Return to Transcripts main page
New Whistleblower Comes Forward In Inquiry Over Trump-Ukraine Call; Kamala Harris Wants Mike Pence To Testify Before Congress; Trump Attacks Mitt Romney On Twitter; GOP Presidential Challenger Call Trump A Traitor; Manhunt Underway After Nine Shot, Four Killed At Kansas Bar; Key Witness In Amber Guyger Trial Gunned Down; Supreme Court To Begin Term This Week With LGBTQ Rights Case; Tomorrow: Supreme Court To Open With Contentious Docket; Building A Sense Of Community; "Declassified" Airs Tonight At 9P ET; SNL Mocks Vice President Pence Over Impeachment Fears; Lawyers: "Multiple" Whistleblowers Have Details On Trump And Ukraine. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired October 6, 2019 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: The person's attorney tells CNN the new whistleblower works in the intelligence community and has firsthand knowledge that supports claims made by the first whistleblower.
This revelation coming as Democrats ratchet up their impeachment inquiry. They have now subpoenaed the White House and are requesting documents related to Ukraine from the vice president, Mike Pence.
This week there will be key testimony on Capitol Hill. The U.S. ambassador to the E.U., Gordon Sondland, and the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. They are scheduled to give depositions to three House committees behind closed doors.
Today the president continues to attack Mitt Romney after the Republican senator criticized the president for calling on Ukraine and China to investigate his political rival. This as some top Republicans double down in their defense of the president.
CNN's Evan Perez joining me right now. So, Evan, what more can you tell us about the status of this new whistleblower complaint?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the interesting things, Fred, is the fact this whistleblower, according to the lawyers representing them, has firsthand knowledge. Again, that's -- we don't know exactly what that means, but, you know, it could be that the person was -- had knowledge of the transcript of the phone call. Maybe that person was one of the 12 or so people that the White House has identified or has said were actually listening to the phone call with the Ukrainian president back in July.
But we do know this. The person has not yet spoken to the -- has not yet filed a formal complaint but they have spoken to the inspector general for the intelligence community and that's a key thing because we've heard previously from the intelligence inspector general that they believed that the first whistleblower's complaints were corroborated by other evidence and by talking to other people.
It appears to be that that's one of the reasons why the inspector general believes that the claims are credible and one of the reasons why they came forward to try to say this is an urgent concern that needed to be notified to the intelligence committee. So, one of the things now we're looking for is to see what impact this has on the impeachment inquiry.
You can bet the Democrats believe that this is going to propel that inquiry because it helps to have not only a second person come forward but someone who claims to have firsthand knowledge and someone, again, who is inside the intelligence community who is bothered by what the president was doing on that call with the Ukrainian president.
WHITFIELD: All right, Evan Perez, stay with me. I'll check back with you in a minute.
But first I want to see now how the president and the administration is reacting to this news of this second whistleblower. Let's go to the White House, Jeremy Diamond is there -- Jeremy.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, that's right. What we're seeing from the president is a continuation of what we saw when news of this first whistleblower came out, and that is that the president is going after the credibility of these whistleblowers. This is what he posted on Twitter just last night when this news was breaking.
He wrote, "The first so-called secondhand information whistleblower got my phone conversation almost completely wrong, so now word is they are going to the bench and another whistleblower is coming in from the deep state. Also with secondhand info. Meet with Shifty. Keep them coming."
Now Shifty is a derogatory nickname that the president has been using to refer to the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. But it is important to note here as well that even as the president seeks to discredit these whistleblowers what we have seen so far in terms of public evidence that has surfaced really corroborates this first whistleblower's complaint.
We saw the transcript of the call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine that showed that clearly he was seeking to get the president of Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. That was at the center of that whistleblower complaint's allegations.
And what we also saw is those text messages between three U.S. ambassadors dealing with this Ukraine matter who also showed very clearly that there was an effort to get the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden, that there was also leverage being used of a potential meeting between the U.S. president and the president of Ukraine.
Now we have seen a handful of Republican members of Congress today defending the president but we have not seen any administration officials appearing on the Sunday shows to defend the president on this matter -- Fredricka. WHITFIELD: That is true. All right. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so
All right. Let's talk further now, back with me is CNN's Evan Perez along with Michael Zeldin, former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst.
