find out more and get out of line today. hello, i'm wolf blitzer and it's 1:00 in washington. up first, the clock is ticking on the political cliff hanger surrounding brett kavanaugh's supreme court nomination. christine blasey ford accuses him and faces a deadline. a source said she has not closed the door on testifying. the chairman chuck grassley gave ford until tomorrow to decide and grassley rejected her call for an fbi investigation first. in a letter to ford and i'm quoting, the constitution assigns the senate and only the senate with the task of advising the president and his nominee and consenting to the nomination if they merit.
we have no agency into conducting our due diligence. let's bring in manu and kate rin c collins. what are you lawyering about whether or not ford will be willing to testify? >> both sides expect that it's possible that she could very welcome on monday. both sides, republicans and democrats will tell you they don't know exactly what will happen before chuck grassley's friday deadline for her attorneys to respond to that offer to testify on monday. but one thing is very clear. republicans are rejecting the demands by democrats and ford's attorneys to set some conditions or limits or delay the hearing on monday. one of the things that ford's attorneys raise last night was to bring in outside witnesses to testify and corroborate her story and allow the senators to assess what she is saying, but i spoke to senator john cornyn,
the majority whip who sits on the senate judiciary committee, he said they would not allow ounce witnesses to come in. in his words, he said we already had a hearing and when i asked about outside witnesses, he said that's what i call the regular process to accommodate political interests. what we are interested in knowing, they had incredible testimony as she said it did. if she doesn't show up, we don't have that information and we have to proceed without it. republicans are being very clear they want to move forward with a vote as soon as next week. if she doesn't come in on monday, i asked mitch mcconnell if he is confident if brett kavanaugh will be confirmed and he said oh, yeah. that shows you how republicans are feeling. >> at the white house, what are you hearing about the white
house strategy and how the president handled this problem and all the problem surrounding the tom nation. >> the strategy is getting a lot of attention. aides are quietly stunned by just how respectful president trump has been when talking about this woman who has accused his nominee of assaulting him. aides thought on sunday when president trump read that "washington post" interview where she first came forward, detailing the allegation, he may have that sense of volcanic anger we have seen from the president before. s and outside advisers were calling the president, cautionings him not to attack the accuser. the president seemed surprised saying why would i attack the accuser. christine blasey ford should come forward and tell her story and testify on monday. aides have been surprised, but president trump himself has been boasting to allies and outside advisers about the coverage he
is getting in response to the measured response that he's had about these allegations. aides say they think that helped encourage him to continue responding. they think a lot of that restraint has to do with the allegation not made against the president. the president is accused of sexual assault and something he and his aides deny. that's what we are seeing and the president defending brett kavanaugh and believes brett kavanaugh has to go out and fight for himself in this situation. the bottom line back at the white house, they are becoming increasingly confident that judge kavanaugh can get confirmed. if christine blasey ford doesn't testify, this whole situation, all of this drama would be a blip on rat dar of his supreme court legacy. >> we going to hear from the president later? >> the president is going to las
vegas for a rally tonight. of course, wolf, the rallies are where the president is often not very script and on topic sometimes. he's often in a room of supporter who is are chapting and cheering him on. we could hear a change in tone there, but right now aides are expecting him to continue with the same message. >> thanks very much. thanks to you as well, manu on the hill. from capitol hill as patrick leahy is the senior democrat meaning he has been on the committee for the longest amount of time and one of three member there is during the clarence thomas hearing 27 years ago. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you very much. good to be with you, wolf. >> if defense ford doesn't testify, does that guarantee that judge kavanaugh will in fact be confirmed? >> i think one of the reasons the republicans have rushed this
through in really an unseenly fashion like anything we have seen before, this is the same republican leadership that stalled pop's nominee for over a year to the supreme court so they wouldn't have to have a hearing and now they say they have to go immediately within two or three or five days, it doesn't pass the giggle test. why the hurry? take the time to do it right. a witness deserved real professionals and are used to dealing with sexual abuse cases. say she doesn't appear on monday and the chairman said there will be a vote on wednesday in the committee and in the days that
follow. i'm sure mitch mcconnell will call for a vote assume assuming that all 51 republicans are there. even if 50 are there, he will be confirmed because the vice president as president of the senate will cast the tie breaking vote. where is the vote count right now? >> it's not so much where the vote count is, but this is a bad mark against the u.s. senate. rushing something through saying if she is not there. she wants a real investigation done. everybody talks about anita hill. a republican administration said okay, put everything on pause. we will have the fbi do a real background. they made many of them available to testify before we had a mark. they want to avoid this. supposed 3 there is an eyewitness. the republicans have refused to
