tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN September 19, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT
three letters come to mind. tmi. 14 and a great leap forward towards peace on the korean peninsula. the leaders of north and south korea say they have reached a denuclearization deal. hello to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. i'm rosemary church. this is cnn newsroom. a vote on the nomination of brett kavanaugh to the u.s. supreme court seems further away than ever. a woman who accuses the judge of sexual assault more than three decades ago, now says she wants an fbi investigation before she will testify in public. christine blasey ford says a drunken kavanaugh held her down and tried to take off her clothes when they were in high school. kavanaugh denies the allegation.
pla christine blasey ford says she wants a full investigation. >> her fears have been realized. since coming forward, her life has been turned upside-down. and rushing forward into a hearing, when she's under this much pressure, isn't the way to do it. there's no reason to do it. it's not that there's a stalling tactic at play. she's more than willing to go forward and talk to the committee in whatever forum that is, and to assist with law enforcement in their investigation. >> just not by monday? >> nothing of substance and nothing legitimate can happen by monday. >> president trump is standing firmly behind his nominee, brett kavanaugh, and brushing aside suggestions of any fbi interview. cnn's jeff zeleny reports. >> i feel so badly for him that he's going through this, to be honest with you. i feel so badly for him. >> reporter: with the supreme court confirmation of brett kavanaugh hanging in the
balance, president trump expressing empathy for kavanaugh and silence toward his accuser. the president, forcefully defending his nominee, amid new uncertainty at the senate judiciary committee. the president pointing the finger at democrats. >> that's the name of the campaign against me. they just resist and they just obstruct. i don't want to play into their hands. hopefully, the woman will come forward, state her case. he
will state his case. before representatives of the united states senate. and then, they will vote. we will see what happens. >> reporter: so far, he's been uncharacteristically silent, not tweeting or talking about the accu accuser, christine blasey ford, who says she was sexual assaulted by kavanaugh three decades ago. but privately, they tell cnn that the star pick of the supreme court, could be in jeopardy.
the president bit his tongue, for now, at least. is this all politics? >> i don't want to say that. maybe i'll say that in a couple of days but not now. >> reporter: kavanaugh's confirmation battle is awash in politics. amid a deeply serious discussion against allegations lodged against a federal judge with his appointment in to supreme court. it's the biggest momt ent of th #metoo aeera. >> a delay is acceptable. we want to get to the bottom of everything. we want everybody to be able to speak up and to speak out. >> reporter: as democrats call for the fbi to investigate the allegations, republicans, along with the president, dilssagreed. >> i don't think the fbi wanted to be involved. if they wanted to be, they do that. this is not really their thing. >> reporter: for the second-straight day, kavanaugh was hunkered down inside the
white house. preparing for a public hearing on monday, where officials say he wants to defend his integrity. have you talked to judge kavanaugh? >> i thought it would be a thing not to. he can handle himself better than anybody. >> reporter: the president is taking a measured tone, but inching closer to diminishing the allegations, saying they should have been brought a long time ago. the president says he believes the accuser should have a public hearing. the question now, is whether she will. jeff zeleny, cnn, the white house. and joining me now from switzerland, james davis, dean of the school of economics and political science at the university of senegalen. thank you for being with us. >> good morning, rosemary. >> so, president trump is making it clear, he is standing by his supreme court pick, brett kavanaugh. but christine blasey ford now says she won't testify monday, unless there's an fbi
investigation. and that doesn't look like it's going to happen. where does that leave kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, if it goes ahead, continues, without delay, leaving questions unanswered about the sexual assault allegations? >> when i think about this situation, it's a sad commentary on the state of american politics and also the legacy of misogyny in the united states. there's no way we can get to the bottom of
allegations that are 36 years old, unless both of the parties to this controversy agree to tell the truth. right now, they have opposing stories. and so, it seems to me that an fbi or some sort of investigation is probably the only way we can get somewhere close to the truth. if we don't have that, there's going to be a cloud over judge kavanaugh if he gets confirmed
