's something that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in on. Take a listen.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Our base is fired up. We finally discovered the up with thing that would fire up the Republican base and we didn't think of it.

I was talking to two of my political advisers yesterday about the advantage that these guys by their tactics have given to us going into these red state competitive races. And we are pretty excited. They managed to deliver the only thing we had not been able to figure out how to do, which is get our folks fired up. The other side is fired up and have been all year.

MATTINGLY: Now, if you listen closely to the last point, McConnell points out something that has been very clear now for more than a year, the Democratic base is very riled up. The Democratic base is very motivated, will the Democratic base come out in the medicine term election where they traditionally struggle and not just help them perhaps flip the House to the Democratic side but also perhaps give them a chance in the Senate? That is what is the open question right now.

But there's also a broader question here of what happens next beyond just the politics. What happens next for the institutions, the United States Senate, the United States Supreme Court, and, frankly, the country? I don't know anybody that came out of this feeling good about the process that just occurred. You can talk to senators in both parties who acknowledge they were angry, who acknowledged they were disappointed, who acknowledged that they aren't very happy with one another right now.

It's a question I asked McConnell. He said the country has been through worse times and the country will certainly move forward through this. The Senate will as well. But it is a question that people are asking right now, is this a rock bottom moment, is this a moment where people take a step back and figure that cooling down might be the better option?

Right now, it seems unlikely. One senior GOP aide I talked towards the end of the day yesterday said, just bluntly, it's only going to get worse from here. Not a lot of optimism but I think the baseline here is nobody really has an answer of what is next. Everyone can agree that what just happened probably wasn't the best thing.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, Capitol Hill.


PAUL: All right. Phil, thank you.

And President Trump says there's going to be an event tomorrow at the White House for Justice Kavanaugh.

BLACKWELL: The president is also praising the way he handled the nomination. He said his criticism of Kavanaugh's accuser Christine Blasey Ford had great impact.

For more, we turn now to CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns live at the White House.

[07:05:03] Joe, good morning to you.


The message they want out there is that when the president signaled he was engaging this fight and not backing down, everything changed. And, of course, it really is all about the midterms right now. And there is this sense that what originally appeared to be a burden for the president and the Republican Party, that would be this nomination and confirmation fight of Judge Kavanaugh, turned out to be for the Republican Party perhaps even a gift. It's about gender wars and it's about culture wars. It's about allegations of character assassination by the left of this now Justice Kavanaugh. But there is also this, the question of law and order. The president

now talking about mob rule, apparently pointing to the arrests in the streets over the last several weeks of hundreds and hundreds of protesters, many of them women, of course, protesting against allegations of sexual assault involving this now Justice Kavanaugh. Of course, the president's answer to that is that on the right, women were energized, too, in favor of that nominee.



TRUMP: The women, I feel are, in many ways, stronger than the men in his favor. So you have a lot of women that are extremely happy. There's a tremendous number of women because they are thinking of their sons, they are thinking of their husbands and their brothers and their uncles and others.


JOHNS: The president's travels continue. You know, last night, he was in Topeka, Kansas. Tomorrow , he is expected to be in Orlando addressing the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Back to you.

BLACKWELL: Joe Johns in the White House -- Joe, thank you.

PAUL: So, Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief of "The Chicago Sun- Times" is with us now, as well as Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst and historian and professor at Princeton University, and our own Brian Stelter.

Thank you all for being here. We appreciate it so much.

Julian, you wrote a piece on titled "How Dems Got Outplayed on Kavanaugh". How likely is it that the same thing could happen as we head into 2020?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, I think there is a very good chance the same thing will happen. The Democrats should take very seriously the political risks they face. I do think these hearings energized more on Republican base, whereas, Democrats were already energized and I think this was a huge victory for President Trump. He has delivered on one of the big promises, not only of his presidency, but the conservative movement to shift this court to the right. So Democrats, I think, have a lot of strategic fixing to do in how they handle the politics of Trump.