call him and put him under oath to talk about it. i don't blame the victim for saying why are you stacking this? why can't we have an honest, a truthful discussion of what happened? all they care is to rush it through. that's going to end up being a real stain on the united states senate's reputation. it destroys any concept of fairness. and you talk about what the blip on history as somebody wrote, the one thing if he is confirmed on this, there will be in every story and biography, a man who had accusations that were never fully heard. >> i want to you stand by. two of your colleagues, senator hirono and gillibrand got
letters from the students where professor ford went to school. i want to listen in briefly. >> from some of my friends who i have known, some of them for many, many years, women, who shared with me their own really painful stories in the case of two of them, they had been raped and in the case of one, she was only 15. there was an attempted rape on her. i never heard any of this in cases many years. this is what happens. the trauma of this kind of assault is so tremendous. they never talk about it, but to hear these three friends of mine as well as others who have contacted my office with their stories brings tears to my eyes and goes to show how pervasive this is and how we have not created an environment where women like dr. ford can come forward and be suspected in a respectful way. that's not what is happening. what is happening with the
judiciary committee is really i would call it a railroad job. it's totally unfair. the way i portrayed it and describe it, you have the entire force of the presidency and all of the supporters of judge kavanaugh in the senate, a raid on one side and on the other side, you have dr. ford who doesn't even have the benefit of an fbi investigation as we all have called for. how unfair is that? that's why i'm grateful that the leaders of her school are coming forward. they organized a letter drive to stand with dr. ford and they are going to have a few words to say in a couple of minutes, but this is not fair. i'm counting on the members of the press to point out that this is a fast track. they are totally intent on getting judge kavanaugh on to the supreme court come hell or
high water. come hell or high water. you have to ask yourself, why? why isn't judge kavanaugh asking for an fbi investigation if he has nothing to hide? you all should continue to press that point. >> you want to receive the letter? would you like to read it? >> introduce yourself and read the letter. >> my name is sarah burgess and i'm class of 2005. i'm here to share a letter signed by over 1,000 alumni in support of dr. christine blasey ford. we believe dr. blasey ford and so grateful to her for coming forward and sharing her story. as we say in the letter, her experience is consistent with
experiences that we have heard and lived and many of us are survivors ourselves. we are sharing this letter so it can be officially added to the record and they can consider it as they make this very important decision. dr. blasey ford has shown she beyond credible. sexual assault needs to be taken seriously and there is no way that you can vote on this before we have a thorough and independent investigation. once again, most of all, we are so grateful to dr. blasey ford and we hope she knows that we stand with her. we are so thankful that she is helping us move towards a world where women can be free of sexual assault and violence. thank you. >> thank you. >> so there you have a letter
signed by 1,000 alumni in support of dr. christine blasey ford during this uproar, controversy involving the confirmation of brett kavanaugh to the u.s. supreme court. from the holt on arms school in the washington suburb of bethesda, maryland. a private school judge kavanaugh went to. a separate school, georgetown prep, a boy's school. let's go to the reaction to what we just heard. the democratic women in the u.s. senate are making a point from their perspective, the way this is being treated by the chairman and your committee is unacceptable. >> i don't think anybody can say it better than senator hirono did. she and i were both prosecutors. as a prosecutor, you know you cannot rush something like this. you have to have people
investigate. not partisan people because people are real experts going into this thing. that's what we asked for. that's what she asked for. that's what i asked for. that's what the democrats have asked for. this rush to judgment makes you wonder what else are they trying to hide. the only reason for rushing it is if you don't want other facts to come out. we are talking about lifetime appointment. an extra week or two weeks to do it right? all americans are affected, not just the republican leadership and the senate, but all americans. let's take two or three weeks and do it right. let's get it done right. the doctor should be heard, but not in a partisan fashion that the republican leadership set up. she should be heard in a clear way with a clear investigation. senator hirono is absolutely
correct and i totally agree with her. >> the republicans are clearly interested in getting judge kavanaugh confirmed before the mid-term elections with the chance the democrats could be the majority and that would derail this nomination presumab presumably. that's why they want this done in the next few days if not before the mid-term elections. >> that say bogus and stupid argument. it turns its back on the american people. they are going to be in charge no matter what happens to this election. they are in charge until noon on january 3rd. they have plenty of time to get it right. these are the same people that blocked an obama nominee who would have had a solid vote from republicans and democrats. they blocked him for a year. now they say oh, no, we only have two or three days to get this done. nobody believes that. that is one of the biggest
