tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 24, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
thursday when i get back. today we're meeting with a lot of great people, including president moon. and we're over the next couple of days, as you know, we're meeting with many countries. today we're giving a big speech. but i'll be back on thursday. when i get back, we'll have a meeting. i spoke with rod today and we're going to have a meeting on thursday when i get back to the white house. i want to say the country, the united states, as president moon point out when we first met, the united states is doing better economically than we've ever done before. the numbers are outstanding. new numbers will be released that i think there just continue this forward march. and i think we have tremendous potential on the upside. i'm very excited about our new trade agreement. this is a brand-new agreement. this is not an old one rewritten. this is a brand-new agreement. i'm very excited about that for the united states. and i really believe it's good for both countries. but the -- the numbers that we're doing in the united
states, whether it be unemployment numbers or whether it be employment numbers, we are right now more people working in the united states than ever before in our history. that's some number, right? and, you know, it's a number that people did not expect to see. it's a number that nobody thought would happen, certainly within two years. we have more people working in the united states today than we've ever had. our unemployment numbers are among the best they've ever had. for african-american, it's the lowest number we've ever had, for asian-americans, hispanics, the lowest we've ever had. we're very proud of that. on top of that, we have many companies moving back into the united states. in most cases it's back. they left and they're coming back. they all want to be where the action is. i appreciate your kind words, but ours is the envy of the
world. we're the fastest growing xli in the world. as vast as it is, we're the fastest growing economy in the world. up $10 million. we're very proud of that. thank you, everybody. thank you very much, everybody. >> all right. robin wright, putting a button on this, two notes, hearing him say about no rush with regard to the second summit, which he says should be happening soon, no rush and also your note about this rod rosenstein meeting at the white house on thursday happening after unga. you wanted to make a thought about that. >> the timing of this is really important. the president's most important international engagement is once a year at the u.n. and he doesn't want to blow his opportunity to take away from that message at the u.n. he'll cha ira session at the
security council. he has a very important message and he doesn't want the whole world to be talking about or inquiring or dealing with rod rosenstein. when it comes to the no rush, remember, he talked about north korea and getting a de nuclearization program going or concluded within a year. and now he's saying, no rush. so this is already changing the parameters of engagement with north korea. >> got it. thank you very much. robin wright, let's continue on, top of the hour, as we just mentioned, thursday will be a huge news day in washington, d.c., where two extremely important meetings had are set to happen. the president is scheduled to meet with deputy attorney general rod rosenstein after initial reports that he expects to be fired or could resign. on that very same day, senators are still expected to hear from christine blasey ford, the woman accusing supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual assault. he's just written a letter to the senate. we'll read part of that for you in a moment. but first, the white house just
released a statement about the man running the russia investigation, running this entire special counsel investigation, the deputy attorney general. in
part it reads as follows, at the request of deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, he and president trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories. they will meet on thursday. all of this coming three days after that bombshell "new york times" report that rosenstein considered wearing a wire to record president trump and reportedly discussed invoking the 25th amendment to remove the president from office. the deputy attorney general has forcefully denied those claims. so, let's start this hour with our justice correspondent, our senior justice correspondent, evan perez. evan, we've been hearing a lot of back and forth, what we're hearing at justice, hearing at the white house. tell us what your sources are telling you. >> reporter: brooke,ist been a day full of drama for deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, who at this moment is still the deputy attorney general. he came back to the justice
department a little while ago, after going to the white house. you heard the president say there that apparently they spoke, at least by phone. that he went there to meet with john kelly, chief of staff of the president. and then right after that meeting, it appears he went and sat in on a previously scheduled principals' meeting. imagine what that meeting was like. look, the day began with word that the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, as you said, the man who is the senior-most person at the justice department, overseeing the mueller investigation. he went to the white house thinking that he was going to be fired or he was going to be having his resignation be forced. so, that was the -- where things stood at the beginning of the morning. it appears at the end of that conversation with the president, rod rosenstein is now waiting to see the president in person here on thursday. we heard in the past hour, one of the president's attorneys, go
on his radio program saying that this requires a pause on all of the russia investigation matters. at least until thursday, until they can get their heads around exactly what is happening. it is clear, brooke, that the revelation of those comments made last year that came in that "new york times" story and and now confirmed by cnn and other news organizations, that is still rocking everything at the justice department and could determine the fate of the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. >> indeed, it could. it's all going down thursday. evan, thank you. before today's development regarding rod rosenstein, president trump recorded a pretaped radio interview where he would not definitively say whether or not he would fire his deputy attorney general. here he was. >> i don't want to comment on it until i get all the facts. i haven't gotten all the facts. but certainly it's being looked at in terms of what took place, if anything took place. he was hired by jeff sessions.