because we won't ever know. i think it's in the interest of judge kavanaugh and the interest of the country, we try to get as close to the truth as we can, even though we talk about an incident 36 years ago, where it appears that two individuals had been drinking and were at a party. and the memories may be clouded. >> that is the problem, here, isn't it? does it make more sense, perhaps, for president trump to direct the fbi to investigate these allegations, as was done in the anita hill case, during the confirmation of clarence thomas in 1991, to determine who isn't telling the truth. why the rush here? >> the rush is because the republicans in the senate want to get this thing wrapped up before the elections. and the democrats have an interest in slowing things down. that's the political game we're playing. the president has the ability to direct the fbi, to investigate this. and it seems to me, although it's unlikely that they could find out what happened in a
room, at a party, 36 years ago, they can certainly find out whether or not judge kavanaugh was at this party. he's claimed he wasn't. professor blasey ford says he was. we can quickly find out who is telling the truth on whether or not they were at that party. if it turns out that judge kavanaugh is not telling the truth, he has to withdraw his candy. we can't have a liar on the supreme court of the united states. >> you mentioned politics in this. president trump tweeted this a few hours ago. the supreme court is one of the main reasons i got elected president. i hope republicans and others are watching and studying the democrats' playbook. at a news conference on tuesday, the president said the democrats resist and obstruct. if the president is making this
a political issue, then, does he run the risk of it possibly backfiring? it could work for him coming up to midterms. but it could backfire when it comes to the women's vote. >> rosemary, i didn't get the question. we have a technical problem. if i understand you correctly, you're asking if this could backfire? >> yes. i was talking about a tweet that the president put out. and we heard him talking about the democrats resisting and obstructing. in this tweet, he implies, you read into it, that he is wanting to make this an issue in the midterm elections. if that's the case, though, it could work for him or it could backfire. what do you think is the likely outcome? >> right. i think kellyanne conway has got this right. the president is well-served to stay out of this as much as
possible. 6 the president has done his job to nominate someone for the supreme court. now, it's for them to decide, and the agreement that the president would make this an issue, i think he risks alienating women more than he has already. those republican women have always been on the fence, with respect to the president, would probably have to reconsider their support for the republican party, and probably some of them would move to the democratic side. in a campaign where it looks like the house is at risk for the republican party and the senate, i don't think that's the route that the president would want to go on. >> we shall continue to watch this, because it changes from hour-to-hour. and we look forward to talking to you in the future on other issues. james davis, thanks for joining us. appreciate it. south korea's president says the era of no war has started on
the korean peninsula. during his summit with north korean leader kim jong-un in pyongyang, moon jae-in says both leaders agree to work toward complete denuclearization. they agree to a joint military pact, plans to link the railways and health care. president trump weighed in, tweeting, kim jong-un has agreed to allow nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations and to permanently dismantle a test site and launchpad in the presence of international experts. in the meantime, there will be no rocket or nuclear testing. hero remains continue being returned home to the united states. and north and south korea will file a joint bid to host the 2032 olympics. very exciting. now, paula hancocks joins us from seoul, in south korea, to talk more about this.
paula, it is a pretty extraordinary list that they've pulled together. presumably, they had preplanned some of this. in one sitting, on day two of this three-day summit, this is an ambitious list. and top of that list, is the dismantling of north korea's nuclear facility, with the experts watching on. what does north korea want in return from the united states? and will it get it? >> rosemary, what north korea has agreed to at this point is that they will dismantle the missile test site and the launchpad. this is the key icbm testing ar area, the intercontinental ballistic missile. that was tested just last year. it's something that washington will welcome. we've seen that tweet from the u.s. president, welcoming it already. when it comes to the nuclear concessions, what we've seen in this declaration, is it is a
conditional c aal concession. we heard that kim jong-un agreed to dismantle the facility if there are corresponding measures in the united states. this is what pyongyang said it wanted. it wanted a step- by-step process where it denuclearizes and gets some concession. it's something that washington has rejected to this point. the tweet from the u.s. president does appear to say he does welcome that development. it is conditional. certainly from the chief negotiator's point of view, which is what trump made moon jae-in, he can come back feeling he has achieved something from this summit. the press conference -- the statement with kim jong-un, he said that it is the first time that north and south have agreed on denuclearization methods.