OK, so, Michael, in your view, does this second whistleblower, are they facing greater pressure as they craft this complaint that has yet to be filed?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So the whistleblowers will have evidence of what they thought was matters of urgent concern involving the inappropriate behavior of the president. The second whistleblower could be corroborative of the first whistleblower, one of the people that was interviewed by the inspector general, and he's just now coming forward with his own whistleblower complaint, or he could have new information related to other aspects of the president or anybody else's behavior that he felt also violated the obligations of the officeholder.
So it remains to be seen whether this is just is corroboration of the original whistleblower or additional new information which could be additive to the problems that the president faces.
WHITFIELD: OK. And then, Evan, the attorney representing the first whistleblower says that, you know, he's also representing the second whistleblower. Is that potentially problematic?
PEREZ: I don't really think it is. I mean, I think the information that the two people have I think is the important thing here and I think that's where I think the focus is going to be. One of the interesting things is that the president has been saying and his supporters have been saying is that, look, the president wasn't really asking for anything improper here, that, you know, there's a legitimate concern that goes back multiple administrations about corruption in Ukraine and about the fact that if the United States is going to give money, the U.S. taxpayers are going to give money to the Ukrainian government, that they have an interest in making sure corruption is being looked at.
But, you know, one of the things that we know from this call is that, you know, they wanted a public investigation, you know, a private investigation, something behind the scenes wasn't really going to help the president's goal here, which is to dirty up Joe Biden going into the 2020 election. You know, the president, by the way, could have asked the Justice Department if he really thought there was something wrong that Joe Biden did, he could have asked the Justice Department to investigate this and DOJ would have handled this behind the scenes, it wouldn't have been a public matter.
And so that's one of the reasons why I think everybody suspects that the president knew exactly what he was doing in mentioning this to the Ukrainian president on that call. WHITFIELD: But we do know now that the president has also challenged,
you know, perhaps Bill Barr needs to be looking into his political opponent doing an investigation domestic side now.
So Republicans, you know, are, Michael, attacking the credibility of this new whistleblower. Listen to what Senator Ron Johnson had to say about the whistleblowers today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Chuck, I just want the truth. The American people want the truth.
CHUCK TODD, "MEET THE PRESS" HOST: So do you not trust the --
JOHNSON: President Trump --
TODD: Do you not trust the FBI? You don't trust the CIA? I am just very confused here.
JOHNSON: No. No, I don't. Absolutely not.
TODD: You don't trust --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, so, Michael, how concerning is it to you that the chairman on the Senate Homeland Security Committee would say he does not trust the intelligence community?
ZELDIN: Well, that's a big problem, of course, because we're dependent upon their information to help us formulate policy with respect to those who pose a threat to the United States. So if he is suspicious of their credibility and discounts what they say in favor of the, you know, so bold statements of the president which are not supportable, then it puts it in a very difficult and compromised position, I think, as a matter of our national security.
WHITFIELD: And what kind of tone is being set so that the whistleblowers who thought they had protections against harassment and intimidation, but when you hear that, do these whistleblowers, Michael, think otherwise? Or would new measures have to be taken to protect their potential testimony, their complaints, their persons?
ZELDIN: So the Whistleblower Protection Act is designed to protect the identity of whistleblowers and to create an environment wherein whistleblowers feel comfortable and safe in providing information the government really needs to have in order for it to self-monitor. So when these people are attacked this way, I think it has a very chilling effect on current whistleblowers and future whistleblowers. So I think it's unacceptable for these attacks to go forward as they have been.
WHITFIELD: And Evan, quickly, are your sources or anyone telling you that this kind of tone could deter any other potential whistleblowers from coming forward?
PEREZ: I think yes. I think that's one of the concerns that you hear inside the government is that, you know, why would you stick your neck out if you know something has gone wrong, if you've seen wrongdoing, why would you stick your neck out if this is what you're going to get? And I think that's one of the big concerns from those attacks from Senator Ron Johnson there that you are playing, Fredricka, because, you know, not only are they attacking the whistleblower, they're also attacking the FBI and the CIA for even taking a look at things that could be a threat to the United States and its national security.