i was not involved in that process because, you know, they go out and they get their own deputies and the people that work in the department. >> let's go to our white house correspondent, kaitlan collins. listening to the president sitting there next to president moon, he said, yes, he's meeting with rod rosenstein thursday to determine, as he said, what's going on. he highlighted the need for transparency. how did you interpret that? >> that comes, brooke, as we know president trump was skeptical of that "new york times" reporting based off those memos from andrew mccabe. rosenstein floated the idea of secretly recording the president or forcibly pushing him out of the office. president trump didn't react to that with the volcanic anger aides thought -- >> hang on. i'm hearing we have mitch mcconnell speaking about the supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh. >> before they reviewed a lick of evidence, before they heard a
minute of testimony, democrats already made up their mind and chose their tactics. delay, obstruct and resist. whatever it took, whatever the truth really was, they were going to do whatever they could to stop this qualified, experienced and mainstream nominee. democrats have signaled for months they would put on whatever performance the far left special interest demanded and throw all the mud, all the mud, they could manufacture. it's not like they didn't warn us, but even by the far left's standards, this shameful, shameful smear campaign has hit a new low. i get into the specifics in just
a moment. i want to be perfectly clear about what has taken place. senate democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man's personal and professional life on the basis of decades' old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated. that, mr. president, is where we are. this is what the so-called resistance has become. a smear campaign, pure and simple. aided and abetted by members of the united states senate. eight weeks ago democrats on the senate judiciary committee received a letter from dr. christine blasey ford with an uncorroborated allegation of misconduct. show had requested the matter be
handled discreetly and confidentially. the responsible next step would have been alerting the full committee, so a confidential bipartisan investigation could begin. committee staff would have followed their standard practice or investigating background information. senators could have questioned judge kavanaugh in their meetings or in closed session, while respecting dr. ford's request for confidentiality. oh, but democrats didn't do any of that. they sat on dr. ford's letter for seven weeks. seven weeks. kept it secret. they did nothing. their bid their time and then they threw professor ford's wishes overboard and leaked it to the press.
our colleague from delaware has himself indicated that either the ranking members' office or the democratic committee staff likely leaked the document. as i've noted, we know the chain of custody of the letter went through the democratic side of the judiciary committee. so, mr. president, does this sound like democratic senators take their responsibilities seriously and want to get to the truth or does it sound like a choreographed smear campaign that ignored dr. ford's request for confidentiality in order to inflict maximum damage, maximum damage, at the least minimum, on judge kavanaugh and his family. this is an allegation of misconduct, which all four supposed witnesses either flatly contradict or are unable to back
up. in addition to judge kavanaugh, the other three supposed witnesses have said they have, quote, no knowledge, no knowledge. no recollection. no recollection. and no memory of the alleged incident. it's not just one alleged witness disagreeing with the allegations. it's literally every person who was supposedly there. one of those supposed witnesses says she does not even know judge kavanaugh. so, all the witnesses that dr. ford says were present at the party have told the committee on the record and under penalty of felony, under penalty of felony, all confirm they do not remember any such
party, do not know judge kavanaugh or have never seen him do anything remotely, remotely like has been alleged. and this unsubstantiated allegation stands entirely at odds with everything we've heard about judge kavanaugh's character from those who have worked with him, socialized with him, dating all the way back to high school. but democrats wouldn't let a few inconvenient things like a complete lack of evidence or an accuser's request for confidentiality to get between them and a good smear. it's despicable. and the contrast with a completely professional conduct of chairman grassley could not be starker. as soon as chairman grassley
learned about this allegation, he handled it through properly channels. he immediately began gathering the facts. his office promptly conducted a transcribed interview of judge kavanaugh, in which, under penalty of felony, he unequivocally denied the last-minute allegation. and it is office received statements from all the other supposed witnesses that they either directly contradicted the story or denied knowing anything about it. once more, chairman grassley ensured that dr. ford could be heard in a form of her own choosing, either here or in california, either in public or in private, either with the staff or with members. he's gone above and beyond to accommodate her request. thanks to him we have a fair and open hearing scheduled for thursday. dr. ford will be able to state