and it is a meaningful achievement. rosemary? >> paula hancocks bringing us up to day from seoul, south korea. we'll see what day three brings. many thanks to you. china is fighting back on the plan of the latest plan for u.s. tariffs. president trump announced he would impose a 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of chinese imports beginning next week. on tuesday, beijing announced it, in turn, will tax $60 billion worth of u.s. goods. mr. trump has promised a third phase of tariffs if china retaliates. >> we didn't do anything with respect to china because we wanted to have the benefit of china having to deal with north korea. and they have been helpful. i hope they're helpful. there's a question about that. it got to a point where the numbers were too big. this should have been done for the last 20 years. >> and for more on the
escalating battle, matt rivers joins us live from beijing. so, china has responded. we'll expect to see the united states come back with more trade tariffs. so, where is the end point here? >> that's an open question at this point, rosemary. there's no end in sight for this trade dispute, this trade war, because neither side is backing down. if you thought china was not going to respond to the latest round of tariffs from washington, you would have been mistaken. $60 billion were announced late yesterday evening in beijing, around 9:00 p.m. local time, right when the markets -- shortly before the markets opened up in the u.s. perhaps the timing there, not a coincidence. but the chinese saying they're going to tax $60 billion of american imports. that would bring the total number of imports taxed to $110 billion. that's 110 out of $130 billion the u.s. sends here every year.
every product facing taxes. 5,207 on this list. they will go into effect the new u.s. tariffs do on monday. and the big question moving forward, rosemary, is the u.s. side last week, had extended an invitation for another round of negotiations with the chinese side. and china was actively considering that. but then, they put the new tariffs into place. how is china going to respond? they haven't said they won't be a part of the next round of negotiations but they haven't said they're going to go, either. we're waiting to hear from the chinese side. if there's an off-ramp, it's going to be through negotiations. but that's in jeopardy at this point. >> matt rivers, live from beiji beijing. coming up, full disclosure, the porn star who says she had an affair with donald trump, has a new tell-all book. and the details may make your eyes pop. we're back in just a moment.
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between donald trump and porn star stormy daniels. cnn has obtained a copy of his tell-all book. if you have children in the room, you might want to get them out at this point. here's the report, from sara sidner. >> reporter: in her tell-all book, stormy daniels says her first sighting of donald trump in his hotel suite in tahoe was surprising. trump came swooping in. what are you doing? i yelled. go put some clothes on. he changed and they joked about his hair. what's going on with this? i know, it's ridiculous. the two talked about family. what would your wife think of you being here with me? don't worry about that, he said. it's not a big deal. and anyway, we have separate bedrooms. she writes that trump brought out a picture of melania holding their son. and when daniels came out of the
bathroom, she claims trump was lying on the bed in his underwear. they had sex. she describes his genitalia in great detail. his penis is distinctive in a certain way, she writes, proof her attorney says she is tired of being called a liar by trump's people. the night of her sexual encounter with trump, she was invited to a club. she finds trump and ben roethlisberger talking. she writes, trump suggested roethlisberger walk her to her hotel room. he asked her a question. while pushing lightly on her door. how about a good night kiss? i was terrified. i'm rarely terrified. he stood outside not leaving. every now and again, he would knock, rapping his knuckles in a line low on the door. knock. come on, he repeated in a sing-song voice. i won't tell. he eventually left. cnn reached out to roethlisberger for comment.
we have not heard back. but in january, after a few of the details came out in "in touch" magazine, roethlisberger's agent said he was aware of it but had no intention of addressing the story. trump has not admitted to any tryst. but the spokesperson said it happened again and again. in his room, as the two were watching tv, hillary clinton called. clinton was vying for the nomination against barack obama. when he hung up, he was effusive about hillary. i love her, he said. she is so smart. fast-forward to almost a decade in the trump and clinton campaigns and you'd never know it. >> lying, crooked hillary. she is a liar. >> reporter: daniels reveals, she was raped as a child. she writes, it happened
repeatedly by a man who lived next door to one of her friends. i was 9. i was a child. and then, i wasn't, she writes. he was raping vanessa, so, i put myself between them. continually offering myself up so he would leave her alone. daniels says a school counselor called her a liar when she revealed the rape. that's just one of the disturbing details she recounts in her young life. one of the themes that is throughout the book is stormy daniels hates being called a liar. and that explains why she went into such detail about president trump. her book comes out on october 2nd. sara sidner, cnn, los angeles. speaking out about sexual assault can be a harrowing experience. just ahead, we will speak with someone who knows what the woman accusing brett kavanaugh is going through right now. plus, a high school friend of the supreme court nominee comes to his defense.