WHITFIELD: All right, Evan Perez, Michael Zeldin, good to see both. Thank you so much.
ZELDIN: Thanks, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead as Democrats ramp up the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Senator Kamala Harris is calling for Vice President Mike Pence to testify before Congress.
The big question, what did he know?
Plus, Biden on the defense as the former vice president defends -- fends off, rather, Trump's attacks. We're beginning to see cracks among his Democratic rivals for 2020. What they say they would have done if they were in Biden's shoes.
And breaking news, an active manhunt under way right now after a gunman opens fire inside a crowded bar. CNN is on the scene.
WHITFIELD: All right. Senator Kamala Harris is on the campaign trail in Iowa today. The 2020 contender will host a town hall in Iowa State University later on this evening. Yesterday in South Carolina the former prosecutor called on Vice President Mike Pence to testify before Congress about what he knows about the Ukraine controversy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's no question that Mike Pence is the vice president who clearly was in the zone of and in the area of a lot of what's been described as extreme misconduct, should testify before the United States Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to see the vice president testify?
HARRIS: I do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's senior national correspondent Kyung Lah is following Senator Harris on the trail. So, Kyung, you know, what are you hearing from Iowa voters? KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From the Democrats
we've run into, Fredricka, in short they like what they see. Now we've only talked to several of them. We followed some of Kamala Harris' volunteers as they were canvassing some neighborhoods. And I want you to listen to what one of her volunteers told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAWN BLACK, IOWA VOTER: They're being very aggressive which they need to be if they're going to go through with this. I think they're doing their research. I think they're doing their homework. I think they're speaking out. I think they're taking action and I think that they're very serious about this, which makes me happy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: She has been toughening up her stump speech, Fred. What we've been hearing from her more and more is that return to her record as a prosecutor, that she is the best to prosecute the record against four more years of President Trump -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: OK. And then she's weighing in on Hunter Biden's presence on this, you know, foreign company's board in recent days. What does she have to say about that?
LAH: In general, because she's being asked about it in some of these events as reporters get to question her and ask her what she thinks about the developing news out of Washington, she was asked directly about what she thought about that. Listen to her answer here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're elected president, would you allow this son or daughter of your vice president to serve on the board of an oil company outside this country?
HARRIS: Probably not but I think the problem that we've got, again, with this issue is that it's a distraction from the fact, that, look, as far as I'm concerned, leave Joe Biden alone. Just leave him alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: So before that pivot the emphasis there is probably not. There was a bit more of a direct answer from two other Democratic candidates, though.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would not allow a family member, anyone in my Cabinet to have a family member to work in a position like that.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I wouldn't, and I can promise you right now my own daughter who is only 24 does not sit on the board of a foreign company, but that is not the issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: We're expecting much more of the impeachment inquiry, certainly a lot of Democrats here in Iowa will be coming to listen to Senator Harris at her town hall tonight wondering how she's going to be developing her further case against President Trump -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Right. And I wonder if there will be follow-ups to, you know, she says leave Biden alone now, that was not the case during that first debate when, you know, she definitely went after him. Quite the contrast.
So, meantime, Kamala Harris has, you know, racked up more than $11 million in the third quarter of fundraising. You know, and she's sort of right in the middle there doing really well. What is her campaign saying about her ability to raise money and stay in the race?
LAH: What you need to look at throughout the year, Fredricka, is the difference between quarter one, quarter two, and quarter three. We just wrapped up the quarter three of fundraising, and it is a notoriously difficult quarter to raise money in. Kamala Harris stepped away from the trail. She did not campaign as much because she had to fundraise more money. She was able to essentially stay at the same level, but it took a lot more work to get there.
But if you look at what's happened with the other top tier candidates, the ones who have outpolled her so far, they're doing quite well. Elizabeth Warren, you know, Joe Biden topped her as well as Bernie Sanders. So, you know, again this is just one indication, but her campaign says as far as showing consistency, the ability to deliver that same number, despite the head winds, they say they feel quite good about it.
WHITFIELD: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you so much.
All right, next, the men closest to President Trump caught up in controversy over the president calling on Ukraine and China to investigate a political rival. But is the defense coming from Trump's allies? Is that helping? That's next.