PAUL: Lynn, we were hearing the president there talk about how he thinks women are thinking about their sons and their husbands in a case like this when they think about Kavanaugh. Let's take a look at one of the images that was striking yesterday out on the plaza, I believe it was, at one of the protests was a woman holding a sign, there it is, that says, a woman brought you into this world and women will vote you out. Do we have a gauge of how strong the female vote will be even just

going into midterms here? There was a group out there as well, Women for Kavanaugh, I think a lot of people didn't realize were in existence.

LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Well, the woman's vote is always important and particularly the suburban female vote in swing districts. Now, of course, there are women who support Trump.

What he is trying to do in bringing up what about your -- the men, the sons, the fathers, is, in a sense, he is attacking the #MeToo movement by trying to downplay and delegitimize accusations of sexual abuse, sexual assault, by saying that people could be unjustly accused. And he is trying to plant those seeds. Now, whether or not that works as we are just a month away from the midterm balloting and, in some states, early voting has begun, is yet to be determined.

The other question when you talk about the female vote for Trump, if these are voters who would normally vote in a midterm election any way, then you don't have a net gain. What the Democrats are hoping is that the already energized base, further jolted by the Kavanaugh controversy, will turn out in the midterm. Women will turn out in the midterm who otherwise would not have voted.

PAUL: Yes, Brian, part of the obstacle here is the fact that this was an assault and I have to say an alleged assault that happened 36 years ago. There was really no way to prove or disprove what she was saying about who it was.

But let's listen to Mitchell McConnell, Senate majority leader, who spoke in a new conference.

[07:10:01] He said something that was kind of perplexing. Let's listen here.


MCCONNELL: These things always blow over. And I think even though I think some anger expressed in this particular fight, as I just said, at the very same time, it wasn't very newsworthy of you guys, because they won by big margins, we were doing important things together that haven't been doing in a long time.


PAUL: With the crowds we are seeing, how likely is this to just blow over?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I'll make the easiest prediction I've ever made on cable news. This will not blow over. I understand where McConnell is coming from there. There has been some bipartisanship in the Congress that hasn't really been in the headlines the past few weeks.

But this issue, this gender war, this culture war is not blowing over. If anything, as Phil Mattingly said earlier this hour, it is going to get worse. Sources on Capitol Hill see this getting worse and heading deeper to the bottom. No doubt, though, a triumphant week for President Trump, a triumphant weekend for President Trump but I think Trump's reaction to Kavanaugh' confirmation shows once again he is not trying to be president for the entire United States. He is trying to be president of Trump's America, of his base.

And I say that because when he was asked on Air Force One, what do you say to the women who feel devastated right now? What do you say the women who feel they are not being believed? He interrupted and said, I don't think they do. I don't think they are devastated. I don't think they do feel they are not being believed, and that's he went on to say the women are excited about this and women are supportive of Brett Kavanaugh.

Obviously, some women are but many, many other women and men in this country are grieving right now, are mourning, are absolutely devastated. And either he doesn't know that or doesn't care, either way I think that lack of the awareness of the Democratic energy that we are seeing McConnell suggest that he doesn't realize or care, we're seeing Trump doesn't realize or care, I just think it's pretty easy to predict this is not going to blow over for either side.

PAUL: Lynn, is there a possibility? If this is the conversation that they don't know or they don't care, or they don't think it's important, that at some point, if it goes on long enough, could backfire on the Republicans?

It could because the women's vote is a very potent vote, especially in the suburban swing districts. You know, I was at that McConnell press conference yesterday where he was citing these great, you know, bipartisan efforts to reauthorize the FAA bill for five years. You know, that's not what makes or breaks elections. Neither is a unified vote or an opioid crisis. You know, if only it could be that wonderful and simple on some issues.

People do come together. I mean, everything doesn't have to be bad all the time for us not to take notice of these very critical wedge issues that Trump is intent on further wedging in the wedge.