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welcome back, everyone. i'm rosemary church. this is "cnn newsroom." let's update you on the stories we're following this hour. south korea's president says the era of no war has started on the korean peninsula. on the second day of his summit with kim jong-un, moon jae-in say they have agreed on a path towards denuclearization. they also announced a joint military pact, plans to link railways and cooperate on health care and for kim jong-un to visit seoul in the near future.
u.s. president trump tweeted about the developments, calling it very exciting. china is firing the latest round in the trade war with the united states. beijing says it will tax $60 billion of u.s. imports beginning monday. that is the same day that president trump plans to impose a 10% tariff on chinese goods. he has promised another round of tariffs if china retaliates. the woman accusing u.s. supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual assault more than 30 years ago, says she wants an fbi investigation before she testifies in public. the senate judiciary committee has asked christine blasey ford to appear on monday. kavanaugh's accuser says she has received a stunning amount of support from her community. but she's also been the target of vicious harassment since she's told her story. her attorney spoke with cnn on tuesday. >> she just came forward with
these allegations 48 hours ago. since that time, she's been dealing with hate mail, horsement, death threats. she's been spending her time trying to figure out how to put her life back together, how to protect herself and her family. >> critics are asking why blasey ford so long to come forward. but for many victims that's not unusual. rachel d rachel dael denhollander was on the first women to accuse sports doctor larry nassar for abuse. she says she stayed silent for years because she saw how other accusers were treated. >> you need to realize that you are greatly compounding the damage done to these abuse victims by the way you are responding. this, what it took to get here, what we had to go through for our voices to be heard because of the responses of the adults in authority, has greatly
compounded the damage we suffer. and it matters. >> american lawyer and former gymnast, rachael denhollander joins me now from kentucky. thank you so much for speaking with us. >> thank you for having me. >> when you think back to make that decision to blow the whistle on larry nassar and how much strength you think you needed to speak up? >> it took years to get to the point of being healed enough to face what i knew was coming when i spoke out. i knew larry would be an international story, given who he was. and the thought of what that would entail was absolutely terrifying. in addition to that, just the idea of having to verbalize, something so shameful and private and something so intimate, is really terrifying for an abuse victim. it's a horrific process to go through. >> what's life been like since the abuse and how did it change
your life? >> it was every bit as difficult and horrific as i expected it to be. a lot of the same things that were being said about miss ford were said about me and said about every survivor who comes forward -- she's in it for the attention. she's in it for personal gain. there's a political motivation. larry was running for office when i spoke out. why did she wait so long? that's the attacks that all victims get when they speak up. that's why we see a massive delay in disclosures. it's the norm, not the exception, for it to take years and decades for victims to come forward with their abuse stories. i have received many, many personal messages from people who are in their 60s and 70s. who are telling me for the first time of their abuse. and they still hadn't spoken of it to anyone. >> so many people do have their own secrets that they carry throughout their lives,
regarding this sort of thing. we know christine blasey ford's lawyer says she will not appear at the hearing unless the fbi investigates the allegations. so far, it looks like that isn't going to happen. we know, too, she has been driven from her home, is received death threats and is receiving vulgar e-mails. this is why people hesitate when it comes to reporting sexual misconduct. can you relate to most of that? and what do you think ford is going through right now? >> i can. and i think any survivor who had to speak out against their abuser can relate to that. we get the nasty comments. that's one of the reasons that survivors stay silent. really, i think the lesson we need to take away here is how we respond when it's in our own community. what do we do when the allegation is in our own community? do we listen?