WHITFIELD: Happening right now protesters gathering in front of Senator Mitch McConnell's D.C. home after first being staged in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. And it's because of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the newest sworn-in justice. Today marks the one-year anniversary of Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
And today President Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Republican Senator Mitt Romney. The president is upset following a strong rebuke from the Utah senator who sent this tweet saying, "By all appearances the president's brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling." Romney is one of the few Republicans to publicly criticize the
president over his handling of Ukraine and his call for China to investigate his political rival. This weekend several Republicans came to the president's defense by attacking Democrats, the media, and the credibility of the nation's top law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): George, do you really think he was serious about thinking that China is going to investigate the Biden family? I mean --
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABS NEWS ANCHOR: He said it right there in public.
JORDAN: I think he's getting -- I think Senator Rubio said a couple of days ago, I think he's getting the press all spun up about this. Remember, this is the president who's been tougher on China than any other president.
WHITFIELD: Preceding that list, the president has invited Ukraine to look into a political rival and there is now -- there is texting on that we're seeing, the unfolding potentially of evidence to justify the whistleblower's complaint. So the question is, is this how the power of the presidency should be used to get a foreign country to interfere or meddle with U.S. elections in 2020?
LIZ HARRINGTON, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON: We have confirmed from Kurt Volker's testimony that there was no quid pro quo here. The favor, in fact, was getting to the bottom of what happened in 2016. This is an issue that Democrats and the media was very interested in not very long ago. How exactly was Russian disinformation infiltrated throughout our politics for over two years, pushing in insane conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia that was completely false.
WHITFIELD: The intelligence community has already said that Russia did interfere --
HARRINGTON: The Obama administration viewed --
JOHNSON: There are a lot of unanswered questions. Chuck, I just want the truth. The American people want the truth.
TODD: So do you not trust the -- do you not trust the FBI? You don't trust the CIA? I am just very confused here.
JOHNSON: No. No, I don't. Absolutely not.
TODD: You don't trust either of those agencies?
JOHNSON: Peter Strzok and Lisa Page?
JOHNSON: After James Comey --
TODD: You believe the FBI and the CIA, these government agencies --
JOHNSON: Peter Strzok, John Brennan, no, I don't trust any of these guys in the Obama administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. With me now, Salena Zito, she is a national political reporter for "The Washington Examiner" and a CNN contributor.
Good to see you, Salena. So --
SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hi there.
WHITFIELD: So we see the -- you know, the president continually attacking, you know, Mitt Romney after he criticized the president. You see Republicans coming to the defense of the president really changing the narrative and the focus of what this investigation is all about. How effective is this going to be for the president's defense?
ZITO: Well, if you're talking about with voters, I think that he's still going to remain popular, at least at this moment, at least with the information that's presented at this time. He still remains very popular with the people who put him in office. With the Republicans, I think it was 538 who showed that 79 percent of Democrats believe he should -- that impeachment should go forward, which is up a little but, you know, consistent with numbers that we've seen since he became president.
It also shows only 12 percent of Republicans believe that impeachment should go forward and independents are split right in half. I say this often, and I often feel as though we are stuck at the day after the election in 2016 and not much has changed. Right?
If you really like President Trump, you are optimistic. If you disliked him, you believe that you have validation. And if you're an independent voter, I think those are the ones obviously that are going to make the difference. They are the ones that took a chance on him in 2016. They're also the ones that step back and voted for Democrats in swing districts.
Democrats who did not run on impeachment, so, you know, it's -- I don't know how this ends but I know how it usually goes in terms of his narrative and nothing has changed in that way either.
WHITFIELD: So, right now, there are three Republican challengers and two were on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" today. Listen to how they are handling this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: You have said the impeachment inquiry is justified. Would you vote to support such an inquiry if you were in the House of Representatives?
MARK SANFORD (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I don't know. I suspect so. Again, I think we need to take this incrementally. I mean, I think to your point there ought to be a vote before we go into the inquiry. If you look at the last three impeachments and in fact one in which I actually took the vote, you formalize the process as opposed to having an open-ended process which is the route that Pelosi is taking right now.
TAPPER: But you're not sure that you would vote for it?