So, female turnout on the Democratic side is bigger historically than female turnout on the Republican side. So, whether you're looking at control of these House seats, every district is its own story, but you want to respect women who come from all political per situations, OK? It doesn't mean that Trump was right and just kind of speaking off the cuff on something he would not know right now, which is whether or not an overwhelming number of Republican women who otherwise wouldn't have voted, will cast a ballot in November.

PAUL: Listen, I wanted to ask about this Rubio tweet. He said, I'm as pleased as anyone that we successfully confirmed a conservative in the court and I, too, want to keep the GOP majority. But in the long run, we all lose if tribalism permanently disfigures America and leave us as a nation of people who hate each other.

Julian, how do we get past it? ZELIZER: Well, it's more than a story about President Trump. This

partisan polarization has been cooking for over four decades now. And these kinds of events, whether it's the election of 2016, whether it's this confirmation process are a product of these very deep divisions.

So, it will take a lot of work. It will take really profound leadership to move the nation into a different era and it will take reform of the way our politics work from gerrymandering, even to the campaign finance process if we are serious about trying to have a new era. Otherwise, we're going to have more of the same for at least a decade to come.

PAUL: Brian, your last thoughts.

STELTER: You know, we are about to head into a 2020 election season. It will start officially the day after the midterms. Either we're going to see candidates in these primaries try to bring folks together or further inflame divisions. That will be an early test of Julian's point there.

PAUL: All righty. Lynn Sweet, Julian Zelizer, thank you so much.

Brian Stelter, he's going to stay with us. There is more to discuss this hour.

BLACKWELL: The senator with the crucial vote in the Kavanaugh confirmation, Senator Susan Collins sat down in a one-on-one interview with CNN's Dana Bash.

[07:15:03] And Senator Collins says she does not believe Judge Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Watch.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I found Dr. Ford's testimony to be heart wrenching, painful, compelling, and I believe that she believes what she testified to.

I did not believe that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant. So I do believe that she was assaulted. I don't know by whom. And I'm not certain when.


BLACKWELL: See the full interview with Dana and Senator Collins on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning at 9:00 a.m., only on CNN.

PAUL: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just finished up his fourth visit to North Korea. How much are these meetings he is having helping to further the North Korea denuclearization process? We're going to talk about that next.

BLACKWELL: Plus, officials in Haiti are preparing for more deaths after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake -- this is the wrong video -- hits overnight. More on that ahead.


[07:20:12] PAUL: Right now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in South Korea after finishing his fourth trip to Pyongyang, where he met with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.

BLACKWELL: Pompeo says he had a good and productive meeting with Kim. He also told Kim that President Trump sends his regards.

Joining me now, Gordon Chang, a columnist for "The Daily Beast" and author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World".

Gordon, good morning to you.

Pompeo's fourth trip now. The secretary of state says he had a good productive meeting but how much really is being achieved up to this point?

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN: NORTH KOREA TAKES ON THE WORLD": I think actually very little is being achieved from our perspective, because time at this moment doesn't favor us. It favors Kim Jong-un and the reason he's been knitting together this coalition involving Russia and China, of course, but also South Korea. Now, we got to remember that if you go through middle of May, President Trump had an unusual effective policy and he squandered the advantage. And now, what we are seeing is the North Koreans playing for time.

PAUL: So, you're saying that the president would be smart to go back to his previous tactics?

GORDON: I think he would be very smart to go back to maximum pressure. We have relaxed pressure on the North Koreans because we're not designating most of their front company and also we are letting the Chinese, the Russians and the South Koreans to openly violate sanctions.

We sort of complain about it in public. You heard, for instance, Ambassador Nikki Haley of the U.N. moan about this, but we're not doing very much about it.

So, this is really within our control to change the narrative and to go back to tactics, which actually pushed Kim Jong-un to make concessions where with we were not making concessions. Now, it's just flipped and we are making concessions and Kim Jong-un is not doing anything, except, of course, smiling.

BLACKWELL: What do you make of the second summit? President Trump wants it. Kim wants it. We heard from South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he is optimistic about it. Should there be a second summit before significant progress on the commitments made in the first one?