partisan film flam we have heard. i have been on the committee longer than anyone. i have never seen republicans or democrats try such a partisan stunt. when you have a woman who has been courageous and come forward, she ought to have due process on this. she is not. >> senator, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> as we wait to hear whether or not christine blasey ford will testify on monday, we will go live to her hometown where she lives in palo alto, california. she is a university professor out there. the community is not just rallying around her. they are starting to raise money to protect her against death threats and other threats she has received. and later, political gamble as republicans push for ford to testify. do they risk alienating female voters in the me too era. i will ask a republican member of the house. lots more news coming up. we'll be right back. hey allergy muddlers.
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>> will she or won't she? the woman is accusing brett kavanaugh of sexual assault grappling with the decision of whether to testify to congress. her lawyer said she is dealing with death threats that are so serious and frequent, she has been forced to leave her home. her neighbors started a go fund me page to pay for her and her family's security. joining us from palo alto university where she teaches. any sign of professor fort as we await whether or not she will be
testifying? >> no sign of her since sunday when she was identified by name in the "washington post" story. her lawyer said she had to move out of her house in palo alto because she and her family members received death threats as a result of her sharing her story. unfortunate result of her decision to do this. you're right, she is a professor at palo alto university. we are told she is not teaching classes this semester so-so reason to believe she has to come to campus this week. her family members, including her husband and relatives have actually started to circulate a letter of support for christine blasey ford on social media a few minutes ago and i wanted to read a part of that letter because it gives you insight into what the people closest to her are saying about the ordeal she is going through. we believe that she has acted
bravely by voicing experiences from the past and we know how difficult this is for her. she is not someone who chooses to be in the spotlight. we ask that her decision to share a private and difficult recollection be treated seriously and respectfully and ask that you please make every effort to respect our family's privacy as this issue is being investigated. as you mentioned, we have also seen here in palo alto, neighbors and supporters are coming out to rally around her. that go fund me effort raised tens of thousands of dollars and a candlelight vigil to show her they believe her story. >> awful the fact that there are death threats to this woman. our panel on how this is likely to play out and we have our legal analyst with us and our
chief political correspondent. it is awful that she has to move out of her home because of death threats. what's the risk that the republican chairman and other republicans are taking now by effectively giving her this ultimatum? appear on monday or the vote is going forward? >> look, it is risky every way you slice this. for republicans mostly, but for a lesser extend for democrats. on the republican side, i talked to some members of the committee and republicans more broadly in elected office who make the argument that the absolute political killer here would have been if they blew her off from the get go and went ahead with the vote which was supposed to happen today. they didn't do that. they would give her an opportunity to come forward. the question is, whether or not the republicans can save face and whether that is enough if in fact for whatever reason if we hear presumably by the end of
the day and maybe by grassley's deadline by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, there are different things she wants and conditions and maybe a different day. we will see what they come forward with. the thing that we are not hearing and is happening is some of the republicans who said publicly that she should have her voice heard are getting a lot of pressure from the right. when we hear about a lot of the pressure from democrats and from women's advocates and basic humans who think this woman has a right to be heard, there is a lot of pressure that is out there among republicans to say enough already. this is the 11th hour now. republicans made it the 11th hour by putting the deadline on and we should move o. >> when they talk about due process for the woman and the allegations she has, what's your understanding of what that
means? >> from a legal perspective, leaving the politics aside and this is pregnant with politics, you have an allegation. ha you have an investigation and then you have testimony. that's the order in which cases proceed legally. this is a legal allegation and a charge of attempted rain. you have the allegation. should you then have an investigation of those facts and have testimony as required. putting the apple cart before the horse of having testimony and then if are in an investigation makes no sense from purely legal standpoint. therefore the notion that they are providing her due process, a forum to tell her story which was told in written form without an intervening investigation doesn't make sense legally. >> you are right legally, but this is pregnant with politics and this is about politics and there is no criminal procedure at all. >> there is no criminal procedure. >> no proceeding and it's not in
any court nowhere for lots of reasons. the issue is whether or not these senators on the republican side have the majority and whether they view it as through the lens of the committee rules and the process there or through the lens of basic legal structure. >> that's right. this is what we don't know how it plays out politically. my view as a lawyer is run it through the ordinary legal process when you have an ligation to investigate and determine what should be done. i am not political, but if they play it safe and legally, they are always better protected down the end from allegations. this is partisan and not fair in its objective outcome. >> when people testify and you cover congress for a long time, grassley refers to this as their opening statements are submitted the day before or the business day before.