SANFORD: So would I vote in terms of --
TAPPER: Yes, the inquiry.
SANFORD: Which I would take the vote in terms of inquiry, I ultimately, as I've said previously, I don't know that ultimately impeachment is the best way to go. I think probably censure is, given the fact that we're this close to an election but that's a larger conversation. Would I want to investigate this? Yes.
TAPPER: Congressman Walsh, what do you say?
JOE WALSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't understand that with all due respect, Mark. This president deserves to be impeached.
Jake, nobody from the White House and no high-level Republicans are on this show today because there's nothing to defend. This president betrayed his country again this week. Would I vote if I were in Congress on the inquiry? There's enough we know now to vote to impeach this president. He stood on the White House lawn this week, Jake, and told two additional foreign governments to interfere in our election. That alone is impeachable.
This is a strong term I'm going to use but I'm going to say it on purpose. Donald Trump is a traitor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So, Salena, what explains the two of them seeing this so differently when they're both vying for the job in the White House?
ZITO: Well, I mean, as with any primary contest. Right? By the way, I should point out I think primary contests are very important even if the president is an incumbent. I think it helps a president define their message better before they get into a general election. But well, you know, primary contestants often view things from different places and different ways. I think Mark --
WHITFIELD: But they both want -- they both want -- I mean, all three of the Republican challengers want this president out.
ZITO: Right. WHITFIELD: It almost sounded like Mark Sanford was a little bit
defending him. Why?
ZITO: I think he was defending process more than him.
Stanford has never really been a fan of the president. So, I don't think it's about defending him. I think that was more about defending the process. I didn't hear the whole thing. But based on that clip, that seat (ph) --
WHITFIELD: Probably because he lost his seat too because he was outspoken about the president --
ZITO: Well, yes.
WHITFIELD: -- (INAUDIBLE) dynamic.
ZITO: Yes, absolutely. But I think he was more defending process than he was defending the president. He's no fan of the president's for sure.
WHITFIELD: OK. Saleno, the president is --
WHITFIELD: --trying really hard to focus on the 2020 election by bolstering, talking about the economy. Can that method kind of override this ongoing impeachment inquiry?
ZITO: If he stuck to that message, I think he could really, you know, that message and maybe talk about infrastructure and working across the aisle to get that done, I think that would be an incredible message.
I was just in Wisconsin and Michigan and Iowa and Ohio. You saw signs, you know, everywhere of people looking for jobs, not just at restaurants, not just at service and retail places but also in manufacturing places. He has a good story to tell. And it has been a consumer-driven economy.
So, he does have a good story to tell. If he stuck to that story, I think he would be better off with those wary, independent voters who grow weary of the instability and the chaos.
WHITFIELD: All right. Saleno Zito, thank you so much.
ZITO: Thank you. Thanks.
WHITFIELD: All right, straight ahead, an active man hunt under way right now after a gunman opens fire inside a crowded bar. CNN is live on the scene next.
WHITFIELD: Right now, a man hunt is under way after a deadly bar shooting in Kansas City, Kansas. Police say four people were killed and five others were shot at the Tequila KC bar early this morning and now police believe there are possibly two suspects on the loose.
CNN National Correspondent, Natasha Chen is live for us in Kansas City, Kansas. What do you know right now?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Fred, we've asked for an update from police on their progress in interviewing or arresting anyone. What police has said so far is that they think there are two possible suspects here.
When they got here overnight, around 1:30, they said there were four people dead inside, five people injured outside. The good news is those who were injured seemed to be doing OK and they will make it.
But we've talked to some people who are friends of the victims, friends of people involved including one woman who was here at the bar just a few hours before the shooting took place. Here's what she described as far as suspect she observed.
SHAY CELEDON, WAS AT BAR WITH VICTIM BEFORE SHOOTING: When I was here earlier in the evening, you know, the gentleman came in and he was a little agitated. He was confrontational. He was asked to leave. He was escorted out of the bar.
CHEN: And then she went home, she told me, went to bed, and then got woken up a couple of hours later by the friends who were still at this bar. Those friends told her that that guy had come back.
So, she was here with her best friend and her best friend's fiance. That fiance is unfortunately, she says, one of the four people who were killed. She says the fiance died in her friend's arms even as they were trying to keep him alive. So, this community is really in shock right now. And they plan to come here for a vigil this evening, Fred.