her allegation under oath and judge kavanaugh will be able to respond. but the smear campaign didn't stop there. that was just act one. just act one. according to the reporter of this second allegation, the accuser, quote, came forward because senate democrats began looking and now they're calling for even further delays and further obstruction over a second decades' old allegation that is so thin and so unsupported that "the new york times" refused to even run a story about it. this claim is so dubious that "the new york times" passed on the story entirely after looking into it. here's why "the new york times" declined to publish. quote, interviewed several dozen
people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story and could find no one, no one with firsthand knowledge. not one person with firsthand knowledge, to support the allegation. but, rather, multiple on-the-record denials, again. "the times" also reported that the claimant said she herself is uncertain of her claim. that's "the new york times." whose credo is all the news that's fit to print. and of found this latest last-minute allegation not even fit to print. oh, but that hasn't stopped judiciary committee democrats from shoveling it into their smear campaign and demanding for further delays.
they kept this one secret from republicans, too, by the way. evidently several democratic offices knew of this allegation for at least a week. but like with dr. ford's claim, they sat on this one, too, so the committee could not take any proper action. they just wanted it to wind up in the press. another orchestrated, last-minute hit on the nominee. and now they're acting like it's a legitimate reason to delay things even further. as though they hadn't already announced themselves as completely opposed to his nomination anyway. as if they hadn't already promised the far left they would lead the fight to bring this nomination down whatever it took. whatever the cost. whatever it took, whatever the cost.
let's put aside this last-minute, unsubstantiated smear. let's return to the facts. let's have a fair hearing on thursday. here are the facts that we do have. hundreds of men and women who have known brett kavanaugh across his life have written or spoken out that he is a man of strong character and tremendous integrity. numerous witnesses testified before the judiciary committee that he's a trusted mentor, a loyal friend and a life-long champion of women. more than 75 women gathered last week to share their decades' old knowledge of judge kavanaugh as, quote, a guy who treats us with kindness and respect and a true gentlemen in all aspects of his life. of course, it remains beyond reasonable dispute that judge kavanaugh's legal brilliance
maim him one of the most qualified supreme court nominees in the history of our country. all of these facts are quite clearly on one side. maybe that's why the democrats are so panicked. maybe that's why they're so willing to try to bring down this nominee. in the meantime, a good and honorable man and his family are receiving death threats. they're the subject of smears and facing senate democrats who say he has no presumption of innocence because they don't agree with his judicial philosophy. well, before the week is out, both judge kavanaugh and dr. ford will testify under oath before the judiciary committee. chairman grassley has made sure the facts will be heard. judge kavanaugh and the american people deserve nothing else, and i want to make it perfectly clear, mr. president, judge
kavanaugh will be voted on here on the senate floor. up or down. on the senate floor, this fine nominee to the supreme court will receive a vote in this senate, in the near future. now, an entirely different matter, last week our efforts to restore regular appropriations hit another milestone. the president signed into law -- >> all right. let me -- listening to all of that, let me start with the politics of all of this. mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, just decided to lecture democrats for their actions involving a supreme court nominee. the same mitch mcconnell who would not give obama's -- who president obama on his supreme court,
merritt garland, a hearing. that's pretty rich. i have gloria borger and kaitlan
collins. it's like, seriously? >> if i recall, merritt garland was waiting around for 400 days and then never did get either a hearing or a vote. and so it is pretty rich to hear mcconnell say, you know, this is the schedule and we are going to stick to it. the other point he is making that is absolutely accurate is that this is politics. and this is payback former rit g garland, as you point out, and democrats believing that they believe dr. ford and they want her to be heard and now she is willing to be heard. and they want it to be done in a different way with an fbi investigation, et cetera, et cetera. but, you know, both sides here are playing hard ball, brooke. you know, they're -- >>
all the times he said smear, smear, smear. >> right. well, he was talking about the