do we pursue the truth? are we willing to consider? or do we have a knee-jerk self-protectionist reaction? everybody is saying at the table, why didn't you speak up earlier? and the response they are giving her is the point that she didn't speak up earlier. and until that changes, we aren't going to be able to see victims that come forward earlier. they know the response they're going to get. >> of course, looking at the public hearing that is set for monday, we don't know at this point, of course, if ms. ford is going to turn up. but if she did and if she went ahead and did this, we were going to hear from brett kavanaugh and from christine blasey forward. it would have been he said/she said. people would have to figure out which one they believed. do you find it extraordinary in 2018 -- we saw what went on in
1991 with anita hill. why has very little changed when it comes to that? even back then, they had witnesses. people would come on either side and give their side of the story. you're a lawyer, of course. as a lawyer, do you look at that and think, what is going on? why are they not delving deeper into this? >> you know, that is a role that the fbi could play. i would like to see them take that up. but the reality is, in sexual assault cases, there isn't a lot of evidence most of the time. they're private and that's the nature of sexual assault. that being said, prior disclosures is something that would weigh heavily. that's one of the main pieces of evidence that i brought forward, is my prior disclosures, including to medical personnel. and christine ford has that. that's something that probative and makes her claim worth listening to. worth hearing.
>> i think for a lot of people, they have to ask the question, what does she gain from going public? and from what she said, she said it was her civic duty since this was a lifetime position that brett kavanaugh was taking. we will continue to follow this story. rachael denhollander, thank you for sharing your story with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. the other person who was supposedly in the room when brett kavanaugh allegedly assaulted christine blasey ford is speaking out. in a letter sent to the senate judiciary committee, mark judge and his attorney write, brett kavanaugh and i were friends in high school. but i do not recall the party described in dr. ford's letter. more to the point, i never saw brett act in the manner dr. ford describes. the judge's past is now coming under intense scrutiny.
here's cnn's jessica schneider. >> reporter: testimony from brett kavanaugh's high school classmate, mark judge, in demand from democrats. >> i think it's important that we hear from witnesses, the least of which is mark judge. >> how can we get to the truth and not have mr. judge come to the hearing and ask questions? >> reporter: christine blasey ford says mark judge was in the room when she alleges 17-year-old brett kavanaugh pinned her down, tried to take off her clothes and put his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming. she says judge witnessed everything. through his lawyer, he sent a statement to the judiciary committee saying, i have no memory of this alleged ziforcef the incident. the memoir depicts the drinking and partying at the time kavanaugh was at georgetown in
the 1980s. but it does not recount a situation that ford alleges. >> one only needs to look at the writings of mark judge, who was the other person present, to know that he wrote how stumbling drunk he and other members of georgetown prep were repeatedly, routinely. this was part of their culture. >> reporter: judge seems to e laid to brett kavanaugh. do you know bart o' kavanaugh? yeah, he passed out on his way from a party. they were in the school outside washington, d.c. captions in their class yearbook eludes to parties and women. 100 kegs or bust. and do these guys beat their lives? and this one, prep parties raise
questions of legality. and judge has waded into conservative politics, writing several articles for "the daily caller." he's written about former president obama, saying, he seems to be a woman and a feminist one, at that. and he takes on the topic of m feminism, the bogus line of women is women acting out about bad fathers. it's easy admitting what really ails you. mark judge telling the senate judiciary committee he will not be testifying publicly or speaking out because he has no memory of the alleged incident. in addition, we talked to a friend of kavanaugh and judge, who says kavanaugh did drink beer in high school but was never out of control. judge, in the meantime, they say, was a loud mouth and a lot wilder. but this person has no knowledge of the party where ford was
in a cnn exclusive report, the saudi-led coalition fighting in yemen says it will investigate an air strike that killed two children. cnn provided the coalition evidence of last thursday's bombing in sanaa, it was the latest example of the toll that the war is taking. this report contains disturbing images.