CHANG: I don't think so. You know, I think Kim Jong-un believes that president Trump's instincts are going to help him. He doesn't like what his advisers are saying or what American political figures are saying. So, we are seeing for instance an attempt to divide President Trump

from the rest of the American political and policy establishments. We heard that in the foreign minister's speech at the U.N. General Assembly, he was explicit what he wanted to do, and so the North Koreans want to talk to Trump. But that's not in our interests at this time. What is in our interests is getting the North Koreans to live up to their commitments and so far, they are not doing that.

BLACKWELL: All right. Gordon Chang, always good to have your insight, sir. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.

GORDON: Thank you so much, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Thank you so much for being here.

Haiti's president telling people there stay vigilant. They are trying to deal with aftermath, I supposed of a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit overnight.


[07:28: BLACKWELL: The protests against Justice Kavanaugh's nomination led right up to Supreme Court steps and they continued to protest after Kavanaugh was confirmed. As the new justice arrived to be sworn in on the Supreme Court building. Now, they were pushed back by police there and GOP leaders responded to the protests by calling them a mob.


TRUMP: In their quest for power, the radical Democrats have turned into an angry mob.

MCCONNELL: We refuse to be intimidated by the mob of people that were coming after Republican members at their homes and in the halls.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: What we have learned is the resistance that has existed since the day after the November '16 -- 2016 election is centered right here on Capitol Hill. They have encouraged mob rule.

TRUMP: You don't hand matches to an arsonist and you don't give power to an angry left wing mob and that's what they have become.

MCCONNELL: The tactics that have been employed both by Judiciary Committee, Democratic senators, and by the, you know, the virtual mob that has assaulted all of us in the course of this process has turned our base on fire.


BLACKWELL: With us now to discuss is Scott Jennings, CNN political commentator and former special assistant to President George W. Bush, and Rochelle Ritchie, former press secretary for House Democrats.

Good morning to both of you. Rochelle, let me start with you.

President Trump has often been successful in framing and casting his opponent. We all remember low energy Jeb and Little Marco. What's your degree of concern he will successfully cast those protesters and the Democratic Party as this angry left wing mob and that will hurt you in 31 days?

ROCHELLE RITCHIE, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY, HOUSE DEMOCRATS: Well, Victor, Trump and the Republicans are really just a bunch of hypocrites.


I mean, where was this mob-like language when we saw people at Trump rally being encouraged to punch people in the face and shove women around?

My question is, where was this mob-like language when we saw white nationalists marching down the street, running people over with their cars and attacking people in parking garages? It's absolutely ridiculous.

And it's really funny because Trump loves mobs. He's rubbed shoulders with the biggest mobster in the world, President Putin.


SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if it looks like a mob and sounds like a mob, it's a mob. That is exactly what has formed over this Kavanaugh confirmation process.

The thing is we have guardrails for our democracy that exists for a reason. The underpinnings of this cultural uprising that we have are very valid and I believe that, but the reasons we have this democratic guardrails to guard against mobs that form when the underpinnings of the mob are very invalid.

The underpinnings of our democracy are elections and accepting the outcomes produced by our democratic processes. That's what Republicans are talking about here. Frankly, I don't think the Republicans or Donald Trump are framing this in any way at all. I think it's the mob itself that is showing America they are not willing to accept the outcomes that come from our democratic processes and I think that's going to hurt the Democrats come election day in 30 days.

BLACKWELL: OK, Scott, let's go back to the first midterm after the election of the president and tea partiers.

RITCHIE: Exactly.

BLACKWELL: There was one report of a man who was arrested for spitting on a member of Congress, the racial epithets. We have video of that we can roll. Were those mobs?

JENNINGS: I don't recall seeing any tea partiers trying to tear down the doors of the United States Supreme Court. I would say to anybody who's in any mob.


RITCHIE: That's not the question!

JENNINGS: The way you exercise your voice in a democracy. No, I don't condone spitting on anybody.