he is suggesting if she is going to appear and he is going to appear, by tomorrow morning or sometime tomorrow, the committee wants to see their statements. is that realistic? >> we don't know. we haven't heard the person holding the cards to that question and so many others right now is christine ford. she is the who can decide those answers. my understanding and my impression is that they understand what chuck grassley's deadline is and working to figure out how to answer it in some way, shape, or form. it's a big open question right now. let's gain this out and say there is testimony on monday or maybe another day. then what? she comes out and gives her story and he gives his story. then it is going to be because there is a lack of basic objective investigations going on behind the scenes, the pressure is going to be even
harder and more so on these few swing senators, particularly on the republican side to decide who do i believe? >> to the point of an investigation first before testimony, there are other people who have been identified as having knowledge about the facts here. they are not even scheduled for testimony, no less investigation steps. to set it up as a he said she said is unfair as legal process when other witnesses can be called. >> i will leave it with the thought that if she testifies one thing in open session and this is sworn testimony. if she lies, that's perjury. if he said something different, if he lies, that's perjury. as a result if there is two different stories, one presumably might be lying and subject to then an fbi investigation and then criminal investigation if in fact one of them under oath was lying and committed perjury.
>> except that it was 35 or 36 years ago and they can say to the best of my recollection. >> that are would be a crime. >> that's why you investigate and take your testimony. >> par would rather investigate before. >> yeah. >> we are following new developments out of maryland. a shooting at a rite aid distribution center. a woman suspected of being the shooter now in critical condition. (male speaker) as people who love the outdoors, we stand for the traditions we inherited, and that we must pass on. at bass pro shops and cabela's, we stand together, for you. come in today for sporting dog days with free seminars, prize drawings and giveaways. there's nothing small about your business. with dell small business technology advisors, you get the one-on-one partnership to grow your business. the dell vostro 14 laptop. get up to 40% off on select pcs. call 877-buy-dell today. ( ♪ )
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we are following breaking news out of maryland where multiple people have been shot and killed at a rite aid distribution center in aberdeen, 30 miles north of baltimore. brian, you have new details about the shooting. what are you learning? >> reporter: speaking with multiple law enforcement sources, here's what we have got for you. according to a law enforcement official, five people were shot at least and at least three people are dead. according to other law enforcement sources, the shooter is a female and according to one law enforcement source, she was a disgruntled employee of this distribution facility and after opening fire, she shot herself in the head once, but that attempt fail and she shot
herself in the head a second time according to a law enforcement source. according to the harford county sheriff, that suspect is now in critical condition in a local hospital. they said that the suspect used only one weapon, the hand gun. the call came from the distribution center at about 9:00 a.m. this morning. the sheriff said unfortunately officers got there within five minutes and were able to secure the scene. they did not discharge their weapons. according to sources, at least five people shot and three killed in this incident. this occurred at a rite aid distribution facility which according to a rite aid official has about 1,000 people working there. this could have been conceivably a lot worse if indeed the information we have is going to be current. we can tell you the suspect is a female and shot herself once in the head and that failed. she shot herself a second time
and is now in critical condition. >> on the scene near aberdeen, maryland. other news is president trump is going through the motions right now as stander in chief and visited the storm-ravaged carolinas, but behind the scenes very angry and feeling unprotected. they said the president does feel vulnerable and that feeling has to do with more than just the russia investigation. aides tell "the washington post" it's become personal. our politics reporter is joining us with a closer look at this new reporting. what's getting to the president? >> a lot of things. i will run through them quickly because there are a bunch. this is the universe of donald trump's mounting problems. brett kavanaugh. that's a big issue one. this is looking like a sure vire victory turning the court more