WHITFIELD: Terrible. All right, Natasha Chen, thank you so much. All right. A key witness in the murder trial against now convicted, a former Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, was shot and killed Friday night.
The Dallas County D.A.'s office confirms the victim was this man, Joshua Brown. He was the neighbor who testified that he heard the confrontation between Guyger and Botham Jean, the man Guyger murdered in his own apartment.
Brown was killed at his current home about five miles from the complex where Botham Jean was murdered. Witnesses say they saw a silver, four- door sedan speed away from the parking lot. There are no descriptions of the suspect. A businessman is offering a $100,000 reward for information in that case.
Tomorrow morning, the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices return to their chamber. Why this upcoming term is expected to be explosive.
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Tomorrow begins a new session of the U.S. Supreme Court and justices face several highly contentious cases and that includes cases on abortion, immigration, the second amendment, and LGBTQ rights.
And with the majority of justices appointed by Republican president, conservatives are hoping for some big wins. It was just one year ago today that Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in replacing the often deciding swing vote of Anthony Kennedy.
And a short time ago, activists protested Kavanaugh and the conservative direction of the court by assembling outside the Washington, D.C. home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
All right, let's discuss this new term with CNN's Ariane de Vogue. Ariane, good to see you. Just looking ahead at this new session, it is expected to be tenuous. How will the newest Justice Kavanaugh possibly play a role here?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: You're right. It was just one year ago that protesters stormed the steps of the Supreme Court. They were so furious that Brett Kavanaugh had been confirmed after allegations of sexual misconduct that had occurred when he was a teen.
Those came out during his confirmation process. He has always adamantly denied that it took place. But they're also furious about the direction of this court because the Supreme Court, like you said, is just about to start this new term. And the issues are really big issues this term.
They'll be talking about gun rights and LGBT rights, abortion, and immigration. And they are fearful that Brett Kavanaugh, who took the seat of Anthony Kennedy, is going to move the court to the right on some of those issues because Kennedy, Fred, he served as the swing vote on so many of those issues.
WHITFIELD: And then, you know, just as his term is about to begin, we've heard from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, again, 86 years old, saying she's in good health, but also taking questions. Listen to one that stood out in particular.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you think people will characterize this period in American history?
RUTH BADER GINSBURG, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: As an aberration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: As an aberration, she says. Why is it so important and vital? I mean, she sees it as important and vital for people to see her interacting with audiences and speaking out and speaking her mind like that.
DE VOGUE: Right? She speaks up there. She tries in her speaking events not to ever directly criticize President Donald Trump lately. But there she was talking broadly. And look, she is this four-time cancer survivor. She is the liberal lioness on the Supreme Court.
She was diagnosed with her last bout of cancer last August. And she has gone on this extraordinary speaking tour since that diagnosis, since she said she'd gone through treatment. And she wants to send a strong message that she is in charge of the Liberal wing of this Supreme Court.
She is ready to take the bench, to take this momentous term head-on. And that she will be there. And that she will be voting in these cases. So, it's been an extraordinary few weeks for this justice who has just captured the Liberals' attention as she does so many of these speaking events, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ariane de Vogue, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
DE VOGUE: Thanks.
WHITFIELD: We've got so much more straight ahead in the "Newsroom". But first, meet this week's "CNN Hero", Robbin Carroll.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBBIN CARROLL, FOUNDER, I GROW CHICAGO: I started coming out to the community. The lots were all empty. The houses were getting boarded up. People were not coming outside.
I stood on the corner and just asked anyone that walked by, are you interested in taking back your community? And everyone said absolutely yes. We are really brave space and courageous space.
We're going to get there. We will work through all of what is holding you back to becoming the person and the potential that you have to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: To learn more about Robbin's work, go to cnnheroes.com.
WHITFIELD: "Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies" is back with an all-new episode tonight. Host, Mike Rogers, takes us inside the case of the Norte Valle Cartel and how a group of U.S. investigators took down one of the most notorious and deadly Colombian drug cartels operating in the 1990's. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BONNIE KLAPPER, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: Romedio and I began interviewing the women. It was exclusively women that worked at these stores.