BLACKWELL: I didn't ask if you condone it. I'm saying if you are saying today is a mob was it a mob in 2010?

JENNINGS: No. I don't believe that the mob, if that is what you want to call it in 2010, is what anything comparable to what you're seeing in Washington today.

But I would just say this. What I condone is voting. I hear a lot of people out there on the prospect of voting and people should go to polls and vote. If that's how you feel, go to the polls and vote and see what happens.

But this idea that you're going to chase members of Congress up and down the hall into elevators and out of restaurants, this idea you're going to knock down the doors of the United States Supreme Court, I think out here in the middle of America that is not something people condone.

BLACKWELL: Rochelle?

RITCHIE: But, Scott, are you okay with the fact you had white nationalists marching down the street and ran over a woman and murdering her? Is that not a mob to you or are you agreeing with president Trump there are good people on both sides? Is that where you're standing right now?

It's so -- it's so much hypocrisy coming from your party and it's disgusting. The fact, yes, if you think that a mob banging on the door then you should also think that those are mobs in Charlottesville and people at Trump rallies punching people in the face. That is a mob as well.

JENNINGS: Rochelle, you must be new to my work here at CNN, Rachel. I was one of the first Republicans to vociferously condemn the Charlottesville riots and rallies.

RITCHIE: That's fine, you're not doing it now. Do it now.


JENNINGS: It would behoove you to do your homework.

RITCHIE: Do it now.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you this, Jerry Nadler, who is a House Judiciary and will likely be chairman if Democrats take the House, has said there will be an investigation into sexual assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh if Democrats win control in November. How broadly is that commitment? Should that be something that Democrats run on, promise, if they are going to carry this passion into the midterms?

RITCHIE: I think, you know, that if -- they need to really, really focus on, as you said, the midterms. But I think that, obviously, the FBI investigation that was done was not thorough. I mean, I don't know why anyone thought that the FBI could do a thorough investigation into sexual assault allegations that were from 36 years ago in one week. That just doesn't make any sense.

But I do think that Democrats have to get on a stronger message right now and they need to not only focus on the sexual assault allegations, but they really need to focus on something else that is at risk and that is our health care right now and people with preexisting conditions. So I think --

BLACKWELL: But should this be part of the process? Should this be part of the promise there is going to be a House investigation and the potentially there will be an attempt to impeach Justice Kavanaugh?

RITCHIE: I think that it should be, because -- not necessarily just because the sexual assault allegations, Victor.

[07:35:00] I think really the partisan attitude that Judge Kavanaugh showed during the confirmation hearings where he had this conspiracy theory that the Clinton's were coming after him. To me that disqualifies him more than anything. Unfortunately, they were not able to corroborate Dr. Ford's comments or her allegations. But when I heard him say that the Clinton's are coming after him and this is part of a left trying to destroy him, that really brought me more concerned because this shows that he is going to be a puppet for the puppet master in chief, Donald Trump.

BLACKWELL: Scott, I want you to listen to something the president said at his rally yesterday. This is a sound bite five, guys, in the control room, about his potential opponent in the primary, Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts. Watch.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've got more Indian blood in me than Pocahontas. And I have none. Hey, maybe I'm an Indian.


BLACKWELL: The president here saying that I've got high cheekbones too. Maybe I'm an Indian. Why is that okay?

JENNINGS: Well, a lot of Republicans, including Donald Trump, have made light of what Elizabeth Warren brought on herself. I'm not sure I'd continue to go back to this well but something discussed broadly by the president and Republicans.

But he didn't invent this story line. Elizabeth Warren did. If I might go back this question about impeachment, though --

BLACKWELL: What is the message? I'll give you some time at the end of this but I don't want to skip over this element. The idea it is acceptable, right, for the president to use Pocahontas as a race-based laugh line against a Democrat, a member -- anyone? It seems like it's something that continues to be brushed over.

The president of the United States just said, I've got high cheekbones, maybe I'm Indian. Can you imagine if he picked a facial feature of a black person and said maybe I'm black or of an Asian or Jewish person?