conservative for decades, potentially. we have a self-imposed deadline chuck grassley put in place for tomorrow. paul manafort, the guy most stalled about not making a deal, he made a deal and is cooperating. his former campaign chairman is cooperating with bob mueller. whoever wrote the "new york times" op-ed who said there is a semi official coup around the president when it comes to decisions he is making on foreign policy and national security. bob woodward's book, fear, continues to royal the white house. most of the big details are out and it's a massive bestseller influencing the way in which the president is viewed. down here is jeff sessions. obviously the president earlier this week went off on sessions again saying i don't have an attorney general, saying that sessions is a very sad situation.
honestly, we could probably fill out down here if we needed to with other issues including the mid-term elections that are plaguing donald trump, but this alone is a lot for any president to handle, much less that doesn't have a lot of close advisers around him. >> the president is railing on the attorney general for over a year. the president dislikes the attorney general so much, why not just fire him? >> that's a question i ask myself and came up with three basic theories. i will go through them. he's afraid of antagonizing republican senators. every time he attacks jeff sessions, they said he should stay where he is. theory two and it could be a combination of these, it would make him look guilty on russia. we had james comey fired. do you want to remove the guy who iss the head of the justice
can't. theory and this is a big one, republicans can't confirm a replacement. if you thought it was hard the first time, imagine amid an ongoing federal investigation that donald trump is bad mouth and with a person in the white house who said there is a deep state experience in the justice department. that would be a massive confi confirmation fight and not someone that mitch mcconnell or john cornyn relishes. >> he has been berating the attorney general and with an attorney, he said i don't have an attorney general. it's very sad. i'm not happy at the border and with numerous things. he is the attorney general and the president continues to rail against them. very awkward to say the least. the gop's big bam bell and how will that affect their standing with women as the mid-terms get
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and a republican from pennsylvania. thanks so much for joining us. >> good afternoon. >> let's talk about chuck grassley in a moment. the chairman of the judiciary committee said it's more important for the senate to investigate and not the fbi. do you believe that? if there is nothing to hide on judge kavanaugh's part, why not let the fbi do a background check? >> the fbi is charged with doing confidential investigations which probably should have happened six or seven weeks ago when senator feinstein learned of this information. if you go back to 1991, when the anita hill allegations were made public, chairman biden appropriately charged the senate committee with doing an investigation and in the final point, credibility determination will be made by the senate committee. the best they can do is obtain information and the senate will
be the arbitor on who to believe and who not to believe and how to vote. there is nothing confidential and that would have been the purpose of an fbi investigation. >> don't you think he deserves to have a complete and thorough investigation. if the senate judiciary committee staffers want to investigate on the republican side and the democratic side, that's fine as well. the arguments the democrats make is why the rush for monday? give it a week or two and let others testify at the same time. >> i think many of us feel that the democrats are looking to do whatever they can to prolong the investigation for political reasons where as what i think republicans and what chairman grassley is seeking to do is have this woman's voice heard, accommodating her, however practicable. whether in private or in public, she feels comfortable saying
what she would like to say. there is a 36-year-old allegation. it comes down to two people. her and judge kavanaugh. to the extent that there are two or three others and the staff has reached out to them in an effort to get interviews from them. i would also harken back to what this woman's attorney said this past monday which is no one reached out to us. she wants to be heard. i believe that chairman grassley has done everything imaginable so she can be heard in a form she would like. >> there is a debate on that and i want to get to another issue. i know our time is short. it's a sensitive matter. the trump administration is planning to take money out of critical health care programs to cover the cost of caring for immigrant children who have been taken into custody away from their parents and it includes more than $16 million from head start, nearly $6 million from