piece in "the new yorker," which he considered uncorroborated. he also quoted "the new york times," which i also thought was new york -- >> the failing "new york times." >> right, right. >> saying "the new york times" had the same information but, you know, didn't go with it. so, you know, i mean, we understand what is going on here. we understood it back when anita hill testified. and, you know, little has changed, to be honest. little has changed. >> republicans seem to -- kaitlan, this is for you. republicans seem to be lumping in this new allegation coming out of this "new yorker" piece with christine blasey ford's accusations as an offensive political tactic. lumping it all together. >> yeah. we are seeing the strategy change very quickly in the matter of that allegation with christine blasey ford to this allegation with the latest wok in "the new yorker," deborah ramirez, quite a bit a bit of a
big strategy change here, brooke. the white house before were not saying this was a smear neither was mitch mcconnell. they were saying she doesn't remember, she has no evidence to back it up, et cetera, et cetera. now they're saying this is a smear, a political strategy to get kavanaugh away from his chances of ever being confirmed to the supreme court. that's not what would he were seeing a few days ago before this allegation came out in "the new yorker" last night. we saw that not only with senate majority leader mcconnell with smear on repeat and also kellyanne conway's interview this morning saying she believed this was some left-wing conspiracy out to get brett kavanaugh. and president trump himself saying this is all political. you're right, they are pushing these two allegations together. one they're saying doesn't have simply enough sourcing, pointing to the fact that "the new york times" interviewed dozens of people and couldn't find flynn to corroborate this information but they're only focusing on this allegation. they're not focusing on the woman who's coming to washington
on thursday to testify to say they was sexually assaulted by brett kavanaugh, the allegation he denies, and we're even seeing brett kavanaugh come out swinging with that lengthy letter he wrote to the senate judiciary committee saying he's being smeared. what we're witnessing is a very big change in strategy from, let's hear this woman out, we'll defend our nominee to now this is a political smear of brett kavanaugh. >> tounder scokavanaugh writing smears, pure and simple. let's hone in on christine blasey ford. i now have new words from her. and so let me just read -- gloria, i want your reaction to this. i'll read a chunk of her letter. mr. kavanaugh's actions, while many years ago, were serious and have had a lasting impact on my life. i thought that knowledge of his actions could be useful for you
and those in charge of choosing among the various candidates. my original intent was first and foremost to be a helpful citizen in a confidential way that would minimize collateral damage to all friends and family involved. i then took the step of sending a confidential letter to one of my senators, ranking member feinstein and i understand you have a copy of that letter. i'm certainly prepared to repeat the facts in the letter and provide further facts under oath at a hearing. i would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and other senators directly, person-to-person, to tell you what occurred. i will answer any questions you have. i hope that we can find such a setting that you will understand that i have one motivation in coming forward, to tell the truth about what mr. kavanaugh and his friend mark judge did to me. my sincere desire is to be helpful to the persons making the decision. she closes it, while i'm frightened, please know my fear will not hold me back from
testifying and you will be provided with answers to all of your questions. i ask for fair and respectful treatment. >> yeah. this is a perfectly reasonable letter from a woman who clearly states that she initially intended for this to be private. then it suddenly became public and she found herself in a spotlight she did not want to be in at all. she offered to meet with grassley one-on-one and with republican senators one-on-one, and before the committee to tell her story. and i think, you know, to kaitlan's point, what we're seeing today is kind of republicans trying to put in the same pot the snore that was in "the new yorker," and -- >> it's want the same. it's not the same. >> -- and dr. ford. and they are not the same. we cannot -- you know, we cannot
veri verifyyorker" story, but they're trying to mesh it in and say, look at this pattern. it's a pattern of people with political motives trying to destroy judge cavanaugh. and i think that after the story came out yesterday, it gave republicans a lot more wind at their back, if you will, because there were journalists saying, you know, we can't confirm this. and there were people saying, you know, i don't remember this, i don't recall this, et cetera, et cetera. so they're just trying to conflate the two into one big thing. they're not. they're not the same at all. i think judge kavanaugh needs to answer questions about both of them but mitch mcconnell made it very clear that's not going to occur. >> lastly, the time of all this. i forget off the top of my head the day count until the midterm -- >> 42. >> thank you, 42 days until the midterm elections.