RITCHIE: Childish.

JENNINGS: I don't think he is race baiting. Elizabeth Warren started this. She is the one who claimed to be navy American when she wasn't really and she had to suffer for that in the press back in her home state.

But I think the best question you asked today was about impeachment because the Democrats you mentioned are calling for impeachment. Open your Twitter feed. Every Democrat out there who is enraged about Kavanaugh wants to impeach Kavanaugh. They want to impeach Trump, and some want to impeach Clarence Thomas.

There is impeachment fever. If the Democrats win the House, this is exactly where they're headed. They're willing to plunge this nation into a constitutional crisis because they're mad they lost the election in 2016. That's the bottom line and I don't think Americans are going to stand for it.

BLACKWELL: We've got to wrap it there. Scott Jennings, Rochelle Ritchie, thank you both.

RITCHIE: Thanks, Victor.

PAUL: Well, a deadly earthquake hit Haiti overnight and we know at least 10 people were killed, 135 others are injured now.

BLACKWELL: A 5.9 magnitude quake was felt across the country but most of the damage is being reported on the northwest coast. Now, Haiti's president tweeted he is mobilizing all national resources to help. So far, there is no threat of a tsunami. Tens of thousands of people are still displaced from the 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti. Nearly 300,000 people died.

The Kavanaugh confirmation gets a satirical spin on "SNL." That's coming up.


[07:42:46] BLACKWELL: The cast on "Saturday Night Live" took aim at the bitter partisan battle and took a firm Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court.

PAUL: Yes, take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mitch, how are you feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That an awesome win!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you feel this is a win you can be proud of?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hell yeah, Dana. Republicans in the mood of the country. And we can tell the people really wanted Kavanaugh. Everyone is pumped from white men over 60 to white men over 70.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Schumer, what went wrong?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, my doctor thinks it might be sciatica.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I meant with the Kavanaugh vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, right. Yes. Well, the Dems lost another one, yes. This is what we do now. Look, this time would be better than the Anita Hill because Dr. Ford was white, but then it turned out Brett Kavanaugh was white, too, and you know, we were completely blindsided by that.


PAUL: So, CNN chief media correspondent and anchor of "RELIABLE SOURCES", Brian Stelter, is with us.

All right, Brian. What did you think?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I hope Dana Bash likes the impersonation of her. Don Lemon too. They were using CNN talent there on "SNL."

I did think it was amusing imagine the locker room with the Republican reactions, obviously, exaggerated. But I thought also a telling moment in this sketch, in this cold open where the pretend Dana Bash talks to the pretend Lindsey Graham.

Check out the #MeToo joke in here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This one is about the fans. They have been through us all week cheering and screaming outside of our offices.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry. You think those were fans?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yeah. For sure. And I know they agree with us because they are shouting out "me too." See?


STELTER: I think everybody gets the joke there. Obviously, the idea that those crowds of protesters Lindsey Graham thinking there that they were there to support him, to support the efforts to confirm Kavanaugh.

Look, I think this is a really interesting moment in time. We were talking about it earlier where the one-year anniversary of what has become known as the #MeToo movement, so "SNL" is having fun there with something very serious. It was one week ago this weekend when that first Harvey Weinstein story came out.

[07:45:04] And then, of course, story after story, more and more people coming out against Weinstein and then other prominent men.

What we saw was incredible moment men and women felt comfortable sharing their own experiences with harassment and assault. And now, one year later, #MeToo is very much a partisan issue. There has become a backlash in the country and President Trump and others are exploiting that.

BLACKWELL: Hey, Brian, last week, Kanye West was on "SNL". Now, listen, I still don't understand why he and Lil' Pump were dressed up like bottles of water.

PAUL: I know.

BLACKWELL: But put that aside for the moment. The cast is still talking about that. What happened with that?

STELTER: Yes, which is really interesting. You rarely see "SNL" commenting on one of their own stars. You know, Kanye West was on this time last week.