the ryan white aids program. $13 million from the cancer institute and $87 million from the national institutes of health. do you believe this is where the administration should be cutting money and should be taking funds to take care of these children who have been separated from their parents? >> the short answer is the money appropriated for other health programs should be used for those programs, but wolf, what sometimes happens is that the end of a year often times there is left over funding in some programs and so there is an attempt to use those those unused funds for programs that need spending on them. so i want to be clear, the aids funding, some of the other programs you said, they should be properly appropriated, if those funds aren't spent, at the end of the year, that's one thing. we need to make sure that they
would be additionally appropriated the year after. but i also would say, those are reports. i haven't seen that formally submitted as part of a spending bill, but it is something i'm keeping an eye on. and you're certainly right to ask the question. >> well, because, if the funds aren't spent, they could be held over and used in the next fiscal year, right? >> they could. they would be rolled over, but we would also be appropriating dollars in the next fiscal year for those very same programs. >> it's a sensitive issue, indeed. >> very much. >> certainly on the surface, and i know you're going to look much more closely at it, but certainly on the surface, it does not look good. the national institutes of health and these other important, important areas of the u.s. government are so critical, indeed. congressman, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. all right. coming up, there's more news we're following. how do the current justices on the u.s. supreme court feel about this rather contentious confirmation battle that is now underway. and more importantly, how do
to plant around the powerlines. we want to keep the power on for our customers. we want to keep our communities safe. this is our community. this is where we live. we need to make sure that we have a beautiful place for our children to live. together, we're building a better california. there are eight people who have not weighed in on the scandal swirling around brett kavanaugh's nomination. let's bring in joan biskupic. can they speak out? would it be appropriate? >> they might, but they're not going to. they didn't speak out in the
whole merrick garland incident in 2016. so i wouldn't expect a single one of them to speak out publicly. they don't like that it's become more politicized. chief justice john roberts has said that it taints the court. but a group of them have personal connections to brett kavanaugh, so there's some differences around them that i think are worth exploring that we're not going to hear from them publicly, but we know. >> tell us about that. >> the chief has spoken about how, you know, if people see an individual get on the court through a very political process, people will necessarily think of the new justice as political. so he doesn't like this, but at the same time, he has a very deep relationship with brett kavanaugh. they knew each other back in the solicitor general's office, in the early 1990s. brett kavanaugh had a hand in his appointment, getting on to the d.c. circuit. and he also had a hand in his appointment to the supreme court, when kavanaugh worked for george w. bush. so they have a connection there.
and i'm sure the chief is interested in kavanaugh as a new colleague. and then take two other people -- >> you're talking about john roberts, the chief justice. >> yes, the current chief. and take clarence thomas. he can't help but feel a real personal identity to what's going on with brett kavanaugh now, because that happened to him. and neil gorsuch, who also was an old-time friend of his, who went to georgetown prep, and just think of all that's been dredged up about georgetown prep. on the other side, you have ruth bader ginsburg, someone who's spoken out a lot about the importance of the me too movement and charges being explored. so as much as she doesn't like all of these politics around it, she has an interest in perhaps hearing from christine blasey ford. and then, finally, elena kagan, who worked behind the scenes both at a white house and with a senate judiciary committee during other confirmation hearings. and she also was once someone whose documents were sought for
a confirmation and her documents were turned over in a way that brett kavanaugh's weren't. so they all have these kind of personal political interests, at the same time that they don't want confirmations politicized. >> and they're all being silent, at least for now. joan biskupic, thank you very much for that analysis. coming up, a student pilot accused of jumping a fence and boarding a passenger jet at a florida airport. we're going to have a live report. ♪
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opportunity is everywhere. ♪ all you have to do to find it is get out... here. ♪ hi, there. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. a koncongressional source says t christien blasey ford has not closed the door on testifying before the senate judiciary committee monday. and she now has 20 hours left to make that call. committee chairman chuck grassley has set a deadline of 10:00 a.m. tomorrow for blasey ford