so, why the stakes are so high, right, that there is no way in that time, depending on what does or doesn't happen with judge kavanaugh to try to get someone else through. there's an outside chance that democrats could take the senate. this is a big deal. >> that's everything that is on the white house's mind as they are fighting against these allegations made against judge kavanaugh. it's not just because they like him as a person. they also realize what is at stake here. we've heard president trump essentially voicing that. white house officials broke fear that a second accuser would come forward before ford came forward to testify against kavanaugh. that was their fear, even if they couldn't prove or disprove allegations they thought could come out, that if there were multiple accusations made against brett kavanaugh that could derail his nomination all together. that is their concern here. president trump has made pretty clear he's standing by brett kavanaugh right now. he wants to defend him. he thinks these are political
targets on kavanaugh's back and that's the only reason these allegations are coming out. the white house's fear so much to the fact that senior officials in the white house were discussing who else they could nominate to the supreme court, they think they could cut bait with brett kavanaugh and have someone else nominated, those other leading contenders leading up to brett kavanaugh's nomination and potentially have someone like that confirmed by january. those are ideas floating around in the west wing right now because they think it could become too perilous a situation with brett kavanaugh. >> i have joan, who has a microphone on as well, who's been covering the supreme court for years and years. reading both of these letters, it sounds like this hearing is going to happen. neither side is shying away. >> it's so true, brooke. we start the morning wondering if the latest set of allegations is going to derail this nominee who was so close to getting a committee vote, moving closer to
the floor when everything first mru up about ten days ago. but what's happened in the last two hours, brooke, shows that all parties are digging in in one way or another. we got, most importantly, from the nominee himself, a letter saying he owes it to himself, he owes it to his family, up, he's a father of two daughters, he owes it to all these women who supported him, to stick with it. we've also heard from dr. christine blasey ford, writing directly to chairman grassley on the senate judiciary committee saying, here's why i came forward. she sort of wanted to give herself more voice, i think. she said to chairman grassley, up, handle this letter the way you see fit. she obviously expected it to be released as it was. and in it she talked about a little about the decision to come forward and what she's trying to do here and she emphasized her role as a citizen in this process feeling the need
to explain what she knows of this nominee to this lifetime seat. >> joan, thank you so much on what's happening here. judge kavanaugh, christine blasey ford to testify thursday. the other huge story, also with a thursday focus, that the fate of the man in charge of the robert mueller investigation, rod rosenstein, meeting with the president at the white house on thursday after conflicting reports about a possible resignati resignation. we have all the details for you. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. stand by for that. (vo) this is not a video game. this is not a screensaver. this is the destruction of a cancer cell by the body's own immune system, thanks to medicine that didn't exist until now. and today can save your life. ♪ ♪
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if you can't afford your medication, since you're heading off to dad... i just got a zerowater. but we've always used brita. it's two stage-filter... doesn't compare to zerowater's 5-stage. this meter shows how much stuff, or dissolved solids, gets left behind. our tap water is 220. brita? 110... seriously? but zerowater- let me guess. zero? yup, that's how i know it is the purest-tasting water. i need to find the receipt for that. oh yeah, you do. the president is now scheduled to meet with deputy attorney rod rosenstein after initial reports he expects to be fired or could resign, all of this happening three days after
that explosive "new york times" report that rod rosenstein considered wearing a wire to record president trump, and even went as far as invoking the 25th amendment to remove the president from office. now, the deputy ag has forcefully denied all of those claims, but let's start a conversation there. gloria borger is back with us and also cnn contributor john dean, former nixon white house counsel is with us as well. so, gloria, welcome back. john dean, always a pleasure, sir. but, gloria to you first, this 30,000-foot-view of, friday "the new york times" piece comes out. monday rod rosenstein shows up at the white house, has this meeting with the chief of staff, john kelly. fast forward to thursday. he has this meeting with the president. once the president's finished with the unga. what are the different directions this thing could go? >> i don't think rod rosenstein is going to be around for much longer. i mean, it's -- >> you don't? >> it seems to me -- >> no. it seems he wants to resign. a lot of people are telling the