>> reporter: a direct strike in broad daylight. rescuers rush in. but it's too late. it's too graphic to show. but the bodies being pulled out belong to 3-year-old samud and her brother. this cell phone footage was sent to cnn, a rare glimpse of life of the bombardment in yemen. bashard is taking us down through his house. down, down, to the family's hiding place. this is where the children have been taught to come when they hear the familiar drone of planes overhead. bara and her family are not so lucky. they had to improvise. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> reporter: for the last three years, yemen has been the site of a devastating proxy war, p pitting hoti militias against the government. in that time, local activist groups have collected data showing an estimated 17,000 aerial strikes, as yemenese attempt some semblance of life. on august 9th, the world was aghast when images emerged of schoolboys covered with blood after their bus was hit. a cnn investigation found the bomb was supplied by the u.s. to the coalition. we now know that wasn't the first or last incident of civilian deaths, using u.s.-made
armaments. just the first to hit the headlines in years. using images collected by a yemeni activist group and verified by cnn having been american-made, cnn has been able to identify 11 separate incidents on coalition strikes on civilian areas using u.s. armaments. lockheed martin and raytheon and the u.s. air force material command. it is a litany of death made in the usa. and yet, the u.s. state department has certified that the saudi coalition is undertaking actions to reduce the risk of harm. and that arm sales to the coalition could continue. when cnn reached out to the pentagon, spokeswoman commander rebecca said it called upon all parties to take all precautions to harm civilians. the conduct in the campaign is made by the members of the
saudi-led coalition, not the u.s. many of the weapons were precision-xw precision-guided. we wanted to see the aftermath for ourselves. cnn was able to send a team. there, our cameraman met this 12-year-old. in april, a coalition bomb struck a village wedding. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> reporter: you can see here, the moments before the planes arrived, killing 11 children. a weapons expert helped cnn trace it back to the u.s.-made bomb by raitt yen.
he will spend his life on crutches. his brother was killed. as the team conducts the interviews, in the distance, a plane is heard. and the children scatter. in a rare moment of respite, bara's little brother is allowed to play in the courtyard. our cameraman asks why he doesn't play in the street. he knows the sound by heart. his cue to run toward safety, there is. >> as we mentioned the spokesman for the saudi-led coalition in yemen says the coalition would investigate the evidence presented by cnn. he says the coalition takes any
allegations like this seriously. and, quote, targeting operations are carried out in conformity to the rules of engagement, which resemble the highest international standards. cnn requested a comment from raytheon and lockheed martin. we've not received a response from those companies. still to come, the storm has passed but not the danger. more rivers are flooding in north and south carolina. and thousands are still in harm's way. my name is jeff sheldon,
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welcome back, everyone. parts of the southeastern u.s. are still threatened by the effects of what's left of hurricane florence. this is video from one of the several towns in north carolina where the flooding is getting worse. 14 rivers across the state have reached major flood levels. and some continue to rise. the death toll is up to 36 in 3 states, most in north carolina. officials there warn the next two days will be extremely critical, as thousands of residents are still in danger. let's turn, again, to pedram
javaheri joining us from the weather center with the latest of these flooding concerns. pedram? >> rosemary, what's remarkable about what's happening here is the water levels are so far above flood stage and record flood stage, that once they recede over the next week or two, we'll see water across the communities. i counted upwards of 50 counties dealing with the flood warnings. that means that flooding is imminent or occurring. we know it's occurring across this region. and fascinating perspective, when you look at ocean boulevard, one more block north of this region. you go to south anderson boulevard. this is the before perspective. once florence came ashore, you see what happened here. much of that sand pushing up over that street. and south anderson boulevard you get some sand and there's some
roof damage to go around with it, as well. this is what happens. and of course, it was a downgraded storm as it came ashore, category 2. it was initially had forecasts to make it to land at category 4. it shows you the damage that could have been done further to what we saw. upwards of 30 gauges. expect to report flooding and major flood stage for the vast majority of them. the water levels will peak later on wednesday. and a gradual drop is forecast towards the weekend. >> thank you for keeping an eye on that. appreciate it. now, to a controversy brewing at a popular children's show. a former writer for "sesame street" tells "the new york times," that his comments about the puppets burt and ernie were misinterpreted. he appears in the lgbt magazine saying they are guy. he said he always felt that without a huge agenda when he was writing burt and ernie, they
were. he said, he didn't have a way to conte conte contextualize them. he said, as a writer, you bring what you know in your work. somehow, that turned into bert and ernie being guy. the makers of "sesame street" were quick to shut it down. they were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those that are different from themselves. even though they are identified as male characters and possess characterists as most "sesame street" muppets do. they are puppets and do not have a sexual orientation. thank you for joining us this hour. i'm rosemary church. "early start " is next for our
it's premature to talk about hearings on monday. >> lawyers for christine blasey ford say they want the fbi to investigate her accusations against brett kavanaugh before any senate hearing. breaking overnight, north korea just agreed to shut down a main nuclear site, but there's a big catch. president trump visit the carolinas today as the death toll climbs in the flood disaster left behind by hurricane florence. firefighters get into a tug-of-war