So, last night, Pete Davidson came on and said remember a lot of buzz last week about Kanye taking of over the set and giving a speech in support of President Trump after the show ended and here he came own and said here is what really happened.


PETE DAVIDSON, SNL: Here is what it looked like p.m. I'm like on the left. I'm like, oh, god! I'm like, I want a career! So I leave.

So Kanye was wearing a MAGA heart. That's what it's called -- stupid! Yes, and he started by saying people back stage tried to bully him into not wearing it. He wore it all week. Like, nobody told him not to wear it.

Like, I wish I bullied you. I wish I would have suggested that. You know? It might upset some people like your wife or every black person ever. You know?

Then Kanye said that Democrats broke up black families with welfare and that's -- slavery is not real. Do you know how wrong about politics you have to be for, like, me to notice? Do you know how annoying that is?


STELTER: He wanted everyone to know where they stand and how they feel about Kanye West and his Trump hat. Look. The sun will rise, the sun will fall. Kanye West controversies will be there every day no matter what.

BLACKWELL: Yes, he has now deleted his social media, I've seen.

STELTER: Probably a good thing.

PAUL: I would like to see what he thought of "Saturday Night Live" last night. Nothing.

All right. Brian Stelter, always appreciate you getting up a little bit early for us here.

STELTER: Thanks.

PAUL: And you know he is not going anywhere. He is on with "RELIABLE SOURCES" at 11:00 a.m. today, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, the latest forecast on what could be the next named storm of the Atlantic, yes, even in October, hurricane season.


[07:52:13] BLACKWELL: The next named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season could be forming right now in the Caribbean.

PAUL: CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar joining us now.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. So, the latest update actually just came in not two minutes ago.

So, here's what we know. This is tropical depression 14. This is expected to be named Tropical Storm Michael by the end of the day today. Right now, winds are 40 miles per hour. It's not moving north at only about 3 miles per hour.

The concern is once it gets all over the open water of the Gulf of Mexico, very warm, that's where we expect this storm to intensify, potentially up to a category 1 hurricane. Right now, landfall was expected somewhere between Mississippi and around the panhandle of Florida.

The question really is the timing of this. Right now, it depends on which model you look at. The GFS, which is the American model, puts it landfall, say, around Wednesday afternoon but the European model is a little slower, holds it off until Thursday morning.

The key thing I want the takeaway from this to be is the amount of rain, regardless of whether this turns out to be a hurricane or just stays as a tropical storm strength at the time of landfall it's going to produce a lot of rain. Right there along the coastal regions of landfall, it could produce over a foot of rain but even far inland, Victor and Christi, you still could be talking about six to ten inches of rain.

BLACKWELL: Wow. We have seen the story before, where it's not the wind speed. It's the days of rain that go on.

Allison Chinchar, thank you for watching for us.

PAUL: So, did you know scavenger hunts aren't just for kids? They're healthy for adults, too.

In today's "Staying Well", they look at how these things keep you healthy.


SHUAI CHEN, NEUROLOGIST: Today's scavenger hunt is about finding clues, solving puzzles and performing challenges before going around the north beach area of San Francisco.

Scavenger hunts are great exercise. You run around a big area. It gets you out into a new environment. It gets you to play.

Play is known to be really great for health. It's great for stress. They're also great for the mind. You have to like solve puzzles.

JUSTIN GRAHAM, PHYSICIAN: You have think quickly on your feet, navigate through a complex environment. Hopefully, it will make me get older a little bit slower.

CHEN: It helps you develop new brain synapses. It helps your neurotransmitters go off faster. Scavenger hunts are great for socializing some of the clues, have you talking to strangers, or meeting up with another team and collaborating and playing with them. That helps you get out of your shell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of the oven!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you do the bathtub pictures?




[07:55:02] CHEN: The winning team is team 15. They had a perfect score. Congratulations!


PAUL: All right, yes!

BLACKWELL: That looked fun.

PAUL: Thank you so much for sharing your morning with us. And we hope you make good members today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with Nia-Malika Henderson starts after a quick break.