president, who doesn't like rod rosenstein. as you know, we've been talking about this for months, for lots of reasons, because rosenstein appointed jm, reason number one. so, he doesn't like rod rosenstein but he also knows firing him could cause him problems. republicans have said to him, look, this is going to get in the way of the kavanaugh confirmation. democrats will go crazy about this and we don't want to get in the way of that confirmation and mix these two big stories up. you know, and secondly, they know what problems it's going to cause with democrats. conservatives don't like rosenstein. they want to bring him up before the hill. the notion is to wait until after the midterm elections. so, here the president is in this pickle. first of all, he has to believe a story in "the new york times," which he hates. secondly, it seems the story may very well have been based on a lot of memos written by andy mccabe, a person whom jeff
sessions fired and donald trump hates. so, he finds -- he finds himself in kind of a quandary here because, of course, he wants rosenstein gone. >> right. he wants him gone. it's a matter of of does he do it thursday -- >> or does rosenstein do it. >> or does rosenstein do it himself. john dean, can you underscore the importance -- i don't know how much of a household name rod rosenstein is to everyone, but this is the man in charge of the massive special counsel russia investigation. not only that, but whenever mueller comes to his conclusion, writes his report, it is down to this individual, the deputy attorney general, to figure out where to go with it. >> and you mentioned the k keywords there, deputy attorney general. he's not only in charge of the russia investigation, but he's really running the department of justice. the deputy is always the hands-on guy which lets the
attorney general set big predict, strategic, go out and make speeches, things of that nature. the reason sessions selected this deputy attorney general is because he knows what he's doing. he handles the u.s. attorneys. he handles the assistant attorney generals in charge of the various divisions. it's a very big job and a very busy job. so, unless you're going to decapitate the entire top of the justice department, which you want to do slowly at this stage of his administration, i don't think this is going to happen as fast as people think. >> let me ask both of you to stand by because i want to ask what happens if rosenstein does, in fact, leave, who then could be in charge. stay with me. a quick commercial break. you're watching cnn special live coverage.
john dean is back with me, former nixon consultant and talking about this whole what-if game with deputy attorney general rod rosenstein when he meets with president trump at the white house on thursday, will he resign, will he be fired. here's my question for you, sir. you know, what -- here's the what-if. what if the president, what if he goes away and i know it's supposed to be the solicitor general next in line of succession, noel francisco, but could select someone else. what if trump put someone in
that position who's more trump-friendly, the more of this is a witch hunt ilk, what happens to the mueller investigation? what happens to mueller himself? >> well, mueller's a very strong figure. he's got not only experience and mileage. he has more than those who might be in charge of him. if it not the solicitor general, who does have conflicts of interest given the law firm he was with represented trump during the campaign, so he might say, i can't take this on because conflicts, the next place it would go is the office of legal counsel. that's a fellow by the name of steve engel. and he is an experienced washington lawyer. and both of these men are establishmentarians. i don't see them doing anything drastic with the special counsel. i think it would be pretty much stay on course. >> okay. what about also from a legal
perspective if rod rosenstein were to resign versus the white house fire him. if you're the white house, wouldn't you prefer he resign himself because what kind of signal is that saying, again, this is someone else you're firing who's in the thick of an investigation? >> what comes into play is the vacancies act and who steps in next. so it's important whether he -- if he resigns, then the vacancies act comes in. if he's fired, it creates a whole different set of legal problems. >> last question to you because i know you were in washington as a witness in the supreme court nominee confirmation hearings for brett kavanaugh. and you were listening a little while ago when we were all listening into senate majority leader mitch mcconnell ripping into democrats. this is the same man who put off this merritt garland confirmation for a year. what did you think when you were watching that? >> i thought he wases doing what the republicans do very well and
that is frame the issue in the terms they want and spin away from the real problems. they have denied any investigation into any of these charges. they have blocked the fbi from going forward and looking at these things, both with dr. ford and now with this new charge. and i understand there are further charges looming out there, so this story is a long way from over. >> john dean, thank you as always. a quick break. we'll be right back. the day after chemo might mean a trip back to