ROMEDIO VIOLA, RETIRED I.C.E.: But they wouldn't make any statements or give up any information.
KLAPPER: The women were petrified. As a prosecutor, I'd seen people concerned about deportation. I'd seen people concerned about being charged with a crime. But the level of terror that I witnessed in these women was something I hadn't seen before. And it took all of our interviewing skills to get them to speak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So, coercion -- so, joining me right now is Bonnie Klapper who is featured in tonight's episode. She is a former assistant U.S. attorney who worked on the case and helped dismantle this dangerous cartel.
So, Bonnie, good to see you. You know, it didn't start out as an effort to take down a big cartel. It really was an investigation about something else, this relatively small money laundering investigation. At what point did it reveal itself?
KLAPPER: So, from an early stage, we knew that the money was illegal proceeds. There was just so much money. I'm talking hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars in the streets of Queens and New York. We knew that this was illegal proceeds.
Our job was to figure out where the money had come from, and more important, where it was going. And that's how we expanded the -- what started as a small money laundering investigation into an investigation that led to the demise of the cartel.
WHITFIELD: So, following the money but even in that clip, you know, it's difficult to get people to cooperate, to talk, and you needed that as evidence, right, in order to get a big picture of what you were dealing with. How did you get people to talk?
KLAPPER: Absolutely. So, the concept of following the money was the foundation of the El Dorado task force, which I was a member of. And our theory, and I still believe this today, is that you seize a kilo of cocaine, you're seizing product. They'll make more product. You seize the money, you're seizing the cost of the product, the transport cost, the distribution cost. So, we focused on the money.
And these money stores, these money transfer stores, like Western Unions but they cater to an ethnic population, were sending humongous amounts of money to Colombia. The workers were typically undocumented, uneducated women who were paid far less than minimum wage. The best way to approach them, and I have found this throughout my career as a prosecutor and now as a defense attorney, two things go hand-in-hand; justice and kindness and respect.
We treated all of the witnesses the same way we would want to be treated. There by the grace of a higher power go all of us. So, we were kind. We were respectful. But when we didn't get what we thought we were going to get, we could be tough as well.
WHITFIELD: Bonnie Klapper, it is fascinating. I'm so glad to hear your story first-hand account. Of course, we'll be watching tonight. Catch the latest episode of "Declassified" tonight at 9:00 right here on CNN. Thanks again, Bonnie.
All right. "Saturday Night Live", turning the spotlight to Vice President Mike Pence and impeachment last night. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK BENNETT, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE ACTOR AS V.P. MIKE PENCE: As you know, this impeachment farce is growing worse by the day. And now, a second whistleblower is coming forward.
KATE MCKINNON, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE ACTOR AS RUDY GIULIANI: Right. And it's all happening during my busy season, Halloween.
AIDY BRYANT, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE ACTOR AS A.G. WILLIAM BARR: Where is the president, Mike?
BENNETT: He has more important things to deal with. He's meeting with an alligator breeder about filling the moat at the border.
MCKINNON: Oh no. You should have told me. I know a couple of gators from when I lived in the Central Park Zoo.
BENNETT: Rudy, we need to get ahead of this story before it spirals out of control. Did you see those text messages they uncovered?
MCKINNON: They totally exonerate us.
BENNETT: Really? What did they say?
BRYANT: Well, this one says, I think we should stop texting about the crimes and maybe tell the crimes over the phone so that the crimes don't leave little crime footprints. See, it's all taken care of.
BENNETT: I can't believe I have to deal with this. I'm supposed to be seeing the new Judy Garland movie with mother.
BRYANT: You worry too much, Mike. Presidents get impeached every 30 or 40 years. Now, come on, relax, have another glass of milk.
BENNETT: Well, it's 5:00 somewhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: SNL last night. Thanks so much for being with us this weekend. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. CNN's NEWSROOM continues with Ana Cabrera right after this.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for joining us. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. And then there were two. Another whistleblower now with a story to tell about President Trump's deals and conversations with top government officials in Ukraine.
That person has now come forward according to a lawyer who represents the original whistleblower, the man or woman whose formal complaint kick started the impeachment inquiry that is well under way this weekend.