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back to our breaking news. republicans getting quite aggressive in their defense of trump supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh as new allegations surface. we just heard from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, and now orrin hatch, who is on that judiciary committee, just spoke with our correspondent manu raju, who's up on the hill. what did he tell you? >> reporter: he, like senator mcconnell, joining in the defense of brett kavanaugh, believing these allegations are part of a democratic effort to go after brett kavanaugh. republicans believe "the new yorker" article, in particular, as an opening because they don't believe that credible in any way to make the case that this is all part of an effort to undercut kavanaugh's nomination, also hatch weighing in about his concerns about the potential
that rod rosenstein may get fired. >> most -- >> i won't make up my mind until i hear what's behind it and what they're saying and look at them carefully. >> is it concerning to you, though, what you're reading, these allegations coming up about his past? >> everything and -- every supreme court nominee, everything is concerning to me. always has been. what about rod rosenstein, shut the president fire rod rosenstein? >> that's up to the president. i don't -- i don't know. i like rosenstein, first. >> would you be concerned if he fired rod rosenstein? >> well, i think if he did something like that, it would cause a furor, which i don't think we need right now. >> some said it would be a constitutional crisis if he were to fire rosenstein in an effort to close the mueller investigation. do you -- >> everything is a constitutional crisis around here lately, it seems to me. and there's -- this president's been mistreated as far as i'm concerned. >> thanks, everybody. >> the allegations -- >> what?
>> what concerns you most about the second allegation and maybe the democrats playing politics -- >> the second -- >> the one with deborah ramirez. "the new yorker" article. >> it's amazing these allegations come out of nowhere at the last minute and they weren't brought up earlier in this process. and it's not untypical for our friends on the other side to pull that kind of crap. >> sir, why -- >> now, that was the last question i was trying to ask him, why no outside witnesses. the republicans have made the decision on that thursday hearing, there will just be two witnesses. judge kavanaugh will testify after christine blasey ford. democrats and the ford camp want outside witnesses, including two trauma experts and the person who administered that polygraph test for christine blasey ford. republicans have rejected that so as far. "the new yorker" article won't be part of the hearing thursday. just two witnesses so far on thursday. >> you've also been chasing
down -- you chased down key red state democrat joe manchin. also responding saying the hearing will be very important to his vote. he said all the allegations are, quote, very concerning, as kavanaugh has a right to clear his name. manu, great job as always. thank you very much. coming up here on skrn wicn all the drama unfolding with brett kavanaugh and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, president trump teases a second summit with north korea's kim jong-un is close. we'll discuss that coming up next. oints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
president trump today at the u.n. announcing a second summit with north korea and kim jong-un is close. let's discuss. michelle kosinski, cnn senior diplomatic correspondent, as is nic robertson. a plus to see both of you in the flesh. to you first, sir. he says it's close. >> and he says -- >> progress. >> and he says president moon has told him kim jong-un really thinks president trump is the guy who can make this happen. in president trump's mind, it seems clear, the meeting should
happen, even if there isn't an agreement on the details of what he expects to achieve. the fact they're talking, as secretary of state pompeo said, is good about all of this. >> yeah. and no answers to any questions at a press conference that pompeo was a part of early today. asked by cnn, well, why are you doing this? if they're not taking absolute concrete steps towards denuclearization right now and they're not really spelling it out, meaning the north koreans, why are you giving them this new meeting? not any detail or answer there. and north korea has already said that it will take steps towards denuclearization but it expects reciprocal pr resip row measures from the u.s. what does that mean? we have an idea that will big demands but the secretary of state doesn't give any detail on what he expects it to be. not a whole lot of information ahead of this second big summit. apparently the president feels only he can solve it, that's why they're doing this from the top-down instead of the other way around. >> we'll be watching your
coverage this week in new york at the unga. i'm out of time. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. let's go to washington "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. it is only monday, folks. only monday. "the lead" starts right now. it's a decision that could leave the fate of the russia investigation in question. is deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, who supervises the investigation, staying on the job or is he being fired or is he resigning? it will all come down to a face-to-face with president trump. then there's a second woman accusing brett kavanaugh of inappropriate sexual behavior as the first accuser christine blasey ford agrees to testify thursday. democrats are now saying about that hearing, hey, not so fast. plus, these two major st